Q. I have been reading the early Christian writings and it gives us all of the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, these were the first Christians who were ordained by the Apostles and were taught and lived with the Apostles.
BFHU: I am curious what book you are reading. Because the books of the Early Fathers with all of them in it is 30 volumes or more and very expensive. There are shorter works and online versions. If you are reading a book from a Protestant publishing house it may have been edited to exclude writings that support the Catholic Faith.
Q. Purgatory is not mentioned in their writings and that in fact they say that the apostles, Peter and Paul as well as the first presbyters and bishops WENT TO THE HOLY PLACES AFTER THEY FELL ASLEEP (I.E. DIED )
OR THAT THEY WENT TO THEIR WELL EARNED PLACE IN GLORY.
Doesn’t this mean that these first christians believed in immediate entry into the glory of heaven?
A. All of the Apostles of Jesus, including St. Paul were martyred except St. John. We believe that those who are martyred for their faith DO go directly to Heaven. They atoned for their sins (temporal consequences) through their own passions. And we also believe that those who live very holy lives and offer up their sufferings in union with Christ may also skip Purgatory. So, it is not surprising that the first century fathers talked about the Apostles going straight to Heaven.
Q. PURGATORY IS NOT EVEN MENTIONED!!!!
A. Purgatory is not mentioned in the Bible by that name either. But we all agree there was/is a place that is not Heaven and not Hell where the dead went for some period of time. Since scripture nowhere tells of its destruction on what authority do those who believe in Sola Scriptura assert that it is no longer used or in existence.
I am not sure when it began to be called Purgatory. So, in the earliest writings we must look to see if anyone puts forth the concept of purification of the dead before entrance into Heaven. What it is called, if it Read the rest of this entry »