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Author Topic: Did the Church Fathers support the doctrine of purgatory?  (Read 2437 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 13, 2013, 01:31:15 PM »

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-roots-of-purgatory

I stumbled across this, and wasn't sure what to make of it. Obviously, it's not all-conclusive -- and I know enough about a couple of the quotations to know that this is taking them out of context. I don't think all the Fathers believed in purgatory, but it seems like at least a few may have, and I'm wondering how the consensus came to exclude the belief, patristically speaking.
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 02:16:44 PM »

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-roots-of-purgatory

I stumbled across this, and wasn't sure what to make of it. Obviously, it's not all-conclusive -- and I know enough about a couple of the quotations to know that this is taking them out of context. I don't think all the Fathers believed in purgatory, but it seems like at least a few may have, and I'm wondering how the consensus came to exclude the belief, patristically speaking.

YES... Well at least the Fathers of the West did. A few Eastern Fathers that I'm aware of did too. The eastern understanding of the process of purgation/cleansing after death was quite different but honestly its the same thing just expressed differently due to the theological differences of expression. Hence we have the western tradition and eastern tradition.

Some polemicists are too divisive and ANY minor difference in understanding of the cleansing after death means that the east and west are speaking about two different things. Such people are just being difficult.
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 02:26:51 PM »

The eastern understanding of the process of purgation/cleansing after death was quite different but honestly its the same thing just expressed differently due to the theological differences of expression. Hence we have the western tradition and eastern tradition.

It depends of the definition of purgatory. If we talk about literal fire, literal place, clear-cut distinction of mortal and venil sins and suffering temporal punishment of sins, there is certainly difference between RC and EO/OO approach to purgatory.
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 02:39:36 PM »

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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 03:29:54 PM »

The eastern understanding of the process of purgation/cleansing after death was quite different but honestly its the same thing just expressed differently due to the theological differences of expression. Hence we have the western tradition and eastern tradition.

It depends of the definition of purgatory. If we talk about literal fire, literal place, clear-cut distinction of mortal and venil sins and suffering temporal punishment of sins, there is certainly difference between RC and EO/OO approach to purgatory.

That's an oversimplification of the western approach. The western idea of purgatory can be found in scripture such as :

"For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead... Therefore he made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin. [2 Macc 12:44-45]

Also the  fire has to be somewhat literal as in the New Testament there is the mention of fire to test our faith. Paul too teaches that :

"He will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire" (1 Cor 3:15).

As far as it bring a "place", that his not part of the official western doctrine but rather a little "t" folk tradition that gained sway. Yet even the possibility of it being a place is not that big of a deal. If its a literal place (Various catholic Saints and visionaries seem to attest to this) then SO WHAT?

With regards to distinction of Mortal and venial sins, this is directly from scripture in that certain sins carry more weight than others e.g. Pauls list of deadly sins. These sins if left unrepented damn the soul without hope of purgation. Certain sins don't damn the soul unless in excess. Hence such sins can be purged.
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 03:33:34 PM »

There were various opinions on this among the Church Fathers (and continues to be). Many spoke of a cleansing, a purgation, a healing, or some other type of activity that happens after death, but questions about how, when, why, where, and who differ from person to person. The general tendency in Orthodoxy, so far as I can tell, has been to leave the question in the realm of discussion and not be overly insistent on any one point of view being correct (though some would seem to be more likely to be correct than others).
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2013, 04:05:22 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2013, 04:22:53 PM »

I can't speak of denunciations exactly, but fwiw here are a few quotes on the subject in general. First, the The Patriarchal Encyclical of 1895:

Quote
The one holy, catholic and apostolic Church of the seven Ecumenical Councils, walking according to the divinely inspired teaching of the Holy Scripture and the old apostolic tradition, prays and invokes the mercy of God for the forgiveness and rest of those 'which have fallen asleep in the Lord'; but the Papal Church from the twelfth century downwards has invented and heaped together in the person of the Pope, as one singularly privileged, a multitude of innovations concerning purgatorial fire, a superabundance of the virtues of the saints, and the distribution of them to those who need them, and the like, setting forth also a full reward for the just before the universal resurrection and judgment.

-- Source

Second, St. Mark of Ephesus giving the Orthodox position, as he understood it, at the Council of Florence in the 15th century:

Quote
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 no repented at all, or great ones for which--even though 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 sins, but not by means of some purgatorial fire or a definite punishment in some place (for this, as we have said, has not at all be 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 [hades], but not in order to remain forever in fire and torment, but as it were in prison and confinement under guard.

All such ones, we affirm, are helped by the prayers and Liturgies performed for them, with the cooperation of the Divine goodness and love for mankind. This Divine cooperation immediately disdains and remits some sins, those committed out of human weakness, as Dionysius the Great (the Areopagite) says in 'Reflections on the Mystery of Those Reposed in Faith' (In 'The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, 7, 7); while other sins, after a certain time, by righteous judgments it either likewise releases and forgives--and that completely--or lightens the responsibility for them until that final judgment. And therefore we see no necessity whatever for any other punishment or for a cleansing fire; for some are cleansed by fear, while others are devoured by gnawings of conscience with more torment than any fire, and still others are cleansed only the the very terror before the Divine Glory and the uncertainty as to what the future will be...

And so, we intreat God and believe to deliver the departed from (eternal torment), and not from any other torment or fire apart from those torments and that fire which have been proclaimed to be forever. And that, moreover, the souls of the departed are delivered by prayers from confinement in [hades], as if from a certain prison, is testified, among many others, by Theophanes the Confessor, called the Branded. ...In one of the canons for the reposed he thus prays for them: 'Deliver, O Savior, Thy slaves who are in the [hades] of tears and sighing' (Octoechos, Saturday canon for the deposed, Tone 8, Canticle 6, Glory).

-- St. Mark of Ephesus, First Homily on the Refutation of the Latin Chapters Concerning Purgatorial Fire

Third, Decree 18 of the Confession of Dositheus:

Quote
We believe that the souls of those that have fallen asleep are either at rest or in torment, according to what each has done; — for when they are separated from their bodies, they depart immediately either to joy, or to sorrow and lamentation; though confessedly neither their enjoyment nor condemnation are complete. For after the common resurrection, when the soul shall be united with the body, with which it had behaved itself well or ill, each shall receive the completion of either enjoyment or of condemnation.

And the souls of those involved in mortal sins, who have not departed in despair but while still living in the body, though without bringing forth any fruits of repentance, have repented — by pouring forth tears, by kneeling while watching in prayers, by afflicting themselves, by relieving the poor, and finally by showing forth by their works their love towards God and their neighbor, and which the Catholic Church has from the beginning rightly called satisfaction — [their souls] depart into Hades, and there endure the punishment due to the sins they have committed. But they are aware of their future release from there, and are delivered by the Supreme Goodness, through the prayers of the Priests, and the good works which the relatives of each do for their Departed; especially the unbloody Sacrifice benefiting the most; which each offers particularly for his relatives that have fallen asleep, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church offers daily for all alike. Of course, it is understood that we do not know the time of their release. We know and believe that there is deliverance for such from their direful condition, and that before the common resurrection and judgment, but when we know not.

-- Source
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2013, 04:58:58 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 05:30:07 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

You're gonna have to be a bit more specific Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2013, 05:38:48 PM »

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

Source?
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2013, 05:44:49 PM »

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-roots-of-purgatory

I stumbled across this, and wasn't sure what to make of it. Obviously, it's not all-conclusive -- and I know enough about a couple of the quotations to know that this is taking them out of context. I don't think all the Fathers believed in purgatory, but it seems like at least a few may have, and I'm wondering how the consensus came to exclude the belief, patristically speaking.

YES... Well at least the Fathers of the West did. A few Eastern Fathers that I'm aware of did too. The eastern understanding of the process of purgation/cleansing after death was quite different but honestly its the same thing just expressed differently due to the theological differences of expression. Hence we have the western tradition and eastern tradition.

Some polemicists are too divisive and ANY minor difference in understanding of the cleansing after death means that the east and west are speaking about two different things. Such people are just being difficult.

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

Bullfeathers.  The Western doctrine of purgatory is a very specifically and juridically defined tenet of Roman Catholic dogma that is not accepted by the Orthodox Church.  In my view it is the Roman Church that is "polemical" in how it officially defines such dogmas.  Don't try to paint Orthodoxy as the "bad guy" by saying how unreasonable we are in not seeing the time after death as including some kind of cleansing.  Of course we see this as something that likely happens in many cases.  We simply don't define it in a juridical way, we don't pretend to understand the depths of the great Mysteries of Salvation in a way that can be defined by the puny human intellect.  You can dress it up all you want in post-Vatican II "fuzzy" talk but the official definition is the official definition, don't try and sugarcoat it with statements about "how reasonable Rome is and how unreasonable some Orthodox polemicists are."  Yes, Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem did come very close in the seventeeth century to defining a post-death state very much like the Latin Church does.  You should be aware of a few things.   First of all, this was a very dark period of Orthodox theology, often referred to as its "Western captivity", when because of the oppression of genuine and creative Orthodox thought (by muslims, and for other reasons) a degenerate second-rate kind of post-scholastic/protestant thought held sway amongst the Orthodox.  (Despite this, Patriarch Dositheus' Confession of Faith was an important document for its time: he defended the Orthodox Faith as best as he could using the language and concepts that he knew.)  Secondly, just because one bishop or one council (that is not ecumenical) proclaims something, it does not mean that the whole Orthodox Church subscribes to it.  Do some research before coming on an Orthodox site and rudely (and polemically!) rolling your eyes about how reactionary we are.   Roll Eyes
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2013, 05:51:07 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

You're gonna have to be a bit more specific Smiley

The Synod of Jerusalem was convened by Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dositheos Notaras in March, 1672.
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2013, 05:52:03 PM »

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

Source?

Council of Jerusalem
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2013, 05:57:32 PM »

One local council? That's all?
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2013, 06:01:12 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

You're gonna have to be a bit more specific Smiley

The Synod of Jerusalem was convened by Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dositheos Notaras in March, 1672.

I quoted the confession from Dositheus above. Wink That confession was anti-Protestant but quite Catholic-friendly compared to what came earlier. Anyway, before arguing over when you think the change took place, perhaps it'd be best to get some specifics on when the Eastern Christians taught purgatory in the early Church. By this I of course mean something other than stray quotes about purgation or cleansing or something....
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2013, 06:03:25 PM »

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-roots-of-purgatory

I stumbled across this, and wasn't sure what to make of it. Obviously, it's not all-conclusive -- and I know enough about a couple of the quotations to know that this is taking them out of context. I don't think all the Fathers believed in purgatory, but it seems like at least a few may have, and I'm wondering how the consensus came to exclude the belief, patristically speaking.

YES... Well at least the Fathers of the West did. A few Eastern Fathers that I'm aware of did too. The eastern understanding of the process of purgation/cleansing after death was quite different but honestly its the same thing just expressed differently due to the theological differences of expression. Hence we have the western tradition and eastern tradition.

Some polemicists are too divisive and ANY minor difference in understanding of the cleansing after death means that the east and west are speaking about two different things. Such people are just being difficult.

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

Bullfeathers.  The Western doctrine of purgatory is a very specifically and juridically defined tenet of Roman Catholic dogma that is not accepted by the Orthodox Church.  In my view it is the Roman Church that is "polemical" in how it officially defines such dogmas.  Don't try to paint Orthodoxy as the "bad guy" by saying how unreasonable we are in not seeing the time after death as including some kind of cleansing.  Of course we see this as something that likely happens in many cases.  We simply don't define it in a juridical way, we don't pretend to understand the depths of the great Mysteries of Salvation in a way that can be defined by the puny human intellect.  You can dress it up all you want in post-Vatican II "fuzzy" talk but the official definition is the official definition, don't try and sugarcoat it with statements about "how reasonable Rome is and how unreasonable some Orthodox polemicists are."  Yes, Dositheus of Jerusalem did come very close in the seventeeth century to defining a post-death state very much like the Latin Church does.  You should be aware of a few things.   First of all, this was a very dark period of Orthodox theology, often referred to as its "Western captivity", when because of the oppression of genuine and creative Orthodox thought (by muslims, and for other reasons) a degenerate second-rate kind of post-scholastic/protestant thought held sway amongst the Orthodox.  Secondly, just because one bishop or one council (that is not ecumenical) proclaims something, it does not mean that the whole Orthodox Church subscribes to it.  Do some research before coming on an Orthodox site and rudely (and polemically!) rolling your eyes about how reactionary we are.   Roll Eyes

Calm down dude Undecided

The whole "post Vatican II" part of your rant concerning how I termed official and unofficial teaching is a bit disturbing. Anyway what I said still stands as the Church DOES NOT officially teach purgatory to be a literal place. This was just a folk tradition. FACT...

The Jerusalem council still to this day has not formally been deemed heretical or as a robber council. It seems to be just "ignored" for lack of a better term and looked down upon. Not to my knowledge. A dark period in orthodox history? From your point of view I guess so... You have to believe that.

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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2013, 06:04:20 PM »

One local council? That's all?

I was making reference to one point in time. What do you want?
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2013, 06:07:00 PM »

One local council? That's all?

I was making reference to one point in time. What do you want?

Well...

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

A local council may have come close to the Latin definition but that doesn't mean that "at one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory".
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2013, 06:09:18 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

You're gonna have to be a bit more specific Smiley

The Synod of Jerusalem was convened by Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dositheos Notaras in March, 1672.

I quoted the confession from Dositheus above. Wink That confession was anti-Protestant but quite Catholic-friendly compared to what came earlier. Anyway, before arguing over when you think the change took place, perhaps it'd be best to get some specifics on when the Eastern Christians taught purgatory in the early Church. By this I of course mean something other than stray quotes about purgation or cleansing or something....

Can we at least agree that some fathers especially western ones taught purgatory?

secondly if you want the actual NAME referenced in quotes by eastern fathers...well...we both know that's not gonna happen. That's like asking the for the word TRINITY in the bible. However quotes of the idea can be found which I will try to supply if I can find them again. Is that ok?  Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2013, 06:10:50 PM »

Can we at least agree that some fathers especially western ones taught purgatory?

Not unless you give some good sources.

secondly if you want the actual NAME referenced un quotes by eastern fathers...well...ee both know that's  :)not gonna happen.

A good description of Purgatory would be nice.

However quotes of the idea can be found which I will try to supply if I can find them again. Is that ok?  Smiley

Yes. Thank you  angel
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2013, 06:11:11 PM »

One local council? That's all?

I was making reference to one point in time. What do you want?

Well...

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

A local council may have come close to the Latin definition but that doesn't mean that "at one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory".

So has the council been denounced as heretical or robber officially?
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2013, 06:14:05 PM »

One local council? That's all?

I was making reference to one point in time. What do you want?

Well...

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

A local council may have come close to the Latin definition but that doesn't mean that "at one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory".

So has the council been denounced as heretical or robber officially?

Why? It did some pretty good things as well, like condemning and refuting Calvinism.
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2013, 06:27:30 PM »

One local council? That's all?

I was making reference to one point in time. What do you want?

Well...

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

A local council may have come close to the Latin definition but that doesn't mean that "at one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory".

So has the council been denounced as heretical or robber officially?

Why? It did some pretty good things as well, like condemning and refuting Calvinism.

So its decrees still stand?  Undecided
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2013, 06:29:31 PM »

Local councils are not universally binding, nor are they infallible.
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2013, 06:40:56 PM »

Calm down dude Undecided

The whole "post Vatican II" part of your rant concerning how I termed official and unofficial teaching is a bit disturbing. Anyway what I said still stands as the Church DOES NOT officially teach purgatory to be a literal place. This was just a folk tradition. FACT...

The Jerusalem council still to this day has not formally been deemed heretical or as a robber council. It seems to be just "ignored" for lack of a better term and looked down upon. Not to my knowledge. A dark period in orthodox history? From your point of view I guess so... You have to believe that.

Calm down yourself, "Dude".  You come on an Orthodox site and roll your eyes about how we believed something until we had a knee-jerk reaction to it being too "Western".  You seriously believe that that will not get a reaction?  I am sometimes amazed at the tolerance and charity shown by some of our posters when statements like yours are posted.  Go and have a good, big, hot slice of humble pie.  (A dish that I have savoured more than I would care to admit. Wink )Do some basic research about Orthodox ecclesiology and doctrine (for example, about how Orthodox view the authority of local vs. ecumenical councils).  You can start by reading books like The Orthodox Church by Timothy(Metropolitan Kallistos) Ware and by really trying to understand that the Orthodox are not being obstinate or intolerant, they just really do think in a different way and sometimes speak a different language.  Then we can talk.  

Oh, and by the way, lest you think that I live in some isolated tiny hamlet of Orthodox triumphalism, I don't: I have to deal with ecumenical issues every day.
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2013, 06:44:27 PM »

One local council? That's all?

I was making reference to one point in time. What do you want?

Well...

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes

A local council may have come close to the Latin definition but that doesn't mean that "at one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory".

So has the council been denounced as heretical or robber officially?

No, because the council did not teach purgatory. You simply do not know how to read Dositheus' confession of faith correctly because you are heterodox by confession, and do not know the Orthodox faith or on what points of theology do the Orthodox disagree with the Latins concerning purgatory. The Orthodox disagree with the Latins on three points, 1) that there is a temporal punishment due for sins which differs from the eternal punishment, which is not remitted by repentance and Confession, and which God will exact upon the sinner either in this life or after death should the sinner fail to complete a satisfaction for his sins, 2) that the Pope possesses the power to remit this temporal punishment through granting indulgences from the treasury of merits of the saints, and 3) that the method by which the sins of the faithful are punished after death is by a literal purgatorial fire.

To 1), we respond that sins which have been forgiven by God require no temporal punishment, because the cause of punishment itself has been loosed (the sinner being bound in the sight of God by his sins). To 2) we respond that the the Latins could only create this warped theology by corrupting the reasoning behind and purpose of the epitimia given by the priest after confession and absolution. The epitimia serves as a satisfaction not in the sense that it is meant to satisfy the punishment demanded by God for some sin (which has been remitted by genuine repentance and confession), but in order to amend the life of the penitent and make his way of life satisfactory to God. To argue otherwise would do violence to the patristic concept of oikonomia, as taught in the canons of St. Basil, and canon 102 of Trullo. To 3), we respond that there is only one fire mentioned in the scriptures, and that is the eternal fire of damnation. Some fathers do speak of a cleansing fire, but they do so metaphorically, referring to how God is said to be like a refiner's fire, for even the Body of Christ is said to be a live coal which burns away our sins, even though we know this to be meant only in the metaphorical sense. The suffering experienced by the dead in Hades is, as taught by St. Mark of Ephesus, a result either of fear, of uncertainty or of the terror stemming from beholding the glory of God after death. Besides these, there is no need for any other punishment, much less a punishing fire, for that suffering alone is enough to detach the dead from their sins committed in life, and to cleanse them.

The confession of Dositheus does not teach the Latin innovation of purgatory, but rather teaches the Orthodox faith in accordance with St. Mark of Ephesus, with the Church Fathers in general, and with the numerous synods which came before him which condemned the Latin doctrine of purgatory, such as the Synod of Constantinople of 1583, which added a condemnation of the Latin doctrine of Purgatory to the very Synodicon of Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #27 on: August 13, 2013, 08:01:30 PM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

Kudos for misrepresenting both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2013, 09:13:16 PM »

The difference I have found is in definition.  Other than that, I can’t really say there is any difference.  A cleansing process is taught by both.  One group defines the how’s, the other not so much.  The point is, the process happens, so I would say both teach it.  Words and definitions may be different, but both teach it.
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« Reply #29 on: August 14, 2013, 01:15:44 AM »

The treasury of merits seems pretty innovative and unpatristic to me, and it goes hand-in-hand with the Latin purgatory.
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« Reply #30 on: August 14, 2013, 01:23:16 AM »

The difference I have found is in definition.  Other than that, I can’t really say there is any difference.  A cleansing process is taught by both.  One group defines the how’s, the other not so much.  The point is, the process happens, so I would say both teach it.  Words and definitions may be different, but both teach it.

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« Reply #31 on: August 14, 2013, 01:24:38 AM »

Am I wrong in thinking that the Orthodox Church denounces the doctrine of purgatory? Is there some sort of official Church statement on it from any of the Eastern jurisdictions?

At one point Orthodoxy taught purgatory. Until they decided it was too "western". Roll Eyes
I think it was at the Jerusalem Council a few hundred years ago.

Kudos for misrepresenting both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

Maybe Orthodoxy but the catholic position I didn't misrepresent at all. Check the catechism
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« Reply #32 on: August 14, 2013, 01:26:16 AM »

Local councils are not universally binding, nor are they infallible.

Not even on the local faithful?
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« Reply #33 on: August 14, 2013, 05:04:46 AM »

The difference I have found is in definition.  Other than that, I can’t really say there is any difference.  A cleansing process is taught by both.  One group defines the how’s, the other not so much.  The point is, the process happens, so I would say both teach it.  Words and definitions may be different, but both teach it.

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« Reply #34 on: August 14, 2013, 08:17:19 AM »

The treasury of merits seems pretty innovative and unpatristic to me, and it goes hand-in-hand with the Latin purgatory.

This. And the temporal punishment due to sin, which is expiated in purgatory. This is why there are indulgences for the dead and Masses for the dead.

As far as I know, Orthodoxy doesn't have these teachings.

I don't know why either Orthodox or Catholics are so quick to just assume these things are semantics. As with most things, this difference evidences a number of differences, in the nature of the Fall, original sin, the papacy, the use of philosophy and reason, the nature of sin, and soteriology. This is much more than a mere "basically the same, but we describe it differently."
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« Reply #35 on: August 14, 2013, 09:15:16 AM »

The difference I have found is in definition.  Other than that, I can’t really say there is any difference.  A cleansing process is taught by both.  One group defines the how’s, the other not so much.  The point is, the process happens, so I would say both teach it.  Words and definitions may be different, but both teach it.

THANK YOU! (face palm)
Huh

lol oh that's not directed at you. That's just my reaction to the idea that what we teach is two different things when I believe its two different expressions of the same thing. So those who say purgatory is not taught by the Orthodox normally are just being polemical. Makes me put my hands to my face
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« Reply #36 on: August 14, 2013, 09:18:20 AM »

The treasury of merits seems pretty innovative and unpatristic to me, and it goes hand-in-hand with the Latin purgatory.

This. And the temporal punishment due to sin, which is expiated in purgatory. This is why there are indulgences for the dead and Masses for the dead.

As far as I know, Orthodoxy doesn't have these teachings.

I don't know why either Orthodox or Catholics are so quick to just assume these things are semantics. As with most things, this difference evidences a number of differences, in the nature of the Fall, original sin, the papacy, the use of philosophy and reason, the nature of sin, and soteriology. This is much more than a mere "basically the same, but we describe it differently."


Maybe concerning the nitty-gritty details but what matters is the overall understanding of the intermediate state before heaven. The difference is just a difference of expression honestly.

Secondly to the parts stated by you which you say Orthodoxy does not teach. I say this is due to a more developed understanding of purgatory in the West. Whereas the East didn't expand too much on the doctrine hence they have not reaches these points in their theology of purgatory yet.
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« Reply #37 on: August 14, 2013, 09:20:29 AM »

Why is what matters the general and not the specific?  If it didn't matter, why did the Popes and councils define it?
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« Reply #38 on: August 14, 2013, 09:40:23 AM »

Why is what matters the general and not the specific?  If it didn't matter, why did the Popes and councils define it?

You have a point.

With that being said I still think its down to a more developed theology in the west on this particular subject as the east seemed and still seems to be satisfied with just having a more general and less detailed expression of the doctrine. Hence the "differences"
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« Reply #39 on: August 14, 2013, 09:43:45 AM »

So, the "difference" with the papacy is likewise only semantic because it is just a more developed way of speaking about ecclesiology and episcopacy...?

I appreciate that you're trying to bridge the gaps, but I think you're glossing over important differences.
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« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2013, 09:49:39 AM »

As far as it bring a "place", that his not part of the official western doctrine but rather a little "t" folk tradition that gained sway. Yet even the possibility of it being a place is not that big of a deal. If its a literal place (Various catholic Saints and visionaries seem to attest to this) then SO WHAT?

I don't exactly buy that distinction between ts and Ts. Dogmatics are not based on pompous declarations of popes and councils but generally on the life of the Church. If little ts are openly taught in parishes by theologians and catechisms then they are big Ts irregardless of whether popes or councils have said anything about them. That applies to Purgatory too.
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« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2013, 09:54:34 AM »

Can we at least agree that some fathers especially western ones taught purgatory?

Not unless you give some good sources.

secondly if you want the actual NAME referenced un quotes by eastern fathers...well...ee both know that's  :)not gonna happen.

A good description of Purgatory would be nice.

However quotes of the idea can be found which I will try to supply if I can find them again. Is that ok?  Smiley

Yes. Thank you  angel

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« Reply #42 on: August 14, 2013, 09:58:36 AM »

Can we at least agree that some fathers especially western ones taught purgatory?

Not unless you give some good sources.

secondly if you want the actual NAME referenced un quotes by eastern fathers...well...ee both know that's  :)not gonna happen.

A good description of Purgatory would be nice.

However quotes of the idea can be found which I will try to supply if I can find them again. Is that ok?  Smiley

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Quote
Clement of Alexandria

The believer through discipline divests himself of his passions and passes to the mansion which is better than the former one, passes to the greatest torment, taking with him the characteristic of repentance for the faults he may have committed after baptism. He is tortured then still more, not yet attaining what he sees others have acquired. The greatest torments are assigned to the believer, for God's righteousness is good, and His goodness righteous, and though these punishments cease in the course of the expiation and purification of each one, "yet" etc. (Patres Groeci. IX, col. 332 [A.D. 150-215]).

Origen

If a man departs this life with lighter faults, he is condemned to fire which burns away the lighter materials, and prepares the soul for the kingdom of God, where nothing defiled may enter. For if on the foundation of Christ you have built not only gold and silver and precious stones (I Cor., 3); but also wood and hay and stubble, what do you expect when the soul shall be separated from the body? Would you enter into heaven with your wood and hay and stubble and thus defile the kingdom of God; or on account of these hindrances would you remain without and receive no reward for your gold and silver and precious stones? Neither is this just. It remains then that you be committed to the fire which will burn the light materials; for our God to those who can comprehend heavenly things is called a cleansing fire. But this fire consumes not the creature, but what the creature has himself built, wood, and hay and stubble. It is manifest that the fire destroys the wood of our transgressions and then returns to us the reward of our great works. (Patres Groeci. XIII, col. 445, 448 [A.D. 185-232]).

Cyprian

It is one thing to stand for pardon, another thing to attain to glory; it is one thing, when cast into prison, not to go out thence until one has paid the uttermost farthing; another thing at once to receive the wages of faith and courage. It is one thing, tortured by long suffering for sins, to be cleansed and long purged by fire; another to have purged all sins by suffering. It is one thing, in fine, to be in suspense till the sentence of God at the Day of Judgment; another to be at once crowned by the Lord (Letters 51[55]:20 [A.D. 253]).

Ambrose of Milan

Give perfect rest to thy servant Theodosius, that rest which thou hast prepared for thy saints… I have loved him, and therefore will I follow him into the land of the living; nor will I leave him until by tears and prayers I shall lead him wither his merits summon him, unto the holy mountain of the Lord (Funeral Sermon of Theodosius 36-37 [A.D. 395]).

Augustine

There is an ecclesiastical discipline, as the faithful know, when the names of the martyrs are read aloud in that place at the altar of God, where prayer is not offered for them. Prayer, however, is offered for other dead who are remembered. It is wrong to pray for a martyr, to whose prayers we ought ourselves be commended (Sermons 159:1 [A.D. 411]).

Temporal punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by some after death, by some both here and hereafter, but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But not all who suffer temporal punishments after death will come to eternal punishments, which are to follow after that judgment (The City of God 21:13 [A.D. 419]).

That there should be some fire even after this life is not incredible, and it can be inquired into and either be discovered or left hidden whether some of the faithful may be saved, some more slowly and some more quickly in the greater or lesser degree in which they loved the good things that perish, through a certain purgatorial fire (Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Charity l8:69 [A.D. 421]).

Tertullian

That allegory of the Lord [Matt. 5:25-26] . . . is extremely clear and simple in its meaning . . . [beware lest as] a transgressor of your agreement, before God the judge . . . and lest this judge deliver you over to the angel who is to execute the sentence, and he commit you to the prison of hell, out of which there will be no dismissal until the smallest even of your delinquencies be paid off in the period before the resurrection. What can be a more fitting sense than this? What a truer interpretation? (The Soul 35 [A.D. 210]).
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« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2013, 10:10:34 AM »

So, the "difference" with the papacy is likewise only semantic because it is just a more developed way of speaking about ecclesiology and episcopacy...?

No ways  Undecided The understanding of the papacy in the east and the west are not only different but contradictory. That is more than a difference due to superior theological development. These are ourtright rejections of each others understanding.

Whereas purgatory in the east is not contradictory but rather a different expression. So in the west. Problem lies in sometimes deliberate or unintended misunderstanding/ignorance of each other's teaching. The western understanding is MUCH more detailed than that of the east

I appreciate that you're trying to bridge the gaps, but I think you're glossing over important differences.

Nope just being realistic
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« Reply #44 on: August 14, 2013, 10:22:31 AM »

St. Mark of Ephesus seems to have rejected outright the Catholic dogma on purgatory.

:-)

I think the broader point is the basic disagreement about doctrine itself. Catholics believe it can develop in such a way that the original question about the Church Fathers is moot: whether there were Fathers who taught purgatory doesn't matter because it has developed through councils and popes to its current state.  This is something the Orthodox roundly reject both on the papal ground and the development grounds.

That's why I think the reductionist idea that we basically believe the same thing because we both believe in an after death cleansing is missing the mark.  The method and purpose of that cleansing is completely different, and in many ways, the views are contradictory (punishment for temporal sin and idea that the pope has the authority to release souls from purgatory are a couple that come to mind immediately).
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