OrthodoxChristianity.net

Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Catholic Discussion => Topic started by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 12:19:54 AM

Title: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 12:19:54 AM
This tread is in response to a post where a member suggested that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception leads to the denial of one's Free will. I believe this to be false. First, the IC means that Mary was not born the fallen state of original sin. Rather she concieved and created like Adam and Eve were in the Garden with no defects in their soul. Thus Mary, pre-fallen Adam, and pre-fallen eve all were created alike with God's grace in them. We also know that being created in such a way did stop Adam nor Eve form maintaining a free will. In fact we see that Eve does a free will and uses it to disobdy God. Adam follows in like manner.
The difference between Adam/Eve and Mary is that Mary chose, by the Grace of God, to obey God and remain in his friendship. The opposite of what Adam and Eve chose. We can clearly see that Adam and Eve had free will and used it in one way, and Mary had free will and she chose to use it in another.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: SolEX01 on April 07, 2009, 12:36:13 AM
This tread is in response to a post where a member suggested that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception leads to the denial of one's Free will. I believe this to be false. First, the IC means that Mary was not born the fallen state of original sin. Rather she concieved and created like Adam and Eve were in the Garden with no defects in their soul.

Adam & Eve were not conceived but created.  I know you know that but just making sure you distinguish between Mary as a conceived being vs. Adam & Eve as created beings.  As you said, all 3 had Free Will and the differing consequences of decisions made via Free Will.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on April 07, 2009, 12:41:52 AM
... but if Mary indeed had free will to obey or disobey (a view which is completely compatible with Orthodox belief), then what is the point of her being immaculately conceived? It is one thing for her to have been purified by the Holy Spirit through her conception of the Son of God (as the Orthodox canon at Matins for the Annunciation proclaims), and quite another in herself being "immaculately conceived". To an Orthodox, it don't add up.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 03:47:19 AM
This tread is in response to a post where a member suggested that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception leads to the denial of one's Free will. I believe this to be false. First, the IC means that Mary was not born the fallen state of original sin..

Here is my limited understanding of the complexities of Roman Catholic theology on this matter.

Firstly, you are not correct in saying that the IC means the Mother of God was "not born the fallen state of original sin."  The true teaching is that she was not *conceived* in the fallen state of original sin.   I am surprised that you do not know that.  The very name should give you a clue - it is the Immaculate Conception and not the Immaculate Birth.

The consequence of this conception without original sin is that the Mother of God lacked some of the important aspects of free will.  These are aspects which the rest of humanity "enjoys."

Because she did not inherit original sin she did not have the "stains" of original sin.  A major one of these stains is concupiscnece.  Without concuspicience it is impossible to exercise your free will and choose to sin.

So she was able to have free will to make such a decision in the morning - today I am going to go into town, or today I am going to stay home and do my embroidery.

But she did not have such free will as - I am going to steal that apple on the neighbour's tree or, I am going to swear at the dog if he bites me again.

So in this very significant way, becaue of the lack of concupiscence, she lacked free will.

I humbly implore your pardon for presuming to raise my voice on Roman Catholic theology but when I saw your inaccurate understanding of the Immaculate Conception (that Mary was born immaculately instead of being conceived immaculately) I knew that I had to make a small contribution. 


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 05:36:26 AM
Mary was born from Joachim and Ana . From men seed , not from God . The immaculated conception is an deviation from the true . Mary did not exist with the creation , She is not at the same level with Holy Spirit , she is not Quatriny or how is it called . The IC is an heresy , sorry for being so harsh .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 07:11:52 AM
Because she did not inherit original sin she did not have the "stains" of original sin.  A major one of these stains is concupiscnece.  Without concuspicience it is impossible to exercise your free will and choose to sin.

So she was able to have free will to make such a decision in the morning - today I am going to go into town, or today I am going to stay home and do my embroidery.

But she did not have such free will as - I am going to steal that apple on the neighbour's tree or, I am going to swear at the dog if he bites me again.

So in this very significant way, becaue of the lack of concupiscence, she lacked free will.
I used to believe this rationale when I was an Orthodox NOT in communion with Rome.  But better minds than me convinced me of the illogical and unpatristic notion that concupisence is necessary for free will to have effect.  If I really believed this, then I would have to admit that Adam and Eve did not have free will.  I would also have to admit that Jesus Christ did not have free will, which would not make him fully human.  Pondering such heterodox consequences was enough to set my mind on the right track.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 07:31:07 AM
... but if Mary indeed had free will to obey or disobey (a view which is completely compatible with Orthodox belief), then what is the point of her being immaculately conceived? It is one thing for her to have been purified by the Holy Spirit through her conception of the Son of God (as the Orthodox canon at Matins for the Annunciation proclaims), and quite another in herself being "immaculately conceived". To an Orthodox, it don't add up.
She was the New Eve, the first woman of the New Creation from whom Christ would be born.  The EO Feast of the Conception of St. Anne states something to the effect that the formation of Jesus began with the conception of the Theotokos in St. Anne's womb.

The whole point of the dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her free will (that's already a given) - that focus was not the intent of the dogma, but was imposed on it by detractors.  The focus of the dogma is the perfection of Christ - it is primarily Christological in its focus, not Mariological.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 07:31:54 AM
Because she did not inherit original sin she did not have the "stains" of original sin.  A major one of these stains is concupiscnece.  Without concuspicience it is impossible to exercise your free will and choose to sin.

So she was able to have free will to make such a decision in the morning - today I am going to go into town, or today I am going to stay home and do my embroidery.

But she did not have such free will as - I am going to steal that apple on the neighbour's tree or, I am going to swear at the dog if he bites me again.

So in this very significant way, becaue of the lack of concupiscence, she lacked free will.
I used to believe this rationale when I was an Orthodox NOT in communion with Rome.  But better minds than me convinced me of the illogical and unpatristic notion that concupisence is necessary for free will to have effect.  If I really believed this, then I would have to admit that Adam and Eve did not have free will.  I would also have to admit that Jesus Christ did not have free will, which would not make him fully human.  Pondering such heterodox consequences was enough to set my mind on the right track.

As with Papist you have an inaccurate understanding of the complexities of Roman Catholic theology.   The absence of concupiscence (the result of the absence of original sin) in the Mother of God does not mean the elimination of *all* of her free will; I thought I had made that clear.   It means the absence of free will to sin.  Free will to sin can only be driven by concuspiscence and nothing else. She actually had no inner faculty which brought her free will into action with regard to choosing sin.

So the Mother of God had less free will than the ordinary human.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 07:34:40 AM
Mary was born from Joachim and Ana . From men seed , not from God . The immaculated conception is an deviation from the true . Mary did not exist with the creation , She is not at the same level with Holy Spirit , she is not Quatriny or how is it called . The IC is an heresy , sorry for being so harsh .
You've expressed a bunch of claims about the dogma of the IC that it does not claim for itself.  Whatever it is you are rejecting, it is certainly not the dogma of the IC.  :)

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 07:35:52 AM


The whole point of the dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her free will (that's already a given)

You still do not understand.  The absence of original sin means the absence of the stain of  concupiscence.  Without concupiscence the free will to sin is absent. 

So the dogma of the IC has quite a lot to do with her free will.  It did not eliminate it entirely but it removed any free will to commit sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 07:36:53 AM
So you believe Jesus had less free will than any other human being also?

Do you also believe that Adam and Eve had less free will than any other human being?  If so, how did they sin?

Because she did not inherit original sin she did not have the "stains" of original sin.  A major one of these stains is concupiscnece.  Without concuspicience it is impossible to exercise your free will and choose to sin.

So she was able to have free will to make such a decision in the morning - today I am going to go into town, or today I am going to stay home and do my embroidery.

But she did not have such free will as - I am going to steal that apple on the neighbour's tree or, I am going to swear at the dog if he bites me again.

So in this very significant way, becaue of the lack of concupiscence, she lacked free will.
I used to believe this rationale when I was an Orthodox NOT in communion with Rome.  But better minds than me convinced me of the illogical and unpatristic notion that concupisence is necessary for free will to have effect.  If I really believed this, then I would have to admit that Adam and Eve did not have free will.  I would also have to admit that Jesus Christ did not have free will, which would not make him fully human.  Pondering such heterodox consequences was enough to set my mind on the right track.

As with Papist you have an inaccurate understanding of the complexities of Roman Catholic theology.   The absence of concupiscence (the result of the absence of original sin) in the Mother of God does not mean the elimination of *all* of her free will; I thought I had made that clear.   It means the absence of free will to sin.  Free will to sin can only be driven by concuspiscence and nothing else. She actually had no inner faculty which brought her free will into action with regard to choosing sin.

So the Mother of God had less free will than the ordinary human.


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 07:40:00 AM
Adam and Eve did not have concupiscence.  Can you explain how they were able to sin?



The whole point of the dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her free will (that's already a given)

You still do not understand.  The absence of original sin means the absence of the stain of  concupiscence.  Without concupiscence the free will to sin is absent. 

So the dogma of the IC has quite a lot to do with her free will.  It did not eliminate it entirely but it removed any free will to commit sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 07:41:06 AM
So you believe Jesus had less free will than any other human being also?

Do you also believe that Adam and Eve had less free will than any other human being?  If so, how did they sin?

Because you cannot answer the objections to the Immaculate Conception you are starting to throw red herrings into the discussion.   Please do not take this thread off topic.  Deal with the topic - "Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception."
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 07:46:41 AM
Adam and Eve did not have concupiscence.  Can you explain how they were able to sin?

I do not want to pursue your red herrings but you seem confused and in need of a little help.   You appear to be equating the spiritual life of Adam and Eve with the spiritual life which Christ brought to earth for humanity.   They are NOT identical.  What Christ has brought to the human race exceeds whatever gifts and spiritual blessings He bestowed upon Adam and Eve.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that life in Christ equates to a return to the Garden.  It doesn't.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 08:06:47 AM
Of course it had to do with the chose of Mary , for Her to become Theotokos , remmeber when the angels give Her the good news , She said : 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."(luke 1:38)
, and when She met Elizabeth , Elizabeth said : 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" . The entire doctrine of IC is against what the bible says , and Mary herself says .

The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

 34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."

 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
 39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" 46And Mary said:
   "My soul glorifies the Lord
    47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 48for he has been mindful
      of the humble state of his servant.
   From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
      holy is his name.
 50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
      from generation to generation.
 51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
 52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
      but has lifted up the humble.
 53He has filled the hungry with good things
      but has sent the rich away empty.
 54He has helped his servant Israel,
      remembering to be merciful
 55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
      even as he said to our fathers."

Mary`s role is first as a servant of God , She was an humble woman , an eucharistic woman , she served the Temple since the age of 3 , according to Tradition . If she would have been IC , that she would not inherit the human nature , and therefore , Jesus would not be of human nature . Jesus inherit the human nature from Mary as the Creed says : who incarneted from Holy Spirit and from Virgin Mary . Therefore Jesus would have not been God-Man , but He would have been just a God . If Mary would have been IC , she would have been spotless , she would not needed to be Saved . The Scripture also tells us we all sinned and fallen from God`s grace . Mary never wanted to shine in front of God and Jesus . Mary is no redeemer . Mary needed a Saviour , like all humans . The focuss is Jesus , God`s big love and mercy . Not that Mary wishes us good and loves us , while Jesus and the Father wants to reveal the wrath on us . Remmeber what Jesus told the jews : Moses in wich you confide , he will blame you . It is impossible for someone born from seed of man , born from man and woman to be without sin, without inheriting the Ancestral Sin . Remmeber John 3:15 : 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Mary had the free will , she could of chose not to believe the angel , remmember the words of Elizabeth from above : Blessed is she who believed all this . The papist theory of IC is an atrocity , and subordonation to lies . Is a dogma wich doesn`t have life in itself , wich breaks the row of truth , and the misteries of God . Wich is not in the same line with the understanding of the bible , and therefore not in line with the true and a lie .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 08:07:08 AM
These are not red herrings.  This goes to the very heart of the topic. It was you who claimed that lack of concupisence means a person loses the "enjoyment" of the full use of one's free will.  So this either means that Jesus was NOT fully human and could not relate to us fully, or it means that Adam and Eve cannot have sinned.  Otherwise, it means that not having concupisence does not deprive one of the free will NOT to sin. The fact that you cannot respond to these exigent circumstances indicates that your argument is not really valid at all.

I really don't think you understand what concupiscence is.  Concupiscence is NOT the free will to sin (which appears to be your definition since you define NOT having concupisence as the state of NOT having the free will to sin).  It is, rather, desires that are contrary to the real good and order of reason.  One can lack the desire to do something contrary to good reason, but that does not mean one does not have the free will NOT to sin.  One can lack the desire to sin (or lack the desire to do something contrary to good reason), but one can still be deceived to disobedience (as Adam and Eve were).  For instance, Mary would surely have considered that her fiat would have put her in danger of being a social outcast.  At that point, she could have been deceived out of fear to disobey (i.e., deceived into not trusting that God would provide for her).  Instead, she deliberately chose to surrender to God.
So you believe Jesus had less free will than any other human being also?

Do you also believe that Adam and Eve had less free will than any other human being?  If so, how did they sin?

Because you cannot answer the objections to the Immaculate Conception you are starting to throw red herrings into the discussion.   Please do not take this thread off topic.  Deal with the topic - "Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception."
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 08:10:49 AM
We're not talking about states of spiritual existence.  We're just talking about the concept of concupiscence.  What was that you said about Red herrings? ;D

Adam and Eve did not have concupiscence.  Can you explain how they were able to sin?

I do not want to pursue your red herrings but you seem confused and in need of a little help.   You appear to be equating the spiritual life of Adam and Eve with the spiritual life which Christ brought to earth for humanity.   They are NOT identical.  What Christ has brought to the human race exceeds whatever gifts and spiritual blessings He bestowed upon Adam and Eve.  Do not make the mistake of thinking that life in Christ equates to a return to the Garden.  It doesn't.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 08:13:41 AM
Dear Dan-romania,

Nothing you've said refutes the dogma of the IC.  Like I said, I really don't think you understand the dogma.  But you're free to rant and rave against your straw men.

Blessings,
Marduk

Of course it had to do with the chose of Mary , for Her to become Theotokos , remmeber when the angels give Her the good news , She said : 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."(luke 1:38)
, and when She met Elizabeth , Elizabeth said : 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" . The entire doctrine of IC is against what the bible says , and Mary herself says .

The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."

 29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

 34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"

 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."

 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.
 39At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, 40where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. 41When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" 46And Mary said:
   "My soul glorifies the Lord
    47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
 48for he has been mindful
      of the humble state of his servant.
   From now on all generations will call me blessed,
    49for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
      holy is his name.
 50His mercy extends to those who fear him,
      from generation to generation.
 51He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
 52He has brought down rulers from their thrones
      but has lifted up the humble.
 53He has filled the hungry with good things
      but has sent the rich away empty.
 54He has helped his servant Israel,
      remembering to be merciful
 55to Abraham and his descendants forever,
      even as he said to our fathers."

Mary`s role is first as a servant of God , She was an humble woman , an eucharistic woman , she served the Temple since the age of 3 , according to Tradition . If she would have been IC , that she would not inherit the human nature , and therefore , Jesus would not be of human nature . Jesus inherit the human nature from Mary as the Creed says : who incarneted from Holy Spirit and from Virgin Mary . Therefore Jesus would have not been God-Man , but He would have been just a God . If Mary would have been IC , she would have been spotless , she would not needed to be Saved . The Scripture also tells us we all sinned and fallen from God`s grace . Mary never wanted to shine in front of God and Jesus . Mary is no redeemer . Mary needed a Saviour , like all humans . The focuss is Jesus , God`s big love and mercy . Not that Mary wishes us good and loves us , while Jesus and the Father wants to reveal the wrath on us . Remmeber what Jesus told the jews : Moses in wich you confide , he will blame you . It is impossible for someone born from seed of man , born from man and woman to be without sin, without inheriting the Ancestral Sin . Remmeber John 3:15 : 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,[f] that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Mary had the free will , she could of chose not to believe the angel , remmember the words of Elizabeth from above : Blessed is she who believed all this . The papist theory of IC is an atrocity , and subordonation to lies . Is a dogma wich doesn`t have life in itself , wich breaks the row of truth , and the misteries of God . Wich is not in the same line with the understanding of the bible , and therefore not in line with the true and a lie .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 08:37:50 AM
These are not red herrings.  This goes to the very heart of the topic. It was you who claimed that lack of concupisence means a person loses the "enjoyment" of the full use of one's free will.  So this either means that Jesus was NOT fully human and could not relate to us fully,

You are being quarrelsome and that is causing you to forget basic theology.

Jesus Christ was like us in all things *except* sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 08:39:07 AM
To clarify this a bit more:

The fact that one does not have a desire to sin, does not necessarily mean that one cannot be deceived unto disobedience or experience temptation.

Concupisence is a natural tendency to do something contrary to good reason.  However, that does not mean that, despite the lack of that tendency, someone cannot be tempted by an agent outside of oneself to disobey.  It simply means that the desire to disobey (or do something contrary to good reason) does not originate from oneself.  For example, it was not in Adam and Eve's nature to want to disobey God, or even feel about disobeying God.  But Satan put a new circumstance before them that tempted them.  On their own, such thoughts would not have presented itself in their mind.  They would never have thought on their own "this will make me like God."

Likewise, it would not have ever entered Jesus' mind to want to disobey God by desiring the riches of the world, etc.  But Satan put those things before him.  He must have thought about it at that instant (not that he ever thought of it on his own), but he used his free will, his good reason, to resist that temptation.

In conclusion, the lack of concupisence does not mean that one loses the free will not to sin.  Arguments to the contrary make no sense and makes a heterodox mess of our beliefs about Free will and the full humanity of Jesus Christ.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 08:43:47 AM
The ability to be tempted is not sin, and neither does the ability to use of free will to resist temptation mean one has a sinful nature.  Heck, even concupiscence is not sin (not that Jesus or Mary or Adam and Eve [when first created] had concupiscence). I think you're grasping at straws.  Your "lack of free will" argument against the IC really is full of holes.

These are not red herrings.  This goes to the very heart of the topic. It was you who claimed that lack of concupisence means a person loses the "enjoyment" of the full use of one's free will.  So this either means that Jesus was NOT fully human and could not relate to us fully,

You are being quarrelsome and that is causing you to forget basic theology.

Jesus Christ was like us in all things *except* sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 08:48:47 AM

I really don't think you understand what concupiscence is.  

As anticipated, you resort to the typical Catholic polemical ploy to denigrate the intelligence of those who do not agree with you.  It becomes very wearisome.   :(

Quote
Concupiscence is NOT the free will to sin

Congratulations.  That is corect.

Quote
(which appears to be your definition since you define NOT having concupisence as the state of NOT having the free will to sin).

No cigar.  You got that wrong.  I've noticed that you try and guess what your partners in dialogue are thinking and you are often wrong.    Presumption of this nature is deadly to ecumenical dialogue.

Concupiscence is the disordered attraction to things and acts which are in fact detrimental to us.   Our fallen sinful nature may make them appear attractive at the time but they are in fact destructive of spiritual life and harmful to salvation.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 08:54:03 AM
Mardukm , what the Immaculate Conception declares then ?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 07, 2009, 08:56:53 AM
the lack of concupisence does not mean that one loses the free will not to sin.

Is that Catholic gobbledygook?  :laugh:
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 09:02:35 AM

I really don't think you understand what concupiscence is.  

As anticipated, you resort to the typical Catholic polemical ploy to denigrate the intelligence of those who do not agree with you.  It becomes very wearisome.   :(
Apparently you think this gives you license to use the same argument (as you did earlier with Papist). ::)  And I've noticed too that the "red herring" argument is often used when non-Catholic polemicists can't respond.

Quote
Quote
(which appears to be your definition since you define NOT having concupisence as the state of NOT having the free will to sin).

No cigar.  You got that wrong.  I've noticed that you try and guess what your partners in dialogue are thinking and you are often wrong.    Presumption of this nature is deadly to ecumenical dialogue.
That's why I used the word "appears" instead of "is" - because I was not sure and was hoping to get a straight answer from you. What was that you said about presumption?

Quote
Concupiscence is the disordered attraction to things and acts which are in fact detrimental to us.   Our fallen sinful nature may make them appear attractive at the time but they are in fact destructive of spiritual life and harmful to salvation.
Very good.  And as the example of Adam and Eve demonstrates, lack of concupiscence does not equate to not being able to be tempted or deceived into sin.  Despite the lack of concupiscence, one still needs the active use of free will to be able to resist temptation.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 09:14:58 AM
Mardukm , what the Immaculate Conception declares then ?
I'll explain it to you in non-Latin terms:

From the moment of her conception, the Theotokos was given all the grace a creature can receive from the Holy Spirit.

This basically and simply means that she received what we receive at Baptism, but only at an earlier time, even earlier than St. John the Baptist (who is traditionally believed to have been sanctified when Mary met Elizabeth). Whatever you think we receive at Baptism is the same thing that the Theotokos received, except at the moment of her conception.

Since it was at the moment of her conception, it also means that the Grace (that we normally receive at Baptism) was preventive, instead of ameliorative.  This means she had no spiritual stain, including the stain of concupiscence. However, all the physical consequences still remained (death, infirmity, sickness, sorrow, etc) - just like us when we receive baptism.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception refers only to her spiritual being, not her physical being.  It is, aside from concupiscence, exactly like what we experience spiritually at Baptism.

Blessings,
Marduk

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 09:21:26 AM
the lack of concupisence does not mean that one loses the free will not to sin.

Is that Catholic gobbledygook?  :laugh:
When one uses double and triple negatives - yeah, it can look like that. :laugh:
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:37:39 AM
... but if Mary indeed had free will to obey or disobey (a view which is completely compatible with Orthodox belief), then what is the point of her being immaculately conceived? It is one thing for her to have been purified by the Holy Spirit through her conception of the Son of God (as the Orthodox canon at Matins for the Annunciation proclaims), and quite another in herself being "immaculately conceived". To an Orthodox, it don't add up.
The point is that she is the Holy Ark of the Covenant made of the "purest" and "finest" of material just as the true Ark. To a Catholic, the rejection of the Immacaulate Conception just doesn't add up.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:39:08 AM
Mary was born from Joachim and Ana . From men seed , not from God . The immaculated conception is an deviation from the true . Mary did not exist with the creation , She is not at the same level with Holy Spirit , she is not Quatriny or how is it called . The IC is an heresy , sorry for being so harsh .
And none of what you have said has anything to do with the Immaculate Conception. You don't even know what the IC is. It was the fact that Mary, who was concieved by Anne and Joachim, did not inherit original sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:40:07 AM
This tread is in response to a post where a member suggested that the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception leads to the denial of one's Free will. I believe this to be false. First, the IC means that Mary was not born the fallen state of original sin..

Here is my limited understanding of the complexities of Roman Catholic theology on this matter.

Firstly, you are not correct in saying that the IC means the Mother of God was "not born the fallen state of original sin."  The true teaching is that she was not *conceived* in the fallen state of original sin.   I am surprised that you do not know that.  The very name should give you a clue - it is the Immaculate Conception and not the Immaculate Birth.

The consequence of this conception without original sin is that the Mother of God lacked some of the important aspects of free will.  These are aspects which the rest of humanity "enjoys."

Because she did not inherit original sin she did not have the "stains" of original sin.  A major one of these stains is concupiscnece.  Without concuspicience it is impossible to exercise your free will and choose to sin.

So she was able to have free will to make such a decision in the morning - today I am going to go into town, or today I am going to stay home and do my embroidery.

But she did not have such free will as - I am going to steal that apple on the neighbour's tree or, I am going to swear at the dog if he bites me again.

So in this very significant way, becaue of the lack of concupiscence, she lacked free will.

I humbly implore your pardon for presuming to raise my voice on Roman Catholic theology but when I saw your inaccurate understanding of the Immaculate Conception (that Mary was born immaculately instead of being conceived immaculately) I knew that I had to make a small contribution. 



I meant concieved. I must have typed this out too quickly but I think you know that I know that Mary was preserved whole and entirely from Original Sin from the moment of her Conception.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:43:57 AM
Because she did not inherit original sin she did not have the "stains" of original sin.  A major one of these stains is concupiscnece.  Without concuspicience it is impossible to exercise your free will and choose to sin.

So she was able to have free will to make such a decision in the morning - today I am going to go into town, or today I am going to stay home and do my embroidery.

But she did not have such free will as - I am going to steal that apple on the neighbour's tree or, I am going to swear at the dog if he bites me again.

So in this very significant way, becaue of the lack of concupiscence, she lacked free will.
I used to believe this rationale when I was an Orthodox NOT in communion with Rome.  But better minds than me convinced me of the illogical and unpatristic notion that concupisence is necessary for free will to have effect.  If I really believed this, then I would have to admit that Adam and Eve did not have free will.  I would also have to admit that Jesus Christ did not have free will, which would not make him fully human.  Pondering such heterodox consequences was enough to set my mind on the right track.

As with Papist you have an inaccurate understanding of the complexities of Roman Catholic theology.   The absence of concupiscence (the result of the absence of original sin) in the Mother of God does not mean the elimination of *all* of her free will; I thought I had made that clear.   It means the absence of free will to sin.  Free will to sin can only be driven by concuspiscence and nothing else. She actually had no inner faculty which brought her free will into action with regard to choosing sin.

So the Mother of God had less free will than the ordinary human.


Ah, so what we really have going on here is that you don't understand Catholic theolgoy because you believe that the lack of concuspisence takes away Mary's ability to sin. I can provide two examples that prove that this premise is false: Adam and Eve. Neither were created with concupiscence but both freely chose to sin. The lack of concupisence in a person does not take away that person's ability to sin. Rather, it just means that they do not have the same attachment and drive to sin that you and I have. Thus, when Adam and Eve sinned it was so much graver because their wills were much more free than ours.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:45:05 AM
So you believe Jesus had less free will than any other human being also?

Do you also believe that Adam and Eve had less free will than any other human being?  If so, how did they sin?

Because you cannot answer the objections to the Immaculate Conception you are starting to throw red herrings into the discussion.   Please do not take this thread off topic.  Deal with the topic - "Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception."
He is not getting off topic. He is providing two examples that destroy the foundation of your arguement.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:50:28 AM
These are not red herrings.  This goes to the very heart of the topic. It was you who claimed that lack of concupisence means a person loses the "enjoyment" of the full use of one's free will.  So this either means that Jesus was NOT fully human and could not relate to us fully,

You are being quarrelsome and that is causing you to forget basic theology.

Jesus Christ was like us in all things *except* sin.
So you think that an intrinsic part of any human person is the desire to sin and the enjoyment of evil actions? WOW. You should become a Manichean because apparently you think that it is intrinsic to the human person to be evil. A Good God would not create such evil in us. So you going to joing the gnostics in general or the Manicheans in particular?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 09:54:16 AM
the lack of concupisence does not mean that one loses the free will not to sin.

Is that Catholic gobbledygook?  :laugh:
And down the rabbit hole again. We have again arrived at either Fr. Ambrose being dishonest in his presentation of Catholic theology in order to assault it or Fr. Ambrose demonstrating this ignorance or lack of understanding of Catholic Theology. After things have been so clearly presented to him in this thread, and I am sure many times in his life, it is really straining Charity to assume that its ignorance and lack of understanding at this point. Fr. I ask you, please stop trying to misunderstand and misrepresent our Faith. It is extremely disrespectful. No one is expecting you to accept the IC; however, in the name of Christian Charity and sincerity, I ask you to stop creating these staw men.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 10:01:28 AM
Mary was born from Joachim and Ana . From men seed , not from God . The immaculated conception is an deviation from the true . Mary did not exist with the creation , She is not at the same level with Holy Spirit , she is not Quatriny or how is it called . The IC is an heresy , sorry for being so harsh .
And none of what you have said has anything to do with the Immaculate Conception. You don't even know what the IC is. It was the fact that Mary, who was concieved by Anne and Joachim, did not inherit original sin.

Exactly what i believed .. anyways maybe you would like to explain us how this occured =)) . Let`s not make Mariolatry here .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 10:03:02 AM
Mary was born from Joachim and Ana . From men seed , not from God . The immaculated conception is an deviation from the true . Mary did not exist with the creation , She is not at the same level with Holy Spirit , she is not Quatriny or how is it called . The IC is an heresy , sorry for being so harsh .
And none of what you have said has anything to do with the Immaculate Conception. You don't even know what the IC is. It was the fact that Mary, who was concieved by Anne and Joachim, did not inherit original sin.

Exactly what i believed .. anyways maybe you would like to explain us how this occured =)) . Let`s not make Mariolatry here .
First, If that's exactly what you believe then you believe in the Immaculate Conception. Second, how is God granting grace to Mary Mariolatry? What a silly arguement.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 10:09:45 AM
That is exactly what i taught IC is , and it is an heresy , you can`t prove it elsewhere . It was not a dogma of the Seven Councils , it was added by RCC , and became an dogma of RCC somewere in 19th century afaik . Let`s be serious the RCC has departed from the faith of Peter wich confessed  Jesus Christ and true faith . The rock on wich the Church was build .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 10:10:19 AM
That is exactly what i taught IC is , and it is an heresy , you can`t prove it elsewhere . It was not a dogma of the Seven Councils , it was added by RCC , and became an dogma of RCC somewere in 19th century afaik . Let`s be serious the RCC has departed from the faith of Peter wich confessed  Jesus Christ and true faith . The rock on wich the Church was build .
Let's be serious. You making a silly arguement.
If she really is the "All holy", "Immaculate", "All pure" then the Immaculate concpetion makes much more sense than its rejection.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: basilthefool on April 07, 2009, 10:44:44 AM
Wow! This thread really lends itself to the ad hominen, eh? It does seem to the uninformed follower of all this that both sides are missing the mark on the opposition's arguments. I haven't seen so many knees jerking since lightning hit the football bleachers.

I had always thought that the main objection to immaculate conception was that it was proclaimed as a dogma necessary for salvation and that the Orthodox that it wasn't an essential belief and should not have been proclaimed unilaterally.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 11:06:28 AM
Wow! This thread really lends itself to the ad hominen, eh? It does seem to the uninformed follower of all this that both sides are missing the mark on the opposition's arguments. I haven't seen so many knees jerking since lightning hit the football bleachers.
Haven't missed his point. Its just not a good point.
 
I had always thought that the main objection to immaculate conception was that it was proclaimed as a dogma necessary for salvation and that the Orthodox that it wasn't an essential belief and should not have been proclaimed unilaterally.
This is the best arguement that I ever hear against the IC. However, it doesn't touch on whether or not the IC is true. It only addresses whether or not it was prudent to make it dogma.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 11:34:11 AM
Ok , I am interested in this dogma , Papist maybe you can help me , sorry for being a little bit acusator upper . I want us to have a civilised exchange of opinions and sure I am interested of this dogma .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on April 07, 2009, 11:49:23 AM
Ok , I am interested in this dogma , Papist maybe you can help me , sorry for being a little bit acusator upper . I want us to have a civilised exchange of opinions and sure I am interested of this dogma .
As am I. :)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 07, 2009, 12:46:26 PM
Ok , I am interested in this dogma , Papist maybe you can help me , sorry for being a little bit acusator upper . I want us to have a civilised exchange of opinions and sure I am interested of this dogma .
Why thank you for very much for this. Would you like me to give an explanation of what the Immaculate Conception is first or do you have questions that you would like me to try and answer first?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 07, 2009, 12:49:31 PM
I would like an explanation and if you are still here enter the chat a little .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna on April 07, 2009, 02:28:51 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas 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?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna on April 07, 2009, 06:10:45 PM
Look at us . . . being all polite.  Why can't we always discuss topics in this manner?  :)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.  ;)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm 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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm 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. :)  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 :) ) 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?  :)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry 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."

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry 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. :)  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 :) ) 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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 07, 2009, 09:41:35 PM
Dear brother Isa,

I was hoping you would join in!  Glad to see you!  :)  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. :)

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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm 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 :) ) 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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 07, 2009, 11:02:14 PM
Dear brother Isa,

I was hoping you would join in!  Glad to see you!  :) 
Glad to see you!  ;)
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. :)
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, 8).

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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Marc Hanna 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania 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 .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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?




Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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.   ;D

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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?   :)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm 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?





Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK 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".
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit 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-

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 08, 2009, 10:17:54 AM
If Mary would not inherit the Ancestral Sin , she would not known corruption and death , and she would not needed a Saviour . Of course conforming Scriptures and Tradition she was Saved by God , trought Grace , The power of the Holy Spirit came upon her and washed away Her sin(s) . For this she was grateful and said : My heart rejoiced in God , my Saviour . So both Bible and Tradition "kind of" doesn`t support this dogma , and this dogma is not in the line with the Bible or Tradition . I wrote about this two in another topic "Regarding Immaculated Conception" it is more wide and largely into subject .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 08, 2009, 10:23:34 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.

Your fine distinction in the IC are not found in Ineffibilus Deus.  Are they a refinement?
Quote
SUPREME REASON FOR THE PRIVILEGE: THE DIVINE MATERNITY

And indeed it was wholly fitting that so wonderful a mother should be ever resplendent with the glory of most sublime holiness and so completely free from all taint of original sin that she would triumph utterly over the ancient serpent. To her did the Father will to give his only-begotten Son -- the Son whom, equal to the Father and begotten by him, the Father loves from his heart -- and to give this Son in such a way that he would be the one and the same common Son of God the Father and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was she whom the Son himself chose to make his Mother and it was from her that the Holy Spirit willed and brought it about that he should be conceived and born from whom he himself proceeds.[1]
Nice inclusion of the error of the Filioque.

This of course, is the supreme problem for your read of the IC:Mary becomes Theotokos through her body.

Quote
The Fathers and writers of the Church, well versed in the heavenly Scriptures, had nothing more at heart than to vie with one another in preaching and teaching in many wonderful ways the Virgin's supreme sanctity, dignity, and immunity from all stain of sin, and her renowned victory over the most foul enemy of the human race. This they did in the books they wrote to explain the Scriptures, to vindicate the dogmas, and to instruct the faithful. These ecclesiastical writers in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind -- words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, "I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed"[13] -- taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold: That his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the evil one was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.[14]

Based on the Vulgate's mistransaltion of Genesis 3:15 (something the IC believers by the score still ignore).

Quote
As if these splendid eulogies and tributes were not sufficient, the Fathers proclaimed with particular and definite statements that when one treats of sin, the holy Virgin Mary is not even to be mentioned; for to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely.[24] They also declared that the most glorious Virgin was Reparatrix of the first parents, the giver of life to posterity; that she was chosen before the ages, prepared for himself by the Most High, foretold by God when he said to the serpent, "I will put enmities between you and the woman."[25] -- unmistakable evidence that she crushed the poisonous head of the serpent. And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace.


They testified, too, that the flesh of the Virgin, although derived from Adam, did not contract the stains of Adam, and that on this account the most Blessed Virgin was the tabernacle created by God himself and formed by the Holy Spirit, truly a work in royal purple, adorned and woven with gold, which that new Beseleel made. They affirmed that the same Virgin is, and is deservedly, the first and especial work of God, escaping the fiery arrows the evil one; that she is beautiful by nature and entirely free from all stain; that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn. For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness.

This doctrine so filled the minds and souls of our ancestors in the faith that a singular and truly marvelous style of speech came into vogue among them. They have frequently addressed the Mother of God as immaculate, as immaculate in every respect; innocent, and verily most innocent; spotless, and entirely spotless; holy and removed from every stain of sin; all pure, all stainless, the very model of purity and innocence; more beautiful than beauty, more lovely than loveliness; more holy than holiness, singularly holy and most pure in soul and body; the one who surpassed all integrity and virginity; the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the most Holy Spirit. God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim. To praise her all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.

And then, there is the problem of squaring your read of the IC with Munificentissimus Deus:
Quote
3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came"(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.

4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.

5. Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.

6. Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.

12. But those whom "the Holy Spirit has placed as bishops to rule the Church of God"(4) gave an almost unanimous affirmative response to both these questions. This "outstanding agreement of the Catholic prelates and the faithful,"(5) affirming that the bodily Assumption of God's Mother into heaven can be defined as a dogma of faith, since it shows us the concordant teaching of the Church's ordinary doctrinal authority and the concordant faith of the Christian people which the same doctrinal authority sustains and directs, thus by itself and in an entirely certain and infallible way, manifests this privilege as a truth revealed by God and contained in that divine deposit which Christ has delivered to his Spouse to be guarded faithfully and to be taught infallibly.(6) Certainly this teaching authority of the Church, not by any merely human effort but under the protection of the Spirit of Truth,(7) and therefore absolutely without error, carries out the commission entrusted to it, that of preserving the revealed truths pure and entire throughout every age, in such a way that it presents them undefiled, adding nothing to them and taking nothing away from them. For, as the Vatican Council teaches, "the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter in such a way that, by his revelation, they might manifest new doctrine, but so that, by his assistance, they might guard as sacred and might faithfully propose the revelation delivered through the apostles, or the deposit of faith."(8) Thus, from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that the Blessed Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven- which surely no faculty of the human mind could know by its own natural powers, as far as the heavenly glorification of the virginal body of the loving Mother of God is concerned-is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church. For, as the Vatican Council asserts, "all those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church, either in solemn judgment or in its ordinary and universal teaching office, as divinely revealed truths which must be believed."(9)

14. Christ's faithful, through the teaching and the leadership of their pastors, have learned from the sacred books that the Virgin Mary, throughout the course of her earthly pilgrimage, led a life troubled by cares, hardships, and sorrows, and that, moreover, what the holy old man Simeon had foretold actually came to pass, that is, that a terribly sharp sword pierced her heart as she stood under the cross of her divine Son, our Redeemer. In the same way, it was not difficult for them to admit that the great Mother of God, like her only begotten Son, had actually passed from this life. But this in no way prevented them from believing and from professing openly that her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb, and that the august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes. Actually, enlightened by divine grace and moved by affection for her, God's Mother and our own dearest Mother, they have contemplated in an ever clearer light the wonderful harmony and order of those privileges which the most provident God has lavished upon this loving associate of our Redeemer, privileges which reach such an exalted plane that, except for her, nothing created by God other than the human nature of Jesus Christ has ever reached this level.

17. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. 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."(11)

18. What is here indicated in that sobriety characteristic of the Roman liturgy is presented more clearly and completely in other ancient liturgical books. To take one as an example, the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary's as "an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." And, in the Byzantine liturgy, not only is the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption connected time and time again with the dignity of the Mother of God, but also with the other privileges, and in particular with the virginal motherhood granted her by a singular decree of God's Providence. "God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. 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."(12)

20. However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ's faithful. They presented it more clearly. 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, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ-truths that the liturgical books had frequently touched upon concisely and briefly.

21. Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. "It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."(17)

22. These words of St. John Damascene agree perfectly with what others have taught on this same subject. Statements no less clear and accurate are to be found in sermons delivered by Fathers of an earlier time or of the same period, particularly on the occasion of this feast. And so, to cite some other examples, St. Germanus of Constantinople considered the fact that the body of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, was incorrupt and had been taken up into heaven to be in keeping, not only with her divine motherhood, but also with the special holiness of her virginal body. "You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life."(18) And another very ancient writer asserts: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."(19)

26. Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers,(20) have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption. Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of the psalmist: "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified"(21); and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven. Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer.(22) Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles "that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense" to be crowned.(23) These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom.

28. Thus, during the earliest period of scholastic theology, that most pious man, Amadeus, Bishop of Lausarme, held that the Virgin Mary's flesh had remained incorrupt-for it is wrong to believe that her body has seen corruption-because it was really united again to her soul and, together with it, crowned with great glory in the heavenly courts. "For she was full of grace and blessed among women. She alone merited to conceive the true God of true God, whom as a virgin, she brought forth, to whom as a virgin she gave milk, fondling him in her lap, and in all things she waited upon him with loving care."(26)

29. Among the holy writers who at that time employed statements and various images and analogies of Sacred Scripture to Illustrate and to confirm the doctrine of the Assumption, which was piously believed, the Evangelical Doctor, St. Anthony of Padua, holds a special place. On the feast day of the Assumption, while explaining the prophet's words: "I will glorify the place of my feet,"(27) he stated it as certain that the divine Redeemer had bedecked with supreme glory his most beloved Mother from whom he had received human flesh. He asserts that "you have here a clear statement that the Blessed Virgin has been assumed in her body, where was the place of the Lord's feet. Hence it is that the holy Psalmist writes: 'Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified."' And he asserts that, just as Jesus Christ has risen from the death over which he triumphed and has ascended to the right hand of the Father, so likewise the ark of his sanctification "has risen up, since on this day the Virgin Mother has been taken up to her heavenly dwelling."(28)

30. When, during the Middle Ages, scholastic theology was especially flourishing, St. Albert the Great who, to establish this teaching, had gathered together many proofs from Sacred Scripture, from the statements of older writers, and finally from the liturgy and from what is known as theological reasoning, concluded in this way: "From these proofs and authorities and from many others, it is manifest that the most blessed Mother of God has been assumed above the choirs of angels. And this we believe in every way to be true."(29) And, in a sermon which he delivered on the sacred day of the Blessed Virgin Mary's annunciation, explained the words "Hail, full of grace"-words used by the angel who addressed her-the Universal Doctor, comparing the Blessed Virgin with Eve, stated clearly and incisively that she was exempted from the fourfold curse that had been laid upon Eve.(30)

31. Following the footsteps of his distinguished teacher, the Angelic Doctor, despite the fact that he never dealt directly with this question, nevertheless, whenever he touched upon it, always held together with the Catholic Church, that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul.(31)

32. Along with many others, the Seraphic Doctor held the same views. He considered it as entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes.(32) Explaining these words of Sacred Scripture: "Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?"(33) and applying them in a kind of accommodated sense to the Blessed Virgin, he reasons thus: "From this we can see that she is there bodily...her blessedness would not have been complete unless she were there as a person. The soul is not a person, but the soul, joined to the body, is a person. It is manifest that she is there in soul and in body. Otherwise she would not possess her complete beatitude.(34)

33. In the fifteenth century, during a later period of scholastic theology, St. Bernardine of Siena collected and diligently evaluated all that the medieval theologians had said and taught on this question. He was not content with setting down the principal considerations which these writers of an earlier day had already expressed, but he added others of his own. The likeness between God's Mother and her divine Son, in the way of the nobility and dignity of body and of soul - a likeness that forbids us to think of the heavenly Queen as being separated from the heavenly King - makes it entirely imperative that Mary "should be only where Christ is."(35) Moreover, it is reasonable and fitting that not only the soul and body of a man, but also the soul and body of a woman should have obtained heavenly glory. Finally, since the Church has never looked for the bodily relics of the Blessed Virgin nor proposed them for the veneration of the people, we have a proof on the order of a sensible experience.(36)

34. The above-mentioned teachings of the holy Fathers and of the Doctors have been in common use during more recent times. Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert Bellarmine exclaimed: "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms."(37)

35. In like manner St. Francis de Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: "What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?"(38) And St. Alphonsus writes that "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust."(39)

36. Once the mystery which is commemorated in this feast had been placed in its proper light, there were not lacking teachers who, instead of dealing with the theological reasonings that show why it is fitting and right to believe the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, chose to focus their mind and attention on the faith of the Church itself, which is the Mystical Body of Christ without stain or wrinkle(40) and is called by the Apostle "the pillar and ground of truth."(41) Relying on this common faith, they considered the teaching opposed to the doctrine of our Lady's Assumption as temerarious, if not heretical. Thus, like not a few others, St. Peter Canisius, after he had declared that the very word "assumption" signifies the glorification, not only of the soul but also of the body, and that the Church has venerated and has solemnly celebrated this mystery of Mary's Assumption for many centuries, adds these words of warning: "This teaching has already been accepted for some centuries, it has been held as certain in the minds of the pious people, and it has been taught to the entire Church in such a way that those who deny that Mary's body has been assumed into heaven are not to be listened to patiently but are everywhere to be denounced as over-contentious or rash men, and as imbued with a spirit that is heretical rather than Catholic."(42)

37. At the same time the great Suarez was professing in the field of mariology the norm that "keeping in mind the standards of propriety, and when there is no contradiction or repugnance on the part of Scripture, the mysteries of grace which God has wrought in the Virgin must be measured, not by the ordinary laws, but by the divine omnipotence."(43) Supported by the common faith of the entire Church on the subject of the mystery of the Assumption, he could conclude that this mystery was to be believed with the same firmness of assent as that given to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Thus he already held that such truths could be defined.

38. All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation. These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing his lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought him forth, nursed him with her milk, held him in her arms, and clasped him to her breast, as being apart from him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God's law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.

potuit, decuit ergo fecit all over again.

Quote
39. We must remember especially that, since the second century, the Virgin Mary has been designated by the holy Fathers as the new Eve, who, although subject to the new Adam, is most intimately associated with him in that struggle against the infernal foe which, as foretold in the protoevangelium,(44) would finally result in that most complete victory over the sin and death which are always mentioned together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles.(45) Consequently, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part and the final sign of this victory, so that struggle which was common to the Blessed Virgin and her divine Son should be brought to a close by the glorification of her virginal body, for the same Apostle says: "When this mortal thing hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."(46)

40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 08, 2009, 10:33:54 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-



Ah but Father, we have that problem with having the Vatican folk stating what exactly is infallible.  I've see it argued that out of the 48 paragraphs of the Constitituion, only the bold faced is infallible:
Quote
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.

45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith

Hence the Immortalists continue the Ultramontanist tradition of ignoring the plain text to cherry pick their proof texts.

Btw, can you post again the quotes of Maximillian Kolbe's ideas on the Theotokos.  That might be a good context to see what the IC leads to (and before anyone complains, look at what the IC and Assumption says as to the proof that these "dogmas" are the natural result of X, Y and Z pronouncement).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 08, 2009, 10:39:31 AM
If Mary would not inherit the Ancestral Sin , she would not known corruption and death ,
Why not? Jesus had no sin yet he died. Further, Mary could have died since her life was in completely conformity that of her divine son who died. Also, if Christ died, how could Mary not? A servant is not greater than her master. Finally, I do not believe that Mary's death was like our death. I believe that it was a true dormition, a falling asleep, such a gentle thing that upon her dormition she awoke in heaven. Original Sin is not required in any of this.
and she would not needed a Saviour .
Not true. A person can be saved from something happening, or can be saved from it after it happens. Imagine a hole in the forest that is hard to see. Imagine that a person falls in and I pull him out. I have saved the person after the fact. Imagine that I stop a person from falling in a whole who is just about to step in. The second person I have saved before the event. Mary is like the second person. She was saved before she fell into the whole of sin. Thus, even with the IC, Jesus is her savior.
Of course conforming Scriptures and Tradition she was Saved by God , trought Grace , The power of the Holy Spirit came upon her and washed away Her sin(s) . For this she was grateful and said : My heart rejoiced in God , my Saviour . So both Bible and Tradition "kind of" doesn`t support this dogma , and this dogma is not in the line with the Bible or Tradition . I wrote about this two in another topic "Regarding Immaculated Conception" it is more wide and largely into subject .
So you believe Mary was a sinner? You don't believe that she was "All Holy" as the Liturgy teaches?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 08, 2009, 10:41:29 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.

Your fine distinction in the IC are not found in Ineffibilus Deus.  Are they a refinement?
Quote
SUPREME REASON FOR THE PRIVILEGE: THE DIVINE MATERNITY

And indeed it was wholly fitting that so wonderful a mother should be ever resplendent with the glory of most sublime holiness and so completely free from all taint of original sin that she would triumph utterly over the ancient serpent. To her did the Father will to give his only-begotten Son -- the Son whom, equal to the Father and begotten by him, the Father loves from his heart -- and to give this Son in such a way that he would be the one and the same common Son of God the Father and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was she whom the Son himself chose to make his Mother and it was from her that the Holy Spirit willed and brought it about that he should be conceived and born from whom he himself proceeds.[1]
Nice inclusion of the error of the Filioque.

This of course, is the supreme problem for your read of the IC:Mary becomes Theotokos through her body.

Quote
The Fathers and writers of the Church, well versed in the heavenly Scriptures, had nothing more at heart than to vie with one another in preaching and teaching in many wonderful ways the Virgin's supreme sanctity, dignity, and immunity from all stain of sin, and her renowned victory over the most foul enemy of the human race. This they did in the books they wrote to explain the Scriptures, to vindicate the dogmas, and to instruct the faithful. These ecclesiastical writers in quoting the words by which at the beginning of the world God announced his merciful remedies prepared for the regeneration of mankind -- words by which he crushed the audacity of the deceitful serpent and wondrously raised up the hope of our race, saying, "I will put enmities between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed"[13] -- taught that by this divine prophecy the merciful Redeemer of mankind, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was clearly foretold: That his most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, was prophetically indicated; and, at the same time, the very enmity of both against the evil one was significantly expressed. Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot.[14]

Based on the Vulgate's mistransaltion of Genesis 3:15 (something the IC believers by the score still ignore).

Quote
As if these splendid eulogies and tributes were not sufficient, the Fathers proclaimed with particular and definite statements that when one treats of sin, the holy Virgin Mary is not even to be mentioned; for to her more grace was given than was necessary to conquer sin completely.[24] They also declared that the most glorious Virgin was Reparatrix of the first parents, the giver of life to posterity; that she was chosen before the ages, prepared for himself by the Most High, foretold by God when he said to the serpent, "I will put enmities between you and the woman."[25] -- unmistakable evidence that she crushed the poisonous head of the serpent. And hence they affirmed that the Blessed Virgin was, through grace, entirely free from every stain of sin, and from all corruption of body, soul and mind; that she was always united with God and joined to him by an eternal covenant; that she was never in darkness but always in light; and that, therefore, she was entirely a fit habitation for Christ, not because of the state of her body, but because of her original grace.


They testified, too, that the flesh of the Virgin, although derived from Adam, did not contract the stains of Adam, and that on this account the most Blessed Virgin was the tabernacle created by God himself and formed by the Holy Spirit, truly a work in royal purple, adorned and woven with gold, which that new Beseleel made. They affirmed that the same Virgin is, and is deservedly, the first and especial work of God, escaping the fiery arrows the evil one; that she is beautiful by nature and entirely free from all stain; that at her Immaculate Conception she came into the world all radiant like the dawn. For it was certainly not fitting that this vessel of election should be wounded by the common injuries, since she, differing so much from the others, had only nature in common with them, not sin. In fact, it was quite fitting that, as the Only-Begotten has a Father in heaven, whom the Seraphim extol as thrice holy, so he should have a Mother on earth who would never be without the splendor of holiness.

This doctrine so filled the minds and souls of our ancestors in the faith that a singular and truly marvelous style of speech came into vogue among them. They have frequently addressed the Mother of God as immaculate, as immaculate in every respect; innocent, and verily most innocent; spotless, and entirely spotless; holy and removed from every stain of sin; all pure, all stainless, the very model of purity and innocence; more beautiful than beauty, more lovely than loveliness; more holy than holiness, singularly holy and most pure in soul and body; the one who surpassed all integrity and virginity; the only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the most Holy Spirit. God alone excepted, Mary is more excellent than all, and by nature fair and beautiful, and more holy than the Cherubim and Seraphim. To praise her all the tongues of heaven and earth do not suffice.

And then, there is the problem of squaring your read of the IC with Munificentissimus Deus:
Quote
3. Actually God, who from all eternity regards Mary with a most favorable and unique affection, has "when the fullness of time came"(2) put the plan of his providence into effect in such a way that all the privileges and prerogatives he had granted to her in his sovereign generosity were to shine forth in her in a kind of perfect harmony. And, although the Church has always recognized this supreme generosity and the perfect harmony of graces and has daily studied them more and more throughout the course of the centuries, still it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly.

4. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception. These two privileges are most closely bound to one another. Christ overcame sin and death by his own death, and one who through Baptism has been born again in a supernatural way has conquered sin and death through the same Christ. Yet, according to the general rule, God does not will to grant to the just the full effect of the victory over death until the end of time has come. And so it is that the bodies of even the just are corrupted after death, and only on the last day will they be joined, each to its own glorious soul.

5. Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.

6. Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority.

12. But those whom "the Holy Spirit has placed as bishops to rule the Church of God"(4) gave an almost unanimous affirmative response to both these questions. This "outstanding agreement of the Catholic prelates and the faithful,"(5) affirming that the bodily Assumption of God's Mother into heaven can be defined as a dogma of faith, since it shows us the concordant teaching of the Church's ordinary doctrinal authority and the concordant faith of the Christian people which the same doctrinal authority sustains and directs, thus by itself and in an entirely certain and infallible way, manifests this privilege as a truth revealed by God and contained in that divine deposit which Christ has delivered to his Spouse to be guarded faithfully and to be taught infallibly.(6) Certainly this teaching authority of the Church, not by any merely human effort but under the protection of the Spirit of Truth,(7) and therefore absolutely without error, carries out the commission entrusted to it, that of preserving the revealed truths pure and entire throughout every age, in such a way that it presents them undefiled, adding nothing to them and taking nothing away from them. For, as the Vatican Council teaches, "the Holy Spirit was not promised to the successors of Peter in such a way that, by his revelation, they might manifest new doctrine, but so that, by his assistance, they might guard as sacred and might faithfully propose the revelation delivered through the apostles, or the deposit of faith."(8) Thus, from the universal agreement of the Church's ordinary teaching authority we have a certain and firm proof, demonstrating that the Blessed Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven- which surely no faculty of the human mind could know by its own natural powers, as far as the heavenly glorification of the virginal body of the loving Mother of God is concerned-is a truth that has been revealed by God and consequently something that must be firmly and faithfully believed by all children of the Church. For, as the Vatican Council asserts, "all those things are to be believed by divine and Catholic faith which are contained in the written Word of God or in Tradition, and which are proposed by the Church, either in solemn judgment or in its ordinary and universal teaching office, as divinely revealed truths which must be believed."(9)

14. Christ's faithful, through the teaching and the leadership of their pastors, have learned from the sacred books that the Virgin Mary, throughout the course of her earthly pilgrimage, led a life troubled by cares, hardships, and sorrows, and that, moreover, what the holy old man Simeon had foretold actually came to pass, that is, that a terribly sharp sword pierced her heart as she stood under the cross of her divine Son, our Redeemer. In the same way, it was not difficult for them to admit that the great Mother of God, like her only begotten Son, had actually passed from this life. But this in no way prevented them from believing and from professing openly that her sacred body had never been subject to the corruption of the tomb, and that the august tabernacle of the Divine Word had never been reduced to dust and ashes. Actually, enlightened by divine grace and moved by affection for her, God's Mother and our own dearest Mother, they have contemplated in an ever clearer light the wonderful harmony and order of those privileges which the most provident God has lavished upon this loving associate of our Redeemer, privileges which reach such an exalted plane that, except for her, nothing created by God other than the human nature of Jesus Christ has ever reached this level.

17. In the liturgical books which deal with the feast either of the dormition or of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin there are expressions that agree in testifying that, when the Virgin Mother of God passed from this earthly exile to heaven, what happened to her sacred body was, by the decree of divine Providence, in keeping with the dignity of the Mother of the Word Incarnate, and with the other privileges she had been accorded. 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."(11)

18. What is here indicated in that sobriety characteristic of the Roman liturgy is presented more clearly and completely in other ancient liturgical books. To take one as an example, the Gallican sacramentary designates this privilege of Mary's as "an ineffable mystery all the more worthy of praise as the Virgin's Assumption is something unique among men." And, in the Byzantine liturgy, not only is the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption connected time and time again with the dignity of the Mother of God, but also with the other privileges, and in particular with the virginal motherhood granted her by a singular decree of God's Providence. "God, the King of the universe, has granted you favors that surpass nature. 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."(12)

20. However, since the liturgy of the Church does not engender the Catholic faith, but rather springs from it, in such a way that the practices of the sacred worship proceed from the faith as the fruit comes from the tree, it follows that the holy Fathers and the great Doctors, in the homilies and sermons they gave the people on this feast day, did not draw their teaching from the feast itself as from a primary source, but rather they spoke of this doctrine as something already known and accepted by Christ's faithful. They presented it more clearly. 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, but that she gained a triumph out of death, her heavenly glorification after the example of her only begotten Son, Jesus Christ-truths that the liturgical books had frequently touched upon concisely and briefly.

21. Thus St. John Damascene, an outstanding herald of this traditional truth, spoke out with powerful eloquence when he compared the bodily Assumption of the loving Mother of God with her other prerogatives and privileges. "It was fitting that she, who had kept her virginity intact in childbirth, should keep her own body free from all corruption even after death. It was fitting that she, who had carried the Creator as a child at her breast, should dwell in the divine tabernacles. It was fitting that the spouse, whom the Father had taken to himself, should live in the divine mansions. It was fitting that she, who had seen her Son upon the cross and who had thereby received into her heart the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in the act of giving birth to him, should look upon him as he sits with the Father. It was fitting that God's Mother should possess what belongs to her Son, and that she should be honored by every creature as the Mother and as the handmaid of God."(17)

22. These words of St. John Damascene agree perfectly with what others have taught on this same subject. Statements no less clear and accurate are to be found in sermons delivered by Fathers of an earlier time or of the same period, particularly on the occasion of this feast. And so, to cite some other examples, St. Germanus of Constantinople considered the fact that the body of Mary, the virgin Mother of God, was incorrupt and had been taken up into heaven to be in keeping, not only with her divine motherhood, but also with the special holiness of her virginal body. "You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life."(18) And another very ancient writer asserts: "As the most glorious Mother of Christ, our Savior and God and the giver of life and immortality, has been endowed with life by him, she has received an eternal incorruptibility of the body together with him who has raised her up from the tomb and has taken her up to himself in a way known only to him."(19)

26. Often there are theologians and preachers who, following in the footsteps of the holy Fathers,(20) have been rather free in their use of events and expressions taken from Sacred Scripture to explain their belief in the Assumption. Thus, to mention only a few of the texts rather frequently cited in this fashion, some have employed the words of the psalmist: "Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark, which you have sanctified"(21); and have looked upon the Ark of the Covenant, built of incorruptible wood and placed in the Lord's temple, as a type of the most pure body of the Virgin Mary, preserved and exempt from all the corruption of the tomb and raised up to such glory in heaven. Treating of this subject, they also describe her as the Queen entering triumphantly into the royal halls of heaven and sitting at the right hand of the divine Redeemer.(22) Likewise they mention the Spouse of the Canticles "that goes up by the desert, as a pillar of smoke of aromatical spices, of myrrh and frankincense" to be crowned.(23) These are proposed as depicting that heavenly Queen and heavenly Spouse who has been lifted up to the courts of heaven with the divine Bridegroom.

28. Thus, during the earliest period of scholastic theology, that most pious man, Amadeus, Bishop of Lausarme, held that the Virgin Mary's flesh had remained incorrupt-for it is wrong to believe that her body has seen corruption-because it was really united again to her soul and, together with it, crowned with great glory in the heavenly courts. "For she was full of grace and blessed among women. She alone merited to conceive the true God of true God, whom as a virgin, she brought forth, to whom as a virgin she gave milk, fondling him in her lap, and in all things she waited upon him with loving care."(26)

29. Among the holy writers who at that time employed statements and various images and analogies of Sacred Scripture to Illustrate and to confirm the doctrine of the Assumption, which was piously believed, the Evangelical Doctor, St. Anthony of Padua, holds a special place. On the feast day of the Assumption, while explaining the prophet's words: "I will glorify the place of my feet,"(27) he stated it as certain that the divine Redeemer had bedecked with supreme glory his most beloved Mother from whom he had received human flesh. He asserts that "you have here a clear statement that the Blessed Virgin has been assumed in her body, where was the place of the Lord's feet. Hence it is that the holy Psalmist writes: 'Arise, O Lord, into your resting place: you and the ark which you have sanctified."' And he asserts that, just as Jesus Christ has risen from the death over which he triumphed and has ascended to the right hand of the Father, so likewise the ark of his sanctification "has risen up, since on this day the Virgin Mother has been taken up to her heavenly dwelling."(28)

30. When, during the Middle Ages, scholastic theology was especially flourishing, St. Albert the Great who, to establish this teaching, had gathered together many proofs from Sacred Scripture, from the statements of older writers, and finally from the liturgy and from what is known as theological reasoning, concluded in this way: "From these proofs and authorities and from many others, it is manifest that the most blessed Mother of God has been assumed above the choirs of angels. And this we believe in every way to be true."(29) And, in a sermon which he delivered on the sacred day of the Blessed Virgin Mary's annunciation, explained the words "Hail, full of grace"-words used by the angel who addressed her-the Universal Doctor, comparing the Blessed Virgin with Eve, stated clearly and incisively that she was exempted from the fourfold curse that had been laid upon Eve.(30)

31. Following the footsteps of his distinguished teacher, the Angelic Doctor, despite the fact that he never dealt directly with this question, nevertheless, whenever he touched upon it, always held together with the Catholic Church, that Mary's body had been assumed into heaven along with her soul.(31)

32. Along with many others, the Seraphic Doctor held the same views. He considered it as entirely certain that, as God had preserved the most holy Virgin Mary from the violation of her virginal purity and integrity in conceiving and in childbirth, he would never have permitted her body to have been resolved into dust and ashes.(32) Explaining these words of Sacred Scripture: "Who is this that comes up from the desert, flowing with delights, leaning upon her beloved?"(33) and applying them in a kind of accommodated sense to the Blessed Virgin, he reasons thus: "From this we can see that she is there bodily...her blessedness would not have been complete unless she were there as a person. The soul is not a person, but the soul, joined to the body, is a person. It is manifest that she is there in soul and in body. Otherwise she would not possess her complete beatitude.(34)

33. In the fifteenth century, during a later period of scholastic theology, St. Bernardine of Siena collected and diligently evaluated all that the medieval theologians had said and taught on this question. He was not content with setting down the principal considerations which these writers of an earlier day had already expressed, but he added others of his own. The likeness between God's Mother and her divine Son, in the way of the nobility and dignity of body and of soul - a likeness that forbids us to think of the heavenly Queen as being separated from the heavenly King - makes it entirely imperative that Mary "should be only where Christ is."(35) Moreover, it is reasonable and fitting that not only the soul and body of a man, but also the soul and body of a woman should have obtained heavenly glory. Finally, since the Church has never looked for the bodily relics of the Blessed Virgin nor proposed them for the veneration of the people, we have a proof on the order of a sensible experience.(36)

34. The above-mentioned teachings of the holy Fathers and of the Doctors have been in common use during more recent times. Gathering together the testimonies of the Christians of earlier days, St. Robert Bellarmine exclaimed: "And who, I ask, could believe that the ark of holiness, the dwelling place of the Word of God, the temple of the Holy Spirit, could be reduced to ruin? My soul is filled with horror at the thought that this virginal flesh which had begotten God, had brought him into the world, had nourished and carried him, could have been turned into ashes or given over to be food for worms."(37)

35. In like manner St. Francis de Sales, after asserting that it is wrong to doubt that Jesus Christ has himself observed, in the most perfect way, the divine commandment by which children are ordered to honor their parents, asks this question: "What son would not bring his mother back to life and would not bring her into paradise after her death if he could?"(38) And St. Alphonsus writes that "Jesus did not wish to have the body of Mary corrupted after death, since it would have redounded to his own dishonor to have her virginal flesh, from which he himself had assumed flesh, reduced to dust."(39)

36. Once the mystery which is commemorated in this feast had been placed in its proper light, there were not lacking teachers who, instead of dealing with the theological reasonings that show why it is fitting and right to believe the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, chose to focus their mind and attention on the faith of the Church itself, which is the Mystical Body of Christ without stain or wrinkle(40) and is called by the Apostle "the pillar and ground of truth."(41) Relying on this common faith, they considered the teaching opposed to the doctrine of our Lady's Assumption as temerarious, if not heretical. Thus, like not a few others, St. Peter Canisius, after he had declared that the very word "assumption" signifies the glorification, not only of the soul but also of the body, and that the Church has venerated and has solemnly celebrated this mystery of Mary's Assumption for many centuries, adds these words of warning: "This teaching has already been accepted for some centuries, it has been held as certain in the minds of the pious people, and it has been taught to the entire Church in such a way that those who deny that Mary's body has been assumed into heaven are not to be listened to patiently but are everywhere to be denounced as over-contentious or rash men, and as imbued with a spirit that is heretical rather than Catholic."(42)

37. At the same time the great Suarez was professing in the field of mariology the norm that "keeping in mind the standards of propriety, and when there is no contradiction or repugnance on the part of Scripture, the mysteries of grace which God has wrought in the Virgin must be measured, not by the ordinary laws, but by the divine omnipotence."(43) Supported by the common faith of the entire Church on the subject of the mystery of the Assumption, he could conclude that this mystery was to be believed with the same firmness of assent as that given to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. Thus he already held that such truths could be defined.

38. All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation. These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing his lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought him forth, nursed him with her milk, held him in her arms, and clasped him to her breast, as being apart from him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, he could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of God's law, than to honor, not only his eternal Father, but also his most beloved Mother. And, since it was within his power to grant her this great honor, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that he really acted in this way.

potuit, decuit ergo fecit all over again.

Quote
39. We must remember especially that, since the second century, the Virgin Mary has been designated by the holy Fathers as the new Eve, who, although subject to the new Adam, is most intimately associated with him in that struggle against the infernal foe which, as foretold in the protoevangelium,(44) would finally result in that most complete victory over the sin and death which are always mentioned together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles.(45) Consequently, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part and the final sign of this victory, so that struggle which was common to the Blessed Virgin and her divine Son should be brought to a close by the glorification of her virginal body, for the same Apostle says: "When this mortal thing hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory."(46)

40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
She only died because the master is not greater than the servant and Jesus died. She did not die as the result of sin. Second, she did not die as you and I do but rather experienced a "dormition".
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 08, 2009, 10:42:10 AM
She only died because the master is not greater than the servant and Jesus died. She did not die as the result of sin. Second, she did not die as you and I do but rather experienced a "dormition".


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.

I once got into an argument on the air with Fr. Pachwa and this was his argument too.  The implications for that "Fifth Marian Dogma" which we don't believe, but no doubt (as Fr. Pachwa and others claim happened with the IC) it will be claimed we did until the Vatican proclaimed Co-Redemptrix.

No, none of this has support in Scripture or the Fathers.

The Son poured out His Life into the Life of the Church.  Did His mother?

If Mary would not inherit the Ancestral Sin , she would not known corruption and death ,
Why not? Jesus had no sin yet he died.

Christ died as the Sacrifice.  Was the Holy Theotokos' death a sacrifice?

Quote
Further, Mary could have died since her life was in completely conformity that of her divine son who died. Also, if Christ died, how could Mary not?
LOL.  No, you are going to have explain that inconsistency yourselves.

Quote
A servant is not greater than her master. Finally, I do not believe that Mary's death was like our death. I believe that it was a true dormition, a falling asleep, such a gentle thing that upon her dormition she awoke in heaven. Original Sin is not required in any of this.

Your Vatican's pronouncements link the two themselves.

and she would not needed a Saviour .
Not true. A person can be saved from something happening, or can be saved from it after it happens. Imagine a hole in the forest that is hard to see. Imagine that a person falls in and I pull him out. I have saved the person after the fact. Imagine that I stop a person from falling in a whole who is just about to step in. The second person I have saved before the event. Mary is like the second person. She was saved before she fell into the whole of sin. Thus, even with the IC, Jesus is her savior.

Ah, but that problem of that temporal loop: the Blood that cleans from sin had not yet been spilt.  In fact, it was being made in the conception of the Holy Theotokos.

Of course conforming Scriptures and Tradition she was Saved by God , trought Grace , The power of the Holy Spirit came upon her and washed away Her sin(s) . For this she was grateful and said : My heart rejoiced in God , my Saviour . So both Bible and Tradition "kind of" doesn`t support this dogma , and this dogma is not in the line with the Bible or Tradition . I wrote about this two in another topic "Regarding Immaculated Conception" it is more wide and largely into subject .
So you believe Mary was a sinner? You don't believe that she was "All Holy" as the Liturgy teaches?


The EP is "His All-Holiness," but I don't think even the Greeks or the Chief Secretary think he's sinless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: AlexanderOfBergamo on April 08, 2009, 11:07:05 AM
Hi all,
I tried and resisted to intervene up to now in this conversation, but now I find myself so upset for the take this conversation has taken that I felt I should intervene in favour of Orthodoxy, now.
First of all, it seems that the will to "dogmatize" everything is typically latin. That's so sad... that it reminds me of those Scholars in the Middle Ages trying to define the gender of angels...

1) My easiest reply to your last post, dear brother Papist, is that you misunderstand the word "dormition". The word is a Latin rendering of a Greek word meaning "to fall asleep". That's true. But you're making the same mistake as the apostles and the parents of that girl Jesus once resurrected when he said "she's asleep" and had to clarify "she died". The expression "Feast of Dormition" is thus no proof at all that she never died...

2) When the Church honours Mary as "All holy" it's not like saying she was "Ever Holy". If you reflect on this, maybe the Liturgy would have preferred a term such as "aieonohagia" as for "aieonoparthenos" (ever-virgin) to mean that she was ALWAYS holy, isn't it? "All holy" means that she experienced a special integrity with respect even to the Apostles because she never actually sinned at all after Christ's conception.

3) Explicitly saying that Mary was created Immaculate means that she was somehow programmed not to partake in the sins of this world. While I personally admit saying that Mary could have been pure since conception, I understand that she was like all other humans in everything but she abstained by faith from all sins, thus cooperating with God's grace. Now, we Orthodox believe you're all pure at birth, then Mary is not so special in her conception, but in the course of her life she showed she's different then us: she is different not in her nature (which you say to be purer since her conception) but by her moral integrity.

4) If you consider the word "all" in the absolute sense you take, then how do you explain that Paul states how ALL HAVE SINNED BUT CHRIST? Do you think he ignored the truth of Immaculate conception? Or maybe he just forgot it?  Or perhaps (as we affirm) the term "all" shouldn't be taken in such an integralistic manner? After all, if the word "all" is thus interpreted, we should admit for example that God's projects to bless "all" nations in Abraham and to save "all" men through Christ have miserably failed, don't you think? So, as you can see by yourself, the Greek word for "all" has a more limited meaning then the its Western counterpart.

God bless,
Alex
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 08, 2009, 11:12:22 AM
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
       and carried our sorrows,
       yet we considered him stricken by God,
       smitten by him, and afflicted.

 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.

 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
       each of us has turned to his own way;
       and the LORD has laid on him
       the iniquity of us all.


From Isaiah 53 . All i have to say this delusion about Mariolatry made you forget the all idea of christianity and the center of Christianity , wich is Jesus Christ . Jesus Christ is our Saviour , not Mary . No one , NO ONE WAS WORTHY TO SAVE THE WORLD , NO JUST , NO ONE ON EARTH , UNDER THE EARTH OR IN HEAVEN . REMMEMBER THIS !
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 08, 2009, 11:21:14 AM
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
       and carried our sorrows,
       yet we considered him stricken by God,
       smitten by him, and afflicted.

 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.

 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
       each of us has turned to his own way;
       and the LORD has laid on him
       the iniquity of us all.


From Isaiah 53 . All i have to say this delusion about Mariolatry made you forget the all idea of christianity and the center of Christianity , wich is Jesus Christ . Jesus Christ is our Saviour , not Mary . No one , NO ONE WAS WORTHY TO SAVE THE WORLD , NO JUST , NO ONE ON EARTH , UNDER THE EARTH OR IN HEAVEN . REMMEMBER THIS !
First, the IC is not a delusion, its denial is. Second, no one ever said that Mary could save us. You should not lie about other people's religions. Its an un-Christian thing to do.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 08, 2009, 11:23:08 AM
3) Explicitly saying that Mary was created Immaculate means that she was somehow programmed not to partake in the sins of this world.
Only in the same Adam and Eve were "programed" not to sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 08, 2009, 12:24:15 PM
I'd like to add to Marc Hanna's excellent points about an OO perspective.  Some Catholics have shown me pamphlets of HH Pope Shenouda giving the Theotokos language about her "all-purity," her being "immaculate," and without sin (akin especially in quoting St. Ephrem the Syrian and using his language).  If one understand HH Pope Shenouda in context, one would understand that he, in keeping with OO tradition, has taught very clearly that she was pure in her actions, but not necessarily in her nature.  She, as anyone else, was born in sin.  He does mention however the requirement that her womb be cleansed for the conception of the Logos.  In this case, when the Holy Spirit came upon her, that was her moment of "purification from Original Sin" so to speak so that the Logos can take flesh from her.

St. Jacob of Serugh (OO saint post-Chalcedonian) in his amazingly poetic and dogmatic praises to the Theotokos says something similar to that extent.  It was not from her own conception she was purified, but from the descending of the Holy Spirit upon her.  This truly indeed preserves her free will.  Not that free will is ontologically taken away if one has no Original Sin, but from a pragmatic sense.  She may have been sanctified for the role from her conception as was John the Forerunner, but not necessarily purified, for she did not decide yet whether she wanted to bear the Logos Incarnate yet.  Consider the vessels of the Old Testament.  They were washed with water and oil before the Shekinah glory came, but after the Shekinah glory came, they washed it with blood, not before.  It seems to me this is a clear testament of how we should interpret the Virgin Theotokos.

Finally, I like to mention one last thing from EO/Latin tradition, a quote from Pope Leo the Great in the fifth century, from his 24th Sermon:

Quote
And so to undo this chain of sin and death, the Almighty Son of God, that fills all things and contains all things, altogether equal to the Father and co-eternal in one essence from Him and with Him, took on Him man's nature, and the Creator and Lord of all things deigned to be a mortal: choosing for His mother one whom He had made, one who, without loss of her maiden honour, supplied so much of bodily substance, that without the pollution of human seed the New Man might be possessed of purity and truth. In Christ, therefore, born of the Virgin's womb, the nature does not differ from ours, because His nativity is wonderful. For He Who is true God, is also true man: and there is no lie in either nature. The Word became flesh by exaltation of the flesh, not by failure of the Godhead: which so tempered its power and goodness as to exalt our nature by taking it, and not to lose His own by imparting it. In this nativity of Christ, according to the prophecy of David, truth sprang out of the earth, and righteousness looked down from heaven . In this nativity also, Isaiah's saying is fulfilled, let the earth produce and bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together (Isaiah 45:8). For the earth of human flesh, which in the first transgressor, was cursed, in this Offspring of the Blessed Virgin only produced a seed that was blessed and free from the fault of its stock. And each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration; and to every one when he is re-born, the water of baptism is like the Virgin's womb; for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, Who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing.

So it seems that Leo was teaching two things that contributed to the purity of Christ:
1.  He was born of a Virgin, not of impure seed (I suppose to become a new Seed).
2.  The Holy Spirit and the conception seemed to take away the Virgin's "sin."

Am I interpreting this correctly?  Or does Leo teach elsewhere in a better context?  I must admit, I got this quote directly from someone else, but I cannot confirm this being correct as I have not studied its context, but I can say I copied and pasted this particular quote from this site:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360324.htm

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 08, 2009, 12:28:06 PM
Hi all,
I tried and resisted to intervene up to now in this conversation, but now I find myself so upset for the take this conversation has taken that I felt I should intervene in favour of Orthodoxy, now.
First of all, it seems that the will to "dogmatize" everything is typically latin. That's so sad... that it reminds me of those Scholars in the Middle Ages trying to define the gender of angels...

1) My easiest reply to your last post, dear brother Papist, is that you misunderstand the word "dormition". The word is a Latin rendering of a Greek word meaning "to fall asleep". That's true. But you're making the same mistake as the apostles and the parents of that girl Jesus once resurrected when he said "she's asleep" and had to clarify "she died". The expression "Feast of Dormition" is thus no proof at all that she never died...

"Falling asleep" is also the usual term for Orthodox death.  Any Orthodox.

Quote
2) When the Church honours Mary as "All holy" it's not like saying she was "Ever Holy". If you reflect on this, maybe the Liturgy would have preferred a term such as "aieonohagia" as for "aieonoparthenos" (ever-virgin) to mean that she was ALWAYS holy, isn't it? "All holy" means that she experienced a special integrity with respect even to the Apostles because she never actually sinned at all after Christ's conception.

Excellent point!  Never thought of that, and the contrasting language is right there!

I'd like to add to Marc Hanna's excellent points about an OO perspective.  Some Catholics have shown me pamphlets of HH Pope Shenouda giving the Theotokos language about her "all-purity," her being "immaculate," and without sin.  If one understand HH Pope Shenouda in context, one would understand that he, in keeping with OO tradition, has taught very clearly that she was pure in her actions, but not necessarily in her nature.  She, as anyone else, was born in sin.  He does mention however the requirement that her womb be cleansed for the conception of the Logos.  In this case, when the Holy Spirit came upon her, that was her moment of "purification from Original Sin" so to speak so that the Logos can take flesh from her.

St. Jacob of Serugh (OO saint post-Chalcedonian) in his amazingly poetic and dogmatic praises to the Theotokos says something similar to that extent.  It was not from her own conception she was purified, but from the descending of the Holy Spirit upon her.  This truly indeed preserves her free will.  Not that free will is ontologically taken away if one has no Original Sin, but from a pragmatic sense.  She may have been sanctified for the role from her conception as was John the Forerunner, but not necessarily purified, for she did not decide yet whether she wanted to bear the Logos Incarnate yet.  Consider the vessels of the Old Testament.  They were washed with water and oil before the Shekinah glory came, but after the Shekinah glory came, they washed it with blood, not before.  It seems to me this is a clear testament of how we should interpret the Virgin Theotokos.

Excellent points.

Quote
Finally, I like to mention one last thing from EO/Latin tradition, a quote from Pope Leo the Great in the fifth century, from his 24th Sermon:

Quote
And so to undo this chain of sin and death, the Almighty Son of God, that fills all things and contains all things, altogether equal to the Father and co-eternal in one essence from Him and with Him, took on Him man's nature, and the Creator and Lord of all things deigned to be a mortal: choosing for His mother one whom He had made, one who, without loss of her maiden honour, supplied so much of bodily substance, that without the pollution of human seed the New Man might be possessed of purity and truth. In Christ, therefore, born of the Virgin's womb, the nature does not differ from ours, because His nativity is wonderful. For He Who is true God, is also true man: and there is no lie in either nature. The Word became flesh by exaltation of the flesh, not by failure of the Godhead: which so tempered its power and goodness as to exalt our nature by taking it, and not to lose His own by imparting it. In this nativity of Christ, according to the prophecy of David, truth sprang out of the earth, and righteousness looked down from heaven . In this nativity also, Isaiah's saying is fulfilled, let the earth produce and bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together (Isaiah 45:8). For the earth of human flesh, which in the first transgressor, was cursed, in this Offspring of the Blessed Virgin only produced a seed that was blessed and free from the fault of its stock. And each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration; and to every one when he is re-born, the water of baptism is like the Virgin's womb; for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, Who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing.

So it seems that Leo was teaching two things that contributed to the purity of Christ:
1.  He was born of a Virgin, not of impure seed (I suppose to become a new Seed).
2.  The Holy Spirit and the conception seemed to take away the Virgin's "sin."

Am I interpreting this correctly?  Or does Leo teach elsewhere in a better context?  I must admit, I got this quote directly from someone else, but I cannot confirm this being correct as I have not studied its context, but I can say I copied and pasted this particular quote from this site:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360324.htm

God bless.

A thread on another forum  :police: ::) :police: most of us here came from, deals precisely with these quotes.  The Vatican supporters refused to see that Pope St. Leo was talking about the Theotokos' conception of Christ, not her own conception in St. Anne.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 08, 2009, 01:05:46 PM
I forgot the beginning of Bernard writing on the "novelty" of the IC:
Quote
Bernard of Clarivaux (12th cent.):

The Mother of the Lord, you say, ought greatly to be honoured. You say well, but the honour of a queen loves justice. The royal Virgin does not need false honour, since she is amply supplied with true titles to honour and badges of her dignity. Honour indeed the purity of her flesh, the sanctity of her life, wonder at her motherhood as a virgin, adore her Divine offspring. Extol the prodigy by which she brought into the world without pain the Son, whom she had conceived without concupiscence. Proclaim her to be reverenced by the angels, to have been desired by the nations, to have been known beforehand by Patriarchs and Prophets, chosen by God out of all women and raised above them all. Magnify her as the medium by whom grace was displayed, the instrument of salvation, the restorer of the ages; and finally extol her as having been exalted above the choirs of angels to the celestial realms. These things the Church sings concerning her, and has taught me to repeat the same things in her praise, and what I have learnt from the Church I both hold securely myself and teach to others; what I have not received from the Church I confess I should with great difficulty admit. I have received then from the Church that day to be reverenced with the highest veneration, when being taken up from this sinful earth, she made entry into the heavens; a festival of most honoured joy. With no less clearness have I learned in the Church to celebrate the birth of the Virgin, and from the Church undoubtedly to hold it to have been holy and joyful; holding most firmly with the Church, that she received in the womb that she should come into the world holy. And indeed I read concerning Jeremiah, that before he came forth from the womb he was sanctified, and I think no otherwise of John the Baptist, who, himself in the womb of his mother, felt the presence of his Lord in the womb (S. Luke i. 41). It is matter for consideration whether the same opinion may not be held of holy David, on account of what he said in addressing God: In Thee I have been strengthened from the womb: Thou art He who took me out of my mother’s bowels (Ps. lxxi. 6); and again: I was cast upon Thee from the womb: Thou art my God from my mother’s belly (Ps. xxii. 10). And Jeremiah is thus addressed: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee (Jer. i. 5). How beautifully the Divine oracle has distinguished between conception in the womb and birth from the womb! and showed that if the one was foreseen only, the other was blessed beforehand with the gift of holiness: that no one might think that the glory of Jeremiah consisted only in being the object of the foreknowledge of God, but also of His predestination.

3. Let us, however, grant this in the case of Jeremiah. What shall be said of John the Baptist, of whom an angel announced beforehand that he should be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb? I cannot suppose that this is to be referred to predestination or to foreknowledge. For the words of the angel were without doubt fulfilled in their time, as he foretold; and the man (as cannot be doubted) filled with the Holy Ghost at the time and place appointed, as he predicted. But most certainly the Holy Ghost sanctified the man whom He filled. But how far this sanctification availed against original sin, whether for him, or for that prophet, or for any other who was thus prevented by grace, I would not rashly determine. But of these holy persons whom God has sanctified, and brought forth from the womb with the same sanctification which they have received in the womb, I do not hesitate to say that the taint of original sin which they contracted in conception, could not in any manner take away or fetter by the mere act of birth, the benediction already bestowed. Would any one dare to say that a child filled with the Holy Ghost, would remain notwithstanding a child of wrath; and if he had died in his mother’s womb, where he had received this fulness of the Spirit, would endure the pains of damnation? That opinion is very severe; I, however, do not dare to decide anything respecting the question by my own judgment. However that may be, the Church, which regards and declares, not the nativity, but only the death of other saints as precious, makes a singular exception for him of whom an angel singularly said, and many shall rejoice in his birth (Luke i. 14., 15), and with rejoicing honours his nativity. For why should not the birth be holy, and even glad and joyful, of one who leaped with joy even in the womb of his mother?

4. The gift, therefore, which has certainly been conferred upon some, though few, mortals, cannot for a moment be supposed to have been denied to that so highly favoured Virgin, through whom the whole human race came forth into life. Beyond doubt the mother of the Lord also was holy before birth; nor is holy Church at all in error in accounting the day of her nativity holy, and celebrating it each year with solemn and thankful joy. I consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification descended upon her, so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none other born of women. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life without any sin, entirely befitted the queen of virgins, who should bear the Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and righteousness for all. Therefore, her birth was holy, since the abundant sanctity bestowed upon it made it holy even from the womb.

5. What addition can possibly be made to these honours? That her conception, also, they say, which preceded her honourable birth, should be honoured, since if the one had not first taken place, neither would the other, which is honoured. But what if some one else, following a similar train of reasoning, should assert that the honours of a festival ought to be given to each of her parents, then to her grand-parents, and then to their parents, and so on ad infinitum? Thus we should have festivals without number. Such a frequency of joys befits Heaven, not this state of exile. It is the happy lot of those who dwell there, not of strangers and pilgrims. But a writing is brought forward, given, as they say, by revelation from on high, [A writing of this kind is attributed to an English abbot named Elsin in the works of Anselm. Watch out for those angels of light] as if any one would not be able to bring forward another writing in which the Virgin should seem to demand the same honours to her parents also, saying, according to the commandment of the Lord, Honour thy father and thy mother (Exod. xx. 12). I easily persuade myself not to be influenced by such writings, which are supported neither by reason nor by any certain authority. For how does the consequence follow that since the conception has preceded the birth, and the birth is holy, the conception should be considered holy also? Did it make the birth holy because it preceded it? Although the one came first that the other might be, yet not that it might be holy. From whence came that holiness to the conception which was to be transmitted to the birth which followed? Was it not rather because the conception preceded without holiness that it was needful for the being conceived to be sanctified, that a holy birth might then follow? Or shall we say that the birth which was later than the conception shared with it its holiness? It might be, indeed, that the sanctification which was worked in her when conceived passed over to the birth which followed; but it could not be possible that it should have a retrospective effect upon the conception which had preceded it.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/bernard/letters.lxviii.html
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 08, 2009, 05:58:47 PM
She only died because the master is not greater than the servant and Jesus died.

This seems a piece of mythology from the laity. 

Please reference the infallible papal teaching which confirms what you have just said.


Quote
She did not die as the result of sin.


The Catechism (1018) teaches that sin is the cause of bodily death.    You are saying the Catechism is heretical?

If she did not inherit death as the result of original sin, just like all the children of Adam, then what was the cause of her death?    


Tread carefully now,   You seem to be on the verge of heresy in these matters.

Quote
she did not die as you and I do but rather experienced a "dormition".

Come, come, Papist.  It was quite the usual thing in the early days to speak of the death of Christians as a dormition (dormitio) or as a transit (transitus.)

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 08, 2009, 06:02:43 PM
So you believe Mary was a sinner? You don't believe that she was "All Holy" as the Liturgy teaches?


Why bring the Liturgy into it?

The Liturgy calls the Patriarch of Constantinople "All Holy."

I know I am going to be quite shocked when you start arguing this proves he was immaculately conceived.   :o
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 08, 2009, 06:20:23 PM
Btw, can you post again the quotes of Maximillian Kolbe's ideas on the Theotokos.  That might be a good context to see what the IC leads to (and before anyone complains, look at what the IC and Assumption says as to the proof that these "dogmas" are the natural result of X, Y and Z pronouncement).

The Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit

Ah, you are referring to the nascent heresy, that the Mother of God is the quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit.

It is said to be gaining grounds in Catholic circles, especially among the Franciscans.  That is a bad sign since the Franciscans have played a major role in getting previous Marian errors accepted by Rome.

It will be quite interesting to see how the quasi-incarnation is introduced and promoted.   We can expect to suddenly see quotes form the ancient Fathers produced, as proof that the Church has always believed in it.   Appeals will be made to the  Eastern Fathers to show that the Orthodox used to believe it but are now perversely denying it out of anti-Catholic sentiment.

Development of doctrine used to take a long time in the Church of Rome but these days, with the Internet and whatnot, things can be developed much more speedily.  We can expect to see this new development grow rapidly from its node point and reach fruition in our own lifetime, or in the next generation.  We have a unique opportinity to watch at first hand the process of the development of doctrine.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 08, 2009, 08:05:35 PM
I'm going to be really busy over the next few days, and I will try to respond to the sillier arguements presented hear frist when I return.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 08, 2009, 08:12:45 PM
I'm going to be really busy over the next few days, and I will try to respond to the sillier arguements presented hear frist when I return.

Speaking of sillier arguments.... unless you have now clarified your confusion of the Immaculate Conception as the Immaculate Birth (message #1) you may not be in a position to respond to other things.   ;D
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ignatius on April 08, 2009, 08:25:20 PM
Grace and Peace Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

I come to you with a heavy heart as my job of 13 years comes to an end and the company I spent most of my adult life working for closes it's doors. That said I welcome your prayers that God take pity on me in my sorrows and be my light in the dark.

I read these words of St. Bernard and found them to be inspiring for me as one who humbles himself obediently before the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The gift, therefore, which has certainly been conferred upon some, though few, mortals, cannot for a moment be supposed to have been denied to that so highly favoured Virgin, through whom the whole human race came forth into life. Beyond doubt the mother of the Lord also was holy before birth; nor is holy Church at all in error in accounting the day of her nativity holy, and celebrating it each year with solemn and thankful joy. I consider that the blessing of a fuller sanctification descended upon her, so as not only to sanctify her birth, but also to keep her life pure from all sin; which gift is believed to have been bestowed upon none other born of women. This singular privilege of sanctity, to lead her life without any sin, entirely befitted the queen of virgins, who should bear the Destroyer of sin and death, who should obtain the gift of life and righteousness for all. Therefore, her birth was holy, since the abundant sanctity bestowed upon it made it holy even from the womb.

I believe this but I don't wish to argue over it. I look at it with wonder and humility, the mystery of Our Blessed Virgin Mary.

For the Western Church, we stand at the edge of Triduum in the midst of Holy Week. Lent has past us by and we look to the dark of Holy and Good Friday when Our Lord does descend into that darkest of prisons to free us all from that slavery which binds us to sin.

Free us ole Lord! Free us!
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 08, 2009, 09:27:52 PM
I'm going to be really busy over the next few days, and I will try to respond to the sillier arguements presented hear frist when I return.

Speaking of sillier arguments.... unless you have now clarified your confusion of the Immaculate Conception as the Immaculate Birth (message #1) you may not be in a position to respond to other things.   ;D
I already did Father Ambrose. I was just in a hurry when I typed previously. Is it considered a virtue in your Church to irritate people needlessly? I doubt it. I suggest you be a better example of your faith.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 08, 2009, 09:54:05 PM
I'm going to be really busy over the next few days, and I will try to respond to the sillier arguements presented hear frist when I return.

Speaking of sillier arguments.... unless you have now clarified your confusion of the Immaculate Conception as the Immaculate Birth (message #1) you may not be in a position to respond to other things.   ;D
I already did Father Ambrose. I was just in a hurry when I typed previously. Is it considered a virtue in your Church to irritate people needlessly? I doubt it. I suggest you be a better example of your faith.

If a man falls into what is technically heresy simply because he is typing in a hurry, I think that he is a poor example of his faith.  Haste which produces typos is one thing.  Haste which produces heresy shows that the grasp of theology is a little superficial.   You see, we can play tit for tat with the ad hominems if you like.   :(
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 09:24:17 AM
Dear brother Marc,

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.
I don't think there are any explicit sayings.  I think the belief came out of a pious meditation on such statements about Mary being the New Eve (extant since the second century), combined with the Church's belief on her being the most perfect creation of God (also just as ancient).  It finally came to fruition, as mentioned, with the establishment of the Feast of the Conception in the Byzantine Church in the 7th or 8th century.  Of course, the Feast is not exactly about her preservation from the stain of original sin - it is, rather, about the pious belief that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at her conception.  I'm guessing that the belief quickly blossomed into the realization that receiving all the graces of the Holy Spirit (that a creature can receive, that is) is tantamount to receiving Baptism.  So what is the effect of Baptism?  The cleansing of the stain of original sin. 

When the Feast migrated to the West, it faced opposition.  What the Latins already believed was that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at the moment of her SPIRITUAL conception (i.e., ensoulment or quickening).  However, unlike the Easterns, the Latins distinguished the moment of ensoulment from the moment of physical conception, believing that ensoulment occurred at least 40 days or more after the physical conception.  Thus, some prominent Saints in the Latin Church opposed the introduction of the Feast in Latin Church.  They could not agree to the idea that she received the graces of the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception, because they believed she received those graces at least 40 days hence.  As part of their rhetoric against the Eastern Feast, they opined that only Jesus was absolutely pure from the moment of his physical conception because he did not have a human father (from whom original sin was traditionally held to be transmitted).

Eventually, the Latin Church grew to understand, together with the East, that the moment of ensoulment occurs at the same instant as the moment of conception.  Hence, the dogma of the IC.

The above explanation demonstrates that there is no difference between what the medieval Latin Fathers (who opposed the introduction of the Feast into the West) believed and what Catholics today believe - namely, that Mary received all the graces the Holy Spirit at the moment of her ensoulment.  The dogma of the IC uses the word "conception" instead of "ensoulment" simply because both occur at the same time (it's the simple and basic commutative law).

There are some things that need to be emphasized about the dogma of the IC that opponents always mispresent (and those misrepresentations are glaringly evident in this thread):

1) The dogma does NOT say that Mary was preserved from original sin.  If she was preserved from original sin PERIOD, then she would not only be spiritually pure, but she would also not experience corruption or death.  But that is, as stated, NOT what the dogma states (contrary to the polemical wishes of Father Ambrose).  Rather it says she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  As repeatedly explained, the STAIN of original sin refers to the SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of original sin, NOT the PHYSICAL/TACTILE effects of original sin.

2) The dogma, when it speaks of conception, refers to her SPIRITUAL conception (i.e., ensoulment), not her PHYSICAL conception.  Thus, it is true, and the dogma does not contradict, the teaching of the medieval Latin Fathers that only Jesus had an immaculate PHYSICAL conception.

3) The two points emphasized above evinces that the dogma does not contradict the fact that Mary died.

4) The dogma of the IC refers to nothing more nor less than the fact that Mary received the graces of Baptism at the moment of her conception, as already explained fully in an earlier post.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 09:42:17 AM
Dear brother basil,

Wow! This thread really lends itself to the ad hominen, eh? It does seem to the uninformed follower of all this that both sides are missing the mark on the opposition's arguments. I haven't seen so many knees jerking since lightning hit the football bleachers.

I had always thought that the main objection to immaculate conception was that it was proclaimed as a dogma necessary for salvation and that the Orthodox that it wasn't an essential belief and should not have been proclaimed unilaterally.
That is an astute observation.  As you can see, there is nothing objectionable about the teaching itself, but polemicists simply bend over backwards to misrepresent the teaching and knock down their straw men.  I find it really funny when Orthodox post their agreements to these hollow arguments, because the arguments haven't really addressed the teaching itself, but have only been knocking down straw man caricatures of it.

As it relates to your comments, I would just like to point out 3 things:
1) The Catholic Church recognizes an hierarchy of beliefs wherein some beliefs are more important and necessary for the maintenance of the Faith as others.  The dogma of the IC falls in the lower rungs of that heirarchy of beliefs.
2) The proscription in the dogma is not an anathema (unlike other dogmas), but is a minor excommunication, which itself indicates its status in the hierarchy of beliefs.  So, contrary to what you stated, it is not "a dogma necessary for salvation," at least not like the explicitly Christological dogmas.
3) The dogma's proscription refers only to those who reject the belief.  I know many Orthodox who believe the teaching, though only as theologoumenon (Bp Timothy Ware himself admits that it can be a legitimate theologoumenon).  In fact, if Orthodox really want to remain faithful to Tradition, they would not reject the teaching at all, since the substance of the teaching is celebrated in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne.  My point is that the dogma does not insist that it be believed as a dogma, but only that it be believed (so one can view it as theologoumenon).

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 09:44:13 AM
I hope my Orthodox brethren realize that brother Papist's immortalist view is a peculiarly LATIN Catholic theologoumenon. Not all Latin Catholics believe that way, and it is certainly not a viewpoint that exists in the Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churches.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2009, 09:58:04 AM
Of course, the Feast is not exactly about her preservation from the stain of original sin - it is, rather, about the pious belief that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at her conception.  I'm guessing that the belief quickly blossomed into the realization that receiving all the graces of the Holy Spirit (that a creature can receive, that is) is tantamount to receiving Baptism.  So what is the effect of Baptism?  The cleansing of the stain of original sin. 

I think this is where we might disagree, i.e. "all" the graces"  Certainly, there was never any indication that she received "all" the graces, and in fact, there are many, including those of my tradition, who clearly stated that the removal of such a stain happened at the greeting between her and Archangel Gabriel.  Truly, if one is really "Oriental," St. Jacob of Serugh cannot be ignored.  The statements he made implies that she did not receive ALL the graces.

The Holy Spirit inspired prophets, anointed kings and priests.  The Holy Spirit gave grace to St. John the Forerunner of God (Theoprodromos?), and there is even a tradition of him also being sinless and immaculate and pure in his life.  In fact, it is not merely a descent of the Holy Spirit upon John, but even when he was in the womb of St. Elizabeth, he was "filled" with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15).  It is why we seek the intercessions of St. John above all the hosts of angels and archangels and second to the Theotokos.  In fact, the celebration of his birth and conception was established before the Theotokos'.  Surely though, you don't find anyone celebrating the IC of John.  It is therefore a leaping assumption one has to make to say that something "quickly blossomed" into the IC.  It has no consistent tradition in the Church in the view of the OO Church.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: AlexanderOfBergamo on April 09, 2009, 10:16:14 AM
God bless!Dear Mardukm, you wrote this:
Quote
As it relates to your comments, I would just like to point out 3 things:
1) The Catholic Church recognizes an hierarchy of beliefs wherein some beliefs are more important and necessary for the maintenance of the Faith as others.  The dogma of the IC falls in the lower rungs of that heirarchy of beliefs.
2) The proscription in the dogma is not an anathema (unlike other dogmas), but is a minor excommunication, which itself indicates its status in the hierarchy of beliefs.  So, contrary to what you stated, it is not "a dogma necessary for salvation," at least not like the explicitly Christological dogmas.
3) The dogma's proscription refers only to those who reject the belief.  I know many Orthodox who believe the teaching, though only as theologoumenon (Bp Timothy Ware himself admits that it can be a legitimate theologoumenon).  In fact, if Orthodox really want to remain faithful to Tradition, they would not reject the teaching at all, since the substance of the teaching is celebrated in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne.  My point is that the dogma does not insist that it be believed as a dogma, but only that it be believed (so one can view it as theologoumenon).

Then why is there a solemnity that the entire RC laity must attend on December 6th? And why was it so urgent to proclaim such a doctrine "ex cathedra"? Let's be serious, my brother... the intent was to impose it to all Christendom. Being free to believe something you call a "theologumenon" means that the Pope should have left the question open. Which is what we Orthodox effectively do, so that everyone can meditate the question by their own and no higher authority can impose it or deny it at all.
If the Pope really has in mind to reconcile the churches, why does he add newer and newer doctrines? Maybe he just wants us to seem naif, unprepared or without any form of "growth" in the faith because we preserve continuously the same and only doctrine of 1000 years ago. There's no need for "evolution" at all... no upgrade!

In Christ,   Alex
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 10:21:49 AM
Dear brother Mina,

I was a frequent lurker at CopticHymns, and I always enjoyed your posts. :)  I understand where you are coming from.  I know it never made it into our Tradition.  However, the Feast did manage to become part of the Tradition of our Armenian brethren several centuries ago.

I was using the "all graces" language very loosely, and really only meant "the same graces we receive at Baptism."  I was quoting something I read on the Feast of the Conception from an EO source (or perhaps it was Armenian).  I don't think the term "all graces" is even used by the Latin Church.  I think it is simply hyperbolic language (which is pretty common in praises to Mary) and shouldn't be taken too literally.

As far as your comments on the Forerunner, I would not expect a belief in the IC of John by any stretch of the imagination.  Part of the rationale for the IC is the patristic belief that she was the purest and most immaculate creation of God.  In that sense, I never considered the teaching as being opposed to my Oriental sensibilities.

Blessings,
Marduk

Of course, the Feast is not exactly about her preservation from the stain of original sin - it is, rather, about the pious belief that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at her conception.  I'm guessing that the belief quickly blossomed into the realization that receiving all the graces of the Holy Spirit (that a creature can receive, that is) is tantamount to receiving Baptism.  So what is the effect of Baptism?  The cleansing of the stain of original sin. 

I think this is where we might disagree, i.e. "all" the graces"  Certainly, there was never any indication that she received "all" the graces, and in fact, there are many, including those of my tradition, who clearly stated that the removal of such a stain happened at the greeting between her and Archangel Gabriel.  Truly, if one is really "Oriental," St. Jacob of Serugh cannot be ignored.  The statements he made implies that she did not receive ALL the graces.

The Holy Spirit inspired prophets, anointed kings and priests.  The Holy Spirit gave grace to St. John the Forerunner of God (Theoprodromos?), and there is even a tradition of him also being sinless and immaculate and pure in his life.  It is why we seek the intercessions of St. John above all the hosts of angels and archangels and second to the Theotokos.  In fact, the celebration of his birth and conception was established before the Theotokos'.  Surely though, you don't find anyone celebrating the IC of John.  It is therefore a leaping assumption one has to make to say that something "quickly blossomed" into the IC.  It has no consistent tradition in the Church in the view of the OO Church.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 10:57:17 AM
Dear brother Alexander,

Thank you for your response.  First, I really don't see what the problem is attending a Feast day (on December 8, btw).  Our obligation to worship on Feast days is based on love, not fear.  That's the kind of love for God that the Catholic Church promotes.  Heck, the Latins have DAILY Mass, one of the things I am actually jealous about in the Latin Tradition.

Second, if you believe the teaching as theologoumenon, I don't understand the problem.  I see you are thinking of becoming EO.  Let me ask you something.  Do you think that EO are free to disbelieve something that is not dogmatically defined but is otherwise contained in their Tradition?  Is there such a thing as "cafeteria Eastern Orthodoxy"?  Last year, an EO priest on CAF stated that even though the Assumption is not a dogma in his Church, he would refuse communion to an EO who did not believe in the doctrine.  Considering these things before I became Catholic, I understood that dogmas in the Catholic Church are simply an indication that a belief is really important and much cherished.  Orthodoxy (Eastern and Oriental) have very important and much cherished doctrines that are not dogmatized, but belief in them are nevertheless viewed as consitutive of one's claim to be Orthodox.  So what if the Latins dogmatized these important and cherished doctrines?  Would they be less important if they were not dogmatized?  I don't think so.  Besides, the prosciption of the dogma, as stated, is not an anathema, but a minor excommunication.  Lack of belief in it would result in nothing more or less than what that EO priest mentioned he would do if he knew someone coming to him for communion rejected the doctrine of the Assumption of the Theotokos - he would refuse it.  In other words, Catholics and Orthodox both hold beliefs that are very important to them.  Catholics, and Latins in particular, like to dogmatize these doctrines.  But the fact that Orthodox don't dogmatize these same doctrines does not make these doctrine any less important to Orthodox.

I hope that has given you some food for thought.

Blessings,
Marduk

God bless!Dear Mardukm, you wrote this:
Quote
As it relates to your comments, I would just like to point out 3 things:
1) The Catholic Church recognizes an hierarchy of beliefs wherein some beliefs are more important and necessary for the maintenance of the Faith as others.  The dogma of the IC falls in the lower rungs of that heirarchy of beliefs.
2) The proscription in the dogma is not an anathema (unlike other dogmas), but is a minor excommunication, which itself indicates its status in the hierarchy of beliefs.  So, contrary to what you stated, it is not "a dogma necessary for salvation," at least not like the explicitly Christological dogmas.
3) The dogma's proscription refers only to those who reject the belief.  I know many Orthodox who believe the teaching, though only as theologoumenon (Bp Timothy Ware himself admits that it can be a legitimate theologoumenon).  In fact, if Orthodox really want to remain faithful to Tradition, they would not reject the teaching at all, since the substance of the teaching is celebrated in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne.  My point is that the dogma does not insist that it be believed as a dogma, but only that it be believed (so one can view it as theologoumenon).

Then why is there a solemnity that the entire RC laity must attend on December 6th? And why was it so urgent to proclaim such a doctrine "ex cathedra"? Let's be serious, my brother... the intent was to impose it to all Christendom. Being free to believe something you call a "theologumenon" means that the Pope should have left the question open. Which is what we Orthodox effectively do, so that everyone can meditate the question by their own and no higher authority can impose it or deny it at all.
If the Pope really has in mind to reconcile the churches, why does he add newer and newer doctrines? Maybe he just wants us to seem naif, unprepared or without any form of "growth" in the faith because we preserve continuously the same and only doctrine of 1000 years ago. There's no need for "evolution" at all... no upgrade!

In Christ,   Alex
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on April 09, 2009, 11:14:04 AM
The Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit

Ah, you are referring to the nascent heresy, that the Mother of God is the quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit.

It is said to be gaining grounds in Catholic circles, especially among the Franciscans.  That is a bad sign since the Franciscans have played a major role in getting previous Marian errors accepted by Rome.

It will be quite interesting to see how the quasi-incarnation is introduced and promoted.   We can expect to suddenly see quotes form the ancient Fathers produced, as proof that the Church has always believed in it.   Appeals will be made to the  Eastern Fathers to show that the Orthodox used to believe it but are now perversely denying it out of anti-Catholic sentiment.

Development of doctrine used to take a long time in the Church of Rome but these days, with the Internet and whatnot, things can be developed much more speedily.  We can expect to see this new development grow rapidly from its node point and reach fruition in our own lifetime, or in the next generation.  We have a unique opportinity to watch at first hand the process of the development of doctrine.
Not to derail this thread, and I don't think I am; but what is the The Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit that you speak of? I can't seem to find anything about it. God Bless!
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 09, 2009, 11:21:56 AM
Wow! This thread really lends itself to the ad hominen, eh? It does seem to the uninformed follower of all this that both sides are missing the mark on the opposition's arguments. I haven't seen so many knees jerking since lightning hit the football bleachers.

I had always thought that the main objection to immaculate conception was that it was proclaimed as a dogma necessary for salvation and that the Orthodox that it wasn't an essential belief and should not have been proclaimed unilaterally.
That is an astute observation.  As you can see, there is nothing objectionable about the teaching itself,

That's neither true, nor what he said.  The fact that the Vatican by itself proclaimed a novel, heretical innovation as an eternal dogma necessary for salvation is but its first hurdle.

Quote
but polemicists simply bend over backwards to misrepresent the teaching and knock down their straw men.


The objections that the Vatican's son Bernard voiced when this novelty first appeared on the fringe of Christendom I've posted above.  I need only add that all right believing Orthodox (i.e. those not in communion with the Vatican) would subscribe, as I do, to ALL his obejctions to this deviation from the "deposit of Faith."

Quote
I find it really funny when Orthodox post their agreements to these hollow arguments, because the arguments haven't really addressed the teaching itself, but have only been knocking down straw man caricatures of it.

Bernard logically sliced the heresy nicely.  Meat, not straw.

Quote
As it relates to your comments, I would just like to point out 3 things:
1) The Catholic Church recognizes an hierarchy of beliefs wherein some beliefs are more important and necessary for the maintenance of the Faith as others.  The dogma of the IC falls in the lower rungs of that heirarchy of beliefs.

I'd brush up on your Vatican dogmatics: they class it as de fide, i.e. its A-1 rating. Compare:
Quote
105. Jesus Christ is the True God and True Son of God. (De fide.)
155. Mary was conceived without stain of Original sin. (De fide.)
http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm

along with the points so aptly raised by AlexanderofBergamo.

Quote
2) The proscription in the dogma is not an anathema (unlike other dogmas), but is a minor excommunication, which itself indicates its status in the hierarchy of beliefs.  So, contrary to what you stated, it is not "a dogma necessary for salvation," at least not like the explicitly Christological dogmas.

Your church teaches otherwise.  Ineffabilis Deus:
Quote
Besides, we must note a fact of the greatest importance indeed. Even the Council of Trent itself, when it promulgated the dogmatic decree concerning original sin, following the testimonies of the Sacred Scriptures, of the Holy Fathers and of the renowned Council, decreed and defined that all men are born infected by original sin; nevertheless, it solemnly declared that it had no intention of including the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in this decree and in the general extension of its definition. Indeed, considering the times and circumstances, the Fathers of Trent sufficiently intimated by this declaration that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from the original stain; and thus they clearly signified that nothing could be reasonably cited from the Sacred Scriptures, from Tradition, or from the authority of the Fathers, which would in any way be opposed to so great a prerogative of the Blessed Virgin.
Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart
http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_pi09id.htm


Quote
3) The dogma's proscription refers only to those who reject the belief.  I know many Orthodox who believe the teaching, though only as theologoumenon


They are mistaken.  In fact, most Latins don't know what it teaches (even when you eliminate those who confuse it with the Virgin Birth).

Quote
(Bp Timothy Ware himself admits that it can be a legitimate theologoumenon).
 

The good bishop is wrong, as he is on women's ordination and legalized abortion.

Quote
In fact, if Orthodox really want to remain faithful to Tradition, they would not reject the teaching at all, since the substance of the teaching is celebrated in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne.  

No, it that were true, it woudl be the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which, as I said, was not celebrated in the first millenium, nor us ever.  That is how you get nonsense like this:
Quote
Questions and Answers:  
Question:  "Is this the official teaching of the Catholic Church?"  
Answer:  The Catholic Church has no official teaching on whether or not the Virgin Mary had a virgin conception and virgin birth. This booklet contains speculative theology, that is, theology on questions not yet decided by the Church.
But I say more. There are ten thousand truths as yet undiscovered within the ancient Deposit of Faith:  Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

Question:  "Are you saying that Saint Ann was a virgin?"  
Answer:  No, Saint Ann was not a virgin. Saints Ann and Joachim conceived a child in the usual way, the older sister of the Virgin Mary, mentioned in John 19:25. Rather, I am saying that the manner of the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception was entirely virginal and miraculous.

Question:  "What are the differences between Mary's conception and Christ's conception?"  
Answer:  (1) Christ is Divine, whereas Mary is merely human. Thus, Christ's conception was an Incarnation, whereas Mary's conception was not an Incarnation.  
(2) Mary was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of both her parents (St. Joachim and St. Ann). Christ was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of only one human parent (the Virgin Mary). This difference indicates that Christ is Divine, with God alone as His Father, whereas Mary is merely human.  
(3) Christ was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of a perfect Virgin. Mary was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of Joachim and Ann, who were not virgins. Joachim and Ann conceived a child years earlier, the older sister of the Virgin Mary (Jn 19:25).

http://www.catholicplanet.com/virgin/index.htm
http://www.catholicplanet.com/virgin/virginity-Jesus-Mary.htm

I'm betting that the Co-redemptrix will be the next of the "ten thousand truths as yet undiscovered within the ancient Deposit of Faith" to be proclaimed as eternal dogma by the Vatican.

Quote
My point is that the dogma does not insist that it be believed as a dogma, but only that it be believed (so one can view it as theologoumenon)

Do I really have to comment here?

I was using the "all graces" language very loosely, and really only meant "the same graces we receive at Baptism."  I was quoting something I read on the Feast of the Conception from an EO source (or perhaps it was Armenian).  I don't think the term "all graces" is even used by the Latin Church.  I think it is simply hyperbolic language (which is pretty common in praises to Mary) and shouldn't be taken too literally.

This is however, EXACTLY what the Vatican has done.  On the one hand, you want to use "'all grace' language very loosely" to preclude the Orthodox from taking the IC to its logical conclusion, while on the other hand want to use it as proof that the Orthodox always believed it.

Quote
As far as your comments on the Forerunner, I would not expect a belief in the IC of John by any stretch of the imagination.  Part of the rationale for the IC is the patristic belief that she was the purest and most immaculate creation of God.  In that sense, I never considered the teaching as being opposed to my Oriental sensibilities.

The problem is that the Vatican's "reasoning" itself into the IC, after her most devoted sons and doctors preached against it, provides the perfect template to argue the same for the Forerunner, even on firmer ground, as Mina shows his conception feast is older and more universal.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 09, 2009, 11:47:43 AM
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.
I don't think there are any explicit sayings.  I think the belief came out of a pious meditation on such statements about Mary being the New Eve (extant since the second century), combined with the Church's belief on her being the most perfect creation of God (also just as ancient).  It finally came to fruition, as mentioned, with the establishment of the Feast of the Conception in the Byzantine Church in the 7th or 8th century.  Of course, the Feast is not exactly about her preservation from the stain of original sin

No, it is quite exact.  It has NOTHING on it.

And it is interesting that all the Churches  that claim Apostolic foundation and refer to the Fathers of the first four centuries, and yet it is only the church in Britain that comes up with this, and it is only the Vatican in the Pentarchy who runs with it.

Quote
- it is, rather, about the pious belief that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at her conception.

Can you cite some text from the service in support of this?

Quote
I'm guessing that the belief quickly blossomed into the realization that receiving all the graces of the Holy Spirit (that a creature can receive, that is) is tantamount to receiving Baptism.  So what is the effect of Baptism?  The cleansing of the stain of original sin.

Btw, can you locate when this idea of the IC being equivalent to baptism?  As I don't see it in the sources from the IC's appearance to the proclamation by the Vatican.

Quote
When the Feast migrated to the West, it faced opposition.  What the Latins already believed was that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at the moment of her SPIRITUAL conception (i.e., ensoulment or quickening).  However, unlike the Easterns, the Latins distinguished the moment of ensoulment from the moment of physical conception, believing that ensoulment occurred at least 40 days or more after the physical conception.  Thus, some prominent Saints in the Latin Church opposed the introduction of the Feast in Latin Church.  They could not agree to the idea that she received the graces of the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception, because they believed she received those graces at least 40 days hence.  As part of their rhetoric against the Eastern Feast, they opined that only Jesus was absolutely pure from the moment of his physical conception because he did not have a human father (from whom original sin was traditionally held to be transmitted).

Would you mind quoting where your Bernard of Clairvaux objected?  You have a lot of his material quoted above.  Did I miss something?

Quote
Eventually, the Latin Church grew to understand, together with the East, that the moment of ensoulment occurs at the same instant as the moment of conception.  Hence, the dogma of the IC.

Nice revisionism, but where is that in your Vatican Fathers?  In Bernard?  In Thomas Aquinas?  In Bonaventure? In Alexander of Hales?

Quote
The above explanation demonstrates that there is no difference between what the medieval Latin Fathers (who opposed the introduction of the Feast into the West) believed and what Catholics today believe - namely, that Mary received all the graces the Holy Spirit at the moment of her ensoulment.  The dogma of the IC uses the word "conception" instead of "ensoulment" simply because both occur at the same time (it's the simple and basic commutative law).

No, unfortunately the above only demonstrates Ultramontanist revisionism in action, in a desperate attempt to save Vatican I.

Quote
There are some things that need to be emphasized about the dogma of the IC that opponents always mispresent (and those misrepresentations are glaringly evident in this thread):

That the application of logic to the IC yields results you don't like doesn't make them misrepresentation.

Quote
1) The dogma does NOT say that Mary was preserved from original sin.  If she was preserved from original sin PERIOD, then she would not only be spiritually pure, but she would also not experience corruption or death.  But that is, as stated, NOT what the dogma states (contrary to the polemical wishes of Father Ambrose).  Rather it says she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  As repeatedly explained, the STAIN of original sin refers to the SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of original sin, NOT the PHYSICAL/TACTILE effects of original sin.

I'll wait for your reply to my quotation from the Vatican's ex cathedra pronouncements above on this issue.

Quote
2) The dogma, when it speaks of conception, refers to her SPIRITUAL conception (i.e., ensoulment), not her PHYSICAL conception.  Thus, it is true, and the dogma does not contradict, the teaching of the medieval Latin Fathers that only Jesus had an immaculate PHYSICAL conception.

LOL.  I'm going to leave Father Ambrose the fun of taking this up.

Quote
3) The two points emphasized above evinces that the dogma does not contradict the fact that Mary died.

You mean the "theologoumen" that she died.

Quote
4) The dogma of the IC refers to nothing more nor less than the fact that Mary received the graces of Baptism at the moment of her conception, as already explained fully in an earlier post.

Again, can you cite something official to back this up?

Thank you for your response.  First, I really don't see what the problem is attending a Feast day (on December 8, btw).  Our obligation to worship on Feast days is based on love, not fear.  That's the kind of love for God that the Catholic Church promotes.  Heck, the Latins have DAILY Mass, one of the things I am actually jealous about in the Latin Tradition.

They say it is a mortal sin to miss mass on a "holy day of obligation" your term, not ours.

Quote
Second, if you believe the teaching as theologoumenon, I don't understand the problem.  I see you are thinking of becoming EO.  Let me ask you something.  Do you think that EO are free to disbelieve something that is not dogmatically defined but is otherwise contained in their Tradition?  Is there such a thing as "cafeteria Eastern Orthodoxy"? 
"Cafeteria Catholics" disbelieve things that the Vatican (and the Church) have dogmatically defined.

Quote
Last year, an EO priest on CAF stated that even though the Assumption is not a dogma in his Church, he would refuse communion to an EO who did not believe in the doctrine. 
Fr. Ambrose.  He is well know here and on CAF (and elsewhere).  I don't think he's afraid to say it.

Quote
Considering these things before I became Catholic, I understood that dogmas in the Catholic Church are simply an indication that a belief is really important and much cherished.
LOL.  Yeah, anathema is Latin for "really important" and "much cherished."

Quote
Orthodoxy (Eastern and Oriental) have very important and much cherished doctrines that are not dogmatized, but belief in them are nevertheless viewed as consitutive of one's claim to be Orthodox.  So what if the Latins dogmatized these important and cherished doctrines?  Would they be less important if they were not dogmatized?  I don't think so.  Besides, the prosciption of the dogma, as stated, is not an anathema, but a minor excommunication.
So you say.  Can you cite a canon or something else with the authority of your church on this?

Quote
Lack of belief in it would result in nothing more or less than what that EO priest mentioned he would do if he knew someone coming to him for communion rejected the doctrine of the Assumption of the Theotokos - he would refuse it.  In other words, Catholics and Orthodox both hold beliefs that are very important to them.  Catholics, and Latins in particular, like to dogmatize these doctrines.  But the fact that Orthodox don't dogmatize these same doctrines does not make these doctrine any less important to Orthodox.

The IC is quite unimportant to the Orthodox.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 12:06:25 PM
Wow! This thread really lends itself to the ad hominen, eh? It does seem to the uninformed follower of all this that both sides are missing the mark on the opposition's arguments. I haven't seen so many knees jerking since lightning hit the football bleachers.

I had always thought that the main objection to immaculate conception was that it was proclaimed as a dogma necessary for salvation and that the Orthodox that it wasn't an essential belief and should not have been proclaimed unilaterally.
That is an astute observation.  As you can see, there is nothing objectionable about the teaching itself,

That's neither true, nor what he said.  The fact that the Vatican by itself proclaimed a novel, heretical innovation as an eternal dogma necessary for salvation is but its first hurdle.
Sure, you are entitled to your ad hominem opinion.

Quote
Quote
but polemicists simply bend over backwards to misrepresent the teaching and knock down their straw men.


The objections that the Vatican's son Bernard voiced when this novelty first appeared on the fringe of Christendom I've posted above.  I need only add that all right believing Orthodox (i.e. those not in communion with the Vatican) would subscribe, as I do, to ALL his obejctions to this deviation from the "deposit of Faith."
Bernard logically sliced the heresy nicely.  Meat, not straw.
I already addressed them in my post to brother Marc.  Besides straw men, I forgot to mention the tactic of evasion to which polemicists are so prone.

Quote
As it relates to your comments, I would just like to point out 3 things:
1) The Catholic Church recognizes an hierarchy of beliefs wherein some beliefs are more important and necessary for the maintenance of the Faith as others.  The dogma of the IC falls in the lower rungs of that heirarchy of beliefs.

I'd brush up on your Vatican dogmatics: they class it as de fide, i.e. its A-1 rating. Compare:
Quote
105. Jesus Christ is the True God and True Son of God. (De fide.)
155. Mary was conceived without stain of Original sin. (De fide.)
http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm

along with the points so aptly raised by AlexanderofBergamo.[/quote]
Point out the obvious why don't you.  Did I say that the dogma of the IC was not de fide?  No.  All I said was that it is lower on the rung in the hierarchy of beliefs.  Like I said, straw men.

Quote
2) The proscription in the dogma is not an anathema (unlike other dogmas), but is a minor excommunication, which itself indicates its status in the hierarchy of beliefs.  So, contrary to what you stated, it is not "a dogma necessary for salvation," at least not like the explicitly Christological dogmas.

Your church teaches otherwise.  Ineffabilis Deus:
Quote
Besides, we must note a fact of the greatest importance indeed. Even the Council of Trent itself, when it promulgated the dogmatic decree concerning original sin, following the testimonies of the Sacred Scriptures, of the Holy Fathers and of the renowned Council, decreed and defined that all men are born infected by original sin; nevertheless, it solemnly declared that it had no intention of including the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, in this decree and in the general extension of its definition. Indeed, considering the times and circumstances, the Fathers of Trent sufficiently intimated by this declaration that the Blessed Virgin Mary was free from the original stain; and thus they clearly signified that nothing could be reasonably cited from the Sacred Scriptures, from Tradition, or from the authority of the Fathers, which would in any way be opposed to so great a prerogative of the Blessed Virgin.
Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he thinks in his heart
Mmmmm?  Sounds like excommunication to me. ::)

Quote
3) The dogma's proscription refers only to those who reject the belief.  I know many Orthodox who believe the teaching, though only as theologoumenon


They are mistaken.  In fact, most Latins don't know what it teaches (even when you eliminate those who confuse it with the Virgin Birth).[/quote]
Well, I guess that's why it's theologoumenon. ;D

Quote
Quote
(Bp Timothy Ware himself admits that it can be a legitimate theologoumenon).


The good bishop is wrong, as he is on women's ordination and legalized abortion.
In rhetoric, that would be a class of ad hominem otherwise known as "guilt by association."  That's another one polemicsts are prone to.

Quote
Quote
In fact, if Orthodox really want to remain faithful to Tradition, they would not reject the teaching at all, since the substance of the teaching is celebrated in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne. 

No, it that were true, it woudl be the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which, as I said, was not celebrated in the first millenium, nor us ever.
We add the word "Immaculate" to it and you get into huff.  The substance is the same, but you simply, in your polemic spirit, refuse to recognize it.  St. Paul had something to say about arguing over words, I believe. ;D

Quote
That is how you get nonsense like this:
Quote
Questions and Answers: 
Question:  "Is this the official teaching of the Catholic Church?" 
Answer:  The Catholic Church has no official teaching on whether or not the Virgin Mary had a virgin conception and virgin birth. This booklet contains speculative theology, that is, theology on questions not yet decided by the Church.
But I say more. There are ten thousand truths as yet undiscovered within the ancient Deposit of Faith:  Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition.

Question:  "Are you saying that Saint Ann was a virgin?" 
Answer:  No, Saint Ann was not a virgin. Saints Ann and Joachim conceived a child in the usual way, the older sister of the Virgin Mary, mentioned in John 19:25. Rather, I am saying that the manner of the Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception was entirely virginal and miraculous.

Question:  "What are the differences between Mary's conception and Christ's conception?" 
Answer:  (1) Christ is Divine, whereas Mary is merely human. Thus, Christ's conception was an Incarnation, whereas Mary's conception was not an Incarnation. 
(2) Mary was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of both her parents (St. Joachim and St. Ann). Christ was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of only one human parent (the Virgin Mary). This difference indicates that Christ is Divine, with God alone as His Father, whereas Mary is merely human. 
(3) Christ was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of a perfect Virgin. Mary was conceived, virginally and miraculously, of Joachim and Ann, who were not virgins. Joachim and Ann conceived a child years earlier, the older sister of the Virgin Mary (Jn 19:25).

http://www.catholicplanet.com/virgin/index.htm
http://www.catholicplanet.com/virgin/virginity-Jesus-Mary.htm
[/quote]
Yes, I see.  This easily demonstrates the problem when someone appeals to non-official Catholic sources.  That's another polemical tactic, btw.

Quote
I'm betting that the Co-redemptrix will be the next of the "ten thousand truths as yet undiscovered within the ancient Deposit of Faith" to be proclaimed as eternal dogma by the Vatican.
This particular rhetorical error is known sensationalism.  No basis in fact, but simply exaggerated claims.

Quote
Quote
My point is that the dogma does not insist that it be believed as a dogma, but only that it be believed (so one can view it as theologoumenon)

Do I really have to comment here?
No, your rhetorical errors and polemical tactics are becoming glaring and tedious.

Quote
I was using the "all graces" language very loosely, and really only meant "the same graces we receive at Baptism."  I was quoting something I read on the Feast of the Conception from an EO source (or perhaps it was Armenian).  I don't think the term "all graces" is even used by the Latin Church.  I think it is simply hyperbolic language (which is pretty common in praises to Mary) and shouldn't be taken too literally.

This is however, EXACTLY what the Vatican has done.  On the one hand, you want to use "'all grace' language very loosely" to preclude the Orthodox from taking the IC to its logical conclusion, while on the other hand want to use it as proof that the Orthodox always believed it.
Here's another straw man.  I specifically stated that I wasn't even sure the Latin Church uses this term, but now he wants to blame the Vatican for it. And I already stated that I merely meant "the graces we receive at baptism," but now he creates a bunch of intentions for me out of thin air.

Quote
Quote
As far as your comments on the Forerunner, I would not expect a belief in the IC of John by any stretch of the imagination.  Part of the rationale for the IC is the patristic belief that she was the purest and most immaculate creation of God.  In that sense, I never considered the teaching as being opposed to my Oriental sensibilities.

The problem is that the Vatican's "reasoning" itself into the IC, after her most devoted sons and doctors preached against it, provides the perfect template to argue the same for the Forerunner, even on firmer ground, as Mina shows his conception feast is older and more universal.
Mmmm?  I didn't know the Forerunner was also designated as the most perfect creation of God.  You learn something new all the time --- NOT!

So what have we learned from brother Isa today.  Nothing really, except that he is prone to rhetorical errors, and uses polemical tactics.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 12:47:49 PM
Dear brother Isa,

Any diligent reader will realize that my prior posts are a sufficient response to your comments here.  So I don't think I need to reinvent the wheel. If any reader wishes further explanation from me, please let me know.

I will respond to your comment on it being a mortal sin to miss a Holy Day of Obligation.  In my opinion, I wish we had more such days.  I don't think we can worship God enough.  I dramatically appreciate the fact that the Latin Church gives access to the Most Holy Eucharist daily, and I avail myself of that Grace when I can. 

Now, I don't know what in the world you are complaining about.  The only reason I can see that you even have an ounce of credibility in your complaint is if the Catholic Church did not offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  To me, all you are complaining about is that the Catholic Church gives an INCALCULABLE amount of importance to worshipping God.  Thus, to me, your complaints are, basically, godless.

Blessings,
Marduk

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.
I don't think there are any explicit sayings.  I think the belief came out of a pious meditation on such statements about Mary being the New Eve (extant since the second century), combined with the Church's belief on her being the most perfect creation of God (also just as ancient).  It finally came to fruition, as mentioned, with the establishment of the Feast of the Conception in the Byzantine Church in the 7th or 8th century.  Of course, the Feast is not exactly about her preservation from the stain of original sin

No, it is quite exact.  It has NOTHING on it.

And it is interesting that all the Churches  that claim Apostolic foundation and refer to the Fathers of the first four centuries, and yet it is only the church in Britain that comes up with this, and it is only the Vatican in the Pentarchy who runs with it.

Quote
- it is, rather, about the pious belief that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at her conception.

Can you cite some text from the service in support of this?

Quote
I'm guessing that the belief quickly blossomed into the realization that receiving all the graces of the Holy Spirit (that a creature can receive, that is) is tantamount to receiving Baptism.  So what is the effect of Baptism?  The cleansing of the stain of original sin.

Btw, can you locate when this idea of the IC being equivalent to baptism?  As I don't see it in the sources from the IC's appearance to the proclamation by the Vatican.

Quote
When the Feast migrated to the West, it faced opposition.  What the Latins already believed was that Mary received the graces of the Holy Spirit at the moment of her SPIRITUAL conception (i.e., ensoulment or quickening).  However, unlike the Easterns, the Latins distinguished the moment of ensoulment from the moment of physical conception, believing that ensoulment occurred at least 40 days or more after the physical conception.  Thus, some prominent Saints in the Latin Church opposed the introduction of the Feast in Latin Church.  They could not agree to the idea that she received the graces of the Holy Spirit from the moment of her conception, because they believed she received those graces at least 40 days hence.  As part of their rhetoric against the Eastern Feast, they opined that only Jesus was absolutely pure from the moment of his physical conception because he did not have a human father (from whom original sin was traditionally held to be transmitted).

Would you mind quoting where your Bernard of Clairvaux objected?  You have a lot of his material quoted above.  Did I miss something?

Quote
Eventually, the Latin Church grew to understand, together with the East, that the moment of ensoulment occurs at the same instant as the moment of conception.  Hence, the dogma of the IC.

Nice revisionism, but where is that in your Vatican Fathers?  In Bernard?  In Thomas Aquinas?  In Bonaventure? In Alexander of Hales?

Quote
The above explanation demonstrates that there is no difference between what the medieval Latin Fathers (who opposed the introduction of the Feast into the West) believed and what Catholics today believe - namely, that Mary received all the graces the Holy Spirit at the moment of her ensoulment.  The dogma of the IC uses the word "conception" instead of "ensoulment" simply because both occur at the same time (it's the simple and basic commutative law).

No, unfortunately the above only demonstrates Ultramontanist revisionism in action, in a desperate attempt to save Vatican I.

Quote
There are some things that need to be emphasized about the dogma of the IC that opponents always mispresent (and those misrepresentations are glaringly evident in this thread):

That the application of logic to the IC yields results you don't like doesn't make them misrepresentation.

Quote
1) The dogma does NOT say that Mary was preserved from original sin.  If she was preserved from original sin PERIOD, then she would not only be spiritually pure, but she would also not experience corruption or death.  But that is, as stated, NOT what the dogma states (contrary to the polemical wishes of Father Ambrose).  Rather it says she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  As repeatedly explained, the STAIN of original sin refers to the SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of original sin, NOT the PHYSICAL/TACTILE effects of original sin.

I'll wait for your reply to my quotation from the Vatican's ex cathedra pronouncements above on this issue.

Quote
2) The dogma, when it speaks of conception, refers to her SPIRITUAL conception (i.e., ensoulment), not her PHYSICAL conception.  Thus, it is true, and the dogma does not contradict, the teaching of the medieval Latin Fathers that only Jesus had an immaculate PHYSICAL conception.

LOL.  I'm going to leave Father Ambrose the fun of taking this up.

Quote
3) The two points emphasized above evinces that the dogma does not contradict the fact that Mary died.

You mean the "theologoumen" that she died.

Quote
4) The dogma of the IC refers to nothing more nor less than the fact that Mary received the graces of Baptism at the moment of her conception, as already explained fully in an earlier post.

Again, can you cite something official to back this up?

Thank you for your response.  First, I really don't see what the problem is attending a Feast day (on December 8, btw).  Our obligation to worship on Feast days is based on love, not fear.  That's the kind of love for God that the Catholic Church promotes.  Heck, the Latins have DAILY Mass, one of the things I am actually jealous about in the Latin Tradition.

They say it is a mortal sin to miss mass on a "holy day of obligation" your term, not ours.

Quote
Second, if you believe the teaching as theologoumenon, I don't understand the problem.  I see you are thinking of becoming EO.  Let me ask you something.  Do you think that EO are free to disbelieve something that is not dogmatically defined but is otherwise contained in their Tradition?  Is there such a thing as "cafeteria Eastern Orthodoxy"? 
"Cafeteria Catholics" disbelieve things that the Vatican (and the Church) have dogmatically defined.

Quote
Last year, an EO priest on CAF stated that even though the Assumption is not a dogma in his Church, he would refuse communion to an EO who did not believe in the doctrine. 
Fr. Ambrose.  He is well know here and on CAF (and elsewhere).  I don't think he's afraid to say it.

Quote
Considering these things before I became Catholic, I understood that dogmas in the Catholic Church are simply an indication that a belief is really important and much cherished.
LOL.  Yeah, anathema is Latin for "really important" and "much cherished."

Quote
Orthodoxy (Eastern and Oriental) have very important and much cherished doctrines that are not dogmatized, but belief in them are nevertheless viewed as consitutive of one's claim to be Orthodox.  So what if the Latins dogmatized these important and cherished doctrines?  Would they be less important if they were not dogmatized?  I don't think so.  Besides, the prosciption of the dogma, as stated, is not an anathema, but a minor excommunication.
So you say.  Can you cite a canon or something else with the authority of your church on this?

Quote
Lack of belief in it would result in nothing more or less than what that EO priest mentioned he would do if he knew someone coming to him for communion rejected the doctrine of the Assumption of the Theotokos - he would refuse it.  In other words, Catholics and Orthodox both hold beliefs that are very important to them.  Catholics, and Latins in particular, like to dogmatize these doctrines.  But the fact that Orthodox don't dogmatize these same doctrines does not make these doctrine any less important to Orthodox.

The IC is quite unimportant to the Orthodox.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2009, 12:49:13 PM
Dear brother Mina,

I was a frequent lurker at CopticHymns, and I always enjoyed your posts. :)  I understand where you are coming from.  I know it never made it into our Tradition.  However, the Feast did manage to become part of the Tradition of our Armenian brethren several centuries ago.

I was using the "all graces" language very loosely, and really only meant "the same graces we receive at Baptism."  I was quoting something I read on the Feast of the Conception from an EO source (or perhaps it was Armenian).  I don't think the term "all graces" is even used by the Latin Church.  I think it is simply hyperbolic language (which is pretty common in praises to Mary) and shouldn't be taken too literally.

As far as your comments on the Forerunner, I would not expect a belief in the IC of John by any stretch of the imagination.  Part of the rationale for the IC is the patristic belief that she was the purest and most immaculate creation of God.  In that sense, I never considered the teaching as being opposed to my Oriental sensibilities.

Blessings,
Marduk

Yes, it's been a while, but I do remember someone in coptichymns.net who was a Coptic Catholic.  Small world.  :)

I'm afraid though brother I don't see how this proves the Theotokos was immaculately conceived.  Like I said, the conception of the Forerunner was celebrated probably even as early as to the Apostles themselves.  In addition, if you notice Coptic iconography in the iconostasis, we will ALWAYS have on our left side the Virgin Theotokos holding the baby Christ followed by another icon of the greeting of Archangel Gabriel to the Theotokos followed by another icon of the Archangel Michael trampling on Satan, and on the right side we always will have an icon of Christ the Pantocrator followed by the baptism of Christ by St. John the Forerunner followed by an icon of the patron saint of the altar.  This must ALWAYS occur, and this shows the importance of the core of these icons as the saints (and Christ of course) of highest respect, honor, and veneration.  In order of importance, we have the Theotokos, then the Forerunner, followed by the Archangels (and the patron saint although in general might not be as high is of high importance to the Church itself that bears his/her name).  Specifically the core icons of the Theotokos and the Forerunner and the Archangels carry with it the meaning of the Deisis in Coptic life.  This tells us we have a strong tradition of looking over to the "Blessed among women" Theotokos and the "Greatest among those born of women" as strong sources of intercession, and both are higher than the archangels, angels, principalities, authorities, thrones, and dominions.  

What makes the Theotokos greater than the Forerunner is very simply the fact that our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ took flesh from her.  It is through her own flesh our Lord became incarnate.  He was also nourished and cared for by her not merely as a mother would any son, but the best mother.  Yes, she is even typified as an allegory to the Church Herself.  Nevertheless, we should not forget important role of the Forerunner, preparing the way for the Lord, making His ways straight.  The beginning of Christ's ministry was immediately after the baptism of Christ.  The Forerunner thus is also considered the "Friend of the Bridegroom," who presented Christ to the Church as a best man would while the Theotokos becomes the Mother of the Church through this mystical marriage.  He is also the junction of the Old Testament and the New Testament, the end of the Leviticus priesthood and the beginning of the Melchizedek priesthood, as she was marked the end of chauvinism and the beginning of female empowerment.  And like the Theotokos, he was a son of righteous parents.  Like the Theotokos, he was raised and tended by angels, with the exception that the Theotokos was in the altar while he was in the wilderness who moved the altar away from the Temple to Christ, the True Temple.  She represented the celibacy that lives among the world while he represented the celibacy of the monastic call to live in the wilderness, the other worldly struggle.

The parallels in the lives of both the Theotokos and the Forerunner is not something to be ignored.  They are both the most immaculate and most perfect and greatest of all creatures and the closest to the heart of the Logos Incarnate.  The tradition is strong that veneration to both the Theotokos and the Forerunner seems to have parallel even if slightly unequal roles.  They are the only saints in the whole Church to which we celebrate the conception, the birth, and the departure, with the exception of the Theotokos who we celebrate the Assumption as well, whereas John enjoys his angelic nature, as he is prophesied as the "angel" coming to make the Lord's ways straight, which is also why there is an iconographic tradition of his "wings".

I am unconvinced at this point of the IC if it is not also extended to St. John the Forerunner.

I also recommend that you read this book to enrich your Oriental tradition:

http://www.svspress.com/product_info.php?products_id=190

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 01:34:49 PM
Dear brother Mina,

I certainly honor the Forerunner as much as any Copt.  However, though I agree with and understand the differences you have indicated, I would not call them "slight" but "few."  More specifically, I would say they are few, but big differences. 

To be honest, my only purpose on this thread was/is simply to show what the dogma of the IC IS, to combat false rhetoric about it.  I am not out to PROVE it happened, nor the "how" or "why" of the matter.  In fact, the dogma itself does not have that intention.  The dogma simply states what is.  In the "swim across the Tiber," I had actually set out to DISprove the dogma to myself.  But to do that, I knew that I had to find out exactly what it was I was trying to disprove.  However, in the process of trying to find out exactly what it was, and not filtered through the opinions of non-Catholics, I came to the conclusion that the teaching does not contradict my Coptic Faith.  My discussions on this thread is a basically faithful record of what I went through in my mind before I came to accept the teaching.  The hardest part was the free-will issue, and accepting that as creatures, we can be spiritually purified without having to be physically purified.  That is obviously a dramatically basic tenet of Christian anthropology, but for some reason, I had blinders on when it came to Mary (just like some of our EO brethren here who keep claiming that just because Mary was spiritually purified, then that means she could not have died).

At most, what I want to do here is demonstrate that it is not heresy, not convince someone of its truth.

Blessings,
Marduki

Yes, it's been a while, but I do remember someone in coptichymns.net who was a Coptic Catholic.  Small world.  :)

I'm afraid though brother I don't see how this proves the Theotokos was immaculately conceived.  Like I said, the conception of the Forerunner was celebrated probably even as early as to the Apostles themselves.  In addition, if you notice Coptic iconography in the iconostasis, we will ALWAYS have on our left side the Virgin Theotokos holding the baby Christ followed by another icon of the greeting of Archangel Gabriel to the Theotokos followed by another icon of the Archangel Michael trampling on Satan, and on the right side we always will have an icon of Christ the Pantocrator followed by the baptism of Christ by St. John the Forerunner followed by an icon of the patron saint of the altar.  This must ALWAYS occur, and this shows the importance of the core of these icons as the saints (and Christ of course) of highest respect, honor, and veneration.  In order of importance, we have the Theotokos, then the Forerunner, followed by the Archangels (and the patron saint although in general might not be as high is of high importance to the Church itself that bears his/her name).  Specifically the core icons of the Theotokos and the Forerunner and the Archangels carry with it the meaning of the Deisis in Coptic life.  This tells us we have a strong tradition of looking over to the "Blessed among women" Theotokos and the "Greatest among those born of women" as strong sources of intercession, and both are higher than the archangels, angels, principalities, authorities, thrones, and dominions.  

What makes the Theotokos greater than the Forerunner is very simply the fact that our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ took flesh from her.  It is through her own flesh our Lord became incarnate.  He was also nourished and cared for by her not merely as a mother would any son, but the best mother.  Yes, she is even typified as an allegory to the Church Herself.  Nevertheless, we should not forget important role of the Forerunner, preparing the way for the Lord, making His ways straight.  The beginning of Christ's ministry was immediately after the baptism of Christ.  The Forerunner thus is also considered the "Friend of the Bridegroom," who presented Christ to the Church as a best man would while the Theotokos becomes the Mother of the Church through this mystical marriage.  He is also the junction of the Old Testament and the New Testament, the end of the Leviticus priesthood and the beginning of the Melchizedek priesthood, as she was marked the end of chauvinism and the beginning of female empowerment.  And like the Theotokos, he was a son of righteous parents.  Like the Theotokos, he was raised and tended by angels, with the exception that the Theotokos was in the altar while he was in the wilderness who moved the altar away from the Temple to Christ, the True Temple.  She represented the celibacy that lives among the world while he represented the celibacy of the monastic call to live in the wilderness, the other worldly struggle.

The parallels in the lives of both the Theotokos and the Forerunner is not something to be ignored.  They are both the most immaculate and most perfect and greatest of all creatures and the closest to the heart of the Logos Incarnate.  The tradition is strong that veneration to both the Theotokos and the Forerunner seems to have parallel even if slightly unequal roles.  They are the only saints in the whole Church to which we celebrate the conception, the birth, and the departure, with the exception of the Theotokos who we celebrate the Assumption as well, whereas John enjoys his angelic nature, as he is prophesied as the "angel" coming to make the Lord's ways straight, which is also why there is an iconographic tradition of his "wings".

I am unconvinced at this point of the IC if it is not also extended to St. John the Forerunner.

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2009, 01:44:50 PM
But dear Marduk, free will is an issue, not ontologically, but in a pragmatic sense, as I mentioned before.  This obviously forces her to choose to be the Theotokos, not allowing her the freedom to choose.  What if she decided not to become the Theotokos?  Surely, there is no fault in her for doing that, and yet should her immaculateness be taken away because of such a choice that seems faultless?

Can you also address Leo's quote that I posted before?

And since you are Coptic who left the Orthodox Church, I'm very much interested in reading your points on these particular issues I posted before to Papist.  Surely, you have read Leo's quote and thought about the free will issue extensively as I am right now.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 09, 2009, 03:39:04 PM
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.

Dear Papist, you stated earlier that you have a mathematical mind and that is why you are so suited to Latinism.   But your statement above shows the opposite.  Firstly you must be aware that you are giving a private opinion and not the teaching of your Church.  No Pope has promulgated the "conformity" doctrine.

We know from the Catechism (1018)*  that anybody without original sin is immune to bodily death.

You contend that because Christ did His Mother was obliged to die too.

This is a problem because 1) no Pope has declared this and 2) the Catechism teaches that she was immune to bodily death.

So the question is:   HOW did she who could not die, die?   If God had decided that she had to die to conform to her Son, did He actually kill her?  How did He kill her?  How does your theory deal with this?


You know, if it weren't for the fact that we are speaking of humanity's most sacred personages, this would be uproariously funny!

-------------------
* CCC 1018: As a consequence of original sin, man must suffer "bodily death, from which man would have been immune had he not sinned.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 09, 2009, 03:49:25 PM
Not to derail this thread, and I don't think I am; but what is the The Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit that you speak of? I can't seem to find anything about it. God Bless!

Dear Nicholas,

Plug this into a search engine and start reading.   :)

site:forums.catholic.com quasi-incarnation
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 09, 2009, 04:27:05 PM

Dear Marduk,

As Isa takes your lengthy statements and examines each of the points you make it becomes obvious that you have only a very shaky house of cards.

I at least am basing what I am saying on the infallible definition of the magisterial statement Munificentissimus Deus and on the Catechism.

But you are presenting only what you are spinning out of your own mind, making distinctions which have no formulation in authentic Catholic teaching, making seriously erroneous statements about the de fide status of the Immaculate Conception, etc., etc.

In no case have you correlated any of your personal mindspin to anything from Catholic theologians and nor have you have substantiated anything with any papal statements.  Readers should be cautioned about this and examine with care what you present as Catholic teaching.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 09, 2009, 04:42:22 PM
Last year, an EO priest on CAF stated that even though the Assumption is not a dogma in his Church, he would refuse communion to an EO who did not believe in the doctrine. 
Fr. Ambrose.  He is well know here and on CAF (and elsewhere).  I don't think he's afraid to say it.

Marduk, depite his vociferous claims to preserve his Coptic Orthodox phronema, most frequently speaks and argues from a Roman Catholic mindset and we see that in this instance.

It is simply not a question of making a distinction between dogma and doctrine.  This is supremely unimportant to the East.  It is the tradition which must be upheld in its entirety - whether it be oral tradition or that which has been carefully explicated at Councils and Synods or that taught by the holy Fathers.

We have no "dogma" (in the Latin sense used by Marduk, a magisterial definition) about the Dormition and Assumption.  We don't even have a "dogma" about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  But in both instances you will find an Orthodox priest will deny Communion if told by a communicant that he denies them.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 06:59:25 PM
Dear brother Mina,

But dear Marduk, free will is an issue, not ontologically, but in a pragmatic sense, as I mentioned before.  This obviously forces her to choose to be the Theotokos, not allowing her the freedom to choose.  What if she decided not to become the Theotokos?  Surely, there is no fault in her for doing that, and yet should her immaculateness be taken away because of such a choice that seems faultless?
I believe I addressed this fully earlier. I don't know if you read them, but can you please look at my posts #5, 10, 15, 19, and 20.  Does that answer your question about free will?  But perhaps you are adding another dimension to the issue - i.e., the issue of predestination.  What I have addressed so far on the issue of free will relates to the question - "Does the fact that Mary had no concupiscence mean she did not have the free will to sin?"  I think what you are asking now is (in distinction) - "Does her being chosen by God to be the Mother of God mean she did not have the free will to resist?"  If the latter, then the usual understanding of the Churches on the matter should suffice - that predestination according to the Catholic and Orthodox understanding - refers to God's foreknowledge, not that God forces anyone to do something in the future.  If the former, then I believe I have sufficiently addressed it.

Quote
Can you also address Leo's quote that I posted before?
Sorry I missed that earlier, I skipped a whole bunch of posts close to the time when everyone started debating about the immortalist understanding of brother Papist. ;D

To be honest, I'd never pondered those statements before.  I don't see what it has to do with our topic.  I think the very first sentence demonstrates the purpose of the excerpt - namely, how was the chain of sin and death broken.  The obvious and only answer is Jesus Christ.  I notice that the sermon specifically states that righteousness itself springs from the Nativity of Christ.  Those are the considerations I would bring to bear on trying to interpret the final sentence you highlighted.  The sin which the sacred conception overthrew is the sin of humanity (actual and original), the sin that is washed away at Baptism.  I believe this is a classic example of hyperbole to indicate the role of Christ as our Savior.  We all know that the actual moment of our sins being overthrown was at the Cross.  However, it is also true that Christ himself is salvation itself.  Pope St. Leo was simply teaching that very concept (that Christ himself is salvation itself) by stating that sin (the sin that is washed away at baptism) was overthrown from the first instance that His Person came into the world (i.e., the Incarnation) in His mother's womb (which lines up perfectly with his earlier statement that righteousness comes from the Nativity).----------- It just dawned on me what your actual point probably is - namely, is the "sin" mentioned in that final sentence referring to the sin in Mary?  I suppose if one plucked that sentence out of the excerpt and presented it to someone, one could come to that conclusion.  But I think the context leaves no doubt that the sin being spoken about in the last sentence is the sin of the world.

I'm not sure how the "impure seed" idea relates to our discussion. Perhaps you can explain that a bit more.

Quote
And since you are Coptic who left the Orthodox Church, I'm very much interested in reading your points on these particular issues I posted before to Papist.  Surely, you have read Leo's quote and thought about the free will issue extensively as I am right now.
To be honest, I regard myself as an Orthodox in communion with Rome.  As I mentioned in another post in these Forums, my translation to Catholicism was not a matter of me rejecting anything of my Coptic Orthodox heritage, but simply a matter of rejecting my heretofore MISconceptions about Catholicism. But that's a big topic that I'm sure would deserve a thread of its own.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 07:06:09 PM
Not to derail this thread, and I don't think I am; but what is the The Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit that you speak of? I can't seem to find anything about it. God Bless!

Dear Nicholas,

Plug this into a search engine and start reading.   :)

site:forums.catholic.com quasi-incarnation
Yeah, it's pretty silly, both in its concept and the polemical use of it by non-Catholics.  It's like - "OMG, I heard my Catholic grandma today say angels have real bodies.  That must mean it's offical teaching in the Catholic Church now!"  Polemicists are a pretty silly bunch that shouldn't be taken TOO seriously.  I would love to say "shouldn't be taken seriously PERIOD," but it is a fact that polemecists do manage to lead people astray.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 07:27:14 PM

As Isa takes your lengthy statements and examines each of the points you make it becomes obvious that you have only a very shaky house of cards.
Or maybe it's that his statements are really just copious examples of invalid arguments that they're not really worth a hoot.  It's a case of the boy who cried wolf. When all the arguments have been hollow so far, it's a good bet the rest will be the same.  As stated, a diligent reader will realize my prior posts are sufficient responses to brother Isa's arguments. Face it, brother Isa is a polemicist, not an apologist.  He'll just tweak an argument a little bit to make people think he has made a new point, when the "new" point has in fact already been refuted back down the chain of arguments.  And I've offered individual readers an opportunity to ask specific questions.  I do try to distinguishing between baiting questions and honest questions for the sake of genuine dialogue.  Unfortunately, comments from polemicists are not really meant to promote dialogue, but really serve no other purpose than to try to stir people's emotions or get under your skin - really nothing worth responding to, as any sensible reader might observe from many of the posts from the non-Catholic participants here.

Quote
I at least am basing what I am saying on the infallible definition of the magisterial statement Munificentissimus Deus and on the Catechism.
Sorry.  I looked over it, and I simply could not find any place in Munificentissimus Deus that claims that Mary was "preserved from original sin." Either you're working off of a non-Catholic copy that is not an actual translation but rather an interpretation, or you're just trying to purposefully mislead people (which I hope is not the case).

Quote
But you are presenting only what you are spinning out of your own mind, making distinctions which have no formulation in authentic Catholic teaching, making seriously erroneous statements about the de fide status of the Immaculate Conception, etc., etc.
Yes, the usual claim when polemicists can't respond to what the Church ACTUALLY teaches.  That's why polemicists need to make straw men. ;)

Quote
In no case have you correlated any of your personal mindspin to anything from Catholic theologians and nor have you have substantiated anything with any papal statements.  Readers should be cautioned about this and examine with care what you present as Catholic teaching.
Really?  Or maybe I have, but you just didn't notice them (or maybe purposefully evaded them).  I'll leave you to find my reference to Council of Trent's doctrine on original sin.  Anyone who's willing to agree with your arguments probably won't care what the Catholic Church ACTUALLY teaches anyway, but are merely content in knocking down their straw men.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2009, 07:34:57 PM
Sorry I missed that earlier, I skipped a whole bunch of posts close to the time when everyone started debating about the immortalist understanding of brother Papist. ;D

To be honest, I'd never pondered those statements before.  I don't see what it has to do with our topic.  I think the very first sentence demonstrates the purpose of the excerpt - namely, how was the chain of sin and death broken.  The obvious and only answer is Jesus Christ.  I notice that the sermon specifically states that righteousness itself springs from the Nativity of Christ.  Those are the considerations I would bring to bear on trying to interpret the final sentence you highlighted.  The sin which the sacred conception overthrew is the sin of humanity (actual and original), the sin that is washed away at Baptism.  I believe this is a classic example of hyperbole to indicate the role of Christ as our Savior.  We all know that the actual moment of our sins being overthrown was at the Cross.  However, it is also true that Christ himself is salvation itself.  Pope St. Leo was simply teaching that very concept (that Christ himself is salvation itself) by stating that sin (the sin that is washed away at baptism) was overthrown from the first instance that His Person came into the world (i.e., the Incarnation) in His mother's womb (which lines up perfectly with his earlier statement that righteousness comes from the Nativity).----------- It just dawned on me what your actual point probably is - namely, is the "sin" mentioned in that final sentence referring to the sin in Mary?  I suppose if one plucked that sentence out of the excerpt and presented it to someone, one could come to that conclusion.  But I think the context leaves no doubt that the sin being spoken about in the last sentence is the sin of the world.

I'm not sure how the "impure seed" idea relates to our discussion. Perhaps you can explain that a bit more.

Well, concerning the "impure seed," I'm not sure personally either, but I was personally interpreting that as Christ who did not want to inherit the seed of old, the seed of generations in sin, but presented to us a new Seed, to be the firstborn among the saved, and that we would inherit Christ's seed through baptism.  But then again, I'm not sure if that's what Leo intended.  I do want to point out however that according to Coptic teaching, the point of Christ being born a Virgin was not that virginity is "cleaner" than marriage, as I sometimes get the feeling some teach, but that precisely He wants to become the Firstborn, the First Seed of the New Covenant.  I'm not sure if that's your belief, but we reject any idea that being born of a Virgin lead to some incorruptibility of Christ's humanity.

As for the alternative interpretation, thank you for that.  That actually puts things in perspective for me.  I guess this will be a homework for me to read some of Leo's works.

Quote
To be honest, I regard myself as an Orthodox in communion with Rome.  As I mentioned in another post in these Forums, my translation to Catholicism was not a matter of me rejecting anything of my Coptic Orthodox heritage, but simply a matter of rejecting my heretofore MISconceptions about Catholicism. But that's a big topic that I'm sure would deserve a thread of its own.

Blessings,
Marduk

I don't mean to offend you in any way.  Nevertheless, I think that by confessing the IC, you are dogmatically in contradiction to Oriental Orthodox tradition.  For we have no one in our tradition that confesses the IC, and the one saint I know that mentioned anything about a cleansing from Original Sin would be St. Jacob of Serugh, whose book I recommend reading, as is filled with amazing spirituality about the Theotokos.  He is in direct conflict with your beliefs in that he implies the Theotokos was born like anyone else, in Original Sin, and that the taking of away of such happened when the Holy Spirit cleansed her at that moment after the greeting of Gabriel in preparation of the Divine Incarnation.  Surely, if you consider yourself "Orthodox" then you and Coptic Orthodox Church, even the whole Oriental Orthodox communion, have different meanings of what "Orthodox" is.

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 07:35:14 PM
Last year, an EO priest on CAF stated that even though the Assumption is not a dogma in his Church, he would refuse communion to an EO who did not believe in the doctrine. 
Fr. Ambrose.  He is well know here and on CAF (and elsewhere).  I don't think he's afraid to say it.

Marduk, depite his vociferous claims to preserve his Coptic Orthodox phronema, most frequently speaks and argues from a Roman Catholic mindset and we see that in this instance.
I am Catholic, make no mistake about it.  I do use Catholic terminology, but that is all they are - terminology.  Just because I call a group of beliefs dogma, and another group of beliefs doctrines..... well, I guess that's condemnable in your eyes.  What was that St. Paul said about needlessly arguing about words?

Quote
It is simply not a question of making a distinction between dogma and doctrine.  This is supremely unimportant to the East.  It is the tradition which must be upheld in its entirety - whether it be oral tradition or that which has been carefully explicated at Councils and Synods or that taught by the holy Fathers.

We have no "dogma" (in the Latin sense used by Marduk, a magisterial definition) about the Dormition and Assumption.  We don't even have a "dogma" about the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  But in both instances you will find an Orthodox priest will deny Communion if told by a communicant that he denies them.
Ummmm....That's exactly what I said.???  Wow, you just really love to knock down straw men, Father.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2009, 07:58:51 PM
But perhaps you are adding another dimension to the issue - i.e., the issue of predestination.  What I have addressed so far on the issue of free will relates to the question - "Does the fact that Mary had no concupiscence mean she did not have the free will to sin?"  I think what you are asking now is (in distinction) - "Does her being chosen by God to be the Mother of God mean she did not have the free will to resist?"  If the latter, then the usual understanding of the Churches on the matter should suffice - that predestination according to the Catholic and Orthodox understanding - refers to God's foreknowledge, not that God forces anyone to do something in the future.

I forgot to address this part.  Indeed, it is precisely this issue I was addressing.  However, I must disagree this doesn't answer it sufficiently, and perhaps this is actually leading quite dangerously to a Calvinist side of predestination imo.  Just because God has foreknowledge does not mean He makes the decision to do something to people before the people decide for themselves.  If that's the case, why waste time allowed Adam and Eve in Paradise, allowing them the Tree of Life?  Why didn't He just make them born in a state of death and move on from there?  Why did God anoint Saul king if He knew he was going to screw up, or Judas Iscariot an Apostle before betraying our Lord?

Why didn't God choose David from his birth, anoint him as king from his childhood?  Why did He wait until David was a very young adult?  Why did god wait to hear from Solomon his decision on choosing wisdom over riches when He already knew what he thought?  Why did God wait until Isaiah ask for his mouth to be cleansed?  Why does God wait for each and everyone of us until we die?  Why can't we just die and cleanse us or condemn us or send us to Paradise since He is so foreknowing?

These are all rhetorical questions of course.  But the idea that He already bestows upon the Theotokos a grace similar to baptism without having her make the decision first is unprecedented.  They must grow, they must be raised right, they must be sanctified for their growth, etc.  Then the grace upon which is given her must be given only after the decision, not before, even if God foresees all things.  The type of predestination you teach is not merely foreknowledge, but an active foreknowledge, making the decision no matter what happens, which is exactly what Calvin taught.

Finally, one has to also sit and ponder, did the Theotokos even know she was immaculately conceived, unique among humanity?  Did she know she was going to be the Mother of God from her youth?  Clearly, the answer to the latter question is "No," as has been evident in the accounts of Luke's gospel, when she was "troubled at Gabriel's saying" for being called "Blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb."  But knowing that, surely for consistency's sake, if she was IC'ed, instead of being troubled at Gabriel's saying, she could have acknowledged this, and easily said, "I, the handmaiden of the Lord, am now ready."

It's not merely "predestination," it's about pragmatism.  Practically speaking, this seems to sound like taking away free will.  Even if we can practice free will by nature, we can practically not change our own fate, for our fate is already written in stone as was the case in the IC of the Theotokos.

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 09, 2009, 08:23:43 PM

I at least am basing what I am saying on the infallible definition of the magisterial statement Munificentissimus Deus and on the Catechism.
Sorry.  I looked over it, and I simply could not find any place in Munificentissimus Deus that claims that Mary was "preserved from original sin."

That should not have been Munificientissimus Deus but Pope Pius IX's earlier Ineffabilis Deus of 1854.  I mixed up Munificentissimus with Ineffabilis.  All the same I am a little surpised that you are not sufficiently au courant with these matters to realise which is the correct Apostolic Constitution.

"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."
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 08:36:42 PM
I'm not sure how the "impure seed" idea relates to our discussion. Perhaps you can explain that a bit more.

Well, concerning the "impure seed," I'm not sure personally either, but I was personally interpreting that as Christ who did not want to inherit the seed of old, the seed of generations in sin, but presented to us a new Seed, to be the firstborn among the saved, and that we would inherit Christ's seed through baptism.  But then again, I'm not sure if that's what Leo intended.  I do want to point out however that according to Coptic teaching, the point of Christ being born a Virgin was not that virginity is "cleaner" than marriage, as I sometimes get the feeling some teach, but that precisely He wants to become the Firstborn, the First Seed of the New Covenant.  I'm not sure if that's your belief, but we reject any idea that being born of a Virgin lead to some incorruptibility of Christ's humanity.
All you say is true and wise.  I've found the same beliefs in my study of Catholicism.  When I first read the excerpt you gave, I was thinking it referred to the traditional belief that original sin was transmitted through the man, nothing more.  I didn't view it as a statement that marriage is a somehow a less holy or worthy state than virginity.

Quote
As for the alternative interpretation, thank you for that.  That actually puts things in perspective for me.  I guess this will be a homework for me to read some of Leo's works.
I love to learn, too.  The pedagogic element of our spirituality has always been a blessing for me.

Quote
Quote
To be honest, I regard myself as an Orthodox in communion with Rome.  As I mentioned in another post in these Forums, my translation to Catholicism was not a matter of me rejecting anything of my Coptic Orthodox heritage, but simply a matter of rejecting my heretofore MISconceptions about Catholicism. But that's a big topic that I'm sure would deserve a thread of its own.

I don't mean to offend you in any way.  Nevertheless, I think that by confessing the IC, you are dogmatically in contradiction to Oriental Orthodox tradition.  For we have no one in our tradition that confesses the IC, and the one saint I know that mentioned anything about a cleansing from Original Sin would be St. Jacob of Serugh, whose book I recommend reading, as is filled with amazing spirituality about the Theotokos.  He is in direct conflict with your beliefs in that he implies the Theotokos was born like anyone else, in Original Sin, and that the taking of away of such happened when the Holy Spirit cleansed her at that moment after the greeting of Gabriel in preparation of the Divine Incarnation.  Surely, if you consider yourself "Orthodox" then you and Coptic Orthodox Church, even the whole Oriental Orthodox communion, have different meanings of what "Orthodox" is.
Actually, I did consider that matter before I came into Catholicism.  When I was reading Catholic (not non-Catholic) materials on the IC, I was greatly surprised to discover that the teaching actually refers to her ensoulment, not her physical conception.  As mentioned, the dogma does not actually state "Mary was preserved from original sin PERIOD."  Rather, it specifically states that Mary was preserved from the STAIN of original sin, the STAIN meaning the spiritual consequences of original sin.  It is a very popular (perhaps even near-universal) belief in Catholicism that assumes that Mary was not born in original sin.  But, if that were actually true, there would be no possibility that she could have died, nor even aged!  No, all the dogmatic teaching actually asserts is simply that Mary was preserved form the spiritual consequences of the Fall, not the physical consequences.  In that sense, my belief does not contradict St. Jacob's.  

As far as the notion that Mary was purified at the Annunciation, instead of at her conception, I consider that a theologoumenon, to be honest.  I don't understand that belief to be so essential to my Coptic/Oriental identity as, for instance, our belief that distinguishes us from the Chalcedonians - at the very least, to the point that it could in any way justify schism.  When I was not in communion with Rome, I came upon many Copts who, when I spoke to them frankly about the topic of when Mary was purified, would flat out say, "who cares?" or "why would that matter to me or you?" You get enough of that response, and you begin to realize that this particular belief from St. Jacob is not exactly a Faith-defining issue.  I gather it is the same for all the Orthodox.  It seems strange to me for an Orthodox to press the point (I'm not saying you are doing this) on a matter that they otherwise believe is not really that important to the Faith, or their identity as Orthodox (Oriental or Eastern).

My understanding of "Orthodox" is, plain and simple, the reality of the Church when it was fully united in the first millenium.

I do so enjoy dialoguing with you, brother.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 08:52:29 PM
Dear brother Mina,

To be honest, I don't know how to respond.  I DO believe the grace of the IC is fitting to the Theotokos, but as I stated earlier, though Catholics do use that as an argument, it is not the reason I came to believe in the teaching.  As I said, I came to believe in it simply because I did not find it contradicted anything of what made me an Oriental Orthodox.  So your challenge to the intellectual consideration of her fittingness via a consideration of the concept of predestination is not really relevant to my belief on the matter.  You would have to ask a Latin who makes it a point of making fittingness a matter of "proof" for the teaching.

I will respond to one point in your inquiry - namely, your comment about the Theotokos receiving a grace similar to baptism without her having made a decision first.  I would only point out to you that babies do not make a decision either.

Blessings,
Marduk

But perhaps you are adding another dimension to the issue - i.e., the issue of predestination.  What I have addressed so far on the issue of free will relates to the question - "Does the fact that Mary had no concupiscence mean she did not have the free will to sin?"  I think what you are asking now is (in distinction) - "Does her being chosen by God to be the Mother of God mean she did not have the free will to resist?"  If the latter, then the usual understanding of the Churches on the matter should suffice - that predestination according to the Catholic and Orthodox understanding - refers to God's foreknowledge, not that God forces anyone to do something in the future.

I forgot to address this part.  Indeed, it is precisely this issue I was addressing.  However, I must disagree this doesn't answer it sufficiently, and perhaps this is actually leading quite dangerously to a Calvinist side of predestination imo.  Just because God has foreknowledge does not mean He makes the decision to do something to people before the people decide for themselves.  If that's the case, why waste time allowed Adam and Eve in Paradise, allowing them the Tree of Life?  Why didn't He just make them born in a state of death and move on from there?  Why did God anoint Saul king if He knew he was going to screw up, or Judas Iscariot an Apostle before betraying our Lord?

Why didn't God choose David from his birth, anoint him as king from his childhood?  Why did He wait until David was a very young adult?  Why did god wait to hear from Solomon his decision on choosing wisdom over riches when He already knew what he thought?  Why did God wait until Isaiah ask for his mouth to be cleansed?  Why does God wait for each and everyone of us until we die?  Why can't we just die and cleanse us or condemn us or send us to Paradise since He is so foreknowing?

These are all rhetorical questions of course.  But the idea that He already bestows upon the Theotokos a grace similar to baptism without having her make the decision first is unprecedented.  They must grow, they must be raised right, they must be sanctified for their growth, etc.  Then the grace upon which is given her must be given only after the decision, not before, even if God foresees all things.  The type of predestination you teach is not merely foreknowledge, but an active foreknowledge, making the decision no matter what happens, which is exactly what Calvin taught.

Finally, one has to also sit and ponder, did the Theotokos even know she was immaculately conceived, unique among humanity?  Did she know she was going to be the Mother of God from her youth?  Clearly, the answer to the latter question is "No," as has been evident in the accounts of Luke's gospel, when she was "troubled at Gabriel's saying" for being called "Blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb."  But knowing that, surely for consistency's sake, if she was IC'ed, instead of being troubled at Gabriel's saying, she could have acknowledged this, and easily said, "I, the handmaiden of the Lord, am now ready."

It's not merely "predestination," it's about pragmatism.  Practically speaking, this seems to sound like taking away free will.  Even if we can practice free will by nature, we can practically not change our own fate, for our fate is already written in stone as was the case in the IC of the Theotokos.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 09, 2009, 09:01:43 PM
Dear brother Mina,

To be honest, I don't know how to respond.  I DO believe the grace of the IC is fitting to the Theotokos, but as I stated earlier, though Catholics do use that as an argument, it is not the reason I came to believe in the teaching.  As I said, I came to believe in it simply because I did not find it contradicted anything of what made me an Oriental Orthodox.  So your challenge to the intellectual consideration of her fittingness via a consideration of the concept of predestination is not really relevant to my belief on the matter.  You would have to ask a Latin who makes it a point of making fittingness a matter of "proof" for the teaching.

Fair enough.  I guess I'll wait on Papist's answers then.

To your point in the previous post about the importance of the dogma, I find it quite sad you met a few people who didn't care.  It seems to me that the present Coptic synod actually does care, especially in her dialogue with the Latin Church.  The rejection is also clear in HH Pope Shenouda's writings.  Nevertheless, I understand what you mean by certain people.  There are people who do not know Church history but are quite obedient to the dogmas being taught to them by the ordained leaders.  I find it personally very enriching and edifying to do my own research, to make my religion my own, and not one that merely belongs to the ordained leaders.  I don't advocate disobedience though, but it helps me in the age of disbelief and questioning, and I wish many were like me, since they can be easily swayed one way or the other and not be strongly rooted in history and dogmatic understanding.

Quote
I will respond to one point in your inquiry - namely, your comment about the Theotokos receiving a grace similar to baptism without her having made a decision first.  I would only point out to you that babies do not make a decision either.

Blessings,
Marduk

I couldn't help but answer this point before you respond soon.  I hope you consider a difference in the IC and the baptism of children.  The IC was a preconceived notion/assumption from God that she WILL choose to be the Theotokos.  Baptism of children is on the assumption that the parents bear the responsibility of the salvation of their children.  Thus, even though there are similarities in function, the purposes for both are VERY different from each other, unless the Theotokos' parents told her to be ready to be God's mother, in which case, this indication of knowledge was not so according to Luke's gospel.

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 09:03:57 PM
Dear brother Mina,

As I reread your post, I suddenly found this comment intriguing:

Finally, one has to also sit and ponder, did the Theotokos even know she was immaculately conceived, unique among humanity?  Did she know she was going to be the Mother of God from her youth?  Clearly, the answer to the latter question is "No," as has been evident in the accounts of Luke's gospel, when she was "troubled at Gabriel's saying" for being called "Blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb."  But knowing that, surely for consistency's sake, if she was IC'ed, instead of being troubled at Gabriel's saying, she could have acknowledged this, and easily said, "I, the handmaiden of the Lord, am now ready."
Personally, I've never pondered the idea of whether the Theotokos knew she was immaculately conceived.  The interest on the matter would be on the same level as me wondering if the Theotokos knew at, say, age 7 that she would be the Theotokos.  I do not see any fruit that can come from an intellectual consideration of whether the Saints had an omniscient knowledge of exactly what Graces they had received/were receiving/would receive from God.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 09:40:32 PM
Dear brother Mina,

To your point in the previous post about the importance of the dogma, I find it quite sad you met a few people who didn't care.  It seems to me that the present Coptic synod actually does care, especially in her dialogue with the Latin Church.  The rejection is also clear in HH Pope Shenouda's writings.
Don't be too harsh on them. :)  I was, after all, not yet Catholic at the time, so they probably were just thinking, "why is this crazy guy so concerned about this matter?" ;D If I was Catholic, perhaps they might have responded differently.  Nevertheless, I think it does show that for the general laity, St. Jacob's belief on the matter really is not a Faith-defining issue.  At the very least, if the COC has made it a Faith-defining issue, it is a very recent development in teaching.  Since most documents from the Synod are not in English, maybe it will take some time. 

But I ask you this, honestly.  We both know that we don't live and breathe by every word from any human, even a Saint.  Do you think it is proper for the Synod to respond to the Catholic Church's making the IC a faith defining issue, by themselves making something else a faith-defining issue?  To me, it would seem the proper or even better course of action would be to leave the matter the way it always was - theologoumenon.

Quote
Quote
I will respond to one point in your inquiry - namely, your comment about the Theotokos receiving a grace similar to baptism without her having made a decision first.  I would only point out to you that babies do not make a decision either.

I couldn't help but answer this point before you respond soon.  I hope you consider a difference in the IC and the baptism of children.  The IC was a preconceived notion/assumption from God that she WILL choose to be the Theotokos.  Baptism of children is on the assumption that the parents bear the responsibility of the salvation of their children.  Thus, even though there are similarities in function, the purposes for both are VERY different from each other, unless the Theotokos' parents told her to be ready to be God's mother, in which case, this indication of knowledge was not so according to Luke's gospel.
These are good points to ponder.  I would ask that you consider the ramifications of your comments for our beliefs regarding the Forerunner.  St. John was sanctified even BEFORE he was born.  Does this mean St. John lost his free will, or any part of it?

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 09, 2009, 10:21:49 PM
Dear brother Mina,

Here's something else I just thought about for your consideration (and then I must be off for the next couple of days):

Are you absolutely sure that the Synod and HH's appeal to St. Jacob is an indication that they are trying to make it a Faith-defining issue?  Is it possible that their appeal is simply to emphasize that there are Fathers (actually I can count only two in the early Church) who express the belief that Mary's sanctification occurred at the Annunciation?  In other words, maybe their point is not to make it a Faith-defining belief, but rather to insist on the fact that it remain theologoumenon.

For if it is their purpose to make it a Faith-defining belief, wouldn't that mean the Armenians are heretics for believing it (albeit not as dogma, but as theologoumenon).

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 12:00:54 AM
Sure, you are entitled to your ad hominem opinion.

It's an ad heresiem fact.

Quote
I already addressed them in my post to brother Marc.  Besides straw men, I forgot to mention the tactic of evasion to which polemicists are so prone.

You evaded Bernard's objections, none of which have anything to do with this revision of the Vatican's dogmatic history, er, development of doctrine.  Where does Bernard state that the alleged difference between conception and ensoulment prompted his objections?  Nowhere.

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm

Quote
Point out the obvious why don't you.  Did I say that the dogma of the IC was not de fide?  No.  All I said was that it is lower on the rung in the hierarchy of beliefs.

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm
Well, consult the rest of the hierarchy of beliefs by Otto, in the link posted.

Can you show us the Vatican's ladder, where the IC is "lower" on the rungs, besides here?  Because it doesn't appear in Otto, or the CCC.   Come to think of it, I don't see it left out of the Vatican's rites to accept converts.

Quote
Like I said, straw men.

You do seem to like that term.

Quote
Mmmmm?  Sounds like excommunication to me. ::)

Why, yes it does.

Quote
At any rate, in the first centuries excommunication is not regarded as a simple external measure; it reaches the soul and the conscience. It is not merely the severing of the outward bond which holds the individual to his place in the Church; it severs also the internal bond, and the sentence pronounced on earth is ratified in heaven. It is the spiritual sword, the heaviest penalty that the Church can inflict (see the patristic texts quoted in the Decree of Gratian, cc. xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii, C. xi, q. iii).
If we consider only its nature, excommunication has no degrees: it simply deprives clerics and laymen of all their rights in Christian society, which total effect takes on a visible shape in details proportionate in number to the rights or advantages of which the excommunicated cleric or layman has been deprived.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05678a.htm

Quote
Well, I guess that's why it's theologoumenon. ;D
No. For you it is dogma.  For us (EO and OO) it is heresy.

Quote
Quote
(Bp Timothy Ware himself admits that it can be a legitimate theologoumenon).


Quote
The good bishop is wrong, as he is on women's ordination and legalized abortion.
In rhetoric, that would be a class of ad hominem otherwise known as "guilt by association."  That's another one polemicsts are prone to.
LOL.  Associating a man with his views.  No, that's de hominem.

Quote
In fact, if Orthodox really want to remain faithful to Tradition, they would not reject the teaching at all, since the substance of the teaching is celebrated in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne.  We add the word "Immaculate" to it and you get into huff.  The substance is the same, but you simply, in your polemic spirit, refuse to recognize it.
No, it's not.  Some of us have learned from Florence, Brest-Lvov and the rest of the lot, about the importance of saying what you mean and meaning what you say when it comes to lex orandi, lex credendi.

Quote
St. Paul had something to say about arguing over words, I believe. ;D

Why, yes he did.  Eph. 5:6; Gal. 1:8-9

Quote
Yes, I see.  This easily demonstrates the problem when someone appeals to non-official Catholic sources.  That's another polemical tactic, btw.

Are questioning the Catholicism of "Catholic Planet?"  How ad hominem of you.

Quote
This particular rhetorical error is known sensationalism.  No basis in fact, but simply exaggerated claims.

That's funny, that's EXACTLY what Bernard said about the IC in his day, you know, back when the Immaculate Conception was conceived.

Quote
No, your rhetorical errors and polemical tactics are becoming glaring and tedious.

Our readers can see that the documented facts I have presented have not been addressed.

Quote
Here's another straw man.  I specifically stated that I wasn't even sure the Latin Church uses this term,

Sure does, in the vain attempt to convince the unsuspecting Orthodox that Orthodoxy really taught the IC, but those polemic Orthodox bishops don't want to admit it because they want to stay in schism from the Vatican. ::)

Quote
but now he wants to blame the Vatican for it. And I already stated that I merely meant "the graces we receive at baptism," but now he creates a bunch of intentions for me out of thin air.

I argued this very point with Fr. Pachwa, on the air.

Quote
Mmmm?  I didn't know the Forerunner was also designated as the most perfect creation of God.  You learn something new all the time --- NOT!

Matthew 11:11.  I'll take His word on it:that's why St. John is on the Deisis, and practically every iconostasis.

Quote
So what have we learned from brother Isa today.  Nothing really, except that he is prone to rhetorical errors, and uses polemical tactics
So you keep saying.

When will you start proving?

Your posts, as far as I have looked back on this thread, have contained a lot of pontificating without little citation to your “infallible pontiff.”  You make many allusions, but as far as I can see you have only quoted Fr. Ambrose on CAF (and not by name), and Bishop Kallistos (in one of his more unfortunate ecumenical moments).  You did cite Trent, but not in pertinent part, as, as my citation from your pontiff ex cathdra shows, Trent did, according to the Vatican, touch on the issue of the IC.  At least he proclaimed it in part on that basis.  You “derive” the antiquity of the IC from the “Byzantine Office” of the Conception of Saint Anne, but cite nothing from it.  The very words of your church’s “magisterium” which you deride as straw, and those “theologoumena” of your co-religionists-who I have every reason to take on the same level as yourself to speak for the Vatican-which you dismiss as “non-authoritative.”  Talk about “rhetorical errors and polemical tactics becoming glaring and tedious”

Now all you say might be true, that the Scholastics denied the IC because of their ignorance of bio-psychology, that the Vatican makes a distinction between the body and soul of the All Holy Theotokos, etc. but, as not everything the pope of Rome says, so we are sometimes told, is infallible so too we must expect you to make your case with citation to authority and not your theologoumena.

The parallels in the lives of both the Theotokos and the Forerunner is not something to be ignored.  They are both the most immaculate and most perfect and greatest of all creatures and the closest to the heart of the Logos Incarnate.  The tradition is strong that veneration to both the Theotokos and the Forerunner seems to have parallel even if slightly unequal roles.  They are the only saints in the whole Church to which we celebrate the conception, the birth, and the departure, with the exception of the Theotokos who we celebrate the Assumption as well, whereas John enjoys his angelic nature, as he is prophesied as the "angel" coming to make the Lord's ways straight, which is also why there is an iconographic tradition of his "wings".

I am unconvinced at this point of the IC if it is not also extended to St. John the Forerunner.
Much better said.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 12:46:43 AM
Not to derail this thread, and I don't think I am; but what is the The Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit that you speak of? I can't seem to find anything about it. God Bless!

Dear Nicholas,

Plug this into a search engine and start reading.   :)

site:forums.catholic.com quasi-incarnation
Yeah, it's pretty silly, both in its concept and the polemical use of it by non-Catholics.  It's like - "OMG, I heard my Catholic grandma today say angels have real bodies.  That must mean it's offical teaching in the Catholic Church now!"  Polemicists are a pretty silly bunch that shouldn't be taken TOO seriously.  I would love to say "shouldn't be taken seriously PERIOD," but it is a fact that polemecists do manage to lead people astray.

No, it's like Bernard of Clairvaux saying "OMG, I heard the Catholic English peasants today say that the Virgin was conceived without original sin.  That migh become the official teaching in the Catholic Church now!"

Btw, that is not polemicists but APOLOGETICS that Father is talking about.  Like your saint, Maximilliam Kolbe
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 12:59:04 AM

I at least am basing what I am saying on the infallible definition of the magisterial statement Munificentissimus Deus and on the Catechism.
Sorry.  I looked over it, and I simply could not find any place in Munificentissimus Deus that claims that Mary was "preserved from original sin."

That should not have been Munificientissimus Deus but Pope Pius IX's earlier Ineffabilis Deus of 1854.  I mixed up Munificentissimus with Ineffabilis.  All the same I am a little surpised that you are not sufficiently au courant with these matters to realise which is the correct Apostolic Constitution.

"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."
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm

He isn't?
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
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 01:25:33 AM
Dear brother Isa,

You evaded Bernard's objections, none of which have anything to do with this revision of the Vatican's dogmatic history, er, development of doctrine.  Where does Bernard state that the alleged difference between conception and ensoulment prompted his objections?  Nowhere.
It's called logical thinking. The other two Latin contemporary Fathers (St. Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure) who opposed the introduction of the Feast into the West used noted were quite explicit on the matter of the difference between conception and ensoulment.  Here's a pro-life website that explains it a bit: http://www.all.org/abac/clontx10.htm.  And btw, they weren't opposing the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. They were opposing the Eastern Feast of the Conception.

Quote
Quote
Point out the obvious why don't you.  Did I say that the dogma of the IC was not de fide?  No.  All I said was that it is lower on the rung in the hierarchy of beliefs.

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/dogma.htm
Well, consult the rest of the hierarchy of beliefs by Otto, in the link posted.

Can you show us the Vatican's ladder, where the IC is "lower" on the rungs, besides here?  Because it doesn't appear in Otto, or the CCC.   Come to think of it, I don't see it left out of the Vatican's rites to accept converts.
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the "hierarchy of the truths of Faith."  CCC 234

In Catholic doctrine, there exists an order or "hierarchy" of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian faith. CCC 90
There are references to the magisterial documents in the CCC (which you claim to have searched) on the matter.  Very sloppy - as  usual.

Quote
Quote
Mmmmm?  Sounds like excommunication to me. ::)

Why, yes it does.

Quote
At any rate, in the first centuries excommunication is not regarded as a simple external measure; it reaches the soul and the conscience. It is not merely the severing of the outward bond which holds the individual to his place in the Church; it severs also the internal bond, and the sentence pronounced on earth is ratified in heaven. It is the spiritual sword, the heaviest penalty that the Church can inflict (see the patristic texts quoted in the Decree of Gratian, cc. xxxi, xxxii, xxxiii, C. xi, q. iii).
If we consider only its nature, excommunication has no degrees: it simply deprives clerics and laymen of all their rights in Christian society, which total effect takes on a visible shape in details proportionate in number to the rights or advantages of which the excommunicated cleric or layman has been deprived.
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05678a.htm
[/quote]
Why don't you quote the rest of it, where it goes on to explain how the meaning of excommunication has changed through the centuries in the Church, and how there are now degrees of excommunication recognised (from anathema to minor excommunication).  As usual, you are only interested in knocking down a cut-and-paste caricature of the Catholic Church and her teachings.

Quote
Quote
Mmmm?  I didn't know the Forerunner was also designated as the most perfect creation of God.  You learn something new all the time --- NOT!

Matthew 11:11.  I'll take His word on it:that's why St. John is on the Deisis, and practically every iconostasis.
Yeah, and please notice that His word states that there is another who is greater.  I would bet that this refers to Mary, whose humility in her fiat is extolled by all the Church to the present day.

Quote
Quote
Like I said, straw men.

You do seem to like that term.
Yes, because as evidenced above, only because you like to use them so often.  Brother, it is obvious that you are quite ignorant of the Catholic Faith, and really don't know enough about it to criticize it.  If you were a little more humble, a little more searching in your attitude, then it would be a more fulfilling endeavor to have discussion with you.  As it is, I will have to stop my correspondence with you and Father Ambrose (unless I sense either of you are being sincere in your questions and are not merely pointing fingers).  I will restrict myself to questions from those who I sense are willing to discuss the matter openly and sincerely. Sorry, but Your invalid, and oftentimes senseless attacks on the Catholic Church are no longer worth my time to consider during this Holy Season.

Have a blessed Pascha.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 10, 2009, 01:48:32 AM
You evaded Bernard's objections, none of which have anything to do with this revision of the Vatican's dogmatic history, er, development of doctrine.  Where does Bernard state that the alleged difference between conception and ensoulment prompted his objections?  Nowhere.
It's called logical thinking. The other two Latin contemporary Fathers (St. Aquinas, and St. Bonaventure) who opposed the introduction of the Feast into the West used noted were quite explicit on the matter of the difference between conception and ensoulment.  

Marduk,

You continue to spin opinions out of the whirlpool of your fertile mind.  You apply "logical" thinking only to distort what these two Saints have said, to bend their writings to the argument which you wish to make.

Nowhere do either of these Catholic Saints state they they do not accept the Immaculate Conception but they accept or would accept the Immaculate Ensoulment.   This is sheer fabrication on your part.

May God gant you a wonderful Tridium.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 10, 2009, 03:06:17 AM
[Dear Nicholas,

Plug this into a search engine and start reading.    :)

site:forums.catholic.com quasi-incarnation
Yeah, it's pretty silly, both in its concept and the polemical use of it by non-Catholics.  It's like - "OMG, I heard my Catholic grandma today say angels have real bodies.  That must mean it's offical teaching in the Catholic Church now!"  Polemicists are a pretty silly bunch that shouldn't be taken TOO seriously.  I would love to say "shouldn't be taken seriously PERIOD," but it is a fact that polemecists do manage to lead people astray.

The Quasi-Incarnation of the Holy Spirit

Coming soon to a church near you, the new dogma of the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit.   :)

The formula for use in the future infallible definition from Rome has already been coined:

"Filius incarnatus est: Jesus Christus. Spiritus Sanctus quasi incarnatus est: Immaculata."  

IIRC from CAF days,  Scott Hahn, one of modern Catholicism's heavyweight apologists is inclined to it, as are the Franciscans at Steubenville.  And as we all know from history, when the Franciscans put their muscle behind a Marian doctrine they eventually get it accepted.

You can find various articles on the Net such as
"The Holy Spirit And Mary"
http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4270

Brothers and Sisters, you are uniquely privileged to be looking at what Catholics call a "node point."    A node point is what provides the spring board for the process of a development in doctrine which one day eventuates in a new dogma being proclaimed.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 07:44:22 AM
Dear brother Mina,

Here's something else I just thought about for your consideration (and then I must be off for the next couple of days):

Are you absolutely sure that the Synod and HH's appeal to St. Jacob is an indication that they are trying to make it a Faith-defining issue?  Is it possible that their appeal is simply to emphasize that there are Fathers (actually I can count only two in the early Church) who express the belief that Mary's sanctification occurred at the Annunciation?  In other words, maybe their point is not to make it a Faith-defining belief, but rather to insist on the fact that it remain theologoumenon.

For if it is their purpose to make it a Faith-defining belief, wouldn't that mean the Armenians are heretics for believing it (albeit not as dogma, but as theologoumenon).

Blessings,
Marduk

Give it a REST!

The Armenians do NOT believe in the IC, as a dogma or as a theologoumenon. I have already quoted from their Catholicos' OFFICIAL (you raised the issue of "non-official Catholic sites") on that issue.  Please quote SOMETHING to make your case.

It is also rather odd for you to worry about the Armenians being heretics in the OO communion, when you have been downplaying disbelief in the IC as grounds for heresy in your communion.

Btw, quoting from the services etc. of the EO and OO (quoting which thus far you have not done) are a rather tricky business when the Vatican tries to prove its dogmas, and those who have submitted in the East chime in.  An egregious example would be the use of the quote of St. Ephraim of Syrian by the Chaldeans under the Vatican: they will dismiss St. John of Chrisostom's (an Antiochian in origin, btw) on the immaculateness of the Holy Theotokos, saying that "it wasn't proclaimed as dogma.  It wasn't binding."  They will, however, latch onto the earlier "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])," and, because the IC, according to the Vatican, is binding on them, will say "a-HA! Immaculate Conception."

Now, none of the Eastern (or for that matter Western) Syrians believed in the IC. For the Easterners, this is especially relevant, as they denied her the title Theotokos. Use of that title is still a little, shall we say, uncommon among them.

Now along comes the emessaries from the Vatican after a millenium of hymn writing, theology etc. and part (the majority?) of the Assyrians submit to the Vatican and become Chaldeans. No changes are made in the liturgy, hymns etc except to stick the name of the pope of Rome in the commemoration.

So they go off blissfully unaware that things have changed. Some of the brightest go off to Rome, where of course they emulate the ways of the big sister (as Rome didn't give the Faith to Syria, mother sounds strange). When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So they pick up the idea of, say, the IC, along with other latinizations, and, eager to please, start reading it into things of their own tradition which they try to keep.

Of course then, everything becomes crystal clear! Of course this referes to the IC! Ignoring, of course, that none of their forebares, who sang those same hymns, saw anything of the sort. Nor do those who remain outside of the Vatican's jurisdiction (the situation for all but the Maronites), who, because THEY have not changed their theology, and because the Vatican breaks lex orandi lex credendi, sing the same hymns, don't see the Vatican's theology in their common hymns.

So then the accusation is that these change their theology just to spite the pope of Rome, as if they care what he says or thinks. The projection of this obsession with the Vatican sometimes knows no bounds.

Ironically, the dogma begins on the opposite end of Christendom from Syria, in England of all places (ironic in view of the English Reformation). The feast shows up there in c. 850, but the Immaculate part is not promoted as part of it until the 12th cent. by Anselm (Atonement Anselm)'s friend Eadmer, who defended English (he was Anglo-Saxon) folklore in a popular pamphlet, De Conceptione sanctae Mariae. Note, post schism. St. Bernard of Clairvaux 1090-1153 Alexander of Hales, and St. Bonaventure (teaching at Paris, called it "this foreign doctrine") preached against it as an innovation. The English persisted in spreading it, Duns Scotus inventing the syllogism potuit, decuit ergo fecit (God could do it, it was fitting that He did it, and so He did it) as its "proof."

Btw, since Mina is asking about St. Leo, here are some more quotes:

Letter 31:2 -- "For if the New Man had not been made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and taken on Him our old nature, and being consubstantial with the Father, had deigned to be consubstantial with His mother also, and being alone free from sin, had united our nature to Him the whole human race would be held in bondage beneath the Devil’s yoke, and we should not be able to make use of the Conqueror’s victory, if it had been won outside our nature."

Letter 35:3 -- "For although the Lord's nativity according to the flesh has certain characteristics wherein it transcends the ordinary beginnings of man’s being, both because He alone was conceived and born without concupiscence of a pure Virgin, and because He was so brought forth of His mother’s womb that her fecundity bare Him without loss of virginity: yet His flesh was not of another nature to ours: nor was the soul breathed into Him from another source to that of all other men, and it excelled others not in difference of kind but in superiority of power. For He had no opposition in His flesh [nor did the strife of desires give rise to a conflict of wishes]. His bodily senses were active without the law of sin, and the reality of His emotions being under the control of His Godhead and His mind, was neither assaulted by temptations nor yielded to injurious influences."

1st Sermon on the Nativity -- "...the Almighty Lord enters the lists with His savage foe not in His own majesty but in our humility, opposing him with the same form and the same nature, which shares indeed our mortality, though it is free from all sin. Truly foreign to this nativity is that which we read of all others, 'no one is clean from stain, not even the infant who has lived but one day upon earth.' Nothing therefore of the lust of the flesh has passed into that peerless nativity, nothing of the law of sin has entered. A royal Virgin of the stem of David is chosen, to be impregnated with the sacred seed and to conceive the Divinely-human offspring in mind first and then in body."

2nd Sermon on the Nativity -- "For God the almighty and merciful...foretold...that Christ would come in the flesh, God and man, Who born of a Virgin should by His uncorrupt birth condemn the despoiler of the human stock. Thus in the whole and perfect nature of true man was true God born, complete in what was His own, complete in what was ours. And 'ours' we call what the Creator formed in us from the beginning and what He undertook to repair. For what the deceiver brought in and the deceived admitted had no trace in the Saviour. Nor because He partook of man’s weaknesses, did He therefore share our faults. He took the form of a slave without stain of sin, increasing the human and not diminishing the Divine....And by a new nativity He was begotten, conceived by a Virgin, born of a Virgin, without paternal desire, without injury to the mother’s chastity: because such a birth as knew no taint of human flesh, became One who was to be the Saviour of men, while it possessed in itself the nature of human substance. For when God was born in the flesh, God Himself was the Father, as the archangel witnessed to the Blessed Virgin Mary: 'because the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the most High shall overshadow thee: and therefore, that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy, the Son of God.' The origin is different but the nature like: not by intercourse with man but by the power of God was it brought about: for a Virgin conceived, a Virgin bare, and a Virgin she remained. Consider here not the condition of her that bare but the will of Him that was born; for He was born Man as He willed and was able....For the Lord Jesus Christ came to do away with not to endure our pollutions: not to succumb to our faults but to heal them. He came that He might cure every weakness of our corruptness and all the sores of our defiled souls: for which reason it behoved Him to be born by a new order, who brought to men’s bodies the new gift of unsullied purity. For the uncorrupt nature of Him that was born had to guard the primal virginity of the Mother, and the infused power of the Divine Spirit had to preserve in spotlessness and holiness that sanctuary which He had chosen for Himself....And, dearly beloved, this very fact that Christ chose to be born of a Virgin does it not appear to be part of the deepest design? I mean, that the devil should not be aware that Salvation had been born for the human race, and through the obscurity of that spiritual conception, when he saw Him no different to others, should believe Him born in no different way to others. For when he observed that His nature was like that of all others, he thought that He had the same origin as all had: and did not understand that He was free from the bonds of transgression because he did not find Him a stranger to the weakness of mortality....And to this end, without male seed Christ was conceived of a Virgin, who was fecundated not by human intercourse but by the Holy Spirit. And whereas in all mothers conception does not take place without stain of sin, this one received purification from the Source of her conception. For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred. Her unsullied virginity knew no lust when it ministered the substance. The Lord took from His mother our nature, not our fault. The slave’s form is created without the slave’s estate, because the New Man is so commingled with the old, as both to assume the reality of our race and to remove its ancient flaw. When, therefore, the merciful and almighty Saviour so arranged the commencement of His human course as to hide the power of His Godhead which was inseparable from His manhood under the veil of our weakness, the crafty foe was taken off his guard and he thought that the nativity of the Child, Who was born for the salvation of mankind, was as much subject to himself as all others are at their birth...and knowing how he had poisoned man’s nature, had no conception that He had no share in the first transgression Whose mortality he had ascertained by so many proofs. The unscrupulous thief and greedy robber persisted in assaulting Him Who had nothing of His own, and in carrying out the general sentence on original sin, went beyond the bond on which he rested, and required the punishment of iniquity from Him in Whom he found no fault."

4th Sermon on the Nativity -- “’The Word became flesh’ by exaltation of the flesh, not by failure of the Godhead: which so tempered its power and goodness as to exalt our nature by taking it, and not to lose His own by imparting it. In this nativity of Christ, according to the prophecy of David, ‘truth sprang out of the earth, and righteousness looked down from heaven.’ In this nativity also, Isaiah’s saying is fulfilled, ‘let the earth produce and bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together.’ For the earth of human flesh, which in the first transgressor, was cursed, in this Offspring of the Blessed Virgin only produced a seed that was blessed and free from the fault of its stock. And each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration; and to every one when he is re-born, the water of baptism is like the Virgin’s womb; for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, Who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing.”

8th Sermon on the Nativity – “In celebrating therefore the birthday of our Lord and Saviour, dearly beloved, let us entertain pure thoughts of the blessed Virgin’s child-bearing, so as to believe that at no moment of time was the power of the Word wanting to the flesh and soul which she conceived, and that the temple of Christ’s body did not previously receive its form and soul that its Inhabitant might come and take possession but through Himself and in Himself was the beginning given to the New Man, so that in the one Son of God and Man there might be Godhead without a mother, and Manhood without a Father. For her virginity fecundated by the Holy Spirit at one and the same time brought forth without trace of corruption both the offspring and the Maker of her race....the majesty of the Son of God in which He is equal with the Father in its garb of a slave’s humility feared no diminution, required no augmentation: and the very effect of His mercy which He expended on the restitution of man, He was able to bring about solely by the power of His Godhead; so as to rescue the creature that was made in the image of God from the yoke of his cruel oppressor. But because the devil had not shown himself so violent in his attack on the first man as to bring him over to his side without the consent of His free will, man’s voluntary sin and hostile desires had to be destroyed in such wise that the standard of justice should not stand in the way of the gift of Grace. And thereforein the general ruin of the entire human race there was but one remedy in the secret of the Divine plan which could succour the fallen, and that was that one of the sons of Adam should be born free and innocent of original transgression, to prevail for the rest both by His example and His merits. Still further, because this was not permitted by natural generation, and because there could be no offspring from our faulty stock without seed, of which the Scripture saith, ‘Who can make a clean thing conceived of an unclean seed? is it not Thou who art alone?’ David’s Lord was made David’s Son, and from the fruit of the promised branch sprang One without fault, the twofold nature joining together into one Person, that by one and the same conception and birth might spring our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whom was present both true Godhead for the performance of mighty works and true Manhood for the endurance of sufferings.”
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 07:49:57 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.

Dear Papist, you stated earlier that you have a mathematical mind and that is why you are so suited to Latinism.   But your statement above shows the opposite.  Firstly you must be aware that you are giving a private opinion and not the teaching of your Church.  No Pope has promulgated the "conformity" doctrine.

We know from the Catechism (1018)*  that anybody without original sin is immune to bodily death.

You contend that because Christ did His Mother was obliged to die too.

This is a problem because 1) no Pope has declared this and 2) the Catechism teaches that she was immune to bodily death.

So the question is:   HOW did she who could not die, die?   If God had decided that she had to die to conform to her Son, did He actually kill her?  How did He kill her?  How does your theory deal with this?


You know, if it weren't for the fact that we are speaking of humanity's most sacred personages, this would be uproariously funny!

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

It would seem, according to Catholic Answsers, that both Papist and Mardukm have a problem with trying to seperate the IC from the pure Virgin's body:
Quote
But there is more than just fittingness. After all, if Mary is immaculately conceived, then it would follow that she would not suffer the corruption in the grave, which is a consequence of sin [Gen. 3:17, 19].

http://www.catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

Yes, I know Mardukm, "not an official web site, not an official web site..."
Quote
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
http://www.catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

Ooops.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:33:20 AM
Dear Orthodox brethren,

I am concerned that there are a few here who claim the teaching on the IC is heretical.  These assert that there is NO witness in the Eastern Byzantine tradition on the matter.  I just want to take the time to demonstrate that this really nothing more than a polemic lie against the Holy Eastern Orthodox Faith for the purpose (it seems) of nothing else than to perpetuate the ungodly schism between Catholicism and Orthodoxy.

St. Proclus of Constantinople: “As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Homily 1

St. Ephrem of Syria: “Those two innocent women, Mary and Eve, had been utterly equal, but afterwards one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life.”
- “You and your mother are the only ones IMMUNE from all stain; for there is no spot in Thee, o Lord, nor any taint in your Mother.”

St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.”  Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation.  To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.

St. Sophronius of Jerusalem: “You have found the grace which no one has received…No one has been pre-purified besides you.”

St. Euthymes of Constantinople (patriarch), during a homily on the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne wrote that on the day of Mary’s conception, the Father fashioned the tabernacle for his Son, and that this tabernacle was “fully sanctified” at this very time.

Theognostes of Constantinople (c. 885): “It was fitting indeed that she who from the beginning had been conceived by a sanctifying action should also have a holy death…”

An identical belief in the matter comes from St. Photius of Constantinople, St. Gregory Palamas, George Scholarios of Constantinople, Cyril Lukaris of Constantinople, and Gerasimo of Alexandria.

It seems that the Eastern Orthodox Church began to reject the teaching of the IC only after the Catholic Church had dogmatized it.  Before that time, it seems the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church was to uphold the teaching on the IC of Mary (as certainly reflected in the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne).

My dear EO brethren, please do your own research on the views of the EO Fathers I mentioned  - for the sake of unity, for the sake of holy knowledge, and because I simply did not have the time to type out  all the citations from the works of those Fathers above (though they were there in the sources I researched).  Admittedly, you also have one Father from the fourteenth century who explicitly denied the Immaculate Conception.  But all others it seems come after the proclamation of the dogma of the IC.

As I already stated in another post, I’m not here to try to convert anyone to my belief.  I simply want to demonstrate that, at the very least, it is not heretical and can legitimately be called a theologoumenon (as Bishop Timothy Ware has asserted).  It’s obvious that those who think the belief is a heresy have not really done any study on the matter as far as its history in the EOC, but are instead demonstrating a mere knee-jerk over reaction due to their prejudicial anti-Catholicism.

I pray my EO brethren that you seriously ponder the facts given above (and seriously do your own study with prayer).  IMHO, what better way to offer worship and living sacrifice for Pascha than to have peace with your brethren.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:38:59 AM
Dear brother Isa,

It would seem, according to Catholic Answsers, that both Papist and Mardukm have a problem with trying to seperate the IC from the pure Virgin's body:
Quote
But there is more than just fittingness. After all, if Mary is immaculately conceived, then it would follow that she would not suffer the corruption in the grave, which is a consequence of sin [Gen. 3:17, 19].

http://www.catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

Yes, I know Mardukm, "not an official web site, not an official web site..."
Quote
NIHIL OBSTAT: I have concluded that the materials
presented in this work are free of doctrinal or moral errors.
Bernadeane Carr, STL, Censor Librorum, August 10, 2004

IMPRIMATUR: In accord with 1983 CIC 827
permission to publish this work is hereby granted.
+Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego, August 10, 2004
http://www.catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

Ooops.
You silly goose.  You are a bad polemicist.  Read your quote again.  It says she "would not suffer corruption IN THE GRAVE."  Where's that banghead smiley when you need one.  That means when she died, the Lord did not allow her body to suffer corruption but granted her the grace of the Assumption.

Blessings,
Marduk

P.S. I said I would no longer converse with you or Father Ambrose, but some of your errors and obvious displays of ignorance of Catholic teaching are so great they need to be commented on.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 10, 2009, 08:51:36 AM
It would seem, according to Catholic Answsers, that both Papist and Mardukm have a problem with trying to seperate the IC from the pure Virgin's body:
Quote
But there is more than just fittingness. After all, if Mary is immaculately conceived, then it would follow that she would not suffer the corruption in the grave, which is a consequence of sin [Gen. 3:17, 19].

http://www.catholic.com/library/Immaculate_Conception_and_Assum.asp

You silly goose.  You are a bad polemicist.  Read your quote again.  It says she "would not suffer corruption IN THE GRAVE."  Where's that banghead smiley when you need one.  That means when she died, the Lord did not allow her body to suffer corruption but granted her the grace of the Assumption.

Are not the corruption of the grave and bodily death both a result of original sin?    If Adam and Eve had not sinned they would have known neither of them.

Since the Catechism is clear that those who have no original sin are immune from bodily death,  how did she die?    Did God actually kill her off?
(http://www.emotihost.com/glass/18.gif)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:54:30 AM
Praise God I found some Armenian texts online to combat the senseless polemics:

From a hymn sung during the Armenian Feast of the Conception:
“Thou art the Flower which cannot wither,
Thy birth was free from the condemnation of original sin,
Immaculate, holy Virgin, We glorify thee!”

From the book “Mother of God,” there is a foreword by Armenian Patriarch Torkom Mannogian of Jerusalem:
“The name of Mary, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception who bore the Christ, will be honoured throughout eternity, as the quintessence of purity, innocence, sacrifice and devotion.  No other human being has ever received, or been worthy of such vereration as this humble woman, so full of grace, from Galilee.” (p. 7)

I must thank my OO brother Sub-Deacon Lazarus Der-Ghazarian for these quotes.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:57:38 AM
Since the Catechism is clear that those who have no original sin are immune from bodily death,  how did she die?    Did God actually kill her off?
As repeatedly stated, the dogma does not say Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather from the STAIN of original sin.  Like I said, where's that banghead smiley when you need it.

You can repeat your straw man arguments all you want.  It's just a hollow echo now.  Your and brother Isa's polemics are all used up.

Have a great Pascha, Father.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 10, 2009, 09:16:57 AM
Since the Catechism is clear that those who have no original sin are immune from bodily death,  how did she die?    Did God actually kill her off?
As repeatedly stated, the dogma does not say Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather from the STAIN of original sin. 

That is a rather disingenuous prersentation of Catholic teaching.

Here is the real McCoy:

1. The stain of original sin is the loss of sanctifying grace.

2.  The consequences of the loss of sanctifying grace are 1) concupiscence and 2) sickness and death.

If one has never experienced original sin one has never lost sanctifying grace.

If one has never lost sanctifying grace, one cannot be subject to sickness and death.

The Mother of God cannot have died, not unless God made a decision to kill her off because, according to Papist, He wanted her to die because His Son had died.
(http://forums.catholic.com/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 09:55:39 AM
Father, you are just embarassing yourself now.

Can you please tell everyone here what it is that Baptism gains for us according to Catholic teaching?

Let me tell you from the horse's mouth - when we are Baptized, we gain sanctifying grace and original justice.

Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?

Nice try Father, but no cigar.  The real McCoy was already fully explained by me in an earlier post.

Please give it up Father.

Since the Catechism is clear that those who have no original sin are immune from bodily death,  how did she die?    Did God actually kill her off?
As repeatedly stated, the dogma does not say Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather from the STAIN of original sin. 

That is a rather disingenuous prersentation of Catholic teaching.

Here is the real McCoy:

1. The stain of original sin is the loss of sanctifying grace.

2.  The consequences of the loss of sanctifying grace are 1) concupiscence and 2) sickness and death.

If one has never experienced original sin one has never lost sanctifying grace.

If one has never lost sanctifying grace, one cannot be subject to sickness and death.

The Mother of God cannot have died, not unless God made a decision to kill her off because, according to Papist, He wanted her to die because His Son had died.
(http://forums.catholic.com/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif)

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 10:23:54 AM
Praise God I found some Armenian texts online to combat the senseless polemics:

From a hymn sung during the Armenian Feast of the Conception:
“Thou art the Flower which cannot wither,
Thy birth was free from the condemnation of original sin,
Immaculate, holy Virgin, We glorify thee!”

From the book “Mother of God,” there is a foreword by Armenian Patriarch Torkom Mannogian of Jerusalem:
“The name of Mary, the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception who bore the Christ, will be honoured throughout eternity, as the quintessence of purity, innocence, sacrifice and devotion.  No other human being has ever received, or been worthy of such vereration as this humble woman, so full of grace, from Galilee.” (p. 7)

I must thank my OO brother Sub-Deacon Lazarus Der-Ghazarian for these quotes.


LOL. Yes, we have met before:
The tour de force paper for understanding almighty God's truth:

Well, I guess the Vatican can put Humanae Vitae away.

Although I find the reduction of Orthodoxy to contraception and divorce a reductio ad absurdum (especially as triumpalism from the Vatican, where its differentiation between NFP and ABC is not supported by Patristics, and annullments ARE "Catholic divorces, just with Corban), I do agree with most of the conclusions.  I disagree with the conclusion that the case is so clear.

I was also curious about the writer: a Armenian name, but quoting EOs.  A search turned up a post (I'd link, but it's not allowed I believe):

Quote
To close I'd like to mention how I pray you some day consider me. I have read that Orthodox Saints are recognized as saints by the Catholic Church as long as they never attacked the Pope or Catholic teaching. The Armenian Saint Gregory of Narek is one example that this is true (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church #2678). Although St. Gregory was "post-schism" (meaning he belonged to an Orthodox Church after the split came about with Rome) he is still acknowledged by Rome as a Saint. This is the way I pray you some day consider me: not as a Saint, but rather as a faithful Orthodox Christian and deacon who has no animosity whatsoever for the Church of Rome; but rather as one who has great love, respect and veneration for the Church of Rome and her great moral leadership in a world crumbling away with sin. Please know that I spend a good amount of time every week defending Catholic teaching to Protestants and some Orthodox.
I am married to a Catholic. I want my kids to be close to Catholics. I work for the Archdiocese of Detroit (at Sacred Heart Major Seminary). I may even attend classes at a Catholic Seminary. So you may occasionally see me around somewhere in the Archdiocese, attending conferences and even worshipping with my brethren of "the other lung of the Church" (following H.H. Pope John Paul II's metaphor on the Eastern and Western Churches as two lungs of the same Church). If and when you see me, I want you to at least know that this is what is in my heart. Thanks for reading this and please feel free to write me and offer your forgiveness. It will be spiritually therapeutic for me to say the least.

So I'm less impressed from the Vatican line being spread by an apologist for it.

Btw, your paper praised Origen as a Biblical scholar.  He castrated himself on the basis of Matthew 19:12 (the Church canons castigate that, and it caused a scandal in Origen's day).  Talk about birth control.  Your source also fails to mention that the Fifth Ecumenical Council anathematized Origen.

Btw, more on Sub-Deacon William/Lazarus Der-Ghazarian is here:
http://www.geocities.com/wmwolfe_48044/index.html
Look on the right links: he claims he was transferred from the "Roman" church to the Armenian Church, but is still in communion with "Roman" church.  Maybe the Catholicos should look into what baggage the sub-deacon brought over, or the fine print in his "translation."

My understanding, since my post on the sub-deacon, is that if his credibility becomes an issue, I could post a link to where he makes these statements.  Mods?

I will congratulte you.  Finally we have something (although I am dubious above its validity, as I'll speak about in a moment) that is cited in support of your position.

Now, that being said, I have to state that having seen his posting on another forum (as no doubt you have), I wouldn't put his testimony as to what is Armenian Orthodoxy on a par with, say, Salpy's, as I would not put (no offense intended) your testimony on what is Coptic Orthodoxy on a par with, say, Mina or Ekhristosanesti, just in reverse: you both seem to have seem to lost something in your "translations."  The case I sighted above of what the Chaldeans do with St. Ephrem is a case in point.  Here, if, as you both claim, the Armenian Orthodox sing that hymn (which, btw, refers to her birth, neither her conception nor her ensoulment," then why does the official website of the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian Orthodox, on the notes for the feast, EXPLICITELY state that the Armenians do not believe in the IC, as I have posted above?

I have seen a number of Coptic Orthodox who claim that the "Vision of Bernadette" which claimed "I am the Immaculate Conception" occuring on March 25 (whose Immmaculate Conception was that?) as proof that the title Immaculate Conception should refer only to Christ's.  It isn't clear from your post: whose Conception is being refered to (cf. the "confusion" over St. Leo's quotes)?

Since you praises God you found some Armenian texts online "to combat the senseless polemics," might you provide us links that we may praise Him too?  (I apoligize that I did not put the link up for the text of Ineffibilus Desu and Mufficentissimus Deus, an oversight).

I'll tend to your other posts later.  I am busy with our pope wanna be on other threads.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 10:42:57 AM
Dear brother Isa,

So basically, you don't trust brother DerGhazar because of his ecumenical spirit.  That just goes to show us that you are not really interested in the Truth on these matters, but are simply anti-Catholic and will say anything just to try to put Catholicism down.

And I didn't see the Catholicos say he rejected the teaching.  If he did, he certainly said it in a very round about way that is not very clear (but perhaps that is what you were hinging your whole argument on).  I already responded to your use of it earlier, but as usual you did not respond.  I stated that the Catholicos merely stated that the Armenian Church does not accept a teaching that would give to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ.  Great! Amen!  I as a Catholic agree.  But the dogma of the IC does not do that, so no problem there.  He also said that his Church does not accept new articles of Faith.  True, the IC is not an article of Faith in the Armenian Church - it is, rather, a theologoumenon.

You've demonstrated nothing.  Move on, please.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 11:02:11 AM
Dear brother Isa,

Some final comments:

Look on the right links: he claims he was transferred from the "Roman" church to the Armenian Church, but is still in communion with "Roman" church.  Maybe the Catholicos should look into what baggage the sub-deacon brought over, or the fine print in his "translation."
As a matter of fact, the Armenian Apostolic Church (as well as the Syriac Orthodox Church) both have official pastoral provisions with the Catholic Church for limited intercommunion.  Brother DerGhazar's statements of requesting communion in a Catholic Church is absolutely fine.  You shouldn't be making snide comments about matters of which you are ignorant.

Quote
I have seen a number of Coptic Orthodox who claim that the "Vision of Bernadette" which claimed "I am the Immaculate Conception" occuring on March 25 (whose Immmaculate Conception was that?) as proof that the title Immaculate Conception should refer only to Christ's.  It isn't clear from your post: whose Conception is being refered to (cf. the "confusion" over St. Leo's quotes)?
I would think an Archbishop would have a better understanding than the laity (though I'll concede that might not be immediately evident to you given your ecclesiology).

Quote
Since you praises God you found some Armenian texts online "to combat the senseless polemics," might you provide us links that we may praise Him too?  (I apoligize that I did not put the link up for the text of Ineffibilus Desu and Mufficentissimus Deus, an oversight).
I had to sift through several pages of a google search to get that (that's why I was so happy ;D ), and I don't remember what combination of search words I used.  If you want to verify them, maybe you can google search the terms in the quotation.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 10, 2009, 01:51:07 PM
Dear brother Isa,

So basically, you don't trust brother DerGhazar because of his ecumenical spirit. 
LOL.  Because of his muddled ecclesiology.

The Catholicos of Armenia has a different view of Latin-Armenian relationships:
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=60&pid=10&lng=en

The Armenians anathematised those who accepted Chalcedon.  The Fathers at Chalcedon and the other three following Ecumenical Councils anathematized those who did not accept them.  We Orthodox, EO and OO, are working on that.

The Vatican has had its councils, which have anathematized those who do not accept them.  Like Florence, where anyone with any sense among the Orthodox learned all they need to about the "ecumenical spirit" at such robber councils:
http://www.legionofmarytidewater.com/faith/ECUM17.HTM#3
Quote
After all these matters had been explained, the aforesaid Armenians, in their own name and in the name of their patriarch and of all Armenians, with all devotion and obedience accept, admit and embrace this salutary synodal decree with all its chapters, declarations, definitions, traditions, precepts and statutes and all the doctrine contained in it, and also whatever the holy apostolic see and the Roman church holds and teaches. They also accept with reverence all those doctors and holy fathers approved by the Roman church. Indeed, they hold as reprobated and condemned whatever persons and things the Roman church reprobates and condemns. They promise that as true sons of obedience, in the name as above, they will faithfully obey the ordinances and commands of the apostolic see.

When the aforesaid decree had been solemnly read out in our and the holy synod's presence, straightaway our beloved son Narses, an Armenian, in the name of the said envoys, publicly recited the following in Armenian and thereupon our beloved son Basil of the order of friars Minor, the interpreter between us and the Armenians, publicly read it out in Latin as follows.

Most blessed father and most holy synod. Recently the whole of this holy decree, which has now been read out in Latin in your presence, was clearly explained and interpreted to us word by word in our language. It was and is completely acceptable to us. To disclose our understanding more fully, however, we repeat its contents in summary.

The following is contained in it. First, you give to our people of the Armenians the holy creed of Constantinople, with the added phrase and the Son, to be sung or read within the mass in our churches at least on Sundays and greater feasts. Secondly, the definition of the fourth universal council of Chalcedon about two natures in the one person of Christ. Thirdly, the definition about the two wills and principles of action of Christ which was promulgated in the sixth universal council.
The Catholicos's official Web site doesn't have the added phrase and the Son:
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=10474&pid=10472&lng=en

Quote
Fourthly, you declare that the synod of Chalcedon and most blessed pope Leo rightly defined the truth about two natures in the one person of Christ against the impious doctrines of Nestorius and Eutyches. You order that we should venerate most blessed Leo as holy and a pillar of the faith and that we should reverently accept not only the synods of Nicaea, Constantinople and the first of Ephesus, but also all other synods legitimately celebrated . . authority of the Roman pontiff

The only reference to Pope St. Leo on the Catholicos' web site is the history of the rejection of him.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=60&pid=10&lng=en

Quote
Fifthly, a short scheme of the seven sacraments of the church, namely baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders and matrimony indicating the matter, the form and the minister of each; and that while the chalice is being offered in the sacrifice of the altar a little water should be mixed with the wine.

According to the Catholicos' web site, they do not mix water into the chalice, making a point that do not.  Maybe the sub-deacon hasn't been close enough to observe.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=5814&pid=2429&lng=en

Quote
Sixthly, a compendious rule of the faith of most blessed Athanasius, which begins: Whoever wills to be saved etc.


Lots of refrerences to St. Athanasius, but none to the creed that the Vatican attributes to him.

Quote
Seventhly, the decree of union concluded with the Greeks, which was promulgated earlier in this sacred council, recording how the holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, and that the phrase and the Son was licitly and reasonably added to the creed of Constantinople. Also that the body of the Lord is effected in leavened or unleavened wheat bread; and what is to be believed about the pains of purgatory and hell, about the life of the blessed and about suffrages offered for the dead. In addition, about the plenitude of power of the apostolic see given by Christ to blessed Peter and his successors, . . . . . about the order of the patriarchal sees.

this is that Byzantization that you (I say with some justification) complain about.

As to the "plentitude of power" and "the order of the patriarchal sees," His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of Etchimiadzin and All Armenians doesn't seem to have signed on to this, claiming "To the Right Hand (of St. Gregory the Illuminator)and to Holy Etchmiadzin, the whole of the Armenian nation is bound"
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=4&pid=1

It seems sub-deacon's hand might be bound to Ethmiadzin, but his foot is stuck in the Vatican.

Quote
Eighthly, you decree that the following feasts should be kept on the following days, in accordance with the custom of the universal church: the annunciation of the blessed virgin Mary on 25 March, the birth of blessed John the Baptist on 24 June, the birth of our Saviour on 25 December, his circumcision on I January, the epiphany on 6 January, and the presentation of the Lord in the temple (or the purification of blessed Mary) on 2 February.

The Catholicos' calendar has nothing for 25 December.  Christmas is 6 January.  Annunciation April 7.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=26&pid=4&lng=en
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=12368&pid=11689&lng=en
Quote
Therefore we envoys, in our own name and in the name of our reverend patriarch and of all Armenians, with all devotion and obedience accept, admit and embrace, just as your holiness affirms in the decree, this most salutary synodal decree with all its chapters, declarations, definitions, traditions, precepts and statutes and all the doctrine contained in it, and also whatever the holy apostolic see and the Roman church holds and teaches. We accept with reverence all those doctors and holy fathers approved by the Roman church. Indeed we hold as reprobated and condemned whatever persons and things the Roman church reprobates and condemns. We promise that as true sons of obedience, in the name of the above, we will faithfully obey the ordinances and commands of this apostolic see.

It seems that the Supreme Catholicos isn't obeying those "ordinances and commands of" the Vatican.  Sub-deacon cannot serve two masters.  Someone said that.


Quote
That just goes to show us that you are not really interested in the Truth on these matters,
I'm the one facing the truth of these matters head on.  Some else is the one who doing double speak.

Quote
but are simply anti-Catholic
No, they are pro Armenian Orthodox.

Quote
and will say anything just to try to put Catholicism down.

I will state the Catholic Truth of what the Armenian Apostolic and Orthodox Church teaches against distortion of it by the Vatican.

Quote
And I didn't see the Catholicos say he rejected the teaching. 


Then you were not looking.

Quote
If he did, he certainly said it in a very round about way that is not very clear (but perhaps that is what you were hinging your whole argument on).


Quote
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
I don't know if understand the use of "however" as a disjunctive: it means what comes after contrasts with what comes before.  What part of "do not accept articles of faith" versus "declared as a doctrine of faith" is very round about and not very clear?

Your "source" says:
Quote
But even the Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware, in his book “The Orthodox Church,” states that although there is certainly no dogmas among the Eastern Churches, individual Orthodox may freely choose to believe that the Theotokos was immaculate from her Conception.  In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).
www.geocities.com/derghazar/ACRCMARY.DOC
So is the celebration the Conception or the IC?  And we can see why many, including myself, do not recommend "The Orthodox Church" anymore.  I'll leave it to the OO and the Armenians to comment on whether they find these statements by the Archmandrite and Patriarch in conformity with the teaching of their Supreme Catholicos.

(and watch out Father Ambrose: the same "source" says I am still researching the issue of the Immaculate Conception.  I have found that it is derived from the Eastern “Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos,” where she is honored as all-pure and immaculate, as you and I have discussed.  The Byzantine Liturgy states in reference to Mary’s Conception that she was, “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.”  Quasi-Incarnation of the Holy Spirit in the making?  A sixth Marion Dogma).

Quote
I already responded to your use of it earlier, but as usual you did not respond.


I think the thread demonstrates I respond to every "point," no matter how trivial.

Was your response before or after you said that you were not responding to me anymore, and I said I had to attend to our wanna be pope, but would return?

If I missed your post, I apologize.  Please quote, and I will know what to reply to.

Quote
I stated that the Catholicos merely stated that the Armenian Church does not accept a teaching that would give to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ.  Great! Amen!  I as a Catholic agree.  But the dogma of the IC does not do that, so no problem there. 


Yes, yes.  And Pope Honorios wasn't a heretic, and the Popes of Rome who banned the filioque from the Creed didn't  condemn it, and the pope condemned the Crusaders he sent while he was usurping the throne of Constaninople for a Latin patriarch, and the Orthodox in communion with Rome, yada yada.  We are all VERY familiar with this line of "logic."

Quote
He also said that his Church does not accept new articles of Faith.  True, the IC is not an article of Faith in the Armenian Church - it is, rather, a theologoumenon.

Quote
The concept of her being morally immaculate later developed into the question of her Immaculate Conception (from Anna), a doctrine adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854.  The Armenian Church, on the other hand, does not accept this, as it attributes to Mary that which belongs only to Christ; only Christ was immaculately conceived.  Yet, her purity is unquestioned.  According to the teaching of the Armenian Church, at the time of the Annunciation when the Holy Spirit entered her she was cleansed of all sin (original sin) as she was to be the vessel in which God manifest was to be incarnated.
(c)2009 Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
http://www.armenianchurch.net/worship/mary/index.html
i.e.  The official web site of Sub-deacon Der-Ghazarian's superiors.

Anything round about?  Unclear?

Quote
You've demonstrated nothing.


 ::)

Quote
Move on, please.

Down the Tiber, no thank you.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 10, 2009, 04:19:21 PM
Father, you are just embarassing yourself now.

Can you please tell everyone here what it is that Baptism gains for us according to Catholic teaching?

Let me tell you from the horse's mouth - when we are Baptized, we gain sanctifying grace and original justice.

Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?

Nice try Father, but no cigar.  The real McCoy was already fully explained by me in an earlier post.

Please give it up Father.


It is not me but you who are embarrassing yourself.

Read some Catholic theology.   :laugh:


There is, as you ought to know, an ontological difference between:

1.   those who have never known original sin and

2.  those who have known it and been rescued from it by baptism.

In the case of the latter, baptism removes original sin, that is, it restores sanctifying grace.   But it still leaves the consequences of the original loss of sanctifying grace - concupiscence, sickness and death.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.   Indeed to place the consequences of original sin and the loss of sanctifying grace (death, disease, concupiscence, corruption)on anyone who has never ever been in the state of original sin nor ever lost sanctifying grace would be a transgression of divine justice.

Please consult a few books of theology to get a grasp of this not insignificant ontological distinction.


Of course it is at this point that the irrationality of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as it relates to the death of the Mother of God starts to seep out from under the edges.  This is why the Magisterium will allow you to believe as Papist does, as an Immortalist (that the Mother of God never died) or to believe as Pope Pius XI taught in Munificentissimus Deus that she did in fact die.    Roman Catholic theology cannot cope with the contradictions which it has created for itself on this point.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 06:51:55 PM
The Catholic Churches or the Orthodox Churches have never taught that death is the result of the the loss of sanctifying grace.

Both have always taught SIMPLY and PLAINLY that the original or ancestral sin resulted in several consequences for mankind.  In different words, these consequences are: 1) loss of sanctifying grace; 2) loss of original justice 3) concupiscence; 4) physical/tactile effects such as death/illness (including emotional instabilities)/corruption.  Except maybe for #3 as it relates to #1 and #4, there is no causal relation between any of the othe consequences with each other.  #4 is not the result of #1, #2 is not the result of #1, #1 is not the result of #2, #1 is not the result of #4, etc. etc.  Each is merely and simply regarded by the Church as consequences of the first sin of our parents.  #1, #2, #3 and #4 are all the direct result of only one thing - the sin of our first parents.

Neither Church has ever taught what you claim.  There's no intermediary steps in the equation as you have not-so-brilliantly concocted.  Neither Church has ever delved into the mystery as deeply as you, Father.  Perhaps you are not really an adherent to apophatic theology. 

You must have stayed up all night to think up of this novel argument as anyone will notice that it has come many days after the start of this thread, though you certainly had opportunity to present it many times earlier.  It's pretty obvious this novel argument came out of the blue (as I predicted early on - new arguments will always come out of the polemic mind).

Father, you are just embarassing yourself now.

Can you please tell everyone here what it is that Baptism gains for us according to Catholic teaching?

Let me tell you from the horse's mouth - when we are Baptized, we gain sanctifying grace and original justice.

Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?

Nice try Father, but no cigar.  The real McCoy was already fully explained by me in an earlier post.

Please give it up Father.


It is not me but you who are embarrassing yourself.

Read some Catholic theology.   :laugh:


There is, as you ought to know, an ontological difference between:

1.   those who have never known original sin and

2.  those who have known it and been rescued from it by baptism.

In the case of the latter, baptism removes original sin, that is, it restores sanctifying grace.   But it still leaves the consequences of the original loss of sanctifying grace - concupiscence, sickness and death.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.   Indeed to place the consequences of original sin and the loss of sanctifying grace (death, disease, concupiscence, corruption)on anyone who has never ever been in the state of original sin nor ever lost sanctifying grace would be a transgression of divine justice.

Please consult a few books of theology to get a grasp of this not insignificant ontological distinction.


Of course it is at this point that the irrationality of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as it relates to the death of the Mother of God starts to seep out from under the edges.  This is why the Magisterium will allow you to believe as Papist does, as an Immortalist (that the Mother of God never died) or to believe as Pope Pius XI taught in Munificentissimus Deus that she did in fact die.    Roman Catholic theology cannot cope with the contradictions which it has created for itself on this point.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 10, 2009, 07:16:04 PM
I was just alerted to the existence of this thread.  It's over 160 posts long and I'm not about to read through all of them.  I did, however, skim this page and I would like to address a few points:

The Armenian Church does not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  I have heard that emphatically and authoritatively taught in my church. 

I would not automatically rely on English translations from Classical Armenian, or even Modern Armenian, of prayers or other texts to support the idea that we do believe in such a thing.  Meaning often gets lost in translation and misunderstandings occur, especially if the translator is not a native speaker of English.  I have on more than one occasion come across people who thought the words "Immaculate Conception" referred to the Virgin Birth of Christ.

The Armenian Church has been rejecting Latin innovation since the early sixth century.  That includes all innovation, such as the IC and the Filioque. 

During the time of the Crusades, the Armenians in the Kingdom of Cilicia went into union with the Catholic Church for political and military reasons.  The Armenians in Greater Armenia reacted strongly against this and this eventually led to the Catholicosate being moved out of Cilicia and back to Etchmiadzin.  It also led St. Gregory of Datev, as well as some other Armenian theologians, to sit down and write out the traditional theology of the Armenian Church.  It is a great pity that St. Gregory Datevatsi's Book of Questions has never been translated into any modern language.  It exists today only in Classical Armenian.

I have always been told that apart from our Christological language, our beliefs are the same as the EO Church.  That is why Armenian clergy will give communion to EO's without reservation.

With regard to our relationship with the Catholics, our relations are very warm.  Our Catholicoi have often met with the Catholic Popes and they get along.  That doesn't mean, however, that we are in communion with them, or that we share beliefs that they have and which are rejected by our EO brothers.  We just happen to be good friends right now.

With regard to communing Catholics, the Armenian Church is more liberal than other Orthodox Churches and there are priests who will commune Catholics for certain pastoral reasons.  However, one should not read too much into that.  There are Armenian priests who will commune Assyrians for pastoral reasons, especially since intermarriage between Armenians and Assyrians is not uncommon.  However, that doesn't mean we share all their beliefs, especially their Christology.


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 07:50:35 PM
Dear brother Salpy,

Thank you so much for your input.  I've heard that the IC is a theologoumenon in the Armenian Church.  So it comes as no surprise that there might be some Armenians who believe it, and some who don't.  It's like the situation with the doctrine of toll houses in EO'xy.  There are Eastern Orthodox who not only believe it, but also say it is an article of Faith, yet there are other EO who are just as adamant about rejecting it and make that claim for the ENTIRE EOC.  Similarly, You seem to claim lack of belief in the IC for your entire Church when you say "the Armenian Church does not believe..."  But that is only to be expected if it is merely theologoumenon in your Church.

I agree with the statement that it is not an article of Faith in your Church, as the Catholicos quoted by brother Isa stated.  All I've ever stated is that the belief is theologoumenon, and I don't know why brother Isa is in such knots over it. 

Blessings,
Marduk

I was just alerted to the existence of this thread.  It's over 160 posts long and I'm not about to read through all of them.  I did, however, skim this page and I would like to address a few points:

The Armenian Church does not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  I have heard that emphatically and authoritatively taught in my church. 

I would not automatically rely on English translations from Classical Armenian, or even Modern Armenian, of prayers or other texts to support the idea that we do believe in such a thing.  Meaning often gets lost in translation and misunderstandings occur, especially if the translator is not a native speaker of English.  I have on more than one occasion come across people who thought the words "Immaculate Conception" referred to the Virgin Birth of Christ.

The Armenian Church has been rejecting Latin innovation since the early sixth century.  That includes all innovation, such as the IC and the Filioque. 

During the time of the Crusades, the Armenians in the Kingdom of Cilicia went into union with the Catholic Church for political and military reasons.  The Armenians in Greater Armenia reacted strongly against this and this eventually led to the Catholicosate being moved out of Cilicia and back to Etchmiadzin.  It also led St. Gregory of Datev, as well as some other Armenian theologians, to sit down and write out the traditional theology of the Armenian Church.  It is a great pity that St. Gregory Datevatsi's Book of Questions has never been translated into any modern language.  It exists today only in Classical Armenian.

I have always been told that apart from our Christological language, our beliefs are the same as the EO Church.  That is why Armenian clergy will give communion to EO's without reservation.

With regard to our relationship with the Catholics, our relations are very warm.  Our Catholicoi have often met with the Catholic Popes and they get along.  That doesn't mean, however, that we are in communion with them, or that we share beliefs that they have and which are rejected by our EO brothers.  We just happen to be good friends right now.

With regard to communing Catholics, the Armenian Church is more liberal than other Orthodox Churches and there are priests who will commune Catholics for certain pastoral reasons.  However, one should not read too much into that.  There are Armenian priests who will commune Assyrians for pastoral reasons, especially since intermarriage between Armenians and Assyrians is not uncommon.  However, that doesn't mean we share all their beliefs, especially their Christology.



Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:04:20 PM
I have always been told that apart from our Christological language, our beliefs are the same as the EO Church.  That is why Armenian clergy will give communion to EO's without reservation.

With regard to our relationship with the Catholics, our relations are very warm.  Our Catholicoi have often met with the Catholic Popes and they get along.  That doesn't mean, however, that we are in communion with them, or that we share beliefs that they have and which are rejected by our EO brothers.  We just happen to be good friends right now.
Are there OFFICIAL pastoral provisions between EO and the Armenians (like between the CC and the Armenians)?

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 10, 2009, 08:08:42 PM
I'm not sure what you mean.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:35:11 PM
I'm not sure what you mean.
Well. as far as I know, there are no actual written authoritative agreements between the EO and OO for pastoral provisions of limited intercommunion.  That is probably because the EO are not completely united on how they view the OO, unlike in the CC (on Eucharist, marriage, confession).  I realize that on a grass roots level, there is always some kind of pastoral reciprocity of the Sacraments, but the Church hierarchy itself do not officially (i.e., in an authoritative written document) recognize it with the EO, but DO officially recognize it with the CC (as far as the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Ancient Church of the East is concerned, anyway).

The only OFFICIAL pastoral provision I know of between the EO and OO is the one in Egypt between the COC and the EO Alexandrian patriarchate - but even that is not with regards to the COC in general but only to the Church in the boundaries of Egypt, and even then it is not with regards to the general laity, but only with regards to members of mixed marriages, and even then it does not apply to Sacraments in general, but only in regards to the Sacrament of marriage, and even then it does not apply to all marriages, but only to ones that does not violate the canons of the COC.  For example, the COC only permits divorce and remarriage in two instances - adultery and falling away from the Faith, but the EOC has many more reasons that allow for divorce and remarriage (some EO jurisdictions have more reasons than others). If an EO had a prior divorce due to reasons that are not one of the reasons permitted by the COC, then the pastoral provision would not apply, and the COC would not recognize that second marriage between the EO person and CO person, nor would the COC permit that ceremony in a CO church (i.e., building).

Did that explain it better?  Like I said, that there is no official pastoral provision between the EO and OO is limited to my knowledge.  I am wondering if your own knowledge can better supplement mine on the matter.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 10, 2009, 08:42:28 PM
I'm not aware of any agreements like that between the Armenian Church and the EO.  From the Armenian point of view, such an agreement would not be necessary, since they share the same faith as we do and we already commune them.  I'm not aware of any such agreement like that with the Catholics either.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 08:59:11 PM
Dear brother Salpy,

I'm not aware of any agreements like that between the Armenian Church and the EO.  From the Armenian point of view, such an agreement would not be necessary, since they share the same faith as we do and we already commune them.  I'm not aware of any such agreement like that with the Catholics either.
When I have time, I will do the research and provide the document here (if I have even more time, I'll post the the official agreement between the SOC and CC as well).  BTW, would you mind if I posted it in the Oriental Orthodox Forum instead (since I do not want to derail this thread on the matter any further).  Or perhaps some other Catholic reading this thread will do that.  It is a busy season right now, so please forgive.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Tzimis on April 10, 2009, 10:18:10 PM


Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?


You should read the holy bible in your spare time. ;)

Romans 6:3-5 (King James Version)

 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 10:27:14 PM
Dear brother Isa,

Any one who reads these posts will, with a little bit of thinking, realize that all your comments are just hot air.  You have not EVER successfully challened the purpose of this - that those who reject the IC as heresy are simply rejecting it based on straw man arguments.  All you've done is address tangential issues like who states they do not believe it as an article of Faith, why you don't trust the testimony of certain people, give some historical data on the relationship between churches, differences in practices and disciplines, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  All for the purpose of trying to get people to not really think about the real issue and not think about the fact that you nor Father Ambrose have completely failed to demonstrate that the teaching of the IC is actually heresy - a very common polemical tactic.  You claim that you have addressed even the slightest matter in my posts, but that just demonstrates your tactic of trying to get people to focus on issues that are not really relevant - the typical tactic of the polemicists who have really no interest in the Truth.

I will address the more relevant aspects of your most recent post:

The Armenians anathematised those who accepted Chalcedon.  The Fathers at Chalcedon and the other three following Ecumenical Councils anathematized those who did not accept them.  We Orthodox, EO and OO, are working on that.

The Vatican has had its councils, which have anathematized those who do not accept them.  Like Florence, where anyone with any sense among the Orthodox learned all they need to about the "ecumenical spirit" at such robber councils:
This is just so much polemical hot air.  The Catholic Church has ALREADY worked it out with the OO.  That's why there's even OFFICIAL pastoral agreements between most of the OO and the CC.  What's your excuse?  I surmise the crux of the problem is Mt. Athos, who still regard the OO (like the CC) as heretics.  Wishful thinking, brother.  The EO will never break communion with Athos, and Athos, given its rigidity, will never stop considering the OO as heretics, unless the OO repudiates itself.  Don't make a statement like, "the EO and OO are working on that," then make some statement about the anathematizations of the Catholic Church with no other comment.  It just demonstrates the hypocrisy of your polemic mind.  The EO were just as involved in anathematizations over the matter as the CC, yet only the CC has concrete fruits of labor with the OO on the matter.  If the EO were really serious about resolving the issue with the OO, all they have to do publicly repudiate the views of Athos on the matter, which would be a sure sign to the EO world of what the hierarchy intends. But your own novel ecclesiology where even the laity can repudiate their bishops without the benefit of a Synod is the real problem, it seems to me.

Quote
Quote
If he did, he certainly said it in a very round about way that is not very clear (but perhaps that is what you were hinging your whole argument on).


Quote
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
I don't know if understand the use of "however" as a disjunctive: it means what comes after contrasts with what comes before.  What part of "do not accept articles of faith" versus "declared as a doctrine of faith" is very round about and not very clear?
What about the word "article of faith" and "theologoumenon" do you not understand?

Quote from:
Your "source" says:
Quote
But even the Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware, in his book “The Orthodox Church,” states that although there is certainly no dogmas among the Eastern Churches, individual Orthodox may freely choose to believe that the Theotokos was immaculate from her Conception.  In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).
www.geocities.com/derghazar/ACRCMARY.DOC
So is the celebration the Conception or the IC?  And we can see why many, including myself, do not recommend "The Orthodox Church" anymore.  I'll leave it to the OO and the Armenians to comment on whether they find these statements by the Archmandrite and Patriarch in conformity with the teaching of their Supreme Catholicos.
We already know what the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian says. He says that it is not to be accepted as an article of Faith.  You want to bend over backwards to make that mean "the teaching of the IC is a heresy" but you have miserably failed in your efforts.

Quote
Quote
I stated that the Catholicos merely stated that the Armenian Church does not accept a teaching that would give to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ.  Great! Amen!  I as a Catholic agree.  But the dogma of the IC does not do that, so no problem there. 


Yes, yes.  And Pope Honorios wasn't a heretic, and the Popes of Rome who banned the filioque from the Creed didn't  condemn it, and the pope condemned the Crusaders he sent while he was usurping the throne of Constaninople for a Latin patriarch, and the Orthodox in communion with Rome, yada yada.  We are all VERY familiar with this line of "logic."
As already stated, and this comment proves, you don't and can't address the real issue - i.e., is the dogma of the IC granting to Mary qualities that are reserved to Christ alone?  Is the teaching saying that Mary, like Christ, did not have a father?  Is the teaching saying that Mary, like Christ, is NATURALLY sinless, and not rather that she is sinless by Grace.  Is the teaching saying that Mary is divine?  Is the teaching saying that Mary's physical conception was not like any other human being's.  NO.  The teaching on the IC says none of these things.  So, obviously, if the Catholicos states that the Armenians Church does not accept any teaching that gives to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ, then he is not referring directly to the dogma of the IC as the Catholic Church teaches it.  Nor is her referring to the IC as the Armenians believe it.

Quote
He also said that his Church does not accept new articles of Faith.  True, the IC is not an article of Faith in the Armenian Church - it is, rather, a theologoumenon.
No response?  Good. That's settled then.

Quote
Quote
The concept of her being morally immaculate later developed into the question of her Immaculate Conception (from Anna), a doctrine adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854.  The Armenian Church, on the other hand, does not accept this, as it attributes to Mary that which belongs only to Christ; only Christ was immaculately conceived.  Yet, her purity is unquestioned.  According to the teaching of the Armenian Church, at the time of the Annunciation when the Holy Spirit entered her she was cleansed of all sin (original sin) as she was to be the vessel in which God manifest was to be incarnated.
(c)2009 Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
http://www.armenianchurch.net/worship/mary/index.html
i.e.  The official web site of Sub-deacon Der-Ghazarian's superiors.

Anything round about?  Unclear?
Nothing at all.  It simply demonstrates that the diocese in America has that teaching.  But as brother DerGhazarian indicated, there are Armenian hierarchs ELSEWHERE who accept the teaching.  Like I've always said - THEOLOGOUMENON.  Banghead smiley please.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 10, 2009, 10:39:25 PM
Dear brother Demetrios,



Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?
You should read the holy bible in your spare time. ;)

Romans 6:3-5 (King James Version)

 3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

 4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

 5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
I'm not sure what you are implying.  Are you saying our bodies will not die simply because we are promised the resurrection.  The word "Resurrection" implies that we WILL die, don't you think? 

Father Ambrose apparently believes that we die as a result of the loss of santifying grace, not the Orthodox and Catholic teaching that BOTH our death AND spiritual privation are IMMEDIATE consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Therefore, he claims, since physical death is immediately caused by loss of sanctifying grace, then Mary's gaining of sanctifying grace at her conception means she would not die.  Of course, that idea is ludicrous.  You and I ALSO receive the SAME grace (that Mary received at her conception) during our Baptism.  If Father Ambrose's novel belief (or maybe he's just arguing it and not really believing it - you can't tell with polemicists) is true, then this must also mean that you or I will not die, since we get back sanctifying grace at our Baptism.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 11, 2009, 12:36:15 AM
In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).

December 9 is when we celebrate the Conception of the Mother of God.  I have never seen or heard it described as the "Immaculate Conception" of the Mother of God.  We don't celebrate that.


Quote
We already know what the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian says. He says that it is not to be accepted as an article of Faith.  You want to bend over backwards to make that mean "the teaching of the IC is a heresy" but you have miserably failed in your efforts.

I and others at my church have been explicitly taught by someone who graduated from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary that the IC is not a belief of our Church.  It could be this was never explicitly addressed in a council or anything.  I don't know.  But I can tell you we don't share that belief with your Church.  Just because something has not been explicitly condemned in a council doesn't mean it isn't rejected. 

I have never heard anyone of any authority say that we believe in the IC.  I have heard it stated by those with authority that we don't.


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 12:55:10 AM
Dear brother Salpy,

In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).

December 9 is when we celebrate the Conception of the Mother of God.  I have never seen or heard it described as the "Immaculate Conception" of the Mother of God.  We don't celebrate that.


Quote
We already know what the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian says. He says that it is not to be accepted as an article of Faith.  You want to bend over backwards to make that mean "the teaching of the IC is a heresy" but you have miserably failed in your efforts.

I and others at my church have been explicitly taught by someone who graduated from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary that the IC is not a belief of our Church.  It could be this was never explicitly addressed in a council or anything.  I don't know.  But I can tell you we don't share that belief with your Church.  Just because something has not been explicitly condemned in a council doesn't mean it isn't rejected. 

I have never heard anyone of any authority say that we believe in the IC.  I have heard it stated by those with authority that we don't.
I absolutely believe you.  You reject it, and eveyone you know rejects it.  However, there are obviously others who do believe it, as evinced by brother DerGhazarian.  If you want to go to CAF, there is a father deacon there named Diak who has had contact with an Armenian priest who personally believes in the IC.  As your Catholicos states, it is not an article of Faith in your Church, but that's all he says about it.

Do you think the words "do not accept as an article of faith" precludes anyone believing it, albeit as theologoumenon (i.e., not as an article of Faith)?

Do you think the words "do not accept as an article of faith" necessarily mean it is heresy?

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 11, 2009, 01:04:12 AM
Father Ambrose apparently believes that we die as a result of the loss of santifying grace, not the Orthodox and Catholic teaching that BOTH our death AND spiritual privation are IMMEDIATE consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Therefore, he claims, since physical death is immediately caused by loss of sanctifying grace,

The many Catholic distinctions of types of grace - sanctifying grace, prevenient grace, subsequent grace, gratuitous grace, acccidental grace, operating grace, co-operating grace, etc., etc., are quite unknown to the Orthodox.

Quote
then Mary's gaining of sanctifying grace at her conception means she would not die.  Of course, that idea is ludicrous.  You and I ALSO receive the SAME grace (that Mary received at her conception) during our Baptism.  If Father Ambrose's novel belief (or maybe he's just arguing it and not really believing it - you can't tell with polemicists) is true, then this must also mean that you or I will not die, since we get back sanctifying grace at our Baptism.


You have simply not grasped the Catholic distinction between


1.   those who have never known original sin and

2.  those who have known it and been rescued from it by baptism.

In the case of the latter, baptism removes original sin, that is, it restores sanctifying grace.   But it still leaves the consequences of the original loss of sanctifying grace - concupiscence, sickness and death.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.   Indeed to place the consequences of original sin and the loss of sanctifying grace (death, disease, concupiscence, corruption)on anyone who has never ever been in the state of original sin nor ever lost sanctifying grace would be a transgression of divine justice.



Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Pravoslavbob on April 11, 2009, 01:22:22 AM
There are many threads on this forum concerning the Immaculate Conception.  I'm not sure why this one was started, as the issue has been looked at fairly intensely. 

At this point in time, it would seem that you are allowed to believe in the IC and be Orthodox at the same time, as far as I can tell. However, it is still an erroneous doctrine as far as the Orthodox Church  is concerned.  I remember that Metropolitan Kallistos Ware mentioned in The Orthodox Church words to  the effect that it is not problematic.  But I think he is wrong.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 01:43:08 AM
Father Ambrose apparently believes that we die as a result of the loss of santifying grace, not the Orthodox and Catholic teaching that BOTH our death AND spiritual privation are IMMEDIATE consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Therefore, he claims, since physical death is immediately caused by loss of sanctifying grace,

The many Catholic distinctions of types of grace - sanctifying grace, prevenient grace, subsequent grace, gratuitous grace, acccidental grace, operating grace, co-operating grace, etc., etc., are quite unknown to the Orthodox.
Is that supposed to be a response?  Your argument over words just demonstrates that you are not Orthodox in your belief over the matter.  What are the consequences of ancestral sin, Father?  

Quote
Quote
then Mary's gaining of sanctifying grace at her conception means she would not die.  Of course, that idea is ludicrous.  You and I ALSO receive the SAME grace (that Mary received at her conception) during our Baptism.  If Father Ambrose's novel belief (or maybe he's just arguing it and not really believing it - you can't tell with polemicists) is true, then this must also mean that you or I will not die, since we get back sanctifying grace at our Baptism.

You have simply not grasped the Catholic distinction between
Says the cow to the horse.

Here's what the Council of Trent taught on the matter:
"If anyone does not profess that the first man Adam immediately lost the justice and holiness in which he was constituted when he disobeyed the command of God...and that through this offense he incurred the wrath and the indignation of God and incurred the death with which God had previously threatened him...let him be anathema."

Here's what the Vatican Council taught on the matter:
"But man, ungrateful to his Creator and Father...incurred the anger and the wrath of God; ...lost holiness and justice for himself;...handed down to the entire human race not only death and corporal punishment, but [also] the death of the soul."

Comment: the "death of the soul" is that state of a lack of sanctifying grace that separates the soul from God.

Mmmmm.  Nothing here about your novel idea that physical death is the direct result of the loss of sanctifying grace.  All we read about from the teaching of the Catholic Church is that physical death is the DIRECT result of the disobedience of our first parents (not that it is the direct result of the loss of sanctifying grace) and that loss of sanctifying grace is ALSO a DIRECT result of the disobedience of our first parents.

Quote from:
In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.
Here's a perfect example of the way polemicists will tweak the words of Catholic doctrine for the purpose of misleading others.  The dogma never states that Mary had "never known original sin." The teaching simply states that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.

You never tire of knocking down your straw men, do you.  I do hope you go to confession for bearing false witness before offering the Holy Sacrifice, Father.

Dear Orthodox brethren - if you want to know about the Catholic Church - heck, even if only to criticize her - I beg of you, please do not turn to the words of NON-Catholics, much less the words of ANTI-Catholics, ABOUT the Catholic Church, but find out the information directly from her magisterial documents.  I advise you, don't even take it from a layman such as myself (nor from lay organizations).  I submit to you that the BEST teachers of the Catholic faith would be her own teachers - our ecclesiastical Magisterium.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 11, 2009, 01:43:39 AM
If you want to go to CAF, there is a father deacon there named Diak who has had contact with an Armenian priest who personally believes in the IC.  As your Catholicos states, it is not an article of Faith in your Church, but that's all he says about it.

So there's this discussion forum where someone says they know a priest who believes in IC.  That means nothing.  I wish I had a dollar for every Protestant I know who says they know someone who knows a priest who forbids people from reading the Bible.  

Even if this "father deacon" (obviously not an Armenian Orthodox--we don't call our deacons that) really does know a priest who said he believes that, it means nothing.  One priest doesn't represent the Church.  Also, as I said, a lot of Armenians mistake the phrase "Immaculate Conception" to mean something other than what it means in your Church.  Indeed the title of this thread indicates that it is misunderstood by many.  Especially with non-native speakers of English, you get people who think it means the Mother of God was conceived in a miraculous way (as in her parents were very old and infertile,) or they think it means the Virgin Birth of Christ.  I wasn't there for the conversation that took place between this deacon and the priest.  So I can't tell you what he really believes.  All I know is that this is not a teaching of our Church.  

Quote
Do you think the words "do not accept as an article of faith" precludes anyone believing it, albeit as theologoumenon (i.e., not as an article of Faith)?

My problem here is that I don't know what the word "theologoumenon" means.  I've seen the word a few times since I have been here, but I don't know what it is.  I've only seen it used by EO's.

With regard to what individual Armenians believe, there are Armenians out there who believe in just about anything.  There was a guy at my church a few years ago who got involved with some Oneness Pentecostals and then started going around telling people that it is acceptable in the Armenian Church to not believe in the Holy Trinity.  I am also sure that the Armenian Vassula crowd believes in IC, as well as all the other Latin innovations that my Church has rejected over the centuries.  One of those ladies likes to go around telling people that the Pope in Rome is the "vicar of Christ," whatever that means.

Is that what theologoumenon means?  Is it a fancy Greek word for BS?  If that is the case, then yes, it's theologoumenon.  What it is not, however, is a legitimate teaching of my Church.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 01:47:34 AM
Thank you brother bob.  I totally respect your point of view.

There are many threads on this forum concerning the Immaculate Conception.  I'm not sure why this one was started, as the issue has been looked at fairly intensely. 

At this point in time, it would seem that you are allowed to believe in the IC and be Orthodox at the same time, as far as I can tell. However, it is still an erroneous doctrine as far as the Orthodox Church  is concerned.  I remember that Metropolitan Kallistos Ware mentioned in The Orthodox Church words to  the effect that it is not problematic.  But I think he is wrong.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 01:51:27 AM
Is that what theologoumenon means?  Is it a fancy Greek word for BS?  If that is the case, then yes, it's theologoumenon.  What it is not, however, is a legitimate teaching of my Church.
Theologoumenon, simply put, means that members are free to believe it or reject it  Theologoumenon means that it is not an article of Faith.  Theologoumenon also means, however, that the belief is NOT CONDEMNED.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 11, 2009, 01:56:17 AM
Dear brother Salpy,

It's sister.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 11, 2009, 02:35:20 AM

Here's a perfect example of the way polemicists will tweak the words of Catholic doctrine for the purpose of misleading others.   The dogma never states that Mary had "never known original sin." The teaching simply states that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.


You're really digging yourself into a big hole.

If the dogma never states that the Mother of God had "never known original sin" does that mean Catholics believe that in reality she did know original sin?

Isn't that gobbledygook, Marduk?

If anybody is tweaking words, it is you with such statements.     Do you ever sit down and discuss your opinions with any Catholic theologian?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 11, 2009, 03:50:34 AM
Okay wow...many things to talk about:

Personally, I've never pondered the idea of whether the Theotokos knew she was immaculately conceived.  The interest on the matter would be on the same level as me wondering if the Theotokos knew at, say, age 7 that she would be the Theotokos.  I do not see any fruit that can come from an intellectual consideration of whether the Saints had an omniscient knowledge of exactly what Graces they had received/were receiving/would receive from God.

Blessings,
Marduk

I think this does need intellectual consideration.  As I said before, St. Luke offers us an implication that she never knew.  The interest of the matter is not, imo, at the same level as wondering if the Virgin Mary would know she would be the Theotokos.  For one thing, we know that she never knew.  For another thing, she wasn't even the Theotokos YET.  But according to the belief of the IC, she was IC'ed since her conception.  I think this speaks volumes.  Do you know of any saint sanctified for a role not knowing they were sanctified?  Does God just give grace to people without their knowledge?  Does God condemn people without their knowledge?  Do we raise our children without telling them that they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?  The knowledge about people's state, good or bad is the reason for continual evangelization and teaching as well.  Knowledge of your own status requires serious thought, imo.

St. Jacob's belief on the matter really is not a Faith-defining issue.  At the very least, if the COC has made it a Faith-defining issue, it is a very recent development in teaching.  Since most documents from the Synod are not in English, maybe it will take some time.

But I ask you this, honestly.  We both know that we don't live and breathe by every word from any human, even a Saint.  Do you think it is proper for the Synod to respond to the Catholic Church's making the IC a faith defining issue, by themselves making something else a faith-defining issue?  To me, it would seem the proper or even better course of action would be to leave the matter the way it always was - theologoumenon.

People I've known have understood through Sunday schools, priestly sermons, messages of HH in his weekly sermons that the IC is condemned.  If you read the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, you will find that one thorn in the issue of unification among many in the eyes of the Coptic Church is the IC.  Among the laity, I've heard many things like the General Resurrection will be bodiless, or that they never heard of St. Severus, the pillar of faith, or that a one-day old infant had to have committed some sort of sin (not understanding fully the idea of what it means that "no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth"), or that if someone looked at you with an evil eye, you're cursed (ya, that I've heard).  There are many many laity I've met who do not have a correct understanding of the Trinity as well, even at an adult age.

The Church has expressed strong opposition of the IC for the main reason because of the liturgical prayer of the departed which as I stated before, "For no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth."  This "no one" includes the Virgin Mary in the eyes of the Coptic Church.  The Coptic Church also uses Romans 5:12-14 as their support, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because of which all sinned.  (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come....)"

The Coptic Church's opposition I would contend however is just the other side of the same coin as the Latin Church's dogmatic acceptance.  If it's theologomenoun, why make it a dogma?  Why then join a church that condemns anyone who does believe it?

Quote
These are good points to ponder.  I would ask that you consider the ramifications of your comments for our beliefs regarding the Forerunner.  St. John was sanctified even BEFORE he was born.  Does this mean St. John lost his free will, or any part of it?

Blessings,
Marduk

True, but he was raised as a Forerunner and knew he was to be the Forerunner.  It was very clear when the Pharisees asked him who he was, and he gave them the prophecy from the great Isaiah, understanding fully well his role.  Luke's gospel does not give us that option.  The Virgin Mary however was understood as one to be raised as a Virgin devoted to the altar according to tradition, but not to know that she would be the one who would bear the Logos.

In addition, just as we can't say the Forerunner was IC'ed, so we can't say the same of the Theotokos.  The Holy Spirit have descended and given grace to anyone He wills, as the Old Testament (OT) has shown.  Prophets, judges, kings, priests, even pagans at some points.  It is a matter of sanctification for the role, just as the OT vessels were washed with water and anointed with oil for a purpose.  The anointing however does not indicate a removal of Original Sin.  So I don't mind the idea that the Virgin Mary was anointed from conception, but I personally find it unacceptable to remove Original Sin from conception.

Are you absolutely sure that the Synod and HH's appeal to St. Jacob is an indication that they are trying to make it a Faith-defining issue?  Is it possible that their appeal is simply to emphasize that there are Fathers (actually I can count only two in the early Church) who express the belief that Mary's sanctification occurred at the Annunciation?  In other words, maybe their point is not to make it a Faith-defining belief, but rather to insist on the fact that it remain theologoumenon.

For if it is their purpose to make it a Faith-defining belief, wouldn't that mean the Armenians are heretics for believing it (albeit not as dogma, but as theologoumenon).

Blessings,
Marduk

I was waiting for Salpy to reply before I can mention anything.  It seems that as far as the Coptic Church knows, the Armenian and Syriac churches don't believe it.  Whatever goes on inside the other Churches, I can't answer that for you.

As much St. Jacob goes, he is a significant post-Chalcedonian father who expressed his opposition to Chalcedon (he was born in 451, at the heart of the matter itself).  He is also a Syriac father continuing in the poetic tradition of St. Ephrem.  The Coptic Church throughout her history has mingled traditions with the Syriac Church in the past and have probably the closest relationship together besides the Churches in Africa (for instance, St. Severus had departed in Egypt's deserts themselves, the fasting of three days commemorating Jonah and the people of Nineveh, and we have a "Syrian" monastery in Egypt).  Many of St. Jacob of Serug's writings are translated in Arabic and have been read by many.  I don't know a Coptic priest who does not know who St. Jacob of Serug is, especially since Coptic people love the Theotokos very dearly and his writings have become influential in Coptic Mariology.

St. Proclus of Constantinople: “As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Homily 1

St. Ephrem of Syria: “Those two innocent women, Mary and Eve, had been utterly equal, but afterwards one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life.”
- “You and your mother are the only ones IMMUNE from all stain; for there is no spot in Thee, o Lord, nor any taint in your Mother.”

St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation. To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.

I was wondering if you can give us a text of Proclus' first homily, that maybe we can understand the context of this quote.

I would contend that one can interpret St. Ephrem through St. Jacob, since both have a common poetic tradition, especially in the praises of the Theotokos.  For one thing, I find nothing contradicting my beliefs when saying that she is "the cause of life."  As we sing in the Coptic Church, she is the "salvation of our father Adam."

I would personally interpret the "immunity of sin" in the case of the Theotokos not in the sense of Original Sin, but in the sense of her will.  It is for this reason why Christ chose her, especially for her life among people and still maintaining perfection and immaculate righteousness.  They have an immense love for the Theotokos, and perhaps it explains why St. Ephrem felt she was the "only one."  Or perhaps, she's the only one in bodily form due to the Assumption along with Christ.  Nevertheless, I don't know the context of this quote nor have I read enough of St. Ephrem to understand his meaning.  I can only with some confidence say that because both Sts. Ephrem and Jacob are of Syriac traditions, St. Jacob had to have some influence from the writings of his predecessor St. Ephrem.

I disagree that St. Jacob cannot be used as a source of definitive statement.  For it could simply mean as I stated before in a matter of her own personal will, she chose not to sin her whole life.  It was very clear from his writings that it was at the Annunciation the curse was removed from her.  This does not mean St. Jacob was inconsistent in his thoughts.  It simply alludes to the fact that there is another interpretation of the word "stain" or "immaculate."  Coptic hymnology is filled with such language, and yet still the heirarchs (who above anything know Coptic hymnology by heart) would still vehemently reject the IC.

The amazing thing about the Theotokos is that unlike Eve who was without Original Sin and sinned, that the Theotokos was in Sin and did not sin.  Through freedom Eve chose to disobey God through a commandment that demanded her obedience, while the Theotokos chose to submit in obedience to God in a request that did not demand her obedience.  This is the most amazing thing about the Theotokos, and why we praise her, along with her immaculate and stainless life.  What is more amazing?  A person who is IC'ed, doesn't sin and "chooses" to be the Theotokos, or a person who is under the Curse of Sin, yet doesn't sin, and chooses to be the Theotokos?

Finally, I'd like to comment on Isa's post providing quotes by Pope Leo.  It seems that Leo taught the following based on these quotes:

Christ alone was born without sin.
That no one is undefiled even if one lived a single day.
Christ alone was born without sin because He was the only one born through a Virgin (in which case undefiled by concupiscence both carnally and mentally) and maintaining her virginity.
That the Virgin had to accept the conception in thought before it was actually occurring.
The Virginity and Chastity of the Theotokos is her stainless state of mind, with which Christ used for His incarnation.  In fact, he seems to teach that the source of one being born of the curse of the Original Sin was man's seed.  So it was imperative that the seed come from a divine source and that the mother be a Virgin for Christ to be born without Original Sin.  Because of this, He took from her human nature without natural seed from which Original Sin is transmitted, but from Divine Seed, a unique conception.

He seems to make no mention of her being IC'ed as a source of the IC of Christ.  In fact, the source is clear as if taking the words out from the Creed:  Virginity and the Holy Spirit (although I would personally stress not Virginity as if sexual intercourse is dirty, but Virginity as to avoid the old seed and become the New Seed...it's not very clear to me whether Leo teaches this or not, but this is my belief based on St. Severus of Antioch).

The only thing confusing about any of the quotes is one thing, and perhaps Isa can help me out on this one for clarity's sake.  Leo states in his second sermon on the Nativity:  "And to this end, without male seed Christ was conceived of a Virgin, who was fecundated not by human intercourse but by the Holy Spirit. And whereas in all mothers conception does not take place without stain of sin, this one received purification from the Source of her conception. For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred."

Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ.  Is that what is meant by "her conception," i.e. the conception that occurred in her?  Or is he alluding, as possibly could be the alternative Latin interpretation, she also was IC'ed?  Perhaps, consulting the Latin may help us better understand a better translation.  I personally lean towards the former not because of personal leaning but because of the sentence right after, "For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred" as a clarification of the former sentence, not as a separate and independent act, as I'm anticipating would be the Latin interpretation.

I don't know.  This seems to be what I'm reading in Leo.  Perhaps, other quotes of clarification can help prove me wrong?

God bless.

PS  Forgive me for the lengthy post.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 11, 2009, 04:58:26 AM
It`s simple and cristal clear : Mary is a servant , a humble woman , the mother of Jesus . She was the daughter of Joachim and Ana , and like all humans born from below , from two normal people , a man and a woman inherited the Original Sin of Adam and Eve , like all humans are . The idea of the Immaculated Conception is not at the birth of Mary , but at the birth of Jesus . Mary is like a woman that serves God , the maid of God . She is not like a fancy queen , who claims authority and worship and all kinds of superstitions . From what i read from the thread i opened : "The orthodox canon of Marial apparitions" the last reply and that link concerning the catholic apparitions of Mary , they are all doubtfull . The visions are very weird , sometimes "Mary" is small very small , Sometimes she is dressed with a serpant . Some of the children wich saw visions of the Mary , were not sure of their visions , they had a little doubt . Let`s not forget the weirdness of people entering into trance , also not all people manage to see , hear her , in some cases . Even the way this apparitions are made , the details of the visions . In not just one of them , when "Mary" claims she is the Immaculated conception , she appears with Joseph and Jesus , leaving sign of other bad interpretations . In other appearences "she" is gaving the child she has in her arms to children for them to hold it . And in all this apparitions on wich the catholic dogma was initialised of the WRONG "Immaculated Conception" "she" is diminuating the role of Jesus , and if we look in the Gospel of Truth , in the NT , she is always gives Jesus the first plan , the grace lifting Him up , not decreasing His role . In all the catholic "apparitions" she demands something , as for her own name and not just once threateness if that will not happen . In other cases she says , She can`t stop the wrath of Jesus , like she wants us good , and she is good and Jesus is not merciful , like the mercy of God is not from eternity . The Immaculated Conception (wich refers to the birth of Mary , from Joachim and Anna) is a demonical deceivt , lifting up Mary in wrong way , diminuating her true nature . Mary said , at the Wedding in Cana refering to Jesus : Do what ever He says . That is Her role . Be sure to read the link from "The orthodox dogma of Marial apparitions" , in Faith Issues . The conclusion is Mary was not born Immaculated , she was born from Joachim and Ana , the Immaculated Conception is the birth of Jesus and refers at Jesus . Peace . Let us focuss and our Passover , wich is Jesus Christ , our Lord and our Saviour , we are in the Holy Weeks , and the Passover is a weak near !
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: AlexanderOfBergamo on April 11, 2009, 08:20:46 AM
Quote
It`s simple and cristal clear : Mary is a servant , a humble woman , the mother of Jesus . She was the daughter of Joachim and Ana , and like all humans born from below , from two normal people , a man and a woman inherited the Original Sin of Adam and Eve , like all humans are . The idea of the Immaculated Conception is not at the birth of Mary , but at the birth of Jesus . Mary is like a woman that serves God , the maid of God . She is not like a fancy queen , who claims authority and worship and all kinds of superstitions . From what i read from the thread i opened : "The orthodox canon of Marial apparitions" the last reply and that link concerning the catholic apparitions of Mary , they are all doubtfull . The visions are very weird , sometimes "Mary" is small very small , Sometimes she is dressed with a serpant . Some of the children wich saw visions of the Mary , were not sure of their visions , they had a little doubt . Let`s not forget the weirdness of people entering into trance , also not all people manage to see , hear her , in some cases . Even the way this apparitions are made , the details of the visions . In not just one of them , when "Mary" claims she is the Immaculated conception , she appears with Joseph and Jesus , leaving sign of other bad interpretations . In other appearences "she" is gaving the child she has in her arms to children for them to hold it . And in all this apparitions on wich the catholic dogma was initialised of the WRONG "Immaculated Conception" "she" is diminuating the role of Jesus , and if we look in the Gospel of Truth , in the NT , she is always gives Jesus the first plan , the grace lifting Him up , not decreasing His role . In all the catholic "apparitions" she demands something , as for her own name and not just once threateness if that will not happen . In other cases she says , She can`t stop the wrath of Jesus , like she wants us good , and she is good and Jesus is not merciful , like the mercy of God is not from eternity . The Immaculated Conception (wich refers to the birth of Mary , from Joachim and Anna) is a demonical deceivt , lifting up Mary in wrong way , diminuating her true nature . Mary said , at the Wedding in Cana refering to Jesus : Do what ever He says . That is Her role . Be sure to read the link from "The orthodox dogma of Marial apparitions" , in Faith Issues . The conclusion is Mary was not born Immaculated , she was born from Joachim and Ana , the Immaculated Conception is the birth of Jesus and refers at Jesus . Peace . Let us focuss and our Passover , wich is Jesus Christ , our Lord and our Saviour , we are in the Holy Weeks , and the Passover is a weak near !

Amen! Amen! Amen!

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.
(Galatians 1:8)

And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light.
(2nd Corinthians 11:14)






Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 10:37:11 AM
Okay wow...many things to talk about:
INDEED, brother! When I first read through your post, I was very impressed by your insights.  Please permit the following comments for your consideration:

Quote
Personally, I've never pondered the idea of whether the Theotokos knew she was immaculately conceived.  The interest on the matter would be on the same level as me wondering if the Theotokos knew at, say, age 7 that she would be the Theotokos.  I do not see any fruit that can come from an intellectual consideration of whether the Saints had an omniscient knowledge of exactly what Graces they had received/were receiving/would receive from God.

I think this does need intellectual consideration.  As I said before, St. Luke offers us an implication that she never knew.  The interest of the matter is not, imo, at the same level as wondering if the Virgin Mary would know she would be the Theotokos.  For one thing, we know that she never knew.  For another thing, she wasn't even the Theotokos YET.  But according to the belief of the IC, she was IC'ed since her conception.  I think this speaks volumes.  Do you know of any saint sanctified for a role not knowing they were sanctified?  Does God just give grace to people without their knowledge?  Does God condemn people without their knowledge?  Do we raise our children without telling them that they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?  The knowledge about people's state, good or bad is the reason for continual evangelization and teaching as well.  Knowledge of your own status requires serious thought, imo.
I believe a differentiation needs to made between the grace she received at the conception and the grace she received at the Annunciation (I mentioned this already in my prior post regarding St. Jacob of Sarug - the Grace necessary for her to be the Ark of the Covenant is a of wholly different order than the Grace she received at her conception, which is simply the same Grace we receive at our Baptism).  Having made that differentiation, then we can proceed to ask, "did she know her role and why she was sanctified from her conception?" Yes, she did know.  And St. Luke implies that by the very fact that she asked, "How can this be for I know not a man?" The reason she was sanctified from the moment of her conception was to indicate that she would be TOTALLY God's.  We know she must have known this because according to our Tradition Sts. Hannah and Eliakim promised her to God. Thus, she indeed grew up with the knowledge that in body and soul, she belonged to God - that is why she was dedicated as a Virgin.  I'm sure you are aware that St. Eliakim had a vision of a white dove entering St. Hannah upon Mary's conception. Who do you think the White Dove refers to?

Now, the Grace of being the Ark of the Covenant, to be OVERSHADOWED by FULL DIVINITY is a Grace of a totally different order. Her purpose for receiving THAT Grace was revealed to her at the Annunciation.

Quote
St. Jacob's belief on the matter really is not a Faith-defining issue.  At the very least, if the COC has made it a Faith-defining issue, it is a very recent development in teaching.  Since most documents from the Synod are not in English, maybe it will take some time.

But I ask you this, honestly.  We both know that we don't live and breathe by every word from any human, even a Saint.  Do you think it is proper for the Synod to respond to the Catholic Church's making the IC a faith defining issue, by themselves making something else a faith-defining issue?  To me, it would seem the proper or even better course of action would be to leave the matter the way it always was - theologoumenon.

People I've known have understood through Sunday schools, priestly sermons, messages of HH in his weekly sermons that the IC is condemned.  If you read the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, you will find that one thorn in the issue of unification among many in the eyes of the Coptic Church is the IC.  Among the laity, I've heard many things like the General Resurrection will be bodiless, or that they never heard of St. Severus, the pillar of faith, or that a one-day old infant had to have committed some sort of sin (not understanding fully the idea of what it means that "no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth"), or that if someone looked at you with an evil eye, you're cursed (ya, that I've heard).  There are many many laity I've met who do not have a correct understanding of the Trinity as well, even at an adult age.
I believe we're talking about two different things here.  I thought you were referring to dogmatizing the belief of St. Jacob that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the Annunciation, not about dogmatizing the rejection of the IC.  But I guess that doesn't really effect the point of the direction of our conversation. I'll clarify further shortly.

Quote
The Church has expressed strong opposition of the IC for the main reason because of the liturgical prayer of the departed which as I stated before, "For no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth."  This "no one" includes the Virgin Mary in the eyes of the Coptic Church.  The Coptic Church also uses Romans 5:12-14 as their support, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because of which all sinned.  (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come....)"
This goes to the crux of the point of this whole thread - are those who oppose the IC simply misunderstanding it?  Let's analyze what St. Severus is saying?  If he is referring to the fact that all experience corruption and death, then I don't see how the Coptic Church can oppose the teaching of the IC, for the IC implicitly admits that.  And neither does the Scripture effect the integrity of the teaching of the IC, since, as repeatly stated (I mean to Fr. Ambrose, not to you) the teaching only admits that she was SPIRITUALLY purified at conception, and did not affect her physically in any way.  If the COC is using St. Severus and Scripture to prove that Mary was actually spiritually impure (i.e., a sinner), then that would simply run counter to the Traditional teaching of the Church.

Quote
The Coptic Church's opposition I would contend however is just the other side of the same coin as the Latin Church's dogmatic acceptance.  If it's theologomenoun, why make it a dogma?  Why then join a church that condemns anyone who does believe it?
Well, EVERY apostolic Christian in the world believes in the Assumption, and Orthodox STILL complain that it was dogmatized. So I don't think the rest of Orthodoxy would view such a move by the Coptic Church with very much favor.

Quote
Quote
These are good points to ponder.  I would ask that you consider the ramifications of your comments for our beliefs regarding the Forerunner.  St. John was sanctified even BEFORE he was born.  Does this mean St. John lost his free will, or any part of it?
True, but he was raised as a Forerunner and knew he was to be the Forerunner.  It was very clear when the Pharisees asked him who he was, and he gave them the prophecy from the great Isaiah, understanding fully well his role.  Luke's gospel does not give us that option.  The Virgin Mary however was understood as one to be raised as a Virgin devoted to the altar according to tradition, but not to know that she would be the one who would bear the Logos.
You seem to be backtracking a bit here.  You admitted earlier that she did not need to know that she would be Theotokos until her Annunciation, remember?  Why are you now arguing she needed to know this beforehand?

Quote
In addition, just as we can't say the Forerunner was IC'ed, so we can't say the same of the Theotokos.
I believe just the opposite.  Since the Forerunner was NOT IC'd, then the Theotokos must be IC'd.  For the one who was considered by our Lord the greatest among those born of woman was purified from the womb of his mother; how much more should the one greater than him, the humblest one of all, (i.e., the least) who is Mary, have been purified even earlier than him.

Quote
The Holy Spirit have descended and given grace to anyone He wills, as the Old Testament (OT) has shown.  Prophets, judges, kings, priests, even pagans at some points.  It is a matter of sanctification for the role, just as the OT vessels were washed with water and anointed with oil for a purpose.  The anointing however does not indicate a removal of Original Sin.
 
True, but I believe St. John was not only anointed, but also purified in his mother's womb, was he not?

Quote
So I don't mind the idea that the Virgin Mary was anointed from conception, but I personally find it unacceptable to remove Original Sin from conception.
But the dogma does not teach that Original sin was removed.  It simply says that the STAIN of original sin was removed (i.e., the spiritual consequences).  If the dogma actually stated that Original Sin itself was removed, then she would not have had the possibility of dying.  But all the dogma basically says is that Mary was purified from the moment of her conception (as evidence by the vision of St. Eliakim, and the testimony of several Fathers in the early Church)

Quote
Are you absolutely sure that the Synod and HH's appeal to St. Jacob is an indication that they are trying to make it a Faith-defining issue?  Is it possible that their appeal is simply to emphasize that there are Fathers (actually I can count only two in the early Church) who express the belief that Mary's sanctification occurred at the Annunciation?  In other words, maybe their point is not to make it a Faith-defining belief, but rather to insist on the fact that it remain theologoumenon.

For if it is their purpose to make it a Faith-defining belief, wouldn't that mean the Armenians are heretics for believing it (albeit not as dogma, but as theologoumenon).
I was waiting for Salpy to reply before I can mention anything.  It seems that as far as the Coptic Church knows, the Armenian and Syriac churches don't believe it.  Whatever goes on inside the other Churches, I can't answer that for you.
Regardless of the beliefs of other Churches, I think the issue I already raised above about trying to dogmatically define something as a matter of Faith is relevant.

St. Proclus of Constantinople: “As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Homily 1

St. Ephrem of Syria: “Those two innocent women, Mary and Eve, had been utterly equal, but afterwards one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life.”
- “You and your mother are the only ones IMMUNE from all stain; for there is no spot in Thee, o Lord, nor any taint in your Mother.”

St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation. To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.

Quote
I was wondering if you can give us a text of Proclus' first homily, that maybe we can understand the context of this quote.
That will have to come next week.  I got the quote from an EO website giving an honest appraisal of the IC, but that is all it gave. I will have to do research (unless you do it yourself by then).

Quote
I would contend that one can interpret St. Ephrem through St. Jacob, since both have a common poetic tradition, especially in the praises of the Theotokos.  For one thing, I find nothing contradicting my beliefs when saying that she is "the cause of life."  As we sing in the Coptic Church, she is the "salvation of our father Adam."
That was not the point of the quote.  The point was that St. Ephrem regarded Mary and Eve as "UTTERLY EQUAL" before they made their respective decisions.  I  believe that indicates that St. Ephrem believed Mary - like Eve - was in a state of spiritual purity from the moment of their existence.

Quote
I would personally interpret the "immunity of sin" in the case of the Theotokos not in the sense of Original Sin, but in the sense of her will.  It is for this reason why Christ chose her, especially for her life among people and still maintaining perfection and immaculate righteousness.  They have an immense love for the Theotokos, and perhaps it explains why St. Ephrem felt she was the "only one."  Or perhaps, she's the only one in bodily form due to the Assumption along with Christ.  Nevertheless, I don't know the context of this quote nor have I read enough of St. Ephrem to understand his meaning.  I can only with some confidence say that because both Sts. Ephrem and Jacob are of Syriac traditions, St. Jacob had to have some influence from the writings of his predecessor St. Ephrem.
I can see where you are coming from. I was thinking more along the lines of his very comparison of Mary to Jesus Himself. What does that imply? I mean I agree that when we say Mary is all-pure and all-holy singularly does not NECESSARILY dictate the IC, but to compare her holiness to Jesus' own holiness is saying a lot more.

The rest needs to wait.  Thank you again for the wonderful conversation.

Abundant Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 11, 2009, 06:04:26 PM
The many Catholic distinctions of types of grace - sanctifying grace, prevenient grace, subsequent grace, gratuitous grace, acccidental grace, operating grace, co-operating grace, etc., etc., are quite unknown to the Orthodox.
Is that supposed to be a response?  Your argument over words just demonstrates that you are not Orthodox in your belief over the matter.

Yes, it is a response.  Catholics make a strong connection between the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the words of the Archangel addressed to the Mother of God:  "Hail, Full of Grace."

I confess, reluctantly :) , that I find I do not know what Catholics mean by "Full of Grace."  Do they believe that she was full of actual grace?  Or full of gratuitous grace?

Or was she full of a mixture of all the graces?   Was she a mixture of co-operating grace and accidental grace, etc?

Or was she full of only one type of grace?  And were the other graces absent?  But then would she be "full"?  There's a lot of confusion here.

In all the years of study this topic was never covered.  So I hope you are able to help here.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 08:02:21 PM
Father, the correct theological language is "Mary never knew or was touched by sin"  and "Mary knew or was never touched by the STAIN of original sin," the STAIN of original sin defined as the SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of original sin.

Your false witness and malice grows tiresome during this Holy Season.  Please, go to confession for your false witness and your malice.


Here's a perfect example of the way polemicists will tweak the words of Catholic doctrine for the purpose of misleading others.   The dogma never states that Mary had "never known original sin." The teaching simply states that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.


You're really digging yourself into a big hole.

If the dogma never states that the Mother of God had "never known original sin" does that mean Catholics believe that in reality she did know original sin?

Isn't that gobbledygook, Marduk?

If anybody is tweaking words, it is you with such statements.     Do you ever sit down and discuss your opinions with any Catholic theologian?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 08:05:22 PM
Dearest Father Ambrose,

Thank you for your honest question.  I do not think we as non-Latins need to understand what the term "full of grace" means.  Even Mary did not comprehend her greeting.  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome) is the Orthodox teaching that Grace does not take away free will.  That is also what Latins teach.

I believe the very fact that the Catholic Church OFFICIALLY makes the greeting of the Annunciation (i.e., "full of Grace") a very basis for the dogma demonstrates its orthodoxy, for, as stated, it is Orthodox teaching that Grace does not take away free will.

Humbly,
Marduk

The many Catholic distinctions of types of grace - sanctifying grace, prevenient grace, subsequent grace, gratuitous grace, acccidental grace, operating grace, co-operating grace, etc., etc., are quite unknown to the Orthodox.
Is that supposed to be a response?  Your argument over words just demonstrates that you are not Orthodox in your belief over the matter.

Yes, it is a response.  Catholics make a strong connection between the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the words of the Archangel addressed to the Mother of God:  "Hail, Full of Grace."

I confess, reluctantly :) , that I find I do not know what Catholics mean by "Full of Grace."  Do they believe that she was full of actual grace?  Or full of gratuitous grace?

Or was she full of a mixture of all the graces?   Was she a mixture of co-operating grace and accidental grace, etc?

Or was she full of only one type of grace?  And were the other graces absent?  But then would she be "full"?  There's a lot of confusion here.

In all the years of study this topic was never covered.  So I hope you are able to help here.


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 11, 2009, 08:52:40 PM
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)

On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 11, 2009, 09:02:48 PM
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)

On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265


This is on topic... ::) not.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 11, 2009, 09:22:36 PM
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)

On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265


This is on topic... ::) not.

Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 09:39:07 PM
The Coptic Church's opposition I would contend however is just the other side of the same coin as the Latin Church's dogmatic acceptance.  If it's theologomenoun, why make it a dogma?  Why then join a church that condemns anyone who does believe it?
First, I am not aware that the COC is in "opposition" to the teaching of the IC.  All I'VE ever heard when I was not in communion with Rome was that it is not accepted.  And we also always have to wonder if those who "oppose" it are actually understanding what the IC teaches.  This whole thread has amply demonstrated that those who oppose it clearly do NOT understand it.  Aside from brother Isa and Fr. Ambrose, who have been refuted on the matter, we have people like brother Dan who think the IC teaches that Mary did not have a father.  That kind of polemic I'm not even going to address.

Second, there is a difference between an excommunication and an anathema.  Excommunication only cuts one off from the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church whereby one cannot receive her Sacraments.  Anathema cuts one off from both the Catholic Church AND the people of God wherein their salvation is called into question.  Anathema Maranatha is another censure (used in the early Church), and that one is the worst!  In any case, as already explained to brother Isa, the dogma of the IC contains neither an anathema nor an anathema Maranatha!  And given the Catholic Church's teaching on invincible ignorance and her teaching that the grace of salvation can exist outside the visible boundaires of the CC.... well, let's leave it at that.

Quote
Quote
St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation. To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.
I disagree that St. Jacob cannot be used as a source of definitive statement.  For it could simply mean as I stated before in a matter of her own personal will, she chose not to sin her whole life.
As stated to Father Ambrose, it is Orthodox teaching that Grace does not remove (or even damage) Free Will in any way.  I really don't understand the dichotomy being placed between having free will and being "full of grace."

Quote from:
It was very clear from his writings that it was at the Annunciation the curse was removed from her.  This does not mean St. Jacob was inconsistent in his thoughts.  It simply alludes to the fact that there is another interpretation of the word "stain" or "immaculate."  Coptic hymnology is filled with such language, and yet still the heirarchs (who above anything know Coptic hymnology by heart) would still vehemently reject the IC.
Exactly.  And, as I've many times stated, the dogma does not say that Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  Indeed, as you say, St. Jacob specifically alludes to that difference.  Which gets back to the question, "What is it exactly that opponents of the Catholic teaching on the IC reject?"  Are opponents actually rejecting what the IC teaches, or simply something else that is really NOT being taught by the dogma of the IC?

Quote from:
The amazing thing about the Theotokos is that unlike Eve who was without Original Sin and sinned, that the Theotokos was in Sin and did not sin.
 I don't see how you can conclude this if St. Ephrem says that Eve and Mary were "UTTERLY EQUAL" before their respective decisions.  The belief of Mary being the New Eve is even more ancient that St. Ephrem, and I believe St. Ephrem has given us the proper interpretation of that belief from the Fathers before him.  

Quote
Through freedom Eve chose to disobey God through a commandment that demanded her obedience, while the Theotokos chose to submit in obedience to God in a request that did not demand her obedience.  This is the most amazing thing about the Theotokos, and why we praise her, along with her immaculate and stainless life.  What is more amazing?  A person who is IC'ed, doesn't sin and "chooses" to be the Theotokos, or a person who is under the Curse of Sin, yet doesn't sin, and chooses to be the Theotokos?
The IC does not affect free will any more than Baptism affects free will.

Quote
Finally, I'd like to comment on Isa's post providing quotes by Pope Leo.  It seems that Leo taught the following based on these quotes:
I haven't read that thoroughly yet.  So that's it for now.

Abundant Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 09:42:57 PM
I have never ever claimed to be EO.  Please demonstrate your lie to our readers with some proof.  So it comes down to ad hominem attacks for you, since you have nothing - absolutely nothing - that you can say against the Truth of the Catholic Church.  Please don't try to shift everyone's attention away to the real focus of this thread.

And please do go to confession.

Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 11:05:23 PM
Dear brother Mina,

I would like to add a few things:

I can see where you are coming from. I was thinking more along the lines of his very comparison of Mary to Jesus Himself. What does that imply? I mean I agree that when we say Mary is all-pure and all-holy singularly does not NECESSARILY dictate the IC, but to compare her holiness to Jesus' own holiness is saying a lot more.
This is why in my post indicating the numerous EO Fathers that believed in the IC, I never once quoted a Father that merely stated that Mary was "all-holy" or "all-pure" or somesuch language.  That, I believe, is not sufficient to demonstrate belief in the IC.  However, to explicitly compare the holiness of Mary to the holiness of Jesus Himself is a whole different animal.

Quote
I don't see how you can conclude this if St. Ephrem says that Eve and Mary were "UTTERLY EQUAL" before their respective decisions.  The belief of Mary being the New Eve is even more ancient that St. Ephrem, and I believe St. Ephrem has given us the proper interpretation of that belief from the Fathers before him.
I would also like to point out that the only difference that the Fathers perceived between Mary and Eve was the disobedience of one and the obedience of the other.  The Catholic teaching which simply repeats St. Ephrem's teaching seems to me to be more faithful to the patristic tradition than the notion that there were other differences between Mary and Eve.

As already stated, I've never heard any direct "opposition" to the teaching of the IC from the COC.  All I've heard are opposiitions to matters that the dogma of the IC never teaches.  And assuming Copts understand what the IC actually teaches, the most I've heard is that it is not accepted as an article of Faith.  I have spoken to fellow Copts on this matter before my translation to the Catholic Church.  I've never met one yet in the real world who believes the teaching is to be condemned.  The most I'd heard from the regular CO is, "oh, we don't accept it as a dogma."  After my translation to the CC, I've spoken about it to Copts, and after my explanation, the reaction has been unanimous - "Oh, I did not know that is what it's really saying.  I don't think the CO condemns that."  There are others who rigtly add, "Let me see what my bishop says about it." I can only hope that the bishops of the COC have studied the teaching sufficiently to understand and be able to instruct their faithful on the matter.  I sincerely believe that the most an OO could say, if they actually knew what the dogma teaches is, "it's not an article of faith for us."  I don't see how an informed OO could say, "that teaching is condemned." As I noticed, sister Salpy stopped short of calling the teaching a heresy. And indeed, the Catholicos of the Armenians has not condemned it, but has simply stated that it is not accepted as an article of faith.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 11, 2009, 11:40:48 PM
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)

On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265


This is on topic... ::) not.

Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.

I'm afraid I have to disagree, Father. Marduk usually tries to seperate us EO from the OOs as far as possible, like here:
Since there seems to be quite many converts to both Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy, I'd like to inquire, what made you choose the way you did. Why did you choose Oriental Orthodoxy rather than Eastern Orthodoxy? And the other way around: Why did you choose Eastern Orthodoxy rather than Oriental Orthodoxy?
I am an Oriental Catholic who translated to Catholicism from Coptic Orthodoxy about four years ago.  I love Orthodoxy and I never considered my translation to Catholicism as a rejection of anything from my Coptic Orthodox heritage, but rather merely a rejection of my MISconceptions about Catholicism.  Thus, I am never bothered to hear of a Catholic wanting to convert or translate to Orthodoxy.  Whenever I come upon such people, though, I always make sure they know about Oriental Orthoodxy.  It is my opinion that Oriental Orthodoxy is in many respects more faithful to the Sacred Tradition of the Holy Fathers than Eastern Orthodoxy.

You can read the rest, and my response there.  It's the usual: how the OOs are so much more like the Latins than they are like the EOs,......

But yes, Father, as you point out, NO Orthodox is in communion with the Vatican.

I am still very interested if Mardukm can answer the thread Athanasios started from Mardukm's inspiration, on how OO ecclesiology is so like the Latin and unlike EO ecclesiology.  All us OO and EO seem to be wondering at what he is "seeing."  So, Mardukm, can you take a look at his thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18981.msg282051.html#msg282051
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 11:43:36 PM
Dear brother Mina,

Finally, I'd like to comment on Isa's post providing quotes by Pope Leo.  It seems that Leo taught the following based on these quotes:

Christ alone was born without sin.
That no one is undefiled even if one lived a single day.
Christ alone was born without sin because He was the only one born through a Virgin (in which case undefiled by concupiscence both carnally and mentally) and maintaining her virginity.
That the Virgin had to accept the conception in thought before it was actually occurring.
The Virginity and Chastity of the Theotokos is her stainless state of mind, with which Christ used for His incarnation.  In fact, he seems to teach that the source of one being born of the curse of the Original Sin was man's seed.  So it was imperative that the seed come from a divine source and that the mother be a Virgin for Christ to be born without Original Sin.  Because of this, He took from her human nature without natural seed from which Original Sin is transmitted, but from Divine Seed, a unique conception.

He seems to make no mention of her being IC'ed as a source of the IC of Christ.  In fact, the source is clear as if taking the words out from the Creed:  Virginity and the Holy Spirit (although I would personally stress not Virginity as if sexual intercourse is dirty, but Virginity as to avoid the old seed and become the New Seed...it's not very clear to me whether Leo teaches this or not, but this is my belief based on St. Severus of Antioch).

The only thing confusing about any of the quotes is one thing, and perhaps Isa can help me out on this one for clarity's sake.  Leo states in his second sermon on the Nativity:  "And to this end, without male seed Christ was conceived of a Virgin, who was fecundated not by human intercourse but by the Holy Spirit. And whereas in all mothers conception does not take place without stain of sin, this one received purification from the Source of her conception. For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred."

Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ.  Is that what is meant by "her conception," i.e. the conception that occurred in her?  Or is he alluding, as possibly could be the alternative Latin interpretation, she also was IC'ed?  Perhaps, consulting the Latin may help us better understand a better translation.  I personally lean towards the former not because of personal leaning but because of the sentence right after, "For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred" as a clarification of the former sentence, not as a separate and independent act, as I'm anticipating would be the Latin interpretation.

I don't know.  This seems to be what I'm reading in Leo.  Perhaps, other quotes of clarification can help prove me wrong?
I have not analyzed the quotes given by brother Isa yet, but let me make these comments:
1) I am not aware that the Catholic Church uses Pope St. Leo as a source for the dogma of the IC.

2) Your observation that "Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ" has great relevance here.  St. Augustine tells us that the reason that intercourse is considered sinful (i.e., the "taint of intercourse") is because of the element of lust.  However, as you well know, our Tradition states that Sts. Hannah and Eliakim did not conceive the Theotokos in lust.  That should give you a further clue as to the orthodoxy of the Catholic teaching on the IC (as I've stated before, I'm just arguing for its orthodoxy, not its status as a dogma).

3) As to the specific quote you mentioned, I think it refers to BOTH the fact that (a) original sin was not transitted because original sin was thought to be transmitted through the male seed, and (b) that Mary was also purified in some mysterious way not known to us in order to be able to receive the FULL divinity.  

This last point has two ramifications for our discussion so far.  First, it demonstrates the difference between Jesus' conception and Mary's conception.  Jesus did not obtain original sin because he did not have a human father.  In distinction, Mary did not obtain the STAIN of original sin by a special Grace from God.  So the dogma of the IC indeed grants nothing to Mary in the matter of conception that was Christ's alone.

Second, it demonstrates the distinction between the STAIN of original sin, on the one hand, from original sin per se, on the other.  Obviously, Mary still needed some other kind of Grace in order to receive the FULL divinity other than the Grace she received at the IC (which Grace is simply the same Grace we receive at Baptism).  As St. Jacob taught, she was already "without stain" even before the Annunciation (for God had already chosen her before the moment of the Annunciation).  I don't think the Church has plumbed the depths of the mystery of original sin, so I don't want to needlessly speculate on the matter, but rather simply believe what she has already taught.

In any case, as stated, I am not aware that Pope St. Leo has ever been used as a DIRECT witness for the patristic teaching on the IC (unlike St. Ephrem, among the Oriental [as distinct from Eastern] Fathers that is - there are several more from the Western Fathers accepted by the Oriental Church).  I do think that nothing in Pope St. Leo's writings opposes or contradicts the teaching.  But, like I said, I have not fully combed through the writings provided by brother Isa.

Abundant blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 11, 2009, 11:52:59 PM
Dear brother Isa,

I am still very interested if Mardukm can answer the thread Papist started from Mardukm's inspiration, on how OO ecclesiology is so like the Latin and unlike EO ecclesiology.  All us OO and EO seem to be wondering at what he is "seeing."  So, Mardukm, can you take a look at his thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18981.msg282051.html#msg282051
Thank you for wending away this tangent from this thread.  It's much appreciated.  I will go there and respond when I have time.  I don't want to debate with you over the matter in the Convert Forum.  I expressed what I believe and that's that.  The purpose of that Forum specifically does not permit debate.  I notice there are certain Forums here that require admin permission.  I have not asked for that permission, nor do I intend to.  I am not in the business of debating for the sake of debating (which is the purpose of those certain Forums).  I just want the Truth of the Catholic Faith to be known by making sure she is not misrepresented.  And I don't think those forums would be the proper context do do that (since they only seem to exist to satisfy polemic agendas).  TBH, I have not yet pressed the link above.  If it is to one of the forums that requires special admin permission, you probably will have to go about it without my participation.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Cosmos on April 12, 2009, 12:47:13 AM
The foundation of the Roman Catholic Dogma of the Immaculate Conception is the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was herself conceived without Original Sin by her mother, even though her mother biologically conceived and birthed Mary in the usual manner. Orthodoxy has always viewed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception as totally unnecessary and theologically troublesome. The primary problem that Orthodoxy perceives is the theological implication that God is not Omnipotent, but is in fact limited in the scope of His Divine Manifestation.

This is to say that since all things are possible for an Omnipotent God, the Miracle of the Divine Incarnation does not require Mary to be conceived without sin, but depends solely on the Will of God to Personally enter into human history in order to lead mankind back to Himself through the vehicle of whomever He chooses and however He chooses to do so.

If the Immaculate Conception of Mary was a prerequisite for her to become the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and thus also a prerequisite for God's subsequent Divine Incarnation as Our Lord, Jesus, then the Unlimited Perfection and Omnipotence of God was essentially restricted and made limited by Mary's material and spiritual imperfection, which is absurd, is it not?

+Cosmos
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 01:40:07 AM
Dear brother Cosmos,

The foundation of the Roman Catholic Dogma of the Immaculate Conception is the belief that the Blessed Virgin Mary was herself conceived without Original Sin by her mother, even though her mother biologically conceived and birthed Mary in the usual manner.
Not true.  The teaching does not say she was conceived without Original Sin by her mother.  It simply says she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin at the moment of her conception, the stain being the spiritual consequences of original sin.  And yes, the Orthodox and Catholic Churches believe that Mary was not conceived in sin  - that is, she was not conceived in lust.

Quote
Orthodoxy has always viewed the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception as totally unnecessary and theologically troublesome.
Thank you.  At least you are being honest, unlike brother Isa, who has repeatedly stated that the teaching is definitely a heresy.

Quote
The primary problem that Orthodoxy perceives is the theological implication that God is not Omnipotent, but is in fact limited in the scope of His Divine Manifestation.  This is to say that since all things are possible for an Omnipotent God, the Miracle of the Divine Incarnation does not require Mary to be conceived without sin, but depends solely on the Will of God to Personally enter into human history in order to lead mankind back to Himself through the vehicle of whomever He chooses and however He chooses to do so.

If the Immaculate Conception of Mary was a prerequisite for her to become the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and thus also a prerequisite for God's subsequent Divine Incarnation as Our Lord, Jesus, then the Unlimited Perfection and Omnipotence of God was essentially restricted and made limited by Mary's material and spiritual imperfection, which is absurd, is it not?
Wow!  That IS a new one! :)  Thanks for bringing it to my attention.  Your argument is known as a reductio ad absurdum.  It is generally recognized  as an invalid form of argumentation where one tries to convince someone of a certain proposition by simply assuming something is false (without actually proving it is false) and trying to prove from that assumption that it contradicts something that is true.  Here you have not even challenged the Truth of the teaching on the IC, yet you claim it contradicts the Omnipotence of God.  You have not even proven it actually does contradict the Omnipotence of God.  For your argument to be valid, you have to prove to us that the Immaculate Conception is NOT how God chose to involve himself in his Creation in that manner.  But who are you to attempt to know the depths of God on the matter?  There are not a few fathers in the early Church, common to OO, EO and CC, and even Fathers NOT in common to each Tradition, who attest that the salvation of the world began with the creation of Mary.  Some fathers use the terms "the first adoption for our salvation." Others yet state that the kingdom of God was established at the first instanct of Mary's existence in the world.  Very hyperbolic language, but it nevertheless demonstrates your assumption is false.

I've heard of philosophers opine, "could not God have saved the world any other way but by killing his Son?"  Your speculations are basically of the same order.  You can speculate, but I seriously doubt you can get away with saying that such mere speculation is the BASIS for Orthodoxy's "problems" with the teaching.

It is best for those who do not believe in the dogma to avoid trying to prognosticate the purposes and ways of God.  Just stick to the matter of the teaching itself - then again, if you do that, I'm convinced you will not find anything objectionable about it.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 04:14:14 AM
And, as I've many times stated, the dogma does not say that Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  

Right, so do we understand that it is official Catholic teaching that:

1.. Mary was NOT preserved from original sin

2.. Mary was preserved only from the STAIN of original sin

3.. It is therefore authentic Catholic doctrine to say that Mary was not preserved from original sin.

Marduk, Marduk!  I don't know what Catholic academy you have studied at but I think you would be skirting the edges of heresy.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 04:18:38 AM
I have never ever claimed to be EO. 

You claim to be Orthodox.

In your previous message you say that

1.  I [Irish Hermit] am Orthodox not in communion with Rome
2.  You are Orthodox in comunion with Rome.

So you are claiming some sort of equivalence with me who am EO.

Or do you now deny what you were saying?  Do you have one definition of Orthodox for me and a quite different one for you?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 04:24:06 AM

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

I'm afraid I have to disagree, Father. Marduk usually tries to seperate us EO from the OOs as far as possible

These are Marduk's word in message #190 where he draws an equivalence between me (who am EO) and himself...

Marduk:   "All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)"
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 06:26:19 AM
Dear Father Ambrose,

We have to distinguish between the CC/OO understanding of original sin on the one hand, and the EO understanding of original sin on the other.  The EO have an EXCESSIVE attachment of the concept of physical death to your doctrine of ancestral sin.  Whenever you speak of ancestral sin, you can mostly (if not only) think in terms of the consequence of physical death.  If one has physical death, then one has ancestral sin.

OO and Catholics, on the other hand, have a more nuanced understanding that equally takes into account the spiritual as well as the physical consequences of original sin.  I find it easier to speak to OO on this matter than EO.  But to answer your question:
And, as I've many times stated, the dogma does not say that Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  

Right, so do we understand that it is official Catholic teaching that:

1.. Mary was NOT preserved from original sin

2.. Mary was preserved only from the STAIN of original sin

3.. It is therefore authentic Catholic doctrine to say that Mary was not preserved from original sin.
Being able to properly distinguish between the spiritual and physical consequences of original sin, I, as a Catholic and Oriental, believe that:
1) Mary was NOT preserved from the physical/tactile consequences of original sin.  This would indeed be tantamount to an Eastern Christian (Catholic or Orthodox) saying that Mary was not preserved from ancestral sin, since you can mostly (if not only) think in terms of the physical/tactile consequences.

2) Mary was preserved only from the STAIN of original sin. This is true, and this is all that the dogma teaches.

3) Since I do not think ONLY in terms of physical consequences, I absolutely anathemize the statement that "Mary was not preserved from original sin."  If I admitted that, knowing that the term "original sin" refers to BOTH the physical AND spiritual consequences, then I would admittedly be in error and in heresy.
HOWEVER, an Eastern Catholic (not an Oriental Catholic like myself), IMO, who might think of ancestral sin ONLY in terms of physical death, would not be in error or in heresy if he or she says that Mary was not preserved from ancestral sin.  Eastern Catholics who would make that statement, however, should always be prepared to explain that all the statement means to an Eastern Catholic is that Mary was not preserved from the physical/tactile consequences of original sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 06:32:34 AM
Dear Father Ambrose,

We have to distinguish between the CC/OO understanding of original sin on the one hand, and the EO understanding of original sin on the other.  The EO have an EXCESSIVE attachment of the concept of physical death to your doctrine of ancestral sin.  Whenever you speak of ancestral sin, you can mostly (if not only) think in terms of the consequence of physical death.  If one has physical death, then one has ancestral sin.

OO and Catholics, on the other hand, have a more nuanced understanding that equally takes into account the spiritual as well as the physical consequences of original sin.  I find it easier to speak to OO on this matter than EO.  But to answer your question:
And, as I've many times stated, the dogma does not say that Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  

Right, so do we understand that it is official Catholic teaching that:

1.. Mary was NOT preserved from original sin

2.. Mary was preserved only from the STAIN of original sin

3.. It is therefore authentic Catholic doctrine to say that Mary was not preserved from original sin.
Being able to properly distinguish between the spiritual and physical consequences of original sin, I, as a Catholic and Oriental, believe that:
1) Mary was NOT preserved from the physical/tactile consequences of original sin.  This would indeed be tantamount to an Eastern Christian (Catholic or Orthodox) saying that Mary was not preserved from ancestral sin, since you can mostly (if not only) think in terms of the physical/tactile consequences.

2) Mary was preserved only from the STAIN of original sin. This is true, and this is all that the dogma teaches.

3) Since I do not think ONLY in terms of physical consequences, I absolutely anathemize the statement that "Mary was not preserved from original sin."  If I admitted that, knowing that the term "original sin" refers to BOTH the physical AND spiritual consequences, then I would admittedly be in error and in heresy.
HOWEVER, an Eastern Catholic (not an Oriental Catholic like myself), IMO, who might think of ancestral sin ONLY in terms of physical death, would not be in error or in heresy if he or she says that Mary was not preserved from ancestral sin.  Eastern Catholics who would make that statement, however, should always be prepared to explain that all the statement means to an Eastern Catholic is that Mary was not preserved from the physical/tactile consequences of original sin.

Thank you for clarifying that, Marduk.  The complexities of Catholic theolgy have progressed since my time.  I did not know that the Immaculate Conception was only a partial Immaculate Conception, not liberating her totally from original sin.  Thanks for explaining.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on April 12, 2009, 07:18:26 AM
Pardon me for breathing, but I would be happy to provide the full liturgical texts for the Orthodox vigils (the festal vespers and matins) for the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God, and the Annunciation. As I have stated previously (perhaps ad nauseam for some), the liturgical texts represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. In other words, they are what is read, said and sung in every Orthodox church, irrespective of ethnicity or geographic location; i.e. they represent the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church, delivered to, and believed by, ALL Orthodox Christians.

Any takers for my offer?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 07:19:09 AM
Dearest Father Ambrose,

I humbly, humbly, humbly, humbly, humbly, humbly, humbly (to infinity) ask for your forgiveness.  I accused you of malice and bearing false witness when you were being genuine in your questions.  The sin of lack of understanding and charity was my own.  I shall do much penance.  

Earlier, you had stated something to the effect that at least you were actually trying to address the topic, unlike brother Isa, and I had originally intended to thank you for that.  But when you kept asking and asking about matters that I felt I had sufficiently answered, I, in my lack of understanding and wisdom, perceived your questions to be mere attacks, and failed to express my appreciation.  I'd like to express that appreciation now, though it is certainly not enough reparation for the insult I hurled at you.  You have been a model of patience in the face of my lack of understanding.

Thank you for clarifying that, Marduk.  The complexities of Catholic theolgy have progressed since my time.  I did not know that the Immaculate Conception was only a partial Immaculate Conception, not liberating her totally from original sin.  Thanks for explaining.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 07:25:14 AM
Pardon me for breathing, but I would be happy to provide the full liturgical texts for the Orthodox vigils (the festal vespers and matins) for the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God, and the Annunciation. As I have stated previously (perhaps ad nauseam for some), the liturgical texts represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. In other words, they are what is read, said and sung in every Orthodox church, irrespective of ethnicity or geographic location; i.e. they represent the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church, delivered to, and believed by, ALL Orthodox Christians.

Any takers for my offer?
I think there is a Liturgy section in this website(?) Perhaps you can post it there for our perusal, and just provide a link to us here in this thread? I would like to check them out.  Do you have the liturgical text for the Feast of the Conception of St. Hannah?  Do the EO have a Feast for Sts. Eliakim and Hannah?  I would be interested in those too, if possible.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 07:52:34 AM
Do the EO have a Feast for Sts. Eliakim and Hannah? 

The Ethiopian Orthodox celebrate the feast of Ss. Eliakim and Hannah on the 11th of every month?   Are you able to access their texts?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 12, 2009, 08:00:46 AM
Pardon me for breathing, but I would be happy to provide the full liturgical texts for the Orthodox vigils (the festal vespers and matins) for the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God, and the Annunciation. As I have stated previously (perhaps ad nauseam for some), the liturgical texts represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. In other words, they are what is read, said and sung in every Orthodox church, irrespective of ethnicity or geographic location; i.e. they represent the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church, delivered to, and believed by, ALL Orthodox Christians.

Any takers for my offer?

YES.

I was just looking at the parish copy of "Byzantine Worship" put out by the Melkites.  There was nothing in Hapgood (no suprise there).  Found a lot on St. Anne's barrenness, but nothing on the Theotokos' "immaculate conception."

The intro did say something about the soul of the Holy Theotokos.  Maybe that is where Mardukm got his ideas about the IC involving only her soul, as, as I posted, he didn't get them from the "Apostolic Constitutions."
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 08:42:53 AM
Dearest Father Ambrose

Do the EO have a Feast for Sts. Eliakim and Hannah? 

The Ethiopian Orthodox celebrate the feast of Ss. Eliakim and Hannah on the 11th of every month?   Are you able to access their texts?
I've only heard about it from the Ethiopian Orthodox I've spoken to.  The ones I've spoken to about the IC seem to have no problem with it at all, and they always talk about Sts. Hannah and Eliakim very highly in that regard.  I know they have the Feast, but don't have the text.  Do you have access to it?  I've also read in the Old Catholic Encyclopedia that the Greeks have the Feast.  I'm not sure if, by that, they mean the EO in general, or only the Greek Orthodox.  Maybe the OP has the texts for that Feast in the Greek Orthodox Church.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 09:02:44 AM
Dear brother Isa,

The intro did say something about the soul of the Holy Theotokos.  Maybe that is where Mardukm got his ideas about the IC involving only her soul, as, as I posted, he didn't get them from the "Apostolic Constitutions."
I was actually apprised of the fact from the Old Catholic Encyclopedia (1917). When I first started looking into the CC, I was informed that the best unofficial Catholic source of info on the CC was the Old Catholic Encyclopedia. So I bought a copy of it.  The NewAdvent site does not have the original text.  And the idea that the dogma only refers to her spiritual conception is not that obvious according to its format.  Here is the text from the 1917 Encyclopedia:

The term conception does not mean the active or generative conception of her parents.  Her body was formed in the womb of the mother, and the father had the usual share in its formation. The question does not concern the immaculateness of the generative activity of her parents. Neither does it concern the passive conception absolutely and simply (conceptio seminis, carnis, inchoata), which, according to the order of nature, precedes the infusion of the rational soul. The person is truly conceived when the soul is created and infused into the body. Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin at the first moment of her animation, and sanctifying grace was given to her before sin could have taken effect on her soul.

I think the Eastern Catholics are probably more knowledgeable of this fact than the run-of-the-mill Latin Catholic (if that text you mentioned is any indication).  There's probably a lot of inadequate, if not downright bad, catechesis going on in the Latin Church.  That would be the main reason that there is even an immortalist camp in Latin Catholicism. 

Interestingly, Latin Catholic proponents of the IC in the Middle Ages revived an ancient (though defunct) tradition from the Eastern Church that St. Mary was conceived by St. Anne without the "knowledge of man," and the Pope at the time specifically condemned the notion (not sure if it was called a heresy).

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fr. George on April 12, 2009, 10:09:49 AM
I think there is a Liturgy section in this website(?) Perhaps you can post it there for our perusal, and just provide a link to us here in this thread? I would like to check them out.  Do you have the liturgical text for the Feast of the Conception of St. Hannah?  Do the EO have a Feast for Sts. Eliakim and Hannah?  I would be interested in those too, if possible.

There is only three conception feasts in the EO tradition I am aware of: the Conception of the Virgin Mary by Anna; the Conception of John by Elizabeth; and the Conception of Christ by the Virgin Mary and the Holy Spirit.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 12, 2009, 10:15:33 AM
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)

On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."

http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265


This is on topic... ::) not.

Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.
You are the one who made it an issue when this was not what the thread was about at all.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Cosmos on April 12, 2009, 05:17:48 PM
The linked articles below may provide some additional theological perspective on this subject from an Orthodox point of view:

http://www.antiochian.org.au/content/view/61/22/

http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/questions/2006/immaculate.htm

http://eirenikon.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/the-immaculate-conception-and-the-orthodox-church-4/

+Cosmos
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 05:29:17 PM
The linked articles below may provide some additional theological perspective on this subject from an Orthodox point of view:

http://www.antiochian.org.au/content/view/61/22/

http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/questions/2006/immaculate.htm

http://eirenikon.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/the-immaculate-conception-and-the-orthodox-church-4/

Dear Cosmos,

Thanks for these links but I want to note that the second article is NOT from an Orthodox point of view.  The author is a member of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and like nearly all members of these Churches he displays the typical confusion and ambiguity over the Roman Catholic dogmas which do not sit easily with what the Greek Catholics have inherited from their Orthodox past.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: yeshua on April 12, 2009, 05:45:09 PM
Brother Marduk, you are continually asking the Eastern Orthodox to not dictate to you or any other Catholic what the Catholic Church believes. I do not know how you can not honestly expect others to tolerate you telling them what their church believes and that their Fathers are not as knowledgeable as you on theological matters.

I would advise that you bear this in mind when trying to elucidate the Catholic faith, for while you certainly do help some of your fellow Eastern Catholics understand your perspective, you push away a good many, not to mention the apparent rifts it does to EO/OO/CC relations as in this foray. You are no longer Coptic Orthodox, you are Coptic Catholic, and the fact that you believe there is no difference between the two outside of who is venerated on the diptychs does not give you credence to speak for the total sum of your previous church, the Oriental Orthodox Communion, or the Oriental Christian community---not to mention denying the actual members of those churches and the EO the same capacity in speaking about your Church.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 06:29:52 PM
Dear brother Yeshua,

Brother Marduk, you are continually asking the Eastern Orthodox to not dictate to you or any other Catholic what the Catholic Church believes. I do not know how you can not honestly expect others to tolerate you telling them what their church believes and that their Fathers are not as knowledgeable as you on theological matters.

I would advise that you bear this in mind when trying to elucidate the Catholic faith, for while you certainly do help some of your fellow Eastern Catholics understand your perspective, you push away a good many, not to mention the apparent rifts it does to EO/OO/CC relations as in this foray. You are no longer Coptic Orthodox, you are Coptic Catholic, and the fact that you believe there is no difference between the two outside of who is venerated on the diptychs does not give you credence to speak for the total sum of your previous church, the Oriental Orthodox Communion, or the Oriental Christian community---not to mention denying the actual members of those churches and the EO the same capacity in speaking about your Church.
I have NEVER spoken FOR anyone except myself, if you want to go over all the posts again.  I have only ever pointed out what IS in our Tradition, and how it is AMENABLE to the Faith of Catholicism (as regards this issue, at least).  And I have pointed out several times that I am NOT here to try to persuade ANYONE to ACCEPT the teaching.  That is a HUGE difference from someone calling my belief a HERESY.  I am only proposing matters for people's consideration and explicitly asking people to SUSPEND JUDGMENT, while others have explicitly made a DEFINITE judgment on my beliefs.  Please try to understand the difference.

As for my identity as an Orthodox Christian, I already explained to my fellow Copt what that means TO ME - namely, the reality of the early Church when we were all united.  He didn't seem to have a problem with my self-understanding, so I don't know why you, who have never been a formal member of the Orthodox Church (I use "formal" concisely, because I know you are Orthodox in spirit), should.  And you're right, I don't see a difference.  And that is probably because I did not grow up in the Catholic Church where the Eastern and Oriental members have had historic problems with Latinization.  Whereas it is of great concern to you to distinguish yourself from the Latins because of your lifetime experience, I have come into the Catholic Church relatively recently, and at a time when the Eastern and Oriental Churches have, IMO, gained much respect.  And since Latinization has never been my overarching concern - where the need for differentiation is preening - I think that has freed up my mental and emotional energies to be able to focus on similarities instead.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 12, 2009, 07:08:38 PM
We have to distinguish between the CC/OO understanding of original sin on the one hand, and the EO understanding of original sin on the other. 

...

OO and Catholics, on the other hand, have a more nuanced understanding that equally takes into account the spiritual as well as the physical consequences of original sin. 

Marduk,

Please stop speaking on behalf of the OO's and asserting that we are the same as the Catholics.  You are not an OO.  You have been told by real OO's here that you are not representing us properly, yet you still pretend to do so.  This is getting very irritating.  We OO's are not the same as the Catholics. 
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 07:16:18 PM
We have to distinguish between the CC/OO understanding of original sin on the one hand, and the EO understanding of original sin on the other. 

...

OO and Catholics, on the other hand, have a more nuanced understanding that equally takes into account the spiritual as well as the physical consequences of original sin. 
Please stop speaking on behalf of the OO's and asserting that we are the same as the Catholics.  You are not an OO.  You have been told by real OO's here that you are not representing us properly, yet you still pretend to do so.  This is getting very irritating.  We OO's are not the same as the Catholics. 
So, please show me where Oriental Orthodoxy does not distinguish between the spiritual and physical consequences of original/ancestral sin.

I've never said OO are the same as Catholics.  I've only ever stated that we have many things we share in common.  Please don't try to put words in my mouth.

And what have I not represented properly?  That the IC is definitely not condemned, because that's all I've ever said?  Show me a formal declaration even from your Church that calls the IC a heresy, and I will believe you.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 07:29:23 PM
Pardon me for breathing, but I would be happy to provide the full liturgical texts for the Orthodox vigils (the festal vespers and matins) for the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God, and the Annunciation. As I have stated previously (perhaps ad nauseam for some), the liturgical texts represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. In other words, they are what is read, said and sung in every Orthodox church, irrespective of ethnicity or geographic location; i.e. they represent the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church, delivered to, and believed by, ALL Orthodox Christians.

Any takers for my offer?
I think there is a Liturgy section in this website(?) Perhaps you can post it there for our perusal, and just provide a link to us here in this thread? I would like to check them out. 

Dear Marduk,

I see that you have now checked them out and find that we Eastern Orthodox, according to our texts, hold to the same concept of immaculate conception as the RCs.   That will be quite a surprise to many of us, including me who have been using the liturgical texts for 30 years now.

You wrote:
Quote
I just found out quite by accident (while researching another topic) a couple of hours ago that the EOC celebrates the Feast of the Conception of Mary on December 9 where it is admitted that the Holy Spirit gave Mary all the graces a creature could receive at the moment of her conception. This is exactly what the dogma of the IC teaches.

Would you mind refererencing the sections in the text which I have obvioulsy completely overlooked for all these years.

As LBK says very eloquently above, our liturgy embodies our doctrine and so if our liturgy teaches the immaculate conception then we are all of us heretics for denying it. 

(http://www.emotihost.com/glass/1.gif)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 07:45:13 PM
Pardon me for breathing, but I would be happy to provide the full liturgical texts for the Orthodox vigils (the festal vespers and matins) for the feasts of the Nativity of the Mother of God, the Entry into the Temple of the Mother of God, and the Annunciation. As I have stated previously (perhaps ad nauseam for some), the liturgical texts represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. In other words, they are what is read, said and sung in every Orthodox church, irrespective of ethnicity or geographic location; i.e. they represent the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church, delivered to, and believed by, ALL Orthodox Christians.

Any takers for my offer?
I think there is a Liturgy section in this website(?) Perhaps you can post it there for our perusal, and just provide a link to us here in this thread? I would like to check them out. 

Dear Marduk,

I see that you have now checked them out and find that we Eastern Orthodox, according to our texts, hold to the same concept of immaculate conception as the RCs.   That will be quite a surprise to many of us, including me who have been using the liturgical texts for 30 years now.

You wrote:
Quote
I just found out quite by accident (while researching another topic) a couple of hours ago that the EOC celebrates the Feast of the Conception of Mary on December 9 where it is admitted that the Holy Spirit gave Mary all the graces a creature could receive at the moment of her conception. This is exactly what the dogma of the IC teaches.
No, I based my statement on the comment in an EO website on WHAT the Feast of the Conception celebrates.  According to comment, the Feast mentions that Mary received all the graces at her conception but it was also sure to point out that the Feast does not have any reference to taking away original sin.  I have not had the opportunity to check them out.  As you will notice, the comment I made here about checking them out is several days after the comment I made in the CAF above.  I am indeed eager to see the texts, since I looked but have not found them.

BTW, do you have those texts from the Feast of Sts. Hannah and Eliakim. Thanks.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 12, 2009, 07:53:55 PM
Show me a formal declaration even from your Church that calls the IC a heresy, and I will believe you.

My Church has stated that it is not a belief that we we hold.  That should be enough for you.  What are you looking for?  A formal council of Armenian bishops held for the purpose of condemning this and other recent innovations?  Didn't the IC only become a controversy in the last couple of centuries?  Don't you know anything about Armenian history?  Exactly how and when are we to hold a council to address this and other Latin innovations that keep popping up at head-spinning speed?  During this time our Church has been oppressed at every level by Muslims and Communists, our people killed off, our clergy killed off, and what's left has been thrown into diaspora.  Our Church leaders haven't even convened a council to address the Protestant heresies that keep popping up.  Does that mean we are OK with Predestination and Once-Saved-Always-Saved?  After all, the only thing we have on those are the statements of our leaders saying those doctrines are not beliefs of our Church.  No official council that I know of officially proclaiming them as heresies.  We just can't hold a council every time some Western Church pops out a new belief.    
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 07:57:52 PM
BTW, do you have those texts from the Feast of Sts. Hannah and Eliakim. Thanks.

Sorry no.  This feast is observed on the 11th of every month by the Ethiopian Orthodox.

Since you are Coptic Orthodox it would be easier for you to find the texts.  We don't have an Ethiopian parish in this city.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 12, 2009, 08:00:35 PM
He is not Coptic Orthodox.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 08:02:29 PM
Show me a formal declaration even from your Church that calls the IC a heresy, and I will believe you.

My Church has stated that it is not a belief that we we hold.  That should be enough for you.  What are you looking for?  A formal council of Armenian bishops held for the purpose of condemning this and other recent innovations?  Didn't the IC only become a controversy in the last couple of centuries?  Don't you know anything about Armenian history?  Exactly how and when are we to hold a council to address this and other Latin innovations that keep popping up at head-spinning speed?  During this time our Church has been oppressed at every level by Muslims and Communists, our people killed off, our clergy killed off, and what's left has been thrown into diaspora.  Our Church leaders haven't even convened a council to address the Protestant heresies that keep popping up.  Does that mean we are OK with Predestination and Once-Saved-Always-Saved?  After all, the only thing we have on those are the statements of our leaders saying those doctrines are not beliefs of our Church.  No official council that I know of officially proclaiming them as heresies.  We just can't hold a council every time some Western Church pops out a new belief.    
Well, your Supreme Catholicos only states that it is not accepted as an article of Faith.  I guess it depends on whether you and I have a different understanding of the term "article of Faith." I understand that to mean that it is not to be believed as a dogma, not that it is not to be believed PERIOD.  So what does the term "article of Faith" mean to an Armenian?  Do you have beliefs in your Church that are not "articles of Faith?"  Or are ALL beliefs in your Church "articles of Faith?"

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 08:06:18 PM
He is not Coptic Orthodox.
Sister Salpy is correct.  I would never CALL myself simply "Coptic Orthodox."  I would consider myself "Coptic Orthodox in communion with Rome" or simply "Coptic Catholic." I am Coptic Orthodox in heritage, but not in name.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 08:09:41 PM
He is not Coptic Orthodox.
Sister Salpy is correct.  I would never CALL myself simply "Coptic Orthodox."  I would consider myself "Coptic Orthodox in communion with Rome"

Oh come on!  Isn't that just word games and deceptive.   It's the kind of doublespeak we would expect from bad lawyers.

Besides, this strange terminology of "something Orthodox in communion with Rome" but not with the Orthodox is of very recent coinage.  Five years?  Eight years?   What were they before the term was coined?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 12, 2009, 08:41:24 PM

Well, your Supreme Catholicos only states that it is not accepted as an article of Faith.  I guess it depends on whether you and I have a different understanding of the term "article of Faith."


It means it is not a belief of the Armenian Church.  It means anyone who states it is a belief of the Armenian Church is a no good liar.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 12, 2009, 09:05:21 PM

Well, your Supreme Catholicos only states that it is not accepted as an article of Faith.  I guess it depends on whether you and I have a different understanding of the term "article of Faith."


It means it is not a belief of the Armenian Church.  It means anyone who states it is a belief of the Armenian Church is a no good liar.
Well, then, I'm glad I always qualified my statements with the phrase "as theologoumenon."

BTW, do you have any documents in the Armenian Church that state that mere belief is ALWAYS an article of Faith? That's the only way you'll convince me that the teaching of the IC is CONDEMNED in your Church (well, apart from a formal statement that it is heresy).  That's probably also the only way you will convince ANYONE who understands that not all beliefs are "articles of Faith".  I'm not going to take your word for it. Why?  Because you get insulted at the very idea of me claiming that the OO and the CC have many things in common, whereby you claim I am misrepresenting the OO.  That demonstrates to me your statements might be blinded by anti-Catholic bias, and prejudice is not a trustworthy thing at all.  I'll understand if by "Armenian Church" you mean the Armenian Church in the U.S., but can you speak for ALL Armenian Orthodox?

If this comment by me gets me banned from this website like you banned me from the Oriental Orthodox forum, while I was trying to point an inquirer to hierarchical OO documents - well, so be it.  Small minds, here.

I think I will take my leave now.  I have overstayed my welcome just for trying to point out similarities between the Churches.  Have a blessed Pascha.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 12, 2009, 09:26:55 PM
BTW, do you have any documents in the Armenian Church that state that mere belief is ALWAYS an article of Faith? That's the only way you'll convince me that the teaching of the IC is CONDEMNED in your Church (well, apart from a formal statement that it is heresy).  That's probably also the only way you will convince ANYONE who understands that not all beliefs are "articles of Faith".  I'm not going to take your word for it.

Mardum,

Again you are digging yourself into a big hole.  I imagine that if we applied your logic we could attribute the most outrageous beliefs to the Catholic Church.

Where is the formal RC condemnation of the teaching of the Quasi-Incarnation of the Spirit?   Should we infer, in its absence, that it is a legitimate belief?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 12, 2009, 09:35:53 PM
If this comment by me gets me banned from this website like you banned me from the Oriental Orthodox forum, while I was trying to point an inquirer to hierarchical OO documents - well, so be it.  Small minds, here.

Goodness gracious.  I haven't banned you from anything.  I don't think I could ban a person, even if I wanted to.  In fact, in all the years I've been a moderator, I've never even warned anyone.  I usually find another way of dealing with the problem.  For example, in the case of people who lie about my Church (you are not the first,) I usually just kick their lying posts down into the private forum where I can have it out with them.  That's probably what I will eventually do with you, if you don't stop.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Salpy on April 12, 2009, 09:47:45 PM

BTW, do you have any documents in the Armenian Church that state that mere belief is ALWAYS an article of Faith?

Exactly when would those documents have been written?  Between the massacres of Abdul Hamid and the Genocide?  Or perhaps between the Genocide (when about 95% of all our clergy was killed,) and the Communist takeover? 

What do you mean by "article of faith," vs. "belief?"

I still remember a lecture by a deacon in my church, where he told us that one of the big differences between us and the Chalcedonians (both EO and Catholic) is that we OO's believe in using as little language as possible to define things.  We don't elaborate.   We don't over-define things.  We don't get into lots of fancy terminology.  We don't have lots of official documents and councils.  Believe me, we haven't gotten into the difference between an "article of faith" and a "belief."  A Church either believes something, or it doesn't. 


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 12, 2009, 10:24:02 PM
Dear Mardukm (is it pronounced Mardooq, with the Arabic letter "qaf" at the end?),

I believe a differentiation needs to made between the grace she received at the conception and the grace she received at the Annunciation (I mentioned this already in my prior post regarding St. Jacob of Sarug - the Grace necessary for her to be the Ark of the Covenant is a of wholly different order than the Grace she received at her conception, which is simply the same Grace we receive at our Baptism).  Having made that differentiation, then we can proceed to ask, "did she know her role and why she was sanctified from her conception?" Yes, she did know.  And St. Luke implies that by the very fact that she asked, "How can this be for I know not a man?" The reason she was sanctified from the moment of her conception was to indicate that she would be TOTALLY God's.  We know she must have known this because according to our Tradition Sts. Hannah and Eliakim promised her to God. Thus, she indeed grew up with the knowledge that in body and soul, she belonged to God - that is why she was dedicated as a Virgin.  I'm sure you are aware that St. Eliakim had a vision of a white dove entering St. Hannah upon Mary's conception. Who do you think the White Dove refers to?

Now, the Grace of being the Ark of the Covenant, to be OVERSHADOWED by FULL DIVINITY is a Grace of a totally different order. Her purpose for receiving THAT Grace was revealed to her at the Annunciation.

As I said before, the sanctification by the Holy Spirit is not the same as the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism.  He sanctified many in the Old Testament, and even descended on a pagan king to speak prophecy.  Just because the Holy Spirit descends on such people doesn't mean the Holy Spirit takes away their "stain" (I'm using the word stain now, since you believe something differently than I had imagined, and I'll explain why I feel there's a contradiction between your belief and what I learned).

The Holy Spirit sanctified even Judas Iscariot, for he was performing miracles in the name of Christ along with the other Apostles.  The Holy Spirit sanctified even Saul the King, who betrayed the kingly honor, in which David had to be chosen afterwards.  These men chosen by God are an example of God showing us that those He had chosen still had the freedom to leave.  In addition, their sanctifications are not removal of "stains" either.

Quote
This goes to the crux of the point of this whole thread - are those who oppose the IC simply misunderstanding it?  Let's analyze what St. Severus is saying?  If he is referring to the fact that all experience corruption and death, then I don't see how the Coptic Church can oppose the teaching of the IC, for the IC implicitly admits that.  And neither does the Scripture effect the integrity of the teaching of the IC, since, as repeatly stated (I mean to Fr. Ambrose, not to you) the teaching only admits that she was SPIRITUALLY purified at conception, and did not affect her physically in any way.  If the COC is using St. Severus and Scripture to prove that Mary was actually spiritually impure (i.e., a sinner), then that would simply run counter to the Traditional teaching of the Church.

St. Severus teaches us that death causes us to sin.  Nevertheless, there are some who have the law of death in the members and do not sin.  That is death reigned in the likeness of Adam "even unto those who have not sinned" (Romans 5:14).  Death was the issue that needed to be conquered, as it is the cause of sin for most people.  Thus, when Christ died destroying death, the sting of death, which is sin, no longer exists, for death is destroyed, and thus no more stings (1 Cor. 15).  The Oriental Orthodox Church does not differentiate between "stain" as you define it and "Original Sin."  Stain to us is the act of sinning.  Stain to you is removing the propensity to sin.  However, to us the propensity to sin comes from death.  Thus, it contradicts our tradition (especially St. Severus) if one is to say that one can remove the propensity of sin without death.  This is an affront to our own dogma, and contradicts it tremendously, much worse than what I had previously thought the IC meant.

Quote
Well, EVERY apostolic Christian in the world believes in the Assumption, and Orthodox STILL complain that it was dogmatized. So I don't think the rest of Orthodoxy would view such a move by the Coptic Church with very much favor.

My friend, yes we all believe in the Assumption.  But not all of us believe in the IC.  Big difference.  Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?

Quote
You seem to be backtracking a bit here.  You admitted earlier that she did not need to know that she would be Theotokos until her Annunciation, remember?  Why are you now arguing she needed to know this beforehand?

No, I said that according to Luke, she DID NOT know until her Annunciation.  If she was IC'ed, then she should have known before the Annunciation.  That's my argument.

Quote
I believe just the opposite.  Since the Forerunner was NOT IC'd, then the Theotokos must be IC'd.  For the one who was considered by our Lord the greatest among those born of woman was purified from the womb of his mother; how much more should the one greater than him, the humblest one of all, (i.e., the least) who is Mary, have been purified even earlier than him.

...

True, but I believe St. John was not only anointed, but also purified in his mother's womb, was he not?

Now, I'm confused.  What's the difference between "purification" and "removal of the stain of Original Sin?"

Quote
But the dogma does not teach that Original sin was removed.  It simply says that the STAIN of original sin was removed (i.e., the spiritual consequences).  If the dogma actually stated that Original Sin itself was removed, then she would not have had the possibility of dying.  But all the dogma basically says is that Mary was purified from the moment of her conception (as evidence by the vision of St. Eliakim, and the testimony of several Fathers in the early Church)

My friend, I had this dialogue before with a Catholic who was a convert from Protestantism.  He explained to me that Christ's being both God and man, outside time and within time.  In time His death destroyed Original Sin and can have its effects outside time.  One of these effects therefore was the IC.  He used this understanding to clear any misunderstanding that the Theotokos did not need Christ for her salvation.  But supposedly, it was Christ's death working back in time to bring salvation to the Theotokos in her conception from St. Anna.  This lead me to the understanding that the Latins understand that Original Sin was removed from her, and there was no differentiation between "stain" and "Original Sin."  Now, I get a different understanding.

Nevertheless, I tell you this.  Don't we believe that baptism removes "Original Sin?"  But what you say that if Original Sin is removed, we shouldn't die.  So does that mean we only removed the stain as well?

This is why I find your interpretation of the IC to be actually more dangerous than the previous interpretation I understood.  Alexandrian tradition, through Sts. Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus (although he's really Syriac) teach us that the sin of one lead to the death of all, and that the spiritual death we all have leads us to sin.  St. Paul even teaches this as well in Romans 5:12.

Thus, if the IC was a removal of her "stain" by the Holy Spirit, and it is the "stain" that leads all to sin, then this is dogmatically in contradiction with the belief that our spiritual death causes us to sin.

Quote
That was not the point of the quote.  The point was that St. Ephrem regarded Mary and Eve as "UTTERLY EQUAL" before they made their respective decisions.  I  believe that indicates that St. Ephrem believed Mary - like Eve - was in a state of spiritual purity from the moment of their existence.

I have to respectfully disagree.  I saw "equality" as a matter of previous actions, not state of the soul.  Equality can also be a matter of humanity.  Christ is equal to us by His human nature, equal to the Father by His divine nature.  In this case, it is clear the "equality" is in the matter of their "innocence," and I interpret this to mean their previous actions of sinlessness.

But alas, even you should concede that even the state of the soul, there's no "real" equality, for Original Sin was not removed (as was the case with Eve), but merely the "stain."  So, then what does St. Ephraim mean then?  It is stain, Original Sin, or actions?

Quote
I can see where you are coming from. I was thinking more along the lines of his very comparison of Mary to Jesus Himself. What does that imply? I mean I agree that when we say Mary is all-pure and all-holy singularly does not NECESSARILY dictate the IC, but to compare her holiness to Jesus' own holiness is saying a lot more.

The comparison between Christ and the Virgin Mary can be why Christ chose the Theotokos as His mother, not necessarily as some sort of removal of "stain".  St. Jacob of Serug said that if there was anyone else more perfect than Mary, Mary wouldn't have been chosen.

Quote
The IC does not affect free will any more than Baptism affects free will.

You misunderstand my question.  I'm not questioning free will brother.  I'm simply asking which is more amazing?  Those under the curse who don't sin or those not under the curse who don't sin?  This is a matter of contemplation that I find why the Theotokos is most amazing, stainless even under the curse of Original Sin (in the way I understand though, since there's no belief in our church of some sort of "stain").

Quote
Your observation that "Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ" has great relevance here.  St. Augustine tells us that the reason that intercourse is considered sinful (i.e., the "taint of intercourse") is because of the element of lust.  However, as you well know, our Tradition states that Sts. Hannah and Eliakim did not conceive the Theotokos in lust.  That should give you a further clue as to the orthodoxy of the Catholic teaching on the IC (as I've stated before, I'm just arguing for its orthodoxy, not its status as a dogma).

My friend, forgive me but the actions of intercourse require actions of sexual feelings.  If it is this sexual feeling besides intercourse that is considered "lustful" and thus "sinful," then this has dire consequences socially.  Yes, I understand St. Augustine may have taught thus, but I don't think this teaching is held consistently through the Fathers.  This sounds to me semi-Manichean.  The Coptic Church does not hold to this belief.

If it's lust in bed, and not merely male seed, that transmits "stain", why didn't Christ have an earthly father?  Assuming it's possible to not have sexual feelings in bed, wouldn't it be possible that some people in the past might have been born without the "stain" as well, and that the Theotokos was not the only one who was IC'ed according to your beliefs?

Quote
3) As to the specific quote you mentioned, I think it refers to BOTH the fact that (a) original sin was not transitted because original sin was thought to be transmitted through the male seed, and (b) that Mary was also purified in some mysterious way not known to us in order to be able to receive the FULL divinity.

So now we have two immaculate events?  One at conception and one at the Annunciation?  I thought the Latins thought the conception was enough for the Incarnation?

The idea that her Virginity, her celibacy, her lustless thought was the primary reason for Christ being born without Original Sin was something that St. Severus fought against Julian with.  Julian thought the same, but St. Severus said this wasn't the primary reason.  The primary reason was for Christ to become the first fruits of salvation, a New Seed for mankind, so that "in Adam, all die, but in Christ, all live."  Not merely the act of Virginity itself, but what this Virginity entails, i.e. that no male seed means a New Seed is born, and a New Life is to be obtained.  It signifies as well spiritual birth, for just as Christ was born from the Virgin, so we are reborn from the baptismal font.

Finally, some word documents (HE Metropolitan Bishoy's website) from the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, and what the Coptic Church finds problems with:

http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Catholics/The%20Immaculate%20conception.doc

Here, though, HE Metropolitan Bishoy is talking about Original Sin, not the "stain."  It has come to my attention that the Coptic Church had dialogue with the Catholic Church concerning christology, purgatory, indulgences, and the Filioque, and then ended the dialogue on account of the agreement made between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church, so I could not find anything on the dialogue there.  As I read the Catholic Encyclopedia, you seem to hold a correct interpretation of your church's beliefs, i.e. that there's a distinction between "stain" and "Original Sin."  There is no such belief in the Coptic Orthodox Church to begin with, thus the IC is not a dogma since the idea of the "stain" doesn't even exist anyway, and in fact seems to contradict the ideas of the Alexandrian fathers, as I have mentioned before.  It would be interesting to hear what the Coptic Church has to say about the particular belief of the "stain."

God bless.

PS I advise you my friend that instead of defining what other churches believe, just defend your own church's faith, and leave the beliefs of other churches to be defined by those within those churches.  It is why Salpy is upset, but she wouldn't ban you.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 12, 2009, 10:55:31 PM
If this comment by me gets me banned from this website like you banned me from the Oriental Orthodox forum, while I was trying to point an inquirer to hierarchical OO documents - well, so be it.  Small minds, here.

Goodness gracious.  I haven't banned you from anything.  I don't think I could ban a person, even if I wanted to.  In fact, in all the years I've been a moderator, I've never even warned anyone.  I usually find another way of dealing with the problem.  For example, in the case of people who lie about my Church (you are not the first,) I usually just kick their lying posts down into the private forum where I can have it out with them.  That's probably what I will eventually do with you, if you don't stop.
LOL.
Now I know why the Turks are terrified of the Armenians.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Αριστοκλής on April 13, 2009, 07:08:59 AM
Just so, Salpy.

Why would the Armenian church, or any church, hold a synod to condemn an error to which it, or its members, or even some of its members, do NOT ascribe?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on April 13, 2009, 07:26:10 AM
Just so, Salpy.

Why would the Armenian church, or any church, hold a synod to condemn an error to which it, or its members, or even some of its members, do NOT ascribe?

You have to forgive the Vatican, where dogmas are proclaimed for doctrines no one in their communion disputes (e.g. IC, Assumption) and of course they know that all focus in on the pope of Rome, we Orthodox craving his legitimizing power.

You get this a lot on CAF.  But of course when you have a synod to condmen an error that a member has, say, like the Fifth Ecumenical Council anathematizing Pope Honorius or the ban by the Second and Fourth Ecumenical councils and the 8th/Pan Orthodox Council of Constantinople (879) on changing the Creed, etc. then we are told that the Fathers didn't mean what they said.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 22, 2009, 02:48:24 AM

Just coming back to this thread to ask a question of the Catholic members.  It was posed to me today by a visitor.

Catholics place on awful amount of emphasis on the Archangel's greeting to the Mother of God "Hail, FULL  OF  GRACE" and this greeting is a strong plank in their argumentation for the Immaculate Conception.

Now if "Full" in fact means "Full" and not half-full or 7/8ths full does this mean that Mary was necessarily fully deified (as in theosis) from the moment of her conception?   Does it mean that she has existed from the first moment of her existence in the supreme condition of total final theosis?   This is something which the rest of us willl never obtain since theosis is a never-ending journey into the infinity of God.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 24, 2009, 01:46:46 PM

Just coming back to this thread to ask a question of the Catholic members.  It was posed to me today by a visitor.

Catholics place on awful amount of emphasis on the Archangel's greeting to the Mother of God "Hail, FULL  OF  GRACE" and this greeting is a strong plank in their argumentation for the Immaculate Conception.

Now if "Full" in fact means "Full" and not half-full or 7/8ths full does this mean that Mary was necessarily fully deified (as in theosis) from the moment of her conception?   Does it mean that she has existed from the first moment of her existence in the supreme condition of total final theosis?   This is something which the rest of us willl never obtain since theosis is a never-ending journey into the infinity of God.
I think you are delving too deeply into the divine mysteries through use of human reason.  ;) To be honest, I don't know. She was filled with grace, yes. Was there a way for to be even more full than full? I suppose.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: monkvasyl on April 24, 2009, 02:04:15 PM
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 24, 2009, 02:07:49 PM
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LizaSymonenko on April 24, 2009, 02:24:37 PM

I have heard the same thing.

That is why in Orthodox icons, you often see Anna and Joachim with a "bed" in the background, to symbolize that they had "relations" in order to conceive the Theotokos.

Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: rwprof on April 24, 2009, 02:28:01 PM
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?

Perhaps a confused priest?


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 24, 2009, 02:38:42 PM

I have heard the same thing.

That is why in Orthodox icons, you often see Anna and Joachim with a "bed" in the background, to symbolize that they had "relations" in order to conceive the Theotokos.


Haha. I understand the reasoning behind this and think its good reasoning BUT you have to admitt that its pretty funny!  ;D
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: monkvasyl on April 24, 2009, 03:15:12 PM
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?

It was an Orthodox priest...he was a convert from some Protestant group and always had an obsessive bone to pick with the Catholic church. He would try to pinpoint the exact moment the Holy Spirit left the Catholic church.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 24, 2009, 03:24:14 PM
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?

It was an Orthodox priest...he was a convert from some Protestant group and always had an obsessive bone to pick with the Catholic church. He would try to pinpoint the exact moment the Holy Spirit left the Catholic church.
Awww. We would miss him if he did that.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 28, 2009, 08:20:25 AM
Dear brother Mina,

I did not get to my e-mails until 2 days ago. Sorry for the long delay. I admit I was not intending to come back here. Thanks for your questions.

Quote from:
Dear Mardukm (is it pronounced Mardooq, with the Arabic letter "qaf" at the end?)
Correct. Many of my friends call me “Mark” for short.
Quote
As I said before, the sanctification by the Holy Spirit is not the same as the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism.  He sanctified many in the Old Testament, and even descended on a pagan king to speak prophecy.  Just because the Holy Spirit descends on such people doesn't mean the Holy Spirit takes away their "stain" (I'm using the word stain now, since you believe something differently than I had imagined, and I'll explain why I feel there's a contradiction between your belief and what I learned).

The Holy Spirit sanctified even Judas Iscariot, for he was performing miracles in the name of Christ along with the other Apostles.  The Holy Spirit sanctified even Saul the King, who betrayed the kingly honor, in which David had to be chosen afterwards.  These men chosen by God are an example of God showing us that those He had chosen still had the freedom to leave.  In addition, their sanctifications are not removal of "stains" either.
Sanctification is simply a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can sanctify in many various ways, and such gifts are not the same for all.  The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception (really nothing more than the Grace of Baptism) is different from the effect of sanctification on Judas (to be an Apostle and perform miracles) and on Saul (to have the divine right of kingship). The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception was also different from the effect of the sanctification she received at the Annunciation.  The grace Mary received at the moment of her conception was the grace to dedicate herself to God.  In distinction, the grace Mary received at the annunciation was the grace to be able to bear the FULL DIVINITY, and, also, IMO, the unique grace to remain a virgin despite bearing Christ.

I pray I have now answered you sufficiently on this matter of sanctification, demonstrating that in this respect, the IC does not contradict the Oriental Tradition. Of course, I always welcome any other questions.

Quote
St. Severus teaches us that death causes us to sin.  Nevertheless, there are some who have the law of death in the members and do not sin.  That is death reigned in the likeness of Adam "even unto those who have not sinned" (Romans 5:14).  Death was the issue that needed to be conquered, as it is the cause of sin for most people.  Thus, when Christ died destroying death, the sting of death, which is sin, no longer exists, for death is destroyed, and thus no more stings (1 Cor. 15).  The Oriental Orthodox Church does not differentiate between "stain" as you define it and "Original Sin."  Stain to us is the act of sinning.  Stain to you is removing the propensity to sin.  However, to us the propensity to sin comes from death.  Thus, it contradicts our tradition (especially St. Severus) if one is to say that one can remove the propensity of sin without death.  This is an affront to our own dogma, and contradicts it tremendously, much worse than what I had previously thought the IC meant.
I guess more clarification is in order.  The stain of sin (the spiritual consequences of the fall) is a universal concept in all the Traditions – Oriental, Eastern, and Western.  I think that is undeniable.  Fine, don’t call it “stain,” but don’t you think we need to go beyond mere terminology in order to truly understand each other?  Isn’t this method of ecumenism the very one proposed by our Oriental Tradition?  Now, aside from the spiritual consequences (the West specifically calls it “stain,” and other Traditions don’t use that word, though the words “taint” or “filth” is common enough in the language of the Oriental Fathers – which is the same thing), there are the physical consequences of sin, which are death and corruption (including physical/emotional/psychological illnesses and instabilities). For example, Pope St. Athanasius wrote in one place: “For this cause, then death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the race of man was perishing; the rational man made in God’s image was disappearing, and the handiwork of God was in process of dissolution” (On the Incarnation of the Word); and in another place, he wrote, “But when man, by the counsel of the Serpent, departed from the consideration of God, and began to regard himself, then they not only fell to bodily lust, but knew that they were naked, and knowing, were ashamed. But they knew they were naked not so much of clothing, as that they were become stripped of the contemplation of divine things, and had transferred their understanding to the contraries.” Further, he wrote “Whence also when it gets rid of all the filth of sin which covers it and retains only the likeness of the Image in its purity, then surely this latter being thoroughly brightened, the soul beholds as in a mirror the Image of the Father, even the Word, and by His means reaches the idea of the Father, Whose Image the Savior is.”(Against the Heathen)  So from our Father Athanasius, we see that the Fall not only had physical consequences, but also spiritual consequences (the “stain” or “taint” or “filth” of sin).

Personally, I don’t accept your understanding that “death is the cause of sin.” That seems like an overly Byzantine understanding of original sin. What I learned as a Copt and Oriental growing up is exactly what Pope St. Athanasius taught – that the Fall had spiritual AND physical consequences, death being just one of those (physical) consequences, and another being the “stripping of the contemplation of divine things” (a spiritual consequence) – though these are not the only physical and spiritual consequences of the Fall.  Making physical death the be all and end all of the Fall is not what I learned as a Copt growing up.

Here is an excerpt from HH Pope Shenoute’s Adam and Eve: After the fall, this image was distorted; the moral human nature was wounded, weakened and damaged by sin. A predisposition to sin invaded the human nature. It is written that Adam begot a son in his own likeness, after his image (Gen 5:3). In other words, Adam begot a son in his own ‘distorted’ image. Therefore, St. Paul said, “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph 2:3). King David also said, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5).
The sinful human nature that we inherited is sentenced to death for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Thus death reined over all humanity as St. Paul said, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12), “by one man disobedience many were made sinners” (Rom 5:19).

According to Byzantine Tradition, which it seems you are espousing, death and fear of it causes sin.  In distinction, according to the Coptic Tradition (which is more similar to the Latin Tradition in this regard), it is sin that causes death.  I am just presenting to you what I learned growing up as a Copt.  You seem to have had a different educational experience, leaning more towards the Byzantine/Eastern understanding, which may be part of the cause of the discrepancies in our respective viewpoints.

Quote
My friend, yes we all believe in the Assumption.  But not all of us believe in the IC.  Big difference.
I agree, but we disagree on the result of this difference. I believe that since a matter of UNANIMOUS agreement is deemed to be UNdogmatizable (is that a word? Well, you know what I mean) by some within Orthodoxy, then a matter that does NOT have unanimous agreement has even LESS merit to obtain dogmatization.  I mean, since there are many in the EOC and even some in the OOC who agree that the IC is a legitimate theologumenon, wouldn’t dogmatizing AGAINST it cause even more disunity?

Quote
Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it, and vice-versa, when the dogma is properly understood. (3) I have hope that when it is properly understood, it will eventually be acceptable to all. (4) The proscription is only an excommunication, and not an anathema. (5) The proscription of a dogma is not an inherent part of the dogma. It is conceivable that the proscription may be lifted.

Quote
No, I said that according to Luke, she DID NOT know until her Annunciation.  If she was IC'ed, then she should have known before the Annunciation.  That's my argument.
Since she was IC’d NOT for the purpose of bearing Christ, but simply to be dedicated completely to God, then it seems we are in agreement. 

Quote
Now, I'm confused.  What's the difference between "purification" and "removal of the stain of Original Sin?"
In my understanding, they are the same.  The Grace of “purification,” of “removal of the stain of Original Sin” is merely the Grace of Baptism, the same Grace Mary received at the moment of her conception, and which the forerunner, being the greatest among those born of women, excepting that person who is least (who is Mary), received in the womb of his mother St. Elizabeth. The Catholic Council of Trent taught that Baptism “makes us pure, without stain…” This will be more fully explained in the next part, where you ask about the effects of baptism.

Quote
My friend, I had this dialogue before with a Catholic who was a convert from Protestantism.  He explained to me that Christ's being both God and man, outside time and within time.  In time His death destroyed Original Sin and can have its effects outside time.  One of these effects therefore was the IC.  He used this understanding to clear any misunderstanding that the Theotokos did not need Christ for her salvation.  But supposedly, it was Christ's death working back in time to bring salvation to the Theotokos in her conception from St. Anna.  This lead me to the understanding that the Latins understand that Original Sin was removed from her, and there was no differentiation between "stain" and "Original Sin."  Now, I get a different understanding.
You have the spiritual fruits of patience and understanding, brother, and I appreciate that a lot.

Quote
Nevertheless, I tell you this.  Don't we believe that baptism removes "Original Sin?"  But what you say that if Original Sin is removed, we shouldn't die.  So does that mean we only removed the stain as well?
Yes, Baptism only removes the spiritual consequences of Original sin (sin, in all its forms and understanding, loss of original justice, loss of sanctifying Grace, spiritual death), not the temporal/physical consequences (i.e., death, corruption, etc.). This is the same Grace that Mary received at her conception, and which the Forerunner received while yet in his mother’s womb.

Quote
This is why I find your interpretation of the IC to be actually more dangerous than the previous interpretation I understood.  Alexandrian tradition, through Sts. Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus (although he's really Syriac) teach us that the sin of one lead to the death of all, and that the spiritual death we all have leads us to sin.  St. Paul even teaches this as well in Romans 5:12.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Previously, you spoke of death, and it seemed like you were not making a distinction between physical death, and spiritual death (which is why I said your understanding seems more Byzantine than Coptic). But now I see you are distinguishing between the temporal/physical consequences of original sin from the spiritual consequences of original sin. So I apologize for my assumption earlier.  On this basis, given my explanation above of what Baptism does, I think we can come to an agreement. But, as always, more questions are welcome.

Quote
Thus, if the IC was a removal of her "stain" by the Holy Spirit, and it is the "stain" that leads all to sin, then this is dogmatically in contradiction with the belief that our spiritual death causes us to sin.
I don’t follow your rationale here.  I never denied that spiritual death causes us to sin. Perhaps you can explain this some more, because from my perspective, we have actually made some headway.

Quote
I have to respectfully disagree.  I saw "equality" as a matter of previous actions, not state of the soul.  Equality can also be a matter of humanity.  Christ is equal to us by His human nature, equal to the Father by His divine nature.  In this case, it is clear the "equality" is in the matter of their "innocence," and I interpret this to mean their previous actions of sinlessness.
I think “utterly equal” is different from mere “equal.” Like you said, there are different kinds of equality, but “utter equality” is a different thing, n’est pas.

Quote
But alas, even you should concede that even the state of the soul, there's no "real" equality, for Original Sin was not removed (as was the case with Eve), but merely the "stain."  So, then what does St. Ephraim mean then?  It is stain, Original Sin, or actions?
Yes, I agree that St. Ephraim was speaking after a spiritual fashion when he said “utterly equal.” “Utterly equal” refers to all matters in the realm of the spirit. This not only includes actions (ie., not sinning), but also the lack of the stain (spiritual death, absence of original holiness, absence of original justice).

Quote
The comparison between Christ and the Virgin Mary can be why Christ chose the Theotokos as His mother, not necessarily as some sort of removal of "stain".  St. Jacob of Serug said that if there was anyone else more perfect than Mary, Mary wouldn't have been chosen.
I’ll agree that it MIGHT be only in reference to the fact that both Christ and Mary never sinned, but when we say Christ is “sinless” do you think we mean only that Christ never sinned, and not actually that Christ also did not have the stain of original sin?  Thus, when a Father compares Mary’s sinlessness to Christ’s, why should we automatically think that it refers only to the fact of not sinning actively?

Quote
You misunderstand my question.  I'm not questioning free will brother.  I'm simply asking which is more amazing?  Those under the curse who don't sin or those not under the curse who don't sin?  This is a matter of contemplation that I find why the Theotokos is most amazing, stainless even under the curse of Original Sin (in the way I understand though, since there's no belief in our church of some sort of "stain").
But Mary was also under the curse of death (physical death, that is, not spiritual death).  The dogma of the IC does not deny that.

Quote
My friend, forgive me but the actions of intercourse require actions of sexual feelings.  If it is this sexual feeling besides intercourse that is considered "lustful" and thus "sinful," then this has dire consequences socially.  Yes, I understand St. Augustine may have taught thus, but I don't think this teaching is held consistently through the Fathers.  This sounds to me semi-Manichean.  The Coptic Church does not hold to this belief.
I never understood “lust” to refer to mere sexual impulse or sexual feelings. I was never taught that as a Copt. You admit the Coptic Church does not hold to that belief, yet you are equating “lust” with mere sexual desire.  We believe Sts Anna and Eliakim did not conceive Mary in lust.  That does not mean they had no sexual desire for each other.  So on this matter, I don’t think there is disagreement. St. Augustine taught that lust is a mortal sin, but he never taught that mere sexual desire is a mortal sin.  Lust does not only refer to a disordered sexual desire, btw, but to any EXCESSIVE passion for something. 

Quote
If it's lust in bed, and not merely male seed, that transmits "stain", why didn't Christ have an earthly father?  Assuming it's possible to not have sexual feelings in bed, wouldn't it be possible that some people in the past might have been born without the "stain" as well, and that the Theotokos was not the only one who was IC'ed according to your beliefs?
Since I don’t equate “lust” with “sexual desire,” then I think your point here is moot.

Quote
So now we have two immaculate events?  One at conception and one at the Annunciation?  I thought the Latins thought the conception was enough for the Incarnation?
First of all, yes, I think that is a popular Latin theologoumenon, but it is not what the dogma of the IC actually teaches.  The Apostolic Constitution on the dogma merely states that the she was IC’d because it was fitting for her AS the Theotokos. But it does NOT say that she was IC’d because it was necessary for her TO BE Theotokos. Like I said, this latter belief is a Latin theologoumenon which I myself do not hold. Though I would add that in the quotes I provided earlier of EOC Fathers, St. Proclus of Constantinople makes an explicit causal connection between the immaculateness of Jesus’ birth and Mary being immaculately conceived.

Secondly, yes, there are two immaculate events. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ.  The Immaculate nature of their respective conceptions came about differently.  Mary was immaculately conceived by the Grace of Baptism being applied to her at the moment of her conception.  In distinction, Jesus was immaculately conceived because he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, without a human father. So the IC does not give to Mary anything that is uniquely Christ’s.

Quote
The idea that her Virginity, her celibacy, her lustless thought was the primary reason for Christ being born without Original Sin was something that St. Severus fought against Julian with.  Julian thought the same, but St. Severus said this wasn't the primary reason.  The primary reason was for Christ to become the first fruits of salvation, a New Seed for mankind, so that "in Adam, all die, but in Christ, all live."  Not merely the act of Virginity itself, but what this Virginity entails, i.e. that no male seed means a New Seed is born, and a New Life is to be obtained.  It signifies as well spiritual birth, for just as Christ was born from the Virgin, so we are reborn from the baptismal font.
That’s all good and well, but I don’t see what this has to do with the dogma of the IC.  The dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her virginity, her celibacy, or lustless thought.

Quote
Finally, some word documents (HE Metropolitan Bishoy's website) from the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, and what the Coptic Church finds problems with:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Catholics/The%20Immaculate%20conception.doc
IF what HE Bishoy claims of the dogma of the IC is true, then I would agree with him. But he seems to have a misunderstanding of what the dogma of the IC teaches in several places, as well. If you want to discuss those points of misunderstanding, let me know.

Quote
There is no such belief in the Coptic Orthodox Church to begin with, thus the IC is not a dogma since the idea of the "stain" doesn't even exist anyway, and in fact seems to contradict the ideas of the Alexandrian fathers, as I have mentioned before.  It would be interesting to hear what the Coptic Church has to say about the particular belief of the "stain."
We don’t have to use the WORD “stain.” But if you understand that there is a distinction between spiritual death and physical death; if you understand that when we are baptized, it is spiritual death, and not physical death, that is being immediately conquered; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of deficiency in man’s holiness; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of spiritual wound, and not just physical death – then I think you might agree that even though the COC does not USE THE WORD “stain,” the very concept is there nevertheless.

Quote
God bless.
Right back atcha with abundance.

Quote
I advise you my friend that instead of defining what other churches believe, just defend your own church's faith, and leave the beliefs of other churches to be defined by those within those churches.  It is why Salpy is upset, but she wouldn't ban you.
I don’t think I ever defined anything for the Armenian Church, and I apologize if it seemed that way.  I specifically stated that I agree that the IC is not an Article of Faith for the Armenian Church as a whole, and that, given sister Salpy’s quotes from the American Armenian Church, that it is not a belief in the American Armenian Church.  But she tries to speak for her whole Church, which she has no authority or right to do, and the Armenian Church is not restricted to the U.S. There was no reason for her to be upset - like when she accused me of stating that the OO is the same as the CC, which I never did.  She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics. I hope she is not prejudiced, but if that is the case, I can only pray for her.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 28, 2009, 08:32:44 AM
She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics.
It is not good to assume.  :(
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 28, 2009, 09:51:18 AM
She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics.
It is not good to assume.  :(
Well when we Catholics experience it from the online East over and over again, its hard for us not to assume.  :(
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 28, 2009, 11:56:26 AM
Dear brother Mina,

I did not get to my e-mails until 2 days ago. Sorry for the long delay. I admit I was not intending to come back here. Thanks for your questions.

Quote from:
Dear Mardukm (is it pronounced Mardooq, with the Arabic letter "qaf" at the end?)
Correct. Many of my friends call me “Mark” for short.
Quote
As I said before, the sanctification by the Holy Spirit is not the same as the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism.  He sanctified many in the Old Testament, and even descended on a pagan king to speak prophecy.  Just because the Holy Spirit descends on such people doesn't mean the Holy Spirit takes away their "stain" (I'm using the word stain now, since you believe something differently than I had imagined, and I'll explain why I feel there's a contradiction between your belief and what I learned).

The Holy Spirit sanctified even Judas Iscariot, for he was performing miracles in the name of Christ along with the other Apostles.  The Holy Spirit sanctified even Saul the King, who betrayed the kingly honor, in which David had to be chosen afterwards.  These men chosen by God are an example of God showing us that those He had chosen still had the freedom to leave.  In addition, their sanctifications are not removal of "stains" either.
Sanctification is simply a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can sanctify in many various ways, and such gifts are not the same for all.  The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception (really nothing more than the Grace of Baptism) is different from the effect of sanctification on Judas (to be an Apostle and perform miracles) and on Saul (to have the divine right of kingship). The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception was also different from the effect of the sanctification she received at the Annunciation.  The grace Mary received at the moment of her conception was the grace to dedicate herself to God.  In distinction, the grace Mary received at the annunciation was the grace to be able to bear the FULL DIVINITY, and, also, IMO, the unique grace to remain a virgin despite bearing Christ.

I pray I have now answered you sufficiently on this matter of sanctification, demonstrating that in this respect, the IC does not contradict the Oriental Tradition. Of course, I always welcome any other questions.

Quote
St. Severus teaches us that death causes us to sin.  Nevertheless, there are some who have the law of death in the members and do not sin.  That is death reigned in the likeness of Adam "even unto those who have not sinned" (Romans 5:14).  Death was the issue that needed to be conquered, as it is the cause of sin for most people.  Thus, when Christ died destroying death, the sting of death, which is sin, no longer exists, for death is destroyed, and thus no more stings (1 Cor. 15).  The Oriental Orthodox Church does not differentiate between "stain" as you define it and "Original Sin."  Stain to us is the act of sinning.  Stain to you is removing the propensity to sin.  However, to us the propensity to sin comes from death.  Thus, it contradicts our tradition (especially St. Severus) if one is to say that one can remove the propensity of sin without death.  This is an affront to our own dogma, and contradicts it tremendously, much worse than what I had previously thought the IC meant.
I guess more clarification is in order.  The stain of sin (the spiritual consequences of the fall) is a universal concept in all the Traditions – Oriental, Eastern, and Western.  I think that is undeniable.  Fine, don’t call it “stain,” but don’t you think we need to go beyond mere terminology in order to truly understand each other?  Isn’t this method of ecumenism the very one proposed by our Oriental Tradition?  Now, aside from the spiritual consequences (the West specifically calls it “stain,” and other Traditions don’t use that word, though the words “taint” or “filth” is common enough in the language of the Oriental Fathers – which is the same thing), there are the physical consequences of sin, which are death and corruption (including physical/emotional/psychological illnesses and instabilities). For example, Pope St. Athanasius wrote in one place: “For this cause, then death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the race of man was perishing; the rational man made in God’s image was disappearing, and the handiwork of God was in process of dissolution” (On the Incarnation of the Word); and in another place, he wrote, “But when man, by the counsel of the Serpent, departed from the consideration of God, and began to regard himself, then they not only fell to bodily lust, but knew that they were naked, and knowing, were ashamed. But they knew they were naked not so much of clothing, as that they were become stripped of the contemplation of divine things, and had transferred their understanding to the contraries.” Further, he wrote “Whence also when it gets rid of all the filth of sin which covers it and retains only the likeness of the Image in its purity, then surely this latter being thoroughly brightened, the soul beholds as in a mirror the Image of the Father, even the Word, and by His means reaches the idea of the Father, Whose Image the Savior is.”(Against the Heathen)  So from our Father Athanasius, we see that the Fall not only had physical consequences, but also spiritual consequences (the “stain” or “taint” or “filth” of sin).

Personally, I don’t accept your understanding that “death is the cause of sin.” That seems like an overly Byzantine understanding of original sin. What I learned as a Copt and Oriental growing up is exactly what Pope St. Athanasius taught – that the Fall had spiritual AND physical consequences, death being just one of those (physical) consequences, and another being the “stripping of the contemplation of divine things” (a spiritual consequence) – though these are not the only physical and spiritual consequences of the Fall.  Making physical death the be all and end all of the Fall is not what I learned as a Copt growing up.

Here is an excerpt from HH Pope Shenoute’s Adam and Eve: After the fall, this image was distorted; the moral human nature was wounded, weakened and damaged by sin. A predisposition to sin invaded the human nature. It is written that Adam begot a son in his own likeness, after his image (Gen 5:3). In other words, Adam begot a son in his own ‘distorted’ image. Therefore, St. Paul said, “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph 2:3). King David also said, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5).
The sinful human nature that we inherited is sentenced to death for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Thus death reined over all humanity as St. Paul said, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12), “by one man disobedience many were made sinners” (Rom 5:19).

According to Byzantine Tradition, which it seems you are espousing, death and fear of it causes sin.  In distinction, according to the Coptic Tradition (which is more similar to the Latin Tradition in this regard), it is sin that causes death.  I am just presenting to you what I learned growing up as a Copt.  You seem to have had a different educational experience, leaning more towards the Byzantine/Eastern understanding, which may be part of the cause of the discrepancies in our respective viewpoints.

Quote
My friend, yes we all believe in the Assumption.  But not all of us believe in the IC.  Big difference.
I agree, but we disagree on the result of this difference. I believe that since a matter of UNANIMOUS agreement is deemed to be UNdogmatizable (is that a word? Well, you know what I mean) by some within Orthodoxy, then a matter that does NOT have unanimous agreement has even LESS merit to obtain dogmatization.  I mean, since there are many in the EOC and even some in the OOC who agree that the IC is a legitimate theologumenon, wouldn’t dogmatizing AGAINST it cause even more disunity?

Quote
Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it, and vice-versa, when the dogma is properly understood. (3) I have hope that when it is properly understood, it will eventually be acceptable to all. (4) The proscription is only an excommunication, and not an anathema. (5) The proscription of a dogma is not an inherent part of the dogma. It is conceivable that the proscription may be lifted.

Quote
No, I said that according to Luke, she DID NOT know until her Annunciation.  If she was IC'ed, then she should have known before the Annunciation.  That's my argument.
Since she was IC’d NOT for the purpose of bearing Christ, but simply to be dedicated completely to God, then it seems we are in agreement. 

Quote
Now, I'm confused.  What's the difference between "purification" and "removal of the stain of Original Sin?"
In my understanding, they are the same.  The Grace of “purification,” of “removal of the stain of Original Sin” is merely the Grace of Baptism, the same Grace Mary received at the moment of her conception, and which the forerunner, being the greatest among those born of women, excepting that person who is least (who is Mary), received in the womb of his mother St. Elizabeth. The Catholic Council of Trent taught that Baptism “makes us pure, without stain…” This will be more fully explained in the next part, where you ask about the effects of baptism.

Quote
My friend, I had this dialogue before with a Catholic who was a convert from Protestantism.  He explained to me that Christ's being both God and man, outside time and within time.  In time His death destroyed Original Sin and can have its effects outside time.  One of these effects therefore was the IC.  He used this understanding to clear any misunderstanding that the Theotokos did not need Christ for her salvation.  But supposedly, it was Christ's death working back in time to bring salvation to the Theotokos in her conception from St. Anna.  This lead me to the understanding that the Latins understand that Original Sin was removed from her, and there was no differentiation between "stain" and "Original Sin."  Now, I get a different understanding.
You have the spiritual fruits of patience and understanding, brother, and I appreciate that a lot.

Quote
Nevertheless, I tell you this.  Don't we believe that baptism removes "Original Sin?"  But what you say that if Original Sin is removed, we shouldn't die.  So does that mean we only removed the stain as well?
Yes, Baptism only removes the spiritual consequences of Original sin (sin, in all its forms and understanding, loss of original justice, loss of sanctifying Grace, spiritual death), not the temporal/physical consequences (i.e., death, corruption, etc.). This is the same Grace that Mary received at her conception, and which the Forerunner received while yet in his mother’s womb.

Quote
This is why I find your interpretation of the IC to be actually more dangerous than the previous interpretation I understood.  Alexandrian tradition, through Sts. Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus (although he's really Syriac) teach us that the sin of one lead to the death of all, and that the spiritual death we all have leads us to sin.  St. Paul even teaches this as well in Romans 5:12.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Previously, you spoke of death, and it seemed like you were not making a distinction between physical death, and spiritual death (which is why I said your understanding seems more Byzantine than Coptic). But now I see you are distinguishing between the temporal/physical consequences of original sin from the spiritual consequences of original sin. So I apologize for my assumption earlier.  On this basis, given my explanation above of what Baptism does, I think we can come to an agreement. But, as always, more questions are welcome.

Quote
Thus, if the IC was a removal of her "stain" by the Holy Spirit, and it is the "stain" that leads all to sin, then this is dogmatically in contradiction with the belief that our spiritual death causes us to sin.
I don’t follow your rationale here.  I never denied that spiritual death causes us to sin. Perhaps you can explain this some more, because from my perspective, we have actually made some headway.

Quote
I have to respectfully disagree.  I saw "equality" as a matter of previous actions, not state of the soul.  Equality can also be a matter of humanity.  Christ is equal to us by His human nature, equal to the Father by His divine nature.  In this case, it is clear the "equality" is in the matter of their "innocence," and I interpret this to mean their previous actions of sinlessness.
I think “utterly equal” is different from mere “equal.” Like you said, there are different kinds of equality, but “utter equality” is a different thing, n’est pas.

Quote
But alas, even you should concede that even the state of the soul, there's no "real" equality, for Original Sin was not removed (as was the case with Eve), but merely the "stain."  So, then what does St. Ephraim mean then?  It is stain, Original Sin, or actions?
Yes, I agree that St. Ephraim was speaking after a spiritual fashion when he said “utterly equal.” “Utterly equal” refers to all matters in the realm of the spirit. This not only includes actions (ie., not sinning), but also the lack of the stain (spiritual death, absence of original holiness, absence of original justice).

Quote
The comparison between Christ and the Virgin Mary can be why Christ chose the Theotokos as His mother, not necessarily as some sort of removal of "stain".  St. Jacob of Serug said that if there was anyone else more perfect than Mary, Mary wouldn't have been chosen.
I’ll agree that it MIGHT be only in reference to the fact that both Christ and Mary never sinned, but when we say Christ is “sinless” do you think we mean only that Christ never sinned, and not actually that Christ also did not have the stain of original sin?  Thus, when a Father compares Mary’s sinlessness to Christ’s, why should we automatically think that it refers only to the fact of not sinning actively?

Quote
You misunderstand my question.  I'm not questioning free will brother.  I'm simply asking which is more amazing?  Those under the curse who don't sin or those not under the curse who don't sin?  This is a matter of contemplation that I find why the Theotokos is most amazing, stainless even under the curse of Original Sin (in the way I understand though, since there's no belief in our church of some sort of "stain").
But Mary was also under the curse of death (physical death, that is, not spiritual death).  The dogma of the IC does not deny that.

Quote
My friend, forgive me but the actions of intercourse require actions of sexual feelings.  If it is this sexual feeling besides intercourse that is considered "lustful" and thus "sinful," then this has dire consequences socially.  Yes, I understand St. Augustine may have taught thus, but I don't think this teaching is held consistently through the Fathers.  This sounds to me semi-Manichean.  The Coptic Church does not hold to this belief.
I never understood “lust” to refer to mere sexual impulse or sexual feelings. I was never taught that as a Copt. You admit the Coptic Church does not hold to that belief, yet you are equating “lust” with mere sexual desire.  We believe Sts Anna and Eliakim did not conceive Mary in lust.  That does not mean they had no sexual desire for each other.  So on this matter, I don’t think there is disagreement. St. Augustine taught that lust is a mortal sin, but he never taught that mere sexual desire is a mortal sin.  Lust does not only refer to a disordered sexual desire, btw, but to any EXCESSIVE passion for something. 

Quote
If it's lust in bed, and not merely male seed, that transmits "stain", why didn't Christ have an earthly father?  Assuming it's possible to not have sexual feelings in bed, wouldn't it be possible that some people in the past might have been born without the "stain" as well, and that the Theotokos was not the only one who was IC'ed according to your beliefs?
Since I don’t equate “lust” with “sexual desire,” then I think your point here is moot.

Quote
So now we have two immaculate events?  One at conception and one at the Annunciation?  I thought the Latins thought the conception was enough for the Incarnation?
First of all, yes, I think that is a popular Latin theologoumenon, but it is not what the dogma of the IC actually teaches.  The Apostolic Constitution on the dogma merely states that the she was IC’d because it was fitting for her AS the Theotokos. But it does NOT say that she was IC’d because it was necessary for her TO BE Theotokos. Like I said, this latter belief is a Latin theologoumenon which I myself do not hold. Though I would add that in the quotes I provided earlier of EOC Fathers, St. Proclus of Constantinople makes an explicit causal connection between the immaculateness of Jesus’ birth and Mary being immaculately conceived.

Secondly, yes, there are two immaculate events. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ.  The Immaculate nature of their respective conceptions came about differently.  Mary was immaculately conceived by the Grace of Baptism being applied to her at the moment of her conception.  In distinction, Jesus was immaculately conceived because he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, without a human father. So the IC does not give to Mary anything that is uniquely Christ’s.

Quote
The idea that her Virginity, her celibacy, her lustless thought was the primary reason for Christ being born without Original Sin was something that St. Severus fought against Julian with.  Julian thought the same, but St. Severus said this wasn't the primary reason.  The primary reason was for Christ to become the first fruits of salvation, a New Seed for mankind, so that "in Adam, all die, but in Christ, all live."  Not merely the act of Virginity itself, but what this Virginity entails, i.e. that no male seed means a New Seed is born, and a New Life is to be obtained.  It signifies as well spiritual birth, for just as Christ was born from the Virgin, so we are reborn from the baptismal font.
That’s all good and well, but I don’t see what this has to do with the dogma of the IC.  The dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her virginity, her celibacy, or lustless thought.

Quote
Finally, some word documents (HE Metropolitan Bishoy's website) from the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, and what the Coptic Church finds problems with:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Catholics/The%20Immaculate%20conception.doc
IF what HE Bishoy claims of the dogma of the IC is true, then I would agree with him. But he seems to have a misunderstanding of what the dogma of the IC teaches in several places, as well. If you want to discuss those points of misunderstanding, let me know.

Quote
There is no such belief in the Coptic Orthodox Church to begin with, thus the IC is not a dogma since the idea of the "stain" doesn't even exist anyway, and in fact seems to contradict the ideas of the Alexandrian fathers, as I have mentioned before.  It would be interesting to hear what the Coptic Church has to say about the particular belief of the "stain."
We don’t have to use the WORD “stain.” But if you understand that there is a distinction between spiritual death and physical death; if you understand that when we are baptized, it is spiritual death, and not physical death, that is being immediately conquered; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of deficiency in man’s holiness; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of spiritual wound, and not just physical death – then I think you might agree that even though the COC does not USE THE WORD “stain,” the very concept is there nevertheless.

Quote
God bless.
Right back atcha with abundance.

Quote
I advise you my friend that instead of defining what other churches believe, just defend your own church's faith, and leave the beliefs of other churches to be defined by those within those churches.  It is why Salpy is upset, but she wouldn't ban you.
I don’t think I ever defined anything for the Armenian Church, and I apologize if it seemed that way.  I specifically stated that I agree that the IC is not an Article of Faith for the Armenian Church as a whole, and that, given sister Salpy’s quotes from the American Armenian Church, that it is not a belief in the American Armenian Church.  But she tries to speak for her whole Church, which she has no authority or right to do, and the Armenian Church is not restricted to the U.S. There was no reason for her to be upset - like when she accused me of stating that the OO is the same as the CC, which I never did.  She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics. I hope she is not prejudiced, but if that is the case, I can only pray for her.


Mardukm you made a long post ! What i have to say that the conclusions you reached at are beyond stupidity . Mary was born from man seed and all born from man seed are touched by the stain of the Ancestral Sin , like it was repeated many times concerning this subject "In Adam we all die , and in Jesus we all resurrect" cause death ruled upon whole people trought the mistake and sins of Adam as a stain upon everyone born from his seed . So everyone who is born from man seed(the seed of Adam) like every human being has been born is touched by the stain of the original sin, everyone who is born from a human father . Trough the consequence of the stain we all die . The death of the flesh is a consequence of the spiritual death and the Ancestral Sin , because of it . Mary died . As for Jesus , He died too , but He died for our sins , He came to bear our sickness, and carry our sins , our burdens fell on Him . He died as a consequence of our sins . To redeem us . As it says : "When i will lift up i will pull everyone at me" , that refered to wich death He will suffered . He was not born from a human father , He is from mother without father and from Father without mother .Joseph was Jesus father by addoption , Jesus addopted our sins and ilness . By addoption He is made direct bloodline trough Joseph untill Abraham , by Matthew , thus signifying the redemption also of the just Joseph and of those who believe in Him . Therefore only Jesus was born without father , and was born from above . He was the only one spotless from birth . That is why we all need to reborn , to be born from above . John the Baptist said : He who comes from the sky is above all . Mary was born like every human being , the exception being Jesus , from the seed of the man (Adam) , therefore the spot of the ancestral sin being upon her . By saying that Jesus is outside time , and by the Salvation He was going to give humanity , from that grace He saved Mary from her birth , that would imply that Mary also would have been outside time , and a predestinated person that affecting in a way or another the free-will of Mary. Mary said herself , after receiving the announciation from the arhangel : "My heart rejoiced in God my Saviour ." after the angel said "the Holy Spirit will descend on thee" , therefore she was not born from above and was not saved untill the Holy Spirit descended on Her . Without the Holy Spirit we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven , the Scriptures say . Without being born from above , being reborn , this rebirth of Mary happen when the Holy Spirit descend on Her . Therefore the IC about the birth of Mary is an heresy .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 28, 2009, 12:08:25 PM
Well when we Catholics experience it from the online East over and over again, its hard for us not to assume.  :(
Experience what?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 28, 2009, 12:15:10 PM
Well when we Catholics experience it from the online East over and over again, its hard for us not to assume.  :(
Experience what?
anti-Catholic prejudice including the misreresentation of Catholic teachings as well as our personal beliefs.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 28, 2009, 12:35:15 PM
anti-Catholic prejudice including the misreresentation of Catholic teachings as well as our personal beliefs.

I find it very interesting that whenever the Orthodox offer intelligent refutations regarding post schism innovations of Rome, (such as the IC), they are called anti-Catholic bigots.  :-\
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 28, 2009, 12:38:22 PM
anti-Catholic prejudice including the misreresentation of Catholic teachings as well as our personal beliefs.

I find it very interesting that whenever the Orthodox offer intelligent refutations regarding post schism innovations of Rome, (such as the IC), they are called anti-Catholic bigots.  :-\
Well I have yet to see a refutation of Catholic doctrine from the East that can be characterized as you have described above. However, if you would read the context of this thread Maduk was concerned about the fact that another poster was misrepresenting his views and that it appeared to be intentional. One can only assume that an intentional misrepresentation of the views of another person or group may not come from the purest of intentions.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 28, 2009, 12:48:04 PM
Well I have yet to see a refutation of Catholic doctrine from the East that can be characterized as you have described above.

That is because you are too busy complaining that everyone is an anti-Catholic bigot.

However, if you would read the context of this thread Maduk was concerned about the fact that another poster was misrepresenting his views and that it appeared to be intentional.

I read Marduk's post and I am not convinced. He always spins things quite well.  The poster he refers to is quite intelligent and charitable. Marduk always gets upset when someone calls him on the carpet.  ;)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 28, 2009, 01:28:52 PM
That is because you are too busy complaining that everyone is an anti-Catholic bigot.
No its because I'm too intelligent. Look I am not going to get drawn into another one of your nonsensical back and forths. If you want to continue this just do it with some one else. Fr. A has taught you well.
I read Marduk's post and I am not convinced. He always spins things quite well.  The poster he refers to is quite intelligent and charitable. Marduk always gets upset when someone calls him on the carpet.  ;)
Marduk is one the most intelligent and fair posters I have ever seen on any forum. There have been times that he and I have disagreed at CAF but he was never unfair. I think that you simply, as has always been the case since your conversion, like to make unfounded and unfair statements. I am done with this conversation. If you want to continue this, do so on your own.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 28, 2009, 01:42:05 PM
No its because I'm too intelligent.

 :o

Marduk is one the most intelligent and fair posters I have ever seen on any forum.

I suppose that depends.


as has always been the case since your conversion, like to make unfounded and unfair statements.

That statement is unfair and unfounded.  I try to research my topics as much as time allows while looking for patristic support.


I am done with this conversation. If you want to continue this, do so on your own.

Goodbye and God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 28, 2009, 07:22:19 PM
Dear brother Dan-Romania,

I have responded to all your arguments here already (that others have already given), but you have not replied to any of my posts, except to repeat your claims.  I don’t know if that is your unique way of asking me to respond directly to you.  I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  So I will respond here to your points. After that, I’ll leave you alone, unless you want to discuss something further without making unfounded accusations.

Quote
Mary was born from man seed and all born from man seed are touched by the stain of the Ancestral Sin , like it was repeated many times concerning this subject "In Adam we all die , and in Jesus we all resurrect" cause death ruled upon whole people trought the mistake and sins of Adam as a stain upon everyone born from his seed . So everyone who is born from man seed(the seed of Adam) like every human being has been born is touched by the stain of the original sin, everyone who is born from a human father . Trough the consequence of the stain we all die . The death of the flesh is a consequence of the spiritual death and the Ancestral Sin , because of it . Mary died.
Yes, and we all die too, despite having received the Grace of Baptism where the stain of original sin is removed.  The dogma of the IC simply asserts that Mary received the Grace of Baptism at the moment of her conception.  That she died is nothing more than a straw man argument. Like I said, we die too even after receiving the Grace of Baptism.  Does that mean that the Grace of Baptism is really nothing, or that WE never received the Grace of Baptism?

Quote
By saying that Jesus is outside time , and by the Salvation He was going to give humanity , from that grace He saved Mary from her birth , that would imply that Mary also would have been outside time,
Well, we are saved 2000 years after the death of Christ on the cross.  Does that mean that we are outside time?  Your argument makes no sense.  Do you not know that Scripture states that the Lord suffered from the foundation of the world?  Do you not know that St. John himself witnessed the Sacrifice outside time (as recorded in the book of Revelation)?

Quote
and a predestinated person that affecting in a way or another the free-will of Mary.

We are all predestinated, but our belief (you as an Orthodox and me as a Catholic) is not predeterminism (which is a Calvinist heresy), but rather foreknowledge of God.  So Mary received the Grace of Baptism at her conception.  St. John received it in his mother’s womb.  We receive it as infants, and others as adults.  Does that mean that we lose our free will after receiving the Grace of Baptism?

Quote
Mary said herself , after receiving the announciation from the arhangel : "My heart rejoiced in God my Saviour ."
If I pull someone out of a pit, would I not have saved that person?  If I PREVENTED a person from falling into that same pit, would I still not have saved that person?  In the same way, God is my savior for pulling me out of the pit of original sin, and God is Mary’s savior by PREVENTING her from falling into the pit of original sin. In either case, free will is not destroyed, proven by the fact that Adam and Eve, who were created outside the pit of original sin, were able to fall into it nevertheless.

Quote
after the angel said "the Holy Spirit will descend on thee" , therefore she was not born from above

Show me where the Catholic Church teaches that she was born from above.

Quote
and was not saved untill the Holy Spirit descended on Her. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven , the Scriptures say . Without being born from above , being reborn , this rebirth of Mary happen when the Holy Spirit descend on Her.
Yet, St. Jacob of Sarug taught that Mary was perfect, without stain, even BEFORE the Annunciation.  And are you not aware that Tradition states that a white dove entered St. Anna when Mary was conceived?  Why would you say that Mary did not have the Holy Spirit before the Annunciation?  Does the fact that Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit at the Annunciation mean that she did not have the Grace of the Holy Spirit before that time?

Quote
Therefore the IC about the birth of Mary is an heresy
You have not shown why that is the case. All you have done is given a lot of illogical and unpatristic reasons for your claim.  Your arguments have all been self-refuting.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 29, 2009, 01:28:58 AM
No its because I'm too intelligent. Look I am not going to get drawn into another one of your nonsensical back and forths. If you want to continue this just do it with some one else. Fr. A has taught you well.

Unfair, Papist!   The sum total of our posts on CAF about the Immaculate Conception must add up to several days of our lives.   From my side I tried to conduct those discussions in as intelligent as matter as my decaying brain matter allows.

My bottom line remains:    I was conceived in exactly the same state as the Mother of God;  if she was immaculately conceived, then so was I.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 29, 2009, 07:49:46 AM
Mardukm you completly twisted what i said , and understand only what you wanted to understand , not to say you didn`t even quote the phrases as they were having continuity , but you quoted small parts making them interpretable , what i said is very clear , the fact that you don`t want to see it , and twist my words , and try changind the ideas i made , firstly reveals a sign of disrespect of my personna at secondly your interest of having right more than others , searching your own righteouss even if it is detrimental of the true . What i said is clear , your answers reveal foulishness , disrespect , and self-righteouss. The so many suppositions about the IC birth of Mary , are different and differ from one person to another . As Saint Ambrose of Milan said quoting from the Song of Solomon : "I am black and beautiful" . As he(Saint Ambrose) says black because of the human nature , black because she comes from the sinners , beautiful trough faith , trough grace . And also from Song of Solomon : "Who is this who is risen whitened" the commentary of Saint Ambrose : who is this who was black and now is white ? And Ambrose says that the Church took stained clothes , but her soul was washed and cleaned trough the bath of the rebirth .Also from Song of Solomon : Beautiful you are my love and there is no blemish , no defect in you , and Ambrose says because the blame was swallowed by water . The comentary of St Ambrose of Milan if from the Writings about the Sacraments(Mysteries) of the Church , sorry for my english .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 09:30:41 AM
None of the ancient Holy Fathers say that God in miraculous fashion purified the Virgin Mary while yet in the womb; and many directly indicate that the Virgin Mary, just as all men, endured a battle with sinfulness, but was victorious over temptations and was saved by Her Divine Son.
St John Maximovitch
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 09:38:26 AM
No its because I'm too intelligent. Look I am not going to get drawn into another one of your nonsensical back and forths. If you want to continue this just do it with some one else. Fr. A has taught you well.

My bottom line remains:    I was conceived in exactly the same state as the Mother of God;  if she was immaculately conceived, then so was I.
Not a good syllogism. If God chose to bestow the grace of baptism on Mary at the moment of her conception, then that is his choice. Just as it was his choice to betow the grace of baptism on St. John the Baptist before he was even born.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 09:39:32 AM
None of the ancient Holy Fathers say that God in miraculous fashion purified the Virgin Mary while yet in the womb; and many directly indicate that the Virgin Mary, just as all men, endured a battle with sinfulness, but was victorious over temptations and was saved by Her Divine Son.
St John Maximovitch
So believe that the All Holy, All Pure, Immaculate Theotokos was not even purified in the womb but St. John the Baptist was? WOW.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 09:42:28 AM
The Orthodox Church, highly exalting the Mother of God in its hymns of praise, does not dare to ascribe to Her that which has not been communicated about Her by Sacred Scripture or Tradition.

The teaching that the Mother of God was purified before Her birth, so that from Her might be born the Pure Christ, is meaningless; because if the Pure Christ could be born only if the Virgin might be born pure, it would be necessary that Her parents also should be pure of original sin, and they again would have to be born of purified parents, and going further in this way, one would have to come to the conclusion that Christ could not have become incarnate unless all His ancestors in the flesh, right up to Adam inclusive, had been purified beforehand of original sin. But then there would not have been any need for the very Incarnation of Christ, since Christ came down to earth in order to annihilate sin.
St John Maximovitch
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 09:47:22 AM
The Orthodox Church, highly exalting the Mother of God in its hymns of praise, does not dare to ascribe to Her that which has not been communicated about Her by Sacred Scripture or Tradition.

The teaching that the Mother of God was purified before Her birth, so that from Her might be born the Pure Christ, is meaningless; because if the Pure Christ could be born only if the Virgin might be born pure, it would be necessary that Her parents also should be pure of original sin, and they again would have to be born of purified parents, and going further in this way, one would have to come to the conclusion that Christ could not have become incarnate unless all His ancestors in the flesh, right up to Adam inclusive, had been purified beforehand of original sin. But then there would not have been any need for the very Incarnation of Christ, since Christ came down to earth in order to annihilate sin.
St John Maximovitch
St. John Maximovitch is attacking a straw man. Of course Christ could have been born of a sinner or one who had be stained by original sin. That would not have affected his holiness in the least. It was quite possible. However, it was proper and fitting, even though not 100% necessary, that the Holy Ark that bore him would be constructed of the purest gold adn the finest wood, a person undefiled by sin. Notice the difference between "necessary" and "proper".
A question to you Mickey. Was the All Holy, All Pure, Immaculate Theotokos personally guilty of Sin?
And what is more, how can St. John the baptist have been sanctified before birth but not the All Holy Theotokos?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 09:59:16 AM
The teaching of the grace-given sinlessness of the Virgin Mary denies Her victory over temptations; from a victor who is worthy to be crowned with crowns of glory, this makes Her a blind instrument of God’s Providence.
St John Maximovitch
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:00:24 AM
It is not an exaltation and greater glory, but a belittlement of Her, this “gift” which was given Her by Pope Pius IX and all the rest who think they can glorify the Mother of God by seeking out new truths. The Host Holy Mary has been so much glorified by God Himself, so exalted is Her life on earth and Her glory in heaven, that human inventions cannot add anything to Her honor and glory. That which people themselves invent only obscures Her Face from their eyes. Brethren, take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, wrote the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:18).
St John Maximovitch
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:01:55 AM
The teaching of the grace-given sinlessness of the Virgin Mary denies Her victory over temptations; from a victor who is worthy to be crowned with crowns of glory, this makes Her a blind instrument of God’s Providence.
St John Maximovitch
Another poor arguement. Goodness, St. John Maximovitch may be very holy but he is not very good at constructing an arguement. His arguement would only  follow IF the Blessed Virign Mary did not have Free Will. However, she did have free will and could have sinned if she had so chosen. Yet she did not and was victorious over sin. Thus, once again St. John Maximovitch's arguement is just silly.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:03:00 AM
“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:03:10 AM
It is not an exaltation and greater glory, but a belittlement of Her, this “gift” which was given Her by Pope Pius IX and all the rest who think they can glorify the Mother of God by seeking out new truths. The Host Holy Mary has been so much glorified by God Himself, so exalted is Her life on earth and Her glory in heaven, that human inventions cannot add anything to Her honor and glory. That which people themselves invent only obscures Her Face from their eyes. Brethren, take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, wrote the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:18).
St John Maximovitch

This is just a silly arguement as it assumes the truth of the EO position from the get go. If you assume you are correct you will conclude you are correct.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:04:29 AM
“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
What's your point? Yes only Christ is the only one who is "perfectly holy" becuase he is the only one who is Holy in and of himself. Any other person who is holy is not perfectly so because their holiness is derived from God and not one's self.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:05:19 AM
Mickey, sparying us with quotes will not help the discussion. Use the quotes to construct an arguement.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:07:09 AM
“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:11:21 AM
“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
Already addressed. Try again. Furthermore, if you want to use this quote to support your position you first have to define what St. Ambrose meant by "earthly taint" and second you have to deal with the fact that quote does NOT say that Christ is only one who did not experience "earthly taint". It only says that he is the only one who is perfectly holy.
BTW, do you think that this quotes refutes what the liturgy says about Mary being the "All Holy",  "All Pure", "Immaculate" Theotokos?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:12:43 AM
“One Man alone, the Intermediary between God and man, is free from the bonds of sinful birth, because He was born of a Virgin, and because in being born He did not experience the touch of sin”
(St. Ambrose, Against Julian, Book 2).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:30:33 AM
“One Man alone, the Intermediary between God and man, is free from the bonds of sinful birth, because He was born of a Virgin, and because in being born He did not experience the touch of sin”
(St. Ambrose, Against Julian, Book 2).
He was free from the bonds of a sinful birth in and of himself. Yes. Mary was bound to it but sanctified so that she would not experience it. Still waiting for you to construct an arguement. BTW, doesn't this quote REFUTE the EO position on original sin?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:31:40 AM
“I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by the reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, ‘One must glorify the Mother of God as much as possible.’ This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:34:26 AM
“I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by the reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, ‘One must glorify the Mother of God as much as possible.’ This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her.”
Bernard of Clairvaux

Again a poor arguement by St. Bernard. The Immaculate Conception is not based on any of the arguements listed above. It was not necessary and it is not Catholic teaching that it was necessary. However it was Proper. Now are you going to continue slinging quotes like protestants do or are you going to engage in an arguement?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:39:49 AM
“I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception, inasmuch as She did not exist. If, all the more, She could not be sanctified in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable from conception, then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after She was conceived in the womb of her mother. This sanctification, if it annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception. No one is given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and He alone is holy from His very conception. Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities (Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence? The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the sister of unbelief, and the daughter of light-mindedness.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on April 29, 2009, 10:41:08 AM
...It was not necessary and it is not Catholic teaching that it was necessary...
Then why so up in arms about it? It isn't dogma, so why fight so hard about it, as if it were?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:41:50 AM
“I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception, inasmuch as She did not exist. If, all the more, She could not be sanctified in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable from conception, then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after She was conceived in the womb of her mother. This sanctification, if it annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception. No one is given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and He alone is holy from His very conception. Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities (Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence? The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the sister of unbelief, and the daughter of light-mindedness.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
Ok. We could go round and round on this for hours Mickey. So when you decide you want to have a dicussion on the mater and actually analyze these texts, let me know. You can always PM me. But what you are doing right now is silly. Its not dicussion. Its not debate. As a matter of fact I think its silly. I am completely willing to have a discussion with you when you decide you are ready. Let me know.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 10:43:42 AM
...It was not necessary and it is not Catholic teaching that it was necessary...
Then why so up in arms about it? It isn't dogma, so why fight so hard about it, as if it were?
My concern is that Mickey is presenting arguements against something that is not Catholic dogma. The problem with this is that people will assume that it is Catholic dogma or that those arguements are the reasons that we give for the Immaculate Conception. This is dangerous because it will spread falsehoods about the Catholic faith and that bothers me. He has pulled this kind of thing ever since he left the Catholic Church.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 10:49:11 AM
“There is none without stain before Thee, even though his life be but a day, save Thou alone, Jesus Christ our God, Who didst appear on earth without sin, and through Whom we all trust to obtain mercy and the remission of sins.”
(St. Basil the Great, Third Prayer of Vespers of Pentecost.)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on April 29, 2009, 10:58:29 AM
Quote
BTW, do you think that this quotes refutes what the liturgy says about Mary being the "All Holy",  "All Pure", "Immaculate" Theotokos?

A complete non sequitur, and you know it, Papist. The question here is not whether the Mother of God is all-holy, all-pure, etc, but at which point in her life did she become fully so, to the extent that she is indeed more honourable and more glorious than the hosts on high (a frequent Orthodox liturgical reference). As I have said before on other matters on this forum, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents the consensus patrum of the Church on doctrinal and theological matters. It safeguards against the traps of playing duels by parrying quotes from the Fathers, as, given that even saints are not infallible, contradictions can be found between individual Fathers.

Selections from the Vigil for the Annunciation:

From Ode 7, Canon at Matins:

The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my soul; it has sanctified my body; it has made me a temple containing God, a divinely-adorned tabernacle, a living sanctuary, and the pure Mother of Life.

From Ode 8:

You appear to speak the truth, answered the Virgin. For you have come as a messenger, bringing joy to all. Since I am to be purified in soul and body by the Spirit, let it happen to me according to your word. May God now dwell in me. I cry out to Him with you: All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on April 29, 2009, 11:01:01 AM
Quote
BTW, do you think that this quotes refutes what the liturgy says about Mary being the "All Holy",  "All Pure", "Immaculate" Theotokos?

A complete non sequitur, and you know it, Papist. The question here is not whether the Mother of God is all-holy, all-pure, etc, but at which point in her life did she become fully so, to the extent that she is indeed more honourable and more glorious than the hosts on high (a frequent Orthodox liturgical reference). As I have said before on other matters on this forum, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents the consensus patrum of the Church on doctrinal and theological matters. It safeguards against the traps of playing duels by parrying quotes from the Fathers, as, given that even saints are not infallible, contradictions can be found between individual Fathers.

Selections from the Vigil for the Annunciation:

From Ode 7, Canon at Matins:

The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my soul; it has sanctified my body; it has made me a temple containing God, a divinely-adorned tabernacle, a living sanctuary, and the pure Mother of Life.

From Ode 8:

You appear to speak the truth, answered the Virgin. For you have come as a messenger, bringing joy to all. Since I am to be purified in soul and body by the Spirit, let it happen to me according to your word. May God now dwell in me. I cry out to Him with you: All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Very good. Thanks.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:07:07 AM
Quote
BTW, do you think that this quotes refutes what the liturgy says about Mary being the "All Holy",  "All Pure", "Immaculate" Theotokos?

A complete non sequitur, and you know it, Papist. The question here is not whether the Mother of God is all-holy, all-pure, etc, but at which point in her life did she become fully so, to the extent that she is indeed more honourable and more glorious than the hosts on high (a frequent Orthodox liturgical reference). As I have said before on other matters on this forum, the liturgical deposit of the Orthodox Church represents the consensus patrum of the Church on doctrinal and theological matters. It safeguards against the traps of playing duels by parrying quotes from the Fathers, as, given that even saints are not infallible, contradictions can be found between individual Fathers.

Selections from the Vigil for the Annunciation:

From Ode 7, Canon at Matins:

The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my soul; it has sanctified my body; it has made me a temple containing God, a divinely-adorned tabernacle, a living sanctuary, and the pure Mother of Life.

From Ode 8:

You appear to speak the truth, answered the Virgin. For you have come as a messenger, bringing joy to all. Since I am to be purified in soul and body by the Spirit, let it happen to me according to your word. May God now dwell in me. I cry out to Him with you: All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.



John the Baptist is never given the title of "All Holy" and "All Pure" yet he was sanctified from the womb. If Mary was given such an exalted title it seems more likely that she would have been sanctified at least from the womb as was St. John who not even given such a glorious title.
Further, just because she was sanctified at the moment of the annuciation, does not mean that she was not also sanctified before that. She may have been given grace before and more grace then. Do you not believe that she was free from all sin during the entirety of her life?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 11:14:12 AM
 "And as it pertains to the excellent dignity of Christ, that He is the Redeemer and Savior of all, and that He opens the door to all, and that He alone died for all, the Virgin Mary is not excluded from this generality, lest while increasing the Mother's excellence, the glory of the Son be lessened: and so the mother attests, who wishes the Son to be more extolled and honored than she herself, the Creator than the creature."
Bonaventure (d. 1274)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:15:25 AM
Here's a quote for everyone to consider:
"Many Saints appeared before you, but none was filled with grace as you; no one has been purified in advance as you have been."
This is from St Sophronius of Jerusalem (556-638 AD).
Notice it that he clearly points out that she was filled with grace in advance. I think that this suggest that here sanctification occured in a manner different than the human race and possible could be suggesting a sanctification like that of John the Baptist in the womb. However, he does point out that none was filled with grace like Mary. This could mean that her sanctification was even more unique than that of John the Baptist. Could this mean that it happend at the moment of her conception? Possibly. If she is truely the "All Holy" otherwise? I don't think so.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:16:11 AM
"And as it pertains to the excellent dignity of Christ, that He is the Redeemer and Savior of all, and that He opens the door to all, and that He alone died for all, the Virgin Mary is not excluded from this generality, lest while increasing the Mother's excellence, the glory of the Son be lessened: and so the mother attests, who wishes the Son to be more extolled and honored than she herself, the Creator than the creature."
Bonaventure (d. 1274)
Mickey,
Look at my last post. Not only did i provide a quote but my understanding of the quote and its application to my position. That's how you have a dicussion.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 11:17:35 AM
“Despite the righteousness and the immaculateness of life which the Mother of God led, sin and eternal death manifested their presence in Her. They could not but be manifested: Such is the precise and faithful teaching of the Orthodox Church concerning the Mother of God with relation to ancestral sin and death”
(Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, “Exposition’ of the Teaching of the Orthodox Church on the Mother of God”).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:19:29 AM
"Earth she is because she is from earth. But she is a new earth, since she derives in no way from her ancestors and has not inherited the old leaven. She is a new dough and has originated a new race." - St. St Nicholas Cabasilas (14th Century)

Notice that Mary does not derive the old leaven from her ancestors. No, she is new dough, a new creation. Thus she cannot have inherited original sin otherwise she would have just been the old leaven.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:21:06 AM
"When the Mother of Him who is beauty itself is born, [human] nature recovers in her person its ancient privileges, and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God." - St. Andrew of Crete (740 AD)

This demonstrates that Mary was holy and sanctified well before the annunciation. Was already holy when she was born. Could she have been so before her birth? At her conception? The quote does not rule out such a possibility.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 11:25:42 AM
It is not for nothing that the Orthodox Church, in her liturgical texts, calls David 'the ancestor of God' and gives the same name of 'holy and righteous ancestors of God' to Joachim and Anna. The Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception seems to break up this uninterrupted succession of Old Testament holiness, which reaches its fulfillment at the moment of the Annunciation, when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Virgin to make her fit to receive the Word of the Father in her womb. The Orthodox Church does not admit the idea that the Holy Virgin was thus exempted from the lot of the rest of fallen humanity - the idea of a 'privilege' which makes her into a being ransomed before the redemptive work, by virtue of the future merits of her Son.
Vladimir Lossky
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on April 29, 2009, 11:30:18 AM
Apparently Mickey has a GIANT book of quotes against IC. It's kind of funny actually. :D
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 29, 2009, 11:32:12 AM
Quote
Mary was born from man seed and all born from man seed are touched by the stain of the Ancestral Sin , like it was repeated many times concerning this subject


Saint Ambrose says that the seed of Saint Joachim was immaculate.   Since he would have seen Original Sin as being passed on via the act of conception and specificially via the male seed he must have thought it fitting that Joachim's seed was immaculate and without Original Sin.

Yet, St. Jacob of Sarug taught that Mary was perfect, without stain, even BEFORE the Annunciation. 
 

Message 239 is a question addressed to Catholics but nobody has been able to answer it.    Could you please have a look? 
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 29, 2009, 11:32:13 AM
St. John Maximovitch is attacking a straw man. 

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who died in 1153 and is seen by some Orthodox as the last authentic bearer of the patristic tradition in the West before the advent of the Scholastic age, denies the Immaculate Conception.

Now you may say that Bernard was a complete ignoramus - which would be hard to justify - but one thing we can deduce from his fierce rejection of the Immaculate Conceptions is that it did NOT form any part of the genuine Tradition of the Western Church.  Bernard perceived it as an INNOVATION. .


If it were official Church teaching or ancient Tradition would he have denied it? This is all the more striking because his profound love for Mary and his writings in her honour had gained him the title of "Troubadour of the Virgin." Read his Epistle 174...

"I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, 'One must glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.' This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment.

"This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious.

"But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her."


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


Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:32:55 AM
It is not for nothing that the Orthodox Church, in her liturgical texts, calls David 'the ancestor of God' and gives the same name of 'holy and righteous ancestors of God' to Joachim and Anna. The Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception seems to break up this uninterrupted succession of Old Testament holiness, which reaches its fulfillment at the moment of the Annunciation, when the Holy Spirit came down upon the Virgin to make her fit to receive the Word of the Father in her womb. The Orthodox Church does not admit the idea that the Holy Virgin was thus exempted from the lot of the rest of fallen humanity - the idea of a 'privilege' which makes her into a being ransomed before the redemptive work, by virtue of the future merits of her Son.
Vladimir Lossky

We don't deny that these other people were holy. But only Mary was All Holy, All Pure, and Immaculate.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:38:17 AM
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who died in 1153 and is seen by some Orthodox as the last authentic bearer of the patristic tradition in the West before the advent of the Scholastic age, denies the Immaculate Conception.
What's your point?
Now you may say that Bernard was a complete ignoramus - which would be hard to justify - but one thing we can deduce from his fierce rejection of the Immaculate Conceptions is that it did NOT form any part of the genuine Tradition of the Western Church.  Bernard perceived it as an INNOVATION. .
A perons can be wrong without being an ignoramus. You quite often wrong Father but I don't think you are an ignoramus.
If it were official Church teaching or ancient Tradition would he have denied it? This is all the more striking because his profound love for Mary and his writings in her honour had gained him the title of "Troubadour of the Virgin." Read his Epistle 174...

"I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, 'One must glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.' This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment.

"This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious.

"But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her."


"I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception, inasmuch as She did not exist. if, all the more, She could not be sanctified in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable from conception, then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after She was conceived in the womb of Her mother. This sanctification, if it annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception. No one is given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and He alone is holy from His very conception. Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities (Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence? The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the sister of unbelief, and the daughter of lightmindedness"
I have already answered most of his arguements in previous posts.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:39:15 AM
Quote
Mary was born from man seed and all born from man seed are touched by the stain of the Ancestral Sin , like it was repeated many times concerning this subject


Saint Ambrose says that the seed of Saint Joachim was immaculate.   Since he would have seen Original Sin as being passed on via the act of conception and specificially via the male seed he must have thought it fitting that Joachim's seed was immaculate and without Original Sin.

Yet, St. Jacob of Sarug taught that Mary was perfect, without stain, even BEFORE the Annunciation. 
 

Message 239 is a question addressed to Catholics but nobody has been able to answer it.    Could you please have a look? 
Maybe he did think that. I don't know.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 11:40:21 AM

Just coming back to this thread to ask a question of the Catholic members.  It was posed to me today by a visitor.

Catholics place on awful amount of emphasis on the Archangel's greeting to the Mother of God "Hail, FULL  OF  GRACE" and this greeting is a strong plank in their argumentation for the Immaculate Conception.

Now if "Full" in fact means "Full" and not half-full or 7/8ths full does this mean that Mary was necessarily fully deified (as in theosis) from the moment of her conception?   Does it mean that she has existed from the first moment of her existence in the supreme condition of total final theosis?   This is something which the rest of us willl never obtain since theosis is a never-ending journey into the infinity of God.
What do you mean by final theosis? I thought you didn't believe in final theosis.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 11:54:55 AM
Now you may say that Bernard was a complete ignoramus - which would be hard to justify - but one thing we can deduce from his fierce rejection of the Immaculate Conceptions is that it did NOT form any part of the genuine Tradition of the Western Church.  Bernard perceived it as an INNOVATION.

Indeed!
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 29, 2009, 12:21:05 PM

Just coming back to this thread to ask a question of the Catholic members.  It was posed to me today by a visitor.

Catholics place on awful amount of emphasis on the Archangel's greeting to the Mother of God "Hail, FULL  OF  GRACE" and this greeting is a strong plank in their argumentation for the Immaculate Conception.

Now if "Full" in fact means "Full" and not half-full or 7/8ths full does this mean that Mary was necessarily fully deified (as in theosis) from the moment of her conception?   Does it mean that she has existed from the first moment of her existence in the supreme condition of total final theosis?   This is something which the rest of us willl never obtain since theosis is a never-ending journey into the infinity of God.
What do you mean by final theosis? I thought you didn't believe in final theosis.

I don't.  But I am not using the term in that unusual sense as given by that Ukrainian Catholic chap, to mean the final purification of purgatory.   

I am saying that Catholics claim that the Mother of God was "Full of grace" from her inception.  To be "full of grace" is to be... well... "full of grace.    No more grace can be added.  So she must have been totally "theotisized" from the first moment of conception.  Theosis for the rest of us is a never-ending journey but for her it must have been a completely fulfilled state from the first second of life.  She had no journey to undertake.

You say that her Immaculate Conception was the same as our Baptism (simply pre-applied in her case) but it cannot have been,.  Baptism does NOT create a state of theosistic perfection for the rest of us.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ignatius on April 29, 2009, 12:22:03 PM
St. John Maximovitch is attacking a straw man. 

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who died in 1153 and is seen by some Orthodox as the last authentic bearer of the patristic tradition in the West before the advent of the Scholastic age, denies the Immaculate Conception.

Now you may say that Bernard was a complete ignoramus - which would be hard to justify - but one thing we can deduce from his fierce rejection of the Immaculate Conceptions is that it did NOT form any part of the genuine Tradition of the Western Church.  Bernard perceived it as an INNOVATION. .


If it were official Church teaching or ancient Tradition would he have denied it? This is all the more striking because his profound love for Mary and his writings in her honour had gained him the title of "Troubadour of the Virgin." Read his Epistle 174...

"I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, 'One must glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.' This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment.

"This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious.

"But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her."


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




Father Bless,

We should recognize that Blessed Bernard believed that Our Lady was infused with Grace in the womb and not as the Orthodox argue as well. He believed the Churches teaching was an act of God upon the fetus in the womb. Whither this was at the very moment of conception or an act after conception yet still within the womb is the bone of contention within the Western Church at the time and at no time does it appear the Western Saints agree with modern Orthodox apologetics on the matter.

This is the most important point for me to point out because it seems to be overlooked even by Blessed John Maximovich's apologetic on the Our Lady.

Father, knowing my struggle here on this topic could give me your advice on a means to see this more clearly? Thank you father.

Peace.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 12:58:12 PM
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception proclaimed by the Roman Catholics in 1854 is rejected by the Orthodox Church, but without in any way detracting from the dignity of the Mother of God. In fact, according the Fathers, the inheritance from Adam consists not in a personal responsibility of all men for original sin, but simply in the inheritance of the consequences of that sin: death, corruption and the passions ... Hence the Orthodox have no difficulty in recognizing that the Mother of God was heir, like us, of the consequences of Adam's sin - Christ alone was exempt -but at the same time pure and without personal sin, for she freely kept herself from all attraction for the world and for the passions, and she voluntarily co-operated in God's purpose by obeying His will with docility: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word," she replied to the Angel Gabriel (LK. 1:38).
(The Synaxarion, Vol. II, p. 361)
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 01:17:04 PM
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception proclaimed by the Roman Catholics in 1854 is rejected by the Orthodox Church, but without in any way detracting from the dignity of the Mother of God. In fact, according the Fathers, the inheritance from Adam consists not in a personal responsibility of all men for original sin, but simply in the inheritance of the consequences of that sin: death, corruption and the passions ... Hence the Orthodox have no difficulty in recognizing that the Mother of God was heir, like us, of the consequences of Adam's sin - Christ alone was exempt -but at the same time pure and without personal sin, for she freely kept herself from all attraction for the world and for the passions, and she voluntarily co-operated in God's purpose by obeying His will with docility: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word," she replied to the Angel Gabriel (LK. 1:38).
(The Synaxarion, Vol. II, p. 361)
Yawn!
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 29, 2009, 01:30:33 PM
Good work Mickey , i appreciate your effort . It is a fact that the IC was not a dogma in the early Church and in the times of the Church Fathers . This "new" dogmatic is an catholic heresy , and the devotion to this dogma leads to the most foulishness and stupid justifications one refuting another . This is outside the teaching of the Church Fathers and it is not in line with the words of Scripture .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 01:38:57 PM
Good work Mickey , i appreciate your effort . It is a fact that the IC was not a dogma in the early Church and in the times of the Church Fathers . This "new" dogmatic is an catholic heresy , and the devotion to this dogma leads to the most foulishness and stupid justifications one refuting another . This is outside the teaching of the Church Fathers and it is not in line with the words of Scripture .
Yes Dan. The Fathers speak for themselves. Even Catholic saints such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Aquinas, and Bonaventure were opposed to it. It is another unfortunate innovation of post schism Rome.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 01:54:54 PM
As for the quotes provided concerning St. Ambrose teaching on Mary, he also says,
"A virgin non only undefiled, but whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain." Looks like the quote you poseted above does not mean that Mary was not free from earthly taint. But nice try again Mickey.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 01:57:39 PM
"Your Immaculate body, which was preserved from al stain of sin, did not remain on earth." - St. John Damascene

Not only was she sanctified from all sin but Mary was preserved from all stain of sin. Thus, she must not have inherited original sin.

I guess its as the saying goes, there's nothing that cannot be answered by St. John Damascene.  ;D
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 02:01:59 PM
"She formed part of the human race adn was fo the same essence as we, although she was pure from all taint and immaculate." - St. Servius (d. 538)

Pure from all taint. That would include pure from original sin.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 02:03:55 PM
St. Andrew of Crete says that God cose "from all nature this entirely pure and immaculate virgin." (d. 740)
Hmmm. She was already pure and Immaculate when he Chose her. Thus she was made clean well before the Annuciation.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 02:06:06 PM
It is a fact that the IC was not a dogma in the early Church and in the times of the Church Fathers .

This is a fact.

I also remember reading somewhere that the Catholic Saint Catherine of Sienna received a vision where the Virgin Mary told Catherine that she was not immaculately conceived. Do you know anything about this?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 29, 2009, 02:19:09 PM
It is a fact that the IC was not a dogma in the early Church and in the times of the Church Fathers .

This is a fact.

I also remember reading somewhere that the Catholic Saint Catherine of Sienna received a vision where the Virgin Mary told Catherine that she was not immaculately conceived. Do you know anything about this?
If that were true it would be a much bigger deal and pounced on by anti-Catholic apologists. Now I have provided some Church Father quotes demonstrating that the Immaculate Conception was part of the tradition of the Fathers. No doubt you will reject them because you don't want to believe in the truth of the Immaculate Conception.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ignatius on April 29, 2009, 02:39:16 PM
The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception proclaimed by the Roman Catholics in 1854 is rejected by the Orthodox Church, but without in any way detracting from the dignity of the Mother of God. In fact, according the Fathers, the inheritance from Adam consists not in a personal responsibility of all men for original sin, but simply in the inheritance of the consequences of that sin: death, corruption and the passions ... Hence the Orthodox have no difficulty in recognizing that the Mother of God was heir, like us, of the consequences of Adam's sin - Christ alone was exempt -but at the same time pure and without personal sin, for she freely kept herself from all attraction for the world and for the passions, and she voluntarily co-operated in God's purpose by obeying His will with docility: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word," she replied to the Angel Gabriel (LK. 1:38).
(The Synaxarion, Vol. II, p. 361)

Grace and Peace Mickey,

But with regards to the Doctrine of Original Sin, it would appear Dogmatized by the Councils (both at the regional synod level and also by two Ecumenical Councils. In my inquiry into 'modern' Orthodoxy I find weird inconsistencies with the Councils and their own Theologians which really concerned me and ultimately kept me from further inquiry.

The Councils on Original Sin:

Council of Mileum II 416, Approved by Innocent and Council of Carthage (XVI) 418, Approved by Zosimus against the Pelagians

The First Canon States:

All the bishops established in the sacred synod of the Carthaginian Chruch have decided that whoever says that Adam, the first man, was made mortal, so that, whether he sinned or whether he did not sin, he would die in body, that is he would go out of the body not because of the merit of sin but by reason of the necessity of nature, let him be anathema.

The Second Canon states:

Likewise it has been decided that whoever says that infants fresh from their mothers' wombs ought not to be baptized, or says that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin from Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration, whence it follows that in regard to them the form of baptism "unto the remission of sins" is understood as not true, but as false, let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says: "Though one man sin entered into the world (and through sin death), and so passed into all men, in whom all have sinned" [cf. Romans 5:12], must not to be understood otherwise than as the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration.

These Carthaginian canons were accepted by the Church at the Ecumenical Council in AD 431. They were received yet again at the Seventh Ecumenical Council (the Second Council of Nicea) in AD 787. These Canons were and 'must not to be understood otherwise than as the catholic and apostalic Church spread everywhere has always understood it.'

Teachings of an Orthodox Theologian:

Nor does this resemble the works of Simeon the New Theologian (i.e. The First-Created Man, Seven Homilies) who clearly presents the 'orthodox' teaching of "Original Sin"...

In the present life no one has the divine power in himself to manifest a brilliant glory, and there is no one who is clothed with glory before humility and disgrace; but every man who is born in this world is born inglorious and insignificant, and only later, little by little, advances and becomes glorious.

Therefore, if anyone, having experienced beforehand such disgrace and insignificance, shall then become proud, is he not senseless and blind? That saying that calls no one sinless except God, even though he has lived only one day on earth, does not refer to those who sin personally, because how can a one-day old child sin? But in this expressed mystery of our Faith, that human nature is sinful from its very conception. God did not create man sinful, but pure and holy. But since the first-created Adam lost this garment of sanctity, not from any other sin but from pride alone, and became corruptible and mortal, all people also who come from the seed of Adam are participants of the ancestral sin from their very conception and birth. He who has been born in this way, even though he has not yet performed any sin, is already sinful through this ancestral sin. - The First-Created Man: Homily 37 The Ancestral (Original) Sin and Our Regeneration by St. Symeon The New Theologian

I find the underlined very concerning for the modern Orthodox argument that Original Sin was understood in some vague philosophical way as it appears to be now by modern Orthodox apologists. Even if we look to On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius we find comparing our original state of grace in immortality with a new state in death needing 'rebirth' to renew. I simply don't find the "modern" Orthodox apologetic in history and that really concerns me because they appear to have emphasized the Cappadocian Fathers over the consensus of the whole faith in order to present an alternative to historic Catholic Theology. Now I don't pretend to think that everything in the Catholic Church is as it has always been... but I do get the feeling that "modern" Orthodoxy has artificially contrived distinctions in order to appeal to modern sentiment concerning these teachings (particularly that of modern liberal protestant views concerning the need for Baptism etc.).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 29, 2009, 03:12:27 PM
...all people also who come from the seed of Adam are participants of the ancestral sin from their very conception and birth. He who has been born in this way, even though he has not yet performed any sin, is already sinful through this ancestral sinThe First-Created Man: Homily 37 The Ancestral (Original) Sin and Our Regeneration by St. Symeon The New Theologian

I am sorry. I am not understanding your dilemma clearly.  But I am not a very learned man--so perhaps someone else can help you.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ignatius on April 29, 2009, 04:16:11 PM
...all people also who come from the seed of Adam are participants of the ancestral sin from their very conception and birth. He who has been born in this way, even though he has not yet performed any sin, is already sinful through this ancestral sinThe First-Created Man: Homily 37 The Ancestral (Original) Sin and Our Regeneration by St. Symeon The New Theologian

I am sorry. I am not understanding your dilemma clearly.  But I am not a very learned man--so perhaps someone else can help you.

Sure. The point I'm trying to make is that this notion of a separation between guilt and consequences of Original Sin doesn't appear to be found in the early Church Councils and even with St. Symeon The New Theologian. This bothers me a great deal because I see it argued so often among Orthodox Apologists. Once I thought I could convert to Orthodoxy and hold to the teachings of St. Symeon but that doesn't seem to be the case. I stand in an awkward 'no man's land' between the East and the West but maybe I am coming to terms with it.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on April 29, 2009, 09:54:10 PM
I also remember reading somewhere that the Catholic Saint Catherine of Sienna received a vision where the Virgin Mary told Catherine that she was not immaculately conceived. Do you know anything about this?

In Fr. Benedict Groeschel's book, "A Still, Small Voice" he talks about St. Catherine of Siena's declaration that she received a revelation that the Virgin Mary was not immaculately conceived.


http://www.amazon.com/Still-Small-Voice-Practical-Revelations/dp/0898704367
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on April 30, 2009, 12:54:02 AM
Dear Marduk,

I'm glad you're back.  You've cleared up a few things.  Reading your message as a whole, I can see clearly that I might have misunderstood, and I'm very open to see the terminology you use is similar.

Nevertheless, I don't understand why you would criticize the belief of death as the cause of all things we do as merely a Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox belief.  I really can care less what they believe (although I agree with their beliefs), but based on what I read, this is very Alexandrian, and very Severian.  Fr. Peter Theodore will even agree with me on this one, as he is a scholar on St. Severus' writings.  I've actually had this discussion recently with other Copts who misunderstand the belief of the Original Sin and what it is.

For instance, the Greek for Romans 5:12 is read differently.  If you go back and read St. John Chrysostom's commentaries, he writes very clearly, "for that all have sinned," not "because all sinned."  The meaning here is very different.  Through one man's sin, death entered into the world, and because of death, all sinned.

Second, I agree with you that spiritual death causes us to sin.  However, for the sake of this discussion, the terminology "stain" does not indicate death, but an addition, a sin.  Death is separation, a corruption, something missing in one's life.  A stain is something added to one's life, something like the act of sinning.  This is why I interpret your quotes differently.  For instance, if I met one who did not sin at all in his/her life, I can say of this person he/she is without stain.  That doesn't mean the curse is removed from them, that they are not under this curse of death, spiritual or physical.  I don't think that's what St. Ephrem meant, and I'll share with you a quote by St. Jacob of Serugh in a little bit now that I have the book in my hand again.

In addition, physical death and spiritual death in my opinion are only separated (if I may use a Christological terminology) "in thought alone."  What St. Paul says in Romans 5:12, he meant both.  The psychological ramifications of corruption and death, physically as well as spiritually, lead all to sin.  Christ came and killed death, separating the two.  He partook of physical death without spiritual death, rendering death dead in its power against us.  So, yes we are raised alive again in Christ, but partaking of the Life of Christ, physical death is no longer what it used to be the punishment it was, but a blessing, a grace to look forward to.  We die in Christ that we may live.

Nevertheless, Satan continues to bring death back into the battlefield.  By our sinning, we are recharging death unfortunately.  By our life in Christ, we are keeping death dead.  It is why we sing "Christ is risen from the dead, and trampled death by death, bestowing life to those who were in the tombs."  He did not bestow righteousness to sinners, but life to those who were dead, so that sinners may be righteous.

It is the central teaching in Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus.  I cannot accept the terminology "stain."  Trust me, I understand what you mean when you say we shouldn't war over words (in the spirit of ecumenism, I try my best not to war over words in Christological debates, and in this case, I don't reject differences in the meaning of the word "stain" either).  But when it comes to quotes by Church fathers who say that the Virgin was "stainless," in this particular discussion with you, I avoid the term "stain" so that I can show you why I reject it.  Nevertheless, I misunderstood your use, seeing that it might mean "spiritual death." 

When it comes to the conception of the Virgin Mary, I cannot accept this.  As I mentioned before, many people in the Old Testament were sanctified by the Holy Spirit without removing "spiritual death."  Many prophets spoke through the "Holy Spirit."  That doesn't mean "spiritual death" was removed.  They may have well been stainless.  After all, Romans 5:14 alludes to people who have not sinned that even experience death (spiritual and physical).

A few quotes of yours that we will have to agree to disagree with:


Sanctification is simply a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can sanctify in many various ways, and such gifts are not the same for all.  The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception (really nothing more than the Grace of Baptism) is different from the effect of sanctification on Judas (to be an Apostle and perform miracles) and on Saul (to have the divine right of kingship). The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception was also different from the effect of the sanctification she received at the Annunciation.  The grace Mary received at the moment of her conception was the grace to dedicate herself to God.  In distinction, the grace Mary received at the annunciation was the grace to be able to bear the FULL DIVINITY, and, also, IMO, the unique grace to remain a virgin despite bearing Christ.

Quote
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it, and vice-versa, when the dogma is properly understood. (3) I have hope that when it is properly understood, it will eventually be acceptable to all. (4) The proscription is only an excommunication, and not an anathema. (5) The proscription of a dogma is not an inherent part of the dogma. It is conceivable that the proscription may be lifted.

Quote
Since she was IC’d NOT for the purpose of bearing Christ, but simply to be dedicated completely to God, then it seems we are in agreement.

You call it IC, I call it sanctification, but we both know we don't mean the same thing. 

Quote
Yes, Baptism only removes the spiritual consequences of Original sin (sin, in all its forms and understanding, loss of original justice, loss of sanctifying Grace, spiritual death), not the temporal/physical consequences (i.e., death, corruption, etc.). This is the same Grace that Mary received at her conception, and which the Forerunner received while yet in his mother’s womb.

So I suppose there's a belief of St. John's IC brewing in Catholic circles as well?

Quote
Now we’re getting somewhere. Previously, you spoke of death, and it seemed like you were not making a distinction between physical death, and spiritual death (which is why I said your understanding seems more Byzantine than Coptic). But now I see you are distinguishing between the temporal/physical consequences of original sin from the spiritual consequences of original sin. So I apologize for my assumption earlier.  On this basis, given my explanation above of what Baptism does, I think we can come to an agreement. But, as always, more questions are welcome.

I sorta agree with this.  But know that I also do not separate physical and spiritual death when it comes to the time before Christ, including the Virgin Mary and John the Forerunner.  When talking about St. Paul, St. Athanasius, etc. they never distinguished between spiritual and physical death.  They talked about death as a whole.

Quote
Quote
I have to respectfully disagree.  I saw "equality" as a matter of previous actions, not state of the soul.  Equality can also be a matter of humanity.  Christ is equal to us by His human nature, equal to the Father by His divine nature.  In this case, it is clear the "equality" is in the matter of their "innocence," and I interpret this to mean their previous actions of sinlessness.
I think “utterly equal” is different from mere “equal.” Like you said, there are different kinds of equality, but “utter equality” is a different thing, n’est pas.

Agree to disagree here as well.  As you say, one was under physical death, and one wasn't.  Yet the latter sinned, and the former didn't.  I like to think the same for spiritual death before the Annunciation.  I mean think of it this way.  What makes something "utterly equal"?  Surely, if "utterly," why draw the line on only spiritual death, and not physical death like other Latins do?  It would seem to me they are more consistent when using this quote.  While my consistency lies in drawing the line in their actions before making a pivotal decision for all mankind.  Through Eve decision under no spiritual or physical death, we were all made dead.  Through Mary's decision under physical and spiritual death, we were all made alive.  Both were utterly equal in the position they were put in, and both were utterly equal in their "stainless life" (the way I define it) before that pivotal moment.

Quote
I’ll agree that it MIGHT be only in reference to the fact that both Christ and Mary never sinned, but when we say Christ is “sinless” do you think we mean only that Christ never sinned, and not actually that Christ also did not have the stain of original sin?  Thus, when a Father compares Mary’s sinlessness to Christ’s, why should we automatically think that it refers only to the fact of not sinning actively?

Let's understand from St. Jacob of Serugh how this comparison is made not because of a grace similar to that of baptism, but solely of her own will to which she is compared to Christ as spotless:

Quote
Our Lord descending to earth beheld all women;
He chose one for Himself who among them all was pleasing.

He searched her and found humility and holiness in her,
and limpid impulses and a soul desirous of divinity.

And a pure heart and every reckoning of perfection,
because of this He chose her, the pure and most fair one.

...

He observed her, how exalted and pure from evil,
nor stirs in her an impulse inclined to lust.

And she allows no thought for luxury,
nor worldly conversation which causes cruel harm.

Desire for worldly vanity does not burn in her,
nor is she occupied with childish things.

...

She was a person of discernment, full of the love of God,
because our Lord does not dwell where there is no love.

When the Great King desired to come to our place,
He dwelt in the purest shrine of all the earth because it please him.

He dwelt in a spotless womb which was adorned with virginity,
and with thoughts which were worthy of holiness.

...

Maiden, full of beauty hidden in her and around her,
and pure of heart that she might see the mysteries which had come to pass in her.

This is beauty, when one is beautiful of one's own accord;
glorious graces of perfection are in her will.

However great be the beauty of something from God,
it is not acclaimed if freedom is not present.

...

If another had pleased more than her, He would have chosen that one,
for the Lord does not respect persons since He is just and right.

If there had been a spot in her soul or a defect,
He would have sought for Himself another mother in whom there is no blemish.

This beauty which is teh most pure of all beauties,
exists in the one who possesses it by means of a good will.

...

She was made pure like John and like Elisha,
like Elias and like Melchisedek, who were renowned.

She ascended to the degree of these heights in beauty,
so she was chosen to be the Mother of the Son of the Holy One.

She drew near to the limit of virtue by her soul;
so, that grace which is without limit dwelt in her.

And you should read the part about comparing Eve and Mary.  It's just awesome.  One part I like to quote when interpreting her "utter equality," besides the position they were both put at (if I can quote the whole thing for you, I should just type the whole book here), they were also both virgins:

"Two virgins who received the message from two messengers;
two by two, generations were sent forth, one against another.

Satan sent a secret to Eve by means of the serpent;
the Lord sent the good tidings to Mary by means of the Watcher."

In anticipation of something you might answer back with, let me just tell you I agree with you that free will is not taken away if one is baptized, or has a grace similar to that (as the IC).  But here, we're arguing that she reached a measure of purity not by her state of nature, but by her own doing, her own will.  This leads us to believe that when the Syrian poets speak of her "stainless" life, they speak of her as a women without doing sin, not without spiritual death.

Quote
Quote
You misunderstand my question.  I'm not questioning free will brother.  I'm simply asking which is more amazing?  Those under the curse who don't sin or those not under the curse who don't sin?  This is a matter of contemplation that I find why the Theotokos is most amazing, stainless even under the curse of Original Sin (in the way I understand though, since there's no belief in our church of some sort of "stain").
But Mary was also under the curse of death (physical death, that is, not spiritual death).  The dogma of the IC does not deny that.

I am saying both spiritual and physical death, she still was stainless and made a decision to bestow upon us all the One Who will bestow life to those who were in the tombs.

Quote
Quote
So now we have two immaculate events?  One at conception and one at the Annunciation?  I thought the Latins thought the conception was enough for the Incarnation?
First of all, yes, I think that is a popular Latin theologoumenon, but it is not what the dogma of the IC actually teaches.  The Apostolic Constitution on the dogma merely states that the she was IC’d because it was fitting for her AS the Theotokos. But it does NOT say that she was IC’d because it was necessary for her TO BE Theotokos. Like I said, this latter belief is a Latin theologoumenon which I myself do not hold. Though I would add that in the quotes I provided earlier of EOC Fathers, St. Proclus of Constantinople makes an explicit causal connection between the immaculateness of Jesus’ birth and Mary being immaculately conceived.

Secondly, yes, there are two immaculate events. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ.  The Immaculate nature of their respective conceptions came about differently.  Mary was immaculately conceived by the Grace of Baptism being applied to her at the moment of her conception.  In distinction, Jesus was immaculately conceived because he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, without a human father. So the IC does not give to Mary anything that is uniquely Christ’s.

You misunderstood my question.  I understood previously from you as if you implied the Virgin Mary was "made immaculate" twice.  One at her conception, and one at the Annunciation.  I'm not talking about two conceptions of two different people.  I'm only talking about the Theotokos.

Now with the icing of the cake, the quotes of St. Jacob of Serug concerning the Annunciation and what it did the Theotokos:

Quote
Indeed, the Holy Spirit came to Mary,
to let loose from her the former sentence of Eve and Adam.

He sanctified her, purified her and made her blessed among women;
He freed her from that curse of sufferings on account of Eve, her mother.

...

The Spirit freed her from that debt that she might be beyond
transgression when He solemnly dwelt in her.

He purified the Mother by the Holy Spirit while dwelling in her,
that He might take from her a pure body without sin.

...

The Word had descended that He might become flesh; on this account,
by the Spirit He purified the one from whom He had become flesh,

so that He might become like us in everything when He descended,
except for this:  that His pure body is without sin.

...

He made her pure, limpid, and blessed
as that Eve, before the serpent spoke with her.

He bestowed on her that first grace which her mother had,
until she ate from the tree which was full of death.

The Spirit who came made her like Eve of old,
though she did not hear the council of the serpent nor his hateful speech.

...

He sanctified her body and made her without hateful lusts,
as the virgin Eve had been until she lusted.

The sin which entered Adam's race with impulses of desire,
the Holy Spirit cast out from her when He came within her.

That increase of evil inclination which the serpent effected,
He wiped from her and filled her with holiness and integrity.

...

She rose up to this measure on her own,
until the Spirit, that perfecter of all came to her.

She was full of grace from God which was more exalted than all;
the Only-begotten dwelt in her womb to renew all.

All the quotes in this whole long message I wrote to you from St. Jacob was all not from different homilies, but one homily (Homily 1 in the book "On the Mother of God" by St. Jacob of Serug), in order that there is no doubt one should understand the context of Jacob's understanding of the "equality" between Mary and Eve, what "stainless" means, and what happened at the Annunciation as opposed to the Latin belief of the conception of Mary herself.

This is OO Mariology at its heart.

God bless.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 30, 2009, 01:07:15 AM
Dear brother Mina,

That was a great response.  I will offer my responses later in the week or early next week.  For now, I am going to focus on brother Mickey's quotes. Plus I need some time to recuperate from a cold I just got.

BTW, I just wrote you a PM indicating I responded to you, and when I submitted it, your own response was posted, so just disregard my PM to you.

Abundant blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 30, 2009, 02:45:42 AM
Dear brother LBK,

How do these quotes refute the dogma of the IC exactly?

Selections from the Vigil for the Annunciation:

From Ode 7, Canon at Matins:

The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my soul; it has sanctified my body; it has made me a temple containing God, a divinely-adorned tabernacle, a living sanctuary, and the pure Mother of Life.

From Ode 8:

You appear to speak the truth, answered the Virgin. For you have come as a messenger, bringing joy to all. Since I am to be purified in soul and body by the Spirit, let it happen to me according to your word. May God now dwell in me. I cry out to Him with you: All you works of the Lord, bless the Lord.
As mentioned by brother Papist and myself several times, the dogma itself says nothing about the IC being necessary SO THAT she is able to bear the FULL DIVINITY.

I myself believe, as you do, that it is at the Annunciation when Mary received the Grace TO BE ABLE TO conceive the Lord.  The Grace Mary received at her IC is different.  The dogma of the IC states SPECIFICALLY that at the moment of her conception, was preserved "FREE FROM ALL STAIN OF ORIGINAL SIN." If you compare this with what the Catholic Church teaches about original sin and Baptism, then it will become more obvious that what Mary received at the moment of her conception was nothing more nor less than the Grace of Baptism.  The dogma doesn't say anything about the IC being necessary for her TO BE Theotokos.

Naysayers of the teaching have simply been knocking down straw men, EXTRAPOLATING matters from the teaching that the dogma never even claims.

Blessings,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on April 30, 2009, 02:54:30 AM
Mardukm, I have supplied Orthodox liturgical texts to back the Orthodox position. They represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. Moreover, these texts date to centuries before the schism between East and West. The Orthodox Church, as many others have said, had no need for a doctrine of immaculate conception, as its position on the sanctity and purity of the Mother of God had been explained and proclaimed since before the Third Ecumenical Council of 431, which preceded the council of Chalcedon, I might add. Need I say more?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 30, 2009, 02:58:13 AM
Now you may say that Bernard was a complete ignoramus - which would be hard to justify - but one thing we can deduce from his fierce rejection of the Immaculate Conceptions is that it did NOT form any part of the genuine Tradition of the Western Church.  Bernard perceived it as an INNOVATION.
The Catholic Church has not rejected anything from St. Bernard.  He (like St. Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, and probably St. Catherine of Sienna) believed that the sanctification of Mary occured at her ensoulment, not at her physical conception. At this time, the Latins believed ensoulment occurred at a different time than the physical conception, perhaps up to 40 days or more until after the physical conception. Of course, it seems the Easterns did not make a distinction between the moment of physical conception and the moment of ensoulment.  Only later did the Latin Church come to the same understanding as the Easterns, who did not differentiate the physical conception from the spiritual conception (i.e., ensoulment). I already quoted to you the Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) explanation of the dogma, and it states that the dogma is actually about the sanctification occuring at the moment of her ensoulment - which is exactly what the Medieval Latin Saints taught.  

And just to be clear, St. Bernard was not rejecting the IC, but rejecting the introduction of the EASTERN Feast of the Conception of St. Anne into the Western Tradition.

I've stated the foregoing a few times already.  Either refute what I am saying, or admit that these Medieval Latin Saints aren't saying anything different from what the dogm of the IC ACTUALLY teaches.

Humbly,
Marduk
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 30, 2009, 03:00:23 AM
Mardukm, I have supplied Orthodox liturgical texts to back the Orthodox position. They represent the consensus patrum of the Orthodox Church. Moreover, these texts date to centuries before the schism between East and West. The Orthodox Church, as many others have said, had no need for a doctrine of immaculate conception, as its position on the sanctity and purity of the Mother of God had been explained and proclaimed since before the Third Ecumenical Council of 431, which preceded the council of Chalcedon, I might add. Need I say more?
Yes.  Forgive me for being insistent. What I want to know is how those texts actually make a dent in the teaching of the IC in any way.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on April 30, 2009, 03:09:15 AM
Yes.  Forgive me for being insistent. What I want to know is how those texts actually make a dent in the teaching of the IC in any way.

The Orthodox do not add to the deposit of faith where there is no need to add to it. The liturgical texts I have quoted speak for themselves. Let's not forget that hymnographers such as St Andrew of Crete, St John of Damascus and St Romanus the Melodist (to name but a few) knew their scripture (NT and OT) backwards, were completely immersed in Holy Tradition, and were inspired to write the gorgeous and sublime treasure of hymnody which remains with us to this day.

From another perspective, the iconography of the conception of the Mother of God simply shows Sts Joachim and Anna embracing. There is no symbolism or pictorial motif in these icons which in any way suggests an immaculate conception of their blessed child.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 30, 2009, 04:06:06 AM
Yes.  Forgive me for being insistent. What I want to know is how those texts actually make a dent in the teaching of the IC in any way.

The Orthodox do not add to the deposit of faith where there is no need to add to it.

Fair enough. But I ask you this: is making something a dogma actually adding to the deposit of Faith?  You don't believe the doctrine of the Assumption is a dogma, but is it not part of the Deposit of Faith?  Earlier, an EO poster smartly wrote that he was confused about this debate because he thought the only issue was that the teaching was made a dogma.

I earlier quoted specific Fathers from the EOC who believed in the IC (I'm not talking about "All-holy" or "Immaculate" quotes, but those, like St. Proclus of Constantinople in the 5th century, who taught that Mary was FORMED WITHOUT STAIN, or St. Theodorus of Jerusalem who taught that Mary was CREATED in a more sublime and glorious fashion than any other creature).  Can you actually say it is not in the depost of Faith?  It seems that prior to the promulgation of the dogma of the IC in the mid-19th century, 99% of the Fathers of the Eastern Church did not believe that something like what St. Proclus taught was in any way contradictory or non-complementary to EO Tradition.  Our efforts at unity should be based on the sources, not on modern polemics, don't you agree?

Quote
The liturgical texts I have quoted speak for themselves. Let's not forget that hymnographers such as St Andrew of Crete, St John of Damascus and St Romanus the Melodist (to name but a few) knew their scripture (NT and OT) backwards, were completely immersed in Holy Tradition, and were inspired to write the gorgeous and sublime treasure of hymnody which remains with us to this day.
Yes, these texts speak of the sublime Grace Mary received at the Annunciation, a belief I myself hold.  But they do not in any way contradict the teaching of the IC, which MOST EO Fathers prior to mid-19th century also believed.

Quote
From another perspective, the iconography of the conception of the Mother of God simply shows Sts Joachim and Anna embracing. There is no symbolism or pictorial motif in these icons which in any way suggests an immaculate conception of their blessed child.
Are you familiar with the Tradition that a white dove entered St. Anna when she conceived St. Mary?  When the Fathers of Ephesus chided Pope St. Cyrill for not sticking to the text of the Creed in his defense of the Faith, he shot back righteously, asserting that the Faith is not restricted to one source, but to all the sources that the Church possesses.  The iconography is only one source of Tradition. I think problems occur when we restrict ourselves to one source while neglecting the totality of the Tradition.

BTW, in 1677, Benedict XIV formally condemned the error which taught that Mary was conceived of a virgin (i.e., that Mary was not naturally formed by Sts Joachim and Anne).

I must be off now.

Blessings
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mardukm on April 30, 2009, 04:11:34 AM
Now you may say that Bernard was a complete ignoramus - which would be hard to justify - but one thing we can deduce from his fierce rejection of the Immaculate Conceptions is that it did NOT form any part of the genuine Tradition of the Western Church.  Bernard perceived it as an INNOVATION.
The Catholic Church has not rejected anything from St. Bernard.  He (like St. Aquinas and St. Bonaventure, and probably St. Catherine of Sienna) believed that the sanctification of Mary occured at her ensoulment, not at her physical conception. At this time, the Latins believed ensoulment occurred at a different time than the physical conception, perhaps up to 40 days or more until after the physical conception. Of course, it seems the Easterns did not make a distinction between the moment of physical conception and the moment of ensoulment.  Only later did the Latin Church come to the same understanding as the Easterns, who did not differentiate the physical conception from the spiritual conception (i.e., ensoulment). I already quoted to you the Catholic Encyclopedia (1917) explanation of the dogma, and it states that the dogma is actually about the sanctification occuring at the moment of her ensoulment - which is exactly what the Medieval Latin Saints taught.  

And just to be clear, St. Bernard was not rejecting the IC, but rejecting the introduction of the EASTERN Feast of the Conception of St. Anne into the Western Tradition.

I've stated the foregoing a few times already.  Either refute what I am saying, or admit that these Medieval Latin Saints aren't saying anything different from what the dogm of the IC ACTUALLY teaches.
BTW, Father Ambrose, here is another quote from the Catholic Encyclopedia demonstrating that the dogma of the IC refers to her ensoulment, not her physical conception:

Alexander VII promulgated on 8 December 1661, the famous constitution "Sollicitudo omnium Ecclesiarum", defining the true sense of the word conceptio, and forbidding all further discussion against the common and pious sentiment of the Church. He declared that the immunity of Mary from original sin in the first moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into the body was the object of the feast (Densinger, 1100).
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on April 30, 2009, 04:21:52 AM
I fail to see the relevance in distinguishing between the Virgin's conception and her ensoulment with regard to the IC. Hairsplitting, methinks.
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Dan-Romania on April 30, 2009, 04:47:09 AM
As for the quotes provided concerning St. Ambrose teaching on Mary, he also says,
"A virgin non only undefiled, but whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain." Looks like the quote you poseted above does not mean that Mary was not free from earthly taint. But nice try again Mickey.

Read what it says but whom grace has made inviolate the quotes you made don`t speak of Mary been Immaculate Conception , it speaks of her been Immaculated wich is a difference . She was pure , without sin(s) of her own but she carried the Ancestral Sin , wich it is not ours but it is a consequence of being born human , a consequence of inheritance of the fallen nature and the face of Adam. The Ancestral Sin passes trough all people so that we are all equal , we are all one . The sins of all humanity are acounted in a scroll as one , on the same handwriting , that is why no one could redeem the world , not the just , no one . From the fall all sins of the humanity were accounted as one for all humans , for the fate of the whole humanity . Every sin was written down of every person . That is what the Scripture text ment :  Col2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; So that is why we are all sinners in front of God , all born in Adam but we are all washed and justify trough Jesus , in His blood and He is the Water wich washes our sins , from His rib poured blood and water . This is what the prophet ment :
 Eze18:2 What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?
Eze18:3 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.
 Eze18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.
Jer31:29 In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.
Jer31:30 But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge.
 Jer31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah
This refers to the NT convenant trough Jesus Christ wich washes our heel and our sins. Our heel is the one that was biten by the snake , this means falling and death . All who are humans and are born with a falling body , and corrupted body and flesh of sin . That is why the flesh suffers corruption because of the sin , because of the falling from God`s grace . But entering again into the grace of God is made trough Jesus Christ , in who we are reborn , and how He resurrected so will we . In Scripture we see many references of the just people , but they all die , and none is just in front of God , see Job .
Psa49:6 They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches;
Psa49:7 None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:
Psa49:8 (For the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever:)
Psa49:9 That he should still live for ever, and not see corruption.
Psa49:10 For he seeth that wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others.
Psa49:11 Their inward thought is, that their houses shall continue for ever, and their dwelling places to all generations; they call their lands after their own names.
Psa49:12 Nevertheless man being in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts that perish.

So all die even the justs they also died , by being named justs it doesn`t mean that they not inherit the handwritting that is against humanity , cause we are all born from the one that fall man(Adam). Only two persons didn`t died and they were tooked in the heavens by God , but they will come to make their testimony and to die . The titles Immaculated , Pure , just , etc are given to a person by their personal deeds and action , not by their inheritance , by the personal life , but still the just could not redeem himself as the psalms say and as Ecclesiast book says , they all die . His heel is biten also . But Jesus is our God , He redeems us . To Him is the glory , the grace and the power .
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Mickey on April 30, 2009, 08:27:21 AM
If you compare this with what the Catholic Church teaches about original sin and Baptism, then it will become more obvious that what Mary received at the moment of her conception was nothing more nor less than the Grace of Baptism. 

I have never seen this explanation about the Immaculate Conception being synonymous with conceptional baptism. Is this in the Catechism of the Catholic Church? What do you mean by "it will become more obvious"?  Is this what Pius IX was trying to say in 1854--that St Mary was baptized at conception? Is this what the magisterium says today?
Title: Re: Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on April 30, 2009, 09:27:54 AM