Avoiding Purgatory


Some Christian faiths believes that you can avoid or reduce time in Purgatory with "offerings of money". This seems like man-made nonsense. Any support in the Bible for this? Fact or fiction?


Yes, it’s man-made nonsense, which became a cruel reality in the pre-Reformation period. Pope Leo X needed money to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and therefore promoted the sale of indulgences, which were basically receipts for money paid to the Church, stating the period by which payers would have their time reduced in Purgatory. Obviously the higher the payment, the greater the time reduced. The cruelty lay in the fact that often poor people would give almost all they had, encouraged by the persistent propaganda, and then have nothing more left to live on. The practice was one of the main vices drawn attention to by Martin Luther, and which triggered the Protestant Reformation.

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