Does the Church still believe in purgatory? How do you end up there…? Is it like when you kill someone and then go to Confession? Does that person go to pugatory… if the Church believes in it??
Purgatory is one of the most mis-understood teachings of the Catholic faith.
When you repent of your sins you are forgiven, but there is still some damage that needs to be repaired.
For instance, if I break someones window and apologize and they forgive me; that doesn’t make the window unbroken. If I was truly sorry and took full responsibility for my action, I would fix the window myself, or pay for someone else to do it. If I was unable to fix it or pay for it I would find some other way of repairing the damage. This is called repairation (Repair-ation; the process of repairing).
When it comes to sin, we are unable (by ourselves) to repair the damage that we have done, to God, ourselves and our neighbour; but God has given us a means to repair the damage of sin; prayer, fasting, almsgiving and acts of charity. This is also where we get the teaching on Indulgences. If we do an act with an Indulgence attached to it we are guaranteed by Holy Mother Church that God will make repairation for our sin when we do these prescribed acts. If it is a partial indulgence we will receive some repairation for our sins, if it is a Plenary indulgence we will receive complete repairation for ALL our sins. We can also offer these indulgences for the Holy souls in Pugatory.
Which brings me to that point. If we die, and we have NOT made repairation for ALL our sins, then we will pass through a place called purgatory where we will be perfected and repairation will be made, because only perfect things can be in Heaven. After we have made repairation for our sins in purgatory we will then enter into Heaven.
Both Purgatory and Limbo are products of *speculative theology. *This means that theologians have created these ideas in an effort to answer questions about how God’s mercy and justice may be satisfied by conditions following death. Since these questions can be answered only by God and since belief in private revelation is not required of Catholics, no one can tell definitively how God resolves the problem of the unbaptised or those in a state of sin but not in mortal sin at the time of death. There is no requirement that we believe either in Purgatory or Limbo. There never has been, so the question as to whether we still believe in it is a logical nonsense.
Limbo is a speculative theory. Purgatory is not.
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. 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:
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.” 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. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Limbo, as far as I know, is not even mentioned in the CCC
For Limbo, that’s right. For purgatory, that’s completely wrong. It’s a dogma of the faith that there is purification after death; that we can pray for those people being so purified, that saints in heaven can pray for those people, and that those people can pray for those on earth.
There is no requirement that we believe either in Purgatory or Limbo. There never has been, so the question as to whether we still believe in it is a logical nonsense.
As a Catholic, you must believe in purification after death, which is what we call “Purgatory.” The nature of such purification can be debated and people can differ on it (and Eastern Catholics generally do hold a different idea of purgatory than Latin Catholics do), but its existence as something that happens to (almost all) Christians after death is most definitely not optional.
Purgatory has both doctrinal and Biblical basis. (2Maccabees). It was only when Protestants dropped this book from their canon that Purgatory became a question.
Purgatory does have a lot of Biblical basis contrary to popular belief by Non-Catholics.
Ok so Purgatory is a place where people end up if they don’t repent for their sins. But I thought it was also for people who committed mortal sins like murder and even if they went to Confession, they would go to purgatory. What are all the mortal sins???
Hell is the place people end up if they don’t repent for their sins.
Purgatory is the place people end up who repent for their sins, but still remember their sins fondly or have attachment to sin even though they’ve repented of it and haven’t yet committed the sin again after Confession - see the Book of Indulgences.
To find lists of mortal sins - look in the New Testament. Anywhere you see the lists in which the Holy Spirit through the Author of the New Testament Book says: Those who…will not inherit eternal life or Those who…will not enter the Kingdom of God. Off the top of my head, I remember: fornicators, murderers, liers, adulterers, those who steal, those who are greedy, etc.
Those who died in the great flood in the time of Noah who were unfit to enter hell were in a certain place. While Jesus’ physical body was dead in the grave, Jesus went to that place to preach there.That place is what we call purgatory.
Just one last question. If someone has fornicated and didn’t know it was a mortal sin or even a sin at all and then goes to Confession, do they go to Purgatory? Even if they are really sorry?
Why would he go to Confession if that person didn’t know it was a mortal sin or even a sin at all? One goes to Confession if one is sorry for a sin committed.
Purgatory are those who died in venial sins, sins which are not mortal or serious. These are minor sins such as stealing candy from a baby as oppose to stealing 65 billion dollars from a bank.
Those who die unrepented, and commit mortal sin like murder, adultery, fornication, abortion, masturbation, prostitution, perverts, will go to hell.
How could he not think fornication is not sinful? Let me quote St. Paul’s own words.
From the First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians Chapter 6 verse 9-11.
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sancified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Whether there really is a purgatory or not is to me irrelevant to our salvation of believing in it. We would do better to believe that we must work out our salvation through sanctification by following the Holy Spirit leading in this life, instead of holding out for something else to purify us thereafter. Isn’t that halfhearted effort on our part? So believing that there may not be a purgatory is to me a better belief for us to follow because we should do all we can here on earth to obey the Holy Spirit in creating us into the image of Christ. Christ would have been more informative on the matter if it was necessary to believe it for salvation. May we be willing to obey the Lord in this life. As he said, “Those who love me will keep my commandments.” Also, if we must be purified of sin, then what happens to us who are living when Christ returns? Do we go to purgatory first at His return, then reign with Him? So who are the sheep that he gathers? We would do better to not argue over a matter Christ did not put an emphasize on, but rather love as he loved. This was His commandment to us and promised to raise us up on the last day.
Good discussion. As a Protestant theologian let me say a few words.This si the way I understand Catholic theology.
If a Christian commits a minor (venial) sin and dies without confessing it, that person is forgiven the guilt of that sin but must sufffer for the consequences of that sin in Purgatory.Comparable to a parent forgiving their children of minor sins even though not voiced by them.
However if a Christian commits a serious deadly mortal sin and dies without confessing and forsaking it, that person falls from grace and goes to hell.
My question is, if a Christian commits a mortal sin which kills their spirit (the meaning of mortal), then why are they not treated as unbelievers and required to be re-baptized?
In First Corinthians 11 those who took communion while out of the will of God became sick and some died. It is a serious matter to receive communion while deliberately being out fo God’s will.
I am open to enlightenment.
I am replying to Pat the Cat’s explanation on Purgatory. I could not have it explained it better myself Pat … very good
Purgatory is simple to understand, makes perfect common sense. The mighty Triune God is perfect and obviously nothing imperfect can face Him. Purgation of all impurities in Purgatory is what God planned and what is done according to His divine will. Purgatory is God’s greatest mercy. Without Purgatory I would suggest most people would go to Hell as most people do not die in God’s ultimate favour in my humble opinion.
At the end of the day…it doesn’t matter whether the Church believes in Purgatory or not…or even if you or I believe in Purgatory. Why? Because that will not change the fact that Purgatory surely exists. As it happens, though, the Catholic Church still does believe in – and teach about – Purgatory.
When our sins are forgiven in the Sacrament of Penance (a.k.a. Reconciliation) it is the all powerful and immeasurable mercy of God that enables this to happen. However, besides being all-merciful God is also all-just. And God’s justice must be satisfied before the temporal effects of our sin can be erased. This is done in Purgatory, which is somewhat like Hell, but with one exception: In Purgatory there is HOPE. In hell, hope is non-existent.
Now, we cannot enter Heaven unless we are totally without stain of sin (including the effects of forgiven sins). So, when we spend time in Purgatory we do atonement through suffering. This suffering burns away the effects of our sins.
To make a simplistic analogy, it’s like you took a wooden board and hammered nails into it. The nails could represent your sins. When you go to confession, and receive absolution from the priest, the nails are drawn out of the board. But what remains? The holes! The holes are like the effects of our sins. How can they be made to go away? By doing some sort of atonement, either through prayer or suffering. Atonement will fill up the holes in the board and make it whole and beautiful again.
While we are here on earth, before we meet Jesus for our “personal judgement” at the time of our passing over from this life to the next, we still have opportunities to atone for our sins by doing various prayers and acts of charity that will gain us indulgences. An indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to our sins. A partial indulgence remits some of the temporal punishment; a plenary indulgence remits ALL of the temporal punishment. For example, when a person is sick in the hospital, the chaplain priest may have the authority to confer the Apostolic Blessing upon the sick person – which carries with it a plenary indulgence.
There are many instances in Holy Scriptures were Purgatory is referenced, although it is often given various other names:
2 Maccabees 12:46
1 Corinthians 3:15
2 Timothy 1:16-18
1 Peter 3:18-20
1 John 5:16-17
St. Therese of Liseaux said in her writings that if we die, and – facing judgement – we ask for justice because we feel that we are not worthy to go to Heaven, then God will give us just what we ask for: justice. But, she said, if we ask for mercy – despite the justice that is due to us for our sinful past – then our good God will give us mercy. She even surmised that is would be possible to die with temporal punishment still needing to be paid, but that if we ask for God’s mercy, we might well take the express route directly to Heaven (do not stop at Purgatory, do not collect 200 yrs. of suffering).
So, Purgatory does exist…and our mission is to not go there.