Purgatorial Universalism

Ok, well I am debating with a Purgatorial Universalist who seems to know quite a good bit on the subject and he is stumping me. Can someone please clarify St. Pope John Paul II the Great’s view on this? Can someone also please go in depth and tell me exactly why it was condemned (this guy is saying that the people of the Early Church believed in such things and that it was only condemned because Origenism was so crazy)
Now, one last thing. Can someone please give me quotes that show that purgatorial universalism is false?

So that we’re all on the same page with understanding the term “universalist” will you please share what you mean by that? At first glance, it suggests to me that it means all souls go to purgatory, universally, no exceptions. :shrug:

It’s pretty much is the view of universal salvation. In his case, he believes that the references in 1+2 Maccabeas about Purgatory describe hell which gives him this idea of universal salvation.
He also sent me these quotes from the St. Pope John Paul the II the Great proving that he held such view.

Eternal damnation remains a possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it. (General Audience of July 28, 1999)

Christ, Redeemer of man, now for ever ‘clad in a robe dipped in blood’ (Apoc, 19,13), the everlasting, invincible guarantee of universal salvation. (Message of John Paul II to the Abbess General of the Order of the Most Holy Saviour of St Bridget)

If the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, is to convince the world precisely of this ‘judgment,’ undoubtedly he does so to continue Christ’s work aimed at universal salvation. We can therefore conclude that in bearing witness to Christ, the Paraclete is an assiduous (though invisible) advocate and defender of the work of salvation, and of all those engaged in this work. He is also the guarantor of the definitive triumph over sin and over the world subjected to sin, in order to free it from sin and introduce it into the way of salvation. (General Audience of May 24, 1989)

(Note I know that the first quote was later edited so please just explain the other two)

He also states that a pre vatican II catechism points torward his ideology.

1058 The Church prays that no one should be lost: ‘Lord, let me never be parted from you.’ If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God ‘desires all men to be saved’ (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him ‘all things are possible’ (Mt 19:26).

1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere ‘to the end’ and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for ‘all men to be saved.’He also sent me this.

He also talks about how it was condemned “By the mid-5th century, the issue had become so heated that there were theology-spurred riots breaking out in Alexandria. Eventually, the Origenist (a sect that believed in many esoteric and objectionable things, 300 years after Origen, not just the aforementioned things, but various bizarre doctrines) troublemaking prompted bishops convoking at the 5th Ecumenical Council to reject Origenism and everything they believed (including the eventual redemption of evil spirits), although the condemnation was never truly official (the history is very complicated). In any case, Emperor Justinian signed off on a series of anathemas against the Origenists.”

Last but not least, he sent me this link.
roblox.com/Forum/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=135530410

I have examined the documents that your friend mistakenly believes that Pope John Paul II taught universal salvation. Let’s define that word. Many who oppose our beloved Pontiff have tried to attribute this to him in other threads during past years. Universal salvation is supposed to mean that ALL men will be saved, none will be damned.

Never did this Pope or any other Pope make such a bizarre statement. Are you aware that non-Catholics love to hunt up and take sentences out of context in order to draw Catholics away from the faith. It is critical to understand all papal statements, letters, audiences, etc., with the Mind of the Church, as all of her faithful understand it. I’ll dissect some of your references, and give the actual website for you to see them in full context.

General Audience 7/28/99:
Comment: Damnation remains a [real] possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, -] the knowledge of whether or which human beings/-] to know which human beings are effectively involved in it.

[From the same document, which certainly does not present a view that all are saved, but that we HOPE and PRAY that this be so.]
Answer: This prospect, rich in hope, prevails in Christian proclamation. It is effectively reflected in the liturgical tradition of the Church, as the words of the Roman Canon attest: “Father, accept this offering from your whole family … save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen”.

“Eternal damnation”, therefore, is not attributed to God’s initiative because in his merciful love he can only desire the salvation of the beings he created. In reality, it is the creature who closes himself to his love. Damnation consists precisely in definitive separation from God, freely chosen by the human person and confirmed with death that seals his choice for ever. God’s judgement ratifies this state.
 
General Audience of 5/24/89

If the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, is to convince the world precisely of this ‘judgment,’ undoubtedly he does so to continue Christ’s work aimed at universal salvation. We can therefore conclude that in bearing witness to Christ, the Paraclete is an assiduous (though invisible) advocate and defender of the work of salvation, and of all those engaged in this work. He is also the guarantor of the definitive triumph over sin and over the world subjected to sin, in order to free it from sin and introduce it into the way of salvation.

Self explanatory. The mind of Christ and the work of the Paraclete strives to bring all men to salvation. Sadly, not all attain it, but yet it is the goal of Christ’s redemption for us., and God’s will that none be lost, though many are of their own free will.

Audience with Abbess General

Your version of this is not in agreement with the Vatican’s. Here is the correct version.

Going back in mind and heart to her mystical experience that was completely focused on the Redeemer’s Passion, you are dedicated to discerning on the face of the Church reflections of the holiness of Christ, Redeemer of man, now for ever “clad in a robe dipped in blood” (Apoc, 19,13), the everlasting, invincible guarantee of universal salvation.

This means that her mysticism focuses on the Redeemer’s effective sacrifice (through his robe dipped in His own blood) for all men and guarantees salvation “universally” even if all do not avail themselves of it. Nevertheless, as Jesus said on the Cross, “It is finished!”

People love to twist sentences into their own meaning, but it is important to know what the Church and its Popes mean when they use this terminology. As a Catholic, you are wise to question to remove doubt, but I would not engage in debates with non-C’s over our doctrines. They are programmed to nitpick and have armies of sophists who pour over the Church’s documents looking for loopholes to condemn us and put you on the defensive.

That is a quote from the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, published after Vatican 2.

According to this, it seems as if there is a possibility that all humans might be saved. The demons, including Satan, are eternally lost in hell. We don’t know whether all humans will be saved, and we must remember that hell is a real place where any human soul can go forever by impenitent mortal sin.

I’m concerned that my statement might be misunderstood. I’m not saying “never” debate with non-C’s, but only those who have their minds made up and use every opportunity to trap us into false reasoning. This requires a gift from the Spirit called “discernment”, wherein we can know interiorly whether or not the person is truly seeking truth, or seeking our humiliation when we cannot answer their provocative taunts.

(Kinda like Jesus, who knew when the Pharisees were out to trap Him. :wink: ) May God give us wisdom to know how to answer when these situations arise.

I have nothing worthwhile to contribute, other than to note that the Fatima Prayer in the Rosary includes the petition “. . . lead all souls into Heaven.” If that were not possible, then why do we pray it?

There’s a word for this: apokatastasis

It was condemned by the early Church; at least by the Synod of Constantinople AD 534, which was not one of the Ecumenical Councils.

John Paul the Great most certainly knew about it, and would never have advocated it.

Some of the early Fathers did seem to advocate it, but like other heresies, there are often differing opinions among the most Orthodox teachers until the matter becomes settled.

Apokatastasis is the belief that all souls will go to Heaven (not just may). It’s a belief that Hell is only temporary.

FTR, I am not a believer in apokatastasis. I believe that salvation is an offer that must be accepted prior to physical death, and that there are people who refuse that offer, die in their sins, and will go into eternal punishment. That is obvious from the plain teachings of the New Testament. My question was more along the line of why we waste our breath praying something that is an impossibility.

However, discussion of that specific topic would require a separate thread. I brought it up to point out that rejection of apokatastasis is not universal, even within the Catholic Church.

Rejecting apokatastasis is universal in the Catholic faith.

The point though is that we can pray that all souls will go to heaven, and we can hope that they all will. That’s why there’s nothing wrong, and everything right about the prayer.

Apokatastasis, on the other hand is a belief that the souls in Hell will leave there and be admitted to heaven. That, Catholics cannot believe.

You said this yourself above. “…there are people who refuse that offer, die in their sins, and will go into eternal punishment…” Apokatastasis denies that there is any eternal punishment.

The Fatima prayer in no way opens the door for apokatastasis. In fact, it contradicts it, because if all souls will go to Heaven, then there’s no point in asking Christ to lead them where they are already going.

Do you see the difference?

Not really, but since my beliefs are already in line with what the Catholic Church (and, indeed, most of Christianity) believes, I don’t really see any point in spending time debating the issue. I just found it curious; that was all.

Indeed, however I do believe this man is looking for God and His Church. I thank you for your info. The same goes out to the other posters in this thread.

The Pope didn’t teach universal salvation. He taught what the church teaches is that “We hope that all are saved.”

:smiley: You must know him far better than the way you presented him here. I hope you’re right, but beware. My instincts say he is baiting you.

I must ask, do you actually think that the Catholic belief is to deny that there is an eternal Hell?

I’m not trying to debate it either, simply to explain it.

It could be both.

Apokatastasis is a tempting thought (sure, all heresies are that). Many people who are sincerely seeking Christ have fallen into that trap over the centuries. If heresies were not tempting, they wouldn’t get very far.

It is the typical “throw a bunch of verses out there” type of thing, though.

No, I don’t, and if you think I did, I’d appreciate it if you’d point out where I said that.

You said it here:

You say that apokatastasis (i.e. rejecting the belief that there is an eternal Hell) is not universally rejected by the Catholic Church. :shrug:

That’s why I’m concerned, and why I’m trying to explain it.

Paul made a similar warning

Tit 3:10
“As for a man who is factious ( [FONT=Verdana]αρετικν[/FONT] ), after admonishing him once or twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sinful; he is self-condemned.”

As you say, we can’t know who has and who has not noble motives.

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