✟ God the Consummator ✟
For the Individual Human
Revealed Truth (Defined Dogma)

The souls of the just which, in the moment of death, are burdened
with venial sins or temporal punishment due to sins, enter purgatory.

Lay Catechist Notes/Associated Doctrines
    Purgatory is a great gift from a truly merciful God. Souls that depart this life with the possession of life in their souls and the indwelling of the Holy Trinity (Sanctifying Grace) but have not completely expiated all of the temporal debt of pain due for sins committed, will enter Purgatory to complete this final "purgation" of suffering. Still, these souls know that, once their time is completed in Purgatory, they will indeed receive the Beatific Vision.

    Associated Catholic Doctrine(s):
    1. "The purifying fire will not continue after the General Judgement." (sententia communis)
Divine Revelation (Scriptural Proof)
  • 42And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain. 43And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, 44(For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) 45And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. 46It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins. (2 Maccabees 12:42-46)
  • 31Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. (Matthew 12:31-32)
Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • 1030 All who die in God's 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 the joy of heaven.
  • 1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. 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: 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 offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.
  • 1032 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." From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God. The Church also commends almsgiving, indulgences, and works of penance undertaken on behalf of the dead: Let us help and commemorate them. If Job's sons were purified by their father's sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.
Ecumenical Council Documents
  • General Council of Trent (1545)
    • Decree Concerning Purgatory
      • " Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has, following the sacred writings and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, taught in sacred councils and very recently in this ecumenical council that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and chiefly by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar, the holy council commands the bishops that they strive diligently to the end that the sound doctrine of purgatory, transmitted by the Fathers and sacred councils, be believed and maintained by the faithful of Christ, and be everywhere taught and preached . 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. But those things that tend to a certain kind of curiosity or superstition, or that savor of filthy lucre, they shall prohibit as scandals and stumbling-blocks to the faithful. The bishops shall see to it that the suffrages of the living, that is, the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, alms and other works of piety which they have been accustomed to perform for the faithful departed, be piously and devoutly discharged in accordance with the laws of the Church, and that whatever is due on their behalf from testamentary bequests or other ways, be discharged by the priests and ministers of the Church and others who are bound to render this service not in a perfunctory manner, but diligently and accurately."
    • Canons Concerning Justification
      • "Canon 30. If anyone says that after the reception of the grace of justification the guilt is so remitted and the debt of eternal punishment so blotted out to every repentant sinner,  that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be discharged either in this world or in purgatory before the gates of heaven can be opened , let him be anathema."

  • 1st General Council of the Vatican (1869)
    • Profession of faith
      • "9.  I firmly hold that purgatory exists, and that the souls detained there are helped by the suffrages of the faithful . Likewise, that the saints reigning with Christ are to be honored and prayed to, and that they offer prayers to God on our behalf, and that their relics should be venerated."
Papal Encyclical Documents
  • Quod Hoc Ineunte (1824) - This is the Beginning - Leo XII
    • "You must also discuss carefully how much efficacy there is in indulgences; how great is the fruit of remission, not only of the canonical but also of the temporal punishment due for sins; and finally, how much aid from the treasure of merits from Christ and the saints may be applied to those who died truly penitent before they had made adequate satisfaction for their sins.  Their souls must be purified in the fires of purgatory so that entry into the eternal fatherland may open to them ."

  • Amantissimi Redemptoris (1858) - Beloved Redeemer - Pius IX
    • "Wherefore, from the apostolic tradition, we offer the divine sacrifice of the Mass "for the universal peace of the Churches; for the right disposition of the world; for rulers, soldiers, allies; those laboring with infirmity; those oppressed by afflictions; for all who are in need;  for those detained in purgatory; with the belief that it will be a help to those souls for whom prayer is offered before the holy and most awesome victim lying before us ."

  • Mediator Dei (1947) - Mediator of God - Pius XII
    • "She has a further solemn blessing and invocation for those of her children who dedicate themselves to the service of God in the life of religious perfection.  Finally, she extends to the souls in purgatory, who implore her intercession and her prayers, the helping hand which may lead them happily at last to eternal blessedness in heaven ."
Fathers and Doctors of the Church Documents
  • De Civitate Dei (Book 20) (426) - City of God - Augustine
    • Chapter 26: Of the Sacrifices Offered to God by the Saints, Which are  to Be Pleasing to Him, as in the Primitive Days and Former Years.
      • "As, therefore,  after the judgment those who are worthy of such purification shall be purified even by fire, and shall be rendered thoroughly sinless, and shall offer themselves to God in righteousness, and be indeed victims immaculate and free from all blemish whatever , they shall then certainly be, as in the primitive days, and as in former years, when the purest victims were offered, the shadow of this future reality. For there shall then be in the body and soul of the saints the purity which was symbolized in the bodies of these victims."