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Author Topic: For Catholics: Souls in Purgatory assured of salvation?  (Read 4101 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2012, 04:22:37 PM »

Wasn't taught in my catechesis. Almost makes me wonder if this isn't a bait and switch tactic, to tell inquirers (mainly protestants) what they want to hear...

I don't know why I didn't catch this earlier - this is a serious charge, you know (considering bait and switch is illegal in, say, retail sales and the like).  And what sinister purpose is behind such a "bait and switch" in theology?  Why would the GOA webmaster put up an article that is more serious and, ostensibly, less merciful (in that it doesn't provide a means for the individual to repent after death) that what you purport to be the Orthodox position?

When I was a catechumen in the Greek Orthodox Church, I was taught by my priest that after death there is no repentance, but as scriptures are silent, there is not much we do know about the time between death and the final judgment. Nevertheless, we are not sleepers, as we are alive with Christ and awaiting the Final Judgment with a foretaste of our own destination (heaven or hell).

My priest also taught that we go from "glory to glory," in the Presence of God. How can we remain as we are when the Divine Energies are purifying (the elect) or burning (the dammed)?
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« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2012, 04:25:09 PM »

In addressing the Orthodox part of this post:

1) Hades is the condition of death for the soul/spirit, prior to the soul's entrance into the place of rest with Christ.  All souls pass through Hades, or for those who reject Christ, remain there with nowhere else to go until the General Resurrection.

2) Sins are not 'light' or 'heavy' since all sins lead to death.

3) When the person dies, he is left with his conscience.  Those sins that he has not repented of become a source of accusation for the demons that gather around the soul.  Their intent is to torment the soul to keep it from entering rest.

4) The soul and spirit without the body are an incomplete person, and so the faculty of prayer is lost for those in Hades until they enter into the presence of Christ and can intercede with Him directly.

5) The Church offers prayers of repentance and alms on behalf of those souls who are struggling with their consciences during this process of death.  The absolution prayers assure the soul of God's mercy, and the offering of prayers on behalf of the dead help them by acting on their behalf.  Prayer is a sacrifice of time and effort to God.

6) God does not compel those who love Him to enter into His rest, which is why Hades is not utterly abolished until the Parousia.  So, Hades can be either a short or long experience.

7) Those in Hades are tormented by their own refusal to repent and their hatred of God.

Cool Those who do not hate God, even if they are not Orthodox prior to death, may receive God's plenteous mercy so long as they are willing to receive Him as He truly is (i.e. convert after death by accepting The Truth).  After all, a Buddhist is not going to enter into God's rest as a Buddhist.

I hope this helps.


Orthodox state those in Hades with light sins may get out of hades.  Pretty much like Purgatory without fire. 

But Orthodox believe these souls are not sure of their salvation (or do I have this wrong?)

My understanding of Roman Catholic teaching is that the souls in Purgatory ARE assured of their eventual salvation. 

Is this definitely true Catholics?  Or does Rome allow for the belief that those in purgatory are not assured of their salvation?

~K
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« Reply #47 on: January 31, 2012, 04:25:36 PM »

However, from the POV of the deceased, their time to repent is over at death.  As a simple spirit with no body, they are predisposed to act in death as they have in life, and do not have the benefit of the changability of the body to justify repentance (i.e. the distinction between human and angelic sin - when the angels rebelled they had no chance to repent, since as simple spirits they were aligned purely without distraction; we, on the other hand, are distracted by our senses, feelings, limited scope, etc.).  We become in a manner of speaking like the angels - i.e. we are at that moment only spirit - and, like them, have a straight trajectory to follow.

But only God is truly "simple" and "only spirit," thus while we are material to a much lesser extent in the afterlife (both before and after the general resurrection), we will still be material in some sense compared to God, as the angels also are.

Any terminology that we use to describe the angels and men will also be insufficient to describe God, so I was using the terminology without using God as a reference point in its application.

I suppose what I am arguing is that a change in status can take place after the first judgment but before the second judgment and receiving of our transfigured bodies. Thus while I guess I'd agree with your comparison with angels, I would think that it wouldn't be realised until after the second judgment.
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« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2012, 04:31:35 PM »


8. Those who do not hate God, even if they are not Orthodox prior to death, may receive God's plenteous mercy so long as they are willing to receive Him as He truly is (i.e. convert after death by accepting The Truth).  After all, a Buddhist is not going to enter into God's rest as a Buddhist.

I hope this helps.

Is #8 speculation? Is conversion possible after death especially when a Buddhist may have never encountered Christ or His Holy Church while on this earth? I would hope so, but does not conversion require repentance?

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« Reply #49 on: January 31, 2012, 04:35:16 PM »

However, from the POV of the deceased, their time to repent is over at death.  As a simple spirit with no body, they are predisposed to act in death as they have in life, and do not have the benefit of the changability of the body to justify repentance (i.e. the distinction between human and angelic sin - when the angels rebelled they had no chance to repent, since as simple spirits they were aligned purely without distraction; we, on the other hand, are distracted by our senses, feelings, limited scope, etc.).  We become in a manner of speaking like the angels - i.e. we are at that moment only spirit - and, like them, have a straight trajectory to follow.

But only God is truly "simple" and "only spirit," thus while we are material to a much lesser extent in the afterlife (both before and after the general resurrection), we will still be material in some sense compared to God, as the angels also are.

Any terminology that we use to describe the angels and men will also be insufficient to describe God, so I was using the terminology without using God as a reference point in its application.

I suppose what I am arguing is that a change in status can take place after the first judgment but before the second judgment and receiving of our transfigured bodies. Thus while I guess I'd agree with your comparison with angels, I would think that it wouldn't be realised until after the second judgment.

What are we to make about the claim of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg? She said that after (30+) years of praying, sleeping on her husband's grave at night, and fasting, that she saw the soul of her deceased husband spring out of hades and ascend into heaven, even though he had died in a drunken brawl.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2012, 04:35:51 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #50 on: January 31, 2012, 04:35:54 PM »

GOARCH's belief about this seems attuned to the Roman Catholic.

Is it what is taught in the seminaries?  

We obviously have a very significant diversion of belief between Greeks and Russians, with Greeks having no hope of repentance or betterment after death, and Russians believing that we do..

Thank you for the info from GOARCH.  I did not know that Greeks and Russians differ,

Orthodox state those in Hades with light sins may get out of hades.  

Much more than that.  Out of hell.  For a little more on the Orthodox belief see message 1216
at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13820.msg424768.html#msg424768

That statement can be contrasted with the Orthodox belief as taught at GOARCH.org:

Quote
God's Judgement

JUDGMENT of the soul according to its faith and deeds on earth, is an unquestioned teaching of the Gospel. It is also a self-evident demand of human nature and reasoning. The Christian Church places this judgment at the very moment of the death of the individual for two reasons:

1.Any moral progress of the soul is excluded after its separation from the body; and
2.there is no hope of repentance or betterment after death.

The moral progress of the soul, either for better or for worse, ends at the very moment of the separation of the body and soul; at that very moment the definite destiny of the soul in the everlasting life is decided. (see Androutsos Dogmatics p. 409). It will be judged not according to its deeds one by one, but according to the entire total results of its deeds and thoughts. The Orthodox Church believes that at this moment the soul of the dead person begins to enjoy the consequences of its deeds and thoughts on earth - that is, to enjoy the life in Paradise or to undergo the life in Hell. There is no way of repentance, no way of escape, no reincarnation and no help from the outside world. Its place is decided forever by its Creator and judge.


So far, Fr. Ambrose, all you've quoted on this thread are a couple of posts you submitted and the text of a Russian hymn that can be interpreted a plethora of different ways. Fr. Chris countered with an official Web page from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Whom do you expect will be deemed more believable? Are we supposed to trust you against the GOAA on your authority alone?


I am not sure what authority I have.  On this forum, none. I am neither parish priest nor spiritual father to any forum members.  But there is the authority of the Gospel and the words of the Saviour about the forgiveness of sin after death.   There is also of course the liturgical tradition of the Church and the Third Kneeling Prayer which we read in church on Pentecost Sunday. We  pray to the Lord Almighty that He will release those who are held in the bondage of Hell.   

...who also on this all-perfect and saving feast, art graciously pleased to accept
propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in Hell, promising unto us and
unto those held in bondage great hope of release from the vileness that doth
hinder us and hinder them.  We who are living will bless thee, and will pray,
and offer unto thee propitiatory prayers and sacrifices for their souls."


You may understand that I do not believe the GOARCH site is correctly portraying Orthodox belief.

If you wish to be believed, Fr. Ambrose, the best way to accomplish this is to show us an official Web page of the Russian Orthodox Church that supports your doctrines on the possibility of repentance after death.

Here is the official website of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx

See the antepenultimate paragraph.
But the GOAA article also cites the Gospel and our hymnography in support of its position, and, until proven otherwise, I'm left to assume that the article has the approval of the Holy Synod of the GOAA. The article you post from Metropolitan Hilarion, though submitted to an official Web page of the Russian Orthodox Church by possibly the most eminent theologian of said church, does represent the theological musing of one man and not the approved proclamation of a synod. So again, I ask why we should believe you over Fr. Chris and the GOAA.

I m not asking you to choose to believe me over Fr Chris and what he has quoted from the GOARCH site.  But I believe it does not present the orthodox beliefs on life after death.  And if assumption is correct and this has the approval of the Synod of the GOAA then I am sad.
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« Reply #51 on: January 31, 2012, 04:37:47 PM »

It's a pretty simple conclusion:

1) Conversion consists of one's acceptance of Jesus Christ as 'The Way' to the Father.

2) Not all people are exposed to this preaching, or only to heretical versions of Christ, or are impeded by the poor example lived by Orthodox Christians.

3) God shows His mercy to all men, saints and sinners alike.

4) If someone dies and finally sees the truth for the first time, and is willing to accept it, then He can receive the rest Christ promises all men who come to Him.

5) That means the person finally 'converts,' having accepted this reality.  There is no separate salvation for those who rejected or knew nothing of Christ in this life.  After all, you can't enter into Christ without agreeing to the truth about Him, yes?



8. Those who do not hate God, even if they are not Orthodox prior to death, may receive God's plenteous mercy so long as they are willing to receive Him as He truly is (i.e. convert after death by accepting The Truth).  After all, a Buddhist is not going to enter into God's rest as a Buddhist.

I hope this helps.[/font][/size]

Is #8 speculation? Is conversion possible after death especially when a Buddhist may have never encountered Christ or His Holy Church while on this earth? I would hope so, but does not conversion require repentance?


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« Reply #52 on: January 31, 2012, 04:42:44 PM »

What are we to make about the claim of St. Xenia of St. Petersburg? She said that after (30+) years of praying, sleeping on her husband's grave at night, and fasting, that she saw the soul of her deceased husband spring out of hades and ascend into heaven, even though he had died in a drunken brawl.

Take her claim at face value: she prayed for Him.  The prayers of the righteous can do much for the rest of us - hence, why we still pray that she entreat the Lord for His mercy on us.  It's happened once, it can happen again.
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« Reply #53 on: January 31, 2012, 04:44:46 PM »

When a bishop speaks, he does not so on his own, but on behalf of the Church (unless he specifically states otherwise).  If he misspeaks, then he is liable to be sanctioned by his synod. This is far more of an authoritative relationship than an anonymous posting even on an official website, since we do not know what the policies are for posting.  The canons do not regulate websites, but they do regulate the speech of bishops.

The direct statement of a bishop in regards to doctrine clearly falls under canonical norms.  Websites only so by extension, which implies a great deal more leeway.  Therefore, the signed statement is far more authoritative than the unsigned in that it is directly government by canonical norms.  Until a Great Council writes new canons governing websites, you can't really compare the two.

To be honest, you really can't call out Fr. Ambrose on the topic because you already know from previous threads (remember the Toll House Saga?) that there are no authoritative statements on the topic that are universally-recognized.

I'm calling him out on this? I didn't think I was doing that. Fr. Chris called Fr. Ambrose out on this. I'm merely challenging Fr. Ambrose to accept the challenge of proving that his doctrine really is Orthodox.



For 30 years I have read the Prayer over a dead body releasing the person from sin and giving absolution.  This takes place at the ending of the funeral..... in other words it takes place 3 or 5 or 10 days after what the GOARCH site claims is the definitive moment of death after which there can be absolutely no change nor forgiveness nor betterment.
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« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2012, 04:46:08 PM »

It's a pretty simple conclusion:

1) Conversion consists of one's acceptance of Jesus Christ as 'The Way' to the Father.

2) Not all people are exposed to this preaching, or only to heretical versions of Christ, or are impeded by the poor example lived by Orthodox Christians.

3) God shows His mercy to all men, saints and sinners alike.

4) If someone dies and finally sees the truth for the first time, and is willing to accept it, then He can receive the rest Christ promises all men who come to Him.

5) That means the person finally 'converts,' having accepted this reality.  There is no separate salvation for those who rejected or knew nothing of Christ in this life.  After all, you can't enter into Christ without agreeing to the truth about Him, yes?



8. Those who do not hate God, even if they are not Orthodox prior to death, may receive God's plenteous mercy so long as they are willing to receive Him as He truly is (i.e. convert after death by accepting The Truth).  After all, a Buddhist is not going to enter into God's rest as a Buddhist.

I hope this helps.[/font][/size]

Is #8 speculation? Is conversion possible after death especially when a Buddhist may have never encountered Christ or His Holy Church while on this earth? I would hope so, but does not conversion require repentance?

But, of course, this isn't a conversion in the sense that they're being changed from death to life; these cases are most likely a fulfillment of what St. Paul wrote to the Romans: "For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves." (2:14)  They have followed the way of mercy and love that was written in their hearts, and now have Christ revealed to them as the destination they could not see (not unlike St. Paul's argument to the Athenians of the unknown god).
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« Reply #55 on: January 31, 2012, 04:49:00 PM »

It's a pretty simple conclusion:

1) Conversion consists of one's acceptance of Jesus Christ as 'The Way' to the Father.

2) Not all people are exposed to this preaching, or only to heretical versions of Christ, or are impeded by the poor example lived by Orthodox Christians.

3) God shows His mercy to all men, saints and sinners alike.

4) If someone dies and finally sees the truth for the first time, and is willing to accept it, then He can receive the rest Christ promises all men who come to Him.

5) That means the person finally 'converts,' having accepted this reality.  There is no separate salvation for those who rejected or knew nothing of Christ in this life.  After all, you can't enter into Christ without agreeing to the truth about Him, yes?



8. Those who do not hate God, even if they are not Orthodox prior to death, may receive God's plenteous mercy so long as they are willing to receive Him as He truly is (i.e. convert after death by accepting The Truth).  After all, a Buddhist is not going to enter into God's rest as a Buddhist.

I hope this helps.

Is #8 speculation? Is conversion possible after death especially when a Buddhist may have never encountered Christ or His Holy Church while on this earth? I would hope so, but does not conversion require repentance?

But, of course, this isn't a conversion in the sense that they're being changed from death to life; these cases are most likely a fulfillment of what St. Paul wrote to the Romans: "For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves." (2:14)  They have followed the way of mercy and love that was written in their hearts, and now have Christ revealed to them as the destination they could not see (not unlike St. Paul's argument to the Athenians of the unknown god).

Thank you, Father, for clarifying this teaching.

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« Reply #56 on: January 31, 2012, 04:49:13 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
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« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2012, 04:50:41 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death. Its just that the choices that we made on earth are made permanent in eternity. C.S. Lewis is known for saying that the door to hell is locked from the inside and I tend to agree with him.
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« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2012, 04:54:52 PM »

When a bishop speaks, he does not so on his own, but on behalf of the Church (unless he specifically states otherwise).  If he misspeaks, then he is liable to be sanctioned by his synod. This is far more of an authoritative relationship than an anonymous posting even on an official website, since we do not know what the policies are for posting.  The canons do not regulate websites, but they do regulate the speech of bishops.

The direct statement of a bishop in regards to doctrine clearly falls under canonical norms.  Websites only so by extension, which implies a great deal more leeway.  Therefore, the signed statement is far more authoritative than the unsigned in that it is directly government by canonical norms.  Until a Great Council writes new canons governing websites, you can't really compare the two.

To be honest, you really can't call out Fr. Ambrose on the topic because you already know from previous threads (remember the Toll House Saga?) that there are no authoritative statements on the topic that are universally-recognized.

I'm calling him out on this? I didn't think I was doing that. Fr. Chris called Fr. Ambrose out on this. I'm merely challenging Fr. Ambrose to accept the challenge of proving that his doctrine really is Orthodox.



For 30 years I have read the Prayer over a dead body releasing the person from sin and giving absolution.  This takes place at the ending of the funeral..... in other words it takes place 3 or 5 or 10 days after what the GOARCH site claims is the definitive moment of death after which there can be absolutely no change nor forgiveness nor betterment.

Is the prayer similar to that found in the Service Book of the Antiochians?

If it is different, could you kindly copy the source and the prayer?

I remember talking with a Priest in the OCA who had just said the funeral for a 16 year old girl.
He was very sad, because this young girl had died a horrible death.
He was with her for most of her final struggles, from the moment when her illness worsened with kidney failure until the moment of her death. He tried to get her to reconcile with the Church, but she did not want to die. Her mother left Orthodoxy after her death. It was tragic.

If reading the funeral prayers were simply able to forgive the girl's sins, then everyone should have been happy.
Lord have mercy.
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« Reply #59 on: January 31, 2012, 04:56:32 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
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« Reply #60 on: January 31, 2012, 04:59:03 PM »

When a bishop speaks, he does not so on his own, but on behalf of the Church (unless he specifically states otherwise).  If he misspeaks, then he is liable to be sanctioned by his synod. This is far more of an authoritative relationship than an anonymous posting even on an official website, since we do not know what the policies are for posting.  The canons do not regulate websites, but they do regulate the speech of bishops.

The direct statement of a bishop in regards to doctrine clearly falls under canonical norms.  Websites only so by extension, which implies a great deal more leeway.  Therefore, the signed statement is far more authoritative than the unsigned in that it is directly government by canonical norms.  Until a Great Council writes new canons governing websites, you can't really compare the two.

To be honest, you really can't call out Fr. Ambrose on the topic because you already know from previous threads (remember the Toll House Saga?) that there are no authoritative statements on the topic that are universally-recognized.

I'm calling him out on this? I didn't think I was doing that. Fr. Chris called Fr. Ambrose out on this. I'm merely challenging Fr. Ambrose to accept the challenge of proving that his doctrine really is Orthodox.



For 30 years I have read the Prayer over a dead body releasing the person from sin and giving absolution.  This takes place at the ending of the funeral..... in other words it takes place 3 or 5 or 10 days after what the GOARCH site claims is the definitive moment of death after which there can be absolutely no change nor forgiveness nor betterment.

Is the prayer similar to that found in the Service Book of the Antiochians?

If it is different, could you kindly copy the source and the prayer?


Dearv Maria,  I would need you to post the Antiochian prayer so I can compare them.
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« Reply #61 on: January 31, 2012, 05:03:30 PM »

Before jumping to any conclusions, could either Mary or Papist explain this concept?  This seems to be very odd and I have a feeling that there must be more to this.


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death. Its just that the choices that we made on earth are made permanent in eternity. C.S. Lewis is known for saying that the door to hell is locked from the inside and I tend to agree with him.
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« Reply #62 on: January 31, 2012, 05:04:06 PM »

And from the Funeral Service from that Antiochian Service Book, p. 188

Quote
Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of thy servant, and establish him/her in Paradise; where the Choirs of the Saints, and of the Just, shine like the stars of heaven; Give rest to they servant who hath fallen asleep, regarding not all the charges against him/her.

Right - the belief that we can effectively pray for the deceased is not limited by the belief that the deceased cannot pray for themselves.

At the funeral service when a hierarch presides (and, in some jurisdictions, at all funerals), a prayer of absolution is read.  In that prayer he releases the deceased from any curse, ban, anathema, etc. that was against him - would he be praying an ineffective prayer?  (What about lex orandi lex credendi?)  Of course he isn't - he is praying to the One Who (beyond) exists outside of the boundaries and limitations of time.

Here is the prayer of absolution from the Funeral Service (Antiochian Service Book, p. 198-199)

Quote
PRIEST: Our Lord Jesus Christ, by his divine grace, as also by the gift and power vouchsafed unto his holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of men: (For he said unto them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained. And whatsoever ye shall bind or loose upon earth shall be bound or loosed also in heaven.  By that same power, also, transmitted unto us from them, this my spiritual child, N., is absolved, through me, unworthy through I be, from all things wherein, as mortal, he hath sinned against God, whether in word, or deed, or thought, and with all his senses, whether voluntary or involuntary;' whether with knowledge or through ignorance. If he be under the ban or excommunication of a Bishop, or of a Priest; or that sinned by any oath; or hath been bound, as man, by any sins whatsoever, but hath repented him thereof, with contrition of heart: he is now absolved from all those faults and bonds. May all those things which have proceeded from the weakness of his mortal nature be consigned to oblivion, and be remitted unto him: Through His loving-kindness; through the prayers of our most holy, and blessed, and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary' of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles and of all the Saints. Amen.

In this final prayer of absolution, there is the mention that the newly departed has repented with contrition of heart.


Here it is Father Ambrose. Other prayers are listed before this post.
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« Reply #63 on: January 31, 2012, 05:05:23 PM »

When a bishop speaks, he does not so on his own, but on behalf of the Church (unless he specifically states otherwise).  If he misspeaks, then he is liable to be sanctioned by his synod. This is far more of an authoritative relationship than an anonymous posting even on an official website, since we do not know what the policies are for posting.  The canons do not regulate websites, but they do regulate the speech of bishops.

The direct statement of a bishop in regards to doctrine clearly falls under canonical norms.  Websites only so by extension, which implies a great deal more leeway.  Therefore, the signed statement is far more authoritative than the unsigned in that it is directly government by canonical norms.  Until a Great Council writes new canons governing websites, you can't really compare the two.

To be honest, you really can't call out Fr. Ambrose on the topic because you already know from previous threads (remember the Toll House Saga?) that there are no authoritative statements on the topic that are universally-recognized.

I'm calling him out on this? I didn't think I was doing that. Fr. Chris called Fr. Ambrose out on this. I'm merely challenging Fr. Ambrose to accept the challenge of proving that his doctrine really is Orthodox.



For 30 years I have read the Prayer over a dead body releasing the person from sin and giving absolution.  This takes place at the ending of the funeral..... in other words it takes place 3 or 5 or 10 days after what the GOARCH site claims is the definitive moment of death after which there can be absolutely no change nor forgiveness nor betterment.

Is the prayer similar to that found in the Service Book of the Antiochians?

If it is different, could you kindly copy the source and the prayer?

I remember talking with a Priest in the OCA who had just said the funeral for a 16 year old girl.
He was very sad, because this young girl had died a horrible death.
He was with her for most of her final struggles, from the moment when her illness worsened with kidney failure until the moment of her death. He tried to get her to reconcile with the Church, but she did not want to die. Her mother left Orthodoxy after her death. It was tragic.

If reading the funeral prayers were simply able to forgive the girl's sins, then everyone should have been happy.


I do not understand the "mechanics" of it.  I do know that a priest has the authority to forgive sins even aftrer death.  How that is effected I do not know.  Presumably it is because the dead person is able to repent after death.  For me it is a great joy to read that prayer of forgiveness over the body.  In our tradition that prayer is printed and it is placed in the dead person's hand and goes to the grave with him.  I know that this action brings great comfort to grieving families.
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« Reply #64 on: January 31, 2012, 05:10:13 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
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« Reply #65 on: January 31, 2012, 05:14:59 PM »

Do you believe that a free will is an integral part of humanity, and to lose it one loses one's humanity?


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
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« Reply #66 on: January 31, 2012, 05:17:33 PM »

In Orthodoxy, the free will is essential to humanity.  It cannot be parted with unless someone literally becomes something other than humanity.

The question would be why would someone be in the presence of Christ and still chose sin?

Of course, we know that the devil did, but why would we?  I think that answering this question resolves the issue.



IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
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« Reply #67 on: January 31, 2012, 05:18:06 PM »

Do you believe that a free will is an integral part of humanity, and to lose it one loses one's humanity?


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?

Of course I believe free will is integral and I don't believe that we lose free will when we die.
But on a side note, this wasn't addressed to you. I was actually addressing Fr. A's point that if a person won't choose to repent after death that that means that they have a paralyzed will. If I follow Fr. A's logic, then I would have to conclude that those in heaven have a parlayzed will.
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« Reply #68 on: January 31, 2012, 05:18:32 PM »

In Orthodoxy, the free will is essential to humanity.  It cannot be parted with unless someone literally becomes something other than humanity.

The question would be why would someone be in the presence of Christ and still chose sin?

Of course, we know that the devil did, but why would we?  I think that answering this question resolves the issue.



IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
So then, so may fall again, after entering into paradise?
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« Reply #69 on: January 31, 2012, 05:19:52 PM »

Do you believe that once a devout soul beholds the source of Life and Light, Christ-God, that one could reject Him?

Are our wills confirmed in goodness after we die a devout death?

Do you believe that a free will is an integral part of humanity, and to lose it one loses one's humanity?


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
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« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2012, 05:20:20 PM »

Here is the prayer of absolution from the Funeral Service (Antiochian Service Book, p. 198-199)

Quote
PRIEST: Our Lord Jesus Christ, by his divine grace, as also by the gift and power vouchsafed unto his holy Disciples and Apostles, that they should bind and loose the sins of men: (For he said unto them: Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained. And whatsoever ye shall bind or loose upon earth shall be bound or loosed also in heaven.  By that same power, also, transmitted unto us from them, this my spiritual child, N., is absolved, through me, unworthy through I be, from all things wherein, as mortal, he hath sinned against God, whether in word, or deed, or thought, and with all his senses, whether voluntary or involuntary;' whether with knowledge or through ignorance. If he be under the ban or excommunication of a Bishop, or of a Priest; or that sinned by any oath; or hath been bound, as man, by any sins whatsoever, but hath repented him thereof, with contrition of heart: he is now absolved from all those faults and bonds. May all those things which have proceeded from the weakness of his mortal nature be consigned to oblivion, and be remitted unto him: Through His loving-kindness; through the prayers of our most holy, and blessed, and glorious Lady Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary' of the holy, glorious, and all-laudable Apostles and of all the Saints. Amen.

In this final prayer of absolution, there is the mention that the newly departed has repented with contrition of heart.


Thank you for the Prayer.  It seems to be identical.

The absolution takes place days after death.  “he is now absolved from all those faults and bonds.”


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« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2012, 05:22:07 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
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« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2012, 05:25:44 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
Read Aquians. I'll find you some references. It's not that our wills are paralyzed, they are merely actualized.
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« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2012, 05:26:08 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?

Yes, it does seem strange.

Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?
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« Reply #74 on: January 31, 2012, 05:28:06 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?

Yes, it does seem strange.

Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?
I don't think there is any problem with that.
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« Reply #75 on: January 31, 2012, 05:31:34 PM »

Do you believe that a free will is an integral part of humanity, and to lose it one loses one's humanity?


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?

Of course I believe free will is integral and I don't believe that we lose free will when we die.
But on a side note, this wasn't addressed to you. I was actually addressing Fr. A's point that if a person won't choose to repent after death that that means that they have a paralyzed will. If I follow Fr. A's logic, then I would have to conclude that those in heaven have a parlayzed will.

I do not think that the logic is sustainable.  We believe that until the Last Judgement the fate of a dead soul may change,  but only for its betterment and not for its harm.

Although to be fair, toll house adherents believe a soul may sin on the journey through the toll houses and forfeit its salvation.  That, to me, is an outlandish belief.
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« Reply #76 on: January 31, 2012, 05:39:58 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
Read Aquians. I'll find you some references. It's not that our wills are paralyzed, they are merely actualized.

Thanks!!

When you say "actualized", does that mean what Maria means when she writes: "Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?"?
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« Reply #77 on: January 31, 2012, 05:56:31 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
Read Aquians. I'll find you some references. It's not that our wills are paralyzed, they are merely actualized.

Thanks!!

When you say "actualized", does that mean what Maria means when she writes: "Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?"?

Has is the possibility of any betterment after death achieved if the will is inoperative?  Is the improvement forced upon the soul against its will?
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« Reply #78 on: January 31, 2012, 06:01:42 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
Read Aquians. I'll find you some references. It's not that our wills are paralyzed, they are merely actualized.

Thanks!!

When you say "actualized", does that mean what Maria means when she writes: "Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?"?

Has is the possibility of any betterment after death achieved if the will is inoperative?  Is the improvement forced upon the soul against its will?

You're answering a question with two others.  I thought only we Jews did that  Grin laugh.  But...you've lost me, I'm afraid.
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« Reply #79 on: January 31, 2012, 06:02:30 PM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
Read Aquians. I'll find you some references. It's not that our wills are paralyzed, they are merely actualized.

Thanks!!

When you say "actualized", does that mean what Maria means when she writes: "Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?"?

Has is the possibility of any betterment after death achieved if the will is inoperative?  Is the improvement forced upon the soul against its will?

When I was a Catholic attending a Catholic university, the Dominican priest who taught us theology said that our wills would be perfected in the afterlife, so we could only desire the good.

If we only had a trace of charity in our souls, we would still desire good.

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« Reply #80 on: January 31, 2012, 06:33:18 PM »

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Devoutly do we hymn the triple Splendor of the one Godhead, crying aloud: Holy art thou, O Father, who art from everlasting; O Son, Co-eternal; and Spirit divine! Illumine us who with faith do worship thee; and rescue us from fire eternal.

Catholics speak much the same way, but they understand it to mean save us from going to hell.
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« Reply #81 on: January 31, 2012, 06:54:01 PM »

Sin is based on falsehood, primarily forgetting who God is and His omnipresence.  In the rest of Christ, the soul would not have the necessary ingredients for sin, but the will cannot be inhibited.  So, the person must always have a free-will, though circumstances would make the choice of sin to be totally irrational.

In Orthodoxy, the free will is essential to humanity.  It cannot be parted with unless someone literally becomes something other than humanity.

The question would be why would someone be in the presence of Christ and still chose sin?

Of course, we know that the devil did, but why would we?  I think that answering this question resolves the issue.



IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
So then, so may fall again, after entering into paradise?
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« Reply #82 on: January 31, 2012, 08:38:44 PM »

Sin is based on falsehood, primarily forgetting who God is and His omnipresence.  In the rest of Christ, the soul would not have the necessary ingredients for sin, but the will cannot be inhibited.  So, the person must always have a free-will, though circumstances would make the choice of sin to be totally irrational.

In Orthodoxy, the free will is essential to humanity.  It cannot be parted with unless someone literally becomes something other than humanity.

The question would be why would someone be in the presence of Christ and still chose sin?

Of course, we know that the devil did, but why would we?  I think that answering this question resolves the issue.



IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
So then, so may fall again, after entering into paradise?

But the soul could choose to be irrational, right? Is that what Satan and the demons did?

If so, then what'd stop one third of the saved (like one third of the angels who became demons) from falling?
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« Reply #83 on: January 31, 2012, 11:29:26 PM »

Yes, but man's place in the rest with Christ came at the price of struggling to get there.  Not so with the angels, nor with Adam and Eve for that matter.

Sin is based on falsehood, primarily forgetting who God is and His omnipresence.  In the rest of Christ, the soul would not have the necessary ingredients for sin, but the will cannot be inhibited.  So, the person must always have a free-will, though circumstances would make the choice of sin to be totally irrational.

In Orthodoxy, the free will is essential to humanity.  It cannot be parted with unless someone literally becomes something other than humanity.

The question would be why would someone be in the presence of Christ and still chose sin?

Of course, we know that the devil did, but why would we?  I think that answering this question resolves the issue.



IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.
Paralysis of the will? Father you kill me. You know very well that the will is intact for Catholics after death.

Quote from: elijahmaria
IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,
So you believe that a soul in heaven can choose to sin, and as a result, go to hell?
So then, so may fall again, after entering into paradise?

But the soul could choose to be irrational, right? Is that what Satan and the demons did?

If so, then what'd stop one third of the saved (like one third of the angels who became demons) from falling?
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« Reply #84 on: February 01, 2012, 02:48:50 AM »


IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?
Read Aquians. I'll find you some references. It's not that our wills are paralyzed, they are merely actualized.

Thanks!!

When you say "actualized", does that mean what Maria means when she writes: "Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?"?

Has is the possibility of any betterment after death achieved if the will is inoperative?  Is the improvement forced upon the soul against its will?

When I was a Catholic attending a Catholic university, the Dominican priest who taught us theology said that our wills would be perfected in the afterlife, so we could only desire the good.

If we only had a trace of charity in our souls, we would still desire good.



I believe if you had probed, you would have found this to be true after the final judgment when are souls are reunited with our glorified bodies.

M.
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« Reply #85 on: February 01, 2012, 12:04:26 PM »

I know of no such Orthodox teaching regarding 'confirming' a soul after death.  Remember, death is an incompleteness of the person.  This is why there is no 'purgatory' in Orthodox teaching, since human sin cannot be 'punished' apart from the body, which is part of the person.  The risk here is to elevate the importance of the soul over the body, which pushes us ever closer to Plato and the body being a 'meat cage.'

How this incomplete person exists and operates in the intermediate state is difficult to assess because the Church hasn't recognized any one theory.  However, I would say that the idea that the soul's decision-making faculties are 'unplugged' or tampered with after death seems too far of a reach, considering the descriptions of many saints about the temptations of demons at death and how the soul must battle through their assaults by using its own will, aided by the saints and angels. This means that the dead exercise their free will all through the death process.

Once they have come to the rest of Christ, the passions no longer hold sway and the will becomes more natural, thus sin no longer appeals.  However, this does not mean that the ability to sin is ever lost, but there no longer appears the need to exercise such a choice.

I hope this makes sense.



IF you consider that once one is dead, the conscience can no longer choose between good and evil,

The Roman Catholic teaching on the paralysis of the will after death has always appeared odd to me.

This is certainly not something I've come across in Eastern Catholicism.  Nor have I encountered this teaching in Western Catholicism, at least not in the words you have used.  Where might I find it?

Yes, it does seem strange.

Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?
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« Reply #86 on: February 01, 2012, 01:14:52 PM »

Once again, Fr. Ambrose, can a soul that is saved and in heaven, choose to sin, fall, and be comdemned to hell?
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« Reply #87 on: February 01, 2012, 04:01:13 PM »

Once again, Fr. Ambrose, can a soul that is saved and in heaven, choose to sin, fall, and be comdemned to hell?

good question...
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« Reply #88 on: February 01, 2012, 04:12:43 PM »

If the human soul can sin after death or convert to Christ before the Final Resurrection, then couldn't it also repent?

Again, bringing to mind all the penances, prayers, and fastings that St. Xenia of St. Peterburg offered for her deceased husband, who had died in an drunken brawl and who was seen after 30 some years in a vision leaving hell, would this not indicate that a person can repent/be forgiven their sins with the funeral prayers of the Church (that includes absolution) and the prayers of the faithful?

I know of no such Orthodox teaching regarding 'confirming' a soul after death.  Remember, death is an incompleteness of the person.  This is why there is no 'purgatory' in Orthodox teaching, since human sin cannot be 'punished' apart from the body, which is part of the person.  The risk here is to elevate the importance of the soul over the body, which pushes us ever closer to Plato and the body being a 'meat cage.'

How this incomplete person exists and operates in the intermediate state is difficult to assess because the Church hasn't recognized any one theory.  However, I would say that the idea that the soul's decision-making faculties are 'unplugged' or tampered with after death seems too far of a reach, considering the descriptions of many saints about the temptations of demons at death and how the soul must battle through their assaults by using its own will, aided by the saints and angels. This means that the dead exercise their free will all through the death process.

Once they have come to the rest of Christ, the passions no longer hold sway and the will becomes more natural, thus sin no longer appeals.  However, this does not mean that the ability to sin is ever lost, but there no longer appears the need to exercise such a choice.

I hope this makes sense.



Yes, it does seem strange.

Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?
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« Reply #89 on: February 01, 2012, 04:16:45 PM »

Did I say that souls could not repent after death?  The only things I'm pretty sure we can say plainly is that souls cannot pray while in Hades and that souls do not become 'lost.'  The rest is rather confusing to clearly communicate.

If the human soul can sin after death or convert to Christ before the Final Resurrection, then couldn't it also repent?

Again, bringing to mind all the penances, prayers, and fastings that St. Xenia of St. Peterburg offered for her deceased husband, who had died in an drunken brawl and who was seen after 30 some years in a vision leaving hell, would this not indicate that a person can repent/be forgiven their sins with the funeral prayers of the Church (that includes absolution) and the prayers of the faithful?

I know of no such Orthodox teaching regarding 'confirming' a soul after death.  Remember, death is an incompleteness of the person.  This is why there is no 'purgatory' in Orthodox teaching, since human sin cannot be 'punished' apart from the body, which is part of the person.  The risk here is to elevate the importance of the soul over the body, which pushes us ever closer to Plato and the body being a 'meat cage.'

How this incomplete person exists and operates in the intermediate state is difficult to assess because the Church hasn't recognized any one theory.  However, I would say that the idea that the soul's decision-making faculties are 'unplugged' or tampered with after death seems too far of a reach, considering the descriptions of many saints about the temptations of demons at death and how the soul must battle through their assaults by using its own will, aided by the saints and angels. This means that the dead exercise their free will all through the death process.

Once they have come to the rest of Christ, the passions no longer hold sway and the will becomes more natural, thus sin no longer appeals.  However, this does not mean that the ability to sin is ever lost, but there no longer appears the need to exercise such a choice.

I hope this makes sense.



Yes, it does seem strange.

Could we say that after death, the soul is confirmed either in goodness or in evil, that it has made its choice for all eternity, much like the angels and demons have?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2012, 04:18:43 PM by FatherGiryus » Logged

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