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Author Topic: Indulgences, Temporal Punishment, Purgatory, etc  (Read 175353 times) Average Rating: 5
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« on: December 06, 2007, 02:05:19 PM »

What is the Orthodox understanding of the Bishops' power to Bind and Loose on Earth and in Heaven?  Huh
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« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2007, 06:58:35 PM »

Wow it must be confusing to be Catholic! So, last year or so there was no more purgatory...and now its back again...I just don't get it  Huh
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 07:12:47 PM »

Wow it must be confusing to be Catholic! So, last year or so there was no more purgatory...and now its back again...I just don't get it  Huh

I'd be very interested to know which official Catholic source claimed that there is no purgatory. 
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 07:19:43 PM »

I'd be very interested to know which official Catholic source claimed that there is no purgatory. 

There was none.
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2007, 04:08:30 AM »

Indulgences.......sigh.......
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2007, 04:08:32 PM »

Wow it must be confusing to be Catholic! So, last year or so there was no more purgatory...and now its back again...I just don't get it  Huh

No, purgatory was there last year, only limbo was tossed out. The nicest thing the pope could do would just be to grant Plenary indulgences to all the souls in purgatory and get them all out right now! I'd think that would be the first thing I would do every morning, grant everyone in purgatory a plenary indulgence so as not to seem stingy, making their families travel the world to get it.  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2007, 05:18:05 PM »

The Church gives the name "Purgatory" to this final act of purification of the elect...

CCC 1030/1031

I really don't pay attention to the term indulgence myself...

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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2007, 05:28:28 PM »

The Church gives the name "Purgatory" to this final act of purification of the elect...

CCC 1030/1031

I really don't pay attention to the term indulgence myself...



I never got the gist of indulgences either.  I dont know what indulgences have to do with salvation.  Is this not an innovation of the west?  Did not indulgences pay for most of St. Peters Cathedral in Rome?

How can a man issue something like this?  Do people believe in this?

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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2007, 06:00:05 PM »

I never got the gist of indulgences either.  I dont know what indulgences have to do with salvation.  Is this not an innovation of the west?  Did not indulgences pay for most of St. Peters Cathedral in Rome?

How can a man issue something like this?  Do people believe in this?



It all has to do with the Western idea of the "merits of the saints" and binding and loosing. Basically it's been taught in the Roman Catholic Church that there is a treasury of merits in heaven earned by the saints. The pope can therefore issue indulgences, drawing from this treasury of merit, and apply it in expiation of the time one is due to spend in purgatory( where one is being cleanesed of a "residual" stain of forgiven sins for which insufficient pennance was done, or unconfessed venial sins.) The pope issues indulgences, promising either the partial or full removal of time in purgatory. An indulgence may also be applied to the deceased. In order for one to gain an indulgenxe one must will to gain said indulgence, usually attatched to performing some sort of pious act, recieve Comunion, pray for the intentions of the pope and be free from all attatchment to even venial sin. If the last condition of freedom of attatchment to venial sin is not met, the indulgence becomes partial, and not plenary(full).

In past times indulgences were issuedreitting a number of days, often confused to mean that one was remitted a number of days in purgatory. Correctly, the mention of days was tied to the early Church where penance was done for lengthy periods of times, weeks months, etc. The person would be remitted said amount of days for which penance would have been performed for certain sins. Today indulgences no longer mention days, only whether they are plenary or partial, and are still issued by the pope, while mmost of the old ones are still valid.

Basically it's all based on Western legalism, and the idea that while sins are forgiven, atonement must be made for them, either here, or after death.
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« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2007, 06:01:00 PM »

Due to the news posted here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13800.0/topicseen.html

I was curious to here from the Catholics an explanation of the doctrine of indulgences and what historical/Biblical record that they use in teaching this.

Thank you.

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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2007, 06:02:06 PM »

I never got the gist of indulgences either.  I dont know what indulgences have to do with salvation.  Is this not an innovation of the west?  Did not indulgences pay for most of St. Peters Cathedral in Rome?

How can a man issue something like this?  Do people believe in this?



The indulgences which paid for St. peter's in Rome were supposedly issued for almsgiving, however it does seem a lot like 'buying' an indulgence, and thats basically what the practice was in reality.
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2007, 06:13:40 PM »

The modern cleaned up definition in short is that purgatory is a final cleansing before one can enter heaven (i.e nothing impure can enter).  Indulgences are ways to work on this ahead of time. 

In RC theology sin has both eternal and temporal consequences.  The eternal are forgiven through Christ's redemptive work.  The latter have to be removed through cleansing (i.e purgatory).  For instance you can be forgiven instantly but the effects of the sin remain through proclivities towards similar passions. 

A partial indulgence is some penitential act (a prayer, work of mercy etc.) that will help to partially wash away existing impurities.

A plenary indulgence is a penitential act that is done in conjunction with going to confession and then receiving communion and will entirely create a "clean slate."

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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 06:32:40 PM »

Wow it must be confusing to be Catholic! So, last year or so there was no more purgatory...and now its back again...I just don't get it  Huh

There are so many things wrong with this statement.

Last year, secular media falsely claimed that limbo, always theologoumena, was "abolished." It was never official Catholic teaching---see your "toll houses" for a parallel.

Limbo is entirely different than purgatory, which is not a theory but de fide.

There are many resources online to read about purgatory if you would like to clear up the misunderstandings you seem to have. PM me if you would like some suggestions.
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2007, 06:38:47 PM »

Indulgences.......sigh.......

Ah, sighs of yearning. Don't worry, George, all you have to do is come into communion with the Holy See and you can avail yourself of their graces.  Wink
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2007, 07:04:08 PM »

I never got the gist of indulgences either.  I dont know what indulgences have to do with salvation.  Is this not an innovation of the west?  Did not indulgences pay for most of St. Peters Cathedral in Rome?

No, they did not. The abuses of the offering of alms for indulgences did help fund the rebuilding. These abuses amounted to the sale of indulgences, a practice condemned long before the Reformation but sadly pernicious (but not common everywhere) in Luther's day.

But the efficacy of all graces (and sacraments) depends on the heart. How much efficacy do you think an indulgence bought for money might have? It would depend on the person's intention, of course---whether to give alms faithfully or to wrongheadedly (and fruitlessly) "buy" salvation. Unfortunately, the infamous Johann Tetzel, whom Luther heard preach, frequently gave that latter (heretical) impression to get more money.

Indulgences, of course, have nothing to do with salvation. Recent movies like Dogma continue to spread that falsehood. The beneficiaries of indulgences are already saved. Indulgences have to do with the purification (or purgatory, as we call it) upon death and have nothing to do with the judgment or salvation of souls.
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2007, 07:35:34 PM »

The modern cleaned up definition in short is that purgatory is a final cleansing before one can enter heaven (i.e nothing impure can enter).  Indulgences are ways to work on this ahead of time. 

In RC theology sin has both eternal and temporal consequences.  The eternal are forgiven through Christ's redemptive work.  The latter have to be removed through cleansing (i.e purgatory).  For instance you can be forgiven instantly but the effects of the sin remain through proclivities towards similar passions. 

A partial indulgence is some penitential act (a prayer, work of mercy etc.) that will help to partially wash away existing impurities.

A plenary indulgence is a penitential act that is done in conjunction with going to confession and then receiving communion and will entirely create a "clean slate."

Very concise, Nektarios. Of course, there is a lot of theology behind this.

I would add that plenary indulgences are not as easy as they look. You must be free of all attachment to sin to receive their graces (which, BTW, is exactly the sort of person who would go to heaven without needing a stop in purgatory---no attachment to sin=theosis).
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2007, 08:08:06 PM »

Thankfully Doctor Martin Luther restored part the Gospel to the Western world. I totally support his Orthodox stand against indulgences, purgatory, satisfactions, etc.
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« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2007, 10:37:28 PM »

Very concise, Nektarios. Of course, there is a lot of theology behind this.

I would add that plenary indulgences are not as easy as they look. You must be free of all attachment to sin to receive their graces (which, BTW, is exactly the sort of person who would go to heaven without needing a stop in purgatory---no attachment to sin=theosis).

So why would someone so perfected, who as you said is the type who needs no stop in purgatory wish to be granted a plenary indulgence? Or why make the conditions for revieving one so strict that those who might need it the most may likely never recieve it? Is it to inspire them to go after all the partial indulgences they can so they might actually be bothered to do good things?
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« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2007, 10:57:02 PM »

So why would someone so perfected, who as you said is the type who needs no stop in purgatory wish to be granted a plenary indulgence? Or why make the conditions for revieving one so strict that those who might need it the most may likely never recieve it? Is it to inspire them to go after all the partial indulgences they can so they might actually be bothered to do good things?

Purgatory exists for a reason. If you are attached to sin, you will still need purifying. A plenary indulgence will not be efficacious if you are attached to sins. I would clarify, though, that I was perhaps overstating things a bit. You would not need to be fully sanctified to receive a plenary indulgence---that takes a lifetime, and if you have reached that point, you probably won't remember the last time you sinned. I meant more that you are not struggling with frequent sin at the time you are receiving the indulgence. Right now, for example, I believe I would be prepared to receive a plenary indulgence, but there have been times in the past (and there may be in the future) when I wasn't. (The above is my limited understanding---I will have to ask someone more expert than me to get a more confident answer.)

As for the man who is no longer attached to sins, he was before, and the indulgence remits those temporal penalties from the past. Because his heart is free of attachment to sins, the indulgence is efficacious.

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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2007, 12:26:40 AM »

On second thought, I don't know. At least, it should be difficult to receive a plenary indulgence.

I think I will ask a knowledgeable priest I know about this.

For what it's worth, here are a couple explanations I found:

For an indulgence to be effective, a person must have a sincere intention to turn away from sin and strive toward unity with God. It is not magic. Indulgences were abused in the past when leaders of the Church sold them. This involved the sin of simony, of selling spiritual gifts. This does not mean that indulgences are not good when practiced correctly.

The freedom from all attachment to sin required for a plenary indulgence is probably the most difficult condition as even attachment to venial sin precludes the possibility of obtaining the indulgence. However, note that the condition is not freedom from all venial sin, but from attachment to sin; that is, that there is no sin which the soul is unwilling to renounce.


http://www.ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=467135&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2006&Author=&Keyword=plenary+indulgence&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=28&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=

The final condition is that you must be free from all attachment to sin, including venial sin.

Because of the extreme difficulty in meeting the final condition, plenary indulgences are rarely obtained. If you attempt to receive a plenary indulgence, but are unable to meet the last condition, a partial indulgence is received instead.


http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9411fea1sb4.asp

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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2007, 01:01:10 AM »

Ah, at last! Answers! I will still ask the priest I know, but I know of a wonderful English priest by the name of Fr. Tim Finigan who devoted a post to this topic in his blog The Hermeneutic of Continuity. Worth a full read!

http://the-hermeneutic-of-continuity.blogspot.com/2006/05/plenary-indulgences-not-impossible.html
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« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2007, 01:10:24 AM »

lubertri  i have learned many things from you about the catholic faith and made of see that we are not so different but this consequ of sin does not sit right with of and feel it is to legalistic and sin being like disease solver there problems
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« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2007, 03:59:14 AM »

So why would someone so perfected, who as you said is the type who needs no stop in purgatory wish to be granted a plenary indulgence? Or why make the conditions for revieving one so strict that those who might need it the most may likely never recieve it? Is it to inspire them to go after all the partial indulgences they can so they might actually be bothered to do good things?
I think that these indulgences and good works of ours on earth,  can be applied to some extent to lessen the punishment of those souls already in Purgatory.
For me, it seems like Purgatory is very reasonable and makes a lot of sense. Here's why for example: Suppose that an individual commits some terrible and horrific crimes, causing enormous pain and sorrow to many families, but the day before he is executed, he repents and goes to confession. Now, should that person go directly to heaven, or should he still be required to serve a certain punishment for all the harm he has done on earth.
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« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2007, 03:59:50 AM »

qq
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2007, 05:59:08 AM »

I think that these indulgences and good works of ours on earth,  can be applied to some extent to lessen the punishment of those souls already in Purgatory.
For me, it seems like Purgatory is very reasonable and makes a lot of sense. Here's why for example: Suppose that an individual commits some terrible and horrific crimes, causing enormous pain and sorrow to many families, but the day before he is executed, he repents and goes to confession. Now, should that person go directly to heaven, or should he still be required to serve a certain punishment for all the harm he has done on earth.
So, in your understanding, God forgives, but not freely so. The price of God's forgiveness is pain.
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2007, 08:33:02 AM »

I think that these indulgences and good works of ours on earth,  can be applied to some extent to lessen the punishment of those souls already in Purgatory.
Presupposing 'Purgatory' existed.
Quote
For me, it seems like Purgatory is very reasonable and makes a lot of sense. Here's why for example: Suppose that an individual commits some terrible and horrific crimes, causing enormous pain and sorrow to many families, but the day before he is executed, he repents and goes to confession. Now, should that person go directly to heaven, or should he still be required to serve a certain punishment for all the harm he has done on earth.
So, what of his confession? Was it worthless? This makes no sense.
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« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2007, 10:25:58 AM »

I think that these indulgences and good works of ours on earth,  can be applied to some extent to lessen the punishment of those souls already in Purgatory.
For me, it seems like Purgatory is very reasonable and makes a lot of sense. Here's why for example: Suppose that an individual commits some terrible and horrific crimes, causing enormous pain and sorrow to many families, but the day before he is executed, he repents and goes to confession. Now, should that person go directly to heaven, or should he still be required to serve a certain punishment for all the harm he has done on earth.

Plus the damage these sins did to him would still be extant. As CS Lewis said, he would need to wash his mouth out before entering Paradise.
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« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2007, 10:33:56 AM »

Presupposing 'Purgatory' existed.So, what of his confession? Was it worthless? This makes no sense.

No, the confession saves him.

Purgatory is about making amends, reconciling, losing all attachments. Through that, we are purified and are fit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Read Lewis's The Great Divorce for an illustration of this.

Thank God for purgatory, because in the state I am in, I fear that if I entered heaven today, I would get myself tossed out in short order!
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« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2007, 11:02:16 AM »

Why would I care to read Lewis? I need no explanation of your innovation.
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« Reply #29 on: December 08, 2007, 11:06:09 AM »

Why would I care to read Lewis? I need no explanation of your innovation.

Okay, then. But why did you ask if you wanted no explanation?
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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2007, 11:09:11 AM »

Begging the question, you are. No such 'place' exists.
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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2007, 11:20:14 AM »

Begging the question, you are. No such 'place' exists.

My Church teaches it does. You asked about it, and I tried to explain what we mean by it.

I don't think I ever described it as a "place." The doctrine does not require it be a place. The doctrine is only that a state of purification exists, that the prayers, alms and oblations of the faithful can have an effect on those in that state, and that the Catholic Church calls this state Purgatory. All else is opinion.

Forgive me, but I was under the impression this was more of a discussion than an exchange of apologetics or polemics. Of course I know you believe Purgatory doesn't exist, but that was not the point of the discussion. The discussion was concerned with what we Catholics believe about it. You don't have to agree (and I wouldn't expect you to agree, or even to understand it well, since you are not a Catholic), but bald statements like "It doesn't exist" don't exactly help the discussion, unless a rat-a-tat-tat of "Yes it does!" "No it doesn't!" "Yes it does" "No it doesn't!" is considered a discussion.

I'm off to celebrate that other RC bogeyman, the IC.  Wink God bless.
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2007, 11:22:33 AM »

Then it seems the thread is done.
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« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2007, 02:06:08 PM »

So are indulgences pretty much the Catholic way of "burning incense for the forgiveness of the departed faithfuls' sins?"
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« Reply #34 on: December 08, 2007, 02:15:31 PM »

I think that these indulgences and good works of ours on earth,  can be applied to some extent to lessen the punishment of those souls already in Purgatory.
For me, it seems like Purgatory is very reasonable and makes a lot of sense. Here's why for example: Suppose that an individual commits some terrible and horrific crimes, causing enormous pain and sorrow to many families, but the day before he is executed, he repents and goes to confession. Now, should that person go directly to heaven, or should he still be required to serve a certain punishment for all the harm he has done on earth.

For me, and from what I understand in Orthodoxy, the analogy doesn't seem to be perfect.  If Christ checks the heart that the intention is pure repentance, there is no need to serve a certain punishment (in fact, the punishment to "pay the debt" was given for those with intentions similar to that in the "unforgiving servant" in Matthew 18).  This reminds me of the irony given in Luke 7:41-42, where the master forgave two debtors, even though both had grossly unequal debts.  Imagine that murderer who was forgiven, how powerful it is when he joyfully kisses the feet of His Judge with the fragrance of his repentance!

God bless.
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« Reply #35 on: December 08, 2007, 04:09:27 PM »

If I still need to go to purgatory to atone for my already forgiven sins....that doesn't make sense. That means that Christ didn't fully save me, @ the Cross 2000 yrs ago, @ my baptism 20 years ago, until I die...Christ already came to forgive and save the whole world as long as they believed and were baptised...That means that Christ's salvation is not complete therefore not true salvation. Umm as for merits and graces for the saints, so...what? - It's piled up in heaven because St. Peter to Mother Theresa and everyone in between has acquired these graces...this seems very heretical to me, escuse me for saying, because I can't get part of this piled up grace from another person's virtuous life. I can ask a saint to pray for me and help me out that way thus giving me that type of grace...In the end it all has to do with the idea that the Pope can "free up" some of this accumulated grace in Heaven to grant to poor souls in purgatory. The whole thing is just messed up- who thought of this crazy concept!
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« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2007, 04:41:15 PM »

So, what of his confession? Was it worthless? This makes no sense.
Well, it is like this. Confession and repentance saves the person from the eternal punishment of hell. But some repentances are lesser than others. So. in many cases, justice requires a certain payback from the imperfectly repentant individual who committed these horrific crimes, before the imperfectly repentant individual is allowed to enter the eternal bliss of heaven. 
Sorry, but to my mind, this is reasonable and makes a lot of sense. Similarly, if someone has not repented of lesser sins, he will not go either to eternal damnation in hell, because the sins are too small, and eternal damnation is too big, nor will he go to heaven, because he still has unforgiven sins. He will go to Purgatory and be cleansed of these small sins before entering heaven. And why do we pray for the dead, except to lessen their possible stay in purgatory. So when we die, we go to heaven, hell or purgatory. That's what makes sense to me.
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« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2007, 05:05:28 PM »

Hence, if one does not rank sins, this then does seem odd, superfluous, and unnecessary.
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« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2007, 06:52:15 PM »

Hence, if one does not rank sins, this then does seem odd, superfluous, and unnecessary.

While the Catholic exposition of this adds a very cumbersome legalism to the concept, the same idea does exist in Orthodox ascetic literature.  The negative impact of a some minor sin done once and without much though will be much easier to recover from than a very serious and passionate sin.  i.e someone entering a monastery after committing fornication everyday for twenty years is going to require a greater spiritual transformation to reach dispassion than someone who lost his patience one time or some minor matter. 
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« Reply #39 on: December 08, 2007, 08:00:59 PM »

The whole thing is just messed up- who thought of this crazy concept!

Well Jesus, did. Do you think Jesus was nuts?

Quote
Matt. 5:26,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 – Jesus teaches us, “Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” The word “opponent” (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:Cool who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we won’t get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This “prison” is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.

Matt. 5:48 - Jesus says, "be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.

Matt. 12:32 – Jesus says, “And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next.” Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase “in the next” (from the Greek “en to mellonti”) generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.

Luke 12:47-48 - when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.

Luke 16:19-31 - in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God's graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.

1 Cor. 15:29-30 - Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the dead’s behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.

Phil. 2:10 - every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and "under the earth" which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.

2 Tim. 1:16-18 - Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him “on that day.” Paul’s use of “that day” demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.Cool. Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.

Heb. 12:14 - without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.

Heb. 12:23 - the spirits of just men who died in godliness are "made" perfect. They do not necessarily arrive perfect. They are made perfect after their death. But those in heaven are already perfect, and those in hell can no longer be made perfect. These spirits are in purgatory.

1 Peter 3:19; 4:6 - Jesus preached to the spirits in the "prison." These are the righteous souls being purified for the beatific vision.

Rev. 21:4 - God shall wipe away their tears, and there will be no mourning or pain, but only after the coming of the new heaven and the passing away of the current heaven and earth. Note the elimination of tears and pain only occurs at the end of time. But there is no morning or pain in heaven, and God will not wipe away their tears in hell. These are the souls experiencing purgatory.

Rev. 21:27 - nothing unclean shall enter heaven. The word “unclean” comes from the Greek word “koinon” which refers to a spiritual corruption. Even the propensity to sin is spiritually corrupt, or considered unclean, and must be purified before entering heaven. It is amazing how many Protestants do not want to believe in purgatory. Purgatory exists because of the mercy of God. If there were no purgatory, this would also likely mean no salvation for most people. God is merciful indeed.

Luke 23:43 – many Protestants argue that, because Jesus sent the good thief right to heaven, there can be no purgatory. There are several rebuttals. First, when Jesus uses the word "paradise,” He did not mean heaven. Paradise, from the Hebrew "sheol," meant the realm of the righteous dead. This was the place of the dead who were destined for heaven, but who were captive until the Lord's resurrection. Second, since there was no punctuation in the original manuscript, Jesus’ statement “I say to you today you will be with me in paradise” does not mean there was a comma after the first word “you.” This means Jesus could have said, “I say to you today, you will be with me in paradise” (meaning, Jesus could have emphasized with exclamation his statement was “today” or “now,” and that some time in the future the good thief would go to heaven). Third, even if the thief went straight to heaven, this does not prove there is no purgatory (those who are fully sanctified in this life – perhaps by a bloody and repentant death – could be ready for admission in to heaven).

Gen. 50:10; Num. 20:29; Deut. 34:8 - here are some examples of ritual prayer and penitent mourning for the dead for specific periods of time. The Jewish understanding of these practices was that the prayers freed the souls from their painful state of purification, and expedited their journey to God.

Baruch 3:4 - Baruch asks the Lord to hear the prayers of the dead of Israel. Prayers for the dead are unnecessary in heaven and unnecessary in hell. These dead are in purgatory.

Zech. 9:11 - God, through the blood of His covenant, will set those free from the waterless pit, a spiritual abode of suffering which the Church calls purgatory.

2 Macc. 12:43-45 - the prayers for the dead help free them from sin and help them to the reward of heaven. Those in heaven have no sin, and those in hell can no longer be freed from sin. They are in purgatory. Luther was particularly troubled with these verses because he rejected the age-old teaching of purgatory. As a result, he removed Maccabees from the canon of the Bible.

Purification After Death By Fire

Heb. 12:29 - God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).

1 Cor. 3:10-15 - works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. Paul is referring to the state of purgation called purgatory. The venial sins (bad works) that were committed are burned up after death, but the person is still brought to salvation. This state after death cannot be heaven (no one with venial sins is present) or hell (there is no forgiveness and salvation).

1 Cor. 3:15 – “if any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” The phrase for "suffer loss" in the Greek is "zemiothesetai." The root word is "zemioo" which also refers to punishment. The construction “zemiothesetai” is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew “anash” meaning “punish” or “penalty”). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).

1 Cor. 3:15 – further, Paul writes “he himself will be saved, "but only" (or “yet so”) as through fire.” “He will be saved” in the Greek is “sothesetai” (which means eternal salvation). The phrase "but only" (or “yet so”) in the Greek is "houtos" which means "in the same manner." This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.

1 Cor. 3:13 - when Paul writes about God revealing the quality of each man's work by fire and purifying him, this purification relates to his sins (not just his good works). Protestants, in attempting to disprove the reality of purgatory, argue that Paul was only writing about rewarding good works, and not punishing sins (because punishing and purifying a man from sins would be admitting that there is a purgatory).

1 Cor. 3:17 - but this verse proves that the purgation after death deals with punishing sin. That is, destroying God's temple is a bad work, which is a mortal sin, which leads to death. 1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 - purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and the state of mortal sin (v.17), all of which are judged after death.

1 Peter 1:6-7 - Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.

Jude 1:23 - the people who are saved are being snatched out of the fire. People are already saved if they are in heaven, and there is no possibility of salvation if they are in hell. These people are being led to heaven from purgatory.

Rev. 3:18-19 - Jesus refers to this fire as what refines into gold those He loves if they repent of their sins. This is in the context of after death because Jesus, speaking from heaven, awards the white garment of salvation after the purgation of fire (both after death).

Dan 12:10 - Daniel refers to this refining by saying many shall purify themselves, make themselves white and be refined.

Wis. 3:5-6 - the dead are disciplined and tested by fire to receive their heavenly reward. This is the fire of purgatory.

Sirach 2:5 - for gold is tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.

Zech. 13:8-9 - God says 2/3 shall perish, and 1/3 shall be left alive, put into the fire, and refined like silver and tested like gold. The ones that perish go to hell, and there is no need for refinement in heaven, so those being refined are in purgatory.

Mal. 3:2-3 - also refers to God's purification of the righteous at their death.



Experience teaches us that there are people who die so suddenly, they have not had the opportunity to confess their sins, but are not guilty of serious "death dealing" sin and separation from God.

The constant faith of the Church affirms the belief in purgatory.


Then we have other writings such as:

"...and that I may be transferred to the place of the just" Acts of Paul and Thecla (A.D. 160).

".... Let him who understands and believes this pray fro Abercius." Inscription of Abercius (A.D. 190).

" Then I understood that he was translated from the place of punishment." The Passion of Perpetua and Felicitias, 2:3-4 (A.D. 202).

and on and on with the likes of Tertullian, Origin, Basil, Ambrose, Jerome, Cyril, Chrysostom, Gregory and Augustine just to name a few.

The teaching Magisterium of the Church also affirms the belief in purgatory.

Council of Lyons II (1274)
We believe ... that the souls, by the purifying compensation are purged after death.
Council of Florence
Repeated the Council of Lyons II.
Council of Trent (1545-1563)
We constantly hold that purgatory exists, and that the souls of the faithful there detained are helped by the prayers of the faithful.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1031
The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned. The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of cleansing fire.
As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Section 1472
To understand this doctrine and practice of the Church, it is necessary to understand that sin has a double consequence. Grave sin deprives us of communion with God and therefore makes us incapable of eternal life, the privation of which is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. On the other hand every sin, even venial, entails an unhealthy attachment to creatures, which must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called Purgatory. This purification frees one from what is called the "temporal punishment" of sin. These two punishments must not be conceived of as a kind of vengeance inflicted by God from without, but as following from the very nature of sin. A conversion which proceeds from a fervent charity can attain the complete purification of the sinner in such a way that no punishment would remain.

So that should show you that every dogma of the Church is based in Holy Scripture.

Peace.



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« Reply #40 on: December 08, 2007, 08:17:43 PM »

The constant faith of the Church affirms the belief in purgatory.
The constant faith of the Church affirms prayers for the dead, not purgatory.
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« Reply #41 on: December 08, 2007, 08:26:59 PM »

There is nothing so charming as copy and past apologetics.  Christodoulos has found his match. 
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« Reply #42 on: December 08, 2007, 08:47:32 PM »

Post deleted (as the post to which it was directly responding seems to have "disappeared").
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« Reply #43 on: December 08, 2007, 09:18:34 PM »

The constant faith of the Church affirms prayers for the dead, not purgatory.

Good point there.

In any event I disagree. It may not have been dogmatized until the 13th century but it was believed since the first. But hey who are we to heed scripture and the fathers right? We're an age of intellecutalists who know more than they did.

Seems everytime someone splits off they do so over what they cannot accept as truth and thus end up deficient in the fullness of understanding of revelation. How sad.
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« Reply #44 on: December 08, 2007, 09:19:46 PM »

In any event I disagree. It may not have been dogmatized until the 13th century but it was believed since the first.

And your evidence for this is...?
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