A lot of Eastern Orthodox seem to be universalists.
#11
(01-11-2016, 12:03 PM)Melkite Wrote: I'm confused, does Western Catholicism teach that not everyone will even get the opportunity to be saved?

By the Church's current official spelling out of the story, this is is fulfilled right now. It is contra the Church Father St. Augustine who taught massa damnata, with everyone not baptised being damned, even infants. However it seems a fairly appropriate development.
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#12
(01-11-2016, 12:01 PM)Leonhard Wrote:
Quote:Finally, there is in the west more of a dichotomy between the monastic life and the lay life than there is in the east.  In the east, the "rules" apply to everyone equally -- the fasting, the spiritual exercises, et cetera.

I didn't know this was how it worked... but I also know this isn't actually the case either. A lay person in the eastern orthodox church talks to his pastor and they agree on what the person is obligated to follow... I think that's my impression of how its supposed to work.

That is how it works.  In Eastern Orthodoxy, certain jurisdictions are stricter, like ROCOR, than say, the GOA.  So, it may be less likely for a parishioner to be given a dispensation by the pastor from some or even all of the fasting rule, but throughout it is still a given that it is up to pastoral discretion.  In the East, fasting is for our spiritual growth alone, not an obligation due God.
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#13
(01-11-2016, 12:06 PM)Leonhard Wrote: By the Church's current official spelling out of the story, this is is fulfilled right now. It is contra the Church Father St. Augustine who taught massa damnata, with everyone not baptised being damned, even infants. However it seems a fairly appropriate development.

Which is appropriate, that everyone is given the opportunity, or that not everyone is?
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#14
(01-11-2016, 12:09 PM)Melkite Wrote: Which is appropriate, that everyone is given the opportunity, or that not everyone is?

The former is, I understand why St. Augustine argued what he did, but I believe he was sincerely and innocently wrong.
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#15
(01-11-2016, 12:01 PM)Leonhard Wrote: I didn't know this was how it worked... but I also know this isn't actually the case either. A lay person in the eastern orthodox church talks to his pastor and they agree on what the person is obligated to follow... I think that's my impression of how its supposed to work.

Both your statement and mine are correct.  The liturgy, fasting, and spiritual practices are the same high-bar for everyone in the Orthodox Church.  However, these are tempered for both monks and laity by obedience to the rule set by the person's spiritual father. 

In the west, we have been crippled by pietism, an import from Protestantism, so that we have negated much of the group-salvation idea best expressed by Dostoevsky when he wrote, "There is only one way to salvation, and that is to make yourself responsible for all men's sins."  So in the west, we have a tendency to engage in individualized spiritual practices and self-imposed penances and fasts.  This is not the way the Church generally operates, if one recalls a time when everyone actually fasted during Lent instead of the pietistic current reality where people "give something up." 

But, back on the original topic of universalism, I don't think there is anymore tendency to this heresy in the east than there is in the west.  The saints of both groups take a more limited understanding of salvation, and many people within each group reject that limited salvation because it does not meet with their wish that all people be saved.  In reality, the Catholic Church teaches a rather limited salvation, but one hardly ever hears that. 

In sum, one hears the same sort of universalist nonsense from Orthodox as one hears from Catholic prelates.  Laity like these ideas because it relieves them from responsibility for themselves and their loved ones, and it plays to the emotions and sentimenality.  The fact that the saints, those closest to God, have a more limited understanding of who is saved should be enough to convince us that universalism is wrong, but sentimentality is very strong, especially when it is supported by most in the Church and prevalent in our cultural milieu.
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#16
(01-11-2016, 12:15 PM)Leonhard Wrote:
(01-11-2016, 12:09 PM)Melkite Wrote: Which is appropriate, that everyone is given the opportunity, or that not everyone is?

The former is, I understand why St. Augustine argued what he did, but I believe he was sincerely and innocently wrong.

If everyone was given a positive opportunity to reach salvation through the normal means (that is, the Church and her Sacraments), then the Church would not have a teaching on the possibility of salvation for the invincibly ignorant.  It follows then that all people have the opportunity to be saved, whether through ordinary or extraordinary means. 

The Church allows for debate on the issue of predestination in terms of whether all men are predestined to be saved or whether there is predestination of the saints such that their salvation is assured from all eternity.  Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange has a book on predestination that sets out a Thomistic understanding of predestination, for example.  As I understand it, there is no doctrine on this that must be believed since there are different theological schools.
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#17
(01-11-2016, 12:16 PM)ermy_law Wrote: In the west, we have been crippled by pietism, an import from Protestantism, so that we have negated much of the group-salvation idea best expressed by Dostoevsky when he wrote, "There is only one way to salvation, and that is to make yourself responsible for all men's sins."

Okay this is going way off track now. I'm neither sure how what the Church does is an import from protestantism, why that would be wrong, or even what the quote from Dostoevsky means, or what it entails that we should do. You think my OP was a complex, that one paragraph could have been six threads.

Quote:But, back on the original topic of universalism, I don't think there is anymore tendency to this heresy in the east than there is in the west.

I might grant this, though the Church does spell out specifically what it is what you're supposed to do. Die in a state of grace. It also tells you how to accomplish this, and that if one fails in it, one will go to hell. I can point to what the Church actually teaches on this. What would an eastern brother respond to another brother regarding universalism?

Quote:The saints of both groups take a more limited understanding of salvation,

To both salvation was hard, and the more perfect you were the harder it was. St. Alphonsus de Ligouri said that to a monk, even failing to strive for perfection would become a mortal sin (contra for lay people), and that the sins of lust would claim most souls. And a story I heard about an eastern monk recounted that he had been tempted to go to his death bed, but then said to himself 'not yet', and then... somehow... chose not to die and practiced his piety and finally died and achieved salvation then.

Both considered it hard. At least with western spirituality, I know what I'm supposed to do. I'm not sure what I'd do in the Eastern spirituality, other than despair.
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#18
(01-11-2016, 12:31 PM)Leonhard Wrote: I might grant this, though the Church does spell out specifically what it is what you're supposed to do. Die in a state of grace. It also tells you how to accomplish this, and that if one fails in it, one will go to hell. I can point to what the Church actually teaches on this. What would an eastern brother respond to another brother regarding universalism?

The most likely response, and the one I received from my spiritual father when I was Orthodox, has to do with the necessity of living a life of repentance.  So, baptism is necessary for salvation and life is all about repentance.  Since we cannot know whether we have attained theosis (since knowledge of the attainment would be spiritual pride or a demonic trick), we are to continually live a life of repentance -- that entails a life of prayer, confession, and Eucharist. 

The Orthodox priests that I knew would say that universalism is false and that only members of the Orthodox Church can be saved.  They would further say that not all Orthodox will be saved, but only those living the life of repentance and taking part in the sacraments of the Church.

Does that help?

Here's an article that might be of interest from a rather mainstream and well-known Orthodox priest: http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxya...-triodion/

That article is part of a series, so you might go back and read the preceding articles to get the whole picture.

http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxya...versalist/

http://blogs.ancientfaith.com/orthodoxya...versalism/
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#19
Thank you, I will read those.
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#20
*subscribed*
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