# 3 Purgatory: Well, thirdly, not only the Mass and Mary, but the Roman Catholic Church has perverted the marvelous message of salvation and substituted the road to purgatory.
Roman Catholicism describes purgatory as “a place or state in which are detained the souls of those who die in grace, in friendship with God, but with the blemish of venial sin or with temporal debt for sin unpaid. Here the soul is purged, cleansed, readied for eternal union with God in Heaven.
The suffering in purgatory is twofold: physical pain and separation from God. The suffering in purgatory is necessary because the person has not made complete satisfaction for sins and is not ready to see God because of imperfection. The length of suffering in purgatory is determined by the person’s degree of sinfulness. The time of suffering can be shortened through the prayers and good works of living adherents. This is based on 2 Maccabees 12:43-45, 56. The souls of the departed are purified by fire in purgatory, as suggested in 1 Corinthians 3:14–15, according to Catholic interpretation.[3]
The medieval period existed from a.d. 590 to 1517 when the Reformation began. The period from 500–1500 is frequently called the Dark Ages because of the ecclesiastical corruption. It was, in fact, this corruption that sparked the Protestant Reformation under Martin Luther.
Roman Catholic doctrine developed considerably during the medieval period:
Purgatory in 593;
Prayer to Mary, saints, and angels in 600;
kissing the pope’s foot in 709;
Canonization of dead saints in 995;
Celibacy of the priesthood in 1079;
The rosary in 1090;
Transubstantiation and confessing sins to a priest in 1215;
And the seven sacraments in 1439.
Other doctrinal views emerged as the Roman Catholic church increasingly moved away from Augustinian doctrine. Man was viewed as cooperating with God both in salvation and sanctification. Works became an important part in salvation and sanctification, especially with the adoption of the seven sacraments. The authority of the papacy also emerged during this time, the pope being termed “vicar of Christ.” Submission to the pope was essential in both religious and political matters. [4]
The Error of Purgatory and Indulgences
Although Rome teaches that there must be purging by suffering for one’s own sin, it offers indulgences to reduce the suffering and eliminate some of it. Indulgences can thus discharge what Christ’s death could not. And in Vatican II, there are 20 complex rules telling you when and how indulgences may be obtained.