A confession about purgatory

edited October 2006 in Faith Issues
i think people finally admitted its not true...


  • Hello MarMar91,

    It is not just purgatory the thing that separates the Catholic from the Orthodox family.

    This separation lasted for the last 1500 years ( 15 censuries ) mainly on the issue of the NATURE of CHRIST. then the Catholics added tens of issues by themselves to the faith once handed down by the Apostles.

    We can just pray to God to be one and prayers can move mountains.
  • MarMar91, could you please tell me:

    1- when did you hear this news?

    2- What was the source you get the news from?

    Becauce this is news to me!!!!

    Thanks a lot
  • [glow=red,2,300]In the Name of the Father + and the Son + and the Holy Spirit +. The One True God. Amen.[/glow]

    It will be easier and sooner for the Eastern and Coptic Orthodox to reunite than the Catholics since we (EO) have more in common ( Chalcedonian definition of the Hypostatic Union of Christ is the only thing that really separates us as well as a few anathemas towards some Coptic saints like Sts. Severus and Dioscorus) with you. I pray everyday for this re-union to happen ;D!

    The classic Roman Catholic explanation of Purgatory is really very legalistic based on aquiring indulgences ("... an indulgence is a remission of the temporal punishment due to sin, the guilt of which has been forgiven.An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07783a.htm)
    Sorry for the long defination but it's important to have the proper information "straight from the horse's mouth" (after all. I am an ex- Roman Catholic) before drawing conclusions.

    Limbo was never official Roman catholic doctrine. It was just an opinion of St. Agustine who was perplexed on how unbaptized babies would fit in his legalistic anti-sexual defination of Original Sin (which really just reflected his own guilt about his early "party animal" days and wedlock son before becoming a Christian ).

    As for the unification of All Christians into one, this will only be possible if they become Orthodox. Orthodoxy is the One True Faith as given to the Holy Apostles and "delivered once and for all unto the saints"(Jude 3). The Faith cannot be watered down nor compromised. The holy martyrs didn't die in vain! They chose death over renouncing our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Orthodox, Catholic Christian Faith. They didn't accept watering it down! So now we are going to? So now we are going to nullify the Great Commission in Matthew 28 :19: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and in the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS I HAVE COMMANDED YOU ; AND LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, UNTO THE END OF THE AGE".

    This means the One Church He founded is the Orhtodox Catholic Church (St. Ignatius of Antioch is the first recorded to call the Church Catholic-"Universal"- in the beginning of the second century) in Matthew 16:18. So lets pray for unity among us Orthodox FIRST and then for all other Christians so we can be a witness to all for the glory of God!

  • Hello everyone. Its been a long time;

    I think there maybe some confusion on the Catholic understanding of purgatory. The Latin Church has taught some pious customs in addition to the actual teaching. I am an Eastern Catholic and the way we were taught Purgatory is this:
    first, we call it Final Theosis, not Purgatory
    secondly, the teachings on Purgatory/Final Theosis is:
    1) This is a State of Purification/Theosis
    2) Prayers are efficacious

    The rest is Latin tradition and we don't subscribe to the same perspective.
  • [glow=red,2,300]In the Name of the Father + and the Son + and the Holy Spirit +. The One True God. Amen.[/glow]

    Christ is Risen, Michael! It's good to hear from you after a long time. What you explained is pretty much an Orthodox point of view on the subject and very succinct I might add :). This is to be expected since Eastern Catholics used to be Eastern Orthodox until they decided to join the Roman Catholic Church. I always found it curious how Eastern Catholics can reconcile Latin beliefs like (Immaculate Conception, Papal Infalllibilty, Papal Supremacy,etc..,) with their Eastern theology? Roman Catholic theology is very philosophical and legalistic generally speaking, meanwhile Eastern Orthodox theology is generally more patristic and mystical in it approach.
    I would deeply appreciate any explanation from you Michael since you have shared such wonderful explanations in the past ;D.

    [glow=red,2,300]Al Masih Kam!!![/glow]
  • Hey everyone, I've got a question

    Do catholics believe that St. Mary was born without sin. I've heard this before, and if true that would make a big difference between catholism and orthodoxy.

    Pikhrestos aftonf everyone

  • i go to a catholic scool an they have told us a few times befor but i cant remember lol- il find out 4u and tel u
  • hi every body
    Yes I think they do belive that and that is the problem between us and the catholic..
    God bless
  • Steve,
    Yes they do, it is called Emmaculate conception of Virgin Mary. It is NOT however a doctorine but rather a belief that stemmed from a vision poeple had when they saw "allegedly" saint Mary and she said "I am the immaculate virgin". In orthodoxy we believe she was born with Adam's sin but was redeemed from it with the Holy spirit before she bore Christ.
    This is the least of our differences and issues. They however believe that Saint Mary is co-redemptress (meanning she Helped Jesus in Salvation and without her Jesus's wouldn't have been able to continue)

    Just my 2 cents
  • Hi guys,
    I just wanted to share this with you. I studied the differences between the orthodox and catholic doctrines as I considered converting, long story. About the Virgin St. Mary:

    "The Mother of God

    The doctrine of the place and person of the Virgin Mary in the Church is called "mariology." Both Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism believe she is "Mother of God" (Theotokos, Deipare) and "the Ever-Virgin Mary."

    However, the Orthodox reject the Roman Catholic "dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary," which was defined as "of the faith" by Pope Pius IX, on the 8th of December 1854. This dogma holds that from the first instant of her conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary was, by a most singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race, preserved from all stain of Original Sin. It is a doctrine revealed by God, and therefore to be firmly and steadfastly believed by all the faithful (from the Bull Ineffabilis Deus).

    Such a theory has no basis in the Scriptures nor the Fathers. It contains many ideas (such as "the merits of Christ") likewise without apostolic foundation. The idea that the Lord and His Saints produced more grace than necessary. This excess may be applied to others, even those in purgatory (see below).

    But to return: the Church does not accept the idea that the Mother of God was born with the (inherited) guilt of Adam; no one is. She did, however, inherit the mortality which comes to all on account of Adam's Fall.

    Therefore, there is no need to do what Latin theologians have done. There is no reason to invent a theory to support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. There is no need to teach that, on account of "the merits of Christ," the Holy Spirit was able to prevent her from inheriting the guilt of Adam.

    In fact, she was born like every other human being. The Holy Spirit prepared the Virgin Mary for her role as the Mother of God. She was filled with the Uncreated Energy of the Holy Spirit of God in order that she might be a worthy vessel for the birth of Christ. Nevertheless, several of the Fathers observed that before the Resurrection of her Son, she had sinned. St. John Chrysostom mentions the Wedding at Cana where she presumed to instruct Him (John 2:3-4). Here was proof of her mortality.

    Receiving the Holy Spirit once more at Pentecost, she was able to die without sin. Because of her special role in the Divine Plan ("economy" or "dispensation"), she was taken into the heavens, body and soul. She now sits at the foot of her Son, making intercession for all those who implore her mercy. The Orthodox Church honors the miracle of her "assumption" with a feast on 15 August; likewise, the followers of the Pope.

    Both also believe in the intercessions of the Virgin Mary and all the Saints. Such intercessions reflect the unity of the Church in heaven and the Church on earth. "

    This was written by Father Michael Azkoul
    St. Catherine Mission, St. Louis, MO

    Copyright, 1994 St. Nectarios American Orthodox Church
    Reproduced with permission from The Orthodox Christian Witness, Vol. XXVII (48), Vol. XXVIII (6) and (8), 1994.

    hope this helped and God bless.
  • Boricua Orthodox,

    Subaho Labo Lebaro Vala Rooho † Kadisso. Ameen.
    [Glory be to the Father, Son, and † Holy Spirit. Amen.]

    Good to see you again. I've been so busy with my Master's degree - this week is nearing the end of the semester - all papers are due... aaahh!!

    My Church Tradition is similar to the Oriental Orthodox Communion - Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, so our Traditions are even more closer to yours and the other Oriental Churches (Syriac, Malankara, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, and Eritrean.)

    We believe the same as the Latin Church, but we look at it through Eastern Eyes - Patristics, Mystery, our Traditions; while Latins see things more through Philosophy, Aquinas. But they are coming around to see more of the Fathers nowadays. Pope John Paul the Great was very much into Eastern Traditions.

    Coptic boy,

    The Catholic belief is similar, except that we believe Mary was purified by Christ at her conception.

    Also, the term Co-Redemptrix means Mary, is always pointing us to Christ and always giving Christ's Grace to us. I'll give you an example:
    Christ is the head, The Church is Christ's Body. see something missing yet? the Neck- Mary is the neck, she is part of the Body, but plays a special role in connecting us to the head.


    If you had converted, you would not have to accept Latin custom, because you would automatically have been Coptic Catholic. This means that you look at the same Faith thru Eastern Traditions. Mary - we believe was sinless and ever-Virgin because of Christ's Grace.
  • [glow=red,2,300]In the Name of the Father + and the Son + and the Holy Spirit +. The True God. Amen.[/glow]

    Michael, thank you so much for your response. I can understand about being busy writing papers and what have you... it can really want to make you pull your hair out :'(~ According to what you have explained as an Eastern Catholic you seem to have the best of both worlds : the legalistic, logical, philosophical Latin theology with the Eastern Patristic and mystical approach. I wonder though if at any time both approaches seem to clash?

    For example, Fr. Azkoul's explanation concerning the Orthodox and Roman Catholic views on Original Sin and its context in explaining the Immaculate Conception. The Roman Catholic explanation (especially from Ineffabillis Deus) has more of a legalistic foundation or premise than an Apostolic and patristic one. How would an Eastern Catholic try to understand it from a non-Latin point of view?

    P.S. The Body of Christ metaphor (1 Cor.12:15-21) can only go so far in attempting to explain the Theotokos as Co-Redemptrix(which by the way its not official RC doctrine anyway if i am not mistaken). Even though St Paul uses it extensively, it's within a certain context within his Pauline theme without innovating anything non-Apostolic. Trust me... I am not trying to pick a fight ...just honestly curious on this composite spirituality of Eastern within a Western framework ;D. Thank you.
  • Subaho Labo Lebaro Vala Rooho † Kadisso. Ameen.
    [Glory be to the Father, Son, and † Holy Spirit. Amen.]


    Here is an explanation from Anthony Dragani, MTh.

    Eastern Christianity and the Immaculate Conception (Q&A From EWTN)
    EWTN ^ | 11/04/2003 | Anthony Dragani

    Immaculate Conception

    Concerning the Eastern Catholic understanding of the Immaculate Conception, I will offer a very brief summary of the issue. First, the theological seeds of the Immaculate Conception originated in the East, and were later spread to the West. Since the earliest centuries the Eastern Churches have celebrated "St. Anne's Conception of the Theotokos," on December 9. Only later was this feast transplanted to the West, where it is celebrated on December 8.

    In the Eastern Catholic Churches we have maintained much of the theological heritage of the Eastern Church Fathers. We try to be very Patristic in our theology, and generally model our theological approach after the great Eastern Fathers. In the West theology has developed somewhat differently. Beginning in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries a whole new style of theology developed, known as Scholasticism. Scholasticism utilized a great deal of philosophical terminology from the writings of Aristotle. It essentially created a whole new way to approach theological questions, and answered them with very specific philosophical terminology. Scholasticism was the dominant theological system in the Western Church until the beginning of the 20th century.

    In 1854 Pope Pius IX solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Being a good Western theologian, he used a great deal of scholastic terminology in the definition. Here it is, with the specifically scholastic terms emphasized by me:

    "We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the MERITS of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every STAIN of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful."

    There are two terms used in the definition that are completely foreign to Eastern Christian theology: "merits" and "stain." Both of these terms are of very late origin, and came to mean very specific things in the scholastic system. But to us Eastern Christians, who still use only the theological expressions of the Church Fathers, these terms are completely alien. So is this a problem, or isn't it?

    I don't believe that this a problem at all. If something is written in a language that you can't understand, you simply TRANSLATE it! With some very basic knowledge of scholastic theological terminology, what Pope Pius IX is saying becomes very obvious: From the very first momemnt of her existence, Mary was miraculously preserved from all sin. We Easterns would go even a step further: she wasn't just preserved from sin, but was graced with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    Also, the definition speaks of Mary being "free from every stain of original sin." In the East we have always spoken of Mary's perfect holiness. The language "free from every stain of original sin" is really a somewhat negative formulation in comparison. In fact, this definition speaks of Mary as being "absent of something (the stain of sin)," while we would prefer to speak of her as being "full of something (the Holy Spirit)." In this regard I think that the Eastern approach makes a marvelous contribution to the understanding of this dogma. So does Pope John Paul II:

    "In fact, the negative formulation of the Marian privilege, which resulted from the earlier controversies about original sin that arose in the West, must always be complemented by the positive expression of Mary's holiness more explicitly stressed in the Eastern tradition." (Pope John Paul II, General Audience June 12, 1996)

    So, the Holy Father agrees that the Eastern understanding of the Immaculate Conception actually helps to elucidate the meaning behind the definition.

    God Bless, Anthony

    Anthony Dragani, a Byzantine Catholic, is a doctoral candidate in Systematic Theology at Duquesne University. A graduate of the Masters of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry program at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, he has his BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1999 Mr. Dragani founded an online ministry, called From East to West, that promotes awareness and education about Eastern Catholicism, a subject on which he also lectures in parishes and on university campuses. He resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife Nicole.
  • In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. One God, Amen.

    I wanted to make a comment to what you said Safaa. Previously you wrote...

    [quote author=Safaa link=board=1;threadid=1526;start=0#msg24463 date=1115482454]
    Hello MarMar91,

    It is not just purgatory the thing that separates the Catholic from the Orthodox family.

    This separation lasted for the last 1500 years ( 15 censuries ) mainly on the issue of the NATURE of CHRIST. then the Catholics added tens of issues by themselves to the faith once handed down by the Apostles.

    We can just pray to God to be one and prayers can move mountains.

    I just wanted to remind you that the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church have in fact reached an agreement about the Nature of Christ. In 1971, H. H. Pope Shenouda (while he was still Bishop Shenouda) met in an ecumenical conference with Pope Paul VI. In this conference the two composed an official text document. This document was written in 1971 and was later signed by both H. H. Pope Shenouda and Pople Paul VI. The document said,

    " We all believe that Our Lord, God, and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Word. We believe that He was perfect in His Divinity and perfect in His Humanity and that His Divinity never departed from His Humanity not even for a single instant. His Humanity is one with His Divinity without commixture, without confusion, without division, without separation."

    Therefore the major issue on the Nature of Christ has been resolved.

    Reference: Meinardus, Otto F. A., Two Thousand Years of Coptic Christianity. pg 6. Publisher: The American Univerity in Cairo Press.
  • Hello Egyptian Nazirite,

    Welcome to tasbeha.com, looking forward to your valuable contributions.

    If you read this thread from the start you kind get the feeling that purgatory is the only cause for separation between the churches.
    The Council of Chalcedon of AD451 caused a big schism within the church which has lasted until the present.

    Both the Catholic Church and the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches signed with the Coptic Church on agrement on CHristology.

    We pray for lifting the anathemas which was brought unjustly against our Pope St. Dioscorus.

    After that The churches can discuss the rest of the differances that emerged after the separation.
  • small correction:
    Pope Paul VI
    Pope John Paul II

    there is no Pope John Paul VI as of yet.
  • ya, sorry about that, my mistake. I fixed the problem.
  • There are three main differences between the Orthodox and the Catholics
    1. They believe in the purgatory, which is wrong becuase when the theif on the right side of the Lord told him Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom, Jesus said : Today you will be with me in Paradise, ... not purgatory;
    2. They believe that Saint Mary is equal to Jesus. They say: Pray to Mary, but that' swrong, it should be , Pray to GOD through the intercesions of Saint Mary. They believe that she is without sin, which is again wrong. Duing the annunciation, after heraing the news from the angel, she said " My soul rejoices in the Lord my Salvation." Why would she say 'salvation' if she didin't need it, therefore meaning she needed to be saved. Why? because everyone sins. In the Bible (sorry can't remember where) it says : "all have fallen short from the Glory of God" meaning that no one is as superior to Him, even the Blessed Virgin.
    3. They beleive in the infallibility of the pope, meaning that everything that the pope says in terms of religion and spirituality is correct w/o a doubt. But that's ot true because everyone makes mistakes.

    If i said anything wrong plz correct me

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