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Question 405

Hi, Father Christopher, we are taught that God loves mankind. My question is why won't God forgive the fallen angels and provide a way for them to receive forgiveness? Since notwithstanding God's love for mankind, He loves all His creatures.  



Answer to Question 405


 The Church clearly teaches that fallen angels, demons, are definitively separated from God; they cannot repent from their sin, as we can. I read the reason somewhere, but cannot remember, but I think it was from St. John of Damascus in his An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith. 


If I remember correctly it has to do with their spiritual nature. Man can repent because of the weakness of his body, but once there is a separation of the soul from the body then the possibility to repent ceases, thus repentance is connected to the material body. An angel, because he has no body, is not disposed to repentance. It is the body that makes repentance possible in man, the angels having no body makes repentance impossible for them.


But I would also say that when Satan and his angels were created they were continually in Godís presence and had knowledge of the glory of God. Therefore, they had no excuse for rebelling against God and turning away from Him. They were not tempted. Lucifer and the other angels rebelling against God despite what they knew was the utmost evil. 


Also if they had the opportunity to repent, would their pride allow them to ask forgiveness? I think that it is not a case of God not loving his creatures or showing mercy, but the irrevocable character of their choice to rebel against God.