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Author Topic: Doctrines of the Last Things-western Catholic  (Read 3081 times) Average Rating: 5
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elijahmaria
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« on: August 18, 2010, 01:59:15 PM »

In all the recent fulmination against the putative Catholic teaching on purgation, I checked a doctrinal systematics textbook to see what there was to see about the teaching of particular judgment and I found something that I had been taught in passing, but had never really bothered to track down.

The teaching of the particular judgment: which happens directly after death and during which the eternal fate of the soul is decided is not a de fide teaching.  Not fides divina, not fides catholica.  It is a teaching that falls in the category sententia fide proxima, which means it is generally thought to be true but never defined as such and not required to be believed by the faithful...in faith or as part of the deposit of faith.

I think that has some strong reprecussions for the ancient teaching of purgation in the Church.

The clergy and religious, in the Catholic Church over the last two centuries or so, who were prone to teaching the particular judgment as though it were cast in stone were also prone to teaching the doctrine of purgatory as though God were the author of evil, by directly inflicting punishment on a soul.

Neither one are correct.

There is clearly room in Catholic teaching for middle state between earthly death and the final judgment that is of varying degrees of discomfort, just as we have the same mix of joy, elation and sorrow in this life, but not permanently set nor punitive in such a way that makes God the author of evil.

Mary
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2010, 07:30:20 PM »

Does this mean that Catholics hold the same position as the Orthodox and believe that the dead may be prayed out of hell until the Final Judgement?

This would certainly be a most welcome change to what was taught previously and it would bring Roman Catholicism closer to Orthodox understandings (I am assuming that your Greek Catholic faith is already identical to Orthodoxy in this matter?)

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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2010, 07:39:39 PM »

Maria,

Not to be a party-pooper, but what about the CCC?

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, -- or immediate and everlasting damnation.

1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.
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« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2010, 07:57:22 PM »

Maria,

Not to be a party-pooper, but what about the CCC?

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, -- or immediate and everlasting damnation.

1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.

This is not party pooping.  

Nevertheless this is not taught de fide as I mentioned.  It is not something that can be pushed aside because there is patristic and Scriptural support of this position.  It is not something I would ignore for my own part, simply because I recognize the folly of allowing myself to die in the state of grievous sin.  However that does not keep me from trusting that God will save who he wills till he judges finally and for life everlasting.  And in that spirit, I pray for the dead...those who are suffering the torments of the damned and those whose souls are being purified as well as prayers of thanksgiving for those holy souls who are in the loving presence of the Living God.

So yes.  It is something that all western Catholics need to consider the truth of but it is not something without which we are doomed to fail in the faith.

You see doctrine is not some legalistic formula for Catholics, even though many of you would insist that it is...You would insist falsely.

Doctrine is a way of identifying and explaining the truth as it has been revealed to us, and also a way of illuminating the path to holiness and sanctity.  Very few but the most apathetic Catholics look upon doctrine as some sort of burden or threat.

M.

M.
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010, 09:00:43 PM »

One of the primary patristic referents for the Catholic teaching on the nature of purgation or purgatory came out of the Oration on Holy Baptism, by St. Gregory Nazianzus.  Note in the highlighted section that he speaks of one kind of fire that is NOT of an avenging kind but of a cleansing and purifying kind.  He even mentions at the end that the fires of eternal damnation are seen by some as merciful rather than destroying.  It is in the spirit of this understanding of the cleansing fire that Christ came to send upon the earth that the nature of purgation was formed in the mind of the Church.  So the idea of purification that is a mercy is not something new in the Catholic mind at all.

Quote
XXXVI. I will remind you again about Illuminations, and that often, and will reckon them up from Holy Scripture. For I myself shall be happier for remembering them (for what is sweeter than light to those who have tasted light?) and I will dazzle you with my words. There is sprung up a light for the righteous, and its partner joyful gladness.  And, The light of the righteous is everlasting; Proverbs 13:9 and You are shining wondrously from the everlasting mountains, is said to God, I think of the Angelic powers which aid our efforts after good. And you have heard David's words; The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom then shall I fear?  And now he asks that the Light and the Truth may be sent forth for him,  now giving thanks that he has a share in it, in that the Light of God is marked upon him;  that is, that the signs of the illumination given are impressed upon him and recognized.

One light alone let us shun— that which is the offspring of the baleful fire; let us not walk in the light of our fire, Isaiah 50:11 and in the flame which we have kindled. For I know a cleansing fire which Christ came to send upon the earth, Luke 12:49 and He Himself is anagogically  called a Fire. This Fire takes away whatsoever is material and of evil habit; and this He desires to kindle with all speed, for He longs for speed in doing us good, since He gives us even coals of fire to help us.  I know also a fire which is not cleansing, but avenging; either that fire of Sodom Genesis 19:24 which He pours down on all sinners,  mingled with brimstone and storms, or that which is prepared for the Devil and his Angels Matthew 25:41 or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord, and shall burn up his enemies round about;  and one even more fearful still than these, the unquenchable fire  which is ranged with the worm that dies not but is eternal for the wicked. For all these belong to the destroying power; though some may prefer even in this place to take a more merciful view  of this fire, worthily of Him That chastises.
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« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2010, 09:26:08 PM »

One of the primary patristic referents for the Catholic teaching on the nature of purgation or purgatory came out of the Oration on Holy Baptism, by St. Gregory Nazianzus.  Note in the highlighted section that he speaks of one kind of fire that is NOT of an avenging kind but of a cleansing and purifying kind.  He even mentions at the end that the fires of eternal damnation are seen by some as merciful rather than destroying.  It is in the spirit of this understanding of the cleansing first that Christ came to send upon the earth that the nature of purgation was formed in the mind of the Church.  So the idea of purification that is a mercy is not something new in the Catholic mind at all.

Quote
XXXVI. I will remind you again about Illuminations, and that often, and will reckon them up from Holy Scripture. For I myself shall be happier for remembering them (for what is sweeter than light to those who have tasted light?) and I will dazzle you with my words. There is sprung up a light for the righteous, and its partner joyful gladness.  And, The light of the righteous is everlasting; Proverbs 13:9 and You are shining wondrously from the everlasting mountains, is said to God, I think of the Angelic powers which aid our efforts after good. And you have heard David's words; The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom then shall I fear?  And now he asks that the Light and the Truth may be sent forth for him,  now giving thanks that he has a share in it, in that the Light of God is marked upon him;  that is, that the signs of the illumination given are impressed upon him and recognized.

One light alone let us shun— that which is the offspring of the baleful fire; let us not walk in the light of our fire, Isaiah 50:11 and in the flame which we have kindled. For I know a cleansing fire which Christ came to send upon the earth, Luke 12:49 and He Himself is anagogically  called a Fire. This Fire takes away whatsoever is material and of evil habit; and this He desires to kindle with all speed, for He longs for speed in doing us good, since He gives us even coals of fire to help us.  I know also a fire which is not cleansing, but avenging; either that fire of Sodom Genesis 19:24 which He pours down on all sinners,  mingled with brimstone and storms, or that which is prepared for the Devil and his Angels Matthew 25:41 or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord, and shall burn up his enemies round about;  and one even more fearful still than these, the unquenchable fire  which is ranged with the worm that dies not but is eternal for the wicked. For all these belong to the destroying power; though some may prefer even in this place to take a more merciful view  of this fire, worthily of Him That chastises.

Saint Gregory's teaching on purification after death is intimately linked with his teaching of universal salvation (apokatastasis.)

Note that the Catholic Encyclopedia admits that various early Church Fathers taught apokatastasis, although Augustine and others challenged it.  Saint Gregory's thoughts on purification are associated with apokatastasis:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01599a.htm

"St. Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his "Oratio catechetica", ch. xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil. Such purification will be painful, as is a surgical operation, but the restoration will ultimately be complete. And, when this restoration shall have been accomplished (he eis to archaion apokatastasis ton nyn en kakia keimenon), all creation shall give thanks to God, both the souls which have had no need of purification, and those that shall have needed it…"

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« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2010, 09:33:58 PM »


Saint Gregory's teaching on purification after death is intimately linked with his teaching of universal salivation (apokatastasis.)

Note that the Catholic Encyclopedia admits that various early Church Fathers taught apokatastasis, although Augustine and others challenged it.  Saint Gregory's thoughts on purification are associated with apokatastasis:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01599a.htm

"St. Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his "Oratio catechetica", ch. xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil. Such purification will be painful, as is a surgical operation, but the restoration will ultimately be complete. And, when this restoration shall have been accomplished (he eis to archaion apokatastasis ton nyn en kakia keimenon), all creation shall give thanks to God, both the souls which have had no need of purification, and those that shall have needed it…"

In your rush to detract from the point, you've mixed up your SS. Gregories....It's easy enough to do I realize, but you should be a bit more careful when you are trying to detract from something a Catholic says about their own doctrine.  Otherwise you look....too eager.

M.
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« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2010, 09:43:16 PM »


Saint Gregory's teaching on purification after death is intimately linked with his teaching of universal salivation (apokatastasis.)

Note that the Catholic Encyclopedia admits that various early Church Fathers taught apokatastasis, although Augustine and others challenged it.  Saint Gregory's thoughts on purification are associated with apokatastasis:

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01599a.htm

"St. Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his "Oratio catechetica", ch. xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil. Such purification will be painful, as is a surgical operation, but the restoration will ultimately be complete. And, when this restoration shall have been accomplished (he eis to archaion apokatastasis ton nyn en kakia keimenon), all creation shall give thanks to God, both the souls which have had no need of purification, and those that shall have needed it…"

In your rush to detract from the point, you've mixed up your SS. Gregories....It's easy enough to do I realize, but you should be a bit more careful when you are trying to detract from something a Catholic says about their own doctrine.  Otherwise you look....too eager.

M.

I think that one should not be too hasty in claiming Saint Gregory as a "primary patristic referents for the [Roman] Catholic teaching on the nature of purgation or purgatory."  The West's primary sources for its doctrine of purgatory come from such as Saint Augustine of Hippo.  This stream of Roman Catholic teaching finds its confession in the teaching of the Pope in 1967 in  INDULGENTIARUM DOCTRINA" (Apostolic Constitution On Indulgences) which was solemnly promulgated by His Holiness, on 1st January 1967

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19670101_indulgentiarum-doctrina_en.html

1.2. 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.

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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2010, 10:06:32 PM »

Dear Elijahmaria,

I know that more people than I are interested in the question posed and your answer:

"Does this mean that Catholics hold the same position as the Orthodox and believe that the dead may be prayed out of hell until the Final Judgement?"
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2010, 10:17:27 PM »

I don't pull these things out of my hat.  The Catholic Church, when teaching the Scriptural and patristic sources for the doctrine of purgation/purgatory, specifically reference this passage from St. Gregory Nazianzus and the Oration on Holy Baptism.


[quote author=elijahmaria link=topic=29372.msg464287#msg464287 date=1282179643]
One of the primary patristic referents for the Catholic teaching on the nature of purgation or purgatory came out of the Oration on Holy Baptism, by St. Gregory Nazianzus.  Note in the highlighted section that he speaks of one kind of fire that is NOT of an avenging kind but of a cleansing and purifying kind.  He even mentions at the end that the fires of eternal damnation are seen by some as merciful rather than destroying.  It is in the spirit of this understanding of the cleansing fire that Christ came to send upon the earth that the nature of purgation was formed in the mind of the Church.  So the idea of purification that is a mercy is not something new in the Catholic mind at all.

[quote]XXXVI. I will remind you again about Illuminations, and that often, and will reckon them up from Holy Scripture. For I myself shall be happier for remembering them (for what is sweeter than light to those who have tasted light?) and I will dazzle you with my words. There is sprung up a light for the righteous, and its partner joyful gladness.  And, The light of the righteous is everlasting; Proverbs 13:9 and You are shining wondrously from the everlasting mountains, is said to God, I think of the Angelic powers which aid our efforts after good. And you have heard David's words; The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom then shall I fear?  And now he asks that the Light and the Truth may be sent forth for him,  now giving thanks that he has a share in it, in that the Light of God is marked upon him;  that is, that the signs of the illumination given are impressed upon him and recognized.

One light alone let us shun— that which is the offspring of the baleful fire; let us not walk in the light of our fire, Isaiah 50:11 and in the flame which we have kindled. For I know a cleansing fire which Christ came to send upon the earth, Luke 12:49 and He Himself is anagogically  called a Fire. This Fire takes away whatsoever is material and of evil habit; and this He desires to kindle with all speed, for He longs for speed in doing us good, since He gives us even coals of fire to help us.  I know also a fire which is not cleansing, but avenging; either that fire of Sodom Genesis 19:24 which He pours down on all sinners,  mingled with brimstone and storms, or that which is prepared for the Devil and his Angels Matthew 25:41 or that which proceeds from the face of the Lord, and shall burn up his enemies round about;  and one even more fearful still than these, the unquenchable fire  which is ranged with the worm that dies not but is eternal for the wicked. For all these belong to the destroying power; though some may prefer even in this place to take a more merciful view  of this fire, worthily of Him That chastises.[/quote]
[/quote
]
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2010, 10:25:16 PM »

I don't pull these things out of my hat.  The Catholic Church, when teaching the Scriptural and patristic sources for the doctrine of purgation/purgatory, specifically reference this passage from St. Gregory Nazianzus and the Oration on Holy Baptism.


As you know I am seen as rather uneducated in apprehending Roman Catholic teaching.   I have to say, humbly, that no magisterial document pops into my mind.  Do you have references, papal writings on purgatory which reference Saint Gregory's passage?

And, in connection with the other question which I asked,  would you say there is absolutely no de fide requirement for the Catholic faithful to believe that the dead cannot be prayed out of hell until after the final judgment?  If you answer Yes on that, you will feel the earth tremble from my happy dance!   Smiley Smiley Smiley

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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2010, 11:11:16 PM »

There are some definitions on Purgatory which are very clearly from supposedly infallible and dogmatic sources.
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2010, 03:05:06 AM »

In all the recent fulmination against the putative Catholic teaching on purgation, I checked a doctrinal systematics textbook to see what there was to see about the teaching of particular judgment...

In this fulmination against the putative teaching of the Particular judgement taught, you say, for the last two centuries by Catholic clergy and religious, you fall into a bit of a quandary and you also bring confusion to the Catholic faithful reading this forum.

If there is no Particular judgement, then by what other way is it decided at the time of death whether a soul merits hell or whether it merits heaven or whether it merits purgatory in preparation for heaven.   How does the soul know where it ought to be?



Orthodoxy of course does not have the teaching of the Particular judgement (although you will find a lot of Orthodox people mistakenly using the term in English and confusing the heck out of Roman Catholics in the process.)  The teaching of the Fathers is that a "Partial judgement" occurs at death by which the soul becomes aware of whether it will await the Resurrection of the body in a place of rest and repose or in a place of misery.   It is only with the return of Christ that a full and final judgement and reckoning will take place.
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2010, 08:13:46 AM »

In all the recent fulmination against the putative Catholic teaching on purgation, I checked a doctrinal systematics textbook to see what there was to see about the teaching of particular judgment...

In this fulmination against the putative teaching of the Particular judgement taught, you say, for the last two centuries by Catholic clergy and religious, you fall into a bit of a quandary and you also bring confusion to the Catholic faithful reading this forum.

If there is no Particular judgement, then by what other way is it decided at the time of death whether a soul merits hell or whether it merits heaven or whether it merits purgatory in preparation for heaven.   How does the soul know where it ought to be?

Orthodoxy of course does not have the teaching of the Particular judgement (although you will find a lot of Orthodox people mistakenly using the term in English and confusing the heck out of Roman Catholics in the process.)  The teaching of the Fathers is that a "Partial judgement" occurs at death by which the soul becomes aware of whether it will await the Resurrection of the body in a place of rest and repose or in a place of misery.   It is only with the return of Christ that a full and final judgement and reckoning will take place.

LOL...Apparently I only bring confusion to an Orthodox monk who is convinced he is the infallible arbiter of Catholic teaching!! 

The teaching concerning the degree of certitude to be given the irreformable nature of the particular or partial judgment, if you will, is all a part of Catholic doctrinal systematics.  In other words, it is what priests learn in seminary and other who also study with seminarians.

It has a venerable tradition in the Catholic Church.  Do you remember how Pope John Paul II referred to the long tradition of the Church when he closed debate on women as priests?  Same kind of thing.  There is no formal teaching that the particular judgment cannot be over-ruled at the final judgment.

I am surprised that you did not lean that in your long years of Catholic training.  The textbooks are older than you are.
 

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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2010, 12:15:41 PM »

In all the recent fulmination against the putative Catholic teaching on purgation, I checked a doctrinal systematics textbook....
As the Devil's Advocate, let me ask you this: who wrote this textbook, and why should I believe that what it says is more authoritative than the Catechism? angel
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2010, 01:31:02 PM »


LOL...Apparently I only bring confusion to an Orthodox monk who is convinced he is the infallible arbiter of Catholic teaching!!



The confusion, both for Roman Catholics and for those interested in Catholic doctrine, stems from your statement that there may be no Particular Judgement, that a Catholic may believe in it or not believe in it.  It is not, in your assessment, de fide.  Very little is in fact de fide in Catholicism and what appear to be core teachings to the faithful may be jettisoned by later generations.

1. Abandonment of the Particular judgement flies in the face of Catholic teaching for Lord knows how many years past.  If you want some papal references please refer to the writings of the Popes mentioned in the Catholic Encyclopedia's "Particular Judgement" which sees it as a dogma.  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08550a.htm  

2.  If you are correct and the Particular judgement may not happen at all, then in what way are the dead appraised at death of where they will spend eternity?  How does a soul know that it has achieved sanctity and is judged as worthy of heaven immediately?

How does a soul know that it is judged as damned to hell?

How does a soul know that it is not worthy of heaven but not worthy of hell either, and so it is must enter purgatory for further purging?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that "at the very moment of death" a soul is judged by Jesus Christ and knows exactly where it will spend its eternity  (CCC 1022 and 1051.) How is this eternal decision reached?

I am not asure why you have started this thread about the uncertainly of the non-existence of the Pat=rticaulr judgement in Catholic teaching unless you can explain these matters.  So far, to be honest, all you have done is mock questions asked about your OP and in making *yourswelf* the arbiter of Catholic teaching you seem to have set yourself against the traditional teaching of your Church.

Father Irish Hermit

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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2010, 05:04:04 PM »


LOL...Apparently I only bring confusion to an Orthodox monk who is convinced he is the infallible arbiter of Catholic teaching!!



The confusion, both for Roman Catholics and for those interested in Catholic doctrine, stems from your statement that there may be no Particular Judgement, that a Catholic may believe in it or not believe in it.  It is not, in your assessment, de fide.  Very little is in fact de fide in Catholicism and what appear to be core teachings to the faithful may be jettisoned by later generations.

1. Abandonment of the Particular judgement flies in the face of Catholic teaching for Lord knows how many years past.  If you want some papal references please refer to the writings of the Popes mentioned in the Catholic Encyclopedia's "Particular Judgement" which sees it as a dogma.  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08550a.htm  

2.  If you are correct and the Particular judgement may not happen at all, then in what way are the dead appraised at death of where they will spend eternity?  How does a soul know that it has achieved sanctity and is judged as worthy of heaven immediately?

How does a soul know that it is judged as damned to hell?

How does a soul know that it is not worthy of heaven but not worthy of hell either, and so it is must enter purgatory for further purging?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that "at the very moment of death" a soul is judged by Jesus Christ and knows exactly where it will spend its eternity  (CCC 1022 and 1051.) How is this eternal decision reached?

I am not asure why you have started this thread about the uncertainly of the non-existence of the Pat=rticaulr judgement in Catholic teaching unless you can explain these matters.  So far, to be honest, all you have done is mock questions asked about your OP and in making *yourswelf* the arbiter of Catholic teaching you seem to have set yourself against the traditional teaching of your Church.

Father Irish Hermit

It is not my opinion at all.  The Catholic Church does not teach, de fide, that the particular judgment is necessarily permanent.  The Church does teach that the particular judgment seems reasonable and true according to scripture and patristic tradition, so one does not want to confuse the two things.  In other words when we die, says the Church, we experience our just reward, but whether or not that experience is everlasting is not declared by the Church to be a necessary part of our beliefs.

The teaching of the particular judgment falls into a different category from the de fide category.  I gave the category title to you in Latin in one of my early notes in this thread.

Just as one must give the assent of intellect and will to all that the Church teaches, there are categories of teaching that require the assent of faith, and within those general categories are other categories that give one a more clear idea of how these teachings all fit together to form as spiritually and theologically true a picture of revelation, as is possible this side of the grave.

There is nothing at all confusing about it and it is not my system.  I did not create it nor did I attribute one category or another to any of the doctrine.  I only study it, I don't make it up.

So no matter how many times you try to attribute these things to me, you will be in error each time.

Mary

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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2010, 09:15:45 PM »

[
It is not my opinion at all.  The Catholic Church does not teach, de fide, that the particular judgment is necessarily permanent. 


The Catholic Church does not seem to actually teach very much de fide.   For example, people assume (because the conservative Catholic clergy push it on them using Humanae Vitae to stifle opposition) that the use of contraceptive methods forbidden by their Church is a mortal sin, always and under all conditions, and it will take them to hell.  But this is simply not true.  As we know, the Confessor's Vademecum allows a spouse to use contraception, whether devices or techniques, declared to be mortally sinful and even abortive, if the other spouse insists on using them.   We also know that Pope Paul VI spoke of the possibility of altering his teaching in Humanae Vitae in the future if need arose (although he was rather vague about circumstances.)

So even something such as contraception, classified as mortal sin and said to be in the same category as murder, is allowed and the prohibition is not de fide but more advisory.

As to whether the Particular judgement is permanent, the Catechism (1022 and 1051) certainly teaches that it is.  As an official catechist you ought to know that and I am greatly surprised that a catechist is able to deny teaching contained in the Catechism.  It must be confusing for those under your instruction.  It does not seem quite right to say to people, "There is no definite teaching on this matter" when in fact trhere is, in the Catechism.

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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2010, 11:03:59 PM »

[
It is not my opinion at all.  The Catholic Church does not teach, de fide, that the particular judgment is necessarily permanent. 


The Catholic Church does not seem to actually teach very much de fide.   For example, people assume (because the conservative Catholic clergy push it on them using Humanae Vitae to stifle opposition) that the use of contraceptive methods forbidden by their Church is a mortal sin, always and under all conditions, and it will take them to hell.  But this is simply not true.  As we know, the Confessor's Vademecum allows a spouse to use contraception, whether devices or techniques, declared to be mortally sinful and even abortive, if the other spouse insists on using them.   We also know that Pope Paul VI spoke of the possibility of altering his teaching in Humanae Vitae in the future if need arose (although he was rather vague about circumstances.)

So even something such as contraception, classified as mortal sin and said to be in the same category as murder, is allowed and the prohibition is not de fide but more advisory.

As to whether the Particular judgement is permanent, the Catechism (1022 and 1051) certainly teaches that it is.  As an official catechist you ought to know that and I am greatly surprised that a catechist is able to deny teaching contained in the Catechism.  It must be confusing for those under your instruction.  It does not seem quite right to say to people, "There is no definite teaching on this matter" when in fact trhere is, in the Catechism.


This following paragraph from the CCC is every bit as important as the paragraphs that you present:

1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26).

And so the Church teaches that there is a particular judgment BUT the Church is also clear that with God all things are possible, and so that is how I teach.  Once we are dead there is nothing we can do to change the state in which we have died.  But by the prayers of the Body of Christ and the mercy of the Three in One anything is possible.   I do not dice with God for my own soul, but I will appeal for the souls of others in recognition of His great mercy.

Again there is NO de fide teaching that God will not grant mercies at the last judgment.

What is confusing about that?

Mary
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2010, 11:03:59 PM »

[
It is not my opinion at all.  The Catholic Church does not teach, de fide, that the particular judgment is necessarily permanent. 


The Catholic Church does not seem to actually teach very much de fide.   For example, people assume (because the conservative Catholic clergy push it on them using Humanae Vitae to stifle opposition) that the use of contraceptive methods forbidden by their Church is a mortal sin, always and under all conditions, and it will take them to hell.  But this is simply not true.  As we know, the Confessor's Vademecum allows a spouse to use contraception, whether devices or techniques, declared to be mortally sinful and even abortive, if the other spouse insists on using them. 


I am clipping the sections that are referred to here.  The entire document is worth reading.  Pastoral economy in no way changes the moral principles of the Church, and pastoral economy must always be directed to bringing both of the individuals in a marriage into accord with the moral teaching of the Church.  Pastoral economy is by no means a "free" pass to any and every possible method of birth control.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/family/documents/rc_pc_family_doc_12021997_vademecum_en.html

13. Special difficulties are presented by cases of cooperation in the sin of a spouse who voluntarily renders the unitive act infecund. In the first place, it is necessary to distinguish cooperation in the proper sense, from violence or unjust imposition on the part of one of the spouses, which the other spouse in fact cannot resist.46, 561).] This cooperation can be licit when the three following conditions are jointly met:

   1. when the action of the cooperating spouse is not already illicit in itself;47
   2. when proportionally grave reasons exist for cooperating in the sin of the other spouse;
   3. when one is seeking to help the other spouse to desist from such conduct (patiently, with prayer, charity and dialogue; although not necessarily in that moment, nor on every single occasion).

14. Furthermore, it is necessary to carefully evaluate the question of cooperation in evil when recourse is made to means which can have an abortifacient effect.48

15. Christian couples are witnesses of God's love in the world. They must therefore be convinced, with the assistance of faith and even in spite of their experience of human weakness, that it is possible to observe the will of the Lord in conjugal life with divine grace. Frequent and persevering recourse to prayer, to the Eucharist and to the sacrament of Reconciliation, are indispensable for gaining mastery of self.49

16. Priests, in their catechesis and in their preparation of couples for marriage, are asked to maintain uniform criteria with regard to the evil of the contraceptive act, both in their teaching and in the area of the sacrament of Reconciliation, in complete fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church.

Bishops are to take particular care to be vigilant in this regard; for not infrequently the faithful are scandalized by this lack of unity, both in the area of catechesis as well as in the sacrament of Reconciliation.50
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2010, 02:09:21 AM »


Again there is NO de fide teaching that God will not grant mercies at the last judgment.

What is confusing about that?


What is confusing is the clever twist you are putting on it which is contrary to Catholic teaching.  The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is that the ETERNAL fate of a soul is decided at death at the Particular judgement and after that there can be no change.  Those sent to hell cannot cross over to heaven, neither at the last judgment not any time in-between.

You are saying that at the last judgement, or before, souls will be released from hell and taken into heaven.

I would suggest that you submit your views to a competent theologian.  I am aware that nothing I say nor any Orthodox, nor probably any Catholic on the forum, will bring you to see that your views are contrary to Catholic teaching and the constant catch cry of "But it's not de fide" won't wash.

As I say, submit your views to a theologian and get back to us.

Ask him or her:  "Would you say there is absolutely no de fide requirement for the Catholic faithful to believe that the dead cannot be prayed out of hell until after the final judgment?"  

Father Irish Hermit.
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2010, 02:30:39 PM »


Again there is NO de fide teaching that God will not grant mercies at the last judgment.

What is confusing about that?


What is confusing is the clever twist you are putting on it which is contrary to Catholic teaching.  The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is that the ETERNAL fate of a soul is decided at death at the Particular judgement and after that there can be no change.  Those sent to hell cannot cross over to heaven, neither at the last judgment not any time in-between.


Father Ambrose,

Several things. 

1. I don't need to go to any academician and ask about the clear teaching concerning the particular judgment in systematic theology texts and in the CCC.  I have provided you with the pivotal text from the Catechism which you have simply ignored as inconsequential.

2. Because I do not seek to speak for myself I write in this venue with the blessing of a spiritual father, a local confessor, and two bishops, one eastern and one western.

3. My spiritual father keeps close tabs on me here in this venue and he has asked me to point out to you that your comment above is tantamount to calling me a liar.  He wonders how you get away with such behavior as a priest and monk of the Orthodox Church.  He says you've been doing that to me for weeks and thus far I have not taught error here.

4.  He says to tell you that what I am teaching here about the particular judgment is what he has taught me, and what my confessor has taught me and what my bishops approve.  He also told me today that you just wrote to him the other day complaining to him about me,  so if you don't like this mode of communication, then he says you are free to write to him again.

Mary
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2010, 02:31:40 PM »


Again there is NO de fide teaching that God will not grant mercies at the last judgment.

What is confusing about that?


What is confusing is the clever twist you are putting on it which is contrary to Catholic teaching.  The teaching of the Roman Catholic Church is that the ETERNAL fate of a soul is decided at death at the Particular judgement and after that there can be no change.  Those sent to hell cannot cross over to heaven, neither at the last judgment not any time in-between.

There is no clever twist here, Father.  A clever twist is a purposeful attempt to deceive and I have offered the readership of this Forum nothing of the sort.  Rather than casting doubts on my personal motives in this way, please continue writing to my spiritual father when you have these kinds of assessments to make of what I post here and doubts about the rectitude of my character or truth of what I have to say.  He reads these forums daily to check what I am writing, so that I don't lapse into error, and you do know where to reach him.

Please note the FOUR TYPES OF THEOLOGICAL OPINION below.  According to Catholic systematic theology, the particular judgment is taught SENTENTIA FIDEI PROXIMA.  That does not mean that it has no precedent in Scripture and in patristic Tradition, but it is an opinion that does not command the assent of faith, as do our credal truths, for example.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/DOCTRINE/TRIGINFL.HTM

A DISCUSSION OF INFALLIBILITY
Father John Trigilio
ANY dogma is an INFALLIBLE doctrine, divinely & formally revealed by God as a necessary truth for salvation. EXTRAORDINARY Magisterium is an EX CATHEDRA pronouncement of the Roman Pontiff (Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX) or a DE FIDE statement of an Ecumenical Council (Justification by the Council of Trent). ORDINARY Magisterium is the perennial teaching of the Pope and the Bishops in union with him around the world. To capriciously say that ONLY EXTRAORDINARY MAGISTERIAL dogmas are infallible is FALSE and heretical. Lumen Gentium #25, Humani Generis #21, both solemnly teach on the supreme teaching authority of the ORDINARY MAGISTERIUM.

Some Catholics wrongly believe that ONLY "ex cathedra" Papal Statements are infallible. This would limit infallible dogma to two, the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Obviously, only 2 infallible dogmas in 2,000 years sounds very sparse. Some theologians incorrectly proliferate a notion that ONLY the Extraordinary Magisterium is infallible. Even Raymond Brown has abandoned this notion. Ergo, propositions like the one you mention, that the doctrine of the perpetual virginity of the B.V.M. is NOT infallible, are ridiculous. If in doubt, the BEST resource is Denziger's Enchiridion Symbolorum. Next, is Ludwig Ott's monumental work, "The Fundamentals of Dogma." There, one can find the theological distinctions made between divinely revealed truths (DE FIDE) and those which are only theologically certain.

DE FIDE is the highest level of theological/doctrinal truth. They are INFALLIBLE statements by their very nature, like the Holy Trinity, The Real Presence, etc.

Next, are VERITATES CATHOLICAE (catholic truths) like the existence of God which can be known through reason alone.

Finally, there are four types of THEOLOGICAL OPINIONS:

1. SENTENTIA FIDEI PROXIMA (proximate to the Faith) like the Trinity can be known only through Revelation.

2. SENTENTIA CERTA (theologically certain) like Monogenism, i.e., that the human race came from one set of parents.

3. SENTENTIA COMMUNIA (common teaching) like the Church's prohibition & proscription of artificial contraception.

4. SENTENTIA PROBABILIS (probable teaching) like the premise that the Virgin Mary died before being Assumed into Heaven.

According to Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis & Vatican II in Lumen Gentium #25, even non-infallible teachings are to receive the submission of mind and will of the faithful. While not requiring the ASSENT OF FAITH, they CANNOT be disputed nor rejected publicly and the benefit of the doubt must be given to the one possessing the fullness of teaching authority. The heterodox concept of a dual magisteria, i.e., the theologians, is not based on scriptural nor traditional grounds. Some have gone as far as to propose a triple magisteria, the body of believers. While it is true that as a whole, the body of believers is infallible in that SENSUS FIDEI is that the Church as the Mystical Body cannot be in error on matters of faith and morals, the TEACHING AUTHORITY (Magisterium) resides solely with the Roman Pontiff and the College of Bishops in union with him.
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2010, 03:28:02 PM »

"Would you say there is absolutely no de fide requirement for the Catholic faithful to believe that the dead cannot be prayed out of hell until after the final judgment?"

I am not a competent Catholic theologian, but I will offer an opinion.

First, it should not be assumed, willy nilly, that the dogmatic definitions of the 2nd century, post-schism Latin Church may be directly addressed to the authentic teachings of the Eastern Church.  The Latin definitions were formulated within a Western context and addressed Western disputes, specifically, the question whether the just are given to enjoy the Beatific Vision immediately upon death.    
  
Second, Mary Lanser appears to be correct that the Catholic teaching on the particular judgment does not yet enjoy irreformable, de fide status; but I would certainly say that it enjoys a high level of theological authority, as well evidenced by the already cited passages from the Catholic Catechism, as well as Benedict XVI's encyclical Spe Salvi:  "With death, our life-choice becomes definitive--our life stands before the judge."    

Third, what does appear to possess definitive, irreformable status within Catholic theology is the dogmatic claim that "The souls of the just which in the moment of death are free from all guilt of sin and punishment for sin, enter into Heaven" (Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 476).  In other words, they do not have to wait in some ante-chamber before they are given to enjoy the bliss and joy of the vision of God; they are given this bliss and joy immediately upon death.  

This dogmatic claim, however, must not be construed as denying in any way the ecumenical belief that the joy of the Blessed only achieves fullness at the Final Resurrection, when the souls of the just are raised into transformed bodily existence.

Fourth, as for the question whether the Catholic Church denies Fr Ambrose's opinion that the dead may be prayed out of Hell, I think it would be premature to make any definitive judgments at this time.  I suspect that the question "May the Church pray a mortal sinner out of Hell?" simply does not make sense within the Latin model of the Last Things, whereas it does seem to make sense within the Eastern model of the Last Things.  Many contemporary theologians, both Western and Eastern, are aware of the inherent difficulties in comparing what appear at first glance to be conflicting symbolic theological models.  We are, after all, talking about eschatological realities that transcend our present temporal experience.  Our language is necessarily metaphorical and analogical.  It would be naive to think of the intermediate state as an extension of historical time in which we are given fresh opportunities to repent of our sins and turn to God.  We need to be cautious about making snap judgments about these mysteries.    

Fifth, while Fr Ambrose's opinion on "praying people out of Hell" certainly enjoys the support of some Eastern theologians (Archbishop Hilarion perhaps being the most prominent), it must also be noted that Eastern opinion on this question is by no means settled.  In other threads on this forum I have cited Eastern opinions that would appear, on first reading, to contradict or at least qualify Fr Ambrose's assertions.  I am not making a polemical point but simply identifying the diversity of opinion within Orthodoxy itself on the topic being discussed.  Neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy is as monolithic and uniform as internet apologists like to present them.    

Finally, as Mary rightly points out, Catholic teaching on the particular judgment must be understood within the hope of the Church that all will be saved.  In the words of the Catechism: "The Church prays that no one should be lost."  Many prayers from both the Eastern and Western liturgical tradition express this hope.  The truth of these prayers are not denied, and cannot be denied, by the medieval dogmatic definitions being discussed in this thread.  Dogmatic definitions do not stand on their own; they must be interpreted within the whole of the Faith.  

Here it is appropriate to recall the Christmas play written by St Therese of Lisieux, an acknowledged Doctor of the Latin Church.  The angels gather around the crib, and the Angel of the Last Judgment reminds all of the wrath of God to be revealed at the Great Assize.  In response the Angel of the Holy Face requests of the child mercy for all sinners, to which Christ replies, "I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness."  The Angel of the Last Judgment objects:  "Do you forget, Jesus, that the sinner must be punished; do you forget, in your exceeding love, that the number of the godless is endless? At the time of judgment, I want to punish the crimes, to destroy all the ungrateful; my sword is ready, well will I know how to avenge you!"  Christ rebukes the angel with these words:  "Beautiful angel, lower your sword. It is not for you to judge the nature that I desired to set in being and to redeem. I myself am the Judge of the world, and my name is Jesus."

The final word is the eschatological word of mercy.  The final word is the incarnate and crucified Jesus.  I trust that on this truth both Western and Eastern Christian may heartily agree.      
 
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2010, 07:23:12 PM »

/\ /\
I believe I am coming to agree with Father Giryus that the mysteries of the Roman Catholic mind (and Mary argues very much like a Roman Catholic from post Vatican II positions and not like a traditional "Orthodox in communion with Rome") are inscrutable to outsiders.  It was the reason he has more or less stopped interacting in Catholic-Orthodox discussions.

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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2010, 07:33:17 PM »


 Here it is appropriate to recall the Christmas play written by St Therese of Lisieux, an acknowledged Doctor of the Latin Church.  The angels gather around the crib, and the Angel of the Last Judgment reminds all of the wrath of God to be revealed at the Great Assize.  In response the Angel of the Holy Face requests of the child mercy for all sinners, to which Christ replies, "I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness."


Glory be!    A Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church of very recent years teaching Apokatastasis (Universal Salvation.)

Why is this teaching hidden from the Catholic faithful? 
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2010, 08:02:37 PM »


Finally, as Mary rightly points out, Catholic teaching on the particular judgment must be understood within the hope of the Church that all will be saved.  In the words of the Catechism: "The Church prays that no one should be lost."  Many prayers from both the Eastern and Western liturgical tradition express this hope.  The truth of these prayers are not denied, and cannot be denied, by the medieval dogmatic definitions being discussed in this thread.  Dogmatic definitions do not stand on their own; they must be interpreted within the whole of the Faith. 



Why is this hidden from the Roman Catholic faithful?    Why does the Catechism of the Catholic Church deny what you say is the undeniable truth. CCC1022 and 1051.  Why does it deceive the faithful by proclaiming that at the moment of death the ETERNAL fate of a person is fixed and cannot be changed?    Why has Pope John Paul II deceived the faithful?  He examined and approved every sentence in the Catechism.

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, -- or immediate and everlasting damnation.

1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.
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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2010, 08:42:24 PM »

LOL,Irish Hermit: I too have noticed sweet little St. Therese's somewhat universalist tendencies being overlooked by her traditionalist RC admirers.  Elsewhere in her charming autobiography she compares the presumably unsaved (in pre-VII theology) "savages" of the world to wildflowers in Christ's heavenly garden. I think a lot of people (Catholics as well as non) underestimate her simple wisdom.
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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2010, 10:45:10 PM »

"Would you say there is absolutely no de fide requirement for the Catholic faithful to believe that the dead cannot be prayed out of hell until after the final judgment?"


  

Third, what does appear to possess definitive, irreformable status within Catholic theology is the dogmatic claim that "The souls of the just which in the moment of death are free from all guilt of sin and punishment for sin, enter into Heaven" (Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 476).  In other words, they do not have to wait in some ante-chamber before they are given to enjoy the bliss and joy of the vision of God; they are given this bliss and joy immediately upon death.  

This dogmatic claim, however, must not be construed as denying in any way the ecumenical belief that the joy of the Blessed only achieves fullness at the Final Resurrection, when the souls of the just are raised into transformed bodily existence.

Fourth, as for the question whether the Catholic Church denies Fr Ambrose's opinion that the dead may be prayed out of Hell, I think it would be premature to make any definitive judgments at this time.  I suspect that the question "May the Church pray a mortal sinner out of Hell?" simply does not make sense within the Latin model of the Last Things, whereas it does seem to make sense within the Eastern model of the Last Things.  Many contemporary theologians, both Western and Eastern, are aware of the inherent difficulties in comparing what appear at first glance to be conflicting symbolic theological models.  We are, after all, talking about eschatological realities that transcend our present temporal experience.  Our language is necessarily metaphorical and analogical.  It would be naive to think of the intermediate state as an extension of historical time in which we are given fresh opportunities to repent of our sins and turn to God.  We need to be cautious about making snap judgments about these mysteries.    

Fifth, while Fr Ambrose's opinion on "praying people out of Hell" certainly enjoys the support of some Eastern theologians (Archbishop Hilarion perhaps being the most prominent), it must also be noted that Eastern opinion on this question is by no means settled.  In other threads on this forum I have cited Eastern opinions that would appear, on first reading, to contradict or at least qualify Fr Ambrose's assertions.  I am not making a polemical point but simply identifying the diversity of opinion within Orthodoxy itself on the topic being discussed.  Neither Catholicism nor Orthodoxy is as monolithic and uniform as internet apologists like to present them.    

Finally, as Mary rightly points out, Catholic teaching on the particular judgment must be understood within the hope of the Church that all will be saved.  In the words of the Catechism: "The Church prays that no one should be lost."  Many prayers from both the Eastern and Western liturgical tradition express this hope.  The truth of these prayers are not denied, and cannot be denied, by the medieval dogmatic definitions being discussed in this thread.  Dogmatic definitions do not stand on their own; they must be interpreted within the whole of the Faith.  

Here it is appropriate to recall the Christmas play written by St Therese of Lisieux, an acknowledged Doctor of the Latin Church.  The angels gather around the crib, and the Angel of the Last Judgment reminds all of the wrath of God to be revealed at the Great Assize.  In response the Angel of the Holy Face requests of the child mercy for all sinners, to which Christ replies, "I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness."  The Angel of the Last Judgment objects:  "Do you forget, Jesus, that the sinner must be punished; do you forget, in your exceeding love, that the number of the godless is endless? At the time of judgment, I want to punish the crimes, to destroy all the ungrateful; my sword is ready, well will I know how to avenge you!"  Christ rebukes the angel with these words:  "Beautiful angel, lower your sword. It is not for you to judge the nature that I desired to set in being and to redeem. I myself am the Judge of the world, and my name is Jesus."

The final word is the eschatological word of mercy.  The final word is the incarnate and crucified Jesus.  I trust that on this truth both Western and Eastern Christian may heartily agree.      
 

Dear Father Al,

1.  Thank you very much for pointing out that the Catholic Church does definitively teach that the just man enters immediately into the presence of God upon their death!  I think that speaks volumes against the stereotype that the west fails to focus on God's mercy and love.

2. Thank you for noting that regardless of what the Latin/Roman rite faithful are encouraged to emphasize in their prayers for the dead, there is plenty of room for eastern Catholics to maintain their tradition for praying for all souls including any souls that might be in hell, and still remain fully in the Catholic tradition.

3. Thank you especially for using this example of the Discalced Carmelite saint and Doctor of the Church to illustrate again the fact that in the final analysis the Church and all souls within the Body, all the powers, principalities and angels eventually come to know that Jesus Christ is Lord!...and His Caritas is all for all.

thank you

Mary
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2010, 10:45:10 PM »

/\ /\
I believe I am coming to agree with Father Giryus that the mysteries of the Roman Catholic mind (and Mary argues very much like a Roman Catholic from post Vatican II positions and not like a traditional "Orthodox in communion with Rome") are inscrutable to outsiders.  It was the reason he has more or less stopped interacting in Catholic-Orthodox discussions.

Father Irish Hermit


Apparently Father there is more than one way of expressing the Truth in the Catholic Church.  When you misrepresent the Latin/Roman position, it stands to reason, that I am not going to argue the reality of the western position by employing eastern positions and expressions.

I often have to explain myself from an eastern Catholic position, but you rarely, if ever, will younget to see that...unless there is a resumption of communion in our lifetime and then you may possibly meet a side of me you've rarely if ever seen.  I expect you'd do pretty much the same thing to me then as you do now.  It is a shame that it has to be this way.

M.

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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2010, 10:45:10 PM »


 Here it is appropriate to recall the Christmas play written by St Therese of Lisieux, an acknowledged Doctor of the Latin Church.  The angels gather around the crib, and the Angel of the Last Judgment reminds all of the wrath of God to be revealed at the Great Assize.  In response the Angel of the Holy Face requests of the child mercy for all sinners, to which Christ replies, "I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness."


Glory be!    A Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church of very recent years teaching Apokatastasis (Universal Salvation.)

Why is this teaching hidden from the Catholic faithful? 

LOL...it isn't.  Devotion to the Little Flower is one of the most widespread in the entire western Church.  People who know ABSOLUTELY nothing about the Carmelite Order, know the Little Flower.  When her relics came to central PA the crowds were amazing.  Had I not been with the secular Carmelites and the clositered nuns, I'd never have gotten anywhere near her the weekend she was here.  The crowds flowed out of the various venues and out into the street for blocks.  As it was the Carmelites had time with her privately, or I would have had to ask her blessing from a very great distance.

As I said in another thread, the Orthodox really ought to get to know more devout Catholics, rather than presuming there aren't any or that they are such a tiny minority they barely make a difference.  That is as bad a stereotype as any that the west has in opposition to the east.

M.
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« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2010, 10:45:10 PM »

Father Ambrose,

Just for the heck of it, I've been waiting to see, in all this, if you'd bother to go look at an old Latin Requiem mass.  Since liturgy is the repository of doctrine.  The lived expression of the faith...and all that.

Well...maybe others would be interested...The Latin Requiem is first and the major prayers are all listed in order with side-by-side translations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem



Finally, as Mary rightly points out, Catholic teaching on the particular judgment must be understood within the hope of the Church that all will be saved.  In the words of the Catechism: "The Church prays that no one should be lost."  Many prayers from both the Eastern and Western liturgical tradition express this hope.  The truth of these prayers are not denied, and cannot be denied, by the medieval dogmatic definitions being discussed in this thread.  Dogmatic definitions do not stand on their own; they must be interpreted within the whole of the Faith. 



Why is this hidden from the Roman Catholic faithful?    Why does the Catechism of the Catholic Church deny what you say is the undeniable truth. CCC1022 and 1051.  Why does it deceive the faithful by proclaiming that at the moment of death the ETERNAL fate of a person is fixed and cannot be changed?    Why has Pope John Paul II deceived the faithful?  He examined and approved every sentence in the Catechism.

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, -- or immediate and everlasting damnation.

1051 Every man receives his eternal recompense in his immortal soul from the moment of his death in a particular judgment by Christ, the judge of the living and the dead.

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« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2010, 11:24:08 PM »

Can't this discussion be had without sarcasm verging on rancor? 

Please forgive me.

In Christ,

John
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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2010, 12:18:20 AM »

Father Ambrose,

Just for the heck of it, I've been waiting to see, in all this, if you'd bother to go look at an old Latin Requiem mass.  Since liturgy is the repository of doctrine.  The lived expression of the faith...and all that.

Well...maybe others would be interested...The Latin Requiem is first and the major prayers are all listed in order with side-by-side translations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Requiem


Offertory

        Domine Iesu Christe, Rex gloriæ,
        libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
        de pœnis inferni et de profundo lacu.
        Libera eas de ore leonis,
        ne absorbeat eas tartarus,
        ne cadant in obscurum;
        sed signifer sanctus Michæl
        repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam,
        quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini eius.

   
            Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory,
            free the souls of all the faithful departed
            from infernal punishment and the deep pit.
            Free them from the mouth of the lion;
            do not let Tartarus swallow them,
            nor let them fall into darkness;
            but may the standard-bearer Saint Michael,
            lead them into the holy light
            which you once promised to Abraham and his seed.


        Hostias et preces tibi, Domine,
        laudis offerimus;
        tu suscipe pro animabus illis,
        quarum hodie memoriam facimus.
        Fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam.
        Quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini eius.


            O Lord, we offer You
            sacrifices and prayers of praise;
            accept them on behalf of those souls
            whom we remember today.
            Let them, O Lord, pass over from death to life,
            as you once promised to Abraham and his seed.

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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2010, 01:05:45 AM »

Quote
Why is this hidden from the Roman Catholic faithful?    Why does the Catechism of the Catholic Church deny what you say is the undeniable truth. CCC1022 and 1051.  Why does it deceive the faithful by proclaiming that at the moment of death the ETERNAL fate of a person is fixed and cannot be changed?    Why has Pope John Paul II deceived the faithful?  He examined and approved every sentence in the Catechism.

Goodness gracious, how in the world did you jump from the hope for the salvation of all, as expressed in the words of St Therese, to the conclusion that this hope is contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Catechism and John Paul II?  It is quite one thing to hope and pray for the salvation of all; it is quite another thing to claim the salvation of all as an inevitable and certain end.  The former belongs to the ecumenical tradition; the latter has been condemned as heresy by the Fifth Ecumenical Council.  There is a fine but critical line here that must always be drawn and recognized.  As Maximus the Confessor (reputedly) observed, "One should pray that Apokatastasis is true, but one would be foolish to teach it as doctrine."  (I have seen this quotation cited on multiple occasions on the internet, but I have not been able to document it.  Does anyone know the source?)

The God desires and intends the salvation of every human being is one of the most important themes of the Second Vatican Council and the Catholic Catechism; and it is a theme that John Paul II vigorously proclaimed in his encyclicals, homilies, and catechetical addresses.  If you are unaware of this, then all I can do is to point you to the documents and invite you to read.

Of course, there is a difference between proclaiming the universal salvific will of the Creator and proclaiming the possibility, and therefore hope, that everyone might, in the end, be saved.  The former has been the clear and definitive teaching of the Catholic Church since its magisterial rejection of Jansenism in the 17th century, but the latter has been a minority opinion in the Latin Church since the days of St Augustine, at least until fairly recently.  One finds the universalist hope expressed in the writings of some of the mystics (Dame Julian of Norwich immediately comes to mind), but it must be admitted that Catholics have commonly believed that some, if not many, are and will be damned by their free and irrevocable choice.    

However, the same might also be said of the Eastern Church.  The universalist views of St Isaac the Syrian may be popular today among the Orthodox faithful, but is this not a 20th century phenomenon?  St Mark of Ephesus acknowledges, for example, that St Gregory of Nyssa may in fact have taught the cessation of eternal torment and the restoration of all human beings to God; but he rejects Gregory's position as heretical.  And then there is the judgment of St John Chrysostom:  "Among thousands of people there are not a hundred who will arrive at their salvation, and I am not even certain of that number, so much perversity is there among the young and so much negligence among the old."  How many pre-20th century Eastern theologians have expressly declared that in the end all will be saved?

It is not until the 20th century that we see a strong resurgence in the hope for universal salvation in both the Western and Eastern Churches.  In the West this hope has been affirmed by Catholic writers such as Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, and St. Teresia Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), as well as by Protestant writers such as Karl Barth and Robert Jenson; in the East, by Vladimir Lossky, Sergius Bulgakov, Kallistos Ware, and Hilarion Alfeyev.  I believe it is true that the hope for apocatastasis has been more warmly kept burning in the Eastern tradition than in the Western tradition; but it is anachronistic to appeal to the universalism of St Isaac the Syrian as representative of the Eastern tradition as a whole, as Archbishop Hilarion, e.g., seems to do.

Your confusion, Fr Ambrose, lies in your faulty inference that the common Catholic teaching on the particular judgment excludes universal salvation:  "Why does it deceive the faithful by proclaiming that at the moment of death the ETERNAL fate of a person is fixed and cannot be changed?"  This inference is wrong.  The Catholic Church does not know if anyone has in fact died in a state of mortal sin.  It does not know if Hell is populated.  The Church has not been given any revelation of the damnation of any particular person, not even Judas Iscariot; it has only been given revelation of the salvation of the saints.  Hence it is appropriate and right for the Church to pray and hope for the salvation of all.  For a Catholic discussion of this issue, Hans Urs von Balthasar's Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? remains essential reading.    

 
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« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2010, 02:58:18 AM »


 Here it is appropriate to recall the Christmas play written by St Therese of Lisieux, an acknowledged Doctor of the Latin Church.  The angels gather around the crib, and the Angel of the Last Judgment reminds all of the wrath of God to be revealed at the Great Assize.  In response the Angel of the Holy Face requests of the child mercy for all sinners, to which Christ replies, "I will listen to your request: every soul will find forgiveness."


Glory be!    A Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church of very recent years teaching Apokatastasis (Universal Salvation.)

Why is this teaching hidden from the Catholic faithful?  

LOL...it isn't.  Devotion to the Little Flower is one of the most widespread in the entire western Church.  People who know ABSOLUTELY nothing about the Carmelite Order, know the Little Flower.  When her relics came to central PA the crowds were amazing.  Had I not been with the secular Carmelites and the clositered nuns, I'd never have gotten anywhere near her the weekend she was here.  The crowds flowed out of the various venues and out into the street for blocks.  As it was the Carmelites had time with her privately, or I would have had to ask her blessing from a very great distance.

As I said in another thread, the Orthodox really ought to get to know more devout Catholics, rather than presuming there aren't any or that they are such a tiny minority they barely make a difference.  That is as bad a stereotype as any that the west has in opposition to the east.

M.

So why is the teaching of universal salvation hidden from the Roman Catholic faithful.  Small wonder that I am unaware of it when 99.999% of Catholics do not  know of it.

Theistgirl points out herself that the devout followers of the Little Flower overlook it.

This doctrine is, to judge from what you say, permissble Roman Catholic teaching.

Why are Catholics being deceived on this extremely important teaching of the most recent Doctor of the Catholic Church?  
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« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2010, 03:12:38 AM »


Your confusion, Fr Ambrose, lies in your faulty inference that the common Catholic teaching on the particular judgment excludes universal salvation:  "Why does it deceive the faithful by proclaiming that at the moment of death the ETERNAL fate of a person is fixed and cannot be changed?"  This inference is wrong.  The Catholic Church does not know if anyone has in fact died in a state of mortal sin.  It does not know if Hell is populated.  The Church has not been given any revelation of the damnation of any particular person, not even Judas Iscariot; it has only been given revelation of the salvation of the saints.  Hence it is appropriate and right for the Church to pray and hope for the salvation of all.  For a Catholic discussion of this issue, Hans Urs von Balthasar's Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? remains essential reading.

 

The Church professes her faith in the Athanasian Creed: "They that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire."

The Church has defined this truth many times, e.g. in the profession of faith made at the Second Council of Lyons and in the Decree of Union at the Council of Florence "the souls of those who depart in mortal sin, or only in original sin, go down immediately into hell, to be visited, however, with unequal punishments."

There is not the slightest mention in these statements nor in any other statement from the Roman Catholic Church over its entire existence that no soul dies in a state of mortal sin.

By presenting the facts in the manner which you have you have unwittingly distorted the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and her divines through the many centuries of her existence, IMHO.
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« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2010, 05:24:00 AM »


Just for the heck of it, I've been waiting to see, in all this, if you'd bother to go look at an old Latin Requiem mass.  Since liturgy is the repository of doctrine.  The lived expression of the faith...and all that.


Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu.

Great coincidence!   This is what I am using as my signature line on OrthodoxChristianity.net!

If you do some scratching around on NewAdvent you will find the Romans admit that in the earlier centuries this prayer was a literal pleading for souls in hell to be released.  But since then the meaning of the prayer has been changed to suit more modern RC theology, namely that release from hell is not possible.

I myself have messages in the archives of the forum on this change of interpretation of this phrase in the Roman Catholic Church.   The phrase is in fact a genuine relic of your orthodox past.
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« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2010, 05:27:39 AM »

"In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted.

" If this be true, how can the Church pray in the Offertory of the Mass for the dead: "Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu" etc.? Many think the Church uses these words to designate purgatory. They can be explained more readily, however, if we take into consideration the peculiar spirit of the Church's liturgy; sometimes she refers her prayers not to the time at which they are said, but to the time for which they are said. Thus the offertory in question is referred to the moment when the soul is about to leave the body, although it is actually said some time after that moment; and as if he were actually at the death-beds of the faithful, the priest implores God to preserve their souls from hell. But whichever explanation be preferred, this much remains certain, that in saying that offertory the Church intends to implore only those graces which the soul is still capable of receiving, namely, the grace of a happy death or the release from purgatory."

Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm
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« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2010, 11:44:00 AM »

The statements you have quoted from the Athanasian Creed and the Council of Florence do not contradict anything I have written.  It is of course true, at least according to Catholic doctrine, that if an individual decisively orients himself to sin and the Devil and dies in this state that he will find himself in Hell.  It is therefore absolutely necessary for the Church to warn her children of this dire possibility.  But this does not mean that the Church knows whether anyone has died in this state.  The Church does not know the outcome of the eschatological encounter between any individual soul and the risen Christ.  As John Paul II explains:

Quote
Can God, who has loved man so much, permit the man who rejects Him to be condemned to eternal torment?  And yet, the words of Christ are unequivocal.  In Matthew's Gospel He speaks clearly of those who will go to eternal punishment (cf. Mt 25:46).  Who will these be?  The Church has never made any pronouncement in this regard.  This is a mystery, truly inscrutable, which embraces the holiness of God and the conscience of man.  The silence of the Church is, therefore, the only appropriate position for Christian faith.  Evne when Jesus says of Judas, the traitor, "It would be better for that man if he had never been born" (Mt 26:24), His words do not allude for certain to eternal damnation. (Crossing the Threshold of Hope, pp. 185-186)

I certainly do not deny that many Christians, both Western and Eastern, have strongly believed that some (many? most?) souls have been and will be eternally damned; but this opinion is grounded, not in divine revelation, but in their experience of human iniquity and incorrigible evil.  It is a reasonable for us to conclude that wicked, seemingly unrepentant individuals, whether it be Joseph Stalin or Ma Barker, have eternally cut themselves off from the love of God and now suffer the just punishments of Hell; and indeed our hearts cry out for the just punishment of the wicked. But as reasonable as the inference may be, it is not revelation.  It may seem probable to us that specific named people are eternally lost; but God is not constrained by our probabilities. And thus the Catechism declares:  “In hope, the Church prays for ‘all men to be saved’ (1 Timothy 2:4)” (CCC §1821) and “The Church prays that no one should be lost” (CCC §1058).  It is this hope and prayer that is the final word of the Church.          
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« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2010, 11:47:58 AM »


Your confusion, Fr Ambrose, lies in your faulty inference that the common Catholic teaching on the particular judgment excludes universal salvation:  "Why does it deceive the faithful by proclaiming that at the moment of death the ETERNAL fate of a person is fixed and cannot be changed?"  This inference is wrong.  The Catholic Church does not know if anyone has in fact died in a state of mortal sin.  It does not know if Hell is populated.  The Church has not been given any revelation of the damnation of any particular person, not even Judas Iscariot; it has only been given revelation of the salvation of the saints.  Hence it is appropriate and right for the Church to pray and hope for the salvation of all.  For a Catholic discussion of this issue, Hans Urs von Balthasar's Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? remains essential reading.

 

The Church professes her faith in the Athanasian Creed: "They that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire."

The Church has defined this truth many times, e.g. in the profession of faith made at the Second Council of Lyons and in the Decree of Union at the Council of Florence "the souls of those who depart in mortal sin, or only in original sin, go down immediately into hell, to be visited, however, with unequal punishments."

There is not the slightest mention in these statements nor in any other statement from the Roman Catholic Church over its entire existence that no soul dies in a state of mortal sin.

By presenting the facts in the manner which you have you have unwittingly distorted the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and her divines through the many centuries of her existence, IMHO.

Father,

It is an old saw, so old that I've even heard Orthodox believers use it, that the Catholic Church is the Church of both/and ...not either/or.

Your attempts to muddy these waters are in vain. 

The Catholic Church says that all who die in mortal sin face the fires of the damned, AND she also knows and believes and teaches that with God, all things are possible including the justification of any or all souls that He chooses.  These teachings have their root BOTH in Scripture AND in patristic Tradition.

The Catholic Church does not pretend to know or name ANY of those souls.

The Catholic Church does not teach the heretical position of universal salvation, which you sometimes appear to prefer in your own teachings here and in other venues.  I understand that desire at a personal level but it will never be the formal and public teaching of the Catholic Church.

Father Kimel has responded to you quite well on this issue.

Also there are many more Roman/Latin rite Catholics aware of the fullness of the Little Flower's writings than you might be aware of personally or even institutionally.  As a Carmelite-in-training, over time, I was able to witness her influence on those not associated with the order because I have had ample opportunity.

Mary
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« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2010, 11:47:59 AM »

"In itself, it is no rejection of Catholic dogma to suppose that God might at times, by way of exception, liberate a soul from hell. Thus some argued from a false interpretation of 1 Peter 3:19 sq., that Christ freed several damned souls on the occasion of His descent into hell. Others were misled by untrustworthy stories into the belief that the prayers of Gregory the Great rescued the Emperor Trajan from hell. But now theologians are unanimous in teaching that such exceptions never take place and never have taken place, a teaching which should be accepted.

" If this be true, how can the Church pray in the Offertory of the Mass for the dead: "Libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum de poenis inferni et de profundo lacu" etc.? Many think the Church uses these words to designate purgatory. They can be explained more readily, however, if we take into consideration the peculiar spirit of the Church's liturgy; sometimes she refers her prayers not to the time at which they are said, but to the time for which they are said. Thus the offertory in question is referred to the moment when the soul is about to leave the body, although it is actually said some time after that moment; and as if he were actually at the death-beds of the faithful, the priest implores God to preserve their souls from hell. But whichever explanation be preferred, this much remains certain, that in saying that offertory the Church intends to implore only those graces which the soul is still capable of receiving, namely, the grace of a happy death or the release from purgatory."

Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07207a.htm


This is historically of interest and shows that there have been, and most likely are,  those in the Church who do not care too much for the idea that God does not contradict Himself by choosing, for his own reasons, to save anyone who has damned themselves.

But the liturgy is far more ancient than Cardinal Farley and his own personal opinions, however publicly expressed, and the liturgy is clear...The CCC is clear, and the teaching of the saints, long before the Little Flower, also is clear.  All things are possible with God.

Mary
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« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2010, 01:56:44 PM »

The following citation from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross summarizes my own personal beliefs on the matter before us.  It certainly represents a legitimate Catholic position, a position shared by Pope John Paul II, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, and many others:

Quote
All-merciful love can thus descend to everyone. We believe that it does so. And now, can we assume that there are souls that remain perpetually closed to such love? As a possibility in principle, this cannot be rejected. In reality, it can become infinitely improbable--precisely through what preparatory grace is capable of effecting in the soul.  It can no no more than knock at the door, and there are souls that already open themselves to it upon hearing this unobtrusive call.  Others allow it to go unheeded.  Then it can steal its way into souls and begin to spread itself out there more and more.  The greater the area becomes that grace thus occupies in an illegitimate way, the more improbable it becomes that the soul will remain closed to it.  For now the soul already sees the world in the light of grace. ...

The more that grace wins ground from the things that had filled the soul before it, the more it repels the effects of the acts directed against it. And to this process of displacement there are, in principle, no limits. If all the impulses opposed to the spirit of light have been expelled from the soul, then any free decision against this has become infinitely improbable. Then faith in the unboundedness of divine love and grace also justifies hope for the universality of redemption, although, through the possibility of resistance to grace that remains open in principle, the possibility of eternal damnation also persists. ...

Human freedom can be neither broken nor neutralized by divine freedom, but it may well be, so to speak, outwitted. The descent of grace to the human soul is a free act of divine love.  And there are no limits to how far it may extend.

[St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, cited by Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Dare We Hope "That all Men be Saved"?, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 219-221, citing St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, World and Person, ed. by L. Gelber and Romaeus Leuven, O.C.D. (Freiburg, 1962), pp. 158ff.)]

What more needs to be said?  The Church must warn her children of the terrifying possibility of self-damnation and Hell, but she must also pray and hope for the triumph of grace in the souls of all. 
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« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2010, 06:25:59 PM »

The following citation from St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross summarizes my own personal beliefs on the matter before us.  It certainly represents a legitimate Catholic position, a position shared by Pope John Paul II, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Karl Rahner, and many others:

Quote
All-merciful love can thus descend to everyone. We believe that it does so. And now, can we assume that there are souls that remain perpetually closed to such love? As a possibility in principle, this cannot be rejected. In reality, it can become infinitely improbable--precisely through what preparatory grace is capable of effecting in the soul.  It can no no more than knock at the door, and there are souls that already open themselves to it upon hearing this unobtrusive call.  Others allow it to go unheeded.  Then it can steal its way into souls and begin to spread itself out there more and more.  The greater the area becomes that grace thus occupies in an illegitimate way, the more improbable it becomes that the soul will remain closed to it.  For now the soul already sees the world in the light of grace. ...

The more that grace wins ground from the things that had filled the soul before it, the more it repels the effects of the acts directed against it. And to this process of displacement there are, in principle, no limits. If all the impulses opposed to the spirit of light have been expelled from the soul, then any free decision against this has become infinitely improbable. Then faith in the unboundedness of divine love and grace also justifies hope for the universality of redemption, although, through the possibility of resistance to grace that remains open in principle, the possibility of eternal damnation also persists. ...

Human freedom can be neither broken nor neutralized by divine freedom, but it may well be, so to speak, outwitted. The descent of grace to the human soul is a free act of divine love.  And there are no limits to how far it may extend.

[St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, cited by Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Dare We Hope "That all Men be Saved"?, (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), p. 219-221, citing St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, World and Person, ed. by L. Gelber and Romaeus Leuven, O.C.D. (Freiburg, 1962), pp. 158ff.)]

What more needs to be said?  The Church must warn her children of the terrifying possibility of self-damnation and Hell, but she must also pray and hope for the triumph of grace in the souls of all. 

"What more needs to be said?"  Nothing!  If the Roman Catholic Church is coming to hold a position close to apokatastasis, I am absolutely delighted.  I'd like to see magisterial statements but I can wait..... this is something which must be negotiated with great caution so as not to rouse the traditionalists.

One thing I do find odd though is Elijahmaria's new enthusiasm for the idea. In the past she has ripped into me whenever I have been approving of the teaching.  She sees it as one of my hobby horses!   So it is great if she and I are now on the same horse.   laugh


Saint Augustine... witnessing to the strength of belief in apokatastasis in the early Church, but disapproving of it...

"Some, nay, very many" (nonnulli, quam plurimi), pity with human feeling,
the everlasting punishment of the damned, and do not believe that it is so."


~St Augustine. Enchiridion, chapter 112.

And Saint Maximos the Confessor......

"One should pray that Apokatastasis is true, but one would be foolish
to teach it as doctrine."


If you click on the tag at the bottom of the messages on this page "Forgiveness after Death" it will take you to other messages on this topic.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2010, 06:30:22 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2010, 08:18:09 AM »

The Catholic Church does not teach, de fide, that the particular judgment is necessarily permanent.  The purifying fire will not continue after the General Judgment. (Sent. communis.)
Looking at Ott, it would also seem that the Catholic Church does not teach, de fide, that the Final, or General, judgment is necessarily permanent or final. In fact, the phrase "General judgment" is used in Ott only once, but it's permanency is not discussed:

The purifying fire will not continue after the General Judgment. (Sent. communis.)


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Tags: particular judgment Hell death partial judgement forgiveness after death apokatastasis 
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