Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Catholic faith
On death, free will and a reverse purgatory
• One can hope that there are no humans in hell but has to believe in the terrifying possibility of going there
• The notion of praying somebody out of hell sounds nice but that would violate free will — God lets you say no to him, which is also why apocatastasis (ultimate salvation of all), which likewise sounds nice, is heresy. (Some church fathers believed in it but they of course could be wrong, proved so by defined doctrine and Catholic consensus.)
The Revd James Konicki writes:
I specifically remember a dialog on the possibility of losing salvation once you have attained heaven. If the beatific vision precludes using free will to choose other than God, then why Lucifer? If it does not, are people changing their option as it were? I remember, at the time, the thought scared me....
AFAIK once people are in, they get to stay and of course wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.
You may also recall a recent on-line conversation about perditory – a sort of purgatory that burns away any remaining good before one reaches hell.
I’d not heard of that before. Have you?

I agree with Fr Tucker that as speculation it’s orthodox as is the idea from the church fathers (St Isaac the Syrian) that heaven and hell may be people’s different reactions to the Light of God.

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