Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Joshua H. wrote:

Hi, guys —

The subject of Purgatory is kind of confusing to me because I am a Baptist and I have never been taught, in church or elsewhere, about Purgatory.

I understand that it is not directly in the Bible but is hinted to.

  • So who goes there?
  • Why?
  • How can we pray for those who are there and how do we even know if they are there?

I hope you can give me clarity on this issue.

Thanks so much for your help,

Josh H.

  { Who goes to Purgatory, why do they go there, how do we know, and how do we pray for them? }

John replied:

Hi, Josh —

In brief, the condition Catholics call Purgatory is simply the final work of sanctification which a soul must undergo prior to being able to fully enjoy the presence of God. This process is described by St. Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians.

11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is.  14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15

This process has been described in terms of time, but only for the purpose of describing a Mystery in human terms. We don't know how long it lasts; bearing in mind that time is going to be experienced differently in Eternity.

The process of purification is a work of God's grace. It should not be understood as a soul earning his salvation. Rather it is a fulfillment of God's promise as recorded by Paul to Philippians:

6 He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.

Philippians 1:6

  • Baptists and Catholics both agree that we are saved by grace through faith.
  • We also both agree that sanctification is a process.

Catholics have always understood that the process of sanctification or purification often continues after this life is over. That said, Purgatory is not a second chance. It is strictly a place or condition for those who are saved. It is not a second chance for those who have knowingly rejected the Gospel and grace in this life.


Mike replied:

Hi, Josh —

I just wanted to add to John's answer.

Many non-Catholic Christians have difficulty with the doctrine of Purgatory because they mistakenly believe it is somehow connected to one's own salvation or justification.

Purgatory has nothing at all to do with one's salvation or justification. It has to do with one's personal holiness. Revelation 21:27 tells us, Nothing unclean will be allowed to enter into Heaven.

Although the souls in Purgatory have been saved and are destined for Heaven, they still have self-love from this Earthy life that must be purified to satisfy God's justice and 100 percent holiness.

Purgatory in no way takes away from the finished work of Christ, rather it medicinally applies the finished work of Christ to the Christian.

You said:

  • How can we pray for those who are there?

We can pray personally for the Holy Souls or gather a group of like-minded Christians to pray for the Holy Souls. My other website is dedicated exactly for this purpose.

The goal is to start Purgatory Prayer Programs across America in every state. You can check it out at:

Helpers of the Holy Souls

I would also recommend checking out my Scripture Passages web page for Purgatory.

Hope this helps,


Similar issues . . .

[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]
[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]
[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]
[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]|[Related posting]

Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.