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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 179168 times) Average Rating: 5
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PoorFoolNicholas
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« Reply #945 on: May 21, 2009, 10:30:51 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.
Answer this please:
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 #946 on: May 21, 2009, 10:45:00 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.
Answer this please:
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.

I already have. Fr. A provided mutliple quotes from the Liturgy in which we pray for the dead that they may have rest. The reasonable conclusion is that they do not already have rest. To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.
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« Reply #947 on: May 21, 2009, 10:51:20 AM »

To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.
To lack rest=Purgatory. How can you NOT see that you are projecting your own interpretation on this text?
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« Reply #948 on: May 21, 2009, 11:08:51 AM »

Quote
Quote from: Papist on Today at 10:45:00 AM
To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.
To lack rest=Purgatory. How can you NOT see that you are projecting your own interpretation on this text?
And how can you ascribe your own interpretation which sees purgatory in everything?

Now tell me, how can you justify the teaching of all those Church fathers who expressed a belief contrary to purgatory and yet are honoured as saints? Were they heretic? I think that prayers for the dead are far more reasonable to me without any purgatory. At least they are more useful. Prayers for the souls in purgatory don't rescue the souls, they just shorten or mitigate their purification process. On the contrary, in Orthodoxy (according to many) prayers for the departed are "necessary" to loose them from hades and bring them to God.

Posted by: LBK 
Quote
Insert Quote
Quote from: AlexanderOfBergamo on Today at 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

Ahem... I was not buying such a doctrine... don't misunderstand. I'm just showing that even among Catholics the idea of purgatory as a place for the patriarchs came later then the 14th century, which proves again that RCs tend to invent new interpretations over time. More or less like Protestants.


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« Reply #949 on: May 21, 2009, 11:39:44 AM »

And how can you ascribe your own interpretation which sees purgatory in everything?
I agree. I know that you are trying to argue a point that you feel deeply about, but you are interpreting passages that have nothing to do with Purgatory, as though they all teach it. I really don't know how continuing this discussion will profit anyone involved.... Undecided
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« Reply #950 on: May 21, 2009, 12:07:52 PM »

Quote
Posted by: PoorFoolNicholas 
Insert Quote
Quote from: AlexanderOfBergamo on Today at 11:08:51 AM
And how can you ascribe your own interpretation which sees purgatory in everything?
I agree. I know that you are trying to argue a point that you feel deeply about, but you are interpreting passages that have nothing to do with Purgatory, as though they all teach it. I really don't know how continuing this discussion will profit anyone involved.... 

I agree... this is no more an attempt to know each other and overcome the differences... this has become a way to impose a position over the others with ineffective apologetics and innuendo... the same situation that unfortunately occured in 1054 AD. What a bad attempt of ecumenism it's become... Please, if you want... listen to my prayer.

Our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray you with all of my heart... Help us - and especially me a sinner - to become as humble as you were in your terrestrial life, and let me and all of us on both sides of contention to become lamps of your light in this world, an example of peace and fraternity. The Church, which you built on the rock of thy faith, has been divided by egotism... let us live not according to division but according to your love. Amen.
And please brethrens, pray for my sins to be cleansed in this life, so that I might not pass through the fire of hell in the life to come... I'm far from being a good Christian, but even the greatest of sinners can be forgiven by the Lord with the prayers of His people.
In Christ, with humility, your unworthy and sinful brother Alessandro

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« Reply #951 on: May 21, 2009, 12:13:53 PM »

To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.
To lack rest=Purgatory. How can you NOT see that you are projecting your own interpretation on this text?
I am not saying that your Church has a fully developed doctrine of purgatory. All I am saying that the seeds of the doctrine can be seen in the liturgy and that the Eastern Litrugy existed even before your Church.
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« Reply #952 on: May 21, 2009, 12:14:43 PM »

To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.
To lack rest=Purgatory. How can you NOT see that you are projecting your own interpretation on this text?
I am not saying that your Church has a fully developed doctrine of purgatory. All I am saying that the seeds of the doctrine can be seen in the liturgy and that the Eastern Litrugy existed even before your Church.
Huh
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« Reply #953 on: May 21, 2009, 12:22:07 PM »

To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.
To lack rest=Purgatory. How can you NOT see that you are projecting your own interpretation on this text?
I am not saying that your Church has a fully developed doctrine of purgatory. All I am saying that the seeds of the doctrine can be seen in the liturgy and that the Eastern Litrugy existed even before your Church.
Huh
I'm sorry. I should not have written it that way. I should have stated this as personal opinion since this is an EO forum. I personally don't believe that the EO Church existed until 1054 AD. So, thus, I personally believe that the Liturgy that predates the existence of the EO Church contains the seeds of the doctrine of Purgatory. However, from my point of view, the EO Church was not able to devle into the depths of this myster because it was separted from the Magesterium before much thought was put into it. Again, this is my opinion coming from a Catholic view and I in no way expect everyone in this forum to accept my view.
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« Reply #954 on: May 21, 2009, 01:32:11 PM »

Dear Papist,
first of all I beg your pardon if my previous attacks. I was giving a bad representation of how an Orthodox should behave with the heterodox.
Secondly, I need to explain you that PoorFoolNicholas might have had different problems in understandig the theological methodology, and specifically "development of doctrine". In other words, you're explaining your position using a category which is absent in Orthodoxy, and that might give problems in getting what you mean. I don't think, on the contrary, that he was somehow disturbed by the tone of your post.
Anyway, I need here a clarification too, so that this might benefit our brotherly conversation and change its tones.
As I always understood it, RCs believe that tradition puts "seeds of faith" which are to develop over time in "full doctrines". So, the presence of prayers for the dead in the common tradition of both West and East later developed in the full understanding of "purgatory" as it is proclaimed by RCs. It is (still according to RC theology) a specific task of the Magisterium (exercised by the Pope and by the Ecumenical Councils with papal approval) to "define" the doctrines as de fide. So, purgatory has its seed in prayers for the dead; immaculate conception has its seed in the idea that the Theotokos is "immaculate" and "all-holy"; and the Filioque clause has its seed in expressions such as "Spirit of the Son" and "Spirit of Christ". Am I right or have I missed something?
In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #955 on: May 21, 2009, 02:53:56 PM »

Our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray you with all of my heart... Help us - and especially me a sinner - to become as humble as you were in your terrestrial life, and let me and all of us on both sides of contention to become lamps of your light in this world, an example of peace and fraternity. The Church, which you built on the rock of thy faith, has been divided by egotism... let us live not according to division but according to your love. Amen.
thanks for this prayer Alex.
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« Reply #956 on: May 21, 2009, 02:54:43 PM »

I already have. Fr. A provided mutliple quotes from the Liturgy in which we pray for the dead that they may have rest. The reasonable conclusion is that they do not already have rest. To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.

As with another thread on the Immaculate Conception where you insisted that the doctrine exists in the Orthodox Church because we use the word "immaculate" in our Liturgy, you have misapprehended things.  Your "reasonable conclusion" does not in fact match reality.  Led astray again by what you say yourself is your logical Latin mind which expects every liturgical word to have a precise formulation.

We begin to sing, immediately upon death and we will go on singing for hundreds of years for every deceased soul:  "Grant rest, O Lord, to the soul of Thy servant who has fallen asleep."

This phrase, in all the haunting beauty of its melody,  is sung again and again at every Memorial Service for the Dead.

Now we do not mean that souls are in a place of torment and need rest from it.

Nor, for that matter, do we mean that the soul is asleep.  If it were asleep it would not need rest from any torment.  It would be unaware of any torment.

You can go astray a long way by following logic too logically.  Instead we have to link into the ancient tradition of the Church, in this case stretching right back to the catacomb period, and discern what the Church has always understood by these words and phrases.  I appreciate that this is something which you as a Roman Cathlic cannot do and it grieves me in a way.  There is something from Saint Hyppolitus who was Archbishop of Rome in the early 3rd century; he speaks eloquently of how many things cannot be understood except by a direct experience of the Church.

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Have a look again at message #903
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg323053.html#msg323053
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« Reply #957 on: May 21, 2009, 02:54:44 PM »

I am not saying that your Church has a fully developed doctrine of purgatory. All I am saying that the seeds of the doctrine can be seen in the liturgy and that the Eastern Litrugy existed even before your Church.

To get a perspective on this, please go back and read Message #787

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg322056.html#msg322056

One of the principles of Orthodoxy is that the apostolic period of the Church is normative for us.  In effect this cuts across the idea of development of doctrine, of "seeds of doctrine" and of "node points" from which doctrine may be developed in future centuries.  (Roll on the quasi-incarnation of the Spirit!)

Your system has created an unexpected situation where doctrines are being promulgated which were unknown to the Apostles.  Their knowledge of the faith was incomplete.  As generations go by Catholics uncover fresh node points and develop doctrines which Christ never revealed to His Apostles. 
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« Reply #958 on: May 21, 2009, 03:20:18 PM »

Quote
Posted on: Today at 02:54:44 PMPosted by: Irish Hermit 
Insert Quote
Quote from: Papist on Today at 12:13:53 PM
I am not saying that your Church has a fully developed doctrine of purgatory. All I am saying that the seeds of the doctrine can be seen in the liturgy and that the Eastern Litrugy existed even before your Church.


To get a perspective on this, please go back and read Message #787

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg322056.html#msg322056

One of the principles of Orthodoxy is that the apostolic period of the Church is normative for us.  In effect this cuts across the idea of development of doctrine, of "seeds of doctrine" and of "node points" from which doctrine may be developed in future centuries.  (Roll on the quasi-incarnation of the Spirit!)

Your system has created an unexpected situation where doctrines are being promulgated which were unknown to the Apostles.  Their knowledge of the faith was incomplete.  As generations go by Catholics uncover fresh node points and develop doctrines which Christ never revealed to His Apostles.   

Yes, that's exactly the point. We've got two entirely different mindsets. That's why I'm abandoning Catholicism... although a Latin by jurisdiction I often found myself "outside" of a legalistic mindset.
Yet I can also understand the difficulty of the Latins in accepting and understanding our theological method. They seem to think that even doctrines such as the Trinity have been formed from those seeds before being proclaimed. But we must explain that we tend to see the Trinity and such doctrines not as developments, but as definitions of an already clear apostolic deposit of faith. The fact that the word Trinity and the words "hypostasis" and "ousia" were adopted officially at that time doesn't demonstrate anything on the antiquity of the trinity. In other words, Orthodoxy adopted new words to describe in the human language what was believed "always, everywhere and by all".
Definitely no "development of doctrine". Faith can develop in quality (you can explain it better), in quantity (you can be more in line with the Gospel) but not in content (as RCs state).

In Christ,   Alex
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« Reply #959 on: May 21, 2009, 04:08:20 PM »

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.



Is everything here to be taken literally, or is it to be taken metaphorically? For example, we have the words of Christ in Matthew 25:41 concerning hell, but now according to this we see:
"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"
and
"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." So again it raises a few questions:
1. Was everyone in hell released at that time, or was it just a few.
2. Was Moses in hell at that time? Where was Moses?
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« Reply #960 on: May 21, 2009, 04:51:57 PM »

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.
Answer this please:
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.

I already have. Fr. A provided mutliple quotes from the Liturgy in which we pray for the dead that they may have rest. The reasonable conclusion is that they do not already have rest. To be lacking rest is a form of suffering. Thus, Purgatory.

Incorrect interpolation.
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« Reply #961 on: May 21, 2009, 04:56:15 PM »

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.
Well, where were Moses and Abraham at that time?
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« Reply #962 on: May 21, 2009, 06:43:21 PM »

"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." So again it raises a few questions:
1. Was everyone in hell released at that time, or was it just a few.

Everyone.

Please see this speech from the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna, Russian Orthodox Church's Representative for the EU  (now Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk and head of the Department of External Church Relations.

"The Descent of Christ into Hades in Eastern and Western Theological Traditions"

A lecture delivered at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Minneapolis, USA,
on 5 November  2002

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx
[For full article]

Extract:
__________________________________________
The descent of Christ into Hades is one of the most mysterious, enigmatic
and inexplicable events in New Testament history. In today's Christian
world, this event is understood differently. Liberal Western theology
rejects altogether any possibility for speaking of the descent of Christ
into Hades literally, arguing that the scriptural texts on this theme should
be understood metaphorically. The traditional Catholic doctrine insists that
after His death on the cross Christ descended to hell only to deliver the
Old Testament righteous from it. A similar understanding is quite widespread
among Orthodox Christians.

On the other hand, the New Testament speaks of the preaching of Christ in
hell as addressed to the unrepentant sinners: 'For Christ also died for sins
once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which
he went and preached to the spirit in prison, who formerly did not obey,
when God's patience waited.

However, many Church Fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church
repeatedly underline that having descended to hell, Christ opened the way to
salvation for all people, not only the Old Testament righteous. The descent
of Christ into Hades is perceived as an event of cosmic significance
involving all people without exception. They also speak about the victory of
Christ over death, the full devastation of hell and that after the descent
of Christ into Hades there was nobody left there except for the devil and
demons
.


-oOo-

Bishop Hilarion was also guest speaker at the Divine Mercy Congress last year where his speech was so greatly appreciated that the applause could not be stopped.  This is all the more remarkable because it was also applauded by Cardinal Schornberg and yet by Catholic lights the speech contained some notable heresy!!

http://thedivinemercy.org/news/story.php?NID=3132

The [Divine Mercy] Congress Catches Fire!
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: Christ the Conqueror of Hell
Russian Orthodox Bishop: God's Mercy is immeasurable love of the Father
By Dan Valenti (Apr 6, 2008)

-----------------------------------------------------------


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« Reply #963 on: May 21, 2009, 07:17:49 PM »

"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." So again it raises a few questions:
1. Was everyone in hell released at that time, or was it just a few.

Everyone.

Please see this speech from the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna, Russian Orthodox Church's Representative for the EU  (now Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk and head of the Department of External Church Relations.

"The Descent of Christ into Hades in Eastern and Western Theological Traditions"

A lecture delivered at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Minneapolis, USA,
on 5 November  2002

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx
[For full article]

Extract:
__________________________________________
The descent of Christ into Hades is one of the most mysterious, enigmatic
and inexplicable events in New Testament history. In today's Christian
world, this event is understood differently. Liberal Western theology
rejects altogether any possibility for speaking of the descent of Christ
into Hades literally, arguing that the scriptural texts on this theme should
be understood metaphorically. The traditional Catholic doctrine insists that
after His death on the cross Christ descended to hell only to deliver the
Old Testament righteous from it. A similar understanding is quite widespread
among Orthodox Christians.

On the other hand, the New Testament speaks of the preaching of Christ in
hell as addressed to the unrepentant sinners: 'For Christ also died for sins
once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which
he went and preached to the spirit in prison, who formerly did not obey,
when God's patience waited.

However, many Church Fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church
repeatedly underline that having descended to hell, Christ opened the way to
salvation for all people, not only the Old Testament righteous. The descent
of Christ into Hades is perceived as an event of cosmic significance
involving all people without exception. They also speak about the victory of
Christ over death, the full devastation of hell and that after the descent
of Christ into Hades there was nobody left there except for the devil and
demons
.


-oOo-

Bishop Hilarion was also guest speaker at the Divine Mercy Congress last year where his speech was so greatly appreciated that the applause could not be stopped.  This is all the more remarkable because it was also applauded by Cardinal Schornberg and yet by Catholic lights the speech contained some notable heresy!!

http://thedivinemercy.org/news/story.php?NID=3132

The [Divine Mercy] Congress Catches Fire!
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: Christ the Conqueror of Hell
Russian Orthodox Bishop: God's Mercy is immeasurable love of the Father
By Dan Valenti (Apr 6, 2008)

-----------------------------------------------------------



Sorry, but, I didn't quite understand where, according to your belief,  Moses was at this time, when Christ descended into hell, or was it hades? Or are hell and hades exactly the same thing?  Was Moses being tormented by the fire of hell, or was he (oddly or surreally as some here have mentioned) on the fringe of a more or less pleasant holding area near hell and awaiting Our Lord?
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« Reply #964 on: May 21, 2009, 07:45:35 PM »

Stanley, take a look at the canonical Orthodox icon of the Resurrection (which is not the one of Christ emerging from the tomb holding a crozier, with the Roman soldiers cowering in fear). Christ is rising from the darkness of hell, standing on two planks of wood in the shape of a cross (the dismembered gateposts of hell), pullung Adam and Eve from their graves. What is in the black abyss below His feet? Broken locks, sundry useless keys and fetters, and the personification of evil bound in chains. This wizened little figure is the only one left in the abyss, as all the righteous ones, both from the OT and the NT, are now standing next to Christ: the OT figures on the left of the composition, and the NT figures, including St John the Baptist (the prophet who is the bridge between the OT and NT), and the faithful of the age of the NT.

Iconography (as distinct from religious art) is no less important in proclaiming the teachings of the Church as is the liturgical deposit.
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« Reply #965 on: May 21, 2009, 07:55:22 PM »

Stanley, take a look at the canonical Orthodox icon of the Resurrection (which is not the one of Christ emerging from the tomb holding a crozier, with the Roman soldiers cowering in fear). Christ is rising from the darkness of hell, standing on two planks of wood in the shape of a cross (the dismembered gateposts of hell), pullung Adam and Eve from their graves. What is in the black abyss below His feet? Broken locks, sundry useless keys and fetters, and the personification of evil bound in chains. This wizened little figure is the only one left in the abyss, as all the righteous ones, both from the OT and the NT, are now standing next to Christ: the OT figures on the left of the composition, and the NT figures, including St John the Baptist (the prophet who is the bridge between the OT and NT), and the faithful of the age of the NT.

Iconography (as distinct from religious art) is no less important in proclaiming the teachings of the Church as is the liturgical deposit.
Correct. And thanks for pointing this out. This icon is indeed a beautiful depiction of the event.  I don't understand why some people here say that it is odd that Moses was in a holding area awaiting Our Lord, but not in the hell fire of the damned. Why do some here consider that to be odd or surreal?
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« Reply #966 on: May 21, 2009, 08:30:15 PM »

Sorry, but, I didn't quite understand where, according to your belief,  Moses was at this time, when Christ descended into hell, or was it hades?

Moses was there, with Adam and Eve.  You can see him, on some icons, being resurrected with them.
 
Quote
Or are hell and hades exactly the same thing?

As you can see from the translation of that article on Bishop Hilarion's official website (http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx ) sometimes the Russian "ad" is translated as hell and sometimes as hades. 
 
Quote
Was Moses being tormented by the fire of hell, or was he (oddly or surreally as some here have mentioned) on the fringe of a more or less pleasant holding area near hell and awaiting Our Lord?

Common sense would indicate that he was not being tormented by fire.  There may be some who would say that the whole deceased human race prior to Christ's Descent into Hell was in fire and torments but I think that is very unlikely.  Just to take one example - could any of us believe that John the Baptist was burning in hell?
 
The temptation for the Orthodox when pressed on these points by Catholics is to adopt Catholic methodology and begin to create schemes of the afterlife, hoping to be able to answer Catholic questions.  That can be fatal since it is always easy to find some Church Father or theologian who has quite a different view.  Far better to speak in humility and say, we don't really know that much.  After all even Saint Paul was confused by what he saw in the afterlife and could not describe it for us and we probably will not have any more insight than he had.

In their 1980 statement on the afterlife the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad stated that it has not pleased the Saviour to reveal very much about the afterlife and that conjectures are not beneficial to our salvation.  This is a very robust and sober statement from the bishops and people would be well advised to pay attention to it.

For the Bishops' statement see message #364
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg294081.html#msg294081
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« Reply #967 on: May 21, 2009, 09:46:22 PM »

Common sense would indicate that he was not being tormented by fire. 
Well, then, I don;t see the need to make smart aleck remarks about the Catholic teaching on this which is roughly similar to the Orthodox teaching.
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.
Stan,  this is all getting too surreal for me. 


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« Reply #968 on: May 21, 2009, 10:53:44 PM »

Quote
This icon is indeed a beautiful depiction of the event.

Stanley, iconography is nothing less than the pictorial equivalent of scripture and liturgical and doctrinal tradition. Aesthetic (from the conventional Renaissance perspective) considerations are useful, but are not a criterion in the canonical integrity of an icon's proclamation of the true faith.

Common sense would indicate that he was not being tormented by fire. 
Well, then, I don;t see the need to make smart aleck remarks about the Catholic teaching on this which is roughly similar to the Orthodox teaching.
Que? From the posts from the RCs on this thread, there is no consistency among you as to whether there is a literal or allegorical purgatory, nor a literal or figurative purifying fire. How on earth could such contradictory views even come close to the Orthodox view which has been clearly set out here? C'mon, you really have to do better than that, my friend.
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« Reply #969 on: May 22, 2009, 12:03:17 AM »

Sorry, but, I didn't quite understand where, according to your belief,  Moses was at this time, when Christ descended into hell, or was it hades?

Moses was there, with Adam and Eve.  You can see him, on some icons, being resurrected with them.

Father, I'll ask the same question that I asked Father Anastasios in another thread.

How can a transfigured person, e.g. Moses, be summoned from Hades?

I'll add to the question.  Is there any other precedence in Scripture for a dead person to be "transfigured?"
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« Reply #970 on: May 22, 2009, 01:39:59 AM »

Father, I'll ask the same question that I asked Father Anastasios in another thread.

How can a transfigured person, e.g. Moses, be summoned from Hades?

I don't know the answer to that.  I don't, to be honest, understand the definitions and distinctions people are making between hell and hades and Abraham's Bosom, and other places.  Other posters seem to have a handle on these different places but they confuse me.

Quote
I'll add to the question.  Is there any other precedence in Scripture for a dead person to be "transfigured?"

It all becomes quite confused when people want clearcut answers about the afterlife.  They are asking for more than Christ has revealed and more than the Apostle Paul was able to comprehend and explain.
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« Reply #971 on: May 22, 2009, 10:52:20 AM »

Que? From the posts from the RCs on this thread, there is no consistency among you as to whether there is a literal or allegorical purgatory, nor a literal or figurative purifying fire. How on earth could such contradictory views even come close to the Orthodox view which has been clearly set out here? C'mon, you really have to do better than that, my friend.

I always thought that was one of the pluses about Orthodoxy, that they don't insist on defining and dogmatizing everything about the afterlife, because we really don't know all the details.  Huh

Perhaps the RC's be more Orthodox than thee?   Wink
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« Reply #972 on: May 22, 2009, 11:34:27 AM »

If you want to see details about Christ descendence in Hell , Sheol , read the apocrypha "Gospel of Nicodimus" Shalom
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« Reply #973 on: May 22, 2009, 12:12:06 PM »

If you want to see details about Christ descendence in Hell , Sheol , read the apocrypha "Gospel of Nicodimus" Shalom

I will, if all the other Orthodox members participating in this thread will agree with you that this is a definitive statement of what all Orthodox believe.  Thanks!  Wink
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« Reply #974 on: May 22, 2009, 02:10:51 PM »

Father, I'll ask the same question that I asked Father Anastasios in another thread.

How can a transfigured person, e.g. Moses, be summoned from Hades?

I don't know the answer to that.  I don't, to be honest, understand the definitions and distinctions people are making between hell and hades and Abraham's Bosom, and other places.  Other posters seem to have a handle on these different places but they confuse me.

Your honesty is above par.   Smiley

Quote
I'll add to the question.  Is there any other precedence in Scripture for a dead person to be "transfigured?"

It all becomes quite confused when people want clearcut answers about the afterlife.  They are asking for more than Christ has revealed and more than the Apostle Paul was able to comprehend and explain.

How about Samuel appearing to King Saul when summoned by a medium (1 Samuel 28:7-25)?  Some Fathers say that the medium was an evil spirit like the ones plaguing King Saul.  Other Fathers say that Samuel was summoned by God regardless if the vision was actually Samuel or a demon.
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« Reply #975 on: May 22, 2009, 02:19:58 PM »

"As we assemble the teachings of these first church leaders, several patterns emerge related to the nature of Hell. The Early Church Fathers, with very few exceptions, agree with the teaching of the Bible in the way they describe Hell:

1.   Hell is a place of judgment for those who have rejected God and denied Jesus as their Savior
2.   Hell is a place of separation from God
3.   Hell is a place of torment in which the rebellious are in anguish and pain
4.   Hell is a place where the rebellious are tormented forever and are CONSCIOUS of this torment for all eternity (In fact, the eternal duration of their torment is often compared o the eternal duration of the reward of the saved)

At the same time, the earliest Church Fathers are ambiguous on those areas where the Bible s ALSO ambiguous.

1.   The exact nature of the torment of the rebellious is unknown
2.   The manner in which the rebellious are kept alive in spite of ‘deathly’ anguish is also un-described.
What They Wrote
From the earliest days of Christianity, the first believers wrote about the nature of Hell. Here is a very brief assessment of their understanding related to the final resting place of the damned:

From “The Epistle of Barnabas” (70-130AD)
The author of the Epistle of Barnabas is unknown, but many consider him to simply be who he said he was, Barnabas, the associate of Paul who is mentioned in the Book of Acts. The letter was written to new converts to Christianity:

The way of darkness is crooked, and it is full of cursing. It is the way of eternal death with punishment. (“Epistle of Barnabas”)

From “Second Clement” (150AD)
This epistle was written by an Early Church Father as a recorded sermon (ascribed to Clement of Rome). Clement was bishop of Rome from 88 to 98AD, and his teaching reflects the early traditions of the Church:

If we do the will of Christ, we shall obtain rest; but if not, if we neglect his commandments, nothing will rescue us from eternal punishment (“Second Clement” 5:5)
 
From Justin Martyr (151AD)
An early believer and apologist for the Christian faith, Justin Martyr was born in Palestine and was martyred in Rome under Marcus Aurelius. He wrote several important defenses of Christianity, addressed to leaders of the Roman Empire:

No more is it possible for the evildoer, the avaricious, and the treacherous to hide from God than it is for the virtuous. Every man will receive the eternal punishment or reward which his actions deserve. Indeed, if all men recognized this, no one would choose evil even for a short time, knowing that he would incur the eternal sentence of fire. On the contrary, he would take every means to control himself and to adorn himself in virtue, so that he might obtain the good gifts of God and escape the punishments (“First Apology” 12).

We have been taught that only they may aim at immortality who have lived a holy and virtuous life near to God. We believe that they who live wickedly and do not repent will be punished in everlasting fire (“First Apology” 21).

[Jesus] shall come from the heavens in glory with his angelic host, when he shall raise the bodies of all the men who ever lived. Then he will clothe the worthy in immortality; but the wicked, clothed in eternal sensibility, he will commit to the eternal fire, along with the evil demons (“First Apology” 52).
 
From “The Martyrdom of Polycarp” (155AD)
This work was written by an Early Church Father (unknown author) and is dated very early in the history of Christianity. It describes the death of Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle John, and also describes early teachings of the church:

Fixing their minds on the grace of Christ, [the martyrs] despised worldly tortures and purchased eternal life with but a single hour. To them, the fire of their cruel torturers was cold. They kept before their eyes their escape from the eternal and unquenchable fire (“Martyrdom of Polycarp” 2:3)
 
From Tatian (160AD)
Tatian was an early Assyrian believer who moved to Rome as a pagan and eventually became a Christian. Interestingly, he read the Jewish Scriptures and from these became convinced that other pagan ideas about the world were simply false. He was a student of Justin Martyr and wrote about the unreasonableness of paganism and the truth of Christianity:

We who are now easily susceptible to death, will afterwards receive immortality with either enjoyment or with pain.

From Athenagoras of Athens (175AD)
Athenagoras was a philosopher and citizen of Athens who became a Christian (possibly from Platonism) and wrote two important apologetic works; “Apology” or “Embassy for the Christians”, and a “Treatise on the Resurrection”:

We are persuaded that when we are removed from the present life we will live another life, better than the present one...or, if they fall with the rest, they will endure a worse life, one in fire. For God has not made us as sheep or beasts of burden, who are mere by-products. For animals perish and are annihilated. On these grounds, it is not likely that we would wish to do evil. (“Apology”)

From Theophilus of Antioch (181AD)
Theophilus was the Patriarch of Antioch from 169 to 183AD. He was born a pagan and converted to Christianity after reading the scriptures. He was very zealous about protecting the orthodoxy of the earliest believers and he wrote a defense of the faith to a man named Autolycus:

Give studious attention to the prophetic writings [the Bible] and they will lead you on a clearer path to escape the eternal punishments and to obtain the eternal good things of God. . . . [God] will examine everything and will judge justly, granting recompense to each according to merit. To those who seek immortality by the patient exercise of good works, he will give everlasting life, joy, peace, rest, and all good things. . . . For the unbelievers and for the contemptuous, and for those who do not submit to the truth but assent to iniquity, when they have been involved in adulteries, and fornications, and homosexualities, and avarice, and in lawless idolatries, there will be wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish; and in the end, such men as these will be detained in everlasting fire (“To Autolycus” 1:14)
 
From Irenaeus (189AD)
Irenaeus was bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul (now Lyon, France) at the end of the second century. He was a discplie of Polycarp and a notable early apologist for the faith. He wrote several volumes defending the faith against Gnosticism and other early heresies of the Church:

[God will] send the spiritual forces of wickedness, and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, and the impious, unjust, lawless, and blasphemous among men into everlasting fire (“Against Heresies” 1:10:1)

The penalty increases for those who do not believe the Word of God and despise his coming. . . . t is not merely temporal, but eternal. To whomsoever the Lord shall say, ‘Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire,’ they will be damned forever (“Against Heresies” 4:28:2)
 
From Clement of Alexandria (195AD)
Titus Flavius Clemens was the first significant and recorded Christian from the church of Alexandria, Egypt. His parents were Greek and he was raised with a solid, formal Greek education. While he had a tendency to blend Greek and Christian philosophies, his view on the issue of Hell was derived from the scriptures:

All souls are immortal, even those of the wicked. Yet, it would be better for them if they were not deathless. For they are punished with the endless vengeance of quenchless fire. Since they do not die, it is impossible for them to have an end put to their misery. (from a post-Nicene manuscript fragment)

From Tertullian (197AD)
Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus was a Romanized African citizen who was born in Carthage (now Tunisia). He became a Christian and was a powerful and influential apologist for the faith, writing prolifically in defense of the doctrines of orthodoxy:

After the present age is ended he will judge his worshipers for a reward of eternal life and the godless for a fire equally perpetual and unending (“Apology” 18:3)
 
Then will the entire race of men be restored to receive its just deserts according to what it has merited in this period of good and evil, and thereafter to have these paid out in an immeasurable and unending eternity. Then there will be neither death again nor resurrection again, but we shall be always the same as we are now, without changing. The worshipers of God shall always be with God, clothed in the proper substance of eternity. But the godless and those who have not turned wholly to God will be punished in fire equally unending, and they shall have from the very nature of this fire, divine as it were, a supply of incorruptibility (“Apology” 44:12–13).
 
This will turn into a long post
I`ll provide the link :
enterprise.the-rising-tide.org/truthcentered/uploads/WhatDidtheEarlyChurchFathersBelieveAboutHell.doc
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« Reply #976 on: May 22, 2009, 02:51:52 PM »

I'll be honest; my eyes tend to glaze over when I see long posts full of quotes from Church Fathers (or Scripture; or training manuals  Grin).

I feel the same way when I'm over at "that Catholic forum which shall be nameless" Wink and see superlong posts full of quotes from the Church Fathers supposedly proving the papacy, or the Immaculate Conception, or ... yeah, you guessed it ... "purgatory".
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« Reply #977 on: May 22, 2009, 03:28:52 PM »

I'll be honest; my eyes tend to glaze over when I see long posts full of quotes from Church Fathers (or Scripture; or training manuals  Grin).
Me too. I feel for you sister... Wink
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« Reply #978 on: May 27, 2009, 01:14:49 PM »



I'll add to the question.  Is there any other precedence in Scripture for a dead person to be "transfigured?"

The fact that it happened to Moses? Smiley

Seriously, after researching this issue again, it seems to me the consensus is that the OT Prophets were in Hades, although with differing results (Bosom of Abraham for the righteous). If you have evidence to the contrary, please feel free to present it.

Another problem is the inconsistent use of terms.
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« Reply #979 on: May 27, 2009, 01:41:50 PM »

Another problem is the inconsistent use of terms.
Very true. This does seem to muddy the waters quite a bit.
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« Reply #980 on: June 05, 2009, 06:25:14 AM »

Dear brohter Alexander,

Sorry to have returned after a long hiatus.  I see the discussion has progressed quite a lot, so I hope it is not improper to address this old post from you (which is where I left our conversation).

Quote
The only thing I am bound to accept to be Catholic is (1) that there exists a state of remedial punishment or cleansing for righteous souls, (2) the prayers of the Church, especially the Sacrifice, aids in the prefection of souls in Purgatory.  In fact, this is all that the DOGMA of Purgatory asserts.
That's why I don't believe in Purgatory: I don't believe in any "state of remedial punishment or cleansing for righteous souls".
This is indeed one of the distinctions between Oriental and Eastern theology on the matter.  The idea of remedial punishment (as distinct from penal punishment) is much more prevalant in the Oriental understanding of theopoiesis.  I guess this is why it was easier for me as an Oriental to become Catholic.  That said, some Orientals don't like to use the word "punishment" but rather use the term "chastisement," but it's the same concept for me.  The purpose is always for the spiritual benefit of the soul, not to satisfy a penal obligation (see the book of Hebrews for the Scriptural teaching on the matter).  I'm wondering - in your view, is this distinction between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox a valid matter for division, or can both views exist side by side peacefully in one united Church?

Quote
I believe and confess there's no cleansing energy, fire, punishment or whatever instrument of torment after death for me.
The term "cleansing" is so undefined, I cannot understand your objection.  Do you object to the concept of divine chastisement as well? 

Quote
It's prayers for the dead which entirely do the liberation process. They are not an aid; they're the only and direct instrument of the process.
Here, I have to wholeheartedly disagree.  The direct instrument is NOT the Church's prayers.  Rather, the DIRECT instrument is God's Grace.  The Church's prayers are indeed nothing more nor less than an AID.  Where did you get your idea?  It does not seem to be very orthodox. Did the EOC teach you that the direct instrument is our prayers, and not God's Grace?

Quote
My personal opinion of course; but since the orthodox church allows me to believe it and imposes me no specific doctrine, while your church bound me to the doctrine of purgatory, I'm very happy and glad to have changed my mind on the subject.
As stated, "cleansing" is such a broad and undefined term that I do not understand your objection.  It could mean anything from "torment" to "a process of perfection" to "theosis." I'm open to correction on this, but I find it hard to believe that you would find a responsible Orthodox priest who would permit you to believe that the DIRECT cause of spiritual benefice is prayer, and not God's Grace.

Quote
And since the "full" doctrine of purgatory (including purgatorial fire) is part of the Latin official doctrine, but binding only for the Westeners, how do you think I should feel as a "Latin" myself? I'm Italian and I'd belong (by birth) to the Latin Catholic Church. Under this church it is not only official, but even binding to believe such things. Am I going to travel to Greece so that I might believe whatever I want?
That's not dialogue, and even not compromise; that's a false charitable act the Pope uses as an instrument to preserve a fake unity within Catholicism and attract unprepared Orthodox Christians in this trap.
Purgatorial fire may be official Latin doctrine, but I don't see why that could cause you to leave the Catholic Church. If your spiritual sensibilities were more Eastern or Oriental, you could have formally joined an Eastern or Oriental Catholic Church, where you would not be bound by "religious obedience" (as distinct from "assent of faith") to believe in Purgatorial fire or any of the other Latin particulars on the doctrine that you find objectionable. I'm sure you have other reasons for leaving the Catholic Church, but I don't see how this dogma could be one of them.

Quote
Sorry for the tone I might have used; I've got nothing against you brother... I'm only against your hierarchy in Old Rome.
No problem at all, though I am left wondering why you have something against the hierarchy.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #981 on: June 05, 2009, 06:36:18 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

The Roman Catholic approach to Tradition is notoriouslyy unstable.  Beliefs which have been promulgated by Popes and the Magisterium for centuries and piously believed by the faithful may be altered virtually overnight  -if they have not had an "official" promulgation at some stage.  "Official" promulgations trimph over the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church.
I do have a good amount of respect for you as a priest, but it is hard for me to take you seriously sometimes. It's hard to have a conversation with someone who uses double standards.  When Latins complain about how things seem so undefined in the East or Orient, then we conveniently say "it's apophatic theology" or "it's mystery." But when there's evidence of any apophatism or mystery in the West, all of a sudden, it's "notoriously unstable."

So WHAT if someone in the Latin Church proposes that Purgatorial fire is not official Latin doctrine?  The proper response would be, "that's not what the Magisterium of the Latin Church says."  Unless brother Stanley123 offers a hierarchical statement opposing the Tradition of the Latin Church (as opposed to merely stating, "I read somewhere..." which is what he said) then, what appears to be mere opinion from lay persons or even theologians doesn't mean there's anything "notoriously unstable" about what the Latin Church traditionally teaches.  You or I might disagree with some of the things the Latins teach, but "notoriously unstable" is not a description that I would assign to the Latin Church herself.  If you want to be consistent and honest, you should assign "notoriously unstable" to us Easterns and Orientals who have less dogma than the Latins do.

Humbly,
Marduk
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« Reply #982 on: June 05, 2009, 06:55:56 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

The Roman Catholic approach to Tradition is notoriouslyy unstable.  Beliefs which have been promulgated by Popes and the Magisterium for centuries and piously believed by the faithful may be altered virtually overnight  -if they have not had an "official" promulgation at some stage.  "Official" promulgations trimph over the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church.
I do have a good amount of respect for you as a priest, but it is hard for me to take you seriously sometimes. It's hard to have a conversation with someone who uses double standards.  When Latins complain about how things seem so undefined in the East or Orient, then we conveniently say "it's apophatic theology" or "it's mystery." But when there's evidence of any apophatism or mystery in the West, all of a sudden, it's "notoriously unstable."

So WHAT if someone in the Latin Church proposes that Purgatorial fire is not official Latin doctrine?  The proper response would be, "that's not what the Magisterium of the Latin Church says."  Unless brother Stanley123 offers a hierarchical statement opposing the Tradition of the Latin Church (as opposed to merely stating, "I read somewhere..." which is what he said) then, what appears to be mere opinion from lay persons or even theologians doesn't mean there's anything "notoriously unstable" about what the Latin Church traditionally teaches.  You or I might disagree with some of the things the Latins teach, but "notoriously unstable" is not a description that I would assign to the Latin Church herself.  If you want to be consistent and honest, you should assign "notoriously unstable" to us Easterns and Orientals who have less dogma than the Latins do.

Humbly,
Marduk


Each system must operate and be assessed on its own standards and methods.  You are muddling the two.
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« Reply #983 on: June 05, 2009, 07:30:04 AM »

Dear Marduk,
I'm happy you've come back to this topic... I was wondering why you disappeared from the scene...
First of all, I need to explain you two things on my choice to leave Roman Catholicism. First, there are no Eastern Catholic communities in Italy. And anyway, I was born a Latin... I don't think changing jurisdiction would have changed anything of my personal opinions on Catholic doctrine.
Secondly, I always, since my childhood, refused Papal Infallibility. This is the main obstacle when faith is concerned... I can't believe the doctrines of ONE MAN when no consent has been reached in the past on a doctrine. Immaculate Conception is an example of this... st. Thomas Aquinas and others vehemently opposed this doctrine, yet the Pope affirming it just stopped the mouths of those who sensed it as foreign to Christianism.
On the problem of "cleansing" I understand it as a process of "tempering the virtues and burning the sins" of an individual. I personally don't think there's any instrument to perform such a cleansing but hellfire itself. I find myself unable to understand what you mean by "chastisement". I'm Italian and - while I can write in a good English - I don't get the difference between punishment and chastisement. If you can explain, maybe I can answer your question.
On the problem of "prayers for the dead": as I said, and I repeat, I believe prayers affect directly the souls, and that no other agent of cleansing exists in the afterlife. God's grace works by the prayers of the living to free their friends in the netherworld, who are technically condemned. It is more or less as if sinners were cast in a prison for eternity, but the living paid through prayers so that the soul could get out of prison (I know this is possible for some crimes in the USA, so maybe you can understand the metaphor).

Waiting for your answer....

In Christ,  your brother Alex
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"Also in the Catholic Church itself we take great care that we hold that which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and properly Catholic" (St. Vincent of Lérins, "The Commonitory")
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« Reply #984 on: June 05, 2009, 07:38:12 AM »

Dear brother LBK

The Orthodox Church's deposit of the consensus patrum is found within its liturgical deposit. The post I have reproduced above should be self-explanatory from the Orthodox perspective. What does the liturgical deposit of your church say? In other words, if the RCC holds that its liturgical deposit reflects and proclaims the consensus patrum of the Roman Catholic church, what do the funeral and requiem services say about the fate of the soul(s) of the departed?

I found this from Eucharistic Prayer #1:

Remember, Lord, those who have died and have gone befor eus marked with the sign of faith, especially those for whom we now pray. May these, and all who sleep in Christ, find in your presence light, happiness, and peace.  Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Eucharistic Prayer #2:
Remember our brothers and sisters who have gone to their rest in the hope of rising again; bring them and all the departed inot the light of your presence. Have mercy on us all; make us worthy to share eternal life with Mary, the Virgin Mother of God...

It seems the prayers of the Latin Church do not assert "light, happiness, and peace," for those faithful departed, but rather pray that they have this "light, happiness, and peace." So the Liturgy of the Latin Church does not seem to rule out the possibility of a state of holy cleansing.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #985 on: June 05, 2009, 07:45:01 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

Dearest Father Ambrose,

The Roman Catholic approach to Tradition is notoriouslyy unstable.  Beliefs which have been promulgated by Popes and the Magisterium for centuries and piously believed by the faithful may be altered virtually overnight  -if they have not had an "official" promulgation at some stage.  "Official" promulgations trimph over the traditional beliefs of the Catholic Church.
I do have a good amount of respect for you as a priest, but it is hard for me to take you seriously sometimes. It's hard to have a conversation with someone who uses double standards.  When Latins complain about how things seem so undefined in the East or Orient, then we conveniently say "it's apophatic theology" or "it's mystery." But when there's evidence of any apophatism or mystery in the West, all of a sudden, it's "notoriously unstable."

So WHAT if someone in the Latin Church proposes that Purgatorial fire is not official Latin doctrine?  The proper response would be, "that's not what the Magisterium of the Latin Church says."  Unless brother Stanley123 offers a hierarchical statement opposing the Tradition of the Latin Church (as opposed to merely stating, "I read somewhere..." which is what he said) then, what appears to be mere opinion from lay persons or even theologians doesn't mean there's anything "notoriously unstable" about what the Latin Church traditionally teaches.  You or I might disagree with some of the things the Latins teach, but "notoriously unstable" is not a description that I would assign to the Latin Church herself.  If you want to be consistent and honest, you should assign "notoriously unstable" to us Easterns and Orientals who have less dogma than the Latins do.

Each system must operate and be assessed on its own standards and methods.  You are muddling the two.
As stated, brother Stanley123 did not claim that he found Latin hierarchal testimony to contradict the teaching of Purgatorial fire in the Latin Church. He simply said, "I read somewhere..."  So I do not see how you can claim "notoriously unstable."  In any case, as you might know, Mark of Ephesus lied when he preached to the populace that Florence was enforcing the doctrine of Purgatorial fire on the Easterns.  The Florence decree does not even mention Purgatorial fire.  So it might very well be true that there has been no definite Latin - much less generally Catholic - teaching on Purgatorial fire. It is certainly not mentioned in the dogmatic decrees of Trent on Purgatory either.

Humbly,
Marduk
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« Reply #986 on: June 05, 2009, 08:10:47 AM »

So I do not see how you can claim "notoriously unstable." 

Well, I do so claim.

Teachings which have been taught and believed for centuries as part of the sacred Tradition may be annulled and superseded by subsequent teachings and definitions.

The amazingly superficial way in whuich the traditional teaching of purgatory as a place and a state was changed by Pope John Paul in a couple of lunchtime homilies is a case in point.   In a few minutes while people are munching on their sandwiches the Pope does away with the traditional teaching.  The Catholic world applauds this.

But it was merely an opinion of Pope John Paul.  There was no official papal proclamation, no Council, no consultation with the Magisterium.  There is no reason why the next generation of Catholics cannot revert to the older teaching.   You see how unstable the system is?


For a post about the confusing reductionism and reconstruction which is at work in contemporary Catholicism please see this message

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg306110.html#msg306110
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« Reply #987 on: June 05, 2009, 08:14:24 AM »

Mark of Ephesus lied

Oh brother. Now I've heard everything.
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« Reply #988 on: June 05, 2009, 08:15:06 AM »

There is no reason why the next generation of Catholics cannot revert to the older teaching.   You see how unstable the system is?

Exactly!
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Mardukm
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« Reply #989 on: June 05, 2009, 08:24:24 AM »

Dear Marduk,
I'm happy you've come back to this topic... I was wondering why you disappeared from the scene...
First of all, I need to explain you two things on my choice to leave Roman Catholicism. First, there are no Eastern Catholic communities in Italy. And anyway, I was born a Latin... I don't think changing jurisdiction would have changed anything of my personal opinions on Catholic doctrine.
Well, I can see if you have something against Catholic dogma.  I just didn't understand why you would leave for disagreeing with particularly Latin doctrines (which are not shared by Eastern or Oriental Catholics).  Thanks for explaining.

Quote
Secondly, I always, since my childhood, refused Papal Infallibility. This is the main obstacle when faith is concerned... I can't believe the doctrines of ONE MAN when no consent has been reached in the past on a doctrine. Immaculate Conception is an example of this... st. Thomas Aquinas and others vehemently opposed this doctrine, yet the Pope affirming it just stopped the mouths of those who sensed it as foreign to Christianism.
On the issue of the IC, St. Thomas Aquinas did not oppose it.  St. Thomas believed that Mary was given the Graces of Immaculateness at her spiritual conception (when her soul was created and infused into her body).  This is also exactly what the dogma of the IC teaches.  The only difference is that St. Thomas understood that spiritual conception occurred at a different, much later time than physical conception, whereas when the dogma of the IC was promulgated, the Church (particularly the Latins) had advanced in their understanding that spiritual and physical conception occurs at the same time.  

On the issue of "the doctrines of ONE MAN," the belief in the IC was a universal belief of the Catholic Church at the time of its promulgation. The Eastern Church believed in it already, as evinced by the fact that there was a Brotherhood of the Immaculate Conception among the Ukrainians since the 17th century.  So it was not the "doctrine of ONE MAN" that was dogmatized, but the belief of the entire Church.  

On the issue of "stopping the mouths of...," realize that dogmatization is often called upon NOT ONLY to affirm the traditional belief of the Church, but also to SETTLE QUESTIONS ON THE FAITH where there are stray differences of opinion.  Several early Fathers expressed belief in universalism, but this was definitely condemned (as a facet of Origenism) in two Ecumenical Councils. In any case, the medieval Latin Fathers who "opposed" the IC never opposed the teaching of the dogma of the IC in the 19th century.

Quote from:
On the problem of "cleansing" I understand it as a process of "tempering the virtues and burning the sins" of an individual. I personally don't think there's any instrument to perform such a cleansing but hellfire itself.
Hellfire?  Do you mean the chastising fires of Hades or the ETERNAL torment of hell?  I don't see a difference between the chastising fires of Hades and Purgatorial fire.  Though there is a definite difference with the ETERNAL fires of hell.

Quote from:
I find myself unable to understand what you mean by "chastisement". I'm Italian and - while I can write in a good English - I don't get the difference between punishment and chastisement. If you can explain, maybe I can answer your question.
"Chastisement" is SPECIFICALLY "cleansing/remedial punishment." (you can't divorce "cleansing/remedial" from "punishment" in the definition; they must be taken together). It's immediate end/purpose is always spiritual good.  BTW, "remedial" refers to remedies (i.e., medicinal).  Mere "Punishment," on the other hand, is a much broader term that can include notions of revenge or spite or anger, notions which are never contained in the idea of "chastisement."

Quote
On the problem of "prayers for the dead": as I said, and I repeat, I believe prayers affect directly the souls, and that no other agent of cleansing exists in the afterlife. God's grace works by the prayers of the living to free their friends in the netherworld, who are technically condemned. It is more or less as if sinners were cast in a prison for eternity, but the living paid through prayers so that the soul could get out of prison (I know this is possible for some crimes in the USA, so maybe you can understand the metaphor).
As an Oriental, I don't understand the purpose of a sinner being let out of prison if there is not a corresponding real and inherent change in the sinner in the first place.  The work of remedial punishment or chastisement is a divine work of change in the soul that needs it.

Blessings
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