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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 178904 times) Average Rating: 5
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lubeltri
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« Reply #450 on: April 01, 2009, 08:11:40 PM »

Irish Hermit, such "temporal satisfaction" is worthless if accomplished alone. It must always be done with Christ. Any good works are worthless without faith.

The purpose of this "temporal satisfaction" is sanctification. That (including purgatory) exist to bring a person to a state of holiness necessary to enter heaven. It's not about God getting his revenge. That sanctification can be very painful is clear---did not Christ say that we must lose our lives to gain them, that we must pick up our crosses?

St. Gregory the Great (who you seem to think held that foreign doctrine of praying people out of hell) wrote of a "purifying fire." Not that the fire is literal (though he likely believed so), but it means that Purgatory (as with any giving up of dearly held attachments) can hurt. Think of Purgatory as like a drug rehab clinic where we are weaned off our addictions.

However, you seem only interested in providing your own faulty spins on our teaching. Honestly, for an Orthodox priest, you seem frequently occupied with Catholicism. You'd think by now you'd have a better understanding of it.

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« Reply #451 on: April 01, 2009, 08:11:41 PM »

I don't understand the obsession with "fire." If such a word was fine with St. Paul and St. Peter, it is fine with me. The Holy Spirit is frequently identified with fire.

Purgatory can be like a "purifying fire," as Pope St. Gregory the Great says. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a literal fire. Is the Holy Spirit a literal fire?

It makes no sense anyway, since it isn't doctrine that Purgatory is even a place. How do you have literal fire when it isn't even necessarily a place?

St. John of the Cross described the "fires" of Purgatory as simply the love of God. God's love freeing us from our attachments to sin could very well be painful. That's why they are attachments---they are hard to give up.

I have heard a number of Orthodox describe the fires of Hell that way---God's love feels like fire to the damned because of their rejection of Him.

So I don't see why using fire as a metaphor for the purifying state is so risable to you.


Incidentally, I got into a debate about this with some Catholic friends a few weeks ago. They claimed there certainly IS a literal fire and that such has to be believed by all Catholics. I insisted that they were free to believe in a literal fire if they wished, but such a view is opinion, not doctrine. Of course they protested, but they had to admit I was right after they consulted conciliar documents.

So I can understand why Orthodox misunderstand our teaching, since so many Catholics misunderstand it.

It's funny---I debate a lot with these friends, and usually the debates end up me defending Eastern Christianity or the Orthodox! I'm Latin like them, of course, but they have a serious lack of knowledge of the Eastern perspective (and do not seem interested in remedying it!). They seem to think that everybody should just become Latin Catholics. Sigh...they say they love John Paul II, but they won't read Orientale Lumen on my recommendation. Usually the debates end up with them saying that if I like the East so much, I should become Orthodox!
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« Reply #452 on: April 01, 2009, 08:11:41 PM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.
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« Reply #453 on: April 01, 2009, 10:33:59 PM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

What ecumenical councils are you speaking of?  The 7 true Ecumenical Councils? Or the ones the Roman Catholic Communion has held and falsely called "ecumenical?"
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« Reply #454 on: April 02, 2009, 12:45:44 AM »

 Catholic Purgatory,,,,,,,your gonna  burn burn burn..............
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 12:47:45 AM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
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« Reply #455 on: April 02, 2009, 12:49:23 AM »

Catholic Purgatory,,,,,,,your gonna  burn burn burn..............

Would it kill you to contribute to the discussion with proper punctuation and ideas?
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« Reply #456 on: April 02, 2009, 12:52:51 AM »

Ok ! Since there's no time in puratory, how do people get there time shortened there.... Huh Huh
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ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
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« Reply #457 on: April 02, 2009, 12:57:42 AM »

Ok ! Since there's no time in puratory, how do people get there time shortened there.... Huh Huh

Are you conceding purgatory exists?
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« Reply #458 on: April 02, 2009, 01:15:42 AM »

No! Don't believe in it ,Catholics do though...When they pray for the soul's there ,,isn't it suppose to shorten their stay...

Or when the pope gives a indulgence....Why doesn't He use his power's and Grant's them all absolution and just empties the whole place out.....that's if it exists.. and since for them it does.....just curious why doesn't he...
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« Reply #459 on: April 02, 2009, 02:44:17 AM »

Irish Hermit, such "temporal satisfaction" is worthless if accomplished alone.

The purpose of this "temporal satisfaction"

Never seen the term "temporal satisfaction" before although I have experienced it after a good glass of Guinness on a hot day.   The term I know is "temporal punishment."

Could you say more about Catholic theology and "temporal satisfaction"?  Where did you find the term?
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« Reply #460 on: April 02, 2009, 02:47:44 AM »

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

Are all the statements in the modern Catechism optional in this way?   People may interpret them literally or metaphorically?
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« Reply #461 on: April 02, 2009, 02:51:47 AM »

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

All the above is quite a good example of the modern reductionism which has been at work in modern Catholicism for the past 40 decades. 

See this post
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20355.msg306110.html#msg306110
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« Reply #462 on: April 02, 2009, 03:21:27 AM »

I don't understand the obsession with "fire." If such a word was fine with St. Paul and St. Peter, it is fine with me. The Holy Spirit is frequently identified with fire.

Purgatory can be like a "purifying fire," as Pope St. Gregory the Great says. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a literal fire. Is the Holy Spirit a literal fire?

It makes no sense anyway, since it isn't doctrine that Purgatory is even a place. How do you have literal fire when it isn't even necessarily a place?

St. John of the Cross described the "fires" of Purgatory as simply the love of God. God's love freeing us from our attachments to sin could very well be painful. That's why they are attachments---they are hard to give up.

I have heard a number of Orthodox describe the fires of Hell that way---God's love feels like fire to the damned because of their rejection of Him.

So I don't see why using fire as a metaphor for the purifying state is so risable to you.


Incidentally, I got into a debate about this with some Catholic friends a few weeks ago. They claimed there certainly IS a literal fire and that such has to be believed by all Catholics. I insisted that they were free to believe in a literal fire if they wished, but such a view is opinion, not doctrine. Of course they protested, but they had to admit I was right after they consulted conciliar documents.

So I can understand why Orthodox misunderstand our teaching, since so many Catholics misunderstand it.

It's funny---I debate a lot with these friends, and usually the debates end up me defending Eastern Christianity or the Orthodox! I'm Latin like them, of course, but they have a serious lack of knowledge of the Eastern perspective (and do not seem interested in remedying it!). They seem to think that everybody should just become Latin Catholics. Sigh...they say they love John Paul II, but they won't read Orientale Lumen on my recommendation. Usually the debates end up with them saying that if I like the East so much, I should become Orthodox!

The Light wich will be in Heaven will be the Fire in Hell . "Our God is a Consuming Fire" believe me it is both alegorical and literal fire . I advice you to read : Ilie Cleopa - Despre Iad (About Hell) . He talks about the nine works of hell . Here is the link in Romanian , you can translate it with google translate : http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/ortodox/despreiad.htm
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« Reply #463 on: April 02, 2009, 03:54:03 AM »


St. Gregory the Great (who you seem to think held that foreign doctrine of praying people out of hell)

"Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu."

Such a beautiful prayer from the Roman liturgy.

See
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20355.msg304197.html#msg304197

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Honestly, for an Orthodox priest, you seem frequently occupied with Catholicism

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« Reply #464 on: April 02, 2009, 10:04:23 AM »

The catechism is free to use traditional symbolic language to describe purgatory. It does not necessarily mean that there is a literal fire. The word fire here can just as easily mean purification or suffering as it often does in the scriptures. We as Catholics, must believe in a post death purification that invovles suffering. The word "fire" is a good symbol for this suffering.

I see.  So basically you are saying that you are free to interpret it any way you like. 

As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."
If the adjective "literal" were before the word fire I would be on board with you but it is simply not. I have read the Catechism mulitple times and never had it even occured to me that it must be a literal fire. This is because I have been around Catholic theology all of my adult life and the general understanding is that it is not may not be a literal fire, though that is a popular tradition (lower case t). Why do so many in the East always reject that we believe what we actually say we believe? Its not a charitable attitude.
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« Reply #465 on: April 02, 2009, 10:06:47 AM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

What ecumenical councils are you speaking of?  The 7 true Ecumenical Councils? Or the ones the Roman Catholic Communion has held and falsely called "ecumenical?"
That's not even the point of this thread.
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« Reply #466 on: April 02, 2009, 10:08:30 AM »

Ok ! Since there's no time in puratory, how do people get there time shortened there.... Huh Huh
We don't. Those in purgatory are aided by the prayer of those on earth, but as to what help they recieve, we don't understand completely. It has been popular to speak of "reducing some one's time in purgatory" but I believe that this a popular approach, rather than a true theological one.
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« Reply #467 on: April 02, 2009, 10:10:39 AM »

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

Are all the statements in the modern Catechism optional in this way?   People may interpret them literally or metaphorically?
This is ridculous. You need to read more about Catholic theology. Try some of Cardinal Ratzinger's works and not just the ones you would like to use to bash Catholics over the head.
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« Reply #468 on: April 02, 2009, 10:11:44 AM »

I don't understand the obsession with "fire." If such a word was fine with St. Paul and St. Peter, it is fine with me. The Holy Spirit is frequently identified with fire.

Purgatory can be like a "purifying fire," as Pope St. Gregory the Great says. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a literal fire. Is the Holy Spirit a literal fire?

It makes no sense anyway, since it isn't doctrine that Purgatory is even a place. How do you have literal fire when it isn't even necessarily a place?

St. John of the Cross described the "fires" of Purgatory as simply the love of God. God's love freeing us from our attachments to sin could very well be painful. That's why they are attachments---they are hard to give up.

I have heard a number of Orthodox describe the fires of Hell that way---God's love feels like fire to the damned because of their rejection of Him.

So I don't see why using fire as a metaphor for the purifying state is so risable to you.


Incidentally, I got into a debate about this with some Catholic friends a few weeks ago. They claimed there certainly IS a literal fire and that such has to be believed by all Catholics. I insisted that they were free to believe in a literal fire if they wished, but such a view is opinion, not doctrine. Of course they protested, but they had to admit I was right after they consulted conciliar documents.

So I can understand why Orthodox misunderstand our teaching, since so many Catholics misunderstand it.

It's funny---I debate a lot with these friends, and usually the debates end up me defending Eastern Christianity or the Orthodox! I'm Latin like them, of course, but they have a serious lack of knowledge of the Eastern perspective (and do not seem interested in remedying it!). They seem to think that everybody should just become Latin Catholics. Sigh...they say they love John Paul II, but they won't read Orientale Lumen on my recommendation. Usually the debates end up with them saying that if I like the East so much, I should become Orthodox!

The Light wich will be in Heaven will be the Fire in Hell . "Our God is a Consuming Fire" believe me it is both alegorical and literal fire . I advice you to read : Ilie Cleopa - Despre Iad (About Hell) . He talks about the nine works of hell . Here is the link in Romanian , you can translate it with google translate : http://www.sfaturiortodoxe.ro/ortodox/despreiad.htm
You believe that God is both literal and figurative fire? I thought God was beyond fire.  Huh
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« Reply #469 on: April 02, 2009, 10:14:06 AM »


Do you not see me as your beloved other lung?   How can you breathe without me?     Smiley
We see the Eastern Catholic Churches as our other lung. But honestly Father, I have observed your posting concerning Catholics for several years, all the back to your good ol' CAF days, and what you may consider "witty" can often been seen as sarcastic, rude, off topic, or simply sophistry.
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« Reply #470 on: April 02, 2009, 10:23:12 AM »

No! Don't believe in it ,Catholics do though...When they pray for the soul's there ,,isn't it suppose to shorten their stay...

Or when the pope give a indulgence....Why doesn't He use his power's and Grant's them all absolution  and just empties the whole place out.....that's if it exists....

I've already explained to you numerous times on this forum that indulgences do not "reduce time" in Purgatory. But, of course, you aren't interested in learning what we actually believe. Carry on---I won't be listening.
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« Reply #471 on: April 02, 2009, 10:26:33 AM »

Let me just summarize our take on the middle state of souls:

- We believe in the folk-religionesque demonic tollgates, except for those who completely reject them.
- We believe there is no literal cleansing fire, except for those who believe there is a literal fire.
- We know that what we believe is whatever is the opposite of what is printed in the RCC.
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« Reply #472 on: April 02, 2009, 11:20:37 AM »

No! Don't believe in it ,Catholics do though...When they pray for the soul's there ,,isn't it suppose to shorten their stay...

Or when the pope give a indulgence....Why doesn't He use his power's and Grant's them all absolution  and just empties the whole place out.....that's if it exists....

I've already explained to you numerous times on this forum that indulgences do not "reduce time" in Purgatory. But, of course, you aren't interested in learning what we actually believe. Carry on---I won't be listening.

Indulgences & it's changes over time from what looks like a Roman Catholic source -

http://www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/essays/cot/t2w08indulgences.htm

==============

Throughout the late Middle Ages indulgences have influenced the course of history in many respects. Through their introduction and implementation medieval church leaders periodically held sway on emperors and common man alike. Despite their power and often use, indulgences have not always been the same in function or methods of distribution. These changes follow through a pattern of unique, defining events: the Crusades, Pope Leo X, the printing press, Martin Luther, and finally the Council of Trent. Placed within these historical settings the religious influence of indulgences grew to its peak during the Protestant Reformation and then declined and stabilized during the Counter Reformation and the Council of Trent. Yet to fully understand the historical implications of indulgences, we must first understand the surrounding doctrines of the Roman Catholic church and the theology of indulgences themselves.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, a large collection of extended writings by Catholic authorities, shows how sin, purgatory, salvation, and justification all play an important part in the theology of indulgences. Unlike Protestant views, modern Catholics see that the consequences of sin demand us to satisfy two punishments—eternal punishment and temporal punishment. Eternal punishment, spending eternity in hell after death, is paid through the death of Jesus when a man or women converts and is baptized1. On this issue Protestants agree to an extent (except for the fact that some believe that the required punishment is revoked at conversion and not baptism). Catholics, and not Protestants, then explain that while Christ satisfied our payment of eternal punishment, we must fulfill our payment concerning temporal punishment2. This temporal punishment must be paid in one of two places—here on earth or after death in the purifying torture of purgatory prior to entering heaven3.

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Catholics believe that the necessary satisfactions of Gods justice can be obtained through Sacraments and Indulgences. They believe that through the Sacrament of Baptism both temporal punishments and eternal punishments are satisfied for a new convert4. Yet they also believe that if a Christian then sins sometime between Baptism and death, he must then take part in the Sacrament of Penance to remove his guilt or, in some cases, his eternal punishment5. Furthermore, he must either obtain an indulgence, which takes away his temporal punishment, or pay for this temporal punishment in purgatory6. Indulgences also come in varying degrees, removing various amounts of time in purgatory. A partial indulgence takes away part of the time in purgatory while a plenary indulgence takes away all the time that one must stay in purgatory for sins previously committed7. It is also important to note that indulgences were not always bought with money; sometimes they were obtained through certain works or actions.

Indulgences did not always exist as our modern understanding envisions them. In fact, according to Fr. Enrico dal Covolo, the contemporary idea of indulgences in our time and the time of the Reformation did not begin until the 11th century8. Fr. Covolo continues to explain that their evolution was a long process through various earlier forms of “reconciliation; mitigation, reduction and commutation of sacramental penance”—all of which granted to some extent either remission of punishment or a renewed relationship with the church society. Furthermore, they were not necessarily bought with money or extended to anyone who fulfilled certain requirements. Through these theologies indulgences slowly evolved with their first great influence revealing itself through the crusades9.

During Christendom’s struggle with the Seljuk and Ottoman Turks in the eleventh century through the fifteenth century, several Catholic Popes called for crusades against the expansion of these powerful Islamic empires. Fr. Covolo states that Pope Urban II (in the first crusade) and Pope Eugene III (in the second crusade) offered indulgences to anyone who would join their struggle against the Muslims10. He further explains that Pope Gregory VIII later took this example one step further. Gregory VIII offered plenary indulgences (one that paid for all sins previously committed but not for the future) to anyone who simply “provided someone to take their place or who contributed to the expense of the crusade11.” The people who obtained these indulgences did not even have to go to war themselves. They could simply buy their way out of purgatory.

In the sixteenth century Pope Leo X perverted the theology of indulgences to the greatest extent in history—turning a religious doctrine into no more than a money making scheme. Christian History Institute explains how after draining the Vatican treasury, Pope Leo X planned on continuing to rebuild St. Peter’s Basilica yet lacked the necessary funds to do so12. It goes on to explain how Leo X sent the legendary Tetzel, a Dominican monk, to sell indulgences to fund his project. This particular set of indulgences state that even the sins that the buyer would later commit would be justified in the eyes of God:
…I restore you… to the innocence and purity which you possessed at baptism; so that when you die the gates of punishment shall be shut… and if you shall not die at present, this grace shall remain in full force when you are at the point of death.
Tetzel also shows his disregard for the theological importance of indulgences as Christian History Institute quotes him using little jingles to sell them: As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory springs13. These events set the stage for Martin Luther’s dispute with the Catholic church and the imminent Protestant Reformation.
Before the discussion of the Protestant Reformation it would benefit us to first look at the impact of Guttenberg’s printing press on the distribution of indulgences and the dissemination of Luther’s writings. While indulgences had to be written by hand prior to the invention of the printing press, following its invention, indulgences could be printed in mass. In 1454 Pope Nicholas V took advantage of this new opportunity to print indulgences, offering them to anyone who donated money towards his crusade14. Yet the printing press also enabled Martin Luther to disseminate his ideas15 and with them his question regarding the validity of indulgences. This question and his revolutionary ideas would eventually tear apart the unity of the Catholic church.
Martin Luther began as a monk within the Catholic church, but slowly realized the atrocities that it was committing through the practice of indulgences. This came about slowly as he realized the importance of Paul’s epistle to the Romans. The Christian History Institute quotes him as saying:
My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement 'the just shall live by faith.' Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning...This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven.
Christian History Institute, Luther Posted his 95 Thesis16
Following this discovery in the Bible, Luther abhorred the work of people like Tetzel17 and humbly tried to show the Catholic church its error in the use of indulgences. He posted his ninety-five thesis on the Wittenberg door, presenting for debate his revolutionary ideas. Christian History Institute expresses that Luther assumed that the Pope would agree with him when shown that he based his argument off of scripture. Yet the Pope did not agree. Instead he excommunicated Martin Luther. Skip Knox writes that upon receiving this decree of excommunication, Luther “invited his friends” and burned it publicly18. The Reformation had begun.
Luther’s reformation and the wanton greed of Leo X in his sale of indulgences prompted the Catholic church to consider where it stood concerning these theological matters. Robert D. Linder states that an ecumenical church council was called to deal with “reform and the growing menace of Protestantism19.” He goes on to say that while Protestants were allowed to attend the second gathering, they were not allowed to vote and so they left without having impacted the council. The third session influenced the history of Christianity the most20. Through this session, Linder states, that the council reaffirmed the medieval beliefs of “salvation by faith and works… the existence of purgatory, and indulgences”, yet “the post of indulgence-seller was abolished and abuses connected with the distribution of indulgences were condemned.”21 These decisions were pivotal in establishing a theological cornerstone to support the argument for indulgences into the present day.
As we can see, indulgences played an important role in the political and religious history of the Middle ages. Through them wars were waged between the Turkish powers and the Western world, and the Protestant Reformation began. Yet they were not always the same in function, nor were they distributed in identical ways. Indulgences developed from a variety of traditions, evolving into a form that spawned the Protestant Reformation. In response to this reformation and the greed of Leo X, the Council of Trent further modified them closer to their modern form. Fr. Covolo states, “the Council of Trent, after the sad Lutheran schism, suppressed for ever the collecting of money for indulgences.”22 Popes, monks, councils, inventions, wars, and Reformations all influenced the change of indulgences throughout history—a history that has almost stretched a millennium. Through all the upheavals of history and all the various modifications on form, indulgences have survived to the present day. As recently as 1967 Pope Paul VI reaffirmed the decree of the Council of Trent: “The doctrine and practice of indulgences which have been in force for many centuries in the Catholic Church have a solid foundation in divine revelation…”23

==============

Orthodoc




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Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« Reply #473 on: April 02, 2009, 11:31:55 AM »


I saved this post in my files from a few years ago.  It's an answer given on a discussion group on the Orthodox view on Purgatory.  I like it because it's the only answer I received that I could fully understand and agreee wit.  It comes from a convert to Orthodoxy who was a former Protestant minister. 

Would appreciate any comments on it.  Especially some of the Orthodox priests that post here.

Orthodoc

================QUESTION: 

 
<<In  'The Complete Book of Orthodoxy' by George W. Grube the following
sentence appears within the explaination of PURGATORY -

"If there is, any suffering in the after life, some Orthodox Catholic
theologians teach, it is of a purifying nature and not punitive."

I find this to be confusing because, isn't this exactly what the Roman
Catholic teaches in regards to Purgatory?  Can someone explain this sentence
and its meaning from an Orthodox Catholic viewpoint?

Bob>>

ANSWER:  (by Reader Tmothy Copple)

Some have already responded to this, and I have not looked at all of today's
post, so if this subject has died out and I am behind the times here, or all
of this has already been said, please excuse me.

Out of the post I have read, it seems there is some confusion about this
issue. So, I will try to give the general differences between RC purgatory
and Orthodox understanding of the soul's purification in the next life.
There are similarities and differences.

First, one must stop and think what the word "punishment" really means. It
is essentially, a corrective measure that is used upon someone for their
ultimate benefit. Originally, the concept of "punishment" had a very
redemptive and healing aspect to it. However, as it tends to be used today
(at least in theological talk), it tends to refer to arbitrary dishing out
of misery, often to "pay back" some wrong or injustice. We see this in our
own laws, one can see a paying back and a hope of it bringing healing when
we send someone to jail. In strict law sense, however, I think the intent is
to ultimate reform the person, or at least keep them out of society so that
they do not harm others. Revenge is more the emotional side of it from the
victim's standpoint.

Due to the above, the concept of punishment has taken on more of a "paying
back" or retribution, and is then a word that people who focus on the
healing aspect like to stay away from. This probably comes from the concept
of satisfaction atonement, where the whole idea of Jesus dying on the cross
was to pay back to the Father a debt of sin that we could not. That is also
why the RC idea sounds so much like they are saying (to a Protestant) that
Christ's forgiveness wasn't good enough, since it didn't entirely pay the
debt, that we by suffering punishment still had something left to pay off
for our sins. Thus, while the RC held to some degree of the satisfaction
theory, and while that did predominate at certain times, they still had the
context of healing, even if it was buried at times and forgotten. The
understanding of "punishment" can be interpreted in either direction.
However, I would tend to stay away from it now if just because its common
connotation does not lend itself to really expressing the reality of what we
believe, and will automatically put forth a picture of God that is
incompatible with Orthodoxy's.

That said, Orthodoxy does understand a purifying to take place in the next
life, which St. Paul also speaks about (and RC uses to support Purgatory as
well), that all our works will be put through the fire, the stone, gold,
etc. will remain while all that is of hay, straw, etc. will be burned away.
Even if it is all burned away, however, if the foundation which has been
laid is Jesus Christ, that person will be saved as through the fire.

Since this is scripture, and the Fathers also speak about the purifying of
the soul in this life and the next, this is something we cannot just toss
aside. However, there are some significant differences between what I have
understood of the RC's concept and Orthodoxy's on this purifying in the next
life.

One of the biggest differences is when this purifying takes place, and the
purpose and reason of the purifying. RC teaches that one must be purified
*before* approaching God. Orthodoxy tends to teach that one is purified
*upon* approaching God.

First, one must understand the need for purification. Keep in mind that this
is a journey. Our movement is towards the likeness of God being instilled in
our life and a growing relationship with Him. The closer we move towards
God-likeness, it basically means the less of this temporal world that we
hold onto and the more of the Spirit that we have. (Read St. Seraphim of
Sarov on acquiring the Holy Spirit as an example of this.) Some folks have
attained to the angelic life in this life. My own patron saint, the Apostle
Timothy, disciple of St. Paul, was said to have been such a person.
Incidentally he was martyred for preaching against the pagan worship in
Ephesus, where he was a bishop of the Church. A mob came and beat him with
stones and clubs. Anyway, most of us will not get there in this life time.
We hold onto too much of this world's treasures. We don't go and "sell all
that we have" to follow Christ. Thus our sins build hay and straw structures
in our lives. We are forgiven for the sins through repentance and
confession, and the relationship to God is kept whole, but we still have
that straw hut over there that we have a hard time tearing down and building
it with something of the virtues. We struggle with that in many areas. We
wish to build things in our lives with our passions instead of the virtues.

Thus, what happens for many is they leave this life with some of our life
built out of gold, silver and other sturdy materials, but we also have some
of our life built out of the straw and hay. What we are doing on this
journey is working on tearing down the straw and hay structures and
replacing them with the stones of virtues.

The need is the same in either communion, that these areas of our life built
by the passions cannot remain in the presence of God. However, the solution
to how those are dealt with varies. RC says that they must be burned away
before entering God's presence. Therefore, there is a place, or time, or
some existence that one has that one goes through this fire and is purified
of these things. Naturally this is not going to be pleasant and does feel
like a "punishment" even though it is for our benefit. When I got punished
as a child for playing in the street, it was to protect my life, not to
cause me pain for the heck of it. Yet, the concept here is that God's
holiness cannot allow any impurity and will automatically be rejected.
Therefore, if one comes into God's presence with some impurity, the idea is
that person will be rejected except that the impurity is cleansed
beforehand.

In Orthodoxy, God is understood as an "All Consuming Fire" that we are
either lighted with or heated by. This fiery presence is in Orthodoxy what
purifies us. Upon coming to God, His very presence burns away all
impurities. All that remains will be the gold, silver and other virtues of
our life, and at that point we will be freed from all that once weighted us
down in this life, and freed to ascend in greater ways to God. For those who
have progressed far with eradicating the passions from their lives and have
attained a great God-likeness through the Spirit, there will be little to
burn away, if any, and their transition into God's presence will be fully
like the three holy Children in Daniel, who when the king threw them into
the furnace heated 7 times greater than normal, all experienced it as a
"dewy cool breeze" instead of a burning fire. There will be many, however,
that will experience this entry to God's presence with some pain and
suffering. Not due to God inflicting punishment on them, but due to the
reaction of bringing impurity into God's holiness. The two cannot mix. It is
like mixing two chemicals together that produce an explosion. Neither
chemical "caused" it to happen, it simply happened by bringing them
together. Thus it will be with the consequences of sin in our lives that we
have yet to clean out in this life, it will get cleaned out in the next for
us.

Therefore, there are two different understandings at work here, one which
says that we cannot come into God's presence without being purified first
because God will reject us as a person otherwise, and one which says that in
coming into His presence, He doesn't reject all those in Christ, but He does
"reject" and burns away all that is incompatible with His presence in us.
Yet, if we have Christ, we hold onto that relationship and the burning is
only temporary (whatever temporary means there), whereas those who do not
have Christ, upon coming into God's presence, experience the second death,
total and unending fire of His presence. That is "hell".

The next difference comes in our prayers for these people. Somehow over time
the RC concept mutated from what we understand as Orthodox to this whole
system of merits and the applying them from one to another. Initially, the
understanding of "merits" simply meant that a particular saint who was close
to God due to their humility and love of God in their life, who had
eradicated much of the passions and established the virtues, had by that
reason acquired the life that has faith which can move mountains. This is of
God's doing, not the saints, and the saint continually keeps this in mind if
he/she does not with to fall. However, Christ says we will be able to do
that, and like the demon that the disciples could not cast out because they
had not fasted and prayed as they should have, one's acquiring the Holy
Spirit in humility does have something to do with how well one is able to
help others with a gift God has given them, whether that is healing,
hospitality, etc. Thus, there are some that have more "merit" in their lives
than others. Doesn't mean one has earned salvation, but simply that one has
acquired a certain relationship with God which allows them to transmit to us
more of God's mercy and grace within our lives. That is why we ask people to
pray for us, in hopes that they have a relationship with God that will aid
us. So one sees the Fathers speaking of merits at times, and some current
Orthodoxy material will also speak of them as well.

However, somehow in the RC circles, this grew into some sort of "thing" that
one can almost measure. So if one did such and such a thing, it would give
them X number of merits from a saints abundant storehouse of merits (he/she
had more than they needed for themselves). I think one can find examples
where this has gone to extremes such as the selling of them (as if the
Church owned them), and the more legalistic "pray this prayer and get 2000
merits" which I read something similar to that in some Catholic literature
once.

In Orthodox understanding, such prayers and gifts of the saints cannot be
moved around like that, nor can you store up a saints merits for when you
get to "purgatory" yourself. All that a saint can help you with in that
regard is to pray for you and help guide you to acquiring the "merits" for
yourself so that when you get to God, you will experience the least amount
of burning possible. Nor are they quantified as something measurable. Yet,
we deem the prayers of the saints as powerful and a great help in time of
need, and they work towards our salvation and redemption of our whole life.
Consequently, Orthodoxy has never built us such a system of merits as the RC
has.

Those are the two main differences between our views of this purifying in
the next life as I have understood things. May others correct my mistakes.
Perhaps there are others, but my post has gone on long enough as it is.

======

Orthodoc
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« Reply #474 on: April 02, 2009, 03:33:36 PM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

What ecumenical councils are you speaking of?  The 7 true Ecumenical Councils? Or the ones the Roman Catholic Communion has held and falsely called "ecumenical?"

That's not even the point of this thread.

um he did give the call to find something in an ecumenical council about this, just was asking what ones he was thinking of so someone looking could expand or narrow their search.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2009, 03:34:46 PM by username! » Logged

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« Reply #475 on: April 02, 2009, 03:42:32 PM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

What ecumenical councils are you speaking of?  The 7 true Ecumenical Councils? Or the ones the Roman Catholic Communion has held and falsely called "ecumenical?"

That's not even the point of this thread.

um he did give the call to find something in an ecumenical council about this, just was asking what ones he was thinking of so someone looking could expand or narrow their search.
It's the way you asked. You didn't need to be rude about it.
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« Reply #476 on: April 02, 2009, 03:43:45 PM »


I saved this post in my files from a few years ago.  It's an answer given on a discussion group on the Orthodox view on Purgatory.  I like it because it's the only answer I received that I could fully understand and agreee wit.  It comes from a convert to Orthodoxy who was a former Protestant minister. 

Would appreciate any comments on it.  Especially some of the Orthodox priests that post here.

Orthodoc

================QUESTION: 

 
<<In  'The Complete Book of Orthodoxy' by George W. Grube the following
sentence appears within the explaination of PURGATORY -

"If there is, any suffering in the after life, some Orthodox Catholic
theologians teach, it is of a purifying nature and not punitive."

I find this to be confusing because, isn't this exactly what the Roman
Catholic teaches in regards to Purgatory?  Can someone explain this sentence
and its meaning from an Orthodox Catholic viewpoint?

Bob>>

ANSWER:  (by Reader Tmothy Copple)

Some have already responded to this, and I have not looked at all of today's
post, so if this subject has died out and I am behind the times here, or all
of this has already been said, please excuse me.

Out of the post I have read, it seems there is some confusion about this
issue. So, I will try to give the general differences between RC purgatory
and Orthodox understanding of the soul's purification in the next life.
There are similarities and differences.

First, one must stop and think what the word "punishment" really means. It
is essentially, a corrective measure that is used upon someone for their
ultimate benefit. Originally, the concept of "punishment" had a very
redemptive and healing aspect to it. However, as it tends to be used today
(at least in theological talk), it tends to refer to arbitrary dishing out
of misery, often to "pay back" some wrong or injustice. We see this in our
own laws, one can see a paying back and a hope of it bringing healing when
we send someone to jail. In strict law sense, however, I think the intent is
to ultimate reform the person, or at least keep them out of society so that
they do not harm others. Revenge is more the emotional side of it from the
victim's standpoint.

Due to the above, the concept of punishment has taken on more of a "paying
back" or retribution, and is then a word that people who focus on the
healing aspect like to stay away from. This probably comes from the concept
of satisfaction atonement, where the whole idea of Jesus dying on the cross
was to pay back to the Father a debt of sin that we could not. That is also
why the RC idea sounds so much like they are saying (to a Protestant) that
Christ's forgiveness wasn't good enough, since it didn't entirely pay the
debt, that we by suffering punishment still had something left to pay off
for our sins. Thus, while the RC held to some degree of the satisfaction
theory, and while that did predominate at certain times, they still had the
context of healing, even if it was buried at times and forgotten. The
understanding of "punishment" can be interpreted in either direction.
However, I would tend to stay away from it now if just because its common
connotation does not lend itself to really expressing the reality of what we
believe, and will automatically put forth a picture of God that is
incompatible with Orthodoxy's.

That said, Orthodoxy does understand a purifying to take place in the next
life, which St. Paul also speaks about (and RC uses to support Purgatory as
well), that all our works will be put through the fire, the stone, gold,
etc. will remain while all that is of hay, straw, etc. will be burned away.
Even if it is all burned away, however, if the foundation which has been
laid is Jesus Christ, that person will be saved as through the fire.

Since this is scripture, and the Fathers also speak about the purifying of
the soul in this life and the next, this is something we cannot just toss
aside. However, there are some significant differences between what I have
understood of the RC's concept and Orthodoxy's on this purifying in the next
life.

One of the biggest differences is when this purifying takes place, and the
purpose and reason of the purifying. RC teaches that one must be purified
*before* approaching God. Orthodoxy tends to teach that one is purified
*upon* approaching God.

First, one must understand the need for purification. Keep in mind that this
is a journey. Our movement is towards the likeness of God being instilled in
our life and a growing relationship with Him. The closer we move towards
God-likeness, it basically means the less of this temporal world that we
hold onto and the more of the Spirit that we have. (Read St. Seraphim of
Sarov on acquiring the Holy Spirit as an example of this.) Some folks have
attained to the angelic life in this life. My own patron saint, the Apostle
Timothy, disciple of St. Paul, was said to have been such a person.
Incidentally he was martyred for preaching against the pagan worship in
Ephesus, where he was a bishop of the Church. A mob came and beat him with
stones and clubs. Anyway, most of us will not get there in this life time.
We hold onto too much of this world's treasures. We don't go and "sell all
that we have" to follow Christ. Thus our sins build hay and straw structures
in our lives. We are forgiven for the sins through repentance and
confession, and the relationship to God is kept whole, but we still have
that straw hut over there that we have a hard time tearing down and building
it with something of the virtues. We struggle with that in many areas. We
wish to build things in our lives with our passions instead of the virtues.

Thus, what happens for many is they leave this life with some of our life
built out of gold, silver and other sturdy materials, but we also have some
of our life built out of the straw and hay. What we are doing on this
journey is working on tearing down the straw and hay structures and
replacing them with the stones of virtues.

The need is the same in either communion, that these areas of our life built
by the passions cannot remain in the presence of God. However, the solution
to how those are dealt with varies. RC says that they must be burned away
before entering God's presence. Therefore, there is a place, or time, or
some existence that one has that one goes through this fire and is purified
of these things. Naturally this is not going to be pleasant and does feel
like a "punishment" even though it is for our benefit. When I got punished
as a child for playing in the street, it was to protect my life, not to
cause me pain for the heck of it. Yet, the concept here is that God's
holiness cannot allow any impurity and will automatically be rejected.
Therefore, if one comes into God's presence with some impurity, the idea is
that person will be rejected except that the impurity is cleansed
beforehand.

In Orthodoxy, God is understood as an "All Consuming Fire" that we are
either lighted with or heated by. This fiery presence is in Orthodoxy what
purifies us. Upon coming to God, His very presence burns away all
impurities. All that remains will be the gold, silver and other virtues of
our life, and at that point we will be freed from all that once weighted us
down in this life, and freed to ascend in greater ways to God. For those who
have progressed far with eradicating the passions from their lives and have
attained a great God-likeness through the Spirit, there will be little to
burn away, if any, and their transition into God's presence will be fully
like the three holy Children in Daniel, who when the king threw them into
the furnace heated 7 times greater than normal, all experienced it as a
"dewy cool breeze" instead of a burning fire. There will be many, however,
that will experience this entry to God's presence with some pain and
suffering. Not due to God inflicting punishment on them, but due to the
reaction of bringing impurity into God's holiness. The two cannot mix. It is
like mixing two chemicals together that produce an explosion. Neither
chemical "caused" it to happen, it simply happened by bringing them
together. Thus it will be with the consequences of sin in our lives that we
have yet to clean out in this life, it will get cleaned out in the next for
us.

Therefore, there are two different understandings at work here, one which
says that we cannot come into God's presence without being purified first
because God will reject us as a person otherwise, and one which says that in
coming into His presence, He doesn't reject all those in Christ, but He does
"reject" and burns away all that is incompatible with His presence in us.
Yet, if we have Christ, we hold onto that relationship and the burning is
only temporary (whatever temporary means there), whereas those who do not
have Christ, upon coming into God's presence, experience the second death,
total and unending fire of His presence. That is "hell".

The next difference comes in our prayers for these people. Somehow over time
the RC concept mutated from what we understand as Orthodox to this whole
system of merits and the applying them from one to another. Initially, the
understanding of "merits" simply meant that a particular saint who was close
to God due to their humility and love of God in their life, who had
eradicated much of the passions and established the virtues, had by that
reason acquired the life that has faith which can move mountains. This is of
God's doing, not the saints, and the saint continually keeps this in mind if
he/she does not with to fall. However, Christ says we will be able to do
that, and like the demon that the disciples could not cast out because they
had not fasted and prayed as they should have, one's acquiring the Holy
Spirit in humility does have something to do with how well one is able to
help others with a gift God has given them, whether that is healing,
hospitality, etc. Thus, there are some that have more "merit" in their lives
than others. Doesn't mean one has earned salvation, but simply that one has
acquired a certain relationship with God which allows them to transmit to us
more of God's mercy and grace within our lives. That is why we ask people to
pray for us, in hopes that they have a relationship with God that will aid
us. So one sees the Fathers speaking of merits at times, and some current
Orthodoxy material will also speak of them as well.

However, somehow in the RC circles, this grew into some sort of "thing" that
one can almost measure. So if one did such and such a thing, it would give
them X number of merits from a saints abundant storehouse of merits (he/she
had more than they needed for themselves). I think one can find examples
where this has gone to extremes such as the selling of them (as if the
Church owned them), and the more legalistic "pray this prayer and get 2000
merits" which I read something similar to that in some Catholic literature
once.

In Orthodox understanding, such prayers and gifts of the saints cannot be
moved around like that, nor can you store up a saints merits for when you
get to "purgatory" yourself. All that a saint can help you with in that
regard is to pray for you and help guide you to acquiring the "merits" for
yourself so that when you get to God, you will experience the least amount
of burning possible. Nor are they quantified as something measurable. Yet,
we deem the prayers of the saints as powerful and a great help in time of
need, and they work towards our salvation and redemption of our whole life.
Consequently, Orthodoxy has never built us such a system of merits as the RC
has.

Those are the two main differences between our views of this purifying in
the next life as I have understood things. May others correct my mistakes.
Perhaps there are others, but my post has gone on long enough as it is.

======

Orthodoc

Its a pretty good description. But you should know that many Catholic theologians refer to purgatory as nothing more than the fire of God's love and purification.
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« Reply #477 on: April 02, 2009, 04:26:33 PM »

Its a pretty good description. But you should know that many Catholic theologians refer to purgatory as nothing more than the fire of God's love and purification.

Not least of all, St. John of the Cross.
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« Reply #478 on: April 02, 2009, 05:36:03 PM »

It's the way you asked. You didn't need to be rude about it.

If you notice, he did not bother to answer my question: Find me any ecumenical council (as defined by the Catholic Church) which states that a literal fire must be believed.

Here's a selection from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Purgatorial fire

At the Council of Florence, Bessarion argued against the existence of real purgatorial fire, and the Greeks were assured that the Roman Church had never issued any dogmatic decree on this subject. In the West the belief in the existence of real fire is common. Augustine (Enarration on Psalm 37, no. 3) speaks of the pain which purgatorial fire causes as more severe than anything a man can suffer in this life, "gravior erit ignis quam quidquid potest homo pati in hac vita" (P.L., col. 397). Gregory the Great speaks of those who after this life "will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames," and he adds "that the pain be more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life" (Ps. 3 poenit., n. 1). Following in the footsteps of Gregory, St. Thomas teaches (IV, dist. xxi, q. i, a.1) that besides the separation of the soul from the sight of God, there is the other punishment from fire. "Una poena damni, in quantum scilicet retardantur a divina visione; alia sensus secundum quod ab igne punientur", and St. Bonaventure not only agrees with St. Thomas but adds (IV, dist. xx, p.1, a.1, q. ii) that this punishment by fire is more severe than any punishment which comes to men in this life; "Gravior est omni temporali poena. quam modo sustinet anima carni conjuncta". How this fire affects the souls of the departed the Doctors do not know, and in such matters it is well to heed the warning of the Council of Trent when it commands the bishops "to exclude from their preaching difficult and subtle questions which tend not to edification', and from the discussion of which there is no increase either in piety or devotion" (Sess. XXV, "De Purgatorio").


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm
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« Reply #479 on: April 02, 2009, 05:36:03 PM »

Of course, Bessarion was severely punished for publicly arguing against the existence of Purgatorial fire. The Pope made him Cardinal, and he later became Dean of the College of Cardinals.  Smiley
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« Reply #480 on: April 02, 2009, 08:07:27 PM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

What ecumenical councils are you speaking of?  The 7 true Ecumenical Councils? Or the ones the Roman Catholic Communion has held and falsely called "ecumenical?"

That's not even the point of this thread.

um he did give the call to find something in an ecumenical council about this, just was asking what ones he was thinking of so someone looking could expand or narrow their search.
It's the way you asked. You didn't need to be rude about it.

That's too bad,  pardon me for stating an Orthodox position on an Orthodox forum. 
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« Reply #481 on: April 02, 2009, 08:19:45 PM »


If you notice, he did not bother to answer my question: Find me any ecumenical council (as defined by the Catholic Church) which states that a literal fire must be believed.

Maybe because the request does not make sense to an Orthodox person.  We live within the faith which has been handed down to us, within our Tradition.   Not all of that has received formulation at an Ecumenical Council.  Much of it hasn't.


To give you examples - there is no Ecumenical Council teaching on the Eucharistic Presence, nor on the Dormition and Assumption of the Mother of God.  And we don't even have a conciliar definition of the Church!    But we have managed very nicely through the centuries and Pope Benedict has been so kind as to say that (apart from our obstinacy about his supremacy) we have every doctrinal teaching present and correct.

Your position of, "Give me an Ecumenical Council or I will not believe" is an attack on Tradition.  What should we say of the faith of the second century? Could people deny the Real Presence, the divinity of Christ, the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God  - because of the lack of a definition from an Ecumenical Council?

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« Reply #482 on: April 02, 2009, 08:25:08 PM »

It's the way you asked. You didn't need to be rude about it.

If you notice, he did not bother to answer my question: Find me any ecumenical council (as defined by the Catholic Church) which states that a literal fire must be believed.


  Irish Hermit pretty much summarizes why none of us could answer that in light of the way you posed the question.
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« Reply #483 on: April 02, 2009, 08:31:21 PM »

Would it kill you to contribute to the discussion with proper punctuation and ideas?

Probably.  Shall we start a pool?
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« Reply #484 on: April 02, 2009, 08:33:58 PM »

I say he's dead after two commas and one semicolon.  $5 cash money.
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« Reply #485 on: April 02, 2009, 10:18:47 PM »

I say he's dead after two commas and one semicolon.  $5 cash money.

Is that Australian or U.S. dollars?
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« Reply #486 on: April 02, 2009, 10:31:04 PM »


As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire.

Seems pretty clear to me.  If they wanted to say that it could be interpreted metaphorically, surely they would have made it clearer and used words other than "we must believe..."

No. That statement is a QUOTATION of St. Gregory the Great. It is not a statement of the authors of the catechism. The authors included the quotation to show the tradition of depicting Purgatory as involving a purifying fire. As for the quotation itself, you can't say with certainty that St. Gregory meant a literal fire.

Now, certainly, a literal fire has been a popular opinion over the centuries. But it has always remained an opinion. If you dispute that, find me a statement in any ecumenical council affirming that a literal fire must be believed. You can't.

What ecumenical councils are you speaking of?  The 7 true Ecumenical Councils? Or the ones the Roman Catholic Communion has held and falsely called "ecumenical?"

That's not even the point of this thread.

um he did give the call to find something in an ecumenical council about this, just was asking what ones he was thinking of so someone looking could expand or narrow their search.
It's the way you asked. You didn't need to be rude about it.

That's too bad,  pardon me for stating an Orthodox position on an Orthodox forum. 
Its not the Eastern Orthodox position that's the problem. Its your delivery.
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« Reply #487 on: April 02, 2009, 10:32:00 PM »


If you notice, he did not bother to answer my question: Find me any ecumenical council (as defined by the Catholic Church) which states that a literal fire must be believed.

Maybe because the request does not make sense to an Orthodox person.  We live within the faith which has been handed down to us, within our Tradition.   Not all of that has received formulation at an Ecumenical Council.  Much of it hasn't.


To give you examples - there is no Ecumenical Council teaching on the Eucharistic Presence, nor on the Dormition and Assumption of the Mother of God.  And we don't even have a conciliar definition of the Church!    But we have managed very nicely through the centuries and Pope Benedict has been so kind as to say that (apart from our obstinacy about his supremacy) we have every doctrinal teaching present and correct.

Your position of, "Give me an Ecumenical Council or I will not believe" is an attack on Tradition.  What should we say of the faith of the second century? Could people deny the Real Presence, the divinity of Christ, the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God  - because of the lack of a definition from an Ecumenical Council?


Then why do so many Eastern Orthodox assert that they only believe in what is taught by the "seven ecumenical councils"?
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« Reply #488 on: April 02, 2009, 10:36:38 PM »

Let's move a discussion like that into a new thread, okay?

This thread has started to veer, let us try and get it back on topic.

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« Reply #489 on: April 02, 2009, 10:40:12 PM »


If you notice, he did not bother to answer my question: Find me any ecumenical council (as defined by the Catholic Church) which states that a literal fire must be believed.

Maybe because the request does not make sense to an Orthodox person.  We live within the faith which has been handed down to us, within our Tradition.   Not all of that has received formulation at an Ecumenical Council.  Much of it hasn't.


To give you examples - there is no Ecumenical Council teaching on the Eucharistic Presence, nor on the Dormition and Assumption of the Mother of God.  And we don't even have a conciliar definition of the Church!    But we have managed very nicely through the centuries and Pope Benedict has been so kind as to say that (apart from our obstinacy about his supremacy) we have every doctrinal teaching present and correct.

Your position of, "Give me an Ecumenical Council or I will not believe" is an attack on Tradition.  What should we say of the faith of the second century? Could people deny the Real Presence, the divinity of Christ, the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God  - because of the lack of a definition from an Ecumenical Council?


Then why do so many Eastern Orthodox assert that they only believe in what is taught by the "seven ecumenical councils"?

Beats me.  I have never met any.
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« Reply #490 on: April 02, 2009, 11:32:30 PM »


If you notice, he did not bother to answer my question: Find me any ecumenical council (as defined by the Catholic Church) which states that a literal fire must be believed.

Maybe because the request does not make sense to an Orthodox person.  We live within the faith which has been handed down to us, within our Tradition.   Not all of that has received formulation at an Ecumenical Council.  Much of it hasn't.


To give you examples - there is no Ecumenical Council teaching on the Eucharistic Presence, nor on the Dormition and Assumption of the Mother of God.  And we don't even have a conciliar definition of the Church!    But we have managed very nicely through the centuries and Pope Benedict has been so kind as to say that (apart from our obstinacy about his supremacy) we have every doctrinal teaching present and correct.

Your position of, "Give me an Ecumenical Council or I will not believe" is an attack on Tradition.  What should we say of the faith of the second century? Could people deny the Real Presence, the divinity of Christ, the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God  - because of the lack of a definition from an Ecumenical Council?


Then why do so many Eastern Orthodox assert that they only believe in what is taught by the "seven ecumenical councils"?

Beats me.  I have never met any.

I have online. But either way, you are trying to pin us down on something that our Church has not defined.
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« Reply #491 on: April 02, 2009, 11:47:32 PM »

I have online. But either way, you are trying to pin us down on something that our Church has not defined.

Fr Lance tells us that the only definition involves two de fide beliefs:

1.  There is a state of final purification.
2.  Prayer for those in that state is effective.

It is apparent immediately that there is no place for indulgences.   The action of indulgences is not to "purify" but to free from "temporal punishment."

But there is no defined doctrine of "temporal punishment" so there is no place for indulgences.
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« Reply #492 on: April 02, 2009, 11:50:19 PM »

Then why do so many Eastern Orthodox assert that they only believe in what is taught by the "seven ecumenical councils"?

Beats me.  I have never met any.

I have online.

Please don't send them to my parish.  Smiley  I don't want "Orthodox" who claim they can deny the Real Presence or the Assumption of the Mother of God because they have no conciliar definition.
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« Reply #493 on: April 03, 2009, 12:42:19 AM »

Discussion about the term Netodox, etc. has been moved into the Private section.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20531.0.html

If you do not have access to the private section and which to join in, please PM Fr. Chris for access.


Also, let us try to remain on topic and prevent further deviations.  Otherwise, the thread will likely find itself locked soon.


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« Reply #494 on: April 03, 2009, 10:24:09 AM »

I have online. But either way, you are trying to pin us down on something that our Church has not defined.

Fr Lance tells us that the only definition involves two de fide beliefs:

1.  There is a state of final purification.
2.  Prayer for those in that state is effective.

It is apparent immediately that there is no place for indulgences.   The action of indulgences is not to "purify" but to free from "temporal punishment."

But there is no defined doctrine of "temporal punishment" so there is no place for indulgences.

First of all the temporal punishment in Purgatory, is for the sake of purification. Just as punishment here on earth, accepted in humililty, leads to holiness, so does that punishment in purgatory. Thus, there is indeed room for temporal punishment in purgatory. Indulgences simply help in that process.
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