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1 posted on 01/30/2007 4:41:11 PM PST by NYer
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

In keeping with guidelines posted by the Religion Moderator, we are posting this thread (and future ones) a series on the Early Church Fathers, as a Catholic/Orthodox Caucus. Protestants are welcome to post comments but restraint from attacks, would be appreciated. This thread is posted to inform, support and defend the historic orgins of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

2 posted on 01/30/2007 4:43:45 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

In keeping with guidelines posted by the Religion Moderator, we are posting this thread (and future ones) a series on the Early Church Fathers, as a Catholic/Orthodox Caucus. Protestants are welcome to post comments but restraint from attacks, would be appreciated. This thread is posted to inform, support and defend the historic orgins of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

3 posted on 01/30/2007 4:44:32 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: All
Scriptural Basis

Matt. 5:26,18:34; Luke 12:58-59 – Jesus teaches us, “Come to terms with your opponent or you will be handed over to the judge and thrown into prison. You will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” The word “opponent” (antidiko) is likely a reference to the devil (see the same word for devil in 1 Pet. 5:8) who is an accuser against man (c.f. Job 1.6-12; Zech. 3.1; Rev. 12.10), and God is the judge. If we have not adequately dealt with satan and sin in this life, we will be held in a temporary state called a prison, and we won’t get out until we have satisfied our entire debt to God. This “prison” is purgatory where we will not get out until the last penny is paid.

Matt. 5:48 - Jesus says, "be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." We are only made perfect through purification, and in Catholic teaching, this purification, if not completed on earth, is continued in a transitional state we call purgatory.

Matt. 12:32 – Jesus says, “And anyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but no one who speaks against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven either in this world or in the next.” Jesus thus clearly provides that there is forgiveness after death. The phrase “in the next” (from the Greek “en to mellonti”) generally refers to the afterlife (see, for example, Mark 10.30; Luke 18.30; 20.34-35; Eph. 1.21 for similar language). Forgiveness is not necessary in heaven, and there is no forgiveness in hell. This proves that there is another state after death, and the Church for 2,000 years has called this state purgatory.

Luke 12:47-48 - when the Master comes (at the end of time), some will receive light or heavy beatings but will live. This state is not heaven or hell, because in heaven there are no beatings, and in hell we will no longer live with the Master.

Luke 16:19-31 - in this story, we see that the dead rich man is suffering but still feels compassion for his brothers and wants to warn them of his place of suffering. But there is no suffering in heaven or compassion in hell because compassion is a grace from God and those in hell are deprived from God's graces for all eternity. So where is the rich man? He is in purgatory.

1 Cor. 15:29-30 - Paul mentions people being baptized on behalf of the dead, in the context of atoning for their sins (people are baptized on the dead’s behalf so the dead can be raised). These people cannot be in heaven because they are still with sin, but they also cannot be in hell because their sins can no longer be atoned for. They are in purgatory. These verses directly correspond to 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which also shows specific prayers for the dead, so that they may be forgiven of their sin.

Phil. 2:10 - every knee bends to Jesus, in heaven, on earth, and "under the earth" which is the realm of the righteous dead, or purgatory.

2 Tim. 1:16-18 - Onesiphorus is dead but Paul asks for mercy on him “on that day.” Paul’s use of “that day” demonstrates its eschatological usage (see, for example, Rom. 2.5,16; 1 Cor. 1.8; 3.13; 5.5; 2 Cor. 1.14; Phil. 1.6,10; 2.16; 1 Thess. 5.2,4,5,8; 2 Thess. 2.2,3; 2 Tim. 4.8). Of course, there is no need for mercy in heaven, and there is no mercy given in hell. Where is Onesiphorus? He is in purgatory.

Heb. 12:14 - without holiness no one will see the Lord. We need final sanctification to attain true holiness before God, and this process occurs during our lives and, if not completed during our lives, in the transitional state of purgatory.

Heb. 12:29 - God is a consuming fire (of love in heaven, of purgation in purgatory, or of suffering and damnation in hell).

1 Cor. 3:10-15 - works are judged after death and tested by fire. Some works are lost, but the person is still saved. Paul is referring to the state of purgation called purgatory. The venial sins (bad works) that were committed are burned up after death, but the person is still brought to salvation. This state after death cannot be heaven (no one with venial sins is present) or hell (there is no forgiveness and salvation).

1 Cor. 3:15 – “if any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.” The phrase for "suffer loss" in the Greek is "zemiothesetai." The root word is "zemioo" which also refers to punishment. The construction “zemiothesetai” is used in Ex. 21:22 and Prov. 19:19 which refers to punishment (from the Hebrew “anash” meaning “punish” or “penalty”). Hence, this verse proves that there is an expiation of temporal punishment after our death, but the person is still saved. This cannot mean heaven (there is no punishment in heaven) and this cannot mean hell (the possibility of expiation no longer exists and the person is not saved).

1 Cor. 3:15 – further, Paul writes “he himself will be saved, "but only" (or “yet so”) as through fire.” “He will be saved” in the Greek is “sothesetai” (which means eternal salvation). The phrase "but only" (or “yet so”) in the Greek is "houtos" which means "in the same manner." This means that man is both eternally rewarded and eternally saved in the same manner by fire.

1 Cor. 3:13 - when Paul writes about God revealing the quality of each man's work by fire and purifying him, this purification relates to his sins (not just his good works). Protestants, in attempting to disprove the reality of purgatory, argue that Paul was only writing about rewarding good works, and not punishing sins (because punishing and purifying a man from sins would be admitting that there is a purgatory).

1 Cor. 3:17 - but this verse proves that the purgation after death deals with punishing sin. That is, destroying God's temple is a bad work, which is a mortal sin, which leads to death. 1 Cor. 3:14,15,17 - purgatory thus reveals the state of righteousness (v.14), state of venial sin (v.15) and the state of mortal sin (v.17), all of which are judged after death.

1 Peter 1:6-7 - Peter refers to this purgatorial fire to test the fruits of our faith.

5 posted on 01/30/2007 4:49:13 PM PST by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
The Early Church Fathers

The Early Church Fathers on The Church (Catholic Caucus)

Early Church Fathers on (Oral) Tradition - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Apostolic Succession - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

The Early Church Fathers on Purgatory - Catholic/Orthodox Caucus

7 posted on 01/30/2007 4:53:02 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Awesome timing! My lesson plan for RCIA tomorrow night is The Last Four Things. These will be a great addition. (I'm also throwing in a little bit on "The Rapture Trap.")

9 posted on 01/30/2007 4:54:34 PM PST by Juana la Loca
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To: NYer

a piece from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

B. Arguments from Tradition

The traditional evidence in favour of prayers for the dead, which has been preserved

* in monumental inscriptions (especially those of the catacombs),
* in the ancient liturgies, and
* in Christian literature generally, is so abundant that we cannot do more in this article than touch very briefly on a few of the more important testimonies.

1. Monumental inscriptions The inscriptions in the Roman Catacombs range in date from the first century (the earliest dated is from A.D. 71) to the early part of the fifth; and though the majority are undated, archaeologists have been able to fix approximately the dates of a great many by comparison with those that are dated. The greater number of the several thousand extant belong to the ante-Nicene period -- the first three centuries and the early part of the fourth. Christian sepulchral inscriptions from other parts of the Church are few in number compared with those in the catacombs, but the witness of such as have come down to us agrees with that of the catacombs. Many inscriptions are exceedingly brief and simple (PAX, IN PACE, etc.), and might be taken for statements rather than prayers, were it not that in other cases they are so frequently and so naturally amplified into prayers (PAX TIBI, etc.). There are prayers, called acclamatory, which are considered to be the most ancient, and in which there is the simple expression of a wish for some benefit to the deceased, without any formal address to God. The benefits most frequently prayed for are: peace, the good (i.e. eternal salvation), light, refreshment, life, eternal life, union with God, with Christ, and with the angels and saints -- e.g. PAX (TIBI, VOBIS, SPIRITUI TUO, IN AETERNUM, TIBI CUM ANGELIS, CUM SANCTIS); SPIRITUS TUUS IN BONO (SIT, VIVAT, QUIESCAT); AETERNA LUX TIBI; IN REFREGERIO ESTO; SPIRITUM IN REFRIGERIUM SUSCIPIAT DOMINUS; DEUS TIBI REFRIGERET; VIVAS, VIVATIS (IN DEO, IN [Chi-Rho] IN SPIRITO SANCTO, IN PACE, IN AETERNO, INTER SANCTOS, CUM MARTYRIBUS). For detailed references see Kirsch, "Die Acclamationen", pp. 9-29; Cabrol and Leclercq, "Monumenta Liturgica" (Paris, 1902), I, pp. ci-cvi, cxxxix, etc. Again there are prayers of a formal character, in which survivors address their petitions directly to God the Father, or to Christ, or even to the angels, or to the saints and martyrs collectively, or to some one of them in particular. The benefits prayed for are those already mentioned, with the addition sometimes of liberation from sin. Some of these prayers read like excepts from the liturgy: e.g. SET PATER OMNIPOTENS, ORO, MISERERE LABORUM TANTORUM, MISERE(re) ANIMAE NON DIG(na) FERENTIS (De Rossi, Inscript. Christ., II a, p. ix). Sometimes the writers of the epitaphs request visitors to pray for the deceased: e.g. QUI LEGIS, ORA PRO EO (Corpus Inscript. Lat., X, n. 3312), and sometimes again the dead themselves ask for prayers, as in the well-known Greek epitaph of Abercius (see ABERCIUS, INSCRIPTION OF), in tow similar Roman epitaphs dating form the middle of the second century (De Rossi, op. cit., II, a, p. xxx, Kirsch, op. cit., p. 51), and in many later inscriptions. That pious people often visited the tombs to pray for the dead, and sometimes even inscribed a prayer on the monument, is also clear form a variety of indications (see examples in De Rossi, "Roma Sotteranea", II, p. 15). In a word, so overwhelming is the witness of the early Christian monuments in favour of prayer for the dead that no historian any longer denies that the practice and the belief which the practice implies were universal in the primitive Church. There was no break of continuity in this respect between Judaism and Christianity.

2. Ancient liturgies

The testimony of the early liturgies is in harmony with that of the monuments. Without touching the subject of the various liturgies we possess, without even enumerating and citing them singly, it is enough to say here that all without exception -- Nestorian and Monophysite as well as Catholic, those in Syriac, Armenian, and Coptic as well as those in Greek and Latin -- contain the commemoration of the faithful departed in the Mass, with a prayer for peace, light, refreshment and the like, and in many cases expressly for the remission of sins and the effacement of sinful stains. The following, from the Syriac Liturgy of S.t James, may be quoted as a typical example: "we commemorate all the faithful dead who have died in the true faith...We ask, we entreat, we pray Christ our God, who took their souls and spirits to Himself, that by His many compassions He will make them worthy of the pardon of their faults and the remission of their sins" (Syr. Lit. S. Jacobi, ed. Hammond, p. 75).

3. Early Christian literature

Turning finally to early literary sources, we find evidence in the apocryphal "Acta Joannis", composed about A.D. 160-170, that at that time anniversaries of the dead were commemorated by the application of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Lipsius and Bonnet, "Acta Apost. Apocr.", I, 186). The same fact is witnessed by the "Canons of Hippolytus" (Ed. Achelis, p. 106), by Tertullian (De Cor. Mil., iii, P. L., II, 79), and by many later writers. Tertullian also testifies to the regularity of the practice of praying privately for the dead (De Monogam., x, P.L., II, 942); and of the host of later authorities that may be cited, both for public and private prayers, we must be content to refer to but a few. St. Cyprian writes to Cornelius that their mutual prayers and good offices ought to be continued after either should be called away by death (Ep. lvii, P. L., III, 830 sq.), and he tells us that before his time (d. 258) the African bishops had forbidden testators to nominate a priest as executor and guardian in their wills, and had decreed, as the penalty for violating this law, deprivation after death of the Holy Sacrifice and the other offices of the Church, which were regularly celebrated for the repose of each of the faithful; hence, in the case of one Victor who had broken the law, "no offering might be made for his repose, or any prayer offered in the Church in his name" (Ep. lxvi, P. L. , IV, 399). Arnobius speaks of the Christian churches as "conventicles in which...peace and pardon is asked for all men...for those still living and for those already freed from the bondage of the body" (Adv. Gent., IV, xxxvi, P. L., V, 1076). In his funeral oration for his brother Satyrus St. Ambrose beseeches God to accept propitiously his "brotherly service of priestly sacrifice" (fraternum munus, sacrificium sacerdotis) for the deceased ("De Excessu Satyri fr.", I, 80, P. L., XVI, 1315); and, addressing Valentinian and Theodosius, he assures them of happiness if his prayers shall be of any avail; he will let no day or night go past without remembering them in his prayers and at the altar ("De Obitu Valent.", 78, ibid., 1381). As a further testimony from the Western Church we may quote one of the many passages in which St. Augustine speaks of prayers for the dead: "The universal Church observes this law, handed down from the Fathers, that prayers should be offered for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their proper place at the Sacrifice" (Serm. clxxii, 2, P.L., XXXVIII, 936). As evidence of the faith of the Eastern Church we may refer to what Eusebius tells us, that at the tomb of Constantine "a vast crowd of people together with the priests of God offered their prayers to God for the Emperor's soul with tears and great lamentation" (Vita Const., IV, lxxi, P. G., XX, 1226). Acrius, a priest of Pontus, who flourished in the third quarter of the fourth century, was branded as a heretic for denying the legitimacy and efficacy of prayers for the dead. St. Epiphanius, who records and refutes his views, represent the custom of praying for the dead as a duty imposed by tradition (Adv. Haer., III, lxxx, P. G., XLII, 504 sq.), and St. Chrysotom does not hesitate to speak of it as a "law laid down by the Apostles" (Hom., iii, in Philipp., i, 4, P.G., LXII, 203).

10 posted on 01/30/2007 4:56:53 PM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly With God Micah 6:8)
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To: NYer

Most telling on all of this is directly in Scripture itself, in the Gospels.

Jesus uses a particular word, a word which has been rendered "Gehenna". Gehenna (Hebrew "Gehinnom") has, and had, a very specific meaning to Jews.

It's important to realize what Jews mean by Gehenna, because Jesus was a Jew, talking to Jews, so everybody in the conversation knew what the words and concepts were. At another point in the Gospels, Jesus refers to "korban" (goods ceded to the Temple with a life estate in the original owner). He doesn't define korban, just uses it, because every single listener knew what he meant: korban, like Gehenna, has a specific meaning.

Gehenna is Jewish Hell, but Jewish Hell is not Christian Hell. Jewish Hell is a place where souls that have done wicked things go to be purified. Some are purified of their sins there (tradition says they spend 12 months there) and are then sent to Gan Eden: Jewish paradise. The most wicked never leave Gehinnom. Only those who have spent a lifetime doing good, with few bad deeds (and not very bad ones) go straight to Gan Eden. Thus is the Jewish concept of the afterlife and Gehenna. Historically, there certainly were OTHER Jewish concepts of the afterlife. Sheol, for instance, was a Sumerian concept of the land of the shades. Sadduccees, for their part, denied there was an afterlife at all. By Jesus' day (and earlier, as reflected in the prayers of atonement for the dead in 2 Maccabbees), the predominant Jewish belief (held by Pharisees and Essenes, and still held by most Jews today) was in Gan Eden and Gehenna.

What is important to realize is that Jewish Gehenna is both Hell AND Purgatory. Purgatory is IN Hell. That's what Jews think. And thought. And their word for this place was Gehenna. Gehenna, or Gehinnom in Hebrew (Gehenna is actually Yiddish) is also a nasty valley near Jerusalem where bad rites were historically performed, so the name for the Jewish concept of Hell was probably pulled from that valley name, or vice versa.

Jesus didn't say "Hell", "Hades", "Tartarus", "Purgatory" or "Sheol" when he was referring to the place that those who do wicked things go. He referred to Gehenna.

Now, whenever Jesus called up a Jewish concept that he wanted to CHANG, such as the Levitical and Deuteronomic law of divorce in the Torah, he was always explicit..."Scripture says..., but I say..." or "Your tradition says..., but I say...". But Jesus didn't do that when he used the term Gehenna. He just said Gehenna, and incorporated it into his sentences and warnings. He used Gehenna in its normal sense, and indeed in the only sense that any Jew listening to it then or now ever COULD understand it.

Which means that if you just read the Gospels and read what Jesus is saying, and understand it as a Jew does, Jesus is talking about Hell AND Purgatory. In Judaism they are the same place: Gehenna. Gehenna is Hell. Hell acts as purgatory to those who have their sins purified there. The truly wicked remain "where the fire is never quenched and the worm never ceases".

Once one realizes what Jesus said with clear understanding of the Jewish word he used and Jewish beliefs of the Jewish audience he was addressing, the argument about Hell versus Purgatory sort of falls away. Jesus answered it. Both. Gehenna.

On another thread there are lots of folks screaming about this. I hope that by posting it here, in a caucus thread, we can avoid that.

And I hope that some of you found this discussion interesting and illuminating.

22 posted on 01/30/2007 5:24:53 PM PST by Vicomte13 (L'Chaim!)
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To: NYer; amihow; Mrs. Don-o; Knitting A Conundrum; do the dhue; Hydroshock; the lastbestlady; ...

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic Ping List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to all note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

49 posted on 01/31/2007 4:26:31 AM PST by narses (St Thomas says "lex injusta non obligat.")
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