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Mother of God - Mary!

From: Christopher Beattie 
Subject: Re: Mother of God - Mary!
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 1997 14:15:41 -0500

Evan Kalenik wrote:
> I am asked why do we pray for the dead if there is no Purgatory?  The
> real question is why did the Church, for the first thousand years pray
> for the dead.  We still pray for the dead.  But now the Roman Catholic
> Church equates praying for the dead with purgatory, as if that is the
> only reason to pray for the dead.  But for a thousand years the Church
> in Rome, as did the rest of the Church, prayed for the dead.  This
> prayer was done before Purgatory was dreamed up.  The question is why
> did they?                                                                       
And the answer is?  I notice you still didn't answer the question.
Why does the Orthodox Church pray for the dead?
To be more precise, when a person dies, where is his soul?  In heaven,
or in Hell, or in none of the above?  If the answer is the latter, then
what is a saint?  By definition saints are those holy souls in heaven.
On the other hand, if they are either in Heaven or Hell, then why pray
for them?  Those in Heaven do not need prayers, rather they are in a
position to pray for others. (see Revelation on the prayers of the
Saints in Heaven.)  Those in Hell, likewise will not benefit
from any prayers either.  Close your eyes, but these questions do not go away.
Now, in order to understand the "Catholic" doctrine of Purgatory, we
have to turn the way back machiene real back, back to even before the
beginnings of the church itself.  You see Purgatory has its origins
in our Jewish roots.

Quote from 

I was told that devout Jews believe in purgatory. Is this

In essence, yes, though they do not call it purgatory. Jews
do believe in a purification (a purgation) which takes place
after death. When a Jewish person's loved one dies, it is
customary to pray on his behalf for eleven months using a
prayer known as the mourner's Qaddish (derived from the
Hebrew word meaning "holy"). This prayer is used to ask
God to hasten the purification of the loved one's soul. The
Qaddish is prayed for only eleven months because it is
thought to be an insult to imply that the loved one's sins
were so severe that he would require a full year of

The practice of praying for the dead has been part of the
Jewish faith since before Christ. Remember that 2
Maccabees 12:39-46, on which Catholics base their
observance of this practice, show that, a century and a half
before Christ, prayer for the dead was taken for granted.

So Evan, the Church has always prayed for the souls of the
faithful because it was custom for Jews to pray for the
souls (as can be seen in Maccabees) to PURIFY them.

That is why the Orthodox Church prays for the dead, tradition.

That's a problem with tradition, especially oral.  If you don't
ask WHY the why gets lost.  Then when someone reminds you of the
why, you get upset.

> I ask that question because if you examine why the Church prays for the
> dead, which is why the Roman Catholic Church before she came up with
> Purgatory prayed for the dead, you will see the same questions that I
> and others have over this new belief that never existed in the Church.                                                               
But as you see, the Catholic Church didn't come up with Purgatory.

Scriptural References to Purgatory from

Purification necessary for heaven. Heb 12:14. Rev 21:27.
An intermediate state of purification. Mt 5:26. Lk 12:58-59.
Degrees of expiation of sins. Lk 12:47-48.
Can be aided by prayer. 2Mac 12:45.
After expiation - Heaven 1Cor 3:15.
temporary agony 1 Cor 3:15; Mt 5:25-26 
no forgivenessin this age nor in the age to come. Mt 12:32 
limbo 1 Pet 3:19 (see also the Catechism of the Catholic Church
nothing unclean shall enter heavenRev 21:27
2 Mac 12:43-46 sacrifice for the dead.
2 Cor 5:10, Rev. 5: 2,3 Rev. 5:23, Phil 2:10, Matt 18: 23-25 Luke 23:42, these verses speak
of a reality beyond the two realms of Heaven and Earth a place between or near.

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