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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 176609 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #1305 on: April 20, 2010, 09:29:39 AM »



Can you tell me how many thousands of Venetians, men, women and children were butchered in Constantinople before the Crusaders came there.  Why is it that you never mention that small detail of  that tragic sequence....?

Mary


This has been discussed with Fr. Ambrose before. For some reason he thinks the bloodshed on the consciences of the East is a better quality of bloodshed.
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« Reply #1306 on: April 20, 2010, 09:33:30 AM »

The Eastern Catholics should return to their mother Churches.
That is stupid. The people who are Eastern Catholics today are Catholic because they choose to be. They don't want to be Eastern Orthodox, ortherwise they would convert. We are not going to force them out of the Catholic Church just to alleviate the fears of a paranoid Eastern Orthodox monk.

The Roman Catholics -- I do not know
Oh, so there is nothing we can do? You see, you have intention of forgiving anyway. Maybe your bitterness and inability to forgive is the reason why you accept the heretical nonsense of the possible restoration to Grace of a person who dies in enmity with God.
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« Reply #1307 on: April 20, 2010, 09:36:16 AM »

You even reject much of Orthodoxy's various teachings concerning the particular and final judgments

Mary, I find that just so shocking.  It is tantamount to an accusation of heresy against me.  Please be specific and lay out what you mean.

You will just have to remain shocked, Father.  You and I both know how this all plays out.  We've been at it for years, you and I have. 

You have the upper hand among unsympathetic Orthodox, but that does not make you right.

Mary

Dear Mary,

Your registration date to the Forum is March 28, 2010.  How can you have been 'at it for years' with Father when you just got here.  Or, are you an old member with a new identity?

Now I'm confused.

Fr. Ambrose has been quite active on a number of Internet forums both Orthodox and Catholic.  It's quite likely that he and Mary sparred with each other on one or more of those other forums.

Oh no!  Mary and I have worked well together in combatting the eucharistic heresies held by some priests.

But in the matter of the likelihood of Catholic-Orthodox union she is far more optimistic than I.  But still, the lack of unity pains both of us deeply.   I regard her as a dear sister and apprecaite her theological knowledge.  We have not yet had the blessing of seeing the depth of her scholarship on this particular forum.
Probably true for her. But your dishonest polemics against the Catholic Church demonstrate that you want nothing for us except to use us as target practice for the nonsens you spew on every forum in which you participate.
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« Reply #1308 on: April 20, 2010, 09:52:32 AM »



Unfortunately, it is not.  Within Orthodoxy there is a deep-seated fear of Roman Catholicism.  It has been conditioned by long centuries of aggression - the Crusades, the 60 year occupation of Constantinople, the bloodbath in Jerusalem, the attempt to fragment and destroy Orthodoxy by the creation of parallel look-alike Churches in many Orthodox countries (always accompanied by violence), the Croatian policy in WWII of "kill 1/3 of the Orthodox, convert 1/3, and marry 1/3."    

Things such as this have become an integral part of Orthodoxy's innermost psyche when they think of Roman Catholics.  Brushing it aside as polemics damages the bilateral dialogue because it does not acknowledge a deep-rooted problem in our relationship which cries out for attention.  

Pope John Paul II spoke often of the "healing of memory."  The Orthodox attitude could be summed up in the well-known words of Patriarch Pavle of Serbia when he dedicated the monument at the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia - "Forgive we must, forget we dare not."  Oprostiti moramo, zaboraviti ne smemo.
And this is why devout Catholics don't respect you Father A.

Because I have given you an aphorism uttered by the holiest Patriarch to walk the earth this last century?  The words come from Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, a living Saint whom the Orthodox already address in their prayers.   It is not me whom you are denigrating but him.



Some of the mourners who accompanied Patriarch Pavle to his final resting place
in the monastery of Ravovica, November 2009
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« Reply #1309 on: April 20, 2010, 10:14:24 AM »



Unfortunately, it is not.  Within Orthodoxy there is a deep-seated fear of Roman Catholicism.  It has been conditioned by long centuries of aggression - the Crusades, the 60 year occupation of Constantinople, the bloodbath in Jerusalem, the attempt to fragment and destroy Orthodoxy by the creation of parallel look-alike Churches in many Orthodox countries (always accompanied by violence), the Croatian policy in WWII of "kill 1/3 of the Orthodox, convert 1/3, and marry 1/3."    

Things such as this have become an integral part of Orthodoxy's innermost psyche when they think of Roman Catholics.  Brushing it aside as polemics damages the bilateral dialogue because it does not acknowledge a deep-rooted problem in our relationship which cries out for attention.  

Pope John Paul II spoke often of the "healing of memory."  The Orthodox attitude could be summed up in the well-known words of Patriarch Pavle of Serbia when he dedicated the monument at the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia - "Forgive we must, forget we dare not."  Oprostiti moramo, zaboraviti ne smemo.
And this is why devout Catholics don't respect you Father A.

Because I have given you an aphorism uttered by the holiest Patriarch to walk the earth this last century?  The words come from Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, a living Saint whom the Orthodox already address in their prayers.   It is not me whom you are denigrating but him.



Some of the mourners who accompanied Patriarch Pavle to his final resting place
in the monastery of Ravovica, November 2009

What's your point?
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« Reply #1310 on: April 20, 2010, 10:15:32 AM »

Father Ambrose,
 So far, three Catholics on this thread have criticized your method as being either dihonest or extremely biased. The witnesses against your immoral approach are gathering and a case against you is building. Will you accept this reality and repent of your sin or will continue to persist in it? I pray for your sake that you repent.

That being said, it is interesting that we are not doing this to the other Eastern Orthodox in the forum. You are the only one.

I will be praying for you.

I have been rather fair.  For example in post 1174 I write that what Fr Kimel is presenting as contemporary Catholic teaching on Purgatory is indeed quite in line with modern progressive theologians.   See this message
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg424271.html#msg424271

But I am also pointing out that this modern Catholic teaching is inconsistent with pre-Vatican II teaching on this matter, a teaching which stretches back over approximately 7 centuries (if we take Thomas Aquinas as its first solid exponent.)

Far from a case being built against me, a case has been solidly and honestly presented by me to demonstrate the disjunct of post-Vatican II teaching with earlier teaching.  I mentioned that the evidence I have presented is just a small part of it and I can, if you like, go on offering the past teaching of the Catholic Church from Popes and Saints and theologians, as well as Catechisms, etc.  It is this teaching which was taught to millions of young Catholics around the globe by priests and nuns and brothers - who are now maligned as purveying erroneous doctrine (despite the fact that it was also held and taught by Popes and Magisterium!)  I imagine it is because this evidence is irrefutable that you are starting to steam around the ears and insult me personally!

What is dishonest, dear Papist, is this insistence on pretending that nothing has changed!  NO, we never taught that there is fire in Purgatory.  No, we never taught that Purgatory is punitive.  No, we never taught that God inflicts the punishment and torments of Purgatory.  No, we never taught that Catholics should pray to Mary.
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« Reply #1311 on: April 20, 2010, 10:17:20 AM »

You even reject much of Orthodoxy's various teachings concerning the particular and final judgments

Mary, I find that just so shocking.  It is tantamount to an accusation of heresy against me.  Please be specific and lay out what you mean.
I think it is heresy Fr. A. The scriptures are clear on the matter.


It would help if you define "it" so that we have an idea what you are talking about.
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« Reply #1312 on: April 20, 2010, 10:20:18 AM »

Father Ambrose,
 So far, three Catholics on this thread have criticized your method as being either dihonest or extremely biased. The witnesses against your immoral approach are gathering and a case against you is building. Will you accept this reality and repent of your sin or will continue to persist in it? I pray for your sake that you repent.

That being said, it is interesting that we are not doing this to the other Eastern Orthodox in the forum. You are the only one.

I will be praying for you.

I have been rather fair.  For example in post 1174 I write that what Fr Kimel is presenting as contemporary Catholic teaching on Purgatory is indeed quite in line with modern progressive theologians.   See this message
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg424271.html#msg424271

But I am also pointing out that this modern Catholic teaching is inconsistent with pre-Vatican II teaching on this matter, a teaching which stretches back over approximately 7 centuries (if we take Thomas Aquinas as its first solid exponent.)

Far from a case being built against me, a case has been solidly and honestly presented by me to demonstrate the disjunct of post-Vatican II teaching with earlier teaching.  I mentioned that the evidence I have presented is just a small part of it and I can, if you like, go on offering the past teaching of the Catholic Church from Popes and Saints and theologians, as well as Catechisms, etc.  It is this teaching which was taught to millions of young Catholics around the globe by priests and nuns and brothers - who are now maligned as purveying erroneous doctrine (despite the fact that it was also held and taught by Popes and Magisterium!)  I imagine it is because this evidence is irrefutable that you are starting to steam around the ears and insult me personally!

What is dishonest, dear Papist, is this insistence on pretending that nothing has changed!  NO, we never taught that there is fire in Purgatory.  No, we never taught that Purgatory is punitive.  No, we never taught that God inflicts the punishment and torments of Purgatory.  No, we never taught that Catholics should pray to Mary.
Purgatory is Punative. Just not the kind of punishment that you are thinking. Its punishment for the sake of correction.
AND JUST MAKE SOME THING CLEAR: We know almost nothing about purgatory, except that its not fun, it purifies us of our attachment to sin, and that we can help others in the process through our prayers.
Thus, there is nothing dishonest in emphasizes different aspects of the teaching. There is nothing wrong with having different speculations concerning the teaching, as long as we stay within the bounds described above. It is dishonest for you to suggest otherwise. You are a very dishonest man.
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« Reply #1313 on: April 20, 2010, 10:28:11 AM »


Purgatory is Punative. Just not the kind of punishment that you are thinking. Its punishment for the sake of correction.
.............................It is dishonest for you to suggest otherwise. You are a very dishonest man.

What is dishonest is that you deny the teaching of Popes and Saints and theologians and catechisms stretching back centuries which do NOT speak of the torments of Purgatory as corrective but as a punishment inflicted by God for sin and as the afterdeath way to expiate the punishment due to sin.   

But, Papist, what is the use of you and me trading insults....?  Why not advance the discussion with solid evidence?
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« Reply #1314 on: April 20, 2010, 10:44:38 AM »

This discussion is starting to delve into the realm of ad hominem.  Watch it, folks, or this thread will be locked and offenders may find themselves in the OC.NET version of Purgatory

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« Reply #1315 on: April 20, 2010, 10:56:36 AM »

This discussion is starting to delve into the realm of ad hominem.  Watch it, folks, or this thread will be locked and offenders may find themselves in the OC.NET version of Purgatory

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Thank you Moderator Schultz.   Father Ambrose and I do truly love one another as brother and sister in Christ.  All toughness between us is the toughness of love.  Others must not see that toughness, and presume to take advantage of a relationship that has been forged over many many years and no small measure of personal insight and care-taking through prayer and sacrifice.

That being said I fear that human nature cannot help but rise to the occasions presented and my tone with Father clearly emboldened Papist.  I hope Papist, whoever he may be, backs off so that this excellent discussion may continue apace.

Mary
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« Reply #1316 on: April 20, 2010, 11:04:49 AM »

Quote
What is dishonest, dear Papist, is this insistence on pretending that nothing has changed!  NO, we never taught that there is fire in Purgatory.  No, we never taught that Purgatory is punitive.  No, we never taught that God inflicts the punishment and torments of Purgatory.  No, we never taught that Catholics should pray to Mary.

This is a parody of a Jack Chick approach to Catholics and the Theotokos and its meant to incite and its dumb to even raise as an issue.

The Catholic Church has never given the Mother of God the same adoration and worship that is given to the Trinity or any one of the Persons of the Trinity.  That is the crux of the matter and that is that.

So to pick away at a Chickism is unnecessarily inflammatory and distracting, and so in part you are responsible for inciting an already incitable soul and I don't need to tell you what that means.

Mary
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« Reply #1317 on: April 20, 2010, 11:20:50 AM »

So to pick away at a Chickism is unnecessarily inflammatory and distracting, and so in part you are responsible for inciting an already incitable soul and I don't need to tell you what that means.


That I have taken upon myself responsibility for this soul and for guiding it into the safe harbour of the Una Sancta?  Prayers have long been ascending for members of the Forum, Catholic and Orthodox alike.  I love them all.
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« Reply #1318 on: April 20, 2010, 11:23:34 AM »

So to pick away at a Chickism is unnecessarily inflammatory and distracting, and so in part you are responsible for inciting an already incitable soul and I don't need to tell you what that means.


That I have taken upon myself responsibility for this soul and for guiding it into the safe harbour of the Una Sancta?  Prayers have long been ascending for members of the Forum, Catholic and Orthodox alike.  I love them all.


Then don't bait Papist.  Teach him...don't bait him like a bear.  He is a bear.  Don't treat him like one or he will remain a bear.
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« Reply #1319 on: April 20, 2010, 11:29:12 AM »


Purgatory is Punative. Just not the kind of punishment that you are thinking. Its punishment for the sake of correction.
.............................It is dishonest for you to suggest otherwise. You are a very dishonest man.

What is dishonest is that you deny the teaching of Popes and Saints and theologians and catechisms stretching back centuries which do NOT speak of the torments of Purgatory as corrective but as a punishment inflicted by God for sin and as the afterdeath way to expiate the punishment due to sin.   

But, Papist, what is the use of you and me trading insults....?  Why not advance the discussion with solid evidence?


I agree, especially after reading the accounts of the Council of Florence..  The topic of purifying fire was not so much about correction as it was the need for men to be punished for sins not paid for in this life.

Corrective punishment assumes that future conduct will be 'better' but the Holy Fathers do not address the topic of post-mortem human sin.  I believe the assumption is that the unmitigated presence of God in the afterlife will be sufficient reminder to humans so that they will not 'forget' and sin.  Correction is unnecessary after death, since the greatest punishment for man is still death.

But, purgation of sins imposed by God seems to me to be the crux of the RCC argument throughout the age.  It is also traditional for RCC in the later periods to codify this process.  I know Papist says (admirably) that we do not know much about the afterlife, but it seems that in years past the Popes have known enough to discuss various periods of punishment along with a system to eliminate this punishments.

If these punishments were corrective in nature, then the efficacy of indulgences would be in question, since the correction would be shortened and the 'lesson' of the correction would not be completely taught.  That is, unless part of the time in purgatory was unnecessary for the lesson, in which case God's punishment is arbitrary.

In addition, the correction of purgatory cannot be effective since it does not involve the body, which is part of the human person and particiated in sins.  Let us not forget the body is part of the whole, and God specifiies that the body will be part of the eternal consequences for sin: Resurrection to eternal damnation.

Therefore, I think it is impossible for the soul to be 'punished' by itself without the body, since they were together when the sin occurred if one were to insist on such a thing.
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« Reply #1320 on: April 20, 2010, 12:17:00 PM »


Then don't bait Papist.  Teach him...don't bait him like a bear.  He is a bear.  Don't treat him like one or he will remain a bear.
I have noticed that from the moment you began posting here, you began insulting and judging me. I will pray for your lack of charity.
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« Reply #1321 on: April 20, 2010, 12:17:51 PM »


Purgatory is Punative. Just not the kind of punishment that you are thinking. Its punishment for the sake of correction.
.............................It is dishonest for you to suggest otherwise. You are a very dishonest man.

What is dishonest is that you deny the teaching of Popes and Saints and theologians and catechisms stretching back centuries which do NOT speak of the torments of Purgatory as corrective but as a punishment inflicted by God for sin and as the afterdeath way to expiate the punishment due to sin.    

But, Papist, what is the use of you and me trading insults....?  Why not advance the discussion with solid evidence?
I am not denying anything so I am not dishonest. Dishonesty is your realm Father Ambrose.
Another moderator already posted a general warning that the ad hominem posting needs to stop, yet you continue it only a few posts later.  Since my only goal is to facilitate the respectful discussion that will keep this thread open by reiterating my colleague's earlier directive, I have no desire that this warning should be seen as punitive.  Therefore, it will last for only three days to give you ample opportunity to take a break from this thread and cool off.  If you persist in your personal attacks on Irish Hermit, however, your warning will be escalated to something much more severe.  Please feel free to appeal this warning to Veniamin via PM if you think my action wrong.

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« Reply #1322 on: April 20, 2010, 12:31:47 PM »


If these punishments were corrective in nature, then the efficacy of indulgences would be in question, since the correction would be shortened and the 'lesson' of the correction would not be completely taught.  That is, unless part of the time in purgatory was unnecessary for the lesson, in which case God's punishment is arbitrary.
Christ is Risen!

I have also wondered about this discrepancy.
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« Reply #1323 on: April 20, 2010, 01:23:12 PM »


If these punishments were corrective in nature, then the efficacy of indulgences would be in question, since the correction would be shortened and the 'lesson' of the correction would not be completely taught.  That is, unless part of the time in purgatory was unnecessary for the lesson, in which case God's punishment is arbitrary.
Christ is Risen!

I have also wondered about this discrepancy.

I believe that the only way out of this for an RC is to claim that purgatory is neither expiatory nor corrective, but that the purifying fire is actually a continuation of the process of sanctification after death, which necessarily involves some sort of suffering.

But if this is the case, and indulgences affect the process of sanctification, then there can only be two possibilities:
    indulgences leave the person unsanctified, or
    indulgences quicken their sanctification, thereby increasing the pain of the departed soul.

Both these possibilities are inconsistent with the traditional understanding of Purgatory. If Purgatory is good for you, then indulgences and prayer for the dead are at best pointless.
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« Reply #1324 on: April 20, 2010, 01:28:33 PM »


If these punishments were corrective in nature, then the efficacy of indulgences would be in question, since the correction would be shortened and the 'lesson' of the correction would not be completely taught.  That is, unless part of the time in purgatory was unnecessary for the lesson, in which case God's punishment is arbitrary.
Christ is Risen!

I have also wondered about this discrepancy.

This is a very legitimate inquiry and it deserves an answer and I will try to give some kind of an answer after I post what I have here.  But unless you as inquisitors are willing to suspend disbelief for a time, there is very little that can be done to temper your minds or your hearts to be be more accepting.  The answer to your inquiry in fact is several-fold.  But before that I want to say the following and hope that Father Al is not upset with me for using his portion to help with continuity.  The first part of the following quote is from me to Father Al. 

Follows a brief dialogue between Mary and Father Al:

Quote

I have a very hard time with this assertion (that Pope John Paul and Pope Benedicts discussions of purgation are somthing new and different) and I know you believe it firmly but I have years of formation as a Carmelite and they put even the seculars through a thorough and disciplined and tested regimen of study of the reformed saints, and frankly the teaching concerning sin and punishment was quite complex and nothing has changed (in the Church's formal teaching) as far as I can tell.  There might have been regional variations and the Church in many places certianly have treated the faithful as idiots on occasion, simplifying to absurd levels and trying to scare people into submission,  but the formal teaching was, for the reformed Carmel, as only one example, what it is today.  There's no pre- or post- Vatican about it.

M.


On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 9:32 AM, Al Kimel wrote:

    Mary, I am happy to be proved wrong.  JPII and Benedict have made clear that the temporal punishment of sin is the interior disorder that sin creates in our souls.  If this disorder is not healed through penance in this life, then it must be healed in the next.  This purification constitutes the "punishment" of Purgatory.  When this purification and healing is completed, at that moment the transition to Heaven is accomplished. 

    Is this the identical understanding of the pre-Vatican II Church?  I would love for you or for someone else to prove to me, and to the members of the Orthodox.net forum, that that is the case.  So far, the strongest evidence for continuity I have found are St Bonaventure and St Catherine of Genoa. I'm not sure about St Thomas Aquinas.  I certainly have found plenty of examples where temporal punishment is explained in purely juridical terms.  Fr Ambrose thinks the juridical construal is overwhelmingly dominant in the pre-Vatican II Church.  He would need some strong evidence to be convinced otherwise.  In one of his recent posts he claimed that the punishment must be exacted even when the soul has achieved purification and openness to God.

On Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 10:06 AM, Mary Lanser wrote:

    I know what you'd like to see me do Father, and I would if the way was clear to me and I had the resources to do it.  Part of the difficulty in presenting the smoking gun is that the formal texts in Latin speak in terms of "poena" which has several levels of meaning...the meanings that the Church give to the term "poena" are "expiation" and "loss"...The common English translation is always "punishment"...which has been thought to be an efficacious way of keeping folks in line but that line of thinking is fairly modern, not medieval or early medieval at all.

    The doctrinal/theological thread runs from the illumination of our intellect and will through Baptism/Chrismation/Eucharist and the continued strengthening of the will through Eucharist and Penance in life [along with the practices of unceasing prayer and spiritual warfare.]  If one runs directly contrary to that "progressive" and "stage-wise" elevation of the soul, then there is a progressive weakening of the will and darkening of the intellect and hardening of the heart till nothing is able to winkle its way in to reverse the hardening.  And then there is the rest of us.

    Back to the problem:  A part of the problem, it seems to me, is  that there is a kind of disconnect between the language of spiritual growth/warfare and the most commonly accessible formal doctrinal expressions...such as local catechisms and papal documents.  Perhaps in the bowels of the Vatican library there are records of discussions that bring the two more clearly together but I don't have linguistic access to them much less proximity.

    Another huge part of the problem has been the dissolution of the monasteries in England and in Europe, with the concurrent loss of  huge chunks of the documentation of the ages.  It is very difficult to draw the thread of a teaching all the way through now, and there must necessarily be educated leaps.

    I've only been able to see it because I've been formed in the ancient monastic teachings of the Church and in practice there is no disconnect.  One presumes in the readings of the saints that they are teaching as the Church teaches because they say so directly.  The presumptions are made clear in the recommendations to action, even if the action is apophatic.

    Nobody anticipated the need to record "pointers" to some of these things because the later generations would fall prey to spiritual lassitude and the inward turning of the monasteries in from the mid-1700s to the beginning of the 20th centuries.  Many Benedictines began teaching from about the 1750s forward that the laity was not capable of theosis.  They went back to the ideas promoted in the work of St. Gregory the New Theologian and taught that only the "initiated" could ever hope to achieve sanctity through prayer and spiritual development.   The rest had to be shoved into heaven by fear and brute force, and that is when the real hard core fear tactics surrounding the catechesis of purgatory began.

    Prior to that monastics and laity worked together and the monastics learned from the patient diligence of the farmer and his wife praying the Angelus in the fields, and the people learned to practice the presence of God because they were told that they too could achieve union with God in this world as well as in the world to come.

    In those times there was less perceived need for fear.

    What I am saying is all out there scattered in the texts of the resourcement theologians and historians of the 20th century and quite visible in much of all the monastic formation materials.

    To pull it all together in a genuinely convincing manner is life's work.  And I am 57 this year and not up to the task.

    But clearly it needs to be done.

    It is my goal simply to point to the need and support it in the best way I can as opportunity and resources present themselves to me.

    M.
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« Reply #1325 on: April 20, 2010, 01:35:33 PM »


If these punishments were corrective in nature, then the efficacy of indulgences would be in question, since the correction would be shortened and the 'lesson' of the correction would not be completely taught.  That is, unless part of the time in purgatory was unnecessary for the lesson, in which case God's punishment is arbitrary.
Christ is Risen!

I have also wondered about this discrepancy.

I believe that the only way out of this for an RC is to claim that purgatory is neither expiatory nor corrective, but that the purifying fire is actually a continuation of the process of sanctification after death, which necessarily involves some sort of suffering.

But if this is the case, and indulgences affect the process of sanctification, then there can only be two possibilities:
    indulgences leave the person unsanctified, or
    indulgences quicken their sanctification, thereby increasing the pain of the departed soul.

Both these possibilities are inconsistent with the traditional understanding of Purgatory. If Purgatory is good for you, then indulgences and prayer for the dead are at best pointless.

Dear Rufus and others,

One of the false underlying presumptions here must be that prayers for the dead or prayers for those undergoing purgation are in some way irrefutable.  They cannot be either resisted or denied outright. 

In other words one can pray someone out of hell or purgatory whether or not that soul is willing and THAT is simply a surrogate for the heresy of the irresistible grace that is denied by Orthodox and Catholics alike.

Our prayers do not have any effect whatsoever on sanctification of a soul.  They mediate by petitioning the Master to renew and redouble the graces to try to soften a hardened heart, in the case of praying someone out of hell.

In the case of prayers for those in purgation they are supplicatory to the Master to relieve the suffering to shorten the time, but the actual impulse of the human will to cleave to the divine will still rests directly with the soul and his or her Master.

You are the ones treating these things as though they are magic...not the Catholic Church.

Mary
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« Reply #1326 on: April 20, 2010, 01:47:50 PM »


This is a very legitimate inquiry and it deserves an answer and I will try to give some kind of an answer after I post what I have here.  But unless you as inquisitors are willing to suspend disbelief for a time, there is very little that can be done to temper your minds or your hearts to be be more accepting.  The answer to your inquiry in fact is several-fold.  But before that I want to say the following and hope that Father Al is not upset with me for using his portion to help with continuity.  The first part of the following quote is from me to Father Al. 
it is today.  There's no pre- or post- Vatican about it.
healing is completed, at that moment the transition to Heaven is accomplished. 
    M.

Dear Mary,

I read the exchange several times, genuinely trying to figure out what it has to do with what we have been discussing.  Honestly, I am looking for answers, and I am not a polemicist.

The best I can make out from two RCs talking to each other is that there is no real way to explain the teachings of the RCC because it does not make sense in English when translated from Latin, and some of the teachings have been lost.

If I am missing something, maybe you can help me out here and tell me what I was supposed to get from the quote, because I found it confusing.
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« Reply #1327 on: April 20, 2010, 01:53:33 PM »


This is a very legitimate inquiry and it deserves an answer and I will try to give some kind of an answer after I post what I have here.  But unless you as inquisitors are willing to suspend disbelief for a time, there is very little that can be done to temper your minds or your hearts to be be more accepting.  The answer to your inquiry in fact is several-fold.  But before that I want to say the following and hope that Father Al is not upset with me for using his portion to help with continuity.  The first part of the following quote is from me to Father Al.  
it is today.  There's no pre- or post- Vatican about it.
healing is completed, at that moment the transition to Heaven is accomplished.  
    M.

Dear Mary,

I read the exchange several times, genuinely trying to figure out what it has to do with what we have been discussing.  Honestly, I am looking for answers, and I am not a polemicist.

The best I can make out from two RCs talking to each other is that there is no real way to explain the teachings of the RCC because it does not make sense in English when translated from Latin, and some of the teachings have been lost.

If I am missing something, maybe you can help me out here and tell me what I was supposed to get from the quote, because I found it confusing.
I don't agree with your conclusion. I think the point that you are missing  is that the part of the Doctrine that is defined, that is de fide, and that every Catholic must accept, is very limted. We have a very apophatic approach to Purgatory. There is alot of metaphorical language used to describe Purgatory that we don't necessarily see as literal.
You can recognize a similar phenomena in your Church. Throughout Church history and in the scriptures, Sts. and theologians refer to the "fires of hell" often in very graphic imagery. However, your Church teaches that there are no literal flames in hell, but rather the negative experience of God's "energies" for those who reject God.
You can't criticize us for a "crime" of which your own theologians are "guilty".
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« Reply #1328 on: April 20, 2010, 02:05:29 PM »


I don't agree with your conclusion. I think the point that you are missing  is that the part of the Doctrine that is defined, that is de fide, and that every Catholic must accept, is very limted. We have a very apophatic approach to Purgatory. There is alot of metaphorical language used to describe Purgatory that we don't necessarily see as literal.
You can recognize a similar phenomena in your Church. Throughout Church history and in the scriptures, Sts. and theologians refer to the "fires of hell" often in very graphic imagery. However, your Church teaches that there are no literal flames in hell, but rather the negative experience of God's "energies" for those who reject God.
You can't criticize us for a "crime" of which your own theologians are "guilty".

To the RC folks reading this thread:

I am not trying to 'troll' or provoke.  I am very much trying to understand, based in part because I am cooperating with an RC friend where this topic is important.  This is not coming easy for me, as I am not a theologian by any stretch of anyone's imagination.

The hardest part for me is that I really find RC conversation in the matter very confusing, mostly because I am not used to the thinking.  It seems, in a way I cannot explain, very different.

That being said, in answer to your statement regarding 'fire,' let me ask you this: at what point does the Host begin to look exactly like a piece of human flesh?
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« Reply #1329 on: April 20, 2010, 02:31:51 PM »


Dear Mary,

I read the exchange several times, genuinely trying to figure out what it has to do with what we have been discussing.  Honestly, I am looking for answers, and I am not a polemicist.

The best I can make out from two RCs talking to each other is that there is no real way to explain the teachings of the RCC because it does not make sense in English when translated from Latin, and some of the teachings have been lost.

If I am missing something, maybe you can help me out here and tell me what I was supposed to get from the quote, because I found it confusing.

Dear Father,

The Church does not allow any canon or conciliar acta, for example,  to be translated when operating formally.  In other words, all translations from the Latin to any other language are automatically removed from the full and formal meaning of the original Latin texts.

So I am telling you, because it is the truth, that your appropriation of the language of punishment looses at LEAST half of the full meaning of the formal documents of the Church.  Part of it is because of what is lost in translation.  The other part is your own willingness to exaggerate that which you presume to be all that is there and your refusal to see any other possibility...even when a Catholic tells you that you are in error.

Mary

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« Reply #1330 on: April 20, 2010, 03:00:00 PM »


Dear Father,

The Church does not allow any canon or conciliar acta, for example,  to be translated when operating formally.  In other words, all translations from the Latin to any other language are automatically removed from the full and formal meaning of the original Latin texts.

So I am telling you, because it is the truth, that your appropriation of the language of punishment looses at LEAST half of the full meaning of the formal documents of the Church.  Part of it is because of what is lost in translation.  The other part is your own willingness to exaggerate that which you presume to be all that is there and your refusal to see any other possibility...even when a Catholic tells you that you are in error.

Mary


Dear Mary,

So, it seems that if the teaching cannot be adequately explained in English, then the point of this conversation is moot.

What your argument boils down to, from my view, is this: I have to either accept what you say without you having to prove it in English, or I have to learn Latin in order to find out what the teaching is.

Since I am nowhere near being able to learn Latin right now (perhaps ever), then the only logical alternative is either to totally believe you or not.

That is, unless we can actually find a way for the RCC to communicate its teachings in vernacular English.

I feel like in this conversation is turning into Lucy and Charlie Brown with the football.  The meanings keep changing depending upon who you are talking to, and it seems everyone has the right to say, 'Yes, it says that, but that's not what it means.'

Then it gets stickier, because if I decide to believe you, let's say, and another RC comes along and says, 'She is wrong' how am I to tell the difference?  All of us need an unchanging source of doctrine that transcends personal opinions, unless there is no 'official teaching' and all is opinion, in which case you can't represent RCC teaching because there is no valid doctrine on the matter and people are free to believe what suits them until the Church sets parameters.

I get the feeling that there are specific teachings within the RCC, and that they have changed over time, and that Pope Benedict is making further alterations to the official communication of these teachings.  Is that a fair assessment?
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« Reply #1331 on: April 20, 2010, 03:07:26 PM »


I get the feeling that there are specific teachings within the RCC, and that they have changed over time, and that Pope Benedict is making further alterations to the official communication of these teachings.  Is that a fair assessment?


A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

I continue to listen to my Church tell me what she means, Father.  For some very good and evident reasons I do not turn to Orthodoxy to learn Catholic history or doctrine.

G'day as they say  angel

Mary
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« Reply #1332 on: April 20, 2010, 03:25:22 PM »

I was never under the understanding that praying for the dead was some kind of get-out-of-purgatory early card. I am sure somewhere in popular Catholicism, there is that understanding. My impression, based somewhat on the catechettical materials I was exposed to, that it was akin to giving a cup of water to someone thirsting in the desert. It doesn't take them out of the desert, but it will help them endure it better. There is also, in popular catholicism, that the departed can pray for you if you ask them to intercede for you. (That requires a small amount of presumption - i.e. the departed in question is not in hell)
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« Reply #1333 on: April 20, 2010, 03:33:59 PM »

A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.

I continue to listen to my Church tell me what she means, Father.  For some very good and evident reasons I do not turn to Orthodoxy to learn Catholic history or doctrine.

G'day as they say  angel

Mary

Dear Mary,

Sorry, that does not follow.  Smiley

I wasn't asking you to turn to Orthodoxy to prove RCC doctrine, but I was expecting you to defend your position in a consistent manner, which it appears you say cannot be done in English.

It isn't a matter of being convinced of anything, because you could not possibly be so naive as to assume that you are going to convince me of much of anything having already determined that I am not here to be convinced of anything.

However, I am trying to grasp and understand the teachings of my friends.  The standard is lower I think.

What I am trying to figure out is what it is you are listening to from your church.  If you can't explain it, then that is fine.  But, please, no insults about how I am being stubborn, ok?   Wink
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« Reply #1334 on: April 20, 2010, 03:43:27 PM »

Let's see ... Indulgences and Purgatory were translated from Latin to Arabic for the Easternmost Eastern Catholics ... and might be translated back to English ... Yep, a whole bunch of things might get lost in the translation.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1335 on: April 20, 2010, 03:47:41 PM »

What I am trying to figure out is what it is you are listening to from your church.  If you can't explain it, then that is fine.  But, please, no insults about how I am being stubborn, ok?   Wink

When I get a clear shot at making and impression I will try to take it.  Something other than a clear shot will be mocked and twisted and derided and toyed with and I don't enjoy that kind of digression in dialogue so I tend not to indulge it.

Mary
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« Reply #1336 on: April 20, 2010, 03:56:54 PM »

With reference to the question concerning *fire*, I had a small question for my Orthodox friends:
We read in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
This is meant to be a friendly question please:
 With reference to the fire, do the Orthodox believe this to be a literal fire?

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« Reply #1337 on: April 20, 2010, 04:00:12 PM »

  Within Orthodoxy there is a deep-seated fear of Roman Catholicism.
Let us suppose for the discussion that what you say is completely true.
What then should Catholics or the Catholic Church do in order to at least alleviate this fear to some extent?

The Eastern Catholics should return to their mother Churches.

The Roman Catholics -- I do not know
Dear Father Ambrose:
     Although this is unlikely to happen, but not impossible, do you think that it would do any good as far as alleviating the fear that you speak of, if a Melkite bishop were elected Pope?
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« Reply #1338 on: April 20, 2010, 04:03:03 PM »

  Within Orthodoxy there is a deep-seated fear of Roman Catholicism.
Let us suppose for the discussion that what you say is completely true.
What then should Catholics or the Catholic Church do in order to at least alleviate this fear to some extent?

The Eastern Catholics should return to their mother Churches.

The Roman Catholics -- I do not know
Dear Father Ambrose:
     Although this is unlikely to happen, but not impossible, do you think that it would do any good as far as alleviating the fear that you speak of, if a Melkite bishop were elected Pope?
I don't think that makes much sense. The Bishop of Rome is the bishop of Rome, the Latin Patriarch. He has not only universal jurisdication, but also functions as the primate of the Latin Church.
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« Reply #1339 on: April 20, 2010, 04:06:35 PM »

  Within Orthodoxy there is a deep-seated fear of Roman Catholicism.
Let us suppose for the discussion that what you say is completely true.
What then should Catholics or the Catholic Church do in order to at least alleviate this fear to some extent?

The Eastern Catholics should return to their mother Churches.

The Roman Catholics -- I do not know
Dear Father Ambrose:
     Although this is unlikely to happen, but not impossible, do you think that it would do any good as far as alleviating the fear that you speak of, if a Melkite bishop were elected Pope?
I don't think that makes much sense. The Bishop of Rome is the bishop of Rome, the Latin Patriarch. He has not only universal jurisdication, but also functions as the primate of the Latin Church.
There is a list of Greek Popes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Greek_popes
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« Reply #1340 on: April 20, 2010, 04:08:03 PM »

 Within Orthodoxy there is a deep-seated fear of Roman Catholicism.
Let us suppose for the discussion that what you say is completely true.
What then should Catholics or the Catholic Church do in order to at least alleviate this fear to some extent?

The Eastern Catholics should return to their mother Churches.

The Roman Catholics -- I do not know
Dear Father Ambrose:
     Although this is unlikely to happen, but not impossible, do you think that it would do any good as far as alleviating the fear that you speak of, if a Melkite bishop were elected Pope?
I don't think that makes much sense. The Bishop of Rome is the bishop of Rome, the Latin Patriarch. He has not only universal jurisdication, but also functions as the primate of the Latin Church.
There is a list of Greek Popes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Greek_popes
I concede my point.
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« Reply #1341 on: April 20, 2010, 04:56:25 PM »

With reference to the question concerning *fire*, I had a small question for my Orthodox friends:
We read in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
This is meant to be a friendly question please:
 With reference to the fire, do the Orthodox believe this to be a literal fire?

the best thing is to read a more thorough treatment of the topic:

http://www.amazon.com/After-Death-Metropolitan-Nafpaktos-Hierotheos/dp/9607070348/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271795479&sr=1-5

In a nutshell, the 'fire' is the love of God, which burns those who resist God's love and warms those who love Him.  It is not fire in the material sense, since the soul is not matter in the physical sense.
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« Reply #1342 on: April 20, 2010, 05:37:40 PM »

With reference to the question concerning *fire*, I had a small question for my Orthodox friends:
We read in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
This is meant to be a friendly question please:
 With reference to the fire, do the Orthodox believe this to be a literal fire?

the best thing is to read a more thorough treatment of the topic:

http://www.amazon.com/After-Death-Metropolitan-Nafpaktos-Hierotheos/dp/9607070348/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271795479&sr=1-5

In a nutshell, the 'fire' is the love of God, which burns those who resist God's love and warms those who love Him.  It is not fire in the material sense, since the soul is not matter in the physical sense.
So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #1343 on: April 20, 2010, 05:55:59 PM »

With reference to the question concerning *fire*, I had a small question for my Orthodox friends:
We read in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
This is meant to be a friendly question please:
 With reference to the fire, do the Orthodox believe this to be a literal fire?

the best thing is to read a more thorough treatment of the topic:

http://www.amazon.com/After-Death-Metropolitan-Nafpaktos-Hierotheos/dp/9607070348/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271795479&sr=1-5

In a nutshell, the 'fire' is the love of God, which burns those who resist God's love and warms those who love Him.  It is not fire in the material sense, since the soul is not matter in the physical sense.
So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes

A good point. However, Orthodox theologians have been rather clear about what the fire is, and when there is disagreement, it is not a cataclysmic issue, because the OC does not hav a dogmatic teaching on the fire.

The RCC, however, does have a dogmatic teaching about Purgatory. So far, no one has been able to make clear to us what this teaching is.
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« Reply #1344 on: April 20, 2010, 06:09:40 PM »

The Formal Pre-Vatican II conciliar teachings of the Catholic Church concerning purgatory:

"Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away.

Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven "either in this world or in the world to come" (Mt 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions."

Pope Saint Gregory the Great, Dialogues, 4:39 (A.D. 594).

From the Second General Council of Lyon and the Profession of Faith by Michael Paleologus, Second Part:

But because of various errors, introduced by some through ignorance and by others out of malice, she says and preaches that those who after Baptism lapse into son must not be rebaptized, but obtain pardon for their sins through true penance; that if being truly repentant, they die in charity before having satisfied by worthy fruits of penance for their sins of commission and omission, their souls are cleansed after death by purgatorial and purifying penalties, as Brother John has explained to us; and that to alleviate such penalties the acts of intercession (suffragia) of the living faithful benefit them, namely the sacrifices of the Mass, prayers, alms and other works of piety which the faithful are wont to do for the other faithful according to the Church's institutions.

As for the souls of those who, after having received holy baptism, have incurred not stain of sin whatever, and those souls who, after having contracted the stain of sin, have been cleansed, either while remaining still in their bodies or after having been divested of them as stated above, they are received immediately (mox) into heaven."

The Council of Florence (1439) repeats this formulary.

The Council of Trent (1563) Decree on purgatory:

The Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Spirit and in accordance with sacred Scripture and the ancient Tradition of the Fathers, has taught in he holy Councils and most recently in this ecumenical Council that there is a purgatory and that the souls detained there are helped by the acts of intercession (suffragia) of the faithful and especially by the acceptable sacrifice of the altar.  Therefore this holy Council commands the bishops to strive diligently that the sound doctrine of purgatory, handed down by the Holy Fathers and the sacred Councils, be believed by the faithful and that it be adhered, taught and preached everywhere. But let the more difficult and subtle questions which do not make for edification and, for the most part, are not conducive to and increase of piety (cf. 1 Timothy 1.4), be excluded from the popular sermons to uneducated people.  Likewise they should not permit opinions that are doubtful and tainted with error to be spread and exposed.  As for those things that belong to the realm of curiosity or superstition, or smack of dishonorable gain, they should forbid them as scandalous and injurious to the faithful
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« Reply #1345 on: April 20, 2010, 06:37:49 PM »

So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes

Dear Papist,

Material fire cannot burn an immaterial soul.  If a soul is being burned in purgatory/intermediate state/ etc., a non-material fire would be necessary, wouldn't it?

I'm not mocking your tradition.  Nor am I departing from the words of the Lord.
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« Reply #1346 on: April 20, 2010, 06:54:20 PM »

So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes

Dear Papist,

Material fire cannot burn an immaterial soul.  If a soul is being burned in purgatory/intermediate state/ etc., a non-material fire would be necessary, wouldn't it?

I'm not mocking your tradition.  Nor am I departing from the words of the Lord.
My point is not to mock your belief at all but to call you to apply the ruler to your tradition that is being applied to ours.
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« Reply #1347 on: April 20, 2010, 07:08:12 PM »

So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes

Dear Papist,

Material fire cannot burn an immaterial soul.  If a soul is being burned in purgatory/intermediate state/ etc., a non-material fire would be necessary, wouldn't it?

I'm not mocking your tradition.  Nor am I departing from the words of the Lord.
My point is not to mock your belief at all but to call you to apply the ruler to your tradition that is being applied to ours.

I thought I was.  What exactly offends you?
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« Reply #1348 on: April 20, 2010, 07:13:10 PM »

So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes

Dear Papist,

Material fire cannot burn an immaterial soul.  If a soul is being burned in purgatory/intermediate state/ etc., a non-material fire would be necessary, wouldn't it?

I'm not mocking your tradition.  Nor am I departing from the words of the Lord.
My point is not to mock your belief at all but to call you to apply the ruler to your tradition that is being applied to ours.

I thought I was.  What exactly offends you?
The idea that you think we have changed our teachings just because we view statements about fire as metaphorical.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
FatherGiryus
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« Reply #1349 on: April 20, 2010, 07:15:37 PM »

So its not real fire? Then you must have changed your teaching since Jesus talked about fire. Hmmmm. I just can't pin down the EO position.  Roll Eyes

Dear Papist,

Material fire cannot burn an immaterial soul.  If a soul is being burned in purgatory/intermediate state/ etc., a non-material fire would be necessary, wouldn't it?

I'm not mocking your tradition.  Nor am I departing from the words of the Lord.
My point is not to mock your belief at all but to call you to apply the ruler to your tradition that is being applied to ours.

I thought I was.  What exactly offends you?
The idea that you think we have changed our teachings just because we view statements about fire as metaphorical.

Where did I say that?
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http://orthodoxyandrecovery.blogspot.com
The most dangerous thing about riding a tiger is the dismount.  - Indian proverb
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