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Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70379 05/06/03 08:52 PM
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Danj Offline
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Thus, both churches affirm that the soul undergoes continued purification after death, but the Orthodox deny (or, at least, refuse to affirm) that a [B]purgatorial fire is the means of such purification.

The above is quoted from the website djs listed in the above post. We agree that both traditions affirm a cleansing of the soul after death. The idea of a specific, separate place such as purgatory is a uniquely Latin doctrine. What I'm driving at is that Orthodox theology would say that there is only heaven and hell, which are incomplete until the final judgement. Catholicism holds that heaven and hell are complete now, and a third place exists, Purgatory, which will cease to exist after the final judgment.

By the above post, I was merely showing the distinction between black-and-white Latin theology, and Eastern theology which doesn't see things always in black-and-white--there are some things God doesn't reveal to us on earth, they are mysteries. The emphasis on HELL in the above quote was mine-- it's written in small letters, not cap's in the excerpt of the book I have.

Now, back to the question, Which understanding of purgatory (eastern or western) are we as Eastern Catholic's obliged to accept?

I keep asking this question because last year I asked a Byzantine Catholic priest this same question, and he replied we accept the Catholic notion ie: heaven, purgatory (till final judgment as separate from heaven and hell)and hell.

Alex, I agree, the important thing is we pray for the dead... but I think this is an important theological question and a very good debate biggrin

I'm ready to grab the phone book and call every Eastern Catholic priest in the area and ask him this question.... can you imagine my long-distance bill, I live in the middle of no-where, so everything is a toll call.

Christ is Risen!
Dan

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70380 05/07/03 04:22 AM
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djs Offline
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Catholicism does not dogmatically declare Purgatory as a place. Orthodoxy, AFAIK from Bessarion, does not consider that souls under going purification are in hell ("one eternal fire"), but "depart into a place of darkness and sorrow where they are punished by being deprived of the Divine Light". Bessarion according to this translation uses "place" and that place is not hell.

As I've mentioned before, our modern minds don't seem to accept the idea of physical punishment as curative but see it as strictly abusive (for all the good this enlightenment has brought us). So the Catholic "tradition" of using the metaphor of a cleasing fire for this purification is probably not an informative teaching vehicle to us moderns. I rather like Bessarion's description.

I was chanting the Christmas compline with an Orthodox priest last year. As we were nearly ready to start S'nami Boh, his daughter got a little unruly at the tetrapod. He called her name and gave her that stern look of fatherly disapproval. She looked back, totally crestfallen, instantly aware of her missing the mark of her father's approval, and began to sob. I blurted out to him, in a whisper: that is purgatory.

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70381 05/07/03 02:01 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Dan,

Another point here is Meyendorff's comment on the reaction of the Greeks during the Council of Florence.

Meyendorff (+memory eternal!) states that the Greeks were surprised that the Latins "divided" the immediate afterlife into "places."

I think that there should be no question that Latin theology has, for long, seen the afterlife prior to Christ's Second Coming, in terms of "places" rather than the more modern "states."

In any event, Latin theology continues to divide it into definable "whatever" - something Orthodoxy will not do.

Another crucial distinction here is that Orthodoxy sees even the person dying in a state of being cutoff from God as having the possibility open to him or her of breaching that chasm in the next life.

RC theology nowadays is looking at this and related questions and are coming up with new conclusions that are quite similar to those of Orthodoxy.

Alex

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70382 05/11/03 11:33 PM
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Mark Alan Offline
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The discussion about Purgatory reminds me of a passage in Boswell's Life of Johnson.

Boswell asked his friend "What do you think, Sir, of Purgatory, as believed by the Roman Catholicks?" JOHNSON. "Why, Sir, it is a very harmless doctrine. They are of the opinion that the generality of mankind are neither so obstinately wicked as to deserve everlasting punishment, nor so good as to merit being admitted into the society of blessed spirits; and therefore God is graciously pleased to allow of a middle state, where they may be purified by certain degrees of suffering. You see, Sir, there is nothing unreasonable in this."

Johnson's words point out the fact that the doctrine of Purgatory reflects both God's mercy and man's need to improve himself. One indeed finds "nothing unreasonable."


Mark Alan Schardine
Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70383 05/12/03 01:12 PM
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Joe T Offline
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Forget the "purgatorial fire" stuff. Why doesn't anyone talk about the Baptism with water and fire? Why all this postmortem talk? Has anyone ever been to the other side of life to know if it reflects Dante's vision? How can we know so much about the afterlife? Is this critical? How are we to act now? Is this just another neat way to circumvent Theosis here and now? Is it in the Creed? Is this doctrine a necessary litmus test of one's Catholicism? Another proof of fidelity? Did those who sign the Unia agreement mention that the doctrine of Purgatory was absolutely necessary to debate? Why is this an issue?

Joe

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70384 05/12/03 03:14 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Cantor Joseph,

I suppose that next you are going to say that we should give up all speculation on how many angels would fit on the head of a pin? smile

I personally see this issue, as it developed at Florence, not so much in terms of purgatory per se, but a battle to see which theological prism, Latin or Greek, should gain ascendancy.

The same is true of the Filioque et al.

As you know (better than me) that Meyendorff said that if unity really WAS the issue at Florence, unity could have been easily achieved with e.g. the removal of the Filioque and unilateral acceptance of "Through the Son."

Prayer for the dead is part of the theology of the Communion of Saints and I agree that it is more important that we practice it than that we concoct unknowable formulas about how it works.

Alex

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70385 05/12/03 05:42 PM
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Joe T Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Cantor Joseph,

I suppose that next you are going to say that we should give up all speculation on how many angels would fit on the head of a pin? smile

I personally see this issue, as it developed at Florence, not so much in terms of purgatory per se, but a battle to see which theological prism, Latin or Greek, should gain ascendancy.
Alex,

Actually, 546,987,341 angels are able to fit on a head of a pin. I know. A few of them told me.

I will believe in the primacy of one of the Catholic traditions when we go to one and only one Gospel tradition. Remember Marcion?

Joe

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70386 05/12/03 05:49 PM
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Brian Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Mark Alan:
The discussion about Purgatory reminds me of a passage in Boswell's Life of Johnson.

Purgatory, nonewithstanding, it is wonderful to hear from the good Dr Johnson always!!!!

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70387 05/12/03 06:06 PM
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Cantor Joseph,

Well, since that's not going to happen soon . . . smile

BC bishops will exclusively ordain married candidates for the priesthood before that happens!

Or hell will freeze over, whichever comes first.

Could I ask you a question about Tertullian?

To what extent was his involvement with Montanism an impediment to him receiving the honours of the altar by the Church? What's the story with that?

Also, Fr. McNichol, SJ has recently written a beautiful icon of Origen of Alexandria . . .

Alex

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70388 05/12/03 07:08 PM
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Joe T Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Could I ask you a question about Tertullian?

To what extent was his involvement with Montanism an impediment to him receiving the honours of the altar by the Church? What's the story with that?

Also, Fr. McNichol, SJ has recently written a beautiful icon of Origen of Alexandria . . .

Alex
Tertullian? I will have to think about that. Was he married?

Icon of Origen? How interesting.

Joe

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? #70389 05/12/03 07:23 PM
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Daer Cantor Joseph,

Tertullian was married, as you well know, and he even wrote a famous letter to his wife advising her not to remarry upon his death smile

Alex

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? [Re: Matheon] #411879 06/09/15 10:49 AM
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Purgatory is a Jewish concept...It is interesting to note ... Jesus Christ and the Nazarenes who were the 12 Apostles did not believe in Hell they believed in Purgatory ..... Purgatory is only a Temporary atonement or hell not a permanant Hell ....

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? [Re: Deeboy] #411886 06/09/15 03:00 PM
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OK, I'll bite.

How do you know that?

Alex

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? [Re: Orthodox Catholic] #411897 06/10/15 08:04 AM
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He could be alluding to the Apocalypse of Peter.

Re: Byzantine Catholic Purgatory? [Re: Ambrosian] #411902 06/10/15 02:02 PM
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If so, an interesting read.

But hardly the stuff of doctrine based on the Scriptures and Church teaching . . .

Alex

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