Author Topic: 1 Cor 3:15: Purgatorial fire "constant and established" teaching.  (Read 184 times)

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Offline Xavier

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1. Taken in its plain sense, 1 Cor 3:13-15 teaches some Christians (1) receive reward for good works in heaven (2) others will need to be saved through fire. So Pope Gregory the Great, the Saintly Dialogist, after a very diligent and thorough study, calls belief in purgatory "constant" and "established" in the light of these and other texts.

1 Cor 3:13  Every man's work shall be manifest. For the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire. And the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is.
3:14  If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
3:15  If any mans work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Purgatory#Gregory_the_Great

http://www.orthodoxservices.org/Purifying_Fire.htm the opinion of Abp. Mark of Ephesus in Florence was: "the verb "will be saved"does not indicate salvation, restoration, but "will not be destroyed". This means that the sinner will not be destroyed, but he will remain "in torment in the fire eternally". He also seems to suggest there are two regions in Hades, one from which souls can still be saved by the prayers of the Church, and another from which they cannot. But what is the former if not purgatory, and the latter if not hell proper? Then the issue of fire and its nature comes up. Imho, we should formulate a doctrine from all the Latin amd Greek Fathers together.

2. St. Cyprian, St. Augustine, St. Caesarius and St. Isidore beside Pope St. Gregory explicitly expound Scriptural texts of purgatorial fire. E.g. beside the above, the prison St. Peter speaks of, that from which the Lord says no one will get out till he pays the uttermost farthing, and the statement that some great sins will not be forgiven in the next life, implying that lesser sins will be; the text of 2 Macc also shows why praying for the faithful departed is a holy and pious practice, because it helps them to be loosed from such lesser sins as St. Paul describes. The doctrine that venial sins are purged in purgatory is already clear in St. Augustine and Pope St. Gregory the Great. "As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire."

Does Orthodoxy have a defined doctrine on mortal and venial sin? On whose souls our prayers can assist and whose they can't?

Also from the link: Many first millenium Saints had visions of purgatory: "Visions of purgatory abounded; Bede (died 735) mentioned a vision of a beautiful heaven and a lurid hell with adjacent temporary abodes,[32] as did Saint Boniface (died 754).[33] In the 7th century, the Irish abbot St. Fursa described his foretaste of the afterlife, where, though protected by angels, he was pursued by demons who said: "It is not fitting that he should enjoy the blessed life unscathed..., for every transgression that is not purged on earth must be avenged in heaven", and on his return he was engulfed in a billowing fire that threatened to burn him, "for it stretches out each one according to their merits... For just as the body burns through unlawful desire, so the soul will burn, as the lawful, due penalty for every sin."
"My daughter, look at My Heart surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console Me, and say that I promise to assist at the hour of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months go to confession and receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep Me company for a quarter of an hour" - The Theotokos to Sr. Lucia.