Purgatory


Father Corapi speaks about Purgatory

Where do Catholics get this stuff?



Q.Where did Christ: Teach us to erect statues of His mom and make beaded necklaces to hold and pray to His mom with? Teach us to erect statues of dead people, great servants of God or not, and put them in our churches?

BFHU: But where in Scripture is it forbidden? Statues and pictures were used to remind thousands of generations of Christians, unable to read, about the stories and people of the Bible, as well as heroes of the faith. That is a very good thing and still a wonderful tradition in our churches. There is nothing scripturally wrong with it.

Q. Is Peter really the Rock upon whom the church is founded, or is Christ the eternal Rock whom Peter confessed, the real foundation?

BFHU Both. Of course, Jesus is the Foundation but there is no denying that Jesus said to Peter

” Rock (Peter), upon this Rock I will build my Church”

Q.Peter is not strong enough to be the foundation of the Church of Christ, only Christ is!!!

BFHU: Not by himself, but supported by Jesus he can do all things, in Christ.

Q.We all represent Christ here!! Christ in us is the true Rock of the Church.

BFHU That is true in one way. But it does not refute the Truth that Jesus founded a Church and He founded it upon Peter and gave him and his successors the Keys of the Kingdom to bind and loose. (a Hebrew idiom that means to rule)

Q.Where did Christ:Teach us to believe that Mary never sinned and has already ascended to heaven, making her equal to Jesus Christ?

BFHU Mary is not equal to Jesus. We believe in the Trinity. Mary is fully human and not divine. She is human in exactly the same way as Adam and Eve were in the fullness and sinlessnes of humanity. Adam and Eve sinned. Mary by the graces and power of God, not her own strength, did not sin. Gabriel addresses her as FULL OF GRACE. This is her title. If one is FULL of grace there is no room for sin.

Q. Christ is the only one who is sinless!!

BFHU: No. Many humans may have a fallen nature but are not guilty of sin. Innocent babies and children who have not reached the age of accountablility. Nevertheless, they all need a savior. As did Mary. She was saved from a fallen nature, before she sinned .

Q. We all await the resurrection, He is the first-fruits. You deny the grace of God when you say that Jesus couldn’t be born by a woman, a normal human like you and me, yes a servant of God, but human, with sin, dead, alive in the spirit, yes, but powerless to save you.

BFHU: God could have been born by any woman He chose. But why not create a pure vessel to reside in for nine months and to be your mother?

Q. Read Acts. Baptism is a symbolic act by a conscious choice, by a repentant person to turn from sin and choose Christ for salvation. That’s what Baptism is. A baby can’t do that. A baby can’t repent. A baby doesn’t know what sin is. You can splash all the water on their head that you want, but don’t call it what it isn’t. It’s not baptism. Jesus got baptized when he was 30.

BFHU Please see my post Infant Baptism You make many assertions in your comments about baptism. Please back them up with scripture. I believe that what you have said above is Protestant Tradition about Baptism. Not asserted in Sacred Scripture.

Q. I know these aren’t all the teachings and maybe you’ll say they aren’t right, and maybe you don’t practice them, but you are still supporting them. And I know also that many Protestant churces are full of idolatrous worship and bad doctrine. If you look up the true doctrine of the Roman Catholic church, you will find these and many others. If these teachings aren’t found in the Scriptures, even in the Apocrypha which I enjoy, good Jewish history, then where are they from? Man? You can try to support these things with interpretation from the Scripture but in the end, they just aren’t there and you are left standing on the teachings of deceived men.

BFHU We accept and believe in the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. BUT…it must be interpreted. We have historical, 2000 year-old, interpretations to draw upon. Protestant interpretations are only about 500 years old or less. I will go with the ancient faith, thank you.

Q. The Bible is the only objective (unbiased) source we have to know that what we teach is the truth. If man’s teaching can’t be found in the Scriptures, then how can we know it’s true? Jesus taught the Law and the Prophets, the Scriptures. That’s what we have to teach today, the Scriptures. Don’t you want to know that you know the truth? for sure?

BFHU I do want the Truth, the whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth. I have examined the scriptures and the historical claims of the Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church. I did not want to be Catholic but I had no Choice when I examined the competing claims or the Protestants and the Catholics. You might want to read my Conversion Story

Q. Please, read the Scriptures.
BFHU; As you may have seen from my Conversion Story, I have certainly done this extensively.

Q.You must worship in spirit and truth. The apostles didn’t even imagine the things that the Catholic church is doing.
BFHU How can you KNOW what the apostles imagined? John clearly says that the world could not contain all the books if they were to be written about everything Jesus did. John 21:25

Q.Turn from idolatry. Repent. Turn to the Lord, Jesus Christ.

BFHU I know you mean well. But Sola Scriptura is a Protestant Tradition of men.

Did Jesus Teach us to Pray to Mary?



Q. Did Christ or the Apostles:Teach us to talk to Mary or to other people to pray for us after there bodies had experienced the first death?
BFHU:Where did He say it is forbidden?

Q. Also please don’t pray to angels, they are servants of God, messengers, they are not your mediator to God, and neither are people.

BFHU:We don’t pray TO Angels. We pray, asking for their intercessory prayer. Ditto for the Saints in Heaven.

Q. Read Hebrews. Did Christ or the Apostles:Teach us about a place (purgatory) where we go when we die that we can be liberated from if we died in unbelief or deserving condemnation?

BFHU:We don’t believe that Purgatory is for unbelievers or those who are condemned. We do believe that unbelievers who, through no fault of their own were not Christian, can be saved through God’s mercy. We are judged based on what we knew and how we responded to that knowledge. No one will go to Hell because they were ignorant of Christ. ie. babies who die at birth, or through abortion, the Indians on the North American Continent before the advent of Christianity, or those before the death of Jesus. All of these will be judged by God based on what they knew and how they responded to God.

Q. There are 2 types of people who die. 1)Saved in Christ, 2)dead apart from Christ. The saved will rise at His coming to life, the dead will rise to be judged after the 1000 year reign, their works will not save them and they will be cast into the lake of fire. Read the entire New Testament

BFHU:There are two types of people….but not as defined above. Those who go to Purgatory will have been judged to be worthy of Heaven once they are purified in Purgatory. The others will be lost to Hell.

Q. Did Christ or the Apostles: Teach us to set up a system of priests to which we must confess to for forgiveness of sin? Ok, so yes it’s Ok to share sin with our brother, it’s good to open ourselves up like that, but a lot of people think that you have to tell the priest or it doesn’t count. Christ is our High Priest. Read Hebrews.

BFHU:Where is Scripture does it say what you assert? In the OT there were ministerial priests as well as the priesthood of all the believers. So also in the Church. So, having a ministerial priesthood is God’s idea.

Jesus certainly did set up confession in

Jn 20:19-2319On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Here we see Jesus annointed ONLY the disciples, the first priests and bishops of the Christian Church, with a special dispensation of the Holy Spirit. He gave them authority to forgive or not… sin. The only way to do this would be if they heard confession audibly. And we know historically that this was done since the earliest era of the Church.

Atonement, Salvation, & Temporal Punishment for Sin



Q. I would like to ask you about the Atonement and forgiveness, the Mass, Salvation and temporal punishment.

The Catholic view of the Atonement is that when Jesus died on the cross of Calvary he died for the Eternal puinishment of Sin. So when A Catholic sins either Mortally or Venially and then repents and goes to a Catholic priest for the sacrament of penance and gets Absolution he is let off the Eternal puinishment of his Sins BUT he has to work off OR Expiate the Temporal Punishment of his sins by Prayers and indulgences and if he does not work the temporal punishment off in his/her lifetime then he/she will have to expiate them in Purgatory.

I have described these Catholic beliefs to Protestants, Anglicans and Eastern orthodox Christians and they think that it is a Load of HOG WASH.

They do not believe in temporal puinishment or in a Fire-Purgatory where sins that have been absolved in confession are punished and paid for in Purgatory or in this life.

BFHU: It may not be actual fire but something signified by the pain of fire.

They all believe that when jesus died on the Cross he died for ALL OUR SINS and all the punishment due for them.

Catholicism seems to them a SAD RELIGION because you have to spend most of your life avoiding sin and then when you sin you have to worry about expiating or working off the temporal punishment for your sins and if you do not do it during your lifetime then YOU GET NAILED IN PURGATORY!!!!

BFHU: All a very small price to pay for an Eternity in Heaven. This life is very short by comparison. We can have an easy life for 80 years but then as Jesus said, “you will have received your reward” I’ll take my reward in Heaven. Thank you very much.

Then there is Salvation. Most evangelical protestant believe in ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED. JUSTIFICATION is a once for all declaration of forgiveness FOLLOWED BY SANCTIFICATION and then INSTANTANEOUS GLORIFICATION AFTER DEATH.

Catholics on the other hand believe that Salvation is a process begun in Baptism and strengthened by the GRACES OF THE SACRAMENTS, prayer, holiness and good works as well as ongoing repentance.
Then at death there is the PARTICULAR JUDGEMENT and then either heaven, Purgatory or Hell.

The Mass also plays an important role in the Salvation of the living and the dead in the intermediate state of Purgatory.
It is a true, proper real and PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE ( I.E. SIN FORGIVING SACRIFICE ) Which benefits the living and the dead.

Each mass is getting the Catholic closer to Heaven and then there will be many Masses said after his/her death also for his/her eternal salvation.

To Protestants this all complicates things as they believe that all their sins are forgiven by Christ once for all sacrifice and that they are SAVED and will go to Heaven when they die.

BFHU: Many of them don’t even think it is important to examine their consciences either.

Traditional Catholicism would say that Salvation has different tenses in the New testament in that WE WERE SAVED when Christ died for us on the cross PAST TENSE. Then we are also being saved, PRESENT TENSE, OR in a state of Salvation by being members of his body the Church. We were called to this state of salvation when we were baptised and we will be saved FUTURE TENSE after the final judgement IF WE HAVE WALKED WORTHY OF OUR CALLING.

I just wanted to share these thoughts and ideas with you and I would be very grateful if you would like to add or comment on what I have stated here.

Dear Philip,
Nice to hear from you again. The way you explained these ideas is pretty much on target. The Catholic Church would describe Purgatory as a purification from the sin but expiation has also been used historically. Of course, the other religions think it is hog wash b/c they do not like these ideas. But, they line up much more with the reality of sin and punishment in the real world than their view of NO CONSEQUENCES WHATSOEVER FOR THE MOST EGREGIOUS SINS AS LONG AS YOU LOVE JESUS.

In the real world if I tell a lie and feel sorry afterwards and ask for God to forgive me. He does. But the consequences remain. If someone finds out I have lost someone’s trust in my honesty. Even if no one finds out I have lost a bit of self respect. If not then I might lie more until I do finally suffer obvious consequences.

If I rob a bank and get caught I go to jail even if Jesus has forgiven me. If I don’t get caught I live in fear of getting caught. If not I will continue in crime until I do get caught.

If I have an abortion I might suffer permanent physical damage, or be unable to retain a pregnancy I want later, and/or suffer the guilt of knowing deep down inside that I killed my baby, even if I love Jesus.

Why would it be any different or should it be any different when we offend an Eternal and Holy God. If Jesus had to suffer and die for the consequences of sin, why shouldn’t we take up our cross and follow Him?

You might find these posts interesting:

Do Catholics Have to Work their Way to Heaven?
Works Salvation/Works Righteousness
Do You Have to Be Baptized to be Saved?
Can We Lose Our Salvation?
Confession to God Alone? Scripture Alone?

Where is Purgatory in Scripture?



Q. What scriptures support the Doctrine of Purgatory?
A. I cannot give any scripture that categorically teaches the Doctrine of Purgatory that would satisfy a sola scriptura Christian.
I can show you Scriptures that imply the existence of the doctrine. I can show you writings of the early Church Fathers, written before the Bible was even canonized, that teach the Doctrine of Purgatory. I can show you that the concept, of the need for purification, after death and before attaining Heaven, has roots in the Jewish Faith. Click on this link–>Sola Scriptura & Purgatory Then follow all the links on that page.

If you are able to believe it is possible to sit down, 2000 years after the birth of Jesus and read scripture and interpret it infallibly all by yourself, disregarding historic Christian beliefs in the years immediately following the death of the apostles, you have more faith than I do. But, by what authority can you claim infallibility? Because, if you are convinced that you can interpret scripture without error, even without saying it openly, you must believe you are able to interpret infallibly.

Purgatory and The Wedding Feast of the Lamb



I am posting the following comment I received from a reader on
another post regarding Purgatory. I found it very interesting.

What a blessing purgatory is. God in His mercy provided a place where we can
“work out” our salvation with “fear and trembling” without the distractions of
earthly life. It can be hard to live holy in this corrupt world. How wonderful
that God can finish what He started away from here.

It’s hard in our culture to understand the Middle Eastern wedding feast. When
guests arrived they were covered in dirt from the journey. They accepted the
invitation and arrived at the appointed place, but were in no condition to
celebrate. What did the master of the feast do? He provided a place for arriving
guests to bathe. He provided a wedding garment for the guests. And, as we know
from the parable Jesus told, anyone found at the feast NOT cleaned up and
wearing the wedding garment was kicked out.

How Do You Know Catholic Doctrines Predated the New Testament?


For the first part of this discussion click HERE : Catholic Doctrine & Scripture

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


A. The Writings of the Early Church Fathers & liturgical prayers.

Abortion: What did the doctors of the Church say?

Purgatory: Does the Church believe in Purgatory?

Eucharist: What did first century Christians believe about communion?

Apostolic Tradition: What is Apostolic Tradition?

Apostolic succession:
Where does the Church get Apostolic Succession?

Authority of the Pope: Where did the authority of the Pope come from?

Perpetual Virginity of Mary:
Why does Mary have to be a perpetual virgin?

Sinlessness of Mary/Immaculate Conception of Mary: How Can Mary be Sinless?

Sin of Contraception: Why is contraception a sin?

Homosexuality: What did the early Church teach about homosexuality?

Those are the main ones, but for more click–> Here

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

A. If they didn’t then why do you trust the New Testament?
Did the Gates of Hell overcome the Church founded by Jesus Christ? Christianity believed all these doctrines for 1500 years until Martin Luther came along and started the first Protestant Church. The Eastern Churches separated from the Catholic Church around 1000AD but they possess all the same Catholic beliefs, except the primacy of Peter. But the Protestants jettisoned many Catholic Beliefs.

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

A. I am not sure what your distinction is, but it is a historical fact that “Roman” became attached to Catholic sometime after the Protestant revolt as a term of derision. It got started in England in order to oppose that “foreign Roman church” in preference to the English Church begun by Henry VIII. It was first used as a derogatory term, denigrating the “Roman” Pope and proposed to elevate the English Pope, King Henry VIII.

Q. How does “…similar to, but not quite…” affirm Purgatory in the NAB footnotes for 2 Maccabees 12?

A. You said it denied purgatory. It is merely commentary. Commentary is not infallible Catholic doctrine. Remember we did not derive our Doctrine of PURGATORY out of scripture.

Q.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.”

A.My NAB had no footnote at all referirng to that verse. I don’t happen to care for the NAB and  footnotes  That commentary  does not negate the use of the passage to indicate Purgatory because it is just opinion. If all that the Catholic Church had ,as a basis for the Doctrine of Purgatory, was scripture alone,  it would be very flimsy indeed.
But there is not only the writing of the ancient Church Fathers but the Jewish faith also belived in a time of purification after death. Where Did the Catholic Church Get the Idea of Purgatory?

Q. 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.

A. Sorry to disappoint you but the footnotes are not Vatican approved. The translation is approved.

Q. 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?

A. You completely misunderstand. This is an ad hominem attack without substance. I could just as easily accuse every Protestant church of being happy to take tithes and offerings from the faithful ad infinitum also. All Churches depend upon offerings from the faithful. The customary offering for a mass to be said for a loved one in my parish is $10. So my parish church receives a grand total of $3,650  ($10 X 365 days/yr) doallars year if all masses are requested….or a bit more b/c there is more than one Sunday mass. Only one intention per mass is allowed.

This does not go to Rome. It stays in the parish and goes towards its support. And the $10 is not mandatory if one is too poor. It is not necessary or demanded to be done for our loved ones. We can also pray for them and do other good works and ask Christ to help our loved one in Purgatory.

Q. 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).

A. We give the money towards the support of our Church. This is an act of mercy, a little sacrifice we make. We are given the opportunity to ask that any merit go toward the suffering in Purgatory, instead of to ourselves.

Q. 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.”

A. You are trying to liken a spiritual good to a product and it doesn’t correspond. The money we give goes to support the Church. The merit of our sacrifices we ask to go to others instead of ourselves. It is a spiritual act of mercy and charity.

Q. 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?

A. Because no one in the Church knows the details of anyone’s need for purification of their sins. Only
God KNOWS. The Church lets God be God and decide according to His wisdom and knowledge when a soul has been completely purified. We are content, if our loved one is already in Heaven, for God to apply to another what we asked for our loved one. We aren’t as bossy and demanding as you seem to think we should be.

Q.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.

A. It is not all up to us. The Church is offering prayers all over the world all the time for the poor souls in Purgatory.

Q. 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.

A. If people take guilt trips they have been wrongly taught or misunderstand. First of all the time any soul spends in Purgatory is by the wisdom and justice and mercy of Our Lord. We are content to be totally purified. If our brothers and sisters on Earth are able to help lessen the pains of Purgatory by the mercy and application of Christ wonderful! But we do not deserve it, demand it as a right, or expect it. We embrace our suffering in Purgatory as a mercy of our Just God. We rejoice to be in Purgatory b/c we know that Heaven awaits us and not Hell.