A question on Purgatory

If a Catholic does not believe in Purgatory are they still Catholic?

Yes but why would a catholic not believe it?

This is what a Catholic is required to believe regarding Purgatory:

III. THE FINAL PURIFICATION, OR PURGATORY

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

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:607

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.608
1032 This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."609 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.610 The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.611

Can ask if this is a real example and what the person rejects specifically?

what differentiates catholics from other christian groups with a valid baptism is faith. faith is important. we must believe(am i wrong?)

Bl. V. Mary, pray for souls in purgatory.

Not an easy answer.

On the one hand, you are still a Catholic because of your use of the Sacraments and participation in the Mass, specifically His Eucharist.

And then in the other hand you are not accepting the Teachings of the Church in the same manner you are receiving the Eucharist.

The same leadership who delivers the Eucharist to us also delivers the Teachings of Christ.

If you do not understand the Teaching for certain reasons it is not the same as believing the Teaching is false. This is more than merely having a hard time accepting an idea, but not understanding that official Church Doctrine is not just hit or miss. It is infallible and protected and delivered by the Lord for the wellbeing of His Bride.

Would you like some Biblical texts which reference and support the Teaching about Purgatory?

The core teaching of purgatory, that there is purification of the soul after death so that the soul might enter heaven, is dogmatic. That said, if one understands that this is a permanent teaching of the Church and yet rejects it, that person is rejecting Christ, who is truth itself. So in a sense that person has automatically excommunicated themselves as described in canon law for those rejecting dogmatic teachings of the faith.

Now, even some non-Catholics believe in some sort of purification after death because they believe they won’t commit sin once joined to Christ in heaven. So they recognize a change of purity must occur, even if they reject the language “purgatory,” they do believe in a purgation.

Now if there is some sort of impediment in Catholic in his understanding of the doctrine and does not realize the dogmatic aspect of the teaching of purgatory, there could be invincible ignorance at work, as covered in CCC846-848 as I recall.

Finally, it should be pointed out that details of what exactly happens in purgatory or the meaning of the “fire,” the idea of “time,” or “pain,” is not part of the dogmatic teaching. The Church does not have a final position on the details of the “mechanics” of purgatory. Too often people reject purgatory on one of these bases when in fact they would have no problem accepting the core of the teaching above. What I have written in this paragraph can be ascertained from Cardinal Ratzinger’s book Eschatology.

:thumbsup: Great Answer

Ludwig Ott in Fundamentals of the Catholic Dogma states:
The living Faithful can come to the assistance of the Souls in Purgatory by their intercessions (suffrages). (De fide.)

Anything that is De fide is a part of the faith that is not optional.

May God bless and keep you. May God’s face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace.

As has been mentioned, purgatory is a dogma of the faith–a truth revealed by God that we must believe. To deliberately and obstinately deny a dogma is the sin of heresy (CCC 2089). Heresy is a “sin of separation” (CCC 817-818) and therefore it has the potential to make one cease to be a member of the Church.

That being said, having non-deliberate doubts and doing your best to try and understand is not a sin at all.

Try and pray for the souls in purgatory and also ask for the light of the Holy Spirit. Oh, and ask questions here too if have some :slight_smile:

And, in our faith journey we can aspire to be a saint, a fully purified person, while still in this life.
When that happens Purgatory is not necessary. The grace is available…we just need to grow in all the virtues, pray always, and love the Lord with our whole heart, and be open to all He wants to do in us.

We have a treasure box of helps in the Church! May the Lord help us all.

Blessed Mother Mary, Pray for us!

I believe that we will all have our works judged by Jesus when we stand before Him and fire will test what kind of works they were.

Not believe IN Purgatory, or not accept what somebody tells you Purgatory is like?

I believe in the necessary purification of souls before entrance into Heaven.

I do not accept some of the descriptions of it because they are told in totally human terms. I don’t believe that time is a reality apart from earth, and the Word agrees with that when it teaches that Heaven is eternal, so the concept of “years in Purgatory” is superfluous. Pain and suffering is also not present in Purgatory because those are also earthly conditions of the human body. The only thing resembling pain is that the soul “longs to see God’s face,” but longing is not physical pain, despite the way that longing for something here on earth may cause us to feel.

Therefore, I think many people make too big a deal about Purgatory. I firmly believe that a vast majority of us will experience it. It’s the last step before eternal Heaven. And everyone there is already saved; there’s no flunking out and getting sent to Hell once you are in Purgatory. It’s not something to fear.

:thumbsup:

How will “fire test what kind of works they were”?

Peace
James

You think only your “works” will be judged?
Then what?
What if they’re found wanting…then what?
What does that “fire will test” part mean?

If you really “don’t believe in purgatory”, it may be that you have the wrong idea about what it is.
Do you think it’s a punishment? (That’s Hell). The Church doesn’t say it’s a suffering experience or what is involved. We don’t know. It might be pleasant.

Whether or not, I for one am very happy at the prospect of purgatory…a chance to redeem what I wasn’t able to here in this life, and become better to be in His presence.
Beats the all or nothing alternative!

I believe the Church does recognize purgatory as suffering. It Teaches there is pain, only the manner of pain is not described. That is, if it is physically or spiritually painfull.

Whether or not, I for one am very happy at the prospect of purgatory…a chance to redeem what I wasn’t able to here in this life, and become better to be in His presence.
Beats the all or nothing alternative!

The reality, is that purgatory is worse than dealing with our sins here. We ARE able to bring our sins to Jesus now, and rely on Him to keep us from returning to them. Purgatory is the Holy Spirit exposing our sinfullness and unwillingness to turn from it, yet because of our genuine faith He is able to keep us, even through rooting out our wickedness. this will not be pleasant, but will “SUFFER loss”

“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. If the work is burned, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.” – 1st Corinthians 3:10-15

You seem to be saying we can avoid purgatory. Congratulations if you can get yourself straight into heaven…
I reckon I will need additional work before I’m fit to be in His presence that way, and will be grateful to do whatever is needed, including suffering.

As for “the reality is that purgatory is worse than life here”, I don’t think anyone (including you heaven bound folks) actually know what the reality of purgatory is.:rolleyes:

And we need to reminded that we have such a thing as Indulgences! When completed with the right disposition, it aids us in shortening or eliminating Purgatory.

There is enough grace to avoid Purgatory.

We need to apply ourselves to receive the benefits of indulgences.

ewtn.com/expert/answers/indulgences_conditions.htm

Remember that - for man it is not possible but with God all things are possible.

I reckon I will need additional work before I’m fit to be in His presence that way, and will be grateful to do whatever is needed, including suffering.

:thumbsup:
Me too

As for “the reality is that purgatory is worse than life here”, I don’t think anyone (including you heaven bound folks) actually know what the reality of purgatory is.:rolleyes:

Yes - the best we can do in many such cases to use analogies to try to express what we believe is the method, purpose and goal of the purgation.

Peace
James

I wasn’t able to find this earlier…but your post above reminded me of the following from the Dialogues of St Catherine of Sienna. In the passage below St Catherine is relating what God has told her of what happens at the moment of corporeal death.
I believe it is a wonderful description of the idea of judgement and how it is we who choose our destination by what we have embraced in life.
"Wherefore, know, that at the moment of death, they, having passed their life under the lordship of the Devil (not that they were forced to do so, for as I told you they cannot be forced, but they voluntarily put themselves into his hands), and, arriving at the extremity of their death under this perverse lordship, they await no other judgment than that of their own conscience, and desperately, despairingly, come to eternal damnation. Wherefore Hell, through their hate, surges up to them in the extremity of death, and before they get there, they take hold of it, by means of their lord the Devil.

"As the righteous, who have lived in charity and died in love, if they have lived perfectly in virtue, illuminated with the light of faith, with perfect hope in the Blood of the Lamb, when the extremity of death comes, see the good which I have prepared for them, and embrace it with the arms of love, holding fast with pressure of love to Me, the Supreme and Eternal Good. And so they taste eternal life before they have left the mortal body, that is, before the soul be separated from the body.

"Others who have passed their lives, and have arrived at the last extremity of death with an ordinary charity (not in that great perfection), embrace My mercy with the same light of faith and hope that had those perfect ones, but, in them, it is imperfect, for, because they were imperfect, they constrained My mercy, counting My mercy greater than their sins.

“The wicked sinners do the contrary, for, seeing, with desperation, their destination, they embrace it with hatred, as I told you. So that neither the one nor the other waits for judgment, but, in departing this life, they receive every one their place, as I have told you, and they taste it and possess it before they depart from the body, at the extremity of death – the damned with hatred and with despair, and the perfect ones with love and the light of faith and with the hope of the Blood. And the imperfect arrive at the place of Purgatory, with mercy and the same faith.”
The above is from HERE if anyone would like to read more…

Peace
James

Does the Church tell us everyone will suffer purgatory?

I reckon I will need additional work before I’m fit to be in His presence that way, and will be grateful to do whatever is needed, including suffering.

I dont expet to sail through the fires of judgement without plenty of suffering. If we are truly greatfull to suffer against unrighteousness in this life, then there will be less we will suffer in our judgement.

As for “the reality is that purgatory is worse than life here”, I don’t think anyone (including you heaven bound folks) actually know what the reality of purgatory is.:rolleyes:

My statement you quoted was, “The reality is that purgatory is worse than dealing with our sins here.”

I never said I will avoid the suffering the judgement of works that I have not completely turned from and made full restitution. I wish I had stronger faith to suffer for Jesus now, and avoid a more difficult pain when entering into His judgment.

Paul told us we are heirs of God’s righteousness, provided we suffer for Him. It is better to suffer now and bring forth fruit from our suffering. In purgatory, we will suffer but only have the loss of that suffering, yet the good faith we had in Him and did produce fruit of righteousness will save us. These good works were doing His Will, and with His grace.

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