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Offline Constant

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I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« on: March 29, 2008, 04:54:42 AM »
Hello,

I'm Catholic and new to this forum. I hoping that perhaps those of you here could give me an Orthodox perspective on something. First some background: there is a movement within Catholicism (vocal minority) that thinks there should be a 5th Marian dogma. This dogma brings titles such as Co-Redemptrix and Co-Mediatrix and also establishes that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation. Further it would hold that Our Lady is actually responsible for mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit. To be clear this is not something official and I'm not even sure the Magisterium is even considering it. But, there is some level of support for it.

So given the above I would like to know what the Orthodox view of this would be. I realize you would be against any formal dogmatic declaration and I completely respect and understand that. Yet if you would humor me I would just like to know what you think about these ideas themselves. Since I may not have explained things well I have placed a link to a webpage that speaks at length on these things.

http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/5thdogma/5thdogmalinks.htm

I thank you for any feedback.

Offline Paisius

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2008, 04:43:55 PM »
Hello,

I'm Catholic and new to this forum. I hoping that perhaps those of you here could give me an Orthodox perspective on something. First some background: there is a movement within Catholicism (vocal minority) that thinks there should be a 5th Marian dogma. This dogma brings titles such as Co-Redemptrix and Co-Mediatrix and also establishes that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation. Further it would hold that Our Lady is actually responsible for mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit. To be clear this is not something official and I'm not even sure the Magisterium is even considering it. But, there is some level of support for it.

So given the above I would like to know what the Orthodox view of this would be. I realize you would be against any formal dogmatic declaration and I completely respect and understand that. Yet if you would humor me I would just like to know what you think about these ideas themselves. Since I may not have explained things well I have placed a link to a webpage that speaks at length on these things.

http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/5thdogma/5thdogmalinks.htm

I thank you for any feedback.


I can give you my personal opinion of these ideas. Mary does in a unique way participate in our salvation because in order for God's plan to be enacted Mary, the second Eve, had to submitt herself to the will of God. As one of the Hymns for the feast of the Annunciation says....

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 Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!



It is by her great "yes" that the Son of God entered into time to save us from the separation from God we had imposed upon ourselves.


Is a devotion to Mary necessary for salvation? I would be hesitant to say it was necessary but a devotion to Mary is part of any healthy Christian spirituality.

Finally is she responsible for "mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit"? Quite frankly that sounds absurd. Does she intercede constantly for the Church? Yes. Do we receive graces through her prayers? Yes. She is our intercessor not the mediator of the Graces of the Spirit.


Yours in Christ
Paisius

Offline GiC

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2008, 05:23:54 PM »
Hello,

I'm Catholic and new to this forum. I hoping that perhaps those of you here could give me an Orthodox perspective on something. First some background: there is a movement within Catholicism (vocal minority) that thinks there should be a 5th Marian dogma. This dogma brings titles such as Co-Redemptrix and Co-Mediatrix and also establishes that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation. Further it would hold that Our Lady is actually responsible for mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit. To be clear this is not something official and I'm not even sure the Magisterium is even considering it. But, there is some level of support for it.

So given the above I would like to know what the Orthodox view of this would be. I realize you would be against any formal dogmatic declaration and I completely respect and understand that. Yet if you would humor me I would just like to know what you think about these ideas themselves. Since I may not have explained things well I have placed a link to a webpage that speaks at length on these things.

http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/5thdogma/5thdogmalinks.htm

I thank you for any feedback.

I don't know that the doctrines are problematic, per se...but the Orthodox Church has long been far more reluctant to formalize things as dogma than the west. Personally while I think these things are great, I would probably be uncomfortable with dogmatizing them.
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Offline Constant

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2008, 05:33:32 PM »


I can give you my personal opinion of these ideas. Mary does in a unique way participate in our salvation because in order for God's plan to be enacted Mary, the second Eve, had to submitt herself to the will of God. As one of the Hymns for the feast of the Annunciation says....

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 Theotokos:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace,
The Lord is with You!



It is by her great "yes" that the Son of God entered into time to save us from the separation from God we had imposed upon ourselves.


Is a devotion to Mary necessary for salvation? I would be hesitant to say it was necessary but a devotion to Mary is part of any healthy Christian spirituality.

Finally is she responsible for "mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit"? Quite frankly that sounds absurd. Does she intercede constantly for the Church? Yes. Do we receive graces through her prayers? Yes. She is our intercessor not the mediator of the Graces of the Spirit.


Yours in Christ
Paisius

You're views match my own on this. I guess more specifically the mediatrix of all graces is the controversial part of this. Everything else one can see some basis for I think from both the east and west.

Offline Constant

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2008, 05:53:17 PM »
I don't know that the doctrines are problematic, per se...but the Orthodox Church has long been far more reluctant to formalize things as dogma than the west. Personally while I think these things are great, I would probably be uncomfortable with dogmatizing them.

I actually respect the reservation the Orthodox Church has used towards dogmatic declarations. To me it shows wisdom.

Offline Paisius

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2008, 06:12:33 PM »
I don't know that the doctrines are problematic, per se...but the Orthodox Church has long been far more reluctant to formalize things as dogma than the west. Personally while I think these things are great, I would probably be uncomfortable with dogmatizing them.



I would say except for the "mediator of the Graces of the Holy Spirit" part most of us believe these things anyway. This is where we often part ways with Catholics. All of the dogmatic definitions of the Church were instituted in response to a particular heresy that was threatening the Church. They were made in an effort to exclude error. Since the time of the Schism the Catholic Church has gone in the other direction. They make dogmatic definitions not in an attempt to exclude error but rather in an attempt to define every aspect of the faith.


Yours in Christ
Paisius
« Last Edit: March 29, 2008, 06:12:51 PM by Paisius »

Offline Paradosis

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2008, 12:35:51 AM »
I would say except for the "mediator of the Graces of the Holy Spirit" part most of us believe these things anyway. This is where we often part ways with Catholics. All of the dogmatic definitions of the Church were instituted in response to a particular heresy that was threatening the Church. They were made in an effort to exclude error. Since the time of the Schism the Catholic Church has gone in the other direction. They make dogmatic definitions not in an attempt to exclude error but rather in an attempt to define every aspect of the faith.

That's true.  I also think that many Roman Catholics have changed the nature of "the Faith."  Rather than seeing all of Holy Tradition as being the Faith, many modern Latin churchmen have limited the Faith to only dogmatic declarations, making the rest of Tradition simply ordinary teaching, which may change.  I think this error explains their emphasis on dogma. 

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Adam

Offline buzuxi

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2008, 01:21:26 AM »
The Orthodox Church does not pass dogmas on our Traditions in the same way as Roman Catholics. In Orthodoxy a dogma is only passed at an Ecumenical council in order to clarify and/or define what the Church has always believed.

A definate concise teaching (dogma) only happens when a heresy arises and disturbs the life of the Church,  A council of bishops come together to deal with the controversy, pronounce upon it, and clarify the right belief from wrong belief. 

If there is no controversy and nothing is fracturing the Church, then there is nothing to correct, and hence no need for a new dogma.
 Secondly, in the case of the third Ecumenical Council where the title of "Theotokos" was bestowed officially upon the Virgin Mary, this was due to the Nestorian Heresy. Nestorianism claimed Christ was 2 persons, human and divine, The divine hypostasis can enter and leave the body of Christ as it willed. Another words the Child of Mary was simply a receptacle for the divine Logos to temporarily reside in. Perhaps the divinity of Christ entered his human body at His baptism and then left it before his death on the cross. Thus to put to an end this heretical belief, the ancient custom of refering to Mary as "God-Bearer" was made dogma. Anotherwords  dogmas in Orthodoxy are limited to the realm of Christology not Mariology.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2008, 08:09:15 AM »
Hello,

I'm Catholic and new to this forum. I hoping that perhaps those of you here could give me an Orthodox perspective on something. First some background: there is a movement within Catholicism (vocal minority) that thinks there should be a 5th Marian dogma. This dogma brings titles such as Co-Redemptrix and Co-Mediatrix and also establishes that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation. Further it would hold that Our Lady is actually responsible for mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit. To be clear this is not something official and I'm not even sure the Magisterium is even considering it. But, there is some level of support for it.

So given the above I would like to know what the Orthodox view of this would be. I realize you would be against any formal dogmatic declaration and I completely respect and understand that. Yet if you would humor me I would just like to know what you think about these ideas themselves. Since I may not have explained things well I have placed a link to a webpage that speaks at length on these things.

http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/5thdogma/5thdogmalinks.htm

I thank you for any feedback. 

My first response is actually the same as buzuxi's last sentence, to wit:

dogmas in Orthodoxy are limited to the realm of Christology not Mariology. 

Orthodoxy, including the undivided Church of the first millenium, took great pains in defining dogma only when necessary, only when to quell debate that threatened the faith, and when it did so, it only defined Dogma (i.e. those things we must believe in order to have a correct picture of Faith) related to the members of the Trinity and specifically to Christ.  Using that as a litmus test, my question would be this: would a dogma saying that the Theotokos (i.e. the Virgin Mary)  is the sole mediator of the Graces of the Spirit be based on our current understanding of Christ and the Trinity, or would it re-define our understanding of Christ and the Trinity, or would it have nothing to do with our belief in Christ and the Trinity.

If we choose the first one (that it is based on our current belief), then there is no need to call it a Dogma, since it is based on Dogmatic truth and thus has a firm foundation.  If we choose the second one (that it changes our current belief), then we'd need to convene an Ecumenical Council, for the fact that it challenges our current belief creates a reasonable place for disagreement.  If we choose the third one (that it has nothing to do with Christ and the Trinity), then it can't be dogmatic, and certainly must be viewed with extreme Caution - any dogma relating to a member of the Trinity (the Spirit) that does not affect our understanding of the Trinity should be handled with a Radiation Suit.
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Offline Constant

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2008, 03:55:25 PM »
Thank you all for your responces. I really appreciate you taking your time to answer my post. I really don't think that this will ever be declared, but I wanted hear the views of the Eastern Church. I also agree with the viewpoints posted thus far.

Offline Orual

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2008, 06:35:46 PM »
I should start off by saying I don't typically trust anything that ends with '-trix' that references the Theotokos, except "mediatrix" as it refers to her intercessory prayers.

and also establishes that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation.

 :o  Nope... but I've never seen that before!  How could this be accounted for among the, I think the term is, "invincibly ignorant", if they have to be devoted to the Theotokos?  Wouldn't that connote conscious knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord, God, Savior, and Second Person of the Trinity?

Quote
Further it would hold that Our Lady is actually responsible for mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit.

I guess that leaves open the question of how the Holy Spirit would have had to "come upon her" in the first place (Lk. 1:35), if she not only already had it, but was also already personally responsible for its presence in the world.  That might not be a question for RC's (considering the Immaculate Conception dogma) but that question would definitely occur to us Orthodox and on that basis I'm sure we would reject it.

Quote
So given the above I would like to know what the Orthodox view of this would be. I realize you would be against any formal dogmatic declaration and I completely respect and understand that.

Well, actually, if in fact devotion to the Theotokos was required for salvation, I think we might be interested in dogmatizing that, but it's a moot point.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 06:36:48 PM by Matrona »
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Offline Constant

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2008, 06:59:56 PM »
Well, actually, if in fact devotion to the Theotokos was required for salvation, I think we might be interested in dogmatizing that, but it's a moot point.

Heh, I hadn't thought of it like that. Anyway, thank you for your input.

Offline Peter J

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2008, 10:03:45 PM »
:o  Nope... but I've never seen that before!  How could this be accounted for among the, I think the term is, "invincibly ignorant", if they have to be devoted to the Theotokos?  Wouldn't that connote conscious knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord, God, Savior, and Second Person of the Trinity?

My thoughts are similar. I have heard of "fifth Marian dogma" lobby before, but I have never heard that the proposed dogma would "establish that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation".

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Offline Entscheidungsproblem

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2008, 11:04:13 PM »
I have heard of "fifth Marian dogma" lobby before, but I have never heard that the proposed dogma would "establish that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation".

Likewise, whenever I read about it, it was always a co-operative role in redemption, for her role would still be dependent upon Christ.  Therefore, personal devotion would not be 'required'.
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Offline Orual

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2008, 11:44:33 PM »
P.S. I was thinking about putting that "Don Homer" picture in my profile at some point. I see you beat me to it.
 :)

Mmm... organized crime.   ;)
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Offline Peter J

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2008, 09:20:47 AM »
Mmm... organized crime.   ;)

Mayor Quimby, you are well known for your lenient stance on crime, but suppose for a second that your house was ransacked by thugs, your family was tied up in the basement with socks in their mouths, you try to open the door but there's too much blood on the knob ...
  :police:
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Offline sohma_hatori

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2008, 10:40:07 AM »
Hello,

I'm Catholic and new to this forum. I hoping that perhaps those of you here could give me an Orthodox perspective on something. First some background: there is a movement within Catholicism (vocal minority) that thinks there should be a 5th Marian dogma. This dogma brings titles such as Co-Redemptrix and Co-Mediatrix and also establishes that a personal devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is required for Salvation. Further it would hold that Our Lady is actually responsible for mediating the Graces of the Holy Spirit. To be clear this is not something official and I'm not even sure the Magisterium is even considering it. But, there is some level of support for it.

So given the above I would like to know what the Orthodox view of this would be. I realize you would be against any formal dogmatic declaration and I completely respect and understand that. Yet if you would humor me I would just like to know what you think about these ideas themselves. Since I may not have explained things well I have placed a link to a webpage that speaks at length on these things.

http://www.christendom-awake.org/pages/marian/5thdogma/5thdogmalinks.htm

I thank you for any feedback.

 :o

As a Roman Catholic, I agree with the some posts here that we have become quite "Marian" instead of being Christian. Even in the rosary, I find it quite Ironic that Im meditating for example on the death of Jesus on the cross, but Im praying the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary)..

Also here in the Philippines, especially for the elderly, they are very devoted to Mary. Not that I find the devotion to Mary a bad thing, but I think they emphasize too much on her that they barely refer to Christ! Some of them even think that the Theotokos actually heals sick people and not that they are healed by God thru her intercession! Iknow that this isnt the RC's stand, but the clergy here aren't doing anything against that belief. This really alarmed me too..
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Offline Constant

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Re: I'd like an Orthodox opinion
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2008, 12:43:22 AM »
:o

As a Roman Catholic, I agree with the some posts here that we have become quite "Marian" instead of being Christian. Even in the rosary, I find it quite Ironic that Im meditating for example on the death of Jesus on the cross, but Im praying the Angelic Salutation (Hail Mary)..

Also here in the Philippines, especially for the elderly, they are very devoted to Mary. Not that I find the devotion to Mary a bad thing, but I think they emphasize too much on her that they barely refer to Christ! Some of them even think that the Theotokos actually heals sick people and not that they are healed by God thru her intercession! Iknow that this isnt the RC's stand, but the clergy here aren't doing anything against that belief. This really alarmed me too..

Yes, a lack of good catechisis is a major problem I'm noticing. There is nothing more frustrating than running into fellow Catholics who completely misunderstand our beliefs. This is another reason why I think that we need to hold off on adding more dogma. There is more than enough primary beliefs that we need to get drilled correctly into people without thinking of adding new and even more confusing doctrine.