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Scott P. Richert

Reader Question: Does the Church Still Believe in Purgatory?

By November 12, 2009

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Reader "JoAnnKatherin," writing on our Questions About Catholicism form, asks a question that I hear almost every day:

Does the Catholic Church still believe in Purgatory? My friend said that her church bulletin printed that there is no Purgatory. Is this true?

Of all of the teachings of Catholicism, Purgatory is probably the one most often attacked (sometimes unintentionally) by Catholics themselves. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, the reports of Purgatory's death have been greatly exaggerated.

To see this, we simply need to turn to paragraphs 1030-1032 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There, in a few short lines, the doctrine of Purgatory is spelled out:

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.
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.

There is more, and I urge readers to check out those paragraphs, but the short answer is yes: Since Purgatory is in the Catechism, the Catholic Church still teaches it, and Catholics are bound to believe in it.

So why do so many people think that belief in Purgatory is no longer a doctrine of the Church? Part of the confusion arises, I believe, because some Catholics conflate Purgatory and Limbo, a supposed place of natural bliss where the souls of children who die without having received Baptism go (because they are unable to enter Heaven). Limbo is a theological speculation; Purgatory is not.

A bigger problem, I think, is that many Catholics simply do not understand the need for Purgatory. If you're going to end up in Heaven anyway, why is it necessary to spend time in this intermediate state?

One of the lines from the previous quotation—"to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven"—points us in the right direction, but the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers even more. In the section on indulgences, there are two paragraphs (1472-1473) on "The punishments of sin":

[I]t 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. . . .
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.

Through penitential practices, prayer, works of charity, and the patient endurance of suffering, we can work through the temporal punishment for our sins. If any temporal punishment has been left unsatisfied at the end of our life, however, we must endure that punishment in Purgatory before entering Heaven.

Rather than a strange doctrine, or one which seems punitive, Purgatory should be comforting to us. Unless we are perfect, we cannot enter Heaven, but God has given us the opportunity to atone in the next life for those things which we failed to atone for in this one. Knowing our own weakness, we should thank God for His mercy.

More on Purgatory and Indulgences:

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Comments
November 13, 2009 at 2:27 pm
(1) Joseph Palmieri says:

I am Catholic. Aside from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, where did the church get this belief from?

November 13, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(2) Michael Ezzo says:

The short answer, I would think, is that it comes to us from Sacred Scripture (i.e., The Bible); and Sacred Tradition (i.e., what the disciples handed down to us through spoken word). But for more details, here are some book titles that I hope will help to answer Mr. Palmieri’s question :

PURGATORY QUIZZES, by Frs. Rumble and Carty

STORIES ABOUT PURGATORY (And What They Reveal), by An Ursiline of Sligo

HUNGRY SOULS, by Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg

THE BIBLICAL BASIS OF PURGATORY, by John Salza

PURGATORY EXPLAINED, by Fr. F. X. Schouppe S.J.

HOW TO AVOID PURGATORY, by Fr Paul O’Sullivan O.P.

February 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm
(3) Nancy McIndoe says:

I have been Catholic all my life & tended to believe in what the Church taught, like Purgatory, because it was THE CHURCH. Now I want the Scriptural basis for these teachings.I feel it strange & unsettling that in your answers to both JoAnn & Joseph did not include Scripture references, but ONLY Catechism & books by Catholic Priests! Where does JESUS tell us that His death only atoned for SOME of our sins, but not all? Did He not tell the repentant thief that”TODAY you will be with me in Paradise?” He didn’t mention anything about spending time in purgatory or any other temporary state of being. So, tell us why the Catholic Church teaches that Jesus’ death wasn’t enough & that we have to suffer, either here on earth or in purgatory.

November 21, 2011 at 4:54 am
(4) Mary42 says:

The Doctrine of Purgatory from the Scriptures is found in the Books of Macabees. Also, the children of Fatima were shown the Purgatory. And in 1936 Jesus Himself showed Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska the Purgatory itself. And she visited the souls there in the company of her Guardian Angel. Your questioning to be given “where is it written in the Bible”leads me to suspect you are actually not a Catholic but a Protestant. That is always been their ferocious attack on any Catholic Teaching

February 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm
(5) Michael Hanzuk says:

For Nancy
Let us never forget the apparations of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima. The Blessed Virgin Mary took the three children to Heaven, Purgatory and Hell. So if the Blessed Virgin Mary believes and shows Purgatory then we as Catholics should have no problem whatsoever in believing in Purgatory. Remember we can only enter heaven if our souls are pure and without stain.

February 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm
(6) George says:

To address Nancy, though I am constrained by time and typewriter ribbon, consult 2 Mach. 12:46. “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins. If those dead spoken of in 2 Mach. are in hell, no amount of praying will loose them. If they are in heaven, they are already loosed from their sins, as nothing stained enters heaven. Hence, there must be a third condition, a temporary condition where the souls of repentant sinners are cleansed or “loosed” from their sins. Confer also with Heb. 12:23. “And to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect.” This indicates that the spirits of the just were made perfect AFTER death. Again, through that cleansing, or being loosed from their sins. You say that Christ told the repentant thief that “Today, you shall be with me in paradise.” Yet Christ descended to the place of the dead for three days Himself after Hisw own death. Nancy, don’t put God in a box. The God who created all things also created time, and probably various other dimensions that we have no idea of. Remember the abbott whose sister was gravely ill. She asked him to say masses for her soul, for her soul to be released from Purgatory. He assured her that he would. several weeks later, as he was preparing for bed one evening, word reached him that she had died. He said that when he got up the next morning, he would say a mass for her soul, and it would be the first of many such masses. A few hours later, he was awakened by a vision of his sister, who asked why he had not said masses for her. He told her he had just found out about her death, and in the morning he would start his masses for her. She informed him that she had been in Purgatory for five years. But you are right, Nancy. After all, we Catholics know that the Bible is the “Pillar and foundation of truth.” Oh wait! The Bible nowhere says that. It does, however, say that it is the Church, which is the “Pillar and foundation of truth.” 1 Tim 3:15. Don’t try to pitt the Church and the Bible against each other. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. And it is the Church which gave us the Bible, including the books of the Machabees, which mr. protestant conviently threw out.

February 12, 2010 at 7:56 pm
(7) George says:

What URL means?
I do not think I want my name publish.
RE: Purgatory. You bet your life, purgatory exist.
I dare sharing a personal experience. I am going to make it short.
Few years ago (a Catholic) I had known some years before made my life miserable.
On New Year night at twelve o’clock, he woke me up. In a faster than lightning moment I saw the three month period that he made my life miserable.
He asked me to forgive me. I told him:”I yes, I do forgive you”.
I made two phone calls and had three masses said for him.
Later I checked. He had been dead for 34 years. I did not know he was dead.
You want another one?
Check the San Francisco Library.
A priest appeared to the pastor of the parish he had been.
” I will not be free from Purgatory until all the mass that were paid for me are said/celebrated”. “Go to such a archive in your library, you will find in a book with the money for the masses clipped on the pages”.
The incident happened in the 1930s. A book was written on the mid-50s.
Good luck
Purgatory, you are better believe it.
The sufferings are the save as hell. The Consolation, you will see God.
I am George

November 12, 2010 at 4:07 pm
(8) Haubert says:

Thanks Georges for this attempt to help Nancy and so many out there.I think the real question is not about do we believe in purgatory or not,it’s do we fear God enough?We are living in a generation that has lost all fear about God and takes everything for granted and seems to know and understand God better than ever.We are wrong and stubborn in our positions.God is not a play game and we missinterpret His mercy by even thinking that we are ready enough to enter the Holy place of heaven anytime.Death in many circumstances comes when we expect it the least and we are always surprised.in 90% of the cases:(accidents,earthquakes,illnesses,natural disasters, wars,…)we are not prepared and we die without confessing.God is Holy one million times and there is no way we can approach Him with a slightest spot of sin and in His Big Mercy, He is allowing us to be purified before we can meet Him or enter His kingdom (because we have received Him and believed in Him).It does not require verses from the bible to understand this.This world is so corrupt that evil is tarnishing our souls every time and every day.Destroying this belief as our brothers are trying to do , is a sign of pride and the fruit of pride is hell.What we know about God is just partial and don’t forget that our small intelligence cannot contain all the mysteries about God.Not everything is written in the bible,yet it is a powerful guideline for our faith.If you understand God’s Mercy then you won’t have any doubt about purgatory. These Big truths are only revealed to the poor and humble souls of the Almighty.Not anybody can understand this.It’s therefore a false debate for all those who pass their time reading and memorising verses from the bible like the way we try to prove everything in mathematics in order to refute this truth and for those who are battling to defend it.It’s a simple grace of God.

November 13, 2010 at 7:52 am
(9) Janet says:

I don’t think that purgatory is a punishment, but rather is a preparation for the individual soul to grow closer and closer to the Presence of God. The reason I don’t think purgatory is punishment is that if this were true, what does it mean that Christ took on the sins of the world, and the evil of the world? I also don’t believe that God is punitive – I believe, with Julian of Norwich, that “there is no wrath in God”.

I believe that it depends on the state of the individual soul upon passing from this earth – in other words, there are many who do not care for the things of the Spirit, and live their lives without focusing at all on God. If these individuals pass from this earth and are suddenly in the Presence of God, they would not be able to bear it, because they have not prepared themselves during their lives on earth to be in His Presence. So I believe that these souls choose to dwell in one of the “many mansions” or levels of the afterlife until they are able to be in the Divine Presence. I also believe that there is much help from the Holy Mother and from the angels, so that if the soul that is temporarily removed from the complete Presence of God wants to be closer to Him, he is not abandoned.

I have been a Catholic since birth, and have come to view some of these Catholic doctrines differently than how I was taught (as a child in the years prior to Vatican II.)

Janet

November 13, 2010 at 2:53 pm
(10) alan j. eddy says:

Jesus also says somewhere in the Gospel ” and you won’t get out till you pay every last penny”

November 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm
(11) Luna says:

The belief in purgatory makes total sense. Just think of it this way, say you have 2 people. One person has devoted her entire life to helping others, improving herself, and making this world a better place. Another person has devoted her life to serving herself at the cost of others, placing her needs and wants above everything else, etc. It makes sense that these two people are going to be in different spiritual planes when they die. While person 2 has never committed a serious crime, she didn’t much in the way of helping humanity and responding to Christ’s call to serve others. Since she didn’t change while alive, it makes sense that there is a “place” where she can work on herself if she is to follow Christ into eternity.

March 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm
(12) Rick says:

Simply put, Jesus never taught the teaching of Purgatory nor is it in the Bible. Its a false teaching

March 21, 2011 at 10:14 am
(13) Mike says:

I was raised Catholic and even was accepted into the seminary but at the urging of my Father did not attend.I have since become born again into the light and have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I look back at all the wrong teachings of the catholic church and realize that no where in the Bible is mention made of purgatory nor was there a detailed description of where Jesus went after his death on the cross before his glorious ascension into heaven. I have asked Christain pastors with seminary training degrees and none of them can point to a single verse in the Bible that references a number of catholic doctrines ,its just that catholic doctrine ( not true or false) but it clearly states in if the bible that if it is not God breathed that it is not true..I think that Catholics should stop being so lazy and expecting the priest or pastor to be the authority and look to Gods word and for their, own salvation . Read the Bible, even the catholic one cover to cover in one year and you will see that the truth shall set you free and do not expect everlasing life by following all church doctrine .John 3:3 Be born again Its your choice.

November 22, 2011 at 8:36 pm
(14) Elisabeta Torava says:

you say you have been ‘Born Again into the Light’, that’s good but has that’ Light’ made you blind now??? if everything had to be in the bible, do you really think it’ll all fit into that many pages only???and let me ask you which Bible is not Catholic???

March 21, 2011 at 10:24 am
(15) albert says:

Hey ! People wake up! Its not about a religion its about having a relationship with JESUS CHRIST our Savior, not the Pope or the Priests and all the doctrinal teachings or the Catholic faith that take you all away from reading the GOD breathed word of GOD , the BIBLE . THE TRUTH will set you FREE ! Not all this jibberish that the early church made up to scare the illiterate of the time into blind faith .It is simple read John 3:3 Be born again renew all things in Christ and read the BIBLE and you will realize how many catholic doctrinesd o not exsist in the Bible not even the catholic bible. Get Real

June 15, 2011 at 7:51 am
(16) tony says:

When Jesus was on earth he decended down to preach to all those who were in prison from the time of Noah. How long was it from the time of Noah to the time of Jesus?

A long time … in prison a place of long-suffering

November 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm
(17) JeanMarie says:

How do you know if a person who has died is in Purgatory, so that you can pray for him or her? Do Last Rites affect this?
Do most of us go there?

Thanks,

November 7, 2011 at 7:29 pm
(18) Mary says:

What if we spend all of our time praying for people who are in hell? Are our prayers wasted? How do we know who to pray for? Should I pray for Adolph Hitler? John Wayne Gacy?

April 4, 2012 at 7:32 pm
(19) Pat Marie says:

I first have to say that I LOVE this site. I had a born again christian tell me that ” There is no such place as Purgatory. That there is not one reference of Purgatory in the bible ” which left me wondering, for 20 years. I know now that it is indeed a true place. I looked up ” Purgatory in the dictionary and it says …. intermediate state after death for purification. Then I read somewhere that Purgatory was a place to fear & was rather harsh at the “purification process wasn’t exactly pleasant.Actually it scared me & made me feel bad for those I loved that might be there. Your article reassured me & put me at ease. Thank you.

July 13, 2012 at 7:07 am
(20) Nathaniel M Chikunda says:

Its very important to read the bible as it is the very important collection of books that helps us to leave good examplary lives and shape ourselves in God’s way a very single day. It is very much true that in the book of 2 Macabees 12: as you read it through that you will learn more about the purgatory. It does not make any person better to be a critic of the Catholic faith and say you are a born again christain and hence a better christain than the Catholic brother, sister or priest and your neughbour. Remember and read Luke 18:9- 17. Lets learn to say to ourself Lord forgive me I have sinned make me a better person than I was yesterday. I am proud to be a Catholic and stand for my faith. Just pray for all souls in purgatory at times not necessarily your friend or relative. Its like going into a hospital pray for all the sick people God in his mighty wisdom will releave even with those who have no friends or relatives praying for the them. They all needs our prayers. Be it a born again or not pray for those in purgatory they need to rejoice with the Lord Do it now pray.

December 17, 2012 at 6:02 am
(21) Bereng says:

“-Truly truly I say to you: no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again!!!
-How can this be? Should I crawl back to my mother’s womb?
-Truly I say to you; unless one is born of WATER AND SPIRIT, he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven!!!…”"

AFTER THIS, Jesus went with his disciples into the Judaean countryside and stayed with them there and BAPTISED.

When will you people understand that Catholics are born again? Being born into the Family of God – The Church – is what being born again is. And we do that through Baptism…Show me anywhere in the Bible where being born again is ever defined as confessing Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour.

Sure enough, we have to believe in Jesus, and we do…Jesus is why the Church exists…

We have to confess Him as our Lord, and that He died and was risen from the dead. Romans 10:9 tells us this. Now you tell me what you think the Apostles’ creed and other creeds of the Church profess!!! But where is it written that that’s what being born again is? It’s a new doctrine!!! A doctrine of man!!!

In the Catholic Church, we get baptized, then later get confirmed. We’re really children of the Family of God – The Church!!! We have been born again!!! Our first birth was in the flesh, but our second birth has now been in the Spirit!!!

March 4, 2013 at 5:05 pm
(22) MH18 says:
March 4, 2013 at 5:23 pm
(23) Mike H18 says:

In order to receive Gods grace is thru Jesus Christ. “John 3:16″ “For God so Love the World he gave his only begotten son, and he who belifith “Jesus” in me, Shall not perish but shall have eternal life”. That is scripture of words said by Jesus. There is no mention of Pergutory. I am also leaving. “John 14-6″ Where Jesus says “I am the way, the truth and the light. No one goes to the Father except thru me”http://bible.cc/john/14-6.htm

March 4, 2013 at 5:34 pm
(24) Mike H18 says:

I’m sorry the second verse did not come thru. http://bible.cc/john/14-6.htm

March 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm
(25) Scott P. Richert says:

Mike H18, the Scriptural basis for Purgatory is outlined in this post: Reader Question: Is There a Scriptural Basis for Purgatory?

The Catholic Church, of course, teaches that belief in Christ is necessary in order to be saved, and that no one can be saved except through Christ. That does not, however, have anything to do with whether or not Purgatory exists.

March 22, 2013 at 10:33 pm
(26) Jella says:

It would be great if a lot more people believed in purgatory as than a lot more prayers would be said for the souls who have no one to pray for them and who are depending on prayers to help them out of Purgatory and into Heaven. The more prayers these souls receive,the sooner they reach Heaven.

June 3, 2013 at 8:01 am
(27) Christian says:

i am born elcin married to husband who is catholic ,now we are both catholic ,i believe that there is purgatory , why you people of god our house have a place for some one to wait for you in sitting room

June 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm
(28) Richard S Kallas says:

I personally have been searching for Scriptual verification of Purgatory in the writings of the Bible for a bit over a year now.

I thus far have found absolutely zero confirmation of Purgatory existing or even being mentioned within any of the common Christian Bibles.

Please do not take this as me standing here pointing fingers saying Purgatory does not exist or that Catholic Church Leaders or Church Members in general are lying to people.

Quite to the contrary, in my heart of hearts I believe in Purgatory. Even more controversial likely is that in my mind I believe that the existence of such a place is absolutely logical and argueably necessary to complete the Salvation process.

Based on numerous occassions presented to my by individuals portraying specific Scriptures from the Bible as proof of the existence of Purgatory, my overall experience with this subject has led me to feel that many Christians tend to get so dead set on absolutely 100% believing in a specific thing that many have a tendancy to read the Scripture and either quote it out of context or see it for what they want to prove to themselves or someone else.

In the end I figure is it so bad for a Christian to have such a strong belief in something that they do not have to prove it by pointing to the Bible as their proof?

Again, I 100% believe in Purgatory. I simply can’t prove it throug Scripture.

June 17, 2013 at 9:34 am
(29) dave says:

Purgatory does not exist. It is no where in the Bible. When you die you will go to Hades ( torment or paradise).If u are in Christ u will be in paradise, if not torment.
I

June 17, 2013 at 11:15 am
(30) Scott P. Richert says:

Gentlemen, in the article and the comments, I’ve repeatedly linked to my article on the scriptural basis for Purgatory: Reader Question: Is There a Scriptural Basis for Purgatory?. One can say that “I don’t agree with the Catholic Church’s reasoning regarding those passages from Scripture”; but, as that article shows, not only does the Church point to a number of passages from Scripture that testify to the existence of Purgatory, but one of the charges against Martin Luther was his belief that the existence of Purgatory could not be proved on the basis of Scripture alone. It can. You may disagree with that proof, but the Church did not make up Purgatory out of whole cloth.

July 17, 2013 at 11:14 pm
(31) Anonymous says:

Maccabbees, which people keep citing as a basis for Purgatory, is not part of the Bible. It is an apocryphal book — a book that was rejected for inclusion in the Hebrew bible because of it’s far out notions that did not comport with Jewish belief. However, it was included in the Greek Septuagint as an additional writing, and the early Church Fathers, who had little knowledge of the Bible and were coming almost exclusively from Greek Pagan backgrounds, copied it right into the early Catholic Bible. There is no religion other than Catholicism which views this book as part of the Biblical Canon. Thus, for anyone other than Catholics, it does not provide a “biblical” basis for Purgatory.

July 18, 2013 at 12:44 am
(32) Ted says:

For it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–NOT BY WORKS, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

July 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm
(33) Darla723 says:

If you check out the Jewish Beliefs on prayers for the dead…this will help answer your Purgatory questions. They do not call it Purgatory but is fits the description and this was probably carried on to the Church. Interesting to read….
I found.. they pray so many months, maybe eleven…been awhile since I looked it up.. This subject alway seems to make a good argument and brings angry for protestants. However, I know some protestants who will not even do the research.. sobeit…
Most Importantly, is to know Jesus(Yeshua) and be covered by his blood for your sins. It is hard for Protestants to understand that Catholics are born again and some Catholics do not get it because they do not call it that. But they(Catholics) acknowledge Jesus(Yeshua) and confess him publicly all their life in the Church sarcaments and Eucharist. They have hands laid on them at confirmation also. I know many(Catholics) who are Charismatic and speak in tongues. Baptism of the Holy Spirit (filled) and praise the Lord.. And pray over people in healing Masses.. Some go to church everyday and receive the Eucharist. Everytime they have the Eucharist they walk in front of the church (in public) and are confessing they believe when they said (Amen) before they receive the Body of Christ ( Eucharist) or communion.. Actually, they confess Jesus(Yeshua) more than the Protestant’s Church service. Most of the communion services in the Protestant Churches are seated(people) and passed around. They do not have to walk to the front of the Church to recieve it and say Amen(I Believe)… So, communication to Protestant’s about their Catholic Christians are so misunderstand I think because of vernacular.
In addition, we are all going to need each other soon and the whole Church will see changes and you will just be glad they are Christians.
I believe we are seeing prophecy fulfilled……so be ready…know the word…. and pray without ceasing….teach your children.

July 29, 2013 at 12:56 pm
(34) m odonnell says:

I KIND OF REMEMERED THAT THE REASON FOR PURGATORY WAY BACK, WAS THAT IT WAS A WAY OF MAKING MONEY

. I WAS RAISED CATHOLIC BY A PROTESTANT MOTHER AND A CATHOLIC FATHER. MOM WAS A BEAUTIFUL CHRISTIAN.

I HAD A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING ABOUT 35 YEARS AGO. I SAW JESUS WHEN HE WAS BEING SCURGED. I WAS WHIPPING HIM HE JUST KEPT SAYING “I LOVE YOU”
I CRIED AND PLEADED FOR HIM TO FORGIVE ME. THEN I SAW A BEAUTIFUL VISION OF HIM WITH HIS ARMS STRETCHED OUT
SAYING “I LOVE YOU” MY LIFE CHANGED SO MUCH THAT MY CHILDREN AND ALL THOSE WHO KNEW ME SAW THE CHANGE.
I BELIEVE THAT IF WE ACCEPT JESUS FROM OUR HEART AND TRUST HIM .WE ARE BORN AGAIN, BUT WE MUST KEEP TRUSTING HIM AND HAVE FAITH. A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW HIM IN THEIR HEAD.
SCRIPTURE SAYS. THAT WHEN PEOPLE COME BEFORE HIM AFTER DEATH, HE WILL ASK IF THEY VISITED HIM IN PRISONS, FED HIM AND CLOTHED HIM ETC. HE SAID “DEPART FROM ME, I NEVER KNEW YOU” JUST READ YOUR BIBLE AND HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEAL THE TRUTH TO YOU.
I WAS BABTISED AND CONFIRMED, BUT I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND AS A CHILD. NOW I KNOW.

September 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm
(35) Tony says:

The Bible NEVER teaches on Purgatory. The Maccabbees is not the 66 official Canonized books from God’s Word. The Catholic Religion has unfortunately taught this false doctrine which gives a person a second chance once they die.

Once we place our trust in our Lord Jesus Christ, as our Savior, we are cleansed by His precious blood and are saved by the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Christ paid the debt in full “tetelestai” or “It is finished”, His final words on the Cross.

I have studied the Scriptures for all my life and this doctrine is deadly. Once a person dies, his spirit will either ascend into heaven (believers) or descend into Hades (currently hell). Purgatory is just another way to give people a second chance.

Don’t forget the thief on the cross when Jesus told him, “today I tell you, you will be with Me in Paradise.” That thief once he died, went straight into the Presence of God!

Please ladies and gentlemen. Read your bibles and do not follow a religion or a system that is anti-biblical. The ONLY true church is the “ekklesia” or the body of believers that have placed their trust and faith in Jesus Christ.

Every other religion teaches people get to heaven by WORKS but the Bible is clear that salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ, by His grace NOT of works (Ephesians 2:8-10).

I pray you received this message in the love of Christ!

Tony

September 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm
(36) Roy says:

Wasn’t Catholicism the only Christian religion for over 1500 years? So as a believer everyone was a Catholic and had the same bible, which had seventy -three books. We all know nothing dirty can enter into heaven, so why is it so hard to accept that there is a purgatory. You can’t live by Sola Scriptura, John 21:25, the world couldn’t contain all the books that would be written.

September 17, 2013 at 11:03 pm
(37) andy says:

To me purgatory seems to contradict what Jesus said about no one comes to the father but through me. If there is another way to heaven why didn’t Jesus say, and If there is another way wouldn’t Jesus be just another prophet from God and not His son. Continuing down this road if he is a prophet, what about Mary wouldn’t she just be another women who bore a great man.. I mean no disrespect to anyone.
Will someone post some the scripture verses that talk about purgatory and where Jesus agrees with them so that I can understand.

October 4, 2013 at 4:25 am
(38) Lawrence says:

I am Catholic Christian. And I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior. And he has been good to me, I pray and talk to him all the time. Now I knew of Purgatory all my life, but I just thought it was a place to learn about your mistakes and why they were bad and to be put in a certain situation that you put another person in to see how they feel so you will understand and be humbled, and I believed it was also here on earth.

November 15, 2013 at 10:50 am
(39) P martin says:

but where is purgatory in scripture – I can’t find it – the thief on the cross was told on that day he would be in paradise with Christ – Jesus’s death was to redeem what we had been under the law – the law was fulfilled when he died sinless – was buried and arose – He conquered sin.

November 15, 2013 at 11:09 am
(40) tg says:

You don’t have to believe in Purgatory for it to be true. Some of you will when you get there and hopefully, you will be prayed for by some Catholic. I always pray for the forgotten souls – those who have no one to pray for them or the souls of those who are in purgatory but never are prayed for because their family thinks they are in heaven. Purgatory means purification of your soul before you can enter heaven. It’s not a second chance.

November 15, 2013 at 11:59 am
(41) suzanne says:

Jesus said on the cross ” It is finished” that means there is no more sacrifice for sin. If you say that we need to suffer for our sins you are saying that His precious sacrifice isn’t enough. We don’t need to work off our sins,His sacrifice was sufficient.

November 15, 2013 at 1:44 pm
(42) Troy Jenkins says:

I am glad that I believe that Christ death was the atonement for our sins and his blood payed for all sins of those who come to the foot of the cross.

Even to believe a theological premise that babies would remain in limbo for eternity is beyond my imagination. I am glad I left the catholic church and found Christ to be a personal savior who is now in heaven as the one and only priest I have to confess my sins to and not a man here on earth.

November 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm
(43) Emmett McMahon says:

I am a Catholic. Needless to say I am not perfect. While reading this a thought came into my mind. Maybe there is only two main places, Heaven ad Hell. However, Heaven is divided into two areas, one area is where the perfected clean souls can go and have contact with God the Father – and the other area is where the other souls are. The souls who have access to the Father’s area can move between the two areas thereby helping the souls who are only allowed to be without contact with the Father. The Angels and “Higher” Souls can help the other souls to work their problems out to help to purify them. I have no thoughts about those sent to Hell except that I don’t want to be there. It must be terrible being there knowing that you cannot fulfill that eternity long hope of be able to be with God the Father.

November 15, 2013 at 3:44 pm
(44) RWE Smith says:

We know that God is Loving, Merciful, and Just.
Out of His love He became a human being (without losing His divinity). He is so merciful and just that He paid the price we cannot by Hi suffering and death for us.
We are saved through the blood of Christ … but does that “let us off the hook”, so to speak?
If we believe with all our heart that Jesus paid the price for our sins and yet deny purgatory, does that not mean that we can sin with impunity? Where is our personal responsibility? Scripture and tradition tells us that we are responsible, else we’ll be sent to the place ‘of wailing and grinding of teeth’. But we know, as Catholics, that we can go to Confession (with a truly contrite heart) and receive absolution as Jesus commanded. Protestants believe they can get down on their knees and confess their sins.
Do we expect God to allow us to enter into the beatific vision with impure hearts, without ‘paying the last farthing’, with the stains of our forgiven sins still on us?

Purgatory is the place where we are 1) made perfect the “purification by fire” and 2) we take on the responsibility for our actions.
This is not a question of being saved via “works”, it is a matter of accepting God’s judgment for those sins we have committed before entering heaven.

November 15, 2013 at 5:22 pm
(45) Lionel (Paris) says:

Dear Scott,
I hope that we shall all go straight to heaven, but I must be too optimistic?
Is that true that the orthodox do not believe in Purgatory?
Yours sincerely LD

November 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm
(46) Lionel (Paris) says:

Dear Scott,
I hope that we shall all go straight to heaven, but I must be too optimistic?
Is that true that the orthodox do not believe in Purgatory?
Regards LD

January 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm
(47) Rebecca Charles says:

I was raised Catholic, I left the Catholic Church at the age of 37. I could no longer believe in purgatory. I finally understood what Jesus did on the cross. He suffered and died to pay the penalty for my sins. The Bible (which is God’s Word) says that the wages of sin is death. So if we are sinners (which we all are), we do not get to have eternal life, unless we accept the gift of eternal life, by Jesus who died for us and became our Savior. The Bible says that our sins have been washed away by Jesus’ blood. If you believe in purgatory, it is the same as saying that Jesus’ suffering on the cross was not enough. But you believe that if your loved ones say some masses for you, that will pay for sins. Please do not diminish what Christ has done. Remember, the wages of sin is death, not cleansing in a fire.

March 11, 2014 at 4:52 am
(48) Elizabeth Burke says:

I agree with Rebecca. Please see my blog: “Testimony of a Dying Catholic Girl”
http://readywriterpublications.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/testimony-of-a-dying-catholic-girl/
“They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) Psalm 49v6-8

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