TudorHistory.org Blog

Questions & Answers Blog

 Return to:

Glossaries

Copyright, image use
and linking information

Contact information


Purgatory

Catholics believed that individual souls were judged upon death. Purgatory was a place of waiting for the sinful, who could not yet be admitted to heaven until they had discharged penance for their sins. Intercession with the Saints and the Virgin; indulgences obtained after pilgrimages and other acts of piety; masses said for the dead all were a means of discharging sins committed upon earth which would speed the progress of an individual soul through purgatory. The Protestant reformers rejected the doctrine of purgatory as an expression of the doctrine of salvation by works (that is human actions) rather than by faith alone (in the saving grace of Jesus Christ).