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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 183992 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #180 on: February 11, 2009, 01:01:56 AM »

Hello Stefi,

Here are some answers which might help:

Why did Jesus take the good thief immediately to paradise without his going to purgatory? My Protestant friends use this example of the good thief to deny the existence of purgatory.

The beautiful recounting of the words of Jesus to the good thief (Luke 23:43), to whom legend gives the name St. Dismas, tells us nothing about purgatory, either for the thief or for us. It is possible the suffering of the thief on the cross and his intense contrition and love were sufficient to expiate all the temporal punishment that was due to his sins. Also, we have no idea about he duration of purgatory in temporal terms. Jesus said "Amen I say to you, this day you will be with me in paradise". But the Bible says, "… one day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8 ) How long in our kind of measurement was "this day" of which Christ spoke? Jesus Himself ascended into heaven only forty days after His resurrection (Acts of the Apostles 1:3). Your Protestant friends are off the mark in their efforts to disprove what Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture clearly affirm, the existence of purgatory.

http://www.dioceseoflincoln.org/purple/purgatory/index.htm#2

-

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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.

If the thief on the cross did not go to Purgatory (not certain since Purgatory does not need to be a temporal place---he could have gone through Purgatory in an instant and joined Jesus in paradise that very day), then he may have faced his sufferings with perfect charity and contrition. Considering his sufferings (no less than crucifixion at the side of Jesus Christ!), I would not be surprised if all the lingering effects of sin were expiated from him and he was purified.




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« Reply #181 on: February 11, 2009, 10:08:23 AM »

If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.
- 1 Corinthians 3:15 DRB

It would be the devout Roman Catholic understanding that even with Repentance without Perfect Contrition "he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire". This is the Catholic teaching regarding this passage and the need of purgation.

Works are being tested in this passage. I do not see anything regarding purification of sins or temporal punishment after repose.
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« Reply #182 on: February 11, 2009, 10:51:21 AM »

If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.
- 1 Corinthians 3:15 DRB

It would be the devout Roman Catholic understanding that even with Repentance without Perfect Contrition "he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire". This is the Catholic teaching regarding this passage and the need of purgation.

Works are being tested in this passage. I do not see anything regarding purification of sins or temporal punishment after repose.
Are the testing of the works not a sign of a person's inward sanctity? I think you are being ultra literal here.
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« Reply #183 on: February 11, 2009, 01:33:03 PM »

If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.
- 1 Corinthians 3:15 DRB

It would be the devout Roman Catholic understanding that even with Repentance without Perfect Contrition "he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire". This is the Catholic teaching regarding this passage and the need of purgation.

Works are being tested in this passage. I do not see anything regarding purification of sins or temporal punishment after repose.

Grace and Peace,

The hope of apokatastasis would involve the purification of unrepentant sins during one's life 'after death'. My guess is you don't hold to this hope? From my studies the Roman Catholic dogma of Purgatory was an attempt to 'couch' this hope of apokatastasis within a framework which did no violence to the teachings of Judgment immediately after one's death as well as the eternal nature of the fires of Gehenna. Remember, Purgatory in it's Latin Theological understanding 'is' part of Hell. The cleansing fires of Purgatory and those of Gehenna are from the same "source". So in the Classic Latin teaching of Hell we would be speaking of not 'only' Gehenna (i.e. the Pit) but also the two Limbos and Purgatory. As I understand it in Orthodox Theology Sheol and Gehenna are recognized as separate in a similar manner.

Because of the nature of Judgment and the necessity of repentance before our death, any purgation would have to be of affections toward sin (i.e. the temporal wounds toward Love of God and Neighbor) and not the remission of sin itself in order for one to enter heaven perfect or, if you will, manifest perfection in the presence of God. Perhaps in Orthodoxy this distinction is not made but if we were to attempt to establish an argument for apokatastasis we are going to do violence to some of the normative readings of the Sacred Text.
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« Reply #184 on: February 11, 2009, 01:42:21 PM »

The hope of apokatastasis would involve the purification of unrepentant sins during one's life 'after death'. My guess is you don't hold to this hope?

It has nothing to do with a guess. I have never seen anything in Scriptural or patristic sources that tells us that we need a cleansing of temporal sins after we repose.


St. Paul said that we “were bought at a price” (1 Cor 6:20). – This price is the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who said on the cross “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). – The sufferings and torments in this alleged purgatory imply that the price of sins will be paid twice, which is in clear contradiction with the Divine Justice. Moreover, according to this doctrine, the purgatory is a place of torment of the spirits while the bodies are lying in the graves not feeling a thing. This also contradicts the Divine Justice because it implies punishing the spirit only and not the body that participated with it in committing the sin and may even have been the cause of it as “the flesh lusts against the Spirit” (Gal 5:17). – Also, how will the allegedly purged spirit be united with an un-purged body on the Last day?
Pope Shenouda
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« Reply #185 on: February 11, 2009, 02:17:32 PM »

It has nothing to do with a guess. I have never seen anything in Scriptural or patristic sources that tells us that we need a cleansing of temporal sins after we repose.

St. Paul said that we “were bought at a price” (1 Cor 6:20). – This price is the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who said on the cross “It is finished” (Jn 19:30). – The sufferings and torments in this alleged purgatory imply that the price of sins will be paid twice, which is in clear contradiction with the Divine Justice. Moreover, according to this doctrine, the purgatory is a place of torment of the spirits while the bodies are lying in the graves not feeling a thing. This also contradicts the Divine Justice because it implies punishing the spirit only and not the body that participated with it in committing the sin and may even have been the cause of it as “the flesh lusts against the Spirit” (Gal 5:17). – Also, how will the allegedly purged spirit be united with an un-purged body on the Last day?
Pope Shenouda

Grace and Peace,

This topic would have to broaden to discuss sin and the process of sanctification in Roman Catholic Theology for you to understand what we are saying. When our Lord said that 'even if we looked at a woman with lust we have committed adultery' He illuminated for those of His day the source of sin not in actions but ground ultimately within the will of the sinner. In Roman Catholic Theology this attraction to sin (i.e. concupiscence) is an imperfection which ultimately opens us to unclean thoughts and into sinful desires. I'm not a Catholic Theologian or Scholar but much of this understanding is taught in any pursuit of a life of devotion or Perfection (i.e. holiness).

Pope Shenouda seems to see this in an almost forensic manner not unlike Protestant Theology. Is this acceptable in Orthodoxy? Everything that I have been exposed to would suggest it is not...
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« Reply #186 on: February 11, 2009, 02:31:06 PM »

This topic would have to broaden to discuss sin and the process of sanctification in Roman Catholic Theology for you to understand what we are saying. When our Lord said that 'even if we looked at a woman with lust we have committed adultery' He illuminated for those of His day the source of sin not in actions but ground ultimately within the will of the sinner. In Roman Catholic Theology this attraction to sin (i.e. concupiscence) is an imperfection which ultimately opens us to unclean thoughts and into sinful desires. I'm not a Catholic Theologian or Scholar but much of this understanding is taught in any pursuit of a life of devotion or Perfection (i.e. holiness).

The purgatory contradicts God’s Mercy: David the Prophet said, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Ps 51:7) He did not say ‘purge me with fire, burn me in purgatory and I shall be clean.’ Human nature is not purged with fire but rather with the grace of our merciful God and the work of His Holy spirit. Our Lord said, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is 1:18) – This will not occur through the tormenting flames of purgatory after departing from this world but rather through the work of the Holy Spirit in repentance during this present life. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.” (Ezek 36:25) Purging is an act of mercy and grace not of punishment, it takes place here on earth not after death, and it is through clean water not tormenting flames of fire! The purgatory contradicts God’s Promises: Through the precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in repentance, God forgives our sins and no longer remembers them: “If a wicked man turns from all his sins … none of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him …” (Ezek 18:21,22) “… Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col 2:14) The purgatory implies that the spirits of the believers will have to suffer prior to going to heaven even though God has promised to forgive and forget their sins. Notice that in the parable of the creditor and the two debtors, which the Lord Jesus Christ said to Simon the Pharisee, the creditor “freely forgave” both debtors; the one who owed five hundred denarii and the one who owed fifty because “they had nothing with which to repay” (Lk 7:42)6. The purgatory contradicts Holy Scriptures: The doctrine of purgatory does not possess any Scriptural basis but rather contradicts Holy Scriptures creating several theological problems: Our Lord said to the right thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43) – Now, if this alleged purgatory indeed exists, why then didn’t the thief go there?  “And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess 4:16,17) – Here St. Paul describes the Last Day saying that those faithful who are still alive will meet the Lord with those who rise from the dead and then remain with Him always. Are these faithful exempt from purgatory? Is God showing partiality towards them? In the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) we read about two places; one for comfort and the other for torment. Moreover, there is a great gulf fixed between the two that prevents people from moving from one place to the other. Now where is it mentioned that there is such a purgatory? The Roman Church falsely teaches that there is a ‘particular’ judgment that takes place after one’s death during which the eternal fate is determined. The ungodly will be sent to hell, the saints will be sent to heaven and the majority of the faithful will be sent to purgatory to be tormented until they become worthy of entering heaven. Now this contradicts Holy Scripture that testifies that there is only one general judgment on the Last Day for all (Mt 16:27; 25:46; Jn 5:28,29; Rev 20:11-15)Pope Shenouda

Pope Shenouda seems to see this in an almost forensic manner not unlike Protestant Theology.

Pope Shenouda is protestant in his theology? I think not. Perhaps the protestants got some things right.  Wink
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« Reply #187 on: February 11, 2009, 02:39:11 PM »

The purgatory contradicts God’s Mercy: David the Prophet said, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” (Ps 51:7) He did not say ‘purge me with fire, burn me in purgatory and I shall be clean.’ Human nature is not purged with fire but rather with the grace of our merciful God and the work of His Holy spirit. Our Lord said, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Is 1:18) – This will not occur through the tormenting flames of purgatory after departing from this world but rather through the work of the Holy Spirit in repentance during this present life. “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.” (Ezek 36:25) Purging is an act of mercy and grace not of punishment, it takes place here on earth not after death, and it is through clean water not tormenting flames of fire! The purgatory contradicts God’s Promises: Through the precious blood of Lord Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit in repentance, God forgives our sins and no longer remembers them: “If a wicked man turns from all his sins … none of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him …” (Ezek 18:21,22) “… Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Col 2:14) The purgatory implies that the spirits of the believers will have to suffer prior to going to heaven even though God has promised to forgive and forget their sins. Notice that in the parable of the creditor and the two debtors, which the Lord Jesus Christ said to Simon the Pharisee, the creditor “freely forgave” both debtors; the one who owed five hundred denarii and the one who owed fifty because “they had nothing with which to repay” (Lk 7:42)6. The purgatory contradicts Holy Scriptures: The doctrine of purgatory does not possess any Scriptural basis but rather contradicts Holy Scriptures creating several theological problems: Our Lord said to the right thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Lk 23:43) – Now, if this alleged purgatory indeed exists, why then didn’t the thief go there?  “And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess 4:16,17) – Here St. Paul describes the Last Day saying that those faithful who are still alive will meet the Lord with those who rise from the dead and then remain with Him always. Are these faithful exempt from purgatory? Is God showing partiality towards them? In the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16:19-31) we read about two places; one for comfort and the other for torment. Moreover, there is a great gulf fixed between the two that prevents people from moving from one place to the other. Now where is it mentioned that there is such a purgatory? The Roman Church falsely teaches that there is a ‘particular’ judgment that takes place after one’s death during which the eternal fate is determined. The ungodly will be sent to hell, the saints will be sent to heaven and the majority of the faithful will be sent to purgatory to be tormented until they become worthy of entering heaven. Now this contradicts Holy Scripture that testifies that there is only one general judgment on the Last Day for all (Mt 16:27; 25:46; Jn 5:28,29; Rev 20:11-15)Pope Shenouda

Well Mickey I can tell you reading this I, personally, would have to disagree with Pope Shenouda. Does he also use the same argument to discredit Orthodox River of Fire Theorists? What room does his theology have for the hope of apokatastasis?

Quote
Pope Shenouda seems to see this in an almost forensic manner not unlike Protestant Theology.

Pope Shenouda is protestant in his theology? I think not. Perhaps the protestants got some things right.  Wink

Well I've been Protestant and I didn't think that they got a whole lot right. Sorry I don't find this line of argument convincing and am frankly surprised that such a narrow forensic view of salvation would be offered as Orthodox.
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« Reply #188 on: February 11, 2009, 03:15:26 PM »

Well Mickey I can tell you reading this I, personally, would have to disagree with Pope Shenouda.

You are certainly entitled to disagree--just as I disagree with the Latin definitions.

Well I've been Protestant and I didn't think that they got a whole lot right.

I have never been protestant--and when they separated from the Latin Catholic Church, they fell into many and varied heresies. But they got more correct than you give them credit for.

Sorry I don't find this line of argument convincing and am frankly surprised that such a narrow forensic view of salvation would be offered as Orthodox.

Hmmm? Narrow forensic view? Is that juridical speak?  laugh

I believe it is called the Scriptural and patristic view. Here's more for your pleasure.

St. Paul said, “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Cor 3:15) – Does this fire refer to the purgatory?  No it does not for the following reasons: This fire is for works and not individuals “the fire will test each one’s work” (1 Cor 3:13). This fire is for testing not tormenting. This fire will be on the Last Day “for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire” (1 Cor 3:13) while the alleged fire of purgatory is supposedly prior to the Last Day. This fire will cause loss “if anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss” (1 Cor 3:15) while the fire of purgatory allegedly purifies the faithful and prepares them to go to heaven. The words “he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” signify that this person will be scarcely saved – “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear?” (1 Pet 4:18) –This symbolic fire brings to mind what was said about Joshua the high priest during his life on earth, “Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zech 3:2)

 Our Lord said, “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Mt 12:32) – What is the forgiveness in the age to come? The forgiveness in the age to come applies to those who were wrongly excommunicated by the Church in this age also anyone who repents but for whatever reason could not confess and dies without hearing the forgiveness from the priest in this age. Their forgiveness will be declared or announced in the age to come. Our Lord said, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.” (Mt 5:25,26) – Is this prison the purgatory?  No it is not.If our Lord’s words were taken literally, then they are referring to social dealings between people. Now, if they were interpreted symbolically they will not refer to purgatory either. Because all the Church fathers who interpreted this portion of the Sermon on the Mount symbolically did not refer to purgatory at all. The words “till you have paid the last penny” are interpreted as meaning “never” – Thus the Judge is God, the officer is an angel, and the prison is eternal hell. This is obvious from the parable of the unforgiving servant who owed his master ten thousand talents (Mt 18:24) and was not able to pay (Mt 18:25) yet in spite of being forgiven this huge dept, he did not have compassion on his fellow servant who owed him only a hundred denarii. Thus his master “delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.” (Mt 18:34)This parable was referring to the eternal punishment of those who do not forgive others and even though our Lord said, “until he should pay” we know that this is an impossibility because our Lord initially said, “he was not able to pay” (Mat 18:25) – Moreover, if this prison were purgatory, how will the spirit alone be able to pay the last penny without the body, which was the accomplice in committing sin?

H.H. Pope Shenouda


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« Reply #189 on: February 11, 2009, 03:41:15 PM »

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I have never seen anything in Scriptural or patristic sources that tells us that we need a cleansing of temporal sins after we repose.

Keep reading... Wink
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« Reply #190 on: February 11, 2009, 03:44:02 PM »

Quote
I have never seen anything in Scriptural or patristic sources that tells us that we need a cleansing of temporal sins after we repose.

Keep reading... Wink

Are you saying that you agree with the Latin doctrine.......or are you being sarcastic?  Undecided
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« Reply #191 on: February 11, 2009, 04:26:07 PM »

Neither, actually. Smiley It's just that I've come across Fathers who do speak of a cleansing or purification in the after life. That doesn't necessarily equate to Pugatory, but if you type something like "purgatory church fathers" into Google you'll get webpages with patristic quotes. And I'd again quote St. Mark of Ephesus, who said:

Quote
But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones over which they have no repented at all, or great ones for which--even though they have repented over them--they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sins, but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place (for this, as we have said, has not at all be handed down to us). But some must be cleansed in the very departure from the body, thanks only to fear, as St. Gregory the Dialogist literally shows; while others must be cleansed after the departure from the body, either while remaining in the same earthly place, before they come to worship God and are honored with the lot of the blessed, or--if their sins were more serious and bind them for a longer duration--they are kept in [hades], but not in order to remain forever in fire and torment, but as it were in prison and confinement under guard.

All such ones, we affirm, are helped by the prayers and Liturgies performed for them, with the cooperation of the Divine goodness and love for mankind. This Divine cooperation immediately disdains and remits some sins, those committed out of human weakness, as Dionysius the Great (the Areopagite) says in 'Reflections on the Mystery of Those Reposed in Faith' (In 'The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, 7, 7); while other sins, after a certain time, by righteous judgments it either likewise releases and forgives--and that completely--or lightens the responsibility for them until that final judgment. And therefore we see no necessity whatever for any other punishment or for a cleansing fire; for some are cleansed by fear, while others are devoured by gnawings of conscience with more torment than any fire, and still others are cleansed only the the very terror before the Divine Glory and the uncertainty as to what the future will be...

And so, we intreat God and believe to deliver the departed from (eternal torment), and not from any other torment or fire apart from those torments and that fire which have been proclaimed to be forever. And that, moreover, the souls of the departed are delivered by prayers from confinement in [hades], as if from a certain prison, is testified, among many others, by Theophanes the Confessor, called the Branded. ...In one of the canons for the reposed he thus prays for them: 'Deliver, O Savior, Thy slaves who are in the [hades] of tears and sighing' (Octoechos, Saturday canon for the deposed, Tone 8, Canticle 6, Glory). - St. Mark of Ephesus, First Homily on the Refutation of the Latin Chapters Concerning Purgatorial Fire

Notice that the thing that St. Mark objects to is a purging or cleansing fire. But he does not object to the basic idea that there can be sins which we need to be cleansed of after our repose. Indeed, he outlines numerous ways in which we can be cleansed from such sins.
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« Reply #192 on: February 11, 2009, 04:29:32 PM »

Hmmm? Narrow forensic view? Is that juridical speak?  laugh

I believe it is called the Scriptural and patristic view. Here's more for your pleasure.

St. Paul said, “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.” (1 Cor 3:15) – Does this fire refer to the purgatory?  No it does not for the following reasons: This fire is for works and not individuals “the fire will test each one’s work” (1 Cor 3:13). This fire is for testing not tormenting. This fire will be on the Last Day “for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire” (1 Cor 3:13) while the alleged fire of purgatory is supposedly prior to the Last Day. This fire will cause loss “if anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss” (1 Cor 3:15) while the fire of purgatory allegedly purifies the faithful and prepares them to go to heaven. The words “he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” signify that this person will be scarcely saved – “If the righteous one is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear?” (1 Pet 4:18) –This symbolic fire brings to mind what was said about Joshua the high priest during his life on earth, “Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” (Zech 3:2)

 Our Lord said, “whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” (Mt 12:32) – What is the forgiveness in the age to come? The forgiveness in the age to come applies to those who were wrongly excommunicated by the Church in this age also anyone who repents but for whatever reason could not confess and dies without hearing the forgiveness from the priest in this age. Their forgiveness will be declared or announced in the age to come. Our Lord said, “Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.” (Mt 5:25,26) – Is this prison the purgatory?  No it is not.If our Lord’s words were taken literally, then they are referring to social dealings between people. Now, if they were interpreted symbolically they will not refer to purgatory either. Because all the Church fathers who interpreted this portion of the Sermon on the Mount symbolically did not refer to purgatory at all. The words “till you have paid the last penny” are interpreted as meaning “never” – Thus the Judge is God, the officer is an angel, and the prison is eternal hell. This is obvious from the parable of the unforgiving servant who owed his master ten thousand talents (Mt 18:24) and was not able to pay (Mt 18:25) yet in spite of being forgiven this huge dept, he did not have compassion on his fellow servant who owed him only a hundred denarii. Thus his master “delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.” (Mt 18:34)This parable was referring to the eternal punishment of those who do not forgive others and even though our Lord said, “until he should pay” we know that this is an impossibility because our Lord initially said, “he was not able to pay” (Mat 18:25) – Moreover, if this prison were purgatory, how will the spirit alone be able to pay the last penny without the body, which was the accomplice in committing sin?

H.H. Pope Shenouda

Grace and Peace,

Pope Shenouda seems to take it upon himself to stretch the Sacred Texts in an effort to contradict no only the Dogma of Purgatory but any sense of just recompense and then appears to also shut the gate to any kind of hope for apokatastasis. I can honestly tell you that I 'hope' for apokatastasis not at the expense of justice for mercy but in the mercy that is God's Justice. I believe at this point your tone has turned a bit and don't believe this will be constructive for either of us. You seem to be entrenching yourself in opposition and I will attempt to not follow suite. I will only say that I don't agree with Pope Shenouda and don't believe that his work is particular informed by the patristic witness. He offers nothing besides his interpretation of the Sacred Text to oppose the Roman Church and in a very narrow way that I don't find in the early church.

I will not offer further counter argument but I have no problem pointing to St. Catherine of Genoa's treatise on Purgation and Purgatory.
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« Reply #193 on: February 11, 2009, 04:49:55 PM »

I will only say that I don't agree with Pope Shenouda and don't believe that his work is particular informed by the patristic witness.

You should prove that before you accuse the man.

He offers nothing besides his interpretation of the Sacred Text to oppose the Roman Church and in a very narrow way

And many others find nothing in the Latin Catholic interpretation of this later defined doctrine except a narrow juridical and innovative theology.

I will not offer further counter argument but I have no problem pointing to St. Catherine of Genoa's treatise on Purgation and Purgatory.

And I could play Church Father tit for tat with you...but I do not have the time...and you seem to be getting angry.

It is your tone that is changing, Chris.  When someone does not agree with your understanding of the Latin definition of purgatory---you become very defensive and start yelling “apokatastasis” over and over again.

But then I digress. I got sucked into another purgatory thread! Go figure!

Frankly Chris, I am merely setting forth some Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox understandings for your consumption.  As you know, the Holy Orthodox Church does not recognize this post schism “developed doctrine” of purgatory.  You are attached to the Latin juridical explanation. You are free to accept it as you wish. Orthodox Christians are not really compelled to explain or refute something that we do not know. There are  many Orthodox Christians who do not even consider talking about the Latin Catholic doctrine of purgatory.

A voice once came to St Antony the Great when he was having anxiety about divine providence:

‘Antony, attend to yourself; for these are the judgments of God, and it is not for you to know them’ (Apophthegmata (P.G. 65), Antony, 2).
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« Reply #194 on: February 11, 2009, 05:24:58 PM »


It is your tone that is changing, Chris.  When someone does not agree with your understanding of the Latin definition of purgatory---you become very defensive and start yelling “apokatastasis” over and over again.

I don't believe this is a fair description of my tone or my manner in this thread. I am not yelling "apokatastasis" I am simply asking in the narrowly defined theology you are offering "where is there room for apokatastasis"? You haven't answered that for us, Mickey.

This is where I find Orthodox apologetics willing to counter their own tradition in order to score points in a debate. I don't see how Pope Shenouda theology with say that of Bishop Kalistos Ware. How do that assert shared communion when they have such diverse and opposing theologies? In Pope Shenouda's theology Bishop's hopes are dashed.

Quote
Frankly Chris, I am merely setting forth some Eastern Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox understandings for your consumption.  As you know, the Holy Orthodox Church does not recognize this post schism “developed doctrine” of purgatory.  You are attached to the Latin juridical explanation. You are free to accept it as you wish. Orthodox Christians are not really compelled to explain or refute something that we do not know. There are  many Orthodox Christians who do not even consider talking about the Latin Catholic doctrine of purgatory.

Oh, I am the first one to admit that I am attached to Latin Theology. If I was not I would already a catechumanate in Orthodoxy but I would argue that you have overstepped your bounds in countering the Roman Dogma of Purgatory and I would continue to argue that Pope Shenouda has also do so as well. This is where Polemics have Blinded sound refutation and I am simply pointing it out. I'm not saying that because Orthodoxy teaches a hope for apokatastasis that they must support the Latin Dogma of Purgatory but I am saying that is refuting Purgatory that the Orthodox shouldn't refute their own teaching in order to do so.

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A voice once came to St Antony the Great when he was having anxiety about divine providence:

‘Antony, attend to yourself; for these are the judgments of God, and it is not for you to know them’ (Apophthegmata (P.G. 65), Antony, 2).

Very beautifully quoted.
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« Reply #195 on: February 11, 2009, 06:43:03 PM »

In other words, the doctrine of indulgences is connected more explicitly to the Papal powers then to the essence of Purgatory.

Exactly my point that I was trying to make.  This whole thing is ludicrous simply because it is determined by the whims of individual men (i.e. popes), none of whom are entrusted with the powers that the Roman Church claims that they have, ever.  And that is why we see patently ridiculous statements from various popes about how 15 minutes of reading Scripture=300 days less in purgatory or however that formula is supposed to work.  It is reduced to totally arbitrary standards depending on whom is wearing the Papal mitre.  And good, honest people (i.e. faithful Catholics) are still being sucked and tricked into this whole thing! Huh
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« Reply #196 on: February 11, 2009, 10:41:11 PM »

Exactly my point that I was trying to make.  This whole thing is ludicrous simply because it is determined by the whims of individual men (i.e. popes), none of whom are entrusted with the powers that the Roman Church claims that they have, ever.  And that is why we see patently ridiculous statements from various popes about how 15 minutes of reading Scripture=300 days less in purgatory or however that formula is supposed to work.  It is reduced to totally arbitrary standards depending on whom is wearing the Papal mitre.  And good, honest people (i.e. faithful Catholics) are still being sucked and tricked into this whole thing! Huh

Grace and Peace,

Boy are you folks pulling me into all sorts of corrections as to exactly what the Roman Church actually teaches.

If purgatory is one of the most difficult Catholic doctrines for non-Catholics to understand, then the Church's teaching on indulgences must be equally difficult. One reason is that the terms "purgatory" and "indulgence" are not found in the Sacred Text. In order to appreciate the doctrine of indulgences, it is necessary first to understand what the Church teaches about purgatory.

Among the Sacred Texts used in explaining the doctrine on purgatory, the clearest is found in 2 Maccabees. The incident concerns the aftermath of a battle between the Jews, lead by Judas Maccabeus, and the Edomites. Judas and his men, collecting the bodies of their fallen, discovered sacred tokens (i.e. idols) under their tunics. Recognizing that these men had died in sin, "they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin... He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this, he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore, he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin" (2 Mc 12:42-45).

The central point is that it is good to pray for the dead. Perhaps in this we can all agree. If, however, there are only a heaven and a hell, it makes no point: For if the dead are in heaven, they do not need prayers; and if they are in hell (i.e. Gehenna), prayer will be of no avail. So the Sacred Texts appear to many to pin us. At the heart of the Roman Church's teaching on purgatory, then, is the realization that, from the time a person dies until he or she reaches heaven, both the faithful on earth and the saints in heaven can assist that person with their prayers. Thus, purgatory is directly related to the doctrine of sin and so to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.

Beyond the reference in 2 Maccabees, the Sacred Texts offer insights on individual concerversion. Alienation from God by sinning may not necessarily be overcome by a single act of repentance. In point of fact, an act of judgment may be the cause for the final conversion of the sinner. Thus my point about mercy in just punishment. The Sacred Texts also offer instances where, although a sin may be confessed and the guilt forgiven, God still imposes punishments that are not canceled (Gn 3:17-19: Nm 20:12, 27:13; 2 Sm 12:10-14). If this be the case, then it cannot be said that God's forgiveness of guilt always includes as well the remission of the punishment due to those sins. Intercessory Prayer is also documented in the Sacred Texts, with limits set only by the providential will of God and the free will of the person for whom the prayers are being offered.

From the second century A.D. onward, there are accounts of sinners performing intense acts of penance for their sins committed after Baptism. This practice was monitored by the Church, as she regulated the penances by discipline adapted to the individual penitent. Penances could be shortened for some by the intercession of their confessors, and those awaiting martyrdom could offer their salutary acts for others.

By the Middle Ages, the practice of frequent confession led to some mitigation of penances and allowed penitents to perform "redemptory" works. In addition to the private prayers and works of individuals, the public, liturgical prayers of the Church including intercession for sinners. By the eleventh century, the Roman Church was teaching that she could and did officially intervene on behalf of the penitent. Such intervention, replacing some of the individual's penance, was an act of intercession seen in light of the totality of the Body of Christ. These first "indulgences" were acts of jurisdiction, meaning that the real canonical penance was remitted. They were outside the sacrament of Penance, yet involved punishments due to sins that had been confessed. Here, for the first time, the penance of the individual and the intercessory work of the Church were directly connected. It is this which consitituted indulgences as such.

Central to the doctrine on indulgences is the fact that every sin affects the Christian in three ways: 1.) it disrupts his relationship with God; 2.)it disturbs his relationship with his neighbors (i.e. the rest of the Church); and 3.) it unsettles him internally (i.e. it creates disorder). The first requires sacramental confession and absolution; the second requires restoration; the third requires that he work daily on his ongoing conversion, striving to be perfect as is his heavenly Father. The CCC says: "To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence." This was why St. Athanasus argued the necessity of the Incarnation by God Himself. To restore within human nature the Trinitarian likeness. It was not simply the case of forgiving a fault but the restoration of access to the Divine Nature for Immortality. Grave sin deprives us of communion with the Godhead and therefore makes us incapable of sharing in Immortality, the privation of which is called the 'eternal punishment' of sin. One the other had, every sin, even venial (i.e. very little errors), entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth through ascesis, or after death in the cleansing fires (purgation). This purification frees one from what is often called in Latin Theology "temporal punishments" of sin. We might also look upon it as the 'reordering' of the imperfect to perfect ordering. As St. Paul appears to point out: Every such shall suffer a loss, when his works are burnt, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. Here the apostle speaks of fire in a more ample signification: of a fire which shall not only try, and examine, but also burn, and punish the builders, who notwithstanding shall also, after a time, escape from the fire, and be saved by fire, and in the day of the Lord, that is, after life. Divers ancient Fathers, as well as later interpreters, from these words, argue for the doctrine of a purgation, that is, that many Christians, who die guilty, not of heinous or mortal sins, but of lesser, and what are often called venial sins, or to whom a temporal punishment for the sins they have committed, still remains due, before they can be admitted to a reward in heaven, (into which nothing defiled or unclean can enter) must suffer some punishments for a time, in some state, which is called Purgatory in Latin Theology, and in such a manner, as is agreeable to the divine justice, before their reward in heaven. These words of the apostle, the Latin Fathers in the Council of Florence brought against the Greeks to prove purgatory, to which the Greeks (who did not deny a purgatory, or a middle state, where souls guilty of lesser sins were to suffer for a time) made answer that these words of St. Paul were expounded by St. Chrysostom and some of their Greek Fathers (which is true) of the wicked in hell, who are said to be saved by fire, inasmuch as they always subsist and continue in those flames, and are not destroyed by them: but this interpretation, as the Latin bishops replied, is not agreeable to the style of the Sacred Texts, in which to be saved, both in the Greek and Latin, is expressed the salvation and happiness of souls in heaven. It may not be amiss to take notice that the Greeks, before they met with the Latins at Ferrara, or Florence, did not deny the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. They admitted a middle state, where souls guilty of lesser sins, suffered for a time, till cleansed from such sins: they allowed that the souls there detained from the vision of God, might be assisted by the prayers of the faithful: they called this purgatory a place of darkness, of sorrow, of punishments, and pains, but they did not allow there a ture and material fire, which the Council did not judge necessary to decide and define against them, as appears in in the definition of the Council.
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« Reply #197 on: February 11, 2009, 10:54:14 PM »

Brother i read some of your post's on catholic answers ,,i swear you argue for the orthodox side over there..but here your arguing for the catholic side  ...you are good.....
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« Reply #198 on: February 11, 2009, 11:15:53 PM »

Exactly my point that I was trying to make.  This whole thing is ludicrous simply because it is determined by the whims of individual men (i.e. popes), none of whom are entrusted with the powers that the Roman Church claims that they have, ever.  And that is why we see patently ridiculous statements from various popes about how 15 minutes of reading Scripture=300 days less in purgatory or however that formula is supposed to work.  It is reduced to totally arbitrary standards depending on whom is wearing the Papal mitre.  And good, honest people (i.e. faithful Catholics) are still being sucked and tricked into this whole thing! Huh

Grace and Peace,

Boy are you folks pulling me into all sorts of corrections as to exactly what the Roman Church actually teaches.

If purgatory is one of the most difficult Catholic doctrines for non-Catholics to understand, then the Church's teaching on indulgences must be equally difficult. One reason is that the terms "purgatory" and "indulgence" are not found in the Sacred Text. In order to appreciate the doctrine of indulgences, it is necessary first to understand what the Church teaches about purgatory.

Among the Sacred Texts used in explaining the doctrine on purgatory, the clearest is found in 2 Maccabees. The incident concerns the aftermath of a battle between the Jews, lead by Judas Maccabeus, and the Edomites. Judas and his men, collecting the bodies of their fallen, discovered sacred tokens (i.e. idols) under their tunics. Recognizing that these men had died in sin, "they turned to prayer, beseeching that the sin which had been committed might be wholly blotted out. And the noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin... He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this, he acted very well and honorably, taking account of the resurrection. For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead. But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fall asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore, he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin" (2 Mc 12:42-45).

The central point is that it is good to pray for the dead. Perhaps in this we can all agree. If, however, there are only a heaven and a hell, it makes no point:

Here you have swerved off course.

There is Heaven.

There is Hell.

Prayers for the dead benefit them.


That is what we have received.

Beyond that, you are speculating.

Quote
For if the dead are in heaven, they do not need prayers; and if they are in hell (i.e. Gehenna), prayer will be of no avail. So the Sacred Texts appear to many to pin us. At the heart of the Roman Church's teaching on purgatory, then, is the realization that, from the time a person dies until he or she reaches heaven, both the faithful on earth and the saints in heaven can assist that person with their prayers. Thus, purgatory is directly related to the doctrine of sin and so to the effects of the sacrament of Penance.

So, what happens to all those prayers for those who are later canonized.  Does the saint enter heaven when canonized, or when he departs this earth?  And if when he departs this earth ("Today you will be with Me in Paradise"), then the prayers between his death and canonization are of no avail.  So what of them?

Quote
Beyond the reference in 2 Maccabees, the Sacred Texts offer insights on individual concerversion. Alienation from God by sinning may not necessarily be overcome by a single act of repentance. In point of fact, an act of judgment may be the cause for the final conversion of the sinner. Thus my point about mercy in just punishment. The Sacred Texts also offer instances where, although a sin may be confessed and the guilt forgiven, God still imposes punishments that are not canceled (Gn 3:17-19: Nm 20:12, 27:13; 2 Sm 12:10-14).


This is what worrying about pinheads and angels does to you (not you personally).

In Genesis 3, there is no repentance, no forgiveness, and consequently no forgiveness.

Ditto Numbers.

David and Bathsheba is the only case (the only in Scripture in fact) that can be construed in favor of this satification scheme of the Vatican.  The problem is that the Apostles never knew of it.

Quote
If this be the case, then it cannot be said that God's forgiveness of guilt always includes as well the remission of the punishment due to those sins. Intercessory Prayer is also documented in the Sacred Texts, with limits set only by the providential will of God and the free will of the person for whom the prayers are being offered.

When is the first indication that someone interpreted David's repentance as receiving forgiveness without "remission of the punishment due to those sins?"

Intercessary prayer is not indicated here.

Quote
From the second century A.D. onward, there are accounts of sinners performing intense acts of penance for their sins committed after Baptism. This practice was monitored by the Church, as she regulated the penances by discipline adapted to the individual penitent. Penances could be shortened for some by the intercession of their confessors, and those awaiting martyrdom could offer their salutary acts for others.

I can see how this may have been conscrued later into the "system of merits," but it wasn't its origin.

Quote
By the Middle Ages, the practice of frequent confession led to some mitigation of penances and allowed penitents to perform "redemptory" works. In addition to the private prayers and works of individuals, the public, liturgical prayers of the Church including intercession for sinners. By the eleventh century, the Roman Church was teaching that she could and did officially intervene on behalf of the penitent. Such intervention, replacing some of the individual's penance, was an act of intercession seen in light of the totality of the Body of Christ. These first "indulgences" were acts of jurisdiction, meaning that the real canonical penance was remitted. They were outside the sacrament of Penance, yet involved punishments due to sins that had been confessed. Here, for the first time, the penance of the individual and the intercessory work of the Church were directly connected. It is this which consitituted indulgences as such.

Something that shows up a thousand years after the Apostles isn't apostolic.

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« Reply #199 on: February 11, 2009, 11:35:44 PM »

Brother i read some of your post's on catholic answers ,,i swear you argue for the orthodox side over there..but here your arguing for the catholic side  ...you are good.....

Grace and Peace,

I am not trying to 'argue for the Catholic Side'. I am only offering that if one is going to criticize. One should be honest and know what the other side is saying. Read ialmisry's critique. It's not being rude, distorting the opposition or attacking me. He's offering criticism of the Doctrine of Purgatory. I do agree with him that it is an elaboration of the earlier Church Teachings. Personally I like the 'room' Orthodoxy gives to the individual to understand the Faith in mystery but I also desire the Faith to make sense and to be cogent.

As I make my way East I I want to shed what is unnecessary but I don't honestly believe that I must discard a great deal of what I have found fruitful in the West. Indulgences... is probably the most troublesome of the later doctrines of the Roman Church. I understand there development but I honestly question their necessity. To remain in Communion in Rome I don't think I can outright deny them but I look at them with this kind of look...  Undecided

That said intellectually I understand the teaching.... That doesn't mean I think it's necessary.
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« Reply #200 on: February 11, 2009, 11:36:47 PM »


Something that shows up a thousand years after the Apostles isn't apostolic.

You mean like confession?  Shocked
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« Reply #201 on: February 11, 2009, 11:43:18 PM »

Well I've been Protestant and I didn't think that they got a whole lot right. Sorry I don't find this line of argument convincing and am frankly surprised that such a narrow forensic view of salvation would be offered as Orthodox.

Oh, well, some EO contrarians will do anything, stretch themselves silly, to distance themselves as far from (often strawman) Catholic teaching as possible.

BTW, Mickey, that there are real fires in Purgatory is not a dogma, though there is ample support in Scripture and Tradition for at least a metaphorical cleansing fire. 
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« Reply #202 on: February 11, 2009, 11:43:18 PM »

Brother i read some of your post's on catholic answers ,,i swear you argue for the orthodox side over there..but here your arguing for the catholic side  ...you are good.....
Well, he just doesn't want the Catholic position to misrepresented. What described about purgatory was probably the most acurate portrayal that I have seen in a long time.
I would add a few things.
 What is meant by purgatory is very far from defined in the Catholic Church. We do not know what the suffering is nor do we know how "long" (if that word can even be used after death) a person will be there.
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« Reply #203 on: February 11, 2009, 11:49:10 PM »


Something that shows up a thousand years after the Apostles isn't apostolic.

You mean like confession?  Shocked

I haven't looked at that confession thread, maybe I should.
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« Reply #204 on: February 11, 2009, 11:59:36 PM »


 What is meant by purgatory is very far from defined in the Catholic Church. We do not know what the suffering is nor do we know how "long" (if that word can even be used after death) a person will be there.


Grace and Peace,

What I think most Orthodox would critique regarding Purgatory is it's 'effect' within the scope of "the double consequence" of sin. It's clearly too forensic for them. I can appreciate that criticism. I think Bishop Kallistos Ware couches this the best though. I don't think I would burn a lot of time defending it's necessity with ialmisry. He/She is a very thorough debater and I honestly just don't want to go there.

At this point in my journey. I can appreciate the differences and the similarities. That doesn't mean I adhere to some kind of 'branch theory' but it does mean that I'm not chomping on the bit to bash Roman Catholics so I can feel more Orthodox. At least not here.  Tongue
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« Reply #205 on: February 12, 2009, 05:49:09 AM »

Here you have swerved off course.

There is Heaven.

There is Hell.

Prayers for the dead benefit them.


That is what we have received.

Beyond that, you are speculating.....
I can't buy this line of argumentation because a Buddhist would say that you are speculating when you posit heaven and hell. But  we know there is a heaven and a hell, and just as surely, we know there is a purgatory. If you commit a mortal sin and do not repent, you will go to hell. If you commit a venial sin and do not repent, you will be punished in purgaotry, but eventually end up in heaven after your just punishment. Some sins do not merit hell, but still merit some punishment so it is entirely reasonable that purgatory exists.
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« Reply #206 on: February 16, 2009, 01:34:08 PM »

I don't believe this is a fair description of my tone or my manner in this thread.

I believe that it is very fair.

This is where I find Orthodox apologetics willing to counter their own tradition in order to score points in a debate.

Purgatory was NEVER a part of the Orthodox Tradition "pre" or "post" schism. So nobody is countering anything.

How do that assert shared communion when they have such diverse and opposing theologies? In Pope Shenouda's theology Bishop's hopes are dashed.

Any Orthodox bishop that says the Orthodox Church accepts the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory--is the one who is mistaken in his speculation.

Oh, I am the first one to admit that I am attached to Latin Theology.


Yes. It is evident.

I would argue that you have overstepped your bounds in countering the Roman Dogma of Purgatory

That would be a bad argument on your part because there is no such thing as the doctrine of purgatory in the Holy Orthodox Church----hence there is no argument.

and I would continue to argue that Pope Shenouda has also do so as well.

This is also a bad argument because there is no such thing as the doctrine of purgatory in the Coptic Orthodox Church either.

This is where Polemics have Blinded sound refutation

Here is where you go astray, Chris. There is nothing to refute. The doctrine does not exist in the East. Rome can continue to attempt to justify this innovation, but most Orthodox want no part of it.





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« Reply #207 on: February 16, 2009, 01:36:02 PM »

If purgatory is one of the most difficult Catholic doctrines for non-Catholics to understand, then the Church's teaching on indulgences must be equally difficult.

Legalism tends to do that to a person.  Sad
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« Reply #208 on: February 16, 2009, 01:42:10 PM »

BTW, Mickey, that there are real fires in Purgatory is not a dogma

I see. No real fires--only punishments.  Undecided
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« Reply #209 on: February 16, 2009, 01:50:53 PM »

BTW, Mickey, that there are real fires in Purgatory is not a dogma

I see. No real fires--only punishments.  Undecided
And what is wrong with punishment? The bible says that God punishes his children because he loves them.
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« Reply #210 on: February 16, 2009, 04:43:46 PM »

And what is wrong with punishment?

God does not punish us. We punish ourselves.

God loves us.

Repent in this life.
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« Reply #211 on: February 16, 2009, 05:04:01 PM »

Here is where you go astray, Chris. There is nothing to refute. The doctrine does not exist in the East. Rome can continue to attempt to justify this innovation, but most Orthodox want no part of it.

You look at the teaching of Purgatory and you see far more that is inherent in the Doctrine.
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« Reply #212 on: February 16, 2009, 05:07:19 PM »

You look at the teaching of Purgatory and you see far more that is inherent in the Doctrine.
Wrong.

I see no "doctrine" at all.   Wink
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« Reply #213 on: February 16, 2009, 05:22:19 PM »

You look at the teaching of Purgatory and you see far more that is inherent in the Doctrine.
Wrong.

I see no "doctrine" at all.   Wink

Cute. Regardless I hope for a purgation if truly no sin can stand in the presence of God. I hope for reconciliation if truly our God is Just. If truly God's Mercy trumps any Divine sense of Justice then It really doesn't matter.
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« Reply #214 on: February 16, 2009, 05:31:18 PM »

And what is wrong with punishment?

God does not punish us. We punish ourselves.

God loves us.

Repent in this life.
And yet the Bible says that he does punish us because we are his children.
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« Reply #215 on: February 16, 2009, 05:34:31 PM »

Cute. Regardless I hope for a purgation if truly no sin can stand in the presence of God. I hope for reconciliation if truly our God is Just. If truly God's Mercy trumps any Divine sense of Justice then It really doesn't matter.
Nothing about it is meant to be "cute".

God's mercy is infinite.
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« Reply #216 on: February 16, 2009, 05:35:25 PM »

And yet the Bible says that he does punish us because we are his children.
It is so sad when people interpret God's love as "punishment".
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« Reply #217 on: February 16, 2009, 05:37:23 PM »

Cute. Regardless I hope for a purgation if truly no sin can stand in the presence of God. I hope for reconciliation if truly our God is Just. If truly God's Mercy trumps any Divine sense of Justice then It really doesn't matter.
Nothing about it is meant to be "cute".

God's mercy is infinite.

Then none of us has anything to really worry about.
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« Reply #218 on: February 16, 2009, 05:37:46 PM »

And yet the Bible says that he does punish us because we are his children.
It is so sad when people interpret God's love as "punishment".
And yet the bible says that God punishes us because he is our Father just like our earthly fathers punish us. Why do you continue to actually deal with this point?
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« Reply #219 on: February 17, 2009, 10:16:08 AM »

Then none of us has anything to really worry about.
We are saved by grace. Participate in the sacraments. Repent with a sincere heart. Love God with all your being. Love your neighbor as yourself. And you will have peace in your heart. The Lord is not looking for us to be anxious and afraid.
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« Reply #220 on: February 17, 2009, 10:19:04 AM »

And yet the bible says that God punishes us because he is our Father just like our earthly fathers punish us. Why do you continue to actually deal with this point?
God is love. When I discipline my children, I do not punish them. I do not inflict pain or fire. I discipline them with love and care and tenderness.

God is love.

God is not punishment.

God is not pain.

God is not fire.

God is love.
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« Reply #221 on: February 17, 2009, 10:44:03 AM »

I think you made the point, Mickey! God is indeed love, and love transforms us, changes us in our souls.
The doctrine of purgatory is inacceptable from an Orthodox perspective because RC's say that God punishes the souls to satisfy his justice. On the contrary, a more Orthodox approach on purification after death (which was believed by certain Church Fathers and I could even subscribe) could compare purgation to a process of ascesis and theosis the souls undergo while immersed in God's love (which is one of his energies, and thus comparable to fire). Like a monk, so that he might become an imitator of Christ, chooses to fast and abstain from fleshly desires and prays the Lord to help him, in the same way God sustains and helps the souls of those who departed to renounce all effimere things which destract from our path to God. The soul is thus purged and the "suffering" they pass isn't God's punishment for sin, but one's ascesis because the soul "suffers loss" when one renounces to something attractive of this world (such as sex, money, food, power...), and the more one renounces to them the more the soul prepares to welcome God's presence exclusively.
Any sort of purification is a process of theosis, i.e. a way we get closer and closer to God's life so that we are immersed in his energies and partake of it. In our world we can obtain this by faith and through good works; yet God gives us the possibility to reach Him even in the life to come if we're not "pure".

Another idea completely foreign to Orthodoxy I guess might be the insufficience of a good confession to purify our souls. If a person who was absolved still needs to be purged, then this sacrament has no spiritual value, it's only a way to obtain God's forgiveness and that's all folks... No, the Mystery of Penance is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that changes the soul of an individual exactly as a medicine cures the sick. Of course, if you approach to confession without any real repentance and desire to "cure" your illness, God's grace can't penetrate and act into your soul...

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #222 on: February 17, 2009, 11:00:56 AM »

Quote
Quote from: Mickey on Yesterday at 05:35:25 PM
Quote from: Papist on Yesterday at 05:31:18 PM
And yet the Bible says that he does punish us because we are his children.

It is so sad when people interpret God's love as "punishment".

And yet the bible says that God punishes us because he is our Father just like our earthly fathers punish us. Why do you continue to actually deal with this point?

Have you ever read the parable of the prodigal son? It seems you haven't, otherwise you'll understand that you keep acting like the older brother who didn't understand his father's mercy and justice towards the younger son.

The merciful father didn't accept the prodigal son's proposal to become his slave because he needed no "satisfaction" of justice. The prodigal son personally touched the fruits of sin, both the good ones and the evil ones. When he came to his father's he had understood all of his mistakes and was now ready to renounce everything he dreamt for when he left home with his father's inheritance. That's why the father understood that his son was indeed a good penitent, having renounced to all fleshly desires...
God asks us for no satisfaction: He asks us to renounce sin and accept His infinite love, submitting to His will.

God bless,   Alex
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« Reply #223 on: February 17, 2009, 11:08:46 AM »

Any sort of purification is a process of theosis, i.e. a way we get closer and closer to God's life so that we are immersed in his energies and partake of it. In our world we can obtain this by faith and through good works; yet God gives us the possibility to reach Him even in the life to come if we're not "pure".

Another idea completely foreign to Orthodoxy I guess might be the insufficience of a good confession to purify our souls. If a person who was absolved still needs to be purged, then this sacrament has no spiritual value, it's only a way to obtain God's forgiveness and that's all folks... No, the Mystery of Penance is a fruit of the Holy Spirit that changes the soul of an individual exactly as a medicine cures the sick. Of course, if you approach to confession without any real repentance and desire to "cure" your illness, God's grace can't penetrate and act into your soul...

Eloquently stated as usual.  Smiley
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« Reply #224 on: February 17, 2009, 11:11:55 AM »

And yet the bible says that God punishes us because he is our Father just like our earthly fathers punish us. Why do you continue to actually deal with this point?
God is love. When I discipline my children, I do not punish them. I do not inflict pain or fire. I discipline them with love and care and tenderness.

God is love.

God is not punishment.

God is not pain.

God is not fire.

God is love.
If you do not punish your children then you do not really discipline them. As for God being fire, the bible says that God is a consuming fire. Why do you keep supporting your views with unscriptural arguements?
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