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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Why wasn’t Origen, the most prolific writer of Christian antiquity, canonized?

Question:

Why wasn’t Origen, the most prolific writer of Christian antiquity, canonized?

Answer:

Origen (185-254) was born in Egypt. In 230 he visited Palestine and was ordained. Much of his teaching was condemned during and after his lifetime, so few of his many writings remain, except as quoted in the works of other writers.

A chief reason for Origen’s non-canonization is that he believed in the apokatastasis, which is the idea that in the end all people and all angels, even the fallen ones, will return to their pristine spiritual state. They will end up in heaven, though after much purgation. In the end, hell, if it exists at all, will be empty, and everybody will be saved. It was a fine theory. The only thing wrong with it was that it was untrue. Our Lord repeatedly taught that hell exists, that Satan and his minions are there, that some (even many) people will be consigned there, and that it will last for all eternity.

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