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Was St. Patrick Catholic?....Of Course!! [Happy St. Pat's Day] ^ | James Akin

Posted on 03/16/2003 4:47:37 PM PST by Akron Al

Was St. Patrick Catholic?

by James Akin

Patrick was born in 385 western Great Britain into a high-ranking Roman Christian family; he died in Ireland in 461, though some accounts put his death later. His grandfather was a priest and his father--Calpurnius--was a deacon, as well as prosperous nobleman and local Roman official. Patrick’s native language was Latin.

His birth name was, reportedly, Maewyn, and the Latin name Patercius (Gaelicized to "Patrick" by the Irish) was given to him by Pope Celestine just before his mission to Ireland, as a token of the fruitfulness of his future mission, which would make him the pater civium (father of the people) of the Irish race.

He writes that as youths he and his companions "turned away from God, and did not keep his commandments, and did not obey our priests, who used to remind us of our salvation" (Conf. 1). But when he was sixteen he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery, where he served as a shepherd. This revolutionized his life; his faith and zeal for God were ignited, and he spent much time praying and fasting. After six years, he escaped, being led by private revelations along a safe route back to Britain. Afterwards, he was commissioned in another private revelation to serve as a missionary to Ireland.

To prepare, he traveled to France and spent around two decades as a monk—studying, praying, and practicing penance. He was ordained to the priesthood, and in 432 was sent to Ireland to serve St. Palladius, who had been consecrated bishop and sent to Ireland by Pope Celestine. When Palladius died on a trip to Britain, Patrick was chosen as his successor and was consecrated bishop by St. Germanus, the papal representative overseeing the Irish mission.

Patrick experienced enormous success in converting the Irish, and three assistant bishops from France were sent to help him, among them St. Sechnall (aka Secundinus). Within his generation the Irish had been transformed by God’s grace into a Christian (and Catholic) people.

In 441 Patrick went to Rome to seek special approval of his ministry in Ireland, and the newly-elected Pope Leo the Great personally confirmed Patrick’s full adherence to the Catholic faith. This is significant since some today assert that Patrick was not Catholic. In this country, the challenge is mainly made by Irish Americans who have abandoned the Church for Protestantism and wish to co-opt Patrick and represent him as a non-Catholic figure.

This is an impossible task, as Patrick was a Latin-speaking Roman noble, grandson of a Catholic priest, son of a minor official of the Roman empire, who had repeated private revelations, practiced penance, spent two decades as a monk, was ordained a priest and sent to serve on the papal mission to Ireland, was then ordained bishop by a papal representative, and had his fidelity to Catholic teaching specially confirmed by Pope Leo the Great (of whom the fathers of the Council of Chalcedon cried "Peter has spoken through Leo!"). He described himself as a Catholic, and a list of canons he drew up for the Irish church orders that any dispute not resolved on a local level was to be forwarded to Rome for decision.

The two writings from his pen that survive—his Confession and Letter to the Soldiers of Coroticus—are both in Latin, and both attest to his Catholic faith. The Letter—which Patrick wrote in a blazing fury after some of his newly baptized converts had been slaughtered during a raid by a British ruler—records his belief in the episcopacy, the ministerial priesthood, confirmation, the value of monks and nuns, purgatory, priestly absolution, and "doing hard penance" (the last two, he said the murdering soldiers needed). His later Confession has a mild tone (not being a response to a massacre) and mentions many of the same Catholic distinctives, as well as fasting, loss of salvation, and Patrick’s many private revelations. Another important source is a Latin hymn written in praise of him by his assistant bishop Sechnall, who records many of Patrick’s beliefs, among them the sacrifice of the Mass, merits, the fact the Church is built on Peter, and baptismal regeneration.

Any disgruntled claims that Patrick was not Catholic are just blarney.

(A version of this article appears in the March 1997 issue of This Rock magazine.)

Some Quotes

St. Patrick

St. Sechnall

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Of course, the 10,000 heretical sects that call themselves Christian today were mostly invented in the last fifty years and none of them even existed back then. So, of course, he was Catholic.
1 posted on 03/16/2003 4:47:37 PM PST by Akron Al
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To: Maximilian; Notwithstanding; Salvation; patent; Diago; Askel5; Siobhan; Maeve; Polycarp
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
2 posted on 03/16/2003 4:49:11 PM PST by Akron Al
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To: Akron Al
Thanks Al. I agree with you about these recently invented sects.

How silly.

Have a great St. Patrick's Day.
3 posted on 03/16/2003 7:51:41 PM PST by Diago
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To: Akron Al
This thread sounds like the middle east. There is no need to attack fellow Christians. It is just stupid to argue over things that happened 500 years ago. Let's all just get over it already. We laugh at the people in the Middle East for fighting over things that happened hundreds of years ago, but then we do the same. Who cares what church St. Patrick went to! As long as he was a Christian, that is all that matters.
4 posted on 03/16/2003 7:57:47 PM PST by ACAC
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To: Akron Al
Top of the nornin' to you, Akron Al!
5 posted on 03/17/2003 12:27:45 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Akron Al

St. Patrick A Baptist!

by Dr. L. K. Landis

For centuries Roman Catholicism has laid claim to the supposition that Patrick of Ireland was a Roman priest. However, over 100 hundred years ago W. A. Jarrel, much respected author and church historian, put into print what had been known by Baptists since the very beginning, that Patrick was not a Catholic priest, but rather a Baptist missionary. It is because of this much neglected fact that we put into print this material so that this present generation may know the truth and great heritage of this early Baptist missionary to Ireland. So zealous were these historians of the 1800's and so spirited was their conviction to this that one wrote, "Rome's most audacious theft was when she seized bodily the Apostle Peter and made him the putative head and founder of her system; but next to that brazen act stands her effrontery when she 'annexed' the great missionary preacher of Ireland and enrolled him among her saints" (A Short History of the Baptists [1907], Henry C. Vedder, pg. 71-72).

Most church historians agree that Patrick, originally named Succat (or Succathus) Patricus, was born sometime between the years 360 AD and 387 AD, probably near what is now Dumbarton, Scotland. It is also generally accepted by those knowledgable of the subject that he lived to a well advanced age, some placing him at over 100 years old at the time of his death.

Cathcart, the dean among Baptist apologists, suggests that Patrick is not his name, but rather a title of honor meaning noble and illustrous and was bestowed upon him by his grateful admirers (The Baptist Encyclopedia [1881], by William Cathcart, pg. 886). His writings reveal that his father, Calpurnius, was a deacon in a Baptist church (we know that there were Baptist churches on the British Isle as far back as A.D. 63, History of the Welch Baptists [1770], by J. Davis, Page 14), having apparently been converted to Christ while on a business trip to Rome as he also served as a Roman civil officer. In spite of being reared in a godly home and taught the ways of the Scriptures, Cathcart also states that the young Patrick was "...wild and wicked until his sixteenth year..." when, while working on his father's farm, he and several others were seized and carried away captive by a band of pirates to Ireland, where he was sold into slavery to a petty Irish clan chieftan. For over five years he suffered the atrocities of slavery. Later, however, he would recount that it was during this most dark period of his life that he, himself, was converted to Christ remembering the Christian training he had received from his godly father while but a child.

Regarding this, W. A. Jarrel wrote over one hundred years ago, "...the truth which saved him when a youthful slave in pagan Ireland was taught him in the godly home of...his father" (Baptist Church Perpetuity or History [1894], W. A Jarrel, pg. 472).

Historians also record that "...upon his twenty-first year, he escaped the chains of servitude..." and returned to his father's home in Scotland, only to find that he had died and his land acquired by others. It was during this time that Patrick, "being a stronger Christian, the Lord soon called him back to Ireland as the missionary for that blinded country" (Ibid.). Jarrel further suggests that the more one studies the life, ministry and writings of this Irish "apostle", "...the more he stands out as a Baptist." He, Jarrel, is perhaps among the greatest authorities on the subject of Saint Patrick, as one full chapter of his makes several suggestions as to why Patrick could not have been a Roman Catholic priest:

1. "At the time of Saint Patrick the Romish church was only en embryo".

2. "In St. Patrick's time the authority of the bishop of Rome was not generally recognized."

3. "There is no history to sustain the Romish claim that Patrick was sent to Ireland by Pope Celistine." Not one of the early biographers of his life mentions any ties to Rome. Even in all the writings of Saint Patrick himself there is never any mention of connection with Rome.

Neander, the church historian, wrote, "If Patrick came to Ireland as a deputy from Rome, it might naturally be expected that in the Irish church a certain sense of dependence would always have been preserved towards the mother church. But we find, on the contrary, in the Irish church a spirit of church freedom, similar to that in Britain, which struggled against the yoke of Roman ordinances. We find subsequently among the Irish a much greater agreement with the ancient British than with Roman ecclesiastical usages.

This goes to prove that the origin of the church was independent of Rome, and must be traced solely to the people of Britain... Again, no indication of his connection with the Romish church is to be found in his confesssion; rather everything seems to favor the supposition that he was ordained bishop in Britain itself" (Neander's History of the Christian Church, Volume 2, page 123).

Another Irish scholar says, "...Leo II, was bishop of Rome from 440 to 461 A.D. and upwards of one hundred and forty of his letters to correspondents in all parts of Christendom still remain and yet he never mentions Patrick or his work, or in any way intimates that he knew of the great work being done there."

Professor George T. Stokes, still yet another prominent scholar, declares that prior to the synod of Rathbresail in A.D. 1112, the rule of each Irish church was independent, autonomous, and "...dioceses and diocesan episcopacy had no existence at all."

Considering these indisputable and undeniable facts, it is impossible for Patrick to have been the patron Roman Catholic saint of Ireland. The material is just not there to substantiate any such claim. Baptist pastor, author and historian Gillham says that in the middle of the nineteenth century, Baptists universally accepted the fact that Patrick of Ireland was of apostolic tradition and therefore a Baptist. It was also commonly accepted that the baptism of the heirs to his ministry were also investigated and found to be New Testament in origin. It was only during these last 150 years that Baptists have been willing to relinquish Patrick to the hands of the papacy.

However, the insurmountable evidence of his position among the Baptists of antiquity comes from the writings of this great man himself. While several letters written by Patrick and sent to Christians converted to Christ under his ministry still exist, most of what we know of his beliefs are taken from two documents that he wrote: St. Patrick's Confession, or Epistle to the Irish; and an "Epistle to Coroticus." In these two writings that still survive, it becomes very apparent that this great preacher was not of Roman Catholic persuasion. He was a Baptist through and through, holding recognized Baptist positions on all the cardinal doctrines. Consider these eight (8) conclusive reasons why Saint Patrick was a Baptist!

Number One: St. Patrick Baptized Only Professed Believers

Contrary to Catholic dogma, which teaches that infants are to be "baptized", in all of Patrick's writings he does not mention one single incident when he baptized an infant, much less someone who had not professed Christ as their Saviour. Patrick records the baptism of one convert named Enda the night after his infant son, Cormac, was born. What an ideal opportunity to record the baptism of an infant, and yet Patrick makes no mention of it at all.

Only Enda, a professed believer; not his infant son who could make no claim of Christ. In all of his writings, the great Irish preacher never mentions or even alludes to pedobaptism (the baptism of infants). In fact, each time he refers to baptism at all he calls those ready for the ordinance of baptism "baptized captives", "baptized handmaidens of Christ", "baptized women distributed as rewards", "baptized believers", "men" and "women." In one place, Patrick wrote, "Perhaps, since I have baptized so many thousand men, I might have expected half a screpall [a coin worth six cents] from some of them..." Notice that he refers to having baptized " many thousand men..", no infants, but men; adult, professing, believing, responsible men. Another place he writes, "So that even after my death I may leave as legacies to my brethren...whom I have baptized in the Lord, so many thousand men." Again he acknowledges the fact that he has baptized thousands of men, but not one infant.

Number Two: St. Patrick Baptized By Immersion Only

This has been a leading principle among the Baptists since the days of the Apostles and still is today. Again, in all of his writings there is not one shred of evidence that the Irish preacher knew anything of sprinkling. All of the records of his baptisms tell of immersion. Cathcart (along with Nennius, Todd, O'Farrell and other church historians) records one such instance, "When the saint entered Tirawly, the seven sons of Amalgaidh assembled with their followers. Profiting by the presence of so vast a multitude, the apostle entered into the midst of them, his soul inflamed with the love of God, and with a celestial courage preached the truths of Christianity; and so powerful was the effect of his burning words that the seven princes and over twelve thousand more were converted on that day, and were soon baptized in a spring called Tobar Enadhaire" (The Baptist Encyclopedia [1881], by William Cathcart, page 887). Dr. Cathcart further states, "There is absolutely no evidence that any baptism but that of immersion of adult believers existed among the ancient Britons, in the first half of the fifth century, nor for a long time afterwards."

In 1631 the English Baptists discovered, and subsequently corresponded with, small communities of Baptists in Ireland and found them to be sound. These churches, located in Dublin, Waterford, Clonmel, Kilkenny, Cork, Limerick, Galloway, Wexford, Carrick Fergus and Kerry are listed in Joseph Ivimey's comprehensive History of the English Baptists [1811], Volume 1, Pages 240-241. It is believed that some of these churches had histories dating to the time of Patrick. Many of them can substantiate and confirm their claims of such for nearly 1100 years, which places them within two hundred years of Patrick.

Number Three: In Church Government,

St. Patrick Was A Baptist During his ministry, Patrick is recorded to have "founded 365 churches and consecrated the same number of bishops, and ordained 3,000 presbyters (Ancient British and Irish Churches, William Cathcart, page 282). Anglican Bishop Stillingfleet refers to an account of a great council of Brevy, Wales at which there were 118 Irish bishops. Noting that if these were Catholic bishops this little island was in danger of "...going to seed --- in bishops." Other historians concede that "...Saint Patrick placed a bishop in every church which he founded; and several presbyters after the example of the New Testament churches." One such scholar, a Dr. Carew of Maynooth, admits that a bishop "...was simply the pastor of one congregation." The Catholic and protestant idea of a bishop being the head over several churches in different cities was totally unknown among those early churches on the British Isles. This can be confirmed from writings of Irish clergymen dated from A.D. 1112 and reconfirmed from the same in A.D. 1057.

Number Four: Patrick Was A Baptist In Independence From Creeds, Councils, Popes, etc.

Patrick never attended one council and recognized no authority over him, save that of the Lord Jesus Himself. There is not any evidence whatsoever that even remotely suggests that the famed Irish preacher acknowledged any man to be of superior authority, power or position than he. He recognized no Pope. He recognized no Cardinal. In all of his writings it cannot be found where one time he subscribes to even the most insignificant and remote catechism, creed, or dogma of the Roman Catholic system. Of all the great Christians that Patrick refers to in his letters, he never pays homage to any Pope, nor mentions any man as being superior in church clergy. Instead, the great Irish missionary speaks of his love, regards, and terms of affection for those men whom had been ordained as pastors of the churches he founded. Upon the authority of the little Baptist church in Scotland where he was saved and from which he received his commission much as did Paul and Barnabus (Acts 15:22).

Number Five: In Doctrine

Patrick Was A Baptist In all of his writings, all of the doctrine that Patrick espouses adherence to is consistent with historic Baptist doctrine. The venerable preacher wrote, "It is Christ who gave His life for thee (and) is He who speaks to thee. He has poured out upon us abundantly the Holy Spirit, the gift and assurance of immortality, who causes men to believe and become obedient that they might be the sons of God and joint heirs with Christ." In this one statement, Patrick alludes to six (6) major Baptist doctrines:

a. Patrick believed in the substitutionary atonement of Christ. He did not believe that salvation comes through catechism, communion, confession or christening. He believes what Baptists have always believed, that all are saved by the Grace of God, through faith in His Son, coming in repentance, and by His blood. William Cathcart wrote, "There is no ground for doubting but that he preached the gospel of repentance and faith in Ireland, and that his ministrations were attended by overwhelming success" (The Baptist Encyclopedia, page 887).

b. He believes in the free gift of the Holy Spirit which comes to the believer at the moment of salvation. He does not believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit is a separate work of grace, nor is He manifested by speaking in tongues (John 14:16).

c. He also firmly conveys the message of the eternal security of the believer in that those who are genuinely saved have put on immortality (II Timothy 1:10).

d. He confirms his belief that men must be drawn by God in order to be saved (John 6:44).

e. Patrick affirms his conviction in the sonship of the believer (John 1:12). He believes that while Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, every true believer in Christ is also a son.

f. And the great Irish theologian attests to the fact that all believers are joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). Patrick's doctrine is also recorded by his disciples. Comgall writes, "religion does not exist in bodily efforts..." Muirchu states that the ancient poet Dubthac was redeemed under the ministry of Patrick and that he "...first on that day believed in God and it was imputed to him for righteousness" No mention of baptism for salvation. No mention of a confessional. No mention of communion. Patrick taught his disciples well that salvation comes only by and through the grace of Almighty God.

Number Six: In Terms Of The Lord's Supper, Patrick Was A Baptist.

From his writings we know that he rejected the Roman Catholic view of salvation in the ordinance. Also from his writings, we know that Patrick believed that the believer himself should partake of both elements of communion, the bread and the cup, and not just the administrator exclusively. In writing of the conversion of the two daughters of Irish King Loeghaire under his ministry, Patrick tells them to put away their idols and trust Christ alone. His instructions to them regarding the Lord's Supper is that they receive both elements representative of His body and blood.

Number Seven: Patrick Rejects The Roman Catholic Dogma Of Transubstantiation

Patrick believed that the elements were only pictures of Christ's body and Christ's blood. Dr. Jarrell wrote, "In all the descriptions of the Eucharist quoted there is no evidence that it is...", or literally becomes the flesh of Christ and His blood. The elements are merely symbols of such.

Number Eight: Patrick Never Affirmed His Belief In, Or Adherence To, Many Crucial Catholic Pecularities

St. Patrick was a Baptist and the first Irish churches were Baptist churches. He knew nothing of priestly confession and priestly forgiveness. He was not acquainted with extreme unction. He strictly forbade the worship of images. Never once did he instruct his converts that they were to pay homage to Mary or worship her. He never mentions the intercession of Mary or of any departed saint. In all of his writings there is no mention at all of purgatory, of indulgences, of keeping holy days, of praying to anyone but God Himself, of the persecution of opposers of the church, of distinguishing clerical garments, of the rosary, of last rites, of mass, of allegiance to the Pope. None of these crucial Catholic doctrines and dogmas were practiced by or even mentioned by the great missionary to Ireland.

It is my firm conviction that it has sufficiently been shown that Saint Patrick was not a Roman Catholic in doctrine or practice, but rather an early Baptist preacher following in the footsteps of the Apostles themselves, believing what they believed, practicing what they practiced. In conclusion, it seems that the words of W.A. Jarrell on this subject are most fitting, "Were Patrick not turned to dust, and were the body able to hear and turn, he would turn over in his coffin at the disgrace on his memory from the Romish church claiming him as a Roman Catholic" (Baptist Church Perpetuity or History, page 479).

Return To Distinctly Baptist

Nothing like an alternate viewpoint.............

6 posted on 03/17/2003 5:46:02 AM PST by fishtank
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To: Akron Al
Of course, the 10,000 heretical sects that call themselves Christian today were mostly invented in the last fifty years and none of them even existed back then. So, of course, he was Catholic.

Could you give a few specific names of the 10,000 heretical sects? I am interested to know what a Catholic considers heretical.


7 posted on 03/17/2003 6:03:48 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: drstevej; CCWoody; RnMomof7; Elsie; Corin Stormhands; Jael; jude24; LiteKeeper; freedom9; ...
8 posted on 03/17/2003 10:18:53 AM PST by fishtank
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To: fishtank
Don't ping me to this type of nonsense.Your no longer Catholic and that's ok.You have free will.If your going to leave the Church, then leave it 100%.Let the past lie.I wish you the best on your spiritual journey.
9 posted on 03/17/2003 10:44:40 AM PST by Codie
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To: Codie
Your you're.
10 posted on 03/17/2003 10:49:02 AM PST by fishtank
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To: fishtank
You're correct.Now scratch your mad place and be happy. ;)
11 posted on 03/17/2003 10:57:26 AM PST by Codie
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To: fishtank
Nice "alternative" viewpoint! For one thing, the stuff about "Enda" being baptized is purely made up... and then elaborated on by the guy who wrote the piece you quote.

There are only TWO documents that survive which were penned by St. Patrick - his Confession and also the letter to Coroticus. Neither mentions anyone named "Enda" but they do mention penance, losing one's salvation and being judged by works... doesn't sound like St. Patrick was a baptist...

12 posted on 03/17/2003 11:06:21 AM PST by american colleen (Nihil curo de ista tua stulta superstitione.)
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To: fishtank
This is satire, right?
13 posted on 03/17/2003 11:11:00 AM PST by Flying Circus
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To: Akron Al
Actually, St. Patrick, Enlightenter of Ireland, confessed the Nicaean Creed without the filioque, the innovation adoption of which by the Popes of Rome plunged the western patriarchate into heresy. In his day, 'catholic' and 'orthodox' would be used interchangably.

As the words are currently used in common usage, there is a better case to be made for St. Patrick being Orthodox.

14 posted on 03/17/2003 2:03:47 PM PST by The_Reader_David
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To: The_Reader_David
Ah, the old filoque debate. To quote Scripture, which is something Catholics aren't known for doing, let's go to John 20: 22-23. "And when He [Jesus] had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.'"

If the holy Spirit comes from God the Father, how can Jesus say this? It is through the doctrine of the Holy Trinity that Christians, and Trinitarians specifically, state that the Three Persons are One God. Since the Three are One, Jesus can do this, and therefore, Spirit can proceed from both the Father and the Son. Saying the Spirit proceeds from the Father is correct, but also saying that it proceeds from the Father and the Son is also correct.

15 posted on 03/17/2003 2:22:11 PM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
". . .even the Spirit of Truth, who proceeds from the Father."

The Holy Fathers at Constantinople in 381, completing the Creed begun at Nicaea in 325, thought it right to speak of the Spirit proceeding from the Father (alone), even as Our Lord did. The Holy Fathers at Ephesus declared the Creed unchangable.

You cite a temporal event: the Gift of the Spirit to the Apostles in time. The filioque confounds the temporal mission of the Spirit, which is through the Son (as St. Maximus the Confessor observed, striving in charity to find an Orthodox reading for the western innovation), with the Eternal Procession, which is from the Father. This confusion of the temporal and eternal, of the Uncreated with the created (or the relationship of the Uncreated and created) is the root of all Western departures from the Orthodox Faith (including created grace, of which purgatory is the most well-known example, and the false papal ecclesiology).

I pray that you will get the chance to debate your interpretation of Scripture with the Harps of the Spirit in the Kingdom. For my own part, I will reply, as St. Aleksander Nevsky did to the Crusaders, "The Traditions of the Seven Councils we scrupulously keep."

16 posted on 03/17/2003 2:47:28 PM PST by The_Reader_David
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To: The_Reader_David
This confusion of the temporal and eternal, of the Uncreated with the created (or the relationship of the Uncreated and created) is the root of all Western departures from the Orthodox Faith (including created grace, of which purgatory is the most well-known example, and the false papal ecclesiology).

I'm curious. What is the Orthodox objection to created grace, and in particular purgatory? I have an understanding of some of the issues that Orthodoxy has with Catholic ecclesiology.

I pray that you will get the chance to debate your interpretation of Scripture with the Harps of the Spirit in the Kingdom. For my own part, I will reply, as St. Aleksander Nevsky did to the Crusaders, "The Traditions of the Seven Councils we scrupulously keep."

I hope that my imperfection and the stain of sin on my soul will be overcome by the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ. As for the Crusaders who sacked Constantinople, I think that it was an unforunate incident in the history between the Christian East and the Christian West. To speak for myself, I have the utmost respect for Orthodox Christianity.

17 posted on 03/17/2003 3:01:02 PM PST by Pyro7480 (+ Vive Jesus! (Live Jesus!) +)
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To: Pyro7480
The Orthodox understanding of grace is as participation in the Uncreated Energies of God. Created grace (including the existence of a created place or state of purgation) separates our salvation from God's direct activity. The reasoning used to support the notion (at least as reported in The Catholic Encyclopedia) is effectively the reasoning of monophysitism applied to those growing into the likeness of Christ rather than to Christ Himself.

As applied to purgatory, St. Mark of Ephesus, wrote that "there is only one fire," by which he meant the River of Fire in the Last Judgement. (The Orthodox understanding of the Last Judgement draws heavily on the vision of the Holy Prophet Daniel.) The Fathers understand the River of Fire to be the Energies of God, indeed the Father tell us "The fires of hell are the love of God."

The patristic dictum, "What He is by nature, we shall become by grace," depend on grace being in fact Divine, Uncreated, not created.

Incidentally, St. Alekander's reply was to the Teutonic Knights, who went Crusading against the pagans of the Baltic region and then turned against Holy Russia.

18 posted on 03/18/2003 7:03:43 AM PST by The_Reader_David
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To: Akron Al

BTTT on Memorial of St. Patrick, 03-17-05!

19 posted on 03/17/2005 6:38:11 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Akron Al

BTTT on the Optional Memorial of St. Patrick, March 17, 2006!

20 posted on 03/17/2006 8:31:18 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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