Purgatory is far better than hell.

All who have read “The Inferno” are affected by it. For nearly a thousand years, it has helped to form our view of what happens to souls after death. Outside The Bible, Dante’s works are among the most powerful Christians writings.

One scholar, after a lifetime of studying Dante, wondered if The Inferno, The Purgatorio, and The Paradisio were Dante’s actual records of his actual journeys through those three places.

In the past century, the number of Christian denominations and groups has grown from 1,600 to over 40,000. Christianity has never had so many different groups of people calling themselves “Christian”. This must prompt more thinking about what happens to souls at Judgment.

Catholic Fundamentalism suggests that our view of Judgment may be simplified by seeing souls as either Catholic or anti-Catholic. By a great Miracle, one who does not understand that The Catholic Church is the most fully obedient to all of Christ’s instructions, and who is not actually anti-Catholic, may not be automatically lost.

A person may not be Catholic simply from unawareness of the full Catholic obedience to Christ’s instructions that are, in many of the 40,000 somewhat Christian groups, ignored or misunderstood. Are those who are led astray to be blamed for having been led astray? What of those doing the leading? Are they automatically swept into the pits of eternal pain? Or, is there understanding and forgiveness for errors within them based on errors they have received? To whom is the “millstone” attached?

Purgatory is far better than hell. Its purifying pain ends in Heaven. Will the purification of Purgatory be provided to those who stubbornly refused to believe in it? Are those who refused to believe in Purgatory denied the opportunity of being purified in it?

The safest bet for non-Catholics seems to be “I don’t know that there is a Purgatory, but I would much rather have my soul purified there than suffer forever in hell.” At least, they’re playing it safe. They aren’t running the risk of losing their souls by being anti-Catholic.

Summing up: For non-Catholics, Purgatory provides important questions. Are those who refused to believe in Purgatory denied the opportunity of being purified in it? Amazingly, The Loving Programmer has downloaded The Creation Program so perfectly that none of us know the answers.

We will know where we’re going, soon enough.