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Purgatory

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Other Orthodox believe in the "[[Aerial Toll-Houses|toll gate]]" theory by which the dead go to successive "toll gates" where they meet up with demons who test them to determine whether they have been guilty of various sins during life and/or tempt them to further sin.<sup>[http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/Seraphim_Rose#Criticism_.26_debate]</sup> If they have not repented and been absolved of those sins, or if they give in to sin after death, they will be taken to Hell.
Some Church Fathers, such as st. Cyprian and blessed Augustine of Hippo, seemed to believe in a purification after death. Anyqay, the character of this purification is never clarified, and especially (as st. Mark of Ephesus underlined at the Council of Florence) it seems there's no true distinction between heaven, hell and the so-called purgatory: all souls partake differently in the same mystical fire (which, according to st. Isaac the Syrian, is God's Love)but because of their spiritual change they are bound to different reactions: bliss for those who are in communion with him; purification for those in the process of being deified; and remorse for those who hated God during their earthly lives. Because of this confusion and inability of the human language to understand these concepts and have a certain traditional belief on life after death, the Church refrains from any theological speculation, just reaffirming the unbroken Tradition of prayers for the dead, the certainty of immortality, the inexistence of reincarnation and the communion of the saints, both dead and alive, in the same Body of Christ which is the Church. Private speculation is thus still possible as it was in the time of the Church Fathers.
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Some Church Fathers, such as st. Cyprian and blessed Augustine of Hippo, seemed to believe in a purification after death. Anyqay, the character of this purification is never clarified, and especially (as st. Mark of Ephesus underlined at the Council of Florence) it seems there's no true distinction between heaven, hell and the so-called purgatory: all souls partake differently in the same mystical fire (which, according to st. Isaac the Syrian, is God's Love)but because of their spiritual change they are bound to different reactions: bliss for those who are in communion with him; purification for those in the process of being deified; and remorse for those who hated God during their earthly lives. Because of this confusion and inability of the human language to understand these concepts and have a certain traditional belief on life after death, the Church refrains from any theological speculation, just reaffirming the unbroken Tradition of prayers for the dead, the certainty of immortality, the inexistence of reincarnation and the communion of the saints, both dead and alive, in the same Body of Christ which is the Church. Private speculation is thus still possible as it was in the time of the Church Fathers.
==Sources and further reading==
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