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Author Topic: A question on the Immaculate Conception  (Read 101825 times) Average Rating: 0
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elijahmaria
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« Reply #810 on: May 15, 2010, 08:16:14 PM »

Is the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne one of the Seven Great Marian Feasts?



I confess I do not know what the Seven Great Marian Feasts are but no, the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne has the rank of a simple feast as for any minor Saint.

Do you know the system of squiggly marks which are used in liturgical books to indicate the rank of Feasts?  It lets the priest and the choir know, at one glance, the rank and how much of the service will be sung, the mixture of the number of variable stichera at various places (some for the day and some for the Saint or Feast),  what parts will be added in or omitted..... It's a clever little visual system.

The Feast of the Conception has the very low ranking symbol of an open circle with three dots in red.  Looks like this 



That's quite correct.  So it is in the Marian Feasts themselves, the Presentation of the Theotokos, in particular where the exalted language of the Virgin Mother's exceptional purity of soul is to be found.

M.

Are the Seven Great Marian Feasts a list of the Ruthenian Church?  Do you know what they are?

They are Byzantine, of course. 

Sorry I can't name them.

Can you?

M.
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« Reply #811 on: May 15, 2010, 08:18:06 PM »

Is the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne one of the Seven Great Marian Feasts?



I confess I do not know what the Seven Great Marian Feasts are but no, the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne has the rank of a simple feast as for any minor Saint.

Do you know the system of squiggly marks which are used in liturgical books to indicate the rank of Feasts?  It lets the priest and the choir know, at one glance, the rank and how much of the service will be sung, the mixture of the number of variable stichera at various places (some for the day and some for the Saint or Feast),  what parts will be added in or omitted..... It's a clever little visual system.

The Feast of the Conception has the very low ranking symbol of an open circle with three dots in red.  Looks like this 



That's quite correct.  So it is in the Marian Feasts themselves, the Presentation of the Theotokos, in particular where the exalted language of the Virgin Mother's exceptional purity of soul is to be found.

M.

The Entrance of the Mother of God into the temple is a   It is one of the great feasts of the year.

Yes.  Its also where the strongest hymns are concerning her spiritual purity and perfection and its exceptional nature which goes against the grain of the class of Orthodoxy that you represent in describing her as being "just like us."
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« Reply #812 on: May 15, 2010, 08:26:33 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh
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« Reply #813 on: May 15, 2010, 08:32:08 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.

M.
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« Reply #814 on: May 15, 2010, 08:33:55 PM »

Is the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne one of the Seven Great Marian Feasts?



I confess I do not know what the Seven Great Marian Feasts are but no, the Feast of the Conception of Saint Anne has the rank of a simple feast as for any minor Saint.

Do you know the system of squiggly marks which are used in liturgical books to indicate the rank of Feasts?  It lets the priest and the choir know, at one glance, the rank and how much of the service will be sung, the mixture of the number of variable stichera at various places (some for the day and some for the Saint or Feast),  what parts will be added in or omitted..... It's a clever little visual system.

The Feast of the Conception has the very low ranking symbol of an open circle with three dots in red.  Looks like this 



That's quite correct.  So it is in the Marian Feasts themselves, the Presentation of the Theotokos, in particular where the exalted language of the Virgin Mother's exceptional purity of soul is to be found.

M.

The Entrance of the Mother of God into the temple is a   It is one of the great feasts of the year.

Yes.  Its also where the strongest hymns are concerning her spiritual purity and perfection and its exceptional nature which goes against the grain of the class of Orthodoxy that you represent in describing her as being "just like us."

"Just like us".... not really a fair presentation of what I have said.

The Mother of God was "just like us" in her conception.

The Mother of God is also "just like us" insofar as she too is on the never-ending path of theosis.  But in this she is also, as I have pointed out, very much unlike us since she is already millennia ahead of us on the path.  She is so far advanced that she stands on the boundary of the created and the uncreated (is that Palamas' phrase?)  But of course she will never topple over and become uncreated,
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« Reply #815 on: May 15, 2010, 08:43:55 PM »

I have been seriously considering giving up "Trinity" and "Incarnation" on the same grounds!!  Smiley

By the same token, how does anyone know what Orthodoxy teaches?

I've been hanging around long enough to know that seminaries do not all teach precisely the same thing.

I've been hanging around long enough to have five books here that are used as catechetical materials for catechumen and they do not all teach the same thing.

Etc.

So ...help me out here.  How do I know what Orthodoxy teaches?

M.
Dear Mary,
........

The long one is this: Orthodoxy is not merely a set of precepts that one acquieces to in order to become a Christian.  Rather, the Orthodox Faith is an experience.  I have given up on catechism materials as being 'complete' or 'correct' because, frankly none of them can compare to the experience of it itself.

Much of what we deal with is Mystery, and so Orthodoxy tends to be apophatic as well as kataphatic.  You are looking for the latter, but so much of Orthodoxy tends to really be in the former.  Remember, you are dealing with a pre-Modernist tradition which shuns much of the absolutist rhetoric that has come to characterize later theological trends.  Roman Catholicism itself has much more of that precision of terminology which Orthodoxy has never really gotten into mostly because it can give in some circumstances a false sense of understanding where things are really beyond human rational examination.

In the end, we are left with fewer answers than questions, and less pride in our intellect than a painful realization that the human intellect is a stumbling block to spiritual development when it is used solely on its own.  We are also left constantly asking, which is precisely what God wants us doing.  Once the definition is made, the search is over.  The journey ends.

Some journeys do indeed need to end, but others need to go on.  The Mother of God, the Theotokos, is one of those journeys that must go on, because to define her is to presume one can grasp the Incarnation.  I think we can all agree that such a thing is not possible, though we may try.

So, we are left with a Mystery, and a great and glorious one indeed! Smiley


Very nicely explained, Father.
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« Reply #816 on: May 15, 2010, 08:48:48 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?
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« Reply #817 on: May 15, 2010, 09:17:20 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?

As I said Father....I sit here with five Orthodox texts used to catechize Orthodox catechumen.  You don't even need to do a close reading to see they don't all teach identically about the same topics.

So you'll have to explain to me what Orthodox faithful mean when they say "identical"?

M.
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« Reply #818 on: May 15, 2010, 09:29:19 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?

As I said Father....I sit here with five Orthodox texts used to catechize Orthodox catechumen.  You don't even need to do a close reading to see they don't all teach identically about the same topics.

So you'll have to explain to me what Orthodox faithful mean when they say "identical"?

Mary, forgive me for saying this but you are always reluctant to actually post the first hand sources.  We are just expected to accept everything you say.  Would you chose what you see as the most egregious disparity between a couple of these catechisms and post some extracts for us to read.
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« Reply #819 on: May 15, 2010, 09:38:16 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?

As I said Father....I sit here with five Orthodox texts used to catechize Orthodox catechumen.  You don't even need to do a close reading to see they don't all teach identically about the same topics.

So you'll have to explain to me what Orthodox faithful mean when they say "identical"?

Mary, forgive me for saying this but you are always reluctant to actually post the first hand sources.  We are just expected to accept everything you say.  Would you chose what you see as the most egregious disparity between a couple of these catechisms and post some extracts for us to read.


Heck no.  Not with that kind of endorsement!!

M.
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« Reply #820 on: May 15, 2010, 09:44:12 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?

As I said Father....I sit here with five Orthodox texts used to catechize Orthodox catechumen.  You don't even need to do a close reading to see they don't all teach identically about the same topics.

So you'll have to explain to me what Orthodox faithful mean when they say "identical"?

Mary, forgive me for saying this but you are always reluctant to actually post the first hand sources.  We are just expected to accept everything you say.  Would you chose what you see as the most egregious disparity between a couple of these catechisms and post some extracts for us to read.


Heck no.  Not with that kind of endorsement!!

You see, it is a quite observable pattern on the forum that you don't like to back up your claims.  We are expected to trust everything you say.   On this forum it is common practice to provide substantiating sources.
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« Reply #821 on: May 15, 2010, 09:53:43 PM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?

As I said Father....I sit here with five Orthodox texts used to catechize Orthodox catechumen.  You don't even need to do a close reading to see they don't all teach identically about the same topics.

So you'll have to explain to me what Orthodox faithful mean when they say "identical"?

Mary, forgive me for saying this but you are always reluctant to actually post the first hand sources.  We are just expected to accept everything you say.  Would you chose what you see as the most egregious disparity between a couple of these catechisms and post some extracts for us to read.


Heck no.  Not with that kind of endorsement!!

You see, it is a quite observable pattern on the forum that you don't like to back up your claims.  We are expected to trust everything you say.   On this forum it is common practice to provide substantiating sources.

That's fine Father, you say whatever you like about me.  You will in any event.

Good night, and pleasant dreams.

M.
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« Reply #822 on: May 15, 2010, 09:58:07 PM »

Apparently, after watching this thread unfold for a while, I cannot see that Orthodoxy has ANY teaching that matches her hymnography for ANY of her Marian feasts.

If the real difficulty, in describing the purity of her soul,  is that the Theotokos needed to be redeemed then that redemption would not have been complete until Christ completed his Pasch at the moment of the Ascension.  And since it is clear from the teachings offered here that the Pasch is a whole and cannot be divided into parts, then there is NO time prior to the Ascension that the Virgin could be extolled as "immaculate" or "most pure" or any other reference to the purity of her soul until those Marian feasts that occur AFTER the Ascension.

So none of the pre-Ascension Marian hymnography is justified and I am still convinced that those parts of Orthodox liturgy need to be expunged to fit with modern Orthodox teaching concerning the Theotokos.

M.
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The real question is if the Orthodox believed the IC before 1856, why did those in submission have make up liturgical texts to teach it?
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« Reply #823 on: May 15, 2010, 10:07:29 PM »

Apparently, after watching this thread unfold for a while, I cannot see that Orthodoxy has ANY teaching that matches her hymnography for ANY of her Marian feasts.

If the real difficulty, in describing the purity of her soul,  is that the Theotokos needed to be redeemed then that redemption would not have been complete until Christ completed his Pasch at the moment of the Ascension.  And since it is clear from the teachings offered here that the Pasch is a whole and cannot be divided into parts, then there is NO time prior to the Ascension that the Virgin could be extolled as "immaculate" or "most pure" or any other reference to the purity of her soul until those Marian feasts that occur AFTER the Ascension.

So none of the pre-Ascension Marian hymnography is justified and I am still convinced that those parts of Orthodox liturgy need to be expunged to fit with modern Orthodox teaching concerning the Theotokos.

M.
II Peter 3:16

The real question is if the Orthodox believed the IC before 1856, why did those in submission have make up liturgical texts to teach it?

What went along with the dogmatic constitution was the requirement that the Church establish a feast day to celebrate the Immaculate Conception.  So that the formality of a liturgical feast did not exist before the dogmatic constitution.  Till then it was a local cult, a product of the east and viewed with suspicion in the west.  Grin...that's a joke

M.
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« Reply #824 on: May 15, 2010, 10:09:35 PM »

Apparently, after watching this thread unfold for a while, I cannot see that Orthodoxy has ANY teaching that matches her hymnography for ANY of her Marian feasts.

If the real difficulty, in describing the purity of her soul,  is that the Theotokos needed to be redeemed then that redemption would not have been complete until Christ completed his Pasch at the moment of the Ascension.  And since it is clear from the teachings offered here that the Pasch is a whole and cannot be divided into parts, then there is NO time prior to the Ascension that the Virgin could be extolled as "immaculate" or "most pure" or any other reference to the purity of her soul until those Marian feasts that occur AFTER the Ascension.

So none of the pre-Ascension Marian hymnography is justified and I am still convinced that those parts of Orthodox liturgy need to be expunged to fit with modern Orthodox teaching concerning the Theotokos.

M.
II Peter 3:16

The real question is if the Orthodox believed the IC before 1856, why did those in submission have make up liturgical texts to teach it?

What went along with the dogmatic constitution was the requirement that the Church establish a feast day to celebrate the Immaculate Conception.  So that the formality of a liturgical feast did not exist before the dogmatic constitution.  Till then it was a local cult, a product of the east and viewed with suspicion in the west.

M.
It is always alleged that we celebrated the "feast" previously. Can't it stad on its own? Why the need for embellishment?
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« Reply #825 on: May 15, 2010, 10:19:52 PM »

Apparently, after watching this thread unfold for a while, I cannot see that Orthodoxy has ANY teaching that matches her hymnography for ANY of her Marian feasts.

If the real difficulty, in describing the purity of her soul,  is that the Theotokos needed to be redeemed then that redemption would not have been complete until Christ completed his Pasch at the moment of the Ascension.  And since it is clear from the teachings offered here that the Pasch is a whole and cannot be divided into parts, then there is NO time prior to the Ascension that the Virgin could be extolled as "immaculate" or "most pure" or any other reference to the purity of her soul until those Marian feasts that occur AFTER the Ascension.

So none of the pre-Ascension Marian hymnography is justified and I am still convinced that those parts of Orthodox liturgy need to be expunged to fit with modern Orthodox teaching concerning the Theotokos.

M.
II Peter 3:16

The real question is if the Orthodox believed the IC before 1856, why did those in submission have make up liturgical texts to teach it?

What went along with the dogmatic constitution was the requirement that the Church establish a feast day to celebrate the Immaculate Conception.  So that the formality of a liturgical feast did not exist before the dogmatic constitution.  Till then it was a local cult, a product of the east and viewed with suspicion in the west.

M.
It is always alleged that we celebrated the "feast" previously. Can't it stad on its own? Why the need for embellishment?

Apparently it was thought to be important enough to have day of its own rather than the feast of St. Anne.  You see that it falls just next to that particular commemoration. 

It might have been different, but we were not on good terms with Orthodoxy in the middle of the 19th century if you remember. 

Not much better now but there's always hope for the better.

M.
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« Reply #826 on: May 15, 2010, 11:25:22 PM »


Quote
By the same token, how does anyone know what Orthodoxy teaches?

I've been hanging around long enough to know that seminaries do not all teach precisely the same thing.

Why do I get the impression that my posting the hymnography of this (or any) Orthodox feast has been a waste of time? How many times, on this and other threads on this forum, have, and others, stated lex orandi, lex credendi? Why do you (plural) fight so hard to ignore or deny this?

And, in the case of the Conception of the Virgin, I have clearly exposed the additions made by the Eastern Catholics in the form of the Litia, written to support the IC, which has never being part of Orthodox tradition. Contrary to all that the apologists for the IC have tried to assert about the prior existence of the IC as Orthodox doctrine, it has been shown beyond question from the liturgical and historical evidence that this is not true. It is the ECs who have made additions to this feast (contrary to the papal directive of nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter) to conform with RC doctrine, not the Orthodox having subtracted the IC from its teaching.

Quote
So ...help me out here.  How do I know what Orthodoxy teaches?

Quote
If you're sincere in your request, spend a year attending as many Orthodox (not EC) liturgical services as you can and are offered, keeping your ears open to absorb what is read, said and sung, and your eyes open to absorb what is depicted in the iconography. The core and distillation of what the Orthodox Church teaches is found in her hymnography and iconography.

Quote
I have actually done the latter.  In fact I my liturgical life is pretty much spent within Orthodox liturgies.

Then you have most likely not been paying sufficient attention to what is read, said and sung.

Quote
And you have exposed nothing about eastern Catholic liturgies.  There's been no effort made to hide the fact that there are festal hymns celebrating the Immaculate Conception.

Not in any Orthodox Menaion, my dear, but in the interpolated Litia in the EC church, a Litia and hymnography which has never existed in the Orthodox liturgical tradition, an addition which is contrary to papal decree.

Quote
Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

I've addressed this in posts #781 and #798.
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« Reply #827 on: May 16, 2010, 12:54:36 AM »


Can you answer my question about the bloated hymns of Marian feasts in Orthodoxy ....

Why are these texts not removed in the spirit of lex orandi, lex credendi?  I wonder and have wondered for years....

Mary

I think that you have to "sentire cum ecclesia"  - if I may use a Latin phrase.  You have to think with the Church and be immersed in the life of the Church and many things become transparent.  To use a simple example, when the Church sings of Mary as a "butter mountain" you know not to take that literally!  laugh

Indeed.  That is why I continue to think with my Church.  Our hymns and our doctrinal teachings line up a little better on this score.  They are more in line with the buttery words of the Fathers as well.


So what are you saying?  That your Church and the Orthodox use the same liturgical texts but we actually have differing doctrines.   I thought that as "Orthodox in communion with Rome" your theology is meant to be identical with ours?

As I said Father....I sit here with five Orthodox texts used to catechize Orthodox catechumen.  You don't even need to do a close reading to see they don't all teach identically about the same topics.

So you'll have to explain to me what Orthodox faithful mean when they say "identical"?

Mary, forgive me for saying this but you are always reluctant to actually post the first hand sources.  We are just expected to accept everything you say.  Would you chose what you see as the most egregious disparity between a couple of these catechisms and post some extracts for us to read.


Heck no.  Not with that kind of endorsement!!


No one really needs the quotations, but without them it is clear that a person is free to discount your position as unproven.

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« Reply #828 on: May 16, 2010, 04:59:14 AM »


  I take Father Casimir Kucharek's sources seriously. 


No one really needs the sources and the quotations, but without them it is clear that a person is free to discount Kucharek's position as unproven.
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« Reply #829 on: May 16, 2010, 06:26:31 AM »

Apparently, after watching this thread unfold for a while, I cannot see that Orthodoxy has ANY teaching that matches her hymnography for ANY of her Marian feasts.

If the real difficulty, in describing the purity of her soul,  is that the Theotokos needed to be redeemed then that redemption would not have been complete until Christ completed his Pasch at the moment of the Ascension.  And since it is clear from the teachings offered here that the Pasch is a whole and cannot be divided into parts, then there is NO time prior to the Ascension that the Virgin could be extolled as "immaculate" or "most pure" or any other reference to the purity of her soul until those Marian feasts that occur AFTER the Ascension.

So none of the pre-Ascension Marian hymnography is justified and I am still convinced that those parts of Orthodox liturgy need to be expunged to fit with modern Orthodox teaching concerning the Theotokos.

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The real question is if the Orthodox believed the IC before 1856, why did those in submission have make up liturgical texts to teach it?

What went along with the dogmatic constitution was the requirement that the Church establish a feast day to celebrate the Immaculate Conception.  So that the formality of a liturgical feast did not exist before the dogmatic constitution.  Till then it was a local cult, a product of the east and viewed with suspicion in the west.

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It is always alleged that we celebrated the "feast" previously. Can't it stad on its own? Why the need for embellishment?

Apparently it was thought to be important enough to have day of its own rather than the feast of St. Anne.  You see that it falls just next to that particular commemoration. 

It might have been different, but we were not on good terms with Orthodoxy in the middle of the 19th century if you remember. 

Not much better now but there's always hope for the better.

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Hmmm. What's the significance of the middle of the 19th century?
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« Reply #830 on: May 16, 2010, 06:44:50 AM »


Hmmm. What's the significance of the middle of the 19th century?

Some of the Patriarchs sent hard-hitting letters to the Pope during this period..

1. 1848.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to a letter from Pope Pius IX

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

2.  1895.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to an encyclical from Pope Leo XIII on reunion

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx
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« Reply #831 on: May 16, 2010, 06:55:20 AM »


Hmmm. What's the significance of the middle of the 19th century?

Some of the Patriarchs sent hard-hitting letters to the Pope during this period..

1. 1848.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to a letter from Pope Pius IX

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1848.aspx

2.  1895.  Greek Patriarchs' reply to an encyclical from Pope Leo XIII on reunion

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/ecumenism/encyc_1895.aspx
LOL. I know, Father.  I was just wondering about the relevance for the texts of what is alleged is our ancient belief.
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« Reply #832 on: May 16, 2010, 09:15:16 PM »

Mary

I have been wondering for some time now why you continue to engage the Orthodox members of this forum in these perpetually contentious discussions, either on this or any other thread? You are usually unwilling to post the sources used to support your arguments, which is hardly fair, and generally diminishes the credibility of your opinions in any event. As a result, you appear to be primarily interested in argument for the sake of argument alone, IMO.  Undecided

Even those who have repeatedly attempted to gently assuage your contentious attitude have been addressed abruptly and/or uncharitably by you again and again in your replies. So why continue to sow seeds of discord among those who disagree with you? Perhaps it would be more rewarding for you to complain about the faults and deficiencies of Orthodoxy, as you personally perceive these to be, on a Roman Catholic forum among like minded people.

Please forgive me for addressing these issues with you so directly, as I truly wish you only all the best on your spiritual path, both now and always!  Smiley

Cosmos
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« Reply #833 on: May 16, 2010, 09:58:36 PM »

Mary

I have been wondering for some time now why you continue to engage the Orthodox members of this forum in these perpetually contentious discussions, either on this or any other thread? You are usually unwilling to post the sources used to support your arguments, which is hardly fair, and generally diminishes the credibility of your opinions in any event. As a result, you appear to be primarily interested in argument for the sake of argument alone, IMO.  Undecided

Cosmos

Perhaps you should simply report me and have me removed.

M.

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« Reply #834 on: May 16, 2010, 10:15:12 PM »

Mary

I have been wondering for some time now why you continue to engage the Orthodox members of this forum in these perpetually contentious discussions, either on this or any other thread? You are usually unwilling to post the sources used to support your arguments, which is hardly fair, and generally diminishes the credibility of your opinions in any event. As a result, you appear to be primarily interested in argument for the sake of argument alone, IMO.  Undecided

Cosmos

Perhaps you should simply report me and have me removed.

That's certainly one option, but the question still remains as to why you don't simply remove yourself to more suitable venues for your personal views, or make more of an effort to be less contentious in your discussions here?  Huh

Unless, of course, it is your intention to be removed for the sake of some theological internet martyrdom! Roll Eyes

Cosmos Undecided
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« Reply #835 on: May 16, 2010, 10:17:23 PM »

Mary

I have been wondering for some time now why you continue to engage the Orthodox members of this forum in these perpetually contentious discussions, either on this or any other thread? You are usually unwilling to post the sources used to support your arguments, which is hardly fair, and generally diminishes the credibility of your opinions in any event. As a result, you appear to be primarily interested in argument for the sake of argument alone, IMO.  Undecided

Cosmos

Perhaps you should simply report me and have me removed.

That's certainly one option, but the question still remains as to why you don't simply remove yourself to more suitable venues for your personal views, or make more of an effort to be less contentious in your discussions here?  Huh

Unless, of course, it is your intention to be removed for the sake of some theological internet martyrdom! Roll Eyes

Cosmos Undecided


This is rude actually, so I know you won't mind if I ignore your personal attacks from here on out.

M.
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« Reply #836 on: May 16, 2010, 10:27:38 PM »

Mary

I have been wondering for some time now why you continue to engage the Orthodox members of this forum in these perpetually contentious discussions, either on this or any other thread? You are usually unwilling to post the sources used to support your arguments, which is hardly fair, and generally diminishes the credibility of your opinions in any event. As a result, you appear to be primarily interested in argument for the sake of argument alone, IMO.  Undecided

Cosmos

Perhaps you should simply report me and have me removed.

That's certainly one option, but the question still remains as to why you don't simply remove yourself to more suitable venues for your personal views, or make more of an effort to be less contentious in your discussions here?  Huh

Unless, of course, it is your intention to be removed for the sake of some theological internet martyrdom! Roll Eyes

Cosmos Undecided


This is rude actually, so I know you won't mind if I ignore your personal attacks from here on out.

I have watched with attention the way that Fr Giryus and Fr Cosmos have interacted with you.  I have admired their charity and kindness and more than once I have thought that I should make an effort to imitate them.

And let's face it, if anyone tends to be snappy here it is your good self.... what have you called me?  "An inveterate dissembler" and other things.  Mary, I shrug them off.  I've known you long enough to know that there are times when you like to throw a punch.  Don't we all, sinners as we are.

But stay with us on the forum.  You bring a wealth of knowledge.  You're kinda fun.  You're kinda sweet. You're kinda a curmudgeon too.  But you light up our lives.  
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« Reply #837 on: May 17, 2010, 12:01:49 AM »

Mary

I have been wondering for some time now why you continue to engage the Orthodox members of this forum in these perpetually contentious discussions, either on this or any other thread? You are usually unwilling to post the sources used to support your arguments, which is hardly fair, and generally diminishes the credibility of your opinions in any event. As a result, you appear to be primarily interested in argument for the sake of argument alone, IMO.  Undecided

Cosmos

Perhaps you should simply report me and have me removed.

That's certainly one option, but the question still remains as to why you don't simply remove yourself to more suitable venues for your personal views, or make more of an effort to be less contentious in your discussions here?  Huh

Unless, of course, it is your intention to be removed for the sake of some theological internet martyrdom! Roll Eyes

Cosmos Undecided

Nah, You have to go to CAF for that.
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« Reply #838 on: May 17, 2010, 12:07:08 AM »

I have watched with attention the way that Fr Giryus and Fr Cosmos have interacted with you.  I have admired their charity and kindness and more than once I have thought that I should make an effort to imitate them.

And let's face it, if anyone tends to be snappy here it is your good self.... what have you called me?  "An inveterate dissembler" and other things.  Mary, I shrug them off.  I've known you long enough to know that there are times when you like to throw a punch.  Don't we all, sinners as we are.

But stay with us on the forum.  You bring a wealth of knowledge.  You're kinda fun.  You're kinda sweet. You're kinda a curmudgeon too.  But you light up our lives.  

Well, thank you Father!  I don't always get accused of being charitable!   Grin

Honestly, I have simply tried to learn here what the RCC stand is before I have many more interactions with Roman clergy.  It allows me an opportunity to ask somewhat awkward questions and get responses that books don't always provide.

In dealing with Mary, I have learned that the game is a bit skewed.  Yes, those references to anonymous clergy and laity, which annoy her when used by others, does make this a rather difficult process.

To be certain, I do not see what she sees in the Orthodox hymnody the same way I see clear descriptions to 'Trinity' and 'Incarnation' in the Scriptures.  As I posted earlier, I don't think it is possible to get clarity back out of poetry: the Ten Commandments are not poetic, because God did not want to leave room for too much debate as to what He meant.  Sadly, that has not stopped men from debating!

The fact remains that the hymnody mentions great purity, but it does not say how the Theotokos was purified and to what degree and at what stage.  The Orthodox leave those mattered unanswered, while the RCC struggles to give defining language and clear instruction.

The fact remains that the terminology 'Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary' does not exist in Eastern Christianity.  You can argue until you are blue in the face, but the fact we don't even see signs of a spirited debate on the topic throughout any age prior to its adoption in the RCC should tell us volumes.  Let us not forget that Greeks argue about everything!  laugh  No argument means that it never, ever really came up as an idea, either to be agreed or disagreed with.

Since there isn't sign of any debate on the topic, then we really do need a 'smoking gun' text that says, 'Yes, the Universal Church accepted this doctrine.'  Mary can come up with any number of obscure quotes and ambiguous hymns, but in the end it leaves us with the same problem: no sign that the Orthodox Church ever accepted this teaching at a Synodal level.

The lack of an equivalent Thomas Aquinas or CCC in the Orthodox Church is confounding for those needing clarity without experience.  Unfortunately for Mary, much of Orthodoxy is taught by being part of it rather than standing on the outside.  We are not so much about doctrines as we are about common experience of the truth.

I have been dealing with a family in crisis of late, and so I can't participate in this debate as much as I would like to, but I do appreciate everyone's contributions.

My experiences in following and occasionally participating in the Indiana List sort of helped me understand Mary once I got the connection.

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« Reply #839 on: May 17, 2010, 12:55:57 AM »


The fact remains that the hymnody mentions great purity, but it does not say how the Theotokos was purified and to what degree and at what stage.  The Orthodox leave those mattered unanswered, while the RCC struggles to give defining language and clear instruction.

The fact remains that the terminology 'Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary' does not exist in Eastern Christianity.  You can argue until you are blue in the face, but the fact we don't even see signs of a spirited debate on the topic throughout any age prior to its adoption in the RCC should tell us volumes.  Let us not forget that Greeks argue about everything!  laugh  No argument means that it never, ever really came up as an idea, either to be agreed or disagreed with.

Since there isn't sign of any debate on the topic, then we really do need a 'smoking gun' text that says, 'Yes, the Universal Church accepted this doctrine.'  Mary can come up with any number of obscure quotes and ambiguous hymns, but in the end it leaves us with the same problem: no sign that the Orthodox Church ever accepted this teaching at a Synodal level.

I think this is fair and accurate.  IMHO, Mary has over-stated her case significantly.  One cannot and should not expect to find the "doctrine" of the Immaculate Conception in the Eastern tradition, because the "doctrine" is itself predicated upon a specific and historically conditioned construals of original sin and sanctifying grace.  These specific construals simply are not available to Eastern theological reflection.  Catholics, therefore, over-state their case when they assert that the Eastern Church at one time believed in the Immaculate Conception.  This is historically anachronistic, and the Orthodox rightly deny the claim.

At the same time, I do not believe that the Eastern participants in this thread have begun to address the historical and liturgical evidence that has been cited in this thread, both by myself, Mary, and others.  While one may not find a "doctrine" of the immaculate conception in the Eastern tradition, does one find extraordinary claims regarding Mary's personal sinlessness and holiness that comprehends even the earliest moments of her existence?   Let's put aside the polemics and stop trying to prove whose side is "right."  Let's identify, rather, as much common ground as we can and then see where we stand.  Twice now I have quoted Kallistos Ware on St John of Damascus, but these citations have been pointedly ignored.   If I'm not mistaken, the Lev Gillet article has been cited, in which numerous liturgical citations were mentioned, and Mary has cited other liturgical prayers and hymns, though admittedly to she has alluded to others but has not provided the actual texts. 

It's easy enough to either side to declare that the other side does not believe what we believe on the Immaculate Conception, and they're wrong and we are right.  But that's  a silly and constructive way to approach these matters.  It imprisons the conversation at the most superficial level possible, which is perhaps why every one prefers ad hominem attacks.  It's easy to advance personal attacks than to actually think theologically.

I direct everyone's attention to the article by the Greek Orthodox theologian Virginia Kimball:  "Mary in the Orthodox Tradition ":
Quote
In 1986, in an ecumenical discussion between Roman Catholic theologian Edward Yarnold SJ and Orthodox theologian Bishop Kallistos Ware, at an Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary meeting in Chichester, England, we find that these two theological positions may not be as untenable as we think.  Bishop Kallistos agreed that he did not find himself “so very far apart from [Father Yarnold]

Discusson of this matter needs to be conducted along lines very similar to Met Kallistos and Fr Yarnold. It would be so much more constructive and edifying.  I, for one, am so very tired what I can only describe as ideology. 
 
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« Reply #840 on: May 17, 2010, 02:56:32 AM »

The fact remains that the hymnody mentions great purity, but it does not say how the Theotokos was purified and to what degree and at what stage.  The Orthodox leave those matters unanswered, while the RCC struggles to give defining language and clear instruction.

We are not so much about doctrines as we are about common experience of the truth.

These comments raise an excellent point. The most defining characteristic of non-Christian religious traditions is the generally accepted need for each individual to personally achieve spiritual development by seeking God through introspective self-realization, meditative enlightenment, solitary vision quests, various mystical experiences, and so forth. In most cases, this means assuming individual responsibility for all eventual success of both the process and the final outcome of personal spiritual practices.  

The defining characteristic of Christianity, however, is the unique circumstance in which God came seeking us by personally entering directly into human history as one of us, fully human, while yet also remaining fully God. It was the experience of hearing Truth in the words of Jesus, the experience of seeing Truth in His miraculous works, and the wondrous experience of witnessing a Truly Risen Christ which inspired and motivated the first Christians, not an acquired knowledge, wisdom, or enlightenment born solely of their own personal efforts.

And so, from the beginning of the Church, that which was received and embraced by the earliest Apostles and disciples came directly from the God-man, Jesus, Who personally came seeking them and Who personally called them out to follow Him and learn from Him. In so doing, Christ filled their hearts, their minds, and their souls with His Divine Presence, and redeemed them in spite of their weaknesses and shortcomings, and in spite of their repeated initial failure to realize who He is or what He was giving them. Christ brought us that which we could never acquire alone, no matter how focused or excellent our dedicated efforts might be.

Since then, Orthodox Christianity has continuously been experienced by successive generations as a living Faith, received from Christ by the Apostles and in turn received unchanged by us through Faith. We don't have to mentally meditate on the Mysteries of Faith to receive it, we don't have to physically go anywhere specific to receive Christ's Truth, and we don't have to haphazardly seek Christ's Truth through erudite intellectual analysis or learned theological development.

We simply need to experience the Truth of Christ in our own daily lives, just as the Early Church Fathers did, with a clear awareness that all understanding and wisdom of His Truth is ultimately born of the Faith experience.

Cosmos
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« Reply #841 on: May 17, 2010, 03:40:43 AM »


I direct everyone's attention to the article by the Greek Orthodox theologian Virginia Kimball: 

"Mary in the Orthodox Tradition ":
 

Dear Father,

I said to myself, I will make an honest effort to read Kimball's work with an open mind and honest reflection on the points she wants to make.  I put my trust in you that her essay was of some value and deserved respect.

But then, God help me, I opened the webpage and read the first sentence

"Eastern Orthodox churches today, to be differentiated from Roman Catholic communions of the Eastern Rite, are those churches which find their apostolic head in the Patriarchate of Istanbul.." 

God help me, Father, but I burst into a loud laugh at such tomfoolery and ignorance of the most basic Orthodoxy and, needless to say, I did not read any further.

It's not being partisan on my part.  It's just a profound feeling that "a theologian" so ignorant of elementary Orthodox ecclesiology is unlikely to be able to instruct us on the finer points and subtle arguments of the Immaculate Conception.
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« Reply #842 on: May 17, 2010, 05:02:28 AM »

Fr Alvin, you wrote:

Quote
I do not believe that the Eastern participants in this thread have begun to address the historical and liturgical evidence that has been cited in this thread, both by myself, Mary, and others.

Really? Then what were posts #660, 662, 668, 669, 740, 781, 796, 798, and 827 about? The first cited post is on page 15 of this thread.
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« Reply #843 on: May 17, 2010, 05:12:28 AM »


At the same time, I do not believe that the Eastern participants in this thread have begun to address the historical and liturgical evidence that has been cited in this thread, both by myself, Mary, and others.
  

Dear Father,

WHERE?  It seems that you are doing what you did in this same discussion on ByzCath during the Great Fast.  You gave a list of 13 Byzantine works referenced by Kucharek (from the 9th to 13th century if I remember correctly), but without a single supporting quotation from those works.   When I asked for specifics you made fun of me and said that you would not supply them, that it was the Fast and I could go and find them for myself as a penance.

No, Father, you are a long way from providing evidence for your assertions, or Kucharek's assertions.  
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« Reply #844 on: May 17, 2010, 08:39:23 AM »


I direct everyone's attention to the article by the Greek Orthodox theologian Virginia Kimball: 

"Mary in the Orthodox Tradition ":
 

Dear Father,

I said to myself, I will make an honest effort to read Kimball's work with an open mind and honest reflection on the points she wants to make.  I put my trust in you that her essay was of some value and deserved respect.

But then, God help me, I opened the webpage and read the first sentence

"Eastern Orthodox churches today, to be differentiated from Roman Catholic communions of the Eastern Rite, are those churches which find their apostolic head in the Patriarchate of Istanbul.." 

God help me, Father, but I burst into a loud laugh at such tomfoolery and ignorance of the most basic Orthodoxy and, needless to say, I did not read any further.

It's not being partisan on my part.  It's just a profound feeling that "a theologian" so ignorant of elementary Orthodox ecclesiology is unlikely to be able to instruct us on the finer points and subtle arguments of the Immaculate Conception.
yes, if this is an Orthodox theologian, their main point seems to be to pander to the Vatican.  If not Orthodox, it would show that they will read the Vatican's doctrine into anything.  In either case, having little to do with the Faith of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
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« Reply #845 on: May 17, 2010, 09:25:03 AM »

Isa,

I have read through it now and it is really just a pastiche of some elementary teaching about the Mother of God and the significance of her most well known icons.  It's not profoundly theological.

The one trenchant comment comes from Metropolitan Athanasius (Yevtich) of Montenegro, a fine theologian and one of the outstanding students of the just canonised Saint Justin Popovic...

"The dogma of the Immaculate Conception severs Mary from her ancestors, from the forefathers, and from the rest of mankind.  It marginalizes the preparatory history and economy of the Old Testament as well as the true meaning and holiness of the Theotokos herself.  By severing her from fallen mankind and any consequences of the fall, this legalistic mechanism makes her personal holiness and theosis nonessential in the economy of salvation and, for that matter, even in her own salvation.  Moreover, “it places in doubt her unity of nature with the human race and, therefore, the genuineness of salvation and Christ’s flesh as representative of mankind.
[Quoting, A., Yevtich, The Theotokos: Four Homilies on the Mother of God by St. John of Damascus, 3].”

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« Reply #846 on: May 17, 2010, 09:34:57 AM »


The fact remains that the hymnody mentions great purity, but it does not say how the Theotokos was purified and to what degree and at what stage.  The Orthodox leave those mattered unanswered, while the RCC struggles to give defining language and clear instruction.

The fact remains that the terminology 'Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary' does not exist in Eastern Christianity.  You can argue until you are blue in the face, but the fact we don't even see signs of a spirited debate on the topic throughout any age prior to its adoption in the RCC should tell us volumes.  Let us not forget that Greeks argue about everything!  laugh  No argument means that it never, ever really came up as an idea, either to be agreed or disagreed with.

Since there isn't sign of any debate on the topic, then we really do need a 'smoking gun' text that says, 'Yes, the Universal Church accepted this doctrine.'  Mary can come up with any number of obscure quotes and ambiguous hymns, but in the end it leaves us with the same problem: no sign that the Orthodox Church ever accepted this teaching at a Synodal level.

I think this is fair and accurate.  IMHO, Mary has over-stated her case significantly.  One cannot and should not expect to find the "doctrine" of the Immaculate Conception in the Eastern tradition, because the "doctrine" is itself predicated upon a specific and historically conditioned construals of original sin and sanctifying grace.  These specific construals simply are not available to Eastern theological reflection.  Catholics, therefore, over-state their case when they assert that the Eastern Church at one time believed in the Immaculate Conception.  This is historically anachronistic, and the Orthodox rightly deny the claim.
  

I beg to differ, Father.

1.  Orthodox faithful tend to indicate that the Immaculate Conception is not human.  I have argued against that fact and demonstrated the illogic of that reasoning.

2. Orthodox faithful indicate that the Virgin is human just as we are and struggles just as we do against sin, and perhaps sinned herself during life.   I have taken their own hymnody and indicated that Orthodoxy liturgically proclaims the exceptional holiness of the Virgin for ALL TIME and in GREATEST MEASURE.

3.  I have presented indicators that there are 20th century clergy, one of them who was Orthodox, who have indicated that there is a tradition stretching back hundreds of years prior to the western dogmatic constitution that attest to the spiritual purity of the Virgin that extends to the generation of the Theotokos from the inception of her being.  

4.  I have challenged the need to find the term Immaculate Conception in the ancient Church IF hymns and other teachings indicate that she has been full of the Holy Spirit for all time...indicating that she has never been touched by sin of any kind.

5.  I have challenged your assertion that the Immaculate Conception depends on some western form of understanding original sin.  You have yet to demonstrate that one.

So if any of this is an overstatement, please indicate which is the overstatement and how it is an overstatement.

Mary
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« Reply #847 on: May 17, 2010, 09:51:23 AM »

.

2. Orthodox faithful indicate that the Virgin is human just as we are and struggles just as we do against sin, and perhaps sinned herself during life.   I have taken their own hymnody and indicated that Orthodoxy liturgically proclaims the exceptional holiness of the Virgin for ALL TIME and in GREATEST MEASURE.

Mary,

I always read your messages and I wish sometimes that you would do me the courtesy of reading mine <sigh>

A mere two Saints and early Fathers of the Church (YOUR Church and YOUR Fathers as well as mine) John Chrysostom and Basil the Great wrote that she sinned on a mere two occasions....  when she doubted the prophecy of Symeon in the Temple and when she was a bit presumptuous about the wine at Cana and forcing her Son to show His hand earlier than He really wanted.

I have mentioned more than once that these two opinions from two Church Fathers do not constitute a consensus in the Church.  What they do  prove though, and very loudly, is that the Church Fathers did not have any idea of the Immaculate Conception.

The Church NEVER accepted this marginal opinion of two Fathers into her Tradition.  On the contrary, the sinlessness of Mary has always been our Tradition, and only internet geeks such as you and I are even aware of what these two Fathers said.  The vast majority of the Church simply does not know.
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« Reply #848 on: May 17, 2010, 09:58:36 AM »


5.  I have challenged your assertion that the Immaculate Conception depends on some western form of understanding original sin.  You have yet to demonstrate that one.


Fess up, are you Ruthenian Catholic or really Roman Catholic?  Huh   Eastern Catholics are very clear that the Immaculate Conception depends on a Western understanding of original sin.  And for that reason it plays no part in Eastern Catholic theology.

I would have thought that a clued up Ruthenian Catholic would be able to demonstrate in the twinkling of an eye why her own Church's bishops and theologians hold this opinion?  
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« Reply #849 on: May 17, 2010, 10:03:32 AM »

Orthodoxy is not merely a set of precepts that one acquieces to in order to become a Christian.  Rather, the Orthodox Faith is an experience.  I have given up on catechism materials as being 'complete' or 'correct' because, frankly none of them can compare to the experience of it itself.

Yes Father!

Theology ought to be inspired by God: it ought to be not the word of a human person, but the word of the Spirit which is pronounced by human lips. A true Christian theologian is the one who is able to be silent until the Holy Spirit touches the strings of his soul. And it is only when the human word falls silent and the word of the Spirit emerges from his soul, that true theology is born. From this moment ‘a lover of words’ is transformed into ‘a lover of wisdom’, a rhetorician into a theologian.
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« Reply #850 on: May 17, 2010, 10:04:58 AM »

Isa,

I have read through it now and it is really just a pastiche of some elementary teaching about the Mother of God and the significance of her most well known icons.  It's not profoundly theological.

The one trenchant comment comes from Metropolitan Athanasius (Yevtich) of Montenegro, a fine theologian and one of the outstanding students of the just canonised Saint Justin Popovic...

"The dogma of the Immaculate Conception severs Mary from her ancestors, from the forefathers, and from the rest of mankind.  It marginalizes the preparatory history and economy of the Old Testament as well as the true meaning and holiness of the Theotokos herself.  By severing her from fallen mankind and any consequences of the fall, this legalistic mechanism makes her personal holiness and theosis nonessential in the economy of salvation and, for that matter, even in her own salvation.  Moreover, “it places in doubt her unity of nature with the human race and, therefore, the genuineness of salvation and Christ’s flesh as representative of mankind.
[Quoting, A., Yevtich, The Theotokos: Four Homilies on the Mother of God by St. John of Damascus, 3].”



Thereby proving once again as St. John taught: "A little thing is not a little thing, if it leads to something great."  Rather honoring the Incarnation, the IC throws the whole dogma into confusion, and with that, all the dogma of the Faith of the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Elsewhere, she does have some pearls:"In the Orthodox mind, words can bind down the mystery of God and words of dogmas about the Virgin Mary can become a problematic division."

Ms. Kimball may be Greek (though her talking about a "Patriarch of Istanbul" should raise flags on that), but with a decidedly Latin "education":
Quote
Virginia Kimball is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts. She received her Master’s in Theology at Andover-Newton School of Theology, and has studied with the Jesuits at Weston School of Theology. Following these studies, she completed coursework for her Licentiate in Sacred Theology—an equivalent to the Master’s in Divinity—at the Marian Research Institute in Dayton, Ohio, and is now conducting research while serving as an editor for Religion News for the Lowell Sun in Lowell, Massachusetts, and a free-lance religious news correspondent for the Catholic World report.
http://www.helleniccomserve.com/virginiakimball.html

Where she got Master, and the site that posts her article, seems to be quite the Mariolatry center, though not as bad as Dr. Miravalle.
http://campus.udayton.edu/mary/
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« Reply #851 on: May 17, 2010, 10:14:19 AM »

Fr Alvin, you wrote:

Quote
I do not believe that the Eastern participants in this thread have begun to address the historical and liturgical evidence that has been cited in this thread, both by myself, Mary, and others.

Really? Then what were posts #660, 662, 668, 669, 740, 781, 796, 798, and 827 about? The first cited post is on page 15 of this thread.

I have followed this thread closely and have read all these comments--and no, the evidence has not been adequately addressed.  The Orthodox disputants in this thread seem to think that because the term "immaculate conception" is not mentioned the matter is therefore settled; but of course it's not, not even close.  Everyone seems content simply to deal with the matter at a polemical and verbal level rather than trying to understand and assess the essential claims of the IC dogma.  Does the dogma attest to nothing that is found in the Eastern tradition?  Does no common ground exist whatsoever?  As I said, this is a difficult and complicated matter, because the 19th dogma depends upon late medieval/post-Tridentine Western formulations of original sin and sanctifying grace.  Precisely for this reason the dogma, as it stands, does not make sense in an Eastern context.  One must therefore attempt to "translate" it into language that might make sense within an Eastern theological framework.  To this end, I quoted a passage from Karl Rahner, again ignored.      


WHERE?  It seems that you are doing what you did in this same discussion on ByzCath during the Great Fast.  You gave a list of 13 Byzantine works referenced by Kucharek (from the 9th to 13th century if I remember correctly), but without a single supporting quotation from those works.   When I asked for specifics you made fun of me and said that you would not supply them, that it was the Fast and I could go and find them for myself as a penance.  No, Father, you are a long way from providing evidence for your assertions, or Kucharek's assertions.  

Actually, several interesting quotations are provided in the Lev Gillet article.  We are all at a disadvantage here because none of us read Byzantine Greek and the relevant texts have yet to be translated into English.  Nor has Martin Jugie's book, L'immaculee conception, which apparently analyzes the Byzantine tradition in some depth on this matter, been translated from the original French into English.  Mary Cunningham briefly discusses Jugie's book in her article "'All-Holy Infant': Byzantine and Western Views on the Conception of the Virgin Mary" (SVTQ [2006]: 127-148), but unfortunately she does not address the sources cited by Kucharek and Gillet.    

In my opinion, the key to this issue is the conviction, shared by both Orthodox and Catholic, that Mary was personally sinless throughout her life and that this purity exceeded even the sanctity of John the Baptist.  How do we understand and explain this?  Gregory Palamas attempted to ground Mary's sinlessness in the sanctity of her parents and forebears, combined with upbringing in the Temple, protected from the evils and sins of the world.  The fact that he felt it necessary to stress this so strongly in his homilies attests to the same concern that drove those who eventually formulated the IC teaching.  Both traditions are loath to identify the Theotokos as a sinner in the same category as the rest of us.  Yes, she did share in our mortality, and if our fallen condition is exhaustively identified with our mortality, then one must say that she shared in our fallen condition; yet that is not the whole story.  Again I reference the quotations from Bulgakov, Maria Skobtsova, and Kallistos Ware.    

I can well understand Reformed and Lutherans rejecting the IC because it is important in their theologies to affirm that Mary was a selfish and egotistical sinner just like the rest of us.  But unlike Protestantism, neither Orthodoxy nor Catholicism is willing to celebrate the sinfulness of Mary.  Quite the contrary.   A number of Orthodox saints and writers insist that God chose Mary because of her unparalleled holiness and purity, a holiness and purity that apparently no believing Christian, despite the gift of the Holy Spirit given in Holy Baptism, has been able to achieve.  If the two traditions agree on this, then remaining disagreements on the IC would seem to be relatively minor.  

I am not going to repeat arguments already advanced.  As I said, I have no desire to win polemical victory points.  It's not about victory.  It's not about winning a debate or proving whose side is right.  It's not about proving anything.  It's about grasping the essential witness of the Sacred Tradition to the sanctity and purity of the Mother of God.  
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« Reply #852 on: May 17, 2010, 10:15:42 AM »


5.  I have challenged your assertion that the Immaculate Conception depends on some western form of understanding original sin.  You have yet to demonstrate that one.


Fess up, are you Ruthenian Catholic or really Roman Catholic?  Huh   Eastern Catholics are very clear that the Immaculate Conception depends on a Western understanding of original sin.  And for that reason it plays no part in Eastern Catholic theology.

I would have thought that a clued up Ruthenian Catholic would be able to demonstrate in the twinkling of an eye why her own Church's bishops and theologians hold this opinion?  

I am an educated Catholic, Father, and in so far as any say that the Immaculate Conception is predicated on a particular western understanding of original sin...they are wrong regardless of their origin.

Mary

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« Reply #853 on: May 17, 2010, 10:19:21 AM »

In my opinion, the key to this issue is the conviction, shared by both Orthodox and Catholic, that Mary was personally sinless throughout her life and that this purity exceeded even the sanctity of John the Baptist.  How do we understand and explain this?  

We don't.  Wink
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« Reply #854 on: May 17, 2010, 10:29:18 AM »


5.  I have challenged your assertion that the Immaculate Conception depends on some western form of understanding original sin.  You have yet to demonstrate that one.


Fess up, are you Ruthenian Catholic or really Roman Catholic?  Huh   Eastern Catholics are very clear that the Immaculate Conception depends on a Western understanding of original sin.  And for that reason it plays no part in Eastern Catholic theology.

I would have thought that a clued up Ruthenian Catholic would be able to demonstrate in the twinkling of an eye why her own Church's bishops and theologians hold this opinion?   

I am an educated Catholic, Father, and in so far as any say that the Immaculate Conception is predicated on a particular western understanding of original sin...they are wrong regardless of their origin.


So why do we hear from Eastern Catholics, again and again like an endless mantra:  "We do not teach the Immaculate Conception.  It is based on a Western understanding of original sin which we do not share with the Church of Rome."

If you run up to message #840 Father Kimel addresses this point very nicely.
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