"Place" and/or "State" of Purgatory


Recognizing the inherent difficulties in applying the designation of “place” to Purgatory, a designation formerly only applies with respect to empirical measurements of distance;

Accepting and affirming the existence of Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell;

Acknowledging that different souls will go to Heaven, Purgatory, or Hell;

This Poster:

Wishes to decide whether Purgatory is a “state” or a “place”.

For those of you who were never Model United Nations debaters, I feel that too much time is wasted on this topic, and so I’d like to waste some more.

For me, it comes down to this: I understand that saying the afterlife is a “place”, but we know that our spirit-souls exist, and they must exist “somewhere”, and thus go “somewhere” after death. Otherwise, we might end up saying that all souls are lumped together, but each with their own “vision”, so to speak, that either grants them euphoria, or torment.

Your comments/ideas/critiques? Please?


Pope John Paul II stated that “‘Purgatory’] does not indicate a place, but a condition of existence.”

Pope Benedict uses the language of “state” when discussing the Jewish roots of Purgatory. In regards to the fully developed doctrine, he proposes a relational perspective that transcends the “terrestrial”/“earthly” category, which is suggested by the term “place”.


Thank you for you response. Pope John Paul II’s transcript cleared up my confusion, although not the part that you linked to :wink:
In the second paragraph from the top, which is not actually part of his speech, there is a quote from St. Thomas Aquinas, which says that spirits are in place after a manner befitting spiritual substances.


Sorry, just noticed a typo!
This should say

For me, it comes down to this: I understand that saying that the afterlife is a “place” is problematic, but we know…


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