Author Topic: Apocatastasis  (Read 662 times)

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Offline SeanJohnson

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Apocatastasis
« on: May 12, 2021, 08:25:56 AM »
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  • I was rather surprised to learn that many of the early Fathers believed in the doctrine of “apocatastasis” (ie., hell is temporary), including Origin, St. Jerome (Doctor), St. Gregory nαzιanzen (Doctor), St. Gregory of Nyssa (Doctor), St. Clement of Alexandria, and several others.

    Apparently, it was not until this doctrine was anathematized at the Ecuмenical Council of Constantinople that it vanished:

    https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01599a.htm

    My point in bringing it up are the recent seeming attempt to rehabilitate Judas, which in light of Constantinople would be formally and explicitly heretical (ie., not merely against a more common opinion).

    The alleged temporary nature of hell was revived by several prominent conciliar fathers and theologians, including even the once-great Jacques Maritain, and I’m betting these contemporary “rehabilitators” of Judas (and even of Satan himself) are pretending to discover some latitude or variant in the condemned doctrine of apocatastasis as their “justification.”
    Romans 5:20 "But where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."

    -I retract any and all statements I have made that are incongruent with the True Faith, and apologize for ever having made them-

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #1 on: May 12, 2021, 10:56:46 AM »
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  • Apart from the fact that there are some issues with interpretation, and possibly interpolation of Patristic texts, I think that the big issue the Fathers had with the eternity of evil is that they believed it incompatible with the perfection of God and goodness of His creation for evil to endure.  Some of the Fathers speculated that these evil would be converted, others that they would be annihilated.

    I think that this issue was largely solved by St. Augustine, who adamantly affirmed that evil has no positive existence, that it's merely a privation of a due good.  To the extent that even the damned continue to exist, their existence is good.  So with this understanding of evil, there's no more need to posit the existence of the positive evil for all eternity.  Their intellectual faculties are good, as are their free wills, in and of themselves.

    There was also the consideration of the fact that God is Love, and that He wouldn't punish just for the sake of punishment.  Indeed, since God is Love and is a perfectly Simple Being, whose every act (such as you can speak of God, since God doesn't act, really, but just IS) is both perfectly loving and perfectly just at the same time.  It's really only in our anthropomorphist view of God where we think of Him as sometimes being angry/wrathful and at other times being loving/merciful.  He's always perfectly both at the same time.  It is only quoad nos that we perceive God to be either loving or wrathful, but God is perfectly simple quoad se.

    So some of the Fathers rightly had an issue with imagining God loving with His One Hand, but then being an eternal torturer of souls with His Other Hand.

    Here's how I look at hell.  I actually believe that the fires of hell are in fact nothing other than the burning pain caused by the love of God in those who refuse to accept it.  Here's an analogy I like to make.  I love listening to Gregorian chant and also to classical music.  But while this brings me great pleasure, it causes revulsion in others, those who just like rock music.  I know that when I was younger, before my sensibilities had been tuned, I hated listening to the opera that my dad like to listen to.  Being made to listen to it for 5 minutes was torture.  Similarly, I love going to Mass and I love spending time in prayer.  But there are some for who that is torture.  Even if they reluctantly go to Mass, they're watching the seconds tick by and can't wait to get out of there.  So people develop their sensibilities, their likes and their dislikes, during the course of their lives.  God is Who He is, and He doesn't change.  So when souls pass into eternity, they either have developed a love for Who God is or a revulsion toward Him.  And this revulsion toward God is what effectively causes their eternal torment.

    I forget which saint it was who asked God why He sent souls to Hell, since He was all good.  So God told her to pick a soul from Hell and that He'd put him in Heaven.  So God did, and the soul cursed and blasphemed because he absolutely hated it there.  So the saint asked for Him to at least put him in Purgatory, in part where he didn't suffer as much.  He hated that as well, complaining that he was neither here nor there but caught in between.  Then God told the soul that He gave him perfect freedom to go wherever he wanted, and he dove right back into hell.  Souls in hell are there because they WANT to be there.  I am absolutely certain that God would open up the gates of heaven even to the damned if they actually wanted to be there or could want to be there.


    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #2 on: May 12, 2021, 10:57:26 AM »
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  • Lesson to be learned here:

    Not all the theological speculation of some Church Fathers is considered evidence of Divine Revelation.

    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #3 on: May 12, 2021, 11:38:14 AM »
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  • Lesson to be learned here:

    Not all the theological speculation of some Church Fathers is considered evidence of Divine Revelation.
    God is merciful AND Just. The non eternity of Hell ands its punishments is an affront to His Justice. 
    I know the heretic Hans von Balthasar said God would reach down Into the depths of hell, and the sinner would be overwhelmed by the divine love whereupon there be no resistance to God at this point. Maybe von B should of concentrated on Holy Writ a tad more but these theologians twisted Scriptures to match their philosophy and theology.
    Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris
    Qui non est alius
    Qui pugnet pro nobis
    Nisi  tu Deus noster

    Offline Prayerful

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #4 on: May 12, 2021, 11:48:34 AM »
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  • This seems to be the core of Bishop Barron's 'dare we hope?' stuff.

    Not a word on the later condemnation of apocatastasis.


    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #5 on: May 12, 2021, 12:24:55 PM »
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  • This seems to be the core of Bishop Barron's 'dare we hope?' stuff.

    Not a word on the later condemnation of apocatastasis.
    Barron is a modernist as we can see. I would pursue the source and flavour of his modernist influences. Better the devil you know vs don’t know, and in spiritual combat we need to know what the enemy field Marshalls are up to.
    Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris
    Qui non est alius
    Qui pugnet pro nobis
    Nisi  tu Deus noster

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #6 on: May 12, 2021, 12:50:35 PM »
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  • God is merciful AND Just.

    Yes, but all at the same time.  There isn't this merciful side of God and then his just side.


    Offline Yeti

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #7 on: May 12, 2021, 01:14:01 PM »
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  • Here's how I look at hell.  I actually believe that the fires of hell are in fact nothing other than the burning pain caused by the love of God in those who refuse to accept it.
    .
    This idea is very popular with the modernists, Ladislaus. I'd be wary of that one.
    .
    Here's what Fr. Ludwig Ott has to say in his excellent work, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:
    .

    Quote
    The fire of hell was conceived by individual Fathers such as Origen and St. Gregory of Nyssa, and by later Theologians, like Ambrosius Catharinus, J.A. Mohler and H. Klee, in a metaphorical sense as a symbol for purely spiritual pains, especially for the torments of the gnawing of conscience. This opinion has not been formally condemned by the Church. [Wow, great endorsement!  :laugh1:] The majority of Fathers, the schoolmen and the majority of modern theologians believe it to be a physical fire, but stress the difference between this fire and ordinary fire. St. Thomas, following the precedent of St. Augustine and St. Gregory the Great, explains the effect of physical fire on a purely spiritual essence as a binding of the spirits to material fire, which acts as an instrument of the Divine penal justice. Through it the spirits are made subject to matter and hindered in their free movement.


    Online Stubborn

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #8 on: May 12, 2021, 01:22:53 PM »
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  • "As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear..."  - Sr. Lucia

    The Highest Principle in the Church: "We are first of all under obedience to God, and only then under obedience to man" - Fr. Hesse

    Offline Yeti

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #9 on: May 12, 2021, 01:45:51 PM »
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  • "As Our Lady spoke these last words, she opened her hands once more, as she had done during the two previous months. The rays of light seemed to penetrate the earth, and we saw as it were a sea of fire. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke now falling back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear..."  - Sr. Lucia
    .
    Yup. Pretty much this. It says nothing about being made to listen to music they don't like.

    Offline ByzCat3000

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #10 on: May 12, 2021, 01:50:26 PM »
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  • I forget which saint it was who asked God why He sent souls to Hell, since He was all good.  So God told her to pick a soul from Hell and that He'd put him in Heaven.  So God did, and the soul cursed and blasphemed because he absolutely hated it there.  So the saint asked for Him to at least put him in Purgatory, in part where he didn't suffer as much.  He hated that as well, complaining that he was neither here nor there but caught in between.  Then God told the soul that He gave him perfect freedom to go wherever he wanted, and he dove right back into hell.  Souls in hell are there because they WANT to be there.  I am absolutely certain that God would open up the gates of heaven even to the damned if they actually wanted to be there or could want to be there.
    I think this is  true, but its inconsistent (at least from a probability standpoint) with the kind of rigorous EENS you hold to.

    It seems *highly* implausible that there are no souls among the Eastern Orthodox, the Protestants, even non Christian religions, who ultimately, at the end of the day, *would* want Catholicism if they knew it was true and what God wanted.

    Granted, I suppose you could fall back on "well we just can't try to fully understand God" but I suspect this may have been why Lefebvre thought as he did about EENS.


    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #11 on: May 12, 2021, 02:53:28 PM »
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  • Yes, but all at the same time.  There isn't this merciful side of God and then his just side.
    Exactly. In excess of one or the other is where the or at least a problem is to be found.
    Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris
    Qui non est alius
    Qui pugnet pro nobis
    Nisi  tu Deus noster

    Offline Kazimierz

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #12 on: May 12, 2021, 02:59:07 PM »
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  • .
    Yup. Pretty much this. It says nothing about being made to listen to music they don't like.
    Listening to Greta Thurnberg 24/7 would be a fitting earthly hellish experience.
    Da pacem Domine in diebus nostris
    Qui non est alius
    Qui pugnet pro nobis
    Nisi  tu Deus noster

    Offline 2Vermont

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #13 on: May 12, 2021, 03:11:35 PM »
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  • Listening to Greta Thurnberg 24/7 would be a fitting earthly hellish experience.
    :laugh1:
     How DARE you?
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17

    Offline Ladislaus

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    Re: Apocatastasis
    « Reply #14 on: May 12, 2021, 03:18:00 PM »
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  • .
    Yup. Pretty much this. It says nothing about being made to listen to music they don't like.

    :facepalm: ... that was a metaphor, illustrating the notion that something good can cause happiness and pleasure in one subject, but unhappiness and displeasure in another, depending on their dispositions.

    God doesn't go from one emotional state to another.  He doesn't change at all.  So I'm proposing that God's Love is what causes these souls to burn.