Is purgatory Catholic? (is purgatory still taught in the Catholic Church + what does the Pope say about Purgatory?)

Mid-last year, I went on a mission to Rome. During my visit to the Vatican, I was privileged to meet Cardinals from all over the world. I was well acquainted with some of them, and we would discuss various topics whenever we had time. This particular day, we delved into the topic of Purgatory, and I asked them why this concept was only widely accepted by the Catholic Church. A spirited discussion followed, and each one had something to add. The explanations I got that day equipped me with information about this doctrine I never heard about. So, recently, I interrupted a debate on my online forum where a Protestant was wondering who else believes in Purgatory except the Catholics. As usual, I sat back and watched the back and forth before adding my voice to the debate. Equipped with all answers regarding Purgatory, I began by addressing the question, “Is Purgatory Catholic?”

Yes, Purgatory is a Catholic doctrine. Catholics believe in the existence of Purgatory, and they back it up with scriptures from their Bible. They use 2 Maccabees 12:39-46, among other verses, as a basis for their belief.

So, in this article, I will write about whether Purgatory is in the Catholic Bible. I will also delve into what the Catholic Church teaches about Purgatory and what the Pope says about Purgatory. Read on to find out more.

Is purgatory in the Catholic Bible?

what does the Pope say about Purgatory?
Is purgatory in the Catholic Bible? Image source: Pixabay

The word Purgatory is not found anywhere in the Catholic Bible. However, it is believed that the concept is found in one of the books in the Catholic Bible. 2 Maccabees 12:39-46 records a time when someone called Judas Maccabeus prayed for the dead soldiers for atonement of their sins, implying that the living can intercede for the dead. It is argued that if the dead were in Hell or Heaven, no amount of prayer could help them. However, Maccabeus shows the need to pray for the dead, proving that there is a third place where souls go as they wait to go to Heaven, and that could be Purgatory.

What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Purgatory?

The Church suggests the following things about Purgatory;

  1. It exists
  2. There is punishment in Purgatory, but it is considered God’s merciful gift.
  3. There is no physical pain in Purgatory because the souls are separated from the body.
  4. The souls go through a combination of Joy and Pain because they know that after the punishment, they have a solid chance to enter Heaven.
  5. Praying for those in Purgatory is helpful.
  6. The doctrine is scriptural.

What does the Pope say about Purgatory?

The Pope speculates that Purgatory is not a place like Heaven and Hell, but it is a process. He suggests that Purgatory is a process of purifying the souls that are stained in sin. Purification is about the fire burning the souls from within to make them worthy enough to enter Heaven. According to what Pope Benedict XVI suggests, the process is excruciating, and it involves the Souls regretting their sins.

Why did the Catholic Church stop believing in Purgatory?

Is purgatory Catholic?
Did Catholic Church stop believing in Purgatory? Image source: Pixabay

There is no evidence or official communication that the Catholic Church stopped believing in Purgatory; they still preach the doctrine of Purgatory. Some time back, there was confusion about Catholics ending their beliefs about Purgatory. However, in the Catechism 1039, they are still urged to pray for the dead. The idea of praying for the dead is fueled by the belief that some souls are in Purgatory, being purified for their venial sins.

When did the Catholic Church get rid of purgatory?

As explained earlier, the Catholic Church did not get rid of Purgatory. It is suggested that people who think the Catholic Church got rid of Purgatory confuse Purgatory with Limbo. The Limbo theory suggested that unbaptized infants go to Limbo because they have the original sin and, therefore, not fit for Heaven. In 2007, the Pope approved the new doctrine that unbaptized infants have hopes to be saved which made the Limbo theory sink.

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