Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sungenis: Good Catholics have no excuse for going to Purgatory

"Good Catholics have no excuse for going to Purgatory. If they are really pay attention to their Catholic faith and take advantage of all the Indulgences that are continually being made available to escape any and all punishment in Purgatory, then it stands to reason that no good Catholic should go to Purgatory." [source]

49 comments:

Matthew Bellisario said...

OK.??

Rhology said...

Hmm, and if almost all Popes went either there or Hell, what hope has the "good Catholic"?

Paul Hoffer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Mr. Swan:

To expand upon Matt's query:

"And your point is?"

Rhology, your use of the word "hope" is misplaced when it comes to Purgatory. Everyone whose soul undergoes purgation goes to heaven.

God bless!

Rhology said...

Paul,

It appears that you only read my comment and not Sungenis' in the original post. Read it and get back to me.

Alex said...

Rhology, am I understanding you correctly that you understand that after one has undergone purgation of the temporal punishment due to sins in Purgatory that there is a chance that their souls will be eternally lost?

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer:

Hope of avoiding Purgatory altogether - not hope of eventually, after potentially millions of years, getting out.

-TurretinFan

Matthew Bellisario said...

Rhology said, "Hmm, and if almost all Popes went either there or Hell, what hope has the "good Catholic"?

Where did you get those statistics from? Did you get an email from Jesus telling you how many Popes went to hell and purgatory? Maybe you had a vision in your sleep? Substantiate your comment please.

Matthew Bellisario said...

Also the mere fact the someone is pope does not guarantee them a place in heaven. If they die a state of dis-grace then will also got to hell just like anyone else. If they died with attachment to sin then too will enjoy the purgation period. No one gets a free get out of jail card because of their position in the Church.

Dozie said...

Catholics, it is time to leave Mr. Swan alone. He keeps on dangling at you some silly ideas that pop up his head and you all pounce on them. You give him an undeserved legitimacy. He knows that Catholics keep his blog alive and so, he keeps manufacturing sensational baits. Leave the man alone and he will dry up on his own.

HIS daughter said...

I'm not in Purgatory right now and I promise I'm not hear to discuss it.

I was just looking for Mr. Swan.
The young man I told you about that I erroneously thought was a protegee' has surfaced and I told him about your blog.

I told him that your site had a wealth of knowledge that was similar to the faith/Christianity he has come to know recently.

His name is Garret or he posts as Garret and I directed him to you, if that is ok?

His website address is http://reformnow-garret.blogspot.com/

He's a very eager to learn young man and he would make a fine apologist. Are you Rhology or just James?

Oh well, just thought I would tell you about the young man that I let get under my skin and then I proceeded to act like a "bad Catholic"...or a good Catholic on a bad day :-)

Blessings my friend,
Teri

pilgrim said...

Good Catholics don't go to Purgatory, nor do bad Catholics, nor for that matter do Protestants, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, agnostics, or anybody else.

Nobody goes there--it doesn't exist.

James Swan said...

Catholics, it is time to leave Mr. Swan alone. He keeps on dangling at you some silly ideas that pop up his head and you all pounce on them. You give him an undeserved legitimacy. He knows that Catholics keep his blog alive and so, he keeps manufacturing sensational baits. Leave the man alone and he will dry up on his own.

...I will begin deleting your comments again if you insists on such insults.

If you don't want to visit this blog, then don't. Follow your own advice.

EBW said...

Why should this doctrine of purgatory be mocked when reformed theology presupposes some kind of purgation for the christian ? What the reformed deny us in a state after death, they retain in the state prior to death. This much is proved by the WestCF:
One must perfect true holiness, in the fear of God, to see the Lord and enter heaven. Now temporal judgements do befall the just, but this impedes perfecting of true holiness. Therefore, temporal judgements must be remitted, cleansed or purified (take your pick) to see the Lord.
Safety will not be found in justification or the resurrection. These temporal judgements are on the just and the beatific vision is granted to the disembodied.
For those who deny a "perfection" in this life will appeal to our Lord's reference of the unprofitable servant. But don't forget, they are said to done their duty. If this duty is not perfect, then are Lord's words fall.
Shorter Catechism:
What is the duty which God requireth of man?
The duty...is obedience (perfect?) to his revealed will.

The servants, who did their duty, call themselves unprofitable. Paul, writing to Titus, warns him to avoid certains things unprofitable. Should we avoid the Master's servants b/c they are unprofitable ?

Rhology said...

People, people, you're not getting me.
Alex, you're apparently following Paul Hoffer's example in failing to read the actual post. Typically, the OP is the best part, not the combox. Go back and check it again.
And no, I'm not saying that. Sheesh.

Matthew Bellisario, I'm quoting Gerry Matatics from a debate before he became a Protestant Catholic, and I believe he was quoting someone else.
And your 2nd comment is exactly what I *am* saying, with respect to Sungenis' comment. I know it's hard, but you can still agree with me! ;-)

HIS daughter,
James Swan is James Swan. I'm Rhology, one of the contributors/teammates here. One way you can tell us apart is in the quality of our work - James' is very good and mine is at best mediocre.

EBW,
I'm not sure what you're driving at here.
One must perfect true holiness, in the fear of God, to see the Lord and enter heaven.

Yes, and that perfect true holiness is the imputed righteousness of Christ.
What section are you quoting?

Peace,
Rhology

Richard Froggatt said...

"Yes, and that perfect true holiness is the imputed righteousness of Christ."

The imputed perfect true holiness of Christ must be perfected.

Alrighty then

Tim Enloe said...

Perhaps EBW is conflating WCF XIII.1, XIII.3, and XVI.2.

XIII.1 says: "These good works, done in obedience to God's commandments, are the fruits and evidences of a true and lively faith: and by them believers manifest their thankfulness, strengthen their assurance, edify their brethren, adorn the profession of the Gospel,stop the mouths of the adversaries, and glorify God,whose workmanship they are, created in Christ Jesus thereunto, that, having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life."

XVI.2 says: "They, who are once effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart, and a new spirit created in them, are further sanctified, really and personally, through the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them: the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified; and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

If so, I guess the key portions would be XIII.1's "having their fruit unto holiness, they may have the end, eternal life," XIII.3's "and so, the saints grow in grace, perfecting holiness in the fear of God," and XVI.2's "strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."

If these are the portions he's quoting, he seems to be speaking accurately - except for the fact that the classical Protestant doctrine holds that justification is not based on sanctification, but that sanctification is the necessary fruit of justification. In truth, no one will see the Lord without holiness, and in this life we must strive to perfect holiness, but the Confession seems clear enough that no matter what good works we do they are always mixed in with imperfections and are accepted only by God's grace on account of a prior foundation in Christ's perfect work.

Even if one grants (and I don't see a problem with granting it) that there are "temporal penalties" for sin, there's still no room for purgatory in the Protestant view.

Alex said...

Tim,

I admit that from what I know about the Reformed view (not that I believe that there is a monolithic Reformed view), you would be saying that the inner man is impure, only declared differently than what he is in essence, and that is a sinner (we can assume that he will continue sinning up to the point of death. At the point of death, there is neither need nor value in any further purgation to actually become what he is declared to be. In essence, God overlooks the man’s sinful, impure nature, and sees his son instead, due to his son’s declaration of righteousness. How far off am I?

What happens to God’s knowledge of this man’s sinful essence in Heaven?

Churchmouse said...

Yes, we may subject Catholics to the rhetoric of those within their own camps, including our thoughts on where the rhetoric leads, but ultimately, as Tim stated, there is no room for purgatory in the Protestant view. So, if the argument begins with a preconception, forgive us if we look at it as if the proverbial frogs were coming out of your ears.

Alex said...

I should clarify that what I know about the Reformed view is very limited.

Tim Enloe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Enloe said...

Alex,

I think you're fairly accurately summarizing what I said. I'm not a seminarian or a professional theologian, so I can't parse it all out for you with the kind of precision that someone like that could, but I do think I have the basic ideas right as they were communicated to me by Reformed teachers such as R.C. Sproul and Michael Horton.

I think there are several things that give Catholics problems about the Protestant view. One is that we do not understand "grace" to be a "substance" that metaphysically "inheres" in our souls, and by which the metaphysical "quality" of our souls are judged by God such that only ontologically perfect souls can ever know the ontologically perfect God. Rather, "grace" is the unmerited favor of God, not counting our sins against us but counting Christ's righteousness for us instead.

God does not overlook or somehow excuse sin, thus perverting justice. Justice is done, but it is done to Christ not to us - because Christ is the only one who could ever bear the penalties of it. (While this is not exactly St. Anselm's view of the atonement, St. Anselm's view contributes heavily to the Protestant view.) Christ gets God's justice, and because we are "in" Christ by faith (alone), we get the benefit of mercy.

Another thing that gives Catholics problems is the idea that this is all somehow "not real" - it's just a "legal fiction," a great big play acting farce wherein God says some "mere" words and POOF! suddenly what is "real" doesn't matter anymore. But that problem is due, in our view, to Catholics not reading the Scriptural accounts of redemption on their own terms, but instead reading the accounts through non-biblical categories of thought.

Actually, when God says something, His words are no "mere" words, and so when He says something, there is no "fiction" or farce going on. God's words bring into reality what was not in reality before, so the legal declaration that if we are in Christ by faith (alone) we are not guilty of our sins is as real as anything can be.

Moreover, the Protestant definition of "faith" is not exhausted by the category "intellectual assent," but it contains psychological-emotional and volitional elements as well. "Faith" for us embraces the whole of a man, and as the (alone) foundation of the whole thing, brings about the redemption of the whole of the man. So for Protestants, the legal decree of "not guilty" is never separate from growth in actual, practical holiness, which is, as our Lord said so clearly, required for anyone to see God. Justification by faith alone inevitably produces in the one justified a holy life, of whatever quality it may be. It will always be of an imperfect quality, but that just serves to point the person back to Christ alone, in Whom all the riches of God's righteousness really and truly belong to the person himself as well.

That brings up yet another thing that bothers many Catholics, and in no small part due to the fact that Catholic polemics generally doesn't allow the Reformers to speak in their own words, but instead reads Catholic categories of thought into the Reformers' words. So when Luther says "faith alone," for instance, the Catholic hears that as "intellectual assent alone," when that is not all what Luther meant. Luther hated antinomianism, and all of his extremist sounding statements (such as "Go and sin boldly!") were aimed at the extremism of the papalist system as it existed at that time. Sometimes one has to "illustrate the absurd by being absurd," and that's a lot of times what Luther did. It was a very pastoral thing - to shock his parishioners out of their bad theology and open them up to the proper theology. At any rate, then, the proper way to view the Reformers' view is, to sum up Luther, "Justification by faith alone, but not faith that IS alone."

Hope that helps.

Alex said...

“God does not overlook or somehow excuse sin, thus perverting justice. Justice is done, but it is done to Christ not to us - because Christ is the only one who could ever bear the penalties of it.”

Did Christ pay the full penalty due to sin? Isn’t the full penalty due to sin eternal punishment in Hell? I am inquiring into what your belief of those penalties to be. Of course, is this not different from satisfying God’s wrath?

“Another thing that gives Catholics problems is the idea that this is all somehow ‘not real’ - it's just a ‘legal fiction,’ a great big play acting farce wherein God says some ‘mere’ words and POOF! suddenly what is ‘real’ doesn't matter anymore… ‘Faith’ for us embraces the whole of a man, and as the (alone) foundation of the whole thing, brings about the redemption of the whole of the man.”

I can see how using that terminology could be problematic, but again, the essence of man is not made to be righteous, but only his status is declared to be. Under your theological position the declaration of righteousness is not fictitious, man is truly declared to be, but his essence corresponds to how much or how little he has grown in holiness, and that is relative to each person. So really, does this embrace “the whole of man” as you say, regarding his entire being, or his entire status? Also, how does someone grow in holiness? Do they do so by corresponding to God’s grace?
“Justification by faith alone inevitably produces in the one justified a holy life, of whatever quality it may be.”

Am I to consider this as a spontaneous reaction? Again, what is it a reaction to, the declaration of righteousness? How does one go about being holy if grace is not, as you stated it, “a ‘substance’ that metaphysically ‘inheres’ in our souls”?

Finally, is it correct to say that in essence those in heaven are impure, but they are not declared to be in truth?

Matthew D. Schultz said...

Dozie writes:

He knows that Catholics keep his blog alive and so, he keeps manufacturing sensational baits. Leave the man alone and he will dry up on his own.

This is one Protestant who keeps his "blog alive." I would read what James Swan writes even if zero Catholics posted here.

Churchmouse said...

Matthew Bellisario states:
Where did you get those statistics from? Did you get an email from Jesus telling you how many Popes went to hell and purgatory? Maybe you had a vision in your sleep? Substantiate your comment please.

Hmmm...by the same token, I wonder where one gets the statistics of who is or isn't in heaven or hell or even purgatory, for the sake of argument. Imagine praying to a canonized saint. How do we know if they are truly in heaven? Did they get an email from Jesus? Maybe they had a vision in their sleep?

Paul Hoffer said...

Rhology wrote:

"It appears that you only read my comment and not Sungenis' in the original post. Read it and get back to me."

I write:

I re-read Mr. Sungenis's post and your comment and I stand by my statement. Your use of the word "hope" is misplaced when discussing the matter of Purgatory.

TF wrote:

"Hope of avoiding Purgatory altogether - not hope of eventually, after potentially millions of years, getting out."

I respond:

Is that is how Rhology is referring to the word "hope?" Why then connect Purgatory to Hell?

The notion that one might spend millions of years in Purgatory is flawed thinking. I realize that folks have historically thought of Purgatory in terms of temporal punishment, but that is not a dogmatic requirement. What is time to someone who is no longer a part of it? The past, present and future is all an eternal "Now" to God in heaven.

Even if time did have meaning to those in Purgatory, I would much rather be the one turning the lights out so-to-speak when leaving Purgatory after having any residual stain of sin remaining on my soul removed so that I enjoy the Beatific Vision for the rest of eternity than spending an eternity damned to suffer unremitting hellfire.

That being said, does any other Catholics commenting here find it a bit odd that our Protestant friends on this blog who adhere to Calvinistic notions of predestination have adopted Pelagian notions like Christ's sacrifice on the cross redeemed only the elect, of rigorism-that is folks deserve eternal wrath even for venial sins, and that there is no such thing as Purgatory?

God bless!

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Matt, as far as those statistics go, maybe they went through Aligheri's Divine Comedy and counted how many popes he put in hell?

God bless!

Constantine said...

Mr. Hoffer,

When did Pelagianism become Christ redeeming only the elect? That is orthodoxy. (BTW – who else would Christ redeem? Those He had not elected to be redeemed?) Pelagianism is heretical precisely because it disbelieves this and substitutes the error that man cooperates with God in salvation. Note what your first pope said: "To God's elect, strangers in the world, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood:” (1 Peter 1:1-2). Peter writes only to the elect whom God knew in advance (foreknowledge) He would save by the work of the Spirit (notice no activity on the part of man) for obedience in Him (which He prepared for us in advance).

Secondly, even folks without venial sins “deserve eternal wrath” because of their participation in original sin. (Pelagius denied this and said that only Adam had the stain of original sin.) See Psalm 143:2 or Romans 3:10. “No one is righteous; no, not one.” Because righteousness is required for heaven, those without it (i.e. everyone – with or without venial sins) are deserving of wrath. And God Himself pronounced as much in Genesis 6:5.

I’m curious what our Catholic friends would say, given the past tense writing of both Peter and Paul (Ephesians 1, Romans 8 and 9) is the need for Purgatory since clearly God’s work was finished before time and not after time.

Peace.

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Constantine:


A summary of Pelagianism for you to consider:

1. Adam was created mortal and therefore would have died whether he had sinned or not. (Denial of supernatural elevation of the first man, and thus the original justice or prenatural privileges that flowed from such elevation)

2. The sin of Adam injured himself alone, not the human race. (No original sin)

3. Infants are born in the same state Adam was before he sinned. Therefore, death, concupscience, man's damaged nature are not the result of original sin, but are a part of man's original condition.

4. Adam by his sin does not subject the whole human race to death, because Christ's Resurrection does not give new life to the whole human race.

5. Since Adam was not the cause of bodily death for any one and the death of the soul only for those who imitated his sin, but not for all. Otherwise, Adam would have more power to destroy mankind than Christ had to save it.

6. Thus, mankind is not subject to Adam's sin since all men are not spiritually reborn in Christ. Since the first Adam did not destroy man, the second Adam (Christ) is no longer all of mankind's redeemer. [In other words, the Pelagian understanding the term "elect" is the same as yours, only they take such notion to its logical conclusion asthe basis to deny original sin.]

7. Not bound any longer by Adam's sin, man, thus is free to choose to sin or not sin.

8. Only if man exercises his free choice to be without all sin, that is be perfect as God is perfect, can man enter heaven.

9. Since man is capable of choosing not to sin, it is obligatory upon man to be totally without sin in order to enter heaven. Even the most venial of sins, will bring upon a man total condemnation by God.

10. The Church consists only of those who are perfect, that is without sin. Grace comes to t hose who do not sin and consists not only of a Divine revelation, but also a sort of interior grace, viz. an illumination of the mind (through sermons, reading of the Bible, etc.), however, the latter serves not to make salutary works possible, but only to facilitate their performance.

Nope-nothing in there about cooperating with God. I think you are confusing Pelagianism with Semi-Pelagianism. Seriously, have you actually read anything about what this heresy was all about as opposed to merely hearing what some minister or internet apologist claim it was while they were castigating the "Whore of Babylon" or "Romanists" or "Popery" or "Papists" such other other similar nonsense?


If you had read what the Catholic Church actually teaches as opposed to the caricature you present, you would know that the Catholic Church teaches neither system and has on numerous occasions condemned both. In truth, it is the doctrine of Purgatory that demonstrates that Catholicism is in no way Pelagian or even Semi-Pelagian.

God bless!

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Hoffer: "The notion that one might spend millions of years in Purgatory is flawed thinking. I realize that folks have historically thought of Purgatory in terms of temporal punishment, but that is not a dogmatic requirement. What is time to someone who is no longer a part of it? The past, present and future is all an eternal "Now" to God in heaven."

I realize that there is a branch of modern Roman Catholicism that thinks that way. Apparently Mr. Sungenis is in a different (and, frankly, more traditional) branch.

He states: "All we know is that it will be a time of purgation and punishment for unconfessed venial sins." (same article)

Matthew Bellisario said...

Turretin said, "I realize that there is a branch of modern Roman Catholicism that thinks that way."

There are no "branches" of Catholicism. There are different Rites, but no "branches" which teach different doctrine or dogma. There is no "official" teaching as how to time is spent, or passes in Purgatory. It is more frequently referred to as a state of purgation, rather than an actual place. After all of the many posts on Catholicism by Turretin Fan, (Many which contain serious errors in them) he still has not grasped the difference between what is infallible teaching and what is not, or how the Church defines what is or what is not.

He seems to think that the Church must define everything down to a systematic rule. Sorry, Christianity does not work that way. There will always be mysteries of the faith which we will not comprehend until we see eternity. The rise of Protestantism is what brought in the flawed systematic way of "doing" theology. This is a western Protestant phenomenon that has never been part of the Christian faith.

I like the Angelic Doctor's assessment of Purgatory. Once again it is not the Catholics who are going against God's Divine Revelation, but the Protestants who's roots sprang from the rebellion in the 1500's who continue to do so.

"I answer that, From the conclusions we have drawn above (III, 86, 4-5; Supplement, 12, 1) it is sufficiently clear that there is a Purgatory after this life. For if the debt of punishment is not paid in full after the stain of sin has been washed away by contrition, nor again are venial sins always removed when mortal sins are remitted, and if justice demands that sin be set in order by due punishment, it follows that one who after contrition for his fault and after being absolved, dies before making due satisfaction, is punished after this life. Wherefore those who deny Purgatory speak against the justice of God: for which reason such a statement is erroneous and contrary to faith. Hence Gregory of Nyssa, after the words quoted above, adds: "This we preach, holding to the teaching of truth, and this is our belief; this the universal Church holds, by praying for the dead that they may be loosed from sins." This cannot be understood except as referring to Purgatory: and whosoever resists the authority of the Church, incurs the note of heresy."

Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas, Is There a Purgatory After This Life?

Tim Enloe said...

Wow, Mr. Hoffer, that's quite a reach trying to get "Pelagianism" out of the Reformed view of predestination. That view is mostly from Augustine, and I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that Augustine was one of the most virulent opponents of Pelagianism there was. Your summary points of Pelagianism have nothing in common with anything the Reformed believe, so I can't help but wonder if trying to see Pelagianism in Reformed predestination is just a cheap debating point.

Turretinfan said...

Bellisario wrote: "There are no "branches" of Catholicism. "

Sure there are, and it is frankly ridiculous for you to deny it. Not everything in Romanism is defined dogma, and this is one such area. When things are left undefined, branches form. In this case, some folks deny that there is time in Purgatory, some affirm that there is time in Purgatory. Those are branches - which you might be able to see if you could deal more objectively with the situation.

-TurretinFan

Richard Froggatt said...

Turretin Fan, I'm sure you would agree that not everyone in Reformed circles agrees 100% with Turretin, I'm sure there are different schools of thought regarding some of the doctrines he believed (as there are different schools of thought regarding Catholic doctrine); would it be fair to say that these differences are branches within Reformed circles? Or is this (as Tim has pointed out) a cheap debating trick?

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Tim, No it wasn't meant as a cheap debate tactic. I itemized some of the basic beliefs of Pelagians to show that Constantine's claim that Pelagian believed that man cooperated with God was not one of their tenets.

Moreover, I do not claim that Reformed Christians are Pelagians, only that they subscribe to some of the same errors. I should have been more clear on that. While a Pelagian would have no problem using the word "elect" to describe who is saved, their notion of "elect" is premised on Divine Providence and the effect of grace in nature (what they refer to as works). Whereas, both Catholics and Reformed Christians believe that the "elect" consist of those who are saved due to God's foreknowledge and decrees.

To be plain: Catholicism teaches none of the errors of Pelagius and his followers. The Reformed position does teach at least some of them: that Christ died only to redeem some men, not all; that there is no Purgatory; and that man merits damnation even for the slightest of sins (i.e. rigorism). Augustine opposed all of these errors in his writings.

Turretinfan said...

RF:

There are different branches within Reformed circles on various things. We are not a monolith on everything, though we are fairly monolithic when it comes to rejecting doctrines that lack any Scriptural basis (such as Purgatory). Thanks for your interest in the discussion.

-TurretinFan

Tim Enloe said...

Thanks, Paul. I'll leave debate of Augustine's extremely complex soteriological writings to others who are more knowledgeable than I am regarding them. However, I do have to say from my own study of Augustine's City of God that Augustine can be very ambiguous in some ways and his views can accordingly be interpreted in more than one way. So it's not for no good reason that the Reformation and Catholicism disagree strongly about some aspects of Augustine's thought and each claims him in their own way as a father of their teachings.

Tim Enloe said...

Alex, I did see your last comment to me above. Lots of good questions and also some food for thought. Unfortunately, I don't have any more time to give to it right now. Having just finished the first week of teaching at a Christian school, I'm already piled up with grading to do and lesson plans I have to rework for the following several weeks, and so forth. So, I'm sorry, but I'll have to let someone else field your questions above if they should so desire. Thanks for your cordial response!

EBW said...

Rhology,
I was quoting XIII.1&3 together.
Here the imputed righteousness of Christ is not dealt with, instead, it names the virtue of Christ's death and resurrection.

Tim,
These are the portions I conflated.
Reformed thinkers should re-examine this confession and wonder if some, or any idea of purgation is present as a theological supposition. I think that many of the methods Theonomists use in showing theonomy in WCF can be used to show a purgation.
In short, the regenerated part does overcome, grow in grace and perfect holiness. This is accomplished by a purgation through or near death. Perhaps even after death when it says the soul immediately returns to God. This doesn't include the obvious negation of another "place" (purgatory) denied by XXXII.1

steve said...

Paul Hoffer said...

"The notion that one might spend millions of years in Purgatory is flawed thinking. I realize that folks have historically thought of Purgatory in terms of temporal punishment, but that is not a dogmatic requirement. What is time to someone who is no longer a part of it? The past, present and future is all an eternal 'Now' to God in heaven."

And is it a dogmatic requirement to stipulate that those in Purgatory no longer subsist in time?

Also, even if we accept your claim that past, present, and future is [sic] all an eternal "Now" to God in heaven, what bearing does God's relationship to time have on those in Purgatory? Would you also say that those on earth don't subsist in time because past, present, and future are an eternal "Now" to God?

Dozie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dozie said...

"If you don't want to visit this blog, then don't. Follow your own advice."

Good advice and one that I intend to respect. In any case, I thought Catholics and Protestants may want to reflect on this Zenit news piece which seems to confirm what I was saying:

“Benedict XVI's closest collaborator is denying media rumors that the Pontiff is working to gradually "undo" the changes implemented after the Second Vatican Council.”

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone “highlighted some applications of the Second Vatican Council that the Pope has "promoted constantly with intelligence and depth of thought."”

“In particular, he noted the Pontiff's collaboration in "the most comprehensive relationship" with the Orthodox and Eastern Churches and the dialogue with Judaism and Islam.” http://www.zenit.org/article-26707?l=english (August 28, 2009)

With “intelligence and depth of thought”: It seems the Pope did not, after all, forget about Protestants; he must have considered them with same intelligence and depth of thought and decided not to waste his time.

Ken said...

To Paul Hoffer:
Did you notice my answers to your points at the post below?

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2009/08/church-converted-into-mosque.html

Paul Hoffer said...

Hello Mr Hays,

You asked: "And is it a dogmatic requirement to stipulate that those in Purgatory no longer subsist in time?"

Let me answer you this way:

No, as my answer pointed out. I have no problem with it even if time meant anything there.

That being said, do you believe that Christ's sacrifice on the cross is timeless?

For that matter, do you believe that those who are now in heaven no longer subsist in time? As eternal beings why would we need to measure it? Please show me anywhere in Catholic thought that suggests that those in a purgatorial state are not eternal beings, since Purgatory is nothing more than the "laundry room" of heaven where one gets cleaned up in order to properly entering it.

You asked:

"Also, even if we accept your claim that past, present, and future is [sic] all an eternal "Now" to God in heaven, what bearing does God's relationship to time have on those in Purgatory?"

My response:

See above.

You asked:

Would you also say that those on earth don't subsist in time because past, present, and future are an eternal "Now" to God?

I respond:

Of course we do subsist in time since we are still creatures and not yet been perfected in holiness. But our flesh is subject to time, our souls are not, and our resurrection bodies will not be.

I find it fascinating that someone who claims to believe in predestination have trouble with this.

Hi Ken:

No I had not seen it. Thank you for pointing it out to me. I will read it closely and try to respond to it accordingly on my own blog. I still have problems with the assumptions implicit in your historical survey that deserve more in depth treatment than I can give it in a comment box.

God bless you both!

Darlene said...

If Purgatory isn't understood in terms of time, then why is a certain amount of time referred to as regards indulgences in the "Treasury of Prayers" section of the St. Joseph's Daily Missal? (which I have in my possession)

The following indulgences are quoted from the missal mentioned above taken from the 1950 Vatican edition of the "Enchiridion Indulgentiarum." The entire missal received the Imprimatur from Francis Cardinal Spellman, Archbishop of New York on Sept 15, 1950.

For reciting the Angelus at dawn, at noon and at evantide, an indulgence of 10 yrs each time. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, if recited daily for a month.

For the Memorare, an indulgence of 3 yrs. A plenary indulgence under the usual conditions, if recited daily for a month.

For the approved litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, an indulgence of 7 yrs. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions when this Litany is recited daily for a month.

For reciting the Litany of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, an indulgence of 7 yrs. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions, if the entire Litany with the versicles and prayer are recited daily for a month.

to be con't...

Darlene said...

For reciting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, an indulgence of 7 yrs. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions, if this Litany with its versicle and prayer are recited daily for a month.

For the Litany of St. Joseph an indulgence of 5 yrs. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions, if this Litany with its versicle and prayer are recited daily for a month.

For the Litany of the Saints
a) The faithful who, on the Feast of St. Mark or during the Rigation Days, participate in sacred functions celebrated in a church or public oratory, may gain an indulgence of 10 yrs. A plenary indulgence, with the addition of Confession, Communion and prayers for the intention of the Holy Father.
b) If there is no sacred function on the aforesaid days, the faithful may gain an indulgence of 7 yrs by devoutly reciting the Litany of the Saints.
c) The faithful who recite this same Litany on any of the remaining days of the year, may gain an indulgence of 5 yrs. A plenary indulgence once a month under the usual conditions, when this Litany is recited daily for a month.

to be con't

Darlene said...

And still more to come...

A plenary indulgence for those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of the month and who assist at the public exercises in honor of the Sacred Heart, with the addition of Confession, and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father.

Those who recite devout prayers of reparation on other Fridays of the year, may gain: An indulgence of 7 yrs once on each Friday.

Those who receive Holy Communion on any of the five Fridays immediately preceding the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, may gain: A plenary indulgence, if they go to confession, visit som church or public oratory and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

And then there are indulgences for saying the Rosary:

A 5 yr indulgence for those who reverently recite five decades of the Rosary.

For those who reverently recite five decades of the Rosary in unison with others, publicly or privately, may gain an indulgence of 10 yrs, once a day. A plenary indulgence on the last Sunday of each month, with the addition of Confession, Communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory, if the Rosary is recited at least three times in any of the preceding wks.

A partial indulgence of 10 yrs., if the Rosary is recited in unison with the family. A plenary indulgence twice a month, if the same is recited daily for a month with the addition of Confession, Communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory.

Those who reverently recite five decades of the Rosary in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament either exposed publicly or reserved in the tabernacle, may gain: A plenary indulgence under the conditions of confession and Communion.

to be con't

Darlene said...

And still more....

Those who recite at least five decades of the Rosary during the month of October, either publicly or privately, may gain: An indulgence of 7 yrs, each day. A plenary indulgence, if they recite it on the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary and also during the Octave, with the addition of Confession, Communion, and a visit to a church or public oratory.

However, there IS a stipulation for gaining an indulgence for saying the Rosary while driving as it says in the missal:

"When the hands are occupied (driving a car, etc.) the indulgences for saying the Rosary may be gained AS LONG AS the beads are on one's person."

And then there is the Forty Hours' Devotion sanctioned by Pope Clement VIII, who issued a solemn Bull regarding it, on Nov 26, 1592:

"During the Forty Hours' Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, if a visit is made, during which the faithful recite five times the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be and add one Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory be for the intentions of our Holy Father, an indulgence of 15 yrs. Those who go to Confession and receive Holy Communion, may gain a plenary indulgence on each of the days of the exposition."

I could go on and on, for there are many more opportunities to get the time shortened in Purgatory through such devotions as making the Stations of the Cross, for reciting the Divine Praises, for the sick and impaired: holding a Crucifix, devoutly kissing a Crucifix, fixing their gaze upon a Crucifix, piously reciting the Our Father, Hail Mary & Glory be 20 times, .....etc., etc., etc.

It seems the Pope, the archbishop, and all the priests and theologians who contributed to the St. Joseph's Missal thought of Purgatory in terms of TIME. And they left no stone unturned in impressing upon the devout Catholic that the Church provided MANY devotions for the specific purpose of limiting one's time in Purgatory if not eliminating it altogether.

I think Mr. Sungenis is right! There is no excuse for a good Catholic to go to Purgatory. :)

Post Vat. II Catholics need to get on board!!

Paul Hoffer said...

Hi Darlene, let me be clear: I do not doubt for an instance the efficacy or validity of the Catholic doctrine on indulgences in any way, shape or form. St. Paul, himself. grants an indulgence in 2nd Corinthians. I do not disagree with the thrust of Mr. Sungenis' article. I, myself, engage in several devotions, including participation in my parish's Perpetual Adoration of the Holy Eucharist now for a number of years where an number of indulgences have been indicated.

However, I would note that you offer the readers here a mistaken view that a partial plenary indulgence knocks time off from some sort of purgatorial incarceration. Contrary to how our separated brethren here portray it, Purgatory is not a jail cell and one is not sentenced there for a set period of time as punishment for sins after one dies.

True, in the past partial indulgences were "counted" in days, weeks, months, etc... However, since there is no time in purgatory, as we understand it, the amount of time attached to a partial indulgence DID NOT remit the amount of time one spent in Purgatory. Nor was it ever understood by the ECF's to mean that. Rather, the measure of days, weeks, months, etc. was to provide an indication to the penitent of the effect of the remission of temporal punishment he would receive by completing the indulgenced act with a proper disposition or resolve not to sin any longer which corresponded to a certain amount of penance that was formerly meted out for certain sins in the early Church. In early canon law, (the canons of St. Gregory of Nyssa comes to mind), we read how penances for certain sins often took the penitent months or even years to accomplish before that sin would be forgiven and that person would then be allowed to receive all of the sacraments again.

However, with Pope Paul VI's 1968 revision of the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, this particular way of counting partial indulgences was done away. The focus of an indulgence should be more spiritual. Doing away with such counting leaves no doubt that mere rote performance of an indulgenced work would not have any salutory effect in and of itself. Rather, one receives an indulgence when the performance of an indulgenced work has the effect of causing that person to detach himself from his sins and to fix himself on God instead.

Rather than suggest that post-Vatican II Catholics need to get "on board," you should rather suggest that pre-Vatican II Catholics (of which I am one) need to get up-to-date.

God bless!