2 years ago
Last edited at 9:29PM on 2/29/2012
Purgatory is an invention of the Catholic church used to swindle its members into believing that, even though they're sinners, they might go to Purgatory instead of Hell until they get enough brownie points to go to heaven.
Unchristened babies are supposed to go to Purgatory if they die in infancy. It's just another way of making sure that their parents toe the line and indoctrinate them with Catholicism.
I remember once reading the preface to the (Catholic) Douay version of the Bible in which it said that if a person read their Bible every day they would get so many thousands of years taken off their time in Purgatory. I'm not sure what 10,000 years off Eternity equals, but I don't think it'd help much.
Purgatory is the Church's plea bargaining tool. It's something like being sentenced for Manslaughter instead of Murder.
It is a non-scriptural teaching of the Catholic church. It supposed to be a type of "holding cell" that sinners enter after death. Once their families purchase enough indulgences, the individual is "released" into heaven. You pay the ransom, they escape.
Contrary to popular belief, Purgatory was not invented by the Catholic Church to take your money. It has very, very old roots, and while it is not specifically mentioned in the Bible, neither is hell (in the original language), and most Christians believe in that.
Purgatory is sort of a transitional point between Earth and Heaven, and depending on who you ask, it's either for the final purification of all souls, or just for those that aren't quite ready for Heaven. (A similar belief can be found in Islam.)
The idea of Purgatory has at times been misused and corrupted (eg. the buying and selling of indulgences), but it is not a scam set up by the Church.