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Catechismus Romanus, I, vi, 3: “Besides [hell] there is a purging fire, by which the souls of the pious, tormented for a set time, are purified, so that they might enter the eternal fatherland, into which nothing defiled enters.” Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, Sess. XXV, Decree Concerning Purgatory: “There is a purgatory, and … the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and chiefly by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar… The more difficult and subtle questions … are to be excluded from popular instructions to uneducated people. Likewise, things that are uncertain or have the appearance of falsehood they shall not permit to be made known publicly and discussed.” RCm refers to 2 Mac 12:43–45.

C. N. Callinicos, The Greek Orthodox Catechism (New York, 1960), p. 48: “Scripture … has never expressed anything whatever concerning a third state, such as a temporary Purgatory.”

The idea of purgatory entered the Ch. of Eng. through the Oxford* Movement (see also England, C 7) in the form of an intermediate* state but without developing into a gen. accepted teaching. Common opinion makes it less a process of purification than of development and growth, ending only at the Last Judgment.

Luths. regard purgatory as unscriptural, insulting to Christ, indefensible, mercenary. WA 7, 452; 30 III, 309; 44, 812; WA-T 3, 539.

See also Florence, Council of, 2; Indulgences.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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