ASK FATHER: Heretic priest

From a reader…


My cousin’s parish priest said that there is no purgatory.  What say you?

I say that, if he really thinks there is no Purgatory, then the priest is a heretic.

I say that if he has said that in public and that if it can be proven that he said that (for example with a recording), then the proof should be sent to the local bishop.  If nothing is done to correct the priest and if the priest does not publicly retract his claim and make a profession of faith, then the proof should also be sent to the Congregation Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith along with an explanation that the local bishop had been informed.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Cornelius says:

    Why must it be in public? If a priest denies the existence of Purgatory in private conversation is he any less of a heretic?

    Or is the need for a public declaration only for evidentiary purposes?

  2. Not says:

    Sad to say I don’t see much happening to this heretical Priest. So many of this ilk and it was done on purpose. Every now and then a Bishop will step in, but it is rare. More good traditional holy Priest ,have suffered than these liberal clergy. I knew a Priest who refused to say the Novus Ordo and was sent to an asylum by his Bishop. He escaped, changed his name and continued to say TLM. We the people supported him financially. I have a dozen stories
    Pray Hope and Don’t Worry! and find a traditional Mass.

  3. Eugene says:

    Sadly in today’s new listening accompanying synodality new church, he will probably be given a red hat.
    Maranatha Lord Jesus Christ

  4. Dan says:

    Is this really that big of a deal? It isn’t like he said he thinks people should kneel for Holy Communion or he wants to face the Lord while saying Mass. That kind of thing might require intervention from Rome and retraining. But purgatory? Isn’t that one of those optional beliefs like hell or marriage or the right to life?

  5. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    The denial of Purgatory contradicts the certain statements not one, but three Ecumenical Councils. (2nd Council of Lyons, Council of Florence, Council of Trent) It’s not just heresy, it’s a hat trick!

  6. A few of these comments I allowed out of the moderation queue because I think that they reveal the level of damage done to the faithful over time by maltreatment by bishops in particular. While it is true that there are people who are happy only when they are unhappy, this sort of cynicism doesn’t arise out of nothing.

  7. Notsoserious09 says:

    My Bishop on the feast of the Ascension: “The ancients believed,” amused chuckle “that heaven was up there somewhere.” Points to heaven. He then finished his homily on the value of sacred scripture. There was so much wrong with that, I won’t even start…

  8. BW says:

    Cornelius – If it is a personal belief, then it could just be a case of mistaken Theology easily corrected which technically wouldn’t be heresy (shocking that it affects a man of the cloth, yes. The seminaries of the Church are bastions of order, psychological screening, doctrinal soundness and proponents of sound biblical Theology. Move along, nothing to see here).

    However a priest who is charged with teaching the flock of Christ with the Truth of the Faith to publicly deny purgatory is both undeniable heresy and also could lead to leading souls in his charge to hell. That is not just shocking. That is the devil at play with people’s eternal lives.

  9. Doe he take stipends for Masses said for the dead? If so, ask him why if Purgatory is not real.

  10. robtbrown says:

    To deny Purgatory is to say that God is Unjust.

  11. Cornelius says:

    Thanks BW, I appreciate you taking the time to have a go at my question.

  12. Not says:

    Thank you Fr. Z.

    You are so correct. Even with all the trials over the decades, we have to be cheerful. Father said this Sunday that our actions and behaviors work better to make converts, more than preaching.

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