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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 181868 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #1440 on: April 22, 2010, 09:56:18 PM »


Mary,

Would this help you to see that what I wrote was 100% accurate...

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."

http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm



No.  This helps nothing.  You will continue to promote your version of the teaching and nothing but an act of God is going to stop you.

There was a time when I became frustrated with you but no longer.

I place before you the very clear teaching of the Catholic Church - 100% identical with what I wrote myself - and you brush it aside and say it helps nothing! 
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« Reply #1441 on: April 22, 2010, 10:03:26 PM »

Again, purgation is not a doctrine specifically developed to address the guilt of sin that has been repented and resolved.  That cannot be stressed strongly enough.

Unless you step outside of that box, you'll miss the meaning of purgation entirely.

From the removal of Adam and Eve from Paradise, to the fact that we still die in the flesh after we are Redeemed and Baptised, we learn in a variety of ways that although we are redeemed and forgiven and absolved of sin, there are still consequences of those evils that mark us and change us and to which we remain subjected no matter what.

It is to those residual consequences that purgation is directed.

M.



Dear Mary,

Yes, I get that.  I was trying to answer multiple questions with one post.

I decided to plunge into Spe Salvi http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html

In doing so, I came across this interesting bit.  

48. A further point must be mentioned here, because it is important for the practice of Christian hope. Early Jewish thought includes the idea that one can help the deceased in their intermediate state through prayer (see for example 2 Macc 12:38-45; first century BC). The equivalent practice was readily adopted by Christians and is common to the Eastern and Western Church. The East does not recognize the purifying and expiatory suffering of souls in the afterlife, but it does acknowledge various levels of beatitude and of suffering in the intermediate state. The souls of the departed can, however, receive “solace and refreshment” through the Eucharist, prayer and almsgiving. The belief that love can reach into the afterlife, that reciprocal giving and receiving is possible, in which our affection for one another continues beyond the limits of death—this has been a fundamental conviction of Christianity throughout the ages and it remains a source of comfort today.

While I do not want to say that I have read the document in its completeness (it is rather lengthy), I would like to comment that it would seem the Pope does recognize a substantial difference between Orthodox and his church's stand on the matter.
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« Reply #1442 on: April 22, 2010, 10:05:29 PM »


Mary,

Would this help you to see that what I wrote was 100% accurate...

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."

http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm



No.  This helps nothing.  You will continue to promote your version of the teaching and nothing but an act of God is going to stop you.

There was a time when I became frustrated with you but no longer.

I place before you the very clear teaching of the Catholic Church - 100% identical with what I wrote myself - and you brush it aside and say it helps nothing! 


Don't feel bad.  I just spent hours over a period of two days giving you the meaning of the teaching and you've ignored it entirely.  Chronicles of Wasted Time.

C'est la vie!

M.
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« Reply #1443 on: April 22, 2010, 10:12:18 PM »

Again, purgation is not a doctrine specifically developed to address the guilt of sin that has been repented and resolved.  That cannot be stressed strongly enough.

Unless you step outside of that box, you'll miss the meaning of purgation entirely.

From the removal of Adam and Eve from Paradise, to the fact that we still die in the flesh after we are Redeemed and Baptised, we learn in a variety of ways that although we are redeemed and forgiven and absolved of sin, there are still consequences of those evils that mark us and change us and to which we remain subjected no matter what.

It is to those residual consequences that purgation is directed.

M.



Dear Mary,

Yes, I get that.  I was trying to answer multiple questions with one post.

I decided to plunge into Spe Salvi http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html

In doing so, I came across this interesting bit.  

48. A further point must be mentioned here, because it is important for the practice of Christian hope. Early Jewish thought includes the idea that one can help the deceased in their intermediate state through prayer (see for example 2 Macc 12:38-45; first century BC). The equivalent practice was readily adopted by Christians and is common to the Eastern and Western Church. The East does not recognize the purifying and expiatory suffering of souls in the afterlife, but it does acknowledge various levels of beatitude and of suffering in the intermediate state. The souls of the departed can, however, receive “solace and refreshment” through the Eucharist, prayer and almsgiving. The belief that love can reach into the afterlife, that reciprocal giving and receiving is possible, in which our affection for one another continues beyond the limits of death—this has been a fundamental conviction of Christianity throughout the ages and it remains a source of comfort today.

While I do not want to say that I have read the document in its completeness (it is rather lengthy), I would like to comment that it would seem the Pope does recognize a substantial difference between Orthodox and his church's stand on the matter.


I don't argue with this particular point at all.  

My solitary aim is to try to delineate meaning so that we know just what it is that is being acknowledged as different in expression and in substance.  Once those things are known and agreed upon then I expect it comes to a determination of whether or not that particular difference and its implications are sufficient to schism...but that is far beyond my pay-grade.  I can hope and pray, in this case, that it is not sufficient to schism.

I think that today you and I worked very nicely through some of the implications.

M.
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« Reply #1444 on: April 22, 2010, 10:20:00 PM »

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

... and nearly everybody goes there except the extremely holy, or martyrs who go directly to heaven without need of purification (for their martyrdom has washed them clean like the waters of baptism). My exposure to the RCC was through older catechetical materials and books. Some of it made more sense then others, but in the broad strokes this covers it.

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« Reply #1445 on: April 22, 2010, 10:26:42 PM »


Mary,

Would this help you to see that what I wrote was 100% accurate...

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."

http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm



No.  This helps nothing.  You will continue to promote your version of the teaching and nothing but an act of God is going to stop you.

There was a time when I became frustrated with you but no longer.

I place before you the very clear teaching of the Catholic Church - 100% identical with what I wrote myself - and you brush it aside and say it helps nothing! 


Don't feel bad.  I just spent hours over a period of two days giving you the meaning of the teaching and you've ignored it entirely.  Chronicles of Wasted Time.

Neither of us should feel bad.  The Council of Florence, counted as Ecumenical by the Roman Catholic Church, spent three months on the fires of Purgatory..... And what emerged was really a messy confusion.   An  infallible messy confusion since the Council was ratified by the Pope which I believe confers infallibilty on its doctrinal teaching..
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« Reply #1446 on: April 22, 2010, 10:35:52 PM »

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

... and nearly everybody goes there except the extremely holy, or martyrs who go directly to heaven without need of purification (for their martyrdom has washed them clean like the waters of baptism). My exposure to the RCC was through older catechetical materials and books. Some of it made more sense then others, but in the broad strokes this covers it.
Christ is Risen!

Under the teaching being promoted here by some correspondents martyrs would need to spend time in Purgatory to be purified of their disordered impulses and inclination to sin.  *****



Text of post modified to enforce compliance with the Moratorium  -PtA
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« Reply #1447 on: April 22, 2010, 10:41:25 PM »


Mary,

Would this help you to see that what I wrote was 100% accurate...

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."

http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm



No.  This helps nothing.  You will continue to promote your version of the teaching and nothing but an act of God is going to stop you.

There was a time when I became frustrated with you but no longer.

I place before you the very clear teaching of the Catholic Church - 100% identical with what I wrote myself - and you brush it aside and say it helps nothing! 


Don't feel bad.  I just spent hours over a period of two days giving you the meaning of the teaching and you've ignored it entirely.  Chronicles of Wasted Time.

Neither of us should feel bad.  The Council of Florence, counted as Ecumenical by the Roman Catholic Church, spent three months on the fires of Purgatory..... And what emerged was really a messy confusion.   An  infallible messy confusion since the Council was ratified by the Pope which I believe confers infallibilty on its doctrinal teaching..

This is not confirmed by the actual historical record. 

Mary
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« Reply #1448 on: April 22, 2010, 10:49:10 PM »

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.

... and nearly everybody goes there except the extremely holy, or martyrs who go directly to heaven without need of purification (for their martyrdom has washed them clean like the waters of baptism). My exposure to the RCC was through older catechetical materials and books. Some of it made more sense then others, but in the broad strokes this covers it.
Christ is Risen!

Under the teaching being promoted here by some correspondents martyrs would need to spend time in Purgatory to be purified of their disordered impulses and inclination to sin.  *****



Text of post modified to enforce compliance with the Moratorium  -PtA

Would one not also have to go through Purgation for the "residue" of sins committed before baptism?



Text in quote box modified to make it reflect changes to source post...  -PtA
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« Reply #1449 on: April 22, 2010, 10:51:53 PM »

Would one not also have to go through Purgation for the "residue" of sins committed before baptism?

I'm fairly sure that under the pre-Vatican II theology the answer is "no". Baptism not only washes away your sins, it's the equivalent of a plenary indulgence. If you are cut down moments after your baptism, you go direct to heaven and the "beatific vision."
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« Reply #1450 on: April 22, 2010, 10:58:56 PM »

In message 1428 I wrote:

Purgatory exists to deal with the expiation of the temporal punishment due to post-baptismal personal sin, that part of the punishment which the person has not been able to expiate while on earth.


and in message 1440 I gave the Catholic understanding:

"The purpose of purgatory is the expiation of sin, or the discharge of the debt of temporal punishment (Trent, Session 6, Canon 30). The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about "those who are expiating their sins in purgatory" (paragraph 1475). To "expiate" means to make reparation for an offence or injury. This expiation is achieved through suffering of the soul. Unless completed on earth, "expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments." And again, those "who had not made satisfaction with adequate penance of their sins and omissions are cleaned after death with punishments designed to purge away their debt" (Vatican II, Apostolic Constitution on the Revision of Indulgences, 1967)."
http://www.justforcatholics.org/a93.htm



Mary says that I do not understand the Catholic teaching but I expressed it most accurately.

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« Reply #1451 on: April 22, 2010, 11:03:00 PM »

Would one not also have to go through Purgation for the "residue" of sins committed before baptism?

I'm fairly sure that under the Vatican II theology the answer is "no". Baptism not only washes away your sins, it's the equivalent of a plenary indulgence. If you are cut down moments after your baptism, you go direct to heaven and the "beatific vision."

But this is only consistent with the concept of Purgatory as juridical expiation. If Purgatory is "healing the residue of sin" which remains after absolution, then one would still have to do penance for sins committed before baptism, since, as with holy confession, no one comes out of the baptismal waters completely free of the effects of any prior sins.
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« Reply #1452 on: April 22, 2010, 11:03:36 PM »

Would one not also have to go through Purgation for the "residue" of sins committed before baptism?

I'm fairly sure that under the Vatican II theology the answer is "no". Baptism not only washes away your sins, it's the equivalent of a plenary indulgence. If you are cut down moments after your baptism, you go direct to heaven and the "beatific vision."

Which really upsets the claimed modern teaching of the purpose of Purgatory.  Western teaching is that Baptism does NOT remove existing inclinations to sin nor existing habits of sin.    With the modern teaching such souls who die at the time of Baptism would still require purgatory time before they are purified of these inclinations and habits and able to behold the Beatific Vision
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« Reply #1453 on: April 22, 2010, 11:12:13 PM »

Would one not also have to go through Purgation for the "residue" of sins committed before baptism?

I'm fairly sure that under the Vatican II theology the answer is "no". Baptism not only washes away your sins, it's the equivalent of a plenary indulgence. If you are cut down moments after your baptism, you go direct to heaven and the "beatific vision."

Which really upsets the claimed modern teaching of the purpose of Purgatory.  Western teaching is that Baptism does NOT remove existing inclinations to sin nor existing habits of sin.    With the modern teaching such souls who die at the time of Baptism would still require purgatory time before they are purified of these inclinations and habits and able to behold the Beatific Vision

Why don't you write down all this spectacular theology and send it to the Vatican!!  I am sure there's a Cardinal's hat in it for you.  You know so much better than any Catholic teacher I've ever had...lay and clergy alike.  angel

Why don't you stick with what you know?

M.
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« Reply #1454 on: April 22, 2010, 11:28:30 PM »

Would one not also have to go through Purgation for the "residue" of sins committed before baptism?

I'm fairly sure that under the Vatican II theology the answer is "no". Baptism not only washes away your sins, it's the equivalent of a plenary indulgence. If you are cut down moments after your baptism, you go direct to heaven and the "beatific vision."

Which really upsets the claimed modern teaching of the purpose of Purgatory.  Western teaching is that Baptism does NOT remove existing inclinations to sin nor existing habits of sin.    With the modern teaching such souls who die at the time of Baptism would still require purgatory time before they are purified of these inclinations and habits and able to behold the Beatific Vision

Why don't you write down all this spectacular theology and send it to the Vatican!!  I am sure there's a Cardinal's hat in it for you.  You know so much better than any Catholic teacher I've ever had...lay and clergy alike.  angel

Why don't you stick with what you know?

I do know, Mary, and I would be surprised if you do not know that the teaching is that Baptism does NOT remove existing sinful passions.
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« Reply #1455 on: April 22, 2010, 11:46:55 PM »

The specific theological term is "concupiscence" or a tendency to sin. In the Western theological system, this is what we inherit (through human generation) from Adam. This is not removed with baptism. Baptism removes your sins, but not your ability or tendency to sin. Sacraments, sacramentals, prayers, works of mercy, bible or devotional reading etc... are vehicles of divine grace which strengthen the believer, and their ability to resist sin.

On a side tangent, I was amazed at some of the "spirit of Vatican II" theology that goes on in various parishes. Holy water is by definition a sacramental, and therefore a vehicle of grace and a visible reminder of your baptism in the name of the Holy Trinity. Yet during Lent, some parish churches remove Holy Water. Isn't Lent the time where should NOT be depriving yourself or your parishoners of these vehicles of grace?


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« Reply #1456 on: April 23, 2010, 12:03:11 AM »

The specific theological term is "concupiscence" or a tendency to sin. In the Western theological system, this is what we inherit (through human generation) from Adam. This is not removed with baptism. Baptism removes your sins, but not your ability or tendency to sin. Sacraments, sacramentals, prayers, works of mercy, bible or devotional reading etc... are vehicles of divine grace which strengthen the believer, and their ability to resist sin.


Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters seem to be saying that repentance results in reconciliation, but concupiscence remains, and must be removed through either penance or purgatory. If concupiscence remains after baptism, why mustn't one do penance or go through purgatory for sins committed before baptism?
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« Reply #1457 on: April 23, 2010, 12:21:10 AM »

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.
Would that mean then that every Orthodox who has an Orthodox funeral will automatically go directly into heaven since the prayer of absolution at the funeral service forgives all of your sins? Regardless of how bad the person was during his time on earth?  And even if he did not repent or confess his sins before the funeral?
I could be wrong, but I see this as a major difference between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.
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« Reply #1458 on: April 23, 2010, 12:43:56 AM »

Dear Father:
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.
Would that mean then that every Orthodox who has an Orthodox funeral will automatically go directly into heaven since the prayer of absolution at the funeral service forgives all of your sins? Regardless of how bad the person was during his time on earth?  And even if he did not repent or confess his sins before the funeral?
I could be wrong, but I see this as a major difference between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.

The argument that one is forgiven simply because the prayers say so is indeed a bit sophistic. There is no such thing as magic prayers.
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« Reply #1459 on: April 23, 2010, 12:45:22 AM »

The specific theological term is "concupiscence" or a tendency to sin. In the Western theological system, this is what we inherit (through human generation) from Adam. This is not removed with baptism. Baptism removes your sins, but not your ability or tendency to sin. Sacraments, sacramentals, prayers, works of mercy, bible or devotional reading etc... are vehicles of divine grace which strengthen the believer, and their ability to resist sin.


Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters seem to be saying that repentance results in reconciliation, but concupiscence remains, and must be removed through either penance or purgatory. If concupiscence remains after baptism, why mustn't one do penance or go through purgatory for sins committed before baptism?



From the very interesting Vatican website:

977 Our Lord tied the forgiveness of sins to faith and Baptism: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Baptism is the first and chief sacrament of forgiveness of sins because it unites us with Christ, who died for our sins and rose for our justification, so that "we too might walk in newness of life.

978 "When we made our first profession of faith while receiving the holy Baptism that cleansed us, the forgiveness we received then was so full and complete that there remained in us absolutely nothing left to efface, neither original sin nor offenses committed by our own will, nor was there left any penalty to suffer in order to expiate them.... Yet the grace of Baptism delivers no one from all the weakness of nature. On the contrary, we must still combat the movements of concupiscence that never cease leading us into evil "

979 In this battle against our inclination towards evil, who could be brave and watchful enough to escape every wound of sin? "If the Church has the power to forgive sins, then Baptism cannot be her only means of using the keys of the Kingdom of heaven received from Jesus Christ. the Church must be able to forgive all penitents their offenses, even if they should sin until the last moment of their lives."

980 It is through the sacrament of Penance that the baptized can be reconciled with God and with the Church:

Penance has rightly been called by the holy Fathers "a laborious kind of baptism." This sacrament of Penance is necessary for salvation for those who have fallen after Baptism, just as Baptism is necessary for salvation for those who have not yet been reborn.


I think it goes without saying that Baptism does not all-at-once heal us from the Fall, but it sets us in the direction of that healing.

Interestingly enough, there is no mention here of purgation or Purgatory.

I went in a bit further and found this:

1472 To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."


I highlighted the crux of the matter, which so far I had not read in the postings thus far (unless I missed something, which is entirely possible and even predictable).  I think this dual definition of 'punishment' is entirely absent from Orthodox theology.

For me, this appears to be the big gap between the OC and RCC in this topic.

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« Reply #1460 on: April 23, 2010, 12:54:29 AM »

Would that mean then that every Orthodox who has an Orthodox funeral will automatically go directly into heaven since the prayer of absolution at the funeral service forgives all of your sins? Regardless of how bad the person was during his time on earth?  And even if he did not repent or confess his sins before the funeral?
I could be wrong, but I see this as a major difference between Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox.

Dear Stanley,

In short, no Orthodox would think such a thing.

As with all matters of sin, the real issue is one's love for God and willingness to be forgiven by Him.  If one is willing to ask for mercy either in this life or after death, we believe God will certainly welcome the penitent.  We pray the absolution prayer for the newly departed as a means of helping him ascend to the place of rest and to have no further care for the things of this world.  We pray for everyone since some do struggle.

Fr. Ambrose mentioned the removal of prayers for those in hell as an example of a modern problem of interpretation as to whether the dead can repent.  I do not agree with the Coptic Church editing the prayers, because I believe we are called to pray for everyone, whether our prayers are helpful for the condition of those we pray for or not.  It is important never to limit our love and concern for others, enev those who hate us and hate God, because God's love is infinite and He loves even the damned.  I myself pray for the dead and hold services for them not only for their benefit, but more especially my own, since I have many sins and I need to have a couple of good works handy when I pass on.  Whether my prayers are effective or not is not for me to determine, but I am to pray.
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« Reply #1461 on: April 23, 2010, 12:55:30 AM »

1473 The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as by prayer and the various practices of penance, to put off completely the "old man" and to put on the "new man."
[/i]

I highlighted the crux of the matter, which so far I had not read in the postings thus far (unless I missed something, which is entirely possible and even predictable).  I think this dual definition of 'punishment' is entirely absent from Orthodox theology.

For me, this appears to be the big gap between the OC and RCC in this topic.

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You haven't read any of my messages ? 
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« Reply #1462 on: April 23, 2010, 12:57:49 AM »

Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters seem to be saying that repentance results in reconciliation, but concupiscence remains, and must be removed through either penance or purgatory. If concupiscence remains after baptism, why mustn't one do penance or go through purgatory for sins committed before baptism?

Not exactly. Concupiscence is the tendency to sin. It is not "actual sin" nor even temptation. Rather, it is the inability to oppose the temptation to sin. Try to think of "concupiscence" as damaged human nature along with free will - which makes it easier to choose evil.
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« Reply #1463 on: April 23, 2010, 01:09:38 AM »

Before, we were being told that after one repents and confesses, there are still residual effects of the sin confessed--its power over the person does not go away all at once. We were told that purgatory is where this residue is removed.

Quote
Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation

He comes to confession to confess his sins one by one. This is part of the process of repentence; it is an aid to repentece. So is any epitimia/penance the priest gives him afterwards. It is all about repenting and healing the sin. If the priest does give him an epitimia, and he is truly unable to carry it out (worst case scenario, he dies immediately Shocked), that does not necessarily mean he has to go through some kind of post-mortem purgation.

Repentence is a change of heart, and the fruits of repentence flow from it naturally. If they do not, I doubt it is true repentence! But the "requirement" is not the works per se, but the sincere change of heart.

Have I understood you correctly?

You are jumping the gun a bit. 

You are right.  Sins must be confessed one by one, not only as an aid to repentance but also to be able to follow the teachings of the fathers about the purification of the memory as a necessary part of preparation for theosis.

Because getting absolution is not the ultimate goal.  We can get absolution every day but theosis comes a bit higher price to the penitent soul.

But then we have that funny list in St. John Chrysostom's prayer...."voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance."

I have a spiritual father confessor.  To him I confess my often angry behaviors toward my mother.  He and I work for years to dig into the dung pile and root out the stink that causes me to loose my temper at the woman who bore me.  At the end, I am shriven and forgiven and I die.

Master comes to me and he says to me that I suffered a long time with wounds inflicted upon me as a child.  As an adult I was exceptionally nasty to my mother for an exceptionally long time and with great vehemence and vengance in my hidden heart.   And he tells me that he loves me dearly and understands and forgives me, but that there is still there hidden where only He can see it, shreds of those old resentments that I just never could manage to let go of.

That is what needs to be burnished away.  That is the residual that all but the truly sanctified carry to the grave and that is the kind of thing that purgation is meant to clean away.  I my case it will be the inability to really and truly, deeply and absolutely forgive and forget.

God only knows what it will be in your case, if anything at all.

May you die a saint!

Mary



Surely the residue of sins before Baptism remains afterwards. But one must not go through purgatory for sins committed before Baptism. Why?
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« Reply #1464 on: April 23, 2010, 04:25:30 AM »

The argument that one is forgiven simply because the prayers say so is indeed a bit sophistic. There is no such thing as magic prayers.
Well, what does this say:
The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.
I read it to say that if God has not forgiven your sins with the absolution  at the funeral service, then He is a liar?
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« Reply #1465 on: April 23, 2010, 04:30:41 AM »


Dear Stanley,

In short, no Orthodox would think such a thing.

As with all matters of sin, the real issue is one's love for God and willingness to be forgiven by Him.  If one is willing to ask for mercy either in this life or after death, we believe God will certainly welcome the penitent.  We pray the absolution prayer for the newly departed as a means of helping him ascend to the place of rest and to have no further care for the things of this world. .

Thanks Father.
OK, but that is not the same as what was written by another Orthodox here:
The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins, which, IIRC, is essentially the same, if not identical, as that which is pronounced at confession. The Orthodox Church does not distinguish between mortal and venial sins. And, if sins have been forgiven, be it at confession, or at one's funeral, they're forgiven. Period. As I recall saying several pages ago, either God has forgiven sins at absolution, or He hasn't. If He has, then there's no need for purgatory. If He hasn't, then it makes a mockery of the sacrament of absolution. God cannot be a liar.
Doesn't this say that if God has not forgiven your sins with the absolution at the funeral service, then He is a liar?
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« Reply #1466 on: April 23, 2010, 04:50:02 AM »

Dear Father:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26716.msg420840.html#msg420840
Suppose that there are lesser sins, which have not as yet been forgiven. What happens then, according to Orthodox belief?

The Orthodox funeral service has, towards its end, a prayer of absolution of sins,....

See here for text....

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26716.msg420840.html#msg420840
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« Reply #1467 on: April 23, 2010, 09:17:03 AM »

It is to those residual consequences that purgation is directed.

Residual consequences?
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« Reply #1468 on: April 23, 2010, 10:05:01 AM »

Quote
Surely the residue of sins before Baptism remains afterwards. But one must not go through purgatory for sins committed before Baptism. Why?

I'll take a stab at this. Sacraments, sacramentals (eg. holy water), "works of mercy", prayer and spiritual reading... etc. are all vehicles for divine and purifying grace. Hello grace, goodbye punishment due to sins... For example, the EWTN page claims that if you pray for the pope's intentions with the appropriate detachment of sins, along with sacramental confession and communion, you gain a plenary indulgence. In the case of baptism, it washes you clean. The entire notion of indulgences is frankly a distraction and I'm not surprised they don't talk about them much any more - if the practicing Catholic has a healthy prayer life and follows the commandments, God will take care of the details.
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« Reply #1469 on: April 23, 2010, 10:16:28 AM »

Quote
Surely the residue of sins before Baptism remains afterwards. But one must not go through purgatory for sins committed before Baptism. Why?

I'll take a stab at this. Sacraments, sacramentals (eg. holy water), "works of mercy", prayer and spiritual reading... etc. are all vehicles for divine and purifying grace. Hello grace, goodbye punishment due to sins... For example, the EWTN page claims that if you pray for the pope's intentions with the appropriate detachment of sins, along with sacramental confession and communion, you gain a plenary indulgence. In the case of baptism, it washes you clean. The entire notion of indulgences is frankly a distraction and I'm not surprised they don't talk about them much any more - if the practicing Catholic has a healthy prayer life and follows the commandments, God will take care of the details.

There was a time when I would have agreed with you on this but as I have grown and practiced my faith more and more I have seen the importance of indulgences. It reminds us that Purgatory is a reality that we must face. It brings it to our attention vividly and tells us that we must grow in holiness or else we have purgation to face in the next life. Granted, we will be happy in Purgatory but the pain of not experiencing God in the fullness of the manner in which he has prepared for us will be agony and if we can skip the Purgatory experience, then that would be wonderful.
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« Reply #1470 on: April 23, 2010, 10:19:25 AM »

It is to those residual consequences that purgation is directed.

Residual consequences?

From studying Mary's message (appended below) I have come to realise that the modern understanding of the nature and the purpose of Purgatory has produced major changes to previous understandings (which were focused on the expiation of temporal punishment.)

Because it is now seen as the state/process where the "residual consequences" are addressed and a soul is purified from them and prepared to encounter the Beatific Vision, it necessarily means that both the martyrs and those adults who die when newly baptized will need to pass through Purgatory.  While both the maryrys and the newly baptized are completely liberated from any temporal punishment due to their past sins they are still afflicted with the residual consequences, with inclinations to sin and habits of sin.  Hence they will require Purgatory time to be purified of these.

Mary wrote:

Again, purgation is not a doctrine specifically developed to address the guilt of sin that has been repented and resolved.  That cannot be stressed strongly enough.

Unless you step outside of that box, you'll miss the meaning of purgation entirely.

From the removal of Adam and Eve from Paradise, to the fact that we still die in the flesh after we are Redeemed and Baptised, we learn in a variety of ways that although we are redeemed and forgiven and absolved of sin, there are still consequences of those evils that mark us and change us and to which we remain subjected no matter what.

It is to those residual consequences that purgation is directed.

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« Reply #1471 on: April 23, 2010, 10:19:53 AM »

The specific theological term is "concupiscence" or a tendency to sin. In the Western theological system, this is what we inherit (through human generation) from Adam. This is not removed with baptism. Baptism removes your sins, but not your ability or tendency to sin. Sacraments, sacramentals, prayers, works of mercy, bible or devotional reading etc... are vehicles of divine grace which strengthen the believer, and their ability to resist sin.


Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters seem to be saying that repentance results in reconciliation, but concupiscence remains, and must be removed through either penance or purgatory. If concupiscence remains after baptism, why mustn't one do penance or go through purgatory for sins committed before baptism?

This is fundamentally a protestant understanding of concupiscence.  Concupiscence in Catholic terms is an orientation toward the good, a desire for the good.  After the fall that well integrated tendency in the will is disintegrated and becomes a tendency in the will to turn to evil.

In protestant understandings...from what I've been able to gather...concupiscence is like unto sin itself.

There is NO teaching in the Catholic Church that concupiscence needs to be purged or purified after death.  It just is not there in the teaching.  

So when you put it there, you do so arbitrarily and it becomes nonsensical to the Catholic who might be so daring as to discuss these things with you.  

You can do much damage to a Catholic who has not been well catechized with these wild speculations.

Maybe you can even convert them.

Mary
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« Reply #1472 on: April 23, 2010, 10:21:32 AM »

The specific theological term is "concupiscence" or a tendency to sin. In the Western theological system, this is what we inherit (through human generation) from Adam. This is not removed with baptism. Baptism removes your sins, but not your ability or tendency to sin. Sacraments, sacramentals, prayers, works of mercy, bible or devotional reading etc... are vehicles of divine grace which strengthen the believer, and their ability to resist sin.


Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters seem to be saying that repentance results in reconciliation, but concupiscence remains, and must be removed through either penance or purgatory. If concupiscence remains after baptism, why mustn't one do penance or go through purgatory for sins committed before baptism?

This is fundamentally a protestant understanding of concupiscence.  Concupiscence in Catholic terms is an orientation toward the good, a desire for the good.  After the fall that well integrated tendency in the will is disintegrated and becomes a tendency in the will to turn to evil.

In protestant understandings...from what I've been able to gather...concupiscence is like unto sin itself.

There is NO teaching in the Catholic Church that concupiscence needs to be purged or purified after death.  It just is not there in the teaching.  

So when you put it there, you do so arbitrarily and it becomes nonsensical to the Catholic who might be so daring as to discuss these things with you.  

You can do much damage to a Catholic who has not been well catechized with these wild speculations.

Maybe you can even convert them by convincing them that their Church teaches something even though it does not.  I've seen it happen and it only perpetuates the damage between us as Catholics, insofar as we all ARE Catholic indeed.

Mary
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« Reply #1473 on: April 23, 2010, 10:22:45 AM »

I just made a mess of a correction...help.

Also some of you might be interested to read here:

http://www.stvladimirs.ca/library/near-death-russia.html

M.
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« Reply #1474 on: April 23, 2010, 10:30:32 AM »


From studying Mary's message (appended below) I have come to realise that the modern understanding of the nature and the purpose of Purgatory has produced major changes to previous understandings (which were focused on the expiation of temporal punishment.)

This has no bearing on any part of Catholic teaching and it is a gross misreading of what I said based upon an even more gross understanding of the meaning of the phrase temporal punishment.

You are simply wrong, Father, and I know that you know it.

Mary

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« Reply #1475 on: April 23, 2010, 10:47:11 AM »


From studying Mary's message (appended below) I have come to realise that the modern understanding of the nature and the purpose of Purgatory has produced major changes to previous understandings (which were focused on the expiation of temporal punishment.)

This has no bearing on any part of Catholic teaching and it is a gross misreading of what I said based upon an even more gross understanding of the meaning of the phrase temporal punishment.

You are simply wrong, Father, and I know that you know it.

For accuracy I supopse we should be reading these passages in Latin but that would exclude some readers of the Forum.

Temporal punishment
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of Scripture. God indeed brought man out of his first disobedience and gave him power to govern all things (Wisdom 10:2), but still condemned him "to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow" until he returned unto dust. God forgave the incredulity of Moses and Aaron, but in punishment kept them from the "land of promise" (Numbers 20:12). The Lord took away the sin of David, but the life of the child was forfeited because David had made God's enemies blaspheme His Holy Name (2 Samuel 12:13-14). In the New Testament as well as in the Old, almsgiving and fasting, and in general penitential acts are the real fruits of repentance (Matthew 3:8; Luke 17:3; 3:3). The whole penitential system of the Church testifies that the voluntary assumption of penitential works has always been part of true repentance and the Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, can. xi) reminds the faithful that God does not always remit the whole punishment due to sin together with the guilt. God requires satisfaction, and will punish sin, and this doctrine involves as its necessary consequence a belief that the sinner failing to do penance in this life may be punished in another world, and so not be cast off eternally from God.

-oOo-

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10202b.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm

The teaching of the Summa Theologica
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2087.htm

on indulgences
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/5025.htm
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« Reply #1476 on: April 23, 2010, 10:57:28 AM »


From studying Mary's message (appended below) I have come to realise that the modern understanding of the nature and the purpose of Purgatory has produced major changes to previous understandings (which were focused on the expiation of temporal punishment.)

This has no bearing on any part of Catholic teaching and it is a gross misreading of what I said based upon an even more gross understanding of the meaning of the phrase temporal punishment.

You are simply wrong, Father, and I know that you know it.

For accuracy I supopse we should be reading these passages in Latin but that would exclude some readers of the Forum.

Temporal punishment
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

That temporal punishment is due to sin, even after the sin itself has been pardoned by God, is clearly the teaching of Scripture. God indeed brought man out of his first disobedience and gave him power to govern all things (Wisdom 10:2), but still condemned him "to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow" until he returned unto dust. God forgave the incredulity of Moses and Aaron, but in punishment kept them from the "land of promise" (Numbers 20:12). The Lord took away the sin of David, but the life of the child was forfeited because David had made God's enemies blaspheme His Holy Name (2 Samuel 12:13-14). In the New Testament as well as in the Old, almsgiving and fasting, and in general penitential acts are the real fruits of repentance (Matthew 3:8; Luke 17:3; 3:3). The whole penitential system of the Church testifies that the voluntary assumption of penitential works has always been part of true repentance and the Council of Trent (Sess. XIV, can. xi) reminds the faithful that God does not always remit the whole punishment due to sin together with the guilt. God requires satisfaction, and will punish sin, and this doctrine involves as its necessary consequence a belief that the sinner failing to do penance in this life may be punished in another world, and so not be cast off eternally from God.

-oOo-

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10202b.htm

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm

The teaching of the Summa Theologica
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2087.htm

on indulgences
http://www.newadvent.org/summa/5025.htm


All right.  Maybe I was wrong.  Perhaps your misunderstandings are an honest ones.

In the first place none of these texts hold a smoking gun against my explanations because what I have written here have come from being taught from these very texts, and texts very much like them.  So we need to deal with meaning.  Something you never quite get around to in your proof-texting.

And the more important thing is that these explanatory texts are ancillary to the actual conciliar statements which hold the core of the teachings...no less...and no more.

So not only have you missed the mark in terms of meaning but you've substituted theologumena for formal teaching.

At any rate there's not much point in saying much more on this rabbit trail.

Mary
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« Reply #1477 on: April 23, 2010, 11:41:54 AM »


All right.  Maybe I was wrong.  Perhaps your misunderstandings are an honest ones.

In the first place none of these texts hold a smoking gun against my explanations because what I have written here have come from being taught from these very texts, and texts very much like them.  So we need to deal with meaning.  Something you never quite get around to in your proof-texting.

And the more important thing is that these explanatory texts are ancillary to the actual conciliar statements which hold the core of the teachings...no less...and no more.

So not only have you missed the mark in terms of meaning but you've substituted theologumena for formal teaching.

At any rate there's not much point in saying much more on this rabbit trail.

Mary



Dear Mary,

First off, I would like to comment you for such an important recognition during what has been a very emotional discourse.  I know many people who refuse to take such insight, and it is a mark of good character.  God bless you!

Second, from my perspective, the problem appear that if the difference between what your understanding of doctrine is (and I am not criticizing its legitimacy) and how the texts cited appear to explain it is a significant problem.  If a text is easily misunderstood, or an explanation easily subject to misunderstanding, the Orthodox generally move on to another explanation which is less subject to interpretational error.

An example of this is the change of the language regarding the Trinity from the Alexandrian model (i.e. the One Nature language) to the Chalcedonian model (Two Natures, One Person).  We accepted the new without rejecting the old.

It appears to me that there is still a struggle in the RCC to effectively communicate the nuances of the position you are defending.  I confess I am still having a very hard time with it, anid so I can understand why such documents as Spe Salvi despite its great length, makes little effort to present a definition of the matter at hand.

And, I think it is possible for us to pull various documents from various ages that, while RC in origin (just as much as one could cite, as you did, St. John Maximovich), do not accurately reflect the intended teaching, do not, to the modern reader, effectively communicate the offical teaching as now promulgated.

As you mentioned in a previous post, it is very difficult to say too much without stepping into new problems.

While I know you and Fr. Ambrose are old friends and have a long history of tangling on this matter, I don't think I can condemn either one of you for insincerity.  It appears to me that Fr. Ambrose has gone to great lengths to cite his position well beyond what the average poster does, and while you may not agree with his conclusions, I think he does have a right to come to them if he has evidence.

At any rate, I have found this exchange very edifying on all accounts, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to engage in this discussion with me in mutual respect and kindness.  Thank you, Mary! Smiley
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« Reply #1478 on: April 23, 2010, 12:24:05 PM »



Dear Mary,

First off, I would like to comment you for such an important recognition during what has been a very emotional discourse.  I know many people who refuse to take such insight, and it is a mark of good character.  God bless you!

Second, from my perspective, the problem appear that if the difference between what your understanding of doctrine is (and I am not criticizing its legitimacy) and how the texts cited appear to explain it is a significant problem.  If a text is easily misunderstood, or an explanation easily subject to misunderstanding, the Orthodox generally move on to another explanation which is less subject to interpretational error.

An example of this is the change of the language regarding the Trinity from the Alexandrian model (i.e. the One Nature language) to the Chalcedonian model (Two Natures, One Person).  We accepted the new without rejecting the old.

It appears to me that there is still a struggle in the RCC to effectively communicate the nuances of the position you are defending.  I confess I am still having a very hard time with it, anid so I can understand why such documents as Spe Salvi despite its great length, makes little effort to present a definition of the matter at hand.

And, I think it is possible for us to pull various documents from various ages that, while RC in origin (just as much as one could cite, as you did, St. John Maximovich), do not accurately reflect the intended teaching, do not, to the modern reader, effectively communicate the offical teaching as now promulgated.

As you mentioned in a previous post, it is very difficult to say too much without stepping into new problems.

While I know you and Fr. Ambrose are old friends and have a long history of tangling on this matter, I don't think I can condemn either one of you for insincerity.  It appears to me that Fr. Ambrose has gone to great lengths to cite his position well beyond what the average poster does, and while you may not agree with his conclusions, I think he does have a right to come to them if he has evidence.

At any rate, I have found this exchange very edifying on all accounts, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to engage in this discussion with me in mutual respect and kindness.  Thank you, Mary! Smiley


Thank you, Father.  I appreciate your kind words but I would not be able to function at all without your patience and the patience of Father Ambrose.

I can understand you puzzlement at the continued use of the original language used with regard to purgation, purification and temporal poena.  

It reminds me of a seminary class I took once on nature and grace and I found a passage in an article by Hans Urs von Balthasar talking about one of the Canonists from Trent, Father Cajetan, and his gloss on the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.  Apparently Cajetan had taken one of St. Thomas's foundational teachings and completely distorted it.  And since the teaching was foundational there was much in the rest of the elements of the Summa that were likewise knocked askew like dominoes in logical progression.  What bothered Father Hans was not that the error had been made in the first place but that the Church allowed it to permeate the theological discussions of the Church for several centuries.  There were those who recognized Cajetan's error and ignored it and simply taught St. Thomas as St. Thomas intended.  There were others among the scholastics who used Cajetan's Gloss to try to out-do St. Thomas, adding twists and turns to the teachings that were never intended.   And only in the 20th century has there been a concerted effort to sort it all out.

Well...all I can tell you is that there's been a clear understanding of purgatory in the Catholic Church for at very least as long as there's been conciliar definitions of the teaching.  Have there been distortions?  Certainly.  And many of the distortions simply grew out of uncorrected misunderstandings.  Nobody had to lift a finger to allow people to make all kinds of leaps in logic and theoria even though the Council of Trent warned in the strongest terms against allowing that to happen...happen it did.

Does that mean that the Church changed her teaching?  No.  It does not.  

Can I tell you precisely why corrections were not more widely asserted until the 20th century?  No, I cannot.  But I can give you pointers to why from history.  I've already offered some of them.  One major one was the dissolution of monasteries in England and Europe and the turning inward of those monastics who remained and who rebuilt.  No longer did they interact with the faithful as they did in the centuries prior to their butchering, desecration and destruction.  So the direct tie between the life of contemplative prayer and perfection and purity here and hereafter was sundered and has been crippled ever since...till very recently.  That had a terrible impact, among other things like the spread of the Albigensian heresies, and so on.

At any rate I think we've covered some good ground here and hope you take the time to follow that link to the Russian Orthodox site I provided earlier today.  It is a fascinating account, and though it is merely theoria, there may be some true lessons in it for all of us.

Thank you again!...and to all.

Mary
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« Reply #1479 on: April 23, 2010, 02:08:37 PM »

The specific theological term is "concupiscence" or a tendency to sin. In the Western theological system, this is what we inherit (through human generation) from Adam. This is not removed with baptism. Baptism removes your sins, but not your ability or tendency to sin. Sacraments, sacramentals, prayers, works of mercy, bible or devotional reading etc... are vehicles of divine grace which strengthen the believer, and their ability to resist sin.


Our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters seem to be saying that repentance results in reconciliation, but concupiscence remains, and must be removed through either penance or purgatory. If concupiscence remains after baptism, why mustn't one do penance or go through purgatory for sins committed before baptism?

This is fundamentally a protestant understanding of concupiscence.  Concupiscence in Catholic terms is an orientation toward the good, a desire for the good.  After the fall that well integrated tendency in the will is disintegrated and becomes a tendency in the will to turn to evil.

In protestant understandings...from what I've been able to gather...concupiscence is like unto sin itself.

There is NO teaching in the Catholic Church that concupiscence needs to be purged or purified after death.  It just is not there in the teaching.  

So when you put it there, you do so arbitrarily and it becomes nonsensical to the Catholic who might be so daring as to discuss these things with you.  

You can do much damage to a Catholic who has not been well catechized with these wild speculations.

Maybe you can even convert them.

Mary

There was a miscommunication between myself and John Larocque. I confused the term “concupiscence” with the “residual consequences of sin” you referred to earlier. It’s my fault for not being more careful. See the next post, where I corrected my mistake:

Before, we were being told that after one repents and confesses, there are still residual effects of the sin confessed--its power over the person does not go away all at once. We were told that purgatory is where this residue is removed.

Quote
Wherefore I pray thee, have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance; and make me worthy to partake without condemnation

He comes to confession to confess his sins one by one. This is part of the process of repentence; it is an aid to repentece. So is any epitimia/penance the priest gives him afterwards. It is all about repenting and healing the sin. If the priest does give him an epitimia, and he is truly unable to carry it out (worst case scenario, he dies immediately Shocked), that does not necessarily mean he has to go through some kind of post-mortem purgation.

Repentence is a change of heart, and the fruits of repentence flow from it naturally. If they do not, I doubt it is true repentence! But the "requirement" is not the works per se, but the sincere change of heart.

Have I understood you correctly?

You are jumping the gun a bit.  

You are right.  Sins must be confessed one by one, not only as an aid to repentance but also to be able to follow the teachings of the fathers about the purification of the memory as a necessary part of preparation for theosis.

Because getting absolution is not the ultimate goal.  We can get absolution every day but theosis comes a bit higher price to the penitent soul.

But then we have that funny list in St. John Chrysostom's prayer...."voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance."

I have a spiritual father confessor.  To him I confess my often angry behaviors toward my mother.  He and I work for years to dig into the dung pile and root out the stink that causes me to loose my temper at the woman who bore me.  At the end, I am shriven and forgiven and I die.

Master comes to me and he says to me that I suffered a long time with wounds inflicted upon me as a child.  As an adult I was exceptionally nasty to my mother for an exceptionally long time and with great vehemence and vengance in my hidden heart.   And he tells me that he loves me dearly and understands and forgives me, but that there is still there hidden where only He can see it, shreds of those old resentments that I just never could manage to let go of.

That is what needs to be burnished away.  That is the residual that all but the truly sanctified carry to the grave and that is the kind of thing that purgation is meant to clean away.  I my case it will be the inability to really and truly, deeply and absolutely forgive and forget.

God only knows what it will be in your case, if anything at all.

May you die a saint!

Mary



Surely the residue of sins before Baptism remains afterwards. But one must not go through purgatory for sins committed before Baptism. Why?

What I am wondering is, are there no residual consequences of sin in need of purgation after baptism? If there are, why are they no in need of purgation by penance or purgatory? I think this is a fair question.

What I am getting at is that, although purgatory was perhaps not originally intended to be understood in terms of extrinsic forgiveness and expiation, I do not see how the question about baptism can be answered if purgatory is understood as a “final theosis.” Can you make sense out of this? At the moment, it seems to me that there have indeed been two genuinely different doctrines of purgatory circulating. I am struggling trying to wrap my head around this.

Believe me, I am not trying to slander Roman Catholic doctrine. I am trying to learn what the Roman Catholic teaching is, what the Orthodox teaching is, and how/if they are different. Therefore, if there are internal inconsistencies in the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, that is relevant to my understanding of the doctrine.


I did look at the Russian after-death link, and I will read it closely after lunch Smiley Thank you for taking the trouble to post it.
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« Reply #1480 on: April 23, 2010, 02:42:45 PM »


What I am wondering is, are there no residual consequences of sin in need of purgation after baptism? If there are, why are they no in need of purgation by penance or purgatory? I think this is a fair question.

What I am getting at is that, although purgatory was perhaps not originally intended to be understood in terms of extrinsic forgiveness and expiation, I do not see how the question about baptism can be answered if purgatory is understood as a “final theosis.” Can you make sense out of this? At the moment, it seems to me that there have indeed been two genuinely different doctrines of purgatory circulating. I am struggling trying to wrap my head around this.

Believe me, I am not trying to slander Roman Catholic doctrine. I am trying to learn what the Roman Catholic teaching is, what the Orthodox teaching is, and how/if they are different. Therefore, if there are internal inconsistencies in the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, that is relevant to my understanding of the doctrine.


I did look at the Russian after-death link, and I will read it closely after lunch Smiley Thank you for taking the trouble to post it.

You are very dear and very gentle.  Relax with me; my bark is much worse than my bite...I hope to God it is in any event!!  I trust your intentions here.

We can go around on this until it straightens out a bit.   Some of the language here in your note is unfamiliar to me so, bear with me again.

The residual consequences of sin refer to those consequences that come from actual sin itself, not the inclination toward sin that is a result of the ancestral sin. 

In like manner there are also consequences to bad behaviors, unseemly habits, that may not be volitional sin in themselves. 

An analogy would be picking scabs in one's nose.  I am not being funny here.  Scab picking not a lethal act or a defacement of the Temple of God, which are both sins.  But there are some risks involved with the potential for the introduction of opportunistic bacteria into open wounds that are difficult to reach with cleansing agents.  I've seen people with blood poisoning from that specific behavior and it comes on rapidly and advances sometimes without their awareness and the tell-tale thin red line can get VERY close to the brain and can do inestimable damage.  Something that thoughtless and insignificant in the day of the life of a regular fella can cause all manner of harm.

But the aspect that unites sins and bad habits are 1)seen and unforeseen consequences, and 2) they are both done with the full assent of the will.  There is always that rare exception of the act that is unrecognized as either sin or bad habit...but they are quite rare and who knows what God's disposition is to such things.  We have quite enough to manage with those things that are known, even when we intend no harm, or no insult. 

So if one can manage to make it through life without sin, or bad habits then there is nothing for which they must atone or be purified from at all.

That is for your first point...I think.  There may be more but I'll leave it till you mention it.

The second thing is your mention of some sort of "final theosis"...I don't know what that is actually.  There's nothing in my own experience of Catholic teaching that prepares me to understand final theosis.  In fact it is antithetical to all that I've learned about theosis or deification as it is called in the west.

So I'll need you to tell me more before I can reply.

M.
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« Reply #1481 on: April 23, 2010, 03:00:09 PM »

What I am wondering is, are there no residual consequences of sin in need of purgation after baptism? If there are, why are they no in need of purgation by penance or purgatory? I think this is a fair question.

Divine grace (through baptism). Divine grace, in part or in whole, imparted through other sacraments/mysteries or other acts, should have a similar effect.

To the best of my knowledge, only baptism has been defined (in the pre-Vatican II era) as having the complete power to obliterate both sin and AND its effects. I can't see why anybody would have an issue with this. The short answer to the question is that the remittance of the punishment due to sins is done through God's freely given grace. Grace through baptism, grace through following a preset-formula defined by the RCC (such as in the EWTN link - eg. confession/communion, papal intentions, disposition toward sin), grace through a "corporate act of mercy."

I have two problems with indulgences. The first is - who has the authority to define how much grace is imparted through a particular act? This is quite an act of presumption. There ar so many factors involved - the spiritual disposition of a believer, the state of a believer's sins, the act the believer performed - that what is being defined is essentially unquantifiable. The second is, why, if purgatory, like heaven/hell, is not a real physical place - and therefore outside of Time, are indulgences defined in terms of Time? Many of the old Prayer Cards used to have an indulgences printed on them ("Recitation of this prayer gains an indulgence of 100 days... ").

You mention "final theosis" - this is part of the ecumenical splithairs I see on the Internet. Someone actually quibbled with the terminology of it, and it was qualified to be "the finale stage before final theosis" or something like that. I really don't think you can merge the two theologies together but they are trying.
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« Reply #1482 on: April 23, 2010, 03:22:07 PM »

I probably should confess my own confusion about one specific aspect of Catholic teaching on Baptism, purgatory, and the temporal punishment of sin.  As someone above has pointed out, traditional Catholic teaching claims that Baptism remits all temporal punishment of sin (see, e.g., Thomas Aquinas).  Now perhaps I have misunderstood this teaching, but this seems to imply that if an adult gets baptized and then immediately dies, he is immediately admitted to Heaven without any kind of purification or purgation.  I honestly do not understand this.  This logically follow only if one is interpreting the temporal punishment of sin through a juridical prism.  The matter looks differently, however, when one reflects on these matters in more personalist and existential terms.  The experience of Christians down through the ages would seem to suggest that Holy Baptism does not immediately heal us of all the personal damage done to us by years of sinful behavior.  It does not immediately and completely liberate us from our egotism and sinful inclinations.  Yet the classical teaching says that if an adult immediately dies after Baptism he is brought immediately into Heaven, bypassing all post-mortem purification, whereas if the baptized Christian dies after a life-time of penitence and participation in the sacramental life of the Church, he may still need to go through eschatological purification.  Why does the Sacrament of Baptism allow one to bypass eschatological purification but the Sacrament of Confession does not?  I honestly do not understand this, nor have I found the usual explanations convincing.

This is not just a problem with the Catholic schema, however.  One also finds something similar, e.g., in St Mark of Ephesus.  In his first homily on purgatory, Mark distinguishes three remissions of sin:  (1) during Baptism, (2) after Baptism, through conversion and good works, and (3) after death, through the prayers and good deeds of the Church.  The first remission, Mark tells us, is not bound up with any labor.  It is "grace alone and of us is asked nothing else but faith."  The second remission is painful, involving contrition, repentance, and weeping.  The third remission is also painful, "for it is bound up with repentance and a conscience that is contrite and suffers from insufficiency of good."  "Moreover," says St Mark, "in the first and last remission of sins the grace of God has the larger part, with the cooperation of prayers, and very little is brought in by us.  The middle remission, on the other hand, has little from grace, while the greater part is owing to our labor."  Quite honestly, I find this presentation as unsatisfactory as the classical Roman position.  It too seems to suffer from a juridical construal of post-baptismal sin and seems to suggest that God has to be persuaded by our ascetical works to forgive.  The unconditionality of God's love and mercy seems to get pushed aside.  No wonder some folks in the early centuries inferred that it would be best to postpone Holy Baptism until later in life.  Yet surely such an inference is wrong--and not just because death can come to us at any time, without warning. 

IMHO, this is an area that requires more reflection by both Catholics and Orthodox.   
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« Reply #1483 on: April 23, 2010, 03:48:37 PM »

Why does the Sacrament of Baptism allow one to bypass eschatological purification but the Sacrament of Confession does not?  I honestly do not understand this, nor have I found the usual explanations convincing.

This is not just a problem with the Catholic schema, however.  One also finds something similar, e.g., in St Mark of Ephesus.  In his first homily on purgatory, Mark distinguishes three remissions of sin:  (1) during Baptism, (2) after Baptism, through conversion and good works, and (3) after death, through the prayers and good deeds of the Church.  The first remission, Mark tells us, is not bound up with any labor.  It is "grace alone and of us is asked nothing else but faith."  The second remission is painful, involving contrition, repentance, and weeping.  The third remission is also painful, "for it is bound up with repentance and a conscience that is contrite and suffers from insufficiency of good."  "Moreover," says St Mark, "in the first and last remission of sins the grace of God has the larger part, with the cooperation of prayers, and very little is brought in by us.  The middle remission, on the other hand, has little from grace, while the greater part is owing to our labor."  Quite honestly, I find this presentation as unsatisfactory as the classical Roman position.  It too seems to suffer from a juridical construal of post-baptismal sin and seems to suggest that God has to be persuaded by our ascetical works to forgive.  The unconditionality of God's love and mercy seems to get pushed aside.  No wonder some folks in the early centuries inferred that it would be best to postpone Holy Baptism until later in life.  Yet surely such an inference is wrong--and not just because death can come to us at any time, without warning.  

Actually, this makes perfect sense to me.  I have been taught as an Orthodox Christian that abundant tears and the sacrament of confession is like a renewal of our baptism--St Mark reflects on this when he speaks of repentance and weeping.
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« Reply #1484 on: April 23, 2010, 04:56:45 PM »


What I am wondering is, are there no residual consequences of sin in need of purgation after baptism? If there are, why are they no in need of purgation by penance or purgatory? I think this is a fair question.

What I am getting at is that, although purgatory was perhaps not originally intended to be understood in terms of extrinsic forgiveness and expiation, I do not see how the question about baptism can be answered if purgatory is understood as a “final theosis.” Can you make sense out of this? At the moment, it seems to me that there have indeed been two genuinely different doctrines of purgatory circulating. I am struggling trying to wrap my head around this.

Believe me, I am not trying to slander Roman Catholic doctrine. I am trying to learn what the Roman Catholic teaching is, what the Orthodox teaching is, and how/if they are different. Therefore, if there are internal inconsistencies in the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory, that is relevant to my understanding of the doctrine.


I did look at the Russian after-death link, and I will read it closely after lunch Smiley Thank you for taking the trouble to post it.

You are very dear and very gentle.  Relax with me; my bark is much worse than my bite...I hope to God it is in any event!!  I trust your intentions here.

We can go around on this until it straightens out a bit.   Some of the language here in your note is unfamiliar to me so, bear with me again.

The residual consequences of sin refer to those consequences that come from actual sin itself, not the inclination toward sin that is a result of the ancestral sin. 

In like manner there are also consequences to bad behaviors, unseemly habits, that may not be volitional sin in themselves. 

An analogy would be picking scabs in one's nose.  I am not being funny here.  Scab picking not a lethal act or a defacement of the Temple of God, which are both sins.  But there are some risks involved with the potential for the introduction of opportunistic bacteria into open wounds that are difficult to reach with cleansing agents.  I've seen people with blood poisoning from that specific behavior and it comes on rapidly and advances sometimes without their awareness and the tell-tale thin red line can get VERY close to the brain and can do inestimable damage.  Something that thoughtless and insignificant in the day of the life of a regular fella can cause all manner of harm.

But the aspect that unites sins and bad habits are 1)seen and unforeseen consequences, and 2) they are both done with the full assent of the will.  There is always that rare exception of the act that is unrecognized as either sin or bad habit...but they are quite rare and who knows what God's disposition is to such things.  We have quite enough to manage with those things that are known, even when we intend no harm, or no insult. 

So if one can manage to make it through life without sin, or bad habits then there is nothing for which they must atone or be purified from at all.

That is for your first point...I think.  There may be more but I'll leave it till you mention it.

The second thing is your mention of some sort of "final theosis"...I don't know what that is actually.  There's nothing in my own experience of Catholic teaching that prepares me to understand final theosis.  In fact it is antithetical to all that I've learned about theosis or deification as it is called in the west.

So I'll need you to tell me more before I can reply.

M.

Dear Mary,

Father Kimel actually asked the same question I was trying to ask, but he did a much better job of it:

I probably should confess my own confusion about one specific aspect of Catholic teaching on Baptism, purgatory, and the temporal punishment of sin.  As someone above has pointed out, traditional Catholic teaching claims that Baptism remits all temporal punishment of sin (see, e.g., Thomas Aquinas).  Now perhaps I have misunderstood this teaching, but this seems to imply that if an adult gets baptized and then immediately dies, he is immediately admitted to Heaven without any kind of purification or purgation.  I honestly do not understand this.  This logically follow only if one is interpreting the temporal punishment of sin through a juridical prism.  The matter looks differently, however, when one reflects on these matters in more personalist and existential terms.  The experience of Christians down through the ages would seem to suggest that Holy Baptism does not immediately heal us of all the personal damage done to us by years of sinful behavior.  It does not immediately and completely liberate us from our egotism and sinful inclinations.  Yet the classical teaching says that if an adult immediately dies after Baptism he is brought immediately into Heaven, bypassing all post-mortem purification, whereas if the baptized Christian dies after a life-time of penitence and participation in the sacramental life of the Church, he may still need to go through eschatological purification.  Why does the Sacrament of Baptism allow one to bypass eschatological purification but the Sacrament of Confession does not?  I honestly do not understand this, nor have I found the usual explanations convincing.
 

You brought up “shreds of old resentments” being left after confession in the example you gave. It was these resentments, you said, for which purgatory exists for the purpose of cleansing and healing.

If I am baptized as an adult, I give a confession and repent of my sins, followed by the act of baptism myself. I am forgiven and clean. But surely there would still be “shreds of old resentments” left over from my past. Surely these are in need of healing. So if they are not healed in this life, must I not still go through purgatory to completely heal them, inasmuch as I am willing to be healed?

It seems like both Orthodox and Roman Catholics on this forum alike have a question similar to this one.


As for “final theosis,” I was referring to this article previously posted:

Perhaps the following from Byzantine Catholic theologian Anthony Dragani may be of relevance to this discussion:


Purgatory:  Could you please explain the differences among Latin theology concerning the Dogma of Purgatory and that of the various Eastern Churches? Purgatory

As a general rule, all Eastern Christians do not use the word "Purgatory." This includes both Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The word "Purgatory" is specific to the Latin tradition, and carries some specific historical baggage that makes Eastern Christians uncomfortable.

In the Medieval West, many popular theologians defined Purgatory as a specific place, where people essentially sat around and suffered. Some theologians went so far as to imply that a literal fire burns those who suffer in Purgatory. It was also popular to tally periods of time that people spent in purgatory for various offences. It is worth noting that contemporary Roman Catholic theology has (thankfully) moved beyond this approach, to a more Patristic understanding of Purgatory.

In the Catholic understanding, only two points are necessary dogma concerning "purgatory": 1) There is a place of transition/transformation for those en-route to Heaven, and 2) prayer is efficacious for the dead who are in this state.

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches agree with the Latin Church fully on both of these points. In practice, we routinely celebrate Divine Liturgies for the dead, and offer numerous prayers on their behalf. We would not do so if we did not agree with the above two dogmatic points.

But again, we do not use the word "Purgatory" for two reasons. First, it is a Latin word first used in the Medieval West, and we use Greek words to describe our theology. Second, the word "Purgatory" still carries specific Medieval baggage that we aren't comfortable with.

It is noteworthy that my own Byzantine Catholic Church has never been required to use the word Purgatory. Our act of reunion with Rome, "The Treaty of Brest," which was formally accepted by Pope Clement VIII, does not require us to accept the Western understanding of Purgatory.

Article V of the Treaty of Brest states "We shall not debate about purgatory..." implying that both sides can agree to disagree on the specifics of what the West calls "Purgatory."

In the East, we tend to have a much more positive view of the transition from death to Heaven. Rather than "Purgatory," we prefer to call it "the Final Theosis." This refers to the process of deification, in which the remnants of our humans nature are transformed, and we come to share in the divine life of the Trinity. Rather than seeing this as a place to "sit and suffer," the Eastern Fathers of the Church described the Final Theosis as being a journey. While this journey can entail hardships, there are also powerful glimpses of joy.

Interestingly, Mother Angelica has repeatedly expressed a very positive understanding of "Purgatory" being a joyful state, rather than a place of suffering. In some ways her description lines up well with the Eastern understanding of the Final Theosis.

Although we do not use the same words, Eastern Orthodox/Catholics and Latin Catholics do essentially believe the same thing on this important point.

Please note: Eastern theology teaches that theosis is an infinite process, and does not cease when a person enters into heaven. The term "final theosis" is not intended to imply otherwise.
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