Catholic Questions and Answers
Heaven, Hell and Purgatory
This section covers some of most frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Heaven, Hell and Purgatory that we receive here at The Crossroads Initiative. If you have any questions you can check this page frequently for more Catholic Q & A. We are adding new Questions and Answers every week. Please select the topic that you have questions about. If you don't find an answer to your question, feel free to contact us and Dr. D'Ambrosio will try to answer.
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Q -Please answer if our Catholic teaching says that there is a possibility of gaining salvation after death through other people's prayers.
A - Hi Jim,
Catholic teaching is very clear on this subject. There is a particular judgment of each person at the time of death -- a person's fundamental direction is fixed forever. Those who have chosen to reject God and therefore exile themselves eternally from his presence cannot be helped by the prayers of the living -- God will not violate the free will of a person because of the prayers of others. Remember -- God does not send people to hell; people choose to go there rather than obey and serve Him.
Those, however, who have chosen God but who have attachments to venial sins that must be broken in purgatory before they are ready to enter into God's presence in heaven, can be helped by the prayers of the living.
Faithfully in Christ,
Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio