MYSTERY DIVINE JUSTICE – PURGATORY II

(Preparation, Purification & Perfection of the soul to be in the site of God)

Historical Approach Apostolic Constitution and The Doctors of the Church

The doctrine of Purgatory is / was believed by BCE {Before Common Era} Israelites, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox, and CE {Common Era} Hebrews, no One dares to deny until the Protestant Reformation, and thus Protestants stand Alone in this Disobedience, of Revealed Divine Justice.

Angels on left (light) Purgatory, Demons on right Hell, Vices represents sins.

OFFICIAL TEACHING FROM THE APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION – The Catholic Catechism

III The Final Purification or Purgatory


#1030 FINAL PURIFICATION, or Purgatory: All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured 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.(604) The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the council of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference of certain texts of scriptures “speaks of a cleansing fire”.(605) {1Cor3:15; 1Pet1:7}   As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is Truth says, that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age or the age to come. From this sentence, we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

#1032. This teaching is also based on the practice of the prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: “therefore [Judas Macabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. (2Mc 12:46). From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all Eucharist sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends Alms giving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead. (deceased).

Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice, why should we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them 609 St John Crysostom. Hom is. (1Cor41:5 ; 3:15)

[ IV ] HELL #1033 We cannot be united with God unless We freely Choose to Love Him. But we cannot Love God if we sin Gravely against Him. …. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him fore ever by our own free choice. This state of self exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell”

[ X ] INDULGENCES

#1479 Since the faithful departed now being purified are also members of the same communion of saints, one way we can help them is to obtain indulgences for them, so that the temporal punishments due for their sins may be remitted.

(#1498) Through indulgences the faithful can obtain the remission of temporal punishment resulting from sin for themselves and also for the souls in Purgatory,

Now Let’s be CLEAR: Luther was upset over the “selling” of Indulgences. Firstly, he disbelieved the Doctrines of: 1) Purgatory 2) Prayers for dead 3) Indulgences are APPLIED for forgiveness of punishment (penance) for either the living OR those in Purgatory, 4) Alms giving; atoning for sins for yourself or of the dead, as Hebrew scriptural tradition came first (Prv10:12) ….SO it follows: Luther believed all four as CORRUPT! WHY? He was in defiance of his faith, a heresy, opposing BELIEF of the Doctrines, Practices and Writings of the Theologian Doctors of the Church down through the ages .   So now, you are instructed in your ignorance!

DECREE of UNION – Councils of Lyons Florence & Trent:

The faith of the Church concerning purgatory is clearly expressed in the Decree of Union drawn up by the Council of Florence (Mansi, t. XXXI, col. 1031), and in the decree of the Council of Trent which (Sess. XXV) defined: “Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrage of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; enjoins on the Bishops the Holy Synod that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful” (Denzinger,”Enchiridon”,983).

#1032 Council of Lyons 1274 DS856 Because of they die truly repentant in charity before they made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for sins of committed and omitted, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorial or purifying punishments of this kind as Brother John has explained to us. And to relieve from punishments of this kind, the offerings of the living faithful, are of advantage to them, namely, the sacrifices of masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and other duties of piety which have customarily been performed by the faithful for other faithful according to the regulations of the Church.

#1031 (1) Council of Florence (1439):DS 1304 [De novissimis] It has likewise defined that, if those truly penitent have departed in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for sins of commission and omission, the souls of these are cleansed after death by purgatorial punishments; and so that they may be released from punishments of this kind, suffrage of the living faithful, are of advantage to them, namely, sacrifices of masses, prayers, and almsgiving, and other works of piety which are customarily performed by the faithful for other faithful according to the institutions of the Church.

#1031 (2) Council of Trent (1563) DS 1820 Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Spirit, in conformity with the sacred writings, and the ancient tradition of the Fathers in sacred Councils, and very recently in the ecumenical Synod has taught that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained there are assisted by the suffrage of the faithful , and especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the alter, the holy synod commands the bishops that they insist that the sound doctrine of Purgatory, which has been transmitted by the holy Father and holy Councils be believed by the faithful of Christ, be maintained and taught and everywhere preached……..Those matters on the contrary which tend to a certain curiosity or superstition, or that savor of filthy lucre, let them prohibit as scandals and stumbling blocks to the faithful.

#1031 (3) Council of Trent (1547) DS 1580 If any one shall say that after the reception of grace of justification, to every penitent sinner the guilt is so remitted and the penalty of eternal punishment so blotted out that no penalty of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in the world to come in purgatory before the entrance to the Kingdom of heaven can be opened, let him be anathema.

SUMMA St Thomas Aquinas, Doctor

Article 1. Whether there is a Purgatory after this life?

Objection 1. It would seem that there is not a purgatory after this life. For it is said (Apocalypse (Rev14:13): “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, say the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors.” Therefore after this life no cleansing labor awaits those who die in the Lord, nor those who do not die in the Lord, since they cannot be cleansed. Therefore there is no Purgatory after this life.

Objection 2. Further, as charity is to an eternal reward, so is mortal sin to eternal punishment. Now those who die in mortal sin are forthwith consigned to eternal punishment Therefore those who die in charity go at once to their reward; and consequently no Purgatory awaits them after this life.

Objection 3. Further, God, Who is supremely merciful is more inclined to reward good than to punish evil. Now just as those who are in the state of charity, do certain evil things which are not deserving of eternal punishment, so those who are in mortal sin, at times perform actions, generically, which are not deserving of an eternal reward. Therefore since these good actions are not rewarded after this life, in those who will be damned; neither should those evil actions be punished after this life. Hence the same conclusion follows.

I answer that, From the conclusions we have drawn above (III:86:4, III:86:5; Supplement:12:1) it is sufficiently clear that there is a Purgatory after this life. For if the debt of punishment is not paid in full after the stain of sin has been washed away by contrition, nor again are venial sins always removed when mortal sins are remitted, and if justice demands that sin be set in order by due punishment, it follows that one who after contrition for his fault and after being absolved, dies before making due satisfaction, is punished after this life. Wherefore those who deny Purgatory, speak against the justice of God: for which reason such a statement is erroneous and contrary to faith. Hence Gregory of Nyssa, after the words quoted above, adds: “This we preach, holding to the teaching of truth, and this is our belief; this the universal Church holds, by praying for the dead that they may be loosed from sins.” This cannot be understood except as referring to Purgatory: and whosoever resists the authority of the Church incurs the note of heresy.

On the contrary, It is said (2Mc12:46): “It is a holy and pious thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” Now there is no need to pray for the dead who are in heaven, for they are in no need; nor again for those who are in hell; because they cannot be loosed from sins. Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed from sins, who can be loosed therefrom; and the like have charity, without which sins cannot be loosed, for “charity cover all sins” (Prv10:12). Hence they will not be consigned to everlasting death, since “he that believe in Me, shall not die for ever” (Jn11:26): nor will they obtain glory without being cleansed, because nothing unclean shall obtain it, as stated in the last chapter of the Apocalypse (Rev22:14). Therefore some kind of cleansing remains after this life. Further, Gregory of Nyssa, [De iis qui in fide dormiunt] says: “If one who loves and believes in Christ,” has failed to wash away his sins in this life, “he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory.” Therefore there remains some kind of cleansing after this life.

The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas
Second and Revised Edition, 1920
Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

Prayers for the Dead (Deceased)

Catholic teaching regarding prayers for the dead is bound up inseparably with the doctrine of purgatory and the more general doctrine of the Communion of the Saints, which is an article of the Apostle Creed. The definition of the Council of Trent (Sess. XXV), “that purgatory exists, and that the souls detained therein are helped by the suffrage of the faithful, but especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar”, is merely a restatement in brief of the traditional teaching which had already been embodied in more than one authoritative formula — as in the creed prescribed for converted Waldenses by Innocent III in 1210 (Denzinger, Enchiridion, n. 3 73) and more fully in the profession of faith accepted for the Greeks by Michael Palaeologus at the Second Ecumenical Council of Florence in 1439: “[We define] likewise, that if the truly penitent die in the love of God, before they have made satisfaction by worthy fruits of penance for their sins of commission and omission, their souls are purified by purgatorial pains after death; and that for relief from these pains they are benefited by the suffrage of the faithful in this life, that is, by Masses, prayers, and almsging, and by the other offices of piety usually performed by the faithful for one another according to the practice [instituta] of the Church” (ibid., n. 588). Hence, under “suffrage” for the dead, which are defined to be legitimate and efficacious, are included not only formal supplications, but every kind of pious work that may be offered for the spiritual benefit of others, and it is in this comprehensive sense that we speak of prayers in the resent article. As is clear from this general statement, the Church does not recognize the limitation upon which even modern Protestants often insist, that prayers for the dead, while legitimate and commendable as a private practice, are to be excluded from her public offices. The most efficacious of all prayers, in Catholic teaching, is the essentially public office, the Sacrifice of the Mass.

1. Arguments from Tradition:
Catacombs & more

1. Monumental inscriptions : The inscriptions in the Roman Catacombs range in date from the first century (the earliest dated is from A.D. 71) to the early part of the fifth; and though the majority are undated, archaeologists have been able to fix approximately the dates of a great many by comparison with those that are dated. The greater number of the several thousand extant belong to the ante-Nicene period — the first three centuries and the early part of the fourth. Christian sepulchral inscriptions from other parts of the Church are few in number compared with those in the Catacombs, but the witness of such as have come down to us agrees with that of the Catacombs. Many inscriptions are exceedingly brief and simple (PAX, IN PACE, etc.), and might be taken for statements rather than prayers, were it not that in other cases they are so frequently and so naturally amplified into prayers (PAX TIBI, etc.). There are prayer, called acclamatory, which are considered to be the most ancient, and in which there is the simple expression of a wish for some benefit to the deceased, without any formal address to God. The benefits most frequently prayed for are: peace, the good (i.e. eternal salvation), light, refreshment, life, eternal life, union with God, with Christ, and with the angels and saints — e.g. PAX (TIBI, VOBIS, SPIRITUI TUO, IN ÆTERNUM, TIBI CUM ANGELIS, CUM SANCTIS); SPIRITUS TUUS IN BONO (SIT, VIVAT, QUIESCAT); ÆTERNA LUX TIBI; IN REFREGERIO ESTO; SPIRITUM IN REFRIGERIUM SUSCIPIAT DOMINUS; DEUS TIBI REFRIGERET; VIVAS, VIVATIS (IN DEO, IN [Chi-Rho] IN SPIRITO SANCTO, IN PACE, IN ÆTERNO, INTER SANCTOS, CUM MARTYRIBUS). For detailed references see Kirsch, “Die Acclamationen”, pp. 9-29; Cabrol and Leclercq, “Monumenta Liturgica” (Paris, 1902), I, pp. ci-cvi, cxxxix, etc. Again there are prayers of a formal character, in which survivors address their petitions directly to God the Father or to Christ, or even to the angels. or to the saints and martyrs collectively, or to some one of them in particular. The benefits prayed for are those already mentioned, with the addition sometimes of liberation from sin. Some of these prayers read like excepts from the liturgy: e.g. SET PATER OMNIPOTENS, ORO, MISERERE LABORUM TANTORUM, MISERE(re) ANIMAE NON DIG(na) FERENTIS (De Rossi. Inscript. Christ., II a, p. ix). Sometimes the writers of the epitaphs request visitors to pray for the deceased: e.g. QUI LEGIS, ORA PRO EO (Corpus Inscript. Lat., X, n. 3312), and sometimes again the dead themselves ask for prayers, as in the well-known Greek epitaph of Abercius (see EPITAPH OF ABERCIUS posted 1/19??), in two similar Roman epitaphs dating form the middle of the second century De Rossi, op. cit., II, a, p. xxx, Kirsch, op. cit., p. 51), and in many later inscriptions. That pious people often visited the tombs to pray for the dead, and sometimes even inscribed a prayer on the monument, is also clear form a variety of indications (see examples in De Rossi, “Roma Sotteranea”, II, p. 15). In a word, so overwhelming is the witness of the early Christ monuments in favor of prayer for the dead that no historian any longer denies that the practice and the belief which the practice implies were universal in the primitive Church. There was no break of continuity in this respect between Judaism and Christianity.

2. Ancient Liturgies:

The testimony of the early liturgies is in harmony with that of the monuments. Without touching the subject of the various liturgies we possess, without even enumerating and citing them singly, it is enough to say here that all without exception Nestorian and Monophysite as well as Catholic, those in Syriac, Armenian, and Coptic as well as those in Greek and Latin — contain the commemoration of the faithful departed in the Mass, with a prayer for peace, light, refreshment and the like, and in many cases expressly for the remission of sins and the effacement of sinful stains. The following, from the Syriac Liturgy of St James, Apostle & first Bishop of Jerusalem, may be quoted as a typical example: “we commemorate all the faithful dead who have died in the true faith…We ask, we entreat, we pray Christ our God, who took their souls and spirits to Himself, that by His many compassion’s. He will make them worthy of the pardon of their faults and the remission of their sins” (Syr. Lit. S. Jacobi, ed. Hammond, p. 75).

3. Early Christian Literature:

Turning finally to early literary sources, we find evidence in the apacryphal “Acta Joannis”, composed about A.D. 160-170, that at that time anniversaries of the dead were commemorated by the application of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Lipsius and Bonnet, “Acta Apost. Apocr.”, I, 186). The same fact is witnessed by the “Canons of Hippolytus” (Ed. Achelis, p. 106), by Tertullian (De Cor. Mil., iii, P.L., II, 79), and by many later writers. Tertullian also testifies to the regularity of the practice of praying privately for the dead (De Monogam., x, P.L., II, 942); and of the host of later authorities that may be cited, both for public and private prayers, we must be content to refer to but a few. St Cyprian writes to Cornelius that “their mutual prayers and good offices to be continued after either should be called away by death” (Ep. lvii, P.L., III, 830 sq.), and he tells us that before his time (d. 258) the African Bishops had forbidden testators to nominate a priest \ as executor and guardian in their wills, and had decreed, as the penalty for violating this law, deprivation after death of the Holy Sacrifice and the other offices of the Church, which were regularly celebrated for the repose of each of the faithful; hence, in the case of one Victor who had broken the law, “no offering might be made for his repose, or any prayer offered in the Church in his name” (Ep. lxvi, P.L., IV, 399). Arnobius speaks of the Christian churches as “conventicles in which…peace and pardon is asked for all men …for those still living and for those already freed from the bondage of the body” (Adv. Gent., IV, xxxvi, P.L., V, 1076). In his funeral oration for his brother Satyrus St. Ambrose, Doctor beseeches God to accept propitiously his “brotherly service of priestly sacrifice” (fraternum munus, sacrificium sacerdotis) for the deceased (“De Excessu Satyri fr.”, I, 80, P.L., XVI, 1315); and, addressing Valentinian and Theodosious, he assures them of happiness if his prayers shall be of any avail; he will let no day or night go past without remembering them in his prayers and at the altar (“De Obitu Valent.”, 78, ibid., 1381). As a further testimony from the Western Church we may quote one of the many passages in which St. Augustine, Doctor speaks of prayers for the dead: “The universal Church observes this law. handed down from the Fathers, that prayers should be offered for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of CHRIST, when they are commemorated in their proper place at the Sacrifice” (Serm. clxxii, 2, P.L., XXXVIII, 936). As evidence of the faith of the Eastern Church we may refer to what Eusebius tells us, that at the tomb of Constantine “a vast crowd of people together with the priests of God offered their prayers to God for the Emperor’s soul with tears and great lamentation” (Life of Constantine IV.71) . Acrius, a priest of Pontus, who flourished in the third quarter of the fourth century, was branded as a heretic for denying the legitimacy and efficacy of prayers for the dead. St. Epiphanius, who records and refutes his views, represent the custom of praying for the dead as a duty imposed by tradition (Adv. Haer., III, lxxx, P.G., XLII, 504 sq.), and St. Chrysostom, Doctor,does not hesitate to speak of it as a “law laid down by the Apostles” (Hom., iii, in Philipp., i, 4, P.G., LXII, 203).

Are the EARLY FATHERS & DOCTORS of the Church -All Wrong? OR just MARTIN LUTHER, X-Monk. Whom do you Seek?

  In ORIGEN, the doctrine of purgatory is very clear.[185-232AD] If a man departs this life with lighter faults, he is condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials, and prepares the soul for the kingdom of God, where nothing defiled may enter. “For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones (1Cor3:15); but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones? Neither is this just.

Tertullian [? -235AD approx]“ De corona militis” mentions prayers for the dead as an Apostolic ordinance, and in “De Monogamia” (Ch.10) he advises a widow to pray for the soul, of her husband, begging repose for him and participation in the first resurrection”; he commands her also “to make oblations for him on the anniversary of his demise,” and charges her with infidelity if she neglect to succour his soul.

Clement of Alexandria [?to 215AD] had puzzled over the question of the state or condition of the man who, reconciled to God on his death-bed, had no time for the fulfillment of penance due his transgression. His answer is: “the believer through discipline divests himself of his passions and passes to the mansion which is better than the former one, passes to the greatest torment, taking with him the characteristic of repentance for the faults he may have committed after baptism. He is tortured then still more, not yet attaining what he sees others have acquired. The greatest torments are assigned to the believer, for God’s righteousness is good, and His goodness righteous, and though these punishments cease in the course of the expiation and purification of each one, “yet” etc. (P.G. IX, col. 332).

St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church, [315-386AD](Mystagogical Catechesis V9( describing the liturgy, writes: “Then we pray for the Holy Fathers and Bishops that are dead; and in short for all those who have departed this life in our communion; believing that the souls of those for whom prayers are offered, receive great relief, while this holy and tremendous victim lies upon the altar.

St. Gregory of Nyssa [? – 386] (P.G., XLVI, col. 524, 525) states that man’s weaknesses are purged in this life by prayer and wisdom, or are expiated in the next by a cleansing fire. “When he has quit his body and the difference between virtue and vice is known he cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested. That same fire in others will cancel the corruption of matter, and the propensity to evil.”

St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, [340 – 397AD] , insists in his commentary on St Paul (1Cor3:) on the existence of purgatory, and in his masterly funeral oration (De obitu Theodosii), thus pray for the soul of the departed emperor: “Give, O Lord, rest to Thy servant Theodosius, that rest Thou hast prepared for Thy saints . . . I loved him, therefore will I follow him to the land of the living; I will not leave him till by my prayers and lamentations he shall be admitted unto the holy mount of the Lord, to which his deserts call him” (P.L., XVI, col. 1397).

St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, [354 -386 AD]is clearer even than his master. He describes two conditions of men; “some there are who have departed this life, not so bad as to be deemed unworthy of mercy, nor so good as to be entitled to immediate happiness in the resurrection he says there will be some who “have gone through these pains, to which the spirits of the dead are liable” (City of God XXI.24)

St. John Chrysostom, (A.D. 344 – 407), Syrian; archbishop, Doctor of the Church:Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were purified by their father’s sacrifice [Job l:5), why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them

St. Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church, [1542-1621] So clear is this patristic Tradition, who do not believe in purgatory have been unable to bring any serious difficulties from the writings of the Fathers. The passages cited to the contrary either do not touch the question at all, or are so lacking in clearness that they cannot offset the perfectly open expression of the doctrine as found in the very Fathers who are quoted as holding contrary opinions (Bellarmine “De Purg.”, lib. I, cap. xiii).

Can We CLOSE this DOOR, yet ? Protestant new religion, neither Sacred Scripture or Sacred Tradition of the Apostles Paradosis, as understood by the Ancient Ones but simply NEW Order in SCHISM, based on “Private Revelations”. In this essay, Protestantism opposes Apostolic Teaching, Early Fathers Writings, Church Doctors and clarified doctrines of the College of Bishops, and the beliefs of the faithful. Luther and the Protestant Schism applying these false teachings, convinced of “ Quinque Novum Solas,” in their “Statement of Faith.” Here they deny TWO CREDO elements; 1) Forgiveness of Sin (Divine Justice) & 2) Communion of Saints, from our Apostles Creed.

NEXT: See PURGATORY III……Church Accepted & Approved “Private Revelations” (Eph3:3) scheduled 01/24/2019.

APA citation. Toner, P. (1908). Prayers for the Dead. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 6, 2019 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04653a.htm

& Early Fathers on Purgatory and prayers for dead – http://www.biblebeltcatholics.com/bbc/3rdAnd4thCentury/HeavenPurgatoryHell/Purgatory.cfm#n15 Companion to the Catechism of the Catholic Church pgs 406-408.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael T. Barrett. Dedicated to the Poor Souls in Purgatory.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York. CityofGod.blog Last updated 01/07/2019



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