Question from Dave on 4/20/2008:
The thief on the cross next to Jesus lived a very sinful life at least for the most part of his life. Here, a Catholic would say he would be a candidate for purgatory because of his questionable life and then repentance right before he died. But, Christ told him, "TODAY you will be with me in PARADISE." Note he said Paradise, which is Heaven. So how would the teaching of purgatory square with this situation? Christ did not say that the thief would be with him today in purgatory.
Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 4/21/2008:
Dave, This sinner was on a direct road to Hell (not Purgatory). So the omnipotent, merciful, all-loving, all-knowing Savior cancelled it all out and took him to Heaven immediately. The power of God! Fr. Bob Levis