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Author Topic: Indulgences... In the West.  (Read 1734 times) Average Rating: 0
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ignatius
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« on: April 21, 2008, 05:32:05 PM »

Salve!

Could someone explain to me the Roman Catholic Doctrine/Dogma? of Indulgences? Why?
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2008, 06:43:44 PM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.0.html

Though the conversation addresses various aspects, it is a good starting point.

From the CCC:

Quote
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the [Roman Catholic] Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin." The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2008, 10:54:14 PM »

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.0.html

Though the conversation addresses various aspects, it is a good starting point.

From the CCC:
Quote
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the [Roman Catholic] Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin." The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.

I suddenly feel really dirty after reading that. Lubertri, PJ is this really true? please explain in to me brothers.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 10:54:42 PM by prodromas » Logged

The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

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« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2008, 04:37:04 PM »

I suddenly feel really dirty after reading that. Lubertri, PJ is this really true? please explain in to me brothers.

I'm not sure which part of the quoted text you are asking about -- perhaps the general possibility of a sin being forgiven but the punishment for it remaining?

For what it's worth, here's what Anthony Dragani says at

http://www.east2west.org/doctrine.htm#Purgatory

Quote
Purgatory:Could you please explain the differences among Latin theology concerning the Dogma of Purgatory and that of the various Eastern Churches?

As a general rule, all Eastern Christians do not use the word "Purgatory." This includes both Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians. The word "Purgatory" is specific to the Latin tradition, and carries some specific historical baggage that makes Eastern Christians uncomfortable.

In the Medieval West, many popular theologians defined Purgatory as a specific place, where people essentially sat around and suffered. Some theologians went so far as to imply that a literal fire burns those who suffer in Purgatory. It was also popular to tally periods of time that people spent in purgatory for various offences. It is worth noting that contemporary Roman Catholic theology has (thankfully) moved beyond this approach, to a more Patristic understanding of Purgatory.

In the Catholic understanding, only two points are necessary dogma concerning "purgatory": 1) There is a place of transition/transformation for those en-route to Heaven, and 2) prayer is efficacious for the dead who are in this state.

The Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches agree with the Latin Church fully on both of these points. In practice, we routinely celebrate Divine Liturgies for the dead, and offer numerous prayers on their behalf. We would not do so if we did not agree with the above two dogmatic points.

But again, we do not use the word "Purgatory" for two reasons. First, it is a Latin word first used in the Medieval West, and we use Greek words to describe our theology. Second, the word "Purgatory" still carries specific Medieval baggage that we aren't comfortable with.

It is noteworthy that my own Byzantine Catholic Church has never been required to use the word Purgatory. Our act of reunion with Rome, "The Treaty of Brest," which was formally accepted by Pope Clement VIII, does not require us to accept the Western understanding of Purgatory.

Article V of the Treaty of Brest states "We shall not debate about purgatory..." implying that both sides can agree to disagree on the specifics of what the West calls "Purgatory."

In the East, we tend to have a much more positive view of the transition from death to Heaven. Rather than "Purgatory," we prefer to call it "the Final Theosis." This refers to the process of deification, in which the remnants of our humans nature are transformed, and we come to share in the divine life of the Trinity. Rather than seeing this as a place to "sit and suffer," the Eastern Fathers of the Church described the Final Theosis as being a journey. While this journey can entail hardships, there are also powerful glimpses of joy.

Interestingly, Mother Angelica has repeatedly expressed a very positive understanding of "Purgatory" being a joyful state, rather than a place of suffering. In some ways her description lines up well with the Eastern understanding of the Final Theosis.

Although we do not use the same words, Eastern Orthodox/Catholics and Latin Catholics do essentially believe the same thing on this important point.

Anthony has also answered related questions in his capacity at EWTN's Q&A section. Here's a portion of one answer:

Quote
Because of our different perspective on "purgatory," the concept of indulgences does not fit into Eastern Catholic theology.  This does not mean that we deny the reality of indulgences , as do Protestants, but that we simply do not actively encourage them.  The issuing of indulgences is not a part of Eastern Christian theology, and we Eastern Catholics have a serious obligation to maintain our traditional theology.  This is authoritatively taught by the Second Vatican Council:

Blessings,
Peter (a.k.a. PJ)
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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2008, 04:47:59 PM »

To add a remark of my own:

Generally speaking, Eastern Catholics all agree that the Pope of Rome is not in heresy. (If they believed he was in heresy, presumably they would break off communion with him.)

With that in mind, if you ask ECs about a difference between Latin and EC theology (e.g. concerning "purgatory") the answer will generally take one of the following forms:
1. There's no essential difference in what we believe, only in the language we use and the emphasis.
2. The Latins are wrong about such-and-such, but the error can't be called a heresy.

Anthony's answers, from what I've seen, pretty much fall under #1.

-Peter.
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2008, 05:01:11 PM »

To add a remark of my own:

Generally speaking, Eastern Catholics all agree that the Pope of Rome is not in heresy. (If they believed he was in heresy, presumably they would break off communion with him.)

With that in mind, if you ask ECs about a difference between Latin and EC theology (e.g. concerning "purgatory") the answer will generally take one of the following forms:
1. There's no essential difference in what we believe, only in the language we use and the emphasis.
2. The Latins are wrong about such-and-such, but the error can't be called a heresy.

Anthony's answers, from what I've seen, pretty much fall under #1.

-Peter.

Thanks PJ! That was very informing.
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« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2008, 10:29:17 PM »

Quote
I'm not sure which part of the quoted text you are asking about -- perhaps the general possibility of a sin being forgiven but the punishment for it remaining?

Quote
From the CCC:
Quote
"An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the [Roman Catholic] Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints."

"An indulgence is partial or plenary according as it removes either part or all of the temporal punishment due to sin." The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.

I could possibly agree with the whole thing minus this concept of the satisfactions of the Saints. So you don't believe that Christs "satisfactions" were whole and that the works of the saints actually mean something for us?
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The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
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« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2008, 10:35:53 PM »

In the East, we tend to have a much more positive view of the transition from death to Heaven. Rather than "Purgatory," we prefer to call it "the Final Theosis." This refers to the process of deification, in which the remnants of our humans nature are transformed, and we come to share in the divine life of the Trinity. Rather than seeing this as a place to "sit and suffer," the Eastern Fathers of the Church described the Final Theosis as being a journey. While this journey can entail hardships, there are also powerful glimpses of joy.

Interestingly, Mother Angelica has repeatedly expressed a very positive understanding of "Purgatory" being a joyful state, rather than a place of suffering. In some ways her description lines up well with the Eastern understanding of the Final Theosis.

It is my understanding that theosis is a never-ending process. Is "final theosis" an accurate term?
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2008, 08:57:55 AM »

I could possibly agree with the whole thing minus this concept of the satisfactions of the Saints. So you don't believe that Christs "satisfactions" were whole and that the works of the saints actually mean something for us?

Hi prodromas,

Quote
In proclaiming Christ the one mediator (cf. 1 Tm 2:5-6), the text of St Paul's Letter to Timothy excludes any other parallel mediation, but not subordinate mediation. In fact, before emphasizing the one exclusive mediation of Christ, the author urges "that supplications prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men" (2:1). Are not prayers a form of mediation? Indeed, according to St Paul, the unique mediation of Christ is meant to encourage other dependent, ministerial forms of mediation. By proclaiming the uniqueness of Christ's mediation, the Apostle intends only to exclude any autonomous or rival mediation, and not other forms compatible with the infinite value of the Saviour's work.


That's from JPII. (full text)

At the risk of appearing lazy, I'd say it's basically the same thing with the "treasury of satisfactions" (or merit) as with mediation. Namely, we can rule out "parallel satisfaction" (if you will) but not "subordinate satisfaction".

That's how I look at it.
Blessings,
Peter.
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