Author Topic: Is it necessary upon reception into the Orthodox Church to renounce the errors of Rome?  (Read 19364 times)

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Offline Volnutt

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I think that one of the 'marks' of an Orthodox Christian psyche is an attraction to the temptation to believe in universal salvation (apokatastasis.)  While the West tends towards restrictive salvation which reaches its culmination in the horrific teaching of Calvin's double predestination,  the East has been tempted in the other direction - towards universal salvation.

The Orthodox have always been attracted to the idea of "universal salvation", that all will finally be recapitulated in Christ, both the earth-born and (possibly) the demons.  You will find this in the Early Church.  We know from Saint Augustine that it was a widely held teaching of what he calls the "fathers of the Church."  As you may imagine Saint Augustine was inclined to the opposite belief.  

It resurfaces in the writings of the 20th century Parisian school of Russian theology.  Russia's young theologian-bishop Hilarion Alfeyev is very sympathetic to the teaching and has delivered lectures on it and written on it, drawing on Saint Isaac the Syrian.


I'm actually attracted to it myself and have known other Protestants who are, it just feels perverse being so having been taught all my life it's an offense to God's justice. Traditional Jews still speak of Hitler with an eternal curse and rather celebrate his death, I have a hard time not following them in this.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 06:37:46 AM by Volnutt »

Offline Volnutt

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Back to the issue of Orthodoxy and Purgatory-is this accurate? http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,437.msg7950.html#msg7950

Quote from: Asteriktos
There are two main takes on that Pauline passage. The first one says that the passage deals with trials and tribulations in this life. This would match up well with other biblical passages, such as James 1:2-4 and Wisdom 3:1-8. This is the position I would take. Another take on this passage was given by Saint John Chrysostom, and later used by Saint Mark of Ephesus at the false reunion council of Florence. This take on the passage says that by "saved" the passage means that while the "works" would be obliterated, the people would be "saved" from being totally wiped out of existence. In other words, they would be saved for hell. The term saved does not mean the same thing in every passage in which it is used, and a number of saints argued that saved here does not deal with our going to heaven, but only our being saved from non-existence.

As to purgation/purification itself, Orthodox are not bound by any one view on the subject. When one considers the Orthodox position that we (and even Saints) will be growing closer to God for all eternity, the need to be "purified" is put in perspective.

Offline Peter J

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Back to the issue of Orthodoxy and Purgatory-is this accurate? http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,437.msg7950.html#msg7950

Quote from: Asteriktos
There are two main takes on that Pauline passage. The first one says that the passage deals with trials and tribulations in this life. This would match up well with other biblical passages, such as James 1:2-4 and Wisdom 3:1-8. This is the position I would take. Another take on this passage was given by Saint John Chrysostom, and later used by Saint Mark of Ephesus at the false reunion council of Florence. This take on the passage says that by "saved" the passage means that while the "works" would be obliterated, the people would be "saved" from being totally wiped out of existence. In other words, they would be saved for hell. The term saved does not mean the same thing in every passage in which it is used, and a number of saints argued that saved here does not deal with our going to heaven, but only our being saved from non-existence.

As to purgation/purification itself, Orthodox are not bound by any one view on the subject. When one considers the Orthodox position that we (and even Saints) will be growing closer to God for all eternity, the need to be "purified" is put in perspective.

I'll also be interested to hear what Orthodox posters say to your question

All I can really say is that I recall hearing something along those lines, except that I person I heard it from said that "will live" would be a better translation than "will be saved".
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Offline Volnutt

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.

Offline Wyatt

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 11:30:19 PM by Wyatt »

Offline ialmisry

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
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and urgent strife sheds blood.
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Offline Wyatt

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
The word Purgatory, no, but the very fact that the Church prays for the dead indicates an intermediate state that is neither heaven nor hell.

Offline stanley123

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
The book: Read Me or Rue It, by Father Paul O’Sullivan, was published with the approval of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. According to the approval given by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon:
“We approve and recommend with all our heart the beautiful little book Read Me or Rue It ...
Although small, it is destined to do great good among Catholics, many of whom are incredibly ignorant of the great doctrine of Purgatory. As a consequence, they do little or nothing to avoid it themselves and little to help the Poor Souls who are suffering there so intensely, waiting for the Masses and prayers which should be offered for them. “
What does this book say about Purgatory?: Purgatory  “is a prison of fire in which nearly all [saved] souls are plunged after death and in which they suffer the intensest pain.”
http://www.theworkofgod.org/Library/Purgatry/Readme.htm






Offline Wyatt

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
The book: Read Me or Rue It, by Father Paul O’Sullivan, was published with the approval of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. According to the approval given by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon:
“We approve and recommend with all our heart the beautiful little book Read Me or Rue It ...
Although small, it is destined to do great good among Catholics, many of whom are incredibly ignorant of the great doctrine of Purgatory. As a consequence, they do little or nothing to avoid it themselves and little to help the Poor Souls who are suffering there so intensely, waiting for the Masses and prayers which should be offered for them. “
What does this book say about Purgatory?: Purgatory  “is a prison of fire in which nearly all [saved] souls are plunged after death and in which they suffer the intensest pain.”
http://www.theworkofgod.org/Library/Purgatry/Readme.htm
Well, obviously that view of Purgatory still exists today and is permissible to believe since it does not directly contradict Catholic doctrine, but the Catholic Church does not require one to believe in what the nature of Purgatory is...one only has to believe that there is a Purgatory. People are free to believe all sorts of things about it. You can believe it is a torturous, hellish place where people are painful expiated of their remaining venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sin, or you can believe otherwise. I choose to believe otherwise.

It seems there is an extreme lack of understanding on this forum, even amongst Catholics, as to what the difference between dogma, doctrine, and theological opinion are. Just because someone writes a book on Purgatory that states something about Purgatory doesn't make it true. Even if it has a nihil obstat and an imprimatur that doesn't make it true, it just means it doesn't directly go against Church teaching. That doesn't mean every word of it is doctrinally binding though either.

Online Cavaradossi

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
The word Purgatory, no, but the very fact that the Church prays for the dead indicates an intermediate state that is neither heaven nor hell.

As I understand it we admit that there is a temporal state of consciousness between death and the final judgment, yes (otherwise the saints would be incapable of interceding for us), but that this time is for the purging of sins is not something that most Orthodox would believe. We have a different understanding of prayers for the dead than the Roman Catholics do, I think. The Orthodox understanding is usually something like this: because God receives prayers outside of the bounds of time, prayers said for the faithful in repose may be efficacious for their salvation; however, we do not affirm that the prayers are actually going to work (for us, that's a matter of hope), which seems rather different from what I've been told of the Catholic understanding of indulgences for those in purgatory.
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Offline ialmisry

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
The word Purgatory, no, but the very fact that the Church prays for the dead indicates an intermediate state that is neither heaven nor hell.
Only if you are a scholastic.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
The book: Read Me or Rue It, by Father Paul O’Sullivan, was published with the approval of the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon. According to the approval given by the Cardinal Patriarch of Lisbon:
“We approve and recommend with all our heart the beautiful little book Read Me or Rue It ...
Although small, it is destined to do great good among Catholics, many of whom are incredibly ignorant of the great doctrine of Purgatory. As a consequence, they do little or nothing to avoid it themselves and little to help the Poor Souls who are suffering there so intensely, waiting for the Masses and prayers which should be offered for them. “
What does this book say about Purgatory?: Purgatory  “is a prison of fire in which nearly all [saved] souls are plunged after death and in which they suffer the intensest pain.”
http://www.theworkofgod.org/Library/Purgatry/Readme.htm
Well, obviously that view of Purgatory still exists today and is permissible to believe since it does not directly contradict Catholic doctrine, but the Catholic Church does not require one to believe in what the nature of Purgatory is...one only has to believe that there is a Purgatory. People are free to believe all sorts of things about it.
How about it doesn't exist?

You can believe it is a torturous, hellish place where people are painful expiated of their remaining venial sins and the temporal punishment due to sin, or you can believe otherwise. I choose to believe otherwise.

It seems there is an extreme lack of understanding on this forum, even amongst Catholics, as to what the difference between dogma, doctrine, and theological opinion are. Just because someone writes a book on Purgatory that states something about Purgatory doesn't make it true. Even if it has a nihil obstat and an imprimatur that doesn't make it true, it just means it doesn't directly go against Church teaching. That doesn't mean every word of it is doctrinally binding though either.
seems your magic "magisterium" doesn't mean much of anything.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Irish Hermit

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I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion.

Here is the teaching of the holy Apostle Peter, delivered to the Catholic Church quite recently in 1967, through the lips of Pope Paul VI.

Please refer to his "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.


Offline Wyatt

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
The word Purgatory, no, but the very fact that the Church prays for the dead indicates an intermediate state that is neither heaven nor hell.
Only if you are a scholastic.
No, only if you appeal to common sense. People in heaven don't need prayer, prayer does no good for people in hell, ergo there must be an intermediate state.

How about it doesn't exist?
Saying it doesn't make it so.


seems your magic "magisterium" doesn't mean much of anything.
The Magisterium has not dogmatically defined the nature of Purgatory. The only thing about Purgatory we are bound to believe is that it exists. Anything else is just the speculation of theologians.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 02:04:16 AM by Wyatt »

Offline Volnutt

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But the Orthodox believe prayer can do good for those in Hell.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 06:55:49 AM by Volnutt »

Offline ialmisry

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
The word Purgatory, no, but the very fact that the Church prays for the dead indicates an intermediate state that is neither heaven nor hell.
Only if you are a scholastic.
No, only if you appeal to common sense. People in heaven don't need prayer, prayer does no good for people in hell, ergo there must be an intermediate state.
"Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" I Cor. 1:20  That's the problem with your schoalsticism, the arrogance to speak in God's silence. Ergo, you are wrong. Again.
How about it doesn't exist?
Saying it doesn't make it so.
Saying it ex cathedra doesn't make its existence so.

seems your magic "magisterium" doesn't mean much of anything.
The Magisterium has not dogmatically defined the nature of Purgatory. The only thing about Purgatory we are bound to believe is that it exists. Anything else is just the speculation of theologians.
And the difference between that and the speculation of your magisterium?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Father H

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Yes that's interesting too but I was mostly thinking about the claim that there is no official answer of whether there is an Orthodox Purgatory.
I would say the short answer is yes. The Orthodox believe that there is an intermediate state that the souls of the dead are in where the prayers of the Church are efficacious for them. That is really all Catholics dogmatically believe about Purgatory, anything else is just theological opinion. However, you would be hard-pressed to find any Orthodox that would be comfortable using the term Purgatory since A. it is associated with Roman Catholicism, and B. it often conjures up images of middle ages Roman Catholic theology which often viewed Purgatory as a hellish place where the souls undergoing purgation literally experienced physical pain and suffering and were burned by a literal fire. You will still hear of "fire" used in reference to Purgatory, but the modern understanding is that it is a purifying, cleansing fire...not a painful, torturous one.
Before your A or B is the fact that Purgatory doesn't appear in the prayers of the Church.
The word Purgatory, no, but the very fact that the Church prays for the dead indicates an intermediate state that is neither heaven nor hell.
Only if you are a scholastic.
No, only if you appeal to common sense. People in heaven don't need prayer, prayer does no good for people in hell, ergo there must be an intermediate state.

Before the last judgment and general resurrection, everything is an intermediate (i.e. temporary) state, eg paradise and hades, because they are 'places' for the soul awaiting the resurrection from the dead.  It is only after we are united as whole persons in the resurrection of the dead that we enter into our eternal state.   

Offline Father H

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It is a known fact that beginning in the 12th century, and lasting for centuries, the Greek "Hades" began to be translated into Latin as purgatorium  (Catholic for a Reason, pp.294-5; ed. Scott Hahn & Leon Suprenant).   It only became a seen as a "second place--seperate from Hades" when the tendency changed in recent centuries to translate hades as "infernus" or in English "hell," yet retaining the usage of the word purgatorium as the intermediate state.   The result has been that hades is redefined as gehenna or proto-gehenna rather than its previous meaning of being the intermediate state of sinners before the general resurrection.   Whereas purgatory was hades previously in 12th-13th c. Latin thinking, now it is distinguished from it.       




Offline elijahmaria

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It is a known fact that beginning in the 12th century, and lasting for centuries, the Greek "Hades" began to be translated into Latin as purgatorium  (Catholic for a Reason, pp.294-5; ed. Scott Hahn & Leon Suprenant).   It only became a seen as a "second place--seperate from Hades" when the tendency changed in recent centuries to translate hades as "infernus" or in English "hell," yet retaining the usage of the word purgatorium as the intermediate state.   The result has been that hades is redefined as gehenna or proto-gehenna rather than its previous meaning of being the intermediate state of sinners before the general resurrection.   Whereas purgatory was hades previously in 12th-13th c. Latin thinking, now it is distinguished from it.       

All of this can be categorized as pious belief rather than as a part of the doctrinal deposit of faith.

The doctrine is that we pray for the dead, and that there is a place/state of purgation available during the particular or partial judgment relating to unforgiven sins and bad habits, and the restoration of divine justice, aided by the suffering-soul who was responsible for the disorder in the first place, either by blind acts or by acts of purpose.

Offline Peter J

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Well, obviously that view of Purgatory still exists today and is permissible to believe since it does not directly contradict Catholic doctrine, but the Catholic Church does not require one to believe in what the nature of Purgatory is...one only has to believe that there is a Purgatory. People are free to believe all sorts of things about it.
How about it doesn't exist?

No, that doesn't fall under the all-sorts-of-things that people are free to believe. However, it might be allowable to believe that purgatory is really a temporary stay in hell.
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Offline Peter J

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Saying it doesn't make it so.

Hey that's my line.  >:(

 ;D
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Offline Volnutt

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No, that doesn't fall under the all-sorts-of-things that people are free to believe. However, it might be allowable to believe that purgatory is really a temporary stay in hell.
Yes, but in Purgatory you will get out after X amount of time/prayers/Masses (where X is an unknown/not precisely known number). It's a set method, even it can't be "clocked."

Whereas in Orthodoxy, if I'm understanding FatherHLL correctly, "how" one gets out or even if any given individual will ever get out is something known even in theory only to God, so we must pray for all "just in case."

Another example of RC exactitude versus EO broad outlines.

Offline Wyatt

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No, that doesn't fall under the all-sorts-of-things that people are free to believe. However, it might be allowable to believe that purgatory is really a temporary stay in hell.
Yes, but in Purgatory you will get out after X amount of time/prayers/Masses (where X is an unknown/not precisely known number). It's a set method, even it can't be "clocked."

Whereas in Orthodoxy, if I'm understanding FatherHLL correctly, "how" one gets out or even if any given individual will ever get out is something known even in theory only to God, so we must pray for all "just in case."

Another example of RC exactitude versus EO broad outlines.
I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)

Offline Volnutt

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I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)
What's vague about it? There are things God tells us and things He doesn't. Do you have an explanation for exactly how prayer interacts with His sovereignty or just how it is that one person comes to believe and another doesn't?

Offline Wyatt

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I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)
What's vague about it? There are things God tells us and things He doesn't. Do you have an explanation for exactly how prayer interacts with His sovereignty or just how it is that one person comes to believe and another doesn't?
The Orthodox belief in the state of the soul after death is vague and less developed than the Catholic teaching.

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I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)
What's vague about it? There are things God tells us and things He doesn't. Do you have an explanation for exactly how prayer interacts with His sovereignty or just how it is that one person comes to believe and another doesn't?
The Orthodox belief in the state of the soul after death is vague and less developed than the Catholic teaching.

Why does it have to be as well developed? What bearing does our understanding of the state of the soul after death have to do with our ultimate salvation through theosis? All we need say is that the state between death and the judgment is that it is a conscious state; otherwise, the saints would not be able to intercede for us. Anything else is needless speculation.
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Offline Irish Hermit

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[size=10py]Whereas in Orthodoxy, if I'm understanding FatherHLL correctly, "how" one gets out or even if any given individual will ever get out is something known even in theory only to God, so we must pray for all "just in case."

Another example of RC exactitude versus EO broad outlines. [/size]

Unless the Catholic Church has altered its teaching in recent years and proclaimed that it knows who is in hell and therefore cannot be prayed for, then it continues to pray for all.  No Catholic would presume to say that Nero is in hell, nor Luther, nor Hitler nor Stalin nor Fr Marcial Maciel.  All the dead may and should be prayed for.

Offline ialmisry

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No, that doesn't fall under the all-sorts-of-things that people are free to believe. However, it might be allowable to believe that purgatory is really a temporary stay in hell.
Yes, but in Purgatory you will get out after X amount of time/prayers/Masses (where X is an unknown/not precisely known number). It's a set method, even it can't be "clocked."

Whereas in Orthodoxy, if I'm understanding FatherHLL correctly, "how" one gets out or even if any given individual will ever get out is something known even in theory only to God, so we must pray for all "just in case."

Another example of RC exactitude versus EO broad outlines.
I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)
That's that other gospel the Vatican has preached to you.  The one that Apostles preached does not speak where He has not, nor when He says not to reveal:"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me: Seal up the things which the seven thunders have spoken; and write them not." Rev. 10:4.
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Offline Volnutt

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The Orthodox belief in the state of the soul after death is vague and less developed than the Catholic teaching.
Ok, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. As St. Augustine says, Scripture doesn't contain great amounts of detail on Natural History or celestial movement because the Spirit willed to make us, "Christians, not mathematicians."

Offline Volnutt

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Unless the Catholic Church has altered its teaching in recent years and proclaimed that it knows who is in hell and therefore cannot be prayed for, then it continues to pray for all.  No Catholic would presume to say that Nero is in hell, nor Luther, nor Hitler nor Stalin nor Fr Marcial Maciel.  All the dead may and should be prayed for.

I did not know that, thanks.


So Wyatt, is the RC being vague and therefore not Spirit-led about who's in Hell and who isn't?
« Last Edit: June 27, 2011, 10:47:31 PM by Volnutt »

Offline Irish Hermit

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I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)
What's vague about it? There are things God tells us and things He doesn't. Do you have an explanation for exactly how prayer interacts with His sovereignty or just how it is that one person comes to believe and another doesn't?
The Orthodox belief in the state of the soul after death is vague and less developed than the Catholic teaching.

Here are three quotes from widely differing centuries (5th, 17th and 20th) which show the same unanimous teaching on life after death...  The simplicity is breathtaking.
 
The teaching of Saint Augustine of Hippo:
 
 
"During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death
and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it
enjoys rest or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has
earned by the life which it led on earth."

Augustine, Enchiridion, 1099 (A.D. 421).

 
The 1980 Resolution of the ROCA Synod of bishops on the toll house belief...

"Taking all of the foregoing into consideration, the Synod of Bishops resolve:

In the deliberations on life after death one must in general keep in mind
that it has not pleased the Lord to reveal to us very much aside from
the fact that the degree of a soul's blessedness depends on how much
a man's life on the earth has been truly Christian, and the degree of
a man's posthumous suffering depends upon the degree of sinfulness.
To add conjectures to the little that the Lord has been pleased to reveal
to us is not beneficial to our salvation..."


Interestingly enough, this is almost a word for word repetition of what Saint Augustine said 1500 years earlier!

 
 
 The Synod of Constantinople of 1672:
 
"We believe that the souls of the departed are in either repose or torment
as each one has wrought, for immediately after the separation from the body
they are pronounced either in bliss or in suffering and sorrows, yet we
confess that neither their joy nor their condemnation are yet complete.
After the general resurrection, when the soul is reunited with the body,
each one will receive the full measure of joy or condemnation due to him
for the way in which he conducted himself, whether well or ill."
 


Offline Wyatt

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I tend to believe that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, is not cryptic and vague.  ;)
What's vague about it? There are things God tells us and things He doesn't. Do you have an explanation for exactly how prayer interacts with His sovereignty or just how it is that one person comes to believe and another doesn't?
The Orthodox belief in the state of the soul after death is vague and less developed than the Catholic teaching.

Here are three quotes from widely differing centuries (5th, 17th and 20th) which show the same unanimous teaching on life after death...  The simplicity is breathtaking.
 
The teaching of Saint Augustine of Hippo:
 
 
"During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man's death
and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it
enjoys rest or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has
earned by the life which it led on earth."

Augustine, Enchiridion, 1099 (A.D. 421).

 
The 1980 Resolution of the ROCA Synod of bishops on the toll house belief...

"Taking all of the foregoing into consideration, the Synod of Bishops resolve:

In the deliberations on life after death one must in general keep in mind
that it has not pleased the Lord to reveal to us very much aside from
the fact that the degree of a soul's blessedness depends on how much
a man's life on the earth has been truly Christian, and the degree of
a man's posthumous suffering depends upon the degree of sinfulness.
To add conjectures to the little that the Lord has been pleased to reveal
to us is not beneficial to our salvation..."


Interestingly enough, this is almost a word for word repetition of what Saint Augustine said 1500 years earlier!

 
 
 The Synod of Constantinople of 1672:
 
"We believe that the souls of the departed are in either repose or torment
as each one has wrought, for immediately after the separation from the body
they are pronounced either in bliss or in suffering and sorrows, yet we
confess that neither their joy nor their condemnation are yet complete.
After the general resurrection, when the soul is reunited with the body,
each one will receive the full measure of joy or condemnation due to him
for the way in which he conducted himself, whether well or ill."
 


Those all sound like descriptions of Purgatory.

Offline Volnutt

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Not to me. There's no indication that the living can lesson someone's suffering by doing a bunch of pious things for them, no hint of buying indulgences during one's life (it's all based on deeds whereas indulgences make up for earned suffering), and no distinction per se between the saved and the damned.

Offline bogdan

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

In Orthodoxy, we believe people will experience a foretaste of their eternal destination. A semi-righteous person would experience some bliss. A saint would go right to heaven. An unrepentant sinner experiences a measure of torment. In the final judgment God will show mercy as he will, and then all will experience the full measure of their reward, good or bad. But there doesn't seem to be a general process of movement from torment to bliss as with purgatory.

I do dispute Volnutt though; we do believe that commemorating the dead atthe liturgy and doing good works in their name helps them. But we don't know exactly how, or whether it affects their destination.

(At least that's how I understand it.)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2011, 12:04:28 AM by bogdan »

Offline Volnutt

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

In Orthodoxy, we believe people will experience a foretaste of their eternal destination. A semi-righteous person would experience some bliss. A saint would go right to heaven. An unrepentant sinner experiences a measure of torment. In the final judgment God will show mercy as he will, and then all will experience the full measure of their reward, good or bad. But there doesn't seem to be a general process of movement from torment to bliss as with purgatory.

I do dispute Volnutt though; we do believe that commemorating the dead atthe liturgy and doing good works in their name helps them. But we don't know exactly how, or whether it affects their destination.

(At least that's how I understand it.)
Ok, thanks.

Offline elijahmaria

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

Makes all that ascetic stuff sound like bunko then, don't it?

Offline Irish Hermit

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

Makes all that ascetic stuff sound like bunko then, don't it?

Hmmm... not one of your more insightful comments.   If you were being paid a stipend to destabilise the Orthodox on the internet I'd deduct dollars from your bonus this week!

Offline Melodist

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

Suffering does not cause purification, but may be part of the process. It's kind of like a drug addict. Just because one suffers doesn't mean they are recovering from their addiction, but there is usually some suffering involved in recovering.

Suffering can bring one closer to God, or drive them away, so it would be wrong to say that suffering equals being purified.

Quote
I do dispute Volnutt though; we do believe that commemorating the dead atthe liturgy and doing good works in their name helps them. But we don't know exactly how, or whether it affects their destination.

(At least that's how I understand it.)

We may not know exactly how, or even if the individual's heart is open to God at all (I doubt someone can be purified against their will), but this is what we ask for when we pray for them.

Quote from: http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/liturgy/liturgy.html
Litany for the Deceased

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



(This litany is offered only if there are remembrances for the deceased.)

Priest:
Have mercy upon us, O God, according to Thy great mercy, we beseech Thee: hear us, and have mercy.

People:
Lord, have mercy. (three times)

Priest:
Furthermore we pray for the repose of the soul(s) of the servant(s) of God (name-s of the deceased), departed from this life, and that Thou wilt pardon all his (or her or their) sins, both voluntary and involuntary.

People:
Lord, have mercy. (three times)

Priest:
That the Lord God will establish his (or her or their) soul(s) where the just repose.

People:
Lord, have mercy. (three times)

Priest:
The mercies of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the remission of his (or her or their) sins, we ask of Christ, or King Immortal and our God.

People:
Grant this, O Lord.

Priest:
Let us pray to the Lord.

People:
Lord, have mercy. (one time)

Priest:
O God of spirits, and of all flesh, Who hast trampled down death by death, and overthrown the Devil, and hast bestowed life upon Thy world: do Thou Thyself, O Lord, grant rest to the soul(s) of Thy departed servant(s), (name-s of the deceased), in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away. As the gracious God, Who lovest mankind, pardon every transgression which he (or she or they) has (or have) committed, whether by word, or deed, or thought. For Thou alone art without sin, and Thy righteousness is to all eternity, and Thy word is truth. For Thou art the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of Thy departed servant(s) (name-s of the deceased). O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, Who is from everlasting, and Thine All-Holy, and Good and Life-Giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

People:
Amen.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Peter J

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I believe what it comes down to is: the Orthodox are unwilling to say that a person's ultimate destination (heaven or hell) is set at death and can no long be affected by his/her free will.
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Offline elijahmaria

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

Suffering does not cause purification, but may be part of the process. It's kind of like a drug addict. Just because one suffers doesn't mean they are recovering from their addiction, but there is usually some suffering involved in recovering.


'Suffer the little children to come unto me.'

What does suffer mean? 

Again we are deep in that modern conviction that anything that hurts is evil and must be dispensed with immediately. 

Grace causes purification.  If that is the case, and there is naught but grace, why do the desert fathers teach ascetic practice, sometimes severe ascetic practice?

Is not the glory of God painful to the naked eye?  Or so it is said....

What does it mean to suffer and does not the imagery of fire include both the burning away of impurities and the fire that does not consume.

Anything NOT to sound Catholic.

Sad.

Offline Irish Hermit

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I believe what it comes down to is: the Orthodox are unwilling to say that a person's ultimate destination (heaven or hell) is set at death and can no long be affected by his/her free will.

The paralysis of the human will at death is a bizarre Roman Catholic doctrine.

Offline Irish Hermit

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

Suffering does not cause purification, but may be part of the process. It's kind of like a drug addict. Just because one suffers doesn't mean they are recovering from their addiction, but there is usually some suffering involved in recovering.


'Suffer the little children to come unto me.'

What does suffer mean? 

Again we are deep in that modern conviction that anything that hurts is evil and must be dispensed with immediately. 


That is a really irrelevant quote from the words of our Saviour.

Surely we all know that "suffer" here has an older meaning of the word which is "permit, allow."

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

I would have thought we would all have been aware of this meaning of "suffer"?

Offline elijahmaria

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And there's no indication that the suffering purifies the person's passions and they will eventually go to heaven, which I understand as the point of purgatory.

Suffering does not cause purification, but may be part of the process. It's kind of like a drug addict. Just because one suffers doesn't mean they are recovering from their addiction, but there is usually some suffering involved in recovering.


'Suffer the little children to come unto me.'

What does suffer mean? 

Again we are deep in that modern conviction that anything that hurts is evil and must be dispensed with immediately. 


That is a really irrelevant quote from the words of our Saviour.

Surely we all know that "suffer" here has an older meaning of the word which is "permit, allow."

"Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."

I would have thought we would all have been aware of this meaning of "suffer"?

Yes.  That was my point.  The more ancient meaning of suffering is indulgence.

Offline Volnutt

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If everyone who will be saved must suffer purgatory then what about those who are alive to be transformed "instantly" at the Second Coming. Must be nice to get a free ride like that.

Offline elijahmaria

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If everyone who will be saved must suffer purgatory then what about those who are alive to be transformed "instantly" at the Second Coming. Must be nice to get a free ride like that.

What makes you think that everyone who is saved must suffer purgatory?  There are clearly those who go right to heaven.   Is that a "free" ride, or is it a graced ride...earned by grace, virtue and the desire and effort to live a beatitudinal life.