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  #1  
Old May 8, '11, 7:15 pm
coco2 coco2 is offline
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Default Hell isn't permanent?

I've just read on another thread that Eastern Catholics don't believe that hell is permanent. Could someone explain this further? I've never heard this before.
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  #2  
Old May 8, '11, 7:27 pm
Biedrik Biedrik is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

I'm not an Eastern Catholic, but in my many experiences with Eastern Catholicism I've never heard such a thing.
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  #3  
Old May 8, '11, 7:52 pm
smad0142 smad0142 is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

That is untrue. Some early Fathers of the Church, I believe Origen if my memory serves, believed this idea. It was ultimately condemned as heresy. EC believe hell is permanent, just to be clear.

I have heard, however, an EO Bishop, I think he was Russian, say something to the effect that hell isn't permanent. I think the EO would consider it heresy also though.
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  #4  
Old May 8, '11, 8:38 pm
mardukm mardukm is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

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Originally Posted by coco2 View Post
I've just read on another thread that Eastern Catholics don't believe that hell is permanent. Could someone explain this further? I've never heard this before.
The doctrine of apocatastasis (in short, that hell is not eternal), one of the tenets of Origenism, was condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

However, this is not well known, probabaly because - (1) It was not the primary purpose of the Fifth Ecumenical Council to discuss Origen; (2) not a small amount of ink has been used by those who deny that the tenets of Origen were explicitly condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

I have met Easterns who make the claim you mention here, and they normally appeal to a few Fathers who existed before the Fifth Ecumenical Council. But the Fifth settled the matter, and opinions to the contrary are probably due to what I mentioned in the prior paragraph.

Blessings,
Marduk
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  #5  
Old May 9, '11, 1:03 am
Aramis Aramis is online now
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

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Originally Posted by coco2 View Post
I've just read on another thread that Eastern Catholics don't believe that hell is permanent. Could someone explain this further? I've never heard this before.
The problem is one of definitions; the place of purification after death (purgatory) is said to be in the fringes of hell by some Byzantine theologians.

It is very easy to confuse the byzantine approach as "hell is not permanent," but it really is more one of, "until the final judgement revealed to St John, very few are condemned to eternal damnation, and our prayers might help the ones not already damned repent their sins before that final judgement."

Even so, the concept and description of hell is less concrete than the Roman, and while purgation is well accepted, purgatory as a separate place from heaven and hell is not.
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  #6  
Old May 9, '11, 6:09 am
Alexander Roman Alexander Roman is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Yes indeed - "hell" or "hades" as such is the place for those who cannot enter heaven. The length of time they spend there prior to the Second Coming of Christ depends on their sins.

Others say that when we die, we are all engulfed by the same flame of Divine Love. It is the state of our soul that will determine how we experience that flame . . .

Alex
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  #7  
Old May 9, '11, 6:13 am
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by coco2 View Post
I've just read on another thread that Eastern Catholics don't believe that hell is permanent. Could someone explain this further? I've never heard this before.
you need to give links to your sources before any meaningful comment can be made
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  #8  
Old May 9, '11, 10:54 am
mardukm mardukm is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Dear brother Alex,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Roman View Post
Yes indeed - "hell" or "hades" as such is the place for those who cannot enter heaven. The length of time they spend there prior to the Second Coming of Christ depends on their sins.

Others say that when we die, we are all engulfed by the same flame of Divine Love. It is the state of our soul that will determine how we experience that flame . . .
Thanks for bringing this up, for it calls to mind another point for discussion - namely, the fact that "Hell" and "Hades" are very often confused.

"Hades" - at least in the Oriental Tradition - is not "Hell" but rather the abode of the dead, where souls get a foretaste of their eternal reward (be it "heaven" or "hell"). One might even say that the Latin "Purgatory" is "part of" Hades.

I've noticed that Easterns are less likely to distinguish between "Hades" and "Hell." When Easterns say "Hell," sometimes they actually mean "Hades." But it should be noted that Hell is eternal, while Hades is not.

I can imagine the source of this confusion of terms. Easterns (and Westerns, for that matter), unlike the Oriental Tradition, teach that there is a Hell (a state of eternal suffering) "NOW" for the human soul. The line between "eternal suffering" and "temporal suffering" gets easily blurred, especially with the baggage of trying to oppose the Latin teaching on temporal suffering in a third state that is distinct from "heaven" and "hell." Because of this opposition to the concept of a "third state," (basically, a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater) the Eastern Tradition is left with the claim that any and all suffering of the human soul after death occurs in "Hell." Thus, you might hear Easterns claim that you can "pray someone out of Hell" or that "Hell is not eternal," when in fact they are referring to the third state of Hades.

In distinction, the Oriental Tradition generally believes that Hell (eternal suffering) for the human soul will only exist at the Final Judgment, and any suffering NOW that a human soul experiences after death occurs in the third state/place known as Hades.

Blessings,
Marduk
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  #9  
Old May 9, '11, 11:35 am
Alexander Roman Alexander Roman is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Good point Sir!

I've read the term "hell" used by Easterners to also described "Hades." We can see "hades" used liturgically. I didn't know the distinction.

Thank you!!

Alex
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  #10  
Old May 9, '11, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Roman View Post
Yes indeed - "hell" or "hades" as such is the place for those who cannot enter heaven. The length of time they spend there prior to the Second Coming of Christ depends on their sins.
Hades is the abode of the dead, which is also called the grave, and it corresponds to the Old Testament concept of sheol; while hell (gehenna) is the state of everlasting damnation experienced by the reprobate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Roman View Post
Others say that when we die, we are all engulfed by the same flame of Divine Love. It is the state of our soul that will determine how we experience that flame . . .Alex
I agree with this viewpoint, because - as I understand it - hell is a form of salvation from the corruption into non-being that was introduced into human nature by the ancestral sin; so in that limited sense all men are saved, i.e., all men are given ever-being (see St. John Chrysostom, Homily 9 on 1st Corinthians, nos. 5 and 6). St. Maximos the Confessor elaborated upon this doctrine more completely in his treatise entitled, Questiones et Dubia, when he wrote:

"The Church knows three apokatastaseis. One is the [apokatastasis] of everything according to the principle [logos] of virtue; in this apokatastasis one is restored who fulfills the principle of virtue in himself. The second is that of the whole [human nature] in the Resurrection. This is the apokatastasis to incorruption and immortality. The third, in the oft-cited words of Gregory of Nyssa, is the apokatastasis of the powers of the soul which, having lapsed into sin, are again restored to that condition in which they were created. For it is necessary that just as the entire nature of the flesh hopes in time to be taken up again into incorruption in the apokatastasis, so also the powers of the soul, having become distorted during the course of the ages had instilled in it a memory of evil, so that at the end of ages, not finding any rest, will come to God Who has no limit. And thus the distorted powers of the soul will be taken up into the primeval apokatastasis, into a merely discursive knowledge of, but not into the participation in, the good things [of God], where the Creator is known yet without being the cause of [their] sin" [St. Maximos, Questiones et Dubia, PG 90:796BC].

Clearly the first apokatastasis described by St. Maximos is that of the saints to ever-well-being (i.e., heavenly bliss), who - by the free action of their own wills in cooperation with the divine energy - recapitulated the virtues during their earthly lives and "likened" themselves unto God; while the second apokatastasis is fulfilled in all men, who are given incorruption and ever-being by the incarnation of the eternal Logos in the general resurrection; and finally the third apokatastasis is that of the damned, who are restored to the good in the powers of their souls, but who - by their own choice - receive ever-ill-being (i.e., eternal damnation) because they failed to recapitulate the virtues during their earthly lives.
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  #11  
Old May 9, '11, 12:31 pm
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Roman View Post
Others say that when we die, we are all engulfed by the same flame of Divine Love. It is the state of our soul that will determine how we experience that flame . . .Alex
This idea was expressed beautifully by St. Isaac the Syrian in his Ascetical Homilies:

"I maintain that those who are tormented in hell are tormented by the invasion of love. What is there more bitter and violent than the pains of love? Those who feel they have sinned against love bear in themselves a damnation much heavier than the most dreaded punishments. The suffering with which sinning against love afflicts the heart is more keenly felt than any other torment. It is absurd to assume that the sinners in hell are deprived of Godís love. Love is offered impartially. But by its very power it acts in two ways. It torments sinners, as happens here on earth when we are tormented by the presence of a friend to whom we have been unfaithful. And it gives joy to those who have been faithful. That is what the torment of hell is in my opinion: remorse. But love inebriates the souls of the sons of heaven by its delectability."
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  #12  
Old May 9, '11, 1:12 pm
Alexander Roman Alexander Roman is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Dear Todd/Apotheoun,

That I managed to provoke you to come here and enlighten us with your thoughts and writing is simply, well, heaven!!

Cheers, Defender of Orthodoxy!

Alex
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  #13  
Old May 9, '11, 7:58 pm
coco2 coco2 is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
you need to give links to your sources before any meaningful comment can be made

It was just a person who mentioned this in their thread. No source other than a poster on another thread.
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  #14  
Old Jul 31, '11, 1:28 pm
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Julia Mae Julia Mae is offline
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mardukm View Post
Dear brother Alex,


Thanks for bringing this up, for it calls to mind another point for discussion - namely, the fact that "Hell" and "Hades" are very often confused.

"Hades" - at least in the Oriental Tradition - is not "Hell" but rather the abode of the dead, where souls get a foretaste of their eternal reward (be it "heaven" or "hell"). One might even say that the Latin "Purgatory" is "part of" Hades.

I've noticed that Easterns are less likely to distinguish between "Hades" and "Hell." When Easterns say "Hell," sometimes they actually mean "Hades." But it should be noted that Hell is eternal, while Hades is not.

I can imagine the source of this confusion of terms. Easterns (and Westerns, for that matter), unlike the Oriental Tradition, teach that there is a Hell (a state of eternal suffering) "NOW" for the human soul. The line between "eternal suffering" and "temporal suffering" gets easily blurred, especially with the baggage of trying to oppose the Latin teaching on temporal suffering in a third state that is distinct from "heaven" and "hell." Because of this opposition to the concept of a "third state," (basically, a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater) the Eastern Tradition is left with the claim that any and all suffering of the human soul after death occurs in "Hell." Thus, you might hear Easterns claim that you can "pray someone out of Hell" or that "Hell is not eternal," when in fact they are referring to the third state of Hades.

In distinction, the Oriental Tradition generally believes that Hell (eternal suffering) for the human soul will only exist at the Final Judgment, and any suffering NOW that a human soul experiences after death occurs in the third state/place known as Hades.

Blessings,
Marduk
Please forgive my ignorance before I say whatever stupid thing I am sure to say here.

I came to CAF to ask about this, the same question is in the first post. If someone asks me a question I can usually find a place in the Catechism with the answer so that what I say matches what the Church teaches. I also know that "Eastern Catholicism" - I guess - means a lot of churches. So, is there anything that someone like myself can access, like the CCC for the RCC, where I can read about this from some official source?

I don't understand the hades/hell distinction, really. Are you saying there is no permanent decision by God where to put a soul until some time after they pass? Or do you mean the 2nd coming or what?

What's the thought on how people get to hell? Is it they, themselves, who place themselves there or is it God doing it as punishment or is it just the inevitable response to the state of the soul? Like water running downhill?

I know this is a lot of questions, sorry I am not better-organized.
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  #15  
Old Aug 1, '11, 1:04 pm
Aramis Aramis is online now
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Default Re: Hell isn't permanent?

In judaism:
Gehenna: the place of the unjust dead; eternal punishment
Sheol: the place of the rest of the dead who are not yet in heaven

In the greek, those were
Gehenna
Hades (=Sheol)

In modern latin terminology:
Hell=Gehenna = place of eternal punishment of those who reject God
hades almost equals purgatory
Sheol is emptied by Christ; some theologians posit that those not bound for heaven yet not condemned yet may be sent there

In modern eastern christian contexts
Hell=Sheol + hades + Gehenna (+parts of purgatory if Catholic)
Pits of Hell = Gehenna

It's a translation issue as well.
The KJV translates Gehenna and Sheol both as "Hell" without distinction...
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