In Matt. V., 26, Christ, in condemning sin, speaks of liberation only after expiation. “Thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.” In Matt. XII., 32, He speaks of sin which “shall not be forgiven either in this world or in the world to come.” Any remission of the effects of sin in the next world can refer only to purgatory. Above all St. Paul tells us that the day of judgment will try each man’s work. That day is after death, when the soul goes to meet its God. What is the result of that judgment? If a man’s work will not stand the test St. Paul says that “he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.” 1 Cor. III., 15. This cannot refer to eternal loss in hell, for no one is saved there. Nor can it refer to heaven, for there is no suffering in heaven. Purgatory alone can explain this text As a matter of fact, all Christians believed in purgatory until the Reformation, when the reformers began their rejection of Christian doctrines at will. Prayer for the dead was ever the prevailing custom, in accordance with the recommendation of the Bible itself. “It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from their sins.” 2 Mach. XII., 46. Prayer for the dead supposes a soul not in heaven where it does not need the help of prayer, nor in hell where prayer cannot assist it. Some intermediate state of purification and need, where prayer can help, is necessary. And the doctrine is most reasonable. “Nothing defiled shall enter heaven.” Rev. XXL, 27. Yet not all defilement should cost man the loss of his soul. Even in this life human justice does not inflict capital punishment for every crime. Small offenses are punished by fines or by temporary imprisonment, after which the delinquent is liberated. Those who deny purgatory teach the harder and more unreasonable doctrine.
Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty