According to Fr. Thomas Hopko, it is a universally held Orthodox idea: http://audio.ancientfaith.com/illuminedheart/hopko_tolls.mp3
- Fr. Thomas Hopko actually says that the idea of a struggle with demons at death as a final purification is a widely held idea. He does not even mention many of the doctrines being supported on this page, like bargaining for sins. And he explicitly denies that the number or "physical form" of the toll-houses should be taken literally.Mad2physicist 15:31, July 10, 2010 (UTC)
- So? Frjohnwhiteford 17:19, July 10, 2010 (UTC)
Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos agrees. The very most retired Archbishop Lazar Puhalo disagrees. That does not disprove the point. Nothing is universally held if by that we mean that one cannot cite an example of someone who doesn't hold it. Criticism of the Toll Houses is very recent, and frankly flies in the face of the Patristic, liturgical, and iconographic tradition of the Church. Frjohnwhiteford 19:05, January 31, 2009 (UTC)
- I honestly don't know enough about it to make a ruling either way, myself. But I do know that this is controversial in our time. Much of the article reads as though it is not.
- It would probably be worth it at least to state as much, as well as to add nuance to the "pro" side of the question, e.g., whether it is to be understood strictly literally, etc. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 21:08, January 31, 2009 (UTC)
I think that there should at least be a section discussing the fact that many of the supporters of this notion do not support the detailed vision of Gregory as being in any way literal. Also that many of them do not support the idea that sins can be "bargained for" with good deeds. In fact Gregory's vision deals with unconfessed sin in a way that contradicts the Mystery of Confession, since in the prayer there the priest prays for the forgiveness of sins "both confessed and unconfessed." In any case, many of those who support the idea are really only supporting the earlier Patristic sayings about a struggle with demons at death, and not at all supporting Gregory's version. This is not at all clear in the current article.Mad2physicist 15:31, July 10, 2010 (UTC)
- That vision is only one part of a very large picture of evidence. There is no reason why it should be singled out as if it was *the* toll house tradition. Frjohnwhiteford 17:19, July 10, 2010 (UTC)
So the sense of the article is that there's one person who disagrees with a teaching held with universality, antiquity, and consent. Should it be mentioned that Abp. Lazar was actually commanded by his then-governing synod not to teach his view of this? And forgive me, I don't know a lot about how to do these edits. I would be interested to see a section on the 20th teachers, and have more quotations back and forth from either side. For instance, why isn't St. John (Maximovitch) cited? What about Elder Ephraim? What about Fr. Dumitru Staniloae? or St. Justin Popovich? Is there really a controversy other than us here in the utter backwaters of Orthodoxy, in America, where we get so much wrong about the Orthodox mindset anyway? isaakios 11:27, October 11, 2010 (UTC)
Unilateral edits asserting this is a fringe teaching
If presbyer3 wants to add some material showing that there are those who disagree with the Toll-Houses, then let him do so. But to claim that this is a "fringe" teaching is absolutely nonsense. Frjohnwhiteford 18:42, December 21, 2009 (UTC)
- Do you have actual evidence that this is universally held within the Church? The fact that several Russian bishops support it and that ROCOR censored the idea of "soul sleep" hardly means that the full Gregorian version of this is widely held. As I said above, there's good reason to believe that the idea of some kind of struggle with demons at death is widely held, but nothing more. Especially not the "bargaining for sins" with good deeds, an idea which does not show up in any other part of Orthodox doctrine except here.Mad2physicist 15:31, July 10, 2010 (UTC)
It is apparent from multiple forums and writings that there is no universally held position regarding the "Toll Houses" in the Orthodox Church, therefore, until such time that a council is held by the Church to issue an stand on the issue, it is a matter of personal opinion. [unsigned comment User:Peteprint
- There are people in the Orthodox Church who believe that some people are born homosexuals, and that living in a committed homosexual relationship is not a sin. Do we have to wait for an Ecumenical council to tell us whether it is or not? I don't think so. That's not how we approach the Orthodox Tradition. Frjohnwhiteford 12:13, June 8, 2010 (UTC)
Why are the supporters of the Toll House theory so adamant that it has to be a dogma of the Church?
Someone has a dream, reports it to someone else, then it continues to be referred to as fact. I assume that others, such as St.Theophan believed the theory because they were taught it was true. That does not make it so. The toll-house theory undermines the saving work of of our Lord Jesus Christ. Where a man ends up as a result of the particular judgment will be His decision, and not the result of any actions by demons operating toll-houses in the air. It is unfortunate, but even in the Orthodox Church some myths and false "visions" have entered the popular imagination, just as such things have infected the Roman Church.
If some in the Church are bent on believing such myths they have the right to do so, since the Church has not issued a dogmatic ruling on such subjects. What I do not understand is why they become so livid when these myths are denied by others in the Church. They are obsessed with forcing others to accept them as fact.
According to Metropolitan Anthony of Kiev, the first Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, "The toll houses? Something the village people might believe in."