DAILY CATHOLIC for November 1,2
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vol, 8
no. 21


   To commemorate the feast of the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed, we bring you a few capsules on Purgatory. This interim place, where the Church Suffering linger while waiting their eternal reward, has been played down over the last several decades and it's a puzzle why because both the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and the old Baltimore Catechism staunchly defend its existence.

No. 1030 - 1032, pages 268-269 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana: Urbi Et Orbi Communications:

All who die in Godís 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 heave.

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 Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire (605).
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 nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain ofenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come (606).

This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore {Judas Maccabeus} made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin." (607).
From the beginning the Church has honored the emory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistis sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God (608).
The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead:
Let us help and commemorate them. If Jobís sons were purified by their fatherís sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us hot hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them (609).

From the Baltimore Catechism No. 3; Benziger Brothers, Inc and Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. Nos. 1381-1385, Pages 307-308

Q: What is Purgatory?

A: Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.

Q: Why is this state called Purgatory?

A: This state is called Purgatory because in it the souls are purged or purified from all their stains; and it is not, therefore, a permanent or lasting state for the soul.

Q: Are the souls in Purgatory sure of their salvation?

A: The souls in Purgatory are sure of their salvation, and they will enter heaven as soon as they are completely purified and made worthy to enjoy that presence of God which is called the Beatific Vision.

Q: Do we know what souls are in Purgatory, and how long they have to remain there?
A: We do not know what souls are in Purgatory nor how long they have to remain there; hence we continue to pray for all persons who have died apparently in the true faith and free from mortal sin. They are called the faithful departed.

Q: Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory?
A: The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms-deeds; by indulgences, and by having Masses said for them.

November 1-2, 1997 volume 8, no. 21

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