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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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FIRE OF PURGATORY

The external source of suffering in purgatory besides the temporary deprivation of the vision of God. Although many sacred writers, interpreting St. Paul (I Corinthians 3:15), assume a physical fire, the Church's official teaching speaks only of "purifying punishments" and not of purifying fire (Denzinger 1304).