A video clip on YouTube shows noted Catholic apologist Fr. Peter Stravinskas answering questions about purgatory during a debate with James White.
Questioner: “It appears to me that every good Catholic seems to have the option, instead of going to purgatory, to perhaps write a check or do alms of some kind, that will also purge them.”
Stravinskas: “Yeah. It’s ‘pay now or pay later.’ Very simply.”
Q: “So you can write a check now to avoid purgatory?”
Stravinskas: “The New Testament says charity covers a multitude of sins.”
Stravinskas takes apologetics seriously. Here’s an interview with him from 2005, in which he says:
An apologist should have a thorough grasp of the Catholic Faith. At times, I am distressed to hear would-be apologists expound on various aspects of Catholic doctrine and getting it wrong. This is a tremendous disservice and the stakes are high: Wrong information on the Faith has eternal consequences. Once again, humility comes into play; there’s nothing wrong with saying, “I don’t have the answer at my fingertips but will get back to you as soon as possible.”
The video shows him quite sure of his answer. It comes out as if it is a “no-brainer” for him. There’s no record of him offering to correct it, or suggesting he misspoke. The video has been around for awhile, and James White has referenced it before, but I can’t find anything about any Catholic apologists disputing Stravinskas’ presentation of Catholic teaching.
Catholics wonder why Protestants think Catholicism teaches “works righteousness.” They wonder why Protestants continue to talk about Tetzel, who extended the efficacy of cash payments to those already in purgatory ( “As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs”). And yet well known priests, well-educated and in good standing, continue to make statements like this ….
(Speaking of Stravinskas, whatever happened to him?)