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Author Topic: The Greatest Difference Between Catholics and Orthodox for me...Hell  (Read 8179 times) Average Rating: 0
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Kaste
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« on: January 08, 2012, 01:13:01 AM »

And that is this:
It seems from another thread I created that:

1) Orthodox do not believe there are sins that send one to hell if they get hit by a bus before desiring (or actually making it to) confession.  (equivalent of Catholic concept of mortal sins)

2) If one is in hell, it is not eternal damnation, but Hades.  And that Gehenna is the eternal damnation that takes place at the Last Judgment.  So Orthodoxy differs from Rome in that when one dies having not repented of serious sins, their immediate (or "particular" to use Roman terms) judgment is not eternally binding, and that they can in fact get out of any place in hell/hades.  Whereas Rome teaches only those in purgatory (and hence just die with light sins or are Catholics that made it to the confession booth on time but handn't finished their penance) get out.   

So then to speak practically:

A person that willfully and with malicious and full-knowledge intent commits adultery, suicide, murder will not get "cut off" or lose "state of grace" from God and so go to hell if sin is unconfessed?  Rome teaches he is eternally damned. 

Or does Orthodoxy teach that the above subject will go to hell but that he may get out with sacrifices of Eucharist of Church? 

Comments~
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2012, 01:17:53 AM »

Comments~

Why so obsessed about others' damnation?

If the person in question is you, then let's stop worrying about theoreticals, and discuss your need to repent. If it's not you (which is what I presume) then why should you or we spend time worrying about it? God is the Righteous Judge and will take care of such person as He feels is appropriate.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2012, 01:22:34 AM »

It is not good to depart this life in an unrepentant state.

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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2012, 01:22:59 AM »

And that is this:
It seems from another thread I created that:

1) Orthodox do not believe there are sins that send one to hell if they get hit by a bus before desiring (or actually making it to) confession.  (equivalent of Catholic concept of mortal sins)


There most certainly are such dreadful sins as to bring damnation down on your head.

If there weren't then nobody would go to hell and we would have universal salvation.
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2012, 01:36:51 AM »

And that is this:
It seems from another thread I created that:

1) Orthodox do not believe there are sins that send one to hell if they get hit by a bus before desiring (or actually making it to) confession.  (equivalent of Catholic concept of mortal sins)


There most certainly are such dreadful sins as to bring damnation down on your head.

If there weren't then nobody would go to hell and we would have universal salvation.

Exactly.

I think the major difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy is that Catholics are taught that they must confess their mortal sins or at least have the desire to confess them; while Orthodox are taught that they must REPENT of all their sins.

The one thing that really attracted me to Orthodoxy was sobriety: the sober realization that repentance or metanoia is so essential for our spiritual health.
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2012, 04:24:43 AM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2012, 04:38:30 AM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2012, 07:30:33 AM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.

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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2012, 07:32:19 AM »

Regarding the OP, I don't think there is as much of a difference (in final state or in intermediate state) as people often say. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2012, 11:36:09 AM »

Since the word "hell" (1) is (itself, as an English word, not found in the Bible's Hebrew and Greek manuscripts); and (2) has so many different  meanings; it's probably better to avoid using "hell" and just use the appropriate Hebrew or Greek word (sheol, hades; gehenna, e.g.)
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2012, 06:28:39 PM »

There is no agreed teaching in Orthodoxy about the details of the afterlife.

Beyond a very broad outline we are "looking through a glass darkly." For example, Saint John Maximovitch says that the damned go to Gehenna the Lake of Fire. Other modern people deny this and contend that Gehenna the Lake of Fire and has not yet been created. It is the Lake of Fire which will be created in the future on Judgement Day. And again, other people will tell you it is already in existence but uninhabited. So that raises a question or two.

In the 1970s when Fr Seraphim and The Orthodox Word had made sure that we all had the schema of the afterlife firmly fixed in our brains, at least according to Fr Seraphim's ideas, I could have rattled off the difference between hell and hades and gehenna, sheol and tartarus in 10 seconds.

But when I learned through my spiritual father at the monastery in Serbia that this schema cannot be found in the Fathers, that they do not teach much about the afterlife very precisely, that they interchange terms constantly and that it is not possible to draw up any consistent schema based on the Fathers - well, what was the point of adopting any one schema and insisting that it was *the* one?

There is really no unanimity in the Fathers about the distinctions between these terms, or these states and places. So there's little hope of us lesser mortals (well, me anyway) sorting it out.

So it is not a case of "simply not knowing." It is more a case of giving up and admitting with Saint Paul that at the very best we can only "see through a glass darkly" and all our speculative systems about the afterlife are pretty much based on the pride of the human mind which cannot bear to admit that it does not know something and so to fill the vacuum it spins theories of its own.

Again, I see the profound wisdom of the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad who cautioned people in their 1980 Resolution on the toll houses that there is great spiritual danger in creating conjectures about the afterlife. After all, if even such a Saint as Saint John of San Francisco has his own theories, are we ourselves really qualified to pick and chose between dissonant theories?
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2012, 08:17:17 PM »

Isnt this why we pray for the dead? In hopes that they would eventually be saved, even though they are already dead? 
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2012, 08:40:15 PM »

Isnt this why we pray for the dead? In hopes that they would eventually be saved, even though they are already dead?  

Yesterday I was talking about apokatastasis (universal salvation) with our new parish priest who arrived from Russia 3 months ago.  A young chap not long out of seminary.  I asked him the common thought in Russia about salvation from hell.   He said it was seen as possible since what takes place at death is the partial judgement and things may change before the final judgement when Christ returns.  
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2012, 08:40:55 PM »

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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2012, 01:05:14 AM »

Isnt this why we pray for the dead? In hopes that they would eventually be saved, even though they are already dead?  

Yesterday I was talking about apokatastasis (universal salvation) with our new parish priest who arrived from Russia 3 months ago.  A young chap not long out of seminary.  I asked him the common thought in Russia about salvation from hell.   He said it was seen as possible since what takes place at death is the partial judgement and things may change before the final judgement when Christ returns.  

I remember hearing a podcast from Hopko about this.  He pointed out that God is outside our space and time, so our time doesnt necessarily apply.  Just because someone has passed away in our time, doesnt mean its "too late" for God.  We ask these things although he knows our prayers before we ask them. Yet at the same time, if we dont ask, he doesnt hear them. 

Im not even sure I make sense.  It was something along those lines and I think Im still trying to wrap my head around it.  If someone can clear it up better, feel free.
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2012, 01:10:49 AM »

Isnt this why we pray for the dead? In hopes that they would eventually be saved, even though they are already dead?  

Yesterday I was talking about apokatastasis (universal salvation) with our new parish priest who arrived from Russia 3 months ago.  A young chap not long out of seminary.  I asked him the common thought in Russia about salvation from hell.   He said it was seen as possible since what takes place at death is the partial judgement and things may change before the final judgement when Christ returns.  

I remember hearing a podcast from Hopko about this.  He pointed out that God is outside our space and time, so our time doesnt necessarily apply.  Just because someone has passed away in our time, doesnt mean its "too late" for God.  We ask these things although he knows our prayers before we ask them. Yet at the same time, if we dont ask, he doesnt hear them.  

Im not even sure I make sense.  It was something along those lines and I think Im still trying to wrap my head around it.  If someone can clear it up better, feel free.

I don't think we have to worry about convoluted thinking about time and timelessness.  The fact is that God is willing to liberate souls from hell.
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2012, 04:57:22 PM »

Father,

Just looking for your thoughts;

Why do you think that Church in the west dogmatized the teaching on hell in such a concrete fashion?

The teaching of the Roman Church is pretty clear;
(CCC1035) Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire.
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« Reply #17 on: January 10, 2012, 05:04:34 PM »

Regarding the OP, I don't think there is as much of a difference (in final state or in intermediate state) as people often say. Smiley

But I am probably could be wrong Smiley
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« Reply #18 on: January 10, 2012, 05:04:46 PM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.



This picture manages to land in the most obscure of threads...
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2012, 05:08:34 PM »

Father,

Just looking for your thoughts;

Why do you think that Church in the west dogmatized the teaching on hell in such a concrete fashion?

The teaching of the Roman Church is pretty clear;
(CCC1035) Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire.


Since scholasticism, they couldn't help it.
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2012, 05:50:22 PM »

Isnt this why we pray for the dead? In hopes that they would eventually be saved, even though they are already dead?  

Yesterday I was talking about apokatastasis (universal salvation) with our new parish priest who arrived from Russia 3 months ago.  A young chap not long out of seminary.  I asked him the common thought in Russia about salvation from hell.   He said it was seen as possible since what takes place at death is the partial judgement and things may change before the final judgement when Christ returns.  

I remember hearing a podcast from Hopko about this.  He pointed out that God is outside our space and time, so our time doesnt necessarily apply.  Just because someone has passed away in our time, doesnt mean its "too late" for God.  We ask these things although he knows our prayers before we ask them. Yet at the same time, if we dont ask, he doesnt hear them.  

Im not even sure I make sense.  It was something along those lines and I think Im still trying to wrap my head around it.  If someone can clear it up better, feel free.

I don't think we have to worry about convoluted thinking about time and timelessness.  The fact is that God is willing to liberate souls from hell.

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg comes to mind. Even though her husband had died in a drunken brawl, she prayed and fasted for his salvation for many years until God granted her a vision of her husband's soul entering heaven.
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« Reply #21 on: January 10, 2012, 05:52:42 PM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.



This picture manages to land in the most obscure of threads...

That's because it manages to be both awesome and hysterical.
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2012, 06:15:21 PM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.



This picture manages to land in the most obscure of threads...

That's because it manages to be both awesome and hysterical.

What is the context of that picture and the meaning of all those hats?
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2012, 06:42:03 PM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.



This picture manages to land in the most obscure of threads...

That's because it manages to be both awesome and hysterical.

What is the context of that picture and the meaning of all those hats?
Traditional Byzantine choral garments done by a choir that does traditional Byzantine music I think. I haven't seen any choir members wear them when I've gone to DL, but I'll keep my eye out.
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2012, 08:05:51 PM »

The Greatest Difference? We have funnier hats.

I dont know, I always thought a fish head hat is a lot funnier than a crown.



This picture manages to land in the most obscure of threads...

That's because it manages to be both awesome and hysterical.

What is the context of that picture and the meaning of all those hats?

It's already on the forum but I don't know how to find it.
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2012, 08:16:52 PM »

It's already on the forum but I don't know how to find it.

Here it be...
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« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2012, 09:32:47 PM »

C'mon people, let's not devolve into talking about hats...

now this is interesting!:
Quote
I asked him the common thought in Russia about salvation from hell.   He said it was seen as possible since what takes place at death is the partial judgement and things may change before the final judgement when Christ returns. 

above by Irish Hermit

And that's what the big question is

Is the particular judgment final?

Another poster said someone got a vision in St. Petersburg of her husband getting out of hell.  So this is truly different than Roman Catholicism. 

Are there any priests that would like to comment?  Penslemania? 
K
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« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2012, 10:06:54 PM »


And that's what the big question is

Is the particular judgment final?

The partial judgement is just that – partial.  It is not final.

If members of the Invisible Church read Maccabees, they will see from the incident with the slain idolatrous soldiers that Scripture itself teaches that condemnation to hell is not final.  It may be changed.

Quote
Are there any priests that would like to comment?

One already has – me.   laugh
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« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2012, 10:14:34 PM »

For the scriptural teaching on the forgiveness of sin after death please

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« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2012, 12:58:22 AM »

Quote
The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

above quoted by Irish Hermit. 

Very interesting.  But can you show any church father or any Byzantine, or even Orthodox theologian for that matter, that supports this?

As far as the Elder Cleopatra example.  This is also in Gregory's Dialogues with Peter.  But it merely demonstrates that one can get out of Hades, which according to Catholics, purgatory is part of, and according to Orthodox, those with light sins can get out of.  I read "Life after Death" by Met. Hierotheos.  In it he clearly demonstrates that even St. Mark Ephesus taught that only those with light sins can get out of Hades. 

So please, name me some examples of ECFs or Ox theologians who say those in hell for mortal sins can get out. 

In Him,
K
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« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2012, 01:20:53 AM »

Quote
The whole incident substantiates not just prayers for the dead but the Orthodox hope and belief that sin, very serious sin (mortal sin if you will), may be forgiven by God after death.

above quoted by Irish Hermit.  

Very interesting.  But can you show any church father or any Byzantine, or even Orthodox theologian for that matter, that supports this?

As far as the Elder Cleopatra example.  This is also in Gregory's Dialogues with Peter.  But it merely demonstrates that one can get out of Hades, which according to Catholics, purgatory is part of, and according to Orthodox, those with light sins can get out of.  I read "Life after Death" by Met. Hierotheos.  In it he clearly demonstrates that even St. Mark Ephesus taught that only those with light sins can get out of Hades.  

So please, name me some examples of ECFs or Ox theologians who say those in hell for mortal sins can get out.  

In Him,
K

Check the forum.  Use the search engine for   hell alfeyev   and you will find things from Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, a leading contemporary Russian theologian.

Here is one....

message 1216
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg424768.html#msg424768

and message 50
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32517.msg514163.html#msg514163
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« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 12:43:10 AM »

nt
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« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2012, 07:27:40 PM »

Irish Hermit,

I read both links.  Neither is convincing.  One explains how a contemporary Russian Orthodox priest teaches those in mortal sin may get out, but he doesn't back this up with Early Church Fathers.  

The other link about Catholics in Para 1031 of RCC Catechism, I agree with Papist, does not indicate mortal sin can be forgiven.  

Are there any Early Church Fathers who teach that those who died in serious sin can get out of hell?  
I'll offer this:
Fr. Seraphim Rose in "The Soul After Death" pg. 204 tells of St. Gregory the Great (a Pope of all things) praying for a pagan to get out of hell.  But even St. Mark Ephesus at Council of Florence indicated only those who have light sins can benefit from prayers or Sacrifice for those in Hades.  

K
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« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2012, 07:58:41 PM »

Irish Hermit,

I read both links.  Neither is convincing.  One explains how a contemporary Russian Orthodox priest teaches those in mortal sin may get out, but he doesn't back this up with Early Church Fathers.  

The other link about Catholics in Para 1031 of RCC Catechism, I agree with Papist, does not indicate mortal sin can be forgiven.  

Are there any Early Church Fathers who teach that those who died in serious sin can get out of hell?  
I'll offer this:
Fr. Seraphim Rose in "The Soul After Death" pg. 204 tells of St. Gregory the Great (a Pope of all things) praying for a pagan to get out of hell.  But even St. Mark Ephesus at Council of Florence indicated only those who have light sins can benefit from prayers or Sacrifice for those in Hades.  

K

Kaste, I have an uncomfortable feeling that you don't really want to hear what the Orthodox believe.  So please just take it from me that we believe that the eternal fate of souls is not fully decided at the time of death and the Partial Judgement.  Until the end of time and the return of Christ our Lord there is a possibility of change.  

Roman Catholics also believed this, when there were happier times and they were united with us.

A remnant of their old orthodox belief remains in their liturgy for the dead but now reinterpreted:

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

The Catholic Encyclopedia says:  ----- "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
« Last Edit: January 22, 2012, 07:59:25 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2012, 08:09:39 PM »

Are there any Early Church Fathers who teach that those who died in serious sin can get out of hell? 


Better in some ways than any Church Father, Sacred Scripture itself bears witness to the forgiveness of even the most serious sins after death and liberation from hell.

Please see message 175
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http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37255.msg592638.html#msg592638
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« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2012, 08:17:37 PM »

Father, I read your link and I don't see how that states mortal sins are forgiven after death.  It simply states that Judas and his pious companions offered up prayers on behalf of the dead.  Nowhere does it say that their sins were forgiven them.  Did I miss something?
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« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2012, 08:25:22 PM »

Father, I read your link and I don't see how that states mortal sins are forgiven after death.  It simply states that Judas and his pious companions offered up prayers on behalf of the dead.  Nowhere does it say that their sins were forgiven them.  Did I miss something?

It's possible you missed something.  Please read it again.
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« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2012, 04:58:15 AM »


Kaste, I have an uncomfortable feeling that you don't really want to hear what the Orthodox believe.  

Apparently St. Mark of Ephesus disagrees with you.  Perhaps Kaste would prefer to follow that Church Father.

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« Reply #38 on: January 23, 2012, 10:12:10 PM »

Father, I read your link and I don't see how that states mortal sins are forgiven after death.  It simply states that Judas and his pious companions offered up prayers on behalf of the dead.  Nowhere does it say that their sins were forgiven them.  Did I miss something?

It's possible you missed something.  Please read it again.

My objection is slightly different from Ionnis's. It seems to me that 2 Macc 12: 39-46 is in keeping with the RC understanding of Purgatory. Can you show that it isn't?
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« Reply #39 on: January 23, 2012, 10:18:53 PM »

And that is this:
It seems from another thread I created that:

1) Orthodox do not believe there are sins that send one to hell if they get hit by a bus before desiring (or actually making it to) confession.  (equivalent of Catholic concept of mortal sins)


There most certainly are such dreadful sins as to bring damnation down on your head.

If there weren't then nobody would go to hell and we would have universal salvation.

Exactly.

I think the major difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy is that Catholics are taught that they must confess their mortal sins or at least have the desire to confess them; while Orthodox are taught that they must REPENT of all their sins.

The one thing that really attracted me to Orthodoxy was sobriety: the sober realization that repentance or metanoia is so essential for our spiritual health.
This is a silly objection. The desire to make a good confession presupposes a repentant sinner. I guess you missed this most important and fundamental point of Catholic sacramental theology.
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« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2012, 12:14:18 AM »

Father, I read your link and I don't see how that states mortal sins are forgiven after death.  It simply states that Judas and his pious companions offered up prayers on behalf of the dead.  Nowhere does it say that their sins were forgiven them.  Did I miss something?

It's possible you missed something.  Please read it again.

My objection is slightly different from Ionnis's. It seems to me that 2 Macc 12: 39-46 is in keeping with the RC understanding of Purgatory. Can you show that it isn't?

OK - in RC-speak...

The soldiers had died in mortal sin.  Idolatry.

People who die in mortal sin go to hell.

Modern Catholicism teaches there is no liberation from hell.
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« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2012, 12:21:27 AM »


Kaste, I have an uncomfortable feeling that you don't really want to hear what the Orthodox believe.  

Apparently St. Mark of Ephesus disagrees with you.  Perhaps Kaste would prefer to follow that Church Father.

"But if souls have departed this life in faith and love, while nevertheless carrying away with themselves certain faults, whether small ones over which they have not repented at all, or great ones for which – even thought they have repented over them – they did not undertake to show fruits of repentance: such souls, we believe, must be cleansed from this kind of sin, but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place (for this, as we have said, has not been handed down to us). But some must be cleansed in the very departure from the body, thanks only to fear, as St. Gregory the Dialogist literally shows; while others must be cleansed after the departure from the body, either while remaining in the same earthly place, before they come to worship God and are honored with the lot of the blessed, or – if their sins were more serious and bind them, for a longer duration – they are kept in hell, but not in order to remain forever in fire and torment, but as it were in prison and confinement under guard."

First Homily: “Refutation of the Latin Chapters concerning Purgatorial Fire”
St. Mark of Ephesus
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« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2012, 12:23:32 AM »

Mary, please go back and read message 10....

"But when I learned through my spiritual father at the monastery in Serbia that this schema cannot be found in the Fathers, that they do not teach much about the afterlife very precisely, that they interchange terms constantly and that it is not possible to draw up any consistent schema based on the Fathers - well, what was the point of adopting any one schema and insisting that it was *the* one?

"There is really no unanimity in the Fathers about the distinctions between these terms, or these states and places. So there's little hope of us lesser mortals (well, me anyway) sorting it out."
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« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2012, 12:56:15 AM »

I think what the OP addresses does get at a larger issue. Catholic doctrine tends to be pretty precisely defined. If I ask a Catholic if person X could go to Heaven, I'd get through a series of questions about invincible ignorance, unconfessed mortal sin, and perfect contrition, and, assuming I had a working knowledge of the machinations of this person's soul, I'd get a fairly certain answer. If I asked an Orthodox, I'd get something along the lines of "How should I know? It's probably not healthy to dwell on this sort of thing really." I hate not knowing things, so this attitude bugged the hell out of me at first, but the more I studied Orthodoxy, the more I realized that I can trust the God of Orthodox to do the right thing even if I don't completely "get it," and the more I began to find a strange comfort in this uncertainty.
 
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« Reply #44 on: January 24, 2012, 01:07:36 AM »

I think what the OP addresses does get at a larger issue. Catholic doctrine tends to be pretty precisely defined. If I ask a Catholic if person X could go to Heaven, I'd get through a series of questions about invincible ignorance, unconfessed mortal sin, and perfect contrition, and, assuming I had a working knowledge of the machinations of this person's soul, I'd get a fairly certain answer. If I asked an Orthodox, I'd get something along the lines of "How should I know? It's probably not healthy to dwell on this sort of thing really." I hate not knowing things, so this attitude bugged the hell out of me at first, but the more I studied Orthodoxy, the more I realized that I can trust the God of Orthodox to do the right thing even if I don't completely "get it," and the more I began to find a strange comfort in this uncertainty.
 

/\    A nice illustration of what Saint Hilary of Poitiers wrote:

"This is the characteristic virtue of the Church - that it becomes comprehensible only when you adopt it."
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