Objection 1: It would seem that there is not a Purgatory
after this life. For it is said (Apoc.
14:13): "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth
now, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors." Therefore
after this life no cleansing labor awaits those who die in the
Lord, nor those who do not die in the Lord, since they cannot be
cleansed. Therefore there is no Purgatory after this life.
Objection 2: Further, as charity is to an eternal
reward, so is mortal sin to eternal punishment. Now those who die
in mortal sin are forthwith consigned to eternal punishment. Therefore
those who die in charity go at once to their reward; and consequently
no Purgatory awaits them after this life.
3: Further, God Who is supremely merciful is more inclined to
reward good than to punish evil. Now just as those who are in the
state of charity, do certain evil things which are not deserving
of eternal punishment, so those who are in mortal sin, at times
perform actions, generically good, which are not deserving of an
eternal reward. Therefore since these good actions are not rewarded
after this life in those who will be damned, neither should those
evil actions be punished after this life. Hence the same conclusion
> On the contrary, It is said
(2 Macc. 12:46): "It is a holy and wholesome thought to pray for
the dead, that they may be loosed from sins." Now there is no need
to pray for the dead who are in heaven, for they are in no need;
nor again for those who are in hell, because they cannot be loosed from
sins. Therefore after this life, there are some not yet loosed
from sins, who can be loosed therefrom; and the like have charity,
without which sins cannot be loosed, for "charity covereth all
sins" [*Prov. 10:12]. Hence they will not be consigned to everlasting
death, since "he that liveth and believeth in Me, shall not die
for ever" [*Jn. 11:26]: nor will they obtain glory without being
cleansed, because nothing unclean shall obtain it, as stated in
the last chapter of the Apocalypse (verse 14). Therefore some kind
of cleansing remains after this life.
> Further, Gregory
of Nyssa [*De iis qui in fide dormiunt] says: "If one who loves
and believes in Christ," has failed to wash away his sins in this life,
"he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory." Therefore
there remains some kind of cleansing after this life.
I answer that, From the conclusions we have drawn
above (TP, Question , Articles ,5; XP, Question
, Article )
it is sufficiently clear that there is a Purgatory after this life.
For if the debt of punishment is not paid in full after the stain
of sin has been washed away by contrition, nor again are venial
sins always removed when mortal sins are remitted, and if justice
demands that sin be set in order by due punishment, it follows that
one who after contrition for his fault and after being absolved,
dies before making due satisfaction, is punished after this life.
Wherefore those who deny Purgatory speak against the justice of
God: for which reason such a statement is erroneous and contrary
to faith. Hence Gregory of Nyssa, after the words quoted above,
adds: "This we preach, holding to the teaching of truth, and this
is our belief; this the universal Church holds, by praying for
the dead that they may be loosed from sins." This cannot be understood
except as referring to Purgatory: and whosoever resists the authority
of the Church, incurs the note of heresy.
to Objection 1: The authority quoted is speaking of the
labor of working for merit, and not of the labor of suffering to
> Reply to Objection 2: Evil
has not a perfect cause, but results from each single defect: whereas
good arises from one perfect cause, as Dionysius asserts [*Div.
Nom. iv, 4]. Hence each defect is an obstacle to the perfection
of good; while not every good hinders some consummation of evil, since
there is never evil without some good. Consequently venial sin
prevents one who has charity from obtaining the perfect good, namely
eternal life, until he be cleansed; whereas mortal sin cannot be
hindered by some conjoined good from bringing a man forthwith to
the extreme of evils.
> Reply to Objection 3: He
that falls into mortal sin, deadens all the good he has done before,
and what he does, while in mortal sin, is dead: since by offending
God he deserves to lose all the good he has from God. Wherefore
no reward after this life awaits him who dies in mortal sin, whereas
sometimes punishment awaits him who dies in charity, which does
not always wash away the sin which it finds, but only that which
is contrary to it.
> Objection 1: It
would seem that it is not the same place where souls are cleansed
and the damned punished. For the punishment of the damned is eternal,
according to Mt. 25:46, "These shall go into everlasting punishment
[Vulg.: 'fire']." But the fire of Purgatory is temporary, as the
Master says (Sent. iv, D, 21). Therefore the former and the latter
are not punished together in the same place: and consequently these
places must needs be distinct.
> Objection 2: The
punishment of hell is called by various names, as in Ps. 10:7,
"Fire and brimstone, and storms of winds," etc., whereas the punishment
of Purgatory is called by one name only, namely fire. Therefore
they are not punished with the same fire and in the same place.
Objection 3: Further, Hugh of St. Victor says (De
Sacram. ii, 16): "It is probable that they are punished in the
very places where they sinned." And Gregory relates (Dial. iv,
40) that Germanus, Bishop of Capua, found Paschasius being cleansed
in the baths. Therefore they are not cleansed in the same place
as hell, but in this world.
> On the contrary, Gregory
says [*The quotation is from St. Augustine (De Civ. Dei i, 8)]:
"Even as in the same fire gold glistens and straw smokes, so in
the same fire the sinner burns and the elect is cleansed." Therefore
the fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of hell: and hence
they are in the same place.
> Further, the holy fathers;
before the coming of Christ, were in a more worthy place than that
wherein souls are now cleansed after death, since there was no
pain of sense there. Yet that place was joined to hell, or the same
as hell: otherwise Christ when descending into Limbo would not
be said to have descended into hell. Therefore Purgatory is either
close to, or the same place as, hell.
> I answer
that, Nothing is clearly stated in Scripture about the
situation of Purgatory, nor is it possible to offer convincing arguments
on this question. It is probable, however, and more in keeping
with the statements of holy men and the revelations made to many,
that there is a twofold place of Purgatory. one, according to the
common law; and thus the place of Purgatory is situated below and
in proximity to hell, so that it is the same fire which torments
the damned in hell and cleanses the just in Purgatory; although
the damned being lower in merit, are to be consigned to a lower place.
Another place of Purgatory is according to dispensation: and thus sometimes,
as we read, some are punished in various places, either that the
living may learn, or that the dead may be succored, seeing that
their punishment being made known to the living may be mitigated
through the prayers of the Church.
> Some say, however,
that according to the common law the place of Purgatory is where
man sins. This does not seem probable, since a man may be punished
at the same time for sins committed in various places. And others
say that according to the common law they are punished above us,
because they are between us and God, as regards their state. But
this is of no account, for they are not punished for being above
us, but for that which is lowest in them, namely sin.
Reply to Objection 1: The fire of Purgatory is eternal
in its substance, but temporary in its cleansing effect.
Reply to Objection 2: The punishment of hell is for
the purpose of affliction, wherefore it is called by the names
of things that are wont to afflict us here. But the chief purpose
of the punishment of Purgatory is to cleanse us from the remains
of sin; and consequently the pain of fire only is ascribed to Purgatory,
because fire cleanses and consumes.
> Reply to
Objection 3: This argument considers the point of special
dispensation and not that of the common law.