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Author Topic: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception  (Read 116825 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2009, 02:42:18 PM »

Does anyone have any sayings from the fathers on this topic?  Just so we can all agree, let's limit these saying to those pre 5th century.
"[Jesus] became man by the Virgin so that the course which was taken by disobedience in the beginning through the agency of the serpent might be also the very course by which it would be put down. Eve, a virgin and undefiled, conceived the word of the serpent and bore disobedience and death. But the Virgin Mary received faith and joy when the angel Gabriel announced to her the glad tidings that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, for which reason the Holy One being born of her is the Son of God. And she replied ‘Be it done unto me according to your word’ [Luke 1:38]" (Dialogue with Trypho the Jew 100 [A.D. 155]).

"Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, ‘Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient, and, when yet a virgin, she did not obey. Just as she, who was then still a virgin although she had Adam for a husband—for in paradise they were both naked but were not ashamed; for, having been created only a short time, they had no understanding of the procreation of children, and it was necessary that they first come to maturity before beginning to multiply—having become disobedient, was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. . . . Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith" (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

"The Lord then was manifestly coming to his own things, and was sustaining them by means of that creation that is supported by himself. He was making a recapitulation of that disobedience that had occurred in connection with a tree, through the obedience that was upon a tree [i.e., the cross]. Furthermore, the original deception was to be done away with—the deception by which that virgin Eve (who was already espoused to a man) was unhappily misled. That this was to be overturned was happily announced through means of the truth by the angel to the Virgin Mary (who was also [espoused] to a man). . . . So if Eve disobeyed God, yet Mary was persuaded to be obedient to God. In this way, the Virgin Mary might become the advocate of the virgin Eve. And thus, as the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin. Virginal disobedience has been balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. For in the same way, the sin of the first created man received amendment by the correction of the First-Begotten" (ibid., 5:19:1 [A.D. 189]).
The Catholic Churchs sees the Immaculate Conception as in implied in the Mary/Eve parallel through the her act of recapitulation. Since Mary was created without sin, if Mary was to undo what Eve did, she must also be created without Original Sin.
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« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2009, 02:45:45 PM »

Does anyone have any sayings from the fathers on this topic?  Just so we can all agree, let's limit these saying to those pre 5th century.
"You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon your Mother. Who of my children can compare in beauty to these?" (Nisibene Hymns 27:8 [A.D. 361]).

Because there is no "stains" or blemishes in Mary, there cannot even be the stain or blemish of concupisence which is the result of Orignial Sin. Thus she cannot even have original sin.
Now, I know that we have all been washed of Original Sin in baptism but we do have the effects of original sin still lingering, namely concupiscence.
However, because Mary had no stain, she could not even have this effect, so she did not have the cause. Thus, se was free of Original sin.
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« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2009, 02:48:43 PM »

Does anyone have any sayings from the fathers on this topic?  Just so we can all agree, let's limit these saying to those pre 5th century.

"Come, then, and search out your sheep, not through your servants or hired men, but do it yourself. Lift me up bodily and in the flesh, which is fallen in Adam. Lift me up not from Sarah but from Mary, a virgin not only undefiled, but a virgin whom grace had made inviolate, free of every stain of sin" (Commentary on Psalm 118:22–30 [A.D. 387]).
Mary is free even from every stain of sin. That is every stain that is caused by sin. Original sin or concupiscence/the privation of Grace, is the stain left in us by the fall of man. Yet Mary is free even from this because she is free of every stain of sin.
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« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2009, 02:51:36 PM »

Does anyone have any sayings from the fathers on this topic?  Just so we can all agree, let's limit these saying to those pre 5th century.
Mary is referred to, in the Litury, as the "All Holy", "Immaculate", "All Pure". If this is true how could she even be tainted by concupiscense?
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« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2009, 04:28:35 PM »

Anyone have a rebuttel to these statements? Is the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary something the Orthodox can believe?
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« Reply #50 on: April 07, 2009, 04:47:12 PM »

Anyone have a rebuttel to these statements? Is the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary something the Orthodox can believe?

In December of 2004, the Vatican 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 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 #51 on: April 07, 2009, 04:58:37 PM »

Anyone have a rebuttel to these statements? Is the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary something the Orthodox can believe?

In December of 2004, the Vatican 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 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
Very good. Thank you.
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« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2009, 05:21:04 PM »



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.

This sentence seems to be a contradiction. If she was "All Holy" then she would have to be exempt from the corruption of original sins. Otherwise it seems that the title "holy" with out the word "all" would be more appropriate.
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« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2009, 05:35:56 PM »

I think we need to take a real look at perspective here.  When referring to Mary in the past tense we may refer to her as All-holy even if there was a time when she was not, just as Paul was not a saint when he persecuted the church and consented to Stephen's murder.  Furthermore, to be born in sin and to sin are two entirely different things, just as one can be tempted by the acts of another but not allow that temptation to become manifest as a sin within oneself, eg, Christ's 40 days in the desert where He was tempted by Satan but did not Himself commit a sinful act of being tempted in that He desired that which He was being tempted with.  Mary could have inherited corruption and still conducted herself her entire life without committing sin and be free from the stain of sin.

Papist, I like the quotes which you provided, they give us much reference to the venerability of our mother, but without the modern interpretations I don't see how they conclusively result in immaculate conception.
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« Reply #54 on: April 07, 2009, 05:39:08 PM »

I think we need to take a real look at perspective here.  When referring to Mary in the past tense we may refer to her as All-holy even if there was a time when she was not, just as Paul was not a saint when he persecuted the church and consented to Stephen's murder.  Furthermore, to be born in sin and to sin are two entirely different things, just as one can be tempted by the acts of another but not allow that temptation to become manifest as a sin within oneself, eg, Christ's 40 days in the desert where He was tempted by Satan but did not Himself commit a sinful act of being tempted in that He desired that which He was being tempted with.  Mary could have inherited corruption and still conducted herself her entire life without committing sin and be free from the stain of sin.

Papist, I like the quotes which you provided, they give us much reference to the venerability of our mother, but without the modern interpretations I don't see how they conclusively result in immaculate conception.
I completely agree.
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« Reply #55 on: April 07, 2009, 05:46:12 PM »

I think we need to take a real look at perspective here.  When referring to Mary in the past tense we may refer to her as All-holy even if there was a time when she was not, just as Paul was not a saint when he persecuted the church and consented to Stephen's murder.  Furthermore, to be born in sin and to sin are two entirely different things, just as one can be tempted by the acts of another but not allow that temptation to become manifest as a sin within oneself, eg, Christ's 40 days in the desert where He was tempted by Satan but did not Himself commit a sinful act of being tempted in that He desired that which He was being tempted with.  Mary could have inherited corruption and still conducted herself her entire life without committing sin and be free from the stain of sin.

Papist, I like the quotes which you provided, they give us much reference to the venerability of our mother, but without the modern interpretations I don't see how they conclusively result in immaculate conception.
Of course I am going to have to disgree but we will start with agreeing. First, I agree that Paul, once a sinner, was made holy later. The same is true of Sts. Peter, Gregory, Seraphim, etc. ect. ect. But none of them is all Holy. What is the difference between them and our All Holy Mother? As, st. Ephraim says, that was not even a stain of any sin in her. Thus not even original sin could have touched her. Otherwise she be just another Holy one like the rest of the saints. Instead, she is the "All Holy", "All Immaculate", "All Pure". I think the IC is implicit in these titles and in what the Fathers have said, as I explained above.
Of course I do not begrudge those who disagree with me.
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« Reply #56 on: April 07, 2009, 06:01:12 PM »

We can believe that there was no stain of sin in her, because she is not guilty of Adam and Eve's sins yet she was still born in the environment that was the consequence of their sins - this is the "being born in corruption" - just as Christ was made like unto "corruptible flesh" yet there was no sin within Him at any time.  Your argument, while I respect your opinion, assumes that she being "without the stain of sin" necessitates that she was also not born in sin, and I don't see how that conclusion has been established.
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« Reply #57 on: April 07, 2009, 06:05:34 PM »

We can believe that there was no stain of sin in her, because she is not guilty of Adam and Eve's sins yet she was still born in the environment that was the consequence of their sins - this is the "being born in corruption" - just as Christ was made like unto "corruptible flesh" yet there was no sin within Him at any time.  Your argument, while I respect your opinion, assumes that she being "without the stain of sin" necessitates that she was also not born in sin, and I don't see how that conclusion has been established.
And I don't see how it could be otherwise. Although I respect your opinion, this is just one of those areas where we have to agree to disagree.
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« Reply #58 on: April 07, 2009, 06:08:24 PM »

Let me illustrate further,

Two men are equally wealthy, one was born rich and the other was born in poverty and through hard work amassed his fortune.  Is the second man, any less rich?  No.  In fact his wealth might be considered even greater, considering the obstacles in which he had to overcome to attain it.  Likewise, despite Mary's having been born in sin, she did not sin, overcoming the inherent inclinations of her humanity.  I think this is worthy of such a title as all-holy.
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« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2009, 06:10:45 PM »

Look at us . . . being all polite.  Why can't we always discuss topics in this manner?  Smiley
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« Reply #60 on: April 07, 2009, 06:17:55 PM »

Let me illustrate further,

Two men are equally wealthy, one was born rich and the other was born in poverty and through hard work amassed his fortune.  Is the second man, any less rich?  No.  In fact his wealth might be considered even greater, considering the obstacles in which he had to overcome to attain it.  Likewise, despite Mary's having been born in sin, she did not sin, overcoming the inherent inclinations of her humanity.  I think this is worthy of such a title as all-holy.
My mathematical mind sees the word "all" and thinks of it in the absolute sense, meaning that even the stain of concupiscence would stop the word of "all" from being appropriate. Perhaps that kind of thinking is why am so ridiculously latin.  Wink
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« Reply #61 on: April 07, 2009, 06:22:03 PM »

Fair enough, but let us remember that the early fathers sometimes used terms much more loosely than we do - remember St Gregory Nazianzen referred to Christ's humanity mixing with His Godhead, yet we don't condemn him as a heretic and we don't support such a theology.
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« Reply #62 on: April 07, 2009, 06:26:23 PM »

Fair enough, but let us remember that the early fathers sometimes used terms much more loosely than we do - remember St Gregory Nazianzen referred to Christ's humanity mixing with His Godhead, yet we don't condemn him as a heretic and we don't support such a theology.
Very true and an important thing to keep in mind. However when we talking about the liturgy we are talking about the rule of faith. Thus when the Liturgy uses terms I expect that those terms are very percise. Thus, if the Liturgy (in this the Byzantine Litrugy) calls her the "All Holy" I expect it to be a very precise use of the term "All" by the very nature of what the Liturgy is. Thanks for such a great conversation.
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« Reply #63 on: April 07, 2009, 06:57:11 PM »

The reference I made to St Gregory is also found in his liturgy.  I also enjoyed the conversation.
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« Reply #64 on: April 07, 2009, 07:22:58 PM »

However when we talking about the liturgy we are talking about the rule of faith. Thus when the Liturgy uses terms I expect that those terms are very percise. Thus, if the Liturgy (in this the Byzantine Litrugy) calls her the "All Holy" I expect it to be a very precise use of the term "All" by the very nature of what the Liturgy is.

It just isn't so.   One has only to think of the phrase which ends most Orthodox Services:  "Most Holy Mother of God, save us."  That term "save us" has as number of of fluid meanings.

One thinks of the innumerable times that the Saints are praised as "divine" in the Services.

Much of this is metaphor and hyperbole.  Both Orthodox and Eastern Catholics delight in it and never expect Roman Catholics to impose dogma on it or to extract  dogma from it.


The response of the Catholic Melkites at Vatican II to the new title for the Mother of God "Mother of the Church" is very similar to the Orthodox response and highlights what I am trting to say.

We have no problem with heaping an infinite number of praises upon the Mother of God.


The Melkite response is well worth the read. Here is an extract.  I've placed the crux of it in BLUE:


It will have been noticed that during the passionate debates that characterized
the Council’s discussion of this schema “On the Virgin Mary,” Patriarch Maximos
and the Melkite Greek Fathers refused to intervene. They were astonished to
their very depths at the importance that was attached to recognizing or refusing
this new title “Mother of the Church” to the Theotokos.

Accustomed to the poetic language of their liturgy, in which the Virgin is saluted
with a thousand titles, they had no trouble in accepting this new title, if it is
interpreted in a large, liturgical, and poetic sense, or in refusing it, if it is interpreted
in a sense that is too realistic and too literal.



Mary and the Church

The preparatory doctrinal commission had begun by preparing an independent schema entitled: “On the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Mother of Men.” On June 5, 1962, the patriarch wrote to praise two intentions expressed in the text, namely: no new title for the Virgin, no new Marian dogma. But already he had been struck by the absence in the text of patristic citations, above all Eastern ones, in a domain which the Eastern Fathers have explored superabundantly. Only popes are cited.


1) We agree entirely with the care demonstrated by the theological commission in not granting to the holy Mother of God any new titles that have not been accepted by the Tradition of the Church.


2) We equally agree with the care to avoid defining new Marian dogmas, in spite of the pressure, as blind as it is well intentioned, of certain groups of devotees of the Virgin. In this matter, as in so many others, we must never lose sight of our separated brethren, above all those of the East, and avoid that which, in our efforts to honor the Virgin, deepens the chasm that separates us from them. The Virgin surely is not pleased by a homage that unnecessarily contributes to the widening of the divisions among her children.


3) We would point out, with respect to the drafting of the notes, that one should not be content with citing popes, especially in a matter on which the Fathers of the Church have spoken so much and so well. We must avoid giving the impression that in the eyes of the theologians of the council only popes form the magisterium of the Church. With a unionist goal, it would even be good to cite in particular the Fathers of the Eastern Church.



It will have been noticed that during the passionate debates that characterized the Council’s discussion of this schema “On the Virgin Mary,” Patriarch Maximos and the Melkite Greek Fathers refused to intervene. They were astonished to their very depths at the importance that was attached to recognizing or refusing this new title “Mother of the Church” to the Theotokos. Accustomed to the poetic language of their liturgy, in which the Virgin is saluted with a thousand titles, they had no trouble in accepting this new title, if it is interpreted in a large, liturgical, and poetic sense, or in refusing it, if it is interpreted in a sense that is too realistic and too literal.


Nevertheless, Patriarch Maximos, urged to speak, began to prepare the intervention that we publish below. Finally, he decided not to deliver it. This was in the 1963 session.


Before entering into a study of this schema “Concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary,” it is proper to ask ourselves this question: Is it necessary that this Second Vatican Council, already swamped with questions, devote a special dogmatic constitution to the most holy Mother of God?


For my part [the Melkite Patriarch], I do not think so. ...


Please go to (.pfd)
http://melkite.org/xCouncil/Council%20Chapter%204.doc
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« Reply #65 on: April 07, 2009, 07:31:31 PM »

The reference I made to St Gregory is also found in his liturgy.  I also enjoyed the conversation.
Good point. Thus, I don't think that we can prove or disprove either of our cases to one another. Thus, it just comes down to which Church each of us puts our faith in as Christ's Church. I choose to follow the teachings of the Chatholic Church. Although your's is different than mine I have great respect for you Church and hope to eventually learn as much about it as I have learned here about the Eastern Orthodox Church. Perhaps someday, I will be able to attend an OO liturgy, although there are no OO Churches anywhere near where I live.
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« Reply #66 on: April 07, 2009, 08:30:00 PM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

With all due respect to HH Patriarch Bartholomew, it is obvious he does not understand the substance of the dogma of the IC.  The dogma of the IC concerns ONLY the spiritual being of the Theotokos, NOT her physical being.  The dogma of the IC does NOT say she was preserved from physical corruption with all its attendant failings (death, illness, sorrow, etc.).  Rather, the dogma of the IC ONLY refers to the preservation of her spiritual purity.  Though it is couched in Latin language, it is obvious the dogma does not contradict any Eastern or Oriental teaching on the corruption that is the result of original/ancestral sin.

I know innovative non-Catholic polemicists are good at thinking up various and novel ways to reject the dogma of the IC, but as far as Patriarch Bartholomew's concerns, whatever it is he claims to be rejecting, it is NOT the dogma of the IC.

Anyone have a rebuttel to these statements? Is the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary something the Orthodox can believe?

In December of 2004, the Vatican 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 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 #67 on: April 07, 2009, 08:49:33 PM »

Dear brother Marc Hanna,

I notice you are an OO who has links to the Copts and Armenians. I myself am an OO in communion with the bishop of Rome (a Coptic catholic, translated to Catholicism from Coptic Orthodoxy almost 4 years ago).  I'm not sure if you are more Coptic than Armenian in your sensibilities, but you should know that the Armenians generally accept the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, though not as a dogma.  Is that is why you are so polite about the matter. Smiley  You probably had/have to deal with the fact that Armenians accept the IC.

In any case, you have pointed out (quite logically, I might add, which is a very worthy OO trait Smiley ) that the designation of the Theotokos as ALL-HOLY and IMMACULATE according to the Fathers does not necessary mean that she was in such wise from the moment of her conception.  However, aside from the fact that the Armenians do admit the holiness and purity of Mary from the moment of her conception, please consider this logical argument:

The prophets are generally set apart from God for their holy purpose from the womb of their mothers.  This is evident everywhere in Scripture.  Orthodox and Catholics generally both recognize that St. John the Baptist was sanctified in his mother's womb.  These are prophets, brother, and their sanctification from their time in their mother's womb indicates the specialness of God's purpose for them.  Now I ask you this:  HOW MUCH MORE FOR SHE WHO WAS DESTINED FROM THE FIRST MOMENT OF HER BEING TO BE THE NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT TO BE MADE PURE FROM HER MOTHER'S WOMB?

Meditate on the words of the Liturgy for the Feast of the Conception (December 9), and you will see how fitting it is for the Mother of God to have been given all the graces of the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception.  Actually, you do not have to do much meditating.  The Liturgy is quite explicit that she was given such graces from the moment of her conception.

Blessings,
Marduk

Look at us . . . being all polite.  Why can't we always discuss topics in this manner?  Smiley
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« Reply #68 on: April 07, 2009, 09:02:01 PM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

With all due respect to HH Patriarch Bartholomew, it is obvious he does not understand the substance of the dogma of the IC. 
It would seem he does.
Quote
The dogma of the IC concerns ONLY the spiritual being of the Theotokos, NOT her physical being.  The dogma of the IC does NOT say she was preserved from physical corruption with all its attendant failings (death, illness, sorrow, etc.).  Rather, the dogma of the IC ONLY refers to the preservation of her spiritual purity.
A little too dualistic.  Death, illness, sorrow are the effects of original sin.  It is rather odd that she would be preserved from the stain of original sin but suffer its effects.  Is that what you are claiming?

Quote
  Though it is couched in Latin language, it is obvious the dogma does not contradict any Eastern or Oriental teaching on the corruption that is the result of original/ancestral sin.

Actually, as many Eastern AND Oriental theologians have shown, it does.  And it was even fought in the West in Latin, so we can't be blaming culture or language on this one.

Quote
I know innovative non-Catholic polemicists are good at thinking up various and novel ways to reject the dogma of the IC,


No, the old ones, like Bernard of Clairveaux's, suffice.

The supporters of the IC are ever inventive, though.

Quote
but as far as Patriarch Bartholomew's concerns, whatever it is he claims to be rejecting, it is NOT the dogma of the IC.

You mean this isn't it?

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."

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« Reply #69 on: April 07, 2009, 09:08:09 PM »

Dear brother Marc Hanna,

I notice you are an OO who has links to the Copts and Armenians. I myself am an OO in communion with the bishop of Rome (a Coptic catholic, translated to Catholicism from Coptic Orthodoxy almost 4 years ago).  I'm not sure if you are more Coptic than Armenian in your sensibilities, but you should know that the Armenians generally accept the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, though not as a dogma.  Is that is why you are so polite about the matter. Smiley  You probably had/have to deal with the fact that Armenians accept the IC.
Their Catholicos doesn't (see below).
Quote
In any case, you have pointed out (quite logically, I might add, which is a very worthy OO trait Smiley ) that the designation of the Theotokos as ALL-HOLY and IMMACULATE according to the Fathers does not necessary mean that she was in such wise from the moment of her conception.  However, aside from the fact that the Armenians do admit the holiness and purity of Mary from the moment of her conception, please consider this logical argument:

The prophets are generally set apart from God for their holy purpose from the womb of their mothers.  This is evident everywhere in Scripture.  Orthodox and Catholics generally both recognize that St. John the Baptist was sanctified in his mother's womb.  These are prophets, brother, and their sanctification from their time in their mother's womb indicates the specialness of God's purpose for them.  Now I ask you this:  HOW MUCH MORE FOR SHE WHO WAS DESTINED FROM THE FIRST MOMENT OF HER BEING TO BE THE NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT TO BE MADE PURE FROM HER MOTHER'S WOMB?
"potuit, decuit ergo fecit" was a non-proof in the 13th cent.  It hasn't been proven in 8 centuries.

Quote
Meditate on the words of the Liturgy for the Feast of the Conception (December 9), and you will see how fitting it is for the Mother of God to have been given all the graces of the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception.  Actually, you do not have to do much meditating.  The Liturgy is quite explicit that she was given such graces from the moment of her conception.

Then why no celebration in the first millenium?

The Website of the Catholicos of the Armenians has a different explanation:
Quote
This commemoration takes place on December 9, and has come to be observed by the Eastern churches only during recent centuries. The Catholic Church observes it on December 8. The feast is observed regardless of the day on which it falls. In 1854 the Roman Catholic Church declared as a doctrine of faith that St. Mary's conception was immaculate, thoroughly free of the original sin of Adam. However, our church and other churches do not accept articles of faith discovered or developed during recent times, and whatever is exclusively Christ God's cannot be attributed to any human creature.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=7762&pid=7736&lng=en
« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 09:13:28 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #70 on: April 07, 2009, 09:41:35 PM »

Dear brother Isa,

I was hoping you would join in!  Glad to see you!  Smiley  I interrupted our last discussion on this due to obligations in responding to posts at CAF and other real life responsibilities, so I'm glad we can continue it. Smiley

With all due respect to HH Patriarch Bartholomew, it is obvious he does not understand the substance of the dogma of the IC. 
It would seem he does.
If he believes the dogma of the IC makes any comment about the physical corruption to which Mary was subject, then he does not.

Quote
The dogma of the IC concerns ONLY the spiritual being of the Theotokos, NOT her physical being.  The dogma of the IC does NOT say she was preserved from physical corruption with all its attendant failings (death, illness, sorrow, etc.).  Rather, the dogma of the IC ONLY refers to the preservation of her spiritual purity.
A little too dualistic.  Death, illness, sorrow are the effects of original sin.  It is rather odd that she would be preserved from the stain of original sin but suffer its effects.  Is that what you are claiming?[/quote]
Once you explain to me how we are sanctified from original/ancestral sin at baptism yet still retain corruption - once you can explain to me how our bodies can die while our souls yet live - once you can explain to me how you claim there is not a dualism in our nature - then I will address this claim. The dogma of the IC is nothing more nor less than the graces of Baptism conferred upon memory at the moment of her conception.  If you admit dualism in the patristic dogma on Baptism, then nothing more need be said.

Quote
Quote
  Though it is couched in Latin language, it is obvious the dogma does not contradict any Eastern or Oriental teaching on the corruption that is the result of original/ancestral sin.

Actually, as many Eastern AND Oriental theologians have shown, it does.  And it was even fought in the West in Latin, so we can't be blaming culture or language on this one.
Nothing I've read from Eastern and Oriental theologians refutes the dogma of the IC as taught by the Catholic Church.  All I've seen are 1) a failure to distinguish between the spiritual and physical consequences of original/ancestral sin; 2) a failure to admit the dual nature of the human person (a soul distinct from the body, NOT separated but distinct nonetheless; 3) a failure to distinguish between sinlessness derived from Grace (which is what Mary possessed) versus a sinlessness derived from divine nature (which is what Jesus possesses); and 4) a failure to account for the context of the different belief in ensoulment in the early Latin Church.

Quote
I know innovative non-Catholic polemicists are good at thinking up various and novel ways to reject the dogma of the IC,

No, the old ones, like Bernard of Clairveaux's, suffice.

The supporters of the IC are ever inventive, though.[/quote]
No, those are old ones that have already been refuted.  I'm talking about the original vs. ancestral sin and the lack of free will arguments.  These have likewise been refuted, but I'm sure polemicists will invent new ones.

Quote
Quote
but as far as Patriarch Bartholomew's concerns, whatever it is he claims to be rejecting, it is NOT the dogma of the IC.

You mean this isn't it?

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."
That's it.  But he is interpreting it wrongly.

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #71 on: April 07, 2009, 09:57:27 PM »

Their Catholicos doesn't (see below).
Not true.  See below.

Quote
Quote
In any case, you have pointed out (quite logically, I might add, which is a very worthy OO trait Smiley ) that the designation of the Theotokos as ALL-HOLY and IMMACULATE according to the Fathers does not necessary mean that she was in such wise from the moment of her conception.  However, aside from the fact that the Armenians do admit the holiness and purity of Mary from the moment of her conception, please consider this logical argument:

The prophets are generally set apart from God for their holy purpose from the womb of their mothers.  This is evident everywhere in Scripture.  Orthodox and Catholics generally both recognize that St. John the Baptist was sanctified in his mother's womb.  These are prophets, brother, and their sanctification from their time in their mother's womb indicates the specialness of God's purpose for them.  Now I ask you this:  HOW MUCH MORE FOR SHE WHO WAS DESTINED FROM THE FIRST MOMENT OF HER BEING TO BE THE NEW ARK OF THE COVENANT TO BE MADE PURE FROM HER MOTHER'S WOMB?
"potuit, decuit ergo fecit" was a non-proof in the 13th cent.  It hasn't been proven in 8 centuries.
That's not what I'm arguing.  I've never considered that statement a "proof" anyway.  That statement had no effect on my belief in the IC.
Quote
Quote
Meditate on the words of the Liturgy for the Feast of the Conception (December 9), and you will see how fitting it is for the Mother of God to have been given all the graces of the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception.  Actually, you do not have to do much meditating.  The Liturgy is quite explicit that she was given such graces from the moment of her conception.
Then why no celebration in the first millenium?
Ummm.  The Feast was first celebrated in the Byzantine Church in the 7th century (8th?).

Quote
The Website of the Catholicos of the Armenians has a different explanation:
Quote
This commemoration takes place on December 9, and has come to be observed by the Eastern churches only during recent centuries. The Catholic Church observes it on December 8. The feast is observed regardless of the day on which it falls. In 1854 the Roman Catholic Church declared as a doctrine of faith that St. Mary's conception was immaculate, thoroughly free of the original sin of Adam. However, our church and other churches do not accept articles of faith discovered or developed during recent times, and whatever is exclusively Christ God's cannot be attributed to any human creature.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=7762&pid=7736&lng=en
The Catholicos is referring to its celebration in the Armenian Apostolic Church.  The Byzantine Church celebrated it since the first millenium (MODERN EO might have broken with Tradition in overreaction to the promulgation of the dogma of the IC, I don't know).  I agree with the statement of the Catholicos, but if he thinks his statement concerns the dogma of the IC, then that would be a mistake.  The Dogma does not claim anything for Mary that is exclusively Christ's.  Only Christ was naturally sinless, while Mary was sinless by Grace.

In any case, the Armenians do celebrate the Conception of Mary in St. Anne's womb which admits that from the moment of her conception, the Theotokos recieved all the graces the Holy Spirit could grant a creature.  This is exactly what the dogma of the IC teaches.  As stated, Armenians accept the teaching, but not as dogma (i.e. as theologoumenon).  The Byzantine Church also celebrated this feast (and in fact originated with them).  I don't know if they do anymore.

Does anyone have the texts for the Feast of the Conception in the Armenian and Byzantine Churches?

Blessings,
Marduk
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« Reply #72 on: April 07, 2009, 11:02:14 PM »

Dear brother Isa,

I was hoping you would join in!  Glad to see you!  Smiley 
Glad to see you!  Wink
Quote
I interrupted our last discussion on this due to obligations in responding to posts at CAF and other real life responsibilities,
WHAT?  CAF isn't real life? LOL.
Quote
so I'm glad we can continue it. Smiley
Miss that thumb's up smiley.  Have to give it to CAF, they had a nice collection of smileys.

With all due respect to HH Patriarch Bartholomew, it is obvious he does not understand the substance of the dogma of the IC. 
It would seem he does.
If he believes the dogma of the IC makes any comment about the physical corruption to which Mary was subject, then he does not.
Our priest just spoke on this issue in the sermon last Sunday, on the topic of blood.  In pertinent part, he pointed out that the hymns about St. Mary of Egypt (I'm not sure if you are aware of her story, I don't believe she is in the Coptic Synaxarion)
http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/Mary_of_Egypt
owe more to Plato than to the Bible, as the Bible speaks of the spiritual in very physical terms.  The idea of the spirit being some etherial object is alien to it.  He pointed to the idea of life being in the blood, and pointing out that the philosopher Seneca somehow knew, by observation, that draining the body of blood would part the spirit from the body.

As to the case in point, any spiritual corruption will and does have psychosomatic repurcusions.  Hence the reference to physical corruption.

That is, by the way a point the Fathers hammer on: the angels, who are pure spirit (a reletive term: only God is really a spirit) fell before the physical creation, contra the Gnostics.

The dogma of the IC concerns ONLY the spiritual being of the Theotokos, NOT her physical being.  The dogma of the IC does NOT say she was preserved from physical corruption with all its attendant failings (death, illness, sorrow, etc.).  Rather, the dogma of the IC ONLY refers to the preservation of her spiritual purity.
A little too dualistic.  Death, illness, sorrow are the effects of original sin.  It is rather odd that she would be preserved from the stain of original sin but suffer its effects.  Is that what you are claiming?
Once you explain to me how we are sanctified from original/ancestral sin at baptism yet still retain corruption - once you can explain to me how our bodies can die while our souls yet live - once you can explain to me how you claim there is not a dualism in our nature - then I will address this claim. The dogma of the IC is nothing more nor less than the graces of Baptism conferred upon memory at the moment of her conception.  If you admit dualism in the patristic dogma on Baptism, then nothing more need be said.

I came across this, amongst the jurisdiction issues that have been keeping me busy here:
Quote
As the book of Genesis states, Adam lived in the most beautiful garden (named Eden or Paradise), planted by God, and there he enjoyed all the blessings of life. He knew no sickness nor suffering. He feared nothing, and all beasts submitted to him as their master. Adam suffered neither cold nor heat. Although he toiled by caring for the garden of Eden, he did so with pleasure. His soul was filled with awareness of the Divine presence, and he loved his Creator with his whole heart. Adam was always calm and happy and knew no unpleasantness, sorrow, or concern. All his desires were pure, righteous, and orderly; his memory, intellect, and all other faculties were in harmony and were constantly being perfected. Being pure and innocent, he was always with God and conversed with Him as with his Father, and in return God loved him as His own beloved son. In brief, Adam was in Paradise, and Paradise was within him.

If Adam had not sinned, he would have remained forever blessed, and all his descendants would have enjoyed blessedness. It was for this very purpose that God had created man. But Adam, having succumbed to the tempter-devil, transgressed against the law of the Maker and took pleasure in the taste of the forbidden fruit. When God appeared to Adam right after he had sinned, Adam, instead of repenting and promising obedience henceforth, began to justify himself and to blame his wife. Eve in turn blamed the serpent for everything. And so it was that sin became a part of human nature, deeply injuring it because of the lack of repentance of Adam and Eve. The existing communion with the Maker was cut and the blessedness lost. Having lost Paradise within himself, Adam became unworthy of the external Paradise and was therefore banished from it.

After the fall into sin, Adams soul darkened: his thoughts and desires became muddled, and his imagination and memory began to cloud. Instead of peace and joy he met sorrow, agitation, ruination, misery, and woe. He experienced hard labor, poverty, hunger, and thirst. And after years of unsurpassed sorrows, sickly old age began to oppress him, and death neared. Worst of all, the devil, the perpetrator of every evil, obtained through sin the ability to influence Adam and to further alienate him from God.

The whole of nature, which had previously served Adam as a means to happiness, had now become hostile to him. From then on Adam and all his descendants began to suffer from cold and heat and to experience hunger and the effect of changes in climate and environmental conditions. Animals became unfriendly toward people and looked upon them as enemy or prey. Adams descendants began to suffer from different diseases, which gradually became more varied and severe. Men forgot that they were brothers and began to fight with each other, to hate, to deceive, to attack and to kill each other. And finally, after all kinds of hard labors and tribulations, they were doomed to die, and, as sinners, to go to Hades and experience eternal punishment there....It is the Holy Spirit Himself Who established within the Church the means of distributing His blessings to the faithful: the Holy Mysteries and other liturgical services. Non-Orthodox Christians are sadly mistaken when they assert that they can always, whenever it suits them, receive the Holy Spirit through well-known means (which are unfortunately also used during spiritual seances and pagan mysteries). Those who dare to orchestrate these means will not only remain empty of the divine gifts but also commit a terrible sin against the Holy Spirit.

Anyone who considers asking the Holy Spirit for beneficial gifts must know that these gifts are meant only for those who possess true faith. Indeed, the Lord first of all enlightened the Apostles with the true doctrine and then bestowed upon them the Holy Spirit. Similarly, the Apostles did not bestow beneficial gifts upon newly baptized Christians immediately, but only after a certain period of testing and affirmation in the true faith. That is why the Lord called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth, and His Church, the beatified community of the faithful, is called in Scripture the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/kingdomofheaven.aspx

These words of St. Innocent to the Aleuts (and then to the Russians) show that original sin does not confine itself to "spiritual" effects.  The reverse is also true: hence incorrupt relics, etc.

To pick up with my priest, this is the issue of the Blood of Christ being poured out.  God was loved for the first time as He ought to be, and God's life was poured out into humanity. Until then, the grace of baptism was not operative.  As the Holy Theotokos would first have to be born and mature to be able to conceive Christ to give Him that Blood, the IC can't go via a time loop and be accomplished.

On time loops, see this thread "Incarnate Christ in Old Testament"
Again, if Christ transcended space and time, at no point has He not been incarnate. There are Orthodox authors who testify to this. Any time when God is spoken of anthropomorphically in the Old Testament, it is the incarnate Christ.

If Christ is eternally incarnate, as in having been incarnate (having a material, human body and nature, as well as being fully God) "in the beginning", then where does the Annunciation fit in? Did the Word of God become flesh twice? Or more than twice? And whose flesh did He take on before the events of the Annunciation? Or was this "old" flesh discarded when He became incarnate by the Virgin?

This is a mighty theological pickle you're getting yourself into, my friend. You may be confusing the prefigurative OT appearances of God the Word (the three strangers at the Oak of Mamre, the angel of God who wrestled with Jacob, etc etc) with the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, which is an entirely different proposition to the types and shadows of the OT.

Though it is couched in Latin language, it is obvious the dogma does not contradict any Eastern or Oriental teaching on the corruption that is the result of original/ancestral sin.

Actually, as many Eastern AND Oriental theologians have shown, it does.  And it was even fought in the West in Latin, so we can't be blaming culture or language on this one.
Nothing I've read from Eastern and Oriental theologians refutes the dogma of the IC as taught by the Catholic Church.

Except for apologetics/polemics with the Latins, I've never seen anything on it in EO or OO theologians, which would be odd if it were a dogma.  The absence of a major feast day for it is also a give away.

Quote
All I've seen are 1) a failure to distinguish between the spiritual and physical consequences of original/ancestral sin;

If not seeing a seperation between the spiritual and physical consequences of ancestral sin is a "failure," then I'd agree.

Quote
2) a failure to admit the dual nature of the human person (a soul distinct from the body, NOT separated but distinct nonetheless;


The Bible doesn't make the distinction you are suggesting, nor the Fathers.  Why should we?  Like the Creed says "Resurection of the Dead," or "of the Body" if you prefer the Apostles Creed.

Quote
3) a failure to distinguish between sinlessness derived from Grace (which is what Mary possessed) versus a sinlessness derived from divine nature (which is what Jesus possesses);

No, we know the difference and why the former precludes the IC.

Quote
and 4) a failure to account for the context of the different belief in ensoulment in the early Latin Church.

LOL.  Do the Latins make babies differently from the rest of us?

The difference in ensoulment is a problem between you and your Thomas Aquinas, who fought the IC, and trying to explain away the "Angelic Doctor"'s mistake in so crucial a matter.  It has nothing to do with us, EO or OO.

I know innovative non-Catholic polemicists are good at thinking up various and novel ways to reject the dogma of the IC,

No, the old ones, like Bernard of Clairveaux's, suffice.

The supporters of the IC are ever inventive, though.
No, those are old ones that have already been refuted.  I'm talking about the original vs. ancestral sin and the lack of free will arguments.  These have likewise been refuted, but I'm sure polemicists will invent new ones.

So everyone knows what Bernard of Clairveaux had to say:
Quote
6. Whence, then, was the holiness of that conception? Shall it be said that Mary was so prevented by grace that, being holy before being conceived, she was therefore conceived without sin; or that, being holy before being born, she has therefore communicated holiness to her birth? But in order to be holy it is necessary to exist, and a person does not exist before being conceived. Or perhaps, when her parents were united, holiness was mingled with the conception itself, so that she was at once conceived and sanctified. But this is not tenable in reason. For how can there be sanctity without the sanctifying Spirit, or the co-operation of the Holy Spirit with sin? Or how could there not be sin where concupiscence was not wanting? Unless, perhaps, some one will say that she was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and not by man, which would be a thing hitherto unheard of. I say, then, that the Holy Spirit came upon her, not within her, as the Angel declared: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee (S. Luke i. 35). And if it is permitted to say what the Church thinks, and the Church thinks that which is true, I say that she conceived by the Holy Spirit, but not that she was conceived by Him; that she was at once Mother and Virgin, but not that she was born of a virgin. Otherwise, where will be the prerogative of the Mother of the Lord, to have united in her person the glory of maternity and that of virginity, if you give the same glory to her mother also? This is not to honour the Virgin, but to detract from her honour. If, therefore, before her conception she could not possibly be sanctified, since she did not exist, nor in the conception itself, because of the sin which inhered in it, it remains to be believed that she received sanctification when existing in the womb after conception, which, by excluding sin, made her birth holy, but not her conception.



7. Wherefore, although it has been given to some, though few, of the sons of men to be born with the gift of sanctity, yet to none has it been given to be conceived with it. So that to One alone should be reserved this privilege, to Him who should make all holy, and coming into the world, He alone, without sin should make an atonement for sinners. The Lord Jesus, then, alone was conceived by the Holy Ghost, because He alone was holy before He was conceived. He being excepted, all the children of Adam are in the same case as he who confessed of himself with great humility and truth, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin hath my mother conceived me (Ps. li. 6).

8. And as this is so, what ground can there be for a Festival of the Conception of the Virgin? On what principle, I say, is either a conception asserted to be holy which is not by the Holy Ghost, not to say that it is by sin, or a festival be established which is in no wise holy? Willingly the glorious Virgin will be without this honour, by which either a sin seems to be honoured or a sanctity supposed which is not a fact. And, besides, she will by no means be pleased by a presumptuous novelty against the custom of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of rashness, the sister of superstition, the daughter of levity. For if such a festival seemed advisable, the authority of the Apostolic See ought first to have been consulted, and he simplicity of inexperienced persons ought not to have been followed so thoughtlessly and precipitately. And, indeed, I had before noted that error in some persons; but I appeared not to take notice of it, dealing gently with a devotion which sprang from simplicity of heart and love of the Virgin. But now that the superstition has taken hold upon wise men, and upon a famous and noble Church, of which I am specially the son, I know not whether I could longer pass it over without gravely offending you all. But what I have said is in submission to the judgment of whosoever is wiser than myself; and especially I refer the whole of it, as of all matters of a similar kind, to the authority and decision of the See of Rome, and I am prepared to modify my opinion if in anything I think otherwise than that See.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/bernard/letters.lxviii.html

Bernard is also an opponent of the absolute papal power in the Church. As certainly as he recognizes the papal authority as the highest in the Church, so decidedly does he reprove the effort to make it the only one. Even the middle and lower ranks of the Church have their right before God. To withdraw the bishops from the authority of the archbishops, the abbots from the authority of the bishops, that all may become dependent on the curia, means to make the Church a monster (De consideratione., iii, Cool.

Btw, he's no friend of ours:
I, for one, shall speak about those obstinate Greeks [i.e. Orthodox], who are with us and against us, united in faith and divided in peace, though in truth their faith may stray from the straight path.
De Consideratione, iii, 1. (btw, he refers to Ephraim as "diligent doctor," so he likes him).

But besides Bernard, II Corinthians 5:21 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" renders all this potuit, decuit ergo fecit nonsense gibberish.

Since the Sinless one became Sin for us, all this talk about that, of course His mother had to be sinless, is rather unnecessary.
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« Reply #73 on: April 08, 2009, 02:26:54 AM »

I think the issue may be centered on the refinement of the term "immaculate conception."  We often impose our narrow definitions of terms on early believers when in fact the early believers faith was not marked by such strict doctrine and dogma.  It is clear that IC was not dogma in the early church as is was not even dogmatic to refer to her as Theotokos until the 5th/6th century.  I don't want to say that the dogma of IC is absolutely wrong or right, but to say that we can know with such great certainty and in such great detail is certainly not not founded in anyone's tradition, and certainly cannot be imposed on the early historical and fragmental evidence as the full doctrine of those who may have celebrated it.
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« Reply #74 on: April 08, 2009, 03:33:48 AM »


"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."



Dear Isa,

The definition is a crock and one has to wonder whether the Pope was simply being disingenuous.

The Pope proclaims:  "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."


Original sin means that humans suffer from the stain of original sin --

(1) death; and

(2) concupiscence.

Mary was thus preserved from stain #2, not stain #1.

That teaching is so confused.   Mary, says the Pope, was preserved from the stain of death.  Because death is a result of original sin, death had no part in Mary's nature.  There was nothing in her nature which could cause her to die.  But we all know she died, and in fact the Pope himself refers to her death 6 times in the Apostolic Constitution establishing the dogma.

If that were a regular person writing such contradictions you'd take them aside and advise them to have a wee liedown.
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« Reply #75 on: April 08, 2009, 04:44:46 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,


"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."



Dear Isa,

The definition is a crock and one has to wonder whether the Pope was simply being disingenuous.

The Pope proclaims:  "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."


Original sin means that humans suffer from the stain of original sin --

(1) death; and

(2) concupiscence.

Mary was thus preserved from stain #2, not stain #1.

That teaching is so confused.   Mary, says the Pope, was preserved from the stain of death.  Because death is a result of original sin, death had no part in Mary's nature.  There was nothing in her nature which could cause her to die.  But we all know she died, and in fact the Pope himself refers to her death 6 times in the Apostolic Constitution establishing the dogma.

If that were a regular person writing such contradictions you'd take them aside and advise them to have a wee liedown.
The misunderstanding actually lies with you.  The Catholic Church does NOT define the stain of original sin as death.  Rather, it defines it as the bad spiritual effects of original sin which are -1) loss of sanctifying grace; 2) concupiscence.

As I've repeatedly stated, the dogma of the IC does not make any reference to the more tactile effects of original sin (i.e., death, physical/emotional infirmities, etc.).  It is only about the spiritual effects.  I hope in your heart you will see the error in your statements above.  You cannot conscientiously criticize the Pope for claiming that she was preserved from the stain of death, and then backtracking, when the dogma made no such claim.

Humbly,
Marduk

P.S. Brother Isa, sorry that is all I have time for right now.
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« Reply #76 on: April 08, 2009, 04:50:38 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

The misunderstanding actually lies with you.  The Catholic Church does NOT define the stain of original sin as death.  Rather, it defines it as the bad spiritual effects of original sin which are -1) loss of sanctifying grace; 2) concupiscence.

My child,

Is this more Catholic gobbledygook or are you saying that the Catholic Church does not hold death to be a consequence of original sin?
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« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2009, 05:14:29 AM »

I would consider the IC dogma , if the Tradition , and apocrypha of James(or who wrote it) would be desconsider and untrue . Sure there is a possibility of an IC , but not how the catholics see it ; I see it (as a possibility) in another way . Untill then with the springs we have from the Traditions and Scripture I reject this dogma . Anyway for me the veridicity of some apocryphas and some "saints" stories are very questionable : The apocrypha of Adam and Eve , the testament of Job , The gospel of Nicodim , those "writings , secrets" of the apostles , this about Mary , I look at them with scepticism . But as we don`t have other references about Mary the apocrypha is good , i guess . Still this doesn`t affect my belief in Theotokos and Mariology , but i don`t believe in the Mary of the Catholics ... wich is risen at the statute of being a Redeemer .
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« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2009, 06:01:35 AM »


 You cannot conscientiously criticize the Pope for claiming that she was preserved from the stain of death, and then backtracking, when the dogma made no such claim.

The Pope's definition of the IC is quite clear: "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."

Is death one of the stains of original sin or not?

If the Mother of God had none of the stains then she was not subject to death.  Unless you wish to say that death is not a consequence of original sin?




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« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2009, 07:55:13 AM »


 You cannot conscientiously criticize the Pope for claiming that she was preserved from the stain of death, and then backtracking, when the dogma made no such claim.

The Pope's definition of the IC is quite clear: "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."

Is death one of the stains of original sin or not?

If the Mother of God had none of the stains then she was not subject to death.  Unless you wish to say that death is not a consequence of original sin?





yawn.
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« Reply #80 on: April 08, 2009, 08:03:18 AM »

Thus when the Liturgy uses terms I expect that those terms are very percise. Thus, if the Liturgy (in this the Byzantine Litrugy) calls her the "All Holy" I expect it to be a very precise use of the term "All" by the very nature of what the Liturgy is.

This may come as a shock to His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and his mother since he is commemorated several times in the Liturgy as "All Holy."    Whether ot not this has been linked to a claim for his immaculate conception I have no idea.   Grin

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« Reply #81 on: April 08, 2009, 08:04:15 AM »


 You cannot conscientiously criticize the Pope for claiming that she was preserved from the stain of death, and then backtracking, when the dogma made no such claim.

The Pope's definition of the IC is quite clear: "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."

Is death one of the stains of original sin or not?

If the Mother of God had none of the stains then she was not subject to death.  Unless you wish to say that death is not a consequence of original sin?

yawn.

So I was right?   Smiley
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« Reply #82 on: April 08, 2009, 09:06:32 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

Seriously -- the fact that you do not actually read my response makes your claims lose all credibility.  I already stated, specifically, that the "stain" of original sin does not refer to any of the tactile effects of the Fall, but only to the spiritual effects.  I don't know how you can assume I claimed that death is not a consequence of the Fall.

Let me spell this out more slowly:

The Fall had two consequences for mankind - 1) tactile/physical effects which include bodily/emotional infirmities, corruption and death. 2) spiritual effects which include loss of sanctifying grace, loss of original justice, and concupiscence.

In the Decree on Original Sin at the Council of Trent, the Church defined that in Baptism, mankind is "made innocent, without stain, pure...beloved sons of God."

Do you see the word "stain" in the definition, Father?  Do you see the connection?  "Stain" refers to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin, NOT the physical/tactile consequences (unless your innovative polemics are now going to claim that the Catholic Church teaches that Baptism means we can no longer die).

So when the dogma of the IC states that Mary was preserved from all STAIN of original sin, it is referring exclusively to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin, and is not making any reference to the physical/tactile consequences.  In other words, the dogma of the IC is not claiming that the Graces Mary received at the moment of the Immaculate Conception somehow freed her from death, or physical/emotional infirmities, or bodily corruption, etc.

Just think of it this way - at Baptism, we receive the graces of the Holy Spirit so that we become pure, without stain of original sin, blameless, in the eyes of God.  Baptism does NOT mean that we are somehow freed from death, physical/emotional infirmities, bodily corruption, etc. does it?  Why in the world would you believe the dogma of the IC means Mary was somehow freed from death, etc.?  I am not making a mere analogy here, Father.  For in fact, the Graces Mary received at her Immaculate Conception are the exact same graces we receive at Baptism.  Except that since it was at the moment of her conception, at the very start of her existence, then it was preventive instead of ameliorative.  The main consequence of it being at the moment of her conception is that it preserved her from concupiscence. WE are still "infected" with concupiscence despite baptism because it becomes part of our nature once it is in us at our conception.  Since Mary's grace was preventive, concupiscence never touched her.  Nevertheless, this does not mean Mary lacked in any way the full exercise of her free will (as we have already discussed).  Nor does it mean that the Graces Mary received is different from the Graces we receive at our Baptism, for the lack of concupiscence in her is only a coincidental function of the time she received these Graces, not that the Graces were different.

Hope that helps.

I won't be back till tomorrow.  So I hope brother Papist will take over till then.

Humbly,
Marduk

 You cannot conscientiously criticize the Pope for claiming that she was preserved from the stain of death, and then backtracking, when the dogma made no such claim.

The Pope's definition of the IC is quite clear: "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."

Is death one of the stains of original sin or not?

If the Mother of God had none of the stains then she was not subject to death.  Unless you wish to say that death is not a consequence of original sin?





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« Reply #83 on: April 08, 2009, 09:08:28 AM »


"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."



Dear Isa,

The definition is a crock and one has to wonder whether the Pope was simply being disingenuous.

The Pope proclaims:  "the Blessed Virgin Mary.... was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin..."


Original sin means that humans suffer from the stain of original sin --

(1) death; and

(2) concupiscence.

Mary was thus preserved from stain #2, not stain #1.

That teaching is so confused.   Mary, says the Pope, was preserved from the stain of death.  Because death is a result of original sin, death had no part in Mary's nature.  There was nothing in her nature which could cause her to die.  But we all know she died, and in fact the Pope himself refers to her death 6 times in the Apostolic Constitution establishing the dogma.

If that were a regular person writing such contradictions you'd take them aside and advise them to have a wee liedown.

Ah, what a tangled web we weave...

From the CCC:
Quote
IN BRIEF

413 "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil's envy that death entered the world" (⇒ Wis 1:13; ⇒ 2:24).

414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.

415 "Although set by God in a state of rectitude man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the very start of history. He lifted himself up against God, and sought to attain his goal apart from him" (GS 13 # 1).

416 By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.

417 Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".

418 As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").

419 "We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, "by propagation, not by imitation" and that it is. . . 'proper to each'" (Paul VI, CPG # 16).

420 The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (⇒ Rom 5:20).

421 Christians believe that "the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator's love; has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and risen to break the power of the evil one. . ." (GS 2 # 2).

602 Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the divine plan of salvation in this way: "You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers... with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake."402 Man's sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death.403 By sending his own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God "made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."404

603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.405 But in the redeeming love that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"406 Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God "did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all", so that we might be "reconciled to God by the death of his Son".

Wholly united with her Son:

964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death";502 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."503

965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers."504 In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."

966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."506 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.

1018 As a consequence of original sin, man must suffer "bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned" (GS # 18).

1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.65 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin" (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ."66 Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."


Tying the IC into the ideas about Penance, it is strange that she is held to bear the punishment for sin she was absolved from conception and which she did not commit.  Of course, we also have to admit the Immortalists in the Vatican: due to the vague wording of the Munificentissimus Deus, there are those who claim that she did not die.  At least they are consistent.

Which is more than I can say with all this Back to the Future Mariology. It's not Proto-Evangelion, it's pre-quel Gospel.  A solution to a non-existent problem.
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« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2009, 09:32:26 AM »

Dearest Father Ambrose,

Seriously -- the fact that you do not actually read my response makes your claims lose all credibility.  I already stated, specifically, that the "stain" of original sin does not refer to any of the tactile effects of the Fall, but only to the spiritual effects.  I don't know how you can assume I claimed that death is not a consequence of the Fall.

Let me spell this out more slowly:

The Fall had two consequences for mankind - 1) tactile/physical effects which include bodily/emotional infirmities, corruption and death. 2) spiritual effects which include loss of sanctifying grace, loss of original justice, and concupiscence.

In the Decree on Original Sin at the Council of Trent, the Church defined that in Baptism, mankind is "made innocent, without stain, pure...beloved sons of God."

Do you see the word "stain" in the definition, Father?  Do you see the connection?  "Stain" refers to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin, NOT the physical/tactile consequences (unless your innovative polemics are now going to claim that the Catholic Church teaches that Baptism means we can no longer die).

So when the dogma of the IC states that Mary was preserved from all STAIN of original sin, it is referring exclusively to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin, and is not making any reference to the physical/tactile consequences.  In other words, the dogma of the IC is not claiming that the Graces Mary received at the moment of the Immaculate Conception somehow freed her from death, or physical/emotional infirmities, or bodily corruption, etc.

Just think of it this way - at Baptism, we receive the graces of the Holy Spirit so that we become pure, without stain of original sin, blameless, in the eyes of God.  Baptism does NOT mean that we are somehow freed from death, physical/emotional infirmities, bodily corruption, etc. does it?  Why in the world would you believe the dogma of the IC means Mary was somehow freed from death, etc.?  I am not making a mere analogy here, Father.  For in fact, the Graces Mary received at her Immaculate Conception are the exact same graces we receive at Baptism.  Except that since it was at the moment of her conception, at the very start of her existence, then it was preventive instead of ameliorative.  The main consequence of it being at the moment of her conception is that it preserved her from concupiscence. WE are still "infected" with concupiscence despite baptism because it becomes part of our nature once it is in us at our conception.  Since Mary's grace was preventive, concupiscence never touched her.  Nevertheless, this does not mean Mary lacked in any way the full exercise of her free will (as we have already discussed).  Nor does it mean that the Graces Mary received is different from the Graces we receive at our Baptism, for the lack of concupiscence in her is only a coincidental function of the time she received these Graces, not that the Graces were different.

Hope that helps.

No, it doesn't help.  In fact you are are writing rather irrationally.  But that is not surprising since the whole theory of immaculate conception is irrational.

The Catechism is quite clear:

CCC 1018: "As a consequence of original sin, man must suffer "bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned"

The Mother of God had no original sin.   That made her immune to bodily death.

But you make this strange statement:  "So when the dogma of the IC states that Mary was preserved from all STAIN of original sin, it is referring exclusively to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin, and is not making any reference to the physical/tactile consequences."

WHERE does the definition say that she was free from the spiritual consequences but not from the physical consequences?  You're just fabricating that.


How could a woman who was free of original sin have any of the consequences of original sin applied to her?   It's not simply irrational.  It is unjust.

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« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2009, 09:44:43 AM »

No, it doesn't help.  In fact you are are writing rather irrationally.  But that is not surprising since the whole theory of immaculate conception is irrational.

The Catechism is quite clear:

CCC 1018: "As a consequence of original sin, man must suffer "bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned"

The Mother of God had no original sin.   That made her immune to bodily death.

But you make this strange statement:  "So when the dogma of the IC states that Mary was preserved from all STAIN of original sin, it is referring exclusively to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin, and is not making any reference to the physical/tactile consequences."

WHERE does the definition say that she was free from the spiritual consequences but not from the physical consequences?  You're just fabricating that.


How could a woman who was free of original sin have any of the consequences of original sin applied to her?   It's not simply irrational.  It is unjust.
Agreed.
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« Reply #86 on: April 08, 2009, 09:57:11 AM »


Ah, what a tangled web we weave...

Not really. You simply present it as such to bolster your position. I believe that Mary not because of original sin but because her life was completely in conformity to that of her son, who died and most definitely did not posses original sin.
Second, I believe her death was truely a "dormition" hardly a death at all. So much so that she fell asleep then found her self in heaven. Not like our death.
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« Reply #87 on: April 08, 2009, 10:03:13 AM »

I believe that Mary not because of original sin but because her life was completely in conformity to that of her son, who died and most definitely did not posses original sin.

That's a crock.  Her Son was murdered.  Was the Mother of God murdered?

The Catechism (1018) is crystal clear that those not afflicted with original sin are immune from bodily death.

Mary was not immune from bodily death.

Therefore, she was subject to original sin.
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« Reply #88 on: April 08, 2009, 10:03:47 AM »

Quote
Second, I believe her death was truely a "dormition" hardly a death at all. So much so that she fell asleep then found her self in heaven. Not like our death.

Papist, this is sophistry, pure and simple. Did the Mother of God die, or did she not? What does your church teach on this? Your statement is as useful and coherent as stating a woman can be "half-pregnant".
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« Reply #89 on: April 08, 2009, 10:10:05 AM »

Second, I believe her death was truely a "dormition" hardly a death at all. So much so that she fell asleep then found her self in heaven. Not like our death.


It's hard to see how her death can be disputed by Roman Catholics
considering the words of Pope Pius XII in the very document by which he
dogmatically defined the Assumption.

It would, btw, be quite impossible for Eastern Catholics not to believe that
the Mother of God died without doing an act of violence to their own sacred
Tradition. The iconography, the hymnography and the oral Tradition all teach
that she did in fact die.

People like to say that the Apostolic Constitution "Munificentissimus Deus"
by which Pope Pius XII established the dogma of the Assumption in 1950 makes
no mention of whether Mary died or did not die.

This is inaccurate. One only has to read the document to see that the Pope
believed that she died. For example, he says:

"Thus, to cite an illustrious example, this is set forth in that
sacramentary which Adrian I, our predecessor of immortal memory, sent to the
Emperor Charlemagne. These words are found in this volume: "Venerable to us,
O Lord, is the festivity of this day on which the holy Mother of God
suffered temporal death, but still could not be kept down by the bonds of
death, who has begotten your Son our Lord incarnate from herself."

and

"As he kept you a virgin in childbirth, thus he has kept your body incorrupt
in the tomb and has glorified it by his divine act of transferring it from
the tomb."

and

"They offered more profound explanations of its meaning and nature, bringing
out into sharper light the fact that this feast shows, not only that the
dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary remained incorrupt.."

and

"she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him
who has raised her up from the tomb.."

and

"What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her
into paradise after her death if he could?"

These quotes from the papal document defining the Assumption are proof that
the Pope taught that Mary died and was buried in a tomb and from there she
was resurrected by her Son.

_________________________________
"MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS" Pope Pius XII
http://www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P12MUNIF.HTM

-oOo-

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