Do Some Catholics Not Believe in Purgatory? (The Patrick Madrid Show)

Listener Ronnie from Brooklyn shared a concern that might hit home with you. As a devout Catholic, Ronnie was puzzled by a preacher’s claim that there’s no in-between state after death—just heaven or hell. This shook his belief in purgatory, something he’s always held as true.

Patrick suggested that the preacher likely misunderstood or misquoted key biblical texts, notably from 2 Corinthians. In these passages, while Apostle Paul expresses a preference to be “absent from the body and to be present with the Lord,” this does not imply an immediate ticket to heaven upon death.

Patrick Madrid then turned to Luke Chapter 16 and the teachings of Jesus about the afterlife experiences of Lazarus and a rich man, which show that neither went straight to heaven or hell. This, Patrick pointed out, supports the concept of an intermediary state.

Patrick looked at 1 Corinthians 3, where St. Paul mentions a post-death purification process for those whose lives were not perfectly holy. This purification, described metaphorically as passing through fire, aligns very closely with the traditional Catholic understanding of purgatory—a state of cleansing before entering heaven.

Patrick assured Ronnie that there’s no reason to worry! The doctrine of purgatory is not only biblically sound but also essential for understanding God’s justice and mercy. So, purgatory remains a firm article of faith, deeply rooted in Scripture and Tradition. 🔥🙏📖

It might be a hard teaching to accept, but let’s use this time on Earth now as much as we can, asking God for the grace to skip purgatory and go straight to heaven! It’s possible with Him!

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.