Thursday, November 3, 2011

"Didn't Vatican II say we don't have to believe in Purgatory?"

"St. Gregory the Great saving the Souls in Purgatory,"  Sebastiano Ricci

Short answer: no.  Carl Olson provides a longer answer here

Purgatory is an ancient doctrine.  Pope St. Gregory the Great (d. 604 AD) taught the following concerning Purgatory in his "Dialogues:"

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.

There is a traditional practice begun by St. Gregory the Great of offering Mass for thirty consecutive days for the intention of a particular soul in the belief that doing so will release the soul from Purgatory.  More on the tradition of "the Gregorian Thirty" here.

Pope St. Gregory, pray for us.

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