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Purgatory
Question from PJ on 11/23/2013:

Is purgatory for the remission of temporal punishment due to sin, or is it for purification and detachment from the effects of one's sins? I always hear one or the other, but never both at the same time. Please tell me which of these two is the purpose of purgatory, and how a plenary indulgence could possibly purify and detach one from their sins.

Answer by Richard Geraghty on 12/30/2013:

Dear PJ,

Both take place at the same time. If one makes the effort to get a plenary indulgence, the presumption is that they are making an effort to purify themselves with the help of God. Now getting this indulgence is not a matter of mechanically going through some religious rituals without any thought. Such a act is really not much of a religious act. If the gaining of the indulgence is done seriously, God sees our good intentions and takes away the temporal punishments we deserve for our sins.

Drs. Geraghty

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