Confession, Purgatory and Indulgences



I was in a conversation with a friend of mine concerning the sacrement of penance, and its affect on a persons being. He states that confession and absolution remove the guilt of sin, and penance removes the punishment due to sin (time in purgatory). Under his view a Catholic who dies immediately after finishing his penance would avoid purgatory all together and go to heaven. Is this orthodox Catholic teaching on the effect of the sacrament? If that is the case I wonder (aside from obtaining the indulgence for the sake of others) what is the point of recieving a plenary indulgence? I had always thought that the purpose of purgatory was not just to punish the sinner, but also to purge attatchment to sin, which is why detatchment from sin is one the requirements to recieve a plenary indulgence. What is the Churches teaching on the subject?

God Bless

James Skyles


I am sorry, the second “absolution” should be changed to “penance”


Check out this Primer on Indulgences


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