Doesn’t purgatory counter the idea that there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus? Sorry, I can’t reference the verse. It seems to me that it means that the sacrifice of Jesus did not achieve the full pardon for us- basically, that his atoning death was insufficient. One of the main verses for defending purgatory is from 2nd macabees and the author of that book not only says it’s not inspired, but it has contradictions?!

I know some of the defending verses used for this idea, but I just don’t get how Jesus’ death and atonement isn’t enough.



I heard once back in confirmation that Jesus opened to the door to Heaven for us by His death and ressurection. He paid for our sins past present and future meaning we are forgiven…but there is still something due on our part. Like a kid who hits a baseball through a window…the neighbor can forgive him but the kid sitll has to pay for the window.

1 Corinthians 3:14–15: “If the work which any man has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

Ok if there is only Heaven and Hell then we have a prob. in this verse. There is NO suffering in Heaven. Once in Hell you are there forever. So where is this place one suffers but IS STILL SAVED? This guy is forgiven, but still have something to pay back.

Purgatory is a place to be washed COMPLETELY clean of sin since nothing unclean can enter Heaven. Even the smallest venial sin is still dirt on our souls.

Sin is what closed the gates of Heaven to us in the OT and Jesus defeated Sin so the gate opened up…WE have to make the effort to walk through the gate.

Of course I am not as nearly as schooled in this stuff as most on this forum so I am sure you will get a better understanding from someone else.


I’ve always heard that Purgatory isn’t so much a “place” as it is a “process” of purification. It is the process of ‘detaching’ ourselves of our ‘desire’ to sin. Many of us start this process here on earth. We do that by putting God first in our lives, loving Him and loving our neighbor, and repeatedly examining our conscience, trying to apply the message of the gospel to our lives. I’ve always heard that when we die, we die in full conscience of who we are. So when we die, even though our sins are forgiven, we might not have detached ourselves from the weaknesses that caused us to sin. Maybe we haven’t completely let go of our pride, or our selfishness, or an anger. I believe there is a passage in Revelation that says nothing impure can ever enter heaven. So if we die with a few imperfections, we need to resolve those before we enter the gates of heaven.

Purgatory doesn’t run counter to the gospel as I see it. I think it shows both God’s mercy and His justice. He forgives our sin and therefore doesn’t condemn us to an eternity of hell, but still does not allow us immediate access to Heaven. That actually makes sense to me. Growing spiritually is really hard work, I think. It’s not easy to draw away from the desires of this world and seek communion with God. It’s would be easier to stay angry than offer forgiveness. It would be easier to treat other people the way they treat me, rather than treat them the way I want to be treated. If I don’t spend my time on earth trying to live by these principals, how could I be ready for Heaven without spending some time in a process of purification? Basically isn’t that what our lives are all about - practicing for eternity?

I think hell is a place for those who totally reject God. Heaven is for those who have learned perfect love of God and neighbor. And purgatory is for those who are in various stages of learning to love as God loves. If we don’t finish this process before we die, God allows us to finish it after we die.

Sometimes, I think, as Christians, we focus so much on God’s mercy (which is awesome) that we forget that He is also a God of justice. His mercy exceeds His justice to be sure, but that doesn’t mean He applies mercy at the expense of justice, if that makes any sense.

Hope this helps. I’m still in the process of trying to learn how to explain our faith! And like the poster before me, I’m sure others on this forum can explain it much better.


Please cite chapter and verse on where the author states this.


If Christ’s sacrifice eliminated all the effects of sin, why then do we still suffer and die?


Purgatory is not for the condemned, so the verse from Paul doesn’t run counter to the nature of Purgatory.

It seems to me that it means that the sacrifice of Jesus did not achieve the full pardon for us- basically, that his atoning death was insufficient.

The Sacrifice did win full pardon for us. But sin entails a disordered attachment to creatures-- and especially the “#1” creature: oneself. If we sin after we’ve received the full pardon, we have to deal with the disordered attachment to creatures that sin entails.

Christ’s atoning death is more than sufficient to reorder this disordered attachment to self if only one is freely receptive to the Grace that God has to offer.

If a person who has received the full pardon of his sins continues to struggle, until death, with disordered self-love then God is not thereby going to give up on him and condemn him to Hell. God will purify him of his disordered attachments and re-order them towards the man’s first love: the God who is Love.

That’s what Purgatory is all about.

To put it another way, without the Cross, purgatory would be impossible.

One of the main verses for defending purgatory is from 2nd macabees and the author of that book not only says it’s not inspired, but it has contradictions?!

You’ll find a verse that expresses the author’s humility but not a denial of its inspiration. And any apparent contradictions in it are just that-- apparent. Likewise, many atheists claim that the Bible contains contradictions, but upon close examination, we would reply that those contradictions are merely apparent contradictions and not real ones. Just as you can reconcile apparent contradictions in the books that you believe to be inspired, so Catholics can reconcile apparent contradictions, if they exist, in 2 Maccabees.


The purpose of purgatory is to make us perfect. If you are not perfect at the point of your death, but are still in a state of grace, you will go to purgatory. What is up for debate is how long the purification takes. Purgatory is a process, but it still takes place somewhere.


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.