Does the Catholic Church Still Believe in Purgatory?



Q. Does the Catholic Church Still Believe in Purgatory?

A. Yes

Q. What is Purgatory?

A. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church

THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

1030 All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

I Peter 1:7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

St. Gregory the Great: “As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.( Dial. 4,39:PL 77,396; cf. Mt 12:31.)

Mt. 12:31 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture:

Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

II Macc 12:46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

St. John Chrysostom: “Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.“, Hom. in 1 Cor. 41,5:PG 61,361; cf. Job 1:5.

Job 1:5 When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.

Technorati Tags: , ,

About these ads

20 Responses

  1. When Rowan Williams,Archbishop of Canterbury
    was asked if he believed in purgatory, it is
    said that he answered something like, Well, I
    don’t know as a believe in it so much, but I
    certainly do hope for it. Now that’s profound

  2. Pdrgatory is nothing more than scare tactics

  3. Some may have abused the Doctrine of Purgatory as a scare tactic but it is no longer used in that way today.If you make it to Purgatory there is no possibility of going to Hell. You are on your way to Heaven.

  4. Purgatory is not mentioned in the Holy Bible. That must mean it does not exist or God would have told us. Actually God said: to dust you shall return (Gen 3:19).
    Returning to dust doesnt meant go to a waiting area..it means returning to the earth. We then await resurrection upon our Lords return. Purgatroy is man’s idea of a second chance after death. The scriptures say otherwise.

  5. Comment: Purgatory is not mentioned in the Holy Bible. That must mean it does not exist or God would have told us.

    Response:
    Based on the method of your interpretation of Sacred Scripture then belief in the Trinity and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is excluded because it “must mean it does not exist or God would have told us.”

    Comment: Actually God said: to dust you shall return (Gen 3:19).
    Returning to dust doesnt meant go to a waiting area..it means returning to the earth. We then await resurrection upon our Lords return.

    Response:
    This refers to out bodies. Our souls live on after the death of our bodies and are in being “someplace”. Unless you believe we are only a body without an eternal soul.

    Comment: Purgatroy is man’s idea of a second chance after death. The scriptures say otherwise.

    Response: Purgatory is the name given to a time of purification in order to be Holy as He is Holy and enter into His presence. It is not a second chance. All chances for repentance and salvation end at death. CCC1092

  6. Believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who cleanses continually during a believer’s lifetime. Salvation is not by works on earth nor through some process in the afterlife, the idea is disrespect to the work of the Holy Spirit.

    Scripture says it is appointed man once to die and after that the judgment. There is no writing of an intermediate state where one can redeem themselves. How can that be when you will be judged by your works, by the things that you do in the body? It is impossible for a purgatory to provide a means to do what only living human beings can do. The idea is bogus.

    There’s more however no need to press this into the ground there is no foundation for purgatory in scripture, the idea necessitates ignoring Abraham’s Bosom as the repository of the righteous dead, righteous by way of Yeshua’s righteousness being imputed in believers. Those who are imputed with his righteousness and are as pure as any could ever hope to be, we are glorified with his glory, no work to salvation.

    • PLEASE NOTE:

      BFHU has moved this REPLY, made by JOHN HIGGINS to Astrocometman’s comment ABOVE.

      JOHN HIGGINS—replies:

      23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

      24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

      25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

      26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

      27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

      28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.

      29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

      30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.

      31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

      32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:

      33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?

      34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

      35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

      1 Corinthians
      [11] For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus. [12] Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: [13] Every man’s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. [14] If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      To Astrocometman: Look at the Hebrew Encyclopedia for “Bosom of Abraham”.
      It was NOT Heaven!

      John Higgins, on June 2, 2011 at 12:19 am said:

      To Astrocometman: Matthew 25
      These words were spoken by Christ
      [31] And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. [32] And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: [33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. [34] Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. [35] For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in:

      [36] Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me. [37] Then shall the just answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, and fed thee; thirsty, and gave thee drink? [38] And when did we see thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and covered thee? [39] Or when did we see thee sick or in prison, and came to thee? [40] And the king answering, shall say to them: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.

      [41] Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. [42] For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink. [43] I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. [44] Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister to thee? [45] Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.

      [46] And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting.

  7. Thank you for this article. I linked it to my Purgatory web site, Holy Souls Online.

  8. “There is no writing of an intermediate state where one can redeem themselves”

    The Catholic Church teaches that man can never redeem himself. Only Christ does that. Purgatory is not a place of redemption. It a place of purification. Hence the name “purgatory” which is related to the word “to purge” or “cleanse.”

    “Believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who cleanses continually during a believer’s lifetime”

    The Holy Spirit does this in this life and in the next life. The Holy Spirit cleanses us in Purgatory. We do not cleanse ourselves.

    “the idea necessitates ignoring Abraham’s Bosom as the repository of the righteous dead,”

    Actually, you’re the one ignore the story. Question: is the rich man in Hell, as in, the place of the damned who are eternally separated from God. Some translations of the Bible say “Hell”, others say “Hades” or something similar. But this place cannot be the place of the damned, for the rich man feels charity, which is a grace from God. But those in Hell are eternally cut off from God, and thus they are cut off from his graces. Thus this is not the place of the damned, but some other place where God’s grace is still present. Nor, clearly, is it Heaven. Thus, it must be Purgatory.

  9. Thank!!! It good content. It good blog for sharing.

  10. What in the world does Job 1:5 have to do with Purgatory? Haha. Job’s children were still living then. They hadn’t died yet, so this has nothing to do with praying for the dead. He was praying for his LIVING children.

    Why is it that the Catholic church loves to quote Apocrypha? These book appear in the back of the Catholic Bible (I still have mine from prep school). These books have been rejected by the church, why do they use these passages? Some books fo the Apocrypha state that Jesus sinned, are we to use those passages?

    Playing games with words and pretending that “purification” is different from “redemption” is sophistry, pure and simple. Jesus’ work on the cross was either enough to completely cleanse us, or it was not. It’s that simple. No canon scripture supports the notion of Purgatory, and it never will. How in the world does that passage from Peter support purgatory? It doesn’t. That passage is talking about “trials” in this world, while we are living. The fire spoken of in I Corinthians 3:8-15 is one that burns up works, not us, it burns up our works that are unworthy of reward. This is elementary stuff.

    To Cody:

    The rich man was not in Hell, as no one is in Hell right now. No one has been judged by God, so when people die that are believers, they wait in Paradise, while those that aren’t believers wait in Sheol. It isn’t Purgatory, it is a place of waiting until we are judged, believers at the Bema judgment, and unbelievers at the Great White Throne Judgment. Some people believe these are one and the same, but whatever you believe, clearly no one has been judged yet, so no one can enter Heaven or Hell. Therefore, we go to a place of waiting. The place of waiting for believers, Paradise, is somewhere with Christ. The place of waiting for unbelievers is Sheol, and is somewhere not with Christ and is – as the scriptures indicate – not a nice place to be. However, it is not Purgatory.

    Christ told the thief on the cross he would we with with Him in Paradise, not after being in Purgatory for a while. The poor man, Lazarus:

    “…died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side”

    They didn’t carry him to Purgatory. The Bible refers to the place the rich man went as “Hell”, but we know there is more than one “Hell” as there is more than one “Heaven”. The Greek word is “αδη” which the lexicon defines as: “Hades or the place (state) of departed souls — grave, hell.” It is where the souls of unbelievers go, and it is unpleasant, but it is not Purgatory, and it is not the final place unbelievers will go, the last Hell.

    Purgatory is a foolish idea, that is insulting to the propitiating work of Christ… it’s that simple.

  11. Michael:What in the world does Job 1:5 have to do with Purgatory? Haha. Job’s children were still living then. They hadn’t died yet, so this has nothing to do with praying for the dead. He was praying for his LIVING children.

    BFHU: All true. It is just cited to show the OT idea of the need for purification and that the father prayed and sacrificed VICARIOUSLY, for their purification. Just as Jesus prayed and sacrificed for the sin of all mankind. AND just as we pray and offer little sacrifices for the purification of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. This doesn’t prove Purgatory just that some of the Catholic Theology regarding it is not new with Christianity.

    Michael:Why is it that the Catholic church loves to quote Apocrypha?

    BFHU:We don’t. These books are NOT Apocrypha. They are regarded as the Deuterocanon or second canon. Apocrypha refers to uncanonized books. Some of these were good but some were heretical. We have none in our Bible.
    Protestants have a tradition of referring to the OT Books in the Catholic Bible that Martin Luther threw out of his OT, as “apocrypha” in a derogatory and inaccurate way.

    We do use this passage in Maccabees to show the ancient OT belief upon which Catholic belief and practice regarding the souls in Purgatory is founded.

    Michael: These book appear in the back of the Catholic Bible (I still have mine from prep school).

    BFHU:In Catholic Bibles today they are included categorically with the rest of the OT. I have never heard that they were ever at the back of a Bible, except for centuries, Protestant Bibles often included these same 7 books in the back of the Bible. If you wouldn’t mind I would like to have you check it and see if it is truly a Catholic Bible or if it is a Protestant Bible. What Translation? Who Published it? What Year?

    Michael:These books have been rejected by the church, why do they use these passages? Some books fo the Apocrypha state that Jesus sinned, are we to use those passages?

    BFHU:You are wrong. They are a part of the inerrant scriptures that Jesus used and quoted from most frequently. We use them because we received the Greek Septuagint Old Testament Scriptures straight from the Jews of the first century. Simple as that. Once Christians began using them to make converts Pharisees got together and removed them. So Protestant follow the OT of the Pharisees and Martin Luther.

    Michael:Playing games with words and pretending that “purification” is different from “redemption” is sophistry, pure and simple.

    BFHU: Only because of the Protestant culture you are used to. Even Martin Luther acknowledged that we might be redeemed but still impure. The purification I am talking about is the remission of the temporal consequences of sin
    Jesus’ work on the cross was either enough to completely cleanse us, or it was not. It’s that simple. For a better Biblical explanation of Purgatory click–>Where is the Biblical Evidence for Purgatory?

    Michael

    No canon scripture supports the notion of Purgatory, and it never will. stuff.

    BFHU:How do you understand this verse?

    Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

    .

    Michael:Christ told the thief on the cross he would we with with Him in Paradise, not after being in Purgatory for a while. The poor man, Lazarus:

    BFHU:But Michael, you yourself said that Paradise is the good side of the place of the dead, or Abraham’s bosom. It is not Heaven but those who await the opening of Heaven by Jesus will be going to Heaven. This is where the Thief of the Cross went “Today you will be with me in Paradise” because Jesus did not ascend to His Father in Heaven for three days as He tells Mary Magdalene.

    Michael:Purgatory is a foolish idea, that is insulting to the propitiating work of Christ… it’s that simple.

    BFHU:It is only foolish to Protestants who are content to enter Heaven as a “pile of dung covered over with the righteousness of Christ.” as Luther explains. Catholics believe that we can be completely purified and thoroughly HOLY as we enter the Presence of God in Heaven. But the fact is as scripture says, we must be Holy as He is Holy. So everyone, whether they believe in purification after death of not WILL BE PURIFIED BEFORE BEHOLDING GOD IN HEAVEN.

    • Michael is right. It is insulting to the propitiating work of Christ… it’s that simple.
      Jesus desended to hell got the keys and defeated
      death once and for all. Are you saying by scripture
      that he went to ‘purgatory for three days along with the theif and then left him there and went to heaven.
      I am sorry but, do you think Jesus was not pure enough to go to heaven. I know he had the sins of the world put on him along with the Fathers wrath
      and all but he sinned not. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” He was perfect.
      The theif went to paridise yes that place where all
      true believers go. Another name for it is heaven.
      A day is like a thousand years in heaven. This day
      might mean eternally speaking but it does really
      matter because he trusted in the savior. The finished work was accomplished. Worse case senirio Jesus was a few minutes late that day in
      paradise. He was only doing the most important
      thing in all time history.

    • Hi, I’ve heard the claim that Jesus quoted from these books before. Could you please give me an example (or more if you have them).

  12. hi, This is why the Thief on cross verse is in the bible “Today you will be with me in Paradise” the reason this is in bible, was to show us in truth not doubt,,,, that its christ we come to, christ only, lets stop this foolish talk of Purgatory, it not in bible, we get christ to complete our work on the cross ,,,we use Purgatory, mary, or works, read your bible, titus 3:5, if you believe anything or any other teaching, can help you in salvation, then you are calling christ a liar, and false, +your telling god who sent his son via, mary, that he got it wrong, can we not see this, being right with god is not what we do, but on the finished work of christ, he and he alone is our ransom, 1tim 2:5-6, and see philippians 3: 1-11, paul here considers his works and self-rightous thinking, is dirt, and points to christ, christ, yes , people, trust in the bible, read it for yourselfs, and the lord will point you towards true salvation,,, if you keep to adding , on to christ work, you will most surly end up in hell like the other thief on the cross. god bless

  13. But George, Jesus did NOT GO TO HEAVEN for three days as He tells Mary Magdalene:

    John 20:17 Jesus said to her, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father;

    So, then,

    WHERE WAS JESUS FOR THOSE THREE DAYS? AND WHERE WAS THE THIEF?

    In Hades. The place of the dead. Jesus went to lead the captives free. Paradise was the Abraham’s Bosom side of Hades as opposed to the tormenting side that we see in Jesus’ parable:

    Luke 16:23 22Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to (T)Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried.”In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24″And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’

    Salvation is only through Jesus Christ. He paid the Eternal consequences of sin but we must suffer to atone for the temporal consequences of sin. Otherwise how do you explain this scripture:

    Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

    Did you know that heresy means to pick and choose? It has been my experience that Protestants elevate certain scriptures and completely ignore others that don’t fit their theology. This is a fact. Those who believe in Eternal Security ignore hundreds of scriptures. But the Catholic Faith incorporates every bit of Scripture into a sublime, seamless, and indefectible theology. It is so much more intellectually satisfying.

  14. Whence did Jesus say that the good thief will be in HEAVEN with him? Show me in the bible that paradise means heaven. Not to mention that time is “no more” on the other side, so “today” is not measurable in human term once you cross over. Anyway, Jesus went to Abraham’s bosom after crucifixion and did not even “ascend” to the Father (heaven) for another 40 earthly days after His resurrection.

    It’s foolishness to consistently bash the Catholic Church for something which she never taught. It’s a complete lack of respect and disobedient to our Lord who personally established an institution to be the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) with the specific commission to teach (Lk 10:16). It is so dangerous to start with a twisted Protestant theology of Sola Scriptura and then use the worst possible interpreting method of proof-texting to present a distorted and heretical viewpoint. We all need to cultivate a virtue of humility and humbleness in complete surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, our only Master and Savior.

  15. Why do Catholics use Chapter and Verse isnt that Protestant thing ?

    • We only need to use chapter and verse when trying to discuss Catholic doctrine with Protestants who think the Catholic Church invented them long after the Bible was written. If we don’t use scripture Protestants demand, “Where is that in the Bible?”

      Protestants will not accept Christian historical evidence for Purgatory for example so we give Scripture. I was amazed that there was so much Biblical support for Catholic doctrines.

  16. Many thanks for all postings. Very informative and will help me greatly in being able to explain purgatory to our Children

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 307 other followers

%d bloggers like this: