Have you ever stopped and considered the purpose of praying for persons that are dead, and further, why those who frequently do this, hold vehemently (yet without any support) to such views even when faced with the opposition of the Bible itself?
As I was reading through the Roman Catholic press this week, I noticed a classic example of how Roman Catholicism and its indoctrination and deceit perpetuates some of the most fantastical and public expressions of ignorance and myth often stated and printed with such earnestness.
The letter concerned one of the central tenets of the Roman Catholic Religion, that of praying for the dead. Many defend tirelessly this gibberish of Popery without a single recourse to or justification from Scripture. Simply that such cannot be sustained by the Bible means that support for this fable can only come from the Roman Catholic Church that created it. Notably it is the culmination of the compounding of error consistently perpetrated by the Vatican smoke screen that conned previous generations and cons new recruits into accepting as truth what in reality is deceit driven by the devil. Evidently, people are willing to defend what they have not investigated and accept as gospel what is not in the Gospel. Purgatory is not only phoney but blasphemous and treacherous in its denial of Christ and God’s grace. Why? For the Bible says that those who trust in Christ, go to be with Him and therefore there is no Purgatory. To invent and follow what is not Christ is to deny Christ. To invent and believe in the trappings of Purgatory is not a way to Purgatory or heaven but to hell itself.
Patented by the Pope, Driven by the Devil and Confessed by Catholics.
In ‘The Letters to the Editor’ page of the latest issue of ‘The Irish Catholic’, a woman freely admits that praying for those in Purgatory was encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church from the earliest times [medieval].
Praying for the dead:
‘Only God knows who is in Purgatory and while they cannot help themselves, we can help them by our prayers. Mother Church has from earliest times encouraged this practice. The parable of Dives and Lazarus shows us that we cannot help those in hell but since only God knows their names we pray for all the dead. If we listen to our Lady of Fatima and to Jesus’ request to Saint Faustina we’ll pray earnestly and constantly for dying sinners. It is even more important than praying for those in Purgatory who are already saved.
But if we love God and our neighbour we will do both.’
Several points can be raised from this view.
Firstly Purgatory, a place where souls supposedly suffer torture for a time before they enter into heaven, is something that has been encouraged by the ‘Mother Church’. In fact created by the Roman Catholic Church. Needless to say it has been a lie beneficial from the start and instigated for the continual betterment of the Church of Rome’s finances – a subtle way of encouraging a ‘coughing–up for the coffers!’ one might say. Indulgences could be earned and certainly bought. Yet earned and bought is anathema to the whole of Scripture.
The Roman Catholic Church decreed all manner of ways to boost its image of power and control over its people. Prayers were said to, boost the private supply of grace; saying the rosary (assuming the rosary was a properly blessed one) earned an indulgence of a specified number of days spared from Purgatory. And the list goes on and on. The Roman Catholic Church effectively corrupts the pure Gospel in its teaching - about a gift of grace given of God to those who would accept it - by substituting this for a gospel of human methods where the Pope controls divine will.
If ‘only God knows who is in Purgatory’ the inference can be drawn that God does not inform the Pope or his cohorts, so just when have enough prayers been said and indulgences gained or paid for. Bereaved partners and families could continue paying and have masses said forever and a day on a ‘just in case’ principle of fear. Buying God’s favour? Back in the realm of the money-changers? Back in the realm of original sin. Certainly Pharisaical!
The use in the letter of the term, ‘Mother Church’, emphasises how inherent in Roman Catholics is the focus on the Church, its dogmas and the pope for spiritual authority rather than on God and His Word; His Bible.
Secondly if one looks at the passage about Dives and Lazarus from Luke 16:19-31 it is most apparent, as with Luke 23:39-43 the passage about the two thieves at the crucifixion, that there are but two places, heaven and hell. There is no ‘third way’. These passages do not infer that Dives has come through Purgatory or that the unrepentant robber’s next step is Purgatory. Purgatory does not exist, therefore, God cannot know who is in Purgatory and thus for Roman Catholics to pray for all the dead is folly.
A Chasm has been set between Heaven and Hell that no one can cross. The message of the two thieves epitomises this and also the latter expresses that while there may be death-bed repentance there is only one in the Bible: one that there may be hope but only one that we may not presume.
Having cited an illustration about the two thieves at the crucifixion, she goes on to say:
‘We have until the moment of death a chance to obtain God’s merciful forgiveness. After death comes judgement and either the company of God, Our Lady, the saved and the angels forever (probably after a spell in Purgatory which I for won’t quarrel with!) or the company of Satan.’
From this sentence we can see how an abuse of language and other distortions of Scripture by the Roman Catholic Church leads to many a strange and contradictory notion. Note the word ‘obtain’. Because of the salvation by works syndrome of Roman Catholics ‘obtain’ would be a natural word to use. From a Christian point of view the word to use can only be ‘received’.
Then stated is – ‘after death comes judgement’. So is purgatory before death, after death or after judgement?
The phrase ‘probably after a spell in purgatory’ doesn’t have much hope or assurance about it, does it, and certainly seems to be more a spell in the imagination, than anything of the divine. When the writer says that she won’t quarrel with a ‘spell in Purgatory’ one begs to ask the questions will she be going there and does she know what it is supposedly about – torture – torment in the flames?
She cannot possibly know because the only assured references about life after death are of those God has ordained to inform us and Purgatory let alone information about Purgatory is nowhere to be found in God’s revelation of Himself or His plans. Jesus says, ‘He that heareth my word and believeth Him that sent me hath eternal life’ (John 5:24). Thinking back to the woman’s reference to the two thieves, Jesus said, ‘Today thou shalt be with me in paradise’ (Luke 23:43) clearly showing that at his death the one would go to heaven. A short while later before He breathed his last, Jesus said, ‘It is finished’. The work of redemption, which he came to perform, has been accomplished, finished, not partially, but completely.
The person in regurgitating this compound of error in her letter highlights the fear and lack of hopeful assurance a Roman Catholic has to live with, unlike the certainty and assurance a true believer in God has.
A religion of works bound by the chains of Vatican-made dogmas and rituals (nullifying any gift of God’s grace they could have received) make death a nightmare for Roman Catholics. Why? For their lives are not hidden in Christ for if they were, Purgatory would be anathema and there would be assurance, not vagaries such as ‘probably’. Hebrews 11:1 for example, doesn’t allow for such a word. The faith about which it describes of a true believer is being sure in hope and certain of things as yet unseen.
Gary Wills in his book, ‘Papal Sin’ expresses this sentiment in the following way.
‘He (Ives Congar) suggests that there has been a substitution of human agencies for the free action of the Divinity. Instead the presence of the Spirit, breathing where it will, in the interaction of the Father with the Son in His body, grace is made of stuff controlled by the papal system of spiritual aqueducts and storage tanks. In a new form of idolatry, the Pope becomes a substitute for the Spirit.’
Pope Pius IX made this claim in 1864:
‘The Catholic Church is one with a unity that is visible and perfect throughout the whole world and among all peoples with a unity, the beginning, the root and the indefectible source of which is the supreme authority and the "excellent principality" of blessed Peter, the prince of the apostles and of his successors in the Roman throne.’
(I Believe in the Holy Spirit – Congar)