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Moderated Forums => Orthodox-Other Christian Discussion => Orthodox-Catholic Discussion => Topic started by: Aindriú on August 30, 2010, 10:43:21 PM

Title: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on August 30, 2010, 10:43:21 PM
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

This has to be the clearest picture of the "Immaculate Conception" I've read.

What 'I read' is that Mary, by the grace of God, was born (conceived) fully human. That is because, as I've brought up in a previous thread, to sin is to not be human.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29294.0.html

Now, taking that, just as Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and then of their own free will, rejected God, Mary was created (conceived) pure, and then of her own free will accepted God. She is still fully human, in fact, she would be more human than any of us. Why? Because of God's grace. Which is also why God is still her savior, because without that Grace, she would have been born just as urgently sinful.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on August 31, 2010, 02:22:27 PM
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

This has to be the clearest picture of the "Immaculate Conception" I've read.

What 'I read' is that Mary, by the grace of God, was born (conceived) fully human. That is because, as I've brought up in a previous thread, to sin is to not be human.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29294.0.html

Now, taking that, just as Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and then of their own free will, rejected God, Mary was created (conceived) pure, and then of her own free will accepted God. She is still fully human, in fact, she would be more human than any of us. Why? Because of God's grace. Which is also why God is still her savior, because without that Grace, she would have been born just as urgently sinful.
Get ready for all of those who will do one of two things.
1. Misrepresent the dogma of the Immaculate Conception so that they can attack a strawman.
2. Pretend like they don't understand the Immaculate Conception, when they really do.
It will be fun to watch my predications unfold.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on August 31, 2010, 02:56:49 PM
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

This has to be the clearest picture of the "Immaculate Conception" I've read.

What 'I read' is that Mary, by the grace of God, was born (conceived) fully human. That is because, as I've brought up in a previous thread, to sin is to not be human.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29294.0.html

Now, taking that, just as Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and then of their own free will, rejected God, Mary was created (conceived) pure, and then of her own free will accepted God. She is still fully human, in fact, she would be more human than any of us. Why? Because of God's grace. Which is also why God is still her savior, because without that Grace, she would have been born just as urgently sinful.

Whether she is Immaculated Conceive or not is more of a theologumen.. The Orthodox Church says that She is sinless... However I incline towards the belief that she is Immaculated Conceived..
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on August 31, 2010, 04:11:10 PM
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

This has to be the clearest picture of the "Immaculate Conception" I've read.

What 'I read' is that Mary, by the grace of God, was born (conceived) fully human. That is because, as I've brought up in a previous thread, to sin is to not be human.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29294.0.html

Now, taking that, just as Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and then of their own free will, rejected God, Mary was created (conceived) pure, and then of her own free will accepted God. She is still fully human, in fact, she would be more human than any of us. Why? Because of God's grace. Which is also why God is still her savior, because without that Grace, she would have been born just as urgently sinful.

Whether she is Immaculated Conceive or not is more of a theologumen.. The Orthodox Church says that She is sinless... However I incline towards the belief that she is Immaculated Conceived..

I have been assured that folks such as yourself do not exist.  Are you real?

 :)

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: dcointin on August 31, 2010, 07:56:30 PM
I initially objected to the Immaculate Conception for reasons that I came to understand were heretical.  I assumed that Jesus must have inherited a *corrupt* human nature because it was necessary that he assume one in every way like ours in order to redeem us, and therefore Mary's nature must have been corrupt as well.  However, the nature which he assumed was uncorrupt, like that of Adam before the fall, and it was only necessary that he inherit one that was truly human, not corrupt.  After that realization the Immaculate Conception became much more acceptable to me as a theologial opinion.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on August 31, 2010, 11:11:41 PM

However I incline towards the belief that she is Immaculated Conceived..

I believe that I was conceived in exactly the same way as the Mother of God.  If She was immaculately conceived, then so was I.  And if She was not immaculately conceived, then neither was I.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ChristusDominus on August 31, 2010, 11:47:22 PM

However I incline towards the belief that she is Immaculated Conceived..

I believe that I was conceived in exactly the same way as the Mother of God.  If She was immaculately conceived, then so was I.  And if She was not immaculately conceived, then neither was I.
You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 12:03:32 AM

You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".


"Gratia plena" was a terribly bad translation of the Greek!  I blame Saint Jerome.

Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: stashko on September 01, 2010, 12:28:04 AM

You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".


"Gratia plena" was a terribly bad translation of the Greek!  I blame Saint Jerome.

Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Fr.....
Don't we all so use  Puna Blagodat, full of grace when we say the Hail Mary [Bogorodica Deva] or that's how i been saying it , is it the wrong way i was saying it all this time...confused...Or did it apply only for the time that She Was overshadowed By the Holy Spirit and Christ Was Conceived in her womb,but after The lords Birth  She had to walk the path towards  theosis like we all have to.....
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 12:42:27 AM

You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".


"Gratia plena" was a terribly bad translation of the Greek!  I blame Saint Jerome.

Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Fr.....
Don't we all so use  Puna Blagodat, full of grace when we say the Hail Mary [Bogorodica Deva] or thats how i been saying it ,  is it the wrong way i was saying it all this time...confused...

If you're praying in Serbian it is "Blagodatna Marija" - no "puna"!  :)

(http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs062.ash2/36451_432715146457_659516457_5898530_1698320_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: stashko on September 01, 2010, 12:46:16 AM

You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".


"Gratia plena" was a terribly bad translation of the Greek!  I blame Saint Jerome.

Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Fr.....
Don't we all so use  Puna Blagodat, full of grace when we say the Hail Mary [Bogorodica Deva] or thats how i been saying it ,  is it the wrong way i was saying it all this time...confused...

If you're praying in Serbian it is "Blagodatna Marija" - no "puna"!  :)

(http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs062.ash2/36451_432715146457_659516457_5898530_1698320_n.jpg)
Fr...
Thanks
So all this time i was saying it wrong How did that Happen ??? ???I must of confused the latin Hail Mary  as the Orthodox one..
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 12:50:07 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 12:52:07 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 12:59:06 AM
Once again:  is it the official teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church that the Angel Gabriel did not address Mary as "full of grace", and thus that no one should use that phrase in prayers addressed to her - or is that simply your opinion?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: stashko on September 01, 2010, 01:03:13 AM
Ill Blame the roman Catholics for this ,when i had Direct tv Satellite  i watched ewtn they pushed there version of the hail Mary, Like there was no tomorrow..i got infected by there version.... ;D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 01:08:58 AM
This is just silly.  I kniw you guys hate agreeing with the RC on anything, but come on, please at least acknowledge the fact that most EO prayer books in English use the phrase "full of grace" - and don't blame that on the Latins when you're the ones who wrote the prayers!!
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 01:09:42 AM
Once again:  is it the official teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church that the Angel Gabriel did not address Mary as "full of grace",


Yes, It is the official teaching of the Orthodox Church that the Archangels diod not address the Mother of God as "full of grace."   WE know this from our Greek scriptures, the original languiage iof the new Testament, in Saint Luke;s account of the Archangel;s conversation with the Mother of God.,.

Quote
and thus that no one should use that phrase in prayers addressed to her - or is that simply your opinion?

When I sing the Hail Mary, I sing it in this form:

Virgin Mother of God, Rejoice!
Mary full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
For thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.

I have no problems using "full of grace" (even though it is a bad bad translation of the Archangel's words) and to my mind it has no connection at all with the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 01:10:58 AM
(and sorry for the typos - once again I'm stuck on my Palm while hubby hogs the PC! :D )
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 01:15:08 AM
OK, I didn't say it had anything to do with the IC either - I'm not arguing that point - just that I found it strange you would say "full of grace" is incorrect when virtually every EO prayerbook & Bible translation uses it.

Seems kinda unfair to blame us Latins for *your own translations* ...
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 01:15:34 AM
This is just silly.  I kniw you guys hate agreeing with the RC on anything, but come on, please at least acknowledge the fact that most EO prayer books in English use the phrase "full of grace" - and don't blame that on the Latins when you're the ones who wrote the prayers!!

Yes, nobody is saying that the English versions don't use "full of grace"  - and I will sing it in English in church and at home straight after singing the Greek or Slavonic version whcih is *not* "full of grace."   But "full of grace" is certainly NOT what Gabriel said to the Mother of God.  We are just kind of stuck in English with Saint Jerome's bad translation which is now used throughout the Western world in many languages.

But if you check the better and more recent translations of the Gospels they are doing away with "full of grace."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 01:31:54 AM
Wow I just checked for myself in my interlinear koine greek/ english NT and it does not say Full of Grace. That was news to me. Of course I say it but I too never thought it was related in any way to the IC.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 01, 2010, 04:04:37 AM
I initially objected to the Immaculate Conception for reasons that I came to understand were heretical.  I assumed that Jesus must have inherited a *corrupt* human nature because it was necessary that he assume one in every way like ours in order to redeem us, and therefore Mary's nature must have been corrupt as well.  However, the nature which he assumed was uncorrupt, like that of Adam before the fall, and it was only necessary that he inherit one that was truly human, not corrupt.  After that realization the Immaculate Conception became much more acceptable to me as a theologial opinion.

I am very glad to hear this.  There are actually several ways to "understand" the Immaculate Conception that can lead one down some very rocky paths theologically. 

It is a very rich Christological teaching actually.  There was a time when I was indifferent to it, until I found the teaching being challenged in some very interesting ways.  In defending against those challenges I learned a great deal and am now far more attached to the teaching than I ever anticipated being in my life time.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 01, 2010, 04:24:19 AM
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

This has to be the clearest picture of the "Immaculate Conception" I've read.

What 'I read' is that Mary, by the grace of God, was born (conceived) fully human. That is because, as I've brought up in a previous thread, to sin is to not be human.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29294.0.html

Now, taking that, just as Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and then of their own free will, rejected God, Mary was created (conceived) pure, and then of her own free will accepted God. She is still fully human, in fact, she would be more human than any of us. Why? Because of God's grace. Which is also why God is still her savior, because without that Grace, she would have been born just as urgently sinful.

Whether she is Immaculated Conceive or not is more of a theologumen.. The Orthodox Church says that She is sinless... However I incline towards the belief that she is Immaculated Conceived..

I have been assured that folks such as yourself do not exist.  Are you real?

 :)

M.

What folks such as myself?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Theophilos78 on September 01, 2010, 04:32:52 AM
This is the Orthodox Christian approach to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception:
 
http://www.oodegr.com/english/papismos/barthol_immac_conception.htm
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 01, 2010, 05:52:10 AM
Mary was born with the Original Sin.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Alpo on September 01, 2010, 09:20:16 AM
Quote from: partriarch Bartholomew
...original sin passes on a moral stain or a legal responsibility to the descendants of Adam...

Ahoy, Catholics! Would you consider this as an accurate description of your faith?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 10:32:48 AM
This is an interesting perspective. It ties in the RCC decision not to dogmatize the "death of Mary" to the IC.

http://www.pravmir.com/article_1074.html

Quote
The Roman Catholic West tries not to even think of the "death of Mary."  Its doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, where the penal Original Sin (inherited guilt for Adam's sin) does not "infect" the soul of Mary, owing to Her exalted future role as Mother of the Saviour.And since Adam's sin is what brought death into the world, if Mary didn't "contract it," then how can she be said to have died i.e. an experience of punishment for a sin she had no share in?

In defining the doctrine of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII actually left open the question of whether Mary actually "died" or not.  In a sense, he was constrained by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception to do so.

This explains why only the taking of the Mother of God into heaven is celebrated by the Roman Church and why there is no mention or commemoration of her death.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 10:46:04 AM
Jesus died too, so did He also inherit the ancestral curse?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Schultz on September 01, 2010, 11:02:58 AM
Jesus died too, so did He also inherit the ancestral curse?

Jesus died/was killed because He, who was like us in all ways but sin (cf Heb 4:15), "took the sin of the world upon Himself".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 01, 2010, 11:04:07 AM
Thanks, Schultz.  So is it possible the Theotokos didn't have to die, but chose to, in imitation of her Son?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Schultz on September 01, 2010, 11:14:35 AM
Thanks, Schultz.  So is it possible the Theotokos didn't have to die, but chose to, in imitation of her Son?

That I don't know.  I leave such speculation to the theologians.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: stashko on September 01, 2010, 11:29:41 AM
Doesn't the Scripture tells us  says, Its Given to Man Once to live Then To Die then the judgment...
Someone May bring Up the 2 Holy Prophets that didn't die ,but went to heaven..
But they Have to Return to earth as the two witnesses And be Slain......So even they have to die...

Doesn't Scripture also say there is no man that liveth and sinneth not, other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.....

How Can the Holy And Blessed Theotokos Be any different  From them and Us when it comes to Death.......
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 12:13:26 PM
Question: Why wouldn't the Theotokos need to die?

Thanks, Schultz.  So is it possible the Theotokos didn't have to die, but chose to, in imitation of her Son?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 12:26:00 PM

You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".


"Gratia plena" was a terribly bad translation of the Greek!  I blame Saint Jerome.

Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.
Actually, "gratia plena" was a reasonable latin rendition of the greek term.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: dcointin on September 01, 2010, 12:41:27 PM
May I ask why you consider “full of grace” to be such a bad translation?

The word used translated as “full of grace” in Luke 1:28 is “κεχαριτωμένη”.  It comes from the verb “χαριτόω”, which means “1) to make graceful  1a) charming, lovely, agreeable  2) to peruse with grace, compass with favour  3) to honour with blessings” (www.greekbible.com).  The verb is a perfect tense, passive voice, participle.  A more full translation might be something like this:

“one who has been made and continues to be blessed, favoured, or full of grace”

Given how cumbersome that would be in English, I think “full of grace” is a perfectly acceptable translation.  Most translations that I checked translated it “favoured one”, which is a very poor rendering in my opinion given the depth of the Greek.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 01:11:50 PM
May I ask why you consider “full of grace” to be such a bad translation?

The word used translated as “full of grace” in Luke 1:28 is “κεχαριτωμένη”.  It comes from the verb “χαριτόω”, which means “1) to make graceful  1a) charming, lovely, agreeable  2) to peruse with grace, compass with favour  3) to honour with blessings” (www.greekbible.com).  The verb is a perfect tense, passive voice, participle.  A more full translation might be something like this:

“one who has been made and continues to be blessed, favoured, or full of grace”

Given how cumbersome that would be in English, I think “full of grace” is a perfectly acceptable translation.  Most translations that I checked translated it “favoured one”, which is a very poor rendering in my opinion given the depth of the Greek.
Well stated.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 01, 2010, 01:14:53 PM
Quote from: partriarch Bartholomew
...original sin passes on a moral stain or a legal responsibility to the descendants of Adam...

Ahoy, Catholics! Would you consider this as an accurate description of your faith?

No.  His use of the term moral stain is not accurate.  The stain or blemish of the ancestral sin that the patristic fathers speak of  is more accurately characterized as an ontological stain or a corruption of our original state of justice and integrity.  Another way of saying it is that material creation was suffered to endure corruption and death and our souls were corrupted by a loss of original justice.  This is not a moral condition but an ontological condition.

So when the Catholic Church refers to the "stain" of original sin they are talking about this loss of original justice, or a darkening of the intellect or nous and a weakening of the will.

So that when the Catholic Church talks about the Theotokos being free from the stain of original sin they are saying that she was conceived in the state of original justice meaning that there never was a darkening of her nous and a weakening of her will.

But because she is fully human, she will have to endure the material results of the ancestral sin which are corruption and death.  The assumption of Theotokos into heaven is a miraculous act, and not a natural consequence of her state of being in the world.

Mary

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 01:19:48 PM
Highly favoured one vs full of grace? Thats a pretty big difference. What is grace and what happens to one full of Grace? This maybe another key difference between East and West. Thomism vs the teaching of the Cappodocians and St Gregory Palamas. For me there is only uncreated grace, the Divine Energies.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 01:33:51 PM
Highly favoured one vs full of grace? Thats a pretty big difference. What is grace and what happens to one full of Grace? This maybe another key difference between East and West. Thomism vs the teaching of the Cappodocians and St Gregory Palamas. For me there is only uncreated grace, the Divine Energies.

Read this, Posted by dcointin:

May I ask why you consider “full of grace” to be such a bad translation?

The word used translated as “full of grace” in Luke 1:28 is “κεχαριτωμένη”.  It comes from the verb “χαριτόω”, which means “1) to make graceful  1a) charming, lovely, agreeable  2) to peruse with grace, compass with favour  3) to honour with blessings” (www.greekbible.com).  The verb is a perfect tense, passive voice, participle.  A more full translation might be something like this:

“one who has been made and continues to be blessed, favoured, or full of grace”

Given how cumbersome that would be in English, I think “full of grace” is a perfectly acceptable translation.  Most translations that I checked translated it “favoured one”, which is a very poor rendering in my opinion given the depth of the Greek.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 01:41:11 PM
well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 01:43:09 PM
well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 01:48:34 PM
That is an excellent question. I will need to ponder that. To be fair i may be reading to much into what he wrote that is why i am asking. I should have wrote no longer in need of aquiring God's grace.

well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 02:00:09 PM
That is an excellent question. I will need to ponder that. To be fair i may be reading to much into what he wrote that is why i am asking. I should have wrote no longer in need of aquiring God's grace.

well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
If I am in a state of Grace, I still needs God's grace.
I believe the same would be true of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 02:05:00 PM
I guess my question to him was more along the lines... Are you equating the "full of grace" with theosis? I am just trying to make sure i understood what he was saying.

That is an excellent question. I will need to ponder that. To be fair i may be reading to much into what he wrote that is why i am asking. I should have wrote no longer in need of aquiring God's grace.

well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
If I am in a state of Grace, I still needs God's grace.
I believe the same would be true of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 02:05:51 PM
I guess my question to him was more along the lines... Are you equating the "full of grace" with theosis? I am just trying to make sure i understood what he was saying.

That is an excellent question. I will need to ponder that. To be fair i may be reading to much into what he wrote that is why i am asking. I should have wrote no longer in need of aquiring God's grace.

well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
If I am in a state of Grace, I still needs God's grace.
I believe the same would be true of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Isn't theosis an eternal process?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 02:12:06 PM
No idea, never attained it ;D. I am pretty sure that it could not be attained before Pentecost though I could be wrong. I am not very knowledgeble, Thats why i come here I learn alot from the more knowledgeable members. They are very kind and correct me gentley for my edification. You too have been very pleasant and nice so thank you. I know some of these posts can get combative.

I guess my question to him was more along the lines... Are you equating the "full of grace" with theosis? I am just trying to make sure i understood what he was saying.

That is an excellent question. I will need to ponder that. To be fair i may be reading to much into what he wrote that is why i am asking. I should have wrote no longer in need of aquiring God's grace.

well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
If I am in a state of Grace, I still needs God's grace.
I believe the same would be true of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Isn't theosis an eternal process?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 02:16:24 PM
No idea, never attained it ;D. I am pretty sure that it could not be attained before Pentecost though I could be wrong. I am not very knowledgeble, Thats why i come here I learn alot from the more knowledgeable members. They are very kind and correct me gentley for my edification. You too have been very pleasant and nice so thank you. I know some of these posts can get combative.

I guess my question to him was more along the lines... Are you equating the "full of grace" with theosis? I am just trying to make sure i understood what he was saying.

That is an excellent question. I will need to ponder that. To be fair i may be reading to much into what he wrote that is why i am asking. I should have wrote no longer in need of aquiring God's grace.

well you are free to your opinion. My koine NT translates it differently as highly favoured one. I believe this the most accurate translation. Ichecked with my wife, a classicist and she felt that was the most accurate translation.  I am of the opinion that full of grace is the poor rendering not the other way around. So are you saying that the Theotokos was full of grace and therefore attained theosis and was in no further need of God's uncreated energies? Please explain. I am interested in your thoughts. Thanks.
We believe that Mary was in a state of Grace all of her life. If you re wondering if she was no longer in need of God's Grace, can I ask you, do you think a saint in heaven is no longer in need of God's grace?
If I am in a state of Grace, I still needs God's grace.
I believe the same would be true of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Isn't theosis an eternal process?
From what I understand, Theosis is an eternal process, and even the deified in heaven are growing in God's grace.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 02:55:31 PM
Favour, fortune or grace seems to be based on context but all are valid English words for "charis". I perused a Romanian Orthodox NT which translates literally as "full of har" or charis. "gratia" appears to be used consistently throughout the Vulgate for the same word. It's not badly translated - it's Latin word-for-word formal equivalence. Acts 2:47 in English is favour with all the people, but the Latin retains gratia for charis: "habentes gratiam ad omnem plebem."

This is one online entry for Charis (Strong's 5485):

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5485&t=KJV

Quote
1) grace
a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace
a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace
2) benefit, bounty
4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5487&t=KJV

Quote
1) to make graceful
a) charming, lovely, agreeable
2) to peruse with grace, compass with favour
3) to honour with blessings

Mary was found to have charis or favour with God in Luke 1:30.

The ASV margins translates this as "endowed with grace", while the KJV retains the familiar "full of grace" in the margins.

Grace is one of those theologically loaded words, not just for Catholics and the Lucan infancy narrative, but Augustinian or Reformist exegesis of St. Paul. The problem isn't the translation, it's the exegesis.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 03:17:01 PM
I found a bit more here. Not necessarily accepting the whole argument, but the translation bits are interesting. (IMHO Luke 1:28 and Mary's sinlessness should be anchored to the conception of CHRIST)

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/a116.htm

Quote
However, Luke 1:28 uses a special conjugated form of "charitoo." It uses "kecharitomene," while Ephesians 1:6 uses "echaritosen," which is a different form of the verb "charitoo."  Echaritosen means "he graced" (or bestowed grace).  Echaritosen signifies a momentary action, an action brought to pass (Blass and DeBrunner,  Greek Grammar of the New Testament, p. 166). Whereas, Kecharitomene, the perfect passive participle, shows a  completeness with a permanent result.  Kecharitomene denotes  continuance of a completed action (H. W. Smyth,  Greek Grammar [Harvard Univ Press, 1968], p. 108-109, sec 1852:b; also Blass and DeBrunner, p. 175).

And our friend's citation of what the term denotes:

"...to bestow grace, to show favor to someone...the divine favor for a special vocation...." (Fritz Rienecker/Cleon Rogers in their Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament) [

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 01, 2010, 05:53:58 PM
Grace is one of those theologically loaded words, not just for Catholics and the Lucan infancy narrative, but Augustinian or Reformist exegesis of St. Paul. The problem isn't the translation, it's the exegesis.

Translation is exegesis.  :)

You are absolutely correct that "grace" is a theologically loaded word.  Caution is needed here.  Teachings of the Church, any Church, do not hinge on a single text "properly" exegeted. 

The Immaculate Conception has been debated on this forum on multiple occasions.  It's probably a fruitless debate, given differing understandings of grace and original sin between the Catholics and Orthodox.  IMHO, the discussion needs to begin with the question of the personal sinlessness of the Theotokos. 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ChristusDominus on September 01, 2010, 06:06:30 PM



Virgin Mother of God, Rejoice!
Mary full of grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb,
For thou hast borne the Saviour of our souls.

I have no problems using "full of grace" (even though it is a bad bad translation of the Archangel's words) and to my mind it has no connection at all with the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.
What would be a much more accurate translation?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 06:31:34 PM
I'd have to say I like the ASV, "endowed with grace."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 10:22:56 PM
Mary,

I hope you understand that I am not nitpicking.  It is quite important to understand correctly how the Archangel addressed the Mother of God, and especially since Catholics use an incorrect translation to bolster the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.

No one denies that Gabriel addressed her as One who had been graced.  But he does NOT address her as FULL of grace.

Greeks are dreadfully fortunate because they read the words of the Archangel's salutation in Saint Luke's original Greek (1:28) and they are not led astray by notions of "FULL of grace."  Likewise in the other Orthodox languages, the translation from the Greek is done accurately and there is no inference of "FULL of grace."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 10:32:43 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 01, 2010, 10:57:37 PM
Mary,

I hope you understand that I am not nitpicking.  It is quite important to understand correctly how the Archangel addressed the Mother of God, and especially since Catholics use an incorrect translation to bolster the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.

No one denies that Gabriel addressed her as One who had been graced.  But he does NOT address her as FULL of grace.

Greeks are dreadfully fortunate because they read the words of the Archangel's salutation in Saint Luke's original Greek (1:28) and they are not led astray by notions of "FULL of grace."  Likewise in the other Orthodox languages, the translation from the Greek is done accurately and there is no inference of "FULL of grace."
Except that it's not an incorrect translation.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 11:06:45 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

As far as I know their NT as well as their liturgical language would have either been in either greek or slavonic. I am not sure when the NT was translated into Romanian. Romanian was actually written in cyrillic until the 18th century I believe. Perhaps someone knows if I remembered this correctly or not.

Edit: I found this on wiki "The first complete translation to Romanian was done in 1688 (called "Biblia de la Bucureşti") by Radu and Şerban Greceanu with the help of Şerban Cantacuzino and Constantin Brâncoveanu.

Before the Greceanu brothers, have been other partial translation like the Slavic-Romanian Gospel (1551), Coresi's Gospel (1561), The Braşov Psalm Book (1570), Palia from Orăştie (1582), The New Testament of Alba Iulia (1648) and others.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 01, 2010, 11:07:22 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 11:20:39 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"

The 1688 Bucharest bible (de facto official bible of the Romanian Orthodox Church, culturally equivalent to the KJV) reads "plină de dar." (http://www.sfantascriptura.com/biblia_1688.php") Was there Vulgate influence? Possibly. The early Church Slavonic bibles made reference to Latin as well as Greek, and Romania is a romance language. In any case, here it is.

What I scanned earlier was another online Orthodox bible from Romania, possibly a recension of the 1688.
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/RUM0001/_PWV.HTM
and here:
http://www.bibliaortodoxa.ro/

Quote
28. Şi intrând îngerul la ea, a zis: Bucură-te, ceea ce eşti plină de har, Domnul este cu tine. Binecuvântată  eşti tu între femei.
29. Iar ea, văzându-l, s-a tulburat de cuvântul lui şi cugeta în sine: Ce fel de închinăciune poate să fie aceasta?
30. Şi îngerul i-a zis: Nu te teme, Marie, căci ai aflat har la Dumnezeu.

Edit: the version you quoted is a Protestant translation hosted at Biblegateway.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 01, 2010, 11:30:07 PM
Ok a translation from the 17th century or the original greek  or even the the trannslatian into slavonic both do not say full of grace as one of my previous posts say. If it were full of grace then why are the newer translations changing it back?

Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"

The 1688 Bucharest bible (de facto official bible of the Romanian Orthodox Church, culturally equivalent to the KJV) reads "plină de dar." (http://www.sfantascriptura.com/biblia_1688.php") Was there Vulgate influence? Possibly. The early Church Slavonic bibles made reference to Latin as well as Greek, and Romania is a romance language. In any case, here it is.

What I scanned earlier was another online Orthodox bible from Romania, possibly a recension of the 1688.
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/RUM0001/_PWV.HTM

Edit: the version you quoted is a Protestant translation hosted at Biblegateway.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 01, 2010, 11:39:41 PM
Ok a translation from the 17th century or the original greek  or even the the trannslatian into slavonic both do not say full of grace as one of my previous posts say. If it were full of grace then why are the newer translations changing it back?

Your guess is as good as mine. Bibles are being revised all the time, for whatever reason. My interest in Romanian was really the luck of the draw - I wanted something Orthodox that resembled French and Latin, because I can hack my way through those texts more easily than Greek or Russian. I didn't expect it to resemble the Vulgate.

From an earlier thread, LBK responded to my query:

Quote
Благодатная (Blagodatnaya). This word is the exact equivalent of the Greek Kekharitomeni, or She who is full of grace. (I prefer the more elegant Lady full of grace  :))

Edit: Irish Hermit in another thread brought up the Slavonic as well.

Quote
For those of us who are accustomed to Slavonic or one of the Slav languages our translation is closer to the Greek and does not mean 'full of grace.'

Bogoroditse Devo, raduysya,  blagodatnaya Maria....

"Blagodatnaya" has the meaning of "graced" but not "full of grace"
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ChristusDominus on September 01, 2010, 11:50:15 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"
The Latin Vulgate says: "Gratia Plena", which translates into "full of grace". Though I understand that Latin was not a biblical language, the Latin Vulgate's  NT was translated from the original tongues.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ChristusDominus on September 01, 2010, 11:55:18 PM

Ephraim the Syrian

"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]).


Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 02, 2010, 12:03:52 AM
If I remember correctly he did not base from the original tongues but rather on hebrew copies available at his time and St Augustine chastised him for not basing his translation off the original greek.  I don't know if this is an issue of epic importance rather just a caveat. I would not have a problem using full of grace though i think it is inaccurate it is by no means disrespectful.

Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"
The Latin Vulgate says: "Gratia Plena", which translates into "full of grace". Though I understand that Latin was not a biblical language, the Latin Vulgate's  NT was translated from the original tongues.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 02, 2010, 12:07:17 AM
The Vulgate is a revision of the Old Latin, with reference to the best Greek copies available. Streeter's hypothesis (which I don't think holds up to much scrutiny but is nevertheless interesting) is that St. Jerome had access to Codex Sinaiticus! Which Old Latin was revised? Hard to say, although the consensus for most scholars is that the texts St. Jerome revised were likely from the European old Latin, of which the best examplars are Codex Veronensis, Vercellensis and Corbeiensis ff2. This is Veronensis:

Quote
Et ingressus Angelus, evangelizavit eam, et dixit illi: Dominus tecum: benedicta tu inter mulieres

It's far less precise than the Vulgate. The greeting "Hail, full of grace" is gone, and it's replaced with what (appears to read) "And the angel appeared, gave the good news to her, and said to her, the Lord is with you" (or as the language of original Douay might have put it, cf. Acts 8:35, "he evangelized unto her..."

While not perfect, the Vulgate far, far closer to the Greek than the Old Latin here, which doesn't have any gratia/charis reading.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ChristusDominus on September 02, 2010, 12:15:17 AM
Luke 1:28 And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

The Latin version: et ingressus angelus ad eam dixit have gratia plena Dominus tecum benedicta tu in mulieribus


source:http://www.latinvulgate.com/ (http://www.latinvulgate.com/)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 02, 2010, 12:17:05 AM
Wiki has some useful info http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulgate I would suggest reading it as it helpful.

(Snippet)The Vulgate is a compound work, only some parts of which are due to Jerome.[2]

Jerome's independent translation from the Hebrew: the protocanonical books of the Old Testament, with the exception of the Psalter. This was completed in 405.
Translation from the Greek of Theodotion by Jerome: Song of the Three Children, Story of Susanna, and The Idol Bel and the Dragon
Translation from the Septuagint by Jerome: the Psalter, the Rest of Esther.
Free translation by Jerome from a secondary Aramaic version: Tobias and Judith.
Revision by Jerome of the Old Latin, corrected with reference to the oldest Greek manuscripts available: the Gospels.
Old Latin, more or less revised by a person or persons unknown: Baruch, 3 Esdras,[3]Acts, Epistles, and the Apocalypse.
Old Latin, wholly unrevised: Prayer of Manasses, 4 Esdras, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:57 AM
This has to be the clearest picture of the "Immaculate Conception" I've read.

There's a good reason for that. Arguing that the Immaculate Conception blocks Mary's freedom of will is one of the weaker arguments against the doctrine.

What 'I read' is that Mary, by the grace of God, was born (conceived) fully human. That is because, as I've brought up in a previous thread, to sin is to not be human.

Actually, this does bring up one of the more legitimate arguments against the Immaculate Conception. If sinning is so truly non-human, then how does it makes sense for sin to have been passed on from our ancestors with no exercise of our will? Here is the answer. Yes, it is true that sinning is a divergence from the life that God intended for us, and thus brings us to a state that is not who we were meant to be. However, it does not alter our inner nature. We do not cease to be human in a general sense when we sin. Another thing about humans is that we have a certain common condition. Almost all of what we are when we are conceived is something that our parents were. Lacking sanctifying grace is one of those common conditions that is passed along. Obviously, if we do not have sanctifying grace then something we beget cannot naturally have sanctifying grace either, unless God intervenes.

What is the most natural way for sanctifying grace to have been brought back into the human condition then? The answer is found in Jesus. If God becomes a human, and thus is both God and human, there is no way that that human could not have sanctifying grace, also being divine.

Is Mary's possession of sanctifying grace at conception really all that natural in comparison? God went out of His way to imbue an individual human being with sanctifying grace right before His Only Begotten Son became human, the One who would bestow sanctifying grace upon the rest of us? Does this not appear slightly superfluous to you? Why couldn't God have just waited until the Logos came to dwell within Mary and thus included her sanctification within the event of the Incarnation?

This is the major problem with the Immaculate Conception: it preempts the Incarnation as the means of sanctification for humans. Mary's sanctification at the Annunciation does not. The Immaculate Conception thus appears completely redundant, superfluous, unnecessary, and illogical.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:57 AM
I initially objected to the Immaculate Conception for reasons that I came to understand were heretical.  I assumed that Jesus must have inherited a *corrupt* human nature because it was necessary that he assume one in every way like ours in order to redeem us, and therefore Mary's nature must have been corrupt as well.  However, the nature which he assumed was uncorrupt, like that of Adam before the fall, and it was only necessary that he inherit one that was truly human, not corrupt.  After that realization the Immaculate Conception became much more acceptable to me as a theologial opinion.

Actually, what you are saying now sounds potentially heretical. It sounds an awful lot like the heresy of Julianism. However, it does depend on what you mean by corrupt. One thing is for sure, what Jesus assumed at the Incarnation was not exactly what Adam possessed before the Fall.

There are two things to consider. One is the matter of holiness. Adam was holy before the Fall. After the Fall humanity in general was no longer holy (meaning without sanctifying grace, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or full communion with God). The second is the matter of the consequences of this fall from original holiness, those being death, disease, hunger, sorrow, etc.

As to these things, we can categorize Adam's state before the Fall, our state after the Fall, and Jesus' state before His Resurrection. Adam before the Fall was holy and not subject to any of the consequences listed. After the fall we both lost holiness and became subject to those consequences. However, what happened at the Annunciation was not an immediate complete reversal to the state of Adam before the Fall, as it seems you are suggesting. Yes, it is true that from the very moment of His conception, Jesus' humanity was holy and without sin. The restoration to holiness, thus, was immediate and complete. However, nonetheless, the consequences of that Fall which are not directly related to holiness were a part of the humanity that Christ possessed. His humanity was only completely restored to the total Adamic incorruption (that is even in matters not directly tied into holiness) at His Resurrection.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:57 AM

However I incline towards the belief that she is Immaculated Conceived..

I believe that I was conceived in exactly the same way as the Mother of God.  If She was immaculately conceived, then so was I.  And if She was not immaculately conceived, then neither was I.
You were conceived without any stain of original sin? Mary was "full of grace".

There is no such thing as "stain" of original sin. The ancestral curse is simply a loss of holiness, like a hole, not a stain or a mark. That sort of thing can only be applied to guilt. And guilt only comes into play when personal sin does.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:58 AM
Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Theosis might be a gradual process, and the forms of grace which guide us through it, but exactly what restores us from sin (a process that is only the beginning of theosis), sanctifying grace, is a more simple matter. You either have it or you don't.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:58 AM
So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

One man's opinion.

I would admit part of his opinion, that is that Mary was not full of (sanctifying) grace when she was addressed by Saint Gabriel.

As to the other part, I disagree, as I believe that the "overshadowing by the Most High" and the bearing of the Logos necessitates that she be full of grace.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:58 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

No. If she is full of grace then she has the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in her; something which is implied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean that she is God, just that God is in her.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:58 AM
Once again:  is it the official teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church that the Angel Gabriel did not address Mary as "full of grace", and thus that no one should use that phrase in prayers addressed to her - or is that simply your opinion?

The opinion that Mary is not right now, and as of the "overshadowing of the Most High" full of grace is one that I have never heard, and sounds rather innovative.

The opinion that "full of grace" in Saint Gabriel's address is not a correct translation as it came before the "overshadowing of the Most High", the logical means by which she is usually considered to be full of grace, is a significantly more common opinion, however.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 02, 2010, 02:11:58 AM
Mary was born with the Original Sin.

You're being rather confusing.

Saying that she was "Immaculately Conceived" and that she was "born with the Original Sin" are technically contradictory statements.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 02, 2010, 03:06:42 AM
Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Theosis might be a gradual process, and the forms of grace which guide us through it, but exactly what restores us from sin (a process that is only the beginning of theosis), sanctifying grace, is a more simple matter. You either have it or you don't.

What is "sanctifying grace" for an Oriental Orthodox?  I know what it is for Roman Catholics.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 02, 2010, 03:10:11 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

No. If she is full of grace then she has the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in her; something which is implied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean that she is God, just that God is in her.

I also, then, have the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in me, since Chrismation saw the Holy Spirit come to dwell in my soul in His fulness.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ICXCNIKA on September 02, 2010, 03:33:57 AM
This is where i get confused with some of these concepts such as sinless/ness, all holy, free from sin, immaculate etc. If someone is received into the church and does not sin again even if its due to their death rather than sainthood, aren't they sinless, immaculate, free from sin, all holy etc?

That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

No. If she is full of grace then she has the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in her; something which is implied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean that she is God, just that God is in her.

I also, then, have the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in me, since Chrismation saw the Holy Spirit come to dwell in my soul in His fulness.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 02, 2010, 07:23:53 AM

This is where i get confused with some of these concepts such as sinless/ness, all holy, free from sin, immaculate etc.


Not quite addressing your concerns but this message from another Immaculate Conception thread may be of use.  See message 601.  This link should take you right to it...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg433255.html#msg433255

It speaks of how Roman Catholics like to define their terms and titles for the Mother of God with great precision but the Orthodox and the Byzantine Catholics are content to leave these things in the realm of metaphor and intuition.  In her desire for precision Elijahmaria is somewhat of an eccentric Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic.  ;)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 11:08:02 AM

This is where i get confused with some of these concepts such as sinless/ness, all holy, free from sin, immaculate etc.


Not quite addressing your concerns but this message from another Immaculate Conception thread may be of use.  See message 601.  This link should take you right to it...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg433255.html#msg433255

It speaks of how Roman Catholics like to define their terms and titles for the Mother of God with great precision but the Orthodox and the Byzantine Catholics are content to leave these things in the realm of metaphor and intuition.  In her desire for precision Elijahmaria is somewhat of an eccentric Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic.  ;)

I learned to make my language as precise as possible...when necessary!!....from immersing myself in the teachings of the fathers of the desert, and of the patristic fathers.  In working to understand the classical concepts that they used to express intricate mysteries of the faith.

I also learned the language of mystery from them as well.  One need not be cramped in their expression of the faith in order to remain orthodox.

If you think that makes me less eastern, well....that says far more about you than it does about me.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 12:04:34 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"

I am romanian.This is an awfull translation.. Probably "o traducere sectara" . It Literaly translates like this : "I salute you, the one to whom it has been shown kindness!The Lord is with you!"

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 12:11:09 PM
Uh, Father, I think the Romanians may be the exception to the rule, "plină de har".

Here is Luke 1:28 with the Greeting from the Archangel:

Îngerul i-a zis: "Te salut pe tine, cea căreia i s-a arătat bunătate! Domnul este cu tine!"

The 1688 Bucharest bible (de facto official bible of the Romanian Orthodox Church, culturally equivalent to the KJV) reads "plină de dar." (http://www.sfantascriptura.com/biblia_1688.php") Was there Vulgate influence? Possibly. The early Church Slavonic bibles made reference to Latin as well as Greek, and Romania is a romance language. In any case, here it is.

What I scanned earlier was another online Orthodox bible from Romania, possibly a recension of the 1688.
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/RUM0001/_PWV.HTM
and here:
http://www.bibliaortodoxa.ro/

Quote
28. Şi intrând îngerul la ea, a zis: Bucură-te, ceea ce eşti plină de har, Domnul este cu tine. Binecuvântată  eşti tu între femei.
29. Iar ea, văzându-l, s-a tulburat de cuvântul lui şi cugeta în sine: Ce fel de închinăciune poate să fie aceasta?
30. Şi îngerul i-a zis: Nu te teme, Marie, căci ai aflat har la Dumnezeu.

Edit: the version you quoted is a Protestant translation hosted at Biblegateway.

Yes that translation is protestant.. Your translation is corect "plină de har"... That is the most common formulation in our hymnology..But we also use "plină de daruri" interchangebly, and it can be found in hymns also.. The expression  "plină de daruri" means "full of gifts".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 12:15:03 PM
Mary was born with the Original Sin.

You're being rather confusing.

Saying that she was "Immaculately Conceived" and that she was "born with the Original Sin" are technically contradictory statements.

That is because I don`t know.. I shouldn`t have jump into affirmations, but i did it to encourage the discussion on this topic.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 01:00:46 PM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 02, 2010, 01:02:40 PM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 02, 2010, 01:19:41 PM
Yes that translation is protestant.. Your translation is corect "plină de har"... That is the most common formulation in our hymnology..But we also use "plină de daruri" interchangebly, and it can be found in hymns also.. The expression  "plină de daruri" means "full of gifts".

I scanned a few other sites and it also claimed, in addition to Latin and Romanian, that Arabic and Syriac also feature their own variant of "gratia plena." None of this is "proof-texting" for Immaculate Conception, but the Latin reading is superior to that favoured by Protestant bibles (and increasingly... sadly... Roman Catholic ones). Interestingly enough, I also scanned an Orthodox essay (crossposted at Mystagogy blog) which claimed that Mary achieved theosis prior to the Annunciation (!), and this took place during her time in the temple. The author name-checked St. Gregory Palamas, citing theosis-via-hesychasm, but there were no direct quotes of Palamas.

http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/annunciation.htm

Quote
The Archangel Gabriel called the Virgin Mary "full of grace." He told her: "Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28-29). The Virgin Mary is called "full of grace" and is characterised as "blessed" since God is with her.

According to Saint Gregory Palamas and other holy Fathers, the Virgin Mary had already been filled with grace, and was not just filled with grace on the day of the Annunciation. Having remained in the holy of holies of the Temple, she reached the holy of holies of the spiritual life, theosis. If the courtyard of the Temple was destined for the proselytes and the main Temple for the priests, then the holy of holies was destined for the high priest. There the Virgin Mary entered, a sign that she had reached theosis. It is known that in the Christian age, the narthex was destined for the catechumens and the impure, the main church for the illumined, the members of the Church, and the holy of holies (altar) for those who had reached theosis.

Thus, the Virgin Mary had reached theosis even before she received the visitation of the Archangel. Toward this goal, she used a special method of knowing God and communing with God, as Saint Gregory Palamas interprets in a wonderful and divinely inspired manner. This refers to stillness, the hesychastic way. The Virgin Mary realised that no one can reach God with reasoning, with the senses, with imagination or human glory, but rather only through the intellect. Thus she deadened all the powers of the soul that came from the senses, and through noetic prayer she activated the intellect. In this manner she reached illumination and theosis. And for this reason she was granted to become the Mother of Christ, to give her flesh to Christ. She didn't have simply virtues, but the god-making Grace of God.

I think there are some translation issues, when the author is using the word "intellect", I wonder if he is referring to "nous".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 01:37:49 PM
κεχαριτωμένη means you who have grace and will have grace bestowed upon or "be perused with grace"... "plină de daruri" in romanian "full of gifts" in english conotes "plină de darurile Duhului Sfant" "full of the gifts of the Spirit" , "full of the charismas of the Spirit"
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 01:39:14 PM
Yes that translation is protestant.. Your translation is corect "plină de har"... That is the most common formulation in our hymnology..But we also use "plină de daruri" interchangebly, and it can be found in hymns also.. The expression  "plină de daruri" means "full of gifts".

I scanned a few other sites and it also claimed, in addition to Latin and Romanian, that Arabic and Syriac also feature their own variant of "gratia plena." None of this is "proof-texting" for Immaculate Conception, but the Latin reading is superior to that favoured by Protestant bibles (and increasingly... sadly... Roman Catholic ones). Interestingly enough, I also scanned an Orthodox essay (crossposted at Mystagogy blog) which claimed that Mary achieved theosis prior to the Annunciation (!), and this took place during her time in the temple. The author name-checked St. Gregory Palamas, citing theosis-via-hesychasm, but there were no direct quotes of Palamas.

http://www.orthodoxchristian.info/pages/annunciation.htm

Quote
The Archangel Gabriel called the Virgin Mary "full of grace." He told her: "Rejoice, O thou who art full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women" (Luke 1:28-29). The Virgin Mary is called "full of grace" and is characterised as "blessed" since God is with her.

According to Saint Gregory Palamas and other holy Fathers, the Virgin Mary had already been filled with grace, and was not just filled with grace on the day of the Annunciation. Having remained in the holy of holies of the Temple, she reached the holy of holies of the spiritual life, theosis. If the courtyard of the Temple was destined for the proselytes and the main Temple for the priests, then the holy of holies was destined for the high priest. There the Virgin Mary entered, a sign that she had reached theosis. It is known that in the Christian age, the narthex was destined for the catechumens and the impure, the main church for the illumined, the members of the Church, and the holy of holies (altar) for those who had reached theosis.

Thus, the Virgin Mary had reached theosis even before she received the visitation of the Archangel. Toward this goal, she used a special method of knowing God and communing with God, as Saint Gregory Palamas interprets in a wonderful and divinely inspired manner. This refers to stillness, the hesychastic way. The Virgin Mary realised that no one can reach God with reasoning, with the senses, with imagination or human glory, but rather only through the intellect. Thus she deadened all the powers of the soul that came from the senses, and through noetic prayer she activated the intellect. In this manner she reached illumination and theosis. And for this reason she was granted to become the Mother of Christ, to give her flesh to Christ. She didn't have simply virtues, but the god-making Grace of God.

I think there are some translation issues, when the author is using the word "intellect", I wonder if he is referring to "nous".


Dear John,

In the simplest terms, for Catholics and Orthodox,  the nous and the intellect are equivalents because for us the intellect includes the "heart" or eye of the soul!!

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 01:42:19 PM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

Not biting.. :)

How would she know she was IC or saved from her birth?Than why thank God for that at the Annunciation?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 02, 2010, 01:48:21 PM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

Not biting.. :)

How would she know she was IC or saved from her birth?Than why thank God for that at the Annunciation?
I don't know if she knew or not.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 01:52:20 PM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

Not biting.. :)

How would she know she was IC or saved from her birth?Than why thank God for that at the Annunciation?
I don't know if she knew or not.

Than how was the IC or her salvation from birth the reason of her thank you?

See..? Poor argument.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 02, 2010, 01:53:36 PM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

Not biting.. :)

How would she know she was IC or saved from her birth?Than why thank God for that at the Annunciation?
I don't know if she knew or not.

Than how was the IC or her salvation from birth that was the reason of her thank you?

See..? Poor argument.
I don't understand your question. Can you rephrase it?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 02, 2010, 01:54:24 PM
[In the simplest terms, for Catholics and Orthodox,  the nous and the intellect are equivalents because for us the intellect includes the "heart" or eye of the soul!!

I exchanged correspondence with someone familiar with Slavonic and he told me that they use the same word in Church Slavonic for both "nous" and "dianoia". I"m aware of some of the subtle distinctions between the two, but tend to associate "mind" and "intellect" more with "dianoia" and "heart" with "nous". Fr. Romanides claims that the Pauline use of "nous" really is "dianoia" although a Roman Catholic (the Jerome Bible Commentary) source oddly enough thinks that "nous" and "kardia" are interchangable in Paul.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 01:55:57 PM
Than how was the IC or her salvation from birth the reason of her thank you?

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 02, 2010, 02:01:18 PM
Than how was the IC or her salvation from birth the reason of her thank you?


Which thank you?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 02:05:16 PM
Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 02, 2010, 02:07:06 PM
Luke 1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Well then maybe she did, infact, know that she had been preserved from sin since birth because she had never sinned. She must have assumed that the lack of sin in her life was due to the Grace of the Almighty.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 02:20:43 PM
:)

Another silly argument..

That shows exactly the oposite that she assumed sin upon herself and that she admitted her salvation only after she received Christ in her womb..


Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 02, 2010, 02:30:11 PM
:)

Another silly argument..

That shows exactly the oposite that she assumed sin upon herself and that she admitted her salvation only after she received Christ in her womb..



A silly assessment of my argument.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 02, 2010, 02:42:49 PM
The Holy Virgin was conceived with the potential to sin, but she did not sin. Not that she did not commit mistakes or that she did not have limits.

We must remember what the fathers say about the levels of sins: that one thing is the thought that comes to our mind, our dialogue with it, our acceptance of it, our practicing of it and finally our enslavement under it. They clearly say that the first two phases do *not* constitute sin and that the "mental sins" Jesus talks about is the acceptance of sin. The Holy Virgin certainly was tempted, not unlike Jesus Who, too, had to face those two first phases as seen in the desert.

Mary was sinless in acts, while Jesus was sinless even in the possibility of sin. Because His human will was in perfect obedience with His Divine will the very potentiality of sin was inexistant, while in Mary, the possibility was always a possibility.

If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin. She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Schultz on September 02, 2010, 02:46:44 PM


Before this starts on the merry-go-round, please stop and ask this one question of yourself:

Am I interjecting anything new into the arguments regarding the IC?  Is my post charitable and sticking to the issue and not the poster?  Am I going to regret the rhetoric I'm about to use to further my argument?  Has this been covered before elsewhere?  Do I really want to spend my time arguing for the glory of God or just because I think someone on the internet is wrong?

I'm not trying to stifle discussion and debate, but trying to stop some people from doing things they'll later regret.

-Schultz.
Orthodox-Catholic discussion moderator
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 02:50:06 PM
If she would feel she never contacted any sin than she would not phrase a rejoice for salvation.. And she only felt her salvation after she received Christ in her womb.

More her words "How can this be" reveal her surprise over hearing that she would bear the Son of God.. How could this be, that I a mere woman weakened in the flesh of sin be able to do that?How will I become the Theotokos?


Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 02:52:28 PM


Before this starts on the merry-go-round, please stop and ask this one question of yourself:

-Schultz.
Orthodox-Catholic discussion moderator

I don`t think this saying of the Theotokos is very respectfull..

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Schultz on September 02, 2010, 02:58:13 PM


Before this starts on the merry-go-round, please stop and ask this one question of yourself:

-Schultz.
Orthodox-Catholic discussion moderator

I don`t think this saying of the Theotokos is respectfull..


Azul,

I am not saying anything about the Theotokos, but about the soon-to-be-repetitive argument that starts each and every time this topic is discussed on OC.net.  If you don't believe me, check out the dozens of threads where this subject has already been discussed.  It soon degenerates into one party saying, "Yes, it is" and the other saying, "No, it isn't" with nothing more added to the debate.

Nothing substantial happens or is said and the argument invariably ends up about personalities clashing instead of discussion of the this most solemn issue.

What is disrespectful is the way those arguing over this subject tend to use the Blessed Mother as a means to bash each other.

I wish to avoid that at all costs.

-Schultz
Orthodox-Catholic Discussion moderator
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 02, 2010, 03:04:36 PM
More Mary stood for the entire human race.. She represented the best of the fallen humanity .. As all humanity is closed under the disobedience of Adam so was Mary.. Her salvation is the salvation of the entire human race..
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 02, 2010, 03:32:11 PM
Azul, may I suggest that the best way to try to understand any Church dogma is to ask what mystery is the dogma, perhaps however inadequately, seeking to protect or what problem is it seeking to solve.  

With regard to the IC, it seems to me that several considerations are involved:

1) First and foremost, the doctrine protects the special veneration that is offered by the faithful to the Blessed Virgin.  While all the saints are holy and thus properly venerated and invoked by believers, the Theotokos enjoys a special place in their hearts.  She is the Mother of God and Mother of the Church.

2) Second, the doctrine seeks to protect and explain how it was possible for the Theotokos to offer a full and perfectly free assent to the angelic announcement that she had been chosen to bear the incarnate Savior.  A half-hearted "yes" would have been insufficient.  As the New Eve, she needed to possess the same measure of freedom as enjoyed by the original Eve.  Only thus could Eve's disobedience be undone.  Does every sinner possess this same degree of freedom?  If yes, why has Mary, and apparently she alone, exercised this freedom to offer her self to God so perfectly and wholeheartedly?  

3) Third, the doctrine seeks to protect, and explain, the personal sinlessness of the Theotokos.  All have sinned, the Apostle says, yet most Christians down through the ages have confessed her immaculate purity and holiness.  In the words of St Augustine:  "Now with the exception of the holy Virgin Mary in regard to whom, out of respect for the Lord, I do not propose to have a single question raised on the subject of sin -- after all, how do we know what greater degree of grace for a complete victory over sin was conferred on her who merited to conceive and bring forth Him who all admit was without sin -- to repeat then:  with the exception of this Virgin, if we could bring together into one place all those holy men and women, while they lived here, and ask them whether they were without sin, what are we to suppose that they would have replied?"  If Mary's sinlessness can only be explained by a "greater act of grace," when did she receive this grace and why?

I'm sure that other considerations might be advanced, but these are the three that immediately come to mind.

Within the history of 2nd millennium Latin Christianity, original sin became understood as the privation of sanctifying grace--which is simply another way of saying that every individual is born into a state of spiritual death, into a state of alienation from God: the Holy Spirit does not indwell their souls in the way originally intended by God.  The IC doctrine asserts that by a special act of grace, the Holy Spirit was given to Mary at the very moment of her conception, thus providing her with the freedom that Eve originally possessed, and lost.  

I know that in Orthodox eyes the IC doctrine has problems, not least of which is the fact that Eastern Christians do not think of original sin in quite the say way as Latin Christians.  The category of sanctifying grace does not exist in Eastern theological thought, and without this category it is difficult for Eastern Christians to make sense of the doctrine.  This is why I suggest that we need to get behind the doctrine itself and ask the question "What mystery does the doctrine seek to protect?"   If we approach the matter in this way, we may find that Catholics and Orthodox are closer than they think.      

 

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 03:49:35 PM
[In the simplest terms, for Catholics and Orthodox,  the nous and the intellect are equivalents because for us the intellect includes the "heart" or eye of the soul!!

I exchanged correspondence with someone familiar with Slavonic and he told me that they use the same word in Church Slavonic for both "nous" and "dianoia". I"m aware of some of the subtle distinctions between the two, but tend to associate "mind" and "intellect" more with "dianoia" and "heart" with "nous". Fr. Romanides claims that the Pauline use of "nous" really is "dianoia" although a Roman Catholic (the Jerome Bible Commentary) source oddly enough thinks that "nous" and "kardia" are interchangable in Paul.


 :)  Yes.  I quite understand but since most of what concerns me day to day is very practical I tend to keep it simple.  Otherwise you spend more time talking about spiritual exercise than you would in the doing of it.  When context demands...I will grudgingly get out my measuring tape.  :)

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 03:49:35 PM
The Holy Virgin was conceived with the potential to sin, but she did not sin. Not that she did not commit mistakes or that she did not have limits.

We must remember what the fathers say about the levels of sins: that one thing is the thought that comes to our mind, our dialogue with it, our acceptance of it, our practicing of it and finally our enslavement under it. They clearly say that the first two phases do *not* constitute sin and that the "mental sins" Jesus talks about is the acceptance of sin. The Holy Virgin certainly was tempted, not unlike Jesus Who, too, had to face those two first phases as seen in the desert.

Mary was sinless in acts, while Jesus was sinless even in the possibility of sin. Because His human will was in perfect obedience with His Divine will the very potentiality of sin was inexistant, while in Mary, the possibility was always a possibility.

If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin. She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.


This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!  Also it makes it absolutely impossible to understand why, after we are Baptised into Christ, we still must die in the body.

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 02, 2010, 03:53:43 PM
Fabio, I think this is one of the best critiques of the IC doctrine that I have read on an internet forum.  I compliment you on your thoughtful, nonpolemical response.  

The Holy Virgin was conceived with the potential to sin, but she did not sin. Not that she did not commit mistakes or that she did not have limits.

We must remember what the fathers say about the levels of sins: that one thing is the thought that comes to our mind, our dialogue with it, our acceptance of it, our practicing of it and finally our enslavement under it. They clearly say that the first two phases do *not* constitute sin and that the "mental sins" Jesus talks about is the acceptance of sin. The Holy Virgin certainly was tempted, not unlike Jesus Who, too, had to face those two first phases as seen in the desert.

Mary was sinless in acts, while Jesus was sinless even in the possibility of sin. Because His human will was in perfect obedience with His Divine will the very potentiality of sin was inexistant, while in Mary, the possibility was always a possibility.

If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin. She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Schultz on September 02, 2010, 03:56:47 PM
Very interesting that Mary and Fr. Kimel, both Catholics in communion with Rome, have two very different reactions to Fabio's post.   :angel:
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: BoredMeeting on September 02, 2010, 04:00:03 PM
This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!
And that's one of the best examples of a non sequitur that I've ever seen!!!
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 02, 2010, 05:03:58 PM

This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!  Also it makes it absolutely impossible to understand why, after we are Baptised into Christ, we still must die in the body.

Mary

Mary, I  have to leave office and won't have time now for a longer answer. I'll come back to it though, don't worry. Until then, I'll leave just a couple of ideas as food for thought. When the fathers and saints and the Scriptures say in so many different words that death is defeated, that Jesus trampled down death, that we are free from death, and they say that in the present tense, is this is just a figure of speech concerning our future resurrecion? Or has death *really* been destroyed already? Also, what is the difference between personhood and nature?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 05:04:14 PM
Very interesting that Mary and Fr. Kimel, both Catholics in communion with Rome, have two very different reactions to Fabio's post.   :angel:

 :laugh:...We could not have planned that one!!

But I hold to my assertion.  I may open it up and talk about it but I don't know that it would be worth anyone's time, and it would be very difficult to take on with all the "noise" that comes in between posts while I am in the dog-house.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 02, 2010, 05:05:30 PM
If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Our salvation isn't impossible with an immaculately conceived Mary. Jesus still inherits his human nature from Mary. That human nature is just made in the light of original creation according to God. Mary is still then very much human.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

Her nature has nothing to do with biology(metaphor or not). Her spirit is the question. While our spirit is broken and incomplete with God, Mary was made fitting as a mother for God in having a whole soul capable of resisting temptation with ease. Therefore, she is in full communion with God when the time has come for Him to appear to the rest humanity. Thus, Jesus isn't born to a new human, but the God intended human.

If this wasn't necessary or desired to God, then Mary might as well have been as sinful as a harlot so that he would inherit a fallen human being. But we know her instead as the virgin and pure, fitting to be the Theotokos. 

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin.

True.

She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.

Disagreed by previous argument.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 02, 2010, 05:06:45 PM
Fabio, I think this is one of the best critiques of the IC doctrine that I have read on an internet forum.  I compliment you on your thoughtful, nonpolemical response.  

Thank you Akimel. It's but a very imperfect paraphrase of the Fathers as I understand the Orthodox Church to interpret them.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 02, 2010, 05:08:18 PM

This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!  Also it makes it absolutely impossible to understand why, after we are Baptised into Christ, we still must die in the body.

Mary

Mary, I  have to leave office and won't have time now for a longer answer. I'll come back to it though, don't worry. Until then, I'll leave just a couple of ideas as food for thought. When the fathers and saints and the Scriptures say in so many different words that death is defeated, that Jesus trampled down death, that we are free from death, and they say that in the present tense, is this is just a figure of speech concerning our future resurrecion? Or has death *really* been destroyed already? Also, what is the difference between personhood and nature?

OR Jesus showed the path through Baptism and Him. 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 02, 2010, 05:39:31 PM

Our salvation isn't impossible with an immaculately conceived Mary. Jesus still inherits his human nature from Mary. That human nature is just made in the light of original creation according to God. Mary is still then very much human.

Her nature has nothing to do with biology(metaphor or not). Her spirit is the question. While our spirit is broken and incomplete with God, Mary was made fitting as a mother for God in having a whole soul capable of resisting temptation with ease. Therefore, she is in full communion with God when the time has come for Him to appear to the rest humanity. Thus, Jesus isn't born to a new human, but the God intended human.


Azurestone.. Mary *is* human. That is why she cannot be a *new* human. Her nature has *very much* to do with her body, although not only to it. There is no such a thing as a radical separation of body and spirit as some spiritualist believe. Our nature is both physical and spiritual, and the separation that occurs in death is utterly unnatural. So, when I speak of human nature, I speak of both aspects, since, in reality, they are one.

You see, Jesus is called the new Adam *because* of the resurrection. His *new* glorified body is the new body the saved will have after judgment day: "Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth." (Rev. 1:5) Until His death, it was the broken human nature that was in Him. This is the nature that died. The *only* new nature to have existed this side of the escathon is that of Jesus Christ *after* the resurrection. It is as the Risen One that He is the new Adam, not as the most perfect mortal man He was before His death.

Now, we see the saints are "infused" with Grace to the point that they perform acts that are typical of that new nature. That is sufficient to see that something has already changed in human nature. But all of them are still to walk that dark and glorious path of death with Christ: it's dying with Him, that we rise with Him.

If the Holy Virgin had a new nature herself, if she were a new creation, all the old creation would have been left behind. Let's think of the first creation. Man was originally just clay. When God breathed into it, clay became flesh, something else. If, of this flesh, God had taken a piece (Mary) and transformed into something new so He could come down to the world, the thing that she was taken from would not benefit from the union with Him.

The point about the IC is that it believes, wrongly in my opinion, that the amazing miracle that happened *only* with the resurrection of Christ and in Him, actually happened in Mary's conception and in her, but with a twist. Jesus was born a mortal man. He *had* a mortal nature. And in Him,this nature was transformed. *If* Mary's new nature was from conception - and her spirit was created out of nothing as all spirits - so there is no transformation of human's mortal nature. She would be a parallel creation because of "from conception", while the traditional Catholic teaching is precisely that Jesus inherited from *her* human mortal nature. So much is so, that the RC have to postulate her bodily assumption to fit the IC dogma. Indeed, Christ's new nature, after the resurrection is entirely immortal. If she was the same thing from conception, how could she have died? She *had* to go physically to Paradise *now* because she has a new nature.

As for baptism, it is clear that the change it performs is not of the same kind of the resurrection, since all baptized die.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 02, 2010, 05:40:56 PM

This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!  Also it makes it absolutely impossible to understand why, after we are Baptised into Christ, we still must die in the body.

Mary

Mary, I  have to leave office and won't have time now for a longer answer. I'll come back to it though, don't worry. Until then, I'll leave just a couple of ideas as food for thought. When the fathers and saints and the Scriptures say in so many different words that death is defeated, that Jesus trampled down death, that we are free from death, and they say that in the present tense, is this is just a figure of speech concerning our future resurrecion? Or has death *really* been destroyed already? Also, what is the difference between personhood and nature?

OR Jesus showed the path through Baptism and Him. 

Therefore, death has not been really destroyed, all those words are about a future victory and not a present reality?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 02, 2010, 06:08:22 PM

This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!  Also it makes it absolutely impossible to understand why, after we are Baptised into Christ, we still must die in the body.

Mary

Mary, I  have to leave office and won't have time now for a longer answer. I'll come back to it though, don't worry. Until then, I'll leave just a couple of ideas as food for thought. When the fathers and saints and the Scriptures say in so many different words that death is defeated, that Jesus trampled down death, that we are free from death, and they say that in the present tense, is this is just a figure of speech concerning our future resurrecion? Or has death *really* been destroyed already? Also, what is the difference between personhood and nature?

OR Jesus showed the path through Baptism and Him. 

Therefore, death has not been really destroyed, all those words are about a future victory and not a present reality?

No, death has been destroyed through Him and his teachings. Both present action and future result.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 02, 2010, 06:11:26 PM

Our salvation isn't impossible with an immaculately conceived Mary. Jesus still inherits his human nature from Mary. That human nature is just made in the light of original creation according to God. Mary is still then very much human.

Her nature has nothing to do with biology(metaphor or not). Her spirit is the question. While our spirit is broken and incomplete with God, Mary was made fitting as a mother for God in having a whole soul capable of resisting temptation with ease. Therefore, she is in full communion with God when the time has come for Him to appear to the rest humanity. Thus, Jesus isn't born to a new human, but the God intended human.


Azurestone.. Mary *is* human. That is why she cannot be a *new* human. Her nature has *very much* to do with her body, although not only to it. There is no such a thing as a radical separation of body and spirit as some spiritualist believe. Our nature is both physical and spiritual, and the separation that occurs in death is utterly unnatural. So, when I speak of human nature, I speak of both aspects, since, in reality, they are one.

You see, Jesus is called the new Adam *because* of the resurrection. His *new* glorified body is the new body the saved will have after judgment day: "Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth." (Rev. 1:5) Until His death, it was the broken human nature that was in Him. This is the nature that died. The *only* new nature to have existed this side of the escathon is that of Jesus Christ *after* the resurrection. It is as the Risen One that He is the new Adam, not as the most perfect mortal man He was before His death.

Now, we see the saints are "infused" with Grace to the point that they perform acts that are typical of that new nature. That is sufficient to see that something has already changed in human nature. But all of them are still to walk that dark and glorious path of death with Christ: it's dying with Him, that we rise with Him.

If the Holy Virgin had a new nature herself, if she were a new creation, all the old creation would have been left behind. Let's think of the first creation. Man was originally just clay. When God breathed into it, clay became flesh, something else. If, of this flesh, God had taken a piece (Mary) and transformed into something new so He could come down to the world, the thing that she was taken from would not benefit from the union with Him.

The point about the IC is that it believes, wrongly in my opinion, that the amazing miracle that happened *only* with the resurrection of Christ and in Him, actually happened in Mary's conception and in her, but with a twist. Jesus was born a mortal man. He *had* a mortal nature. And in Him,this nature was transformed. *If* Mary's new nature was from conception - and her spirit was created out of nothing as all spirits - so there is no transformation of human's mortal nature. She would be a parallel creation because of "from conception", while the traditional Catholic teaching is precisely that Jesus inherited from *her* human mortal nature. So much is so, that the RC have to postulate her bodily assumption to fit the IC dogma. Indeed, Christ's new nature, after the resurrection is entirely immortal. If she was the same thing from conception, how could she have died? She *had* to go physically to Paradise *now* because she has a new nature.

As for baptism, it is clear that the change it performs is not of the same kind of the resurrection, since all baptized die.

My counter is in the original post. A link is contained to a different thread regarding "to sin is not being human".

Edit to add: "To sin is not human" is not some "spiritualist" new age thinking. It is very orthodox.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 06:16:46 PM

This is one of the finest arguments against infant Baptism I've ever seen!!  Also it makes it absolutely impossible to understand why, after we are Baptised into Christ, we still must die in the body.

Mary

Mary, I  have to leave office and won't have time now for a longer answer. I'll come back to it though, don't worry. Until then, I'll leave just a couple of ideas as food for thought. When the fathers and saints and the Scriptures say in so many different words that death is defeated, that Jesus trampled down death, that we are free from death, and they say that in the present tense, is this is just a figure of speech concerning our future resurrecion? Or has death *really* been destroyed already? Also, what is the difference between personhood and nature?

Take your time.  The best cookin' is slow cookin'!!  :)

It is pretty clear that we are on the nub of things here.  That is precisely why I mentioned infant baptism and death and corruption after Baptism, the resurrection of the body, Christ taking flesh from the Theotokos in a natural and not a miraculous way...those sorts of things.

So I look forward to your continuing on in this vein.  I do trust that you will allow me to present Catholic teaching without simply brushing it aside,telling me it is new to this century, or telling me I have some queer notions for a Byzantine  :)...sorry...could not resist.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 02, 2010, 06:16:47 PM


The point about the IC is that it believes, wrongly in my opinion, that the amazing miracle that happened *only* with the resurrection of Christ and in Him, actually happened in Mary's conception and in her, but with a twist. Jesus was born a mortal man. He *had* a mortal nature. And in Him,this nature was transformed. *If* Mary's new nature was from conception - and her spirit was created out of nothing as all spirits - so there is no transformation of human's mortal nature. She would be a parallel creation because of "from conception", while the traditional Catholic teaching is precisely that Jesus inherited from *her* human mortal nature. So much is so, that the RC have to postulate her bodily assumption to fit the IC dogma. Indeed, Christ's new nature, after the resurrection is entirely immortal. If she was the same thing from conception, how could she have died? She *had* to go physically to Paradise *now* because she has a new nature.

Beginning here:  This is nothing at all like the actual teaching of the Immaculate Conception.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 02, 2010, 06:44:07 PM

Is Mary's possession of sanctifying grace at conception


Probably the Orthodox here who converted from Roman Catholicism retain a previous knowledge of what "Sanctifiying Grace" means in a Roman Catholic context, but the rest of them won't have a clue.

Could you define what the Oriental Orthodox mean by it?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:04 AM
Even now Mary is not "full of grace" since she is, as are we all, still on the never ending path of theosis, always and eternally becoming by grace what God is by nature.

Theosis might be a gradual process, and the forms of grace which guide us through it, but exactly what restores us from sin (a process that is only the beginning of theosis), sanctifying grace, is a more simple matter. You either have it or you don't.

What is "sanctifying grace" for an Oriental Orthodox?  I know what it is for Roman Catholics.

It's the grace that accomplishes redemption that we receive in the Sacraments.

I wish you would stop identifying my opinions exclusively with the OO, as many of my opinions are derived from the time when I was "Eastern Orthodox".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

No. If she is full of grace then she has the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in her; something which is implied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean that she is God, just that God is in her.

I also, then, have the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in me, since Chrismation saw the Holy Spirit come to dwell in my soul in His fulness.

Exactly. Save that there is some difference, as the Theotokos' possession of indwelling of the Holy Spirit was never mired or confused by the committing of sin after her reception of it (at least so far as I understand). This is why she particularly is called Panagia, because she never committed personal sin, the Logos dwelt within her, she was filled with grace, and never at all relinquished from this state.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
This is where i get confused with some of these concepts such as sinless/ness, all holy, free from sin, immaculate etc. If someone is received into the church and does not sin again even if its due to their death rather than sainthood, aren't they sinless, immaculate, free from sin, all holy etc?

That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.

So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?

If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

No. If she is full of grace then she has the fullness of the Godhead dwelling in her; something which is implied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That doesn't mean that she is God, just that God is in her.

I also, then, have the fulness of the Godhead dwelling in me, since Chrismation saw the Holy Spirit come to dwell in my soul in His fulness.

Very possibly. While the other Saints do not really play the same part in the Kingdom of God, in terms of their holiness, they eventually are bound to wind up in the same state as Saint Mary.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM

This is where i get confused with some of these concepts such as sinless/ness, all holy, free from sin, immaculate etc.


Not quite addressing your concerns but this message from another Immaculate Conception thread may be of use.  See message 601.  This link should take you right to it...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg433255.html#msg433255

It speaks of how Roman Catholics like to define their terms and titles for the Mother of God with great precision but the Orthodox and the Byzantine Catholics are content to leave these things in the realm of metaphor and intuition.  In her desire for precision Elijahmaria is somewhat of an eccentric Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic.  ;)

I learned to make my language as precise as possible...when necessary!!....from immersing myself in the teachings of the fathers of the desert, and of the patristic fathers.  In working to understand the classical concepts that they used to express intricate mysteries of the faith.

I also learned the language of mystery from them as well.  One need not be cramped in their expression of the faith in order to remain orthodox.

If you think that makes me less eastern, well....that says far more about you than it does about me.

M.

I agree with you that the Eastern Fathers tried to be precise as they felt was necessary.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
Mary was born with the Original Sin.

You're being rather confusing.

Saying that she was "Immaculately Conceived" and that she was "born with the Original Sin" are technically contradictory statements.

That is because I don`t know.. I shouldn`t have jump into affirmations, but i did it to encourage the discussion on this topic.

Ah, ok. No blame on you. But do try to be a little more careful in the future.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?

She was not full of grace from her very conception.

Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?

As I explained, it doesn't necessarily. Mary being conceived with the ancestral curse is a much more interventionist and unnatural happening than the Logos being born without it simply because He could not have, being God.

And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?

It's rather hard to imagine how and why she would have. Jesus Christ was born full of grace, and He was gradually delivered from the "blameless passions". It's hard to imagine how Mary wouldn't have been herself if she was full of grace even without the Incarnation of the Logos.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
The difficulties i come upon are this :

How can she be corrupted by the Original Sin if she was full of grace?Than how does not having the Original Sin get along with a normal humanity?And if she was without the Original Sin(or any sin) why would she needed a Saviour?I believe the key stays in the understanding of Original Sin.

 
You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

That might fit the terminology of "salvation", but I don't see how it fits the bill of "redemption", which is really the more important word here. Redemption seems to necessitate one being in a state of corruption in the first place.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
The Holy Virgin was conceived with the potential to sin, but she did not sin. Not that she did not commit mistakes or that she did not have limits.

We must remember what the fathers say about the levels of sins: that one thing is the thought that comes to our mind, our dialogue with it, our acceptance of it, our practicing of it and finally our enslavement under it. They clearly say that the first two phases do *not* constitute sin and that the "mental sins" Jesus talks about is the acceptance of sin. The Holy Virgin certainly was tempted, not unlike Jesus Who, too, had to face those two first phases as seen in the desert.

Mary was sinless in acts, while Jesus was sinless even in the possibility of sin. Because His human will was in perfect obedience with His Divine will the very potentiality of sin was inexistant, while in Mary, the possibility was always a possibility.

If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin. She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.


You have a narrow view of sin. Sins are not just actions. Sin can simply be an existential condition. It refers to any way in which we miss the mark of what God intended us to be. This is how the idea of "ancestral sin" can have a place in Eastern Christianity. It refers to us all (except for Jesus) being born out of communion with God. Mary herself was born with ancestral sin. Therefore, while it can be understood that she was without personal sin, that she nonetheless was not sinless in an absolute sense, while Jesus was, because she was born in the state of ancestral sin while Jesus was not.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 03:23:05 AM
1) First and foremost, the doctrine protects the special veneration that is offered by the faithful to the Blessed Virgin.  While all the saints are holy and thus properly venerated and invoked by believers, the Theotokos enjoys a special place in their hearts.  She is the Mother of God and Mother of the Church.

I don't see how what you are saying here means anything. Mary being the Mother of God in and of itself makes her special. The further doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is thus not required.

2) Second, the doctrine seeks to protect and explain how it was possible for the Theotokos to offer a full and perfectly free assent to the angelic announcement that she had been chosen to bear the incarnate Savior.  A half-hearted "yes" would have been insufficient.  As the New Eve, she needed to possess the same measure of freedom as enjoyed by the original Eve.  Only thus could Eve's disobedience be undone.  Does every sinner possess this same degree of freedom?

You seem to essentially be expressing belief in total depravity. By this I mean an unability to truly do choose to do good outside of redemption by God. I do not think that this is the Orthodox perspective on the matter. I have often heard that we believe in "limited depravity". Our freedom of will is weakened but not entirely annihilated. As such, we are very much still capable of really choosing to do good, though it is significantly more difficult, and thus is accomplished much less often than if the Fall had not happened.

If yes, why has Mary, and apparently she alone, exercised this freedom to offer her self to God so perfectly and wholeheartedly?

Don't assume that Mary was the only one who ever wholeheartedly chose co-operation with God. Part of what is so significant about the act is that it initiated the very redemption of humanity. She came to represent us because her "yes" had an effect on all of us.

Why she (and perhaps few others) were capable of truly co-operating with God while others did not simply speaks of her individuality and character, not of her being in a different state than anyone else.

3) Third, the doctrine seeks to protect, and explain, the personal sinlessness of the Theotokos.  All have sinned, the Apostle says, yet most Christians down through the ages have confessed her immaculate purity and holiness.  In the words of St Augustine:  "Now with the exception of the holy Virgin Mary in regard to whom, out of respect for the Lord, I do not propose to have a single question raised on the subject of sin -- after all, how do we know what greater degree of grace for a complete victory over sin was conferred on her who merited to conceive and bring forth Him who all admit was without sin -- to repeat then:  with the exception of this Virgin, if we could bring together into one place all those holy men and women, while they lived here, and ask them whether they were without sin, what are we to suppose that they would have replied?"  If Mary's sinlessness can only be explained by a "greater act of grace," when did she receive this grace and why?

Mary's lack of personal sin is simply a result of the individual strength of her will, and also a consequence of a gradual pietistic journey of the people of Israel.

Her status as Panagia, being totally outside of the state of sin, is a consequence of her bearing the Logos.

The Immaculate Conception is in no way necessary to explain this.

I know that in Orthodox eyes the IC doctrine has problems, not least of which is the fact that Eastern Christians do not think of original sin in quite the say way as Latin Christians.  The category of sanctifying grace does not exist in Eastern theological thought, and without this category it is difficult for Eastern Christians to make sense of the doctrine.

I have not noticed this. I was taught when I was "Eastern Orthodox" that the state of ancestral sin was the privation of sanctifying grace, though not involving the concept of "stain of original sin", and furthermore that Mary herself was deprived of sanctifying grace until she was "overshadowed by the Most High".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: BoredMeeting on September 03, 2010, 10:21:51 AM

You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

But because He saved her in a different manner, by your account, this says to me that Mary was not really one of us.

It does become a moot point however, when we realize the error of the Western view of "original sin." With that removed, it isn't necessary for Him to save her at the instant of her conception.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 03, 2010, 10:39:44 AM

You can be saved from a hole in one of two ways. Either a person can save you by pulling you out of a hole after you have already fallen in. This is how Christ has saved most us from sin. The other way you can save a person is by not allowing them to fall in the hole in the first place. This is how Christ saved Mary from sin. In either way, Christ is Mary's saviour.

But because He saved her in a different manner, by your account, this says to me that Mary was not really one of us.

It does become a moot point however, when we realize the error of the Western view of "original sin." With that removed, it isn't necessary for Him to save her at the instant of her conception.

And this is why this conversation always ends here.

My intent was to try and talk from a common ground, however the topic always seems to erode to the two different cultural perspectives. In the end, instead of trying to see what the other is saying within their perspective, we result to "You're in error. You can't understand these concepts, you Goth, with your Latin and your silly hats", with a response of either anger or superficial resignation.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 03, 2010, 10:55:02 AM

. I was taught when I was "Eastern Orthodox" that the state of ancestral sin was the privation of sanctifying grace, though not involving the concept of "stain of original sin", and furthermore that Mary herself was deprived of sanctifying grace until she was "overshadowed by the Most High".

Sanctifying grace?

Phew! but you have suffered at the hands of some incompetent teachers!  

Here is what "sanctifying grace" is, explained by the well known Catholic theologian, Vatican II peritus and now candidate for beatification, Fr John Hardon....  You will see how remote "sanctifying grace" is from an Orthodox understanding.

As Fr. John Hardon (S.J.) explains:  

Nature of Sanctifying Grace.

What is sanctifying grace?

It has been called the "masterpiece of God's handicraft in this world . . . far more glorious than anything we can behold in the heavens above us or on the earth at our feet." Is it just God's favor toward us, as Luther wanted? No, it is much more.

Is it God's life or nature or God's love, as some have called it? No, for God's life and love and nature are uncreated, are God Himself.

Sanctifying grace is not God, it is not the Holy Spirit, it is not just God's favor. It is something created, given to us by God out of love and mercy, which gives us a created likeness of God's nature and life. It is a supernatural gift infused into our souls by God, a positive reality, spiritual, supernatural, and invisible.

The quotation is taken from:  http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 03, 2010, 11:09:18 AM

. I was taught when I was "Eastern Orthodox" that the state of ancestral sin was the privation of sanctifying grace, though not involving the concept of "stain of original sin", and furthermore that Mary herself was deprived of sanctifying grace until she was "overshadowed by the Most High".

Sanctifying grace?

Phew! but you have suffered at the hand of some incompetent teachers!  

Here is what "sanctifying grace" is, explained by the well known Catholic theologian, Vatican II peritus and now candidate for beatification, Fr John Hardon....  You will see how remote "sanctifying grace" is from an Orthodox understanding.

As Fr. John Hardon (S.J.) explains:  

Nature of Sanctifying Grace.

What is sanctifying grace?

It has been called the "masterpiece of God's handicraft in this world . . . far more glorious than anything we can behold in the heavens above us or on the earth at our feet." Is it just God's favor toward us, as Luther wanted? No, it is much more.

Is it God's life or nature or God's love, as some have called it? No, for God's life and love and nature are uncreated, are God Himself.

Sanctifying grace is not God, it is not the Holy Spirit, it is not just God's favor. It is something created, given to us by God out of love and mercy, which gives us a created likeness of God's nature and life. It is a supernatural gift infused into our souls by God, a positive reality, spiritual, supernatural, and invisible.

The quotation is taken from:  http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm
]

Agreed. The understanding of Grace is different between the east and west. To respond I'll steal a post from byzcath:

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/75583/2
Quote
The question isn't whether or not Latins use the term "created grace", but rather what it means.

It does not mean that Latins believe grace is a creature, nor that Latins believe that we are not operating with the Divine Energies. The entire point of the Thomistic expression of "created" and "uncreated" grace is for the purpose of expressing that we participate, and utilize, the Divine Energies.

The Thomistic expression is explained by St. Thomas Aquinas, which is that men are created with reference to Grace, in other words, men start to use the Divine Energies, unlike God who never starts to use them but rather always uses them from Eternity. Our energies after deification are uncreated, they are God's own Divine Energies, but we must come to have them, they are not a part of us from birth. We come to have them by becoming "new creations in Christ", and this is what is called "created Grace". This new creation has the uncreated Divine Energies as opposed to its own created energies, but it is still a creation that has the Divine Energies.

To use an example, let's take the Divine Energy of Love (or Charity, in Latin terms). God's Love is uncreated because it is God, and God's Loving is uncreated because God has Love for all Eternity without beginning; God never "starts" Loving. Humans who have Charity have God's Love, there is no substantial difference between the Love that humans in Grace have, and the Love that God has. When we Love, we are Loving with the Divine Energy. We must "start" Loving, however, as we do not have Eternal existance without beginning. We "start" by becoming "new creatures in Christ".

This is what is meant by "created Grace", namely that people must start doing what God has never had to start doing. What we are doing is God's Energy, His Love, His Wisdom, His Life, ect. How we do it is by becoming new creatures that do an uncreated action, and this much is straight from the writings of St. Paul. When we are Loving, we are not doing a "created energy", as in merely human affection, we are doing an uncreated, Divine Energy. When we are Living with God's Life, we are Living an eternal Life, the Divine Energy of Life, but we must start Living it, whereas God never has to start.

I have no problem with the Byzantine language and terms being used, but I have a strong disagreement with mischarictarization of Thomistic beliefs to make them appear to say heretical things when in fact they do not.

Peace and God bless!
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 03, 2010, 11:19:11 AM
Question:  if God could removethe stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: John Larocque on September 03, 2010, 11:57:52 AM
The problem goes back to the Old Latin/Vulgate mistranslation of a key passage in Romans 5:12.

"one man... in whom all sinned." - "in quo omnes peccaverunt"

http://biblestudies.suite101.com/article.cfm/original_sin_and_scripture

Quote
For example, Augustine was influenced by Romans 5:12, which the Vulgate (translated into English) translates as “sin came into the world through one man… in whom all men sinned”; the original Greek, however, (translated into English) reads “sin came into the world through one man… because all men sinned” (Williams 802).

The Wittenberg Vulgate (and the Nova Vulgata) corrects this ("eo quod omnes peccaverunt. "), but the mistranslation is a linchpin to the teaching that original sin is physically passed along from parents to their children, like blond hair and blue eyes, going back to Adam.

The infallible teaching of the RCC, backed up as late as a few years ago by an address by John Paul II, re-iterates the doctrine that original sin is passed on through physical generation.

The ironic thing is that there really was no theological necessity to declare Mary free from original sin. Some of the early fathers stated that Jesus was free from the ancestral sin/original sin/"the old sin" simply because he lacked a human father. Even in the Augustininan framework there really was no need to go where they did. Oddly enough, in the debate between Erasmus and Luther on this passage, Luther wsa standing up for Augustine and the teaching of the Catholic church, and Erasmus departing from the Latin tradition. (Erasmus claimed that the sin was not passed through generation, but by example)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 03, 2010, 12:15:49 PM
Question:  if God could remove the stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?

This is a non-theologian western opinion.  

Genesis 3:21-24 [DR]
Quote
[21] And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife, garments of skins, and clothed them. [22] And he said: Behold Adam  is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. [23] And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. [24]  And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Quote
[22] "Behold Adam"... This was spoken by way of reproaching him with his pride, in affecting a knowledge that might make him like to God.

The presence of concupiscence is, in effect, a knowledge that we can feel like a god. By removing this from Mary, she was free to choose God fully without doubt and without desire to "be her own god".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 03, 2010, 12:58:29 PM
Well, again, why did He wait thousands of years to do this, instead of fixing the problem right then and there?  (Assuming that was a problem that could only be fixed by removing said stain at the moment of conception.)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on September 03, 2010, 01:19:31 PM
Well, again, why did He wait thousands of years to do this, instead of fixing the problem right then and there?  (Assuming that was a problem that could only be fixed by removing said stain at the moment of conception.)

Why does God do anything? Why does God sometimes wait to answer prayers? I trust He has His reasons.

Mary was immaculate to be a fitting vessel for God:

Wisdom 1:4-5 [DR]
[4] For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins. [5]  For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.

Edit to add:
I thought this was interesting.

"[T]he report concerning the child was noised abroad in Bethlehem. Some said, ‘The Virgin Mary has given birth before she was married two months.’ And many said, ‘She has not given birth; the midwife has not gone up to her, and we heard no cries of pain’" (Ascension of Isaiah 11 [A.D. 70]).

Isn't a painful birth a consequence of the fall?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 03, 2010, 01:38:07 PM
Azul, may I suggest that the best way to try to understand any Church dogma is to ask what mystery is the dogma, perhaps however inadequately, seeking to protect or what problem is it seeking to solve.  

With regard to the IC, it seems to me that several considerations are involved:

1) First and foremost, the doctrine protects the special veneration that is offered by the faithful to the Blessed Virgin.  While all the saints are holy and thus properly venerated and invoked by believers, the Theotokos enjoys a special place in their hearts.  She is the Mother of God and Mother of the Church.

2) Second, the doctrine seeks to protect and explain how it was possible for the Theotokos to offer a full and perfectly free assent to the angelic announcement that she had been chosen to bear the incarnate Savior.  A half-hearted "yes" would have been insufficient.  As the New Eve, she needed to possess the same measure of freedom as enjoyed by the original Eve.  Only thus could Eve's disobedience be undone.  Does every sinner possess this same degree of freedom?  If yes, why has Mary, and apparently she alone, exercised this freedom to offer her self to God so perfectly and wholeheartedly?  

3) Third, the doctrine seeks to protect, and explain, the personal sinlessness of the Theotokos.  All have sinned, the Apostle says, yet most Christians down through the ages have confessed her immaculate purity and holiness.  In the words of St Augustine:  "Now with the exception of the holy Virgin Mary in regard to whom, out of respect for the Lord, I do not propose to have a single question raised on the subject of sin -- after all, how do we know what greater degree of grace for a complete victory over sin was conferred on her who merited to conceive and bring forth Him who all admit was without sin -- to repeat then:  with the exception of this Virgin, if we could bring together into one place all those holy men and women, while they lived here, and ask them whether they were without sin, what are we to suppose that they would have replied?"  If Mary's sinlessness can only be explained by a "greater act of grace," when did she receive this grace and why?

I'm sure that other considerations might be advanced, but these are the three that immediately come to mind.

Within the history of 2nd millennium Latin Christianity, original sin became understood as the privation of sanctifying grace--which is simply another way of saying that every individual is born into a state of spiritual death, into a state of alienation from God: the Holy Spirit does not indwell their souls in the way originally intended by God.  The IC doctrine asserts that by a special act of grace, the Holy Spirit was given to Mary at the very moment of her conception, thus providing her with the freedom that Eve originally possessed, and lost.  

I know that in Orthodox eyes the IC doctrine has problems, not least of which is the fact that Eastern Christians do not think of original sin in quite the say way as Latin Christians.  The category of sanctifying grace does not exist in Eastern theological thought, and without this category it is difficult for Eastern Christians to make sense of the doctrine.  This is why I suggest that we need to get behind the doctrine itself and ask the question "What mystery does the doctrine seek to protect?"   If we approach the matter in this way, we may find that Catholics and Orthodox are closer than they think.      

 



Sounds good but does that make it true?

"What mystery does the doctrine of IC seek to protect?"
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 03, 2010, 01:52:10 PM
The Holy Virgin was conceived with the potential to sin, but she did not sin. Not that she did not commit mistakes or that she did not have limits.

We must remember what the fathers say about the levels of sins: that one thing is the thought that comes to our mind, our dialogue with it, our acceptance of it, our practicing of it and finally our enslavement under it. They clearly say that the first two phases do *not* constitute sin and that the "mental sins" Jesus talks about is the acceptance of sin. The Holy Virgin certainly was tempted, not unlike Jesus Who, too, had to face those two first phases as seen in the desert.

Mary was sinless in acts, while Jesus was sinless even in the possibility of sin. Because His human will was in perfect obedience with His Divine will the very potentiality of sin was inexistant, while in Mary, the possibility was always a possibility.

If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin. She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.


Good post.. How are the catholics responding to this:

"Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature."

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 03, 2010, 01:55:12 PM
The Holy Virgin was conceived with the potential to sin, but she did not sin. Not that she did not commit mistakes or that she did not have limits.

We must remember what the fathers say about the levels of sins: that one thing is the thought that comes to our mind, our dialogue with it, our acceptance of it, our practicing of it and finally our enslavement under it. They clearly say that the first two phases do *not* constitute sin and that the "mental sins" Jesus talks about is the acceptance of sin. The Holy Virgin certainly was tempted, not unlike Jesus Who, too, had to face those two first phases as seen in the desert.

Mary was sinless in acts, while Jesus was sinless even in the possibility of sin. Because His human will was in perfect obedience with His Divine will the very potentiality of sin was inexistant, while in Mary, the possibility was always a possibility.

If Mary were sinless in the sense the Immaculate Conception expresses, our salvation would have been impossible. To understand why, we must comprehand not the inner mistery, but at least the outter form of our salvation. In the divine person of Jesus Christ human fallen nature and the eternal perfect nature were united forever. With His death, the fallen nature of man died, and with His resurrection human nature was glorified. This is very important. Our nature was *once* broken and fallen, but it has already been saved in Jesus Christ. We are fallen and broken persons, but death has already been destroyed, our nature is in the Glory of God because, united in the Son, like a seed it was buried and was reborn full of Life.

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

She was sinless in the sense that although having the possibility, she did not commit any sin. She was magnified after her Son's birth and strengthened for sure and *maybe*, then, although keeping the original potentiality to sin, she grew past it, like a person who has become an extreme expert in area might commit a mistake but it's so unlike it's virtually impossible.

But that her sinlessness is not the same of Jesus is a must if we are to believe that Jesus was the only innocent one, the only one without sin in any sense.

The immaculate conception, then, is a misreading of Church tradition.


Good post.. How are the catholics responding to this:

"Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature."


I have always found this argument strange, this idea that God wants to save our corruption. I see it rather as cleansing us from the filth of our sin. That filth doesn't need to be saved. It needs to be washed away. Thus, this argument against the Immaculate Conception, always has seemed weak to me.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 03, 2010, 03:52:37 PM

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

A question for theologians to ponder and address:  What does it mean when we speak of fallen human nature?  Clearly we need to be clear that humanity did not become a different species when Adam fell.  Catholicism has always insisted, especially against the Reformers, that the Fall did not essentially change human nature; and on this point Orthodoxy would agree, does it not?  Moreover, Orthodoxy also agrees with Catholicism, contra Pelagianism, that grace is not intrinsic to nature.  Why is this important?  Because the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception does not assert that the Theotokos receives a new nature at her conception; rather, it asserts that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in her in such a way as to empower her for faith and obedience. 

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on September 03, 2010, 04:30:52 PM

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

A question for theologians to ponder and address:  What does it mean when we speak of fallen human nature?  Clearly we need to be clear that humanity did not become a different species when Adam fell.  Catholicism has always insisted, especially against the Reformers, that the Fall did not essentially change human nature; and on this point Orthodoxy would agree, does it not?  Moreover, Orthodoxy also agrees with Catholicism, contra Pelagianism, that grace is not intrinsic to nature.  Why is this important?  Because the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception does not assert that the Theotokos receives a new nature at her conception; rather, it asserts that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in her in such a way as to empower her for faith and obedience. 

What does Pelagianism mean to Catholics here?  For me, I always viewed Pelagianism as free will that can primarily achieve salvation, decreasing the importance of the Church sacraments and of God's grace.  But as Orthodox, we also seem to understand that St. Augustine took an extreme to fight against Pelagianism, i.e. that grace alone can primarily achieve salvation, implying that man's free will is marred completely.  I believe it was St. John Cassian who sought a balance between the two in his writings, free will and grace, where both are equally important.

Months ago, it came to my surprise when a Coptic Catholic thought I was professing Pelagianism, and it sort of made me wonder and realize exactly how different we both really were in the language and concept of grace, which required me just to stop having discussion and look at the bigger picture, something that the Eastern Orthodox realized long before Oriental Orthodox are realizing themselves.  I told him that it's possible for someone with free will to not sin.  But that doesn't mean one has achieved salvation.  Salvation does not comprise of avoidance of sin, but also a unity with God.  Mahatma Ghandi, one of the most righteous men in this contemporary world still needs the Church, still needs Christ, even though he is probably better than 99% of Christians in his life and example.  Therefore, in my argument, in my thought, the Church fathers who confessed the Theotokos as pure, undefiled, etc., were describing her righteous life, not necessarily her "state of grace" so to speak.

What I felt Pelagianism lead to was that Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist were not necessary for out salvation.  If we were to describe salvation as PURELY salvation from our sins, we don't stand a chance to stand out against other world religions, who also profess the same.  Islam cannot claim unity with God like we do, Hinduism cannot claim integrity of creation's existence and human free will like we do,  and Buddhism, where their ascetism is noteworthy and helpful, cheapens the importance of God in our ever-existence for some self-mindful paradise, and no religion cannot claim a God Who instead of taking away suffering to tell us to endure this world for a more paradisical one, lived among us and suffered like we do, teaching us to start planting the seeds of paradise here and to rejoice in suffering.

So, I don't think it's Pelagianist to say that St. Mary didn't do any sin and lived a righteous and perfect life all the way up to her accepting freely to become the Mother of the world's One and True Salvation.  If Ghandi can do it, then practically, my views are not wrong.  And I think this may be the crux of the issue.  Way back then, when we were comparing the writings of St. Jacob of Serugh on the Theotokos, the Coptic Catholic Mardukm read it differently because of his different view on grace and salvation, that it is impossible for someone to avoid sin without grace.  While I agree it's hard, it's not impossible, given the right environment (she was after all also poor, which can explain her humility, and she is believed to grow up in the temple, which can explain her religiousness, eventually her purity), the right parents, the perfect life of prayer.  Can we say Enoch was immaculately conceived, or Elijah or Jeremiah, or St. John the Forerunner?  The Coptic Catholic, Mardukm, to maintain consistency in his personal beliefs said YES, they too were immaculately conceived, so that the Theotokos was not the only one.

Then, in that case, I really don't know what to say.  Perhaps, one can say there's a anointing by the Holy Spirit in some sort, like the anointing of Saul, so long as one can agree that as Saul didn't become what God wanted a righteous king to be, so should we give the possibility that St. Mary might have said, "No" to being the Theotokos.  Free will, in its essence of course is not taken away, but what if an IC'ed St. Mary said "No," especially since the IC was for that specific purpose, to be the Theotokos?  But can we really say God allowed St. Mary to exercise her free will when her will was driven and programmed to accept being the Theotokos because of the IC, not because of the environment she grew up in, the Temple, the holy parents, the humble background, etc.  That's like saying, Nazir Gayyid was given "the grace of celibacy" from his childhood because he was destined to be a Coptic Pope.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on September 03, 2010, 04:38:01 PM
I'm sorry...I didn't fully answer your question.  Fallen nature is not an essence, but a state.  Fallen state, I suppose.  That is, our loss of unity with God, thus loss of Paradise, and thus living in the natural world with its influences.

Christ came, elevated the natural world, and our nature, and we are no longer to influenced by the world itself, no long influenced by our own natural tendencies, but by the Divine Nature to create our Paradise here, and by renewal of our spirit and intellect, that which aids in transcending ourselves in a natural way.

That's another thing, I never considered spirits and angels as supernatural.  All creation is natural, and only God is supernatural.  What exactly does it mean when we transcend our nature, our creation, is that we transcend the ability of our creation to be brought back to nothingness, as this is exactly what creation is by nature, made from non-existence, propensity to non-existence.  When united with God, we avoid this propensity.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
Father John was a good man.  It may be very likely that he was a holy man.  But Father John came from the old school who thought that the intricacies of faith were not for ordinary people.  You gave them what makes sense to them and you leave the more detailed nuanced teachings to the monks and bishops and SOME of the priests...not all.

Now that approach should not come as a shock to anyone who has read deeply in the Fathers because St. Symeon the Theologian was a much the same mind.  He even included any bishop who was not a monk in his assertions that certain of the spiritual heights were inaccessible to the secular world and thus many of the nuances of the truths of the faith.   The Creed and simple prayers were the food of the ordinary Christian, the secular Christian.  They could not digest more.

So what he teaches here is not sufficient to understand the teaching of the justifying grace of Baptism or what the state of the Virgin was at her conception according to the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.  He is not teaching Catholics so they can defend the faith.  He is teaching Catholics so they can have some rudimentary understanding of what they are doing as Catholics and why.

Is there really such a thing as "created" grace, in the ordinary terms presented here?  No.  

Father Hardon's teachings are bound by his own training and his times and the Church's attitude to the ordinary person in the pew.

Father Hardon's teaching is NOT meant for theological apologetics in any way, and for you to present it out of context like this is wrong, and when you have been told over and over again it is wrong....then what you do here is false witness....I don't expect you take that to your confessor, but rather are happy to do over and over again.

Mary


. I was taught when I was "Eastern Orthodox" that the state of ancestral sin was the privation of sanctifying grace, though not involving the concept of "stain of original sin", and furthermore that Mary herself was deprived of sanctifying grace until she was "overshadowed by the Most High".

Sanctifying grace?

Phew! but you have suffered at the hands of some incompetent teachers!  

Here is what "sanctifying grace" is, explained by the well known Catholic theologian, Vatican II peritus and now candidate for beatification, Fr John Hardon....  You will see how remote "sanctifying grace" is from an Orthodox understanding.

As Fr. John Hardon (S.J.) explains:  

Nature of Sanctifying Grace.

What is sanctifying grace?

It has been called the "masterpiece of God's handicraft in this world . . . far more glorious than anything we can behold in the heavens above us or on the earth at our feet." Is it just God's favor toward us, as Luther wanted? No, it is much more.

Is it God's life or nature or God's love, as some have called it? No, for God's life and love and nature are uncreated, are God Himself.

Sanctifying grace is not God, it is not the Holy Spirit, it is not just God's favor. It is something created, given to us by God out of love and mercy, which gives us a created likeness of God's nature and life. It is a supernatural gift infused into our souls by God, a positive reality, spiritual, supernatural, and invisible.

The quotation is taken from:  http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM

Agreed. The understanding of Grace is different between the east and west. To respond I'll steal a post from byzcath:

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/75583/2
Quote
The question isn't whether or not Latins use the term "created grace", but rather what it means.

It does not mean that Latins believe grace is a creature, nor that Latins believe that we are not operating with the Divine Energies. The entire point of the Thomistic expression of "created" and "uncreated" grace is for the purpose of expressing that we participate, and utilize, the Divine Energies.

The Thomistic expression is explained by St. Thomas Aquinas, which is that men are created with reference to Grace, in other words, men start to use the Divine Energies, unlike God who never starts to use them but rather always uses them from Eternity. Our energies after deification are uncreated, they are God's own Divine Energies, but we must come to have them, they are not a part of us from birth. We come to have them by becoming "new creations in Christ", and this is what is called "created Grace". This new creation has the uncreated Divine Energies as opposed to its own created energies, but it is still a creation that has the Divine Energies.

To use an example, let's take the Divine Energy of Love (or Charity, in Latin terms). God's Love is uncreated because it is God, and God's Loving is uncreated because God has Love for all Eternity without beginning; God never "starts" Loving. Humans who have Charity have God's Love, there is no substantial difference between the Love that humans in Grace have, and the Love that God has. When we Love, we are Loving with the Divine Energy. We must "start" Loving, however, as we do not have Eternal existance without beginning. We "start" by becoming "new creatures in Christ".

This is what is meant by "created Grace", namely that people must start doing what God has never had to start doing. What we are doing is God's Energy, His Love, His Wisdom, His Life, ect. How we do it is by becoming new creatures that do an uncreated action, and this much is straight from the writings of St. Paul. When we are Loving, we are not doing a "created energy", as in merely human affection, we are doing an uncreated, Divine Energy. When we are Living with God's Life, we are Living an eternal Life, the Divine Energy of Life, but we must start Living it, whereas God never has to start.

I have no problem with the Byzantine language and terms being used, but I have a strong disagreement with mischarictarization of Thomistic beliefs to make them appear to say heretical things when in fact they do not.

Peace and God bless!

Thank you!!

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
The problem goes back to the Old Latin/Vulgate mistranslation of a key passage in Romans 5:12.

"one man... in whom all sinned." - "in quo omnes peccaverunt"

http://biblestudies.suite101.com/article.cfm/original_sin_and_scripture


The following is from Archbishop Hilarion, John.  Do you suppose he just never got the memo?  Or do you suppose he knows something others do not?

Mary

http://en.hilarion.orthodoxia.org/5_1#CONSEQUENCES_OF_ADAM%E2%80%99S_SIN

Quote
CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN

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

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

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

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

The Old Testament writers had a vivid sense of their inherited sinfulness: ‘Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me’ (Ps.51:7). They believed that God ‘visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation’ (Ex.20:5). In the latter words reference is not made to innocent children but to those whose own sinfulness is rooted in the sins of their forefathers.
[/size]
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM

. I was taught when I was "Eastern Orthodox" that the state of ancestral sin was the privation of sanctifying grace, though not involving the concept of "stain of original sin", and furthermore that Mary herself was deprived of sanctifying grace until she was "overshadowed by the Most High".

Sanctifying grace?

Phew! but you have suffered at the hands of some incompetent teachers!  

Here is what "sanctifying grace" is, explained by the well known Catholic theologian, Vatican II peritus and now candidate for beatification, Fr John Hardon....  You will see how remote "sanctifying grace" is from an Orthodox understanding.

As Fr. John Hardon (S.J.) explains:  

Nature of Sanctifying Grace.

What is sanctifying grace?

It has been called the "masterpiece of God's handicraft in this world . . . far more glorious than anything we can behold in the heavens above us or on the earth at our feet." Is it just God's favor toward us, as Luther wanted? No, it is much more.

Is it God's life or nature or God's love, as some have called it? No, for God's life and love and nature are uncreated, are God Himself.

Sanctifying grace is not God, it is not the Holy Spirit, it is not just God's favor. It is something created, given to us by God out of love and mercy, which gives us a created likeness of God's nature and life. It is a supernatural gift infused into our souls by God, a positive reality, spiritual, supernatural, and invisible.

The quotation is taken from:  http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm


That's not how it was explained to me. What is said there can easily be stripped of error and be translated into Palamite theology, if we just phrase it in a different way, i.e. a particular relationship to God (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) or a particular form of God's Energies.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM

. I was taught when I was "Eastern Orthodox" that the state of ancestral sin was the privation of sanctifying grace, though not involving the concept of "stain of original sin", and furthermore that Mary herself was deprived of sanctifying grace until she was "overshadowed by the Most High".

Sanctifying grace?

Phew! but you have suffered at the hand of some incompetent teachers!  

Here is what "sanctifying grace" is, explained by the well known Catholic theologian, Vatican II peritus and now candidate for beatification, Fr John Hardon....  You will see how remote "sanctifying grace" is from an Orthodox understanding.

As Fr. John Hardon (S.J.) explains:  

Nature of Sanctifying Grace.

What is sanctifying grace?

It has been called the "masterpiece of God's handicraft in this world . . . far more glorious than anything we can behold in the heavens above us or on the earth at our feet." Is it just God's favor toward us, as Luther wanted? No, it is much more.

Is it God's life or nature or God's love, as some have called it? No, for God's life and love and nature are uncreated, are God Himself.

Sanctifying grace is not God, it is not the Holy Spirit, it is not just God's favor. It is something created, given to us by God out of love and mercy, which gives us a created likeness of God's nature and life. It is a supernatural gift infused into our souls by God, a positive reality, spiritual, supernatural, and invisible.

The quotation is taken from:  http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Grace/Grace_003.htm
]

Agreed. The understanding of Grace is different between the east and west. To respond I'll steal a post from byzcath:

http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/75583/2
Quote
The question isn't whether or not Latins use the term "created grace", but rather what it means.

It does not mean that Latins believe grace is a creature, nor that Latins believe that we are not operating with the Divine Energies. The entire point of the Thomistic expression of "created" and "uncreated" grace is for the purpose of expressing that we participate, and utilize, the Divine Energies.

The Thomistic expression is explained by St. Thomas Aquinas, which is that men are created with reference to Grace, in other words, men start to use the Divine Energies, unlike God who never starts to use them but rather always uses them from Eternity. Our energies after deification are uncreated, they are God's own Divine Energies, but we must come to have them, they are not a part of us from birth. We come to have them by becoming "new creations in Christ", and this is what is called "created Grace". This new creation has the uncreated Divine Energies as opposed to its own created energies, but it is still a creation that has the Divine Energies.

To use an example, let's take the Divine Energy of Love (or Charity, in Latin terms). God's Love is uncreated because it is God, and God's Loving is uncreated because God has Love for all Eternity without beginning; God never "starts" Loving. Humans who have Charity have God's Love, there is no substantial difference between the Love that humans in Grace have, and the Love that God has. When we Love, we are Loving with the Divine Energy. We must "start" Loving, however, as we do not have Eternal existance without beginning. We "start" by becoming "new creatures in Christ".

This is what is meant by "created Grace", namely that people must start doing what God has never had to start doing. What we are doing is God's Energy, His Love, His Wisdom, His Life, ect. How we do it is by becoming new creatures that do an uncreated action, and this much is straight from the writings of St. Paul. When we are Loving, we are not doing a "created energy", as in merely human affection, we are doing an uncreated, Divine Energy. When we are Living with God's Life, we are Living an eternal Life, the Divine Energy of Life, but we must start Living it, whereas God never has to start.

I have no problem with the Byzantine language and terms being used, but I have a strong disagreement with mischarictarization of Thomistic beliefs to make them appear to say heretical things when in fact they do not.

Peace and God bless!

That is entirely illogical. It's basically saying that the grace is referred to as created because those who participate in it are created and have a beginning to their participation in it; essentially not describing the grace itself.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
Question:  if God could remove the stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?

He could have.

(As to the IC, He didn't exactly "remove" it from her as if she ever had it; rather He prevented her from ever having it.)

BTW, in my denial of the IC, I would not say that God couldn't have prevented Mary from inheriting the ancestral curse, just that it seems ridiculous to imagine that He would have wanted to.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
The ironic thing is that there really was no theological necessity to declare Mary free from original sin. Some of the early fathers stated that Jesus was free from the ancestral sin/original sin/"the old sin" simply because he lacked a human father.

Perhaps some in your tradition did not find that argument all that convincing. If a human woman somehow managed to naturally generate a clone of herself with her own DNA (as has been observed recently to happen in certain other species), I think it would be safe to say that that individual would still inherit the ancestral curse.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
Well, again, why did He wait thousands of years to do this, instead of fixing the problem right then and there?  (Assuming that was a problem that could only be fixed by removing said stain at the moment of conception.)

Why does God do anything? Why does God sometimes wait to answer prayers? I trust He has His reasons.

Mary was immaculate to be a fitting vessel for God:

Wisdom 1:4-5 [DR]
[4] For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins. [5]  For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.

Edit to add:
I thought this was interesting.

"[T]he report concerning the child was noised abroad in Bethlehem. Some said, ‘The Virgin Mary has given birth before she was married two months.’ And many said, ‘She has not given birth; the midwife has not gone up to her, and we heard no cries of pain’" (Ascension of Isaiah 11 [A.D. 70]).

Isn't a painful birth a consequence of the fall?

Mary had already been restored from the ancestral curse by the time she was giving birth to Jesus. While some of the consequences of the Fall persisted in Mary and Jesus after His conception, it wouldn't be hard to believe that some could be superseded already according to His will.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

A question for theologians to ponder and address:  What does it mean when we speak of fallen human nature?  Clearly we need to be clear that humanity did not become a different species when Adam fell.  Catholicism has always insisted, especially against the Reformers, that the Fall did not essentially change human nature; and on this point Orthodoxy would agree, does it not?  Moreover, Orthodoxy also agrees with Catholicism, contra Pelagianism, that grace is not intrinsic to nature.  Why is this important?  Because the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception does not assert that the Theotokos receives a new nature at her conception; rather, it asserts that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in her in such a way as to empower her for faith and obedience. 



Agreed. As I may have already said in this thread, I think the idea that the IC essentially turns Mary into a something not consubstantial with us is one of the weaker arguments against the doctrine.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM

Now, Jesus' human nature was inherited from His human mother. If the Holy Virgin was herself literally a new creation, a sinless new Eve, it would not be human fallen nature that would have been united to God, but that second new nature. Using a biological metaphor, Mary would be an entirely new species and Jesus' human nature would be *her* new species nature instead of our old fallen nature. Instead of being the open door for the coming of the Messiah, Mary would be a gate shut and locked to the previous old fallen nature.

A question for theologians to ponder and address:  What does it mean when we speak of fallen human nature?  Clearly we need to be clear that humanity did not become a different species when Adam fell.  Catholicism has always insisted, especially against the Reformers, that the Fall did not essentially change human nature; and on this point Orthodoxy would agree, does it not?  Moreover, Orthodoxy also agrees with Catholicism, contra Pelagianism, that grace is not intrinsic to nature.  Why is this important?  Because the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception does not assert that the Theotokos receives a new nature at her conception; rather, it asserts that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in her in such a way as to empower her for faith and obedience. 

What does Pelagianism mean to Catholics here?  For me, I always viewed Pelagianism as free will that can primarily achieve salvation, decreasing the importance of the Church sacraments and of God's grace.  But as Orthodox, we also seem to understand that St. Augustine took an extreme to fight against Pelagianism, i.e. that grace alone can primarily achieve salvation, implying that man's free will is marred completely.  I believe it was St. John Cassian who sought a balance between the two in his writings, free will and grace, where both are equally important.

Months ago, it came to my surprise when a Coptic Catholic thought I was professing Pelagianism, and it sort of made me wonder and realize exactly how different we both really were in the language and concept of grace, which required me just to stop having discussion and look at the bigger picture, something that the Eastern Orthodox realized long before Oriental Orthodox are realizing themselves.  I told him that it's possible for someone with free will to not sin.  But that doesn't mean one has achieved salvation.  Salvation does not comprise of avoidance of sin, but also a unity with God.  Mahatma Ghandi, one of the most righteous men in this contemporary world still needs the Church, still needs Christ, even though he is probably better than 99% of Christians in his life and example.  Therefore, in my argument, in my thought, the Church fathers who confessed the Theotokos as pure, undefiled, etc., were describing her righteous life, not necessarily her "state of grace" so to speak.

What I felt Pelagianism lead to was that Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist were not necessary for out salvation.  If we were to describe salvation as PURELY salvation from our sins, we don't stand a chance to stand out against other world religions, who also profess the same.  Islam cannot claim unity with God like we do, Hinduism cannot claim integrity of creation's existence and human free will like we do,  and Buddhism, where their ascetism is noteworthy and helpful, cheapens the importance of God in our ever-existence for some self-mindful paradise, and no religion cannot claim a God Who instead of taking away suffering to tell us to endure this world for a more paradisical one, lived among us and suffered like we do, teaching us to start planting the seeds of paradise here and to rejoice in suffering.

So, I don't think it's Pelagianist to say that St. Mary didn't do any sin and lived a righteous and perfect life all the way up to her accepting freely to become the Mother of the world's One and True Salvation.  If Ghandi can do it, then practically, my views are not wrong.  And I think this may be the crux of the issue.  Way back then, when we were comparing the writings of St. Jacob of Serugh on the Theotokos, the Coptic Catholic Mardukm read it differently because of his different view on grace and salvation, that it is impossible for someone to avoid sin without grace.  While I agree it's hard, it's not impossible, given the right environment (she was after all also poor, which can explain her humility, and she is believed to grow up in the temple, which can explain her religiousness, eventually her purity), the right parents, the perfect life of prayer.  Can we say Enoch was immaculately conceived, or Elijah or Jeremiah, or St. John the Forerunner?  The Coptic Catholic, Mardukm, to maintain consistency in his personal beliefs said YES, they too were immaculately conceived, so that the Theotokos was not the only one.

Then, in that case, I really don't know what to say.  Perhaps, one can say there's a anointing by the Holy Spirit in some sort, like the anointing of Saul, so long as one can agree that as Saul didn't become what God wanted a righteous king to be, so should we give the possibility that St. Mary might have said, "No" to being the Theotokos.  Free will, in its essence of course is not taken away, but what if an IC'ed St. Mary said "No," especially since the IC was for that specific purpose, to be the Theotokos?  But can we really say God allowed St. Mary to exercise her free will when her will was driven and programmed to accept being the Theotokos because of the IC, not because of the environment she grew up in, the Temple, the holy parents, the humble background, etc.  That's like saying, Nazir Gayyid was given "the grace of celibacy" from his childhood because he was destined to be a Coptic Pope.

This sounds like very good theology you're talking here, Mina.  ;D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 03, 2010, 07:03:34 PM
I'm sorry...I didn't fully answer your question.  Fallen nature is not an essence, but a state.  Fallen state, I suppose.  That is, our loss of unity with God, thus loss of Paradise, and thus living in the natural world with its influences.

Christ came, elevated the natural world, and our nature, and we are no longer to influenced by the world itself, no long influenced by our own natural tendencies, but by the Divine Nature to create our Paradise here, and by renewal of our spirit and intellect, that which aids in transcending ourselves in a natural way.

That's another thing, I never considered spirits and angels as supernatural.  All creation is natural, and only God is supernatural.  What exactly does it mean when we transcend our nature, our creation, is that we transcend the ability of our creation to be brought back to nothingness, as this is exactly what creation is by nature, made from non-existence, propensity to non-existence.  When united with God, we avoid this propensity.

 ;D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 03, 2010, 08:13:45 PM
Question:  if God could removethe stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?
Question, if God could have redeemed us by the death and resurrection of his Son, why did he wait so long to do it?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Wyatt on September 03, 2010, 08:28:56 PM
Question:  if God could removethe stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?
I think this is one of those questions that is impossible to answer and must simply be accepted as a mystery. You could also ask yourself why God came to earth and died on the cross for the remission of our sins whenever He could have simply willed us to be saved and we would have been since, you know, He's God and all can do whatever He wishes. Why did Jesus have to die? Why was this the way God chose to redeem humanity? I'm totally fine with not having the complete answer about such mysteries right now. It does make me look forward to heaven and having all of the answers to these questions at last revealed.

For whatever reason, God wanted to save the majority of mankind the way He did. He chose to preserve Mother Mary from sin from the moment of her conception so He would have a perfect vessel in which to enter the world. This was accomplished in much the same way as any of us are being saved. The part where it is different is because He applied the grace He was to win on Calvary (which transcends time and space) to her from the very beginning and filled her with grace. Mary still needed a Savior because it was only through the sacrifice of Christ that she was immaculately conceived and remained sinless throughout her life. Christ, who indeed loves His Mother very much, gave her bountifully what the rest of us only get a foretaste of here on earth.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 03, 2010, 09:22:11 PM
Question:  if God could removethe stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?
Question, if God could have redeemed us by the death and resurrection of his Son, why did he wait so long to do it?

The REAL question is SINCE God didn't need to toss us out of the Garden in the FIRST place why did this loving God push us out of the Garden, allow death and the loss of initial integrity of our human natue loose in the world, THEN make us wait thousands of years for Jesus to come along and die like a dog, THEN make us wait God-only-knows how long till we have our bodies back once the ones we have rot.

BTW It is the loss of the integrity of our bodies and souls that disrupts the original unity of the two.

That is why the Virgin dies eventually, even though she was never touched by the stain of any sin.

And that is why Jesus was able to choose to die and actually die on the Cross.  He bore his mother's flesh.

The Immaculate Conception speaks of healing the spiritual side of the ancestral curse which is what is referred to as the "stain."

And that is why after our Baptism heals us from what the Virgin was preserved from, we go on and die and rot anyway...AND our souls live on in animation, somehow without our bodies...why?...because of that ancestral loss of integrity....loss of the initial perfect integration of body and soul.  That we do not get back fully till after the final judgment.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Melodist on September 03, 2010, 11:29:26 PM
BTW It is the loss of the integrity of our bodies and souls that disrupts the original unity of the two.

Would this be considered an effect of the fall that is continually passed down?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 04, 2010, 12:51:21 AM

Is there really such a thing as "created" grace, in the ordinary terms presented here?  No. 

Father Hardon's teachings are bound by his own training and his times and the Church's attitude to the ordinary person in the pew.


Alway the excuses.  Always the claim to know more and to be more initiated than the avergae Catholic!   Mary, it's high time that you learnt something of basic Catholic teaching.  Catholics were taught all over the world by the Magisterium, by the priests, by the brothers, by the nuns, that grace is CREATED!

Are you telling us that the Magisterium and the clergy simply LIED to the Catholic people for generation upon generation and the TRUE teaching was whispered only in the ears of savants such as yourself who could appreciate it?

Quote
Father Hardon's teaching is NOT meant for theological apologetics in any way, and for you to present it out of context like this is wrong, and when you have been told over and over again it is wrong....then what you do here is false witness....I don't expect you take that to your confessor, but rather are happy to do over and over again.

The constantly repeated accusations against me are becoming tedious and even malevolent.

If there are two levels of Catholic teaching - one for the stupid people in the parishes and another for clever people like you, then supply evidence of this dual level of teaching in the Roman Catholic Church.  It really is a case of, prove it or stop being silly.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 04, 2010, 02:26:20 AM
BTW It is the loss of the integrity of our bodies and souls that disrupts the original unity of the two.

Would this be considered an effect of the fall that is continually passed down?

Yes.  Additionally, the loss of integrity does not mean that there is a total rupture in the unity of body and soul, but it manifests in the doctrinal reality that we are Baptized and yet we still die, that Christ tramples death by death and yet we still die, and then when we do die, we do not teach soul-sleep but teach that our sentient soul finds a place in heaven or hell...or heaven, hell and purgation if you are on my side of the aisle.  So there is plenty of evidence that there's been a dis-integration of that profound unity of body and soul.

So that and the loss of original justice...said another way the darkening of the intellect and weakening of the will...and the loss of original integrity are the effects that are passed on through generation.

It is the loss of original justice that is addressed in the teaching of the Immaculate Conception.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 04, 2010, 02:26:20 AM

Is there really such a thing as "created" grace, in the ordinary terms presented here?  No. 

Father Hardon's teachings are bound by his own training and his times and the Church's attitude to the ordinary person in the pew.


Alway the excuses.  Always the claim to know more and to be more initiated than the avergae Catholic!   Mary, it's high time that you learnt something of basic Catholic teaching.  Catholics were taught all over the world by the Magisterium, by the priests, by the brothers, by the nuns, that grace is CREATED!

Are you telling us that the Magisterium and the clergy simply LIED to the Catholic people for generation upon generation and the TRUE teaching was whispered only in the ears of savants such as yourself who could appreciate it?

Quote
Father Hardon's teaching is NOT meant for theological apologetics in any way, and for you to present it out of context like this is wrong, and when you have been told over and over again it is wrong....then what you do here is false witness....I don't expect you take that to your confessor, but rather are happy to do over and over again.

The constantly repeated accusations against me are becoming tedious and even malevolent.

If there are two levels of Catholic teaching - one for the stupid people in the parishes and another for clever people like you, then supply evidence of this dual level of teaching in the Roman Catholic Church.  It really is a case of, prove it or stop being silly.

Pardon me Father, but your presentation of Father Hardon as some especial representative of "the Magisterium" is much more than silly.  It is false and irresponsible.  You've been corrected over the years by any number of Catholic clergy who have told you essentially what I just told you.  My spiritual father is one of them.

It is probably time for you to write him another letter telling him how I am out of line again.  He's reading here in this thread so he'll know just what you are talking about this time.

Yes.  The laity are often treated like sheep in the worst sense of stupid.  It happens in Orthodoxy too.  I've heard it with my own shell pink ears.

It is good to see that you did not fall into a great fissure and disappear from us!

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 02:29:49 AM
Question:  if God could removethe stain of "Original Sin" from Mary, even though her parents had it, then why couldn't He simply have removed it from Adam and Eve's children, right there at the beginning?
I think this is one of those questions that is impossible to answer and must simply be accepted as a mystery. You could also ask yourself why God came to earth and died on the cross for the remission of our sins whenever He could have simply willed us to be saved and we would have been since, you know, He's God and all can do whatever He wishes. Why did Jesus have to die? Why was this the way God chose to redeem humanity? I'm totally fine with not having the complete answer about such mysteries right now. It does make me look forward to heaven and having all of the answers to these questions at last revealed.

For whatever reason, God wanted to save the majority of mankind the way He did. He chose to preserve Mother Mary from sin from the moment of her conception so He would have a perfect vessel in which to enter the world. This was accomplished in much the same way as any of us are being saved. The part where it is different is because He applied the grace He was to win on Calvary (which transcends time and space) to her from the very beginning and filled her with grace. Mary still needed a Savior because it was only through the sacrifice of Christ that she was immaculately conceived and remained sinless throughout her life. Christ, who indeed loves His Mother very much, gave her bountifully what the rest of us only get a foretaste of here on earth.
My point exactly
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 04, 2010, 02:54:21 AM

[cize=10pt]Pardon me Father, but your presentation of Father Hardon as some especial representative of "the Magisterium" is much more than silly.  It is false and irresponsible.  You've been corrected over the years by any number of Catholic clergy who have told you essentially what I just told you.  My spiritual father is one of them. [/size]

One of us has selective memory because I do not recall any "corrections" received from "any number of Catholic clergy" and yet you do.  Who on earth were they?

Quote
It is probably time for you to write him another letter telling him how I am out of line again.  He's reading here in this thread so he'll know just what you are talking about this time.

If he is reading this thread then  he can confirm that you are not telling the truth when you claim that I have written to him about you.  Mary, why do you do this??

All this personal nastiness against me because you want to destroy the credibility of Father Hardon and what he wrote.  :(
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PeterTheAleut on September 04, 2010, 04:00:17 AM

[cize=10pt]Pardon me Father, but your presentation of Father Hardon as some especial representative of "the Magisterium" is much more than silly.  It is false and irresponsible.  You've been corrected over the years by any number of Catholic clergy who have told you essentially what I just told you.  My spiritual father is one of them. [/size]

One of us has selective memory because I do not recall any "corrections" received from "any number of Catholic clergy" and yet you do.  Who on earth were they?

Quote
It is probably time for you to write him another letter telling him how I am out of line again.  He's reading here in this thread so he'll know just what you are talking about this time.

If he is reading this thread then  he can confirm that you are not telling the truth when you claim that I have written to him about you.  Mary, why do you do this??

All this personal nastiness against me because you want to destroy the credibility of Father Hardon and what he wrote.  :(
Would you care to take your dispute with elijahmaria offline, please?  Some people here would actually like to discuss the OP.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 04, 2010, 04:03:17 AM

[cize=10pt]Pardon me Father, but your presentation of Father Hardon as some especial representative of "the Magisterium" is much more than silly.  It is false and irresponsible.  You've been corrected over the years by any number of Catholic clergy who have told you essentially what I just told you.  My spiritual father is one of them. [/size]

One of us has selective memory because I do not recall any "corrections" received from "any number of Catholic clergy" and yet you do.  Who on earth were they?

Quote
It is probably time for you to write him another letter telling him how I am out of line again.  He's reading here in this thread so he'll know just what you are talking about this time.

If he is reading this thread then  he can confirm that you are not telling the truth when you claim that I have written to him about you.  Mary, why do you do this??

All this personal nastiness against me because you want to destroy the credibility of Father Hardon and what he wrote.  :(
Would you care to take your dispute with elijahmaria offline, please?  Some people here would actually like to discuss the OP.

Indeed.  Include me in their number.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 04, 2010, 04:19:35 AM

What is "sanctifying grace" for an Oriental Orthodox?  I know what it is for Roman Catholics.

It's the grace that accomplishes redemption that we receive in the Sacraments.


The Orthodox View of Grace

The Orthodox view of Grace is quite distinct from that of the West, especially as
developed by the Scholastics from seeds in the theology of the Blessed Augustine. As
the Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky explains:

[The] theology of the Eastern Church distinguishes in God the three hypostases, the
nature or essence, and the energies. The Son and the Holy Spirit are, so to say, personal
processions, the energies, natural processions. The energies are inseparable from the
nature, and the nature is inseparable from the three Persons. These distinctions are of
great importance for the Eastern Church’s conception of mystical life:…

 The distinction between the essence and the energies, which is fundamental for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called is neither hypostatic—as in the case of the human nature of Christ—nor
substantial, as in that of the three divine Persons: it is union with God in His energies,
or union by grace making us participate in the divine nature, without our essence
becoming thereby the essence of God. In deification [theosis] we are by grace (that is to
say, in the divine energies), all that God is by nature, save only identity of nature . . .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.

Eastern tradition knows no such supernatural order between God and the created
world, adding, as it were, to the latter a new creation. It recognizes no distinction, or
rather division, save that between the created and the uncreated. For [the] eastern
tradition the created supernatural has no existence. That which western theology calls
by the name of the supernatural signifies for the East the uncreated—the divine energies
ineffably distinct from the essence of God. . . . The act of creation established a
relationship between the divine energies and that which is not God. . . . [However,] the
divine energies in themselves are not the relationship of God to created being, but they
do enter into relationship with that which is not God [i.e., His creation], and draw the
world into existence by the will of God.

In short, the Orthodox understanding of the nature of Grace is that it is the very
energies of God Himself. Through the Trinitarian ministry of the Holy Spirit—a
ministry involving both general and special activities—these energies are mediated to
mankind. This stands in contrast to the Latin view flowing mainly from the anti-
Pelagian writings of Saint Augustine. For Roman Catholics, Grace is a created
intermediary between God and man.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 11:52:03 AM
Fr. Ambrose, from what I have read from Catholic saints, including the likes of St. John of the Cross and St. Thomas Aquians, we do become deified through gift of Grace and our souls are made into God's likeness by participating in his Divine Nature and indewlling of the Holy Trinity in the Souls of the Just. For this reason, I don't see how Fr. Hardon's teaching on the matter can be accurate. In fact, I think he flat out wrong, unless of course, he talking about the State of Grace, and not the substance of Grace.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 11:58:27 AM
Fr. Ambrose,
Take a look at this:

From the Catechism of the Council of Trent:
For the blessed always see God present and by this greatest and most exalted of gifts, being made partakers of the divine nature, they enjoy true and solid happiness.

In the Roman Rite the prayer during the Mass for the mixing of the water and wine:

O God, Who in creating the human nature didst marvelously enoble it, and hast still more marvelously renewed it: grant that by the mystery of this water and wine, we may be made partakers of His Divinity Who vouchsafed to become partaker of our humanity, Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 12:02:14 PM
Fr. A,
Thomas Aquinas gives the reason for the Incarnation as
"the full participation of the Divinity, which is the true bliss of man and end of human life; and this is bestowed upon us by Christ's humanity; for Augustine says in a sermon (xiii de Temp): 'God was made man, that man might be made God' " (ST III, q. 1 a. 2).

And the big one from St. Thomas Aquinas:
"Now the gift of grace surpasses every capability of created nature, since it is nothing short of a partaking of the Divine Nature, which exceeds every other nature. And thus it is impossible that any creature should cause grace. For it is as necessary that God alone should deify, bestowing a partaking of the Divine Nature by a participated likeness, as it is impossible that anything save fire should enkindle." (Summa Theologiae I-II.112.1
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 12:03:58 PM
"God was made man and man was made God." -St. Catherine of Sienna
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 12:10:17 PM
Father Ambrose,
Grace is big word in Catholic theology and analogously applied to many things. When you combine this with the fact that we adopt both Eastern and Western theoloy, then you can see that the word is very richly charged with meaning for Catholics. Do we believe in uncreated Grace and theosis? If you read the quotes above, I think that you will see that even from a werstern perspective, the answer is a resounding "yes!".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 04, 2010, 12:11:23 PM

What is "sanctifying grace" for an Oriental Orthodox?  I know what it is for Roman Catholics.

It's the grace that accomplishes redemption that we receive in the Sacraments.


The Orthodox View of Grace

The Orthodox view of Grace is quite distinct from that of the West, especially as
developed by the Scholastics from seeds in the theology of the Blessed Augustine. As
the Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky explains:

[The] theology of the Eastern Church distinguishes in God the three hypostases, the
nature or essence, and the energies. The Son and the Holy Spirit are, so to say, personal
processions, the energies, natural processions. The energies are inseparable from the
nature, and the nature is inseparable from the three Persons. These distinctions are of
great importance for the Eastern Church’s conception of mystical life:…

 The distinction between the essence and the energies, which is fundamental for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called is neither hypostatic—as in the case of the human nature of Christ—nor
substantial, as in that of the three divine Persons: it is union with God in His energies,
or union by grace making us participate in the divine nature, without our essence
becoming thereby the essence of God. In deification [theosis] we are by grace (that is to
say, in the divine energies), all that God is by nature, save only identity of nature . . .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.

Eastern tradition knows no such supernatural order between God and the created
world, adding, as it were, to the latter a new creation. It recognizes no distinction, or
rather division, save that between the created and the uncreated. For [the] eastern
tradition the created supernatural has no existence. That which western theology calls
by the name of the supernatural signifies for the East the uncreated—the divine energies
ineffably distinct from the essence of God. . . . The act of creation established a
relationship between the divine energies and that which is not God. . . . [However,] the
divine energies in themselves are not the relationship of God to created being, but they
do enter into relationship with that which is not God [i.e., His creation], and draw the
world into existence by the will of God.

In short, the Orthodox understanding of the nature of Grace is that it is the very
energies of God Himself. Through the Trinitarian ministry of the Holy Spirit—a
ministry involving both general and special activities—these energies are mediated to
mankind. This stands in contrast to the Latin view flowing mainly from the anti-
Pelagian writings of Saint Augustine. For Roman Catholics, Grace is a created
intermediary between God and man.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
Fr. Ambrose. What is the differnce between nature and essence?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 04, 2010, 01:12:43 PM

Quote
The Orthodox View of Grace

The Orthodox view of Grace is quite distinct from that of the West, especially as
developed by the Scholastics from seeds in the theology of the Blessed Augustine. As
the Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky explains:

.... For Roman Catholics, Grace is a created
intermediary between God and man.
[/size]

This assertion by V. Lossky is false on the face of it.  There is no intermediary between God and man in terms of the grace of the Indwelling Trinity which we receive at our Baptism.  The Indwelling remains with us through this life and everlasting life.  That is what sanctifying or justifying or baptismal grace is and does.

St. Teresa of Avila describes the Indwelling like a great river flowing through our souls and we can partake of the waters of that river and our soul becomes like a grotto where we can commune with the grace of that mighty river in a measure that we can endure without being swept away.

Another more contemporary Catholic teacher on the Indwelling is Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.  She is called "Sabeth" by those who love and follow her teachings and promote her cause for sainthood. 

The difference between Catholic and Orthodox teaching is not what it is made out to be by some.

http://www.helpfellowship.org/Blessed_Elizabeth_of_the_Trinity.htm

Quote
In a letter written just a few weeks before her death in the year 1906, a young Carmelite nun declared to a friend: "My beloved Antoinette, I leave you my faith in the presence of God, of the God who is all Love dwelling in our souls. I confide to you: it is this intimacy with Him 'within' that has been the beautiful sun illuminating my life, making it already an anticipated Heaven: it is what sustains me today in my suffering.' This young nun, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, has since been given such titles as "the prophet of the presence of God,""the saint of the divine indwelling," or "the saint of one idea," because of her strong experience of the indwelling of God in her soul. Even the Catechism of the Catholic Church cites a prayer that she composed and addressed to the Trinity whom she knew dwelled in her soul. The Catechism cites Blessed Elizabeth's prayer to illustrate the truth that "Even' now we are called to be a dwelling for the Most Holy Trinity": 'If a man loves me,"says the Lord, "he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him." (Jn 14,23)"
[/size]

I can provide more if anyone wishes.  Simply write to me privately.

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 04, 2010, 01:12:44 PM
Fr. Ambrose, from what I have read from Catholic saints, including the likes of St. John of the Cross and St. Thomas Aquians, we do become deified through gift of Grace and our souls are made into God's likeness by participating in his Divine Nature and indewlling of the Holy Trinity in the Souls of the Just. For this reason, I don't see how Fr. Hardon's teaching on the matter can be accurate. In fact, I think he flat out wrong, unless of course, he talking about the State of Grace, and not the substance of Grace.

Dear Papist,

There is a history of Catholic Spirituality written by Father Jordan Aumann, OP that talks about a change in the common teaching concerning grace and the spiritual life that got a strong toehold of the Benedictine monastics in England and Ireland an starting in about the middle of the 1700's.  His remarks are brief but if you can trace that history then you will better understand the Baltimore Catechism and men like Father John Hardon.  

The Irish and French Jansenists worked very hard to remove any trace of the idea of the Indwelling Trinity as a gift that belonged to all of us and was a very personal participatory communion between God and his human creation.  That is principally why it is a heresy.  It destroys the fundamental truth of our relationship with God.  

The history of Jansen and the Jansenists is intimately tied to the history of the Cathars or Albigensians of southern France, or the Bogomils as they are known in the east.  Start following some of those leads as your library allows and many things will fall into place when it comes to what seem to be divergent threads in Church teaching over the past 300 years or so.  There is no one history that will just give you all this.  I have picked it up book by book for almost twenty years.  So the closest immediate corroboration of what I am saying here is the Father Jordan Aumann book.  It is available on the Internet.

The Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church were the Church's attempt to cut a path through the confusion that was straight and true.

There is a book called Surnaturel that does not give the history that I've indicated above but does outline the theological background for the 20th century work of Father Henri de Lubac whose work brought the discussion of nature and grace to the forefront of Catholic theology in the 20th century.  That is not an easy read but you've got to start somewhere and since that is a synthesis of the various streams of thought, it is a good place to begin, if you are genuinely interested in the discussion of nature and grace.

There is no "created" supernatural in Catholic teaching.  None.  Father Hardon was offering a formula that presumed an understanding of St. Thomas that had been gradually eroded since at least the Council of Trent.  What he teaches, to the uninitiated, serves to cloud far more than it serves to illumine.

Also it is silly to say that God is supernatural.  God IS.  God is divinity.  The divine nature is natural to God.  The experience of man's participation in the divine Indwelling Trinity elevates man's lived experience above his own created nature and that is where the idea of supernatural finds its meaning.

M.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on September 04, 2010, 02:50:42 PM

There is no "created" supernatural in Catholic teaching.  None.  Father Hardon was offering a formula that presumed an understanding of St. Thomas that had been gradually eroded since at least the Council of Trent.  What he teaches, to the uninitiated, serves to cloud far more than it serves to illumine.

Also it is silly to say that God is supernatural.  God IS.  God is divinity.  The divine nature is natural to God.  The experience of man's participation in the divine Indwelling Trinity elevates man's lived experience above his own created nature and that is where the idea of supernatural finds its meaning.


From what I understand from the Coptic Catholic MardukM, supernatural means spiritual, not an experience:

Quote
When I speak of “stain,” I have strictly and consistently stated that it refers to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin.  Now the SPIRITUAL consequences (the “stain”) of Original Sin refer not only to the state of sinfulness, but also to the act of sinning, as well as lack of original holiness, lack of original justice, and spiritual death (which is separation from God).  These are exactly what are referred to in the dogma as “all stain of original sin.”

Now considering this Athanasian understanding of original sin, can we indeed distinguish between the spiritual death and the physical death?  I truly believe so. Why?  Because it is clear that physical death is a NATURAL consequence of the Fall, whereas spiritual death is a SUPERNATURAL consequence of the Fall. Likewise, it is evident that the Grace of physical immortality is distinguished from the Grace of Spiritual Life (i.e., the opposite of Spiritual Death, which is separation from God).  In other words, the natural corollary of the belief that there can be no actual, ontological distinction between physical death and spiritual death is that there is no actual, ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality.  One cannot be taken without the other. But since there is indeed an ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality- hence, there must also be a distinction between spiritual death and physical death.

This distinction between natural and supernatural is everywhere evident in Christian anthropology.  The body of man is created by NATURAL means, whereas the soul of man is created by SUPERNATURAL means.  Further, if the physical and spiritual are so drastically linked, then why is it that after Baptism, we are still liable to death?  When a Christian dies a physical death, his soul and body are not linked so drastically that one could possibly imagine that his soul dies the spiritual death as well.  The reason for this is a lot simpler than claiming that “Christ came and killed death, separating the two.” The reason was alluded to earlier – it is the simple fact that the Grace of Spiritual Life (one of the Graces we receive at Baptism, and likewise one of the Graces Mary received at her IC) is different from the Grace of Physical immortality.  Mary, though she received the Grace of Spiritual Life at the IC (among other Graces), did not receive this particular Grace of Physical immortality until her Dormition.  Likewise, that it is a separate Grace from the Grace of Spiritual Life is proven by the fact that we ourselves, who were baptized and received the Grace of Spiritual Life, will not receive the Grace of Physical immortality until the Endtime (i.e., we still die).  This proves that the distinction between physical and spiritual death is not merely “in thought alone,” but is a truly ontological reality – to repeat, the Grace of Spiritual Life can be acquired without necessarily acquiring the Grace of Physical immortality (at least, immediately).
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859

Thus, I read this, and I thought to myself.  Supernatural is considered to describe something spiritual, or to be synonymous with spiritual, i.e. the human spirit, the created spirit, that which is common among the angels.  Therefore, it can be said that God is not supernatural because He's not a created spirit like human spirits or angels, but beyond that.  But from what I understand, we are binatured creatures, a physical nature and a super nature.

I think this borders on the line of semantics.  When I use the word "supernatural," I don't mean a different nature, but one that which is beyond nature, transcends nature, not even nature in and of itself, but incomprehensibly transcendent.  When MardukM used the word "supernatural" it described a different ousia, so to speak, that of the spiritual realm.

Now, I'm reading that it's not an ousia, it's an experience, when the human is mingling with the Divine, that's considered "supernatural."  Please help me then.  I'm utterly confused, since I'm perceiving two different meanings of nature within the Catholic Church, let alone interchurch relations.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 04, 2010, 04:50:10 PM

There is no "created" supernatural in Catholic teaching.  None.  Father Hardon was offering a formula that presumed an understanding of St. Thomas that had been gradually eroded since at least the Council of Trent.  What he teaches, to the uninitiated, serves to cloud far more than it serves to illumine.

Also it is silly to say that God is supernatural.  God IS.  God is divinity.  The divine nature is natural to God.  The experience of man's participation in the divine Indwelling Trinity elevates man's lived experience above his own created nature and that is where the idea of supernatural finds its meaning.


From what I understand from the Coptic Catholic MardukM, supernatural means spiritual, not an experience:

Quote
When I speak of “stain,” I have strictly and consistently stated that it refers to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin.  Now the SPIRITUAL consequences (the “stain”) of Original Sin refer not only to the state of sinfulness, but also to the act of sinning, as well as lack of original holiness, lack of original justice, and spiritual death (which is separation from God).  These are exactly what are referred to in the dogma as “all stain of original sin.”

Now considering this Athanasian understanding of original sin, can we indeed distinguish between the spiritual death and the physical death?  I truly believe so. Why?  Because it is clear that physical death is a NATURAL consequence of the Fall, whereas spiritual death is a SUPERNATURAL consequence of the Fall. Likewise, it is evident that the Grace of physical immortality is distinguished from the Grace of Spiritual Life (i.e., the opposite of Spiritual Death, which is separation from God).  In other words, the natural corollary of the belief that there can be no actual, ontological distinction between physical death and spiritual death is that there is no actual, ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality.  One cannot be taken without the other. But since there is indeed an ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality- hence, there must also be a distinction between spiritual death and physical death.

This distinction between natural and supernatural is everywhere evident in Christian anthropology.  The body of man is created by NATURAL means, whereas the soul of man is created by SUPERNATURAL means.  Further, if the physical and spiritual are so drastically linked, then why is it that after Baptism, we are still liable to death?  When a Christian dies a physical death, his soul and body are not linked so drastically that one could possibly imagine that his soul dies the spiritual death as well.  The reason for this is a lot simpler than claiming that “Christ came and killed death, separating the two.” The reason was alluded to earlier – it is the simple fact that the Grace of Spiritual Life (one of the Graces we receive at Baptism, and likewise one of the Graces Mary received at her IC) is different from the Grace of Physical immortality.  Mary, though she received the Grace of Spiritual Life at the IC (among other Graces), did not receive this particular Grace of Physical immortality until her Dormition.  Likewise, that it is a separate Grace from the Grace of Spiritual Life is proven by the fact that we ourselves, who were baptized and received the Grace of Spiritual Life, will not receive the Grace of Physical immortality until the Endtime (i.e., we still die).  This proves that the distinction between physical and spiritual death is not merely “in thought alone,” but is a truly ontological reality – to repeat, the Grace of Spiritual Life can be acquired without necessarily acquiring the Grace of Physical immortality (at least, immediately).
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859

Thus, I read this, and I thought to myself.  Supernatural is considered to describe something spiritual, or to be synonymous with spiritual, i.e. the human spirit, the created spirit, that which is common among the angels.  Therefore, it can be said that God is not supernatural because He's not a created spirit like human spirits or angels, but beyond that.  But from what I understand, we are binatured creatures, a physical nature and a super nature.

I think this borders on the line of semantics.  When I use the word "supernatural," I don't mean a different nature, but one that which is beyond nature, transcends nature, not even nature in and of itself, but incomprehensibly transcendent.  When MardukM used the word "supernatural" it described a different ousia, so to speak, that of the spiritual realm. 

Now, I'm reading that it's not an ousia, it's an experience, when the human is mingling with the Divine, that's considered "supernatural."  Please help me then.  I'm utterly confused, since I'm perceiving two different meanings of nature within the Catholic Church, let alone interchurch relations.

Sorry to say that I have no way of engaging MardukM in any comparative way without his being here.  Some of what he says makes sense in terms of physical and spiritual death being observably separable, but the manner in which he is expressing it is somewhat foreign to me and I cannot presume to compare what I know with the unfamiliar. 

There is a great deal that is left out of what he is saying: perhaps most importantly the reality that spiritual corruption ultimately leads to physical sickness, death and corruption, and that spiritual health does lead to longer healthier life under ordinary circumstances, so that the interaction between body and soul can still be observed experientially.

I can simply go back and repeat that the spiritual life of prayer and union with God is experiential in body and soul, as a first principle.  I mean that it is axiomatic that kenosis and the process of reaching theosis is real and experiential.  It requires grace to reach the prayer of quiet and the prayer of union.  Union with the Indwelling is not natural to human nature.  We cannot achieve that very real existential state without grace or without a gift that takes us beyond our nature, while allowing us to remain created beings.

And then the ancestral sin resulted in a loss of original justice and integrity, and as a result of the loss of original integrity the once perfect unity between a human body and soul as definitive of human nature before the fall is damaged and will not be fully re-formed until the resurrection of the body at the final judgment.

But it would be absolutely impossible for me to try to compare these elements of the points I was making,  to what Marduk says in that quote without Marduk being here to talk to about it.  I am very sorry.

Mary

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 04, 2010, 10:35:52 PM

What is "sanctifying grace" for an Oriental Orthodox?  I know what it is for Roman Catholics.

It's the grace that accomplishes redemption that we receive in the Sacraments.


The Orthodox View of Grace

The Orthodox view of Grace is quite distinct from that of the West, especially as
developed by the Scholastics from seeds in the theology of the Blessed Augustine. As
the Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky explains:

[The] theology of the Eastern Church distinguishes in God the three hypostases, the
nature or essence, and the energies. The Son and the Holy Spirit are, so to say, personal
processions, the energies, natural processions. The energies are inseparable from the
nature, and the nature is inseparable from the three Persons. These distinctions are of
great importance for the Eastern Church’s conception of mystical life:…

 The distinction between the essence and the energies, which is fundamental for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called is neither hypostatic—as in the case of the human nature of Christ—nor
substantial, as in that of the three divine Persons: it is union with God in His energies,
or union by grace making us participate in the divine nature, without our essence
becoming thereby the essence of God. In deification [theosis] we are by grace (that is to
say, in the divine energies), all that God is by nature, save only identity of nature . . .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.

Eastern tradition knows no such supernatural order between God and the created
world, adding, as it were, to the latter a new creation. It recognizes no distinction, or
rather division, save that between the created and the uncreated. For [the] eastern
tradition the created supernatural has no existence. That which western theology calls
by the name of the supernatural signifies for the East the uncreated—the divine energies
ineffably distinct from the essence of God. . . . The act of creation established a
relationship between the divine energies and that which is not God. . . . [However,] the
divine energies in themselves are not the relationship of God to created being, but they
do enter into relationship with that which is not God [i.e., His creation], and draw the
world into existence by the will of God.

In short, the Orthodox understanding of the nature of Grace is that it is the very
energies of God Himself. Through the Trinitarian ministry of the Holy Spirit—a
ministry involving both general and special activities—these energies are mediated to
mankind. This stands in contrast to the Latin view flowing mainly from the anti-
Pelagian writings of Saint Augustine. For Roman Catholics, Grace is a created
intermediary between God and man.

http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf

Why do you keep assuming that I don't already know about and believe in this?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 04, 2010, 10:35:52 PM
Father Ambrose,
Grace is big word in Catholic theology and analogously applied to many things. When you combine this with the fact that we adopt both Eastern and Western theoloy, then you can see that the word is very richly charged with meaning for Catholics. Do we believe in uncreated Grace and theosis? If you read the quotes above, I think that you will see that even from a werstern perspective, the answer is a resounding "yes!".

Actually, all of your quotes just indicated that you believe that you become partakers of the divine nature. None of them addressed the matter of whether grace is created or uncreated. And it doesn't prove anything about that matter, given that Aquinas explicitly taught that grace was created and somehow it also made people partakers of the divine nature.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on September 05, 2010, 12:07:33 AM

There is no "created" supernatural in Catholic teaching.  None.  Father Hardon was offering a formula that presumed an understanding of St. Thomas that had been gradually eroded since at least the Council of Trent.  What he teaches, to the uninitiated, serves to cloud far more than it serves to illumine.

Also it is silly to say that God is supernatural.  God IS.  God is divinity.  The divine nature is natural to God.  The experience of man's participation in the divine Indwelling Trinity elevates man's lived experience above his own created nature and that is where the idea of supernatural finds its meaning.


From what I understand from the Coptic Catholic MardukM, supernatural means spiritual, not an experience:

Quote
When I speak of “stain,” I have strictly and consistently stated that it refers to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin.  Now the SPIRITUAL consequences (the “stain”) of Original Sin refer not only to the state of sinfulness, but also to the act of sinning, as well as lack of original holiness, lack of original justice, and spiritual death (which is separation from God).  These are exactly what are referred to in the dogma as “all stain of original sin.”

Now considering this Athanasian understanding of original sin, can we indeed distinguish between the spiritual death and the physical death?  I truly believe so. Why?  Because it is clear that physical death is a NATURAL consequence of the Fall, whereas spiritual death is a SUPERNATURAL consequence of the Fall. Likewise, it is evident that the Grace of physical immortality is distinguished from the Grace of Spiritual Life (i.e., the opposite of Spiritual Death, which is separation from God).  In other words, the natural corollary of the belief that there can be no actual, ontological distinction between physical death and spiritual death is that there is no actual, ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality.  One cannot be taken without the other. But since there is indeed an ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality- hence, there must also be a distinction between spiritual death and physical death.

This distinction between natural and supernatural is everywhere evident in Christian anthropology.  The body of man is created by NATURAL means, whereas the soul of man is created by SUPERNATURAL means.  Further, if the physical and spiritual are so drastically linked, then why is it that after Baptism, we are still liable to death?  When a Christian dies a physical death, his soul and body are not linked so drastically that one could possibly imagine that his soul dies the spiritual death as well.  The reason for this is a lot simpler than claiming that “Christ came and killed death, separating the two.” The reason was alluded to earlier – it is the simple fact that the Grace of Spiritual Life (one of the Graces we receive at Baptism, and likewise one of the Graces Mary received at her IC) is different from the Grace of Physical immortality.  Mary, though she received the Grace of Spiritual Life at the IC (among other Graces), did not receive this particular Grace of Physical immortality until her Dormition.  Likewise, that it is a separate Grace from the Grace of Spiritual Life is proven by the fact that we ourselves, who were baptized and received the Grace of Spiritual Life, will not receive the Grace of Physical immortality until the Endtime (i.e., we still die).  This proves that the distinction between physical and spiritual death is not merely “in thought alone,” but is a truly ontological reality – to repeat, the Grace of Spiritual Life can be acquired without necessarily acquiring the Grace of Physical immortality (at least, immediately).
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859

Thus, I read this, and I thought to myself.  Supernatural is considered to describe something spiritual, or to be synonymous with spiritual, i.e. the human spirit, the created spirit, that which is common among the angels.  Therefore, it can be said that God is not supernatural because He's not a created spirit like human spirits or angels, but beyond that.  But from what I understand, we are binatured creatures, a physical nature and a super nature.

I think this borders on the line of semantics.  When I use the word "supernatural," I don't mean a different nature, but one that which is beyond nature, transcends nature, not even nature in and of itself, but incomprehensibly transcendent.  When MardukM used the word "supernatural" it described a different ousia, so to speak, that of the spiritual realm. 

Now, I'm reading that it's not an ousia, it's an experience, when the human is mingling with the Divine, that's considered "supernatural."  Please help me then.  I'm utterly confused, since I'm perceiving two different meanings of nature within the Catholic Church, let alone interchurch relations.

Sorry to say that I have no way of engaging MardukM in any comparative way without his being here.  Some of what he says makes sense in terms of physical and spiritual death being observably separable, but the manner in which he is expressing it is somewhat foreign to me and I cannot presume to compare what I know with the unfamiliar. 

There is a great deal that is left out of what he is saying: perhaps most importantly the reality that spiritual corruption ultimately leads to physical sickness, death and corruption, and that spiritual health does lead to longer healthier life under ordinary circumstances, so that the interaction between body and soul can still be observed experientially.

I can simply go back and repeat that the spiritual life of prayer and union with God is experiential in body and soul, as a first principle.  I mean that it is axiomatic that kenosis and the process of reaching theosis is real and experiential.  It requires grace to reach the prayer of quiet and the prayer of union.  Union with the Indwelling is not natural to human nature.  We cannot achieve that very real existential state without grace or without a gift that takes us beyond our nature, while allowing us to remain created beings.

And then the ancestral sin resulted in a loss of original justice and integrity, and as a result of the loss of original integrity the once perfect unity between a human body and soul as definitive of human nature before the fall is damaged and will not be fully re-formed until the resurrection of the body at the final judgment.

But it would be absolutely impossible for me to try to compare these elements of the points I was making,  to what Marduk says in that quote without Marduk being here to talk to about it.  I am very sorry.

Mary

I think MardukM would agree with what you're saying.  I'm almost sure.  I'm just baffled that there seems to be different ways to define different terms within the Catholic Church, where no standardization leaves people both inside and outside the Catholic Church confused about what the Catholic Church teaches, and could probably even lead to a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation of the teachings themselves.

The other example is the use of the word "grace", whether it's created or uncreated, or both as now it seems to be the acceptable case.  Another example was when I had the same discussion with Marduk, that I had no idea the Catholic Church did NOT believe Mary was conceived from Original Sin, but from the stain of Original Sin, which is terminologically different from Original Sin itself.  It causes confusion when one tries to engage in a discussion, at least with me personally, when I'm trying to understand the other side.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 05, 2010, 03:30:47 AM
Father Ambrose,
Grace is big word in Catholic theology and analogously applied to many things. When you combine this with the fact that we adopt both Eastern and Western theoloy, then you can see that the word is very richly charged with meaning for Catholics. Do we believe in uncreated Grace and theosis? If you read the quotes above, I think that you will see that even from a werstern perspective, the answer is a resounding "yes!".

Actually, all of your quotes just indicated that you believe that you become partakers of the divine nature. None of them addressed the matter of whether grace is created or uncreated. And it doesn't prove anything about that matter, given that Aquinas explicitly taught that grace was created and somehow it also made people partakers of the divine nature.

I've been at this kind of discussion for many years and I've never been able to determine just where it was that St. Thomas used the term "created" grace....

I don't think it is asking too much to ask you or any other Orthodox correspondent here to tell me...show me, in fact, where Thomas Aquinas writes about "created" grace.

Please, before we continue...Show me where Aquinas "explicitly" teaches that grace is created.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 05, 2010, 06:40:34 AM
Is it possible that Mary benefited of the grace of God and perseverated in it as much as she came towards Him through a true living?What is grace?How could she have grace at the moment of Annunciation?Does the Original Sin stop us to achieve grace?



Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on September 05, 2010, 07:13:28 AM
Quote
What is grace?How could she have grace at the moment of Annunciation?

Azul, the answer to the above quote can be found in the hymnography (what is sung in the Orthodox services) of the feast of the Annunciation:

Troparion of the feast:

Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery. The Son of God becomes the son of the Virgin as Gabriel announces the coming of grace. Together with him let us cry to the Mother of God: Hail, Lady full of grace, The Lord is with you.

Sessional hymn before the Polyeleos:

The mighty captain of the companies of angels drew near to the city of Nazareth. He announced to you, undefiled one, the coming of the King and Lord of the ages, saying: Hail, blessed Mary, wondrous beyond speech and beyond understanding, you are the restoration of mortal man.

Ikos/Oikos at Matins:

An angel of the first rank was sent from heaven to greet the Mother of God, saying: Hail! Seeing You, Lord, take bodily form at His bodiless word, he stood in awe and cried:

Hail, for through you joy will be enkindled; hail, for through you the curse will be quenched. Hail, recall of fallen Adam; hail, deliverance of weeping Eve. Hail, height unattainable to human reason; hail, abyss unsearchable by angelic eyes. Hail, for you are the throne of the King; hail, for you bear Him who upholds all things. Hail, star giving rise to the sun; hail, womb giving flesh to God. Hail, for through you creation is renewed; hail, for through you the Creator becomes a newborn child. Hail, unwedded Bride!


from Ode 7, Annunciation 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.

As I have said many times, the hymnography of the Church (what is read, chanted and sung) is a sure and reliable source of Orthodox doctrine and theology.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 05, 2010, 09:15:06 AM
Is it possible that Mary benefited of the grace of God and perseverated in it as much as she came towards Him through a true living?What is grace?How could she have grace at the moment of Annunciation?Does the Original Sin stop us to achieve grace?

Dear Azul,

As the Catholic Church teaches, the Virgin Mother of God grew in grace, grew in wisdom, grew in holiness and spiritual loveliness all the days of her life.   So yes to your first question.  She was capable of and did grow in holiness in her life.  

By the same token, the Virgin Mother was also susceptible to temptation.  She may have been far less likely than you or I to yield to temptation but she suffered temptations.  If you read the fathers of the desert, you don't get too far with them before discovering their teaching that the more one grows in holiness and grace, the more bitter and difficult are the temptations to sin.  These are not internal desires, personal desires, toward sins, but these temptations are the product of demonic influence in our lives and are terrible to experience, fearful to behold, and very difficult to fend off.  Those who choose to actively life the ascetic life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are beset by terrible difficulties.  And it would have been this kind of temptation that would have befallen the lovely Mother of God because of the depth of her lived holiness.

Grace is difficult to define and the Church resists defining grace as much as is possible but sometimes there is a need to put words to that which is so terribly far beyond words.   Grace is a freely given gift from God that allows us to be spiritually united to him for the purpose of partaking in His divine life.

As I have been told over many years, both the Orthodox and Catholics teach that the ancestral sin, among several things, resulted in the loss of original justice.  This means essentially that we are born unable to receive from God the grace that deifies: that grace is called by several different names: in Orthodoxy it is generally called Baptismal Grace: and baptismal grace opens the soul and the will and the heart to the possibility of divinization/theosis for all who are Baptised in Christ.

The Immaculate Conception teaches that there never was a time when the Virgin Mother was not open to God's saving grace.  From the very moment of her coming into being as a person, she had the capacity to hold the Indwelling Trinity in her heart and in her soul.  This is the capacity that we receive at the time of our baptism, in particular.

The other thing that is lost after Adam's sin is our original integrity which is essentially the loss of our integral unity of all of the elements of our human nature and personhood.  So we are liable to all kinds of physical and mental and emotional illnesses that we never would have encountered in the Garden.  We are liable to death; we are liable to corruption.

Baptism does not cure this loss of integrity between the body, heart and soul.  Neither does was the Immaculate Conception cured of these things because she was born of the flesh and was human as we are human.  We suffer and die.  She suffered and died.

Those are some of the basics of the teaching for Catholics.  I hope I have helped explain things a little bit clearly.

In Christ,

Mary



Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Wyatt on September 05, 2010, 11:41:17 AM
As the Catholic Church teaches, the Virgin Mother of God grew in grace, grew in wisdom, grew in holiness and spiritual loveliness all the days of her life.   So yes to your first question.  She was capable of and did grow in holiness in her life.  
Mary,

Could you elaborate on this part? It sort of confuses me because I just now realized I may have an incorrect understanding of the Immaculate Conception and Mary's sinlessness. How could Mary have been immaculated conceived, full of grace, and sinless throughout her life, yet continue to grow in grace and holiness? Doesn't the fact that she is the Immaculate Conception and is sinless mean there is no more room for improvement? How can one become more perfect or more full of grace? Again, it is quite possible that I am misunderstanding Catholic doctrine here since I have only been Catholic since 2007, but if you could clear this up I would appreciate it.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 05, 2010, 03:39:46 PM
As the Catholic Church teaches, the Virgin Mother of God grew in grace, grew in wisdom, grew in holiness and spiritual loveliness all the days of her life.   So yes to your first question.  She was capable of and did grow in holiness in her life.  
Mary,

Could you elaborate on this part? It sort of confuses me because I just now realized I may have an incorrect understanding of the Immaculate Conception and Mary's sinlessness. How could Mary have been immaculated conceived, full of grace, and sinless throughout her life, yet continue to grow in grace and holiness? Doesn't the fact that she is the Immaculate Conception and is sinless mean there is no more room for improvement? How can one become more perfect or more full of grace? Again, it is quite possible that I am misunderstanding Catholic doctrine here since I have only been Catholic since 2007, but if you could clear this up I would appreciate it.

I am giving you the text from the liturgies on the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, copied below, from the eastern Orthodox rite.   I am offering you these texts to demonstrate how the Church perceives the Mother of God at the ripe old age of three years.

However the Church teaches that there is no end to increasing in holiness and wisdom for the created soul who partakes in the life of the Trinity.  We grow because we are participants in a nature and a reality that has no boundaries, who was able to create all that we know here on earth from nothing.  So with every plateau that we reach in becoming, there is yet another height for which to aspire and yearn and reach, and to which we will be taken up.

I've always found it amusing that of all of Dante's books of the Divine Comedy the one on Paradise gets the least attention.  It's the only one I've ever read cover to cover...

:)...who wants to spend heaven hanging off a tiny cloud puff, legs dangling and tootin' on a wee gold horn?

Quote
Taken from The Festal Menaion translated from the original Greek by
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

From Small Vespers:

O ye gates of the sanctuary, into the Holy of Holies receive ye a Virgin,
the spotless Tabernacle of God the Almighty.

Ye virgins, joyfully bearing torches, attend the pure Virgin on her way, as
she enters the Holy of Holies, the Bride of the King of all.

The living Bridal Chamber of God the Word receives bread from the hands of a
divine angel, as she dwells in the Holy of holies.

From Great Vespers:

Led by the Holy Spirit, the holy Maid without spot is taken to dwell in the
Holy of Holies. By an angel is she fed, who is in truth the most holy Temple
of our Holy God. He has sanctified all things by her entry, and has made
godlike the fallen nature of fallen men.

After thy birth, O Lady and Bride of God, thou hast gone to dwell in the
temple of the Lord, there to be brought up in the Holy of Holies, for thou
art thyself holy: and Gabriel then was sent to thee, O Virgin all-undefiled,
to bring thee food. All the powers of heaven stood amazed, seeing the Holy
Spirit dwell in thee. Therefore, O Mother of God without stain or blemish,
glorified in heaven and on earth, save our kind.

Ann, truly blessed by God's grace, led with gladness into the temple of the
Lord the pure and ever-Virgin, who is full of grace, and she called the
young girls to go before her, lamps in hand. `Go, Child,' she said, `to Him
who gave thee unto me; be unto Him an offering and a sweet smelling incense.
Go into the place which none may enter: learn its mysteries and prepare
thyself to become the pleasing and beautiful dwelling-place of Jesus, who
grants the world great mercy.'

From Matins:

From Eve of old the transgression came upon mankind, and now from Eve's
stock has flowered forth our restoration and incorruption, even the
Theotokos, who is brought today into the house of God.

Be glad today, O Joachim, and rejoice exceedingly in spirit, O Ann, who now
present unto the Lord your daughter, as a three-year old victim of
sacrifice, holy and utterly without spot.

The ewe-lamb of God without spot, the dove without blemish, the tabernacle
that is to hold God, the sanctuary of the glory, has chosen to dwell in the
holy temple.

Three years old in the flesh and many years old in the spirit, more spacious
than the heavens and higher than the powers above, let the Bride of God be
praised in song.

Seeing the beauty of thy soul, O undefiled Virgin, Zacharias cried out with
faith: `Thou art our deliverance, thou art the joy of all. Thou art our
restoration, through whom the Incomprehensible appears comprehensible to
me.'

O Virgin all-undefiled, past understanding is thy wonders! Strange is the
manner of thy birth: strange is the manner of thy growing. Strange and most
marvellous are all things concerning thee, O Bride of God, and they are
beyond the telling of mortal men.

A child in the flesh but perfect in soul, the holy Ark enters into the house
of God, there to feed upon divine grace.

The ranks of angels rejoiced exceedingly and spirits of the righteous were
glad, when the Mother of God was led into the sanctuary.

Mary without spot rejoiced in body and spirit, dwelling as a sacred vessel
in the temple of the Lord.

Receiving heavenly food, she who was to become the Mother of Christ the
Saviour according to the flesh, increased in wisdom and grace.

O pure Theotokos, thou hast a clean and shining beauty of soul, and art
filled from heaven with the grace of God. Thou dost ever enlighten with
eternal light those who cry aloud in gladness: O pure Virgin, thou art truly
high above all.

Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with amazement,
seeing how she entered marvelously into the Holy of Holies.

Thy wonders, O pure Theotokos, surpass the power of words. For in thee I see
something beyond speech; a body that was never subject to the taint of sin.
Therefore in thanksgiving I cry to thee: O pure Virgin, thou art truly high
above all.

Angels and men, let us honour the entry of the Virgin, for in glory she has
gone into the Holy of Holies.
       

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 05, 2010, 03:39:47 PM

There is no "created" supernatural in Catholic teaching.  None.  Father Hardon was offering a formula that presumed an understanding of St. Thomas that had been gradually eroded since at least the Council of Trent.  What he teaches, to the uninitiated, serves to cloud far more than it serves to illumine.

Also it is silly to say that God is supernatural.  God IS.  God is divinity.  The divine nature is natural to God.  The experience of man's participation in the divine Indwelling Trinity elevates man's lived experience above his own created nature and that is where the idea of supernatural finds its meaning.


From what I understand from the Coptic Catholic MardukM, supernatural means spiritual, not an experience:

Quote
When I speak of “stain,” I have strictly and consistently stated that it refers to the SPIRITUAL consequences of original sin.  Now the SPIRITUAL consequences (the “stain”) of Original Sin refer not only to the state of sinfulness, but also to the act of sinning, as well as lack of original holiness, lack of original justice, and spiritual death (which is separation from God).  These are exactly what are referred to in the dogma as “all stain of original sin.”

Now considering this Athanasian understanding of original sin, can we indeed distinguish between the spiritual death and the physical death?  I truly believe so. Why?  Because it is clear that physical death is a NATURAL consequence of the Fall, whereas spiritual death is a SUPERNATURAL consequence of the Fall. Likewise, it is evident that the Grace of physical immortality is distinguished from the Grace of Spiritual Life (i.e., the opposite of Spiritual Death, which is separation from God).  In other words, the natural corollary of the belief that there can be no actual, ontological distinction between physical death and spiritual death is that there is no actual, ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality.  One cannot be taken without the other. But since there is indeed an ontological distinction between the Grace of Spiritual Life and the Grace of physical immortality- hence, there must also be a distinction between spiritual death and physical death.

This distinction between natural and supernatural is everywhere evident in Christian anthropology.  The body of man is created by NATURAL means, whereas the soul of man is created by SUPERNATURAL means.  Further, if the physical and spiritual are so drastically linked, then why is it that after Baptism, we are still liable to death?  When a Christian dies a physical death, his soul and body are not linked so drastically that one could possibly imagine that his soul dies the spiritual death as well.  The reason for this is a lot simpler than claiming that “Christ came and killed death, separating the two.” The reason was alluded to earlier – it is the simple fact that the Grace of Spiritual Life (one of the Graces we receive at Baptism, and likewise one of the Graces Mary received at her IC) is different from the Grace of Physical immortality.  Mary, though she received the Grace of Spiritual Life at the IC (among other Graces), did not receive this particular Grace of Physical immortality until her Dormition.  Likewise, that it is a separate Grace from the Grace of Spiritual Life is proven by the fact that we ourselves, who were baptized and received the Grace of Spiritual Life, will not receive the Grace of Physical immortality until the Endtime (i.e., we still die).  This proves that the distinction between physical and spiritual death is not merely “in thought alone,” but is a truly ontological reality – to repeat, the Grace of Spiritual Life can be acquired without necessarily acquiring the Grace of Physical immortality (at least, immediately).
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859

Thus, I read this, and I thought to myself.  Supernatural is considered to describe something spiritual, or to be synonymous with spiritual, i.e. the human spirit, the created spirit, that which is common among the angels.  Therefore, it can be said that God is not supernatural because He's not a created spirit like human spirits or angels, but beyond that.  But from what I understand, we are binatured creatures, a physical nature and a super nature.

I think this borders on the line of semantics.  When I use the word "supernatural," I don't mean a different nature, but one that which is beyond nature, transcends nature, not even nature in and of itself, but incomprehensibly transcendent.  When MardukM used the word "supernatural" it described a different ousia, so to speak, that of the spiritual realm. 

Now, I'm reading that it's not an ousia, it's an experience, when the human is mingling with the Divine, that's considered "supernatural."  Please help me then.  I'm utterly confused, since I'm perceiving two different meanings of nature within the Catholic Church, let alone interchurch relations.

Sorry to say that I have no way of engaging MardukM in any comparative way without his being here.  Some of what he says makes sense in terms of physical and spiritual death being observably separable, but the manner in which he is expressing it is somewhat foreign to me and I cannot presume to compare what I know with the unfamiliar. 

There is a great deal that is left out of what he is saying: perhaps most importantly the reality that spiritual corruption ultimately leads to physical sickness, death and corruption, and that spiritual health does lead to longer healthier life under ordinary circumstances, so that the interaction between body and soul can still be observed experientially.

I can simply go back and repeat that the spiritual life of prayer and union with God is experiential in body and soul, as a first principle.  I mean that it is axiomatic that kenosis and the process of reaching theosis is real and experiential.  It requires grace to reach the prayer of quiet and the prayer of union.  Union with the Indwelling is not natural to human nature.  We cannot achieve that very real existential state without grace or without a gift that takes us beyond our nature, while allowing us to remain created beings.

And then the ancestral sin resulted in a loss of original justice and integrity, and as a result of the loss of original integrity the once perfect unity between a human body and soul as definitive of human nature before the fall is damaged and will not be fully re-formed until the resurrection of the body at the final judgment.

But it would be absolutely impossible for me to try to compare these elements of the points I was making,  to what Marduk says in that quote without Marduk being here to talk to about it.  I am very sorry.

Mary

I think MardukM would agree with what you're saying.  I'm almost sure.  I'm just baffled that there seems to be different ways to define different terms within the Catholic Church, where no standardization leaves people both inside and outside the Catholic Church confused about what the Catholic Church teaches, and could probably even lead to a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation of the teachings themselves.

The other example is the use of the word "grace", whether it's created or uncreated, or both as now it seems to be the acceptable case.  Another example was when I had the same discussion with Marduk, that I had no idea the Catholic Church did NOT believe Mary was conceived from Original Sin, but from the stain of Original Sin, which is terminologically different from Original Sin itself.  It causes confusion when one tries to engage in a discussion, at least with me personally, when I'm trying to understand the other side.

Dear Minasoliman,

You have my every sympathy!  From old, I have the Baltimore Catechism, the one used for babies and wee ones, memorized, and there are days when my eyes roll around in my head wondering how in heaven's name I got from there to where I am today.  Papist asked me some months ago to tell him how I know what I know...and I am still trying to figure out how to respond to him.  He still does not have his answer.  My temptation is to say to him simply..."I don't really know, quite"   And that would be the most accurate response of all, but the least satisfying.

If you look at what you've said to me again, you'll see that what you are encountering is precisely what one encounters after a number of years of reading the Fathers, desert and patristic.  Sorting through the various words, meanings, contexts, subtle shifts in meanings, histories, Scriptural references, experiential references etc. is the work of a lifetime and beyond.  And actually, the Gospels can provide the same share of paradox and and antinomy, word play and meanings and mystery that do not stand still any more than the river of life stands still.

So, if you do it properly, you will never close your mind, never think you have arrived at any particular wisdom, learn that without a liturgical life that extends to, through and beyond the parish church you are lost, spend more time on Scripture than you do on theological books, and pray constantly for prudence, patience and kindness...someday it might be that one or two of these strange teachings...and I am speaking to you of your own tradition now...may come clear.  At that point you may have the ghost of a chance at "seeing" more clearly into another tradition.

In Christ,

M.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: BoredMeeting on September 07, 2010, 10:22:26 AM
from Ode 7, Annunciation 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.

As I have said many times, the hymnography of the Church (what is read, chanted and sung) is a sure and reliable source of Orthodox doctrine and theology.
Quite so, and the above quote would be meaningless if the erroneous doctrine of IC were held by the Church.




Fixed quote tags and nothing more... -PtA
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 07, 2010, 10:40:27 AM
from Ode 7, Annunciation 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.

As I have said many times, the hymnography of the Church (what is read, chanted and sung) is a sure and reliable source of Orthodox doctrine and theology.
Quite so, and the above quote would be meaningless if the erroneous doctrine of IC were held by the Church.

Absolutely not true.  There is nothing in the Immaculate Conception, unless you put it there by assertion, that precludes an intensifying of the holiness of the Virgin at the moment of her fiat.

Go back to the note that I sent yesterday that has the Orthodox texts for the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.

If your logic were true then the liturgy of that feast would also preclude the moment of he fiat at the Annunciation.

One moment of particular holiness NEVER precludes subsequent moments of increasing personal holiness and intensity of caritas between God and his children.

Mary




Fixed quote tags and nothing more... -PtA
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 07, 2010, 08:33:09 PM
As the Catholic Church teaches, the Virgin Mother of God grew in grace, grew in wisdom, grew in holiness and spiritual loveliness all the days of her life.   So yes to your first question.  She was capable of and did grow in holiness in her life.  
Mary,

Could you elaborate on this part? It sort of confuses me because I just now realized I may have an incorrect understanding of the Immaculate Conception and Mary's sinlessness. How could Mary have been immaculated conceived, full of grace, and sinless throughout her life, yet continue to grow in grace and holiness? Doesn't the fact that she is the Immaculate Conception and is sinless mean there is no more room for improvement? How can one become more perfect or more full of grace? Again, it is quite possible that I am misunderstanding Catholic doctrine here since I have only been Catholic since 2007, but if you could clear this up I would appreciate it.
Mary is finite. God is infinite. Thus, even Mary cannot fully posses all of God's grace at once. Even the immaculate can grow in grace.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Wyatt on September 07, 2010, 08:50:33 PM
Mary is finite. God is infinite. Thus, even Mary cannot fully posses all of God's grace at once. Even the immaculate can grow in grace.
So grace is infinite as well?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 07, 2010, 08:54:19 PM
True - aren't we told that even Jesus as a child "grew in wisdom and stature" (Luke 2:52)? :)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on September 07, 2010, 08:55:52 PM
Mary is finite. God is infinite. Thus, even Mary cannot fully posses all of God's grace at once. Even the immaculate can grow in grace.
So grace is infinite as well?
Well, the word grace is applied to many different things in many different ways in the Catholic Church. If you are talking about Sanctifying Grace, then you are talking about the state of God's life in us. God's life is infinite.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on September 07, 2010, 09:31:56 PM
I have another question.  I was wondering if there were any Catholics that agree with Marduk's previous assertions that Jeremiah the prophet and St. John the Forerunner were also immaculately conceived?

Do the holiness and sinless lives of Enoch and Elijah also assume their immaculate conception?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 07, 2010, 10:56:03 PM
Mary is finite. God is infinite. Thus, even Mary cannot fully posses all of God's grace at once. Even the immaculate can grow in grace.
So grace is infinite as well?
Well, the word grace is applied to many different things in many different ways in the Catholic Church. If you are talking about Sanctifying Grace, then you are talking about the state of God's life in us. God's life is infinite.

There is no divine grace that is finite.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 08, 2010, 12:37:31 AM
I think MardukM would agree with what you're saying.  I'm almost sure.  I'm just baffled that there seems to be different ways to define different terms within the Catholic Church, where no standardization leaves people both inside and outside the Catholic Church confused about what the Catholic Church teaches, and could probably even lead to a misunderstanding and a misrepresentation of the teachings themselves.

It would, of course, be easier for everyone if there was a standardized, irreformable dictionary for theological terms; but of course there isn't and can never be.  Both the Latin and Eastern Churches are 2,000 years old.  Both comprehend many cultures and languages.  Theological discourse is never static and dead.  It's a living reality, for the Church is a living reality that seeks to speak the apostolic revelation into the present.  If theology were to ever become mere repetition of past formulae, it would at that moment cease to be communication of the gospel.  Anyone can parrot their catechism.  Theological reflection requires more than mere parroting.  It requires thinking deeply into the truth we have received and translating it into the vocabulary of the present. 

This is one reason why apologetic debates between different theological traditions is so often superficial and unfruitful.  Any single individual only knows a tiny slice of his own tradition.  We are so profoundly shaped by our place in history and culture.  Just consider:  if you were Greek Orthodox two hundred years ago, and I were to ask you, "What do the Orthodox believe?" you might well present me with the Confession of Dositheus, which at that time was judged to be an authoritative and reliable statement of Orthodox faith, at least on the topics addressed.  Yet today many Orthodox theologians distance themselves from the Confession, in the conviction that it no longer represents an adequate way of speaking the faith of the Church into the present.  This process is always going on, always.  We are always confronted with the challenge of remembering what we know.  We are always confronted with the challenge of creating more adequate language to speak of transcendent realities that break all our categories of human thought.  Theology, whether Western or Eastern, never stands still. 

And so this brings me to Fr Harmon's presentation on grace.  A hundred years ago Fr Harmon's analysis of created grace would have been judged perfectly adequate by the majority of Catholic theologians; but today most Catholic theologians recognize it as inadequate, and indeed defective, at critical points.  As Mary has rightly observed, Harmon stands within a post-Tridentine stream of theological reflection that so focused on what it means for human beings to be graced creatures that it forgot the essential meaning of grace, namely, the self-communication of the Creator.  During the past century mainstream Latin Catholicism has recovered this essential meaning, impelled by fresh re-readings of Augustine, the Eastern Fathers, Aquinas, and Bonaventure, as well as ecumenical engagement with Martin Luther. 
 
Quote
The other example is the use of the word "grace", whether it's created or uncreated, or both as now it seems to be the acceptable case.  Another example was when I had the same discussion with Marduk, that I had no idea the Catholic Church did NOT believe Mary was conceived from Original Sin, but from the stain of Original Sin, which is terminologically different from Original Sin itself.  It causes confusion when one tries to engage in a discussion, at least with me personally, when I'm trying to understand the other side.

Don't be too frustrated by the difficulty in understanding the Catholic doctrine of original sin and the precise meaning of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.  Catholic theologians vigorously debate all of this stuff.  Recall the old Jewish saying:  "Two rabbis, three opinions."  This could easily be adapted for Catholic theologians. 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 08, 2010, 12:38:45 AM
This is a very good statement.  Well done, Mary. 

Is it possible that Mary benefited of the grace of God and perseverated in it as much as she came towards Him through a true living?What is grace?How could she have grace at the moment of Annunciation?Does the Original Sin stop us to achieve grace?

Dear Azul,

As the Catholic Church teaches, the Virgin Mother of God grew in grace, grew in wisdom, grew in holiness and spiritual loveliness all the days of her life.   So yes to your first question.  She was capable of and did grow in holiness in her life.  

By the same token, the Virgin Mother was also susceptible to temptation.  She may have been far less likely than you or I to yield to temptation but she suffered temptations.  If you read the fathers of the desert, you don't get too far with them before discovering their teaching that the more one grows in holiness and grace, the more bitter and difficult are the temptations to sin.  These are not internal desires, personal desires, toward sins, but these temptations are the product of demonic influence in our lives and are terrible to experience, fearful to behold, and very difficult to fend off.  Those who choose to actively life the ascetic life of prayer, fasting and almsgiving are beset by terrible difficulties.  And it would have been this kind of temptation that would have befallen the lovely Mother of God because of the depth of her lived holiness.

Grace is difficult to define and the Church resists defining grace as much as is possible but sometimes there is a need to put words to that which is so terribly far beyond words.   Grace is a freely given gift from God that allows us to be spiritually united to him for the purpose of partaking in His divine life.

As I have been told over many years, both the Orthodox and Catholics teach that the ancestral sin, among several things, resulted in the loss of original justice.  This means essentially that we are born unable to receive from God the grace that deifies: that grace is called by several different names: in Orthodoxy it is generally called Baptismal Grace: and baptismal grace opens the soul and the will and the heart to the possibility of divinization/theosis for all who are Baptised in Christ.

The Immaculate Conception teaches that there never was a time when the Virgin Mother was not open to God's saving grace.  From the very moment of her coming into being as a person, she had the capacity to hold the Indwelling Trinity in her heart and in her soul.  This is the capacity that we receive at the time of our baptism, in particular.

The other thing that is lost after Adam's sin is our original integrity which is essentially the loss of our integral unity of all of the elements of our human nature and personhood.  So we are liable to all kinds of physical and mental and emotional illnesses that we never would have encountered in the Garden.  We are liable to death; we are liable to corruption.

Baptism does not cure this loss of integrity between the body, heart and soul.  Neither does was the Immaculate Conception cured of these things because she was born of the flesh and was human as we are human.  We suffer and die.  She suffered and died.

Those are some of the basics of the teaching for Catholics.  I hope I have helped explain things a little bit clearly.

In Christ,

Mary




Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 08, 2010, 01:18:10 AM

As I have been told over many years, both the Orthodox and Catholics teach that the ancestral sin, among several things, resulted in the loss of original justice.  This means essentially that we are born unable to receive from God the grace that deifies: that grace is called by several different names: in Orthodoxy it is generally called Baptismal Grace: and baptismal grace opens the soul and the will and the heart to the possibility of divinization/theosis for all who are Baptised in Christ.[/size



Thou dost employ terminology uncommon and confusing to the Orthodox ear.

"Baptismal grace"      - probably by this you are meaning the descent of the Holy Spirit into the soul of the one baptized?

"Original Justice       - "Unlike St. Augustine's doctrine of "original justice," which attributes to the first man several excessive perfections, perfect knowledge of God and God's creation, for example, that make the fall impossible, the doctrine of the Greek Fathers of the image of God in man as a potential to be actualized, allows the possibility of a deterioration, as well. St. Irenaeos speaks of the first man (Adam) as an infant (nepios), who had to grow up to adulthood. Instead, man failed himself, by not "passing the test" of maturity given to him by God."

~Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh
http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8038

Quote
The Immaculate Conception teaches that there never was a time when the Virgin Mother was not open to God's saving grace.  From the very moment of her coming into being as a person, she had the capacity to hold the Indwelling Trinity in her heart and in her soul.  This is the capacity that we receive at the time of our baptism, in particular.[/soze]

In order to thwart the incessant Roman Catholic attempts to conflate the Orthodox and Catholic understandings and to declare that we believe one and the same thing, the Orthodox teaching must be endlessly repeated:

You and I, and Fr Kimel, and Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama, are all conceived in the same spiritual state as the holy Mother of God.


Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 08, 2010, 04:19:19 AM
Is it possible that Mary benefited of the grace of God and perseverated in it as much as she came towards Him through a true living?What is grace?How could she have grace at the moment of Annunciation?Does the Original Sin stop us to achieve grace?





The ancestral curse does stop us from being in communion with God.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: deusveritasest on September 08, 2010, 04:19:19 AM
Father Ambrose,
Grace is big word in Catholic theology and analogously applied to many things. When you combine this with the fact that we adopt both Eastern and Western theoloy, then you can see that the word is very richly charged with meaning for Catholics. Do we believe in uncreated Grace and theosis? If you read the quotes above, I think that you will see that even from a werstern perspective, the answer is a resounding "yes!".

Actually, all of your quotes just indicated that you believe that you become partakers of the divine nature. None of them addressed the matter of whether grace is created or uncreated. And it doesn't prove anything about that matter, given that Aquinas explicitly taught that grace was created and somehow it also made people partakers of the divine nature.

I've been at this kind of discussion for many years and I've never been able to determine just where it was that St. Thomas used the term "created" grace....

I don't think it is asking too much to ask you or any other Orthodox correspondent here to tell me...show me, in fact, where Thomas Aquinas writes about "created" grace.

Please, before we continue...Show me where Aquinas "explicitly" teaches that grace is created.

M.

I will try to find and post the source I derived this understanding from soon.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: BoredMeeting on September 10, 2010, 03:54:09 PM
In order to thwart the incessant Roman Catholic attempts to conflate the Orthodox and Catholic understandings and to declare that we believe one and the same thing, the Orthodox teaching must be endlessly repeated:

You and I, and Fr Kimel, and Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama, are all conceived in the same spiritual state as the holy Mother of God.

Very well said, sir!
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Azul on September 11, 2010, 04:37:59 AM
I have another question.  I was wondering if there were any Catholics that agree with Marduk's previous assertions that Jeremiah the prophet and St. John the Forerunner were also immaculately conceived?

Do the holiness and sinless lives of Enoch and Elijah also assume their immaculate conception?

Good question.If those were without the Ancestral Sin, than so could Mary.. That is why i consider the IC..
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 11, 2010, 06:53:51 AM
I have another question.  I was wondering if there were any Catholics that agree with Marduk's previous assertions that Jeremiah the prophet and St. John the Forerunner were also immaculately conceived?

Do the holiness and sinless lives of Enoch and Elijah also assume their immaculate conception?

Did Marduk actually state that Jeremiah and John were immaculately conceived?  I have been scanning the thread "Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception," and in this thread he denies precisely this point.  See, e.g., reply #187 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg309759.html#msg309759).  In #414 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg315898.html#msg315898) he does mention that Jeremiah and John were sanctified in their mothers' wombs, but he does not say that they were immaculately conceived.  Also see #583 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859).

This is a long thread and my reading of it has been cursory.  Perhaps I missed something or perhaps Marduk says what is being attributed to him in another place; but for the sake of accuracy I thought I would mention this.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on September 13, 2010, 04:41:41 PM
I have another question.  I was wondering if there were any Catholics that agree with Marduk's previous assertions that Jeremiah the prophet and St. John the Forerunner were also immaculately conceived?

Do the holiness and sinless lives of Enoch and Elijah also assume their immaculate conception?

Did Marduk actually state that Jeremiah and John were immaculately conceived?  I have been scanning the thread "Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception," and in this thread he denies precisely this point.  See, e.g., reply #187 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg309759.html#msg309759).  In #414 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg315898.html#msg315898) he does mention that Jeremiah and John were sanctified in their mothers' wombs, but he does not say that they were immaculately conceived.  Also see #583 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859).

This is a long thread and my reading of it has been cursory.  Perhaps I missed something or perhaps Marduk says what is being attributed to him in another place; but for the sake of accuracy I thought I would mention this.

Dear Father,  according to #187:

Quote
True, but I believe St. John was not only anointed, but also purified in his mother's womb, was he not?

According to #414:

Quote
Personally, though I fully accept the teaching of the dogma of the IC, I don’t think the “merits of Christ” clause is necessary for my own belief in the dogma.  It was included to satisfy particularly LATIN concerns, but can do fully well without it, IMO.  After all, as Pope St. Athanasius taught, even Sts. Jeremiah and John (the Forerunner) were made holy and clean from all sin from their mothers’ womb – and this even BEFORE the Son of Man was born, died and resurrected.  The ability of God to do so, as expressed by Father Athanasius, is sufficient for me, even without the clause about the “merits of Christ.”

According to #583:

Quote
The main reason I believe that physical death and spiritual death are ontologically separable is because, once again, according to our Father Athanasius, Sts. Jeremiah and John (the Forerunner) were – even before Christ’s death and resurrection  – sanctified unto sinlessness in their mothers’ wombs. At this point, I’ll stop, because the natural course of this particular topic needs to be continued below where you bring up the question of sanctification. ...

...According to our Father Athanasius, St. Jeremiah and the Forerunner were (among other Graces) given the Grace of sinlessness from their mothers’ womb (“they were made pure and without sin”). Since we know that babies, much less when they are in their mothers’ womb, cannot sin, then St. Athanasius must have been referring to Original Sin.  Would you agree? Now, Scripture readily asserts that sin results in death (physical and spiritual).  Does it not then follow that sinlessness will result in breaking the bonds of physical and spiritual death?  The difference is that the Grace of Spiritual Life is immediately  obtained from the state of sinlessness, whereas the Grace of physical immortality is obtained at the Resurrection, while only the PROMISE  of physical immortality is the immediate result of the state of sinlessness.  Are you willing to claim that Sts Jeremiah and John, just because they experienced physical death, were spiritually “separated from God?” Were they not holy and in constant communion, with God?

Father, I presented to MardukM the argument that I believe that the Theotokos can be sanctified but not immaculately conceived, like those of the Old Testament.  He went on to say that sanctification is just a way to say the work of the Holy Spirit giving different graces, and John and Jeremiah, like the Theotokos, received the grace of sinlessness:

Quote
I respectfully disagree.  First of all, as I stated before, sanctification is merely a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit.  The Graces received through sanctification, on the other hand, and their effects on individuals, are many and varied, as Scripture states in Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12. So, yes, many people were sanctified in the OT.  But we have to distinguish between the Graces that were dispensed through such sanctification.  The Prophets spoke through the Holy Spirit.  Being able to give the commands and directives of God is a particular Grace, and certainly does not require, for example, the Grace of sinlessness (recall Jonah or Saul or David), nor the Grace of physical Immortality, nor the Grace of Virginity (recall Saul or David or Solomon), nor the Grace of Spiritual Life nor any other particular Graces.  Again, we know that by the Holy Spirit, Solomon was given the Grace of Wisdom, yet that certainly did not give him the Grace of Virginity, nor the Grace of Sinlessness, etc. The point is, once again, that the sanctification of the Holy Spirit results in many and varied Graces or Gifts, different for each individual as the Spirit wills.

God bless.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on September 13, 2010, 05:47:45 PM
Greetings, Mina.  Thanks for responding.  Unfortunately, Mardukm no longer appears to visit this forum, so we cannot ask him to clarify his arguments. 

May I bring to your attention this article, where I responded to your reflections on the sinlessness of the OT saints:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.0.html

 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Father H on September 18, 2010, 10:02:01 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.
So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?
If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

St. Gregory Palamas disagrees with you:

Quote
Who can describe in words thy divinely resplendent beauty, O Virgin Mother of God? Thoughts and words are inadequate to define thine attributes, since they surpass mind and speech. Yet it is meet to chant hymns of praise to thee, for thou art a vessel containing every grace, the fulness of all things good and beautiful, the tablet and living icon of every good and all uprightness, since thou alone hast been deemed worthy to receive the fulness of every gift of the Spirit. Thou alone didst bear in thy womb Him in Whom are found the treasuries of all these gifts and didst become a wondrous tabernacle for Him; hence thou didst depart by way of death to immortality and art translated from earth to Heaven, as is proper, so that thou mightest dwell with Him eternally in a super-celestial abode. From thence thou ever carest diligently for thine inheritance and by thine unsleeping intercessions with Him, thou showest mercy to all.
(A Homily on the Dormition of our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary)
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/dormition.html

Regarding Theosis, Metropolitan Hierortheos Vlachos points out that patristic teaching on theosis is exactly the opposite of what you are saying here.   He states that if it became stationary there would be no fullness.   Theosis is fullness and beyond fullness, because it is ever-flowing.   
“However, there will be a continuous perfecting of this participation in the glory of God. This is important, because if the future life is a stationary condition, then it will not have fullness.”  We reach fullness and perfection but go on to further levels of fullness and perfection as God is infinite. 
Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.01.htm#c3
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 18, 2010, 10:11:27 AM
That's how it's translated in my "Pocket Prayer Book" from the Antiochian OrthodoxChurch.
So is this an official EO teaching (that Mary is NOT "full of grace") or just one man's opinion?
If she is full of grace, as of right now, then she has come to the end of theosis.  She is fully divine!   A startling thought!   

St. Gregory Palamas disagrees with you:

Quote
Who can describe in words thy divinely resplendent beauty, O Virgin Mother of God? Thoughts and words are inadequate to define thine attributes, since they surpass mind and speech. Yet it is meet to chant hymns of praise to thee, for thou art a vessel containing every grace, the fulness of all things good and beautiful, the tablet and living icon of every good and all uprightness, since thou alone hast been deemed worthy to receive the fulness of every gift of the Spirit. Thou alone didst bear in thy womb Him in Whom are found the treasuries of all these gifts and didst become a wondrous tabernacle for Him; hence thou didst depart by way of death to immortality and art translated from earth to Heaven, as is proper, so that thou mightest dwell with Him eternally in a super-celestial abode. From thence thou ever carest diligently for thine inheritance and by thine unsleeping intercessions with Him, thou showest mercy to all.
(A Homily on the Dormition of our Supremely Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary)
http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/reading/dormition.html

Regarding Theosis, Metropolitan Hierortheos Vlachos points out that patristic teaching on theosis is exactly the opposite of what you are saying here.   He states that if it became stationary there would be no fullness.   Theosis is fullness and beyond fullness, because it is ever-flowing.   
“However, there will be a continuous perfecting of this participation in the glory of God. This is important, because if the future life is a stationary condition, then it will not have fullness.”  We reach fullness and perfection but go on to further levels of fullness and perfection as God is infinite. 
Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos http://www.pelagia.org/htm/b12.en.the_mind_of_the_orthodox_church.01.htm#c3


Um...we are in agreement, Father.  I was taught in my younger monastery years in Serbia that theosis is a never ending journey and this is what I have said continually on the forum.  .  It will have no end because it is a journey into the Infinite.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 18, 2010, 10:31:16 AM
Mary the All-holy Mother of God stands
at the boundary of created and uncreated nature


Something I have placed on the Forum before ~ one of the most beautiful of Saint Gregory Palamas'
Sermons in honour of the All-Holy One.  Since she stands at the boundary of the created and uncreated,
to me that indicates that her own journey into theosis is not complete and indeed, as with all of us it
never will be.  The path leads into the Infinite for her and for us,  although she is millenia ahead of us.

The phrase comes from a sermon of Saint Gregory Palamas "On the Dormition" and
Lossky speaks of it in the "Mystical Theology"...

"St. Gregory Palamas, in one of his homilies treating of the Virgin Mary,
would see in the Mother of God a created person bringing together in herself all
perfection, both created and uncreated, the complete realisation of the beauty
of creation. 'Wishing to create,' he says, 'an image of beauty, and to manifest
clearly to men and to angels the power of His art, God truly created Mary
all-beautiful. In her He has brought together all the partial beauties which he
distributed amongst other creatures, and has made her the ornament of all
beings, visible and invisible; or rather, He has made her a blending of all
perfections -- divine, angelic, and human; a sublime beauty adorning two worlds,
lifted up from earth to heaven, and even transcending that.'

"The Mother of God, in the words of the same doctor, 'is the boundary of
created and uncreated nature.'


"She has crossed the frontier which separates us from the age to come. This
is why, freed from the limitations of time, Mary can be the cause of that which
is before her. She obtains eternal benefits. It is through her that men and
angels receive grace. No gift is received in the Church without the assistance
of the Mother of God who is herself the first-fruits of the glorified Church.

"Thus, having attained to the limits of becoming, she necessarily watches
over the destinies of the Church and of the universe, still unfolding in time."


N.B: Saint Gregory's words are contained in single apostrophes ( ' ).

Reference for patristic techies :-) "In Dormitionem", P.G., CLI, 468 AB

Hierom. Ambrose

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on September 18, 2010, 10:33:11 AM
Dear Father HLL,

I hope that what I have posted clears up any misunderstanding.  If not, then please tell me and I shall try and clarify a little more what I believe.

Hierom. Ambrose
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on September 18, 2010, 10:56:21 AM
This is an interesting perspective. It ties in the RCC decision not to dogmatize the "death of Mary" to the IC.

http://www.pravmir.com/article_1074.html

Quote
The Roman Catholic West tries not to even think of the "death of Mary."  Its doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, where the penal Original Sin (inherited guilt for Adam's sin) does not "infect" the soul of Mary, owing to Her exalted future role as Mother of the Saviour.And since Adam's sin is what brought death into the world, if Mary didn't "contract it," then how can she be said to have died i.e. an experience of punishment for a sin she had no share in?

In defining the doctrine of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII actually left open the question of whether Mary actually "died" or not.  In a sense, he was constrained by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception to do so.

This explains why only the taking of the Mother of God into heaven is celebrated by the Roman Church and why there is no mention or commemoration of her death.
Somewhere here Mardukm and I went at on this point.  If I get I chance I'll look up "incorrupt wood" which is refered to the "infallible statement."  Mardukm's reponse, IIRC was that the IC has nothing to do with her physical body (!).
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on September 18, 2010, 11:02:10 AM
Jesus died too, so did He also inherit the ancestral curse?

II Cor. 5:20 For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God. 21 Him, who knew no sin, He hath made sin for us, that we might be made the justice of God in Him

How He "became sin for us" and yet had no ancestral sin is related to the pre-existence of His Person prior to the Incarnation, and the consequent lack of a gnomic will.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on September 18, 2010, 11:11:29 AM
I have another question.  I was wondering if there were any Catholics that agree with Marduk's previous assertions that Jeremiah the prophet and St. John the Forerunner were also immaculately conceived?

Do the holiness and sinless lives of Enoch and Elijah also assume their immaculate conception?

Did Marduk actually state that Jeremiah and John were immaculately conceived?  I have been scanning the thread "Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception," and in this thread he denies precisely this point.  See, e.g., reply #187 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg309759.html#msg309759).  In #414 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg315898.html#msg315898) he does mention that Jeremiah and John were sanctified in their mothers' wombs, but he does not say that they were immaculately conceived.  Also see #583 (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20612.msg316859.html#msg316859).

This is a long thread and my reading of it has been cursory.  Perhaps I missed something or perhaps Marduk says what is being attributed to him in another place; but for the sake of accuracy I thought I would mention this.

Dear Father,  according to #187:

Quote
True, but I believe St. John was not only anointed, but also purified in his mother's womb, was he not?

According to #414:

Quote
Personally, though I fully accept the teaching of the dogma of the IC, I don’t think the “merits of Christ” clause is necessary for my own belief in the dogma.  It was included to satisfy particularly LATIN concerns, but can do fully well without it, IMO.  After all, as Pope St. Athanasius taught, even Sts. Jeremiah and John (the Forerunner) were made holy and clean from all sin from their mothers’ womb – and this even BEFORE the Son of Man was born, died and resurrected.  The ability of God to do so, as expressed by Father Athanasius, is sufficient for me, even without the clause about the “merits of Christ.”

According to #583:

Quote
The main reason I believe that physical death and spiritual death are ontologically separable is because, once again, according to our Father Athanasius, Sts. Jeremiah and John (the Forerunner) were – even before Christ’s death and resurrection  – sanctified unto sinlessness in their mothers’ wombs. At this point, I’ll stop, because the natural course of this particular topic needs to be continued below where you bring up the question of sanctification. ...

...According to our Father Athanasius, St. Jeremiah and the Forerunner were (among other Graces) given the Grace of sinlessness from their mothers’ womb (“they were made pure and without sin”). Since we know that babies, much less when they are in their mothers’ womb, cannot sin, then St. Athanasius must have been referring to Original Sin.  Would you agree? Now, Scripture readily asserts that sin results in death (physical and spiritual).  Does it not then follow that sinlessness will result in breaking the bonds of physical and spiritual death?  The difference is that the Grace of Spiritual Life is immediately  obtained from the state of sinlessness, whereas the Grace of physical immortality is obtained at the Resurrection, while only the PROMISE  of physical immortality is the immediate result of the state of sinlessness.  Are you willing to claim that Sts Jeremiah and John, just because they experienced physical death, were spiritually “separated from God?” Were they not holy and in constant communion, with God?

Father, I presented to MardukM the argument that I believe that the Theotokos can be sanctified but not immaculately conceived, like those of the Old Testament.  He went on to say that sanctification is just a way to say the work of the Holy Spirit giving different graces, and John and Jeremiah, like the Theotokos, received the grace of sinlessness:

Quote
I respectfully disagree.  First of all, as I stated before, sanctification is merely a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit.  The Graces received through sanctification, on the other hand, and their effects on individuals, are many and varied, as Scripture states in Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12. So, yes, many people were sanctified in the OT.  But we have to distinguish between the Graces that were dispensed through such sanctification.  The Prophets spoke through the Holy Spirit.  Being able to give the commands and directives of God is a particular Grace, and certainly does not require, for example, the Grace of sinlessness (recall Jonah or Saul or David), nor the Grace of physical Immortality, nor the Grace of Virginity (recall Saul or David or Solomon), nor the Grace of Spiritual Life nor any other particular Graces.  Again, we know that by the Holy Spirit, Solomon was given the Grace of Wisdom, yet that certainly did not give him the Grace of Virginity, nor the Grace of Sinlessness, etc. The point is, once again, that the sanctification of the Holy Spirit results in many and varied Graces or Gifts, different for each individual as the Spirit wills.

God bless.
If Mardukm was/is expousing the theology of the Vatican (something his coreligionists have questioned frequently in the past on CAF), it strengthened our objection to the IC: that if the Theotokos could be IC'd, and apparently Jeremiah and St. John the Baptist, then everyone could have. He also doesn't explain why Jeremiahs' conception isnt' exactly like the Theotokos' in the womb of St. Anee, nor why St. John had to gestate a while before he was made "immaculate."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on September 18, 2010, 11:17:28 AM
I have another question.  I was wondering if there were any Catholics that agree with Marduk's previous assertions that Jeremiah the prophet and St. John the Forerunner were also immaculately conceived?

Do the holiness and sinless lives of Enoch and Elijah also assume their immaculate conception?

Good question.If those were without the Ancestral Sin, than so could Mary.. That is why i consider the IC..

On what basis do you think that Enoch and Elijah were without ancestral sin?  They will die in the future, as the Two Witnesses in Revelation. They too are subject to death.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 18, 2010, 11:20:58 AM
Mary, I don't think that the IC is new to the 19th century. It's an old theological opinion that gained proeminence in Western medieval times - the same that created the lovely and commendable devotional love for women, the very beginning of true feminine liberation with the assexualized version modernity gave us.

But it is a *very* mistaken opinion. It prevents Jesus from inheriting our sinful nature to redeem it in Him. With the IC, what we have is a second human race created and started in Mary and it is this nature that is saved. Jesus becomes a bridge not between God and human nature, but between God and this new species of which Mary is the first.

It is the IC that renders not only infant, but all baptisms useless. If God inheritted from Mary *our* nature, it is *this* nature that was transformed potentially, and baptism, in whatever age, is the beginning of the actualization of this potential. If Mary is the first of another species as the IC claims, what is the point of baptizing beings of a nature that was was not united to God in the Person of Christ, since He never inherited it?

The Immaculate Conception was a mistaken interpretation of the traditions of Mary's miraculous birth and of Her title as Immaculate - which has the sense that she never sinned, not that she was of a nature such that she did not inherit Original Sin.

You see, the problem is all in the concept of inheritance. For our salvation to be possible it is necessary that Jesus *inheritted* the cursed nature to heal this curse in His divine person. And from the very fact that He died we know that He did inherit our mortal nature. Only that this nature was now, in Him, joined to His Eternal being. This "burnt" the fuse of death. That human nature linked to divine nature was so much more powerful than death could handle and destroyed it.

But if Mary had been spared of sin from birth, what would be the point? What was it that Jesus inheritted from her? A sinless nature already purified from all sin? What for? And if one could individually be raised up back to sinlessness like her, why not everybody at the same time? That is against God's justice. Now, in traditional Catholic teaching, when Christs "glues" human nature to divine nature in Him, all humanity is raised at the same time, the lowliest like us, and the highest like Mary.

We can imagine humankind as a whole like a landscape full of valleys and mountais. All this landscape was under a curse of darkness. That is, until the Sun of Righteousness descended upon it from above. Naturally, the highest peaks were illumined first and only them the low valleys. Mary, being the very stair through which the Sun descended was not only the first to be illumined but she was in a much higher degree than the rest of the landscape. She is the highest of all peaks, the closest to heaven and always will be, even while all the landscape is awesomely raised as a whole from the abyss where it was.

Now, how improper, how unfitting, if God was to simply detach the peak of the mountai from the rest of the landscape. How would the landscape be raised if he had united himself with a mountain peak that had been cut off from the rest of the land? That Mary had to be the highest mountain of humanity and that she couldn't be separated from it by birth are both fundamental necessities to our salvation.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 18, 2010, 12:45:34 PM
This is an interesting perspective. It ties in the RCC decision not to dogmatize the "death of Mary" to the IC.

http://www.pravmir.com/article_1074.html

Quote
The Roman Catholic West tries not to even think of the "death of Mary."  Its doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, where the penal Original Sin (inherited guilt for Adam's sin) does not "infect" the soul of Mary, owing to Her exalted future role as Mother of the Saviour.And since Adam's sin is what brought death into the world, if Mary didn't "contract it," then how can she be said to have died i.e. an experience of punishment for a sin she had no share in?

In defining the doctrine of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII actually left open the question of whether Mary actually "died" or not.  In a sense, he was constrained by the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception to do so.

This explains why only the taking of the Mother of God into heaven is celebrated by the Roman Church and why there is no mention or commemoration of her death.
Somewhere here Mardukm and I went at on this point.  If I get I chance I'll look up "incorrupt wood" which is refered to the "infallible statement."  Mardukm's reponse, IIRC was that the IC has nothing to do with her physical body (!).

Mardukm is correct.

The teaching concerning the Immaculate Conception is that she is preserved from the stain of the sin which is the darkening of the intellect and weakening of the will.

The darkening of the intellect and weakening of the will are a result of the loss of original justice.

Another part of the loss of original justice is death.

Another part of the loss of original justice is concupiscence, which is intimately tied to the darkening of the intellect and weakening of the will.

Another part of the loss of original justice is the loss of integrity between body and soul and it is this that makes way for death and suffering and the reason that we can be healed at Baptism from the stain of the sin, which is the darkening of the intellect and weakening of the will, and still die. 

This loss of integrity cannot be healed until the resurrection of the body, which is why we can teach that Jesus trampled down death by death yet we still die.  We die and our soul and body are separated until Jesus comes again and we are lifted up into a new and glorified body.

When the Church speaks of the Immaculate Conception they speak of the stain that can be healed by Baptism.

They do not speak of the physical consequences which are death and the loss of integrity between body and soul.  So the Virgin suffers and dies, just like the rest of us, though she is never touched by the stain of the ancestral sin which is the darkening of the intellect and weakening of the will.

Mary

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 18, 2010, 12:45:34 PM
Mary, I don't think that the IC is new to the 19th century. It's an old theological opinion that gained proeminence in Western medieval times - the same that created the lovely and commendable devotional love for women, the very beginning of true feminine liberation with the assexualized version modernity gave us.

But it is a *very* mistaken opinion. It prevents Jesus from inheriting our sinful nature to redeem it in Him. With the IC, what we have is a second human race created and started in Mary and it is this nature that is saved. Jesus becomes a bridge not between God and human nature, but between God and this new species of which Mary is the first.


I don't know when it will be posted but I have explained the Immaculate Conception again as the Church teaches it.

The idea that Jesus was conceived with a "sin nature" is a very protestant teaching.

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on September 18, 2010, 06:35:40 PM
Fabio, once again I must thank you for a very clear, well-thought-out explanation for the differences between RC and EO on this particular doctrine - you are helping me immensely and I appreciate that you are able to do this in a nonpolemical way.  Thanks! :)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Fabio Leite on September 18, 2010, 08:04:53 PM
Mary, I don't think that the IC is new to the 19th century. It's an old theological opinion that gained proeminence in Western medieval times - the same that created the lovely and commendable devotional love for women, the very beginning of true feminine liberation with the assexualized version modernity gave us.

But it is a *very* mistaken opinion. It prevents Jesus from inheriting our sinful nature to redeem it in Him. With the IC, what we have is a second human race created and started in Mary and it is this nature that is saved. Jesus becomes a bridge not between God and human nature, but between God and this new species of which Mary is the first.


I don't know when it will be posted but I have explained the Immaculate Conception again as the Church teaches it.

The idea that Jesus was conceived with a "sin nature" is a very protestant teaching.

Mary

Mary,

for someone to resurrect he has to have died first. Yet, God is perfectly sinless. So, what was it that died on the Cross? It was the old human nature. In its entirety. If human nature had died outside the Person of Christ, we would have been condenmend to non-existence. Because it died inside the Incorruptible Robe, it could be recreated without full destruction.

We have to be very careful when thinking of Jesus because He is unlike anything human or divine. Even the other Persons of God, the Father and the Holy Spirit, have only one nature, the divine one, like we have one nature only.

Jesus was a person with two natures. That's a very "crazy" (and slightly quantic) thing. It's like finding an object that is at the same time a sphere and a cube. If we found such object, it would have the properties of both without mixture, without one absorbing the other.

So Jesus was *fully* human as well as *fully* divine. It was because He was *fully* divine that His human nature could exist without sin. So the dual-natured Person was perfectly sinless, because the Person, is divine. But the human nature He had for 33 historical years was this mortal nature we presently dwell in.  This human nature *did* inherit the mortality and it was this mortality that was destroyed in the Golgotha. Our mortality died on the Cross. Jesus trampled down death by death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowed life! Our mortal nature died with Him and was raised and transformed with Him when He resurrected. Our nature is, now, more intimate to God than ever. Glorified human nature is part of the Second Person of the Trinity and that is how we share in Eternity.

But all that is rendered impossible by the IC, unfortunately. With the IC, it's not our nature that He inherited, but another. And all that because of a misinterpretation of the glorifications to the Virgin who had an imaculate life, who was the child of a miraculous birth from a barren womb, who is the highest most perfect human being ever created, but who *did* share fully in our curse, who was mortal and, although never actualized, with the potential to sin.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on September 18, 2010, 11:11:33 PM
Mary, I don't think that the IC is new to the 19th century. It's an old theological opinion that gained proeminence in Western medieval times - the same that created the lovely and commendable devotional love for women, the very beginning of true feminine liberation with the assexualized version modernity gave us.

But it is a *very* mistaken opinion. It prevents Jesus from inheriting our sinful nature to redeem it in Him. With the IC, what we have is a second human race created and started in Mary and it is this nature that is saved. Jesus becomes a bridge not between God and human nature, but between God and this new species of which Mary is the first.


I don't know when it will be posted but I have explained the Immaculate Conception again as the Church teaches it.

The idea that Jesus was conceived with a "sin nature" is a very protestant teaching.

Mary

Mary,

for someone to resurrect he has to have died first. Yet, God is perfectly sinless. So, what was it that died on the Cross? It was the old human nature. In its entirety. If human nature had died outside the Person of Christ, we would have been condenmend to non-existence. Because it died inside the Incorruptible Robe, it could be recreated without full destruction.

Sin nature is a concept that I don't quite understand but it is a phrase that I've commonly found among non-Catholic and non-Orthodox Christians and clearly it has a particular meaning to protestants or evangelicals...but I've never bothered to track it down because it has no bearing on my faith or beliefs as a Catholic.

In terms that I understand as a Catholic we say that Jesus took flesh from his mother, and that flesh was clearly able to die, though we do not know if it was liable to corruption because we never saw that far, but we can say that, in the flesh, the flesh he took from his mother, Jesus died.

As I pointed out in the note above the Immaculate Conception does not indicate that the Mother of God was not born of corruptible flesh.  That is not part of the teaching.  In fact it is clear that she was born of corruptible flesh because the Church teaches clearly that she did die.

Therefore, what you are arguing has no meaning to be because you are arguing about a teaching that has no part of Catholic teaching concerning the Immaculate Conception.

Jesus died.  The Theotokos died.  We die.

The loss of original integrity between body and soul as consequence of the ancestral sin makes death not only possible but also inevitable until the resurrection of the body and the life of the world to come.

So you may have a point in all that you say, but it has no impact on me as a Catholic who believes what my Church teaches about the Immaculate Conception.  It is clear to me that you do not understand the teaching at all.   That does not come as much of a surprise, and it is not really important to your life that you do not understand,  but I can't simply tell you that you are right when you are wrong about this particular Catholic teaching.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 11, 2010, 09:04:08 PM
If we are born with a broken spirit, is it not Pelagian to say that Mary had no Grace bestowed on her until the incarnation, but remained sinless of her own strength?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 11, 2010, 10:44:13 PM
Adam's sin made all of his descendants, including the Theotokos, mortal; moreover, the eternal Logos Himself through the incarnation assumed our mortal condition in order to bestow the energy of everlasting life upon mankind through His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into glory.  The immaculate conception theory, from an Eastern Christian perspective, is a solution to a non-existent problem.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 11, 2010, 10:46:06 PM
If we are born with a broken spirit, is it not Pelagian to say that Mary had no Grace bestowed on her until the incarnation, but remained sinless of her own strength?
The whole of creation exists in the divine energy, for as St. Paul said, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and so no one is every devoid of grace.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 11, 2010, 10:50:41 PM
If we are born with a broken spirit, is it not Pelagian to say that Mary had no Grace bestowed on her until the incarnation, but remained sinless of her own strength?

The whole of creation exists in the divine energy, for as St. Paul said, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and so no one is every devoid of grace.


I was sitting here with my finger poised to send the very same message, but Apotheoun has said it and better than I.  (http://www.byzcath.org/forums/images/icons/default/thumbs_up.gif)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 11, 2010, 11:01:16 PM
If we are born with a broken spirit, is it not Pelagian to say that Mary had no Grace bestowed on her until the incarnation, but remained sinless of her own strength?
The whole of creation exists in the divine energy, for as St. Paul said, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and so no one is every devoid of grace.

Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2010, 11:07:46 PM
If we are born with a broken spirit, is it not Pelagian to say that Mary had no Grace bestowed on her until the incarnation, but remained sinless of her own strength?
The whole of creation exists in the divine energy, for as St. Paul said, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and so no one is every devoid of grace.

Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Grace necessary for what?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 11, 2010, 11:43:16 PM
Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Grace necessary for what?

Grace to heal the soul from it's darkness. Sometimes described as sanctifying grace or "supernatural life".

An Online Orthodox Catechism
adopted from ‘The Mystery of Faith’ by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Quote
The consequences of the Fall for the first humans were catastrophic. They were not only deprived of the bliss and sweetness of Paradise, but their whole nature was changed and disfigured. In sinning they fell away from their natural condition and entered an unnatural state of being. All elements of their spiritual and corporeal make-up were damaged: their spirit, instead of striving for God, became engrossed in the passions; their soul entered the sphere of bodily instincts; while their body lost its original lightness and was transformed into heavy sinful flesh. After the Fall the human person ‘became deaf, blind, naked, insensitive to the good things from which he had fallen away, and above all became mortal, corruptible and without sense of purpose’ (St Symeon the New Theologian). Disease, suffering and pain entered human life. Humans became mortal for they had lost the opportunity of tasting from the tree of life.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

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

The consequences of the Fall spread to the whole of the human race. This is elucidated by St Paul: ‘Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned’ (Rom.5:12). This text, which formed the Church’s basis of her teaching on ‘original sin’, may be understood in a number of ways: the Greek words ef’ ho pantes hemarton may be translated not only as ‘because all men sinned’ but also ‘in whom [that is, in Adam] all men sinned’. Different readings of the text may produce different understandings of what ‘original sin’ means.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

The graces imparted by the sacraments are to heal the darkness of the soul bringing us spiritually closer to God. The darkened will and intellect, as effects of the Fall, are cleansed in Baptism, and when freely accepted by the faithful, the grace bestowed allows for sanctification of the individual.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 11, 2010, 11:53:34 PM
Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Grace necessary for what?

Grace to heal the soul from it's darkness. Sometimes described as sanctifying grace or "supernatural life".

An Online Orthodox Catechism
adopted from ‘The Mystery of Faith’ by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Quote
The consequences of the Fall for the first humans were catastrophic. They were not only deprived of the bliss and sweetness of Paradise, but their whole nature was changed and disfigured. In sinning they fell away from their natural condition and entered an unnatural state of being. All elements of their spiritual and corporeal make-up were damaged: their spirit, instead of striving for God, became engrossed in the passions; their soul entered the sphere of bodily instincts; while their body lost its original lightness and was transformed into heavy sinful flesh. After the Fall the human person ‘became deaf, blind, naked, insensitive to the good things from which he had fallen away, and above all became mortal, corruptible and without sense of purpose’ (St Symeon the New Theologian). Disease, suffering and pain entered human life. Humans became mortal for they had lost the opportunity of tasting from the tree of life.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

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

The consequences of the Fall spread to the whole of the human race. This is elucidated by St Paul: ‘Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned’ (Rom.5:12). This text, which formed the Church’s basis of her teaching on ‘original sin’, may be understood in a number of ways: the Greek words ef’ ho pantes hemarton may be translated not only as ‘because all men sinned’ but also ‘in whom [that is, in Adam] all men sinned’. Different readings of the text may produce different understandings of what ‘original sin’ means.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

The graces imparted by the sacraments are to heal the darkness of the soul bringing us spiritually closer to God. The darkened will and intellect, as effects of the Fall, are cleansed in Baptism, and when freely accepted by the faithful, the grace bestowed allows for sanctification of the individual.
That is the problem iwth the IC: until the Incarnation, there were no sacraments.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 11, 2010, 11:59:09 PM
Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Grace necessary for what?

Grace to heal the soul from it's darkness. Sometimes described as sanctifying grace or "supernatural life".

An Online Orthodox Catechism
adopted from ‘The Mystery of Faith’ by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Quote
The consequences of the Fall for the first humans were catastrophic. They were not only deprived of the bliss and sweetness of Paradise, but their whole nature was changed and disfigured. In sinning they fell away from their natural condition and entered an unnatural state of being. All elements of their spiritual and corporeal make-up were damaged: their spirit, instead of striving for God, became engrossed in the passions; their soul entered the sphere of bodily instincts; while their body lost its original lightness and was transformed into heavy sinful flesh. After the Fall the human person ‘became deaf, blind, naked, insensitive to the good things from which he had fallen away, and above all became mortal, corruptible and without sense of purpose’ (St Symeon the New Theologian). Disease, suffering and pain entered human life. Humans became mortal for they had lost the opportunity of tasting from the tree of life.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

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

The consequences of the Fall spread to the whole of the human race. This is elucidated by St Paul: ‘Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned’ (Rom.5:12). This text, which formed the Church’s basis of her teaching on ‘original sin’, may be understood in a number of ways: the Greek words ef’ ho pantes hemarton may be translated not only as ‘because all men sinned’ but also ‘in whom [that is, in Adam] all men sinned’. Different readings of the text may produce different understandings of what ‘original sin’ means.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

The graces imparted by the sacraments are to heal the darkness of the soul bringing us spiritually closer to God. The darkened will and intellect, as effects of the Fall, are cleansed in Baptism, and when freely accepted by the faithful, the grace bestowed allows for sanctification of the individual.
That is the problem iwth the IC: until the Incarnation, there were no sacraments.

Problem? Isn't that supposed to be the point of the IC? Before the incarnation, there were no sacraments. Therefore, God blessed Mary with grace, in effect baptizing her, son that she would have the spiritual strength to be sinless.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 12:30:20 AM
Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Grace necessary for what?

Grace to heal the soul from it's darkness. Sometimes described as sanctifying grace or "supernatural life".

An Online Orthodox Catechism
adopted from ‘The Mystery of Faith’ by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev
Quote
The consequences of the Fall for the first humans were catastrophic. They were not only deprived of the bliss and sweetness of Paradise, but their whole nature was changed and disfigured. In sinning they fell away from their natural condition and entered an unnatural state of being. All elements of their spiritual and corporeal make-up were damaged: their spirit, instead of striving for God, became engrossed in the passions; their soul entered the sphere of bodily instincts; while their body lost its original lightness and was transformed into heavy sinful flesh. After the Fall the human person ‘became deaf, blind, naked, insensitive to the good things from which he had fallen away, and above all became mortal, corruptible and without sense of purpose’ (St Symeon the New Theologian). Disease, suffering and pain entered human life. Humans became mortal for they had lost the opportunity of tasting from the tree of life.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

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

The consequences of the Fall spread to the whole of the human race. This is elucidated by St Paul: ‘Therefore as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned’ (Rom.5:12). This text, which formed the Church’s basis of her teaching on ‘original sin’, may be understood in a number of ways: the Greek words ef’ ho pantes hemarton may be translated not only as ‘because all men sinned’ but also ‘in whom [that is, in Adam] all men sinned’. Different readings of the text may produce different understandings of what ‘original sin’ means.
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

The graces imparted by the sacraments are to heal the darkness of the soul bringing us spiritually closer to God. The darkened will and intellect, as effects of the Fall, are cleansed in Baptism, and when freely accepted by the faithful, the grace bestowed allows for sanctification of the individual.
That is the problem iwth the IC: until the Incarnation, there were no sacraments.
Problem? Isn't that supposed to be the point of the IC?
LOL. The IC, being pointless, has no point.
Quote
Before the incarnation, there were no sacraments. Therefore, God blessed Mary with grace, in effect baptizing her,
No sacraments, remember.
Quote
son that she would have the spiritual strength to be sinless.
If she was rendered sinless, there would be no need of spiritual strength.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 01:13:41 AM
That is the problem iwth the IC: until the Incarnation, there were no sacraments.
Problem? Isn't that supposed to be the point of the IC?
LOL. The IC, being pointless, has no point.
Cool...

Quote
Before the incarnation, there were no sacraments. Therefore, God blessed Mary with grace, in effect baptizing her,
No sacraments, remember.
I remember, that's the point.

Quote
son that she would have the spiritual strength to be sinless.
If she was rendered sinless, there would be no need of spiritual strength.

Huh?

If the broken soul is healed with the presence of God (grace), the ability to reject that grace is still present. She would then just have the necessary strength from God. 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 01:31:24 AM
If we are born with a broken spirit, is it not Pelagian to say that Mary had no Grace bestowed on her until the incarnation, but remained sinless of her own strength?
The whole of creation exists in the divine energy, for as St. Paul said, "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28), and so no one is every devoid of grace.

Are you saying the Fall only caused mortality? That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Yes, the corruption of mortality.  Read St. Athanasios on the Incarnation of the Word.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 01:40:10 AM
That we have all the grace necessary by birth?
Yes.  After all nothing created can exist autonomously, which was pointed out by St. Gregory when he wrote: "God both is and is said to be the nature of all beings, in so far as all partake of Him and subsist by means of this participation: not, however, by participation in His nature - far from it - but by participation in His energy.  In this sense He is the Being of all beings, the Form that is in all forms as the Author of form, the Wisdom of the wise and, simpy, the All of all things" [Capita Physica, no 78].

By nature all creation participates in the divine energy, and it must do so or there would be no created existence at all.  The purpose of the incarnation was twofold: (1) it was meant to secure ever-being for the whole of created nature, and (2) it was intended to empower man to personally draw close to God through the practice of virtue freely lived by grace.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 01:47:36 AM
There is no need for the immaculate conception because no one is conceived or born sinful (See St. John Chrysostom, Third Baptismal Instruction, no. 6).
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 12, 2010, 02:17:33 AM
We continued the discussion about alleged Pelagian undertones in this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.0.html
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: akimel on December 12, 2010, 02:25:10 AM
Adam's sin made all of his descendants, including the Theotokos, mortal; moreover, the eternal Logos Himself through the incarnation assumed our mortal condition in order to bestow the energy of everlasting life upon mankind through His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into glory.

This is true, as far as it goes.  But does it go far enough?  I for one do not find it nearly adequate or sufficient.  To reduce original sin to the inheritance of morality separates humanity from the sin of Adam (and indeed from the sin of Lucifer and the fallen angels).  Adam sinned, not because he was mortal and afraid of death.  He sinned because of ____ (fill in the blank).  At that point he asserted his personal autonomy he, and we with him, lost our mortality. But Adam also lost something else, a natural intimacy and fellowship with God.  The relationship was broken.  His physical death was but a sign of a spiritual death in his soul.  From that point on, every human being has been born into this state of alienation, into a condition of spiritual death.  Who does not know this condition in his heart?    

Put aside for the moment the Immaculate Conception.  Do you really find the loss of immortality to be the cause of our sin?  Do you really find it a compelling and satisfying explanation of the iniquity that lies in the depths of our hearts?  It's not a matter of just quoting Church Fathers, for some Church Fathers have understood the human condition better than others.  

We are each born into a world of death.  We are each born into a world of the principalities and powers.  It's all so well and good to say that newly born infant is not guilty of personal sin; but that does not mean that he is not in desperately need to be reborn by the Holy Spirit and liberated from the power of Satan.  From the moment that child is conceived in the womb, he is a part of this fallen world, formed and deformed, shaped and mis-shaped by this fallen world.  When he emerges from that womb, he is no longer "innocent."  Maybe romantic Rousseau could believe that, but surely Christians are more realistic than Rousseau.  We know that the power of death takes hold of us at the earliest stages of our existence.  "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."  There's nobody here but us sinners.  We ain't just mortal.  We are sinners, in need of exorcism and renewal in the Holy Spirit.  Resurrection may solve the death problem, but something else is needed to solve the sin problem.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Ortho_cat on December 12, 2010, 05:24:08 AM
It is important to note, according to the Orthodox view, that she fully co-operated with the grace so generously bestowed upon her; that she was entirely capable of sinning, yet she did not.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Wyatt on December 12, 2010, 08:17:02 AM
LOL. The IC, being pointless, has no point.
Why do you think it's pointless?

No sacraments, remember.
God instituted the Sacraments, but He is not bound by them and can certainly work outside of them. If He wished to make Mary's conception immaculate He certainly could have done so (and I believe He did).

If she was rendered sinless, there would be no need of spiritual strength.
That she was conceived immaculate WAS her spiritual strength. Being full of grace was what allowed her to be preserved from sin her entire life. She received in fullness what we have only a foretaste of here on earth.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 08:35:36 AM
Adam's sin made all of his descendants, including the Theotokos, mortal; moreover, the eternal Logos Himself through the incarnation assumed our mortal condition in order to bestow the energy of everlasting life upon mankind through His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into glory.

This is true, as far as it goes.  But does it go far enough?  I for one do not find it nearly adequate or sufficient.  
It may not go far enough for you, but that is not my concern.  The Eastern tradition works for me, and I see no reason to add Augustinian and dualist notions of guilt or of a "sin" nature, whatever that may be.

I will never forget a presentation on St. Augustine's views in connection with the transmission of "original sin" written by a graduate student at Franciscan University, and how - as the student put it - the bishop of Hippo had proposed the idea that sin was transmitted through the heat of sexual activity which altered a man's seed.  I found that notion ludicrous, but what shocked me at the time was that the vast majority of people at the presentation took the idea seriously.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 08:42:10 AM
Adam sinned, not because he was mortal and afraid of death.  He sinned because of ____ (fill in the blank).
Since I do not accept the Scholastic theory that Adam was created in original justice, but that he was instead created with the ability to either become just or not, it follows that fear of death on his part need not be seen as the cause of his sin.  In his case ignorance, and the desire to be divine without God, suffices.

Now as far as Adam's descendants are concerned clearly the fear of death is one of the primary causes of sin, but even so that does not rule out ignorance and other causes.  Be that as it may, you are free of course to accept a more Western / Augustinian outlook, but that outlook does not work for me either spiritually or intellectually, which is why I happily gave up that way of approaching humanity and the mystery of Christ more than six years ago.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 08:46:36 AM
From the moment that child is conceived in the womb, he is a part of this fallen world, formed and deformed, shaped and mis-shaped by this fallen world.  When he emerges from that womb, he is no longer "innocent."  
Children may be born into a fallen world, but I still believe that they are conceived and born personally sinless.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 11:57:39 AM
LOL. The IC, being pointless, has no point.
Why do you think it's pointless?
It explains no mystery, it solves no problem, it transmits no revelation.

No sacraments, remember.
God instituted the Sacraments, but He is not bound by them and can certainly work outside of them. If He wished to make Mary's conception immaculate He certainly could have done so (and I believe He did).
That begs the question, the false syllogism of potuit decuit ergo fecit, at the root of the IC.

God is not bound, except by His promise, by the sacraments, but we are, and unless given revelation of the contrary, we follow what they demand.

If she was rendered sinless, there would be no need of spiritual strength.
That she was conceived immaculate WAS her spiritual strength. Being full of grace was what allowed her to be preserved from sin her entire life. She received in fullness what we have only a foretaste of here on earth.
Then again, she wouldn't need her Son. Nor exercised any merit. And no, the way back machine doesn't solve that problem, no matter what Duns Scotus told you.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: theistgal on December 12, 2010, 12:41:44 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Wyatt on December 12, 2010, 02:03:49 PM
It explains no mystery, it solves no problem, it transmits no revelation.
That, in my opinion, is a simplistic and sad way to look at theological truths...that if they don't explicitly do this then they are worthless.

That begs the question, the false syllogism of potuit decuit ergo fecit, at the root of the IC.

God is not bound, except by His promise, by the sacraments, but we are, and unless given revelation of the contrary, we follow what they demand.
I agree with you, except for the fact that I believe the Theotokos was different than the rest of us specifically because she was chosen to be the perfect vessel to house the Messiah.

Then again, she wouldn't need her Son. Nor exercised any merit. And no, the way back machine doesn't solve that problem, no matter what Duns Scotus told you.
So you do not believe that, since God is not bound by time, He could not have applied the grace won by Christ on Calvary to Mary from the moment of her conception?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PoorFoolNicholas on December 12, 2010, 03:42:13 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:05:07 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). You used to believe in the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, now some of you think Mary was guilty of small sins. You used to believe that Mary was "All Holy" and "with out stain" even from the womb, (like your liturgy says) and now you don't. We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 04:06:58 PM
From the moment that child is conceived in the womb, he is a part of this fallen world, formed and deformed, shaped and mis-shaped by this fallen world.  When he emerges from that womb, he is no longer "innocent."  
Children may be born into a fallen world, but I still believe that they are conceived and born personally sinless.

Personally sinless, yes, they are. You misunderstand the terminology. By guilt, it is not meant "personally guilty" but inheriting the consequences.

Out of the ROC:
Quote
CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN

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

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

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

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

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

From a rational point of view, to punish the entire human race for Adam’s sin is an injustice. But not a single Christian dogma has ever been fully comprehended by reason. Religion within the bounds of reason is not religion but naked rationalism, for religion is supra-rational, supra-logical. The doctrine of original sin is disclosed in the light of divine revelation and acquires meaning with reference to the dogma of the atonement of humanity through the New Adam, Christ: ‘...As one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous... so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom.5:18-21).
http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

Genesis Ch 3:
Quote
[1] Now the serpent was more subtle than any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman: Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of paradise? [2] And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that are in paradise we do eat: [3] But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die. [4] And the serpent said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. [5] For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil. [6] And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband who did eat.

The first sin wasn't the eating the fruit, that was an effect of the sin. The first sin is the "desire to be a god". This is the first "prideful" sin, and can be seen even between one year-olds.

Quote
[22] And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now, therefore, lest perhaps he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. [23] And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. [24] And he cast out Adam; and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubims, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. 

They weren't just prevented from the tree of life (actual tree?), they were removed from "paradise". In this way, we understand we are not just destined to death, but are in need of healing our broken relationship with God.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:09:45 PM
The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

So she already called unique and "all-immaculate" on the day of her conception.

Sounds like the Immaculate Conception to me.

EOs don't really have leg to stand on in this debate when their own liturgy teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary is already Immaculate on the day of her conception.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 04:13:22 PM

Dear Azurestone,

The wiser among us have realised long ago that there is very little an Orthodox Christian can say meaningfully about the Catholic teaching on original sin.

I have watched the exploration of the Catholic teaching on original sin for many years on Catholic forums. I have seen the fierce inter-Catholic disagreement on this.

The doctrine is in a state of transition and trying to get a handle on it, especially for an Orthodox outsider, is impossible and it is not a topic in which I involve myself.

"Current Roman Catholic theology of original sin is undergoing a radical transition and is marked by considerable pluralism..."

"Systematic theology: Roman Catholic perspectives"
By Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, John P. Galvin

http://tinyurl.com/26vkexv
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 04:19:59 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:23:43 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.
This seems to be what forms the modern EO Church.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 04:24:37 PM
Sounds like the Immaculate Conception to me.

EOs don't really have leg to stand on in this debate when their own liturgy teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary is already Immaculate on the day of her conception.

Yet one of your greatest theologians Thomas Aquinas did not believe Mary was free from Original Sin.

Aquinas believed was that Mary the Mother of God was free from all personal sin.

(Summa Theologiae III:27:4):
"I answer that, God so prepares and endows those, whom He chooses for some particular office, that they are rendered capable of fulfilling it, according to 2 Cor. 3:6: '(Who) hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament.' Now the Blessed Virgin was chosen by God to be His Mother. Therefore there can be no doubt that God, by His grace, made her worthy of that office, according to the words spoken to her by the angel (Lk. 1:30,31): 'Thou hast found grace with God: behold thou shalt conceive,' etc. But she would not have been worthy to be the Mother of God, if she had ever sinned. First, because the honor of the parents reflects on the child, according to Prov. 17:6: 'The glory of children are their fathers': and consequently, on the other hand, the Mother's shame would have reflected on her Son. Secondly, because of the singular affinity between her and Christ, who took flesh from her: and it is written (2 Cor. 6:15): 'What concord hath Christ with Belial?' Thirdly, because of the singular manner in which the Son of God, who is the 'Divine Wisdom' (1 Cor. 1:24) dwelt in her, not only in her soul but in her womb. And it is written (Wis. 1:4): 'Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.'

"We must therefore confess simply that the Blessed Virgin committed no actual sin, neither mortal nor venial; so that what is written (Cant 4:7) is fulfilled: 'Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee..'

Aquinas does not teach that she was free from Original Sin or immaculately conceived.   If he believed such a momentous thing would he have not written about it when discusing the sinlessness of Mary's personal life in preparation to receiving Christ in her womb?

One of the popular Catholic apologists says exactly the same when discusing with Protestants Aquinas' teaching on Mary and Original Sin  - he says that Aquinas teaches only the absence of personal sin.  He does not teach absence of original sin and immaculate conception.  See http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q052.htm  One would conclude that if Akin and the Catholic Church knew of any sentence in Aquinas which promotes the Immaculate Conception they would be enthusiastic about producing it.  But they can't.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 04:25:03 PM

Dear Azurestone,

The wiser among us have realised long ago that there is very little an Orthodox Christian can say meaningfully about the Catholic teaching on original sin.

I have watched the exploration of the Catholic teaching on original sin for many years on Catholic forums. I have seen the fierce inter-Catholic disagreement on this.

The doctrine is in a state of transition and trying to get a handle on it, especially for an Orthodox outsider, is impossible and it is not a topic in which I involve myself.

"Current Roman Catholic theology of original sin is undergoing a radical transition and is marked by considerable pluralism..."

"Systematic theology: Roman Catholic perspectives"
By Francis Schüssler Fiorenza, John P. Galvin

http://tinyurl.com/26vkexv


I do agree that there is some disagreement as to the "guilt" factor in Original Sin. I will, however, have to say that the Catholic forums I've visited are populated/frequented by individuals who have barely a grasp on basic theology, so that doesn't say much to me. (One of the reasons I pose all my questions here. There are some intellectually stimulating individuals on this board.) However, the basic premise I'm arguing is the consequences of the Fall in a broken spirit as well as physical condition. This is common to both sides.

That's why the document I used to support my position on Original Sin is from an Orthodox source.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Shlomlokh on December 12, 2010, 04:29:07 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 04:31:56 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin? 

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 04:32:24 PM
Sounds like the Immaculate Conception to me.

EOs don't really have leg to stand on in this debate when their own liturgy teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary is already Immaculate on the day of her conception.

Yet one of your greatest theologians Thomas Aquinas did not believe Mary was free from Original Sin.

Aquinas believed was that Mary the Mother of God was free from all personal sin.

(Summa Theologiae III:27:4):
"I answer that, God so prepares and endows those, whom He chooses for some particular office, that they are rendered capable of fulfilling it, according to 2 Cor. 3:6: '(Who) hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament.' Now the Blessed Virgin was chosen by God to be His Mother. Therefore there can be no doubt that God, by His grace, made her worthy of that office, according to the words spoken to her by the angel (Lk. 1:30,31): 'Thou hast found grace with God: behold thou shalt conceive,' etc. But she would not have been worthy to be the Mother of God, if she had ever sinned. First, because the honor of the parents reflects on the child, according to Prov. 17:6: 'The glory of children are their fathers': and consequently, on the other hand, the Mother's shame would have reflected on her Son. Secondly, because of the singular affinity between her and Christ, who took flesh from her: and it is written (2 Cor. 6:15): 'What concord hath Christ with Belial?' Thirdly, because of the singular manner in which the Son of God, who is the 'Divine Wisdom' (1 Cor. 1:24) dwelt in her, not only in her soul but in her womb. And it is written (Wis. 1:4): 'Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.'

"We must therefore confess simply that the Blessed Virgin committed no actual sin, neither mortal nor venial; so that what is written (Cant 4:7) is fulfilled: 'Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee..'

Aquinas does not teach that she was free from Original Sin or immaculately conceived.   If he believed such a momentous thing would he have not written about it when discusing the sinlessness of Mary's personal life in preparation to receiving Christ in her womb?

One of the popular Catholic apologists says exactly the same when discusing with Protestants Aquinas' teaching on Mary and Original Sin  - he says that Aquinas teaches only the absence of personal sin.  He does not teach absence of original sin and immaculate conception.  See http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q052.htm  One would conclude that if Akin and the Catholic Church knew of any sentence in Aquinas which promotes the Immaculate Conception they would be enthusiastic about producing it.  But they can't.

Aquinas did not claim that she was sanctified from the moment of conception, but did claim she was sanctified before her birth (similar to St. John the Baptist).
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:33:05 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin? 

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.
Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:34:58 PM
Sounds like the Immaculate Conception to me.

EOs don't really have leg to stand on in this debate when their own liturgy teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary is already Immaculate on the day of her conception.

Yet one of your greatest theologians Thomas Aquinas did not believe Mary was free from Original Sin.

Aquinas believed was that Mary the Mother of God was free from all personal sin.

(Summa Theologiae III:27:4):
"I answer that, God so prepares and endows those, whom He chooses for some particular office, that they are rendered capable of fulfilling it, according to 2 Cor. 3:6: '(Who) hath made us fit ministers of the New Testament.' Now the Blessed Virgin was chosen by God to be His Mother. Therefore there can be no doubt that God, by His grace, made her worthy of that office, according to the words spoken to her by the angel (Lk. 1:30,31): 'Thou hast found grace with God: behold thou shalt conceive,' etc. But she would not have been worthy to be the Mother of God, if she had ever sinned. First, because the honor of the parents reflects on the child, according to Prov. 17:6: 'The glory of children are their fathers': and consequently, on the other hand, the Mother's shame would have reflected on her Son. Secondly, because of the singular affinity between her and Christ, who took flesh from her: and it is written (2 Cor. 6:15): 'What concord hath Christ with Belial?' Thirdly, because of the singular manner in which the Son of God, who is the 'Divine Wisdom' (1 Cor. 1:24) dwelt in her, not only in her soul but in her womb. And it is written (Wis. 1:4): 'Wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.'

"We must therefore confess simply that the Blessed Virgin committed no actual sin, neither mortal nor venial; so that what is written (Cant 4:7) is fulfilled: 'Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee..'

Aquinas does not teach that she was free from Original Sin or immaculately conceived.   If he believed such a momentous thing would he have not written about it when discusing the sinlessness of Mary's personal life in preparation to receiving Christ in her womb?

One of the popular Catholic apologists says exactly the same when discusing with Protestants Aquinas' teaching on Mary and Original Sin  - he says that Aquinas teaches only the absence of personal sin.  He does not teach absence of original sin and immaculate conception.  See http://www.cin.org/users/james/questions/q052.htm  One would conclude that if Akin and the Catholic Church knew of any sentence in Aquinas which promotes the Immaculate Conception they would be enthusiastic about producing it.  But they can't.
What's your point? Aquinas was wrong on this point. So what? And you know what I believe that part of his reason for being wrong on this point was his misunderstanding about "ensoulment". I have to thank you Byzantine for protecting the doctrine of the Immaculate conception, even some western Theologians were wrong on this point.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:36:28 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Ionnis on December 12, 2010, 04:44:10 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). You used to believe in the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, now some of you think Mary was guilty of small sins. You used to believe that Mary was "All Holy" and "with out stain" even from the womb, (like your liturgy says) and now you don't. We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

Ouch.   :'(
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:46:40 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). You used to believe in the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, now some of you think Mary was guilty of small sins. You used to believe that Mary was "All Holy" and "with out stain" even from the womb, (like your liturgy says) and now you don't. We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

Ouch.   :'(
Ionnis,
I am sorry that this hurt your feelings. That was not my intention at all. It's just my honest assessment of the history of the EO Church. I still have great respect for your liturgy, icons, theolgoy, etc.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 04:48:36 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin?  

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.


Don't be silly, dear boy.  You are *worse* than Muslims.  Why do you think the Empress came out with "Better the Muslim fez than the Catholic tiara"?  It was because they had first-hand experience.  They had been slaughtered in their thousands by Catholics (example, the Fourth Crusade) and they knew that under the Muslims they would be treated less harshly.

Why do you think that Serbs turn pale when they think of the 700,000 murdered at Jasenovac and all over Croatia and Serbia at the time of WWII.  

History shows that you have treated us worse than the Muslims.  That's not anti-Catholic.  That's just fact.  
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 04:53:00 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

Matry tried, a few months back, to force the IC on us with this line of reasoning, trying to turn our own liturgical texts against us.  She was ably trounced by the contributions of LBK.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:54:42 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin? 

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.


Don't be silly, dear boy.  You are *worse* than Muslims.  Why do you think the Empress came out with "Better the Muslim fez than the Catholic tiara"?  It was because they had first-hand experience.  They had been slaughtered in their thousands by Catholics (example, the Fourth Crusade) and they knew that under the Muslims they would be treated less harshly.

Why do you think that Serbs turn pale when they think of the 700,000 murdered at Jasenovac and all over Croatia and Serbian at the time of WWII. 

History shows that you have treated us worse than the Muslims.  That's not anti-Catholic.  That's just fact. 
Silly old man,
You mean like when you guys killed all the Latins in Constantinople? Or how about how you treated the Alaskan Natives? Oh, I suspect there are many more examples, but I am not as into this kind of thing as you are.

Yes, Fr. Ambrose, you are an anti-Catholic Polemecist.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 04:55:26 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin? 

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Sounding harsh, it is not meant as an insult, or despite it's appearance, anti-orthodox. I have shown how this view of the Original Sin is held by Orthodox, and I am merely arguing that this view is possibly the original view.

Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Quote
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin.[1]This now-fashionable denial was at first confined to one or two liberal Russian theologians such as Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky[2]and some Greek new calendarists such as Fr. John Romanides[3]. When the Russian version appeared, early in the twentieth century, it met with strong opposition from such distinguished theologians as Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, Archbishop Seraphim of Lubny, Fr. Georges Florovsky, Hieromartyr Victor of Glazov and (somewhat later) Fr. Seraphim Rose; and its influence has been correspondingly muted in the Russian Church. However, the resistance to the more recent, Romanidean version has been altogether weaker, and now not only the Greek new calendarist churches, but also many Greek Old Calendarists, such as Alexander Kalomiros and Metropolitan Ephraim himself, have been infected with this false teaching. Let us examine the latest version to be offered by the leader of HOCNA.

     Metropolitan Ephraim begins by asserting that the term “original sin” is a purely Augustinian, “and thereafter, exclusively Papal and Protestant concept”. The Augustinian concept of original sin – that we all inherit the guilt of Adam’s sin – is nowhere to be found in the Holy Fathers. The Greek Fathers prefer the term propatorikon amartima, which, he claims, means something different.[4]

     Now it would appear to be true that the Latin phrase peccatum originale first appears in the works of St. Augustine, in his treatise entitled De Peccato Originale, andin other places, as in: "The deliberate sin of the first man is the cause of original sin"[5]. But its use was not confined to him and to Papal or Protestant heretics. For we find it frequently in Western Orthodox writings, including those of St. Leo the Great, St. Gregory the Great and the Venerable Bede – and the metropolitan would not, I hope, be denying their Orthodoxy…
http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/278/metropolitan-ephraim-original-sin/

Quote
The rod of Aaron that budded, the rock tom away from the mountain without hands, seen by Nebuchadnezzar in a dream and interpreted by the Prophet Daniel, the closed gate seen by the Prophet Ezekiel, and much else in the Old Testament, prefigured the birth-giving of the Virgin. Just as Adam had been created by the Word of God from the un-worked and virgin earth, so also the Word of God created flesh for himself from a virgin womb when the Son of God became the new Adam so as to correct the fall into sin of the first Adam.
St. Ireneaus of Lyons, book III

Also, to show that Orthodox understand the concept of a broken spirit (one of the consequences being concupiscence):
Quote
“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”). “A stranger to any fall into sin” (St. Ambrose of Milan, Commentary on the 118th Psalm), She was not a stranger to sinful temptations. “God alone is without sin” (St. Ambrose, same source), while man will always have in himself something yet needing correction and perfection in order to fulfill the commandment of God; Be ye holy as I the Lord your God am Holy (Leviticus 19:2). The more pure and perfect one is, the more he notices his imperfections and considers himself all the more unworthy.

The Virgin Mary, having given Herself entirely up to God, even though She repulsed from herself every impulse to sin, still felt the weakness of human nature more powerfully than others and ardently desired the coming of the Saviour. In Her humility She considered Herself unworthy to be even the servant-girl of the Virgin Who was to give Him birth. So that nothing might distract Her from prayer and heedfulness to Herself, Mary gave to God a vow not to become married, in order to please only Him Her whole life long. Being betrothed to the elderly Joseph when Her age no longer allowed Her to remain in the Temple, She settled in his house in Nazareth. Here the Virgin was vouchsafed the coming of the Archangel Gabriel, who brought Her the good “tidings of the birth from Her of the Son of the Most High. Hail, Thou that art full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women... The Holy Spirit shall come upon Thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow Thee: wherefore also that which is to be born shall be holy, and shall be called the Son of God (Luke 1:28-35).
http://www.trueorthodoxy.info/apo_stjohnmaximovitch_orthodox_veneration_Mother_God.shtml

As you can see, they understood she had a fallen state and determined (without acknowledging a immaculate conception or birth) determined she struggled against it alone. Which brings me back to my first argument.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:55:37 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

Matry tried, a few months back, to force the IC on us with this line of reasoning, trying to turn our own liturgical texts against us.  She was ably trounced by the contributions of LBK.
I am not trying to force it on you. I fully accept the fact that you once believed and now you no longer do, even though it's in your liturgy.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 04:57:08 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin?  

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.


Don't be silly, dear boy.  You are *worse* than Muslims.  Why do you think the Empress came out with "Better the Muslim fez than the Catholic tiara"?  It was because they had first-hand experience.  They had been slaughtered in their thousands by Catholics (example, the Fourth Crusade) and they knew that under the Muslims they would be treated less harshly.

Why do you think that Serbs turn pale when they think of the 700,000 murdered at Jasenovac and all over Croatia and Serbia at the time of WWII.  

History shows that you have treated us worse than the Muslims.  That's not anti-Catholic.  That's just fact.  
BTW, your "peaceful" Othodox Byzantine empire has plenty of blood on it's hands.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 04:58:13 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 04:59:06 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzntine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

And no, Panagia does NOT mean all-immaculate in the IC sense.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:00:54 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzntine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

And no, Panagia does NOT mean all-immaculate in the IC sense.
If she is all pure from the day of her conception, then it does mean it in the IC sense.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:01:58 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D
Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:08:18 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). You used to believe in the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, now some of you think Mary was guilty of small sins. You used to believe that Mary was "All Holy" and "with out stain" even from the womb, (like your liturgy says) and now you don't. We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.
LOL. You're not the ecclesiastical community you were 50 years ago.

That we haven't restrict patristics to St. Augustine, nor have accepted what the scholastics elaborated into Augustinianism, says nothing about the Orthodox dogmas on Ancestral Sin.

Btw, St. John Chrysostom accused the Holy Theotokos of sin. Not that we agree with him, then or now.

And just because we don't accept your innovation of the IC says we deny her being All Holy and stainless, as our prayers state.  We don't go for the seperation of lex orandi lex credendi as the Vatican does.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:09:01 PM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:09:42 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). You used to believe in the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, now some of you think Mary was guilty of small sins. You used to believe that Mary was "All Holy" and "with out stain" even from the womb, (like your liturgy says) and now you don't. We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.
LOL. You're not the ecclesiastical community you were 50 years ago.

That we haven't restrict patristics to St. Augustine, nor have accepted what the scholastics elaborated into Augustinianism, says nothing about the Orthodox dogmas on Ancestral Sin.

Btw, St. John Chrysostom accused the Holy Theotokos of sin. Not that we agree with him, then or now.

And just because we don't accept your innovation of the IC says we deny her being All Holy and stainless, as our prayers state.  We don't go for the seperation of lex orandi lex credendi as the Vatican does.
Yeah, just because the IC is in your liturgy, why believe in it? lol
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:10:22 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin? 

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.


Don't be silly, dear boy.  You are *worse* than Muslims.  Why do you think the Empress came out with "Better the Muslim fez than the Catholic tiara"?  It was because they had first-hand experience.  They had been slaughtered in their thousands by Catholics (example, the Fourth Crusade) and they knew that under the Muslims they would be treated less harshly.

Why do you think that Serbs turn pale when they think of the 700,000 murdered at Jasenovac and all over Croatia and Serbia at the time of WWII. 

History shows that you have treated us worse than the Muslims.  That's not anti-Catholic.  That's just fact. 
BTW, your "peaceful" Othodox Byzantine empire has plenty of blood on it's hands.

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs and you can't go to war without breaking skulls.  However, if you look at the history of Byzantine warfare it was, in the main, defensive, against the Muslims/Saracens. 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 05:11:15 PM
Did anyone see my #256 reply?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:14:24 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

Matry tried, a few months back, to force the IC on us with this line of reasoning, trying to turn our own liturgical texts against us.  She was ably trounced by the contributions of LBK.
Father, I might have missed the post in question. Can you point it out?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:14:32 PM

Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:22:09 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin? 

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.


Don't be silly, dear boy.  You are *worse* than Muslims.  Why do you think the Empress came out with "Better the Muslim fez than the Catholic tiara"?  It was because they had first-hand experience.  They had been slaughtered in their thousands by Catholics (example, the Fourth Crusade) and they knew that under the Muslims they would be treated less harshly.

Why do you think that Serbs turn pale when they think of the 700,000 murdered at Jasenovac and all over Croatia and Serbia at the time of WWII. 

History shows that you have treated us worse than the Muslims.  That's not anti-Catholic.  That's just fact. 
BTW, your "peaceful" Othodox Byzantine empire has plenty of blood on it's hands.

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs and you can't go to war without breaking skulls.  However, if you look at the history of Byzantine warfare it was, in the main, defensive, against the Muslims/Saracens. 
WOW! You really do think that bloodshed is of a higher quality when it is on the hands of EOs. You have an incredibly cavalier attitude towards human life, especially for a priest.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:22:24 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:23:31 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:25:58 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."

Matry tried, a few months back, to force the IC on us with this line of reasoning, trying to turn our own liturgical texts against us.  She was ably trounced by the contributions of LBK.
Father, I might have missed the post in question. Can you point it out?

LBK sent more than one post.  They are in that extremely long thread on the Immaculate Conception.  Not sure how to find them easily.  Maybe pull up all LBK's thread's and look through them.  I don't thinly LBK has contributed many posts since then so they should show up in recent posts.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:27:39 PM
Or how about how you treated the Alaskan Natives? Oh, I suspect there are many more examples, but I am not as into this kind of thing as you are.

The issue of the Latins in Constantinople (notice, in Constantinople, not Rome, Venice, Genoa, Avignon,....) we have dealt with before.

Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?

Btw, I was just thinking about the accusations against the Spanish and their church about killing the Aztecs, Mayans, etc. and I was wondering what was the increase of the population, because none of them were being killed in sacrifices anymore.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:28:52 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:29:48 PM
Or how about how you treated the Alaskan Natives? Oh, I suspect there are many more examples, but I am not as into this kind of thing as you are.

The issue of the Latins in Constantinople (notice, in Constantinople, not Rome, Venice, Genoa, Avignon,....) we have dealt with before.

Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?

Btw, I was just thinking about the accusations against the Spanish and their church about killing the Aztecs, Mayans, etc. and I was wondering what was the increase of the population, because none of them were being killed in sacrifices anymore.
You are right. We have dealth with that before. You guys think killing Catholics is OK.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:31:08 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 05:31:47 PM
Sooooo


Do the Mysteries bestow grace unto the faithful?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:34:24 PM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?
You don't know the history of Bulgaria in WWII, in particular the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, do you?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:36:39 PM
Hello Catholics! We do not believe in the IC because we do not subscribe to YOUR idea of Original Sin, and it's effects on mankind. Don't you realize this?
No, we realize that faith that the EO Church subribes to has changed over the years. You used to believe in Original Sin, and now you don't (semi-pelagianism). ... We know all too well that you are not the same Church you were even 500 years ago.

I have come to see this, as well. It seems that denial of a broken spirit, and merely a resultant morality, is a new movement in EO. I wonder if it's fueled by the rabid anti-Latin movement in the EO.

No need to start foaming at the mouth about us.  Could you substantiate your insulting claim that the Orthodox are rabidly anti-Latin?  

Again we see, as so often with Mary also, that the dialogue is cut off by trying to take the high ground.  Roman Catholicism is right.  Orthodoxy is wrong.  Our beliefs and viewpoints are of little interest unless they coincide with Rome.  Disagreement can be dismissed as the Orthodox being rabidly anti-Latin.  This is the end of dialogue.

Well, Fr. Ambrose, there was the time when you said we were like muslims. That's anti-catholic.


Don't be silly, dear boy.  You are *worse* than Muslims.  Why do you think the Empress came out with "Better the Muslim fez than the Catholic tiara"?  It was because they had first-hand experience.  They had been slaughtered in their thousands by Catholics (example, the Fourth Crusade) and they knew that under the Muslims they would be treated less harshly.

Why do you think that Serbs turn pale when they think of the 700,000 murdered at Jasenovac and all over Croatia and Serbia at the time of WWII.  

History shows that you have treated us worse than the Muslims.  That's not anti-Catholic.  That's just fact.  
BTW, your "peaceful" Othodox Byzantine empire has plenty of blood on it's hands.

You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs and you can't go to war without breaking skulls.  However, if you look at the history of Byzantine warfare it was, in the main, defensive, against the Muslims/Saracens.  
and pulling that knife out of the back of the Empire of the Romans, the Moldavians, the Rus'.

We, of course, know who put it there.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:37:27 PM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?

I doubt if it is much use to debate with a man who has been discusing the Byzantine Enmpire and seems to believe that in the 1940s Romania and Bulgaria were part of Byzantium !!?  But if you wish to speak of them why don't you speak of the heroic Orthodox defence of the Jews and how not one Jew was lost in Bulgaria thanks to the actions of the Orthodox bishops who even laid down on railway lines and stopped the trains shipping Jews off to concentrationn camps.

You accuse me of anti-Catholic polemicism and it is true I enjoy a debate.  But at the moment your hatred for the Orthodox is nakedly on show.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:42:20 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:43:03 PM
Or how about how you treated the Alaskan Natives? Oh, I suspect there are many more examples, but I am not as into this kind of thing as you are.
Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?
You are right. We have dealth with that before. You guys think killing Catholics is OK.

You didn't miss the question, did you?
Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:47:44 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.
I was not out of line. I was calling a spade a spade. I am not the only Catholic to call you out on your dishonest debate tactics on this forum. You are generally out of line every time you attack Christ's Church.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 05:49:06 PM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?

I doubt if it is much use to debate with a man who has been discusing the Byzantine Enmpire and seems to believe that in the 1940s Romania and Bulgaria were part of Byzantium !!?  But if you wish to speak of them why don't you speak of the heroic Orthodox defence of the Jews and how not one Jew was lost in Bulgaria thanks to the actions of the Orthodox bishops who even laid down on railway lines and stopped the trains shipping Jews off to concentrationn camps.

Or the Patriach, who from the pulpit of his cathedral on Pascha excommunicated the Czar (who was of German origin, hence why he dragged the country into the Axis) if he signed the law implementing the Nurenberg laws in Bulgaria, and anyone who cooperated with them.

Or that Bulgaria ended up with more Jews after the war than it had before.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 05:52:07 PM
Or how about how you treated the Alaskan Natives? Oh, I suspect there are many more examples, but I am not as into this kind of thing as you are.
Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?
You are right. We have dealth with that before. You guys think killing Catholics is OK.

You didn't miss the question, did you?
Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?

http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=94 (http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=94)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 05:52:47 PM
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 05:53:47 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.

I was not out of line. I was calling a spade a spade. I am not the only Catholic to call you out on your dishonest debate tactics on this forum. You are generally out of line every time you attack Christ's Church.


Justify your words or apologise.  Show the forum, in specific terms, where and why I merited your accusation of dishonesty in message 271.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 06:02:51 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.

I was not out of line. I was calling a spade a spade. I am not the only Catholic to call you out on your dishonest debate tactics on this forum. You are generally out of line every time you attack Christ's Church.


Justify your words or apologise.  Show the forum, in specific terms, where and why I merited your accusation of dishonesty in message 271.
When you said we are worse than muslims and you know very well that there is plenty of blood on EO hands, ignoring that inconvenient little fact. That was dishonest on your part.
Now, I don't need to justify my words for the likes of you,  but I do so for the benefit of the other posters.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 06:03:22 PM
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D

 :D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 12, 2010, 06:04:30 PM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?

I doubt if it is much use to debate with a man who has been discusing the Byzantine Enmpire and seems to believe that in the 1940s Romania and Bulgaria were part of Byzantium !!?  But if you wish to speak of them why don't you speak of the heroic Orthodox defence of the Jews and how not one Jew was lost in Bulgaria thanks to the actions of the Orthodox bishops who even laid down on railway lines and stopped the trains shipping Jews off to concentrationn camps.

Or the Patriach, who from the pulpit of his cathedral on Pascha excommunicated the Czar (who was of German origin, hence why he dragged the country into the Axis) if he signed the law implementing the Nurenberg laws in Bulgaria, and anyone who cooperated with them.

Or that Bulgaria ended up with more Jews after the war than it had before.
Yeah, ignore the fact that Romania ( and "Orthodox" country) was part of the axis. lol
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: FormerReformer on December 12, 2010, 06:10:37 PM
Did anyone see my #256 reply?
Sooooo


Do the Mysteries bestow grace unto the faithful?
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D

Sorry, Azurestone, it looks like your playmates got caught up tossing rocks at each other.

Regarding #256, yes, there is reason to believe that the Blessed Virgin was sanctified before birth (like St John the Baptist).  In fact, by bringing St John the Baptist into the question, we are also looking at Old Testament parallels, beginning with the prophet Samuel.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 06:13:41 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.
I was not out of line. I was calling a spade a spade. I am not the only Catholic to call you out on your dishonest debate tactics on this forum. You are generally out of line every time you attack Christ's Church.

I wonder who is using dishonest debate tactics?  Is it not you and other Catholics who try to cunningly use our liturgical texts against us to prove that we believed in the Immaculate Conception and then abandoned the belief?  That's a real dishonest tactic and it causes great harm to the dialogue.  Other Catholics attack the Orthodox by similar dishonest means, arguing, for example, that we accept abortion or that we believe our second marriages are not sacramental.  We could point to a fair amount of dishonesty by Catholics wanting to attack the Church of Christ.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 06:19:16 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.

I was not out of line. I was calling a spade a spade. I am not the only Catholic to call you out on your dishonest debate tactics on this forum. You are generally out of line every time you attack Christ's Church.


Justify your words or apologise.  Show the forum, in specific terms, where and why I merited your accusation of dishonesty in message 271.

When you said we are worse than muslims and you know very well that there is plenty of blood on EO hands, ignoring that inconvenient little fact. That was dishonest on your part.
Now, I don't need to justify my words for the likes of you,  but I do so for the benefit of the other posters.


"Now, I don't need to justify my words for the likes of you...  !!?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 06:33:42 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!
Arius was a priest too.

And now he makes it even more loathsome by suggesting that I have things in common with Arius!

If I were to say such things about a Roman Catholic priest on CAF or ByzCath, I would get the boot. 
Martyre syndrome. "Oh whoa is me." We are both grown men. Stop this nonsense. You fine and your feeling are not hurt. You don't care what a 29 year old "Papist" in centeral New Mexico thinks.

I actually care that a 29 year old "Papist" feels he has the freedom to insult priests on an Orthodox forum.  You are very much out of line and it is a loathsome thing to do.  God forgive you.

I was not out of line. I was calling a spade a spade. I am not the only Catholic to call you out on your dishonest debate tactics on this forum. You are generally out of line every time you attack Christ's Church.


Justify your words or apologise.  Show the forum, in specific terms, where and why I merited your accusation of dishonesty in message 271.
When you said we are worse than muslims and you know very well that there is plenty of blood on EO hands, ignoring that inconvenient little fact. That was dishonest on your part.

We were discussing the negative effect of Catholicism and Islam on Orthodoxy in the context of the words of the Empress "Better the fez than the tiara."

It is really absurd that you think you are justified in accusing me of dishonesty because I did not mention the wars waged by Byzantium against the Muslims.  It was quite beside the point.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 12, 2010, 06:35:08 PM
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

From Small Vespers:

O ye gates of the sanctuary, into the Holy of Holies receive ye a Virgin,
the spotless Tabernacle of God the Almighty.

Ye virgins, joyfully bearing torches, attend the pure Virgin on her way, as
she enters the Holy of Holies, the Bride of the King of all.

The living Bridal Chamber of God the Word receives bread from the hands of a
divine angel, as she dwells in the Holy of holies.

From Great Vespers:

Led by the Holy Spirit, the holy Maid without spot is taken to dwell in the
Holy of Holies. By an angel is she fed, who is in truth the most holy Temple
of our Holy God. He has sanctified all things by her entry, and has made
godlike the fallen nature of fallen men.

After thy birth, O Lady and Bride of God, thou hast gone to dwell in the
temple of the Lord, there to be brought up in the Holy of Holies, for thou
art thyself holy: and Gabriel then was sent to thee, O Virgin all-undefiled,
to bring thee food. All the powers of heaven stood amazed, seeing the Holy
Spirit dwell in thee. Therefore, O Mother of God without stain or blemish,
glorified in heaven and on earth, save our kind.

Ann, truly blessed by God's grace, led with gladness into the temple of the
Lord the pure and ever-Virgin, who is full of grace, and she called the
young girls to go before her, lamps in hand. `Go, Child,' she said, `to Him
who gave thee unto me; be unto Him an offering and a sweet smelling incense.
Go into the place which none may enter: learn its mysteries and prepare
thyself to become the pleasing and beautiful dwelling-place of Jesus, who
grants the world great mercy.'

From Matins:

From Eve of old the transgression came upon mankind, and now from Eve's
stock has flowered forth our restoration and incorruption, even the
Theotokos, who is brought today into the house of God.

Be glad today, O Joachim, and rejoice exceedingly in spirit, O Ann, who now
present unto the Lord your daughter, as a three-year old victim of
sacrifice, holy and utterly without spot.

The ewe-lamb of God without spot, the dove without blemish, the tabernacle
that is to hold God, the sanctuary of the glory, has chosen to dwell in the
holy temple.

Three years old in the flesh and many years old in the spirit, more spacious
than the heavens and higher than the powers above, let the Bride of God be
praised in song.

Seeing the beauty of thy soul, O undefiled Virgin, Zacharias cried out with
faith: `Thou art our deliverance, thou art the joy of all. Thou art our
restoration, through whom the Incomprehensible appears comprehensible to
me.'

O Virgin all-undefiled, past understanding is thy wonders! Strange is the
manner of thy birth: strange is the manner of thy growing. Strange and most
marvellous are all things concerning thee, O Bride of God, and they are
beyond the telling of mortal men.

A child in the flesh but perfect in soul, the holy Ark enters into the house
of God, there to feed upon divine grace.

The ranks of angels rejoiced exceedingly and spirits of the righteous were
glad, when the Mother of God was led into the sanctuary.

Mary without spot rejoiced in body and spirit, dwelling as a sacred vessel
in the temple of the Lord.

Receiving heavenly food, she who was to become the Mother of Christ the
Saviour according to the flesh, increased in wisdom and grace.

O pure Theotokos, thou hast a clean and shining beauty of soul, and art
filled from heaven with the grace of God. Thou dost ever enlighten with
eternal light those who cry aloud in gladness: O pure Virgin, thou art truly
high above all.

Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with amazement,
seeing how she entered marvelously into the Holy of Holies.

Thy wonders, O pure Theotokos, surpass the power of words. For in thee I see
something beyond speech; a body that was never subject to the taint of sin.
Therefore in thanksgiving I cry to thee: O pure Virgin, thou art truly high
above all.

Angels and men, let us honour the entry of the Virgin, for in glory she has
gone into the Holy of Holies.

++++++++++++++++
Taken from The Festal Menaion translated from the original Greek by
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 06:45:47 PM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 06:45:58 PM
Personally sinless, yes, they are. You misunderstand the terminology. By guilt, it is not meant "personally guilty" but inheriting the consequences.
I don't believe in "non-personal" guilt.  A man is guilty only if he personally sins.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Shlomlokh on December 12, 2010, 06:53:53 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."
I didn't know "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" could talk. The only Orthodox Divine Liturgies I'm aware of are the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. James, St. Tikhon, St. Gregory and the Sarum Divine Liturgy. This "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" sounds silly and quite frankly a little made up.

I don't see how that proves an immaculate conception at all. I do, however, see how you can easily read into it because the presence of the word immaculate. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "put up or shut up," so let's see the evidence.

Furthermore, my point still stands, which you skirted. Why can't we hold a simple faith? Why would it be necessary for salvation to believe in the IC (or as a Maronite priest friend of mine calls "the Immaculate Deception").

In Christ,
Andrew
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 07:01:10 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!

And yet you would defame an Orthodox bishop on an Orthodox board. How is that any more honorable?


Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.

What are you talking about!?  Neither your Church the OCA  nor mine, the Russian, recognises this man as an Orthodox bishop.  I cannot read the mind of my Patriarch but I think he would serve with the Pope before he would serve and commune with this man. 

The fact remains that a priest has been defamed on an Orthodox board, and several times, by the member known as "Papist."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 07:05:53 PM
Dear Peter,

Here is something from this bishop with which I would agree.  :-)

http://www.orthodoxchristianbooks.com/articles/288/metropolitan-ephraim-salvation-hell/

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND SALVATION IN HELL

Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has aroused controversy with a recent article entitled “Awake, Sleeper!” in which he appears to argue that every person who has not encountered the True Orthodox faith during his life on earth will have another chance after his death.

The critical passage is the following: “Essentially, what Saint Philaret (and the Church Fathers) say is that, in order to judge mankind fairly, our Saviour will give every person who ever lived on earth the opportunity to espouse or reject His teaching. Whether this happens while the person is still living or in Hades – whenever it happens – he or she will have the opportunity to make that choice.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2010, 07:08:18 PM
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

[omitted for sake of space]

++++++++++++++++
Taken from The Festal Menaion translated from the original Greek by
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.
I'm quite familiar with these hymns, but I fail to see how they justify the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as this was articulated by Pope Pius IX in 1854. I don't see in any of these texts, not even the ones you highlighted for us, anything to suggest that the Theotokos was preserved free from every stain of original sin from the moment of her conception.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 07:08:38 PM
The following extended quotation, which is taken from Fr. John Meyendorff's book Byzantine Theology, explains clearly the position that I hold in connection with the original sin of Adam:




In order to understand many major theological problems, which arose between East and West both before and after the schism, the extraordinary impact upon Western thought of Augustine’s polemics against Pelagius and Julian of Eclanum must be fully taken into account. In the Byzantine world where Augustinian thought exercised practically no influence, the significance of the sin of Adam and of its consequences for mankind was understood along quite different lines.

We have seen that in the East man’s relationship with God was understood as a communion of the human person with that, which is above nature. "Nature" therefore designates that, which is, in virtue of creation, distinct from God. But nature can and must be transcended; this is the privilege and the function of the free mind made "according to God’s image."

Now, in Greek patristic thought, only this free, personal mind can commit sin and incur the concomitant "guilt" — a point made particularly clear by Maximos the Confessor in his distinction between "natural will" and "gnomic will." Human nature as God’s creature always exercises its dynamic properties (which together constitute the "natural will" — a created dynamism) in accordance with the divine will, which creates it. But when the human person, or hypostasis, by rebelling against both God and nature misuses its freedom, it can distort the "natural will" and thus corrupt nature itself. It is able to do so because it possesses freedom, or "gnomic will," which is capable of orienting man toward the good and of "imitating God" ("God alone is good by nature," writes Maximos, "and only God’s imitator is good by his gnome"); it is also capable of sin because "our salvation depends on our will." But sin is always a personal act and never an act of nature. Patriarch Photios even goes so far as to say, referring to Western doctrines, that the belief in a "sin of nature" is a heresy.

From these basic ideas about the personal character of sin, it is evident that the rebellion of Adam and Eve against God could be conceived only as their personal sin; there would be no place, then, in such an anthropology for the concept of inherited guilt, or for a "sin of nature," although it admits that human nature incurs the consequences of Adam’s sin.

The Greek patristic understanding of man never denies the unity of mankind or replaces it with a radical individualism. The Pauline doctrine of the two Adams ("As in Adam all men die, so also in Christ all are brought to life" [1 Co 15:22]) as well as the Platonic concept of the ideal man leads Gregory of Nyssa to understand Genesis 1:27 — "God created man in His own image" — to refer to the creation of mankind as a whole. It is obvious therefore that the sin of Adam must also be related to all men, just as salvation brought by Christ is salvation for all mankind; but neither original sin nor salvation can be realized in an individual’s life without involving his personal and free responsibility.

The scriptural text, which played a decisive role in the polemics between Augustine and the Pelagians, is found in Romans 5:12 where Paul speaking of Adam writes, "As sin came into the world through one man and through sin, death, so death spread to all men because all men have sinned [eph ho pantes hemarton]." In this passage there is a major issue of translation. The last four Greek words were translated in Latin as in quo omnes peccaverunt ("in whom [i.e., in Adam] all men have sinned"), and this translation was used in the West to justify the doctrine of guilt inherited from Adam and spread to his descendants. But such a meaning cannot be drawn from the original Greek — the text read, of course, by the Byzantines. The form eph ho — a contraction of epi with the relative pronoun ho — can be translated as "because," a meaning accepted by most modern scholars of all confessional backgrounds. Such a translation renders Paul’s thought to mean that death, which is "the wages of sin" (Romans 6:23) for Adam, is also the punishment applied to those who like him sin. It presupposed a cosmic significance of the sin of Adam, but did not say that his descendants are "guilty" as he was unless they also sinned as he did.

A number of Byzantine authors, including Photios, understood the eph ho to mean "because" and saw nothing in the Pauline text beyond a moral similarity between Adam and other sinners in death being the normal retribution for sin. But there is also the consensus of the majority of Eastern Fathers, who interpret Romans 5:12 in close connection with 1 Corinthians 15:22 — between Adam and his descendants there is a solidarity in death just as there is a solidarity in life between the risen Lord and the baptized. This interpretation comes, obviously, from the literal, grammatical meaning of Romans 5:12. Eph ho, if it means "because," is a neuter pronoun; but it can also be masculine referring to the immediately preceding substantive thanatos ("death"). The sentence then may have a meaning, which seems improbable to a reader trained in Augustine, but which is indeed the meaning which most Greek Fathers accepted: "As sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, so death spread to all men; and because of death, all men have sinned..."

Mortality, or "corruption," or simply death (understood in a personalized sense), has indeed been viewed since Christian antiquity as a cosmic disease, which holds humanity under its sway, both spiritually and physically, and is controlled by the one who is "the murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44). It is this death, which makes sin inevitable and in this sense "corrupts" nature.

For Cyril of Alexandria, humanity after the sin of Adam "fell sick of corruption." Cyril’s opponents, the theologians of the School of Antioch, agreed with him on the consequence of Adam’s sin. For Theodore of Mopsuestia, "by becoming mortal, we acquired greater urge to sin." The necessity of satisfying the needs of the body — food, drink, and other bodily needs — are absent in immortal beings; but among mortals, they lead to "passions," for they present unavoidable means of temporary survival. Theodoret of Cyrus repeats almost literally the arguments of Theodore in his own commentary on Romans; elsewhere, he argues against the sinfulness of marriage by affirming that transmission of mortal life is not sinful in itself, in spite of Psalm 51:7 ("my mother conceived me in sin"). This verse, according to Theodoret, refers not to the sexual act but to the general sinful condition of mortal humanity: "Having become mortal, [Adam and Eve] conceived mortal children, and mortal beings are a necessarily subject to passions and fears, to pleasures and sorrows, to anger and hatred."

There is indeed a consensus in Greek patristic and Byzantine traditions in identifying the inheritance of the Fall as an inheritance essentially of mortality rather than of sinfulness, sinfulness being merely a consequence of mortality. The idea appears in Chrysostom, who specifically denies the imputation of sin to the descendants of Adam; in the eleventh-century commentator Theophylact of Ohrida; and in later Byzantine authors, particularly in Gregory Palamas. The always-more-sophisticated Maximos the Confessor, when he speaks of the consequences of the sin of Adam, identifies them mainly with the mind’s submission to the flesh and finds in sexual procreation the most obvious expression of man’s acquiescence in animal instincts; but as we have seen, sin remains, for Maximos, a personal act, and inherited guilt is impossible. For him, as for the others, "the wrong choice made by Adam brought in passion, corruption, and mortality," but not inherited guilt.

The contrast with Western tradition on this point is brought into sharp focus when Eastern authors discuss the meaning of baptism. Augustine’s arguments in favor of infant baptism were taken from the text of the creeds (baptism for "the remission of sins") and from his understanding of Romans 5:12. Children are born sinful, not because they have sinned personally, but because they have sinned "in Adam"; their baptism is therefore also a baptism "for the remission of sins." At the same time, an Eastern contemporary of Augustine’s, Theodoret of Cyrus, flatly denies that the creedal formula "for the remission of sins" is applicable to infant baptism. For Theodoret, in fact, the "remission of sins" is only a side effect of baptism, fully real in cases of adult baptism, which is the norm, of course, in the early Church and which indeed "remits sins." But the principal meaning of baptism is wider and more positive: "If the only meaning of baptism is the remission of sins," writes Theodoret, "why would we baptize the newborn children who have not yet tasted of sin? But the mystery [of baptism] is not limited to this; it is a promise of greater and more perfect gifts. In it, there are the promises of future delights; it is a type of the future resurrection, a communion with the master’s passion, a participation in His resurrection, a mantle of salvation, a tunic of gladness, a garment of light, or rather it is light itself."

Thus, the Church baptizes children not to "remit" their yet nonexistent sins, but in order to give them a new and immortal life, which their mortal parents are unable to communicate to them. The opposition between the two Adams is seen in terms not of guilt and forgiveness but of death and life. "The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven; as was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven" (1 Corinthians 15:47-48). Baptism is the paschal mystery, the "passage." All its ancient forms, especially the Byzantine, include a renunciation of Satan, a triple immersion as type of death and resurrection, and the positive gift of new life through anointing and Eucharistic communion.

In this perspective, death and mortality are viewed, not so much as retribution for sin (although they are also a just retribution for personal sins) but as means through which the fundamentally unjust "tyranny" of the devil is exercised over mankind after Adam’s sin. From this, baptism is liberation, because it gives access to the new immortal life brought into the world by Christ’s Resurrection. The Resurrection delivers men from the fear of death and, therefore, also from the necessity of struggling for existence. Only in the light of the risen Lord does the Sermon on the Mount acquire its full realism: "Do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" (Matthew 6:25).

Communion in the risen body of Christ, participation in divine life, sanctification through the energy of God, which penetrates true humanity and restores it to its "natural" state rather than justification, or remission of inherited guilt, — these are at the center of Byzantine understanding of the Christian Gospel. [Fr. John Meyendorff, Byzantine Theology, (New York: Fordham University Press, 1983), pages 143-146]
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on December 12, 2010, 07:12:25 PM
Quote
IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzantine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

ialmisry, and all who are interested, here are links to the Greek hymnography of December 8 and 9, the Orthodox  - NOT Byzantine Catholic - forefeast and feast of the Conception of the Mother of God:

http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/08.uni.htm
http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/09.uni.htm

EDIT: Please note, as I have previously on another IC thread, that there is no Litia for the Orthodox feast. The Byzantine Catholic feast is a full Vigil, with Litia and Polyeleos. The hymnography of this Litia, which is not part of the Orthodox liturgical deposit, explicitly proclaims the doctrine of the IC. So much for the Papal decree that the Eastern Catholics use the same liturgical deposit as the Orthodox, with no alteration or interpolation.


Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 07:13:09 PM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.

Those are interesting quotes. I would like to see the rebuttal, if you can find it, Father.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2010, 07:22:26 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!

And yet you would defame an Orthodox bishop on an Orthodox board. How is that any more honorable?


Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.

What are you talking about!?  Neither your Church the OCA  nor mine, the Russian, recognises this man as an Orthodox bishop.  I cannot read the mind of my Patriarch but I think he would serve with the Pope before he would serve and commune with this man.  

The fact remains that a priest has been defamed on an Orthodox board, and several times, by the member known as "Papist."
You do realize that I deleted my post, the one that you quote above? I deleted my post about 15 minutes before you quoted it because I didn't want it to derail this thread any more than it's already been derailed.  But since you bring it up, Fr. Ambrose, I'm going to be frank with you. I've grown weary of seeing you cop a martyr complex whenever it appears to help you control a thread. I, too, find many of your discussion tactics dishonest and have told you so quite a few times. I don't see Papist defaming you nor your priestly office by saying the same thing. I don't see that he's ever called you a liar, which would be a personal attack. He has simply implied that you're being dishonest, which is a criticism of your behavior, not of your person. If you wish to engage him in conversation, I would advise you to not take criticism of your tactics personally and to not cry that he's defaming a priest whenever he calls you out for being dishonest, especially when you take such liberties to accuse him of the same level of dishonesty. If he truly does attack you personally, the moderators will discipline him accordingly, as we have already done many times in the past, but, speaking only for myself and informally so at that, I don't see that he has done anything wrong here. You have accused him of dishonesty; he has merely returned the favor.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 07:23:04 PM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.

Those are interesting quotes. I would like to see the rebuttal, if you can find it, Father.

I admit that I am weary of the Catholic dishonesty in trying to use our liturgical texts against us.   People should be able to find LBK's messages by doing a forum search.  Look for posts by elijahmaria which contain such infrequent words as chamber and tabernacle.  That will lead you to LBK's posts.

I see that LBK has provided (message 313)  the texts for the feast of the Conception of the Mother of God by Saint Anne (as she did in the former thread.)  Even a rather cursory perusal of the texts shows that there is no concept of Immaculate Conception.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 07:26:08 PM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.

Those are interesting quotes. I would like to see the rebuttal, if you can find it, Father.
The quotations are interesting, but not because they support the later Western theory of the immaculate conception, because in fact they do not do that; instead, they are interesting because they reveal the poetic, hyperbolic, and proleptic nature of liturgical discourse.  As an Eastern Catholic I have no problem believing that the Holy Theotokos is all pure, while remaining unconcerned about trying to pinpoint a specific moment during her life for her achievement of purity, which in Byzantine tradition has been ascribed to different times and events in her life by different authors for more than one thousand years.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 07:29:30 PM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?

I doubt if it is much use to debate with a man who has been discusing the Byzantine Enmpire and seems to believe that in the 1940s Romania and Bulgaria were part of Byzantium !!?  But if you wish to speak of them why don't you speak of the heroic Orthodox defence of the Jews and how not one Jew was lost in Bulgaria thanks to the actions of the Orthodox bishops who even laid down on railway lines and stopped the trains shipping Jews off to concentrationn camps.

Or the Patriarch, who from the pulpit of his cathedral on Pascha excommunicated the Czar (who was of German origin, hence why he dragged the country into the Axis) if he signed the law implementing the Nurenberg laws in Bulgaria, and anyone who cooperated with them.

Or that Bulgaria ended up with more Jews after the war than it had before.
Yeah, ignore the fact that Romania ( and "Orthodox" country) was part of the axis. lol
Noticed that you go on pass Bulgaria as if nothing had happened. Typical.

As for Romania, this is Romania before 1940
(http://www.amcopress.ro/pictures/hdid/HDID2.gif)
This is what was left, in white, of it once the Nazis, the "Apostolic Crown" (so named by the Vatican) of Hungary and the Soviet Union implimented the Molotov-Rippentrob Pact.
(http://www.geschichteinchronologie.ch/eu/rumaenien/rumaenien-index-d/EncJud_rumania-band14-kolonne-401-402-karte.gif)
which undermined the legitimacy of the government, allowing Anton Ionescu to seize control
Quote
An atypical figure among Holocaust perpetrators, Antonescu enforced policies independently responsible for the deaths of as many as 400,000 people, most of them Bessarabian, Ukrainian and Romanian Jews, as well as Romani Romanians. The regime's complicity in the Holocaust combined pogroms and mass murders such as the Odessa massacre with ethnic cleansing, systematic deportations to occupied Transnistria and widespread criminal negligence. The system in place was nevertheless characterized by singular inconsistencies, prioritizing plunder over killing, showing leniency toward most Jews in the Old Kingdom [i.e. the terriotory that the Romanians acutally controlled], and ultimately refusing to adopt the Final Solution as applied throughout Nazi-occupied Europe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Antonescu
Things were also problmatic as King Carol kept up with his Jewish background (but baptised for the Vatican) mistress although the Patriarch had already excommunicated him and had forced his renouncing the throne already. He had been allowed back into the country and then back to inherit the throne by promising to renounce the relationship. Btw, the dynasty was a branch of the German Hohenzollerns, the Imperial Family, and communicants of the Vatican (the concordat his father concluded with the Vatican was unconstituional): his son was the first Romanian King baptized Orthodox, and the Patriarch was a member of the regency which governed in his minority. With the loss of terrioty, Carol lost legitimacy and control, and abdicated.  Ionescu ruled until King Mihai was able to unify the various factions (unfortunately, including the Communists) against him, at which point he suprised Ionescu at a palace meeting, declaring him dismissed and that Romania was entering the side of the allies.
Quote
Nonetheless, in stark contrast to many countries of Eastern and Central Europe, the majority of Romanian Jews (if restricted to rump Romania, outside the territories occupied in 1940 by Hungary and the Soviet Union) survived the war, although they were subject to a wide range of harsh conditions, including forced labor, financial penalties, and discriminatory laws. The number of victims, however, makes Romania count as, according to the Wiesel Commission, "Of all the allies of Nazi Germany, [responsible] for the deaths of more Jews than any country other than Germany itself".  The killing of Jews was unsystematic, taking place in some places and times but not in others - especially, far more intensively where the Romanian Army was acting as an occupying force rather than in Romania's own sovereign territory. Fortunately for the Romanian Jews, the Nazis never got a chance to take direct control of the process and "systematise" it, as they did in Hungary at mid-1944.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jews_in_Romania#Antonescu.27s_regime

Although Romania signed the Peace Treaty as an Ally, the Soviet Union (which had pushed for Russian claims on Moldavia, which had been seized from Romania by the Czar) demanded reparations, which Romania paid 6X the amount of the treaty, as the Soviet Union occupied what was left of Romania (the U.S.S.R. kept what it gained by the Molotov-Rippentrap pact) until 1958.

Btw, the Peace Treaty of Italy specifies Italy as an Axis power. Why's that?

And who signed the Lateran Treaty again, LOL?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 07:30:50 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!

And yet you would defame an Orthodox bishop on an Orthodox board. How is that any more honorable?


Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.

What are you talking about!?  Neither your Church the OCA  nor mine, the Russian, recognises this man as an Orthodox bishop.  I cannot read the mind of my Patriarch but I think he would serve with the Pope before he would serve and commune with this man. 

The fact remains that a priest has been defamed on an Orthodox board, and several times, by the member known as "Papist."
You do realize that I deleted my post, the one that you quote above? I deleted my post about 15 minutes before you quoted it because I didn't want it to derail this thread any more than it's already been derailed.  But since you bring it up, Fr. Ambrose, I'm going to be frank with you. I've grown weary of seeing you cop a martyr complex whenever it appears to help you control a thread. I, too, find many of your discussion tactics dishonest and have told you so quite a few times. I don't see Papist defaming you nor your priestly office by saying the same thing. I don't see that he's ever called you a liar, which would be a personal attack. He has simply implied that you're being dishonest, which is a criticism of your behavior, not of your person. If you wish to engage him in conversation, I would advise you to not take criticism of your tactics personally and to not cry that he's defaming a priest whenever he calls you out for being dishonest. If he truly does attack you personally, the moderators will discipline him accordingly, as we have already done many times in the past, but, speaking only for myself and informally so at that, I don't see that he has done anything wrong here.

Thank you but your advice is misplaced. Examime this conversation and tell us why he is justified in calling me dishonest and to speak of me scornfully as "the likes of you."  Are not forum members protected from such personal attacks?    You'll need to go back to the messages about the Catholic and Muslism effect on Orthodoxy.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2010, 07:33:56 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!

And yet you would defame an Orthodox bishop on an Orthodox board. How is that any more honorable?


Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.

What are you talking about!?  Neither your Church the OCA  nor mine, the Russian, recognises this man as an Orthodox bishop.  I cannot read the mind of my Patriarch but I think he would serve with the Pope before he would serve and commune with this man. 

The fact remains that a priest has been defamed on an Orthodox board, and several times, by the member known as "Papist."
You do realize that I deleted my post, the one that you quote above? I deleted my post about 15 minutes before you quoted it because I didn't want it to derail this thread any more than it's already been derailed.  But since you bring it up, Fr. Ambrose, I'm going to be frank with you. I've grown weary of seeing you cop a martyr complex whenever it appears to help you control a thread. I, too, find many of your discussion tactics dishonest and have told you so quite a few times. I don't see Papist defaming you nor your priestly office by saying the same thing. I don't see that he's ever called you a liar, which would be a personal attack. He has simply implied that you're being dishonest, which is a criticism of your behavior, not of your person. If you wish to engage him in conversation, I would advise you to not take criticism of your tactics personally and to not cry that he's defaming a priest whenever he calls you out for being dishonest. If he truly does attack you personally, the moderators will discipline him accordingly, as we have already done many times in the past, but, speaking only for myself and informally so at that, I don't see that he has done anything wrong here.

Thank you but your advice is misplaced. Examime this conversation and tell us why he is justified in calling me dishonest and to speak of me scornfully as "the likes of you."  Are not forum members protected from such personal attacks?    You'll need to go back to the messages about the Catholic and Muslism effect on Orthodoxy.
I've already read it and taken it into account. I've no need to read it again.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Apotheoun on December 12, 2010, 07:41:05 PM
Accusations of dishonesty by either side in a debate really are irrelevant.  It would be nice if everyone would remember that people can honestly disagree with each other.  :D
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 07:43:06 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!

And yet you would defame an Orthodox bishop on an Orthodox board. How is that any more honorable?


Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.

What are you talking about!?  Neither your Church the OCA  nor mine, the Russian, recognises this man as an Orthodox bishop.  I cannot read the mind of my Patriarch but I think he would serve with the Pope before he would serve and commune with this man. 

The fact remains that a priest has been defamed on an Orthodox board, and several times, by the member known as "Papist."
You do realize that I deleted my post, the one that you quote above? I deleted my post about 15 minutes before you quoted it because I didn't want it to derail this thread any more than it's already been derailed.  But since you bring it up, Fr. Ambrose, I'm going to be frank with you. I've grown weary of seeing you cop a martyr complex whenever it appears to help you control a thread. I, too, find many of your discussion tactics dishonest and have told you so quite a few times. I don't see Papist defaming you nor your priestly office by saying the same thing. I don't see that he's ever called you a liar, which would be a personal attack. He has simply implied that you're being dishonest, which is a criticism of your behavior, not of your person. If you wish to engage him in conversation, I would advise you to not take criticism of your tactics personally and to not cry that he's defaming a priest whenever he calls you out for being dishonest. If he truly does attack you personally, the moderators will discipline him accordingly, as we have already done many times in the past, but, speaking only for myself and informally so at that, I don't see that he has done anything wrong here.

Thank you but your advice is misplaced. Examime this conversation and tell us why he is justified in calling me dishonest and to speak of me scornfully as "the likes of you."  Are not forum members protected from such personal attacks?    You'll need to go back to the messages about the Catholic and Muslism effect on Orthodoxy.
I've already read it and taken it into account. I've no need to read it again.

Do you agree with him that I was dishonest in the way I answered his question about Muslims and Catholics and their effect on Orthodoxy because I did not bring in the matter of Byzantine wars with Muslims (an entirely peripheral matter to what he and I were discussing.)   That is a toxic thing to say about any man, priest or not, and justice requires its rebuttal.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 07:47:28 PM

You do realize that I deleted my post, the one that you quote above? I deleted my post about 15 minutes before you quoted it


To answer your question.  No, I did not realise.  I was called to the door half way through writing my message (lunchtime here.)   I never thought to check if you had deleted your message.  It's honestly not something I ever do.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on December 12, 2010, 07:49:26 PM
Bringing things back on track:

Here's the thread on the IC to which Irish Hermit referred to my efforts in debunking the notion that the IC was once, or continues to be, part of Orthodox teaching:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.0.html
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 12, 2010, 07:52:37 PM
Accusations of dishonesty by either side in a debate really are irrelevant.  It would be nice if everyone would remember that people can honestly disagree with each other.  :D
(http://onemansblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/inconceivable.jpg)
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2010, 07:59:15 PM
Yesh, you people are responding faster than I can debate! 8 posts before I could reply to Fr. Ambrose!

Must be the fresh coffee after church!  ;D

Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up.


Behold how a priest is defamed on an Orthodox board!

And yet you would defame an Orthodox bishop on an Orthodox board. How is that any more honorable?


Here is an article about the change in Original Sin within Orthodoxy:

METROPOLITAN EPHRAIM AND ORIGINAL SIN
Metropolitan Ephraim of Boston has joined the long list of modernist theologians who deny, or claim to deny, the existence of original sin

Ignore this man.  He is some sort of vagante "bishop" and it would not be unreasonable to assume he has never been near a seminary.

What are you talking about!?  Neither your Church the OCA  nor mine, the Russian, recognises this man as an Orthodox bishop.  I cannot read the mind of my Patriarch but I think he would serve with the Pope before he would serve and commune with this man. 

The fact remains that a priest has been defamed on an Orthodox board, and several times, by the member known as "Papist."
You do realize that I deleted my post, the one that you quote above? I deleted my post about 15 minutes before you quoted it because I didn't want it to derail this thread any more than it's already been derailed.  But since you bring it up, Fr. Ambrose, I'm going to be frank with you. I've grown weary of seeing you cop a martyr complex whenever it appears to help you control a thread. I, too, find many of your discussion tactics dishonest and have told you so quite a few times. I don't see Papist defaming you nor your priestly office by saying the same thing. I don't see that he's ever called you a liar, which would be a personal attack. He has simply implied that you're being dishonest, which is a criticism of your behavior, not of your person. If you wish to engage him in conversation, I would advise you to not take criticism of your tactics personally and to not cry that he's defaming a priest whenever he calls you out for being dishonest. If he truly does attack you personally, the moderators will discipline him accordingly, as we have already done many times in the past, but, speaking only for myself and informally so at that, I don't see that he has done anything wrong here.

Thank you but your advice is misplaced. Examime this conversation and tell us why he is justified in calling me dishonest and to speak of me scornfully as "the likes of you."  Are not forum members protected from such personal attacks?    You'll need to go back to the messages about the Catholic and Muslism effect on Orthodoxy.
I've already read it and taken it into account. I've no need to read it again.

Do you agree with him that I was dishonest in the way I answered his question about Muslims and Catholics and their effect on Orthodoxy because I did not bring in the matter of Byzantine wars with Muslims (an entirely peripheral matter to what he and I were discussing.)   That is a toxic thing to say about any man, priest or not, and justice requires its rebuttal.
Fr. Ambrose, when you allege that your debate opponent is being dishonest, he has every right to say the same of you, and to cite examples to prove his point. In order to help bring this thread back to the topic of the IC, that's all I will say. I'm done with this tangent.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 08:01:38 PM
Or how about how you treated the Alaskan Natives? Oh, I suspect there are many more examples, but I am not as into this kind of thing as you are.
Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?
You are right. We have dealth with that before. You guys think killing Catholics is OK.

You didn't miss the question, did you?
Why do you think the Orthodox did to the Alaskan Natives, and for that matter, the Pomo and Miwok (the Amerindian Nations near Fort Ross)?

http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=94 (http://www.akhistorycourse.org/articles/article.php?artID=94)

Quote
She told her subjects to treat the Aleuts well, but enforcement of her decree was non existent in the new, far, corner of the Russian Empire known as Russian America. In 1763, the Aleuts rebelled against the Russians. Four of seven Russian ships wintering at Unalaska were destroyed and their crews were killed. In revenge, the Russians demolished Aleut villages on Umnak, Samalga, and the Islands of Four Mountains. They killed all of the villagers.

Other rebellions such as the one at Unalaska were also punished harshly. Disturbances became rare. As time passed many of the Russian promyshlenniki took Aleut women, had children, and adopted a Native lifestyle during their time, in the islands. When British navigator James Cook sailed into Southwest Alaska waters in 1778, he recorded in his journal that Russians and Aleuts at one of the outposts he visited prayed together and shared the same large barracks built in Aleut style." Russian control, however, resulted not from this but from three other factors. The Aleut population was dispersed in small villages on separate islands. The villages were on small islands vulnerable to ships' cannon fire. The Aleuts had no weapons adequate to resist the Russians' firearms. The Russians soon enslaved the Aleuts. The fur traders, although they had no permanent settlements in the the islands, often occupied hunting camps at one location for one or two years at a time.

The low lying site at Three Saints Bay was almost under water after an earthquake. This, and a shortage of timber for building, influenced Baranov to move the settlement northeast on Kodiak Island. He called the new place St. Paul. It is today's city of Kodiak. As he re-established things there, Baranov received an unwelcome shipment from Shelikhov a bevy of priests and monks. The company owner, anxious to curry favor with the Russian court, had requested permission for a church mission to Russian America. Baranov, plagued with obtaining enough supplies for his own people, had little to spare. When the Russian clerics got to the Kodiak outpost they found none of the conveniences they had been promised. They became angry with Baranov and tried to discredit him in the eyes of the Russian court. Baranov, in turn, complained uselessly about the clerics' conduct. He left the most critical priests behind when he transferred his headquarters to New Archangel, today's Sitka, in Southeast Alaska.

Unlike most later American missionaries who thought Christianity could be successfully introduced only if Native beliefs were destroyed, Father Veniaminov respected the Aleut heritage. "You must win your converts by kindness, consideration, and the power of the Word, and under no circumstances by force or by bribery or by false promise," he told fellow priests. Aleuts called Veniaminov "The Good Father." When he left the Aleutian Islands to be Bishop of Alaska, he said that he owed the Aleuts "much more than they owe me for my work, and I will never forget them."

The Yakima reservation is actually a dry reservation now! It took a great deal of work on the tribal council's part, but it is now a dry rez.

Finding out the real story of the "Whitman Massacre" is pretty interesting as well.

One of the things that I really respect about Orthodoxy is how they dealt with the Alaskan indians.



I was struck by this part of the "PETITION FROM THE TLINGIT ORTHODOX CHIEFS TO THE U.S. PRESIDENT, 1897"

3) We do not want American saloons. We beg The Government to close them . . . We have brought cases to the local authorities here and the result is that the white man goes free and unpunished, but the Native suffers fines, imprisonment and punishment. We do not want the civilization that only does not stop saloons but encourages them . . .

The Diocese Bishop Nicholas of the Aleutians and Alaska, then resident in San Francisco added:
In part: Alaska stands in need of radical reform in all direction. This I wrote to you now. It is not enough that certain rights were secured to the country in the treaty of 1867, by which it was ceded to America by the Russian Government; those rights should be protected with firmness by the law and authorities. A limit most be sent to the abusers of the various companies, more especially those of the Alaska Commercial Co., which for over 30 years has had there the uncontrolled management of affairs and has reduced the country's hunting and fishing resources to absolute exhaustion, and the population to beggary and semi-starvation. A limit must be set to the abuses of officials who, as shown by the experience of many years, are sent there without any discrimination and exclusively on the recommendation of Alaska's immovable guardian . . .

Our church allows us only to remonstrate with the highest authority on behalf of the oppressed and innocently suffering . . . but never allows us to incite dozens to sedition or treason . . . And so, Mr. President, be indulgent and gracious to poor, hapless Alaska and show the Orthodox Church there is respect to which it is entitled, if not by its whole record in that country, yet at least by Articles 2 and 3 of the Declaration of 1867.
http://www.alaskool.org/projects/native_gov/recollections/peratrovich/Elizabeth_1.htm

When St. Tikhon arrived to take over from Bp. Nicholas, St. Alexander welcomed him with these words(Dec. 22, 1898):

You have now put your episcopal hand on the rudder ... O Master! There are many wild branches in the vineyard which the Lord has made your lot: childish whims and the stubborness of human hearts -- and the whims of children who lack their father's kindness ... Fatithlessness preys on the people's hearts here; our brothers, secluded by the heterodox milieu and oppressed by need, have fallen here, members of the holy Church. The Uniate hosts are blinded and scorn truth and veracity; for them, Orthodoxy is hateful! ... And in Alaska, there are the fervent tears of the unfairly-treated Orthodox sons of our Church! ... A difficult and sorrowful path, but is it not with such that the battle you will get your satisfaction? The Lord, who cares for all will not leave your zeal, love, cares in vain, but will allow us to see the moment when your flock will, in retun, for the care you show it, call your name blessed. Then the Lord who cares for all will accept their prayers, and, in return for the moments and spiritual difficulties and physical ills, will crown you with a heavenly reward ... where the labors are great, the crown is great too! May the Lord give you strength in this new apostolic labor!

Late June through early September, he dedicated to a 9,637-mile visitation of the largest and most accessible settlements in seaboard Alaska. In Sitka's St. Michael Cathedral, he communed with the spirit of his great predecessor, Abp. Innocent Veniaminov, venerating the altar cross with which he had blessed the faithful, celebrating on the antimension which he had signed, standing on the eagle run which his daughter Polyxenia had woven with her own hands....Following his first full year in America, Bp. Tikhon settled into a more realistic, somewhat less-taxing, if not perfectly-balanced schedule of alternate-year visitations to Alaska on the one hand and the rest of the Mission on the other. Holy Week and Pascha were kept in his cathedral, then it was time to travel. In May of 1900, he set sail for Alaska for 78 days, becoming the first bishop in fifty-five years to penetrate some parts of its vast hinterland. Of much of his 7,300-mile trip, an Alaskan veteran wrote: "The inconveniences of travel in this region often oppress even the local people who are used to them. How much more difficult must our travels have been for the Bishop, a novice. But not only did the Bishop never express fatigue or inconvenience, he even inspired cheerfulness in us by his good-natured attitude toward the various inconveniences." Aliutukhta, as the Natives called him, treated them as though they were his own children, ate with them and like them from a common pot, taught them, offered them gifts, administered medicine as he visited the sick, and most memorably celebrated spectacular services for them.
http://www.antiochian.org/Bishops/tikhon.htm


I've been trying to get as much information about the Kashaya Pomo, the Amerindians around Fort Ross. The secular sources attribute them surviving as a culture, with many still fluent in Pomo, to their being in Russian territory.


You've already met Peter the Aleut.
The lad in the center, in the red shirt is St. Peter the Aleut, martyred by your Spanish Inquisition in San Francisco.
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PHevEyZJDwM/SrP_PRWTPGI/AAAAAAAAAxk/7iCuRN2SMHs/s400/250px-Saint_Peter_the_Aleut.jpg)

He wasn't an immigrant: he went from the Aleutian Islands (the Czar's territory, by treaty with the Aleutians) to Fort Ross California (the Czar's territory, by treaty with the Kashaya Pomo), a native.

Half Aleut (his Father was Russian), was Father Jacob Netsvetov.  Again, not a an immigrant as he went from Alaska to Irkutsk and then to the Yukon, all in the Russian Empire.
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_qpE5hNwi618/SmyrMALv2JI/AAAAAAAABLo/hgt1RNSkdSk/s400/jacob.jpg)

An immigrant was St. Innoncent of Alaska, later Patriarch of Moscow.  He evangelized from Siberia through Alaska down to San Francisco.  He learned and wrote in the native languages works which he translated into Russian and were published for the Faithful there when he became senior hiearch of the Moscow Church.

They did their work well.

And it continues:
http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/29721.htm
Quote
RTE: One of the revelations in reading native Alaskan Orthodox history such as Alaskan Missionary Spirituality, or From Mask to Icon: Transformation in the Arctic, is how Orthodoxy was very much initially embraced and then kept alive by the native peoples, sometimes without seeing a priest for years. Twenty years ago, I remember Aleuts from Kodiak simply saying, “To be native is to be Orthodox.”

MIKHAIL: Yes, indeed. Fr. Michael Oleksa goes into great detail about this in his book Orthodox Alaska — how many elements of the pre-Christian Alaskan worldview were not abolished, but rather fulfilled in Orthodox Christianity.

RTE: Wonderful! How many languages and dialects are there in the native Orthodox population, and how many people still speak those languages? MIKHAIL: That’s a very good question. I cannot claim to be a scholar, but I can answer based on my experience with the texts, and having worked with the wonderful priests of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska who provided their expertise.

Numerically, the largest contingent of Native Alaskan speakers are the Yup’ik people, who number around 20,000 people, of whom 13,000 speak the language across various dialects. The Alutiiq (known as Kodiak-Aleut in Russian America) number around 3,000, of whom 500-1,000 still speak the language. Aleuts are divided linguistically into the Atkan and Eastern dialectal variants. The total population of the Aleut people is given as 3,000, with the vast majority being of Eastern-Aleut background. The Atkan-dialect of Aleut has approximately 60-80 fluent speakers, whereas the Eastern-Aleut dialect has about 300 fluent speakers. St. Innocent focused his efforts in writing for the Eastern-Aleut, while St. Jacob concentrated on developing the Atkan-Aleut and Yup’ik languages. The Tlingit population is estimated at around 17,000, of whom 500 are fluent in the language. The bulk of Tlingit literature was developed in Sitka by Reader Ivan Nadezhdin in the 1850’s, and by Fr. Vladimir Donskoi and Michael Sinkiel in the 1890’s. The Tanaina of central Alaska number around 1,000, with 100 fluent native-language speakers. In all cases, many more people understand the language but do not speak it.

The native languages all had a thriving press and literature through the 1800’s under the auspices of the Orthodox Church. However, in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s, the Protestant missions of Sheldon Jackson had a disastrous effect on native language vitality, and were clearly aimed at ripping out the roots of the Native Alaskan Orthodox cultures. Stories of faithful Aleut Orthodox being chained to the floors of their own homes by U.S. Territorial agents for speaking their language and courageously refusing to hand over their children to the Protestant boarding schools break the heart. Our native Alaskan Orthodox brothers were first-class confessors for their Holy Orthodox faith. They are heroes and defenders of Orthodox Christianity. In the midst of the turmoil of American “English-only” language policy throughout much of the 20th century, the native languages declined greatly. Much of the work of Sts. Innocent and Jacob was destroyed, but not completely. What we are seeing today is a veritable resurrection of our Alaskan brothers’ texts, their languages, their authentically Orthodox cultures. Their sacrifice is chronicled in such books as Alaskan Missionary Spirituality and Orthodox Alaska by Fr. Michael Oleksa. RTE: Sadly, the mistreatment went on well into the latter half of the 20th century. The Russian Orthodox priests who remained after the United States acquired Alaska had little influence to protect the native Orthodox, and even less after the 1917 Russian Revolution. I remember an Aleut Orthodox man who said that, as late as the 1960’s, when he was a young boy at school, the use of native language was still forbidden. If you were heard speaking it, a derogatory, humiliating sign was placed around your neck, which you wore until you heard another child speaking “native,” when you could pass the sign on to him. The child wearing the sign at the end of the day was beaten by the principal.

This should not have been, as the rights of the Orthodox were guarenteed by treaty:
Quote
Article II
In the cession of territory and dominion made by the preceding article, are included the right of property in all public lots and squares, vacant lands, and all public buildings, fortifications, barracks, and other edifies which are not private individual property. It is, however, understood and agreed, that the churches which have been built in the ceded territory by the Russian Government, shall remain the property of such members of the Greek Oriental Church resident in the territory as may choose to worship therein. Any Government archives, papers, and documents relative to the territory and dominion aforesaid, which may now be existing there, will be left in the possession of the agent of the United States; but an authenticated copy of such of them as may be required, will be, at all times, given by the United States to the Russian Government, or to such Russian officers or subjects as they may apply for. 10

Article III
The inhabitants of the ceded territory, according to their choice, reserving their natural allegiance, may return to Russia within three years; but if they should prefer to remain in the ceded territory, they, with the exception of uncivilized native tribes, shall be admitted to the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens of the United States, and shall be maintained and protected in the free enjoyment of their liberty, property, and religion. The uncivilized tribes will be subject to such laws and regulations as the United States may from time to time adopt in regard to aboriginal tribes of that country.”
http://www.bartleby.com/43/43.html

As to the rights that the natives had by treaty, I've posted elsewhere:
Quote
The issue is the status that the treaty created for the Orthodox, both European and Amerinidian, in US law, with legal title to the Church properties etc in Alaska, as successor of the HGS authority. (there are related matters, e.g. 1% of the sale price was paid per annum to the American Diocese until the revolution, etc.). There are lots of de jure issues from how the US constition and case law would interact with the treaty, but as the US, besides paying the money didn’t keep the terms of the treaty, that might be too large a digression. Instead we might look at how the “Tlingit Orthodox Chiefs” tried to assert their rights under the treaty (ironic, as the Tlingit converted as a nation AFTER the Russians left) petitioning the US president: “The reason for this (petition) is following; because here we cannot get any satisfaction to our just and lawful demands. We know that the Russian Government at the time of the transfer of Alaska to the U.S. did not sell us as slaves to America, but left us some rights and privileges which were later made lawful and firm by the U.S. Congress….we never lost faith in the Government at Washington. This sorrowful reality only made us lose faith in persons sent out here by the government.” Some 70 Orthodox residents of Sitka, Russian and Amerindian, petitioned the Russian ambassador in Washington to enforce the terms of the treaty. And Bishop Nicholai wrote to President McKinley: “Our church allows us only to remonstrate with the highest authority on behalf of the oppressed and innocently suffering . . . but never allows us to incite dozens to sedition or treason . . . And so, Mr. President, be indulgent and gracious to poor, hapless Alaska and show the Orthodox Church there is respect to which it is entitled, if not by its whole record in that country, yet at least by Articles 2 and 3 of the Declaration of 1867″ [i.e. the Cession Treaty]. The import of this is underlined by Jackson and others reply that the Orthdoox clergy were foreign agents of the czar etc. Alaska may have been on the other side of the continent but their place was in the polity headed in Washington.
http://www.alaskool.org/projects/native_gov/recollections/peratrovich/Elizabeth_1.htm
“Haa tuwunáagu yís for healing our spirit: Tlingit oratory” By Richard Dauenhauer
http://books.google.ro/books?id=eQtcYqW8JBYC&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=tlingit+orthodox+chiefs+to+president&source=bl&ots=XiL1MLmcYf&sig=d1-RDRc69fR_ns1SZvKW99e248A&hl=ro&ei=ts_1SoGxB4aGMYeH-egF&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CA4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=tlingit%20orthodox%20chiefs%20to%20president&f=false
Orthodox Alaska: a theology of mission By Michael Oleks
http://books.google.ro/books?id=r6iwMR-xoEIC&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=tlingit+orthodox+chiefs+to+president&source=bl&ots=wWpj58-278&sig=skkYrQeL8lIU02A7sf0yP48XjeY&hl=ro&ei=FdT1SujZLZLiMYLQ4egF&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CCgQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=tlingit%20orthodox%20chiefs%20to%20president&f=false
“Russian Orthodox Brotherhoods Among the Tlingit: Missionary Goals and Native Reponse,” Sergei Kan. Ethnohistory 32(3):196-223
Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through Two Centuries” By Sergei Kan
http://books.google.ro/books?id=E0-Aj0dOSuUC&pg=PA304&dq=Memory+Eternal+Tlingit+Orthodox+Chiefs+McKinley#v=onepage&q=&f=false
http://www.jstor.org/pss/481921
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/11/the-origins-of-the-myth-of-past-unity/#comments

btw, I've posted there on the legal problems the Vatican has here in the US:
Quote
The Supreme Court had already stated that (Fremont v. United States, 58 U.S. 17 How. 542, 547 (1854 CA) “The laws[enacted by the previous sovereign] of these territories [acquired by the US],….[are] never treated by this [US Supreme] Court as foreign laws, to be decided as a question of fact, but the Court held itself bound to notice them judicially, as much so as the laws of a state of the Union.” The Charters in force in Alaska, the Ecclesiastical Statute, etc. had lots to say about the jurisdiction of the HGS, the Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands and his auxiliary in Sitka, over the Diocese, the Churches, the Faithful etc, all of which did not contradict the First Amendment immediately became American law, and was treated as such. So though one might think that the 1st Amendment would preclude judicial notice of the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church over the Amerindians, in fact the courts made such jurisdiction according to the Russian laws, “membership in the established [Russian Orthodox] Church” a sine que non for US citizenship for Amerindians.
As argued in the CA Supreme Court in 1856 (Nobili v. Redman 6 Cal. 325, ) “The former laws of California are not foreign laws. To the extent therefore in which the canon law was formerly recognized by the civil power and thereby made part of the municipal law, the Court will take judicial notice of it. In the case of Fremont v. The United States, (17 How. R. 357,) the Supreme Court say: “It is proper to remark, that the laws of these territories under which titles were claimed, were never treated by the Court as foreign laws to be decided as a question of fact. It was always held that the Court was bound judicially to notice them, as much so as the laws of a State of the Union.”"
In Nobili, the Latin church lost because the Court determined that she had no power to own property until decree of secularization of 1833 by Mexico (which declared the missions public land), “the limitations contained in it would not entitle the Church to the property sued for.” In our case, the Article 2 of the Cession Treaty (and the AK and Fed. case law relying on the canon law recognized by the Russian power) would be controlling. Such would be strengthened in 1868 by passage of the Citizen, Equal Protection, Due Process and Incorporation/Immunities and Privileges Clauses of the 14th Ammendment, and the decision of Watson v. Jones 80 U.S. 679 (1872), the precedent for Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral of Russian Orthodox Church, 344 U.S. 94.

As to the rights that the natives had by treaty, I've posted elsewhere:
Quote
The issue is the status that the treaty created for the Orthodox, both European and Amerinidian, in US law, with legal title to the Church properties etc in Alaska, as successor of the HGS authority. (there are related matters, e.g. 1% of the sale price was paid per annum to the American Diocese until the revolution, etc.). There are lots of de jure issues from how the US constition and case law would interact with the treaty, but as the US, besides paying the money didn’t keep the terms of the treaty, that might be too large a digression. Instead we might look at how the “Tlingit Orthodox Chiefs” tried to assert their rights under the treaty (ironic, as the Tlingit converted as a nation AFTER the Russians left) petitioning the US president: “The reason for this (petition) is following; because here we cannot get any satisfaction to our just and lawful demands. We know that the Russian Government at the time of the transfer of Alaska to the U.S. did not sell us as slaves to America, but left us some rights and privileges which were later made lawful and firm by the U.S. Congress….we never lost faith in the Government at Washington. This sorrowful reality only made us lose faith in persons sent out here by the government.” Some 70 Orthodox residents of Sitka, Russian and Amerindian, petitioned the Russian ambassador in Washington to enforce the terms of the treaty. And Bishop Nicholai wrote to President McKinley: “Our church allows us only to remonstrate with the highest authority on behalf of the oppressed and innocently suffering . . . but never allows us to incite dozens to sedition or treason . . . And so, Mr. President, be indulgent and gracious to poor, hapless Alaska and show the Orthodox Church there is respect to which it is entitled, if not by its whole record in that country, yet at least by Articles 2 and 3 of the Declaration of 1867″ [i.e. the Cession Treaty]. The import of this is underlined by Jackson and others reply that the Orthdoox clergy were foreign agents of the czar etc. Alaska may have been on the other side of the continent but their place was in the polity headed in Washington.
http://www.alaskool.org/projects/native_gov/recollections/peratrovich/Elizabeth_1.htm
“Haa tuwunáagu yís for healing our spirit: Tlingit oratory” By Richard Dauenhauer
http://books.google.ro/books?id=eQtcYqW8JBYC&pg=PA136&lpg=PA136&dq=tlingit+orthodox+chiefs+to+president&source=bl&ots=XiL1MLmcYf&sig=d1-RDRc69fR_ns1SZvKW99e248A&hl=ro&ei=ts_1SoGxB4aGMYeH-egF&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CA4Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=tlingit%20orthodox%20chiefs%20to%20president&f=false
Orthodox Alaska: a theology of mission By Michael Oleks
http://books.google.ro/books?id=r6iwMR-xoEIC&pg=PA182&lpg=PA182&dq=tlingit+orthodox+chiefs+to+president&source=bl&ots=wWpj58-278&sig=skkYrQeL8lIU02A7sf0yP48XjeY&hl=ro&ei=FdT1SujZLZLiMYLQ4egF&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9&ved=0CCgQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=tlingit%20orthodox%20chiefs%20to%20president&f=false
“Russian Orthodox Brotherhoods Among the Tlingit: Missionary Goals and Native Reponse,” Sergei Kan. Ethnohistory 32(3):196-223
Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through Two Centuries” By Sergei Kan
http://books.google.ro/books?id=E0-Aj0dOSuUC&pg=PA304&dq=Memory+Eternal+Tlingit+Orthodox+Chiefs+McKinley#v=onepage&q=&f=false
http://www.jstor.org/pss/481921
http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/11/the-origins-of-the-myth-of-past-unity/#comments

btw, I've posted there on the legal problems the Vatican has here in the US:
Quote
The Supreme Court had already stated that (Fremont v. United States, 58 U.S. 17 How. 542, 547 (1854 CA) “The laws[enacted by the previous sovereign] of these territories [acquired by the US],….[are] never treated by this [US Supreme] Court as foreign laws, to be decided as a question of fact, but the Court held itself bound to notice them judicially, as much so as the laws of a state of the Union.” The Charters in force in Alaska, the Ecclesiastical Statute, etc. had lots to say about the jurisdiction of the HGS, the Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands and his auxiliary in Sitka, over the Diocese, the Churches, the Faithful etc, all of which did not contradict the First Amendment immediately became American law, and was treated as such. So though one might think that the 1st Amendment would preclude judicial notice of the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church over the Amerindians, in fact the courts made such jurisdiction according to the Russian laws, “membership in the established [Russian Orthodox] Church” a sine que non for US citizenship for Amerindians.
As argued in the CA Supreme Court in 1856 (Nobili v. Redman 6 Cal. 325, ) “The former laws of California are not foreign laws. To the extent therefore in which the canon law was formerly recognized by the civil power and thereby made part of the municipal law, the Court will take judicial notice of it. In the case of Fremont v. The United States, (17 How. R. 357,) the Supreme Court say: “It is proper to remark, that the laws of these territories under which titles were claimed, were never treated by the Court as foreign laws to be decided as a question of fact. It was always held that the Court was bound judicially to notice them, as much so as the laws of a State of the Union.”"
In Nobili, the Latin church lost because the Court determined that she had no power to own property until decree of secularization of 1833 by Mexico (which declared the missions public land), “the limitations contained in it would not entitle the Church to the property sued for.” In our case, the Article 2 of the Cession Treaty (and the AK and Fed. case law relying on the canon law recognized by the Russian power) would be controlling. Such would be strengthened in 1868 by passage of the Citizen, Equal Protection, Due Process and Incorporation/Immunities and Privileges Clauses of the 14th Ammendment, and the decision of Watson v. Jones 80 U.S. 679 (1872), the precedent for Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral of Russian Orthodox Church, 344 U.S. 94.

As to the rights that the natives had by treaty, I've posted elsewhere:
Quote
The issue is the status that the treaty created for the Orthodox, both European and Amerinidian, in US law, with legal title to the Church properties etc in Alaska, as successor of the HGS authority. (there are related matters, e.g. 1% of the sale price was paid per annum to the American Diocese until the revolution, etc.). There are lots of de jure issues from how the US constition and case law would interact with the treaty, but as the US, besides paying the money didn’t keep the terms of the treaty, that might be too large a digression. Instead we might look at how the “Tlingit Orthodox Chiefs” tried to assert their rights under the treaty (ironic, as the Tlingit converted as a nation AFTER the Russians left) petitioning the US president: “The reason for this (petition) is following; because here we cannot get any satisfaction to our just and lawful demands. We know that the Russian Government at the time of the transfer of Alaska to the U.S. did not sell us as slaves to America, but left us some rights and privileges which were later made lawful and firm by the U.S. Congress….we never lost faith in the Government at Washington. This sorrowful reality only made us lose faith in persons sent out here by the government.” Some 70 Orthodox residents of Sitka, Russian and Amerindian, petitioned the Russian ambassador in Washington to enforce the terms of the treaty. And Bishop Nicholai wrote to President McKinley: “Our church allows us only to remonstrate with the highest authority on behalf of the oppressed and innocently suffering . . . but never allows us to incite dozens to sedition or treason . . . And so, Mr. President, be indulgent and gracious to poor, hapless Alaska and show the Orthodox Church there is respect to which it is entitled, if not by its whole record in that country, yet at least by Articles 2 and 3 of the Declaration of 1867″ [i.e. the Cession Treaty]. The import of this is underlined by Jackson and others reply that the Orthdoox clergy were foreign agents of the czar etc. Alaska may have been on the other side of the continent but their place was in the polity headed in Washington.
 “Haa tuwunáagu yís for healing our spirit: Tlingit oratory” By Richard Dauenhauer
Orthodox Alaska: a theology of mission By Michael Oleks
 “Russian Orthodox Brotherhoods Among the Tlingit: Missionary Goals and Native Reponse,” Sergei Kan. Ethnohistory 32(3):196-223
Memory Eternal: Tlingit Culture and Russian Orthodox Christianity through Two Centuries” By Sergei Kan
btw, I've posted there on the legal problems the Vatican has here in the US:
Quote
The Supreme Court had already stated that (Fremont v. United States, 58 U.S. 17 How. 542, 547 (1854 CA) “The laws[enacted by the previous sovereign] of these territories [acquired by the US],….[are] never treated by this [US Supreme] Court as foreign laws, to be decided as a question of fact, but the Court held itself bound to notice them judicially, as much so as the laws of a state of the Union.” The Charters in force in Alaska, the Ecclesiastical Statute, etc. had lots to say about the jurisdiction of the HGS, the Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands and his auxiliary in Sitka, over the Diocese, the Churches, the Faithful etc, all of which did not contradict the First Amendment immediately became American law, and was treated as such. So though one might think that the 1st Amendment would preclude judicial notice of the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church over the Amerindians, in fact the courts made such jurisdiction according to the Russian laws, “membership in the established [Russian Orthodox] Church” a sine que non for US citizenship for Amerindians.
As argued in the CA Supreme Court in 1856 (Nobili v. Redman 6 Cal. 325, ) “The former laws of California are not foreign laws. To the extent therefore in which the canon law was formerly recognized by the civil power and thereby made part of the municipal law, the Court will take judicial notice of it. In the case of Fremont v. The United States, (17 How. R. 357,) the Supreme Court say: “It is proper to remark, that the laws of these territories under which titles were claimed, were never treated by the Court as foreign laws to be decided as a question of fact. It was always held that the Court was bound judicially to notice them, as much so as the laws of a State of the Union.”"
In Nobili, the Latin church lost because the Court determined that she had no power to own property until decree of secularization of 1833 by Mexico (which declared the missions public land), “the limitations contained in it would not entitle the Church to the property sued for.” In our case, the Article 2 of the Cession Treaty (and the AK and Fed. case law relying on the canon law recognized by the Russian power) would be controlling. Such would be strengthened in 1868 by passage of the Citizen, Equal Protection, Due Process and Incorporation/Immunities and Privileges Clauses of the 14th Ammendment, and the decision of Watson v. Jones 80 U.S. 679 (1872), the precedent for Kedroff v. St. Nicholas Cathedral of Russian Orthodox Church, 344 U.S. 94.


http://orthodoxhistory.org/2009/11/the-origins-of-the-myth-of-past-unity/#comments

Some where I think I posted an interesting Amerindian account of a Russian being beaten to death by the authorities at Fort Ross for mistreating his Amerindian wife.

If I can find it, there is a record of Shelikhov and Rezanov, on the infrequent visits to Alaska, metting out coporal punishment to company officials guilty of cruelty to the natives, bringing the officials back to Russia in chains.  With the renewal of the company's charter, the officials all had to recruited from the naval officers (hence disciplined men rather than the riff-raff who had been running things).  The next charter the Czar let St. Innocent write the provisions regarding the natives: given the treaty, all the Amerindians in AK should have been US citizens under the law St. Innocent established.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 08:02:34 PM
Accusations of dishonesty by either side in a debate really are irrelevant.  It would be nice if everyone would remember that people can honestly disagree with each other.  :D
(http://onemansblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/inconceivable.jpg)
That is what the IC is.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: LBK on December 12, 2010, 08:04:31 PM
Bringing things back on track:

Here's the thread on the IC to which Irish Hermit referred to my efforts in debunking the notion that the IC was once, or continues to be, part of Orthodox teaching:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.0.html

Page 15 of this thread is where I introduce the liturgical text of the Orthodox feast of the Conception of the Mother of God.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 08:05:17 PM
/\  Peter, I can see you are not au courant.  Here is the first accusation of dishonesty, not from me but from Papist in  message 271:

Papist: "Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up."
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 08:09:29 PM
Quote
IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzantine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

ialmisry, and all who are interested, here are links to the Greek hymnography of December 8 and 9, the Orthodox  - NOT Byzantine Catholic - forefeast and feast of the Conception of the Mother of God:

http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/08.uni.htm
http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/09.uni.htm

EDIT: Please note, as I have previously on another IC thread, that there is no Litia for the Orthodox feast. The Byzantine Catholic feast is a full Vigil, with Litia and Polyeleos. The hymnography of this Litia, which is not part of the Orthodox liturgical deposit, explicitly proclaims the doctrine of the IC. So much for the Papal decree that the Eastern Catholics use the same liturgical deposit as the Orthodox, with no alteration or interpolation.




And in the original Greek!

Eucharisto LBK! I'll try to give it the look after I get back.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Deacon Lance on December 12, 2010, 08:37:48 PM
Quote
IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzantine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

ialmisry, and all who are interested, here are links to the Greek hymnography of December 8 and 9, the Orthodox  - NOT Byzantine Catholic - forefeast and feast of the Conception of the Mother of God:

http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/08.uni.htm
http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/09.uni.htm

EDIT: Please note, as I have previously on another IC thread, that there is no Litia for the Orthodox feast. The Byzantine Catholic feast is a full Vigil, with Litia and Polyeleos. The hymnography of this Litia, which is not part of the Orthodox liturgical deposit, explicitly proclaims the doctrine of the IC. So much for the Papal decree that the Eastern Catholics use the same liturgical deposit as the Orthodox, with no alteration or interpolation.

I was quite up front about the fact that the Byzantine Catholic Church had raised the Feast to Vigil and added texts which the Orthodox don't use and therefore can't be used in this debate.

As to the Papal decrees, Feasts like the Immacualte Conception, Sacred Heart, Corpus Christi, and Christ the King were added long before Vatican II and the mandate to delatinize.  To our credit most of these have been removed.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: PeterTheAleut on December 12, 2010, 08:38:40 PM
/\  Peter, I can see you are not au courant.  Here is the first accusation of dishonesty, not from me but from Papist in  message 271:

Papist: "Once Father Ambrose takes us down the rabbit hole of his dishonesty, then it is indeed hard to keep up."
[breaking my vow of silence, but only to acknowledge the correctness of the person I'm confronting]
Okay, I acknowledge that. Papist made the first accusation of dishonesty, and you responded by lobbing a counter-accusation. However, I don't see how that changes anything I said, since you still accused him of dishonesty. Besides, it all comes back to what I said earlier about not taking personal offense when someone accuses you of engaging in dishonest debate tactics and about not attempting to defend yourself against such accusations by asserting the authority and sanctity of your priestly office. The fact that you're a priest doesn't guarantee that everything you say on an Internet discussion board is truthful beyond question, nor does it absolve you of any responsibility for what you say here.
[renewing my vow of silence on this tangent]
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 09:20:41 PM
Quote
IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzantine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

ialmisry, and all who are interested, here are links to the Greek hymnography of December 8 and 9, the Orthodox  - NOT Byzantine Catholic - forefeast and feast of the Conception of the Mother of God:

http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/08.uni.htm
http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/09.uni.htm

EDIT: Please note, as I have previously on another IC thread, that there is no Litia for the Orthodox feast. The Byzantine Catholic feast is a full Vigil, with Litia and Polyeleos. The hymnography of this Litia, which is not part of the Orthodox liturgical deposit, explicitly proclaims the doctrine of the IC. So much for the Papal decree that the Eastern Catholics use the same liturgical deposit as the Orthodox, with no alteration or interpolation.

I was quite up front about the fact that the Byzantine Catholic Church had raised the Feast to Vigil and added texts which the Orthodox don't use and therefore can't be used in this debate.
so that it is clear, Deacon, you were not the one I meant when I raised the issue. They know who they are. Or should.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Deacon Lance on December 12, 2010, 09:59:07 PM
Quote
IIRC Fr. Ambrose brought up that the Byzantine DL, as opposed to the Orthodox DL of Constantinople, has interpolations etc.  A while back I finally got a hold of the text of the service of Dec. 9 (the rarity of it should tell you something), which "the Conception of St. Anne" shares with the "Dedication of the Church of the Resurrection". Skimming through it, I don't recall seeing these words (of course, it can be translation.  I couldn't get the Greek). Can we get confirmation that the texts you cite are ones that some Orthodox Church actually use?

ialmisry, and all who are interested, here are links to the Greek hymnography of December 8 and 9, the Orthodox  - NOT Byzantine Catholic - forefeast and feast of the Conception of the Mother of God:

http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/08.uni.htm
http://analogion.gr/glt/texts/Dec/09.uni.htm

EDIT: Please note, as I have previously on another IC thread, that there is no Litia for the Orthodox feast. The Byzantine Catholic feast is a full Vigil, with Litia and Polyeleos. The hymnography of this Litia, which is not part of the Orthodox liturgical deposit, explicitly proclaims the doctrine of the IC. So much for the Papal decree that the Eastern Catholics use the same liturgical deposit as the Orthodox, with no alteration or interpolation.

I was quite up front about the fact that the Byzantine Catholic Church had raised the Feast to Vigil and added texts which the Orthodox don't use and therefore can't be used in this debate.
so that it is clear, Deacon, you were not the one I meant when I raised the issue. They know who they are. Or should.

Thank you, Isa.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 12, 2010, 10:44:28 PM
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

[omitted for sake of space]

++++++++++++++++
Taken from The Festal Menaion translated from the original Greek by
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.
I'm quite familiar with these hymns, but I fail to see how they justify the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as this was articulated by Pope Pius IX in 1854. I don't see in any of these texts, not even the ones you highlighted for us, anything to suggest that the Theotokos was preserved free from every stain of original sin from the moment of her conception.

These texts take us a good bit closer to Catholic teaching than most Orthodox would like to go.

If the issue of original sin could be resolved mutually there would not be much left by way of good arguments against the teaching that the Mother of God was born in a state of original justice.

And there's nothing that really stands in the way of a profession of mutual understanding on the teaching of the loss of original justice, or its reclamation by Baptism in Christ the Redeemer King.

So I understand what you are saying but I am still not sold on the idea that there is this deep and impassible chasm.  After all the west took her understanding of both the unique holiness of the mother of God and also the loss and resumption of original justice from eastern sources.

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 12, 2010, 10:44:30 PM
LBK,

These are not Greek Catholic texts.  I have placed the citation for them at the end of the texts!!

I hope your note is not suggesting that I have lied.



The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

From Small Vespers:

O ye gates of the sanctuary, into the Holy of Holies receive ye a Virgin,
the spotless Tabernacle of God the Almighty.

Ye virgins, joyfully bearing torches, attend the pure Virgin on her way, as
she enters the Holy of Holies, the Bride of the King of all.

The living Bridal Chamber of God the Word receives bread from the hands of a
divine angel, as she dwells in the Holy of holies.

From Great Vespers:

Led by the Holy Spirit, the holy Maid without spot is taken to dwell in the
Holy of Holies. By an angel is she fed, who is in truth the most holy Temple
of our Holy God. He has sanctified all things by her entry, and has made
godlike the fallen nature of fallen men.

After thy birth, O Lady and Bride of God, thou hast gone to dwell in the
temple of the Lord, there to be brought up in the Holy of Holies, for thou
art thyself holy: and Gabriel then was sent to thee, O Virgin all-undefiled,
to bring thee food. All the powers of heaven stood amazed, seeing the Holy
Spirit dwell in thee. Therefore, O Mother of God without stain or blemish,
glorified in heaven and on earth, save our kind.

Ann, truly blessed by God's grace, led with gladness into the temple of the
Lord the pure and ever-Virgin, who is full of grace, and she called the
young girls to go before her, lamps in hand. `Go, Child,' she said, `to Him
who gave thee unto me; be unto Him an offering and a sweet smelling incense.
Go into the place which none may enter: learn its mysteries and prepare
thyself to become the pleasing and beautiful dwelling-place of Jesus, who
grants the world great mercy.'

From Matins:

From Eve of old the transgression came upon mankind, and now from Eve's
stock has flowered forth our restoration and incorruption, even the
Theotokos, who is brought today into the house of God.

Be glad today, O Joachim, and rejoice exceedingly in spirit, O Ann, who now
present unto the Lord your daughter, as a three-year old victim of
sacrifice, holy and utterly without spot.

The ewe-lamb of God without spot, the dove without blemish, the tabernacle
that is to hold God, the sanctuary of the glory, has chosen to dwell in the
holy temple.

Three years old in the flesh and many years old in the spirit, more spacious
than the heavens and higher than the powers above, let the Bride of God be
praised in song.

Seeing the beauty of thy soul, O undefiled Virgin, Zacharias cried out with
faith: `Thou art our deliverance, thou art the joy of all. Thou art our
restoration, through whom the Incomprehensible appears comprehensible to
me.'

O Virgin all-undefiled, past understanding is thy wonders! Strange is the
manner of thy birth: strange is the manner of thy growing. Strange and most
marvellous are all things concerning thee, O Bride of God, and they are
beyond the telling of mortal men.

A child in the flesh but perfect in soul, the holy Ark enters into the house
of God, there to feed upon divine grace.

The ranks of angels rejoiced exceedingly and spirits of the righteous were
glad, when the Mother of God was led into the sanctuary.

Mary without spot rejoiced in body and spirit, dwelling as a sacred vessel
in the temple of the Lord.

Receiving heavenly food, she who was to become the Mother of Christ the
Saviour according to the flesh, increased in wisdom and grace.

O pure Theotokos, thou hast a clean and shining beauty of soul, and art
filled from heaven with the grace of God. Thou dost ever enlighten with
eternal light those who cry aloud in gladness: O pure Virgin, thou art truly
high above all.

Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with amazement,
seeing how she entered marvelously into the Holy of Holies.

Thy wonders, O pure Theotokos, surpass the power of words. For in thee I see
something beyond speech; a body that was never subject to the taint of sin.
Therefore in thanksgiving I cry to thee: O pure Virgin, thou art truly high
above all.

Angels and men, let us honour the entry of the Virgin, for in glory she has
gone into the Holy of Holies.

++++++++++++++++
Taken from The Festal Menaion translated from the original Greek by
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 12, 2010, 10:44:33 PM
Apropos the teaching that Baptism regenerates the state of original justice in all humans, adult, child and infants:

Canons of the Council of Carthage (418)

CANON CVIII.

Synod against the heresy of Pelagius and Celestius.

In the consulate of the most glorious Emperors, Honorius for the XIIth time and Theodosius for
the VIIIth, Augusti most exalted, on the Calends of May, at Carthage in the secretarium of the
Basilica of Faustus. When Aurelius the bishop presided over the whole council, the deacons
standing by, it pleased all the bishops, whose names and subscriptions are indicated, met together
in the holy synod of the Church of Carthage to define ---

CANON CIX. (Greek cxii. continued.)

That Adam was not created by God subject to death.
That whosoever says that Adam, the first man, was created mortal, so that whether he had sinned
or not, he would have died in body -- that is, he would have gone forth of the body, not because
his sin merited this, but by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

CANON CX. (Greek cxii. bis)

That infants are baptized for the remission of sins.

LIKEWISE it seemed good that whosoever denies that infants newly from their mother's wombs
should be baptized, or says that baptism is for remission of sins, but that they derive from Adam
no original sin, which needs to be removed by the layer of regeneration, from whence the
conclusion follows, that in them the form of baptism for the remission of sins, is to be
understood as false and not true, let him be anathema.

For no otherwise can be understood what the Apostle says, "By one man sin is come into the
world, and death through sin, and so death passed upon all men in that all have "sinned," than the
Catholic Church everywhere diffused has always understood it. For on account of this rule of
faith (regulam fidei) even infants, who could have committed as yet no sin themselves, therefore
are truly baptized for the remission of sins, in order that what in them is the result of generation
may be cleansed by regeneration.

CANON CXI. (Greek cxiij.)
That the grace of God not only gives remission of sins, but also affords aid that we sin no more.
LIKEWISE it seemed good, that whoever should say that the grace of God, by which a man is
justified through Jesus Christ our Lord, avails only for the remission of past sins, and not for
assistance against committing sins in the future, let him be anathema.

CANON CXII. (Greek cxiij. continued.)

That the grace of Christ gives not only the knowledge of our duty, but also inspires us with a
desire that we may be able to accomplish what we know

ALSO, whoever shall say that the same grace of God through Jesus Christ our Lord helps us only
in not sinning by revealing to us and opening to our understanding the commandments, so that
we may know what to seek, what we ought to avoid, and also that we should love to do so, but
that through it we are not helped so that we are able to do what we know we should do, let him
be anathema. For when the Apostle says: "Wisdom puffeth up, but charity edifieth" it were truly
infamous were we to believe that we have the grace of Christ for that which puffeth us up, but
have it not for that which edifieth, since in each case it is the gift of God, both to know what we
ought to do, and to love to do it; so that wisdom cannot puff us up while charity is edifying us.
For as of God it is written, "Who teacheth man knowledge," so also it is written, "Love is of
God."

CANON CXIII. (Greek cxiiii.)
That without the grace of God we can do no good thing.

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

CANON CXIV. (Greek cxv.)
That not only humble but also true is that voice of the Saints: "If we say that we have no sin we
deceive ourselves."

IT also seemed good that as St. John the Apostle says, "If we shall say that we have no sin we
deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us," whosoever thinks that this should be so understood
as to mean that out of humility, we ought to say that we have sin, and not because it is really so,
let him be anathema. For the Apostle goes on to add, "But if we confess our sins, he is faithful
and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all iniquity," where it is sufficiently clear
that this is said not only of humility but also truly. For the Apostle might have said, "If we shall
say we have no sins we shall extoll ourselves, and humility shall have no place in us;" but when
he says, "we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" he sufficiently intimates that he who
affirmed that he had no sin would speak not that which is true but that which is false.

CANON CXV. (Greek cxvi.)
That in the Lord's Prayer the Saints say for themselves: "Forgive us our trespasses."

IT has seemed good that whoever should say that when in the Lord's prayer, the saints say,
"forgive us our trespasses," they say this not for themselves, because they have no need of this
petition, but for the rest who are sinners of the people; and that therefore no one of the saints can
say, "Forgive me my trespasses," but "Forgive us our trespasses;" so that the just is understood to
seek this for others rather than for himself; let him be anathema. For holy and just was the
Apostle James, when he said, "For in many things we offend all." For why was it added "all,"
unless that this sentence might agree also with the psalm, where we read, "Enter not into
judgment with thy servant, O Lord, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified;" and in the
prayer of the most wise Solomon: "There is no man that sinneth not;" and in the book of the holy
Job: "He sealeth in the hand of every man, that every man may know his own infirmity ;"
wherefore even the holy and just Daniel when in prayer said several times: "We have sinned, we
have done iniquity," and other things which there truly and humbly he confessed; nor let it be
thought (as some have thought) that this was said not of his own but rather of the people's sins,
for he said further on: "When I shall pray and confess my sins and the sins of my people to the
Lord my God;" he did not wish to say our sins, but he said the sins of his people and his own
sins, since he as a prophet foresaw that those who were to come would thus misunderstand his
words.


CANON CXVI. (Greek cxvii.)
That the Saints say with accuracy, "Forgive us our trespasses."

LIKEWISE also it seemed good, that whoever wished that these words of the Lord's prayer,
when we say, "Forgive us our trespasses" are said by the saints out of humility and not in truth let
them be anathema. For who would make a lying prayer, not to men but to God? Who would say
with his lips that he wished his sins forgiven him, but in his heart that he had no sins to be
forgiven.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 12, 2010, 10:44:36 PM
Do you agree with him that I was dishonest in the way I answered his question about Muslims and Catholics and their effect on Orthodoxy because I did not bring in the matter of Byzantine wars with Muslims (an entirely peripheral matter to what he and I were discussing.)   That is a toxic thing to say about any man, priest or not, and justice requires its rebuttal.

How perfectly Latin of you!!  And that you would demand more than you would allow the Latin Church to freely and penitently offer to God...how appropriately plain as the nose on your face.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 12, 2010, 11:10:17 PM

These texts take us a good bit closer to Catholic teaching than most Orthodox would like to go.


Again the attempt to turn our own texts against us by reading them through a Roman Catholic bias.  This surprises me since Mary is not a Roman Catholic but a Ruthenian Greek Catholic and her understanding of original sin and the non-immaculate conception should be close to what Apotheoun has written and what another contributor here has said a Melkite Greek priest terms the Great Deception. Is it honest to claim to be a Ruthenian and hold that theological heritage but to argue as a Roman Catholic?  Is that fair to Greek Catholics and their theology?   To me, who knew the old Roman Catholicism, it smacks too much of the triumphalism of the Roman rite with respect to the other rites in the Catholic Church.  I appeal to those who are more perceptive than I in discerning such things.

In order to thwart the incessant Roman Catholic attempts to conflate the Orthodox and Catholic understandings and to declare that we believe one and the same thing, the Orthodox teaching must be endlessly repeated:

You and I, and Fr MacGinnity, and Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama, are all conceived in the same spiritual state as the holy Mother of God.


When the Catholics come to believe this, as do the Greek Catholics,  we shall be one further step along the road to unity.

[Disclaimer:  the above has been written with no dishonest intention]
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 12, 2010, 11:46:50 PM
Will somebody play with me?

 ;D

Or may anathema be upon all of you!  :D

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

[omitted for sake of space]

++++++++++++++++
Taken from The Festal Menaion translated from the original Greek by
Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware.
I'm quite familiar with these hymns, but I fail to see how they justify the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as this was articulated by Pope Pius IX in 1854. I don't see in any of these texts, not even the ones you highlighted for us, anything to suggest that the Theotokos was preserved free from every stain of original sin from the moment of her conception.

These texts take us a good bit closer to Catholic teaching than most Orthodox would like to go.

Ortodox teaching is that of the Catholic Church.

No, they are not a bit closer to the Vatican's teaching. We sang them long before 1854 without a thought of the IC, and sing them still.  You have put in red, for instance, references to her being pure. We have the refrain constantly throughout the DL every Sunday "Commemorting Our Most Holy, Most Pure,  Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, the Holy Theotokos and Ever Virgin Maryj...."

Quote
If the issue of original sin could be resolved mutually there would not be much left by way of good arguments against the teaching that the Mother of God was born in a state of original justice.
because there would be no arguments for the IC, because there wouldn't be these "original justice" forensics.

Quote
And there's nothing that really stands in the way of a profession of mutual understanding on the teaching of the loss of original justice, or its reclamation by Baptism in Christ the Redeemer King.
But that all happening after her conception, it won't save the IC.

Quote
So I understand what you are saying but I am still not sold on the idea that there is this deep and impassible chasm.  After all the west took her understanding of both the unique holiness of the mother of God and also the loss and resumption of original justice from eastern sources.
And lost (or rather added) something in the translation.

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 13, 2010, 12:16:45 AM
Apropos the teaching that Baptism regenerates the state of original justice in all humans, adult, child and infants:
So we can get the Orthodox understanding:
Prolegomena.

The holy regional Council which assembled in Carthage in the year 418 or 419 after Christ, in the twelfth year of the consulship of Emperor Honorius in Rome, and in the eighth year of Emperor Theodosius the Little, according to the secretum of the Church Faustus. The Fathers who distinguished themselves most at this Council were Bishop Aurelius, who presided over all the bishops of Carthage (and who is called a Pope in many places in the minutes of the same C. by the Fathers); Valentinus of the first seat of the country of Numidia; Augustinus the bishop of Hippona and legate of the province of Numidia; and the rest of the legates of all the provinces of Africa. The number of these, according to the minutes of the C. was 217, but according to Photius 225, and according to others 214. But there were present at this C. also legates of the bishop of Rome Zosimus, the names of whom were Faustinus, bishop of Picenum of the Pontetine Church of Italy, and Philip and Asellus, the presbyters. This Council, be it said, was held primarily in order to take action against Pelagius and Celestius his disciple, and against Donatus; and secondarily also to take action against Apiarius the presbyter of Sicca. It lasted six whole years. For beginning in the year 418, it finished in the year 424. It so happened that during this period three Popes held office in Rome, namely, Zosimus, Boniface, and Celestius (although in the minutes of this Council a fourth Pope, Anastasius, is mentioned; and see its c. LXVI). So after the many examinations and tractaisms which it held, it also promulgated one hundred and forty-one Canons relating to the good order and constitution of the Church; they are those which follow, sealed and confirmed definitely and by name in c. II of the holy Sixth Ecumenical Council, but generally and indefinitely by c. I of the 4th, and by c. I of the 7th. Its c. LXXXIX is cited verbatim by the holy Fifth Ecumenical Council; and by virtue of this confirmation they have acquired a force which is in a way ecumenical.

120. It has pleased the Council to decree that whoever calls Adam, the first man created, a mortal man so made that whether he sin or not he is bound to die in the body, that is, to depart from the body, not owing to his deserving this fate by reason of the sin, but because of a necessity inherent in his nature, let him be anathema.
(cc. CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXIV, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
The present Canon overthrows the heresy of Pelagius, and of his disciple Celestius. For these men (as divine Augustine bears witness in his discourse concerning original sin, chapters 5 and 6), be it noted, were condemned because they believed and held that original sin is not begotten together with the human being, and that it is a mistake, not of his nature, but of his will, and consequently from this they concluded that even Adam died this physical death, not on account of his sin, which was done as a matter of choice, but owing to a necessity inherent in his nature, which was built to be mortal from the very beginning, and was bound to die whether Adam, sinned or did not sin by choice. Hence the present Council, in overthrowing this heretical view, anathematizes those persons who make this assertion For, if Adam actually were mortal by necessity of his nature, then: First’ God, who built it to be so, would have to be also the creator and cause of death. But God did not create death, according to Scripture. Secondly, that flesh which Adam had before the transgression ought not to have been any different from our own, but, on the contrary, would have had to be, like ours, gross and mortal and antitypal; seeing that we too who have been born after that transgression are in accordance with the same necessity of nature mortal, and at all events are destined to die. (Book of Wisdom, 1:13). But St. Gregory the Theologian (in his sermon on the birth of Christ) insists that this gross and antitypal flesh which we ha\e now is such as Adam had only after the transgression, and not before it. And thirdly, if death came from nature, how is it that St. Paul says that "through sin death entered the world" (Rom. 5:12); and Solomon says that "it was by the devil’s envy that death entered the world" (Wisdom 2:24)? So, according to this Canon, God created man not mortal by natural necessity, but by nature immortal. And since it is characteristic of whatever is good not to force anyone to be good, therefore and on this account He created man free and independent with respect to his soul, in order that he might be induced to be good as a matter of choice and remain good, not by the exercise of force and violence, but by virtue of self-mastery and voluntarily; and by thus remaining good, that he might thenceforth maintain also the natural immortality of the body. But inasmuch he himself of his own accord was moved to evil by willful choice and preference, he no longer had the power, or ability, to keep the body in its natural immortality in which it was built; hence there ensued the death of this body. And, to speak more clearly with the great Gregory of Thessalonica, since the superior and higher part of man, the soul, became separated through sin and transgression from the real life, which is the grace of God, and fell into the real death, which is wickedness; therefore and on this account the lower and inferior part, or, more expressly speaking, the body, became separated from the life according to nature, and fell into the death contrary to nature. And just as the soul, being by nature, subject to God, failed to subject itself to Him, so and in like manner the body, subject by nature to the soul, evaded subjection to it with the disorders of its senses, pf its passions, and lastly with its decomposition into the elements of which it was composed, which dissolution is death. In agreement with the present Canon the following seven Canons of the present Council overthrow the heresy of Pelagius and Celestius: these are cc. CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXIV, CXXV, CXXVI, and CXXVII.

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

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

123. It has pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should say, with reference to the same grace of God given through our Lord Jesus Christ, that it helps us only to keep from sinning in this respect that the knowledge and cognoscence of sins is revealed to us through it, and enables us to know what to seek after and what to shun, though it does not afford us further help whereby to discern what we ought to do, nor does it further cause us to love and to have the strength to do it, let him be anathema. For in view of the fact that the Apostle says "knowledge puffeth up, whereas love edifieth" (I Cor. 8:1), it is utterly impious to believe that we have the grace of Christ for the purpose of puffing ourselves up, but have it not for the purpose of edifying ourselves, when, as a matter of fact, both are free gifts of God, that of knowing what we must do and that of loving what we must do, in order’that thanks to the edifying power of love knowledge be unable to puff us up, precisely as has been written out of God: "He that teacheth man knowledge" (Ps. 94:10). Thus too it is further written: "Love is of God" (I John 4:7).
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIV, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
In the present Canon too the Council anathematizes the Pelagians and Celestians, who used to assert that the grace of God helps us only in this respect to keep from sinning in that it enables us to know what we ought to seek and do, or, in other words, what things are good and right, and what things we ought to shun, or, in other words what things are bad and evil; and not that it graciously bestows upon us also the inclination to love and the strength to do those things which are good and right, as we well know that they are. For both gifts are equally and alike gifts of God, both the knowledge and the love. For as concerning the knowledge David says: "He that teacheth man knowledge" (I.e.), while as concerning love the beloved disciple says: "Love is of God" (I.e.). But in another way too it is impious for us to believe that the grace of God bestows upon us knowledge, which by itself, as St. Paul says, puffeth up, or, in other words, causes presumptuousness; but does not also bestow upon us love, which edifieth and strengtheneth us so as to enable us to do what is good. In sum, just as knowing what we ought to do is a free gift bestowed by divine grace, so and likewise is loving what we ought to do. The knowledge, though, is indeed attributed to the mind, while the love is attributed to the will, the two chief and main faculties, or powers, of the soul.

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

125. It has pleased the Council to decree, what St. John the Apostle said: "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (I John 1:8), that whosoever shall deem that this thought is to be interpretated as meaning that we ought out of humility to refrain from saying that we have no sin, not that it is truly so, shall be anathema. For the Apostle goes on to say in anticipation of such a misinterpretation: "But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (ibid., 1:9). Where it is made quite plain that this was said not only out of humility, but furthermore truthfully. For the Apostle might have said, "if we say that we have no sin, we are exalting ourselves, and there is no humility in us;" but by saying "We are deceiving ourselves, and there is no truth in us," he quite evidently pointed out that anyone asserting that he himself has no sin is not telling the truth, but, on the contrary, is lying.
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXIV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
Inasmuch as the dogmas of the Pelagians agreed in a way with those of the Massalians, in that both the former and the latter placed the beginning of salvation, not primarily in divine grace, but in human power; consequently, since the Massalians too believed wrongly that when the Holy Spirit comes to a human being sensibly and visibly, it frees him from the passions and he no longer needs to engage in fastings or other struggles dear to God, the Pelagians perhaps, entertaining such views as these, were wont to say that what St. John asserted, viz., that if perchance we say that we have no sin, we are deluding ourselves, and are not telling the truth, could not truthfully be said saints (in that the latter, that is to say, having been freed from the passions by the Holy Spirit, thereafter had no sins, nor could commit any), but could be said only out of humility, or on account of humble-mindedness. Hence the present Canon anathematizes those who affirm this heretical view of the passage in question, on the ground that they are misinterpreting it. For the same Apostle John says subsequently that if we confess our sins, the Lord is faithful and just, and will pardon our sins, and will cleanse us from every unrighteousness. From which words it becomes manifest that it was not on account of humility, but as a matter of truthfulness that the saint made the above assertion, since the Apostle could have said, "if we say that we have no sin, we are proud, and there is no humility in us." Hence, by not saying this, he is pointing out that anyone who says that he has no sin, is not telling the truth, but, on the contrary, is lying.

126. It has pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should declare that in the Lord’s prayer the reason why saints say "forgive us our debts" (Matt. 6:12) is not that they are saying this in their own behalf, since this petition is no longer necessary to them, but in behalf of others, of those sinners who are among their people; and that each one of them does not say personally, "forgive me my debts," but, instead, says (vicariously), "forgive us our debts" (Luke 11:4), on the ground that he is to be understood as petitioning the Righteous One in behalf of others, rather than in behalf of himself, let him be anathema, for James the Apostle was a saint and a righteous and just man when he said: "For in many things we all sin" (James 3:2, as translated in this Canon). Since, why is it that the word "all" is added? unless it be, in order that the meaning be in keeping with that of the psalm where it is written: "And enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified" (Ps. 143:2). And in the prayer of most wise Solomon: "There is no human being that has not sinned" (I Kings 8:46). And in the book of St. Job the words: "He stampeth in the hand of every man; in order that every man may know his own weakness" (Job 37:3). (Note of Translator. — The Canon here substitutes for the Greek word in the Septuagint translated in the Authorized Version as "sealeth up" the Greek word semaino, which means "to stamp" "to mark," etc. and which appears to be the true meaning, and not " sealeih up") Hence, furthermore, the saint and righteous man Daniel the Prophet, speaking in the plural number, says the following words: "We have sinned; we have committed iniquity" (Dan. 9:5), and the rest of what he there humbly and truthfully confesses, in order not to have it thought, as some persons understand it, that he was speaking not about his own sins, but rather about those of his people. After this passage he said: "I was praying, and was confessing my sins and the sins of my people to the Lord my God" (ibid., 9:20) He did not want to say, "our sins," but, on the contrary, expressly said that they were sins of his own and of his people, since it would seem that the Prophet could foresee that they were going to understand it wrongly.
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXIV, CXXV, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too discusses insanities of the Pelagians like the ones above. For it anathematizes them for saying that when saints recite the Lord’s prayer, they themselves do not say the words "Forgive us our sins," since they do not need to make any such request, as being passionless and sinless, but they say them for the sins of others. For even St. James the Brother of God says: "All of us commit many offenses." And David says: "Enter not, Ο Lord, into judgment with me thy servant, because no man living can appear righteous in thine eyes.” Solomon, too, in the prayer which he made to God after building the Temple said,: “There is no man in the world who has not sinned." And Job: "He stampeth a seal in the hands of every human being in order that every human being may know his own weakness." Moreover, the prophet Daniel in praying said first in the plural number, "We have sinned; we have committed iniquities;" and afterwards he adds in the singular number: "I was confessing my sins and the sins of my people." And he said this thus clearly in order to prevent anyone from thinking that he was referring to the sins of his people, and not to his own sins, prophetically stopping the mouths of men who would wrongly insist that that was what he meant.

127. It has pleased the Council to decree that any persons whatsoever that would have it that the words in the Lord’s prayer "Forgive us our debts," which we are wont to say, are said by saints because of their humility, and not truthfully, let them be anathema. For who could bear to hear anyone praying, not to men, but to the Lord Himself, lyinglyt one asking only with his lips to be forgiven sins which he is not conscious of having committed?
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIIT, CXXIV, CXXV, CXXVI of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too anathematizes the Pelagians for saying that the saints do not say in accordance with the truth, "Forgive us our debts," since they have no sins and debts, but only out of humility and modesty. For who, it says, can bear to hear persons supposed to be saints saying this lyingly not to men, but to God, and with their lips asking forgiveness for their sins, but with their heart considering that they have no sins? For this would be deemed to be trifling with God, and not praying, which in regard to saints it would be absurd even to think of.
http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/councils_local_rudder.htm#_Toc72635086
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 13, 2010, 02:32:00 AM
I believe the way this discussion is going gets people no where.

Let's start with a very basic question.  Why is baptism necessary?  It would seem in Pelagian understanding, baptism is merely a ritual, not a means of salvation.

Also, define "spiritual death."  Is this what baptism cures?

I think this is what is essential.  I truly believe we express the same truth concerning salvation but we stress different allegories.  Polemic ramblings will only lead to throwing accusations and rebuttals against each other, not truly finding the root of the problem.

The anti-Western vitriol in people like Fr. John Romanides for instance I feel is somewhat misguided.  As I read the Church fathers more, there seems to be perhaps an issue where things might be taken out of context.

I know some of you think he's not part of the mainstream Orthodox, but this Vladimir Moss came up with a new book answering some of the issues of "Original Sin," and seems to make a convincing case.  In any sense, I think we should just drop the name-calling, and let's ask one another, why is baptism important?  If incorporation into the Church and unity with God, what does not being part of the Church mean?  Is that what spiritual death is?  And if so, then what does this mean about the Theotokos?  Is she "spiritually dead" before Christ or not?

If we use very basic and essential language, all these other words "corruption" vs. "guilt," "incorruption" vs. "innocence" may be understood in a much more fulfilling manner without the intended polemics.  Certainly no Orthodox is Pelagian, and neither do I believe are Catholics literalistic in these languages.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 13, 2010, 11:21:34 AM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.
No one is being dishonest. None of us thinks you believe in IC, nor are we claiming that you do, and you know it. What we are saying is that you used to believe in the IC but your faith has changed, even though your liturgy has not.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 13, 2010, 11:23:59 AM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."
I didn't know "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" could talk. The only Orthodox Divine Liturgies I'm aware of are the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. James, St. Tikhon, St. Gregory and the Sarum Divine Liturgy. This "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" sounds silly and quite frankly a little made up.

I don't see how that proves an immaculate conception at all. I do, however, see how you can easily read into it because the presence of the word immaculate. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "put up or shut up," so let's see the evidence.

Furthermore, my point still stands, which you skirted. Why can't we hold a simple faith? Why would it be necessary for salvation to believe in the IC (or as a Maronite priest friend of mine calls "the Immaculate Deception").

In Christ,
Andrew
Really? When the Liturgy calls her "all-Pure" or "Immaculate" on the day of her conception you don't see the Immaculate conception? RRRRRREEEEEEALLLLLLY?
And as for simple faith. Why can't you hold the simple faith that our loving Mother, the Theotokos was always pure, rather than creating strange speculations about lesser sins and purfication only at the time of the annunciation? See it cuts both ways.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 13, 2010, 01:05:58 PM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.

There was no cogent rebuttal for these texts.

What happened was I was accused of not citing the texts and was moderated.

As you can see, I have the texts cited here.  I did then too but everyone was too busy being angry with me to notice.

More of the Famous Forum Fairness... :)

Besides you are an Orthodox monk.  Why don't you refute them?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 13, 2010, 01:05:58 PM

These texts take us a good bit closer to Catholic teaching than most Orthodox would like to go.


Again the attempt to turn our own texts against us by reading them through a Roman Catholic bias.  This surprises me since Mary is not a Roman Catholic but a Ruthenian Greek Catholic and her understanding of original sin and the non-immaculate conception should be close to what Apotheoun has written and what another contributor here has said a Melkite Greek priest terms the Great Deception. Is it honest to claim to be a Ruthenian and hold that theological heritage but to argue as a Roman Catholic?  Is that fair to Greek Catholics and their theology?   To me, who knew the old Roman Catholicism, it smacks too much of the triumphalism of the Roman rite with respect to the other rites in the Catholic Church.  I appeal to those who are more perceptive than I in discerning such things.

In order to thwart the incessant Roman Catholic attempts to conflate the Orthodox and Catholic understandings and to declare that we believe one and the same thing, the Orthodox teaching must be endlessly repeated:

You and I, and Fr MacGinnity, and Pope Benedict and the Dalai Lama, are all conceived in the same spiritual state as the holy Mother of God.


When the Catholics come to believe this, as do the Greek Catholics,  we shall be one further step along the road to unity.

[Disclaimer:  the above has been written with no dishonest intention]

I can promise you faithfully that none of the people you've mentioned above will have hymns written of them the same as those Orthodox hymns that I published above.  Your own liturgies fly in the face of your assertion... in that the Mother of God is inestimably more pure than ANY of us at the tender age of 3 years.  How is that to be...prior to the institution of the sacrament of penance and reconciliation, prior to Baptism, prior to Eucharist?  How can she be an OLD SOUL at three years of age?  How can her birth be more wondrous than any other?...

I think you are protesting too much Father.  I think there are some who can see through the fog and notice that something extreme is being said, in those hymns, of the holiness of the Mother of God from the moment that she came into being as a Person!!

Mary
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 13, 2010, 06:07:08 PM

I think you are protesting too much Father.  I think there are some who can see through the fog and notice that something extreme is being said, in those hymns, of the holiness of the Mother of God from the moment that she came into being as a Person!!


Again, the insulting implication that the Orthodox who wrote this liturgical material and who have been chanting it for many centuries are too brain-dead to understand their own texts.  Humbug!  All you are doing is killing the dialogue.  You may wish to read the text through the lens of an Immaculate Conception belief but we never have had that belief and neither have your own church people, the Byzantine Catholics (and you are, incidentally, failing your own people and their theology by arguing as a Roman Catholic.)

Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 13, 2010, 06:12:52 PM
A Statement by His All-Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople on the Immaculate Conception

December 2004, in the Roman Catholic newspaper 30 Days.

See message 201 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15456.msg382647/topicseen.html#msg382647
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 13, 2010, 07:35:09 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."
I didn't know "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" could talk. The only Orthodox Divine Liturgies I'm aware of are the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. James, St. Tikhon, St. Gregory and the Sarum Divine Liturgy. This "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" sounds silly and quite frankly a little made up.

I don't see how that proves an immaculate conception at all. I do, however, see how you can easily read into it because the presence of the word immaculate. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "put up or shut up," so let's see the evidence.

Furthermore, my point still stands, which you skirted. Why can't we hold a simple faith? Why would it be necessary for salvation to believe in the IC (or as a Maronite priest friend of mine calls "the Immaculate Deception").

In Christ,
Andrew
Really? When the Liturgy calls her "all-Pure" or "Immaculate" on the day of her conception you don't see the Immaculate conception? RRRRRREEEEEEALLLLLLY?
yes, really. And very few hear what the DL calls her on the day of her mother's conception (it's not called her conception), unless it falls on a Sunday.  It's not a major feast.

Quote
And as for simple faith. Why can't you hold the simple faith that our loving Mother, the Theotokos was always pure, rather than creating strange speculations about lesser sins and purfication only at the time of the annunciation? See it cuts both ways.
No, it doesn't. We just proclaim what the Apostles did, and so we don't have to elaborate a theory of "development of doctrine" to explain dogmas proclaimed nearly two millenia after the Apostles.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 13, 2010, 07:42:31 PM

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)

,

Again we see the dishonest debating tactics of which Papist complains.  The attempt to use our own liturgical texts against us to "prove" that we believe a belief which we have never believed.  This is very low; can we imagine the Catholic representatives in the bilateral dialogue stooping to this kind of argumentation?

If you locate the posts of LBK in the other IC thread where Mary has produced these same texts you will find a cogent rebuttal and an orthodox understanding of these texts which Mary wants to hijack for the Roman Catholic agenda.

There was no cogent rebuttal for these texts.

What happened was I was accused of not citing the texts and was moderated.

As you can see, I have the texts cited here.

No, you have not.  If you wanted to argue the Immaculate Birth or the Immaculate Entrance, you would use those texts.  But for the IC, you are first going to have to explan why it is the Feast of the Conception of St. Anne, not the Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos, after you explain why it isn't a major feast, whereas the Nativity of the Theotokos and the Entry into the Temple are.

LBK gave the texts celebrating the beginning of the personhood of the Theotokos. "Prove" your IC from that.

Quote
I did then too but everyone was too busy being angry with me to notice.

More of the Famous Forum Fairness... :)

You posted the texts from the Conception of St. Anne.  If you did, I apologize. Where are they?

Quote
Besides you are an Orthodox monk.  Why don't you refute them?
He has refuted you, many times over. As to the texts, why should he refute Orthodox texts?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 13, 2010, 07:44:13 PM
So we can get the Orthodox understanding:
Prolegomena.

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

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

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



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


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


These interpretations only confirm my position. How did they refute them?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ialmisry on December 13, 2010, 08:02:37 PM
These interpretations only confirm my position. How did they refute them?
What were they supposed to refute?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 13, 2010, 09:36:53 PM
These interpretations only confirm my position. How did they refute them?
What were they supposed to refute?

My position contradicts the position Fr. Romanides holds.

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

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



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


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

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

Therefore,

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



Break, break.

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

So we can get the Orthodox understanding:
Prolegomena.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personally, I can go either way with the birth or conception. But, I do see the need for, at the very least, an immaculate birth, if she is to have never sinned.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 13, 2010, 09:41:51 PM

You guys think killing Catholics is OK.

I have bumped a thread called "Roman Catholic view of Orthodox Church" so that you can explain what you have in mind.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,25368.0.html
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Irish Hermit on December 13, 2010, 09:48:36 PM
The "poster child" for those who wanted to claim that Orthodox Christians could hold a private belief in the Immaculate Conmception was Bishop Timothy Ware.  However he has now retracted that, and is back in line with his brother bishops.

See message 946 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436555/topicseen.html#msg436555
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 13, 2010, 09:53:03 PM
The "poster child" for those who wanted to claim that Orthodox Christians could hold a private belief in the Immaculate Conmception was Bishop Timothy Ware.  However he has now retracted that, and is back in line with his brother bishops.

See message 946 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,23379.msg436555/topicseen.html#msg436555

To not believe in, at least, an immaculate birth, looks to be contradictory with the pronouncements of past councils on the human state. Therefore, I am unable to hold that position.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Papist on December 13, 2010, 10:28:39 PM
(Clears throat)

Uh - not to be rude - but is this rrally something any of us, today, can know 100% FOR SURE?

Me, I'm just going to keep saying "Holy Mary, pray for us sinners" and assume she (and God) know what "Holy" means.

Exactly the Orthodox point! ;)

In Christ,
Andrew

Except for we do know it because it's in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy. The Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December state, “the
unique all-immaculate is today made manifest to the just by the angel,” and “the prelude of God’s grace
falls today on humanity in the conception of the all-immaculate."
I didn't know "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" could talk. The only Orthodox Divine Liturgies I'm aware of are the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. James, St. Tikhon, St. Gregory and the Sarum Divine Liturgy. This "Byzantine Orthodox Liturgies of 9 December" sounds silly and quite frankly a little made up.

I don't see how that proves an immaculate conception at all. I do, however, see how you can easily read into it because the presence of the word immaculate. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase "put up or shut up," so let's see the evidence.

Furthermore, my point still stands, which you skirted. Why can't we hold a simple faith? Why would it be necessary for salvation to believe in the IC (or as a Maronite priest friend of mine calls "the Immaculate Deception").

In Christ,
Andrew
Really? When the Liturgy calls her "all-Pure" or "Immaculate" on the day of her conception you don't see the Immaculate conception? RRRRRREEEEEEALLLLLLY?
yes, really. And very few hear what the DL calls her on the day of her mother's conception (it's not called her conception), unless it falls on a Sunday.  It's not a major feast.

Quote
And as for simple faith. Why can't you hold the simple faith that our loving Mother, the Theotokos was always pure, rather than creating strange speculations about lesser sins and purfication only at the time of the annunciation? See it cuts both ways.
No, it doesn't. We just proclaim what the Apostles did, and so we don't have to elaborate a theory of "development of doctrine" to explain dogmas proclaimed nearly two millenia after the Apostles.
Wow. This is alll nonsense.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 02:46:40 AM
This post and much of what follows was originally posted HERE (http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,15456.msg510212.html#msg510212). -PtA



Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him.  

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.

What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: ag_vn on December 16, 2010, 07:50:23 AM
Father Ambrose, should we bring up the Orthodox Christians in Romania and Bulgaria who were part of the AXIS?

I doubt if it is much use to debate with a man who has been discusing the Byzantine Enmpire and seems to believe that in the 1940s Romania and Bulgaria were part of Byzantium !!?  But if you wish to speak of them why don't you speak of the heroic Orthodox defence of the Jews and how not one Jew was lost in Bulgaria thanks to the actions of the Orthodox bishops who even laid down on railway lines and stopped the trains shipping Jews off to concentrationn camps.

Or the Patriach, who from the pulpit of his cathedral on Pascha excommunicated the Czar (who was of German origin, hence why he dragged the country into the Axis) if he signed the law implementing the Nurenberg laws in Bulgaria, and anyone who cooperated with them.

Or that Bulgaria ended up with more Jews after the war than it had before.

I think it was Metropolitan Stephen of Sofia, but as far as I know he did not excommunicate the Czar, just threatened him with excommunication if he sent the Jews to Germany. During that time Bulgarian Church wasn't elevated to Patriarchate yet, it was still "Exarchate", so there was no Patriarch, although it did not have Exarch too. Between 1915-1945 there was no Exarch, just Synodal locum tenens, who presided over the Synod. In 1945 Metropolitan Stephen of Sofia was elected Exarch until 1948. Between 1948-1953 there was no Exarch again. On 10 May 1953 the other major ecclesiastical figure in saving the Bulgarian Jews Metropolitan Kyril of Plovdiv was elected Patriarch. So the Bulgarian Patriarchate was restored on 10 May 1953 and recognized immediately by the Patriarchates of Antioch, Moscow, Romania, Georgia and the Churches of Poland and Czechoslovakia, the Patriarchate of Alexandria recognized it in 1954, the Patriarchate of Serbia in 1955 and at last it was recognized by Constantinople in 1961. I don't think the origin of Tsar Boris is so important in bringing Bulgaria to the Axis. I mean he had to choose - death or existence of Bulgaria. After all it was he who cancelled the sending of the Jews to Germany.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 09:32:31 AM
Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him. 

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.

What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?

You could, but then you couldn't claim that she was sinless.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 11:56:49 AM
Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him. 

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.

What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?

You could, but then you couldn't claim that she was sinless.

Well, according to your definition, sin can be interpreted in two ways.  One is spiritual death, and another is personal actions.  For the latter, I can say she's sinless, and she wasn't the first, but rather she lived her sinless life more perfectly than others through greater virtues.  For the former definition, yes, she isn't sinless, like everyone else.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 12:10:35 PM
Well, according to your definition, sin can be interpreted in two ways.  One is spiritual death, and another is personal actions.  For the latter, I can say she's sinless, and she wasn't the first, but rather she lived her sinless life more perfectly than others through greater virtues.  For the former definition, yes, she isn't sinless, like everyone else.

You misunderstand. Sin isn't spiritual death. Sin is amartia.

I claim, by spiritual death, one isn't capable of not sinning.

Council of Carthage 418
124. It has further pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should say that the reason why the grace of righteousness has been bestowed upon us is in order that we might through self-mastery be able the more easily and readily to fulfill it through grace, as though indicating that even if the grace had not been given we should still have been able, howbeit not easily and readily, to fulfill the divine commandments without its aid, let him be anathema. For when the Lord was speaking about the fruits of the commandments, He did not say, "Without me ye will have difficulty in doing anything" (cf. John 15:5).
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too anathematizes the Pelagians and Celestians for saying that simply because God made us masters of ourselves in respect of being free to do as we please we can execute the commandments even without the aid of divine grace, though not easily, but with difficulty, whereas through the aid afforded by divine grace we are enabled to carry these out more easily, since even the Lord, in speaking about the divine commandments, did not say, "Without me ye can do these only with difficulty," but, instead, He simply said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5) Neither with ease nor with difficulty, that is to say, so that everything depends upon divine grace, and without the latter we can accomplish nothing.


http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/councils_local_rudder.htm#_Toc72635086
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 01:07:09 PM
Well, according to your definition, sin can be interpreted in two ways.  One is spiritual death, and another is personal actions.  For the latter, I can say she's sinless, and she wasn't the first, but rather she lived her sinless life more perfectly than others through greater virtues.  For the former definition, yes, she isn't sinless, like everyone else.

You misunderstand. Sin isn't spiritual death. Sin is amartia.

I claim, by spiritual death, one isn't capable of not sinning.

Council of Carthage 418
124. It has further pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should say that the reason why the grace of righteousness has been bestowed upon us is in order that we might through self-mastery be able the more easily and readily to fulfill it through grace, as though indicating that even if the grace had not been given we should still have been able, howbeit not easily and readily, to fulfill the divine commandments without its aid, let him be anathema. For when the Lord was speaking about the fruits of the commandments, He did not say, "Without me ye will have difficulty in doing anything" (cf. John 15:5).
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too anathematizes the Pelagians and Celestians for saying that simply because God made us masters of ourselves in respect of being free to do as we please we can execute the commandments even without the aid of divine grace, though not easily, but with difficulty, whereas through the aid afforded by divine grace we are enabled to carry these out more easily, since even the Lord, in speaking about the divine commandments, did not say, "Without me ye can do these only with difficulty," but, instead, He simply said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5) Neither with ease nor with difficulty, that is to say, so that everything depends upon divine grace, and without the latter we can accomplish nothing.


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

True.  Hence my mentioning of "prevenient grace," i.e. people aligned their wills to the will of God, and so God would continuously bless them.  Enoch and Elijah, how were they perfect according to God?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 01:23:35 PM
Well, according to your definition, sin can be interpreted in two ways.  One is spiritual death, and another is personal actions.  For the latter, I can say she's sinless, and she wasn't the first, but rather she lived her sinless life more perfectly than others through greater virtues.  For the former definition, yes, she isn't sinless, like everyone else.

You misunderstand. Sin isn't spiritual death. Sin is amartia.

I claim, by spiritual death, one isn't capable of not sinning.

Council of Carthage 418
124. It has further pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should say that the reason why the grace of righteousness has been bestowed upon us is in order that we might through self-mastery be able the more easily and readily to fulfill it through grace, as though indicating that even if the grace had not been given we should still have been able, howbeit not easily and readily, to fulfill the divine commandments without its aid, let him be anathema. For when the Lord was speaking about the fruits of the commandments, He did not say, "Without me ye will have difficulty in doing anything" (cf. John 15:5).
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too anathematizes the Pelagians and Celestians for saying that simply because God made us masters of ourselves in respect of being free to do as we please we can execute the commandments even without the aid of divine grace, though not easily, but with difficulty, whereas through the aid afforded by divine grace we are enabled to carry these out more easily, since even the Lord, in speaking about the divine commandments, did not say, "Without me ye can do these only with difficulty," but, instead, He simply said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5) Neither with ease nor with difficulty, that is to say, so that everything depends upon divine grace, and without the latter we can accomplish nothing.


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

True.  Hence my mentioning of "prevenient grace," i.e. people aligned their wills to the will of God, and so God would continuously bless them.  Enoch and Elijah, how were they perfect according to God?

So, if Mary was originally spiritually dead, and then aligned herself with God's Will, then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's). If that's true, there was a period of time that she couldn't resist her desire for sin.

I've never heard of Enoch and Elijah as being "sinless".
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 01:33:06 PM
Well, according to your definition, sin can be interpreted in two ways.  One is spiritual death, and another is personal actions.  For the latter, I can say she's sinless, and she wasn't the first, but rather she lived her sinless life more perfectly than others through greater virtues.  For the former definition, yes, she isn't sinless, like everyone else.

You misunderstand. Sin isn't spiritual death. Sin is amartia.

I claim, by spiritual death, one isn't capable of not sinning.

Council of Carthage 418
124. It has further pleased the Council to decree that whosoever should say that the reason why the grace of righteousness has been bestowed upon us is in order that we might through self-mastery be able the more easily and readily to fulfill it through grace, as though indicating that even if the grace had not been given we should still have been able, howbeit not easily and readily, to fulfill the divine commandments without its aid, let him be anathema. For when the Lord was speaking about the fruits of the commandments, He did not say, "Without me ye will have difficulty in doing anything" (cf. John 15:5).
(cc. CXX, CXXI, CXXII, CXXIII, CXXV, CXXVI, CXXVII of Carthage.).
Interpretation.
This Canon too anathematizes the Pelagians and Celestians for saying that simply because God made us masters of ourselves in respect of being free to do as we please we can execute the commandments even without the aid of divine grace, though not easily, but with difficulty, whereas through the aid afforded by divine grace we are enabled to carry these out more easily, since even the Lord, in speaking about the divine commandments, did not say, "Without me ye can do these only with difficulty," but, instead, He simply said, "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5) Neither with ease nor with difficulty, that is to say, so that everything depends upon divine grace, and without the latter we can accomplish nothing.


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

True.  Hence my mentioning of "prevenient grace," i.e. people aligned their wills to the will of God, and so God would continuously bless them.  Enoch and Elijah, how were they perfect according to God?

So, if Mary was originally spiritually dead, and then aligned herself with God's Will, then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's). If that's true, there was a period of time that she couldn't resist her desire for sin.

I've never heard of Enoch and Elijah as being "sinless".

Where did I say "then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's)?"  I totally didn't say say that, nor do I agree with that.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 01:49:30 PM
True.  Hence my mentioning of "prevenient grace," i.e. people aligned their wills to the will of God, and so God would continuously bless them.  Enoch and Elijah, how were they perfect according to God?

So, if Mary was originally spiritually dead, and then aligned herself with God's Will, then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's). If that's true, there was a period of time that she couldn't resist her desire for sin.

I've never heard of Enoch and Elijah as being "sinless".

Where did I say "then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's)?"  I totally didn't say say that, nor do I agree with that.

Then I don't understand what you're saying.

You said:
What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?

So, if She was born "spiritually dead" and then "one day at a time aligned herself with the Will of God", there is a beginning spot (spiritually dead), middle (half way to God's Will, to put it quantitatively) and an end (following God's will). Before she is at the end (following God's will), she still desires her own (selfish, literally) will, and thus will sin.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: BoredMeeting on December 16, 2010, 01:58:47 PM
date=1292283309]
Wow. This is all nonsense.
That's ultimately what flows from the false teaching of "original sin."

If you build on error, you end up with error.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 02:11:09 PM
True.  Hence my mentioning of "prevenient grace," i.e. people aligned their wills to the will of God, and so God would continuously bless them.  Enoch and Elijah, how were they perfect according to God?

So, if Mary was originally spiritually dead, and then aligned herself with God's Will, then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's). If that's true, there was a period of time that she couldn't resist her desire for sin.

I've never heard of Enoch and Elijah as being "sinless".

Where did I say "then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's)?"  I totally didn't say say that, nor do I agree with that.

Then I don't understand what you're saying.

You said:
What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?

So, if She was born "spiritually dead" and then "one day at a time aligned herself with the Will of God", there is a beginning spot (spiritually dead), middle (half way to God's Will, to put it quantitatively) and an end (following God's will). Before she is at the end (following God's will), she still desires her own (selfish, literally) will, and thus will sin.

How does someone follow God's will and become selfish at the same time?  Elijah and Enoch were considered perfect men.  St. Elizabeth and St. Zacharias were considered blameless before the Lord.  There were many righteous men.  All aligning themselves to the will of God, some more perfectly than others.  The Virgin was the most perfect before Christ came, and that's why she was chosen to be the Theotokos.  So she was purified by the Holy Spirit.

We're all born without God's salvation.  But God does not hide His grace from us.  His grace exists everywhere.  He's trying to pull us through, whether or not Christ was there.  Many prophets and righteous people have answered to the pull, and the most perfect of them all was the Theotokos.

I've been told this "grace" the Catholics call prevenient.  In fact, Marduk, a Catholic, has shown that there were others who were sinless before the Virgin, only he believed the Virgin from her conception received the grace of baptism, which I disagree with.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 02:27:24 PM
How does someone follow God's will and become selfish at the same time? 

Same way we do. You try to follow God's will, but sometimes you fail.

Elijah and Enoch were considered perfect men.  St. Elizabeth and St. Zacharias were considered blameless before the Lord.  There were many righteous men.  All aligning themselves to the will of God, some more perfectly than others.  The Virgin was the most perfect before Christ came, and that's why she was chosen to be the Theotokos.  So she was purified by the Holy Spirit.

We're all born without God's salvation.  But God does not hide His grace from us.  His grace exists everywhere.  He's trying to pull us through, whether or not Christ was there.  Many prophets and righteous people have answered to the pull, and the most perfect of them all was the Theotokos.

I've been told this "grace" the Catholics call prevenient.  In fact, Marduk, a Catholic, has shown that there were others who were sinless before the Virgin, only he believed the Virgin from her conception received the grace of baptism, which I disagree with.

Do you know where he said this?
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 02:46:43 PM
How does someone follow God's will and become selfish at the same time? 

Same way we do. You try to follow God's will, but sometimes you fail.

Elijah and Enoch were considered perfect men.  St. Elizabeth and St. Zacharias were considered blameless before the Lord.  There were many righteous men.  All aligning themselves to the will of God, some more perfectly than others.  The Virgin was the most perfect before Christ came, and that's why she was chosen to be the Theotokos.  So she was purified by the Holy Spirit.

We're all born without God's salvation.  But God does not hide His grace from us.  His grace exists everywhere.  He's trying to pull us through, whether or not Christ was there.  Many prophets and righteous people have answered to the pull, and the most perfect of them all was the Theotokos.

I've been told this "grace" the Catholics call prevenient.  In fact, Marduk, a Catholic, has shown that there were others who were sinless before the Virgin, only he believed the Virgin from her conception received the grace of baptism, which I disagree with.

Do you know where he said this?

We've had these discussions before, elsewhere....one of which, you're part of the discussion.  Don't you read a whole thread before you comment?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29625.msg471827.html#msg471827
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.msg472619.html#msg472619

If you're going to support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as Catholics believe, you have to define spiritual death as sin as well.  That's how they say the Theotokos was without sin from the very moment of her conception.  If it's "missing the mark" so to speak, Catholics too will say spiritual death is a form of "missing the mark."  This discussion is useless unless you know what you're talking about.

I asked a very specific question geared to those who understand the definitions and you're misconstruing what I'm talking about, which shows you know nothing about the Immaculate Conception to begin with.  I've avoided polemics with Catholics only to use their definitions and their understandings to get at a certain point.  I thought you were one of them.  Here's what where the term "prevenient grace" was defined for me, and my response for it.  It was considered a grace that Ghandi probably had due to his apparent perfection:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.msg474784.html#msg474784
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 02:50:20 PM
How does someone follow God's will and become selfish at the same time? 

Same way we do. You try to follow God's will, but sometimes you fail.

Elijah and Enoch were considered perfect men.  St. Elizabeth and St. Zacharias were considered blameless before the Lord.  There were many righteous men.  All aligning themselves to the will of God, some more perfectly than others.  The Virgin was the most perfect before Christ came, and that's why she was chosen to be the Theotokos.  So she was purified by the Holy Spirit.

We're all born without God's salvation.  But God does not hide His grace from us.  His grace exists everywhere.  He's trying to pull us through, whether or not Christ was there.  Many prophets and righteous people have answered to the pull, and the most perfect of them all was the Theotokos.

I've been told this "grace" the Catholics call prevenient.  In fact, Marduk, a Catholic, has shown that there were others who were sinless before the Virgin, only he believed the Virgin from her conception received the grace of baptism, which I disagree with.

Do you know where he said this?

We've had these discussions before, elsewhere....one of which, you're part of the discussion.  Don't you read a whole thread before you comment?

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29625.msg471827.html#msg471827
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.msg472619.html#msg472619

If you're going to support the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as Catholics believe, you have to define spiritual death as sin as well.  That's how they say the Theotokos was without sin from the very moment of her conception.  If it's "missing the mark" so to speak, Catholics too will say spiritual death is a form of "missing the mark."  This discussion is useless unless you know what you're talking about.

No, I don't. I've already dealt with that. Don't you read a whole thread before you comment?

I asked a very specific question geared to those who understand the definitions and you're misconstruing what I'm talking about, which shows you know nothing about the Immaculate Conception to begin with.  I've avoided polemics with Catholics only to use their definitions and their understandings to get at a certain point.  I thought you were one of them.  Here's what where the term "prevenient grace" was defined for me, and my response for it.  It was considered a grace that Ghandi probably had due to his apparent perfection:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.msg474784.html#msg474784

Because I'm arguing for an immaculate birth/conception in a different way than you've seen, doesn't mean I'm clueless. Calm down on the nerd rage.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 03:02:39 PM
No, I don't. I've already dealt with that. Don't you read a whole thread before you comment?

Yes, I did, and it's been clear to me you're making up your own faith as you go along that neither agrees with Catholics or Orthodox.

Quote
I asked a very specific question geared to those who understand the definitions and you're misconstruing what I'm talking about, which shows you know nothing about the Immaculate Conception to begin with.  I've avoided polemics with Catholics only to use their definitions and their understandings to get at a certain point.  I thought you were one of them.  Here's what where the term "prevenient grace" was defined for me, and my response for it.  It was considered a grace that Ghandi probably had due to his apparent perfection:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.msg474784.html#msg474784

Because I'm arguing for an immaculate birth/conception in a different way than you've seen, doesn't mean I'm clueless. Calm down on the nerd rage.

Sorry if you see that as rage.  But when you see someone with a pattern of making up things as he goes along, it makes sense why you want to make things up that I never wrote down, so you need to be called out on that.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 03:05:43 PM
No, I don't. I've already dealt with that. Don't you read a whole thread before you comment?

Yes, I did, and it's been clear to me you're making up your own faith as you go along that neither agrees with Catholics or Orthodox.

Quote
I asked a very specific question geared to those who understand the definitions and you're misconstruing what I'm talking about, which shows you know nothing about the Immaculate Conception to begin with.  I've avoided polemics with Catholics only to use their definitions and their understandings to get at a certain point.  I thought you were one of them.  Here's what where the term "prevenient grace" was defined for me, and my response for it.  It was considered a grace that Ghandi probably had due to his apparent perfection:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,29805.msg474784.html#msg474784

Because I'm arguing for an immaculate birth/conception in a different way than you've seen, doesn't mean I'm clueless. Calm down on the nerd rage.

Sorry if you see that as rage.  But when you see someone with a pattern of making up things as he goes along, it makes sense why you want to make things up that I never wrote down, so you need to be called out on that.

For someone that sees things so clearly, you are apparently incapable of understanding the concept of debate.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 03:06:34 PM
No, I'm fine with debating and discussing.  I hate it when people make things up.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 03:07:48 PM
No, I'm fine with debating and discussing.  I hate it when people make things up.

Quite an accusation. I guess you don't like being put in a position you can't answer.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 03:14:46 PM
No, I'm fine with debating and discussing.  I hate it when people make things up.

Quite an accusation. I guess you don't like being put in a position you can't answer.

I'm sorry, you believe in an immaculate birth, not a conception, you choose to believe spiritual death is not a sin, and you believe that following God's will is selfish.

Ya, you're right.  You're not making things up.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: elijahmaria on December 16, 2010, 03:18:42 PM
Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him. 

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.

What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?

Prevenient grace is all wrong in this context.  I this context the grace would be immediate and directed to keep her simply alive in her nature, but it would not reach to the spiritual cor of the person of the Theotokos, because her will would be weak and her intellect would be darkened.  She might have natural virtue but not graced virtue and there is no way that Orthodoxy could hymn what the do about here prior to the Annunciation.  All those texts would have to be rewritten to fit the new reality of her sinfulness.

M.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 03:21:31 PM
No, I'm fine with debating and discussing.  I hate it when people make things up.

Quite an accusation. I guess you don't like being put in a position you can't answer.

I'm sorry, you believe in an immaculate birth, not a conception, you choose to believe spiritual death is not a sin, and you believe that following God's will is selfish.

You haven't understood anything I've written.

-I stated clearly I was making an argument for the immaculate birth or conception out of necessity of Church definitions (with reference).

-The Eastern Orthodox do not believe spiritual death is personal sin, however the Roman Catholics do (in general). I stated, that it doesn't have to be a sin (original guilt) for and immaculate birth/conception to be necessary.

-I never even got close to the last one. I even restated it, just for you.

Ya, you're right.  You're not making things up.

No, but apparently you are.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 03:26:41 PM
Is "grace" simply an Energy of God?

Yes.

Quote
The distinction between  the  essence and  the energies, which  is  fundamental  for
the Orthodox doctrine of grace, makes  it possible to preserve the real meaning of Saint
Peter’s words “partakers of the divine nature” [2 Peter 1:4]. The union to which we are
called  is  neither  hypostatic—as  in  the  case  of  the  human  nature  of  Christ—nor
substantial, as  in that of the three divine Persons:  it  is union with God in His energies,
or  union  by  grace  making  us  participate  in  the  divine  nature,  without  our  essence
becoming  thereby  the essence of God.  In deification  [theosis] we are by grace  (that  is  to
say,  in  the divine energies), all  that God  is by nature,  save only  identity of nature  .  .  .
according to the teaching of Saint Maximus. We remain creatures while becoming God
by grace, as Christ remained God in becoming man by the Incarnation.10
...
                                                 
10 Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of  the Eastern Church (London: James Clark and Co., 1957), pp.
85-86, 87.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/non-orthodox_ch2.pdf
If grace is an Energy of God, then to be full of grace would be to be full of an Energy of God, which would imply that one is full of all the Energies of God, that is, Full Theosis.

But didn't some Church Fathers argue that Theosis is a process that continues forever, and is never fully completed, because the Energies of God are infinite?

If so, the doctrine of the IC would violate Orthodoxy's conception of Theosis.

That's a little extreme. That's like saying Mary couldn't have been sinless because "all have sinned".
Doesn't the idea that Mary was "full of grace" imply that she enjoys the maximum intensity of grace, that she can no longer grow in grace?

No.  That is not the Catholic teaching.  That is what it is held up to be and then shot down.  It is a fun exercise and everybody thinks they've done something good.  But it has nothing to do with my reality as a Catholic, never did, never will because, as I said, that is not what the Church teaches.

She is conceived with an illuminated intellect and a will that is inclined toward God, rather than away from him. 

Like the rest of us, she grows in grace, one good choice at a time.

M.

What about if someone said, she was born spiritually dead, but lead the Old Testament prophets (like Enoch and Elijah let's say), one day at a time, she aligned her will with the "prevenient grace" of God until the Holy Spirit descended upon her, purified her, and conceived in her the Logos?

Prevenient grace is all wrong in this context.  I this context the grace would be immediate and directed to keep her simply alive in her nature, but it would not reach to the spiritual cor of the person of the Theotokos, because her will would be weak and her intellect would be darkened.  She might have natural virtue but not graced virtue and there is no way that Orthodoxy could hymn what the do about here prior to the Annunciation.  All those texts would have to be rewritten to fit the new reality of her sinfulness.

M.

I believe honestly those texts can be interpreted differently.  Maybe I'm not understanding right but in what way can we say for instance that the prophets Elijah and Enoch were perfect, or Jeremiah and John the Baptist?  Or how were Sts. Zacharias and Elizabeth blameless?

I remember elsewhere someone described that the grace of God to lead to faith is like a magnetic pull, and we align ourselves with this pull, or we pull ourselves away from it.  I think this is a great analogy.  I think when Christ became incarnate, this magnetic pull reached a certain strength and amplified on each and everyone of us.  God's grace allows us to exist, God's grace allows us to believe and to follow Him, God's grace allows us to be alive and to cherish unity with Him.  Perhaps, if the Virgin Theotokos is naturally virtued, she was more inclined to follow His will more than anyone else in history.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: minasoliman on December 16, 2010, 03:31:31 PM
I'm reading what you wrote:


So, if Mary was originally spiritually dead, and then aligned herself with God's Will, then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's). If that's true, there was a period of time that she couldn't resist her desire for sin.

I've never heard of Enoch and Elijah as being "sinless".

If the Theotokos was spiritually dead, and from the very first day because of the strong upbringing of her pure and immaculate parents, then there was NEVER a period where she hasn't aligned with God's will.  She was consistent all her life using whatever grace of God she can have despite her spiritual state that is no different from anyone else in this world.

I believe St. Gregory Palamas talked about a succession of perfection from generation to generation leading up to the Theotokos.
Title: Re: Mary Theotokos and the Immaculate Conception
Post by: Aindriú on December 16, 2010, 03:39:28 PM
I'm reading what you wrote:


So, if Mary was originally spiritually dead, and then aligned herself with God's Will, then there was a period where she wasn't aligned with God's will (she was more concerned with her will, not God's). If that's true, there was a period of time that she couldn't resist her desire for sin.

I've never heard of Enoch and Elijah as being "sinless".