The Eastern Patriarchs on Purgatory

The Eastern Patriarchs to the English Non-Jurors 1721

As for the purgatorial fire, invented by the Papists to command the purse of the ignorant, we will by no means hear of it. For, it is a fiction and a doting fable, invented for lucre and to deceive the simple; and in a word, has no existence but in the imagination. There is no appearance nor mention of it in the Sacred Scriptures or Holy Fathers, whatsoever the authors or abettors of it may clamor to the contrary. But we say, that the benefactions and holy sacrifices, the alms and prayers of the Church and her priests for the dead, are the things that greatly profit them; and not the purgatorial fire, which does not by any means anywhere exist. For, these relieve the pains which the souls endure in Hades, as is plain from the Centurion, whose son our Lord healed at the Centurion’s petition, and from the Paralytic, whom He recovered by a double cure for the faith of those that brought him to Him, and might be proved from a thousand other instances as clear as the sun. (The Answers of the Orthodox of the East to the Proposals sent from Britain for Union and Agreement with the Oriental Church: Answers to Proposals 9, 10, 11 and 12)

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