Q. Does Satan have access to the souls in purgatory?
— K.C., Yampa, Colo.
A. Here’s a reply from Msgr. Charles Pope:
No. The souls in purgatory are safe in God’s hands, in what amounts to the “vestibule” of heaven. There, they undergo final purifications that only lead to heaven (see 1 Cor 3:13-15).
Further, at death, our final disposition for or against God, and for or against his kingdom, is definitive. This places the souls in heaven, and also in purgatory, beyond the reach of the devil. Sadly, it also places heaven beyond the reach of those who have finalized their decision against it. At death, the judgment is irreversible (see Lk 16:26; Heb 9:27; Jn 8:21; Jn 10:27-28).
We do well today to realize that our cumulative decisions build toward a final disposition by us that God will, in the end, acknowledge.