Dumitru Staniloae: Does God Remember the Damned?

Eclectic Orthodoxy

In the midst of his exposition of of Christ’s individual judgment upon the soul, Fr Dumitru Staniloae observes that “while the Holy Fathers make Christ’s judgment dependent upon human beings’ works during their lives on earth, the funeral prayers and hymns—imbued with pity for him who departs, and with a humble understanding of human weakness—place the emphasis almost exclusively on Christ’s forgiveness. They shine a brighter light upon Christ’s active role at the judgment, and they do so in order to affirm the hope that Christ will make use of His mercy in forgiving the deceased” (The Experience of God, VI:62).

Up to this point Staniloae has been relatively content to articulate the faith of the Church by appeal to the Holy Fathers. As we have seen, he has presented us with a stark picture regarding the eternal destiny of the departed—only those who die in a state…

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