28 March 2008, 13:38
The Moscow Patriarchate advises Protestants negating the hell to review Orthodox theologians
Moscow, March 28, Interfax –Today’s Protestant theologians negate the hell because they aren’t acquainted with the heritage of the Eastern holy fathers, the Russian Orthodox Church’s representative to the European International Institutions Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria believes.
“And today when arguing with the Middle Age hell and devil, liberal Protestants don’t trouble themselves with reviewing the Holy Fathers and their conception of afterlife retaliation,” Bishop Hilarion said in his interview to Interfax-Religion.
Thus he commented on the suggestion of some Lutheran hierarchs of Denmark to consider the hell a metaphor and the paradise - the only true reality.
According to Bishop Hilarion, such suggestions “should be considered in general context of liberalized Christian dogmatic and moral teaching” developed in many Protestant communities in several recent decades.
“Everything that makes Christianity is “inconvenient”, “uncomfortable” is being omitted, “the dark Middle Ages” heritage is cleared up. Christianity in light version is under construction and the hell and devil don’t match it,” the interviewee of the agency said.
According to him, “the Eastern Christian tradition has never considered the hell as created by God to punish sinners.”
“God didn’t create the hell, free will of people has created it. It exists not because God wants it, but because people keep it existing. They first create the hell on Earth and then carry it on to the afterworld,” the well-known Orthodox theologian stressed.
See the full text of interview under the Exclusive heading.