Purgatory question


When Jesus says to the criminal who is crucified along side Jesus “today you will be with me in paridise”, does this mean that this man was going straight to heaven, and not purgatory? If so, are we to assume that this man had no further need for cleansing, or had no attachment to sin?


Well, he got his further cleansing through the sufferings he endured on the cross. He had to finish dying on the cross before he went to heaven. He was still alive after Jesus died because the soldiers had to break the legs of the two criminals to hasten their death.


The Good Thief is venerated in the liturgy as a saint.


I believe that Holy Mother Church believes that he endured his Purgatory on the Cross.


Also, the Church does not specify whether Purgatory involves the passage of time, nor whether it involves a place.


Good Answer,right he did his Purgatory on earth.


In addition to doing his purgatory on Earth he might have been 100% perfectly contrite for all his sins and not attached to any sin as he was thinking of Jesus only. If he was then Jesus could forgive all his sins and whatever temporal punishment due him and he would have received what amounted to a plenary indulgence from Jesus Himself!


So does that mean,anyone who endures pain after resulting in death doesn’t go to purgatory?

What about if somone was tortured to death,does that person go to purgatory or did they pay there last penny during the torture?


I think you may be being a bit too literalist in applying this quote from scripture. Heaven (and I would assume purgatory as well) is outside of time. You might want to recall the bible passage:

(2Pe 3:8) “… one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years[size=2] as one day.”[/size]


Interesting, related, question:

Which is the first martyr, The Good Thief (“Dismas”), or St Stephen the Deacon?

Considering “Dismas” accepted Jesus as his Saviour there on his own cross, it would seem that he was the first martyr, although St Stephen has a good case; after all St Stephen was murdered for his Faith, whereas “Dismas” was executed for murder/insurgency/theft/other crimes, and simply died a Christian.

For that matter, it would seem that the first person to die a Christian would be either St Joseph, Jesus’ foster father, or St John the Baptist; it is unknown which died first, but we are sure neither were alive during the Crucifixion, and both accepted Jesus as God Incarnate.


The “Good Thief” did not die for his belief in Christ, he was put to death for a crime that he admitted to. Stephen on the other hand, died because of, and for no other reason than, his belief in Jesus Christ as God and Savior.

St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr.


godsent;2417745]So does that mean,anyone who endures pain after resulting in death doesn’t go to purgatory?

What about if somone was tortured to death,does that person go to purgatory or did they pay there last penny during the torture

Why don’t we let God be the Judge?


Pain doesn’t mean automatic Hell, Purgatory, or Heaven.

Giving someone’s life for the faith and becoming a martyr because of it results in heaven because Jesus said “Greater Love Hath no man than he lay down his life for his friends.”

Elsewhere the scriptures say “Love covereth a multi8ude of sins”.

So by being a martyr one committs the greatest act of love by giving their life for the faith and that act of love will cover any temporal punishment in purgatory that they might have deserved before they gave the ultimate act of Love!


First, if the good thief went straight to heaven, it does not disprove purgatory because Jesus is certainly capable of issuing an indulgence.

I also recently read (maybe on this site) that Greek has no punctuation. Thus, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise” could easily have been meant to read, “Truly, I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise.”

The change in comma placement certainly alters the meaning. Also keep in mind that Jesus was not going to be “in paradise” on that day but was descending to the dead.


Paradise was not Heaven. Jesus was not going to be in Heaven on that day, and so no assumption here is warranted.

closed #16

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.