James… you can read my overview of Purgatory here: http://www.religiousforums.com/forum/sh … post151743
The CURRENT RCC teaching about Purgatory has nothing to do with the medival theology of suffering and punishment for sin.
Purgatory is best understood as a process by which we are purged of our residual selfishness so that we can really become one with God…. the only “suffering” we experience is the suffering assosiated with the surrender of self to God’s will.
The Council of Florence’s Decree for the Greeks (1439) struck a careful balance between the Western concept of satisfaction and expiation and the Eastern emphasis on purification.
Hope this helps.