Archbishop Alexander Golitzen: Universal Salvation?

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10 Responses to Archbishop Alexander Golitzen: Universal Salvation?

  1. Well, this is quite different from, “Oh, that’s heresy. Next topic.” I don’t get the sense he’s desperate to call a council and excommunicate Hart. Of course, I respectfully disagree with his assessment of Maximus!

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  2. Fr Aidan Kimel says:

    If it is now possible in Orthodoxy to say that we may hope for the salvation of all, but we must not teach it as doctrine, then the obverse must also hold: we may fear that some will be damned, but we must not teach it as doctrine.

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    • My current thesis is that “hope” is primarily Balthasar’s word that Ware used and now lots of Orthodox repeat endlessly. But if you look at Gregory or Isaac, or Origen, they never say they “hope” it’s true. They acknowledge everywhere that it’s their personal opinion, a “theologoumenon,” but you don’t see the type of language Ware or Balthasar use anywhere in their writings, with the exception of one passage from Origen I am aware of. So what if we say we can’t teach it as dogma, but saying “all WILL be saved” can be a theologumenon that is an acceptable belief. Ware denies that Nyssen was condemned and this IS what Nyssen believed. I’m all for proper ecumenism, but I feel like “hope” is a Catholic word that Orthodox mistakenly believe constitutes their own tradition. I LOVE Met. Kallistos, but yeah, I think his phrase has gotten far too much publicity.

      That’s my two cents at least.

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      • Robert Fortuin says:

        Alas, the dogmatic impulse runs too deep, too fast for some to allow a theological opinion on such a most pressing subject.

        You are right of course, “hope” is not only not what one will find in Nyssen’s or Isaac’s work for instance, but “hope” makes non-sense of the character of God (is He good, or not – let’s hope so!) His eternal purposes, and our ability to know Him to be worthy of our trust.

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        • joel in ga says:

          “Dogmatic impulse”–great phrase!

          Similarly, do we need a dogma added to the Creed that, e.g., we will see our beloved pets and other animals at the resurrection? Pious belief in this area is strong and sufficient. We know our God is more loving than we are.

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  3. John Burnett says:

    [ Fyi, he spells his name “Golitzin”. ]

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Counter-Rebel says:

    We can only hope that God is loving, but can’t teach it as doctrine? I think the archbishop’s stance is a step forward, but it doesn’t go far enough.

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    • Cameron Davis says:

      I had the same general thought: we can only hope god gets his way/succeeds/makes all things new/eliminates evil/eradicates death/defeats sin/wipes away every tear. Real inspiring stuff.

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  5. I am disappointed, to say the least. Surely Bishop Alexander knows that Sheol, Hades, Tartarus, and Gehenna do not mean the same thing as the English word for Hell. Also, being a Maximus scholar, I’m sure he is aware that Maximus can be (and often is) read as being a subtle supporter of Universalism. (See, for example, the many works of Ilaria Ramelli.) However, I also understand that Bishops are not entirely free to speak plainly. In their political role, bishops strive to keep the peace; in their pastoral role, bishops gently feed the sheep. I do not have a pastoral role, so I don’t mind if my speaking the truth is offensive. The bishop has different concerns.

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