What is the true nature of Purgatory?


#1

In Purgatory do you get purified AND punished? In the Catholicism for Dummies book it says that when Jesus died for our sins, that was to make sure we could have a chance of not going to Hell, be we must STILL be punished for our sins, and that’s what Purgatory is for. Even in a book written by a Priest it said we have “mental agony” in Purgatory. Also, in a Catholic Answers book it said straight out that we experience punishments in Purgatory. The Catechism doesn’t seem to indicate any “punishment”, however. After hearing different Catholic sources contradict one another, I want the ONE truth; Is there purification AND punishment in Purgatory (keep in mind the theory that Jesus died for our possibility to avoid hell, NOT to avoid US from being punished from our sins)?


#2

Dear PMV,

Purgatory is a state of being purged. To purge is to purify. This doesn’t exclude the fact that one’s purging is also a punishment, a paying back or making up for our sinful behavior. We refer to Purgatory as a state in which we suffer the temporal punishment due to our sins.

See what Mark Shea has to say on Purgatory:

catholic.com/thisrock/2001/0103fea2.asp

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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