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Author Topic: Greek Catholics and Purgatory  (Read 15785 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 24, 2009, 12:22:24 AM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2009, 12:45:09 AM »

*sits back with popcorn and a pop* 

I could totally answer this.  I know the usual suspects who will be on this thread like marinara on angel hair and I know the usual line they're going to give.  It's going to be a canon law referenced thread for sure and at the end you're still going to walk away scratching your head on this one. 
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009, 12:50:50 AM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?

According to this article on EWTN the Melkites do not agree with Roman Catholic doctrine on Purgatory.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/LITURGY/EASTRITE.TXT
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009, 12:56:25 AM »

One can ignore a doctrine while being required to adhere to it.  Merely ignoring a doctrine doesn't mean that's what the headquarters in Rome requires.  It's all fun and games to make up your own rules until Rome pulls that proverbial leash.
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 11:02:42 AM »

One can ignore a doctrine while being required to adhere to it.  Merely ignoring a doctrine doesn't mean that's what the headquarters in Rome requires.  It's all fun and games to make up your own rules until Rome pulls that proverbial leash.

AMEN!  Which seems to be the basis for all doctrines added by the Roman Patriarch since the creation of the Greek Catholic Church under papal authority.

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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2009, 11:09:32 AM »

Thanks for your answers! Yes, I was hoping for a concrete "yes" or "no", but am not surprised to hear it might not be forthcoming. I am specifically referring to Greek Catholics in Western Ukraine, if that helps answer the question at all. But, I imagine they probably don't have a choice but to include this doctrine in beliefs, if they are under Rome.
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2009, 02:16:48 PM »

Hi, don't know if I would qualify but I'm a Byzantine Catholic (who hasn't posted here for a while, so hi everyone!   Smiley

I definitely believe in purgatory (as did one of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis (an Anglican)).

I don't believe in the caricatures of purgatory sometimes found on the Internet (by both non-Catholics and ill-informed Catholics).  I always think of it as being sort of like the cleansing shower you are required to take before you're allowed in the public swimming pool, to get rid of all the cooties you brought with you.  Grin

Hope that helps!  Kiss
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2009, 02:25:24 PM »

like marinara on angel hair

LOL!


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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2009, 03:04:10 PM »

Hi, don't know if I would qualify but I'm a Byzantine Catholic (who hasn't posted here for a while, so hi everyone!   Smiley

I definitely believe in purgatory (as did one of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis (an Anglican)).

I don't believe in the caricatures of purgatory sometimes found on the Internet (by both non-Catholics and ill-informed Catholics).  I always think of it as being sort of like the cleansing shower you are required to take before you're allowed in the public swimming pool, to get rid of all the cooties you brought with you.  Grin

Hope that helps!  Kiss

Thanks for your response, theistgal. What is the difference between Greek Catholic and Byzantine Catholic? I always thought they were the same thing, but obviously not?
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« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2009, 03:36:53 PM »

Hi, don't know if I would qualify but I'm a Byzantine Catholic (who hasn't posted here for a while, so hi everyone!   Smiley

I definitely believe in purgatory (as did one of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis (an Anglican)).

I don't believe in the caricatures of purgatory sometimes found on the Internet (by both non-Catholics and ill-informed Catholics).  I always think of it as being sort of like the cleansing shower you are required to take before you're allowed in the public swimming pool, to get rid of all the cooties you brought with you.  Grin

Hope that helps!  Kiss

Thanks for your response, theistgal. What is the difference between Greek Catholic and Byzantine Catholic? I always thought they were the same thing, but obviously not?

Usually when we hear Greek Catholic and Byzantine Catholic online it refers to this;
Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church ---- Byzantine Catholic
However in Slovakia the sister church is referred to as Greek Catholic.
Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church--- "Greek Catholics"
In order to not confuse yourself they are the same thing, Greek Catholic and in fact you can even call a person who attends the Ruthenian churches Greek Catholic.  Hence lies in the confusion, the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church of the USA (as I believe is the full name, someone correct me if I'm wrong) has preferred to drop the "Ruthenian" from its name in order to appear less ethnic (whatever that means, probably best discussed in its own thread).  But the funny thing is back home in Slovakia the sister dioceses clearly have the title Greek Catholic in their names "Greckokatolicka." 
So there really is no difference between the term Byzantine Catholic and Greek Catholic
However the differences between the Ruthenian Byzantine (Greek Catholic) Church and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are;
different tone systems
different translation of the liturgy
Those are the two biggest differences beside ethnic differences.
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« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2009, 03:37:36 PM »

'Byzantine Catholics' refer to faithfuls of all Catholic Churches of Byzantine Liturgical Tradition (Greek, Slavic, Romanian, Georgian, Melchite) and 'Greek' only for those with Greek ethnicity?

Just thinking aloud. I don't know.
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2009, 04:00:55 PM »

'Byzantine Catholics' refer to faithfuls of all Catholic Churches of Byzantine Liturgical Tradition (Greek, Slavic, Romanian, Georgian, Melchite) and 'Greek' only for those with Greek ethnicity?

Just thinking aloud. I don't know.

No Mike, I explained what the two terms mean in English.  I was Greek Catholic before I was Eastern Orthodox which makes me familiar with the terms, customs and teachings of those churches.
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« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2009, 04:19:36 PM »

Thanks, username! That's pretty much how I thought it was, but wasn't sure. Mike, it does get terribly confusing at times!
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« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 04:55:08 PM »

According to this article on EWTN the Melkites do not agree with Roman Catholic doctrine on Purgatory.

It also says this about the schism and Constantinople's patriarch:

"The more important break between Rome and Constantinople is certainly that that came when Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453.  Since that time, the Turks have exercised the privilege of naming the patriarch, a privilege not interrupted by the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, for the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) still recognized Turkish interest in Constantinople, and the Patriarch is still typically chosen only from Turkish citizens.  It seems unlikely that the Ottoman Empire should ever have permitted a Patriarch to remain on the throne who was interested in union with Rome, for it was just such patriarchs who had brought the Crusaders to the East in the first place."

What is this about Turks naming the Patriarch?  My Ottoman history is more than lacking...
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2009, 04:57:34 PM »

'Byzantine Catholics' refer to faithfuls of all Catholic Churches of Byzantine Liturgical Tradition (Greek, Slavic, Romanian, Georgian, Melchite) and 'Greek' only for those with Greek ethnicity?

Just thinking aloud. I don't know.

No Mike, I explained what the two terms mean in English.  I was Greek Catholic before I was Eastern Orthodox which makes me familiar with the terms, customs and teachings of those churches.

I saw your post after I had posted mine. Thanks for great explanation.
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2009, 07:21:42 PM »

According to this article on EWTN the Melkites do not agree with Roman Catholic doctrine on Purgatory.

It also says this about the schism and Constantinople's patriarch:

"The more important break between Rome and Constantinople is certainly that that came when Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453.  Since that time, the Turks have exercised the privilege of naming the patriarch, a privilege not interrupted by the fall of the Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I, for the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) still recognized Turkish interest in Constantinople, and the Patriarch is still typically chosen only from Turkish citizens.  It seems unlikely that the Ottoman Empire should ever have permitted a Patriarch to remain on the throne who was interested in union with Rome, for it was just such patriarchs who had brought the Crusaders to the East in the first place."

What is this about Turks naming the Patriarch?   My Ottoman history is more than lacking...

They are referring to the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople who, according to Turkish law must -

1)  Be a Natural born Turkish citizen
2)  Be approved by the Turkish government before he can be consecreted Patriarch.


In other words, the Ecumenical Patriarch is picked by a hostile anti Christian governmernt.  The Patriarch of Antioch, while under Ottoman rule, was chosen by the EP and had to be Greek and a Hellene.  It was because of the there was a schism within the Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Melchite Greek Catholic was born.  Same thing is happening in Jerusalem. An, until the 20th century the Albanians weren't allowed to serve the Divine Liturgy in Albanian.  In fact, it was here in the U.S. that the Liturgy was served in Albanian for the first time.

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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2009, 09:12:12 PM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?

Even in the Latin Church, the traditional emphasis of Purgatory as a place of material fire and suffering of incalculable hell-like pains is giving way to an emphasis of Purgatory as process (rather than place) of purification, without specific details.  Most of the Eastern Catholics I personally know do not believe in a place called Purgatory where one suffers fiery punishment for sins.  However, I don't know about Greek Catholics or Eastern Catholics in general.  It depends, I imagine, on exposure of these Eastern Christians to the previous Latin emphasis, through Catholic schools, bi-ritual priests, Latin-trained clergy, missionaries, etc.; and also the degree to which these views have been retained over the years.       



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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2009, 10:15:13 PM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?

One way that a knowledgeable Ukrainian Catholic explained it to me is that they do believe in purgatory, and that there is no problem with this when it comes to relations with the Orthodox, since the Orthodox insist on a belief in what is essentially the same thing without defining it as such.  When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2009, 10:36:27 PM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?

One way that a knowledgeable Ukrainian Catholic explained it to me is that they do believe in purgatory, and that there is no problem with this when it comes to relations with the Orthodox, since the Orthodox insist on a belief in what is essentially the same thing without defining it as such.  When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.

Sounds pretty tricky to me...
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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2009, 11:14:07 PM »

Thanks, Deacon Lance. So basically, it is fair to say that Greek Catholics are absolutely 100% Roman Catholic in doctrine, but diiffer only, and absolutely only, in their external ritual, which is Eastern?
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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2009, 11:21:26 PM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?

One way that a knowledgeable Ukrainian Catholic explained it to me is that they do believe in purgatory, and that there is no problem with this when it comes to relations with the Orthodox, since the Orthodox insist on a belief in what is essentially the same thing without defining it as such.  When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.

How is it not true?  While not raised to the level of dogma, some Orthodox believe that prayers for the dead can gain their release from the fore-court of hell, which I find to be semantics.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/death/prayer_dead.aspx

http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/orthhtrdx/e_P09.htm
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« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2009, 11:32:49 PM »

Thanks, Deacon Lance. So basically, it is fair to say that Greek Catholics are absolutely 100% Roman Catholic in doctrine, but diiffer only, and absolutely only, in their external ritual, which is Eastern?

disclaimer: I am aware of the fact (next to) noone on this site will agree with the following:

I would say we are 100% Catholic in doctrine, and differ sometimes greatly in the expression of that doctrine from our Latin Catholic brethren.  I would also say it is impossible to pray and liturgize in a tradition and not be formed by it. 

Please note that the Catechism teaches:
1.  There is a state of final purification.
2.  Prayer for those in that state is effective.

That is all Eastern Catholics are required to believe, we are not required to accept medieval Latin add ons to the above.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2009, 11:43:06 PM »

'Byzantine Catholics' refer to faithfuls of all Catholic Churches of Byzantine Liturgical Tradition (Greek, Slavic, Romanian, Georgian, Melchite) and 'Greek' only for those with Greek ethnicity?

Just thinking aloud. I don't know.

No Mike, I explained what the two terms mean in English.  I was Greek Catholic before I was Eastern Orthodox which makes me familiar with the terms, customs and teachings of those churches.

I saw your post after I had posted mine. Thanks for great explanation.

You are welcome.
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« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 11:48:55 PM »

Do Greek Catholics believe in purgatory, or do they believe as we Orthodox believe on this?

One way that a knowledgeable Ukrainian Catholic explained it to me is that they do believe in purgatory, and that there is no problem with this when it comes to relations with the Orthodox, since the Orthodox insist on a belief in what is essentially the same thing without defining it as such.  When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.

How is it not true?  While not raised to the level of dogma, some Orthodox believe that prayers for the dead can gain their release from the fore-court of hell, which I find to be semantics.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/death/prayer_dead.aspx

http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/orthhtrdx/e_P09.htm

These are the best references available?  Do tell me the standard Orthodox teaching on life after death Dcn. Lance.  No matter how you compare it there are great differences between us when it comes to this. 
The notion of purgatory is one that you must pay debt for the sins you were already forgiven for.
In the Orthodox Church when you are forgiven, as the greek word for forgiveness also means healed, well, you are healed/forgiven and do not owe time in purgatory.  It isn't simply semantics, it is a real difference that leads to a larger rift between the teaching of the Roman Catholic Communion and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
It is in the details that we are different and what you teach and how you pray makes for great differences.  And you know I have great Greek Catholic friends, so please don't take me pointing out differences as anything against your church Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2009, 12:59:59 AM »

username!,

They were the easiest to find and post (and its late and I just got back from an icon painting class 
Smiley ) but several Orthodox authors deal with subject.  As far as standard teaching goes , I am not aware of one.  Some hold to toll-houses, some believe in release from the fore-court of hell, some don't believe in anything, and each of them is acceptable as theological opinion.

The Church does not state that Purgatory is about paying a debt.  The Catechism states: "The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned."  I don't see how purification can be equated with punishment.  I think the Catholic teaching, as cited in the Catechism,  is actually much more compatible with Orthodox theology than the Orthodox theologumen of release from the fore-court of Hell, which definately entails punishment and suffering.  I agree with you in rejecting medieval Latin errors on the subject. 

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« Reply #25 on: March 25, 2009, 01:04:23 AM »

How is it not true?

You answer your own question here: 

Quote
 While not raised to the level of dogma, some Orthodox believe that prayers for the dead can gain their release from the fore-court of hell, which I find to be semantics.

Nothing about what happens to the soul after death is dogma in Orthodoxy, unlike Catholicism.  And yes, some Orthodox believe in something akin to what you describe.


Please note that the Catechism teaches:
1.  There is a state of final purification.
2.  Prayer for those in that state is effective.

That is all Eastern Catholics are required to believe, we are not required to accept medieval Latin add ons to the above.

 All Catholics are required to believe in what you have described in the catechism, including a "purifying fire", and not just in the paraphrase you present here.   Just what is your point, Deacon Lance?
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« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2009, 01:16:42 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

You state:

Quote
When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.

When in fact some Orthodox do believe in something similar.

Quote
All Catholics are required to believe in what you have described in the catechism, including a "purifying fire", and not just in the paraphrase you present here.   Just what is your point, Deacon Lance?

That the required belief is minimal and does not include goofy medieval Latin opinions that make Puragtory into some sort of Hell Lite, which I think most Christians of any stripe would find abhorent.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #27 on: March 25, 2009, 01:29:19 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

You state:

Quote
When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.

When in fact some Orthodox do believe in something similar.

What is the point of removing my statements from their context, Deacon Lance.  Really, please.

This is what I state:

One way that a knowledgeable Ukrainian Catholic explained it to me is that they do believe in purgatory, and that there is no problem with this when it comes to relations with the Orthodox, since the Orthodox insist on a belief in what is essentially the same thing without defining it as such.  When I pointed out to him that this was not true, he did not have an answer for me.

The Orthodox "insist" on no such thing.  As you yourself have said, there is no dogma about a state of purification after death in Orthodoxy.   That is the gist of my argument.  I think this is very clear.  Equally clear (quoted here in black and white by you yourself!) is that Catholics must believe in a purifying fire, and not just any old kind of purification. 
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« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2009, 01:33:11 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

My apologies.  I missed the "insist" in his statement.  He was indeed wrong to state that.  The most that can be said is a similar, though not identical opinion, is held by some Orthodox.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2009, 01:35:54 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

My apologies.  I missed the "insist" in his statement.  He was indeed wrong to state that.  The most that can be said is a similar, though not identical opinion, is held by some Orthodox.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Ah but isn't this thread really about what the Greek Catholics believe?  Why does it always have to come back to this same argument... "this is held by some Orthodox."
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« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2009, 01:42:48 AM »

Pravoslavbob,

My apologies.  I missed the "insist" in his statement.  He was indeed wrong to state that.  The most that can be said is a similar, though not identical opinion, is held by some Orthodox.

Fr. Deacon Lance

Your very gracious apology is accepted, Deacon Lance.  Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2009, 01:49:09 AM »

Ah but isn't this thread really about what the Greek Catholics believe? 

Yes it is.  The problem is, some Orthodox like to dig up the worst Latin theological excesses and present them as the required belief of Greek Catholics.

Why does it always have to come back to this same argument... "this is held by some Orthodox."

Because its a good arguement.  How can Greek Catholics be criticized for believing in Purgatory as defined by the Catechism, when some Orthodox believe in something worse like release from the fore-court of Hell?

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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2009, 02:00:19 AM »

When in fact some Orthodox do believe in something similar.

Dear Father Deacon,

I believe that what is happening is that some Catholic doctrines have entered a state of flux since Vatican II.  We can think of Original Sin and Purgatory.  The Catechism now used is noteworthy for having moved closer to Orthodox positions.  This is something which people acknowledge and speak about.

But - this causes confusion - intergenerational confusion among Catholics, between those educated prior to Vatican II and those educated after. 

(If you don't believe me, try going to a Catholic school to give a small talk on icons and experience the pain of the children almost shouting at you:  "No, Father, we don't pray to Mary.  We don't pray to Saints" and you glance at the teacher and she smiles wryly and says that this is the way things are taught now.)

Getting back on topic - this also casues confusion in dialogue, depending if you are speaking with a pre- or post-Vatican II Catholic.

I personally think it is a great thing that some manner of doctrinal expression is being modified and finding expression closer to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #33 on: March 25, 2009, 02:25:33 AM »

Yes it is.  The problem is, some Orthodox like to dig up the worst Latin theological excesses and present them as the required belief of Greek Catholics.

Greek Catholics must believe what the Pope proclaims as divinely revealed truth.

In order to avoid the charge of "digging up the worst Latin theological excesses" from the Dark Ages, here are the august words of Pope Pius VI from the 1967 Apostolic Constitution Indulgentium Doctrina  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19670101_indulgentiarum-doctrina_en.html

"2. It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or "purifying" punishments..."

Since this is "divinely revealed truth" neither Roman Catholic nor Greek Catholic may deny it.  In fact the Pope concludes his text by saying that what he has written must stand unchallenged forever.

So the petrine teaching is:

Sins bring punishments

These punishments are inflicted by God

These punishments are performed either on earth or, after death, in purgatory.

The after-death suffering consists of fire and torments and punishments.

Papa locuta est, cause finita est.
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« Reply #34 on: March 25, 2009, 03:30:17 AM »

Ah but isn't this thread really about what the Greek Catholics believe? 

Yes it is.  The problem is, some Orthodox like to dig up the worst Latin theological excesses and present them as the required belief of Greek Catholics.

Why does it always have to come back to this same argument... "this is held by some Orthodox."

Because its a good arguement.  How can Greek Catholics be criticized for believing in Purgatory as defined by the Catechism, when some Orthodox believe in something worse like release from the fore-court of Hell?

Fr. Deacon Lance

What are you talking about?  Please do tell me what a "release from the fore-court of hell" is? 
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« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2009, 04:52:21 AM »

 How can Greek Catholics be criticized for believing in Purgatory as defined by the Catechism, when some Orthodox believe in something worse like release from the fore-court of Hell?


What are these "fore-courts"?

Was reading an article recently by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev called "Orthodox Worship as a School of Theology", and I came across the following quote:-

Bishop Hilarion: "Several years ago I came across a short article in a journal of the Coptic Church where it stated that this Church had decided to remove prayers for those held in hell from its service books, since these prayers 'contradict Orthodox teaching'. Puzzled by this article, I decided to ask a representative of the Coptic Church about the reasons for this move. Recently I had the possibility to do so, and a Coptic Metropolitan replied that the decision was made by his Synod because, according their official doctrine, no prayers can help those in hell. I told the metropolitan that in the liturgical practice of the Russian Orthodox Church and other local Orthodox Churches there are prayers for those held in hell, and that we believe in their saving power. This surprised the Metropolitan, and he promised to study this question in more detail."

Here is the original article ...

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/12/1.aspx
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« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2009, 04:49:23 PM »

Yes it is.  The problem is, some Orthodox like to dig up the worst Latin theological excesses and present them as the required belief of Greek Catholics.

Greek Catholics must believe what the Pope proclaims as divinely revealed truth.

In order to avoid the charge of "digging up the worst Latin theological excesses" from the Dark Ages, here are the august words of Pope Pius VI from the 1967 Apostolic Constitution Indulgentium Doctrina  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19670101_indulgentiarum-doctrina_en.html

"2. It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death, or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or "purifying" punishments..."

Since this is "divinely revealed truth" neither Roman Catholic nor Greek Catholic may deny it.  In fact the Pope concludes his text by saying that what he has written must stand unchallenged forever.

So the petrine teaching is:

Sins bring punishments

These punishments are inflicted by God

These punishments are performed either on earth or, after death, in purgatory.

The after-death suffering consists of fire and torments and punishments.

Papa locuta est, cause finita est.

Father,

Popes have issued only two infallible statements by themselves, the above is not one of them.  I feel comfortable in my rejection of the equating of purification and punishment/torment.  That some will judge me a bad Catholci for stating so is unfortunate but I won't waste a minute worrying about it.

The digging I was refering to were apologetic sites like orthodoxinfo, not yourself or anyone on this thread.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2009, 12:38:04 AM »

I'm not sure if that's a helpful teaching or not, but the Council of Trent apparently thought so:
Quote
"Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful" (Denzinger, "Enchiridon", 983).

Of course, the Melkites see this as simply a local Council of the Church of Rome.  They do not see it as Ecumenical and its decisions and teachings are not of universal obligation.

I suppose that answers the question posed by the title: "Greek Catholics and Purgatory." 

 
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2009, 01:49:58 AM »

I'm not sure if that's a helpful teaching or not, but the Council of Trent apparently thought so:
Quote
"Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful" (Denzinger, "Enchiridon", 983).

Of course, the Melkites see this as simply a local Council of the Church of Rome.  They do not see it as Ecumenical and its decisions and teachings are not of universal obligation.

I suppose that answers the question posed by the title: "Greek Catholics and Purgatory." 

 

As far as I know the Melkites are the only EC church which attempts to adhere (at least under their current patriarch) to an ecclesiastical model of the Church as existed in the 900 years. I am not sure Rome today would agree with their (or their patriarch's) position. It seems Rome 'allows' a lot of loose play in these relationships so long as the Pope keeps them with their communion. The rest of the EC's I think go with Rome, in the end, fully.
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« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2009, 01:44:02 AM »

The Byzantine Catholic Church is in itself a "Purgatory".  Ask ten Latin Catholics what a Byzantine Catholic is, and you'll have ten people looking at you like they have a hangover. (I should know, I used to be Byzantine Catholic)

They should all become Orthodox.
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« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2009, 02:22:30 PM »

The Byzantine Catholic Church is in itself a "Purgatory".  Ask ten Latin Catholics what a Byzantine Catholic is, and you'll have ten people looking at you like they have a hangover. (I should know, I used to be Byzantine Catholic)

They should all become Orthodox.

Well, I'm a Byzantine Catholic, involved in a thread at another forum, trying to explain to an RC why the Orthodox shouldn't necessarily all become RC!  There seem to be some pretty strong opinions on both sides.  Grin
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« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2009, 03:53:53 PM »

Please note that the Catechism teaches:
1.  There is a state of final purification.
2.  Prayer for those in that state is effective.

That is all Eastern Catholics are required to believe, we are not required to accept medieval Latin add ons to the above.
Are Western Catholics required to accept the medieval Latin add ons?  I realize this is a discussion about the beliefs of Greek Catholics, but I would find it interesting, to say the least, if there was a difference here.
Technically all Catholics are required to accept the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, this would include all Eastern and Oriental Catholics. The councils have pronounced anathemas on any who reject this doctrine.
However, very little about Purgatory has been defined in council. Basically, we know that there is purifcation after death for those who die in the State of Grace but still need some sanctification. We know that the purification is not fun (it involves some kind of suffering) and that the prayers and sacrifices of the faithful can help those in the state of purgation through this process. Because nothing more is really known about this state of purifcation, there is much freedom aloud in how Catholics are to understand it. Thus, Eastern Catholics need not use the word "Purgatory" nor even adopt a western attitude towards it. The Eastern idea of helping the dead through prayer is, for the most part, enough, as long as it admits to the ideas stated above.
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« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2009, 03:09:17 AM »

Would it be accurate to say that many Eastern Catholics agree with the doctrine of Purgatory, as officially defined, but wish that it had not been officially defined?  To take it perhaps a step further, would it be accurate to say that many Orthodox agree with the doctrine of Purgatory, as officially defined (which has been asserted by some ecumenically-minded Catholics), but wish that it had not been officially defined?
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« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2009, 03:27:37 AM »

would it be accurate to say that many Orthodox agree with the doctrine of Purgatory, as officially defined (which has been asserted by some ecumenically-minded Catholics), but wish that it had not been officially defined?

No, because purgatory is based on an heretical doctrine that Christ did not accomplish the full remission and satisfaction for sin.

According to Catholic theology the punishment God requires for sin is of two categories.

1.  An eternal punishment due to sin.  Only Christ could make satisfaction to the Father for this

2. A temporal punishment due to sin.  Individuals must make satisfaction for their own temporal punishment,
whether in this life by prayer and fasting and self-punishment, or in the next life by purgatorial sufferings.

Orthodoxy won't come near this theology, not even with a barge pole.   Grin
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« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2009, 10:03:27 AM »

Would it be accurate to say that many Eastern Catholics agree with the doctrine of Purgatory, as officially defined, but wish that it had not been officially defined? 
Well, as in all groups, Eastern Catholics are a mixed bread. Some are very faithful to the Catholic Church and her teachings. Some wished that some doctrines were left undefined (in their zeal to be "eastern"). Some actually believe that the West is in heresy. This the "orthodox in communion with Rome" crowd. To be honest, I don't understand why this last group even remains Catholic. In fact, I doubt that this last group really is Catholic.
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