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The Church Courtyard => Non-Catholic Discussion Subforum => Topic started by: Xavier on April 15, 2020, 03:26:10 AM

Title: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 15, 2020, 03:26:10 AM
Taken in its most plain sense, 1 Cor 3:13-15 plainly declares that there is a Purgatorial fire, in which certain lesser sins are purged. "[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. [14] If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire."  This is that prison of which the Lord speaks into which the adversary, the devil, will try to cast us, and from which no man goes forth until he has paid the last farthing; thus St. Caesarius, St. Cyprian and several other Fathers. Then, the Lord Himself says one particular sin is forgiven neither in this world, nor even in the world to come; from which the holy Fathers, such as St. Augustine, St. Isidore and Pope St. Gregory the Great, deduce or infer that other lesser sins, that is not the mortal sin of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, are forgiven in the world to come, i.e. in Purgatory. These same Fathers apply those words of 1 Cor 3:13-15 to the lesser sins, or venial sins, needing to be burned up in the fire.

The CE explains: "There are several passages in the New Testament that point to a process of purification after death. Thus, Jesus Christ declares (Matthew 12:32): "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come." According to St. Isidore of Seville (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6) these words prove that in the next life "some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire." St. Augustine also argues "that some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come" (City of God XXI.24). The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n. 11) and other eminent theological writers.

A further argument is supplied by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15: ... it is regarded by many of the Fathers and theologians as evidence for the existence of an intermediate state in which the dross of lighter transgressions will be burnt away, and the soul thus purified will be saved. This, according to Bellarmine (De Purg., I, 5), is the interpretation commonly given by the Fathers and theologians; and he cites to this effect:

St. Ambrose (commentary on the text, and Sermo xx in Ps. cxvii),
St. Jerome, (Comm. in Amos, c. iv),
St. Augustine (Enarration on Psalm 37),
St. Gregory (Dial., IV, xxxix), and
Origen (Hom. vi in Exod.)." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

Given all this, why do some Protestants, and some Orthodox, still deny the Apostolic, Biblical, Catholic and Patristic Doctrine of Purgatory? Some other Fathers: https://www.catholicbridge.com/catholic/purgatory-church-fathers.php

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 ... 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]).

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]).

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]).

Cyril of Jerusalem: Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, that through their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition, next, we make mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep, and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep. For We believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn sacrifice is laid out (Catechetical Lectures 23:5:9 [A.D. 350]).

John Chrysostom: Not in vain was it decreed by the apostles that in the awesome mysteries remembrance should be made of the departed. They knew that here there was much gain for them, much benefit. When the entire people stands with hands uplifted, a priestly assembly, and that awesome sacrificial victim is laid out, how, when we are calling upon God, should we not succeed in their defense? But this is done for those who have departed in the faith, while even the catechumens are not reckoned .is worthy of this consolation, but are deprived of every means of assistance except one. And what is that? We may give alms to the poor on their behalf (Homilies on Philippians 3:9-10 [A.D. 402]).

St. Clement: "In the other life there will be two fires, a 'devouring and consuming' one for the incorrigible, and for the rest, a fire that 'sanctifies' and 'does not consume, like the fire of the forge,' a 'prudent, intelligent' fire which penetrates the soul that passes through it." (Clement of Alexandria, Stromata 8.6, c. before 215 A.D.)

St. Basil the Great: "...and if they [i.e., Christians who die] are found to have any wounds from their wrestling, any stains or effects of sin, they are detained.  If, however, they are found unwounded and without stain, they are, as unconquered, brought by Christ into their rest."  (Basil, Homilies and Psalms, 370 A.D.)

And St. Basil's own brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa declares: "...he [the departed soul] is not able to partake of divinity until he has been purged of the filthy contagion in his soul by purifying fire."  (Sermon on the Dead)
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: TheReturnofLive on April 15, 2020, 05:54:27 PM
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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 ... 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]).

You do know that Origen was condemned for his doctrine on soteriological fire by at least two Ecumenical Councils (Fifth and Sixth), right?

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And St. Basil's own brother, St. Gregory of Nyssa declares: "...he [the departed soul] is not able to partake of divinity until he has been purged of the filthy contagion in his soul by purifying fire."  (Sermon on the Dead)

Saint Gregory of Nyssa had universalist views before they were condemned as heresy, and was a disciple of Origen; he's referring to universal salvation, not Purgatory.



Aside from those, these quick-quotes do not imply purgation of sins via a fire in of itself, which can be expedited through indulgences. Nor does it imply that the fire is a creation of God. Nor does it imply that this "detainment" is something separate than Hades (that is, Pre-Last Judgment Hell).

Mark of Ephesus exegeted similar passages and came to a much different result.

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To this we answer the following: Of the fact that those reposed in faith are without doubt helped by the Liturgies and prayers and almsgiving performed for them, and that this custom has been in force from antiquity, there is the testimony of many and various utterances of the Teachers, both Latin and Greek, spoken and written at various times and in various places. But that souls are delivered thanks to a certain purgatorial suffering and temporal fire which possess such (a purgatorial) power and has the character of an help–this we do not find either in the Scriptures or in the prayers and hymns for the dead, or in the words of the Teachers. But we have received that even the souls which are held in hell are already given over to eternal torments, whether in actual fact and experience or in hopeless expectation of such, as can be aided and given a certain small help, although in the sense of completely loosing them from torment or giving hope for a final deliverance. And this is shown from the words of the great Macarius the Egyptian ascetic who, finding a skull in the desert, was instructed by it concerning this by the action of Diving Power. And Basil the Great, in the prayers read at Pentecost, writes literally the following: “Who also, on this all-perfect and saving feast, art graciously pleased to accept propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in hell [ literally in Greek”Hade”], granting us a great hope of improvement for those who are imprisoned from the defilements which have imprisoned them, and that Thou wilt send down Thy consolation” (Third Kneeling Prayer at Vespers).

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 not 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 aid, has not at all been 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 hell, 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 the “Reflections of the Mystery of those Reposed in Faith” (in The Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, VII, 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 the gnawing of conscience with more torment than any fire, and still others are cleansed only the very terror before the Divine Glory and the uncertainty as to what the future will be. And that this is much more tormenting and punishing than anything else, experience itself shows, and St. John Chrysostom testifies to us in almost all or at least most of his moral homilies, which affirm this, as likewise does the divine ascetic Dorotheus in hsi homily “On the Conscience…”

2. And so, we entreat 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 prayer from confinement in hell, as if from a certain prison, is testified, among many others, by Theophanes the Confessor, called the Branded (for the words of his testimony for the Icon of Christ, words written on his forehead, he sealed by blood). In one of the canons for the reposed he thus prays for them: “Deliver, O Saviour, Thy slaves who are in the hell of tears and sighing” (Octoechos, Saturday canon for the reposed, Tone 8, Canticle 6, Glory).

All of these things are what is vital in an Orthodox or Protestant critique of the afterlife, for the Scriptures do not imply any of these things (without reading into certain passages contexts which the passages themselves do not supply), and much doctrinal development for Purgatory started in the Pre-Schism West (especially found in Saint Gregory the Great's Dialogues) and continued onward with the Scholasticism of the Roman Catholic Church.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 16, 2020, 06:56:53 AM
Another clear Biblical example of prayers for the departed are found in 2 Maccabees, centuries before the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

"2 Macc 12:43 "And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, 44 (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) 45 And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them. 46 It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins."

Luther knew this book was opposed to his relentless war on the holy Doctrine of Purgatory: "Martin Luther said: "I am so great an enemy to the second book of the Maccabees, and to Esther, that I wish they had not come to us at all" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_Maccabees#Canonicity Most modern Protestants reject prayers for the faithful departed thoroughly. Thta is the logical consequence of declaring war on Purgatory. The question is why Orthodox and Protestants who do pray for the departed agree with it.

Quote from: ReturnOL
You do know that Origen was condemned for his doctrine on soteriological fire by at least two Ecumenical Councils (Fifth and Sixth), right?

Rather, teaching universalism was condemned by those Councils. But the Catholic Church doesn't teach universalism. She teaches Purgatory, which is the only way to harmonize St. Paul's statement that some souls are saved by fire with the falsehood of universalism. Consider this syllogism: Major - Either some souls are saved by fire, or all souls are saved by fire. Minor - But all souls are not saved by fire. Conclusion - Therefore, only some are so saved.

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Saint Gregory of Nyssa had universalist views ...

Well, some dispute that. But at any rate, St. Augustine and another Saint Gregory, St. Gregory the Great, as you yourself noted, Live, seamlessly adopted this (and St. Gregory the Great was writing after EC V) purgatorial fire and applied it not to all sins but only lesser ones.

"Gregory the Great also argued for the existence, before Judgment, of a purgatorius ignis (a cleansing fire) to purge away minor faults (wood, hay, stubble) not mortal sins (iron, bronze, lead).[62]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory You would have read this, but you can read it again here if you want: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/01p/0590-0604,_SS_Gregorius_I_Magnus,_Dialogorum_Libri_IV-De_Vita_et_Miraculis_...,_LT.pdf

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via a fire in of itself

(1) St. Cyprian, (2) St. Augustine, (3) ST. Caesurius, (4) St. Gregory the Great, (5) St. Isidore of Seville certainly taught precisely that. That's 5 Patristic Saint Witnesses. How many do you want? Sacred Scripture says, "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall stand." (Deut 19:15) We admit all the Greek witnesses, do you admit the Latin?

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And Basil the Great, in the prayers read at Pentecost, writes literally the following: “Who also, on this all-perfect and saving feast, art graciously pleased to accept propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in hell [ literally in Greek”Hade”], granting us a great hope of improvement for those who are imprisoned from the defilements which have imprisoned them, and that Thou wilt send down Thy consolation” (Third Kneeling Prayer at Vespers).

This also we can agree. Some in the East especially considered hell itself to be divided into two "compartments" or "divisions", of which the upper part of Hades is Purgatory, and the lower is the hell of the damned from which no release will take place. If release is possible, then it is not this lower part of hell proper. In other words, you are merely calling as Hades what we call Purgatory. Either that, or you are teaching the release of all from hell proper itself, which is Universalism. That's why I said you need Purgatory to avoid Universalism.

The Council of Jerusalem, 1672: "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." http://www.crivoice.org/creeddositheus.html
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: TheReturnofLive on April 16, 2020, 12:46:47 PM
Quote from: ReturnOL
You do know that Origen was condemned for his doctrine on soteriological fire by at least two Ecumenical Councils (Fifth and Sixth), right?

Rather, teaching universalism was condemned by those Councils. But the Catholic Church doesn't teach universalism. She teaches Purgatory, which is the only way to harmonize St. Paul's statement that some souls are saved by fire with the falsehood of universalism. Consider this syllogism: Major - Either some souls are saved by fire, or all souls are saved by fire. Minor - But all souls are not saved by fire. Conclusion - Therefore, only some are so saved.

In your "major" "minor" syllogistic argument, you are assuming that the "fire" discussed is your own system of purgatory. Exactly what I'm trying to dispute.

The Orthodox, for example, interpret the fire of Hell and the light of Paradise as identical, and interpret Saint Paul as such "with a fire that burns wood but refines gold." Hence also why the Saints have halos and the Holy Spirit brought fire on Pentecost. It's the Glory of God.

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Saint Gregory of Nyssa had universalist views ...

Well, some dispute that. But at any rate, St. Augustine and another Saint Gregory, St. Gregory the Great, as you yourself noted, Live, seamlessly adopted this (and St. Gregory the Great was writing after EC V) purgatorial fire and applied it not to all sins but only lesser ones.

"Gregory the Great also argued for the existence, before Judgment, of a purgatorius ignis (a cleansing fire) to purge away minor faults (wood, hay, stubble) not mortal sins (iron, bronze, lead).[62]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purgatory You would have read this, but you can read it again here if you want: http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/01p/0590-0604,_SS_Gregorius_I_Magnus,_Dialogorum_Libri_IV-De_Vita_et_Miraculis_...,_LT.pdf


The only thing of dispute for Saint Gregory of Nyssa is the question of whether his own writings were his own.

Also, I have yet to see Saint Augustine defend Purgatory, and again, your quote from Saint Gregory the Great is extremely misleading. I have read the Dialogues entirely. I can tell you that Saint Gregory the Great does not use the Scholastic distinction of "Mortal Sin" and "Venial Sin." Yes, he does use the terms "lesser sins" and "more grievous sins", but to use such terminology with Scholastic connotations is to imply a theology which wasn't fully developed at that point.

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via a fire in of itself

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(1) St. Cyprian, (2) St. Augustine, (3) ST. Caesurius, (4) St. Gregory the Great, (5) St. Isidore of Seville certainly taught precisely that. That's 5 Patristic Saint Witnesses. How many do you want? Sacred Scripture says, "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall stand." (Deut 19:15) We admit all the Greek witnesses, do you admit the Latin?

I can name 3 Church Fathers who taught that angels had relations with humans which caused the Flood. Does that mean it's dogma?

But anyways, the idea of accepting Greek witnesses - that's a lie. Good luck reading Absolute Divine Simplicity into the Cappadocians or Saint John Damascus; St. Thomas Aquinas actually uses Mamoimedes as a greater authority for that doctrine in the Summa and says that Saint John Damascus, along with much of the Cappadocian Fathers, is wrong.

Despite the fact that I will argue anyways that, with the exception of Saint Gregory the Great and maybe Irenaeus (that's debatable), all your other citations do not suggest that.

Nor have you found in the Church Fathers the idea of Indulgences which expediate the pains and sufferings of this vague and undefined "fire."

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And Basil the Great, in the prayers read at Pentecost, writes literally the following: “Who also, on this all-perfect and saving feast, art graciously pleased to accept propitiatory prayers for those who are imprisoned in hell [ literally in Greek”Hade”], granting us a great hope of improvement for those who are imprisoned from the defilements which have imprisoned them, and that Thou wilt send down Thy consolation” (Third Kneeling Prayer at Vespers).

This also we can agree. Some in the East especially considered hell itself to be divided into two "compartments" or "divisions", of which the upper part of Hades is Purgatory, and the lower is the hell of the damned from which no release will take place. If release is possible, then it is not this lower part of hell proper. In other words, you are merely calling as Hades what we call Purgatory. Either that, or you are teaching the release of all from hell proper itself, which is Universalism. That's why I said you need Purgatory to avoid Universalism.

The Council of Jerusalem, 1672: "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." http://www.crivoice.org/creeddositheus.html

Nope.

That's simply Thomas Aquinas's theory.

In the New Testament Greek, you will find two different words for "Hell." The Easterners understand the difference between the two as the Pre-Judgment State of Hell (Hades) and the Post-Judgment State of Hell (Gehenna), the two being distinguishable by one involving purely the soul, the other involving both the soul and the body. They are both are associated with the punishment of the damned, and the Easterners understand the unlikely potentiality for people in the former state to escape and repent; for the latter, however, there is none.


Also, there is nothing contested with the Council of Jerusalem's decrees. That doesn't dogmatize purgatorial fire.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: TheReturnofLive on April 16, 2020, 12:54:47 PM
I can fully agree that, in both East and West, there was universal common ground which understood that those with lesser faults could be purified in some way via torments, presumably of those in Hades. However, both the East and West have developed that in different ways in what exactly that means, much like both Churches did in so many other areas when you have more than a thousand years of theological development.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 17, 2020, 07:58:50 AM
I can fully agree that, in both East and West, there was universal common ground which understood that those with lesser faults could be purified in some way via torments, presumably of those in Hades. However, both the East and West have developed that in different ways in what exactly that means, much like both Churches did in so many other areas when you have more than a thousand years of theological development.

This is good. Then that purification of lesser faults in Hades is simply what we call Purgatory or purgatorial purification in divine fire.

So, let's take the Saints one by one, then, starting with St. Cyprian:

Do you have any objections to this? "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"?

St. Cyprian says, (1) some attain to glory straightaway, (2) others are cast into prison, and do not leave till they pay the uttermost farthing. (we affirm, any place from which release is possible is intrinsically purgatorial. This is not heaven, because heaven is not a prison; but it is not hell of the damned either, because from there no release is possible. Therefore, syllogistically, it follows that it is some purgatorial intermediate state) (3) next, that some, by long suffering for sins, are cleansed and long purged in fire. (4) that some, indeed, are even in suspense until the Day of Judgment, as we believe some will remain in Purgatory till the Last Day, while others, again, (5) are at once Crowned by the Lord, as for e.g. the Immaculate Virgin Mary (Rev 12:1) is Crowned in Heaven by the Lord, as a Reward for Her Spotless Sinlessness, over which Purgatory has never had, nor could ever have, any power.

So, what would you say to the testimony of St. Cyprian? (1) that he did believe in Purgatory, but you disagree with him? (2) That he didn't believe sins are purged in fire by long suffering (3) That he affirmed all sinners in purgatory remain there till the Day of Judgment?

God Bless.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 18, 2020, 04:00:22 AM
And not only the ancient Saints, but also recent Saints, have said very clearly, from their Experience and their Faith, there is a Purgatory:

""The souls in Purgatory pray for us, and their prayers are even more effective than ours, because they are accompanied by their suffering. So, let's pray for them, and let's pray them to pray for us." "The souls in Purgatory repay the prayers that we say for them." "When we pray for the souls in Purgatory we will always get something back." [18]
 
Souls from Purgatory

In 1922 Bishop Alberto Costa asked Padre Pio if he had ever seen a soul in Purgatory. Padre Pio: "I have seen so many of them that they don't scare me anymore."[19]" http://caccioppoli.com/St.%20Padre%20Pio%20Purgatory.html

"Dear Suffering Friends

“How grateful I should be,” writes St. Margaret Mary in her Life and Writings II, “if you would help me by your prayers to relieve my ‘dear suffering friends,’ for so I call them. There is nothing I would not do or suffer to help them. I assure you they are not ungrateful.”

When St. Margaret Mary writes of her “dear suffering friends,” the phrase resonates with me. I’ve spent so many hours near tombstones that the souls now feel like old friends."

From: https://catholicexchange.com/padre-pio-purgatory-praying-souls-cemetery

And: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/divine-mercy-novena-eighth-day-13374

"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."   

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

Anyway, if the passage in St. Cyprian is admitted, I'll move on to St. Augustine in my next post after some time. God Bless.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 18, 2020, 04:30:15 AM
Here are 5 texts on purifying fire or temporary punishments after death, from St. Augustine, St. Caesarius, and St. Gregory respectively.

"During the time, moreover, which intervenes between a man’s death and the final resurrection, the soul dwells in a hidden retreat, where it enjoys rest or suffers affliction just in proportion to the merit it has earned by the life which it led on earth.” Augustine, Enchiridion, 1099 (A.D. 421).

“For our part, we recognize that even in this life some punishments are purgatorial,–not, indeed, to those whose life is none the better, but rather the worse for them, but to those who are constrained by them to amend their life. All other punishments, whether temporal or eternal, inflicted as they are on every one by divine providence, are sent either on account of past sins, or of sins presently allowed in the life, or to exercise and reveal a man’s graces. They may be inflicted by the instrumentality of bad men and angels as well as of the good. For even if any one suffers some hurt through another’s wickedness or mistake, the man indeed sins whose ignorance or injustice does the harm; but God, who by His just though hidden judgment permits it to be done, sins not. But temporary punishments are suffered by some in this life only, by others after death, by others both now and then; but all of them before that last and strictest judgment. But of those who suffer temporary punishments after death, all are not doomed to those everlasting pains which are to follow that judgment; for to some, as we have already said, what is not remitted in this world is remitted in the next, that is, they are not punished with the eternal punishment of the world to come.” Augustine, City of God, 21:13 (A.D. 426).

“But since she has this certainty regarding no man, she prays for all her enemies who yet live in this world; and yet she is not heard in behalf of all. But she is heard in the case of those only who, though they oppose the Church, are yet predestinated to become her sons through her intercession…For some of the dead, indeed, the prayer of the Church or of pious individuals is heard; but it is for those who, having been regenerated in Christ, did not spend their life so wickedly that they can be judged unworthy of such compassion, nor so well that they can be considered to have no need of it. As also, after the resurrection, there will be some of the dead to whom, after they have endured the pains proper to the spirits of the dead, mercy shall be accorded, and acquittal from the punishment of the eternal fire. For were there not some whose sins, though not remitted in this life, shall be remitted in that which is to come, it could not be truly said, “They shall not be forgiven, neither in this world, neither in that which is to come.’ But when the Judge of quick and dead has said, ‘Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,’ and to those on the other side, ‘Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels,’ and ‘These shall go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life,’ it were excessively presumptuous to say that the punishment of any of those whom God has said shall go away into eternal punishment shall not be eternal, and so bring either despair or doubt upon the corresponding promise of life eternal.” Augustine, City of God,2 1:24 (A.D. 426).

“If we neither give thanks to God in tribulations nor redeem our own sins by good works, we shall have to remain in that purgatorian fire as long as it takes for those above-mentioned lesser sins to be consumed like wood and straw and hay.” Ceasarius of Arles, Sermon 179 (104):2 (A.D. 542).

“Each one will be presented to the Judge exactly as he was when he departed this life. Yet, there must be a cleansing fire before judgment, because of some minor faults that may remain to be purged away. Does not Christ, the Truth, say that if anyone blasphemes against the Holy Spirit he shall not be forgiven ‘either in this world or in the world to come'(Mt. 12:32)? From this statement we learn that some sins can be forgiven in this world and some in the world to come. For, if forgiveness is refused for a particular sin, we conclude logically that it is granted for others. This must apply, as I said, to slight transgressions.” Gregory the Great [regn. A.D. 590-604], Dialogues, 4:39 (A.D. 594). https://www.scripturecatholic.com/purgatory/#I_The_Early_Churchs_Belief_in_Purgatory
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 27, 2020, 09:23:00 AM
Reading this statement of Origen again, it almost appears as if, in this period of his life, Origen believed only the baptized would be saved, which is orthodox i.e. Catholic: "As John stood near the Jordan among those who came to be baptized, accepting those who confessed their vices and their sins and rejecting the rest ... so will the Lord Jesus Christ stand in a river of fire next to a flaming sword and Baptize all those who should go to Paradise after they die, but who lack purgation... But those who do not bear the mark of the first Baptism will not be baptized in the bath of fire. One must first be Baptized in water and Spirit so that,  when the river of fire is reached, the marks of the baths of water and Spirit will remain as signs that one is worthy of receiving the Baptism of fire in Jesus Christ." (Origen, Commentary on Luke, 24th Homily, before 253 A.D)" But he may have changed his mind later on; I don't know, I'll have to see.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 27, 2020, 02:27:52 PM
On Indulgences being present in the Eastern Churches and being called Absolution Certificates:

"Absolution Certificates as Eastern Equivalent of Indulgences: "The practice of issuing indulgences, having existed unofficially at first, received official confirmation at the Constantinople Council of 1727. The Council was called in response to increasing Latin propaganda, spreading mainly in Syria, Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Egypt. In the thirteenth clause of "The Confession of Faith" from the Council, the text of which was compiled by Patriarch Chrysanthus of Jerusalem and was signed by Patriarchs Paisius II of Constantinople, Sylvester of Antioch, and Chrysanthus of Jerusalem, and other hierarchs in Constantinople at the time who participated in the Council, said, "The power of the forgiveness of sins, which is termed by the Eastern Church of Christ Absolution Certificates when given in writing, but by the Latins Indulgences, is given to the Holy Church by Christ. These Absolution Certificates are issued in the whole Catholic Church by the four most holy Patriarchs: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem." https://orthodoxwiki.org/Absolution_Certificates
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 27, 2020, 04:30:59 PM
On Indulgences being present in the Eastern Churches and being called Absolution Certificates... and their subsequent condemnation by a Council:

"Indulgences as a means of enrichment were condemned at the Council of Constantinople in the year 1838. That Council, like the Council of the year 1727, was devoted to the extermination of Latin dogmas and usages. Its main theme was the Unia. An encyclical, published by the Council, was signed by Patriarchs Gregory VI of Constantinople and Patriarch Athanasius of Jerusalem. It was also signed by eleven hierarchs of the Synod of Constantinople. The text was also sent to the absent Patriarchs, Hierotheus I of Alexandria and Methodius of Antioch." https://orthodoxwiki.org/Absolution_Certificates (https://orthodoxwiki.org/Absolution_Certificates)
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 28, 2020, 09:50:19 AM
As a means of enrichment, yes. That means indulgences should not be sinfully misused for profiteering. A clear abuse. Indulgences are spiritual. They are meant for spiritual progress and growth.

Famous Plenary Indulgences today are (1) the Way of the Cross, (2) 15 Decade Rosary, (3) at least 30 Mins of Eucharistic Adoration. All clearly spiritual, meritorious and satisfactory practices.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 28, 2020, 11:30:45 AM
Your argument -- that the undivided Church believed in indulgences -- is untrue. And your citation to some Orthodox accepting the idea in the late Second Millennium is undermined by the rejection of the idea in council.

As with pretty much all of your posts, if they're convincing at all, they're only convincing to people who already buy what you're selling. Or people who can't be bothered to look at sources for themselves.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2020, 02:39:04 AM
I'm not selling anything. I'm trying to help give some of you the free gift of grace of eternal life, in Jesus Christ and His Church, which some of you seem to have gone away from, chasing each and every novelty and heresy. Purgatory is the Doctrine of the Ancient Fathers.

Here is Pope St. Gregory the Great: "we must believe that before the day of judgment there is a Purgatory fire for certain small sins: because our Saviour saith, that he which speaketh blasphemy against the holy Ghost, that it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.66 Out of which sentence we learn, that some sins are forgiven in this world, and some other may be pardoned in the next: for that which is denied concerning one sin, is consequently understood to be granted touching some other. But yet this, as I said, we have not to believe but only concerning little and very small sins, as, for example, daily idle talk, immoderate laughter, negligence in the care of our family (which kind of offences scarce can they avoid, that know in what sort sin is to be shunned), ignorant errors in matters of no great weight: all which sins be punished after death, if men procured not pardon and remission for them in their lifetime: for when St. Paul saith, that Christ is the foundation: and by and by addeth: And if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble: the work of every one, of what kind it is, the fire shall try. If any man's work abide which he built thereupon, he shall receive reward; if any mans work burn, he shall suffer detriment, but himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.67 For although these words may be understood of the fire of tribulation, which men suffer in this world: yet if any will interpret them of the fire of Purgatory, which |234 shall be in the next life: then must he carefully consider, that the Apostle said not that he may be saved by fire, that buildeth upon this foundation iron, brass, or lead, that is, the greater sort of sins, and therefore more hard, and consequently not remissible in that place: but wood, hay, stubble, that is, little and very light sins, which the fire doth easily consume. Yet we have here further to consider, that none can be there purged, no, not for the least sins that be, unless in his lifetime he deserved by virtuous works to find such favour in that place." http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/gregory_04_dialogues_book4.htm#C39 (Chapter 39, whether there be any fire of purgatory in the next world).

If you believe and know the Truth firmly, it's to your own advantage, and you will progress more in sanctification. If not, it's up to you. Many, many Eastern Churches have known the Truth and returned to Catholic Communion with Rome. AT the Union of Brest in 1591, this was decreed, "We shall not debate about purgatory, but we entrust ourselves to the teaching of the Holy Church." See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_purgatory

Indulgences are a logical consequence of the Church's power to forgive sins - if She can forgive the eternal punishment, She can also retain or remit, in whole or in part, the temporal effects of sin, as the Lord's Word to Her imply: the 18th century council clearly said all 4 eastern Patriarchs admitted this. "The power of the forgiveness of sins, which is termed by the Eastern Church of Christ Absolution Certificates when given in writing, but by the Latins Indulgences, is given to the Holy Church by Christ. These Absolution Certificates are issued in the whole Catholic Church by the four most holy Patriarchs: Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem." Either (1) all Eastern Churches fell into heresy here, or (2) Purgatory is a true dogma, and the Church has power of Forgiveness and Indulgence. It took them one century to correct the abuse of using them for enrichment, but abusus non tollit usum, is all that needs to be said about that.

The Lord Jesus said it best: ""Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice."
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 29, 2020, 09:55:42 AM
I feel like you either don't understand the Roman Catholic doctrine of indulgences very well, or you're being intentionally disingenuous.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2020, 10:46:23 AM
Ridiculous. It's you who are being disingenuous, as you haven't even said whether you believe in Purgatory or not, let alone Indulgences.

1. Answer the question: do you believe in Purgatory? If you don't believe, how do you explain the text of Pope St. Gregory the Great?
2. Second question: If you don't believe in Indulgences, how do you explain that all Four Eastern Patriarchs once approved Indulgences? Either they all fell into heresy, or Indulgences are perfectly legitimate and necessary spiritual practices.

I understand perfectly what an Indulgence is, and what it has always been in the Church. An Indulgence is a remission of a penance, just as Absolution is a remission of eternal punishment. Both in a loose sense can be called forgiveness of sins, insofar as they remit the penalties due to sin. Now, with all that understood, do you agree with Indulgences or do you disagree with them? Again, if you would get your doctrine from such great Saints as St. Margaret Mary, St. Faustina and St. Padre Pio, this wouldn't be a problem to begin with. Indulgences are Great Mercy of God to His Church. It's because some do not believe in Purgatory, or do not take it seriously, that they do not see the value of Indulgences in assisting the poor suffering souls. A real pity.

"The common teaching of the saints and doctors is that the slightest pains endured in the terrible fire of Purgatory will be more painful than all the pains of the present life. The Catholic Encyclopedia notes, “[St.] Augustine (Enarration on Psalm 37, no. 3) speaks of the pain which purgatorial fire causes as more severe than anything a man can suffer in this life (P.L., col. 397). [Pope St.] Gregory the Great speaks of those who after this life ‘will expiate their faults by purgatorial flames,’ and he adds ‘that the pain be more intolerable than any one can suffer in this life’ (Ps. 3 poenit., n. 1). Following in the footsteps of Gregory, St. Thomas teaches (IV, dist. xxi, q. i, a.1) that besides the separation of the soul from the sight of God, there is the other punishment from fire … and St. Bonaventure not only agrees with St. Thomas but adds (IV, dist. xx, p.1, a.1, q. ii) that this punishment by fire is more severe than any punishment which comes to men in this life[.]”

St. Thomas also teaches the fire of Purgatory is one and the same as the fire of Hell, the difference being in the way the fire operates on those who die in grace with only venial sins remaining, who can still be purified, and in those who die in mortal sin and dead to grace, who are irrevocably, eternally lost: “Even as in the same fire gold glistens and straw smokes, so in the same fire the sinner burns and the elect is cleansed.” Therefore, “the fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell: and hence they are in the same place.”

5 Practical Steps to Avoid or Minimize Purgatory

Granted the dogmatic truth of Purgatory, its reality, and its importance, we must all ask ourselves two questions: (1) What am I doing to ensure that I and my loved ones avoid Purgatory? (2) How can I succor the souls already there?

By the Grace of God, Holy Mother Church offers us vast and abundant treasures for both of these.

The First and Greatest Means of All: Assist at and Have Offered Many Masses for the Poor Souls

Holy Mass, especially the Tridentine Mass, is the treasure of treasures for the holy souls in Purgatory. We can never have too many holy Masses offered up for the holy souls, and we must resolve to ask our pastors, shepherds, and priests to offer many Masses for the souls in Purgatory. We must also remember to offer the sacrifice with the priest for the holy souls, especially during the Offertory.

And so, as we read in the Pietà prayer booklet, Holy Mass has these superabundant blessings:

THE VALUE OF THE MASS

At the hour of death the Holy Masses you have heard devoutly will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you to Judgment and will plead pardon for you. By every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more or less, according to your fervor. By devoutly assisting at Holy Mass you render the greatest homage possible to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord. Through the Holy Sacrifice, Our Lord Jesus Christ supplies for many of your negligences and omissions. He forgives you all the venial sins which you are determined to avoid. He forgives you all your unknown sins which you never confessed. The Power of Satan over you is diminished. By piously hearing Holy Mass you afford the Souls in Purgatory the greatest possible relief. One Holy Mass heard during your life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death. Through the Holy Mass you are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your Purgatory by every Mass https://onepeterfive.com/prison-purgatory-avoid/
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2020, 10:50:20 AM
"The Second Great Means: Daily Morning, Hourly, and Perpetual Offerings of the Precious Blood

A favorite prayer of the saints are those of the form Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught to St. Gertrude the Great: “Eternal Father, I offer You the Precious Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus, in union with the holy Masses said throughout the world today [or this month], for all the holy souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, sinners in the universal Church, especially those in my own home and family. Amen.” The saint saw 1,000 souls go to Heaven as she prayed the prayer, and we may well hope a few souls are released from that dreadful prison even when we non-saints pray it.

The one-year and twelve-year prayers Our Lord Jesus taught to another great sponsa Christi, St. Bridget, also respectively have these express promises: “I will deliver 15 souls of his lineage from Purgatory.” And “the soul who prays them will suffer no Purgatory.” The prayers offer the Precious Blood of Jesus.

St. Margaret Mary, the beloved apostle of the Sacred Heart devotion, who taught us the secrets of that ever-loving, glorious, and adorable Heart, gave us the Heroic Act that will be treated in #5.

As the Precious Blood and Water that flowed from the Sacred Heart of our pierced Savior on the Cross falls on the holy souls, more and more of them will happily and speedily go to enjoy the glory of the beatific vision forever.

The Third Great Means: The Holy Rosary and the Scapular

The Holy Rosary of Our Lady and Queen is another great means, for the intercession of the Immaculate is unfailingly efficacious before the throne of God for the release of all souls. St. John Marie Vianney dares to have Our Lord say to His Mother, “If hell could repent, you would obtain its pardon.” There is no repentance in Hell, but the souls in Purgatory can still happily be purified. The rosary of our Mother bears the amazing promise, “I will deliver from Purgatory those who are devoted to my rosary.” The rosary also has amazing indulgences that can be applied to the holy souls. For example, every 15 decades, the complete rosary, have a plenary Indulgence. Every five decades have a plenary indulgence if recited in a church or as a family. Otherwise, it is partial.

The scapular, beside the great promise of final perseverance in grace to all who wear it devoutly and reverently, also has the Sabbatine Privilege: “As a tender mother, I will descend into Purgatory on the Saturday after their death and will deliver them and bring them to the holy mountain, into the happy sojourn of life everlasting.” Even the very act of kissing the scapular brings more indulgences!

The Fourth Great Means: Indulgences, Indulgences, Indulgences!

The most direct means to aid the holy souls is to gain the abundant Indulgences Holy Church grants us precisely for those reasons. While Confession forgives the guilt of mortal sin and its everlasting pains, indulgences are instituted precisely as a merciful remission of temporal penalties. Now, those penalties must be undergone either in this life by penance or in Purgatory.

The pre–Vatican II tradition of referring indulgences in terms of days and years is more defensible because, e.g., a 300-day indulgence and a seven-year indulgence are not the same thing, although both are “partial” in so far as they are not plenary. Let the faithful be encouraged to gain thousands and thousands of years’ indulgence, because we don’t know the precise relation between years of Penance on Earth and years of suffering in Purgatory. It may well be that failure to perform a ten-year penance on Earth leads to a hundred-year penance in Purgatory or even more. What a tragedy! And it would be almost irreparable without the graces of indulgences.

We will mention just one of several pre–Vatican II Indulgences:

O Lord, my God, I now, at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Thy hand whatever kind of death it may please Thee to send me, with all its pains, penalties, and sorrows. (Seven years every time said. Plenary indulgence at the point of death to all those who at any time of their lives, with sincere love toward God and with the usual conditions, make this kind of act)

The Fifth Great Means: Total Consecration, Heroic Act, Life Offering

Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary as taught by St. Louis Montfort is abundantly enriched with indulgences by many popes.

In addition to this, the Holy Father [His Holiness Pope St. Pius X, consecrated slave of Jesus through Mary] granted a plenary indulgence (on 24 December 1907), under the usual conditions, to be gained on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December 8th, and on the Feast of Saint Louis de Montfort, April 28, to those who recite the Montfort formula of consecration entitled “Consecration of Ourselves to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, by the Hands of Mary.” This plenary indulgence, which Leo XIII (also a “Slave of Mary”) had granted for only seven years, was now granted “in perpetuum” — in perpetuity.

There is also the Heroic Act for the Holy Souls, which allows one to gain a plenary indulgence each time one receives Holy Communion!

O MY GOD! for Thy greater glory, and to imitate as closely as possible the generous Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer, and also to testify my devotion to the Blessed Virgin, my Mother, who is also the Mother of the Souls in Purgatory, I place in her hands all my satisfactory works, as well as the fruit of all those which may be offered for my intention after my death, that she may apply them to the Souls in Purgatory according to her wisdom and good pleasure. Amen.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states: The Heroic Act has been enriched with numerous indulgences by Benedict XIII (1728), Pius VI (1788), and Pius IX (1852). Priests who make it receive the personal privilege of gaining a plenary indulgence for a soul of their choice each time they say Mass (see PRIVILEGED ALTAR). Laymen gain a similar indulgence each time they receive Holy Communion, also each Monday they hear Mass for the departed; in both cases the usual visit to a church and prayers for the intention of the pope are required.

A recent Life Offering taught by the Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary, with episcopal imprimaturs, can serve the same purpose:

My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with your most precious Blood and your sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the intention of your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with my life, I place at your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my of my entire life for the adoration and supplication of the Holy Trinity, for unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and priests, for good priestly vocations, and for all souls until the end of the world.  O my Jesus, please accept my life sacrifice and my offerings and give me your grace that I may persevere obediently until my death. Amen.

With ecclesiastical approbation, Our Lady has promised, “On the day they offer their lives, their loved ones suffering in Purgatory will be released.” Let us not delay the offer, but do so immediately!"
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: abc123 on April 29, 2020, 11:15:26 AM
I feel like you either don't understand the Roman Catholic doctrine of indulgences very well, or you're being intentionally disingenuous.

My money is on both. He has a long record of the latter.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 29, 2020, 11:18:34 AM
My personal beliefs really have nothing to do with it.

What you are disregarding are the underlying presuppositions of the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, which results in your ability to make surface-level comparisons, usually on the basis of words alone (through translations, of course) and without substance. Those comparisons you're making are disingenuous and would only convince people who either already agree with your conclusions or who are too lazy to research and think for themselves.

Here's an example of what I mean, although you use this same pattern in much of your apologetics across various topics:

The Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory requires an understanding of the merits of the saints and the superabundance of the merits of Christ.

While the Church fathers often discussed purgatorial fire, using various modes of description, that doesn't mean that they accepted what became the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory.

You are attempting to argue that the use of similar words throughout the centuries indicates acceptance of the doctrine. But that isn't necessarily true. You have to show that the substance of the doctrine was accepted and not just that Gregory the Great used a word similar to "purgatory" and said things about "fire."
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2020, 11:58:31 AM
Quote from: Ermy_Law
My personal beliefs really have nothing to do with it.

Well, it seems to me they have everything to do with it! Normally, a debate would proceed like this: "Here's what I believe. XYZ. Here are 2 to 3 verses from Sacred Scripture establishing my position. abc. Next, here are four or five Patristic witnesses also teaching it. 12345 etc".

If you take a look at this thread, that's how I proceeded. I showed several verses from Scripture, (1) where Our Lord speaks of the Prison in Mat 5:25-26 from which no one will get out until paying the last farthing (see also 1 Pet 3:19-20), (2) Mat 12:31-32 where Our Lord speaks of some sins being forgiven in the world to come, (3) 1 Cor 3:15, where St. Paul speaks of some souls being saved through fire, after being punished for their sins; while others receive a reward for their good works. (4) 2 Macc 12:43-46, which speaks of Sacrifices being offered for departed souls, so that they may be loosed from their sins, (5) Power of loosing sins granted to the Church.

I cited numerous Fathers (1) Tertullian (2) St. Augustine, (3) St. Cyprian. Exegeting these passages, on the prison which we will not leave till paying the last farthing; on suffering temporal punishments after death before the last Judgment. On being long purged in fire. (4) St. Isidore, (5) St. Gregory the Great, (6) St. Basil the Great (7) St. Jerome, (8) St. Ambrose and others cited by St. Robert.

I also cited various Magisterial texts and Church Councils, especially for those who may be arguing from the Orthodox perspective.

What has the other side produced as proof? Absolutely nothing. No Scripture, no Patristic Evidence, no Church Council declarations. It's just an excuse to attack the Sacred Doctrine of Purgatory, doing which is very injurious to your souls. Please treat these matters seriously, friends. My heart grieves for your souls. Treat them as important and make serious efforts in striving after holiness. If you don't take Purgatory seriously, you're virtually assured of having a seriously long Purgatory - perhaps to the end of time. It's my desire that that not happen to you that makes me want to take so much effort in pouring through so many texts of the Greek and Latin Fathers and giving them easily to you to read.

State what you believe - or if you wish, the position you wish to play devil's advocate for - and then produce some positive proof for it.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 29, 2020, 12:06:41 PM
Rarely does a debate start with an assertion of person belief since personal belief proves nothing.

Your premise is that the ancient church fathers accepted the Catholic doctrine of purgatory. But you haven't produced any evidence of that for the reasons I stated in my last post.

There's no need to refute what you say with evidence until you actually bring forth evidence that supports your premise. Stated in a legal way, you haven't met you initial burden of proof, so "the other side" can rest without saying anything.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 29, 2020, 12:15:36 PM
Take this passage of St. 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"?

Are you telling me this is not Purgatory. Recall that, while you haven't proved anything toward your case (nor even stated your case), I have proved, (1) there is a Purgatory (as you admit St. Gregory the Great taught), (2) there is a fire in Purgatory (as the same Saint did).

Now, you want me to proved additional things about (3) Treasury of Merit (which btw is not difficult to prove, but that's not the issue) and (4) Indulgences. Indulgences I have already given solid evidence of, and brief explanations because many misunderstandings persist. As when mortal sin is mercifully remitted, certain penances are given in justice, Indulgences are an act of still further mercy, such as that a remission even from temporal punishments viz. penances can be obtained by performing the Indulgenced Good Works.

I've already done 3 and 4 partially, and the general idea of the Communion of Saints and the Merits of the Saints itself shows (3). But I'm not going to (3) until you at least give me some clues about what you want to defend concerning the state of the afterlife. Do you at least admit prayers and the offering of sacrifices for the departed in the sense the Macchabees did? Do you accept that as Scripture?
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 29, 2020, 12:36:06 PM
You have not proven the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. You have shown that all the fathers agree there is an intermediate state after death during which souls are purged or tested. Those are not the same things.

You haven't shown any church father that accepted the Roman Catholic idea of merits, which means you haven't shown the fathers accepted the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory since the doctrine of merit is intertwined with that doctrine.

Have you read much about what the Orthodox Church teaches about the state of the soul after death? Perhaps better understanding that teaching would help you to better understand why the fathers that you're quoting don't necessarily support the Roman Catholic doctrine of purgatory. 
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 05:25:36 AM
Quote from: Ermy_Law
You have shown that all the fathers agree [1] there is an intermediate state after death [2] during which souls are purged or tested.

All right, Ermy. We'll start with this. (1) There is an intermediate state after death. (2) Souls are purged or tested during this state.

Now, I must ask you to exegete two Scripture passages for me. These Scripture passages speak of (3) prayers for the departed (4) salvation through a cleansing or purging fire.

2 Macc 12:[41] Then they all blessed the just judgment of the Lord, who had discovered the things that were hidden. [42] And so betaking themselves to prayers, they besought him, that the sin which had been committed might be forgotten. But the most valiant Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves from sin, forasmuch as they saw before their eyes what had happened, because of the sins of those that were slain. [43] And making a gathering, he sent twelve thousand drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection, [44] (For if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead,) [45] And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness, had great grace laid up for them.

[46] It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.

[46] "It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead": Here is an evident and undeniable proof of the practice of praying for the dead under the old law, which was then strictly observed by the Jews, and consequently could not be introduced at that time by Judas, their chief and high priest, if it had not been always their custom."

(1) This passage commands and commends prayers and sacrifices for the righteous dead as a holy and wholesome thought. (2) it says such sacrifices are for the purpose of loosing them from their sins. Do you admit these two things?

Next, 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. [14] If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire.

This passage says (1) those who, in addition to the foundation of faith in Christ (see the context), do good works merit a reward in heaven, but (2) the works of those who are wicked are shall suffer loss, they shall themselves be saved, yet only through fire.

Do you agree with this? This is the basic content of the doctrine of Purgatory in a nutshell. We will come back to merit in a moment.

Two passages from the Fathers to pay attention to: "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"  Again, (1) one receives a crown of glory as a reward for his good works; this is what is called as treasury of merit of the saints. (2) the other however is consigned to prison, and by long suffering in fire, must purge his evil works. He himself shall be saved, as both the Apostle and the Saint say, but only through this fiery prison, and perhaps only at the Last Day ("in suspense till the sentence of God at the Day of Judgment", in stark contrast to the Martyr or Saint who is "at once crowned by the Lord"

Pope St. Gregory the Great cited the two Scriptural texts, Mat 12:31-32 and 1 Cor 3:13 (Tertullian had cited Mat 5:25-26; also referenced in 1 Pet 3:18-19; you have not answered these texts with other texts of your own or explained their meaning per your belief). ""we must believe that before the day of judgment there is a Purgatory fire for certain small sins: because our Saviour saith, that he which speaketh blasphemy against the holy Ghost, that it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.66 Out of which sentence we learn, that some sins are forgiven in this world, and some other may be pardoned in the next: for that which is denied concerning one sin, is consequently understood to be granted touching some other. But yet this, as I said, we have not to believe but only concerning little and very small sins ... the Apostle said not that he may be saved by fire, that buildeth upon this foundation iron, brass, or lead, that is, the greater sort of sins, and therefore more hard, and consequently not remissible in that place: but wood, hay, stubble, that is, little and very light sins, which the fire doth easily consume". If anyone is aware of the historical context, he knows that Pope St. Gregory the Great is taking care to avoid universalism, for from the fact that some are saved by fire, some began to claim all are saved by fire. This is why Pope St. Gregory speaks of lesser or venial sins, and says only those who died in grace with only venial sins remaining on their soul are saved through this Purgatorial Fire. The statement is clear.

Without Purgatory, there should be no prayers for the dead. Granted we pray for the departed, it follows that some are saved by fire.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 30, 2020, 09:35:54 AM
Perhaps it would be easier to set out the two doctrines for comparison, and then we can assess how the statements from the fathers are viewed in the context of those doctrines?

Roman Catholic Doctrine: After death, a soul is immediately subjected to the particular judgment and assigned to either heaven or hell. A soul departing in the state of mortal sin goes to hell. A soul in the state of grace goes to heaven; however, such a soul may have to proceed through purgatory (a part of heaven) in order to purge the temporal consequences of forgiven sins. Through the merits of the saints and other prayers, the Church, through the office of the papacy, can remit the temporal punishments of those in purgatory, and this is called an indulgence.

Orthodox Doctrine: At some point after death, an individual soul encounters trials based on its sinfulness, whether such trials are literal or figurative. The soul, having passed through this sojourn from life to death is placed in an intermediate state of repose called Hades where the soul partakes to some degree of the torments associated with hell or a foretaste of the blessedness of heaven. The Church prays for the deceased with the faith that it assists the souls of the reposed in some way. Then at the Second Coming and the General Resurrection, the universal judgment will finalize all for good or bad for the individual soul.

It should be clear, then, that is incorrect to say that "without purgatory, there should be no prayers for the dead." Perhaps understanding the Orthodox conception of the afterlife will help you to understand that your methodology of approaching the Fathers with a Roman Catholic preconception leads you invariably to read into their statements the Roman Catholic doctrine; whereas, someone approaching those same statements from an Orthodox perspective reads into them the Orthodox doctrine.

And that is why proof-texting the Fathers is not a very good method for apologetics, in my opinion. Instead, you might make an attempt to understand what the people with whom you're attempting to engage actually believe.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: abc123 on April 30, 2020, 10:39:07 AM
Instead, you might make an attempt to understand what the people with whom you're attempting to engage actually believe.

Wisdom! Attend!
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 11:04:43 AM
The issue is that not all Orthodox believe the same things. Some believe in toll houses, while others believe in a Hades that is essentially Purgatory - a temporary fiery Prison from which souls can be released before the Day of Judgment. What is that if not Purgatory? See also that in Luk 16 Dives is already in torment, before the Day of Judgment, and Lazarus is at repose in the Bosom of Abraham. Catholic Christians believe after Christ's coming the souls of the departed enter the beatific vision, for the Lord has promised the pure of heart will see God, and St. John the Apostle also says we shall see Him as He Himself is. The same St. John the Apostle sees in Revelation the Saints made like the Angels of Heaven and singing in Paradise hymns of Glory to the Lord. They have already received the greatest inheritance of the Saints - the reward of glory that is the beatific vision - and now await only the final resurrection of the body. St. Paul also says the Saints are in light, which is the light of the beatific vision.

I already quoted Patriarch Dositheus as representative of the belief of the Greek Church - "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."

Here is a commentary on that Council from a Protestant writer: "The souls of the departed are either at rest or in torment, [136] according to their conduct in life; but their condition will not be perfect till the resurrection of the body. The souls of those who die in a state of penitence (metanoesantes), without having brought forth fruits of repentance, or satisfactions (hikanopoiesis), depart into Hades (aperchesthai eis adou), and there they must suffer the punishment for their sins; but they may be delivered by the prayers of the priests and the alms of their kindred, especially by the unbloody sacrifice of the mass (magala dunamenes malista tes anaimaktou thusias), which individuals offer for their departed relatives, and which the Catholic and Apostolic Church daily offers for all alike. The liberation from this intervening state of purification will take place before the resurrection and the general judgment, but the time is unknown.

This is essentially the Romish doctrine of purgatory, although the term is avoided, and nothing is said of material or physical torments ... In all these important points the Synod of Jerusalem again essentially agrees with the Church of Rome, and radically dissents from Protestantism. [137]" https://biblehub.com/library/various/creeds_of_christendom_with_a_history_and_critical_notes/_17_the_synod_of.htm

This writer can see it, but I think some of you don't see it. Now, if this is what you believe, then you should never have separated from the Catholic Church because of it; for schism is to cause an unnecessary division over a trifle, as St. Irenaeus says. We can admit the Latin and Greek Fathers used different modes of expression, but their doctrine is substantially one and the same. The Latin Fathers use Purgatorial fire explicitly. Hence no one with a sense of justice can reproach us for having faithfully preserved their Tradition and doing the same. The Greek Fathers do not explicitly use Purgatory, but they nevertheless speak of Hades/Hell (and everyone knows there is fire in hell; and the example of Dives in Luk 16 proves it; and btw, you said we consider Purgatory a part of Heaven, but it is actually a part of Hell, the part just above hell, the third state Tertullian speaks of as "though not in Heaven, and yet above hell") and a place in it from which souls can be delivered. We affirm, any prison from which deliverance is possible is intrinsically purgatorial. Unless you want to affirm universalism, you must affirm purgatory. For either (1) all souls can be delivered, and this is universalism, or (2) no souls can be delivered, and this is Protestantism, which rejects prayers for the departed. And we are both agreed 2 is incorrect, as Machabees proves. Or (3) only some souls can be delivered, and this is Purgatory. And therefore since (1) and (2) are not correct, (3) must be.

In Our Lord Jesus,
God Bless.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 11:25:20 AM
1 Pet 3:[18] Because Christ also died once for our sins, the just for the unjust: that he might offer us to God, being put to death indeed in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit, [19] In which also coming he preached to those spirits that were in prison:

[19] "Spirits that were in prison": See here a proof of a third place, or middle state of souls: for these spirits in prison, to whom Christ went to preach, after his death, were not in heaven; nor yet in the hell of the damned: because heaven is no prison: and Christ did not go to preach to the damned. http://www.drbo.org/chapter/67003.htm

The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (John 5:39-47)

Luk 16:19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: 28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

"Verse 24. - And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. His intense longing seems to be for companionship. "Oh for a friend," he seems to say, "who could speak to me, comfort me, give me the smallest alleviation of the pain I suffer!" What picture of a hell was ever painted by man comparable to this vision of eternal solitude, peopled alone by remorseful memories, described by Jesus? As the Divine Speaker advanced in his thrilling, melancholy description of the rich man's condition in the world to come, how vividly must the listeners have recalled the Master's earnest advice to them, in his former parable of the steward, to make to themselves while here friends who would receive them into everlasting habitations! They saw the meaning of that detail of the parable then. Were flay, in their luxurious abundance, were they making friends here who would help them there in the eternal tents? Were they not, perhaps, making the same mistake as the rich man of the story? The question might be asked - Why is Abraham, the father of the chosen race, the centre of this blessed life in Hades? In reply, firstly, it must be remembered that the whole colouring of this parable is peculiarly rabbinic, and in the schools of the rabbis the life of the blessed in Paradise is represented as a banquet, over which, until Messiah come, Abraham is represented as presiding. And, secondly, when the parable was spoken, the Saviour was actually on earth; his great redemption work had still to be accomplished. There was truth as well as error mingled in that strange rabbinical teaching. Messiah, as Messiah, when the parable was being probably acted, had not entered that realm where Abraham and many another holy and humble man of heart were in the enjoyment of exquisite bliss." https://biblehub.com/luke/16-24.htm
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 30, 2020, 11:52:26 AM
That you wrongly assert that Catholics believe that purgatory is part of hell further fuels my skepticism about how well you understand even the Roman Catholic doctrine.

That you can't be bothered to understand what the Orthodox teaching is on the afterlife (despite my fairly succinct summary of it for you) before deciding that the Orthodox believe in purgatory further supports my hunch that you're not approaching this discussion from a position of good faith.

So let's try this, and for purposes of this illustration, I'll make an obvious, though unproven assumption, that there are some Orthodox who believe in something called Purgatory:

Assume you call something Purgatory and define it in X way, and I call something Purgatory and define it in Y way. Is it your opinion that we believe the same doctrine because we both call it Purgatory? Or does the fact that we use the same name while defining it differently mean that we don't believe the same doctrine?
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 12:05:12 PM
Oh please, you have fallen into gross ignorance, and you compound it with malicious false accusations. It is obvious you have not read St. Thomas on the subject, yet you pretend you have understood the Catholic doctrine correctly. I wrote an Article for One Peter Five on the Subject, exhorting Catholics to the Works of Mercy, and my understanding is perfectly that of the Church - yours is not. St. Thomas: "St. Thomas also teaches the fire of Purgatory is one and the same as the fire of Hell, the difference being in the way the fire operates on those who die in grace with only venial sins remaining, who can still be purified, and in those who die in mortal sin and dead to grace, who are irrevocably, eternally lost: “Even as in the same fire gold glistens and straw smokes, so in the same fire the sinner burns and the elect is cleansed.” Therefore, “the fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell: and hence they are in the same place.”[thus St. Thomas Aquinas, the Catholic Church's Common Doctor and Model Theologian]

See also, if you still don't believe me: "There is in Purgatory, as in Hell, a double pain – the pain of loss and the pain of sense. The pain of loss consists in being deprived for a time of the sight of God, who is the Supreme Good, the beatific end for which our souls are made, as our eyes are for the light. It is a moral thirst which torments the soul. The pain of sense, or sensible suffering, is the same as what we experience in our flesh. Its nature is not defined by faith, but it is the common opinion of the Doctors that it consists in fire and other species of suffering. The fire of Purgatory, say the Fathers, is that of Hell, of which the rich glutton speaks, Quia crucior in hac flamma, “I suffer,” he says, “cruelly in these flames.”–From Chapter IX of Purgatory: Explained by the Lives and Legends of the Saints by Rev. Fr. F.X. Schouppe, S.J. https://onepeterfive.com/purgatory-fire-hell/

Further proofs from the Saints:

"[1] The greatest punishment of Purgatory is in the first level above the darkness. The demons can touch it there. There is heat and cold, darkness and confusion, all coming from the punishment of Hell.–Revelations to St. Bridget

[2] The lowest region is filled with a fierce fire, but which is not dark like that of Hell; it is a vast burning sea, throwing forth immense flames.–Revelations given to St. Frances of Rome

[3] “The same fire torments the damned and purifies the elect.” –Pope St. Gregory the Great

[4] As to the suffering, it is equal to that of Hell. –St. Catherine of Genoa

[5] Almost all theologians teach that the damned in Hell and the souls in Purgatory, suffer the action of the same fire. –St. Robert Bellarmine

Perhaps if you knew a little better what the Catholic Church really teaches, you may not have deviated from the Faith.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: abc123 on April 30, 2020, 12:19:36 PM
That you wrongly assert that Catholics believe that purgatory is part of hell further fuels my skepticism about how well you understand even the Roman Catholic doctrine.

That you can't be bothered to understand what the Orthodox teaching is on the afterlife (despite my fairly succinct summary of it for you) before deciding that the Orthodox believe in purgatory further supports my hunch that you're not approaching this discussion from a position of good faith.

So let's try this, and for purposes of this illustration, I'll make an obvious, though unproven assumption, that there are some Orthodox who believe in something called Purgatory:

Assume you call something Purgatory and define it in X way, and I call something Purgatory and define it in Y way. Is it your opinion that we believe the same doctrine because we both call it Purgatory? Or does the fact that we use the same name while defining it differently mean that we don't believe the same doctrine?

You're getting a front row seat as to why many of us have either put Xavier on 'ignore' or refuse to engage him any longer.

Xavier has had this and many other issues explained to him on this and another, Orthodox site. That he continues to misrepresent opposing views unfortunately lead me to conclude that he argues in bad faith and is not concerned with the truth.

Since he seems to view himself as an apologist I have pointed out to him that he will convince nobody of the truth claims of Roman Catholicism if he persists in his stubborn refusal to engage actual arguments rather than strawmen. He has thus far pridefully dug in his heels and refused correction, whether by non-Catholics OR his fellow Catholics.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 30, 2020, 12:26:39 PM
That you have written for One Peter Five does not impress me, and it does nothing to make your statements and (attempted) exegesis more or less true or convincing.

On the other hand, your inability to comprehend the nuance of even your own sources goes a long way toward undermining your argument. And your continual inability to grapple with the actual statements from the opposition makes your writing all the more tedious.

That this is an ego trip for you rather than some sort of apologetic "ministry" is clear. So if your hope is to convince people to agree with you, I can tell you that, for me, you've had the exact opposite effect. Actually, I went into this conversation just playing devil's advocate against your ridiculous style of argumentation. But as a result of it, I find myself more and more strongly disagreeing with you. So I guess if the Catholic Church needs an anti-evangelist, you're definitely qualified for that.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 12:31:26 PM
I'm definitely open to correction from Catholics, especially the Saints. I cited 5 Saints on the point under dispute, whether the fire of Purgatory is the same as that of Hell.

E.g. St. Robert, "Almost all theologians teach that the damned in Hell and the souls in Purgatory, suffer the action of the same fire." I also cited St. Thomas, St. Gregory, St. Catherine and others.

The Truth of Purgatory matters. If we believe in it, we have the best chance of avoiding it. I've had 3 opponents on this thread, and I can count on one hand the number of Saints they cited collectively.

I don't say anything without proving it by many citations from the Saints. The Catholic Church believes the same doctrines that the Saints have taught.

I also cited Rev. Fr. Francis Shouppe. He also explained the same point: "The fire of Purgatory, say the Fathers, is that of Hell, of which the rich glutton speaks, Quia crucior in hac flamma, “I suffer,” he says, “cruelly in these flames.”
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 12:41:26 PM
Saint Thomas, broader context: "On the contrary, Gregory says [The quotation is from St. Augustine (De Civ. Dei i, 8)]: "Even as in the same fire gold glistens and straw smokes, so in the same fire the sinner burns and the elect is cleansed." Therefore the fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of hell: and hence they are in the same place.

Further, the holy fathers; before the coming of Christ, were in a more worthy place than that wherein souls are now cleansed after death, since there was no pain of sense there. Yet that place was joined to hell, or the same as hell: otherwise Christ when descending into Limbo would not be said to have descended into hell. Therefore Purgatory is either close to, or the same place as, hell." https://www.newadvent.org/summa/7001.htm
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 30, 2020, 12:55:56 PM
Can you now try to apply what you've cited about Roman Catholic purgatory to my summary of the Orthodox teaching on the state of the soul after death? Perhaps that will clarify the differences.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on April 30, 2020, 01:08:11 PM
So if we are in agreement that Catholic theologians have taught the fire of Purgatory is the same as the fire of Hell, we can move on.

Ok. This is your summary: "At some point after death, an individual soul encounters trials based on its sinfulness, whether such trials are literal or figurative. The soul, having passed through this sojourn from life to death is placed in an intermediate state of repose called Hades where the soul partakes to some degree of the torments associated with hell or a foretaste of the blessedness of heaven. The Church prays for the deceased with the faith that it assists the souls of the reposed in some way. Then at the Second Coming and the General Resurrection, the universal judgment will finalize all for good or bad for the individual soul."

You say (1) there is an intermediate state called Hades and (2) the Church's prayers assist the souls there in some way.

This is ambiguous on when the release of these souls will take place? When do you believe the release will take place?

We hold, (1) if they are never released, then that is hell. (2) if they are released before judgment, then that is purgatory. What is being questioned is whether the Prison is Eternal or Temporary?

An Eternal Prison is essentially Hell. A Temporal Prison is essentially Purgatory.

If you disagree with the assertion that a Temporal Prison of Spirits (recall 1 Pet 3:18-19) is Purgatory, then we will discuss that. For Catholics two things are dogmatically defined regarding Purgatory by the Council of Florence, "Also, if truly penitent people die in the love of God before they have made satisfaction for acts and omissions by worthy fruits of repentance, their souls are cleansed after death by cleansing pains; and the suffrages of the living faithful avail them in giving relief from such pains, that is, sacrifices of masses, prayers, almsgiving and other acts of devotion which have been customarily performed by some of the faithful for others of the faithful in accordance with the church's ordinances." https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/ecumenical-council-of-florence-1438-1445-1461

(1) if penitent people die in the Love of God but without having made satisfaction for past sins, their souls are cleansed after death by cleansing pains. and (2) the suffrages of the living faithful avail them in giving relief from such pains. Do you disagree with either?

Can you explain why Patriarch Dositheus, at the Council of Jerusalem said earlier, "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." The matter for discussion here is whether the release of souls from their prison takes place before the final Resurrection.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on April 30, 2020, 01:18:06 PM
The teaching is that everyone remains in Hades until the Last Judgment and the General Resurrection when souls are reunited with their bodies. Some with be Resurrected into the Kingdom, while others depart to hell.

There is no emphasis in the Orthodox teaching that souls must make "satisfaction for past sins." And how the prayers of the faithful avail those who have reposed is not set out in detail.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 08:45:13 AM
A Novena based on the Chaplet taught to St. Gertrude the Great to efficaciously relieve the Holy Souls:


Btw, can anyone look at the terrible fires in the display of the above video and doubt what Purgatory is?

Anyway, as a brief rejoinder continuing the earlier discussion, can you explain the Synod of Jerusalem?

If satisfactions (just another word for penance/penitential works) have no place in Orthodoxy, why did Orthodox Patriarch Dositheus of Jerusalem say, "And the souls of those involved in mortal sins, who have not departed in despair but have repented - while still living in the body, though without bringing forth any fruits of repentance — 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." Have you studied the historical context of this Council, Ermy? The Calvinists had claimed the Eastern Church agrees with them rather than Rome.

It was in that historical context, with the opportunity to agree either with Rome against Protestantism, or with Protestantism against Rome, that the Eastern Church, using similar expressions as the Council of Florence (on satisfaction, fruits of repentance etc, as can be studied by comparing the two declarations), almost entirely agreed with Rome. This has been noted by many students of that 1672 Council, like the one I quoted: "The souls of those who die in a state of penitence (metanoesantes), without having brought forth fruits of repentance, or satisfactions (hikanopoiesis), depart into Hades (aperchesthai eis adou), and there they must suffer the punishment for their sins; but they may be delivered by the prayers of the priests ... The liberation from this intervening state of purification will take place before the resurrection and the general judgment, but the time is unknown. This is essentially the Romish doctrine of purgatory... In all these important points the Synod of Jerusalem again essentially agrees with the Church of Rome"

The Council also mentions mortal sins. If you agree with mortal/venial sin distinction, that also shows there must be a Purgatory. For those with venial sins cannot go to Heaven without being purified, but neither can they go to Hell for eternity, for they have not sinned unto death (Biblical expression, see 1 Jn 5). Therefore, they must go to an intermediate state temporarily, which we call Purgatory.

The concept of penance for mortal sins (which both Catholics and Orthodox have traditionally admitted) also shows there must be some temporary prison. Consider two mortal sinners who both commit e.g. adultery and both repent and are forgiven in the confessional but assigned penance. One completes the penance; the second does not. Where will the first go? Not to eternal hell, because he was forgiven in the confessional. Not to temporary hell either, because he completed his penance. He goes to heaven. Where will the second go? Not to hell, but not to heaven immediately either. He will have to complete that penance after death. And that temporary place of expiation where souls go who have not done penance on earth is called Purgatory. St. Paul says adulterers will not inherit the Kingdom of God; hence unrepentant adulterers go to eternal hell.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 09:18:09 AM
Can you tell me which Orthodox churches have internalized what you've quoted from the Synod of Jerusalem? Have you seen this get a lot of traction in the Orthodox doctrinal books that you've read?
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 10:35:49 AM
Patriarch Dositheus is an official spokesman of the Orthodox Church. Are you an official spokesman of the Orthodox Church? When you claimed I was saying something not said by the Catholic Church or Her Saints, I cited the Saints, and especially Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine, an official spokesman of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, to show what is Her official teaching. What official source can you show me that rejects Patriarch Dositheus' confession? When someone takes Tradition seriously, the doctrine is clear in East and West.

Here is more from Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine, on behalf of the Catholic Church, showing the Doctrine in Scripture and Tradition:

New Advent:"According to St. Isidore of Seville (Deord. creatur., c. xiv, n. 6) these words prove that in the next life "some sins will be forgiven and purged away by a certain purifying fire." St. Augustine also argues "that some sinners are not forgiven either in this world or in the next would not be truly said unless there were other [sinners] who, though not forgiven in this world, are forgiven in the world to come" (City of God XXI.24). The same interpretation is given by Gregory the Great (Dial., IV, xxxix); St. Bede (commentary on this text); St. Bernard (Sermo lxvi in Cantic., n. 11) and other eminent theological writers.

A further argument is supplied by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15:

"For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus. Now if any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay stubble: 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. If any man's work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work burn, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire."

While this passage presents considerable difficulty, it is regarded by many of the Fathers and theologians as evidence for the existence of an intermediate state in which the dross of lighter transgressions will be burnt away, and the soul thus purified will be saved. This, according to Bellarmine (De Purg., I, 5), is the interpretation commonly given by the Fathers and theologians; and he cites to this effect:

St. Ambrose (commentary on the text, and Sermo xx in Ps. cxvii),
St. Jerome, (Comm. in Amos, c. iv),
St. Augustine (Enarration on Psalm 37),
St. Gregory (Dial., IV, xxxix), and
Origen (Hom. vi in Exod.) ...

"In the fourth century in the West, Ambrose insists in his commentary on St. Paul (1 Corinthians 3) on the existence of purgatory, and in his masterly funeral oration (De obitu Theodosii), thus prays for the soul of the departed emperor: "Give, O Lord, rest to Thy servant Theodosius, that rest Thou hast prepared for Thy saints. . . . I loved him, therefore will I follow him to the land of the living; I will not leave him till by my prayers and lamentations he shall be admitted unto the holy mount of the Lord, to which his deserts call him" (P.L., XVI, col. 1397). St. Augustine is clearer even than his master. He describes two conditions of men; "some there are who have departed this life, not so bad as to be deemed unworthy of mercy, nor so good as to be entitled to immediate happiness" etc., and in the resurrection he says there will be some who "have gone through these pains, to which the spirits of the dead are liable" (City of God XXI.24). Thus at the close of the fourth century:

https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 10:43:38 AM
So you believe that everything that every patriarch has ever said was stated as an "official statement" of what the Orthodox Church teaches? That's simply incorrect. As a result, there's no need to address what this patriarch said since it's not something that seems to have found its way into Orthodox teaching or practice.

I get that is difficult (impossible?) for you to understand, but that's the way things work in Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 10:45:27 AM
Reason and justice itself show not all undergo penance in the intermediate state until the very Day of Judgment, but only some.

Let's say 20 years of penance is established by the Church for one mortal sin. Person A commits one mortal sin. Then, he repents of his sin completely, does penance for 19 years, and fully intended to complete the whole 20 years. According to you, this person will be in Hades till the day of Judgment, which may be tens of thousands of years away? That would be an injustice. He will be delivered from there and translated to the "Holy Mount of the Lord", which is Paradise, when the penitential works equivalent to one year are offered on his behalf.

Let's take another Person B. Though baptized, he lives 100 years and commits scores of mortal sin every day. In the last day of his life, by a Miracle of Grace, and the Prayers of the Church, he is snatched, as it were, from hell, and repents but does not do any penance at all. Will both Person A and Person B according to you be in Hades/Hell for a duration as long as the time from now to the Day of Judgment?

That is a contrary to justice. Each person will be in the intermediate state for the time required to complete his own penance. Person B may very well have to remain in a temporary prison until judgment day, and only very generous souls, who offer up many Masses, prayers, sacrifices, almsgiving, indulgences etc etc etc on his behalf would be able to release him, which would definitely take a long time. But everyone will not be there forever. Lack of belief in Purgatory and the possibility of hasty release from it clearly slackens zeal and leads to lukewarmness. St. Pio is a model for Catholics.

St. Pio: "Padre Paolino da Casacalenda

Padre Pio was in the common fireplace room at the convent in 1917 when he saw an old man sitting near him. The man said: "I am Pietro Di Mauro, nicknamed Precoco. I died on September 18, 1886, in this friary in cell #4, in a fire. The Lord let me come to you from Purgatory. If tomorrow you say the Mass for me, I will go to Paradise." [29] [30] [31] http://caccioppoli.com/St.%20Padre%20Pio%20Purgatory.html

Edit: @Ermy_Law, show me a counter-statement of equal weight, then, if you have it.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 10:47:18 AM
A counter-statement of what? I've told you what the Orthodox teaching on the afterlife is.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 10:53:09 AM
Patriarch Dositheus says one thing, you say another. Whom should I believe? Imagine if I'd said something contrary to Cardinal St. Robert Bellarmine. I was accused of doing so, but as I showed, I had not. A counter-statement could be some statement by another Patriarch.

Answer the question on Person A and Person B: do both go to the intermediate state until the Day of Judgment? Patriarch Dositheus even says there will be release for some before the resurrection; the Patriarch's statement is eminently just and reasonable, and I believe it.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 10:55:01 AM
The Council of Jerusalem, 1672, was meant to be an official statement of Orthodox Faith contra Protestantism. To say it is not authoritative as a representation of Orthodox belief belies history: http://www.crivoice.org/creeddositheus.html

"A Synod of Eastern Orthodox Churches was called in Jerusalem in 1672 to refute the position of Cyril Lucaris, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had published a Confession in which he attempted to express Orthodox beliefs in terms of the predestination beliefs of Calvinism.  From a Reformation perspective, he had also challenged some of the important religious practices of the Eastern churches, such as the veneration of icons and prayers to the saints. Orthodox leaders contended that the Confession of Cyril was a forgery perpetrated by Calvinists to spread their influence among Eastern churches. They presented quotations from known writings of Cyril to show that he had not held the positions expressed in the Confession.  In addition, they argued that the Confession was not an official pronouncement by an Orthodox Patriarch.

The Synod of Jerusalem of 1672 soundly rejected any further attempts at reformulation of Orthodox teachings and strengthened Orthodox beliefs against both the Protestant Reformation and Catholicism. The Synod produced its own confession, the Confession of Dositheus (Patriarch of Jerusalem), in which point by point it refuted Cyril's' eighteen points. In addition it added four catechetical style questions that defended the restriction of reading and study of Scripture to the priests, defended the role of tradition, as well as a lengthy defense of the veneration of icons and prayers to the saints ...

Dositheus, by the mercy of God, Patriarch of Jerusalem, to those that ask and inquire concerning the faith and worship of the Greeks, that is of the Eastern Church, how it thinks concerning the Orthodox faith, in the common name of all Christians subject to our Apostolic Throne, and of the Orthodox worshippers that are sojourning in this holy and great city of Jerusalem (with whom the whole Catholic Church agrees in all that concerns the faith) publishes this concise Confession, for a testimony both before God and before man, with a sincere conscience, and devoid of all dissimulation."
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 10:56:13 AM
If you go research what the Orthodox church teaches about the afterlife, you'll be able to figure it out. I'm not going to research it for you. I summarized it. That's enough.

EDIT: Actually, I was able to use google and found this from Fr. Thomas Hopko. I haven't read it entirely, but I assume he gives a good summary of Orthodox teaching: http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/afterdeath.htm
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 10:58:45 AM
The existing statement of greatest authority - on the fate of the departed and the manner in which the prayers of the Church avails them - within the Orthodox Church is the Confession of the Patriarch Dositheus.

When the Orthodox Churches are at last happily re-united to the Mother Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Truth will be confessed by all in East and West. From a Roman Catholic viewpoint, the Council under Patriarch Dositheus is Catholic and orthodox.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 11:01:35 AM
The existing statement of greatest authority - on the fate of the departed and the manner in which the prayers of the Church avails them - within the Orthodox Church is the Confession of the Patriarch Dositheus.

No, it's not.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 11:08:09 AM
Then show a greater one with reference and dates. Quote me a Patriarch or higher, in a Council or higher.

Fr. Thomas Hopko is not a Patriarch, he did not preside over a Council; his authority is therefore considerably much less. I read it briefly, and it has some good parts, like this, which is correct: "When we die, is there a post-mortem repentance? Is there purification after we die? Can we change our mind after our earthly life is over? How do we relate to all of that? Here I think the simplest answer would be that death is the finally test. That is why the quintessential Christian is the marker; you prove your whole life by how you die. Christian life has only one purpose, to trample down death by death through the grace of God. So the transfiguration of death is where everything is proved, and how we die proves everything. Anything that we do up until that moment is prepared for that moment. That is why if we don't die daily we will not be able to transfigure death when the moment comes when we have to go through our passion, crucifixion and death by whatever way that is going to happen. As it is clearly the Orthodox teaching that death is the moment of truth, death therefore also is the final judgement on our life and it is the final chance and opportunity.

Here I think the teaching simplicity put is this, we do not believe in post-mortem conversions or eons of life where you can keep on repenting like Buddhists believe. However, I believe that from the Holy Scripture, the lives of the Saints and the funeral service tell us that in the process of dying and entering into the presence of the risen Christ we have to be purified from everything that is contrary to life, God and truth in that particular activity. It is in the very presence of the fire of God, or the consuming fire of God as put by the Scripture, that will burn out of us in that process of dying, everything that can not enter into life or God's kingdom."

That's true, and that consuming fire of God, that purifies us from everything that cannot enter God's Kingdom is Purgatory. Fr. Hopko's other statements are based on the misunderstanding that purgatory is necessarily a material fire (the Church has not defined anything on that, as the Acts of the Council of Florence, and Abp. Bessarion's statements etc prove) and so on.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 11:13:43 AM
I can't teach you to understand how Orthodox teaching works. Based on my attempts to explain it here, I don't think that would be worthwhile. But essentially, you have to move past the idea that you can cite one person or one council as having proven your point. And then you need to work through actual Orthodox sources who explain things.

Here, if you google "Orthodox afterlife," you'll find a multitude of articles. Read those and get a sense of what they say. Once you do that, you should conclude that your method of citing some patriarch from some council is worthless.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 11:20:19 AM
I think you don't understand how authority works. A lower authority can only be superseded at best by a higher authority. You try to cite a single Priest against an entire Council presided over by a Patriarch. That's like citing one advocate's opinion against a Supreme Court. Orthodox claim Councils are the highest authority. Therefore there is no authority over them that can supersede a declaration by a Council. The very fact that you are opposing Patriarch Dositheus and the Council of Jerusalem's statements so much shows that you know that that Council, which was convened to choose between Calvinism and Catholicism, sided much more with Catholicism than with Calvinism.

That will do. I'm content to let the matter rest at that. The case for Purgatory is crystal clear in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the historical Magisterium of Church Councils and the decrees of the Popes until the present day.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 11:31:56 AM
I think you don't understand how authority works. A lower authority can only be superseded at best by a higher authority. You try to cite a single Priest against an entire Council presided over by a Patriarch. That's like citing one advocate's opinion against a Supreme Court. Orthodox claim Councils are the highest authority. Therefore there is no authority over them that can supersede a declaration by a Council. The very fact that you are opposing Patriarch Dositheus and the Council of Jerusalem's statements so much shows that you know that that Council, which was convened to choose between Calvinism and Catholicism, sided much more with Catholicism than with Calvinism.

That will do. I'm content to let the matter rest at that. The case for Purgatory is crystal clear in Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the historical Magisterium of Church Councils and the decrees of the Popes until the present day.

That's my point: you don't understand that's not how it works in Orthodoxy. Your ideas about how authority works (or should work) are not in line with Orthodoxy. What is truly remarkable is that you can't seem to understand that, and you are apparently making zero effort to do so.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 01, 2020, 11:43:46 AM
Disbelieving in Purgatory is a mortal sin and is heresy. If someone doesn't believe in Purgatory, and dies unrepentant, he cannot go even to Purgatory.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: ermy_law on May 01, 2020, 11:48:03 AM
Disbelieving in Purgatory is a mortal sin and is heresy. If someone doesn't believe in Purgatory, and dies unrepentant, he cannot go even to Purgatory.

Okay.
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 02, 2020, 10:34:10 AM
Our Lord's and Our Lady's Messages to countless Saints has been crystal clear for a long time, from St. Bridget to St. Catherine to St. Margaret Mary to St. Faustina to St. Padre Pio to several others: believe in Purgatory, be converted to a life of holiness, strive to deliver many of the Holy Souls there, and make many sacrifices for their hasty release.

https://www.michaeljournal.org/articles/roman-catholic-church/item/a-manuscript-of-a-soul-in-purgatory

(https://www.michaeljournal.org/images/articles/350/purgatory.jpg)

"A suffering soul in Purgatory to Sister M.
If you could only know what I suffer! Pray for me, please. I suffer intensely everywhere. My God, how merciful You are! No one can imagine what Purgatory is like. Be kind and take pity on the poor souls.

May 1874. I have been in the second Purgatory since the Feast of the Annunciation. On that day I saw the Blessed Virgin for the first time. In the first stage, we never saw her. The sight of her encourages us and this beloved Mother speaks to us of Heaven. While we see her, our sufferings are greatly diminished.

You do well to pray to St. Michael and to urge others to do so. One is indeed happy at the hour of death when he has had confidence in some of the saints. They will be his protectors before God in that terrible moment.

Make it a practice to live in the presence of God with a pure intention. God seeks devoted souls who will love Him for His own sake. These are very few. He wants you to be one of His true friends. Many think they love God, but they love Him for their own sakes.

February 1875. Watch carefully over your interior life. Keep all your small troubles for Jesus alone. He is well able to make up to you for whatever He takes from you. Your life must be one of unceasing interior acts of love and of mortification, but God alone must know of it. Do nothing extraordinary. Lead a very hidden life, yet one closely united to Jesus.

Love God very much. How happy are the souls that do this. They possess a treasure! The great penance of your life will be, not the absence of your Jesus but great sorrow for all the pain you have given Him, by your failure to love Him as you desire, in return for the overwhelming number of graces which He has showered upon you and which He will continue to shower upon you.

Love everyone, but do not put your trust entirely in anyone, because Jesus wants to be your great confidant. Everything for Him and for Him alone. Perform all your actions in the presence of God as I have so often told you. Consult Him before all you do or say. Let your life be one of faith and love... Do nothing to distinguish yourself. Without offending anyone, avoid the company of those who are too unreserved and those who are uncharitable. As for yourself, be busy about your own affairs. Keep your opinions to yourself and never express them unless obliged to do so. Be preoccupied with only that one subject, the mainspring of your life, Jesus.

December 8, 1875. Love God intensely. Do not fear your own suffering. Trust in Him, never in yourself. Die to yourself from morning to night... Do not breathe or live except for Jesus Christ. God must be your only confidant. Complain to no one except for Him. Be quite hidden from the eyes of everyone else.

Feast of the Annunciation. When God wishes a soul to be entirely His, He begins by crushing it, very much as apples are crushed in the press—to extract its passions, its self-seeking, in a word, all its defects. When a soul is sufficiently broken, He reshapes it according to His will. If it is faithful, it is soon transformed. Only then does Jesus load it with His choicest graces and inundate it with His love.

Jesus wants you to deal with Him, as with an intimate friend, without any fear whatsoever. It is true that His Majesty is frightening and that you are not worthy to have such intimate converse with your Jesus, but is He not the Master that enriches whomsoever He wills? Ask Jesus to make you rich in every virtue, as He wishes you to be, but in the meantime, shape your life in accordance with His inspirations. Enlarge your heart because what Jesus desires above all things is to see in it His love. What wonderful graces you will receive if you are faithful, graces you have never even thought of.

May 12th. Mortify yourself corporally, but more especially spiritually. Forget yourself. Deny yourself in everything. Never look at what others are doing. God does not demand the same perfection from everyone. All are not enlightened in the same way, but you, whom Jesus Himself enlightens, look only to Him, let Him be your aim and object in everything.

Never grow weary in your work. Begin each day as if you had so far done nothing. This continual renouncement of one’s will and comfort and one’s own opinions is a long martyrdom, but it is most pleasing to God. God wants you to be something special, not as regards your exterior, but in your inner soul. He asks of you a union with Himself, so great that you never lose sight of Him, even amidst your absorbing occupations.

While on earth one truly cannot picture or imagine what God really is, but we (in Purgatory) know and understand Him for what He is, because our souls are freed from all the ties that fettered them and prevented them from realizing the holiness and majesty of God, and His great mercy. We are martyrs, consumed as it were by love. An irresistible force draws us towards God who is our center, but at the same time another force thrusts us back to our place of expiation. We are in the state of being unable to satisfy our longings. Oh, what a suffering that is, but we desire it and there is no murmuring against God here. We desire only what God wants. You on earth, however, cannot possibly understand what we have to endure.

Be ingenious in mortifying yourself and in breaking your own will. Be especially nice to those who are less agreeable to you than to others, no matter what wrong they may have done to you. This means renouncing yourself and pleasing Jesus. Nothing else matters. It is on these occasions that you must silence the human will, but you must do it because Jesus wills it. Do not allow self-love to get the upper hand, but do all blindly to please Jesus alone.

St. Michael

1879, Retreat in September. We see St. Michael as we see the angels. He has no body. He comes to get the souls that have finished their purification. It is he who conducts them to Heaven. He is among the Seraphim as Monsignor said. He is the highest angel in Heaven. Our own Guardian Angels come to see us but St. Michael is far more beautiful than they are. As to the Blessed Virgin, we see her in the body. She comes to Purgatory on her feasts and she goes back to Heaven with many souls. While she is with us we do not suffer. St. Michael accompanies her. When he comes alone, we suffer as usual. When I spoke to you of the great and the second Purgatory, it was to try and make you understand that there are different stages in Purgatory. Thus I call that stage of Purgatory great or worst where the most guilty souls are, and where I stayed for two years without being able to give a sign of the torments I was suffering. The year you heard me groaning, when I began to speak to you, I was still in the same place.

In the second Purgatory, which is still Purgatory but very different from the first, one suffers a great deal, but less than in the great place of expiation. Then there is the third stage, which is the Purgatory of desire, where there is no fire. The souls who did not desire Heaven ardently enough, who did not love God sufficiently, are there. It is there that I am at this moment. Further, in these three parts of purgatory, there are many degrees of variation. Little by little, as the soul becomes purified, her sufferings are changed.

The more a soul loves Jesus the more meritorious all its actions are in His sight. It is only love that will be rewarded in Heaven. All that is done for any other motive will count as nothing. Love Jesus truly, once and for all, as He wants you to. Then I also shall benefit in that I shall have great relief in all my sufferings.

Is God not more pleased with me these last few days? Yes, He is more pleased because you are striving more to give Him pleasure. Have you noticed His goodness and special watchfulness over you? Has He not also given you much joy these days? He will always act like that towards you. The more you do for Him the more He will do for you. I am so happy to see that you are really beginning to love God, who is so good, and to work seriously at your perfection. If by remaining a little longer in Purgatory I could obtain that you should arrive at perfection God demands of you to accomplish His designs, I would willingly bear that suffering. Never look back to examine your conduct in the past. Leave it entirely in the hands of God and go steadily forward. Your life must be summed up in two words: Love and Sacrifice. Sacrifice from morning to night, but always with Love. If only you knew what God is, there is no sacrifice that you would not be willing to make, no suffering that you would not endure for Him. If you could see Him for but one minute you would be perfectly satisfied and consoled... What then must it be to see Him for all eternity?

What is the best way of honoring St. Michael? The best and most efficacious way of glorifying him in Heaven and honoring him on earth is to spread devotion to the souls in Purgatory, and to make known the great mission he fulfills towards these suffering souls. It is he who is entrusted by God to lead the souls to the place of expiation and to bring them to their eternal home after purification. Each time a soul arrives to increase the number of the elect, God is glorified, and this glory in some way communicates itself also to the celestial minister. It is an honor for him to present to Our Lord the souls that will sing their thanks and His mercies through all eternity. I could never make you understand the intense love which the Heavenly Archangel has for his Divine Master, and the love which God in His turn has for St. Michael. Neither can I convey to you a true idea of the love and pity St. Michael has for us. He encourages us in our sufferings by speaking to us of Heaven.

How do they celebrate the feast of St. Michael in Purgatory? On that day St. Michael comes to Purgatory and returns to Heaven with a great number of souls, especially with those who had been devout to him in life."
Title: Re: Ancient Church Fathers on the Catholic Doctrine of Purgatory.
Post by: Xavier on May 07, 2020, 06:27:21 AM
Jewish Encyclopedia on Purgatory: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12446-purgatory

"PURGATORY:

By: Kaufmann Kohler

An intermediate state through which souls are to pass in order to be purified from sin before they are admitted into the heavenly paradise. The belief in purgatory, fundamental with the Roman Catholic Church, is based by the Church authorities chiefly upon II Macc. xii. 44-45: "If he [Judas] had not hoped that they that were slain should have risen again it had been superfluous and vain to pray for the (dead. . . . Whereupon he made an atonement that they might be delivered from sin"; for this indicates that souls after death pass through an intermediate state in which they may by some intercession be saved from doom. The same view, that an atonement should be made for the dead, is expressed in Sifre, Deut. 210. The idea of an intermediate state of the soul, release from which may be obtained by intercession of the saints, is clearly dwelt upon in the Testament of Abraham, Recension A, xiv., where the description is given of a soul which, because its good and its evil deeds are equal, has to undergo the process of purification while remaining in a middle state, and on whose behalf Abraham intercedes, the angels joining him in his prayer, whereupon the soul is admitted into paradise.

Rabbinic Views.

The view of purgatory is still more clearly expressed in rabbinical passages, as in the teaching of the Shammaites: "In the last judgment day there shall be three classes of souls: the righteous shall at once be written down for the life everlasting; the wicked, for Gehenna; but those whose virtues and sins counterbalance one another shall go down to Gehenna and float up and down until they rise purified; for of them it is said: 'I will bring the third part into the fire and refine them as silver is refined, and try them as gold is tried' [Zech. xiii. 9.]; also, 'He [the Lord] bringeth down to Sheol and bringeth up again'" (I Sam. ii. 6)." ...

History of Purgatory.

The idea of the purging fire through which the soul has to pass is found in the Zend-Avesta ("Bundahis," xxx. 20): "All men will pass into the melted metal and become pure; to the righteous it will seem as though he walks through warm milk" (comp. Enoch, lii. 6-7, lxvii. 6-7). The Church Fathers developed the idea of the "ignis purgatorius" into a dogma according to which all souls, including those of the righteous who remain unscathed, have to pass the purgatory (Origen on Ps. xxxvii., Homily 3; Lactantius, "Divinæ Institutiones," vii. 21, 4-7; Jerome on Ps. cxviii., Sermon 20; Commodianus, "Instructiones," ii. 2, 9); hence prayers and offerings for the souls in purgatory were instituted (Tertullian, "De Corona Militis," 3-4; "De Monogamia," 10; "Exhortatio Castitatis," 11; Augustine, "Enchiridion ad Lauram," 67-69, 109; Gregory I., "Dialogi," iv. 57). Hence also arose in the Church the mass for the dead corresponding in the Synagogue to the Ḳaddish (see Ḳaddish).