This "Archbishop" is not only against Blessed Father Seraphim and his "gnostic" teachinng of the Toll Houses, he is against many many Saints and Elders of the orthodox church!
The teaching is not a folk myth, or gnostic it is an important, ancient ,traditional teaching of the pan-orthodox church and everyone can proof this!
You have to read and study the church fathers and you will come across often about this issue!
it is mentioned in the scripture
Saint Athanasius the great mentioned it in the live of St, Antonius
Sain Basil the new (Blessed Theodora, Blessed Gregory his disciple)
Saint Theophan the Recluse
Saint Ignatios or russia
Saint Justin of Serbia
St. Nikolaj of Zica
in the Philokalie
in the Evergentinos
Prolog of Ohrid
in the famous monastery of Rila in frescos are shown all 20 Stations
And everyone who do not agree with him is guilty of sexual realtions or a heretic or gnostic!
I know some old calendarians from greece and usa and they all believe in the Toll houses!
I am a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church, so I want to be certain up front that it is understood that I have much to learn (and un-learn). In America, when you say "Toll-House", 99.8% will tell you that refers to a cookie with chocolate chips in it :>) I was a protestant for 35 years, then a Roman Catholic for 25 years until recently. I mention this just to explain my context.
One thing I want to say in response to this post (quoted above) is that it could also be said, given the litany of alleged supporters you give for Toll-House theory, that an even greater litany of notables could have been given in support of Arius in the time of St. Athanasius. It seemed as if the whole world had gone after his (Arius') heresy (including the then Roman Bishop and the majority of other bishops and faithful). Athanasius was in a very small minority. When all was told, Arius was condemned as an heretic. So, IMHO, litanies of notables do not guarantee the orthodoxy of a posited theory or doctrine, as proven from history.
Perhaps, more importantly, 2 things come to my mind regarding this "discussion" of Archbishop Lazar (I do not know him, or his writings). If he was defrocked for disciplinary reasons or for being overly zealous in a refutation of a teaching he saw as dangerous and false, that is one thing. So with that said, #1) I saw where one person wrote on this thread that Archbishop Lazar seemed to be accepted "by those on the fringe
". My response to that is : heaven forbid, he may also have been known to associate with publicans and sinners!!!
#2, and of deeper concern, is this question: What explanation or excuse can be legitimately given for putting this man into the center of a thread, without his knowledge, and proceeding to debate his legitimacy through some supportive remarks (excl. Euthymios), but a majority of perjorative, judgemental assessments and calumnies. Is this slander, gossip, tale-bearing? Would you like this to happen to you and your name/reputation? As a catechumen I am troubled to see this on an Orthodox Christian site and would be tempted to be scandalized by this, had I not already met my lifetime quota for being scandalized while among the Papists.
There is obviously room for disagreement, but not at the expense of a man who, from all indications, has given his life to serve God and to teach and protect His people. In the RCC, appeal could be made to the Pope on this matter, and settled unequivocably with no further recourse. Thanks be to God the Orthodox Church is not enslaved to such "lording it over the flock of God". However, as a catechuman, how is this obviously devisive and controversial teaching to be once and for all settled, and by whom? And is the toll-house teaching really 'purgatory' on steroids?!!
As an afterthought and in response to another writer's remarks, the retired Archbishop's political opinions regarding America as it is today, and the global utopian frenzy in general, should have no bearing on a discussion of toll-houses.
I need answers to the question I have asked here, which you