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Author Topic: Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?  (Read 35683 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #180 on: January 09, 2009, 04:44:52 PM »

That assumes that adam and eve didn't need grace either, but what is grace but God himself? If Grace is God himself, then to live without grace is to live without God. Yet, we were made for God. We were made for grace. Thus to be with out grace is a corruption of our souls. Thus, even with the immaculate conception, which is the presence of Sanctifying grace in here soul, Mary would have to choose to remain in that grace. I.E. sinlessness cannot happen without grace period.

How do we define grace is the question then. I shall have to do some reading on this and get back to you. I know that Thomist theology has both Angels and Adam and Eve as being recipients of grace even though they have not fallen but it was a development of the middle ages and it would be interesting to see why it developed and what from. I'll get back to you soon on this!
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« Reply #181 on: January 09, 2009, 05:52:52 PM »

That assumes that adam and eve didn't need grace either, but what is grace but God himself? If Grace is God himself, then to live without grace is to live without God. Yet, we were made for God. We were made for grace. Thus to be with out grace is a corruption of our souls. Thus, even with the immaculate conception, which is the presence of Sanctifying grace in here soul, Mary would have to choose to remain in that grace. I.E. sinlessness cannot happen without grace period.

How do we define grace is the question then. I shall have to do some reading on this and get back to you. I know that Thomist theology has both Angels and Adam and Eve as being recipients of grace even though they have not fallen but it was a development of the middle ages and it would be interesting to see why it developed and what from. I'll get back to you soon on this!
I look forward to your response. It is my understanding that Eastern Orthodox theology views grace as God himself, uncreated, the divine energies. If I am wrong please correct me. I like this approach and I don't actually think that its incompatible with the western view of grace. In the west when we speak of created Grace, we are not talking about the substacne itself, i.e. God's life that is placed in us. That would have to be uncreated. But we are talking about the state of having that uncreated life in us. The state of being in that grace (the "State of Grace) is created because that state could not have existed until there were persons to be in that state. Thus when the East speaks of Uncreated Grace and the West speaks of Created Grace we are not contradicting one another because we are talking about tow different things altogether.
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« Reply #182 on: January 09, 2009, 06:07:24 PM »

Father Bless,

It's interesting you posted this on the broad because I was fortunate to have my Priest over last night for the Blessing of our Home and afterwards we sat down for a small meal and a conversation concerning our conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy (Russian via OCA). I admitted to him my difficulty in shaking off Classic Catholic teaching of Original Sin and my views of the BVM as immaculate. We talked about St. Cyprian and Augustine... our Parish is named after St. Cyprian so it was a saint we were both familiar with.

I deeply wish that you and the other members here could help me come to a more comfortable understand of the nature of Original Sin in light of the teachings of St. Cyprian and St. Symeon the New Theologian. At the present moment I don't think that I could, in good conscience, disavow the teachings of the West. I don't believe that Rome has be faithful to the continuity of Holy Tradition but I do have deep reservations with the elusive teachings of Original Sin taught by many Orthodox. I'm not trying to be obstinate but I find it difficult to grasp.
To tell you the truth, I don't believe I am capable of conveying in one or two written paragraphs what your priest has failed to convey in a face to face conversation in the course of an evening.  Get back to him and ask him to help you out out some more.
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« Reply #183 on: January 09, 2009, 06:11:20 PM »

The "Immaculate conception" from a Catholic point of view (from my understanding, correct me if I am wrong) is that Mary was born without sin or the potential to sin.
Actually, we Catholics do NOT deny that Mary had the potential to sin. She absolutely had this potential because she had free will. Rather than removing the potential for sin, Mary was created in the same state as Adam and Eve who were quite capable of sin. The grace of the immaculat conception just preserved Mary from inheriting a fallen nature.
That all being said, Catholics do believe that Mary never sinned.

Which Catholics?  I take it you mean Roman Catholic.
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« Reply #184 on: January 09, 2009, 07:25:02 PM »

I look forward to your response. It is my understanding that Eastern Orthodox theology views grace as God himself, uncreated, the divine energies. If I am wrong please correct me. I like this approach and I don't actually think that its incompatible with the western view of grace. In the west when we speak of created Grace, we are not talking about the substacne itself, i.e. God's life that is placed in us. That would have to be uncreated. But we are talking about the state of having that uncreated life in us. The state of being in that grace (the "State of Grace) is created because that state could not have existed until there were persons to be in that state. Thus when the East speaks of Uncreated Grace and the West speaks of Created Grace we are not contradicting one another because we are talking about tow different things altogether.

Papist, please be aware that this thread is on the Faith Issues board, because the issue of whether we Orthodox are free to accept the theory of the Immaculate Conception is fundamentally a question internal to the Orthodox faith.  This question is not really open to dialogue with Catholics such as yourself.  If you feel it necessary to correct a misconception, please do.  Just don't go any farther in an attempt to dialogue with us here on this issue.  That's what you have the Orthodox/Catholic (public) and Orthodox/Other Christian Private boards for.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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« Reply #185 on: January 09, 2009, 07:40:54 PM »

Father Bless,

It's interesting you posted this on the broad because I was fortunate to have my Priest over last night for the Blessing of our Home and afterwards we sat down for a small meal and a conversation concerning our conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy (Russian via OCA). I admitted to him my difficulty in shaking off Classic Catholic teaching of Original Sin and my views of the BVM as immaculate. We talked about St. Cyprian and Augustine... our Parish is named after St. Cyprian so it was a saint we were both familiar with.

I deeply wish that you and the other members here could help me come to a more comfortable understand of the nature of Original Sin in light of the teachings of St. Cyprian and St. Symeon the New Theologian. At the present moment I don't think that I could, in good conscience, disavow the teachings of the West. I don't believe that Rome has be faithful to the continuity of Holy Tradition but I do have deep reservations with the elusive teachings of Original Sin taught by many Orthodox. I'm not trying to be obstinate but I find it difficult to grasp.
To tell you the truth, I don't believe I am capable of conveying in one or two written paragraphs what your priest has failed to convey in a face to face conversation in the course of an evening.  Get back to him and ask him to help you out out some more.

That is fine Father. I nothing if not patient. I'll have a chance to talk with him at Great Vespers this weekend. It's not something that is prohibiting me from continuing to participate with the community of St. Cyprian's but I don't see my entry into Orthodoxy furthered without more help. I welcome you're prayers.
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« Reply #186 on: January 09, 2009, 08:05:35 PM »

As Moses and Elias were only mortal men, wouldn't they have suffered the same fate as all those who came before Christ, including death?

As Moses and Elias were only mortal men, wouldn't they have suffered the same fate as all those who came before Christ, including Adam and Eve, who were only freed from Hades when Christ descended there?  If that is true, how then could they have been present at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13 and Mark 9: 2-13)?  (Sep. ’01)

Let's deal with the easy one first.  The glorious Prophet Elias (or Elijah) did not die, therefore his soul was never in Hades!  Yep. You can read the story of his ascent into heaven via a "chariot of fire" in II Kings (2:1-12).  He will descend from heaven to earth to prophesy again before the Second Coming of Christ and will be killed at that time.  The Prophet Elias is one of the "two witnesses" St. John the Theologian writes of in the eleventh chapter of Revelation.  (By the way, the other witness" who will return to earth and be killed is Enoch, the only other human that did not yet die.  Read the entire fifth chapter of Genesis and you will discover that while all others are noted as having "died," Enoch is described as having "walked with God.")

Now to the holy God-seer Moses.  We can read of Moses' death and burial (by none other than God Himself!) in the book of Deuteronomy (34:1-12).  He Who buried him is He Who has the power to call his spirit to Tabor for a very special purpose. You see, Moses is symbolic of the Law  which was given to him by God on Mount Sinai, while Elias is symbolic of all the Prophets.  Together they represent the entire Old Testament, and thus together represent the fullness of the revelation of God to Israel. There on Mount Tabor in Galilee, Jesus, Who is the Fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, meets with those who in their persons stand for the Law and the Prophets.  The two who met God on Mount Sinai now meet Him again on Mount Tabor.  Elias the Prophet is temporarily sent from heaven since it was prophesied that his return would precede the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5 & 6), and Moses is temporarily called from Hades to confirm that those held captive there shall be freed by Christ and that the dead shall rise in Him.  The appearance of the one tells the holy Apostles Peter, James and John that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ), while the appearance of the other tells these three chosen disciples that He will defeat death and raise the dead.
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« Reply #187 on: January 09, 2009, 08:38:19 PM »

no.
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« Reply #188 on: January 09, 2009, 08:49:28 PM »

no.

You know what, I saw the name fatman as the last post on this thread and I was hoping for a strong and conclusive answer and you have done just that. Do you see Catholics, the IC is wrong and fatman has proved it wrong.
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« Reply #189 on: January 09, 2009, 08:53:50 PM »

no.

You know what, I saw the name fatman as the last post on this thread and I was hoping for a strong and conclusive answer and you have done just that. Do you see Catholics, the IC is wrong and fatman has proved it wrong.

I'm sold! It will trouble me no more!!!  laugh
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« Reply #190 on: January 11, 2009, 05:57:04 PM »

I look forward to your response. It is my understanding that Eastern Orthodox theology views grace as God himself, uncreated, the divine energies. If I am wrong please correct me. I like this approach and I don't actually think that its incompatible with the western view of grace. In the west when we speak of created Grace, we are not talking about the substacne itself, i.e. God's life that is placed in us. That would have to be uncreated. But we are talking about the state of having that uncreated life in us. The state of being in that grace (the "State of Grace) is created because that state could not have existed until there were persons to be in that state. Thus when the East speaks of Uncreated Grace and the West speaks of Created Grace we are not contradicting one another because we are talking about tow different things altogether.

Papist, please be aware that this thread is on the Faith Issues board, because the issue of whether we Orthodox are free to accept the theory of the Immaculate Conception is fundamentally a question internal to the Orthodox faith.  This question is not really open to dialogue with Catholics such as yourself.  If you feel it necessary to correct a misconception, please do.  Just don't go any farther in an attempt to dialogue with us here on this issue.  That's what you have the Orthodox/Catholic (public) and Orthodox/Other Christian Private boards for.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

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« Reply #191 on: January 11, 2009, 06:17:52 PM »

Could the Non-Orthodox please stop trolling this forum? This is the Faith Issues Forum, which is for "Discussion of issues and inquiries related to the Orthodox Christian faith." We have provided a Catholic-Orthodox Forum for debate between Catholics and Orthodox Christians,  and indeed there are several threads there on the Immaculate Conception. We have also provided an Orthodox-Other Christian Forum to debate issues relevant in that area.
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« Reply #192 on: December 03, 2009, 03:48:29 PM »

To the question in the title of this thread:
Answer: No
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« Reply #193 on: December 03, 2009, 05:45:19 PM »

To the question in the title of this thread:
Answer: No
Would you care to explain why you think this?
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« Reply #194 on: December 03, 2009, 06:40:19 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

I have been taught that the tiny little foetus who went on to become the all-holy Mother of God was conceived in the same spiritual state as every other human being.   In other words her conception was no different to yours and mine, Pope Benedict the XVI's, George Bush's and the Dalai Lama's.

Was I taught wrongly?
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« Reply #195 on: December 03, 2009, 06:56:57 PM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
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« Reply #196 on: December 03, 2009, 07:47:17 PM »

It just has never been part of Orthodox teaching. Kind of like asking can an OC believe in Limbo, purgatory, juridical confession, or transsubstattiation?

First, Why wouldn't Mary's mother have to be born of a virgin, and her mother before her?

As I understand it much of this come from the Augustinian idea that guilt was transmitted father to son and so Mary had to be immaculate in order to avoid that stain. The OC never accepted that.
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« Reply #197 on: December 05, 2009, 11:09:05 PM »

Symeon said:

Quote
Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

I am so glad an Orthodox sees this too. 

K
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« Reply #198 on: December 06, 2009, 03:42:23 PM »

Symeon said:

Quote
Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

I am so glad an Orthodox sees this too. 

K

  By and large, the Holy Orthodox Church has been a persecuted Church; we do not create problems but must constantly deal with them.  Ergo, once this issue became a problem, it too was dealt with.  And it will continue to be dealt with until the Last Day.  Our Priests, monastics, holy martyrs and right down to the lay people, all who care for the Pearl of Great Price, will fight for it.
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« Reply #199 on: December 06, 2009, 04:46:01 PM »

Symeon said:

Quote
Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

I am so glad an Orthodox sees this too. 

K

I see that Symeon's earlier posts refer to links to the internet writings of Ephrem Bensusan.

Ephrem Bensusan's writings on Original Sin (and atonement) have come in for criticism by the Orthodox because they spring from a Protestnt paradigm.

He is a convert from a Protestant background who is trying to integrate his studies at a Protestant institution into his Orthodoxy.  In short it would be advisable to withhold credence from his understanding of original sin (and atonement.)   It is not necessarily classical Orthodox teaching.

Somewhere there is a very useful critique of his writings - now if only I could find it! :-)

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« Reply #200 on: December 07, 2009, 07:38:51 AM »

Is it common Orthodox thought that she was purified/cleansed from sin at the annunciation (similar to the effect of baptism in Christ)?
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« Reply #201 on: December 07, 2009, 08:07:06 AM »

To the best of my knowledge there is no settled teaching within Orthodoxy on this point.  Here is something from the Ecumenical Patriarch which indicates, at least to me, that he himself is not really too sure about things.  Sometimes the Orthodox seem to feel obliged, quite unnecessarily in my view, to profess to have a viewpoint and opinion to offer simply because the Roman Catholics have such meticulously defined views.

The Patriarch and the Immaculate Conception

In December of 2004, the Italian Catholic newspaper Thirty Days ran a story about the 150th anniversary of the Roman proclamation of the Immaculate Conception as dogma. As part of that, they interviewed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about the Orthodox Akathist to the Theotokos -- a truly beautiful prayer/poem/song -- and in passing asked him about the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Patriarch politely told them that it was wrong, and correctly identified its roots as being in the notion of original sin. It is a brief but excellent presentation of the Orthodox position:

(Question): The Catholic Church this year celebrates the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. How does the Eastern Christian and Byzantine Tradition celebrate the Conception of Mary and her full and immaculate holiness?

Bartholomew I: The Catholic Church found that it needed to institute a new dogma for Christendom about one thousand and eight hundred years after the appearance of the Christianity, because it had accepted a perception of original sin – a mistaken one for us Orthodox – according to which original sin passes on a moral stain or a legal responsibility to the descendants of Adam, instead of that recognized as correct by the Orthodox faith – according to which the sin transmitted through inheritance the corruption, caused by the separation of mankind from the uncreated grace of God, which makes him live spiritually and in the flesh. Mankind shaped in the image of God, with the possibility and destiny of being like to God, by freely choosing love towards Him and obedience to his commandments, can even after the fall of Adam and Eve become friend of God according to intention; then God sanctifies them, as he sanctified many of the progenitors before Christ, even if the accomplishment of their ransom from corruption, that is their salvation, was achieved after the incarnation of Christ and through Him.

In consequence, according to the Orthodox faith, Mary the All-holy Mother of God was not conceived exempt from the corruption of original sin, but loved God above of all things and obeyed his commandments, and thus was sanctified by God through Jesus Christ who incarnated himself of her. She obeyed Him like one of the faithful, and addressed herself to Him with a Mother’s trust. Her holiness and purity were not blemished by the corruption, handed on to her by original sin as to every man, precisely because she was reborn in Christ like all the saints, sanctified above every saint.

Her reinstatement in the condition prior to the Fall did not necessarily take place at the moment of her conception. We believe that it happened afterwards, as consequence of the progress in her of the action of the uncreated divine grace through the visit of the Holy Spirit, which brought about the conception of the Lord within her, purifying her from every stain.

As already said, original sin weighs on the descendants of Adam and of Eve as corruption, and not as legal responsibility or moral stain. The sin brought hereditary corruption and not a hereditary legal responsibility or a hereditary moral stain. In consequence the All-holy participated in the hereditary corruption, like all mankind, but with her love for God and her purity – understood as an imperturbable and unhesitating dedication of her love to God alone – she succeeded, through the grace of God, in sanctifying herself in Christ and making herself worthy of becoming the house of God, as God wants all us human beings to become.

Therefore we in the Orthodox Church honor the All-holy Mother of God above all the saints, albeit we don’t accept the new dogma of her Immaculate Conception. The non-acceptance of this dogma in no way diminishes our love and veneration of the All-holy Mother of God.

http://minorclergy.journalspace.com/...rd&entryid=145
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« Reply #202 on: December 07, 2009, 08:14:40 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

as I know it "Yes". for example Patriarch of Moscow Kirill believes in it...... it can be "theologumen" (not dogma) in Orthodoxy....
IMHO
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« Reply #203 on: December 07, 2009, 08:36:13 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

as I know it "Yes". for example Patriarch of Moscow Kirill believes in it...... it can be "theologumen" (not dogma) in Orthodoxy....
IMHO

I have always understood the teaching of the Immaculate Conception makes no sense in Orthodoxy because it is dependent on not the Orthodox, but the Roman Catholic understanding of Original Sin.

It was also rejected by some major Catholic Saints - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux saw it as an abominable teaching.  It was just starting to make its appearance in his time, in the 12th century.   One hundred years later Thomas Aquinas was no less vocal in his denunciation of the new doctrine, as also was Teresa of Avila who had a vision of Christ who told her the new doctrine was erroneous (at least that is her claim.)

So I do not see why the Orthodox would want to accept a Western teaching which was unknown in the West in the 12th century and formed no part of its tradition in earlier centuries
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« Reply #204 on: December 07, 2009, 08:43:29 AM »

The traditional voice of Bernard of Clairvaux on the Immaculate Conception (12th century.)  He rejects it quite vigorously. Bernard, although post-schism, is seen by some Orthodox theologians as the last voice of the patristic mindset in the West.  After him the older patristic traditon begins to be overlaid by scholasticism.

"I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the
condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the
Church, unapproved by reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we
really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will
say, 'One must
glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.' This is true; but the
glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal
Virgin does not have need of false glorifications,
possessing as She does
true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh
and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this
Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing
concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet
need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the
conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception
had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But
what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind
of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally
demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity.
Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was
concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was
conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy
Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her."


"I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception,
inasmuch as She did not exist. if, all the more, She could not be sanctified
in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable
from conception,
then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after
She was conceived in the womb of Her mother. This sanctification, if it
annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception. No one is
given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was
conceived of the Holy Spirit,
and He alone is holy from His very conception.
Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred
that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility
and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities
(Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not
the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence?
The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies
sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the
teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the
sister of unbelief, and the daughter of lightmindedness"


Epistle 147
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« Reply #205 on: December 07, 2009, 09:08:03 AM »

Is it common Orthodox thought that she was purified/cleansed from sin at the annunciation (similar to the effect of baptism in Christ)?

There is hymnody in at least some of the feasts of the Mother of God which suggest that this was the case, but there is never any mention of her conception being immaculate.
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« Reply #206 on: December 07, 2009, 09:55:10 AM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
A very effective summation.
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« Reply #207 on: December 13, 2010, 06:46:18 PM »

The traditional voice of Bernard of Clairvaux on the Immaculate Conception (12th century.)  He rejects it quite vigorously. Bernard, although post-schism, is seen by some Orthodox theologians as the last voice of the patristic mindset in the West.  After him the older patristic traditon begins to be overlaid by scholasticism.

"I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the
condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the
Church, unapproved by reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we
really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will
say, 'One must
glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.' This is true; but the
glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal
Virgin does not have need of false glorifications,
possessing as She does
true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh
and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this
Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing
concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet
need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the
conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception
had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But
what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind
of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally
demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity.
Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was
concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was
conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy
Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her."


"I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception,
inasmuch as She did not exist. if, all the more, She could not be sanctified
in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable
from conception,
then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after
She was conceived in the womb of Her mother. This sanctification, if it
annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception[/b]. No one is
given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was
conceived of the Holy Spirit,
and He alone is holy from His very conception.
Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred
that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility
and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities
(Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not
the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence?
The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies
sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the
teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the
sister of unbelief, and the daughter of lightmindedness"


Epistle 147


If you read closely, he, like Aquinas, reject an immaculate conception, but not an immaculate birth. (underlined)
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« Reply #208 on: December 13, 2010, 06:54:24 PM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
A very effective summation.

Your getting caught up in the "guilt". I've explained these before, as it is not as simple as a "legal or moral responsibility. The real problem, is a lack of God's grace, in which an immaculate conception or birth would be necessary.

Council of Carthage (418 ad)
Quote
CANON CXIII. (Greek cxiiii.)
That without the grace of God we can do no good thing.

It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification was given to us only
that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were ordered to do through our
free will; as if though grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even
without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema. For the Lord spake
concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said: "Without me ye can do nothing," and
not "Without me ye could do it but with difficulty.
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« Reply #209 on: December 13, 2010, 07:31:43 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

as I know it "Yes". for example Patriarch of Moscow Kirill believes in it...... it can be "theologumen" (not dogma) in Orthodoxy....
IMHO
Believing in the IC as an Orthodox Christian, could be considered a theological opinion. However, it would certainly be held in opposition to OC teachings on the Ancestral Sin. Which if we start chipping away at the OC's teaching on the Ancestral Sin, why not just convert to Roman Catholicism? There are very good reasons that the IC teachings did NOT originate within the OC's tradition. Like I said, I think it could be a theological opinion, but one with serious flaws from the standpoint of Orthodox Tradition.
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« Reply #210 on: December 13, 2010, 10:49:47 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

as I know it "Yes". for example Patriarch of Moscow Kirill believes in it...... it can be "theologumen" (not dogma) in Orthodoxy....
IMHO
Believing in the IC as an Orthodox Christian, could be considered a theological opinion. However, it would certainly be held in opposition to OC teachings on the Ancestral Sin. Which if we start chipping away at the OC's teaching on the Ancestral Sin, why not just convert to Roman Catholicism? There are very good reasons that the IC teachings did NOT originate within the OC's tradition. Like I said, I think it could be a theological opinion, but one with serious flaws from the standpoint of Orthodox Tradition.
Except that it's in your liturgy.  Grin
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« Reply #211 on: December 13, 2010, 11:50:06 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

as I know it "Yes". for example Patriarch of Moscow Kirill believes in it...... it can be "theologumen" (not dogma) in Orthodoxy....
IMHO
Believing in the IC as an Orthodox Christian, could be considered a theological opinion. However, it would certainly be held in opposition to OC teachings on the Ancestral Sin. Which if we start chipping away at the OC's teaching on the Ancestral Sin, why not just convert to Roman Catholicism? There are very good reasons that the IC teachings did NOT originate within the OC's tradition. Like I said, I think it could be a theological opinion, but one with serious flaws from the standpoint of Orthodox Tradition.
Except that it's in your liturgy.  Grin
that's only in your head, not Orthodox Traidtion.
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« Reply #212 on: December 13, 2010, 11:51:28 PM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
A very effective summation.

Your getting caught up in the "guilt". I've explained these before, as it is not as simple as a "legal or moral responsibility. The real problem, is a lack of God's grace, in which an immaculate conception or birth would be necessary.

Council of Carthage (418 ad)
Quote
CANON CXIII. (Greek cxiiii.)
That without the grace of God we can do no good thing.

It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification was given to us only
that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were ordered to do through our
free will; as if though grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even
without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema. For the Lord spake
concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said: "Without me ye can do nothing," and
not "Without me ye could do it but with difficulty.
As has been pointed out by Apotheum IIRC, anything which lacked the grace of God simply wouldn't exist.
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« Reply #213 on: December 13, 2010, 11:58:42 PM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
A very effective summation.

Your getting caught up in the "guilt". I've explained these before, as it is not as simple as a "legal or moral responsibility. The real problem, is a lack of God's grace, in which an immaculate conception or birth would be necessary.

Council of Carthage (418 ad)
Quote
CANON CXIII. (Greek cxiiii.)
That without the grace of God we can do no good thing.

It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification was given to us only
that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were ordered to do through our
free will; as if though grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even
without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema. For the Lord spake
concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said: "Without me ye can do nothing," and
not "Without me ye could do it but with difficulty.
As has been pointed out by Apotheum IIRC, anything which lacked the grace of God simply wouldn't exist.

Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.
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« Reply #214 on: December 14, 2010, 12:02:12 AM »


 Except that it's in your liturgy.  Grin


There's a lot of wonderful things in our liturgy.  You should investigate.  In our liturgy we believe that God will forgive sins after death (even what you would call mortal sins.)  In our liturgy we believe that souls in hell can be liberated.  In our liturgy we believe that suicides can still be saved.  In our liturgy we believe that those who have rejected God can still be saved.....  yes, there are more things in our liturgy than you would imagine, a God with whom you are not really familiar....... but, sorry, there is no immaculate conception.
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« Reply #215 on: December 14, 2010, 12:04:52 AM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
A very effective summation.

Your getting caught up in the "guilt". I've explained these before, as it is not as simple as a "legal or moral responsibility. The real problem, is a lack of God's grace, in which an immaculate conception or birth would be necessary.

Council of Carthage (418 ad)
Quote
CANON CXIII. (Greek cxiiii.)
That without the grace of God we can do no good thing.

It seemed good that whosoever should say that the grace of justification was given to us only
that we might be able more readily by grace to perform what we were ordered to do through our
free will; as if though grace was not given, although not easily, yet nevertheless we could even
without grace fulfil the divine commandments, let him be anathema. For the Lord spake
concerning the fruits of the commandments, when he said: "Without me ye can do nothing," and
not "Without me ye could do it but with difficulty.
As has been pointed out by Apotheum IIRC, anything which lacked the grace of God simply wouldn't exist.

Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.
Nor does being full of grace mean being immaculately conceived.
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« Reply #216 on: December 14, 2010, 12:05:16 AM »


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

What!  Are we still being plagued by Jerome's mistranslation of "kecharitomene" as "gratia plena" !!   laugh laugh
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« Reply #217 on: December 14, 2010, 12:09:03 AM »


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

What!  Are we still being plagued by Jerome's mistranslation of "kecharitomene" as "gratia plena" !!   laugh laugh
Yes, St. Jerome's mistranslations have given the West more plagues than Moses gave Egypt.
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« Reply #218 on: December 14, 2010, 02:24:17 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

as I know it "Yes". for example Patriarch of Moscow Kirill believes in it...... it can be "theologumen" (not dogma) in Orthodoxy....
IMHO
Believing in the IC as an Orthodox Christian, could be considered a theological opinion. However, it would certainly be held in opposition to OC teachings on the Ancestral Sin. Which if we start chipping away at the OC's teaching on the Ancestral Sin, why not just convert to Roman Catholicism? There are very good reasons that the IC teachings did NOT originate within the OC's tradition. Like I said, I think it could be a theological opinion, but one with serious flaws from the standpoint of Orthodox Tradition.
Except that it's in your liturgy.  Grin
Not on the Faith Issues board, please. You've already been discussing this issue with us on your own thread on the Orthodox-Catholic board. Please make your comments there, not here. Thank you.
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« Reply #219 on: December 14, 2010, 07:48:19 AM »


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

What!  Are we still being plagued by Jerome's mistranslation of "kecharitomene" as "gratia plena" !!   laugh laugh

That's irrelevant to the topic.
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« Reply #220 on: December 14, 2010, 12:31:07 PM »


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

What!  Are we still being plagued by Jerome's mistranslation of "kecharitomene" as "gratia plena" !!   laugh laugh

That's irrelevant to the topic.
How?  Huh

If the topic is about the IC and RCs believe that the Mother of God was "full of grace" from the moment of her conception, then it follows that criticism of St. Jerome's translation that RCs use would be entirely germane to the topic.

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« Reply #221 on: December 14, 2010, 12:42:15 PM »


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

What!  Are we still being plagued by Jerome's mistranslation of "kecharitomene" as "gratia plena" !!   laugh laugh

That's irrelevant to the topic.
How?  Huh

If the topic is about the IC and RCs believe that the Mother of God was "full of grace" from the moment of her conception, then it follows that criticism of St. Jerome's translation that RCs use would be entirely germane to the topic.

In Christ,
Andrew
What's the correct translation of kecharitomene?
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« Reply #222 on: December 14, 2010, 02:03:22 PM »

In response to the thread title, I would just ask why you would want to agree with it when it was simply an idea that came about due to the belief of "original sin", which is wrong and heterodox?

Especially when the Orthodox Church teaches "Ancestral Sin" and so there is absolutely no need for a belief in Mary's "Immaculate Conception".
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« Reply #223 on: December 14, 2010, 07:35:33 PM »


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

What!  Are we still being plagued by Jerome's mistranslation of "kecharitomene" as "gratia plena" !!   laugh laugh

That's irrelevant to the topic.
How?  Huh

If the topic is about the IC and RCs believe that the Mother of God was "full of grace" from the moment of her conception, then it follows that criticism of St. Jerome's translation that RCs use would be entirely germane to the topic.

In Christ,
Andrew

If you'll follow the conversation, the thread topic may be about the IC, but the current discussion is talking about being born with or without grace for everyone else. So, it doesn't matter what the translation said. We're still back at go, don't talk 100 feet down the road.

Recap. It has been stated that everyone is born with all necessary grace. I have denied that, with supporting documents. Not only this, but to not have all of God's Grace would leave us lifeless. From here I said:


Without God, there is no life. That doesn't mean we are full of grace.

We aren't even to Mary, yet. We have to determine if an immaculate conception is even necessary.

Also, the translation error has been disputed here:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29625.msg468549.html#msg468549

...and the case for a mistranslation is not firm. In addition, I don't buy the "stupid Latins can't translate Greek" myth, anymore than I believe the "stupid Greeks can't translate Latin" myth in regard to the filioque.
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« Reply #224 on: December 14, 2010, 07:37:28 PM »

In response to the thread title, I would just ask why you would want to agree with it when it was simply an idea that came about due to the belief of "original sin", which is wrong and heterodox?

Especially when the Orthodox Church teaches "Ancestral Sin" and so there is absolutely no need for a belief in Mary's "Immaculate Conception".

Parallel conversation: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29625.msg506595.html#msg506595

These interpretations only confirm my position. How did they refute them?
What were they supposed to refute?

My position contradicts the position Fr. Romanides holds.

That is, all men are born fallen, not just in mortality, but also in spirit. They have a lack or limited grace requiring God's help to avoid sin.

From the canons:
122. It has pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should declare that the grace whereby we are justified through Jesus Christ our Lord to be effective only for the remission of sins already perpetrated, and not to afford help by way of preventing perpetration of other sins in addition thereto, let him be anathema.
(cc. CXXI, CXXIII, CXXIV, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
The Pelagians expressed their heretical views in three propositions. The first proposition was to the effect that by employing only his natural powers and abilities a human being could keep the whole law and be justified, and could persist in righteousness, and enjoy life everlasting. Another proposition was to the effect that a human being does not need any inner or internal grace of God to incite him to do right, or to help him, or to justify him, but that, on the contrary, all he needs for his salvation is self-mastery, the law, training and teaching, and example. And the third proposition was to the effect that although grace is given by God yet it is given for the value of self-mastery. Hence upon this second proposition of theirs depends also this feature which the present Canon decrees, to wit, that the grace of God, which through Jesus Christ justifies a human being in baptism, graciously affords a remission only of previous sins, but not also to help keep one from sinning another time; wherefore it anathematizes all those persons too who say this. For the catholic Church believes wholly the opposite contrary, namely, that the grace bestowed through Jesus Christ in baptism affords both remission of previous sins and power and help to prevent us from further sinning, provided we ourselves do not yield ourselves to sins as a result of negligence. That is why David says: “O God, attend to my help. Ο Lord, hasten to aid me” (Ps. 70:1); and "My help cometh from the Lord" (Ps. 121:2), etc. St. Paul also says along the same line: "The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; … the Spirit itself intercedeth in our behalf" (Rom. 8:26). And countless other passages along the same line are to be found in the divine Scriptures.



124. It has further pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should say that the reason why the grace of righteousness has been bestowed upon us is in order that we might through self-mastery be able the more easily and readily to fulfill it through grace, as though indicating that even if the grace had not been given we should still have been able, howbeit not easily and readily, to fulfill the divine commandments without its aid, let him be anathema. For when the Lord was speaking about the fruits of the commandments, He did not say, "Without me ye will have difficulty in doing anything" (cf. John 15:5).
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too anathematizes the Pelagians and Celestians for saying that simply because God made us masters of ourselves in respect of being free to do as we please we can execute the commandments even without the aid of divine grace, though not easily, but with difficulty, whereas through the aid afforded by divine grace we are enabled to carry these out more easily, since even the Lord, in speaking about the divine commandments, did not say, "Without me ye can do these only with difficulty," but, instead, He simply said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5) Neither with ease nor with difficulty, that is to say, so that everything depends upon divine grace, and without the latter we can accomplish nothing.


http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/councils_local_rudder.htm#_Toc72635086

And that, from this position, it would have been impossible for Mary to resist sin under her own power.

Therefore,

Grace is needed before birth. That is, at least an immaculate birth.



Break, break.

Now, the reason for the immaculate conception, is because of the literal understanding of having a hereditary sin or "sinful state".

So we can get the Orthodox understanding:
Prolegomena.

The holy regional Council which assembled in Carthage in the year 418 or 419 ...

121. It has pleased the Council to decree that whosoever denies the little ones newly born from the wombs of their mothers when they are being baptized, or asserts that they are baptized for the remission of sins, but that they have inherited no original sin from Adam obliging them to be purified in the bath of renaissance (whence it follows that in these persons the form of baptism for the remission of sins is not true, but is to be regarded as factitious), let him be anathema; for no other meaning ought to be attached to what the Apostle has said, viz., "Sin entered the world through one human being" (Rom. 5:12), and thus it passed over into all human beings; wherefore all of them have sinned, than that which the catholic Church diffused and spread abroad every-where has ever understood those words to mean. For it is on account of this Canon of the faith that even the little ones too, who are as yet incapable of committing if any sin of their own to render them guilty of any offense, are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what sin they inherited from the primordial birth may be purified in them through the process of renaissance.
Interpretation.
This view too was a product of the heretical insanity of the Pelagians: this refers to their saying that newly begotten infants are not baptized for the remission of sins, as the Orthodox Church believes and maintains, but, instead, if anyone say that they are baptized for the remission of sins, yet the infants themselves have not incurred any taint from the original (or primordial) sin of Adam, such as to require to be removed by means of baptism (since, as we have said, those men believed that this original sin is not begotten with the human being, simply because this was not any offense of nature, but a mischoice of the free and independent will). So the Council in the present Canon anathematizes the heretics who say this: First, because the form of the baptism for the remission of sins which is given to infants is not true according to them, but false and factitious, since, according to them, those infants have no sins to be pardoned. Secondly, because the Apostle in what he says makes it plain that sin entered the world through a single human being, namely, Adam, and that death entered through sin, and thus death passed into all human beings, since all of them have sinned just like Adam. This passage, I say, cannot be taken to mean anything else than what the catholic Church of the Orthodox has understood and believed it to mean, to wit, that even the newborn infants, notwithstanding the fact that they have not sinned by reason of any exercise of their own free and independent will, have nevertheless entailed upon themselves the original sin from Adam; wherefore they need to be purified through baptism necessarily from that sin: hence they are truly, and not fictitiously, being baptized for the remission of sins.
Quote
CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN

After Adam and Eve sin spread rapidly throughout the human race. They were guilty of pride and disobedience, while their son Cain committed fratricide. Cain’s descendants soon forgot about God and set about organizing their earthly existence. Cain himself ‘built a city’. One of his closest descendants was ‘the father of those who dwell in tents and have cattle’; another was ‘the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe’; yet another was ‘the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron’ (Gen.4:17-22). The establishment of cities, cattle-breeding, music and other arts were thus passed onto humankind by Cain’s descendants as a surrogate of the lost happiness of Paradise.

The consequences of the Fall spread to the whole of the human race. This is elucidated by St Paul: ‘Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned’ (Rom.5:12). This text, which formed the Church’s basis of her teaching on ‘original sin’, may be understood in a number of ways: the Greek words ef’ ho pantes hemarton may be translated not only as ‘because all men sinned’ but also ‘in whom [that is, in Adam] all men sinned’. Different readings of the text may produce different understandings of what ‘original sin’ means.

If we accept the first translation, this means that each person is responsible for his own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression. Here, Adam is merely the prototype of all future sinners, each of whom, in repeating Adam’s sin, bears responsibility only for his own sins. Adam’s sin is not the cause of our sinfulness; we do not participate in his sin and his guilt cannot be passed onto us.

However, if we read the text to mean ‘in whom all have sinned’, this can be understood as the passing on of Adam’s sin to all future generations of people, since human nature has been infected by sin in general. The disposition toward sin became hereditary and responsibility for turning away from God sin universal. As St Cyril of Alexandria states, human nature itself has ‘fallen ill with sin’; thus we all share Adam’s sin as we all share his nature. St Macarius of Egypt speaks of ‘a leaven of evil passions’ and of ‘secret impurity and the abiding darkness of passions’, which have entered into our nature in spite of our original purity. Sin has become so deeply rooted in human nature that not a single descendant of Adam has been spared from a hereditary predisposition toward sin.

The Old Testament writers had a vivid sense of their inherited sinfulness: ‘Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me’ (Ps.51:7). They believed that God ‘visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation’ (Ex.20:5). In the latter words reference is not made to innocent children but to those whose own sinfulness is rooted in the sins of their forefathers.

From a rational point of view, to punish the entire human race for Adam’s sin is an injustice. But not a single Christian dogma has ever been fully comprehended by reason. Religion within the bounds of reason is not religion but naked rationalism, for religion is supra-rational, supra-logical. The doctrine of original sin is disclosed in the light of divine revelation and acquires meaning with reference to the dogma of the atonement of humanity through the New Adam, Christ: ‘...As one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous... so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom.5:18-21).
http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1

And if we are to "all share Adam’s sin as we all share his nature", then for Mary to be sinless and "All Pure", she would need to be purified at the moment of conception, so as to have never had that condition in her.

Personally, I can go either way with the birth or conception. But, I do see the need for, at the very least, an immaculate birth, if she is to have never sinned.
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Tags: Theotokos Immaculate Conception Original Sin Theotokos and sin 
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