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3 Sources of Light on Purgatory

  1. The dogmatic doctrine of the Church on the subject of Purgatory compromised two articles… (See chap. 3*). These two articles are of faith, and must be believed by every Catholic.
  2. The teaching of the doctors and theologians or rather their opinions… relative to Purgatory… are not imposed as articles of faith; we are free to reject them without ceasing to be Catholic. Nevertheless, it would be , and even rash, to reject them, and it is the spirit of the Church to follow the opinions commonly held by the doctors.
  3. The revelations of the saints, calls also particular revelations, do not belong to the deposit of faith confided by Jesus Christ to His Church; they are historical facts , based upon human testimony. It is permitted to believe them, and piety finds wholesome food in them. We may, however, disbelieve them without sinning against faith; but they are authenticated, and we cannot reject them without offending against reason, because sound reason demands that all men should give assent to truth when it is sufficiently demonstrated.

—from Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints by Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J., Author’s Preface


*from Part First: Purgatory, The Mystery of God’s Justice, Ch. 3

On this subject the Church proposes two truths clearly defined as dogmas of faith: first, that there is a Purgatory; second, that the souls which are in Purgatory may be assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, especially by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


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