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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 164479 times) Average Rating: 5
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« Reply #900 on: May 20, 2009, 12:48:31 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?
There will be suffering but I don't know what kind.
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« Reply #901 on: May 20, 2009, 12:57:53 PM »

There will be suffering but I don't know what kind.

So let me get this straight:

You are saying that there is fire, but not literally.
There is torment, but only metaphorically.
There is punishment and suffering, but not sure if it involves pain.

Is this accurate?
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« Reply #902 on: May 20, 2009, 12:59:25 PM »

The funeral service is held within a few days of death, and some of the prayers I have quoted are read/sung at the office of the departure of the soul, i.e. just after the point of death. Orthodox tradition holds that the soul leaves the body at physical death, but remains "close by" in an indefinable and mysterious way for 40 days after bodily death. This is why it is considered unseemly for a bereaved person to attend parties or other joyous events during this period, and that a memorial service be held for the soul of the deceased at 40 days. Thereafter, the bereaved are free to live and arrange their lives as normal, though folk custom often "dictates" that certain activities are "forbidden" for several months, a year, or three years, depending on circumstance. But these are mere customs, and not what the Church expects or "demands".

If this is a derail and you'd like me to start a new thread, my apologies and thanks.  But I wanted to pull this comment out for discussion because I find it fascinating.  You see, in my past I have had times when I've gotten interested in ghosts, spirits, near death experiences, etc., and whenever I returned to the Faith I rejected all that info as satanic or demonic.

However, from what you're saying here, there may actually be some truth in the ideas promulgated by paranormalists who say that "ghosts" sometimes attend their own funerals, hang around their houses, etc.  So perhaps I don't have to reject those basic ideas - just the occult practices that unfortunately tend to accompany them?
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« Reply #903 on: May 20, 2009, 01:07:21 PM »

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.

Dear Papist,

Thank you for your interest in the Orthodox Church.  God bless your persistence -and for keeping us on our toes.   Wink

Now, the implications of praying for the dead are not what you think.   The Orthodox think outside the Catholic box.  We have been praying for the dead for all of 2000 years and have not felt the need to adopt any Western teaching to explain what and why....


The Catholic Encyclopedia admits: "In the final analysis the Catholic doctrine of purgatory is based on tradition not Sacred Scripture."

For at least the first two centuries there was no mention of purgatory in the Church. In all the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Irenaeus and Justin Martyr there is not the slightest allusion to the idea of purgatory.

Praying for the dead was becoming a common practice by the beginning of the third century but it does not, in itself, prove that the early Church believed in the existence of a purgatory.

The written prayers which have survived, and the evidence from the catacombs and burial inscriptions indicate that the early Church viewed deceased Christians as residing in peace and happiness and the prayers offered were for them to have a greater experience of these.

As early as Tertullian, in the late second and beginning of the third century, these prayers often use the Latin term refrigerium as a request of God on behalf of departed Christians, a term which means 'refreshment' or 'to refresh' and came to embody the concept of heavenly happiness.

So the fact that the early Church prayed for the dead does not support the teaching of purgatory for the nature of the prayers themselves indicate the Church did not view the dead as residing in a place of suffering.

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« Reply #904 on: May 20, 2009, 01:15:50 PM »


Can I just ask everyone to remember that Papist is going through a time of personal and family stress.  He speaks about it in this thread
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20735.0/topicseen.html

So let's place him on our prayer list, place him under the protecting mantle of the Mother of God and pray for him and his family before the holy icons.

Gob bless you, Papist.  We enjoy debating with you -and we do care for you deeply.
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« Reply #905 on: May 20, 2009, 01:17:07 PM »



Gob bless you, Papist.  We enjoy debating with you -and we do care for you deeply.

May God bless you, in addition to this 'Gob' character Irish Hermit is discussing!
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« Reply #906 on: May 20, 2009, 01:39:07 PM »

May God bless you, in addition to this 'Gob' character Irish Hermit is discussing!

 laugh
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« Reply #907 on: May 20, 2009, 01:50:23 PM »

Can anybody among Catholics (in particular stanley123 and papist) answer to the question I asked two or three times in this thread: Why did you need to proclaim the dogma of purgatory and anathematize those who didn't believe it (thus even some church fathers such as Basil and John Damascene), when the practice of prayers of the dead was never discussed before the Reformation (except for minor sects)?Wasn't it enough to anathematize those who denied any value to prayers for the dead? Hoping for an answer I don't look forward for.

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #908 on: May 20, 2009, 03:00:28 PM »

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.
As a matter of clarification, according then to your belief, sins may be absolved after death? If this is your belief, would that include all sins, or just the more moderate ones?
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« Reply #909 on: May 20, 2009, 03:59:21 PM »

Can anybody among Catholics (in particular stanley123 and papist) answer to the question I asked two or three times in this thread: Why did you need to proclaim the dogma of purgatory and anathematize those who didn't believe it (thus even some church fathers such as Basil and John Damascene), when the practice of prayers of the dead was never discussed before the Reformation (except for minor sects)?Wasn't it enough to anathematize those who denied any value to prayers for the dead? Hoping for an answer I don't look forward for.

In Christ,    Alex
I don't know the answer to this question. For what it is worth, I can give my personal opinion on it.
1. I thought that at the Council of Florence it was declared in the discussions with Bishop Bessarion, that purgatory was not a defined doctrine of the Catholic Church.
2. I don't agree with all these excommunications and anathemas. Are these directed against Protestantism? I thought that i read somewhere that the excommunications and anathemas that Catholics had historically given against the Orthodox were lifted by Pope Paul VI ?
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« Reply #910 on: May 20, 2009, 04:01:01 PM »

As a matter of clarification, according then to your belief, sins may be absolved after death? If this is your belief, would that include all sins, or just the more moderate ones?

All sins, even the worst.  This is the teaching of sacred Scripture.

The history of Judas Maccabeus is an important one in this matter.   It proves that the West is wrong when it believes that grave sin, mortal sin, cannot be forgiven after death.  The text of Maccabees demonstrates that it can. 

To give some context to the incident in Maccabees... What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols, seeking their protection in warfare,  and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quantity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgiveness of these idolaters.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

2 Macc 12: 39-46

Fr Ambrose

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« Reply #911 on: May 20, 2009, 04:04:43 PM »

As a matter of clarification, according then to your belief, sins may be absolved after death? If this is your belief, would that include all sins, or just the more moderate ones?

All sins, even the worst.  This is the teaching of sacred Scripture.

The history of Judas Maccabeus is an important one in this matter.   It proves that the West is wrong when it believes that grave sin, mortal sin, cannot be forgiven after death.  The text of Maccabees demonstrates that it can. 

To give some context to the incident in Maccabees... What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols, seeking their protection in warfare,  and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quantity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgiveness of these idolaters.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

2 Macc 12: 39-46

Fr Ambrose


Yes, very odd how the Vatican uses this verse against the Protestants as a proof text of purgatory, instead of the proof of the efficacy of the prayers of the Faithful for the departed, which is what the text speaks of, not release by "purging."
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« Reply #912 on: May 20, 2009, 04:26:51 PM »

As a matter of clarification, according then to your belief, sins may be absolved after death? If this is your belief, would that include all sins, or just the more moderate ones?

All sins, even the worst.  This is the teaching of sacred Scripture.

The history of Judas Maccabeus is an important one in this matter.   It proves that the West is wrong when it believes that grave sin, mortal sin, cannot be forgiven after death.  The text of Maccabees demonstrates that it can. 

To give some context to the incident in Maccabees... What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols, seeking their protection in warfare,  and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quantity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgiveness of these idolaters.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

2 Macc 12: 39-46

Fr Ambrose


Is this a universal teaching among all Orthodox or are there some who take a different view?
Also, how would you reconcile this with the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:41 :""Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels.'"
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« Reply #913 on: May 20, 2009, 04:28:29 PM »

As a matter of clarification, according then to your belief, sins may be absolved after death? If this is your belief, would that include all sins, or just the more moderate ones?

All sins, even the worst.  This is the teaching of sacred Scripture.

The history of Judas Maccabeus is an important one in this matter.   It proves that the West is wrong when it believes that grave sin, mortal sin, cannot be forgiven after death.  The text of Maccabees demonstrates that it can. 

To give some context to the incident in Maccabees... What had happened was that many of the dead Jewish soldiers were found to have small idols in their clothing.  They had been worshipping idols, seeking their protection in warfare,  and the text says that this idolatry is the reason God allowed them to be slain in battle.

So the surviving soldiers began to offer profound prayers that this dreadful sin would be forgiven and Judas Maccabeus decided to send a large quantity of silver to the Jerusalem temple for prayers for the forgiveness of these idolaters.

The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

2 Macc 12: 39-46

Fr Ambrose


How culpable were they for this since it might have been a societal sin at the time? If their culpability was reduced, then they might not have been in mortal sin. Who knows.
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« Reply #914 on: May 20, 2009, 04:29:31 PM »

Can anybody among Catholics (in particular stanley123 and papist) answer to the question I asked two or three times in this thread: Why did you need to proclaim the dogma of purgatory and anathematize those who didn't believe it (thus even some church fathers such as Basil and John Damascene), when the practice of prayers of the dead was never discussed before the Reformation (except for minor sects)?Wasn't it enough to anathematize those who denied any value to prayers for the dead? Hoping for an answer I don't look forward for.

In Christ,    Alex
People didn't pray for the dead before the remoration? The fathers rejectred it? This is news to me.
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« Reply #915 on: May 20, 2009, 04:30:14 PM »


Can I just ask everyone to remember that Papist is going through a time of personal and family stress.  He speaks about it in this thread
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20735.0/topicseen.html

So let's place him on our prayer list, place him under the protecting mantle of the Mother of God and pray for him and his family before the holy icons.

Gob bless you, Papist.  We enjoy debating with you -and we do care for you deeply.
Father bless,
Thank you for your prayers and concerns.
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« Reply #916 on: May 20, 2009, 04:30:51 PM »

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, there are rabbinical passages which express a belief in purgatory "as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]" "Regarding the time which purgatory lasts, the accepted opinion of R. Akiba is twelve months; according to R. Johanan b. Nuri, it is only forty-nine days. Both opinions are based upon Isa. lxvi. 23-24"
"The idea of the purging fire through which the soul has to pass is found in the Zend-Avesta ("Bundahis," xxx. 20): "All men will pass into the melted metal and become pure; to the righteous it will seem as though he walks through warm milk" (comp. Enoch, lii. 6-7, lxvii. 6-7)"
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« Reply #917 on: May 20, 2009, 04:31:36 PM »

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.

Dear Papist,

Thank you for your interest in the Orthodox Church.  God bless your persistence -and for keeping us on our toes.   Wink

Now, the implications of praying for the dead are not what you think.   The Orthodox think outside the Catholic box.  We have been praying for the dead for all of 2000 years and have not felt the need to adopt any Western teaching to explain what and why....


The Catholic Encyclopedia admits: "In the final analysis the Catholic doctrine of purgatory is based on tradition not Sacred Scripture."

For at least the first two centuries there was no mention of purgatory in the Church. In all the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, Irenaeus and Justin Martyr there is not the slightest allusion to the idea of purgatory.

Praying for the dead was becoming a common practice by the beginning of the third century but it does not, in itself, prove that the early Church believed in the existence of a purgatory.

The written prayers which have survived, and the evidence from the catacombs and burial inscriptions indicate that the early Church viewed deceased Christians as residing in peace and happiness and the prayers offered were for them to have a greater experience of these.

As early as Tertullian, in the late second and beginning of the third century, these prayers often use the Latin term refrigerium as a request of God on behalf of departed Christians, a term which means 'refreshment' or 'to refresh' and came to embody the concept of heavenly happiness.

So the fact that the early Church prayed for the dead does not support the teaching of purgatory for the nature of the prayers themselves indicate the Church did not view the dead as residing in a place of suffering.


If they were already free from suffering why the prayer for "refreshment"?
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« Reply #918 on: May 20, 2009, 05:08:15 PM »

If they were already free from suffering why the prayer for "refreshment"?

I am too taken up with other things to do a full research for you at this moment.

Use the word "refrigerium" to do a search in the NewAdvent Catholic Encylopedia.

Search for the word in the Catholic Douai-Rheims Bible.

See how the word is used by Catholic sources and what it means.
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« Reply #919 on: May 20, 2009, 05:54:52 PM »

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.

Papist, this is a fallacy. What then of the presence of the Prayer of Absolution in the funeral service? Sins absolved are sins removed. Purgatory, therefore, is irrelevant and unnecessary.
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« Reply #920 on: May 20, 2009, 05:57:13 PM »

Quote
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, there are rabbinical passages which express a belief in purgatory "as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]" "Regarding the time which purgatory lasts, the accepted opinion of R. Akiba is twelve months; according to R. Johanan b. Nuri, it is only forty-nine days. Both opinions are based upon Isa. lxvi. 23-24"
"The idea of the purging fire through which the soul has to pass is found in the Zend-Avesta ("Bundahis," xxx. 20): "All men will pass into the melted metal and become pure; to the righteous it will seem as though he walks through warm milk" (comp. Enoch, lii. 6-7, lxvii. 6-7)"

Are you using late Jewish sources to prove Catholic doctrine? Actually you're embracing the error of Judaizing as st Peter did...

In Christ,    Alex
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« Reply #921 on: May 20, 2009, 06:54:39 PM »

Quote
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, there are rabbinical passages which express a belief in purgatory "as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]" "Regarding the time which purgatory lasts, the accepted opinion of R. Akiba is twelve months; according to R. Johanan b. Nuri, it is only forty-nine days. Both opinions are based upon Isa. lxvi. 23-24"
"The idea of the purging fire through which the soul has to pass is found in the Zend-Avesta ("Bundahis," xxx. 20): "All men will pass into the melted metal and become pure; to the righteous it will seem as though he walks through warm milk" (comp. Enoch, lii. 6-7, lxvii. 6-7)"

Are you using late Jewish sources to prove Catholic doctrine? Actually you're embracing the error of Judaizing as st Peter did...

In Christ,    Alex
Dear Alex:
I am here to learn and understand. I am not here to prove anything.
Since this is a discussion on purgatory, my personal opinion is that it would be relevant to consider what the Jewish rabbis have written on this issue.
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« Reply #922 on: May 20, 2009, 06:59:14 PM »

I am interested in this question if all Orthodox hold to the view that serious sins may be absolved by the prayers of the Church after death, or whether this is a theological opinion held by some, but not all, similar to the case for the toll house theory, which is held by some, but not all.
I see a problem between this teaching and the teaching of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"
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« Reply #923 on: May 20, 2009, 07:12:55 PM »

Stanley, time and again I have stated that the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church reflects and proclaims the consensus patrum. Individual Fathers may contradict each other (as they are not infallible), but the liturgical and iconographic deposit is what the whole Orthodox church espouses and teaches. What is present in the liturgical deposit cannot be regarded as a mere theologoumenon.

Here is the Prayer of Absolution chanted at the Orthodox funeral service:

May the Lord Jesus Christ our God, who gave His divine commands to His holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of the fallen, we, in turn, having received from them the right to do the same, pardon you, O spiritual child, all your deeds done amiss in this life, both voluntary and involuntary, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, by His divine grace, as also by the gift and power bestowed to His holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of men, for He said to them:  “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whosesoever sins you remit, they are remitted; and whosoever sins you retain, they are retained.  And whatsoever you shall bind or loose upon earth shall be bound or loosed also in heaven.”

By that same power, also, transmitted to us from them, this my spiritual child, ___, is absolved, through me, unworthy though I be, from all things wherein, as mortal he (she) has sinned against God, whether in word, or deed, or thought, and with all his (her) senses, whether voluntarily or involuntarily; whether with knowledge or through ignorance.  If he (she) be under the ban or excommunication of a bishop, or of a priest, or [has incurred the curse of his (her) father or mother, or has fallen under his (her) own curse,] or has sinned by any oath, or has been bound, as man, by any sins whatsoever, but has repented therefore, with contrition of heart, he (she) is now absolved form all those faults and bonds.

May all those things which have proceeded from the weakness of his (her) mortal nature be consigned to oblivion, and be remitted to him (her).  Through His loving kindness; through the prayers of our most holy, and blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary; of the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostles; and of all the Saints.  Amen.


I ask again, if the sins of the deceased are thus absolved, then what is the need or relevance of purgatory? I ask again, where in the Orthodox funeral service is there ANY mention or hint of the need or existence of purgatory?

Quote
I see a problem between this teaching and the teaching of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"

Christ is here referring to unrepentant sinners who have turned their back on the love of God.
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« Reply #924 on: May 20, 2009, 09:03:21 PM »

Stanley, time and again I have stated that the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church reflects and proclaims the consensus patrum. Individual Fathers may contradict each other (as they are not infallible), but the liturgical and iconographic deposit is what the whole Orthodox church espouses and teaches. What is present in the liturgical deposit cannot be regarded as a mere theologoumenon.

Here is the Prayer of Absolution chanted at the Orthodox funeral service:

May the Lord Jesus Christ our God, who gave His divine commands to His holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of the fallen, we, in turn, having received from them the right to do the same, pardon you, O spiritual child, all your deeds done amiss in this life, both voluntary and involuntary, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, by His divine grace, as also by the gift and power bestowed to His holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of men, for He said to them:  “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whosesoever sins you remit, they are remitted; and whosoever sins you retain, they are retained.  And whatsoever you shall bind or loose upon earth shall be bound or loosed also in heaven.”

By that same power, also, transmitted to us from them, this my spiritual child, ___, is absolved, through me, unworthy though I be, from all things wherein, as mortal he (she) has sinned against God, whether in word, or deed, or thought, and with all his (her) senses, whether voluntarily or involuntarily; whether with knowledge or through ignorance.  If he (she) be under the ban or excommunication of a bishop, or of a priest, or [has incurred the curse of his (her) father or mother, or has fallen under his (her) own curse,] or has sinned by any oath, or has been bound, as man, by any sins whatsoever, but has repented therefore, with contrition of heart, he (she) is now absolved form all those faults and bonds.

May all those things which have proceeded from the weakness of his (her) mortal nature be consigned to oblivion, and be remitted to him (her).  Through His loving kindness; through the prayers of our most holy, and blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary; of the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostles; and of all the Saints.  Amen.


I ask again, if the sins of the deceased are thus absolved, then what is the need or relevance of purgatory? I ask again, where in the Orthodox funeral service is there ANY mention or hint of the need or existence of purgatory?

Quote
I see a problem between this teaching and the teaching of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"

Christ is here referring to unrepentant sinners who have turned their back on the love of God.
Thank you for your kind patience and understanding on this. I hope that you will not be too angry if I give you what my understanding of the Catholic teaching is on this.
1. When sins are absolved, there remains some effects which would distinguish the case of a serious sinner who has been absolved from the sin of a horrendous murder from the case of a saintly person, who has led a life of a saint thoughout his whole life. According to Catholic belief, these effects can be remitted to some extent by the prayers of the Church and of the faithful after the death of the loved one.
2. You have mentioned unrepentant sinners. According to your belief, then, these unrepentant sinners will remain in hell, and the prayers of absolution will not help them?
To be honest with you, and once again, I hope you will not be too angry, this process of absolving people from sins after death does not sound too much different to me, with my RC background, with praying for people in Purgatory so that they will soon get into heaven. Particularly since I interpret what you have said here to be that an unrepentant sinner will not be helped after death  by these prayers of the Church.
 
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« Reply #925 on: May 20, 2009, 10:26:46 PM »

Stanley, time and again I have stated that the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church reflects and proclaims the consensus patrum. Individual Fathers may contradict each other (as they are not infallible), but the liturgical and iconographic deposit is what the whole Orthodox church espouses and teaches. What is present in the liturgical deposit cannot be regarded as a mere theologoumenon.

Here is the Prayer of Absolution chanted at the Orthodox funeral service:

May the Lord Jesus Christ our God, who gave His divine commands to His holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of the fallen, we, in turn, having received from them the right to do the same, pardon you, O spiritual child, all your deeds done amiss in this life, both voluntary and involuntary, now and ever, and to the ages of ages.  Amen.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, by His divine grace, as also by the gift and power bestowed to His holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of men, for He said to them:  “Receive the Holy Spirit.  Whosesoever sins you remit, they are remitted; and whosoever sins you retain, they are retained.  And whatsoever you shall bind or loose upon earth shall be bound or loosed also in heaven.”

By that same power, also, transmitted to us from them, this my spiritual child, ___, is absolved, through me, unworthy though I be, from all things wherein, as mortal he (she) has sinned against God, whether in word, or deed, or thought, and with all his (her) senses, whether voluntarily or involuntarily; whether with knowledge or through ignorance.  If he (she) be under the ban or excommunication of a bishop, or of a priest, or [has incurred the curse of his (her) father or mother, or has fallen under his (her) own curse,] or has sinned by any oath, or has been bound, as man, by any sins whatsoever, but has repented therefore, with contrition of heart, he (she) is now absolved form all those faults and bonds.

May all those things which have proceeded from the weakness of his (her) mortal nature be consigned to oblivion, and be remitted to him (her).  Through His loving kindness; through the prayers of our most holy, and blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary; of the holy, glorious and all-laudable Apostles; and of all the Saints.  Amen.


I ask again, if the sins of the deceased are thus absolved, then what is the need or relevance of purgatory? I ask again, where in the Orthodox funeral service is there ANY mention or hint of the need or existence of purgatory?

Quote
I see a problem between this teaching and the teaching of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 25:41 "Then shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"

Christ is here referring to unrepentant sinners who have turned their back on the love of God.
Thank you for your kind patience and understanding on this. I hope that you will not be too angry if I give you what my understanding of the Catholic teaching is on this.
1. When sins are absolved, there remains some effects which would distinguish the case of a serious sinner who has been absolved from the sin of a horrendous murder from the case of a saintly person, who has led a life of a saint thoughout his whole life. According to Catholic belief, these effects can be remitted to some extent by the prayers of the Church and of the faithful after the death of the loved one.
2. You have mentioned unrepentant sinners. According to your belief, then, these unrepentant sinners will remain in hell, and the prayers of absolution will not help them?
To be honest with you, and once again, I hope you will not be too angry, this process of absolving people from sins after death does not sound too much different to me, with my RC background, with praying for people in Purgatory so that they will soon get into heaven. Particularly since I interpret what you have said here to be that an unrepentant sinner will not be helped after death  by these prayers of the Church.
 


Let's say that no one prays for the deceased.  According to Purgatory, at some point of time he will be purged enough and go anyway.  With what is described above (and at the Synod of Jerusalem btw), they will be staying put.
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« Reply #926 on: May 20, 2009, 10:56:29 PM »

May I ask a direct question of our Catholic friends ----

WHEN  DID  GOD  CREATE  PURGATORY?

Was it on Good Friday or on the Sunday when Christ rose again?  Or...?

Thanks.

Fr Ambrose
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« Reply #927 on: May 20, 2009, 11:06:42 PM »

How culpable were they for this since it might have been a societal sin at the time? If their culpability was reduced, then they might not have been in mortal sin. Who knows.

You cannot be unaware of the Jewish horror of the adoration of false Gods??   It permeates their entire history.  Freedom from idolatry was their distinguishing mark.  It is enshrined for all time in the First of the 10 Commandements given on Mt Sinai:

"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments."
~Deuteronomy 5:6-10



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« Reply #928 on: May 20, 2009, 11:32:01 PM »

May I ask a direct question of our Catholic friends ----

WHEN  DID  GOD  CREATE  PURGATORY?

Was it on Good Friday or on the Sunday when Christ rose again?  Or...?

Thanks.

Fr Ambrose
As I indicated above with the references to the Jewish writings, the Jewish rabbinical tradition has taught a Purgatory which I suppose would indicate that it was created at about the same time that heaven and hell were created.
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« Reply #929 on: May 20, 2009, 11:43:12 PM »

May I ask a direct question of our Catholic friends ----

WHEN  DID  GOD  CREATE  PURGATORY?

Was it on Good Friday or on the Sunday when Christ rose again?  Or...?

Thanks.

Fr Ambrose
As I indicated above with the references to the Jewish writings, the Jewish rabbinical tradition has taught a Purgatory which would indicate that it was created at about the same time that heaven and hell were created.

Obviously any Jews who taught that souls went to Purgatory were wrong since nobody went to Purgatory during the time of the Old Testament. 

If it existed then, how on earth did they know about it?  It was not created for them.

If it was created with heaven and hell, it must have lain empty and unused until Christ died or rose again.  Prior to that it was not needed.

Your answer raises too many unanswerable questions.
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« Reply #930 on: May 20, 2009, 11:57:21 PM »

May I ask a direct question of our Catholic friends ----

WHEN  DID  GOD  CREATE  PURGATORY?

Was it on Good Friday or on the Sunday when Christ rose again?  Or...?

Thanks.

Fr Ambrose
As I indicated above with the references to the Jewish writings, the Jewish rabbinical tradition has taught a Purgatory which would indicate that it was created at about the same time that heaven and hell were created.

Obviously any Jews who taught that souls went to Purgatory were wrong since nobody went to Purgatory during the time of the Old Testament. 

If it existed then, how on earth did they know about it?  It was not created for them.

If it was created with heaven and hell, it must have lain empty and unused until Christ died or rose again.  Prior to that it was not needed.

Your answer raises too many unanswerable questions.
Yes. How does one explain the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]" And how would one explain the teaching of Rabbi  Akiba who says that the time of the purging(?) is twelve months; Or the teaching of Rabbi Johanan b. Nuri, who teaches that the time of the purging (?)  is only forty-nine days. Both opinions being based upon Isa. lxvi. 23-24.
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« Reply #931 on: May 21, 2009, 12:10:41 AM »


Yes. How does one explain the teaching of the Shammaites:


Be aware that the Shammaites were just one of the Judaistic sects of the 1st century who fought and warred with others over minute and obscure points of Jewish doctrine:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=956&letter=B

Be aware that any teaching that the souls of people in the Old Testamental period were in purgatory is heresy in Roman Catholic teaching.  The Catholic Church teaches that they were in the Limbo Patrum.

So, the question remains:  WHEN did God create purgatory?



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« Reply #932 on: May 21, 2009, 12:20:44 AM »


Yes. How does one explain the teaching of the Shammaites:


Be aware that the Shammaites were just one of the Judaistic sects of the 1st century who fought and warred with others over minute and obscure points of Jewish doctrine:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=956&letter=B

Be aware that any teaching that the souls of people in the Old Testamental period were in purgatory is heresy in Roman Catholic teaching.  The Catholic Church teaches that they were in the Limbo Patrum.

So, the question remains:  WHEN did God create purgatory?




I thought that the Pope had mentioned Purgatory in relation to the Old Testament religious law. for example, at the General Audience of Wednesday, 4 August 1999, we read JPII:
According to Old Testament religious law, what is destined for God must be perfect. As a result, physical integrity is also specifically required for the realities which come into contact with God at the sacrificial level such as, for example, sacrificial animals (cf. Lv 22: 22) or at the institutional level, as in the case of priests or ministers of worship (cf. Lv 21: 17-23). Total dedication to the God of the Covenant, along the lines of the great teachings found in Deuteronomy (cf. 6: 5), and which must correspond to this physical integrity, is required of individuals and society as a whole (cf. 1 Kgs 8: 61). It is a matter of loving God with all one's being, with purity of heart and the witness of deeds (cf. ibid., 10: 12f.)

The need for integrity obviously becomes necessary after death, for entering into perfect and complete communion with God. Those who do not possess this integrity must undergo purification. This is suggested by a text of St Paul. The Apostle speaks of the value of each person's work which will be revealed on the day of judgement and says:  "If the work which any man has built on the foundation [which is Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3: 14-15).

3. At times, to reach a state of perfect integrity a person's intercession or mediation is needed. For example, Moses obtains pardon for the people with a prayer in which he recalls the saving work done by God in the past, and prays for God's fidelity to the oath made to his ancestors (cf. Ex 32: 30, 11-13). The figure of the Servant of the Lord, outlined in the Book of Isaiah, is also portrayed by his role of intercession and expiation for many; at the end of his suffering he "will see the light" and "will justify many", bearing their iniquities (cf. Is 52: 13-53, 12, especially vv. 53: 11).

Psalm 51 can be considered, according to the perspective of the Old Testament, as a synthesis of the process of reintegration:  the sinner confesses and recognizes his guilt (v. 3), asking insistently to be purified or "cleansed" (vv. 2, 9, 10, 17) so as to proclaim the divine praise (v. 15).

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« Reply #933 on: May 21, 2009, 12:38:14 AM »


Yes. How does one explain the teaching of the Shammaites:


Be aware that the Shammaites were just one of the Judaistic sects of the 1st century who fought and warred with others over minute and obscure points of Jewish doctrine:

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=956&letter=B

Be aware that any teaching that the souls of people in the Old Testamental period were in purgatory is heresy in Roman Catholic teaching.  The Catholic Church teaches that they were in the Limbo Patrum.

So, the question remains:  WHEN did God create purgatory?




In his book, Toward a Jewish Theology:  Methods, Problems, and Possibilities, p. 166, Byron L. Sherwin has written: "“The idea of hell does not play a major role in Jewish eschatology.  There is purgatory where the souls of those who have died are purified, are prepared for eternal life.  However, even the worst sinner, spends no more than a year in purgatory."
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« Reply #934 on: May 21, 2009, 12:41:27 AM »

[I thought that the Pope had mentioned Purgatory in relation to the Old Testament religious law. for example, at the General Audience of Wednesday, 4 August 1999, we read JPII:
According to Old Testament religious law, what is destined for God must be perfect. As a result, physical integrity is also specifically required for the realities which come into contact with God at the sacrificial level such as, for example, sacrificial animals (cf. Lv 22: 22) or at the institutional level, as in the case of priests or ministers of worship (cf. Lv 21: 17-23). Total dedication to the God of the Covenant, along the lines of the great teachings found in Deuteronomy (cf. 6: 5), and which must correspond to this physical integrity, is required of individuals and society as a whole (cf. 1 Kgs 8: 61). It is a matter of loving God with all one's being, with purity of heart and the witness of deeds (cf. ibid., 10: 12f.)

The need for integrity obviously becomes necessary after death, for entering into perfect and complete communion with God. Those who do not possess this integrity must undergo purification. This is suggested by a text of St Paul. The Apostle speaks of the value of each person's work which will be revealed on the day of judgement and says:  "If the work which any man has built on the foundation [which is Christ] survives, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3: 14-15).

3. At times, to reach a state of perfect integrity a person's intercession or mediation is needed. For example, Moses obtains pardon for the people with a prayer in which he recalls the saving work done by God in the past, and prays for God's fidelity to the oath made to his ancestors (cf. Ex 32: 30, 11-13). The figure of the Servant of the Lord, outlined in the Book of Isaiah, is also portrayed by his role of intercession and expiation for many; at the end of his suffering he "will see the light" and "will justify many", bearing their iniquities (cf. Is 52: 13-53, 12, especially vv. 53: 11).

Psalm 51 can be considered, according to the perspective of the Old Testament, as a synthesis of the process of reintegration:  the sinner confesses and recognizes his guilt (v. 3), asking insistently to be purified or "cleansed" (vv. 2, 9, 10, 17) so as to proclaim the divine praise (v. 15).



Stan,

You're floundering and in the process you are starting to dream up heresy! Look at what you are trying to force out of the Pope's words  - that perfection was possible for man before the incarnation of Christ and that perfect and complete communion with God was possible before the incarnation.   That really does merit the "h" word.  Sorry, but it is NOT what the Pope is saying.  You know that and I know that!   Wink

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« Reply #935 on: May 21, 2009, 12:50:53 AM »

In his book, Toward a Jewish Theology:  Methods, Problems, and Possibilities, p. 166, Byron L. Sherwin has written: "“The idea of hell does not play a major role in Jewish eschatology.  There is purgatory where the souls of those who have died are purified, are prepared for eternal life.  However, even the worst sinner, spends no more than a year in purgatory."

Therefore, when Christ descended into hell as the Apostles' Creed says, to preach the good news of resurrection and salvation to the Old Testament people, he actually descended into purgatory.   Hmm....
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« Reply #936 on: May 21, 2009, 02:05:22 AM »

Stan,

Are you really serious about the information you are presenting on the forum?  The conclusion is that it is better to be a Jew than a Roman Catholic.

1.  A Jew never has to spend more than 364 days in purgatory

2.  A Catholic can spend centuries there, and even right up until the Last Judgement

If a Jew converts to Catholicism, does he retain his 364-day concession? 

Stan,  this is all getting too surreal for me. 
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« Reply #937 on: May 21, 2009, 03:10:39 AM »

In his book, Toward a Jewish Theology:  Methods, Problems, and Possibilities, p. 166, Byron L. Sherwin has written: "“The idea of hell does not play a major role in Jewish eschatology.  There is purgatory where the souls of those who have died are purified, are prepared for eternal life.  However, even the worst sinner, spends no more than a year in purgatory."

Therefore, when Christ descended into hell as the Apostles' Creed says, to preach the good news of resurrection and salvation to the Old Testament people, he actually descended into purgatory.   Hmm....
Of course, I could be wrong in what I am relating here. I do the best I can. Now, in the Apostles' Creed, it does say that Christ descended into hell. However, it is my understanding that he did not actually descend into the hell of the damned, but in Catholicism this is understood as a holding place for the captive souls who had been purified and awaiting Our Lord. They were not allowed into heaven until Our Lord released them. The demons and the condemned are punished in the hell of the damned, and Jesus Christ did not descend to this place of eternal suffering, nor to purgatory, but He did have an effect on the souls of purgatory by giving them the hope of glory.
So it is my guess that heaven was created first, and then  hell and then purgatory. I don't know if this was all done simultaneously, or if there was some small time lag in between. I have stated the view of a few Jewish rabbis according to which the time spent in purgatory differs from what many Catholics believe. I don't know why you are making such a big fuss about this, because as you well know, the exact length of time which is going to be spent in Purgatory has not been officially defined by the Catholic Church. Perhaps we can pray to St. Gregory of Nyssa for enlightenment on this point.
At any event, today is Ascension Thursday in the Roman Catholic Church as we celebrate  the completion of the work of our redemption as Our Lord ascends in His glorified human body to sit at the right hand of the Father.
I hope that you will not mind if I offer a few prayers at Mass today for the intention of promoting friendship, goodwill, understanding and charity between the faithful of our two separate Churches.
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« Reply #938 on: May 21, 2009, 03:46:52 AM »

Quote
Of course, I could be wrong in what I am relating here. I do the best I can. Now, in the Apostles' Creed, it does say that Christ descended into hell. However, it is my understanding that he did not actually descend into the hell of the damned, but in Catholicism this is understood as a holding place for the captive souls who had been purified and awaiting Our Lord. They were not allowed into heaven until Our Lord released them. The demons and the condemned are punished in the hell of the damned, and Jesus Christ did not descend to this place of eternal suffering, nor to purgatory, but He did have an effect on the souls of purgatory by giving them the hope of glory.


Stanley, as with the Orthodox funeral, there is absolutely no mention or hint of purgatory or purification of souls in the Orthodox hymnody for the Resurrection.

From the Paschal canon at Matins:

Ode 7:

We feast death’s slaughter, the overthrow of Hell, the first-fruits of a new eternal life: and dancing we hymn the cause: the only blessed and most glorious God of our fathers.

Ode 9, magnification verse:

Today all creation rejoices and is glad, for Christ has risen and Hell has been despoiled.

At the Praises (Lauds):

Having despoiled Hell and raised humanity by Your Resurrection, O Christ, grant that with pure hearts we may praise and glorify You.

From the sublime and joyous Easter Sermon of St John Chrysostom:

Let no one fear death: for the Saviour’s death has freed us. By enduring it He quenched it. He who descended into Hell has despoiled Hell. He embittered it when it tasted His flesh as Isaiah proclaimed in prophecy, ‘Death’, he said, ‘was embittered when it met You there below’. Embittered, for it was destroyed. Embittered, for it was mocked. Embittered, for it was slain. Embittered for it was annihilated. Embittered, for it was bound fast. It received a body, and came face to face with God. It received earth, and met heaven. It received what it saw, and fell through what it did not see. O death, where is your sting? O hell, where is your victory? Christ has risen and you are abolished! Christ has risen and the demons have fallen! Christ has risen, and Angels rejoice! Christ has risen, and life has found freedom! Christ has risen, and there is no corpse in the grave! For Christ, being raised from the dead, has become the first-fruits of those who sleep. To Him be glory and might to the ages of ages. Amen.

From the Hours of Easter:

With Your body, O Christ, You were in the tomb, with Your soul in Hell as God, in Paradise with the Thief, on the throne with the Father and the Spirit, filling all things, yet Yourself uncircumscribed.

At the Vespers of Easter:

The gates of death opened to You, O Lord, in fear; Hell’s gate-keepers shuddered when they saw You; for You smashed the gates of brass, crushed to powder the iron bars, led us out of darkness and the shadow of death and tore our bonds asunder.


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« Reply #939 on: May 21, 2009, 06:44:02 AM »

In his book, Toward a Jewish Theology:  Methods, Problems, and Possibilities, p. 166, Byron L. Sherwin has written: "“The idea of hell does not play a major role in Jewish eschatology.  There is purgatory where the souls of those who have died are purified, are prepared for eternal life.  However, even the worst sinner, spends no more than a year in purgatory."

Therefore, when Christ descended into hell as the Apostles' Creed says, to preach the good news of resurrection and salvation to the Old Testament people, he actually descended into purgatory.   Hmm....

I have heard something similar argued, that when He descended it was not into the depths of hell but just the surface.  Very odd, since they have the Apostles' Creed in constant use that reminds them of the descent into hell.
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« Reply #940 on: May 21, 2009, 09:10:41 AM »

Quote
I have heard something similar argued, that when He descended it was not into the depths of hell but just the surface.  Very odd, since they have the Apostles' Creed in constant use that reminds them of the descent into hell.
If I'm not mistaken, st. Thomas Aquinas argued for a different place, limbo of the patriarchs... so I suppose at least that at that time such a theory hadn't been proposed yet.

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #941 on: May 21, 2009, 09:34:48 AM »

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I have heard something similar argued, that when He descended it was not into the depths of hell but just the surface.  Very odd, since they have the Apostles' Creed in constant use that reminds them of the descent into hell.
If I'm not mistaken, st. Thomas Aquinas argued for a different place, limbo of the patriarchs... so I suppose at least that at that time such a theory hadn't been proposed yet.

In Christ,   Alex

Thomas Aquinas lived in the 13th century. The Orthodox Resurrection services date from no later than the 8th century, some 500 years before Thomas Aquinas.
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« Reply #942 on: May 21, 2009, 09:41:50 AM »

I have yet to see any other liturgical quotes from our Tradition suggestive of Purgatory. Papist has said that he doesn't need to anymore because there were some that were provided. We used to teach Purgatory, but curiously enough, Papist can't find any other liturgical examples. Sounds like a personal theory to me, Papist.
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« Reply #943 on: May 21, 2009, 10:22:22 AM »

I have yet to see any other liturgical quotes from our Tradition suggestive of Purgatory. Papist has said that he doesn't need to anymore because there were some that were provided. We used to teach Purgatory, but curiously enough, Papist can't find any other liturgical examples. Sounds like a personal theory to me, Papist.
Sounds like you are ignoring the implications of your own litrugy.
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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« Reply #944 on: May 21, 2009, 10:24:31 AM »

If they were already free from suffering why the prayer for "refreshment"?

I am too taken up with other things to do a full research for you at this moment.

Use the word "refrigerium" to do a search in the NewAdvent Catholic Encylopedia.

Search for the word in the Catholic Douai-Rheims Bible.

See how the word is used by Catholic sources and what it means.
But why do you think they might need refreshment if they are already at rest?
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Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
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