Here is Dr* T's one-sided view of life-after-death as seen by Roman Catholics.
Once upon a time, a man said "Follow me, so that when you die you will live forever and not fry". Pretty straight forward. Then some other chap piped up and said "Now, how's about someone does that, and then just before carking it, tells a white lie or steals or goat or something - those are unrepentant sins and so they'll fry, yah?". Much stroking of beards.
"Aha! Perhaps there is a different place in between heaven and hell where people can have a little bit of eternal punishment which will clean their filthy wretched souls and make them suitable for pearly gatedom", said a different chap followed by "and a donation to the church would help shuffle them through".
What a wheeze! People pay money to the church to help loved ones pass quickly through the little bit of eternal torment. There wasn't a strict tarriff neither was there a letter confirming when the said soul had been purified. Best to keep paying. And all this long before labour party peerages.
You can get the official version here.
Luckily, whilst on earth you can open a credit account, where the currency is The Indulgence (I$). You can be awarded indulgences which will limit the amount of time you need to stay in purgatory - although the Church is at pains to point out that it
does not claim to know anything about how long or short purgatory is in general, much less in a specific person's case
Now for most people, indulgences and purgatory are 'old skool'. A bit medieval.
Nonetheless, everyone's favourite German Pope has decided (in his infallible wisdom) that anyone visiting Lourdes in the year starting Dec 8 can have an indulgence, which will the reduce the (undefined) time spent in (undefined place) purgatory.
Lourdes remember was the place where Mary (virginal single mum) appeared as an apparition in 1858 to a 14-year-old girl. So as not to have people believe that the girl was just ADHD, The Good Lady had the decency to appear another 17 times. (Unlike the last Pope who appeared a paltry once, and even then for a split second in a bonfire. No real style.)
Only a twisted cynic would point out that 5 million visitors now come to Lourdes to see and give money to the Church there, so perhaps El Papa is showing his business sense in telling people that in this bonus year, you can reduce your time in the fires. I do hope The Sun runs this story with the headline "Herr-ching".
In the event of death (and subsequent breach of contract), I reckon you'd be hard pushed to get your money back. It's probably in the smallprint.