August 12, 2011

The Salvation of the Soul According to the Jerusalem Synod of 1672

The Definition of the Local Synod of Jerusalem in 1672 (Article XVIII) says the following:

We believe that the souls of those that have fallen asleep are in repose or in torment, depending on their actions; because as soon as they are separated from their bodies, they immediately enter into a condition of either joy or sorrow and sighs, although they are admittedly not in perfect bliss or condemnation. After the general resurrection, however, when the soul will be reunited with the body, depending on whether it behaved with a good or evil disposition, every soul will obviously receive the completion of bliss or condemnation. Those who corrupted themselves with mortal sins and did not leave this life in a condition of desperation, but repented while they were still in the life of the body, without however producing any fruit of repentance (i.e. shedding tears, bowing the knee in prayer, grieving with full consciousness and showing their love toward God and neighbor in deeds), they will go with their souls to Hades and will receive the punishment that befits the sins they committed. These souls, however, will have the sense of their deliverance from this condition. They will be delivered by the infinite goodness of God, through the prayers of the priests, which are requested by the relatives of those who have departed from this life. Especially potent is the bloodless Sacrifice, which is offered by each of us for his relatives and daily by the Catholic and Apostolic Church. Naturally, we know that the time of the acquittal of each one that has fallen asleep is unknown to us. We only know, then, and believe and have no doubt at all that these souls will be delivered from the torments before the resurrection and the final judgment.