See also:Roman Catholic faith, a state of suffering after
See also:death in which the souls of those who die in venial sin, and of those who still owe some
See also:debt of temporal punishment for mortal sin, are rendered
See also:fit to enter
See also:heaven . It is believed that such souls continue to be members of the
See also:Church of Christ; that they are helped by the suffrages of the living—that is, by prayers,
See also:alms and other
See also:works, and more especially by the sacrifice of the Mass; and that, although delayed until " the last farthing is paid," their salvation is assured . Catholics support this
See also:doctrine chiefly by reference to the Jewish belief in the efficacy of prayer for the dead (2 Macc. xii . 42 seq.), the tradition of the early Christians, and the authority of the Church .
See also:Irenaeus regards as heretical the opinion that the souls of the departed pass immediately into
See also:Tertullian, Cyprian, the Acts of St Perpetua,
See also:Clement of Alexandria, Cyril of Jerusalem,
See also:Gregory of Nyassa,
See also:Chrysostom and
See also:Jerome, all speak of prayer for the dead and seem to imply belief in a purgatory, but their view seems to have been affected by the pre-Christian doctrine of Hades or Sheol . Some of the Greeks, notably
See also:Origen, teach that even the perfect must go through
See also:fire in the next
See also:world . Augustine writes (De VIII . Dulcatii quaeslionibus) that " it is not incredible " that imperfect souls will be " saved by some purgatorial fire," to which they will be subjected for varying lengths of
See also:time according to their needs; but in other passages he expresses conflicting opinions (De civitate, )o . 25, xxi . 13, 26; Enchiridion, 69) . Gregory the
See also:Great was the first to formulate the doctrine in
See also:express terms, " de quibusdam levibus culpis esse ante judicium purgatorius ignis credendus est" (
See also:Dial. iv . 39) .
Thenceforth it became
See also:part of the
See also:theology of the Western Church, and was definitely affirmed at the
See also:councils of
See also:Lyons (1274), Florence (1439) and Trent . Concerning the word purgatory, Innocent IV. writes: " Forasmuch as (the Greeks) say that this place of
See also:purification is not indicated by their doctors by an appropriate and accurate word, we will, in accordance with the tradition and authority of the
See also:holy fathers, that henceforth it be called purgatorium, for in this temporary fire are cleansed not deadly capital sins, which must be remitted by penance, but those lesser venial sins which, if not removed in
See also:life, afflict men after death." Many points about purgatory, on which the Church has no definition, have been subjects of much
See also:speculation among Catholics . , Purgatory, for example, is usually thought of as having some position in space, and as being distinct from heaven and
See also:hell; but any theory as to its exact latitude and longitude, such as underlies
See also:Dante's description, must be regarded as imaginative . Most theologians since
See also:Thomas Aquinas and
See also:Bonaventura have taught that the souls in purgatory are tormented by material fire, but the Greeks have never accepted this opinion . It must be inferred from the whole practice of indulgences as at
See also:present authorized that the pains of purgatory are measurable by years and days; but here also everything is indefinite . The Council of Trent, while it commands all bishops to teach " the sound doctrine of purgatory handed down by the
See also:venerable fathers and sacred councils," bids them exclude from popular addresses all the " more difficult and subtle questions
See also:relating to the subject which do not tend to edification." The Eastern Church affirms belief in an intermediate state after death, but the belief is otherwise as vague as the expressions of the pre-Nicene fathers on the subject . An authoritative statement of the present Eastern doctrine is to be found in the Longer Catechism of the Orthodox Church (Q . 376) : " Such souls as have departed with faith but without having had time to bring forth fruits meet for repentance may be aided towards the attainment of a blessed resurrection by prayers offered in their behalf, especially such as are offered in union with the
See also:oblation of the bloodless sacrifice of the
See also:Body and
See also:Blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory." The efficacy of prayers for the dead, and indirectly the doctrine of purgatory, were denied by early Gnostic sects, by Aerius in the 4th century, and by the Waldenses, Cathari, Albigenses and
See also:Lollards in the
See also:middle ages . Protestants, with the exception of a small minority in the
See also:Anglican communion, unanimously reject the doctrine of purgatory, and affirm that " the souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness and do immediately pass into glory." Rejection of an inter-mediate state after death follows the
See also:Protestant idea of
See also:justification by faith as logically as the doctrine of purgatory results from the Catholic idea of justification by works . An
See also:analogy to purgatory can be traced in most religions . Thus the fundamental ideas of a middle state after death and of a purification preparatory to perfect blessedness are met with in Zoroaster, who takes souls through twelve stages before they are sufficiently purified to enter heaven; and the
See also:Stoics conceived of a middle place of enlightenment which they called Fp r6pcuris . The
See also:principal authoritative statements of the Catholic Church on the doctrine of purgatory were made at the Council of Florence (Decret. unionis), and at that of Trent (Sess. vi. can .
30; Sess. xxii., c . 2, can . 3; Sess.
See also:xxv.) . See H . J . D . Denziger's Enchiridion; J . Bautz, Das Fegfeuer (
See also:Mainz, 1883); and L . Redner, Das Fegfeuer (
See also:Regensburg, 1856) . A very elaborate
See also:treatise from the Catholic standpoint is that of
See also:Cardinal Bellarmine, De purgatorio . The subject is discussed, moreover, in all major works on dogmatic theology . There is a representative Catholic statement by Hence in the Kirchenlexikon under the title " Fegfeuer," and ed., vol .
4,col . 1284–1296; and a corresponding Protestant presentation by Rud . Hoff
See also:mann in Hauck's Realencyklopadie, 3rd ed. vol. v. pp . 788-792 . (C . H .
PURDAH (Pers. parda)
PURI, or JAGANNATH
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