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What Is Purgatory?

1 Cor 3:15 says that under certain conditions, a person "will be saved, but only as through fire." Catholics believe this refers to an experience after death called purgatory, which is a purifying experience for those destined for heaven, but are not completely free from venial sin, and not yet ready to enter heaven. For this reason, we pray for those who have died.

Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood as a second chance at heaven, or a permanent state like heaven and hell, or a denial of Jesus' sacrifice.

  • Purgatory - Provides a lot of detail about the doctrine of purgatory, for those who want to know everything about it (newadvent.org)
  • Purgatory - a mixture of explanation, Bible verses, quotes, and excerpts from the Catechism (catholic-defense.com)
  • Is Purgatory Found in the Bible? - An investigation of purgatory, presented as a two-person conversation; by Christine Pinheiro and Kenneth J. Howell (catholic.com)
  • How to Argue the Existence of Purgatory - provides answers to common complaints about the doctrine of purgatory; by Jason Evert (catholic.com)
  • Coffeeshop Apologetics: Purgatory - presented as a two-person conversation; by Jim Burnham (catholic.com)
  • Purgatory [9 min] - addresses 4 common complaints against purgatory. This was posted in response to another video; by SeptemberCatholic18
  • 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 [9 min] - examines the analogy in these verses, and why it perfectly fits with the doctrine of purgatory; by SeptemberCatholic18
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