Where is Purgatory in Scripture?


Q. Where is Purgatory in Sacred Scripture?

A. Well, the word purgatory does not appear anywhere is Sacred Scripture. However, the words trinity and incarnation also do not appear anywhere in Sacred Scripture. So, the fact that a word does not appear in scripture does not categorically exclude the truthfulness of the doctrine it conveys. If it did we would all need to join the Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, the substance of the Doctrines of the Trinity and Incarnation are found in scripture. But without the witness of the Early Church there is not guarantee that Bible Alone Christians ever would have found and affirmed them. And so is the Doctrine of Purgatory.

Matthew 12:32 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.

Here Jesus implies that some sins will be forgiven in the “age to come.” We know that sin cannot be forgiven in Hell and there is not need for any sin to be forgiven once you are in Heaven. So, there must be some other state/age/place where sin CAN be forgiven after this age or this life. We call this Purgatory. This word comes from the Latin word for pure purigare. It is an intermediate state between life in this world and Heaven in which the soul is purified.

1 Corinthians 3:15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.

You might want to look at this whole passage in context. Again, we know that once someone is in Hell, there is no escaping. And we also know that in Heaven there is no suffering, so this passage must be talking about a purification before Heaven is attained.

1 Peter 3:18-20 For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison 20who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built.

1 Peter 4:6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

Luke 16:22-26 “Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23″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.’25″But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.26’And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.

From these passages Sacred Scripture speaks of a “place” that is neither Heaven nor Hell. As a Protestant I was taught that until Jesus died and rose again Heaven was closed to everyone. So, the souls of the godly people of the OT went to Sheol or Hades, a kind of holding tank until the work of Christ was completed and these souls could enter Heaven. So, even many Protestants believe in some sort of place/state that was neither Heaven nor Hell.

Jesus went to this place to preach the gospel to Old Testament spirits who were disobedient so they might live. In the Luke passage we see that the Jews of Jesus’ time must have been familiar with the idea of Abraham’s Bosom, as opposed to the “prison” of the I Peter passages or the flames of the rich man, where the just were comforted while awaiting Heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

From this verse we see that something happens to change us, presumably before we reach our final destination. And finally,

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

Christ did His part, perfectly. And we must do our part.

II Maccabees 12:44-45 …if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin.

This passage shows that the Jews before Christ practiced prayer for the dead so that they might be purified of their sin

For further evidence that the Jews , even still, retain the belief that there is a purification necessary after death. and for Jewish beliefs on the afterlife see my post HERE. To view a Jewish site click HERE and HERE.

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49 Responses

  1. HELLO.

    I HAVE BEEN A CATHOLIC MOST OF MY LIFE BUT I HAVE HAD DIFFICULTIES WITH THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY BECAUSE IT IS NOT FORMALLY DESCRIBED IN SCRIPTURE AND HAS KIND OF A SORDID MAN MADE HISTORY ABOUT IT.
    SUCH AS SELLING INDULGENCES AND THE TRAFFIC IN MASSES SUPPOSED TO RELEASE PEOPLE SUFFERING IN PURGATORY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND AT THE REFORMATION.

    I HAVE READ CATHOLIC THEOLOGIANS WHO HAVE SAID THAT THERE IS NOTHING FOR THE DOCTRINE OF PURGATORY.

    THE ORTHODOX, ANGLICANS AND PROTESTANTS DO NOT BELIEVE IN PURGATORY AT LEAST IN ITS CATHOLIC FORM.

    ANGLICANS AND THE ORTHODOX WOULD BELIEVE IN THE INTERMEDIATE STATE OF PARADISE WHICH IS NOT HEAVEN BUT A RESTING PLACE FOR THE RIGHTEOUS DEAD. IT IS THEIR TEMPORARY ABODE BEFORE THE LAST JUDGEMENT WHEN HEAVEN WILL THEN BE THEIR PLACE OF GLORY.
    AS FAR AS FIRST CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 3 VERSES 10 – 15, IS CONCERNED. I WOULD TAKE IT AS TALKING ABOUT CHRISTIAN SERVICE AND THE REWARDS FOR GOOD WORKS AS WELL AS THE LOSS OF REWARDS FOR A LIFE WHICH HAS NOT RICH IN GOOD DEEDS BUT YOU STILL HAVE AND REMAIN IN SALVATION.

    PURGATORY ONLY BECAME CATHOLIC DOGMA AT THE COUNCIL OF TRENT IN THE 16TH CENTURY. 1500 YEARS AFTER CHRIST’S LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION.

    PURGATORY ALSO GIVES ME A FEAR OF DEATH AND PUTS GOD IN A VERY HARSH AND JUDGEMENTAL POSITION. CALLING EVERYBODY TO PAY OFF THEIR TEMPORAL PUNISHMENT IN PURGATORY.

    WELL THESE ARE MY THOUGHTS ON PURGATORY AND I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR YOUR RESPONSE TO WHAT I HAVE SAID IN THIS E-MAIL.

    YOURS IN CHRIST.

    PHILLIP DUFFIN.

    • Dear brother in Christ, I would like to call your attention to Luke 12:58-59 and Matthew 5:25-26, both of which were written well before the 16th century. May God bless you in your quest for the Truth.

      • I love how Catholics take Scriptrue out contex all the time to prove thier point its sad.
        I think you forgot verse 57 here which goes with this passage.

        Luke 12: 57 “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper.”

        Matt: 21 “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother[a] shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults[b] his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell[c] of fire. 23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember Proverbs 27:17 ESV / 231 helpful votes
        Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
        Galatians 6:1-2 ESV / 186 helpful votes
        Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
        James 5:16 ESV / 169 helpful votes
        Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
        Matthew 18:15-17 ESV / 165 helpful votes
        “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
        Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV / 107 helpful votes
        Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
        James 5:19-20 ESV / 79 helpful votes
        My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
        Hebrews 10:25 ESV / 74 helpful votes
        Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
        Ephesians 4:25 ESV / 65 helpful votes
        Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
        Colossians 3:16 ESV / 56 helpful votes
        Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
        Galatians 6:2 ESV / 55 helpful votes
        Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
        Ephesians 4:32 ESV / 49 helpful votes
        Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
        Ephesians 4:1-32 ESV / 43 helpful votes
        I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
        Hebrews 3:12-13 ESV / 37 helpful votes
        Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
        1 Corinthians 6:1-8 ESV / 29 helpful votes
        When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,
        Ezekiel 33:7 ESV / 25 helpful votes
        “So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
        1 Corinthians 6:1-20 ESV / 22 helpful votes
        When one of you has a grievance against another, does he dare go to law before the unrighteous instead of the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life! So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church? I say this to your shame. Can it be that there is no one among you wise enough to settle a dispute between the brothers,
        1 Corinthians 5:1-13 ESV / 21 helpful votes
        It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.
        Romans 14:10 ESV / 20 helpful votes
        Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;
        Matthew 18:35 ESV / 19 helpful votes
        So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
        1 John 3:17-21 ESV / 16 helpful votes
        But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
        Proverbs 24:24-25 ESV / 15 helpful votes
        Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,” will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations, but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them.
        Hebrews 6:4-6 ESV / 14 helpful votes
        For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
        Romans 15:1-7 ESV / 13 helpful votes
        We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
        Ezekiel 25:17 ESV / 13 helpful votes
        I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.”
        Matthew 23:23 ESV / 12 helpful votes
        “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
        1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV / 11 helpful votes
        Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
        Philippians 3:17 ESV / 11 helpful votes
        Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
        Deuteronomy 16:17 ESV / 11 helpful votes
        Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
        Ezekiel 3:1-27 ESV / 10 helpful votes
        And he said to me, “Son of man, eat whatever you find here. Eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and he gave me this scroll to eat. And he said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly with this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it.” Then I ate it, and it was in my mouth as sweet as honey. And he said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with my words to them. For you are not sent to a people of foreign speech and a hard language, but to the house of Israel—
        Leviticus 25:39 ESV / 10 helpful votes
        “If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave:
        Matthew 18:33 ESV / 9 helpful votes
        And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’
        Genesis 4:9 ESV / 9 helpful votes
        Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
        Romans 14:5 ESV / 8 helpful votes
        One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
        Hebrews 13:17-21 ESV / 6 helpful votes
        Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner. Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
        Romans 3:24 ESV / 6 helpful votes
        And are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
        Matthew 18:1-35 ESV / 4 helpful votes
        At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,
        Matthew 5:1-48 ESV / 4 helpful votes
        Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
        2 Timothy 2:15 ESV / 2 helpful votes
        Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
        Matthew 18:32 ESV / 2 helpful votes
        Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.

        Why Wait Till your dead to repent. Do it Today!

  2. Dear Phillip,

    There is nothing to fear from death except going to Hell. We have a loving and merciful Father and we can trust that the purification of our souls will be bearable. We atone for the temporal aspect of our sins very often in this life when we suffer the consequences of our sin. For instance, fornication may lead to pregnancy, child support payments or STD or even HIV and death. Or on a lesser scale a ticket for drunk driving. These are very real consequences of our sin but these consequences don’t scare people enough to stop.

    Martin Luther taught that we are like a pile of dung covered by the white snow of Christ’s righteousness in Heaven. Yuk! The Catholic Church teaches that once we get to Heaven we will be completely purified through and through. I trust my loving father to purify me in Purgatory if necessary but I am trying to avoid sin as much as possible in my life so I will have less to be purified of.

    I love the Doctrine of Purgatory. As we know anyone, no mater how evil, Adolf Hitler or Charles Manson or Jeffery Dahmer can be saved by faith and repentance through Christ even at the last minute. This is wonderful and merciful of our loving God. But justice requires due penalties for their crimes and Purgatory fulfills this.

    It is not harsh and judgmental of God to require our complete purification from our sin. The problem is that we really don’t get how offensive even a venial sin is to our Great and HOLY GOD. We tend to think that he is more like a man who thinks nothing of our failures, weaknesses and sins. He LOVES us, yes! But He wants us to be what He created us to be….HOLY! And He won’t settle for less. Remember, what right does the clay have to say to the potter….

    I would like to encourage you to read my other posts on purgatory linked in the above post.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Regarding your other points/comments/ questions:

    The necessity for something to be explicitly found in scripture is the influence of Protestantism upon your thinking.

    Jesus founded the Catholic Church on Peter in Mt. 16. The New Testament as we know it did not exist
    for nearly 400 years (the Pilgrims landed in America about 400 years ago) after Jesus was born.

    And yet Christianity spread across the known world through the oral teaching of the apostles and those they ordained. The Catholic Faith existed first. The New Testament was born out of the Faith of the first apostles. Please see my posts:
    Sola Scriptura? https://bfhu.wordpress.com/2007/03/24/sola-scripturescripture-alone/

    The selling of indulgences was an abuse of Catholic teaching in the 16th century just like politicians today who say they can vote for abortion rights and still be good Catholics. They are abusing the teaching of the Catholic Church. So heretics and abusers are nothing new. In fact Jesus promised us this would happen in his parable of the wheat field. (Mt. 13)

    What you have said about I Cor. 3. is a way to interpret it but it is not based on historical Christianity. You probably have not looked into the writings of the early Church to see how they interpreted that passage. But this is necessary. And this is what the Church with her continuous history does.

    Protestants picked up the Bible in the 16th Century and while rejecting anything they did not like in Catholic theology, no matter how well attested it was in the writings of the early Church, they made up theologies to go with it. All the different denominations spring from all the different interpretations which all cannot be infallible.

    The statement that Purgatory only became a dogma at the Council of Trent, or by Pope Gregory in 600AD, or the Council of Florence in 1439, as others contend is misleading. These types of contentions imply that in the year 600AD, 1439 AD or 1563 (Trent) imply that on this late date the Catholic Church, out of the clear blue sky thrust upon her people a new and invented dogma.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is that the Church in Council only clearly rules or defines true teaching when such a controversy arises that a final decision needs to be made because the faithful are being confused, deceived, and led astray. The first council in Jerusalem In Acts 16 was convened in order to settle the question about which, if any, of the Jewish laws Christians were to obey.

    The Council of Nicea settled heresies regarding the nature of Jesus and the Holy Trinity. The belief in Jesus being the 2nd person of the Holy Trinity did not begin in the year 325 AD. That is just the year the dogma was formally defined authoritatively

    In Ineffabilis Deus of December 8,1854, Pius IX defined the dogma of the Immaculate conception of Mary. But again this was believed from the beginning of Christianity. Even Martin Luther believed and taught it. Confusion was arising and Pope Pius IX cleared it up. It did not spring from his imagination.

  3. Hello,

    This is Philip Duffin. I have been reading the book, early christian writings and it gives us all of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, these were the first Christians who were ordained by the Apostles and were taught and lived with the Apostles.
    Purgatory is not mentioned in their writings and that in fact they say that the apostles, Peter and Paul as well as the first presbyters and bishops WENT TO THE HOLY PLACES AFTER THEY FELL ASLEEP (I.E. DIED )
    OR THAT THEY WENT TO THEIR WELL EARNED PLACE IN GLORY.

    This means that these first christians believed in immediate entry into the glory of heaven.

    PURGATORY IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED!!!!
    IT SEEMS TO BE A LATER IDEA BY OTHER CHRISTIAN BISHOPS LIKE SAINT AUGUSTINE IN THE 4TH CENTURY.

    CAN YOU PLEASE TELL ME WHY PURGATORY IS NOT MENTIONED BY THE APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

    YOURS IN CHRIST.

    PHILIP DUFFIN.

    • Actually, while St. Augustine does reference Purgatory, it was not in the way that it is commonly accepted today. He, in his City of God, said that he believed in a sort of purgation, but he was not sure if it was actually Purgatory. In short, the Christian life was a purgatory (lower case), but he was not completely certain that it ended there. He appeared to lean toward an earthly, pre-death purgatory rather than a post-death, Dante-style Purgatory.

  4. Dear Phillip,

    All of the Apostles of Jesus, including St. Paul were martyred except St. John. We believe that those who are martyred for their faith DO go directly to Heaven. They atoned for their sins through their own passions. And we also believe that those who live very holy lives and offer up their sufferings in union with Christ may also skip Purgatory. So, it is not surprising that the first century fathers talked about the Apostles going straight to Heaven.

    If you click on the link below, Catholic Answers has quotes from the Early Fathers on Purgatory before the 4th Century.
    Also, the Jews believed and still believe in a place or time of purification for up to “12 months.” This is not an idea that was invented in the 4th Century or a bit earlier. It has a very ancient pedigree dating to pre Christian times.

    http://www.catholic.com/library/Roots_of_Purgatory.asp

  5. i am blown away by the sheer ignorance of the Catholic church. Not of the individuals, but just of the basis and beliefs as a whole. Stop making things up and attempting to defend them with what saints, popes, priests, tradition, and the chatechism says!

  6. Dear Lily,
    Are you aware that without the Catholic Church you would not have the New Testament? The Church that Canonized Holy Scripture is the same Church that believed in Purgatory, Prayer to Saints, The Real Presence of the Body and Blood of Jesus in Communion etc.

  7. I think that the catholic church is a great force of good in the world and a voice for Jesus Christ

    That being said, I must say the above mentioned interpretations for the biblical passages are pretty weak to say the least.

    Thank God Jesus Christ paid in full the price for my sins and didn’t finish the job half done.
    Let the glory be to God who redeemed us through the sacrifice of his son and not by some deed where we can claim that “we earned” our right into heaven.

    Peace to you in Christ Jesus

  8. Rob: I think that the catholic church is a great force of good in the world and a voice for Jesus Christ.

    BFHU:Thanks!

    Rob: That being said, I must say the above mentioned interpretations for the biblical passages are pretty weak to say the least.

    BFHU:That is probably the same thing a Jehovah’s Witness would would say to both of us when we tried to show the Trinity in Scripture. And just like the word Trinity and incarnation are not in scripture because those concepts are theological words used to express a concept contained in scripture but not stated explicitly.

    The doctrine of the Trinity, Incarnation, Purgatory, etc were taught for decades before one word of the New Testament was written down. We call all of this teaching from the Apostles–TRADITION with a capital T as opposed to mere human traditions. Purgatory or a purification was believed by the Jews and received from them into the Catholic Christian Faith founded by Jesus.

    The Chrisitan Faith was never suposed to be based on Scripture alone but because Protestants will not accept the writings of the Church Fathers from the earliest Church History we offer you what there is in Scripture. The passages we use to try to show our beliefs in scripture presuppose unwritten teaching that was oral.

    Rob: Thank God Jesus Christ paid in full the price for my sins and didn’t finish the job half done.

    BFHU: He finished the job He came to do. But God, as historical precedent shows likes to have man do his part.

    Rob: Let the glory be to God who redeemed us through the sacrifice of his son and not by some deed where we can claim that “we earned” our right into heaven.

    BFHU:Protestant always say and think that we think we have to earn our salvation. That is wrong. Jesus saves us. We suffer in order to be completely purified. And since there is nothing really enjoyable about suffering, after all it is suffering, we don’t feel proud about it. We rejoice to be completely purified bit by bit but it just does not lead to pride at all.

  9. If we have to go to purgetory when we die. Then I want to know one thing. Why did Jesus come and die for our sins? And which sins did he die for? Just some of my sins? Or all of my sins? If he didn’t die for ALL my sins then he died for nothing. I will never be perfect til I enter the gates of Heaven. If my name is written right now in the Lambs Book of Life, then why do I have to be purified. It is like you paid your house off and the bank handed you the deed free and clear. Then the next day you go to the bank and continue to make payments on something that is paid in full. Isn’t that what you are doing? Jesus paid it all! You don’t have to do anything else! Just be his servant. Live for him.

  10. Please see my response HERE.

  11. Guys, take a breath and be thankful if you do know Jesus and are living a life with Him as commander.
    Purgatory would be for believers who were baptized/saved, know Jesus and what He expects from a transformed/transforming life but yet do not live it.
    Think of purgatory as the rooms that Jesus talks about that are in His Kingdom(the many mansions)
    live for Christ today because tomorrow is NOW!

    Jesus wills that we all come to Him and once we are claimed by Him, He is faithful to receive us, the place you want with Jesus is the life you live for Him today.

    get it!
    God bless you guys and may the love and kindness of Our Savior lead and draw you closer to Him daily.

    love ya.

  12. Thank you so very much for this article and the fact that it makes so many references to scripture.

    It demonstrates very clearly the utter desperation of the Roman Catholic Church’s attempts to find any little crumb upon which to build their doctrines. One verse here, another there, piled up and molded into the image of Catholicism.

    Indeed “You might want to look at this whole passage in context” and you will see that there is nothing there, nothing but a platform from which to build a preconceived notion.

    Moreover, read the footnotes in various Roman Catholic Bibles and you will see that they deny that, for example, 2nd Maccabees 12 and 1st Corinthians 3 are about Purgatory.

    Please tell me, if I am donating money to the Roman Catholic Church for mass intentions week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade in order to get my deceased loved ones time off of Purgatory how will I know when they are out? How will I know when I can stop donating money? How does the Church know when I can stop giving them money?

    Thank you for your time and attention,
    Mariano

  13. Mariano,

    I didn’t reread this post but I have said elsewhere if not here that the Catholic Church does not rely upon scrpture alone to form her doctrines.

    That is what Protestants do.

    Our doctrines existed before one word of the New Testament was written and long before it was canonized. I and other Catholics only cite scripture b/c we know that Protestants will only accept scripture so we do the best we can with what implication and hints there are in scripture.

    The Christian Faith was taught to the apostles by Christ and passed on to worthy men able to teach long before any of the Gospels were written. The Catholic Christian Faith PRE-existed scripture.

    Mariano: Moreover, read the footnotes in various Roman Catholic Bibles and you will see that they deny that, for example, 2nd Maccabees 12 and 1st Corinthians 3 are about Purgatory

    BFHU
    I did and they affirm that

    “This is the earliest statement of the doctrine that prayers and sacrifices for the dead are beneficial”….his (Judas’) belief was similar to, but not quite the same as the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory.

    That is the footnote in my New American Bible.

    That is not exactly a denial that the verse has anything to do with Purgatory. In the NAB there is no DENIAL that I Cor 3 15-16 is referring to Purgatory.

    Mariano: Please tell me, if I am donating money to the Roman Catholic Church for mass intentions week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade in order to get my deceased loved ones time off of Purgatory how will I know when they are out?

    BFHU: You won’t know.

    Mariano: How will I know when I can stop donating money?

    BFHU: You won’t know.

    Mariano: How does the Church know when I can stop giving them money

    BFHU It does not know. It is all up to the judgement and decision of God. We pray and offer sacrifice for our brothers and sisters in Purgatory out of Charity and submission to the will of God. Our giving and sacrifice and prayers are not demanded by the Church but given freely out of faith in the mercy of God.

    • You act like it is all about works. BFHU, you have it so wrong. God gives us a new life as a gift, it is not about how much money you give :/ that is not what saves you. As a Catholic you should know these things.

      • I think you must be reading what I said with an anti-Catholic bias instilled in you by your church leaders. Our good works and sufferings in this life help to purify us as St. Paul said:

        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.

        Of course it is NOT about how much money one gives. Only Christ can save us.

    • Christ died for all our sins though. If the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t use the NT which is what you basically said, then you are Jewish. The NT tells the story of Christ’s life, his death and resurrection. Purgatory is someone reading into scripture way to much.

      • Who said the Catholic Church does not use the NT? Where did you see that? You must have misunderstood. We read two passages from the New Testament every Sunday and one or two every day of the week. I have never heard this accusation before.

  14. BFHU,

    As a Protestant, I appreciate everything you’ve said here. I feel sad at the others here who share my faith and have a lack of respect and regard for the Catholic faith. Even if Protestantism has problems with Catholic doctrine, we owe everything we believe to the faith persevering through the Catholic church for 1500 years. Show some respect.

    I think that Purgatory is an elegant doctrine that does explain the contradictory natures of God’s mercy and justice far better than any Protestant doctrine (to my knowledge) does.

    God bless you, and your ministry here.

    • interesting thought if we look at history as a whole the king went his way due to his woman not his people protestants and catholics are not far removed…stuff happens as in todays modern lifestyles not that i am saying one way or another…good song good group but he will get you one way or another

  15. Thanks for the kind words.

  16. So well said Damian, I agree completely! I ,too am protestant and get tired of hearing “Where is that in scripture”!!! I don’t think that right when Jesus died, they were standing there passing out bibles. I think it would only take common sense to think through that there had to be certain things omitted and/or lost in translation. Some people are so adamant about where is it in scripture.BFHU always replies with such kind and respectful answers! What a blessing you are!

  17. BFHU;
    Thanks for your remarks.

    How do you know that doctrines that are particular to Roman Catholicism predated the canonized New Testament?

    How do you know that the apostles passed on the traditions that are particular to Roman Catholicism?

    The “Catholic” church (the universally called out ones) predated scripture but the “Roman Catholic” church did not.

    How does “…similar to, but not quite…” affirm Purgatory?

    You stated that “In the NAB there is no DENIAL that is referring to Purgatory.”
    Yet, the NAB footnote to 1st Corinthians 3:15 states,
    “although Paul can envision very harsh divine punishment (cf 17), he appears optimistic about the success of divine corrective means both here and elsewhere (cf 5, 5; 11, 32 [discipline]). The text of v 15 has sometimes been used to support the notion of purgatory, though it does not envisage this.”
    Although I imaging that writing “DENIAL” in all caps is supposed to serve as a qualifier that will seek to explain away the Vatican approved footnotes.

    As for the fact that we both know that the Roman Catholic church is happy to take money ad infinitum for time off of Purgatory. How would you like to do business with someone like that? Would you? With anyone else who operated like that?
    Well, BFHU I have a product to sell you and you can pay me in monthly installments. Pay me this much per month (our local Archbishop set the price of mass intentions at $10.00 each) and pay me every month (or week).
    You ask “Ok, how will I know when I have paid in full (paid in full as Jesus said that He has already done)?”
    I say, “I don’t know, just keep paying.”
    You say, “When will I receive the product.”
    I say, “I don’t know, just keep paying—it’s a mystery.”

    Why is it that the church does not know when I can stop paying but it does know that I should pay and that God has a money=time off policy?
    They “are not demanded by the Church”? Of course not you are free to leave your loved ones suffering in Purgatory for centuries and you do not have to do anything to help.

    Are you really unaware about the guilt trips in this regard? If you were standing next to a camp fire and your friend fell in wouldn’t you reach your hand and help them out or would you just stand there watching them burn? Have you really never heard this taught in the Roman Catholic church? I have various times including by Roman Catholic apologetics and a local Penitente who said that everything that he taught was approved by the Bishop.

    Thanks again for your time and attention,
    Mariano

  18. You can see my response HERE

  19. BFHU;
    I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving Day (if you are in the USA). I appreciate your response and the vast amounts of info.
    I hope that you do not mind, I wanted to make some comments but at the end deal with, perhaps, a bottom line isse.

    However, let us consider one example of the problem with your answer to my question as to how you know that doctrines that are particular to Roman Catholicism predated the canonized New Testament. Let us consider the “Sinlessness of Mary/Immaculate Conception of Mary.”

    The following is a partial list of those considered Jesus alone to be sinless, and or considered Mary to have sinned, and or considered her to not have had an immaculate conception:
    The New Testament, Pope Leo I, Pope Galatius, Pope Gregory I, Pope Innocent III, Clemet of Alexandria, Ambrose, Bernard, Aquinas, Augustine, Antonitus, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Origen, Basil, Cyril of Alexandria, Anselm, Peter Lombard, John of Damascus, Bonaventure.

    I think you clarified a problem in stating that you are not sure what my distinction is when I differentiated the “catholic church” from the “Roman Catholic Church.” Your error is quite common: you think that any mention of the “catholic church” is referring to the “Roman Catholic Church” with its particular doctrines. Thus, anywhere in history that you see reference to “catholic church” you read it as “Roman Catholic Church.” This is not so. The term “catholic” refers to “universal” and “church” to called out ones: the people all over the world who have been called out to serve God. This is not a statement about a hierarchical bishopric or anything else particular to the “Roman Catholic Church.” The Nicene Creed states, “I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church” and yet, this creed is agreed to by The Orthodox Church, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. But why would the Orthodox Church and Protestantism agree that there is “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”? Because this not a reference to the “Roman Catholic Church.”

    I have checked various editions of the NAB and they have the footnote. Do not misunderstand me, I know that the footnotes are not infallible but I understood that imprimatur and nihil obstat was granted to the whole text or whatever book contained it and not solely to portions. If the text of scripture is approved but the footnotes are not I would like to see some official Roman Catholic statement to that effect. Besides, the text has nothing to do with Purgatory.

    Protestant churches do not teach indulgences for suffering loved ones. I know that it is not mandatory if one is too poor, locally there is a $3 mass intention that is not said during the mass.
    I think that you missed a point: if “no one in the Church knows the details of anyone’s need for purification of their sins” and that is why the church does not know when I can stop paying—how does it know that I should pay? They know when to but not when not to.

    Sir, please understand my perspective. You say that “We aren’t as bossy and demanding as you seem to think we should be.” Well, I was the guy who took them money for time off of Purgatory. I know all about it from the inside, from behind the curtains, from backstage. People would say, “I want to purchase…” “I want to buy…” they are not fools, they know that they are being charged and guilted. Have you ever had the Parish priest tell you that only three mass intentions are to be allowed per mass and then have someone come to request a mass for the anniversary of a deceased loved one and you had to tell them that you could not accept that mass intention? That was me, countless time and believe me, it is not a pretty seen. Neither was our precious elderly parishioners on a fixed income being guilted into spending the little they had. Very, very sad, I assure you. You should tell them just how wrong they are then how they, devoted church attendees for decades, just don’t get it, they are not as well informed as you.

    Well, sorry to lay all that on you. I would be willing to keep discussing the minutia but I think that there is a bottom line issue and perhaps we could focus on it.

    If I understand it properly, and I trust that you will inform me if I do not, the reason that, for example, you state “we did not derive our Doctrine of PURGATORY out of scripture” is that the Roman Catholic Church has authority. They have the authority to make infallible proclamations regarding faith and morals and the authority to infallibly interpret scripture.

    Is this so?

    If so: from whence did the Roman Catholic Church derive this authority?

    Besides focusing on that I wonder if you could tell me what is the point of this, from Catholic Answers “‘[T]he report concerning the child was noised abroad in Bethlehem. Some said, ‘The Virgin Mary has given birth before she was married two months.’ And many said, ‘She has not given birth; the midwife has not gone up to her, and we heard no cries of pain’’ (Ascension of Isaiah 11 [A.D. 70]).”

    And lastly, I you know of an official Roman Catholic statement about the Bible’s text versus footnotes.

    Thank you so very much for your time and attention aDios,
    Mariano

  20. Mariano: My question as to how you know that doctrines that are particular to Roman Catholicism predated the canonized New Testament. Let us consider the “Sinlessness of Mary/Immaculate Conception of Mary.”

    The following is a partial list of those whoconsidered Jesus alone to be sinless, and or considered Mary to have sinned, and or considered her to not have had an immaculate conception:
    The New Testament, Pope Leo I, Pope Galatius, Pope Gregory I, Pope Innocent III, Clemet of Alexandria, Ambrose, Bernard, Aquinas, Augustine, Antonitus, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Origen, Basil, Cyril of Alexandria, Anselm, Peter Lombard, John of Damascus, Bonaventure.

    BFHU: Your list is interesting but I will need documentation of exactly what was said and where so that I can read the context. I know for a fact that the New Testament does not state anywhere that Mary sinned or that Jesus was the only sinless person. So, this bring the whole list into question for me.

    I know Protestants interpret by way of eisegesis, that the NT says Mary sinned along with the rest of us. Adam and Eve were sinless and could have remained immaculate. But they fell.

    On another point: your list brings something up that is not widely understood. The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was not defined and officially made an article of faith until the 19th Century. It was believed and taught in the Church, even Luther believed in Mary’s Immaculate conception. So, my understanding is, that it was generally accepted. However, because it had not been dogmatically defined, theologians were still permitted to question, explore, and discuss it. I would guess that these are the sort of writings you may be referring to above.

    For instance, before the canon of the OT and NT was closed in the 5th Century, St. Jerome argued vehemently against the inclusion of the deuterocanonical books of the OT. However, once the pope closed the canon, and against St. Jerome’s advice, included deuterocanonicals in the OT, St. Jerome, a faithful son of the Church accepted the decision and translated the OT into Latin, deuterocanonicals and all.

    Similar agreements and disagreements, discussions and questions abounded regarding the exact way to understand the Trinity, before the Doctrine of the Trinity was dogmatically defined at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. That doesn’t make the doctrine wrong. Before a doctrine is dogma disagreement is acceptable. After a doctrine is dogma disagreement is heresy.

    Mariano: You are not sure what my distinction is when I differentiated the “catholic church” from the “Roman Catholic Church.” Your error is quite common: you think that any mention of the “catholic church” is referring to the “Roman Catholic Church” with its particular doctrines. Thus, anywhere in history that you see reference to “catholic church” you read it as “Roman Catholic Church.” This is not so.

    BFHU: I would have to disagree with you there. There was no catholic -small “c” -church, except the CATHOLIC Church historically until the Eastern Schism and the Protestant rebellion.

    Mariano: The term “catholic” refers to “universal” and “church” to called out ones: the people all over the world who have been called out to serve God. This is not a statement about a hierarchical bishopric or anything else particular to the “Roman Catholic Church.” The Nicene Creed states, “I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church” and yet, this creed is agreed to by The Orthodox Church, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism. But why would the Orthodox Church and Protestantism agree that there is “one holy catholic and apostolic Church”? Because this not a reference to the “Roman Catholic Church.”

    BFHU: But it certainly was a reference to the Roman Catholic Church. It was the only Christian Church on the face of the Earth at the time the Creed was written. The Creed was NOT referring to the Protestant Churches, they did not exist. Ditto for the Eastern Churches.

    I realize that catholic means universal and that this is how Protestants and Orthodox are able to say the Nicean Creed. However, until the Eastern schism the catholic church was the CATHOLIC CHURCH synonomous with the Roman Catholic Church.

    “Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop or by one whom he ordains. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the CATHOLIC CHURCH” (Letter to the Smyrneans 8:2 Ignatius of Antioch; 110 A.D.).

    Regarding, Vatican approval, Imprimatur, and nihil obstat. My NAB has a page with the Vatican seal approving the NAB translation and with a signature of John Paul II. On another page are several Nihil Obstats and Imprimatur. The definition of Imprimatur is “let it be printed” and nihil obstat is “nothing hinders”. So basically they are claiming that there is nothing heretical contained. But usually on the same page you will find an explanation as follows”

    The Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed.

  21. Dearest BFHU,
    You have been more tolerant and patient with these people than the holiest of saints would be. Pitifully, you are waisting your time with them. They don’t understand or comprehend because they don’t want to comprehend or understand. They want everything proven in scripture, and when you give them verses, they still find fault. This isn’t brain surgery. I’m an ignorant uneducated young man, and even I can understand all this. Yes, I’m an orthodox Catholic, and I have no problem with anything the Church teaches.
    If protestants can understand how simple it is to see how their doctrine of faith alone holds absolutely no water, how are they going to comprehend purgatory. If they can understand how simple it is to see how their doctrine of the Bible alone holds absolutely no water, how are they going to comprehend praying for the dead. They are simple minded Christians who want a simple minded faith where they don’t have to do any work themselves. They want the freedom to commit their sins without having to answer for them. Even
    Christ said in Mt 16:27 “For the Son of Man will come with His angels in His Father’s Glory, and then He will repay everyone according to his conduct.” Does that sound like every Christian will receive the same reward, specifically speaking, a straight path to heaven without giving any kind of accountability? Oh, I’m sure those protestants out there have a very credible answer for that. I just gave them a Bible verse, but I’m sure it’s not good enough for them.
    The Bible alone? How ridiculous! First of all, the word “alone” isn’t/wasn’t even in the Bible. luther
    (I won’t even give him the distinction of capitalizing his name) put that word in there. Research it, look it up.
    luther apparently figured he could pick and choose whatever the heck he liked, and throw out everything else that had been there for 1500 years.
    Back to my point. If they are going to follow a doctrine of Bible alone, wouldn’t that doctrine have to be in the Bible itself? Well it isn’t. You won’t find the doctrine of
    “the Bible alone is our sole – repeat – sole authority” in the Bible. Ask any protestant what the pillar and foundation of truth is, and they’ll tell you the Bible, but
    1 Tim 3:15 says “But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. There’s another verse. Look it up! If the Bible alone is our sole authority, what did the Christians for the first 400 years after the death of Christ do when there was no Bible, namely the New Testament of which we are speaking. How could they follow a doctrine of Bible alone? We – the Catholics – gave the protestants the Bible in the 390’s in the Councils of Hippo and Carthage, Catholic Councils. Again, research it. Look it up. If you really want truth, then research it with an open mind.
    At the end of the Our Father all protestantssay, “For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory foreven. Amen” Tell me, where in the Bible is that found. I don’t recall Christ putting that at the end of the Our Father when the disciples asked him how they should pray. They contradict themselves with that. If the Bible alone is their sole authority, then why do they say that prayer after the Our Father. I could easily go on with more verses, but there’s more to get to.
    Faith alone without good works? How idiotic! Before I get to any Bible verses let me start out by saying that, again, that doctrine isn’t even in the Bible. When St. Paul said faith apart from works he was talking about works of the old law. Romans 3:28 St. Paul specifically states, “For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” Protestants love to quote Romans chapters 3 and 4 for their basis of justification by faith alone, but even before you get to chapter 3 – again, BEFORE you even get to chapter 3 – St. Paul says in Romans 2;5-7 “By your stubbornness and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgement of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in GOOD WORKS…” There’s that phrase again. “…God, who will repay everyone according to his works/conduct.” This phrase is mentioned TWICE in the Bible, and still protestants will not concede the possibility of purgatory. They don’t even go by the Bible alone if they don’t like what it says.
    Back to faith alone. The above verse not good enough for you? How about 1 Peter 1;17 “Now if you invoke as Father Him who judges impartially according to each one’s works…” That’s THREE times for that phrase. Purgatory’s looking pretty good at this point, no?
    Still not enough? How about James 2:14-26. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them,’Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body what good is it? So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Indeed someone might say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. You believe that God is one. You do well. Even the demons believe that and tremble. Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith without works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? You see, that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by the works. Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,’ and he was called ‘the friend of God.’ See how a person is justified by works, and not by faith alone? And in the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers, and sent them out by a different route? For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.'”
    Still need more? How about 1 Tim 6:18. “Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works…”
    Well, I could go on with myriad more verses, but very simply, the Last Judgement will be based on our good works. Protestants are now asking how I know this. Quite simply, because Christ said so. Matthew 25:44-46 says, “Then they will answer and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?’ He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.'”
    The only thing I will say about purgatory at this point is that even St. Paul prayed for a deceased person.
    2 Tim 1:16-18 says, “May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because he often gave me new heart, and was not ashamed of my chains. But when he came to Rome, he promptly searched for me and found me. May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know well the services he rendered in Ephesus.”
    If St. Paul believed he was in heaven, why would he ask the Lord to have mercy on him. Oh, I’m sure that the protestants have a pitifully weak explanation for this, so I won’t be too disappointed when they laugh me out of town.
    Well, BFHU, you and I have given them numerous verses and sound explanations for why the Catholic Church is the voice of Christ, started by Christ on Peter and the Apostles, but a wise Jewish – yes, Jewish man once said (sorry protestants, but I don’t have a Bible verse for this one) that “For those who believe, no explanation is necessary. For those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.”
    As I said before, protestants don’t believe because they don’t want to believe. They want their reigion simple, and easy. Just one thing, though. Just because one doesn’t believe in something (purgatory) doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It just means they choose not to believe in it. Meanwhile, think of how many souls suffer in purgatory simply because nobody believes they are there. I’d love to see the faces when they first encounter purgatory. BFHU, think they’d believe the stories of Padre Pio? Nah!
    Do I dare mention one last…well, I don’t want to say coincidence because it isn’t, but for those protestant brothers and sisters of ours, interesting how 3 terms that we use at Christmas smack of Eucharistic connotations:
    Bethlehem means – House of Bread
    Manger means – eating vessel
    Christmas itself? How about Christ’s Mass?
    God bless you, BFHU! You’re wonderful and patient, and oh so knowledgeable. Wish I could say the same.
    May you have a Most Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year,
    peter tamayo

  22. Peter,

    After all the effort and good grace that BFHU has put into replying to Protestants who also serve God (if not in your way), and believe in good faith that they have been taught the right thing, you have been disrespectful and arrogant. Please let BFHU serve as an example of how, if you wish to talk to Protestants about your faith, you should act.

    Damian

  23. Damian,
    Has it not occured to you that the only allowable bigotry these days is against Catholics. Could Dan Brown have written a book called the Da Vince code about any other culture, african american, hispanics, of which I am one, Jews, anybody else. But write something like that about Catholics, and nobody says a word.
    The sexual abuses that were televised nationally a few years ago would lead the world to believe that only Catholic priests are the ones commiting these atrocities. You never hear about teachers, protestant ministers, policemen, or anybody else commiting these sins, but a Catholic priest commit them, and it’s global news.
    So I let out a little steam, and once again, somebody has the gall to say something, even though everything I stated was the truth.
    I ask you to look at many of the above e-mails, go look in the mirror, and then tell me I’m the only one who showed a little arrogance. The difference is that I can prove what I’ve stated is true.
    It is a complete shame that you chastise me for doing the very thing that protestants do. You must be protestant. I’m tired of being Catholic, and getting kicked in the face for it, by you, and everybody else out there who takes shots at us. There isn’t any other culture out there who the world could take shots at, and not pay the price for it.
    Everything I said above is true, and can be proven in scripture, and I’m tired of being told I can’t go to heaven, I worship Our Lady, and all the rest. You spend a lifetime listening to this, and then tell me you wouldn’t have had enough. BFHU has to bite his tongue, and rightly so, but I don’t…and I won’t.
    How many protestants out there are arrogant and disrespectful to me and all Catholics, and what we believe and teach. Will you chastise them the same way you did me?
    If by some chance you happen to be Catholic, then shame on you for not backing me up.
    I’ve had enough of being kicked in the teeth by arrogant and disrespectful protestants, and I won’t take it anymore.
    Interesting how you can find fault with my attitude, but you can’t find legitimate fault with any scriptures I mentioned. How many arrogant and disrespectful protestants have tried to convince me that I’m wrong.
    May God bless you and your family this Holy Season, and always!
    Respectfully,
    peter

    • Peter,

      BFHU spares no effort in proving purgatory from Scripture (which, strangely enough, never seems to satisfy sola scripturalist), Tradition (including pre-christian), and right reason. Add to this, the admirable patience with which he/she endeavors to combat protestant Errors with the shield of Faith and sword of Truth.

      Otherwise, am firmly behind you and would never yield an inch concerning the truths of our great Catholic Faith. Moreover, protestants are constantly reminded, that outside the Catholic Church, there is no ordinary means of salvation. This is, and has always been, the perennial teaching of the Church. And I am quite sure that most protestants have heard about this doctrine.

      Each and every one of us has one, and only one soul, which shall be either eternally saved or eternally damned. Moreover, Christ has made it clear that very few are saved. It is therefore an obligation and matter of greatest importance that each and every man/woman, not only KNOW the great truths of salvation, but also DO all that these truths oblige us to do, in order to be CERTAIN of salvation and thus be counted among the few spoken of in Luke xiii: 23 – 25. Nothing else matters. For he who is eternally damned shall have lived in vain. Otherwise, Christ Himself would not have taught that: ” For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” ( Mark 8:36)

      The commentary by the Church Fathers on Luke xiii:23-25. says that: ” ….. many desire to be saved; but for want of taking sufficient pains, and being thoroughly in earnest, shall not attain to it.”

      Does not Protestantism promise its adherents the broad and easy path to Heaven; a path devoid of toiling and labor. Peter, you rightly say that protestants prefer a faith that grants them liberty to sin as they wish, and yet attain eternal life. This is the true spirit of protestantism.

      To the person knowledgeable in the history of protestantism, this should not be a surprise. This spirit is in perfect harmony with the teachings of the apostate catholic monk Luther, the father of protestantism, who taught the following :

      “Be a sinner and sin on bravely, but have stronger faith and rejoice in Christ, who is the victor of sin, death, and the world. Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice: sin must be committed. To you it ought to be sufficient that you acknowledge the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world, the sin cannot tear you away from him, even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders” (Enders, “Briefwechsel”, III, 208).

      Indeed, to know Luther is to understand the spirit of protestantism, particularly that of pride and materialism. It explains why it is incredibly difficult to get a protestant to acknowledge and abjure his/her errors.

      To know Luther is also to understand the protestant spirit of adultery and divorce. Confront protestants with Matthew 5:32 and you are either laughed away, accused of misinterpreting Scripture, or you are met with a stupid grin and an indifferent shrug of the shoulders. Orestes Brownson rightly says that the principle common to all protestants is that the end justifies the means. The end they propose is, neither to save their souls nor to discover and obey the truth.

      Brownson, former protestant (Presbyterian, Calvinist, Universalist, Unitarian, Transcendentalist, and finally Catholic), considered to be endowed with greater knowledge, depth, or wisdom, than all the Americans writers of his day, had this to say about protestantism:

      Protestants do not study for the truth, and are never to be presumed willing to accept it, unless it chances to be where and what they wish it. They occasionally read Catholic books and listen to Catholic arguments, but rarely to ascertain our doctrines, or to learn what we are able to say against them or for ourselves.

      The thought, that Catholicism may possibly be right, seldom occurs to them. And when it does, it is instantly suppressed as an evil thought, as a temptation from the Devil. They take it for granted, that, against us, they are right, and cannot be wrong. This is with them a ” fixed fact,” admitting no question. They condescend to consult our writings, or to listen to our arguments, only to ascertain what doctrines they can profess, or what modifications they can introduce into those which they have professed, that will best enable them to elude our attacks, or give them the appearance of escaping conviction by the authorities from tradition, Scripture, reason, and sentiment which we array against them. Candor or ingenuousness to­wards themselves even is a thing wholly foreign to their Prot­estant nature, and they are instinctively and habitually cavillers and sophisticators. They disdain to argue a question on its merits, and always, if they argue at all, argue it on some unimportant collateral.

      They have no sense of responsibleness, no loyalty to truth, no mental chastity, no intellectual sincerity. What is for them is authority which nobody must question. What is against them is no authority at all. Their own word, if not in their favor, they refuse to accept. And the authority to which they professedly appeal they repudiate the moment it is seen not to sustain them. To reason with them as if they would stand by their own professions, or could or would acknowledge any authority but their own ever varying opinions, is entirely to mistake them.

      Prove to them that their doctrines are anti-Christian, and they will only beg you to inform them wherefore that is a reason for not believing them. Prove Catholicism to be true, and they will merely beg you to prove your proofs, and thus demand of you an infinite series of proofs.

      • As a Protestant converting,the statement doesn’t apply to all. 🙂 Some of the most devout Catholics I know are not cradle Catholics but converts. The really sad thing that I have learned as I have studied over the past 2 years is the huge amount of misconceptions that most Protestants have about Catholics. I had to be untaught most of what I had learned about the Catholic faith. I felt like part of the puzzle was missing and now I feel like it is all falling into place.

        “Does not Protestantism promise its adherents the broad and easy path to Heaven; a path devoid of toiling and labor. Peter, you rightly say that protestants prefer a faith that grants them liberty to sin as they wish, and yet attain eternal life. This is the true spirit of protestantism.”

        Strangely enough that is the attitude most Protestants have about Catholics. I hear ” oh Catholics think they can do whatever they want and then go to confession and think its all ok”. LOL

        You just have to continue as BFHU does, respectfully and kindly teaching the truth!
        Blessings, Ally

      • The protestant belief that the practice of confession gives Catholics license to sin is a misconception that stems, not surprisingly, from a profound ignorance of catholic doctrine concerning the sacraments. However, if protestants put as much effort in seeking to learn catholic doctrine with a view of know the great Truths necessary for salvation, as they do in attacking and calumniating Her, perhaps they would think differently.

        Good Catholics know that God cannot be deceived. The catholic who is well grounded in the Faith is aware that for confession to be valid, there are requisite conditions, namely: contrition, repentance, and reparation. Contrition implies a hatred of the sin to be forgiven, not from any motive, but because it has offended God. It implies intense sorrow for having committed it; the will to make full reparation of the damage done; and a firm purpose to avoid committing it again.

        One must resolve not only to avoid sin but also the persons, places and things that may easily lead to sin. So, the catholic who goes to confession without this in mind does so in vain. But, try telling a protestant to abandon those secret adulterous escapades, and to avoid any and all situations that might lead to temptation. And suppose that he is in his third, fourth, or fifth marriage, as is commonly the case nowadays, how on earth is the resulting scandal and damage to be repaired ? Reparation would require that he returns to his first wife, assuming the marriage was valid. How about the other women he must now abandon, and possibly any children he might have sired along the way? It is also possible that he seduced these women when they were happily married. In the process he destroyed, not only his own, but also their marriages and families. This must all be repaired as far as possible, and just thinking of how to make good the resulting damage is mind boggling to say the least. And we have not even touched on how the resulting scandal is to be repaired.

        Protestantism’s aversion and hostility to confession, and indeed everything catholic, thus becomes understandable. Confession is about humility, a virtue that is opposed to pride. And as already mentioned, pride is the main spirit of protestantism, the others being covetousness (materialism) and incontinence (lust).

        Otherwise purgatory, the subject of this thread, is an incomprehensible balance of rigorous Divine Justice tempered by unfathomable Mercy. One cannot help but be filled with love and admiration for Divine Wisdom. Without this, what hope would there be for a wretched sinner like me who has led a dissolute lifestyle. Given that nothing defiled can enter into Heaven, where would one go in order to be cleansed and made worthy of sitting at the wedding banquet with the Bridegroom ? But alas, protestantism would prefer that mankind be deprived of even this hope. Without any such hope, one must necessarily despair. Protestantism is, indeed, a religion of despair.

  24. Peter,

    I’m sorry you feel discriminated against, as a Catholic, but you only perpetuate the cycle by reacting in the way you did. BFHU has set a shining example to both Protestants and Catholics regarding the respect ecumenical conversations should embody.

    I did not say that you were being deceiful, or that you said anything untrue. I commented on your attitude. I’ve commented before on Protestants being disrespectful on this site.

    And Peter, I have the utmost respect for Catholic beliefs. Unlike most Protestants, I’ve studied the CCC and read Catholic theologians. I have no bone with Catholic theology, or your use of scripture.

    But it seems to me that ‘biting your tongue’ is the right thing to do when talking to anyone who criticises your faith. BFHU’s honest, and humble answers, are the right thing. Becoming angry and defensive – as human and natural as that is – is not, and that’s the reason why I praise BFHU for ‘biting his tongue’.

    I was hoping to give you pause by my comment. I’m sorry I caused offence. But I stand by my initial assessment, as a long-time reader at this site.

    Peace be with you,

    Damian

  25. BFHU,
    As a Catholic myself, I sometimes find myself in situations where I get questioned by Protestants. After reading your answers and how respective you are to those who come on strong proves that when one is sure in their way of life and their belief, that the Holy Spirit really does provide one with the right words to say. I hope to one day be as patient and as good with words as you are so that I can too, help others understand my faith. Thank you for making me proud to have someone like yourself within my church.
    God Bless,
    Andrea

  26. Thank you for your encouragement. The Holy Spirit is the Key.

  27. Robbie,
    Thank you for your comments but I have a small correction I need to mention lest people stay away from confession due to a lack of perfect contrition. You have defined PERFECT CONTRITION in your comment above. And perfect contrition is the goal and the ideal. However, IMPERFECT CONTRITION is acceptable and will access absolution. What is Imperfect contrition? It is sorrow for sin based on the fear of Hell or feelings of guilt.

    The Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, Chap. iv) has defined contrition as “sorrow of soul, and a hatred of sin committed, with a firm purpose of not sinning in the future”. This hatred of sin may arise from various motives, may be prompted by various causes. The detestation of sin arise from the love of God, Who has been grievously offended, then contrition is termed perfect; if it arise from any other motive, such its loss of heaven, fear of hell, or the heinousness of guilt, then it is termed imperfect contrition, or attrition. That there exists such a disposition of soul as attrition, and that it is a goodly thing, an impulse of the Spirit of God, is the clear teaching of the Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, iv).

    I would also like to point out that what you have said of Protestantism is generally true of the OUTCOME of Protestantism. However, I love and respect many Protestants in my family and friends as well. Their hearts are sincere. They are truly seeking God and love HIM. They are blind to the inherent inconsistencies and the pride to which Protestant beliefs inevitably lead.

  28. I don’t believe in purgatory myself in the way I understand the sense of the word to be, which is a place one can repent and be saved after death. I believe once one is dead, they have already made their choice and there is no hope unless one found Jesus in their life. I haven’t found a place like pergatory in the scripture yet.

  29. No, the Catholic Church agrees with your understanding. After death there is not chance for repentence. Purgatory is a place of final purification since we must be HOLY as HE is HOLY before entering into the presence of God.

    It doesn’t matter if you cannot find Purgatory in scripture b/c scripture does not teach that all religious truth must be found in scripture.

  30. This is an example of why and how it is important to listen to the Church established by Christ.

    A good understanding of purgatory must include an appreciation for divine (perfect) justice. It is true that when one repents, God removes the guilt and any “eternal” punishment; however, some “temporal” penalties may still be due if we do not have a perfect contrition in this life, which will then subject us to the final purging by fire before we can stand in the holy presence of God. While Christ paid the price for our sins before God, he did not relieve our obligation to repair what we have done. So if you steal someone’s car, you have to give it back; it isn’t enough just to repent. God’s forgiveness (and man’s) does not include letting you keep the stolen car! It is not a “free-for-all” for Christians (shame on you), or anyone for that matter.

    Some biblical examples: Moses was saved (see Matt 17:1-5) but “because (you) did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them” (Num 20:12; cd. 27:12-14). Also, David repented of his adultery but was told that “the Lord on his part has forgiven your sin; you shall not die. But since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you must surely die” (2 Sam 12:13-14).

    Purgatory is not second chance. It is a condition of temporal punishment for those who die in God’s grace and friendship.. On the “other side”, there’s only eternal HELL or HEAVEN.

  31. This is the stand of the Church;and that I believe not just because I am a purgatorian but because it is a TRUTH

  32. I believe the Bible literally, and there is no mention of Purgatory, therefore I believe it is a man made space by Catholics.If the bible reads of Purgatory I will be glad to embrace it. I know when I leave this earth, I will go immediately in the arms of Jesus. I have been forgiven my sins by the grace of My Lord.

  33. Dear Jackie,
    You said:

    I believe the Bible literally, and there is no mention of Purgatory, therefore I believe it is a man made space by Catholics.If the bible reads of Purgatory I will be glad to embrace it.

    Why do you believe this? Where in the Bible does it say this is what is to be believed?

  34. Have you had a course in Sacred Scripture? It is very unfortunate not to know that there are two senses of interpreting the Bible. Does one’s ignorance make Purgatory not to exist? What do we find in Matthew 12: 36, 2 Machabees 12: 46? Have you read ” Purgatory Explained by the Lives and Legends of Saints.” I can help you to understand Purgatory…..

  35. Where do the scriptures cite that God expects us to atone for our sins? The ultimate and complete sacrifice as shown in the Bible was by the LORD and never the sinner.

    Mount Moriah, – the LORD provided the ram in a bush instead of Isaac being the sacrifice that Abraham had to make. Similarly, the day of atonement centered around not the Israelites, but the goat, taking the sins away into the wilderness. If all this foreshadowed what we have today, then where is “our sacrifice” illustrated and when did it become of any merit? If our efforts to earn righteousness are “as filthy rags” and it is by “grace alone” that we have been saved “lest any of us boast” then where does this purgatory business come in? I’m pretty sure some of Jesus’ last words on the cross were “It is finished.” If he is the fulfillment of the law, then where else (either as a foreshadow, or as Christ would have exemplified) is the additional atonement business? I thought that was called repentance on our part and not paying off our wrongs somehow.

    • Col 1:24 Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.

  36. Please reexamine your interpretation on the verses, twisting the verses to prove purgatory exist is blasphemy against God.

  37. Dear Mike,
    I totally agree with you but what scripture did you think I was twisting? Please explain so we can have a converstation……

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