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Has Pope Benedict Really Written Off Purgatory?

PeterTheAleut

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spiltteeth said:
Vlad said:
Coming from a RC background I was wondering if anyone could clarify what the OC teaching is on the soul after death what we call purgatory. Does the OC have something similar? I know Orthodox pray for the dead but I find the whole thing a little confusing as to why if the OC doesn't believe in a place like purgatory we are to pray for the dead. Can anyone help me with this?
I'm no expert, but Pope Ratzinger, if I understand correctly, has more or less written off purgatory from Catholic theology. His reasons are interesting if you ever wanna check out his writibgs
I found this statement quite intriguing when I first saw it in Faith Issues.  What have you Catholics to say about this?  Is this understanding of Pope Benedict's theology correct, or does it merely reveal the poster's crass ignorance?
 
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Well, it would be nice to show us which of the Pope's writings is he supposedly "writing off purgatory".

The answer is simple: No, he has not written off purgatory.
 

PeterTheAleut

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spiltteeth said:
Ouch. I don't think my ignorance is crass...
Well, here's your chance to prove yourself. ;)
 

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Sorry if I offended anyone. I just meant I thought -again IF I understood him correctly -he set forth a more process oriented existential modern reading of purgatory, saying something like purgatory is only a moment, and its really just a fiery cleansing embrace from Christ, or something like that.
I'm not a theologian, or a catholic now.
But when I was a youngen in catholic school we were taught Purgatory was an actual place, and how long you stayed there depended on your sins.
Although I have to say, I just joined the forum and you could have put it a bit nicer than 'this posters crass ignorance,' should I picture my old school master shaking his head in disgust at me here?
Geez, just looking for some Christian fellowship...None too friendly 'round these parts...
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
spiltteeth said:
Ouch. I don't think my ignorance is crass...
Well, here's your chance to prove yourself. ;)
Well, I never said I wasn't ignorant, I just feel my ignorance is not crass, indeed their is a refined elegance to my ignorance, in my opinion.
 

Jetavan

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What the Pope (then Cardinal, I think) said was:

"Purgatory is not some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion. Rather it is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God [i.e. capable of full unity with Christ and God] and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints… Encounter with the Lord is this transformation.  It is the fire that burns away our dross and re-forms us to be vessels of eternal joy."
 

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Jetavan said:
What the Pope (then Cardinal, I think) said was:

"Purgatory is not some kind of supra-worldly concentration camp where one is forced to undergo punishments in a more or less arbitrary fashion. Rather it is the inwardly necessary process of transformation in which a person becomes capable of Christ, capable of God [i.e. capable of full unity with Christ and God] and thus capable of unity with the whole communion of saints… Encounter with the Lord is this transformation.  It is the fire that burns away our dross and re-forms us to be vessels of eternal joy."
I don't think that there is any problem with this understanding of Purgatory. Contrary to what many people think, the Catholic Church has defined very little about the doctrine of Purgatory. All we know is that most friends of God will experience it after death, there is an element of pain, that if purifies and perfects us, preparing us for God's presence, and that the prayers and sacrifices of Christians here on earth aides those going through the process of purification.
 

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spiltteeth said:
PeterTheAleut said:
spiltteeth said:
Ouch. I don't think my ignorance is crass...
Well, here's your chance to prove yourself. ;)
Well, I never said I wasn't ignorant, I just feel my ignorance is not crass, indeed their is a refined elegance to my ignorance, in my opinion.
I could do with a bit of elegantly refined ignorance myself!  ;)
Sadly, I am one of the brethren of crass ...

Nice to have you with us.
 

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The Pope decided last year that it was the doctrine of "Limbo", the place where the unbaptized who have lived a righteous life go, that does not exist.  Purgatory is still a core teaching in Catholicism.
 

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mctaviix said:
The Pope decided last year that it was the doctrine of "Limbo", the place where the unbaptized who have lived a righteous life go, that does not exist.  Purgatory is still a core teaching in Catholicism.
Oh. THAT must've been what I was thinking of and then got all mixed up. Thanks for clearing it up!
 

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Liz said:
spiltteeth said:
PeterTheAleut said:
spiltteeth said:
Ouch. I don't think my ignorance is crass...
Well, here's your chance to prove yourself. ;)
Well, I never said I wasn't ignorant, I just feel my ignorance is not crass, indeed their is a refined elegance to my ignorance, in my opinion.

I could do with a bit of elegantly refined ignorance myself!  ;)
Sadly, I am one of the brethren of crass ...

Nice to have you with us.
Thanks! I feel at home among a certain kind of ignorant people. I find I become less and less certain of what I know. I figure in 20 yrs I won't know a single thing! I'll be perfectly empty of all knowledge and be fit to be filled with the Holy Spirit. That's my theory anyway, although tomorrow I may abandon that too.
 
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mctaviix said:
The Pope decided last year that it was the doctrine of "Limbo", the place where the unbaptized who have lived a righteous life go, that does not exist.  Purgatory is still a core teaching in Catholicism.
Actually, limbo has never, ever  been a doctrine of the Catholic Church.
 

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griego catolico said:
mctaviix said:
The Pope decided last year that it was the doctrine of "Limbo", the place where the unbaptized who have lived a righteous life go, that does not exist.  Purgatory is still a core teaching in Catholicism.
Actually, limbo has never, ever  been a doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The so-called "abolishing" of limbo was simply a gathering of a group of theologians, who expressed their belief that we can "hope" that unbaptized infants will reach heaven. It also, however, stated that limbo remains a possible alternative conclusion. Pope Benedict simply authorized the paper produced by this group of theologians to be published. It is not a magisterial document and has no doctrinal authority beyond the strength (or lack thereof) of its arguments.

It is true that Cardinal Ratzinger, as a private theologian, expressed his disbelief in the limbo of the infants about 25 years ago, but such has no bearing on Catholic doctrine.

Limbo remains a valid opinion among others for the unsettled question of salvation of the unbaptized.
 

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I apologize as I should have made that clearer and not have used the term "doctrine".  Regardless, they did abolish this as a 'traditional belief' and in other words just simply won't appear in official texts as it did before (catechisms and such).  I don't know exactly what the point of it was I'm just saying that they decided to say it isn't real. 

lubeltri, in addition to Purgatory being a place of spiritual purification before entering into heaven, the belief in Indulgences still exists and has much to do with one's own salvation and their time in Purgatory.  Essentially, Papist explained it pretty well...you've lived a good enough life to not go to hell, but still have sin on your soul and must be cleansed before entering heaven.  That's what they believe Purgatory is for.  You can 'take time off' of your 'sentence' (just using ordinary words here) by doing certain acts prescribed by the Church..known as "Indulgences". 
 

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About Limbo:

From the 1905 Catechism of Pope Pius X. He wrote most of it himself and ordered its use in the diocese of Rome.

"Children who die without baptism go into Limbo,
where they do not enjoy God, but they do not suffer either,
because having Original Sin, and only that,
they do not deserve paradise, but neither hell or purgatory."


It is true that recent Popes, John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, have said they have grave doubts about the existence of Limbo.  But that is simply their own opinion and is at variance with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  The next Pope could be pro-Limbo and bring it back into prominence in the life and piety of his people.

 

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About Purgatory:

Something from Pope Paul VI on Purgatory.  It comes from his official 1967 Statement "The Doctrine of Indulgences"

2. It is a divinely revealed truth that sins bring punishments inflicted
by God's sanctity and justice. These must be expiated either on this earth through
the sorrows, miseries and calamities of this life and above all through death,
or else in the life beyond through fire and torments or "purifying" punishments.

That punishment or the vestiges of sin may remain to be expiated or cleansed and
that they in fact frequently do even after the remission of guilt is clearly demonstrated
by the doctrine on purgatory. In purgatory, in fact, the souls of those "who died in
the charity of God and truly repentant, but before satisfying with worthy fruits of
penance for sins committed and for omissions are cleansed after death
with purgatorial punishments.


~ Pope Paul VI
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/apost_constitutions/documents/hf_p-vi_apc_19670101_indulgentiarum-doctrina_en.html
 

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Irish Hermit said:
About Limbo:

From the 1905 Catechism of Pope Pius X. He wrote most of it himself and ordered its use in the diocese of Rome.

"Children who die without baptism go into Limbo,
where they do not enjoy God, but they do not suffer either,
because having Original Sin, and only that,
they do not deserve paradise, but neither hell or purgatory."


It is true that recent Popes, John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, have said they have grave doubts about the existence of Limbo.  But that is simply their own opinion and is at variance with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  The next Pope could be pro-Limbo and bring it back into prominence in the life and piety of his people.
You've trotted this out before, and that dog still won't hunt.

Limbo isn't even mentioned in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which is a universal catechism, the most authoritative catechism outside of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church (which also doesn't mention limbo).

The Catholic Encylopedia (1911) has a very good article on limbo of the infants, discussing its origins and the fact that most theologians believed it at the time. It also said that it remained an opinion and that alternative views still existed.

And once again, IrishHermit, become a Catholic before you can rudely presume what we Catholics must believe. You are clueless about Catholic teaching.
 

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lubeltri said:
Irish Hermit said:
About Limbo:

From the 1905 Catechism of Pope Pius X. He wrote most of it himself and ordered its use in the diocese of Rome.

"Children who die without baptism go into Limbo,
where they do not enjoy God, but they do not suffer either,
because having Original Sin, and only that,
they do not deserve paradise, but neither hell or purgatory."


It is true that recent Popes, John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, have said they have grave doubts about the existence of Limbo.  But that is simply their own opinion and is at variance with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  The next Pope could be pro-Limbo and bring it back into prominence in the life and piety of his people.
You've trotted this out before, and that dog still won't hunt.

Limbo isn't even mentioned in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, which is a universal catechism, the most authoritative catechism outside of the new Catechism of the Catholic Church (which also doesn't mention limbo).

The Catholic Encylopedia (1911) has a very good article on limbo of the infants, discussing its origins and the fact that most theologians believed it at the time. It also said that it remained an opinion and that alternative views still existed. And once again, IrishHermit, become a Catholic before you can rudely presume what we Catholics must believe. You are clueless about Catholic teaching.
Now this is something which Catholics frequently say to the Orthodox on these forums, as if somehow we are incapable of understanding Catholic doctrine or as if some of us have never been in the Roman Catholic Church and never completed a seminary or two.

Therefore, because of this attitude I wanted to refer you to what your own Catholic people believe.  The faithful Catholics who contribnute to CAF are worth reading.  Their messages support Limbo, the Catechism of Pope Pius X, etc.

One has to wonder what the fuss is about?  The Catholic Church has taught Limbo for centuries;  this recent abolishment is an innovation.  People still continue to believe in it and it's quite possible that the next Pope may put it back in the Catechisms and it willl be taught once again.
 

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Dear lubeltri,

The problem is that some of Catholicism's theology is in a state of flux and there are divergent teachings.  So Catholics may use one argument one day and the next day use another if it is more appropriate.

I'd like to pull a post from a mutual friend who writes here.

-oOo-

Do yourself a favor and pick up any book in the 1950's teaching the Roman Catholic Faith...

This is The Faith
Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
Everyman's Theology
Baltimore Catechism
etc

and you will find the faith taught by the Roman Catholic Church in the 1950's and 'all' of them taught Purgatory, Limbo, etc in the same exact way with very little in common with today's Roman Catholic Theology.

Modern Roman Catholics are all about reductionism. Separating 'depictions' from Doctrine, Traditions from traditions, etc etc. That is because within this kind of reconstruction you would be forced to deal with the contradictions such a move in Theology would create.

I'd recommend that Catholics start rereading the Classics and realize that Post-Vatican II Theology is a departure from what has been taught and thought for one thousand years.

Now you and others may argue that this 'piece' of Classic Theology wasn't 'infallibly' spoken or was only tradition with a small "t".  For me that spin on the reductionism happening within the Roman Catholic Church since Vatican II is such a farce.  It's rationalizing how we 'change the theology of the Roman Catholic Church' without admitting that we are changing the theology of the Roman Catholic Church... and that is weak in my opinion.

For hundreds of years Roman Catholics were taught Purgatory was a 'place and state' and that Limbo was a 'place and state' but in our modern times such certainties have been sidelined to make room for other theological opinions.  I ask, what happened to 'truth'?  I look and I see Catholicism reconstructing itself and pretending that it really isn't because this or that wasn't spoken infallibly or was actually never 'really' part of Tradition but only tradition with a small "t".  I simply can't believe in the Roman Catholic Church because of such nonsense and have simply embraced the Church that Catholicism is attempting to remake itself into... the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church.
 

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mctaviix said:
I apologize as I should have made that clearer and not have used the term "doctrine".  Regardless, they did abolish this as a 'traditional belief' and in other words just simply won't appear in official texts as it did before (catechisms and such).  I don't know exactly what the point of it was I'm just saying that they decided to say it isn't real. 

lubeltri, in addition to Purgatory being a place of spiritual purification before entering into heaven, the belief in Indulgences still exists and has much to do with one's own salvation and their time in Purgatory.  Essentially, Papist explained it pretty well...you've lived a good enough life to not go to hell, but still have sin on your soul and must be cleansed before entering heaven.  That's what they believe Purgatory is for.  You can 'take time off' of your 'sentence' (just using ordinary words here) by doing certain acts prescribed by the Church..known as "Indulgences". 
There is no "time" in Purgatory. The old indulgences which had "time" in them did not express how "long" you were to spend in Purgatory but denoted the equivalent time in penance penitents were required to spend in the early Church. In the early Church, people were given certain penances for different sins---some had to spend 120 days in penance, others longer, others shorter. Indulgences have replaced that system, and an indulgence of 120 days meant that it replaced a penance of 120 days from the early Church.

Because of the confusion surrounding this, Paul VI wisely got rid of the number of days and replaced it with "partial" indulgences. "Plenary" indulgences are the same as before---full remission of temporal punishment due to sin, if you satisfy the usual conditions (partaking in the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist, no attachment to sin, and praying for the intentions of the Pope). The reason for the "no attachment to sin" requirement is because if you have attachments to certain sins, you are still going to need Purgatory to free you of them, so a full remission of temporal Purgatorial punishment isn't going to happen.

Partial indulgences will reduce, not eliminate, the need for purification (not by "time," since Purgatory isn't even established as a temporal place).
 

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Irish Hermit said:
The problem is that some of Catholicism's theology is in a state of flux and there are divergent teachings.
Of course there is much debate about theological points, because contrary to popular EO belief, we don't define everything.

As for your other points, you are betraying your ignorance to portray pre-Vatican II theology as so monolithic. 1950s Catholicism is an illusion. I've already gone over this before with you. You didn't listen then, and you won't listen now. So I'm not going to waste my time.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
  The Catholic Church has taught Limbo for centuries;  this recent abolishment is an innovation.   People still continue to believe in it and it's quite possible that the next Pope may put it back in the Catechisms and it willl be taught once again.
There has been no "abolishment." The fact that you continue to insist on this beggars belief.

And for that matter, there is nothing wrong with Limbo. But I need not believe it as a Catholic. I don't even have a position on it---and why should I? I am not a Catholic theologian, unlike the Great Irish Hermit.  ::)
 

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I don't have any issues with them parting ways with Limbo. There definitely has been a (welcome) shift in the Catholic church, where there is less presumption about the (lack of) mercy of God. This is one of the things that upsets the "Feeneyites" and the SSPX crowd, who insist that all but a handful of people are probably going to Hell and that only a remnant are going to Paradise. There was a controversy in the ultra-trad movement a couple of years ago - they were upset with "Dominus Jesus" because it  continued to assert the concept of an "implicit" membership in the Universal Church to those who were not formal members, and that salvation and God's graces could be open to them - even those who were not baptised. The document was largley aimed at non-Christians, but it also outraged Protestants, who will never understand why they will never be treated as equals confessions alongside Rome.

The thing is that concepts such as "baptism of fire" and "baptism of desire" go back a long ways - this isn't something a bunch of "liberals" came up with in the past 100 years. If the effects of baptism are necessary for salvation, then how does someone get saved who might not have been formally baptised? Thomists (and not Augustinians) were comfortable with the concept of Limbo, but the last two pontiffs (who are considered schismatic liberals by the ultra-trads) are correct in setting it aside.
 

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mctaviix said:
The Pope decided last year that it was the doctrine of "Limbo", the place where the unbaptized who have lived a righteous life go, that does not exist.  Purgatory is still a core teaching in Catholicism.
He didn't say that it didn't exist. He just stated something that we all know: The doctrine of Limbo is not a divinely revealed doctrined, it has never been cannonized and Catholic are free to accept or reject it as has always been the case.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
About Limbo:

From the 1905 Catechism of Pope Pius X. He wrote most of it himself and ordered its use in the diocese of Rome.

"Children who die without baptism go into Limbo,
where they do not enjoy God, but they do not suffer either,
because having Original Sin, and only that,
they do not deserve paradise, but neither hell or purgatory."


It is true that recent Popes, John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, have said they have grave doubts about the existence of Limbo.  But that is simply their own opinion and is at variance with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  The next Pope could be pro-Limbo and bring it back into prominence in the life and piety of his people.
Since limbo is not a dogma of the Church, it matters not to us whether a Pope is pro or anti limbo. Catholics can have a free conscience accpeting or rejecting the idea.
 

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lubeltri said:
Irish Hermit said:
The problem is that some of Catholicism's theology is in a state of flux and there are divergent teachings.
Of course there is much debate about theological points, because contrary to popular EO belief, we don't define everything.

As for your other points, you are betraying your ignorance to portray pre-Vatican II theology as so monolithic. 1950s Catholicism is an illusion. I've already gone over this before with you. You didn't listen then, and you won't listen now. So I'm not going to waste my time.
I think he likes to bait Catholics.
 

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John Larocque said:
I don't have any issues with them parting ways with Limbo. There definitely has been a (welcome) shift in the Catholic church, where there is less presumption about the (lack of) mercy of God. This is one of the things that upsets the "Feeneyites" and the SSPX crowd, who insist that all but a handful of people are probably going to Hell and that only a remnant are going to Paradise. There was a controversy in the ultra-trad movement a couple of years ago - they were upset with "Dominus Jesus" because it  continued to assert the concept of an "implicit" membership in the Universal Church to those who were not formal members, and that salvation and God's graces could be open to them - even those who were not baptised. The document was largley aimed at non-Christians, but it also outraged Protestants, who will never understand why they will never be treated as equals confessions alongside Rome.

The thing is that concepts such as "baptism of fire" and "baptism of desire" go back a long ways - this isn't something a bunch of "liberals" came up with in the past 100 years. If the effects of baptism are necessary for salvation, then how does someone get saved who might not have been formally baptised? Thomists (and not Augustinians) were comfortable with the concept of Limbo, but the last two pontiffs (who are considered schismatic liberals by the ultra-trads) are correct in setting it aside.
Whether it is correct or not to set Limbo aside is up for debate. What we do know is that Catholics are free to accept the idea or reject it becasue the Church has not proclaimed any de fide statement on the matter.
 

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Semi-off-the-topic question. What is an "official belief" for Catholics? I believe that the Synods and the Pope are the ones who make a statement official and infallible.
So, if a previous Pope believed in the Purge (in its "older" sense) or the Limbo, any new views on the matters are heretical for the Catholic Church. Correct?
 

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John Larocque said:
I don't have any issues with them parting ways with Limbo. There definitely has been a (welcome) shift in the Catholic church, where there is less presumption about the (lack of) mercy of God. This is one of the things that upsets the "Feeneyites" and the SSPX crowd, who insist that all but a handful of people are probably going to Hell and that only a remnant are going to Paradise.
I wouldn't put those two together. They actually strongly disagree about that issue.
 

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John Larocque said:
Thomists (and not Augustinians) were comfortable with the concept of Limbo, but the last two pontiffs (who are considered schismatic liberals by the ultra-trads) are correct in setting it aside.
Funny you mention Augustine, because the Scholastics proposed Limbo as an alternative to St. Augustine's view that unbaptized infants go to Hell (even if it is the least painful circle of Hell). This Augustinian view was prevalent up until Limbo was proposed. A theological debate over the two positions continued for centuries, with such Doctors of the Church as St. Robert Bellarmine going for the Augustinian view. However, Limbo gradually became the most common position among theologians until recently.
 

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GammaRay said:
Semi-off-the-topic question. What is an "official belief" for Catholics? I believe that the Synods and the Pope are the ones who make a statement official and infallible.
So, if a previous Pope believed in the Purge (in its "older" sense) or the Limbo, any new views on the matters are heretical for the Catholic Church. Correct?
The Councils of Florence and Trent definitively established Purgatory as Catholic teaching, following long-established tradition. Limbo was proposed by the Scholastic theologians in the Middle Ages, but never accepted by Pope or Council as dogmatic teaching. It used to be a very common belief among theologians, but not so much these days.
 

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GammaRay said:
What is an "official belief" for Catholics? I believe that the Synods and the Pope are the ones who make a statement official and infallible.
So, if a previous Pope believed in the Purge (in its "older" sense) or the Limbo, any new views on the matters are heretical for the Catholic Church. Correct?
My question would be: What is "official belief" for Orthodox about what happens after death? If your bishop believes in Toll Houses, does that require you to believe in them?

The same thing for the Pope. The current pope doesn't believe in Limbo---some Catholics agree with him, while others don't. And that's just fine. The pope isn't infallible in everything he does---thank God.
 

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lubeltri said:
I wouldn't put those two together. They actually strongly disagree about that issue.
Yes, you're right, SSPX has specifically targeted Feeneyism as a heresy. And the latter has an anethemized SSPX
http://www.sspx.org/miscellaneous/fr_feeney_catholic_doctrine.htm
http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/The_Heresies_of_the_SSPX.html

Some of the Feeneyites appear to support full-blown sedevacantism (like SSPX-offshoots Society of St. Pius V). The SSPX, in its own estranged way, recognizes the authority of the post-Vatican II pontiffs.

Whoah, this is scary, this offshoot of the Feeneyites are anathemizing Hutton Gibson (father of Mel) as a heretic:
http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Hutton_Gibson.html
 

LBK

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John Larocque said:
Whoah, this is scary, this offshoot of the Feeneyites are anathemizing Hutton Gibson (father of Mel) as a heretic:
http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Hutton_Gibson.html
Ewwww. Seriously scary, given the senior Gibson's proclivities and pronouncements ....  :p :eek: :eek:
 

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On a side-note, given my interest in optimistic soteriologies, I now am digesting Metropolitan Hilarion's book on St. Isaac the Syrian, which came in from this bookstore. It is a wonderful antidote to so much of this negativity. ("The Orthodox Way" also came in, although I've read it's best to start with "For the life of the world" first). Lossky, I suppose, is a step up from Ware.
 

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Papist said:
Irish Hermit said:
It is true that recent Popes, John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, have said they have grave doubts about the existence of Limbo.  But that is simply their own opinion and is at variance with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  The next Pope could be pro-Limbo and bring it back into prominence in the life and piety of his people.
Since limbo is not a dogma of the Church, it matters not to us whether a Pope is pro or anti limbo. Catholics can have a free conscience accpeting or rejecting the idea.
This is where we hit a big point of difference with respect to our two faiths.   It is a crucial point which will take a lot of discussion before we achieve any union.  It may even be insurmountable and prevent union.

The Orthodox do not work from "defined dogma" but from the Tradition of the Church in all its fulness.   

If , for example, we adopted the Catholic idea of dogma our people would be at liberty to reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist since that has never received any dogmatic definition.  Likewise our people could reject the Assumption of the Mother Of God - again, it is a traditional part of our faith but it has no dogmatic definition.,.... and on and on.........  Although these could be seen by Catholics as being without dogmatization in the East, nevertheless any Orthoodx denying them would be excluded from the communion of the Church. 

So when Catholics say, "Yes, our people believed in Limbo for a 1000 years.  It was taught by the Popes and the Magisterium and the bishops and the priests and the nuns.   But all of that can be ignored because, although it was a part of our Tradition, it was never dogmatized."  Well, that makes very little sense to the Orthodox who live by a much more wholistic approach to the holy Tradition.

Fr Ambrose

 

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Papist said:
Whether it is correct or not to set Limbo aside is up for debate. What we do know is that Catholics are free to accept the idea or reject it becasue the Church has not proclaimed any de fide statement on the matter.
Whether papal statements qualify as de fide or not, papal statements still cannot not be denied by Catholics.


There is a requirement to give assent to the teachings of the Pope, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra and de fide.  I find that quite interesting. 

"This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.”   
~Dogmatic Constitution on the Church #25

Now Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, is one of the principal documents of the Second Vatican Council. The Constitution was promulgated by Pope Paul VI on November 21, 1964, following approval by the assembled bishops by a vote of 2,151 to 5. 

Whether one posits infallibility in Ecumenical Councils or Popes or both, this document is ungainsayable on all counts, and the Pope was most certainly exercising his magisterial authority.  In other words, Catholics must give assent of mind and will to all papal teachings.

This sets up a significant contradiction between what Peter spoke through Pope Saint Pius X in 1905 that Limbo is real, and the most recent Popes who don't seem to know but seem to prefer that it is not real.   Which Pope is speaking with the authority of Peter?
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Papist said:
Irish Hermit said:
It is true that recent Popes, John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, have said they have grave doubts about the existence of Limbo.  But that is simply their own opinion and is at variance with the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.  The next Pope could be pro-Limbo and bring it back into prominence in the life and piety of his people.
Since limbo is not a dogma of the Church, it matters not to us whether a Pope is pro or anti limbo. Catholics can have a free conscience accpeting or rejecting the idea.
This is where we hit a big point of difference with respect to our two faiths.   It is a crucial point which will take a lot of discussion before we achieve any union.  It may even be insurmountable and prevent union.

The Orthodox do not work from "defined dogma" but from the Tradition of the Church in all its fulness.   

If , for example, we adopted the Catholic idea of dogma our people would be at liberty to reject the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist since that has never received any dogmatic definition.  Likewise our people could reject the Assumption of the Mother Of God - again, it is a traditional part of our faith but it has no dogmatic definition.,.... and on and on......... 
Ahem...artificial birth control? I have also seen increasing numbers of EO insisting that Mary DID sin. As for "the tradition of the Church in all its fullness," what about Toll Houses and other theological controversies? The whole concept of theologoumena proves that EO do just what Catholics do. At some point your doctrine may develop and Toll Houses may become part of what we call the "deposit of faith." Yes, indeed, it could end up being defined---like Palamism was centuries ago and the fine tuning of Christology in the early years.

As for the Real Presence, it was dogmatized because it was challenged in the West. I'd expect, if you ever were to call a general council again, and if some Orthodox challenge the Real Presence, you would need to dogmatize it. As for our dogmatization of it, it only confirmed the already obvious---the Real Presence was continuously believed by all Catholics going back to the beginning through the Undivided Church---clearly attested to in Scripture and the Fathers and universally believed!

In contrast, Limbo has not even CLOSE to that level of support. It was a theological hypothesis posed in the High Middle Ages by certain theologians as an alternative to the more traditional view espoused by St. Augustine (though some would claim that Limbo is much closer to the pre-Augustinian patristic consensus, which was much less defined). The Limbo hypothesis grew to become quite commonly believed among theologians and even Popes, but it was always also challenged by some other theologians (including the aforementioned St. Robert Bellarmine, one of the "Doctors of the Church"). In recent decades, it has fallen more out of favor but still has significant support.

Now how can you compare this history with the Real Presence and keep a straight face?
 
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