PURGATORY
Edward J. Hahnenberg, BA, MA, MA, Ed.S.
Purgatory – Introduction &
Early Biblical Concepts
 The term Purgatory comes from the Latin
purgare, to purify.The belief...
 Although the decline in belief in the existence
of Purgatory by Protestants began during
Martin Luther’s time, it is int...
 The concept of a place of purgation for souls whose lives
have been morally mediocre should make sense
philosophically f...
 It is as if the child who is called to dinner with
dirty hands is told by its parent to wash
before eating. However, thi...
Luther’s 95 Theses &
Purgatory
 Protestantism has dismissed the concept, due to
its belief that Jesus Christ’s redemptive...
Theses 14-17 (Luther)
 14.The imperfect health [of soul], that is to say, the
imperfect love, of the dying brings with it...
 However, later in his life, Luther espoused the
doctrine of the sleep of the soul upon one’s death,
using this idea as a...
 According to Luther’s “sleep of peace,” the
Christian dead are not aware of anything—see
not, feel not, understand not, ...
 Catholicism, while considering the existence
of Purgatory to be dogma, has, at least in its
liturgy, moved away from ear...
 There is an implied reference to Purgatory in
some of the final commendation prayers. For
example: “Merciful Lord, turn ...
Cautions from Trent
 Even as far back as the 16th century’s Council of
Trent, Catholicism has been wary about too much
di...
 It is certain that there are still “things that are
uncertain” about the doctrine of Purgatory.True
to itsTradition, and...
Judaism-Early Biblical
Concepts
 Judaism went through an evolution of
belief regarding the afterlife. Sheol was
often cit...
 The focus in the NewTestament is the “Good
News” of Jesus’ redemption found in the four
gospels, as well as the Gospel o...
2 Machabees
 In the OldTestament, prayer and sacrifice of
expiation for the dead appear only in the last two
centuries be...
2 Machabees (cont’d)
 . Judas concluded that God had punished the
soldiers for this sinful practice; God's just
judgment ...
2 Machabees (cont’d)
 The author of 2 Machabees ... concludes that Judas
also believed in the resurrection of the dead. H...
2 Machabees (cont’d)
 According to the traditional interpretation of this
passage, the inspired author believed that thos...
New Testament
 In the NewTestament, in the view of some
theologians, there is really nothing that
definitively asserts th...
New Testament (Cont’d)
 Further, Jesus’ promise to the criminal on the cross that he would be
with Jesus in paradise woul...
New Testament (Cont’d)
 Origen (185-254), in Homilies on Jeremias, uses
verse 15 of 1 Corinthians as an indication of a
p...
 It would be St.Augustine (354-430) who
would, among the Church Fathers, be
especially influential in developing the quot...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Purgatory part 1 ... introduction & early biblical concepts

1,218 views

Published on

A fresh look by the author at the mystery of Purgatory...dogma for Catholics, but rejected by Protestants. The work examines early writings by the Church Fathers, particularly those of St. Augustine whose influence was extremely important in shaping Church dogma almost a thousand years after his death. Although "purgatorium" was not used until the 12th century, the scandals of indulgence selling, which led to the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, are examined. Despite the proclamation of Purgatory as dogma by the Catholic Church in the Councils of Florence and Trent, Purgatory was rejected by the reformers. Private revelations of Purgatory and the updating of indulgences by Paul VI in 1967 and current thinking of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI are featured.

Published in: Spiritual
0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
1,218
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
32
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Purgatory part 1 ... introduction & early biblical concepts

  1. 1. PURGATORY Edward J. Hahnenberg, BA, MA, MA, Ed.S.
  2. 2. Purgatory – Introduction & Early Biblical Concepts  The term Purgatory comes from the Latin purgare, to purify.The belief in Purgatory (or state of purgation following the death of an individual) is rooted in Roman Catholic tradition.
  3. 3.  Although the decline in belief in the existence of Purgatory by Protestants began during Martin Luther’s time, it is interesting to note that in Luther’s 95 theses, wherein he questioned the abuses in the selling of indulgences, he may have been initially in agreement with the concept.
  4. 4.  The concept of a place of purgation for souls whose lives have been morally mediocre should make sense philosophically for Christians.The reasoning is simple:A person, who, in his or her life has knowledge of God’s call to perfection (Matthew 5:48), and chooses not to heed that call wholeheartedly, enters into the next life hampered by a spiritual uncleanness. This state of a soul which has not rejected God totally demands cleansing before the individual may enjoy the permanent happiness of heaven. This philosophical reasoning leads to the conclusion that there must be a state or condition, temporary to be sure, wherein the soul realizes its inadequacy and is denied full access to total union with its Creator until the dross of an imperfect life is cleansed.
  5. 5.  It is as if the child who is called to dinner with dirty hands is told by its parent to wash before eating. However, this analogy is imperfect, because there is no ability, on the part of the soul, after death, to perform meritorious actions.To improve on the analogy, the parent must wash the child’s hands before eating. 
  6. 6. Luther’s 95 Theses & Purgatory  Protestantism has dismissed the concept, due to its belief that Jesus Christ’s redemptive act assures salvation for those who accept Christ as their savior. Protestantism generally rejects the effectiveness of good works as a necessary condition for salvation, focusing instead on faith in Christ and His love for those who accept Him. However, as mentioned above, Luther, in theses 14-17, opened up the forum on Purgatory by stating ideas, the purpose of which was to seek debate on the following points:
  7. 7. Theses 14-17 (Luther)  14.The imperfect health [of soul], that is to say, the imperfect love, of the dying brings with it, of necessity, great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater is the fear.  15.This fear and horror is sufficient of itself alone (to say nothing of other things) to constitute the penalty of Purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.  16. Hell, Purgatory, and heaven seem to differ as do despair, almost-despair, and the assurance of safety.  17.With souls in Purgatory it seems necessary that horror should grow less and love increase.
  8. 8.  However, later in his life, Luther espoused the doctrine of the sleep of the soul upon one’s death, using this idea as a refutation of Purgatory and the veneration of saints. While Luther is not always consistent, the predominant note running all through his writings is that the souls of the just sleep in peace, without consciousness or pain. Luther initially accepted the belief in Purgatory. In 1519 he even said that its existence was undeniable. By 1530 he had changed his mind; he said that Purgatory could not be proven to exist from biblical passages. Later that year he rejected the concept of Purgatory entirely.
  9. 9.  According to Luther’s “sleep of peace,” the Christian dead are not aware of anything—see not, feel not, understand not, and are not conscious of passing events. Luther held and periodically stated that in the sleep of death, as in normal physical sleep, there is complete unconsciousness and unawareness of the condition of death or the passage of time. Death is a deep, sound, sweet sleep. According to Luther, the dead will remain asleep until the final day of resurrection when both body and soul will come together again.
  10. 10.  Catholicism, while considering the existence of Purgatory to be dogma, has, at least in its liturgy, moved away from earlier concepts of Purgatory as a temporary Hell to one of lesser concern for the ordinary member of the faithful. Purgatory is rarely, if ever, mentioned at wakes or funerals. In the official liturgical prayers, while implied, the term is never used.
  11. 11.  There is an implied reference to Purgatory in some of the final commendation prayers. For example: “Merciful Lord, turn toward us and listen to our prayers: open the gates of paradise to your servant and help us who remain to comfort one another with assurances of faith, until we all meet in Christ ...”
  12. 12. Cautions from Trent  Even as far back as the 16th century’s Council of Trent, Catholicism has been wary about too much discussion of Purgatory:  The more difficult and subtle questions, however, and those that do not make for edification and from which there is for the most part no increase in piety, are to be excluded from popular instructions to uneducated people. Likewise, things that are uncertain or that have the appearance of falsehood they shall not permit to be made known publicly and discussed. (From the Decree Concerning Purgatory, Session XXV)
  13. 13.  It is certain that there are still “things that are uncertain” about the doctrine of Purgatory.True to itsTradition, and despite the unknowns, the Catholic Church continues to celebrate “All Souls Day, on November 2nd, the day after the holyday of All Saints. Local observance of a day commemorating the dead in Purgatory can be traced back 1500 years. In the eleventh century, the abbot of Cluny, St. Odilo instituted its first formal observance in France. From there All Souls Day spread in Europe, until formal approval for the whole Catholic Church came in 1748 under Pope Benedict XIV.
  14. 14. Judaism-Early Biblical Concepts  Judaism went through an evolution of belief regarding the afterlife. Sheol was often cited in the Psalms as the place where souls went after death.At times in the OldTestament Sheol carries with it a sense of an unending state of misery, if not one of pain and suffering, certainly one of hopelessness.Yet, in other places, Sheol takes on characteristics of the Purgatory of Catholicism.
  15. 15.  The focus in the NewTestament is the “Good News” of Jesus’ redemption found in the four gospels, as well as the Gospel of Resurrection found in the writings of St. Paul.The early Christian preachers simply were not concerned with Purgatory. 
  16. 16. 2 Machabees  In the OldTestament, prayer and sacrifice of expiation for the dead appear only in the last two centuries beforeChrist. Before this time no acts of worship directed toward the dead seem to have existed. The only OT passage that can be cited in support of the doctrine of Purgatory is 2 Mc 12.39-45. According to the text, whenJudas Machabee and his men made arrangements for the fitting burial of the soldiers of his army who had died near Adullam, it was discovered that they had worn pagan amulets, contrary to the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law
  17. 17. 2 Machabees (cont’d)  . Judas concluded that God had punished the soldiers for this sinful practice; God's just judgment was praised, and prayers were offered on behalf of the victims. A collection of 12,000 drachmas was then gathered and sent to Jerusalem to have expiatory sacrifices offered for those who had fallen in battle.
  18. 18. 2 Machabees (cont’d)  The author of 2 Machabees ... concludes that Judas also believed in the resurrection of the dead. He, therefore, praised Judas, who acted out of consideration for the resurrection of the dead, and argued that, if he had not hoped that the slain should rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them when dead; but if he did this with a view toward the splendid reward that awaited those who died in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore,Judas made atonement for the dead, that they might be freed from sin.
  19. 19. 2 Machabees (cont’d)  According to the traditional interpretation of this passage, the inspired author believed that those who had otherwise led good lives were purified by prayer and sacrifice from their sins.This essentially is the Catholic doctrine on Purgatory. If, however, as many modern exegetes hold, the author regarded these sacrifices as necessary for the eschatological resurrection of the dead soldiers, then these passages do not directly refer to the doctrine of Purgatory.
  20. 20. New Testament  In the NewTestament, in the view of some theologians, there is really nothing that definitively asserts the existence of Purgatory. Matthew 12:32 would seem to give an indirect indication of Church teaching: And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
  21. 21. New Testament (Cont’d)  Further, Jesus’ promise to the criminal on the cross that he would be with Jesus in paradise would seem to indicate a direct passage to heaven, without the need for a purgatorial stopover.  Now one of the criminals hanging there reviledJesus, saying, "Are you not the Messiah?Save yourself and us." The other, however, rebuking him, said in reply, "Have you no fear of God, for you are subject to the same condemnation? And indeed, we have been condemned justly, for the sentence we received corresponds to our crimes, but this man has done nothing criminal."Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." (Luke 23:39-43)
  22. 22. New Testament (Cont’d)  Origen (185-254), in Homilies on Jeremias, uses verse 15 of 1 Corinthians as an indication of a purgatorial state after death.  13The work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one's work. 14 If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. 15 But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire.
  23. 23.  It would be St.Augustine (354-430) who would, among the Church Fathers, be especially influential in developing the quote from Corinthians as the NewTestament basis for the existence of a purgatorial state.  Scholars today tend to favor the opinion that Augustine read too much into the Pauline reference.

×