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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 184145 times) Average Rating: 5
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stanley123
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« Reply #855 on: May 19, 2009, 03:02:45 PM »

Here is a statement from St. Gregory of Nyssa.

"Gregory the blessed priest of Nyssa, who, apparently, speaks more to your advantage than any of the other Fathers. Preserving all the respect due to this Father, we cannot refrain from noticing, that he was but a mortal man, and man, however great a degree of holiness he may attain, is very apt to err, especially on such subjects, which have not been examined before or determined upon in a general Council by the Fathers." The orthodox teachers, when speaking of Gregory, more than once restrict their words by the expression: "if such was his idea," and conclude their discussion upon Gregory with the following words: "we must view the general doctrine of the Church, and take the Holy Scripture as a rule for ourselves, nor paying attention to what each has written in his private capacity (idia)."
http://orthodoxinfo.com/death/stmark_purg.aspx


I have noticed that there are a whole lot of Eastern Orthodox Churches named after St. Gregory of Nyssa.
The following quote is said to be from "Sermo Catecheticus Magnus,"
"I believe that punishment will be administered in proportion to each one's corruptness. Therefore to whom there is much corruption attached, with him it is necessary that the purgatorial time which is to consume it should be great, and of long duration; but to him in whom the wicked disposition has been already in part subjected, a proportionate degree of that sharper and more vehement punishment shall be forgiven. All evil, however, must at length be entirely removed from everything, so that it shall no more exist. For such being the nature of sin that it cannot exist without a corrupt motive, it must of course be perfectly dissolved, and wholly destroyed, so that nothing can remain a receptacle of it, when all motive and influence shall spring from God alone," etc.
http://www.tentmaker.org/biographies/nyssa.htm

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« Reply #856 on: May 19, 2009, 03:03:32 PM »

And why must this be taken to mean literal fire? Do you think Hell is literally fire?

I will reiterate a post from Fr Ambrose in conjunction with a post that I submitted for the sake of summary so that you may be able to understand more clearly.  Here we have referenced two popes, one RC council and one RC doctor/saint.


"From the time of the Apostles, the Church of Rome has taught.... The souls of those who after their baptism have sinned, but have afterwards sincerely repented and confessed their sins, though unable to perform the epitimia laid upon them by their spiritual father, or bring forth fruits of repentance sufficient to atone for their sins, these souls are purified by the fire of purgatory, some sooner, others slower, according, to their sins.." Florence.


"The same fire torments the damned in hell and the just in Purgatory. The least pain in Purgatory exceeds the greatest in this life." - St. Thomas Aquinas."

"The truth has been divinely revealed that sins are followed by punishments. God's holiness and justice inflict them. Sins must be expiated. This may be done on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and trials of this life and, above all, through death. Otherwise the expiation must be made in the next life through fire and torments or purifying punishments."  
Apostolic Constitution on Indulgences, Pope Paul VI, 1967


It is said that the Greeks themselves unhesitatingly believe and maintain that the souls of those who do not perform a penance which they have received, or the souls of those who die free from mortal sins but with even the slightest venial sins, are purified after death and can be helped by the prayers of the Church.
Since the Greeks say that their Doctors have not given them a definite and proper name for the place of such purification, We, following the tradition and authority of the holy Fathers, call that place purgatory; and it is our will that the Greeks use that name in the future.
For sins are truly purified by that temporal fire — not grievous or capital sins which have not first been remitted by penance, but small and slight sins which remain a burden after death, if they have not been pardoned during life (DB, 456).
Pope Innocent IV
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« Reply #857 on: May 19, 2009, 03:04:45 PM »

I have noticed that there are a whole lot of Eastern Orthodox Churches named after St. Gregory of Nyssa.

He is a greatly venerated saint.

Please see post #857.
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« Reply #858 on: May 19, 2009, 03:18:28 PM »

I have noticed that there are a whole lot of Eastern Orthodox Churches named after St. Gregory of Nyssa.

He is a greatly venerated saint.

Please see post #857.
He lived in the fourth century and spoke in favor of the existence of a purging by a purifying fire after death. Now if St. Gregory of Nyssa was a heretic on this issue, why has he never been officially condemned by the Eastern Orthodox Church. On the contrary, there are a whole lot, lots and lots, of Eastern Orthodox Churches which are named after him.
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« Reply #859 on: May 19, 2009, 03:23:27 PM »

He lived in the fourth century and spoke in favor of the existence of a purging by a purifying fire after death. Now if St. Gregory of Nyssa was a heretic on this issue, why has he never been officially condemned by the Eastern Orthodox Church. On the contrary, there are a whole lot, lots and lots, of Eastern Orthodox Churches which are named after him.  

Oh, there you go.  We don't have very many saints who have been certified by the Church as having taught no error at all in their lives; we also have men who are not saints who have taught some things that are 100% true to the faith (like Origen).  Your inability to live in the gray area leaves you vulnerable to making the above assumption, which doesn't work with us EO.  We venerate St. Gregory for the wonderful things that he taught us, and the blessed example of his life; and for those things that were "off the mark," we simply ignore them as being the products of the imperfect knowledge that each of us has as creatures in the world.
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« Reply #860 on: May 19, 2009, 03:41:21 PM »

He lived in the fourth century and spoke in favor of the existence of a purging by a purifying fire after death. Now if St. Gregory of Nyssa was a heretic on this issue, why has he never been officially condemned by the Eastern Orthodox Church. On the contrary, there are a whole lot, lots and lots, of Eastern Orthodox Churches which are named after him.  

Oh, there you go.  We don't have very many saints who have been certified by the Church as having taught no error at all in their lives; we also have men who are not saints who have taught some things that are 100% true to the faith (like Origen).  Your inability to live in the gray area leaves you vulnerable to making the above assumption, which doesn't work with us EO.  We venerate St. Gregory for the wonderful things that he taught us, and the blessed example of his life; and for those things that were "off the mark," we simply ignore them as being the products of the imperfect knowledge that each of us has as creatures in the world.
But this raises a few questions.
Who in the Eastern Orthodox Church will decide whether or not what St. Gregory of Nyssa said was off the mark? Was this ever decided officially, or is it simply an opinion which and Orthodox can adhere to or not? There are other examples like this, for example, the teaching of some Churches on whether or not it is a sin for an Orthodox priest to be unshaven. Can an Orthodox Christian accept what St. Gregory of Nyssa taught or is it wrong for him to do so?
Also, was there a storm of protest in the fourth century, against what St. Gregory of Nyssa was teaching at that time, or was it accepted by many?
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« Reply #861 on: May 19, 2009, 03:49:41 PM »

Now if St. Gregory of Nyssa was a heretic on this issue, why has he never been officially condemned by the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Church Fathers can be mistaken.  Why do you call him a heretic?
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« Reply #862 on: May 19, 2009, 04:13:51 PM »

Who in the Eastern Orthodox Church will decide whether or not what St. Gregory of Nyssa said was off the mark?

Other Orthodox Church Fathers...
saints...
councils...
clergy...
The laity...even the peasants in the street.
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« Reply #863 on: May 19, 2009, 04:28:28 PM »

He lived in the fourth century and spoke in favor of the existence of a purging by a purifying fire after death. Now if St. Gregory of Nyssa was a heretic on this issue, why has he never been officially condemned by the Eastern Orthodox Church. On the contrary, there are a whole lot, lots and lots, of Eastern Orthodox Churches which are named after him.  

Oh, there you go.  We don't have very many saints who have been certified by the Church as having taught no error at all in their lives; we also have men who are not saints who have taught some things that are 100% true to the faith (like Origen).  Your inability to live in the gray area leaves you vulnerable to making the above assumption, which doesn't work with us EO.  We venerate St. Gregory for the wonderful things that he taught us, and the blessed example of his life; and for those things that were "off the mark," we simply ignore them as being the products of the imperfect knowledge that each of us has as creatures in the world.
But this raises a few questions.
Who in the Eastern Orthodox Church will decide whether or not what St. Gregory of Nyssa said was off the mark?

The same ones who proved the council of Florence was off the mark.
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« Reply #864 on: May 19, 2009, 04:36:01 PM »

Church Fathers can be mistaken.  
Church Fathers may be mistaken, but they can also be correct. Here are a few questions which come to mind:
1. Was there any protest or any opposition recorded at all in the fourth century by anyone anywhere against what St. Gregory of Nyssa was preaching on the purging of some sins by fire?
2. May an Eastern Orthodox adhere to what was taught by St. Gregory of Nyssa?
3. If Eastern Orthodox adhered to the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century, but many of them reject the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa today, does that mean that there has been a change in what is being taught in the Eastern Orthodox Church on the purging of some sins by fire?
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« Reply #865 on: May 19, 2009, 04:41:54 PM »

Oh, there you go.  We don't have very many saints who have been certified by the Church as having taught no error at all in their lives; we also have men who are not saints who have taught some things that are 100% true to the faith (like Origen).  Your inability to live in the gray area leaves you vulnerable to making the above assumption, which doesn't work with us EO.  We venerate St. Gregory for the wonderful things that he taught us, and the blessed example of his life; and for those things that were "off the mark," we simply ignore them as being the products of the imperfect knowledge that each of us has as creatures in the world.
But this raises a few questions.
Who in the Eastern Orthodox Church will decide whether or not what St. Gregory of Nyssa said was off the mark?

Isa's got the right answer: same people who decided that Florence was.  Same people who decided that Origen was.  The Church has already decided that St. Gregory's teaching on after-death purification isn't all that important, which is why it isn't widely disseminated within the Church; as compared to, say, St. Athanasios' writings on the Incarnation, or St. John Chrysostom's writings on poverty, or St. Maximos' writings on Love, or St. Gregory's writings on hesychia.

Was this ever decided officially, or is it simply an opinion which and Orthodox can adhere to or not?

Don't know, honestly, whether St. Gregory's statement has been examined officially or not.

There are other examples like this, for example, the teaching of some Churches on whether or not it is a sin for an Orthodox priest to be unshaven.

The question of priests shaving is a question of praxis and not of dogma, so that is not another "example like this."

Can an Orthodox Christian accept what St. Gregory of Nyssa taught or is it wrong for him to do so?

I find it unlikely that anyone would be inclined to do so, considering that what he taught on this subject is not part of our greater dogmatic tradition.

Also, was there a storm of protest in the fourth century, against what St. Gregory of Nyssa was teaching at that time, or was it accepted by many?  

Are you kidding: there were so many other theological debates going on at the time that I bet his writing on a relatively mundane subject such as after-death cleansing would have been largely ignored, not controversial enough, or just unknown at the time.  You've got to remember: the only writings that were widely disseminated were the popular or controversial ones; otherwise, there's hardly a way that a piece of writing that had little headline-appeal would be known by someone in the next town, let alone another province or city.
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« Reply #866 on: May 19, 2009, 06:09:51 PM »

Quote
Church Fathers may be mistaken, but they can also be correct. Here are a few questions which come to mind:
1. Was there any protest or any opposition recorded at all in the fourth century by anyone anywhere against what St. Gregory of Nyssa was preaching on the purging of some sins by fire?
2. May an Eastern Orthodox adhere to what was taught by St. Gregory of Nyssa?
3. If Eastern Orthodox adhered to the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century, but many of them reject the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa today, does that mean that there has been a change in what is being taught in the Eastern Orthodox Church on the purging of some sins by fire?

1. No. Since no decision has been taken, no public condemnation at the time was necessary.
2. He may, but he shouldn't when there are risks of contamination with the corollary of Latin theological categories and additions (such as purgatory as a third state/place or holy indulgences)
3. No, since no decisions has been/is/will be ever taken on the matter. You insist in confusing the idea that "purgatory is possible" with the concept that "purgatory is true". Everything which has never been anathematized is possible, but nothing can be dogmatized when the necessary authority hasn't been called on the issue. You can believe whatever you want, but why require this doctrine from your faithful? What's the necessity behind that?

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #867 on: May 19, 2009, 06:51:05 PM »

And why must this be taken to mean literal fire? Do you think Hell is literally fire?

The eminent Catholic theologian Fr John Hardon, SJ, is certainly admanant that the fire of purgatory is real.  See message #847 above:  ""Writers in the Latin tradition are quite unanimous that the fire of purgatory is real and not metaphorical."

So if purgatorial fire is real and not metaphorical it is more than likely that the fire of hell is also real?
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« Reply #868 on: May 19, 2009, 07:05:36 PM »

Quote
Church Fathers may be mistaken, but they can also be correct. Here are a few questions which come to mind:
1. Was there any protest or any opposition recorded at all in the fourth century by anyone anywhere against what St. Gregory of Nyssa was preaching on the purging of some sins by fire?
2. May an Eastern Orthodox adhere to what was taught by St. Gregory of Nyssa?
3. If Eastern Orthodox adhered to the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century, but many of them reject the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa today, does that mean that there has been a change in what is being taught in the Eastern Orthodox Church on the purging of some sins by fire?

1. No. Since no decision has been taken, no public condemnation at the time was necessary.
2. He may, but he shouldn't when there are risks of contamination with the corollary of Latin theological categories and additions (such as purgatory as a third state/place or holy indulgences)
3. No, since no decisions has been/is/will be ever taken on the matter. You insist in confusing the idea that "purgatory is possible" with the concept that "purgatory is true". Everything which has never been anathematized is possible, but nothing can be dogmatized when the necessary authority hasn't been called on the issue. You can believe whatever you want, but why require this doctrine from your faithful? What's the necessity behind that?

In Christ,   Alex
I don;t know. I honestly find your position to be a bit confusing. On the one hand, we have St. Gregory of Nyssa who has preached and taught in favor of something pretty similar to purgatory, and we find no recorded opposition to this teaching in the fourth century. We have lots and lots of Eastern Orthodox churches named after St. Gregory of Nyssa. We have the statement from the Council of Florence that the Orthodox position as expressed by Bishop Bessarion is acceptable to the Roman Church. It is true that we have the teachings of many of the Western Fathers and St. Gregory of Nyssa on Purgatory, but as has already been mentioned it is not the same as an officially  required dogmatic teaching.
Anyway, with all due respect and charity to everyone here, I am not buying into the idea of no Purgatory. It just seems reasonable to me that for the moderate and forgivable sins still left at death, there will be some sort of purifying process as mentioned by St. Gregory of Nyssa, because according to my understanding of the Scriptures, nothing unclean can enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27).
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« Reply #869 on: May 19, 2009, 07:08:10 PM »

And why must this be taken to mean literal fire? Do you think Hell is literally fire?

The eminent Catholic theologian Fr John Hardon, SJ, is certainly admanant that the fire of purgatory is real.  See message #847 above:  ""Writers in the Latin tradition are quite unanimous that the fire of purgatory is real and not metaphorical."

So if purgatorial fire is real and not metaphorical it is more than likely that the fire of hell is also real?
I don't think that this is entirely reflective of what was said in the whole article. I recommend that people read the whole article by Father Hardon and place this sentence in its proper context.
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« Reply #870 on: May 19, 2009, 07:27:41 PM »

[
If we are going to quote St. Thomas Aquinas, then let's examine what he says about St. Gregory of Nyssa:"Further, Gregory of Nyssa [De iis qui in fide dormiunt] says: "If one who loves and believes in Christ," has failed to wash away his sins in this life, "he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory."

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/7001.htm
Stanley,

This is an example of the distorted quotes which used to annoy the Orthodox so much on CAF.

Saint Geregory of Nyssa who died in the 4th century could not have written that.  The term "purgatorium" did not appear until the Middle Ages in the Roman Catholic Church with Pope Innocent III.

http://www.parra.catholic.org.au/Bishop/Q%2BA-Arch/04_Nov_questions.htm

Also many many other references on the Net if you do a google.com search.
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« Reply #871 on: May 19, 2009, 07:37:02 PM »

Thread Split:  Is Hesychasm a Post-Schism Greek 'Innovation'?

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« Reply #872 on: May 19, 2009, 07:46:41 PM »

[
If we are going to quote St. Thomas Aquinas, then let's examine what he says about St. Gregory of Nyssa:"Further, Gregory of Nyssa [De iis qui in fide dormiunt] says: "If one who loves and believes in Christ," has failed to wash away his sins in this life, "he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory."

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/7001.htm
Stanley,

This is an example of the distorted quotes which used to annoy the Orthodox so much on CAF.

Saint Geregory of Nyssa who died in the 4th century could not have written that.  The term "purgatorium" did not appear until the Middle Ages in the Roman Catholic Church with Pope Innocent III.

http://www.parra.catholic.org.au/Bishop/Q%2BA-Arch/04_Nov_questions.htm

Also many many other references on the Net if you do a google.com search.
Well, you were quoting St. Thomas, and this was what was mentioned in the Summa of St. Thomas. In any event, what do you say then concerning the Sermon on the Dead of St. Gregory of Nyssa or concerning the "Sermo Catecheticus Magnus," Are these quotes correct or not. If they are not correct, then why do we see such a fuss being made by the Orthodox on the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa: "Gregory the blessed priest of Nyssa, who, apparently, speaks more to your advantage than any of the other Fathers. Preserving all the respect due to this Father, we cannot refrain from noticing, that he was but a mortal man, and man, however great a degree of holiness he may attain, is very apt to err, especially on such subjects, which have not been examined before or determined upon in a general Council by the Fathers." The orthodox teachers, when speaking of Gregory, more than once restrict their words by the expression: "if such was his idea," and conclude their discussion upon Gregory with the following words: "we must view the general doctrine of the Church, and take the Holy Scripture as a rule for ourselves, nor paying attention to what each has written in his private capacity (idia)."” This quote from the Council of Florence was mentioned on the orthodox information center in their discussion on purgatory.
So it appears from the comments here,  that this teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa was not misquoted, but that it was quoted accurately and that it presented a serious problem to the Orthodox theologians at the Council of Florence.

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« Reply #873 on: May 19, 2009, 08:07:00 PM »


So it appears from the comments here,  that this teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa was not misquoted, but that it was quoted accurately and that it presented a serious problem to the Orthodox theologians at the Council of Florence.


Well, if we are going to rehabilitate any of the erroneous teachings of the holy Fathers, then I vote for Saint Gregory's teaching of apokatastasis - that ALL of mankind will be saved and not one of us will be left in hell.   Smiley


However, here is how the Church looks on such wrong teachings...

St. Photius the Great has expressed the Church's general interpretation in one phrase: "that in works of St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, where restoration is mentioned, it is not accepted by the Church.

St. Varsanofios the Great, criticizing the doctrine of apocatastasis, when asked about St. Gregory's opinion, has answered: "do not think that people, though also saints, could completely understand all depths of God... Even if a saint speaks about such opinions, you will not find that he confirmed the words as though had the statement from above, but that they resulted from the doctrine of his former teachers, and he, trusting their knowledge of them, did not inquire of God whether it was true."

St. Herman of Constantinople has also expressed a negative opinion of the doctrine, but he supposes that the works of St. Gregory have been damaged by Origenists: "those who liked that absurd idea, as if for demons and for people who will be subjected to eternal punishment, is possible to expect the discontinuance... they have taken his clean and sensible works and have added the dark and disastrous poison of Origen's nonsense."

St. Mark of Ephesus, after citing St. Gregory, exclaims: "Are we wrong when we do not believe those words of St. Gregory of Nyssa, considering them forgeries, or, even if they are original, to not accept as contradictory to Scripture and to the general dogma?"

St. Maximus the Confessor, rejecting an Origenistic interpretation of apocatastasis, considered that St. Gregory used this term "in sense of restoration of cognitive forces of the man in that condition of the correct relation to truth."

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apocatastasis
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« Reply #874 on: May 19, 2009, 08:29:48 PM »


So it appears from the comments here,  that this teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa was not misquoted, but that it was quoted accurately and that it presented a serious problem to the Orthodox theologians at the Council of Florence.


Well, if we are going to rehabilitate any of the erroneous teachings of the holy Fathers, then I vote for Saint Gregory's teaching of apokatastasis - that ALL of mankind will be saved and not one of us will be left in hell.   Smiley


However, here is how the Church looks on such wrong teachings...

St. Photius the Great has expressed the Church's general interpretation in one phrase: "that in works of St. Gregory, Bishop of Nyssa, where restoration is mentioned, it is not accepted by the Church.

St. Varsanofios the Great, criticizing the doctrine of apocatastasis, when asked about St. Gregory's opinion, has answered: "do not think that people, though also saints, could completely understand all depths of God... Even if a saint speaks about such opinions, you will not find that he confirmed the words as though had the statement from above, but that they resulted from the doctrine of his former teachers, and he, trusting their knowledge of them, did not inquire of God whether it was true."

St. Herman of Constantinople has also expressed a negative opinion of the doctrine, but he supposes that the works of St. Gregory have been damaged by Origenists: "those who liked that absurd idea, as if for demons and for people who will be subjected to eternal punishment, is possible to expect the discontinuance... they have taken his clean and sensible works and have added the dark and disastrous poison of Origen's nonsense."

St. Mark of Ephesus, after citing St. Gregory, exclaims: "Are we wrong when we do not believe those words of St. Gregory of Nyssa, considering them forgeries, or, even if they are original, to not accept as contradictory to Scripture and to the general dogma?"

St. Maximus the Confessor, rejecting an Origenistic interpretation of apocatastasis, considered that St. Gregory used this term "in sense of restoration of cognitive forces of the man in that condition of the correct relation to truth."

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apocatastasis
This is a different question on the apocatastasis.
I was concerned here with the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa related to the Latin view of purgatory. Do you agree that these were the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa or not. Specifically, the quotes as given above supposedly from the Sermon on the Dead of St. Gregory of Nyssa or from the "Sermo Catecheticus Magnus"?

Do you say that the views of St. Gregory of Nyssa on purgatory were forgeries or were they original?
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« Reply #875 on: May 19, 2009, 08:46:46 PM »


I was concerned here with the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa related to the Latin view of purgatory. Do you agree that these were the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa or not.

The "quote" from Saint Gregory ""he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory" is, frankly, a nasty example of Roman Catholic willingness to falsify patristic texts to suit their agenda. It reduces RC scholarship to a very shabby state and makes it difficult for the Orthodox to dialogue with them since we are forced to check not just every quote but every word in every quote.


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« Reply #876 on: May 19, 2009, 09:58:45 PM »


I was concerned here with the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa related to the Latin view of purgatory. Do you agree that these were the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa or not.

The "quote" from Saint Gregory ""he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory" is, frankly, a nasty example of Roman Catholic willingness to falsify patristic texts to suit their agenda. It reduces RC scholarship to a very shabby state and makes it difficult for the Orthodox to dialogue with them since we are forced to check not just every quote but every word in every quote.
That is curious because in this particular case, both the Orthodox theologians at the Council of Florence and the Orthodox information center today have made such a big fuss about the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa on the subject. It looks to me like they have accepted his teachings on the specific question of purification and sanctification by fire as genuine, since otherwise they would not have made such a big deal about it. Also, I noticed that a site with  the copyright Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, says that St. Gregory of Nyssa has written: "However, once such souls have been purified by fire and sanctified, the other qualities will enter into them in place of the evil ones, namely, incorruptibility, life, honour, grace, glory, power, and whatever else we conjecture to be discerned in God and that image of Him which is human nature"
http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b24.en.life_after_death.08.htm#re2
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« Reply #877 on: May 20, 2009, 12:49:00 AM »


I was concerned here with the teaching of St. Gregory of Nyssa related to the Latin view of purgatory. Do you agree that these were the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa or not.

The "quote" from Saint Gregory ""he is set free after death by the fire of Purgatory" is, frankly, a nasty example of Roman Catholic willingness to falsify patristic texts to suit their agenda. It reduces RC scholarship to a very shabby state and makes it difficult for the Orthodox to dialogue with them since we are forced to check not just every quote but every word in every quote.
That is curious because in this particular case, both the Orthodox theologians at the Council of Florence and the Orthodox information center today have made such a big fuss about the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa on the subject. It looks to me like they have accepted his teachings on the specific question of purification and sanctification by fire as genuine, since otherwise they would not have made such a big deal about it. Also, I noticed that a site with  the copyright Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, says that St. Gregory of Nyssa has written: "However, once such souls have been purified by fire and sanctified, the other qualities will enter into them in place of the evil ones, namely, incorruptibility, life, honour, grace, glory, power, and whatever else we conjecture to be discerned in God and that image of Him which is human nature"
http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b24.en.life_after_death.08.htm#re2

Careful. Once you start providing evidence that the doctrine of Purgatory has existed in the East, everyone will start ignoring your arguements.  Wink
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« Reply #878 on: May 20, 2009, 02:56:56 AM »


That is curious because in this particular case, both the Orthodox theologians at the Council of Florence and the Orthodox information center today have made such a big fuss about the teachings of St. Gregory of Nyssa on the subject. It looks to me like they have accepted his teachings on the specific question of purification and sanctification by fire as genuine, since otherwise they would not have made such a big deal about it.

Christ is Risen!

Stan,

I don't think that you have an overall picture of the proceedings at Florence.  A large part of it was an intense debate as to whether the fires were real or not.

This debate on the fires of purgatory took up 3 months of the Council's time!

The Roman Catholics argued hotly for real fire.

The Greeks argued just as hotly for no real fire.
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« Reply #879 on: May 20, 2009, 03:10:44 AM »

Careful. Once you start providing evidence that the doctrine of Purgatory has existed in the East, everyone will start ignoring your arguements.  Wink

As Fr Hardon himself says there are a few Greek Fathers whi can be enlisted in support of the doctrine of purgatory.  Of coursee the word and the doctrine were unknown in those timees and it can only be inferred.  But there are of course a few anomalies on both sides of the fence.  Catholics may point to one or two Eastern Fathers who could be used to support cleansing by fire after death:  Easterners may point to the Western Church anomaly of allowing early term abortion at this period of the Church's history.  That, btw, is *not* an anti-Catholic dig since at that time the Church was both Eastern and Western, both Catholic and Orthodox, so the holy monks of Ireland were as Orthodox as the monks of Egypt and Israel and the Patriarchs of Constantinople and Jerusalem were as Catholic as the Pope of Rome.
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« Reply #880 on: May 20, 2009, 03:44:32 AM »

Christ is Risen!

Indeed He has Risen!
As Fr Hardon himself says there are a few Greek Fathers who can be enlisted in support of the doctrine of purgatory. 
Well, then we are at last in agreement on that point.
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« Reply #881 on: May 20, 2009, 05:22:40 AM »

Quote
It just seems reasonable to me that for the moderate and forgivable sins still left at death, there will be some sort of purifying process


The Orthodox funeral has, at its end, a prayer of absolution for the sins of the deceased, hence there is no need for any "purifying" process for unabsolved sins.  Remember, folks, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents and proclaims the consensus patrum.
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« Reply #882 on: May 20, 2009, 07:46:55 AM »

Quote
I don;t know. I honestly find your position to be a bit confusing. On the one hand, we have St. Gregory of Nyssa who has preached and taught in favor of something pretty similar to purgatory, and we find no recorded opposition to this teaching in the fourth century. We have lots and lots of Eastern Orthodox churches named after St. Gregory of Nyssa. We have the statement from the Council of Florence that the Orthodox position as expressed by Bishop Bessarion is acceptable to the Roman Church. It is true that we have the teachings of many of the Western Fathers and St. Gregory of Nyssa on Purgatory, but as has already been mentioned it is not the same as an officially  required dogmatic teaching.
Anyway, with all due respect and charity to everyone here, I am not buying into the idea of no Purgatory. It just seems reasonable to me that for the moderate and forgivable sins still left at death, there will be some sort of purifying process as mentioned by St. Gregory of Nyssa, because according to my understanding of the Scriptures, nothing unclean can enter the presence of God in heaven (Rev. 21:27).

Sorry but I can't understand what confuses you on what I said.
The fact that we never condemned a doctrine doesn't mean we susbcribe it. It means that we accept it as a "possible" understanding of some mysterious subject concerning secondary aspects of our faith. On the contrary, affirming purgatory "de fide" and requiring it both to Latin and Eastern Catholics you automatically show that those who don't believe it are anathematized and of course you exclude any other possibility of interpretation embraced by other church fathers (as st. Basil who supported apocatastasis, or John Damascene who supported the toll-houses in the liturgical texts he wrote).
Regarding the Council of Florence, I came to form my own idea of why it is not Orthodox. I read somewhere that, trying to defend the infallibility of pope Liberius even if he publicly confessed arianism for a while, some of your theologians and canonists said that in condition of a direct menace, infallibility doesn't work, so Liberius being prisoner was temporarily expressing faith outside of st. Peter's chair. Now, we have a similar situation in the Council of Florence. The imminent Turkish invasion led the Emperor to press for reunion and to manipulate the decisions of the Council. Even those fathers who initially opposed to the decree on purgatory (as well as the Filioque clause) were forced to retreat because the direct menace of invasion was at the door in Constantinople. Being affected by such conditions, the final decrees of the fathers assembled in Florence were fallible and thus they didn't reflect our faith. Fortunately, st Mark of Ephesus and Holy Russia condemned the synod as a pseudocouncil and were to become the new prototypes of true Orthodoxy.

Of course I subscribe your idea that nothing unclean can enter God's presence, but he could use means different then a purgatorial state/place/process/fire (pick and choose your option). And anyway the only agent of that purification is Christ's blood shed on the cross...

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #883 on: May 20, 2009, 08:21:26 AM »

The Orthodox funeral has, at its end, a prayer of absolution for the sins of the deceased, hence there is no need for any "purifying" process for unabsolved sins.  Remember, folks, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents and proclaims the consensus patrum.

"Remember, folks, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents and proclaims the consensus patrum."

I notice that in many of his posts LBK comes back to this point time and again -and he is perfectly correct.  We can have implicit trust that our Services embody the consensus teaching of the holy Fathers.   This is one of the reasons that the Orthodox stress that all of the faith can be found in the Services and the person who attends services regularly and attentively (or studies the sacred texts at home) will imbibe a correct knowledge of the faith.
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« Reply #884 on: May 20, 2009, 08:21:27 AM »


On the contrary, affirming purgatory "de fide" and requiring it both to Latin and Eastern Catholics you automatically show that those who don't believe it are anathematized

The Roman Catholics have anathematized the Orthodox at the Council of Trent over the issue of our denial of temporal punishment due for sin.  It is "temporal punishment" which necessitates the existence of purgatory and its sufferings and torments of purgatory.

Presumably purgatory did not exist prior to the Lord's death and resurrection.  It was created less than 2000 years ago.

The Council of Trent included in the Decree on Justification an anathema of those who deny the debt of temporal punishment, remissible either in this life or in the next:

"If anyone says that, after receiving the grace of justification the guilt of any repentant sinner is remitted and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such a way that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be paid, either in this life or in purgatory, before the gate to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema (DB 840)."

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« Reply #885 on: May 20, 2009, 10:22:47 AM »

Remember, folks, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents and proclaims the consensus patrum.
This is what LBK has been saying from the beginning. Does ANYONE have proof of Purgatory from the Liturgical Deposit? Texts, chants, etc. I find it curiously strange that this point keeps being ignored. Come on Catholics, show us in the Liturgical Deposit.
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« Reply #886 on: May 20, 2009, 11:54:07 AM »

Remember, folks, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents and proclaims the consensus patrum.
This is what LBK has been saying from the beginning. Does ANYONE have proof of Purgatory from the Liturgical Deposit? Texts, chants, etc. I find it curiously strange that this point keeps being ignored. Come on Catholics, show us in the Liturgical Deposit.
We did. The prayers for a the deceased are prayers that the soul will rest. We would not pray for it if they already have that rest.
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« Reply #887 on: May 20, 2009, 11:59:34 AM »

We did. The prayers for a the deceased are prayers that the soul will rest. We would not pray for it if they did not already have that rest.
This was refuted by Irish Hermit. Let's see another, please, and Thank you.
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« Reply #888 on: May 20, 2009, 12:04:24 PM »

We did. The prayers for a the deceased are prayers that the soul will rest. We would not pray for it if they did not already have that rest.
This was refuted by Irish Hermit. Let's see another, please, and Thank you.
No it wasn't. Thank you.
Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Duck Season, Rabbit Season.
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« Reply #889 on: May 20, 2009, 12:08:15 PM »

No it wasn't. Thank you.
Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Duck Season, Rabbit Season.
Let me give you an example of what I mean:
I chant as much as possible, Vespers, Matins, etc. I personally get to elucidate to everyone the wonderful doctrines of the faith. Not once have I ever seen/chanted anything that remotely suggests, or plainly teaches Purgatory. Ever. You are reading your own interpretation into the funeral service. Do you have some other liturgical texts from OUR Tradition in support of Purgatory?
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« Reply #890 on: May 20, 2009, 12:10:29 PM »

No it wasn't. Thank you.
Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Duck Season, Rabbit Season.
Let me give you an example of what I mean:
I chant as much as possible, Vespers, Matins, etc. I personally get to elucidate to everyone the wonderful doctrines of the faith. Not once have I ever seen/chanted anything that remotely suggests, or plainly teaches Purgatory. Ever. You are reading your own interpretation into the funeral service. Do you have some other liturgical texts from OUR Tradition in support of Purgatory?
Again, if they souls were already resting, we would not be praying for their rest. Thus, they must be in some state of unrest. Unrest is a form of suffering: Thus PURGATORY. You are ignoring the implicationso of what you chant.
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« Reply #891 on: May 20, 2009, 12:14:08 PM »

Do you have some other liturgical texts from OUR Tradition in support of Purgatory?
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« Reply #892 on: May 20, 2009, 12:14:52 PM »

Do you have some other liturgical texts from OUR Tradition in support of Purgatory?

Why would I need others when some have already been provided?
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« Reply #893 on: May 20, 2009, 12:17:07 PM »

Unrest is a form of suffering: Thus PURGATORY. You are ignoring the implicationso of what you chant.

So you believe that reposed souls "suffer" in purgatory? Interesting.
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« Reply #894 on: May 20, 2009, 12:17:48 PM »

Unrest is a form of suffering: Thus PURGATORY. You are ignoring the implicationso of what you chant.

So you believe that reposed souls "suffer" in purgatory? Interesting.
I believe that souls in purgatory suffer the growing pains of being transformed into God's likeness.
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« Reply #895 on: May 20, 2009, 12:18:24 PM »

Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Duck Season, Rabbit Season.

If you are imitating Elmer Fudd--the correct spelling would be "wabbit".  Grin
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« Reply #896 on: May 20, 2009, 12:19:01 PM »

Duck Season, Rabbit Season, Duck Season, Rabbit Season.

If you are imitating Elmer Fudd--the correct spelling would be "wabbit".  Grin
LOL. I was imitating Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny.  Cheesy
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« Reply #897 on: May 20, 2009, 12:19:28 PM »

I believe that souls in purgatory suffer the growing pains of being transformed into God's likeness.

Can you elaborate on "suffer the growing pains"?

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« Reply #898 on: May 20, 2009, 12:31:25 PM »

I believe that souls in purgatory suffer the growing pains of being transformed into God's likeness.

Can you elaborate on "suffer the growing pains"?


We all know that that the scriputers speak of suffering, being purified by "fire", having to die to ourselves, etc. in connection with the process of sanctification. C.S. Lewis elaborates on this idea in his book, The Problem of Pain. Anyone intersted should pick it up, its a good read.
Anyway, I would think that the process of purification in Purgatory would be no different, requiring some suffering. It won't be fun but it will be welcomed. C.S. Lewis discusses this matter in one of his works as well. I'll have to look that up.
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« Reply #899 on: May 20, 2009, 12:42:13 PM »

It won't be fun but it will be welcomed.

What do you mean by this? Are you saying there will be pain and suffering in purgatory?
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