temporal punishment

trying to understand something, can you guys help me out?

it’s the concept of temporal punishment, if our sins are forgiven by God in confession, why do we need temporal punishment and also purgatory?

and how does punishment square up with Jesus’ teaching? he said to forgive your enemies and all those things.

but catholic teaching does allow for capital punishment and other punishments for crimes.

of course, I don’t think Jesus meant criminals should just have a free for all but he did contrast his teaching with the mosaic law, which seems to mean that he thought punishment shouldn’t be proportionate to the crime

can someone hhelp to explain the proper balance for mercy and justice?

I don’t remember Jesus requiring extra punishment after people repented in the bible.

are there examples of people needing to have punishment in the new testament even if they confessed their sins?

I know I must be misunderstanding something, I just don’t know what

It is for the purpose of making one an image of Christ, which requires detachment from sin, and to help us remain free from sin.

The Baltimore Catechism Part 3Q. 629. What punishments are due to actual sins?
A. Two punishments are due to actual sins: one, called the eternal, is inflicted in hell; and the other, called the temporal, is inflicted in this world or in purgatory. The Sacrament of Penance remits or frees us from the eternal punishment and generally only from part of the temporal. Prayer, good works and indulgences in this world and the sufferings of purgatory in the next remit the remainder of the temporal punishment.

Q. 804. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin?
A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.

Q. 805. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin?
A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.
*The Catechism of the Catholic Church:*The punishments of sin

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the “eternal punishment” of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the “temporal punishment” of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.83

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the "new man."84

Prayer for the Departed (Purgatory) *2 Maccabees 12:42-46 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) *

42 And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain.
43 And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection,
44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,)
45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.
46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

Matthew 12:32:
And whosoever shall speak a word against the son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15: For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble: Every man’s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work, of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.

We might not need both.

The spiritual effects of the sacrament of Penance are … remission, at least in part, of temporal punishments resulting from sin [CCC 1496]

The Catechism (and the Church) does not define which temporal punishments might be fully mitigated, but goes on to explain how indulgences offer this guarantee. Indulgences do play a part in our liability for temporal punishment, and can completely overcome it. This is the part you are missing.

but catholic teaching does allow for capital punishment and other punishments for crimes.

True.

of course, I don’t think Jesus meant criminals should just have a free for all but he did contrast his teaching with the mosaic law, which seems to mean that he thought punishment shouldn’t be proportionate to the crime

Yes, that is mercy (as opposed to justice), but the Church does not frame her stance on capital punishment either way. The Church teaches:

Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor. [CCC 1496]

The Church is not speaking here about either justice or mercy, but rather the protection of innocent people, in which case capital punishment is tolerated as a last resort if there is no other reasonably effective way to mitigate the threat of the aggressor. The Church absolutely does NOT teach “an eye for an eye, a life for a life” system of justice. It is unlikely that the Church could condone the death penalty in a modern society which has the means to contain the threat of even the most depraved criminals, regardless of their crimes.

are there examples of people needing to have punishment in the new testament even if they confessed their sins?

You use the word “punishment,” but, in many cases, the penance imposed in Confession is to make reasonable restitution to somebody we have wronged (even if this restitution is simply an apology). Our Lord taught about the idea of making amends for our sins against others before coming before the Altar of God:

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,a and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.[Matt 5:21-24]

why was the medieval/renaissance justice system so cruel then, as employed by the state. shouldn’t a Christian viewpoint prevailed since most people were Christians.

and how do we even know that temporal punishment is necessary? doesn’t any effect of sin get wiped away with confession?

Most people in the United States today are Christian. Yet, only North Korea exceeds our imposition of the death penalty. Forget about medieval/renaissance justice and ask why our current society exceeds those medieval/renaissance lightweights in imposing the death penalty. Our CURRENT society is FAR more likely to impose capital punishment than any other nation besides North Korea. And, given modern advances, more than 140 people who were condemned to die have been completely exonerated of the crimes charged against them (not just released on technicalities, but actually exonerated - proven innocent).

People who were later proven innocent have been condemned to die for crimes they did not commit by predominately Christian judges and juries. Not a thousand years ago, but within our lifetime.

I think that priests are not permitted to put any sort of condition like this on people who are confessing. What is your source for saying that this happens “in many cases”?

Our Lord taught about the idea of making amends for our sins against others before coming before the Altar of God:

I think that priests are not permitted to put any sort of condition like this on people who are confessing.
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Correct – priests are not permitted to make a demand that a person ‘out’ themselves and implicate themselves publicly of their sinful behavior, either as a penance or as a condition of absolution. Of course, in Christian charity, if one has wronged one’s neighbor, he should desire to right the wrong. Often, in penance, that is accomplished through prayer or acts of charity.

You don’t mention countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia at all. They frequently use capital punishment.

I am against the death penalty but if one makes the claim all of these people were exonerated of their guilt as well, it would be nice to see a source for that as well.

Yes, you are misunderstanding something :wink:

There is temporal punishment, and there is human justice, and they are different things. The requirements of temporal punishment *may *be met by accepting one’s just human punishment, but temporal punishment is still required even if one never meets with human punishment.

So, what is temporal punishment? It is what is left over after the apology; it is the fixing of the *effects *of the sin. These effects can be material and are spiritual–every action in this world affects the spiritual world as well.

A teen alone on a hill who commits a sin which appears to have no effect in this world still causes an effect in the spiritual realm. A thief who steals a car causes an effect in this world as well as in the spiritual realm.

Temporal punishment can be rectified through prayer, fasting and mortification, and almsgiving, because these actions have a good effect in the spiritual realm.

The way I explained it to my children is that there is a big pipe which God can send us grace through. Sin clogs up the pipe, reducing the amount of grace that can get through; prayer, etc., work to unclog the pipe so more grace can get through.

Our time in purgatory gets rid of any remaining attachment to sin, but also clears out any remaining clogging that we have caused through our sins.

The souls in Purgatory can do nothing for themselves, so we help them by performing good actions for the glory of God. We can also help those still on earth this way, and of course we can reduce our own need for Purgatory.

Do you have a particular country and time in mind?

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1470 has: In converting to Christ through penance and faith, the sinner passes from death to life and "does not come into judgment.
1472 has:A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

Temporal punishment is the result of not making satisfaction. The Church equates the call to make satisfaction for our sins to the Gospel call to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance after having repented (see for example, Matt. 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20). Here’s how the Council of Florence put it:

[quote=Council of Florence]Also, if truly penitent people die in the love of God before they have made satisfaction for acts and omissions by worthy fruits of repentance, their souls are cleansed after death by cleansing pains.
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If we do not make that satisfaction ourselves, God may exact it from us either in this life or the next (which is what purgatory is).

[quote=Bible]Hebrews 12[6] For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. [7] Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons; for what son is there, whom the father doth not correct? [8] But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons. [9] Moreover we have had fathers of our flesh, for instructors, and we reverenced them: shall we not much more obey the Father of spirits, and live? [10] And they indeed for a few days, according to their own pleasure, instructed us: but he, for our profit, that we might receive his sanctification.[11] Now all chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield, to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice.
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Since we are all part of the same Body, sometimes he exacts more satisfaction from us than we are due so that it may be applied to our brothers and sisters who may be weaker. St. Paul rejoiced in this fact (see Colossians 1:24).

Ultimately, an indulgence is where the Church applies to a particular person the merit from the whole Body’s satisfactions (including those of Christ and all the Saints) so as to reduce the temporal punishment due to that person.

Hmm… that doesn’t sound quite right. Temporal punishment is the result of sin. Making satisfaction diminishes (or eliminates) temporal punishment.

The Church equates the call to make satisfaction for our sins to the Gospel call to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance after having repented (see for example, Matt. 3:8, Luke 3:8, Acts 26:20). Here’s how the Council of Florence put it:

[quote]Also, if truly penitent people die in the love of God before they have made satisfaction for acts and omissions by worthy fruits of repentance, their souls are cleansed after death by cleansing pains.

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No; that’s not quite right, logically speaking. “if x, then y” doesn’t imply “if not x, then not y”. So, “lack of satisfaction” doesn’t imply “temporal punishment,” it seems. :shrug:

You’re right, I should have been more precise. I should have said “having to suffer temporal punishment” is the result of not making satisfaction.

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