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Purgatory is the condition or process of purification in which the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven. This is an idea that has ancient roots and is well-attested in early Christian literature, while the conception of purgatory as a geographically situated place is largely the creation of medieval Christian piety and imagination.

The notion of purgatory is associated particularly with the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church (in the Eastern sui juris churches or rites it is a doctrine, though often without using the name "Purgatory"); Anglo-Catholic Anglicans generally also hold to the belief. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed in an intermediate state between death and the final judgment and in the possibility of "continuing to grow in holiness there", but Methodism does not officially affirm his belief and denies the possibility of helping by prayer any who may be in that state. The Eastern Orthodox Churches believe in the possibility of a change of situation for the souls of the dead through the prayers of the living and the offering of the Divine Liturgy, and many Orthodox, especially among ascetics, hope and pray for a general apocatastasis. A similar belief in at least the possibility of a final salvation for all is held by Mormonism. Judaism also believes in the possibility of after-death purification and may even use the word "purgatory" to present its understanding of the meaning of Gehenna. However, the concept of soul "purification" may be explicitly denied in these other faith traditions.

The word "purgatory" has come to refer also to a wide range of historical and modern conceptions of postmortem suffering short of everlasting damnation, and is used, in a non-specific sense, to mean any place or condition of suffering or torment, especially one that is temporary.

Purgatory in Catholicism

The Catholic Church gives the name Purgatory to the final purification of all who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified. Though purgatory is often pictured as a place rather than a process of purification, this idea is not part of the Church's doctrine.

Heaven and Hell

According to Catholic belief, immediately after death, a person undergoes judgment in which the soul's eternal destiny is specified. Some are eternally united with God in Heaven, often envisioned as a paradise of eternal joy. Conversely, others are destined for Hell, a state of eternal separation from God often envisioned as a fiery place of punishment.

Purgatory's role

In addition to accepting the states of heaven and hell, Catholicism envisages a third state before being admitted to heaven. According to Catholic doctrine, some souls are not sufficiently free from sin and its consequences to enter the state of heaven immediately, nor are they so sinful as to be destined for hell either. Such souls, ultimately destined to be united with God in heaven, must first endure purgatory—a state of purification. In purgatory, souls "achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven."

Sin

Catholics make a distinction between two types of sin. Mortal sin is a "grave violation of God's law" that "turns man away from God", and if it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell.

In contrast, venial sin (meaning "forgivable" sin) "does not set us in direct opposition to the will and friendship of God" and, although still "constituting a moral disorder", does not deprive the sinner of friendship with God, and consequently the eternal happiness of heaven.

According to Catholicism, pardon of sins and purification can occur during life—for example, in the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Penance. However, if this purification is not achieved in life, venial sins can still be purified after death. The specific name given to this purification of sin after death is "purgatory".

Pain and fire

Purgatory is a cleansing that involves painful punishment, associated with the idea of fire such as is associated with the idea of hell. Several Church Fathers regarded as evidence for the existence of an intermediate state in which the dross of lighter transgressions will be burnt away, and the soul thus purified will be saved. St. Augustine described the fires of cleansing as more painful than anything a man can suffer in this life, and Pope Gregory I wrote that there must be a cleansing fire for some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Origen wrote about the fire that needs to purify the soul St. Gregory of Nyssa also wrote about the purging fire.

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Most theologians of the past have held that the fire is in some sense a material fire, though of a nature different from ordinary fire, but the opinion of other theologians who interpret the Scriptural term "fire" metaphorically has not been condemned by the Church and may now be the more common view. The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of a "cleansing fire". and quotes the expression "purgatorius ignis" (purifying fire) used by Pope Gregory the Great. It speaks of the temporal punishment for sin, even in this life, as a matter of "sufferings and trials of all kinds". It describes purgatory as a necessary purification from "an unhealthy attachment to creatures", a purification that "frees one from what is called the 'temporal punishment' of sin", a punishment that "must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin."

Prayer for the dead and Indulgences

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The Catholic Church teaches that the fate of those in purgatory can be affected by the actions of the living. Its teaching is based also on the practice of prayer for the dead mentioned as far back as , considered by Catholics and Orthodox to be part of Sacred Scripture.
In the same context there is mention of the practice of indulgences. An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven. Indulgences may be obtained for oneself, or on behalf of the dead.

Prayers for the dead and indulgences have been popularly envisioned as decreasing the "duration" of time the dead spend in purgatory, an idea associated with the fact that, in the past, indulgences were measured in terms of days, "quarantines" (i.e. 40-day periods as for Lent), or years, meaning, not that purgatory would be shortened by that amount of time, but that the indulgences were equivalent to that length of canonical penance on the part of a living Christian. When the imposition of such canonical penances of a determinate duration fell out of custom these expressions were sometimes popularly misinterpreted as reduction of that much time of a soul's stay in purgatory. In Pope Paul VI's revision of the rules concerning indulgences, these expressions were dropped, and replaced by the expression "partial indulgence", indicating that the person who gained such an indulgence for a pious action is granted, "in addition to the remission of temporal punishment acquired by the action itself, an equal remission of punishment through the intervention of the Church"

Historically, the practice of granting indulgences, and the widespread associated abuses, led to them being seen as increasingly bound up with money, with criticisms being directed against the "sale" of indulgences, a source of controversy that was the immediate occasion of the Protestant Reformation in Germanymarker and Switzerlandmarker.

Purgatory as a physical place

Dante gazes at purgatory (shown as a mountain) in this 16th century painting.
In antiquity and medieval times, heaven and hell were regarded as places existing within the physical universe: heaven "above", in the sky; hell "below", in or beneath the earth. Similarly, purgatory has at times been thought of as a physical location. In Dante's fourteenth century work The Divine Comedy, shows this with Earth as the center of the universe (and hell at the "center of the center" of the universe), the planets and stars revolving around Earth and Heaven (or the Seven Heavens) encircling Creation in Celestial spheres.

As for purgatory, it is depicted as a mountain in the southern hemisphere. When, according to Dante's work, Satan rebelled against God and was defeated, he was cast out from Heaven and fell to Earth. The impact crater from the fall was so great that it reached to the Earth's core. Satan being held at the center of the center of the universe (Earth) was seen as reflecting his selfishness. As for the crater, it was filled over becoming a dark and fiery cavern, Hell, with Jerusalemmarker directly over Satan.

Yet the force of the Satan's impact created such an uplift, that it produced a mountain "beneath" Satan, on the opposite side of the Earth from the impact. Souls given a second chance find themselves at Mt. Purgatory and should they reach the top they will find themselves at Jerusalem's antipode, the Garden of Eden itself. Thus cleansed of all sin and made perfect, they wait in Earthly paradise before ascending to Heaven. Thus, ironically, all Satan's attempts to destroy and damn humanity did was ensure humanity's salvation.

This envisioning of heaven, hell, and purgatory as places in the physical universe was never Church doctrine, but mere popular or poetic imagining. In 1999 Pope John Paul II declared that the term Purgatory does not indicate a place, but "a condition of existence".

Catholic statements

The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, first published in 2005, is a summary in dialog form of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It deals with purgatory in the following exchange:

These two questions and answers summarize information in sections 1020–1032 and 1054 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published in 1992, which also speaks of purgatory in sections 1472 and 1473

Other authoritative statements are those of the Council of Trent in 1563 and the Council of Florence in 1439.

Eastern Catholic Churches

The Eastern Catholic Churches are Catholic Churches sui iuris of Eastern tradition, in full communion with the Pope. There are however some differences between the Latin Church and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches on aspects of purgatory. The Eastern Catholic Churches of Greek tradition do not generally use the word "purgatory", but agree that there is a "final purification" for souls destined for heaven, and that prayers can help the dead who are in that state of "final purification". In general, neither the members of the Latin Church nor the members of these Eastern Catholic Churches regard these differences as major points of dispute, but see them as minor nuances and differences of tradition. A treaty that formalized the admission of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church into the full communion of the Roman Catholic Church stated: "We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church", implying, in the opinion of a theologian of that Church, that both sides can agree to disagree on the specifics of what the West calls "purgatory", while there is full agreement on the essentials. Between the Latin Church and some other Eastern Catholic Churches, such as the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, there is no disagreement about any aspect of the doctrine of purgatory.

Eastern Orthodox Church

The Dormition of the Theotokos (a thirteenth-century icon)


The Eastern Church came to admit of an intermediate state after death, but refrained from defining it so as not to blur the distinction between the alternative fates of Heaven and Hell; it combined with this doctrine a firm belief in the efficacy of prayer for the dead, which was a constant feature of both East and West liturgies. Such prayer is held to be unintelligible without belief in some interim state in which the dead might benefit.

Eastern Orthodox teaching is that, while all undergo a Particular Judgment immediately after death, neither the just nor the wicked attain the final state of bliss or punishment before the last day, with some exceptions for righteous souls like the Theotokos (Blessed Virgin Mary), "who was borne by the angels directly to heaven".

Eastern Orthodox theology does not generally describe the situation of the dead as involving suffering or fire, although it nevertheless describes it as a "direful condition". The souls of the righteous dead are in light and rest, with a foretaste of eternal happiness; but the souls of the wicked are in a state the reverse of this. Among the latter, such souls as have departed with faith, but "without having had time to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance..., may be aided towards the attainment of a blessed resurrection [at the end of time] by prayers offered in their behalf, especially those offered in union with the oblation of the bloodless sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, and by works of mercy done in faith for their memory."

The state in which souls undergo this experience is often referred to as "Hades".

The Orthodox Confession of Peter Mogila (1596-1646), adopted, in a Greek translation by Meletius Syrigos, by the 1642 Council of Jassymarker, in Romania, professes that "many are freed from the prison of hell ... through the good works of the living and the Church's prayers for them, most of all through the unbloody sacrifice, which is offered on certain days for all the living and the dead" (question 64); and (under the heading "How must one consider the purgatorial fire?") "the Church rightly performs for them the unbloody sacrifice and prayers, but they do not cleanse themselves by suffering something. But, the Church never maintained that which pertains to the fanciful stories of some concerning the souls of their dead, who have not done penance and are punished, as it were, in streams, springs and swamps" (question 66).".

The Eastern Orthodox Synod of Jerusalem, held in 1672, declared that "the souls of those that have fallen asleep are either at rest or in torment, according to what each hath wrought" (an enjoyment or condemnation that will be complete only after the resurrection of the dead); but the souls of some "depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from there, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice benefiting the most; which each offers particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offers daily for all alike. Of course, it is understood that we do not know the time of their release. We know and believe that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment, but when we know not."

Some Orthodox believe in a teaching of "Aerial Toll-Houses" for the souls of the dead. According to this theory, which is rejected by other Orthodox, "following a person's death the soul leaves the body and is escorted to God by angels. During this journey the soul passes through an aerial realm which is ruled by demons. The soul encounters these demons at various points referred to as 'toll-houses' where the demons then attempt to accuse it of sin and, if possible, drag the soul into hell."

Protestantism

In general, Protestant churches do not accept the doctrine of purgatory. One of Protestantism's central tenets is sola scriptura ("scripture alone"). The general Protestant view is that the Bible, from which they exclude deuterocanonical books such as 2 Maccabees, contains no overt, explicit discussion of purgatory and therefore it should be rejected as an unbiblical belief.

Another tenet of Protestantism is sola fide ("by faith alone"): that faith alone, apart from any action, is what achieves salvation, and that good works are merely evidence of that faith. Salvation is generally seen as a discrete event that takes place once for all during one's lifetime. Instead of distinguishing between mortal and venial sins, Protestants believe that one's faith dictates one's state of salvation and one's place in the afterlife. Those who have been saved by God are destined for heaven, while those have not been saved will be excluded from heaven. Accordingly, they reject any notion of a provisional or temporary afterlife state such as purgatory.

Some Protestants hold that a person enters into the fullness of its bliss or torment only after the resurrection of the body, and that the soul in that interim state is conscious and aware of the fate in store for it. Others have held that souls in the intermediate state between death and resurrection are without consciousness, a state known as soul sleep.

Anglicanism

The Anglican Church, rejects the doctrine of purgatory, with the exception of a small minority known as Anglo-Catholics. Article XXII of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Anglican Church states that "The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory…is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God." Nevertheless, among Anglo-Catholic Anglicans, who often identify strongly with Roman Catholic liturgy and theology, there are those who accept that purgatory exists. C.S. Lewis said there were good reasons for "casting doubt on the 'Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory' as that Romish doctrine had then become", not merely "the commercial scandal" but also the picture of purgatory as a temporary Hell, in which the souls are tormented by devils, whose presence is "more horrible and grievous to us than is the pain itself", and where the spirit who suffers the tortures cannot, for pain, "remember God as he ought to do". He believed instead in purgatory as presented in John Henry Newman's The Dream of Gerontius, of which he wrote: "Religion has reclaimed Purgatory", a process of purification that will normally involve suffering.

Lutheranism

Martin Luther, founder of the Lutheran Church, believed that it was of no avail to pray for the dead. Nonetheless, a core statement of Lutheran doctrine, albeit not by Luther, states: "Epiphanius testifies that Aerius held that prayers for the dead are useless. With this he finds fault. Neither do we favor Aerius" (Philipp Melanchthon, Apology of the Augsburg Confession - emphasis added).

Methodism

The Methodist Church holds that "the Romish doctrine concerning purgatory ... is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God." What it specifically repudiates is the concept of purgatory as a place where the souls of those who have died in Christ can be aided by the prayers of the living. Its founder John Wesley believed that there is "an intermediate state between death and the final judgment, where those who rejected Christ would be aware of their coming doom (not yet pronounced), and believers would share in the 'bosom of Abraham' or 'paradise', even continuing to grow in holiness there." Methodism does not formally affirm this belief, but maintains silence on what lies between death and the last judgment. It also views the manner of Christ's presence in Holy Communion as a holy mystery, but in this case affirms the reality of the presence.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The afterlife according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is divided into two levels until the Last Judgement; afterwards it is divided into four levels, the upper three of which are referred to as "degrees of glory" that, for illustrative purposes, are compared to heavenly bodies.

Before the Last Judgment, spirits separated from their bodies at death go either to Paradise or to Spirit Prison based on their merits earned in life. Paradise is a place of rest while its inhabitants continue learning in preparation for the Last Judgement. Spirit Prison is a place of anguish and suffering for the wicked and unrepentant; however, missionary efforts done by spirits from Paradise enable those in Spirit Prison to repent, accept the Gospel and the atonement and receive baptism through the practice of baptism for the dead.

After the resurrection and Last Judgment, people are sent to one of four levels:

  • The Celestial Kingdom is the highest level, with its power and glory comparable to the sun. Here, faithful and valiant disciples of Christ who accepted the fullness of His Gospel and kept their covenants with Him through following the prophets of their dispensation are reunited with their families and with God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit for all eternity. Those who would have accepted the Gospel with all their hearts had they been given the opportunity in life (as judged by Christ and God the Father) are also saved in the Celestial Kingdom. Latter-day Saints do not believe in original sin but believe children to be innocent. Therefore, all children who die before the age of accountability inherit this glory. Men and women who have entered into celestial marriage are eligible, under the tutelage of God the Father, to eventually become gods and goddesses as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ.


  • The Terrestrial Kingdom's power and glory is comparable to that of the moon. It is reserved for several classes of people. First, some are those who understood and rejected the full Gospel in this life but lived otherwise good lives. Second, some are those who did accept the Gospel in this life but were "not valiant in the testimony of Jesus.". Third, some are those who "died without law" but accepted the full Gospel and repented after death due to the missionary efforts undertaken in Spirit Prison. They enjoy the presence of the Son but not of the Father.


  • The Telestial Kingdom is comparable to the glory of the stars. Those placed in the Telestial Kingdom suffered the pains of Hell after death because they were liars, murderers, adulterers, whoremongers, etc. They are eventually rescued from Hell by being redeemed through the power of the atonement at the end of the Millennium.


  • Perdition, or outer darkness, is the lowest level and has no glory whatsoever. It is reserved for Satan, his angels, and those who have committed the unpardonable sin. They are those who have "denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, [have] denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, [have] crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame." Joseph Smith said concerning such a person that "he has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."


Judaism and Islam

In Judaism, Gehenna is a place of purification where, according to some traditions, most sinners spend up to a year before release.

In Islam also, some Muslims consider hell may be a temporary place of punishment for some, eternal for others.

Purgatory and the Life Review

The life review undergone by those who have had a Near Death Experience (NDE), can resemble a sort of purgatory. This is what Bruce Horacek Ph.D and IANDS writes about the Life Review: "During a predominantly pleasurable NDE, usually while in the light, the NDEr may experience a life review. In this review, the NDEr typically re-views (sees again) and reexperiences every moment of his/her life. At the same time, the NDEr fully experiences being every other person with whom the NDEr interacted. The NDEr knows what it was to be on the receiving end of his/her own actions including those that caused others pain. At this time, the NDEr usually reports feeling profound remorse, along with extreme regret that the harm cannot be undone. At the same time, the NDEr typically reports feeling consistent unconditional love from the light who communicates that the NDEr was still learning how to be a more loving person what NDErs tend to say is the purpose of life." See Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss, by Bruce Horacek, Ph.D and by IANDS, 2003, http://www.iands.org/grief_and_loss.html

See also



References

  1. Encyclopaedia Britannica
  2. Ted Campbell, Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials (Abingdon 1999), quoted in Feature article by United Methodist Reporter Managing Editor Robin Russell and in FAQ Belief: What happens immediately after a person dies?
  3. Orthodox Confession of Faith, questions 64-66.
  4. Olivier Clément, L'Église orthodoxe. Presses Universitaries de France, 2006, Section 3, IV
  5. See, for instance, LDS Life After Death
  6. Jewish Encyclopedia: Gehenna
  7. Gehinnom
  8. Collins English Dictionary
  9. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1030-1031
  10. Audience of 4 August 1999
  11. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1021-1022
  12. "Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, 'eternal fire'" ( IV Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1035).
  13. Cf. CCC 1030-1032
  14. CCC 1030-1032
  15. CCC 1054
  16. CCC 1854
  17. __P6C.HTM CCC 1855
  18. CCC 1861
  19. __P6C.HTM CCC 1863
  20. CCC 1875
  21. CCC 1263
  22. __P4F.HTM CCC 1468
  23. CCC 1030
  24. CCC 1031
  25. Catholic Encyclopedia on Purgatory
  26. New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia-Purgatory, http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm
  27. "Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven 'either in this world or in the world to come'(Mt. 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions." Gregory the Great [regn. A.D. 590-604], Dialogues, 4:39 (A.D. 594).
  28. "For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones (1 Cor.,3); but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones; neither is this just. It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials; for our God to those who can comprehend heavenly things is called a cleansing fire. But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built, wood, and hay and stubble. It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions and then returns to us the reward of our great works." Origen, Homilies on Jeremias, PG 13:445, 448 ( A.D. 244).
  29. "When he has quitted his body and the difference between virtue and vice is known he cannot approach God till the purging fire shall have cleansed the stains with which his soul was infested. That same fire in others will cancel the corruption of matter, and the propensity to evil." Gregory of Nyssa, Sermon on the Dead, PG 13:445,448 (ante A.D. 394).
  30. Catholic Encyclopedia on "poena sensus"
  31. CCC 1473. In his 2007 encyclical Spe salvi, Pope Benedict XVI applies to the purgation of souls after death the words of Paul the Apostle in about some being "saved, but only as through fire"; in the encounter with Christ after death, Christ's "gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation 'as through fire'. But it is a blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God" ( Spe salvi, 46-47).
  32. CCC 1472
  33. Cabrol and Leclercq, Monumenta Ecclesiæ Liturgica. Volume I: Reliquiæ Liturgicæ Vetustissimæ (Paris, 1900-2) pp. ci-cvi, cxxxix.
  34. CCC 1032
  35. __P4G.HTM CCC 1471
  36. CCC 1479
  37. Indulgences in the Church | Catholic-Pages.com
  38. Pope Paul VI, Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences, norm 5
  39. Section "Abuses" in Catholic Encyclopedia: Purgatory
  40. Catholic Encyclopedia: Reformation
  41. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 210-211
  42. __P2N.HTM Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 1020-1032
  43. Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 1054
  44. __P4G.HTM Catechism of the Catholic Church, sections 1472-1473
  45. Decree concerning Purgatory
  46. Denzinger 1304 - old numbering 693
  47. Treaty of Brest, Article 5
  48. Doctrine
  49. Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005, article Purgatory
  50. John Meyondorff, Byzantine Theology (London: Mowbrays, 1974) pp. 220-221. "At death man's body goes to the earth from which it was taken, and the soul, being immortal, goes to God, who gave it. The souls of men, being conscious and exercising all their faculties immediately after death, are judged by God. This judgment following man's death we call the Particular Judgment. The final reward of men, however, we believe will take place at the time of the General Judgment. During the time between the Particular and the General Judgment, which is called the Intermediate State, the souls of men have foretaste of their blessing or punishment" ( The Orthodox Faith).
  51. Michael Azkoul, What Are the Differences Between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism?
  52. Confession of Dositheus, Decree 18
  53. Catechism of St. Philaret of Moscow, 372 and 376; Constas H. Demetry, Catechism of the Eastern Orthodox Church p. 37; John Meyondorff, Byzantine Theology (London: Mowbrays, 1974) p. 96; cf. "The Orthodox party ... remarked that the words quoted from the book of Maccabees, and our Saviour's words, can only prove that some sins will be forgiven after death" (OrthodoxInfo.com, The Orthodox Response to the Latin Doctrine of Purgatory)
  54. What Are the Differences Between Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism?; Constas H. Demetry, Catechism of the Eastern Orthodox Church p. 37
  55. Death and the Toll House Controversy
  56. The same argument has been used, for instance, by Nontrinitarianism with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity.
  57. John Calvin wrote: "As long as (our spirit) is in the body it exerts its own powers; but when it quits this prison-house it returns to God, whose presence it meanwhile enjoys, while it rests in the hope of a blessed Resurrection. This rest is its paradise. On the other hand, the spirit of the reprobate, while it waits for the dreadful judgment, is tortured by that anticipation" ( Psychopannychia by John Calvin)
  58. Martin Luther, contending against the doctrine of purgatory, spoke of the souls of the dead as quite asleep, but this notion of unconscious soul sleep is not included in the Lutheran Confessions and Lutheran theologians generally reject it. (See Soul Sleep – Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.)
  59. Letters to Malcolm, chapter 20, paragraphs 7-12
  60. Question 201 of Luther's Small Catechism with Explanation (Concordia Publishing House, 1991 edition) answers the question "For whom should we pray?" as follows: "We should pray for ourselves and for all other people, even for our enemies, but not for the souls of the dead" ( The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
  61. Apology XXIV, 96
  62. 1 Cor. 15:40-41
  63. D&C 76:96-98
  64. Alma 40
  65. D&C 76
  66. D&C 138
  67. Moroni 8
  68. D&C 137
  69. D&C 76:50-70
  70. D&C 76:79
  71. D&C 76:72
  72. D&C 76:81-90
  73. D&C 76:35
  74. Joseph Fielding Smith, ed., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Press, 1938), p. 358.
  75. "There are three categories of men; the wholly pious and the arch-sinners are not purified, but only those between these two classes" ( Jewish Encyclopedia: Gehenna)
  76. Gardet, L. "Jahannam," Encyclopedia of Islam.



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