Purgatory is a fiction and an imagination of man, with no biblical foundation. The only thing which remains is absolution. And of course Luther was psychologically educated enough to know that a solemn absolution may have psychological effects, but he denied that it is necessary. The message of the Gospel, which is the message of forgiveness, is the absolution in every moment, and you can get it as the answer of God to your prayer for forgiveness; you don’t need to go to church for this.

This means the sacrament of penance is completely dissolved. :Penitence is transformed into a personal relationship to God and to the neighbor, against a system of means to obtain the release of objective punishments in Hell, Purgatory, and life, which the Roman system demanded.. In reality, all these concepts are undercut at least, if not abolished. Everything is put on the basis of a person-to- person relationship between God and man. You can have this relationship even in Hell. That means Hell is simply a place, but it is not a state. And that is abolished by the kind of Reformation idea of relationship to God.

Now of course this was a danger and a difficulty, that in this way many educational degrees have been abolished by Luther and only the absolute categories of the relationship between God and man: are left. The Pope did not accept this, of course, and so the conf lict between Luther and the Church arose. Now let’s make clear beforehand that this was not the beginning of the Reformation. Luther hoped to reform the Church, including the Pope and the priests. But the Pope and the priests didn’t want to be reformed in any way. The last great bull defining the power of the Pope says: “Therefore we declare, pronounce and define that it is universally necessary for salvation that every human creature is subject to the Roman high priest.” This is the bull which defines most sharply the unlimited and absolute power of the Pope.