The Orthodox Church

I’ve read Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by pb.Michael Pomazansky
The Orthodox Church by Fr. Sergius Bulkagov
Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by. Vladmir Lossky
The Spirit of Eastern Orthodoxy by M.J. Le Guillou, O.P. .

And a few others. . .

ok…:thumbsup: Do you have a question or comment? :confused:

To add; Monk of Eastern Church concerning the Jesus prayer. by Kallistos Ware.

. .

Um…we’re proud of you? :ehh:

That’s wonderful ~ :smiley:

And do you have something to share regarding all of these books you read?

Otherwise this thread is going nowhere! :shrug:

:ehh: <— I do wish that CAF would add Spock ears to this little guy!!! :smiley:

Since the OP didn’t, I’ll add some content to this thread.

Since I am a Westerner, most of my inquiries are into Lutheranism vs. Catholicism. The Lutherans did not split from the Orthodox Church, so I would rather see us reunited with Rome and then start working on the Great Schism. :wink: However, half of my family is (lapsed) Greek Orthodox and someone has made the case to me that I should return to that if Orthodoxy is true. Is it true?

I’m not worried about the Filioque. I’m not a relavitist, but I understand that the exclusion or inclusion of that clause originally expressed the same truth with two different emphases. It is excluded because the HS proceeds from the Father ultimately. It is included because the HS proceeds equally through the Son because the Father and the Son hold all things in common.

I’m not worried about the question of the Roman Bishop, because he is recognized as authoritative whether he is above the others or first among equals. Again, I’m not a relativist and there is a best way to understand Rome’s role, but either way Rome is important.

Things like liturgy and sacraments are all the same, I believe. Of course practices differ, but those aren’t doctrines to my knowledge.

Both churches believe in Purgatory. The Orthodox see it as a journey more than temporal consequences and the Catholics vice versa, but again, that’s emphasizing one of two facets that exist in the doctrine of both churches.

Only the Catholic Church believes in Mary as co-redemptrix (well yes, it has not been confirmed yet, but it should be as I understand it), but they both believe She mediates and intercedes for us, right?

And what else have I missed that is a doctrinal difference?


:rolleyes: so much for this being a “discussion” forum.

Both churches do not believe in Purgatory. The Orthodox do not. They do pray for the dead, but they do not believe in Purgatory. The “toll-houses” explanation isn’t doctrine, at least from what I understand (correct me if I’m wrong). Also, I’m not 100% sure of your explanation of the filioque, from the Catholic perspective. Orthodox do venerate Mary. The correct understanding is that she intercedes for us. I refrain from using the term “mediate” because it just confuses people as to how that relates to Jesus Christ as the Mediator. And yes, Orthodoxy believes that it is the true Church.

[quote]Originally Posted by ThuriferAcolyte
ok… Do you have a question or comment?


OK, so the purpose of this thread is what? :confused:

Well, don’t the Orthodox believe that the souls of the dead are in temporary hell and darkness, where they are purified? That is essentially purgatory.

This thread has been retooled and put to better use by yours truly. :wink:

With reference to “The Orthodox Church,” which one are we speaking of here?



No, we do not believe that. I don’t know where you got that information from. :shrug:

Is that supposed to be a ‘cute’ question? There is only one. :thumbsup:

You’re dead on. :thumbsup: Thanks

Correct. The “toll-houses” are a local tradition among Slavic Churches, hardly canon across the board. There is nothing similar to Purgatory in Orthodoxy.

I have actually heard on an Orthodox podcast (sorry I can’t remember which one but I listen to many) that it’s also gaining popularity in Greece now with blessed Fr. Seraphim Rose’ book The Soul After Death and that the US is where it is mostly rejected. But no, it’s not doctrine and it’s not that similar to Purgatory.

There is a generally sincere effort on the part of some people to conflate the beliefs of both groups in an attempt to find “common ground”, and (hopefully) get around these barriers to ‘unity’ (a unity the nature of which up to this very day which has never been actually defined).

Unfortunately, these are misguided efforts, and do no one any good by candy coating the plain facts.

Purgatory is a specific highly developed notion, which is not recognized in the east. As a Roman Catholic dogma it is dependent upon Anselm’s theory of satisfaction and the notion of temporal punishment separated from and due after forgiveness. For Orthodox, these two ideas are so problematic one might fly a galaxy through them.

Separately, the Latin concept of a ‘Treasury of Merits’ then mediates against this temporal punishment still due for forgiven sin in the concept of indulgence. It’s somewhat transactional, with the sins vs unearned merits (plus leftover punishment) being debits and credits until the books are balanced for that person.

In the first place, Orthodox do not assume that there is a temporal punishment still due for a sin forgiven in confession. However, it is not possible to put God “in a box”. What God decides in His Wisdom for any one individual is not for us to say, He alone can see into our hearts. We know He loves us, that is about all we can say with certainty.

How many methods are there at God’s disposal to make any person more holy? We do not know. How many stars are in the sky? We do not know.

Does acquiring holiness after death require some kind of punishment? Perhaps sometimes for some people, if God sees it necessary.

Does this mean the Orthodox can see Purgatory as a dogma? No. That would be like saying we know how God should be doing his job, and why He does what He does.

So then, why do Orthodox pray for the dead? Because God loves us, and we love each other.

God is just, of course, but inclined toward setting aside His Justice in Love… and He listens to us!

Prayer is good!

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