Purgatory remains unheeded as far as the 21st century is concerned. Who still talks of purgatory nowadays? Is it real? Is purgatory a truth of the catholic faith? Guidelines by Fr. Paul Denizot.
Nowadays, talking about purgatory is no easy task. Priests seldom preach on such a topic. Sometimes even, theologians or modern historians disavow its existence or expect it to vanish.
Finally, it is quite common to meet people who express their surprise that the Church should still be talking about it now that we have entered the 21st century. One can hear “Why doesn’t the Church move on and give up such antediluvian beliefs!”
However, let it be said that distrust regarding purgatory mainly affects the Catholics living in metropolitan France, as much as several countries of our old secularized Europe. It seems that this is far from being the case for our brothers and sisters in the overseas departments, and in Africa, Asia and America.
Does purgatory exist?
Disaffection regarding purgatory is undoubtedly due to Jansenism and to the fact that preaching on the last ends waivered. Still, purgatory exists. The dogma on purgatory was certainly belated, but Christians (and, before them, the Jews in the Old Testament) have always alleged the likelihood of after-death purification. Their faith is particularly grounded in the ancient and universal practice of praying for the dead. In our modern-days still, the R.C. Church has been continuing her teachings (Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, St. John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis) on the existence of purgatory in time and in out of time.
Purgatory: a truth of the faith
Purgatory, a truth of faith?
Definitely so, since it is a superb effect of God’s mercy. Like a physician, the Lord prepares the souls of the deceased to meet Him by purifying them with His love. They are therefore neither forsaken by God, nor by the angels or the saints in Heaven, who intercede for them.
Purgatory is also a great motive of hope for the living, since in the mystery of the communion of saints we uncover that it is never too late, nor is it ever worthless, to direct a thank you or a pardon to those we have loved and are departed; that it is never too late to touch their hearts and to attend to them in this “phase of mercy”.
Don Paul Denizot, Rector of the shrine of Montligeon, C.E. magazine n°295