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 Post subject: What does it mean...
PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:00 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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in the Apostles Creed, when it says Jesus descended into hell?

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:02 pm 
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Hell="hades, place of the dead." He descended into the place of the dead and preached to the spirits in prison.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:19 pm 
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Blondie:

If you have a Catholic Catechism I would refer you to 632 to 635, or you can read it here online: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p122a5p1.htm#p1

A quote from that site:

"Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him." That is one of the sentences from that site.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:32 pm 
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Was it purgatory?

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:50 pm 
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No, because purgatory is only for those bound for heaven. I'm not sure when purgatory came into existence.

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 10:59 pm 
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So, was this place Jesus descended to, is it no longer in existence?

Also, that verse about Jesus preaching to those in prison always confused me. Were these souls not bound for heaven? Was there no one in heaven before Jesus became flesh? Except for the angels, and God of course?

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PostPosted: Sun May 01, 2005 11:26 pm 
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I think it's usually referred to as "Abraham's bosom" where the just who waited for Him waited because they were born in sin, almost like a vestibule to Paradise barred for them by the angel guarding it but opened by Jesus; from what i have read elsewhere, there was no pain, but there was the "waiting", i.e., the anticipating of the coming of the Messiah to free all men. NOW, whether or not it was only the just--prophets, judges, patriarchs, the just--or ALSO those who would eventually be comdemned to hell waiting in this vestibule (neither hell nor purgatory) is another question: was there hell (as in pain and punishment eternally) before Christ's Resurrection, or was hell also a product of Jesus opening Paradise? I don't think so. I think there was always a hell, but the promise of heaven had to be prepared; philosophically, I THINK that the proposal that there was no hell until the Resurrection suggests that God postponed any acts of justice until Jesus conquered death,... I think the baddies went to hell immeidately after Judgment but the just waited SO THAT they could be taken up to heaven with/by Jesus in his Glorious Ascension (which is what Bonaventure tells us in his Sermons). This prophetically anticipates OUR waiting now in the Church on earth until the Second Coming.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 3:34 am 
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As has been mentioned already this was refferred to as Abraham's bosom or the Limbo of the Fathers. It is comparable to the concept of "sheol" meaning the place of the dead that exists in greek mythology/religion. You are correct in saying that it no longer exists. No one was able to enter heaven or purgatory before Our Lord had died and paid our debt. OTOH the damned had nothing to wait for and went to "their place".

St Peter says in his first epistle:
Quote:
"being put to death indeed, in the flesh, but enlivened in the spirit," Christ went and "preached to those souls that were in prison, which had been some time incredulous, when they waited for the patience of God in the days of Noah" (I Pet 3:18-20).


It should be noted that the term "preached" should be understood as meaning proclaimed or announced and not meaning that the people in question had the decision to accept or reject him there.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 12:02 pm 
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You are correct in saying that it no longer exists. No one was able to enter heaven or purgatory before Our Lord had died and paid our debt. OTOH the damned had nothing to wait for and went to "their place".


bonaventure, you are ever so wise....
Thank you, it is perfectly consistent with Jesus having full control of His Father's Kingdom and all justice being His to exercise.

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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2005 7:26 pm 
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As far as when the docterine of Purgatory came into existance I would refer to this text and webpage:

1030 All who die in God's grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.[Cf. Council of Florence (1439): DS 1304; Council of Trent (1563): DS 1820; (1547): 1580; see also Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000] The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire:[Cf. 1 Cor 3:15; 1 Pet 1:7]

http://www.cin.org/users/james/files/how2purg.htm

Also refer to

This teaching is also based on the practice of prayer for the dead, already mentioned in Sacred Scripture: "Therefore [Judas Maccabeus] made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered from their sin."[2 Macc 12:46]

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