The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas
Catholic Encyclopedia Wrote:"Whereas the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has from the Sacred Scriptures and the ancient tradition of the Fathers taught in Councils and very recently in this Ecumenical synod (Sess. VI, cap. XXX; Sess. XXII cap.ii, iii) that there is a purgatory, and that the souls therein are helped by the suffrages of the faithful, but principally by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar; the Holy Synod enjoins on the Bishops that they diligently endeavor to have the sound doctrine of the Fathers in Councils regarding purgatory everywhere taught and preached, held and believed by the faithful" (Denzinger, "Enchiridon", 983).

Further than this the definitions of the Church do not go, but the tradition of the Fathers and the Schoolmen must be consulted to explain the teachings of the councils, and to make clear the belief and the practices of the faithful.


At the Council of Florence, Bessarion argued against the existence of real purgatorial fire, and the Greeks were assured that the Roman Church had never issued any dogmatic decree on this subject. In the West the belief in the existence of real fire is common.

You are demanding that Melkite accede to what the Church has never required of the faithful.  You bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on his shoulders.  You owe him an apology.

Personally, I believe in St. Catherine of Genoa's visions as being actual (if symbolical) depictions of the middle state.  But the Church does not require this belief.  All that the Church requires is belief in purgatory for the saved who need to be freed of all elements of sin, and the effectiveness of praying for the dead in this state.  That is all, and I have heard Orthodox prelates acknowledge that much, let alone Eastern Catholics like Melkite.

Messages In This Thread
Re: The Eastern Churches and St. Thomas Aquinas - by Parmandur - 02-08-2012, 04:10 PM

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)