We read at Matthew 12:31-32 (RSVCE):

31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

32 And whoever says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Here, Jesus does not appear to be referring to the generation of His time and the generation(s) to come. Prima facie, He is referring to one's present life and the life after one's death. Since there are different schools of thought in relation to a phase of purification after one's death, I would like to know how exactly the saying of Jesus is interpreted by the Catholic Church.


1 Answer 1


Catholics see this passage as evidence for the existence of Purgatory (i.e. there are sins that will be pardoned after death).

1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.606 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.

CCC on Purgatory

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