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There is no such Eastern Orthodox teaching. The Orthodox Church is mute on the point, one way or the other. I already told you what the Tradition says: that the soul requires purification after death, and prayers for the deceased are efficacious. That's it--everything else is a pointless elaboration.

Which is why I ask again why you think there is any need for uniformity on this particular point, other than the usual, "We're the Latin Church and we're always right"?

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Originally Posted by StuartK
There is no such Eastern Orthodox teaching. The Orthodox Church is mute on the point, one way or the other.


Then how do you explain the various EO internet sites and statements from EO bishops who say that it is what Orthodoxy teaches?
It appears even ROCOR officially accepts and teaches the belief in tollhouses.
All you have to do is surf the 'net to find it.

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Which is why I ask again why you think there is any need for uniformity on this particular point, other than the usual, "We're the Latin Church and we're always right"?


Then how do explain a statement like this from a deacon in the Melkite Church?

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Liturgically and theologically,the churches were part of the Orthodox Church are no different from their Orthodox counterparts, with a few exceptions: Eastern Catholic Churches accept the teachings of the Church of Rome that were defined after the Schism of 1054 as being universally binding, although they may express them differently, in keeping with their theological background..., [101 Questions and Answers on Eastern Catholic Churches; Deacon Ed Faulk, page 5]

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Then how do you explain the various EO internet sites and statements from EO bishops who say that it is what Orthodoxy teaches?
It appears even ROCOR officially accepts and teaches the belief in tollhouses.
All you have to do is surf the 'net to find it.


Oh, yeah--it's on the internet, so it must be true.

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Then how do explain a statement like this from a deacon in the Melkite Church?


Then how do explain this statement by a Patriarch of the Melkite Church:

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I believe everything that the Orthodox Church believes


Or this from the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church:

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"Between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics, there are no theological differences"


Patriarch said that on EWTN, so of course, it must be true.

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Each Orthodox Church has its own approach to what it teaches... aside from the dogmatic materials...

It is that very lack of uniformity that is the biggest problem with the Eastern Orthodox public image.

Were it not for the Catholic-Orthodox dialogues, it'd be damned hard to pin down any of what Orthodoxy believes other than what's in the liturgikon and typikon. And getting a look at the liturgical books isn't terribly easy (nor informative, in many cases, due to language) for the non-Orthodox/non-Catholic.




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It is that very lack of uniformity that is the biggest problem with the Eastern Orthodox public image.


I rather think that's a strength, considering that people seem to have an aversion to organized religion.

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Were it not for the Catholic-Orthodox dialogues, it'd be damned hard to pin down any of what Orthodoxy believes other than what's in the liturgikon and typikon.


But that, of course, is true of Greek Catholics, too.

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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It is that very lack of uniformity that is the biggest problem with the Eastern Orthodox public image.


I rather think that's a strength, considering that people seem to have an aversion to organized religion.

Lack of clear list of beliefs tends to be a trait associated with cults in most people's minds.

And it's not organized religion that is having trouble, but the hierarchical religions with clear clergy/laity distinctions.

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Wow, did this discussion get off the track!! I still do not see answers to the points I raised (or that of Griego Catolico). Of, is there no official teaching in the Orthodox Church(es)??

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Lack of clear list of beliefs tends to be a trait associated with cults in most people's minds.


Orthodoxy has a clear list of beliefs. It's all in the Liturgy. What Orthodoxy doesn't have is a driver's manual. That's because the purpose of Orthodoxy, as Khouria Frederica likes to say, is not to make us feel good about ourselves, but to teach us to grow up and stop acting like jerks. If you have a problem with that, then you've got a serious problem, because Greek Catholics are Orthodox--or should be, if you are paying attention to what the Holy See has been saying for the past century or so.

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And it's not organized religion that is having trouble, but the hierarchical religions with clear clergy/laity distinctions.


Well, Roman Catholicism has half of that problem, anyway--it's hierarchical. Clear clergy/laity distinctions, not so much. As for Orthodoxy, it has very clear clergy/laity distinctions, and is hierarchical without being obsessive about it.


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Wow, did this discussion get off the track!! I still do not see answers to the points I raised (or that of Griego Catolico). Of, is there no official teaching in the Orthodox Church(es)??


I believe the answer was given by several people, myself included. The Orthodox do not have a unified system for recognizing saints, but follow the ancient, organic process.

A person of holiness dies, and is entered into the parish diptyches. If that person develops a following among the faithful, the local bishop may instruct his priests to enter his name at all the parishes, making him, in effect, a saint of that local Church. From there, he might be recognized within a metropolitan province, thence at the patriarchal level, and ultimately, by all Orthodox Churches. It's always worked this way, and there is no good reason to change.

Last edited by StuartK; 05/06/10 10:50 AM.
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I will try one more time: If we invoke the saints to pray for us, how can they hear our prayer if they are not in heaven, but are in some intermediate state until the final judgement? Further, how can our prayers help anyone in that same state?
The fact that orthodoxy does not have a unified position in this regard bothers me, almost as if they are unsure of their faith.

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here's my 2 cents:
This thread is addressing some might mysterious issues. Mystery defies what I see as the lamentable Latin tendency to dissect and analyze doctrine to the point almost of disemboweling it.

If we in this life can pray for one another, then why can't souls in grace pray for us as well once they are in the afterlife undergoing purification? My grandmother - a big believer in purgatory - used to admonish me to pray not just FOR the holy souls but also TO them.

None of the educated members of the Orthodox Churches I know are uncertain about the content of their faith.

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The fact that orthodoxy does not have a unified position in this regard bothers me, almost as if they are unsure of their faith.


Allen:

Christ is Risen!!

The fact that Orthodoxy does not have a unified position in these areas is not an uncertainty about the Faith. If you step back from the Latin/Western mindset that tries to micro-define everything about what is a great Mystery, you might realize that. The Orhodox Church is comfortable with the Mystery and is not given to making micro-definitions.

We know that we are in the Communion of Saints, both here and hereafter. We know that we can ask for prayers of those who are here with us and also of those who are gone before us. We know that God is in charge in the here and the hereafter. And we know He hears all prayers, both of those in the here and the hereafter. So what's the problem? Do I have to know the state of the person to whom I ask for prayer? I don't think so.

This isn't about comparison to see who has the superior position. It's an area that there are few concrete answers about because there haven't been a large number of people coming back and letting us in on the full picture. It's a leap of faith in Jesus Christ. Do we trust Him?

See Stuart's very concise answer above; he's right on point.

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I already told you what the Tradition says: that the soul requires purification after death, and prayers for the deceased are efficacious. That's it--everything else is a pointless elaboration.

Which is why I ask again why you think there is any need for uniformity on this particular point, other than the usual, "We're the Latin Church and we're always right"?


Bob

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ok...I will let the matter rest

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Originally Posted by StuartK
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Then how do you explain the various EO internet sites and statements from EO bishops who say that it is what Orthodoxy teaches?
It appears even ROCOR officially accepts and teaches the belief in tollhouses.
All you have to do is surf the 'net to find it.


Oh, yeah--it's on the internet, so it must be true.


It's on the internet because Orthodox Christians are posting online that it is true.

Or better said, they are answering questions from non-Orthodox Christians and writing articles about what happens to a soul after death. Writngs from the Fathers down to the present time are being cited in support of the Orthodox teaching that a soul is either in "paradise" or "hades" until the General Judgment. Some will also include the belief in tollhouses. They certainly see it as part of the doctrine of the Church.

Even some Catholic encyclopedias state that this is what Orthodox Christians believe(there's even one that illustrates it, if I remember correctly). So, it surprises me to hear you say that this is not a teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church.



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Then how do explain a statement like this from a deacon in the Melkite Church?

Then how do explain this statement by a Patriarch of the Melkite Church:

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I believe everything that the Orthodox Church believes


Or this from the Patriarch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church:

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"Between the Orthodox and the Greek Catholics, there are no theological differences"


Patriarch said that on EWTN, so of course, it must be true.


The Melkite Church proclaimed, "I believe everything which Eastern Orthodoxy teaches.", but it took the Antiochian Orthodox Church and the current Pope of Rome to say, "Well, actually, you believe more than what Eastern Orthodoxy teaches."

As for Patriarch Husar's statement, it would be helpful to know which EWTN program he allegedly made that statement. I would like to see it or at least read in what context he made this statement.

What will carry more weight though is the upcoming Ukrainian Catholic Catechism.

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It's on the internet because Orthodox Christians are posting online that it is true.


Do you want me to go on the internet and post things that Catholics say are true, too?

It's the internet. Caveat emptor.

And, from a semantic standpoint, there is no contradiction between "believing everything that Orthodox Church believes" and "believing more than the Orthodox Church believes"--the former is inclusive in the latter. But logic isn't taught much in the schools these days. I'll stick with my boss, Patriarch Gregorios III, on this one.

As for Patriarch Lyubomir's appearance on EWTN, it was a documentary on the resurgence of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Go look in their archives.

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What will carry more weight though is the upcoming Ukrainian Catholic Catechism.


No doubt. But are you saying then, that all of Patriarch Lyubomir's statements and interventions over the past four or five years have been, what, precisely? Are you saying that the Patriarch does not speak for his synod? Who in the synod has objected to his statements?

But, while we are on the subject of catechisms, there is, of course, a perfectly good one available to Eastern Catholics in this country--The 3-volume Light for Life set. Has an imprimatur and the endorsement of all thirteen hierarchs of the various Eastern Catholic jurisdictions. Care to read what it says about papal primacy, infallibility, the quantum mechanics of salvation and whatnot?

How about this? I could distribute these books in any English-speaking Orthodox parish, and unless someone bothered to look at the copyright data, they would not know this was a Catholic publication.

Do you have a problem with that?

And just why do you want Eastern Catholics to be Roman Catholics in drag, anyway?


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