OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 02, 2014, 12:55:38 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?  (Read 36005 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« on: April 12, 2008, 01:16:41 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Pravoslavbob
Section Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,181


St. Sisoes the Great


« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2008, 01:24:11 AM »

No, it isn't okay to believe in the Immaculate Conception.  I've seen a few arguments for the acceptance of it as being okay, but it just looks like convuluted fluff to me.  Not at all convincing.  Sorry, that's how I see it..
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 01:27:25 AM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2008, 01:25:30 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?
By "Immaculate Conception" do you mean the teaching as it was dogmatized by Pius IX, Pope of Rome, in 1854?  That the Theotokos--you RC posters (e.g., lubeltri) please correct me if I misstate this dogma--was from her very conception in the womb of her mother Anna preserved from any stain of original sin?  I know that we Orthodox do hold to some beliefs in Mary's ever-purity, that she was protected from all personal sin through her cooperation with the grace of God, so I just want to know exactly how you come to say that you may believe in some semblance of the Immaculate Conception.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2008, 01:30:00 AM »

St. Gennadius Scholarius believed in the Immaculate Conception in a very Scotistic sense. I think its wrong and shouldn't be dogmatized, but I have no problem accepting it as a private theological opinion about which men may disagree.
Logged
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek by desire; Antiochian by necessity
Posts: 5,959



« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2008, 01:31:59 AM »

Personally, I would say that our Orthodox teaching is correct as is which denies the tenets of the RC dogma.  But I would definitely suggest you go to someone who is far more educated and mature in the faith than I as to whether something is permissible or not.  As far as Bishop Kallistos' opinions goes, I would direct your attention to the following:

"Orthodoxy...sees no need for any dogma of the 'Immaculate Conception'...Two points need to be kept in mind here.  First, as already noted (p. 62), Orthodoxy does not envisage the fall in Augustinian terms, as a taint of inherited guilt.  If we Orthodox had accepted the Latin view of original guilt, then we might also have felt the need to affirm a doctrine of the Immaculate Conception...Secondly, for Orthodoxy, the Virgin Mary consituttes, together with St. John the Baptist, the crown and culmination of Old Testament sanctity.  She is a 'link figure':  the last and greatest of the righteous men and women of hte Old Covenant,...But the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception seems to us to take the Virgin Mary out of the Old Covenant and to place her, by anticipation, entirely in the New...and so her role as 'link' is impaired."  (Ware, The Orthodox Way, 77).

However, he also writes,

"From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing" (Ware, The Orthodox Church, 260).

To me, he defends what the teaching is and why it is taught, but also seems to give an out to anybody who still feels the "immaculate conception" is somehow necessary.  I really don't see how this is the case when he so clearly lays out why we believe what we believe with regards to the Theotokos.  But, as I said above, I'll let someone more erudite and faithful than myself determine whether an Orthodox holding on to the "immaculate conception" as a dogma is "OK."

Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2008, 01:38:12 AM »

We don't have a different idea of Original Sin. The attempt to prove that we do are what I would classify as "convuluted fluff." As for Immaculate Conception, it comes down to two options: 1.) The Theotokos has the stain of Original Sin, with no personal sins; and 2.) The Theotokos has neither the stain of Original Sin or personal sins. I agree with the former.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 01:39:01 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2008, 01:40:11 AM »

^ (continuing from Reply #2)

If you define your belief in the Immaculate Conception along the lines of Roman dogma, then I would agree with Pravoslavbob that the answer is NO; the Roman dogma of the Immaculate Conception is not acceptable belief for the Orthodox.  Maybe our more learned theologians (ozgeorge, PensaTParadosis, etc.) can cover this better than I can, but I see essentially two reasons why the IC dogma is heretical.

1.  The dogma relies too heavily on an Augustinian view of the state of fallen man (i.e., Original Sin as a stain that is passed on from Adam and Eve to their descendants, making us guilty of their sin) at the expense of our understanding of the complementary and sometimes contradictory views of his contemporaries.

2.  The dogma sets Mary apart from the rest of humanity in a way that is detrimental to the Gospel.  If she was consecrated from her conception for the purpose of bearing the Son of God into the world, and if she was rendered, by God's grace, intrinsically different from the rest of man, then she is not truly and fully human with human free will.  She could not have chosen to obey her calling if she was predestined to do so.  The great example for us and the act that made salvation possible is Mary's free will obedience to God's plan of salvation, when she could very well have said to God, "No, I will not submit to your plan."  She needed to obey out of the freedom of her will, something the dogma of the Immaculate Conception denies her.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 01:40:52 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2008, 01:42:51 AM »

We don't have a different idea of Original Sin. The attempt to prove that we do are what I would classify as "convuluted fluff."
A very interesting statement that doesn't jibe with my understanding of Orthodox doctrine.  Prove it.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2008, 01:45:52 AM »

1.) The Western view does not entail personal guilt for Original Sin. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

2.) If the Immaculate Conception sets the Theotokos apart from the rest of humanity, it does so for Christ too, since Christ was immaculately conceived. There are better objections than this.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2008, 01:47:31 AM »

1.) The Western view does not entail personal guilt for Original Sin. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

2.) If the Immaculate Conception sets the Theotokos apart from the rest of humanity, it does so for Christ too, since Christ was immaculately conceived. There are better objections than this.
I'm sorry, but your own personal opinions, regardless of how much grunt work you put into them, don't count as proof. Wink

Maybe it's because I find equally incredulous your consistent thesis that Western theological constructs are not merely acceptable for the Orthodox, but actually go so far as to define Orthodoxy of faith, despite the fact that Orthodox Christianity is still primarily Eastern in its theological roots.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 01:52:10 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2008, 01:49:49 AM »

A very interesting statement that doesn't jibe with my understanding of Orthodox doctrine.  Prove it.

I have had lengthy discussions about this over at Monachos and also at Energetic Procession, and I don't want to rehash it again.

A starting place would be these blogs from Ephrem Hugh Bensusan:

http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/03/original-sin-in-eastern-orthodox.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2007/01/original-sin-west-haters-strike-back.html
Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2008, 01:54:34 AM »

Peace Brothers and Sisters

I didn't desire to get everyone in a conflict.

"From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing" (Ware, The Orthodox Church, 260).

This is the quote I was familiar with and the one I believe affords me recognition of the Immaculate Conception as acceptable for me to claim.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2008, 01:57:56 AM »

I'm sorry, but your own personal opinions, regardless of how much grunt work you put into them, don't count as proof. Wink

Sorry, I am sick and tired of seeing this straw man attack against the west.

Peter, think over your second objection a little bit. This argument entails that Adam and Eve did not have true human free wills, since by any definition, they were unaffected by Original Sin. The human will is not equivalent to "will of sin."

A good example of Orthodox argumentation against the IC would be the writings of St. John Maximovitch. He gets to the point; none of the phony arguments over the definition of Original Sin.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2008, 02:03:17 AM »

Sorry, I am sick and tired of seeing this straw man attack against the west.
This isn't a straw man argument against the West, since my demand for proof was directed solely at you.  You made a claim that doesn't ring true to my understanding of Orthodox faith, so I'm asking you to offer proof of your claim.  It's that simple, unless you choose to complicate things. Wink

Quote
Peter, think over your second objection a little bit. This argument entails that Adam and Eve did not have true human free wills, since by any definition, they were unaffected by Original Sin. The human will is not equivalent to "will of sin."
Offer the proof I requested to support your claim, and maybe I'll reconsider my second objection. Wink

Quote
A good example of Orthodox argumentation against the IC would be the writings of St. John Maximovitch. He gets to the point; none of the phony arguments over the definition of Original Sin.
Okay, quote something from St. John.  I'm interested to read it, since I have already, to some degree, stated my relative ignorance of theology and my willingness to be corrected by those who know this subject better than I do.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 02:07:31 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2008, 02:05:30 AM »

This isn't a straw man argument against the West, since my demand for proof was directed solely at you.  You made a claim that doesn't ring true to my understanding of Orthodox faith, so I'm asking you to offer proof of your claim.  It's that simple, unless you choose to complicate things. Wink

Why don't you try taking a look at those links I sent your way?  Wink
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2008, 02:06:49 AM »

Quote
Maybe it's because I find equally incredulous your consistent thesis that Western theological constructs are not merely acceptable for the Orthodox, but actually go so far as to define Orthodoxy of faith, despite the fact that Orthodox Christianity is still primarily Eastern in its theological roots.

What "Western theological constructs"? My main theological model is St. John of Damascus. But really, why are we identifying theological Orthodoxy with an ethnic mind set? The West was Orthodox for a long time too.  Wink
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2008, 02:11:52 AM »

What "Western theological constructs"? My main theological model is St. John of Damascus.
What did St. John of Damascus have to say about Original Sin?

Quote
But really, why are we identifying theological Orthodoxy with an ethnic mind set?
I'm not.

Quote
The West was Orthodox for a long time too.  Wink
I know, which is why I don't object to embracing Western ideas as part of a comprehensive study of Orthodox patristic theology. Wink
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2008, 02:21:23 AM »

Okay, quote something from St. John.  I'm interested to read it, since I have already, to some degree, stated my relative ignorance of theology and my willingness to be corrected by those who know this subject better than I do.

His discussion of the IC is here. There is no quibbling over "Original Sin." This is what he says about the Theotokos and Original Sin, quoting St. Ambrose:

Quote
This same Holy Father teaches concerning the universality of original sin, from which Christ alone is an exception. "Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birthgiving, did not experience earthly taint" (St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2). "God alone is without sin. All born in the usual manner of woman and man, that is, of fleshly union, become guilty of sin. Consequently, He Who does not have sin was not conceived in this manner" (St. Ambrose, Ap. Aug. "Concerning Marriage and Concupiscence"). "One Man alone, the Intermediary between God and man, is free from the bonds of sinful birth, because He was born of a Virgin, and because in being born He did not experience the touch of sin" (St. Ambrose, ibid., Book 2: "Against Julianus").
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 02:22:41 AM by Symeon » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2008, 02:39:52 AM »

What did St. John of Damascus have to say about Original Sin?

Quote
For it was fitting that not only the first-fruits of our nature should partake in the higher good but every man who wished it, and that a second birth should take place and that the nourishment should be new and suitable to the birth and thus the measure of perfection be attained. Through His birth, that is, His incarnation, and baptism and passion and resurrection, He delivered our nature from the sin of our first parent and death and corruption, and became the first-fruits of the resurrection, and made Himself the way and image and pattern, in order that we, too, following in His footsteps, may become by adoption what He is Himself by nature, sons and heirs of God and joint heirs with Him. He gave us therefore, as I said, a second birth in order that, just as we who are born of Adam are in his image and are the heirs of the curse and corruption, so also being born of Him we may be in His likeness and heirs of His incorruption and blessing and glory.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iv.xiii.html

Quote
Therefore the law of my mind, that is, the conscience, sympathises with the law of God, that is, the precept, and makes that its will. But the law of sin, that is to say, the assault made through the law that is in our members, or through the lust and inclination and movement of the body and of the irrational part of the soul, is in opposition to the law of my mind, that is to conscience, and takes me captive (even though I make the law of God my will and set my love on it, and make not sin my will), by reason of commixture: and through the softness of pleasure and the lust of the body and of the irrational part of the soul, as I said, it leads me astray and induces me to become the servant of sin. But what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh (for He assumed flesh but not sin) condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh but in the Spirit. For the Spirit helpeth our infirmities and affordeth power to the law of our mind, against the law that is in our members. For the verse, we know not what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered, itself teacheth us what to pray for. Hence it is impossible to carry out the precepts of the Lord except by patience and prayer.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf209.iii.iv.iv.xxii.html
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 02:42:59 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2008, 02:47:54 AM »

His discussion of the IC is here. There is no quibbling over "Original Sin."
SWYP? Huh  Maybe St. John Maximovich didn't see much need to spend any time arguing against the Western understanding of original sin as an important tactic in his attack on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, but that doesn't necessarily nullify the value of arguing that the Augustinian view of original sin fundamental to IC dogma is too unbalanced.

Quote
This is what he says about the Theotokos and Original Sin, quoting St. Ambrose:
Again, so peripheral to the point St. John tried to make as to be almost irrelevant.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2008, 02:53:36 AM »

SWYP? Huh  Maybe St. John Maximovich didn't see much need to spend any time arguing against the Western understanding of original sin as an important tactic in his attack on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, but that doesn't necessarily nullify the value of arguing that the Augustinian view of original sin fundamental to IC dogma is too unbalanced.

Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

Quote
Again, so peripheral to the point St. John tried to make as to be almost irrelevant.

Seeing as how St. Ambrose says that all men born of natural generation (or "sinful birth) become "guilty" of sin, and St. John quoted this statement, I think we can assume that he agreed with this premise. And I agree, the point is peripheral. Nobody cared about this phony issue until the mid-20th century.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 02:59:04 AM by Symeon » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2008, 03:01:43 AM »

Offer the proof I requested to support your claim, and maybe I'll reconsider my second objection. Wink

Peter, however we define Original Sin, we can all agree that at some point at Adam and Eve didn't have it. Nonetheless, they had real and free human wills. The same would be true of the Theotokos if she were born of the IC.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 03:02:29 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2008, 03:02:46 AM »

2.) If the Immaculate Conception sets the Theotokos apart from the rest of humanity, it does so for Christ too, since Christ was immaculately conceived. There are better objections than this.
Bad analogy for the following reason:  the Theotokos was conceived as the result of natural marital relations between her mother and her father, whereas the Christ was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.  To assert that Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin at her conception, despite being conceived by purely natural means, sets her apart from humanity in a way different from how Christ's supernatural conception sets Him apart from the rest of humanity.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2008, 03:06:58 AM »

Bad analogy for the following reason:  the Theotokos was conceived as the result of natural marital relations between her mother and her father, whereas the Christ was conceived in the womb of the Theotokos by the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.  To assert that Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin at her conception, despite being conceived by purely natural means, sets her apart from humanity in a way different from how Christ's supernatural conception sets Him apart from the rest of humanity.

Well, I do agree that there is a problem with the schema of natural birth/immaculate conception (which was an objection Bernard of Clairvaux threw at it). This still has nothing to do with the faculty of willing, which was your initial objection.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 03:10:23 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2008, 03:16:57 AM »

Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it.
I read recently that Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), the first leader of the ROCOR, worked to stamp out the Russian Church's dependence on Western theological methods.  Do you know anything of this?

Quote
Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.
I did read them.  I don't mean to denigrate Metropolitan St. Philaret of Moscow, but seeing how his catechism came out of the "Western Captivity," I don't see it as necessarily definitive of Orthodox faith.  An excellent resource for a broad study of Orthodox dogmatics, certainly, but I wouldn't place my trust too much on this catechism of St. Philaret.

Quote
Seeing as how St. Ambrose says that all men born of natural generation (or "sinful birth) become "guilty" of sin, and St. John quoted this statement, I think we can assume that he agreed with this premise.
St. John quoted St. Ambrose to support his own assertion that the early Western fathers rejected any concept of Immaculate Conception, but this usage doesn't necessarily imply agreement with St. Ambrose's position on original sin.

Quote
And I agree, the point is peripheral. Nobody cared about this phony issue until the mid-20th century.
Merely repeating the assertion that the issue of the "Western Captivity" is a phony issue doesn't make the assertion true, regardless of how loudly you keep saying this. Wink
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2008, 03:31:01 AM »

I read recently that Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky), the first leader of the ROCOR, worked to stamp out the Russian Church's dependence on Western theological methods.  Do you know anything of this?

Yes, I do know of this. I forgot Blessed Metropolitan Anthony. I consider his Dogma of Redemption, which is too much misunderstood, to be an Orthodox classic (albeit, not without problems). I think his attempt at "cleansing" the Seminaries was in some ways misguided, but his contribution to Orthodoxy has been very positive, unlike the other three I mentioned. My attitude towards Metropolitan Anthony is the same as St. John Maximovitch, his pupil. A great man who made some errors.

Quote
I did read them.  I don't mean to denigrate Metropolitan St. Philaret of Moscow, but seeing how his catechism came out of the "Western Captivity," I don't see it as necessarily definitive of Orthodox faith.  An excellent resource for a broad study of Orthodox dogmatics, certainly, but I wouldn't place my trust too much on this catechism of St. Philaret.

Its not just Metropolitan St. Philaret, if you didn't notice  Wink. Which part of St. Philaret's explication do you take issue with specifically, btw?

This "Western captivity" stuff is just a way to create a gap in our understanding that can be filled in with whatever we want by "going back to the Fathers" and creating a new Orthodoxy in our own image, as Fr. Seraphim Rose pointed out. It also implies that Orthodoxy was lost.

But lets take a look at what some great Hesychast Fathers (Sts. Gregory Palamas and Nicholas Cabasilas) have to say on this matter:

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 5:

"Before Christ we all shared the same ancestral curse and condemnation poured out on all of us from our single Forefather, as if it had sprung from the root of the human race and was the common lot of our nature. Each person’s individual action attracted either reproof or praise from God, but no one could do anything about the shared curse and condemnation, or the evil inheritance that has been passed down to him and through him would pass to his descendants. But Christ came, setting human nature free and changing the common curse into a shared blessing. He took upon Himself our guilty nature from the most pure Virgin and united it, new and unmixed with the old seed, to His Divine Person. He rendered it guiltless and righteous, so that all His spiritual descendants would remain outside the ancestral curse and condemnation. How so? He shares His grace with each one of us as a person, and each receives forgiveness of his sins from Him. For He did not receive from us a human person, but assumed our human nature and renewed it by uniting it with His own Person. His wish was to save us all completely and for our sake He bowed the heavens and came down. When by His deeds, words and Sufferings He had pointed out all the ways of salvation, He went up to heaven again, drawing after Him those who trusted Him. His aim was to grant perfect redemption not just to the nature which He had assumed from us in inseparable union, but to each one of those who believed in Him. This He has done and continues to do, reconciling each of us through Himself to the Father, bringing each one back to obedience and thoroughly healing our disobedience. To this end, He established Holy Baptism and gave us saving laws."

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 14:

“If the conception of God had been from seed, He would not have been a new man, nor the Author of new life which will never grow old. If He were from the old stock and had inherited its sin, He would not have been able to bear within Himself the fullness of the incorruptible Godhead or to make His Flesh an inexhaustible Source of sanctification, able to wash away even the defilement of our First Parents by its abundant power, and sufficient to sanctify all who came after them.”

St. Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ:

"It was neither yesterday nor the day before that the evil began, but at the time that we began to exist. As soon as Adam despised his good Master by believing the evil one and was perverted in will, his soul lost its health and well-being. From that time on his body agreed with the soul and was in accord with it, and was perverted with it like an instrument in the hand of the craftsman. The soul shares its passions with the body by being closely united with it, as is shown by the fact that our body blushes when the soul is ashamed and wastes away when the soul is beset by anxieties. Because our nature was extended and our race increased as it proceeded from the first body, so wickedness too, like any other natural characteristic, was transmitted to the bodies which proceeded from that body. The body, then, not merely shares in the experiences of the soul but also imparts its own experiences to the soul. The soul is subject to joy or vexation, is restrained or unrestrained, depending on the disposition of the body. It therefore followed that each man's soul inherited the wickedness of the first Adam. It spread from his soul to his body, and from his body to the bodies which derived from his, and from those bodies to the souls. This, then, is the old man whom we have received as a seed of evil from our ancestors as we came into existence. We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness, but, as the psalmist says, 'we have gone astray from the womb, we err from our birth' (Ps. 58:4)."

Quote
St. John quoted St. Ambrose to support his own assertion that the early Western fathers rejected any concept of Immaculate Conception, but this usage doesn't necessarily imply agreement with St. Ambrose's position on original sin.

St. John is quoting St. Ambrose as a "Holy Father" of authority on the subject of the universality of Original Sin. It does indeed "imply agreement."

Quote
Merely repeating the assertion that the issue of the "Western Captivity" is a phony issue doesn't make the assertion true, regardless of how loudly you keep saying this. Wink

It is if the "Western Captivity" was merely an issue of language, and not of content, as Fr. Seraphim Rose maintained.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 03:39:40 AM by Symeon » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2008, 03:49:20 AM »

Further, St. John Maximovitch quotes from Sts. Ignatius Brianchaninov and Ambrose on the inheritance by the Theotokos of Original Sin. This is from the conclusion of his book:

Quote
"Despite the righteousness and the immaculateness of the 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 original 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 II8th 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.
http://www.stmaryofegypt.org/library/st_john_maximovich/on_veneration_of_the_theotokos.htm#orthodox_veneration
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2008, 03:54:22 AM »

This "Western captivity" stuff is just a way to create a gap in our understanding that can be filled in with whatever we want by "going back to the Fathers" and creating a new Orthodoxy in our own image, as Fr. Seraphim Rose pointed out. It also implies that Orthodoxy was lost.

...

It is if the "Western Captivity" was merely an issue of language, and not of content, as Fr. Seraphim Rose maintained.
And this is where we disagree at a very foundational level.  From my reading of Russian Church history, I see a very clear Latinization of Russia's church theology, something with much deeper effects than merely linguistic.  (For instance, how do you justify the Russian adoption of a Latin--many would say heretical--formula of absolution for Confession?)  I also see these effects as so insidious as to make its "victims" totally unaware of how much their ability to see their situation has been compromised.  Sorry to use such a crass analogy, but pigs don't know that pigs stink.  In addition, since I see this Western Captivity as confined for the most part to Russian Orthodoxy, which never was fully representative of the breadth of universal Orthodoxy, I don't see talk of the Western Captivity as an implication that Orthodoxy was ever lost--we need to see Orthodoxy as much bigger than its Russian expression.  Finally, though I have a very profound respect for the monastic spirituality of Fr. Seraphim Rose, I don't consider him an unquestioned authority on things dogmatic.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2008, 04:12:13 AM »

And this is where we disagree at a very foundational level.  From my reading of Russian Church history, I see a very clear Latinization of Russia's church theology, something with much deeper effects than merely linguistic.  (For instance, how do you justify the Russian adoption of a Latin--many would say heretical--formula of absolution for Confession?)

If the formula of absolution is the worst example of the Western Captivity (and it seems to be the trump card), then the Western Captivity didn't do that much damage. But here is how I justify it. Priests receive the power to "bind and loose," as we know from scripture. Peter Moghila's formula attributes this to the priests, while the Greek formula attributes it to God, where it ultimately belongs, but there is not a true contradiction. The Greek formula is preferable, though.

Quote
In addition, since I see this Western Captivity as confined for the most part to Russian Orthodoxy, which never was fully representative of the breadth of universal Orthodoxy, I don't see talk of the Western Captivity as an implication that Orthodoxy was ever lost--we need to see Orthodoxy as much bigger than its Russian expression.

The proponents of the Western Captivity theory don't limit it to Russia alone, but also to Greece. Just read what Fr. Romanides writes on this subject. For Fr. Romanides, Russia was ruined by Peter the Great and Greece by Adamantios Korais. His dissertation "The Ancestral Sin" is supposed to have been some great revelation to Greece.

Quote
Finally, though I have a very profound respect for the monastic spirituality of Fr. Seraphim Rose, I don't consider him an unquestioned authority on things dogmatic.

The monastics and holy men generally know best.  Wink
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 04:50:49 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2008, 04:21:57 AM »

But lets take a look at what some great Hesychast Fathers (Sts. Gregory Palamas and Nicholas Cabasilas) have to say on this matter:

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 5:

"Before Christ we all shared the same ancestral curse and condemnation poured out on all of us from our single Forefather, as if it had sprung from the root of the human race and was the common lot of our nature. Each person’s individual action attracted either reproof or praise from God, but no one could do anything about the shared curse and condemnation, or the evil inheritance that has been passed down to him and through him would pass to his descendants. But Christ came, setting human nature free and changing the common curse into a shared blessing. He took upon Himself our guilty nature from the most pure Virgin and united it, new and unmixed with the old seed, to His Divine Person. He rendered it guiltless and righteous, so that all His spiritual descendants would remain outside the ancestral curse and condemnation. How so? He shares His grace with each one of us as a person, and each receives forgiveness of his sins from Him. For He did not receive from us a human person, but assumed our human nature and renewed it by uniting it with His own Person. His wish was to save us all completely and for our sake He bowed the heavens and came down. When by His deeds, words and Sufferings He had pointed out all the ways of salvation, He went up to heaven again, drawing after Him those who trusted Him. His aim was to grant perfect redemption not just to the nature which He had assumed from us in inseparable union, but to each one of those who believed in Him. This He has done and continues to do, reconciling each of us through Himself to the Father, bringing each one back to obedience and thoroughly healing our disobedience. To this end, He established Holy Baptism and gave us saving laws."

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 14:

“If the conception of God had been from seed, He would not have been a new man, nor the Author of new life which will never grow old. If He were from the old stock and had inherited its sin, He would not have been able to bear within Himself the fullness of the incorruptible Godhead or to make His Flesh an inexhaustible Source of sanctification, able to wash away even the defilement of our First Parents by its abundant power, and sufficient to sanctify all who came after them.”

St. Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ:

"It was neither yesterday nor the day before that the evil began, but at the time that we began to exist. As soon as Adam despised his good Master by believing the evil one and was perverted in will, his soul lost its health and well-being. From that time on his body agreed with the soul and was in accord with it, and was perverted with it like an instrument in the hand of the craftsman. The soul shares its passions with the body by being closely united with it, as is shown by the fact that our body blushes when the soul is ashamed and wastes away when the soul is beset by anxieties. Because our nature was extended and our race increased as it proceeded from the first body, so wickedness too, like any other natural characteristic, was transmitted to the bodies which proceeded from that body. The body, then, not merely shares in the experiences of the soul but also imparts its own experiences to the soul. The soul is subject to joy or vexation, is restrained or unrestrained, depending on the disposition of the body. It therefore followed that each man's soul inherited the wickedness of the first Adam. It spread from his soul to his body, and from his body to the bodies which derived from his, and from those bodies to the souls. This, then, is the old man whom we have received as a seed of evil from our ancestors as we came into existence. We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness, but, as the psalmist says, 'we have gone astray from the womb, we err from our birth' (Ps. 58:4)."
I don't deny the orthodoxy of belief that the human nature we inherited from our first parents is in some way corrupted by the Fall, but how does this justify your Western view of original sin as some sort of stain that must be cleansed?  Does this not imply some type of personal guilt for Adam's sin?  Would not the words you quoted above of the Fathers also fit a world view that saw death, as opposed to some type of stain, to be the corruption of the Fall?

Quote
St. John is quoting St. Ambrose as a "Holy Father" of authority on the subject of the universality of Original Sin. It does indeed "imply agreement."
Emphasis, as I read St. John's quote of St. Ambrose, on the universality of original sin, regardless of how this is defined...  This doesn't imply agreement with St. Ambrose's definition of original sin (that we are born guilty of Adam's sin).
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2008, 04:35:48 AM »

I don't deny the orthodoxy of belief that the human nature we inherited from our first parents is in some way corrupted by the Fall, but how does this justify your Western view of original sin as some sort of stain that must be cleansed?  Does this not imply some type of personal guilt for Adam's sin?  Would not the words you quoted above of the Fathers also fit a world view that saw death, as opposed to some type of stain, to be the corruption of the Fall?

Let me put some emphases in these quotes.

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 5:

"Before Christ we all shared the same ancestral curse and condemnation poured out on all of us from our single Forefather, as if it had sprung from the root of the human race and was the common lot of our nature. Each person’s individual action attracted either reproof or praise from God, but no one could do anything about the shared curse and condemnation, or the evil inheritance that has been passed down to him and through him would pass to his descendants. But Christ came, setting human nature free and changing the common curse into a shared blessing. He took upon Himself our guilty nature from the most pure Virgin and united it, new and unmixed with the old seed, to His Divine Person. He rendered it guiltless and righteous, so that all His spiritual descendants would remain outside the ancestral curse and condemnation."

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 14:

“If the conception of God had been from seed, He would not have been a new man, nor the Author of new life which will never grow old. If He were from the old stock and had inherited its sin, He would not have been able to bear within Himself the fullness of the incorruptible Godhead or to make His Flesh an inexhaustible Source of sanctification, able to wash away even the defilement of our First Parents by its abundant power, and sufficient to sanctify all who came after them.”

St. Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ:

"It was neither yesterday nor the day before that the evil began, but at the time that we began to exist. As soon as Adam despised his good Master by believing the evil one and was perverted in will, his soul lost its health and well-being. From that time on his body agreed with the soul and was in accord with it, and was perverted with it like an instrument in the hand of the craftsman. The soul shares its passions with the body by being closely united with it, as is shown by the fact that our body blushes when the soul is ashamed and wastes away when the soul is beset by anxieties. Because our nature was extended and our race increased as it proceeded from the first body, so wickedness too, like any other natural characteristic, was transmitted to the bodies which proceeded from that body. The body, then, not merely shares in the experiences of the soul but also imparts its own experiences to the soul. The soul is subject to joy or vexation, is restrained or unrestrained, depending on the disposition of the body. It therefore followed that each man's soul inherited the wickedness of the first Adam. It spread from his soul to his body, and from his body to the bodies which derived from his, and from those bodies to the souls. This, then, is the old man whom we have received as a seed of evil from our ancestors as we came into existence. We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness, but, as the psalmist says, 'we have gone astray from the womb, we err from our birth' (Ps. 58:4)."

These Holy Fathers declare our nature to be "guilty" and say that "sin," "evil" and "wickedness" are inherit within it. St. Nicholas says "We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness." This is quite a bit more than mere death. If you agree with these quotes, then you can not fault St. Philaret, who is not nearly as harsh. And of course, our natural guilt is not a personal one; even St. Augustine did not think that.

Quote
Emphasis, as I read St. John's quote of St. Ambrose, on the universality of original sin, regardless of how this is defined...  This doesn't imply agreement with St. Ambrose's definition of original sin (that we are born guilty of Adam's sin).

Do you also think the St. John disagreed with St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, when he quoted him to effect that, while immaculate and pure personally, sin and eternal death were manifested in the Theotokos? He also proceeds to quote St. Ambrose to the same effect, and this is after he has finished his polemics against the IC.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 04:39:57 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2008, 04:51:58 AM »

Let me put some emphases in these quotes.

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 5:

"Before Christ we all shared the same ancestral curse and condemnation poured out on all of us from our single Forefather, as if it had sprung from the root of the human race and was the common lot of our nature. Each person’s individual action attracted either reproof or praise from God, but no one could do anything about the shared curse and condemnation, or the evil inheritance that has been passed down to him and through him would pass to his descendants. But Christ came, setting human nature free and changing the common curse into a shared blessing. He took upon Himself our guilty nature from the most pure Virgin and united it, new and unmixed with the old seed, to His Divine Person. He rendered it guiltless and righteous, so that all His spiritual descendants would remain outside the ancestral curse and condemnation."

St. Gregory Palamas, Homily 14:

“If the conception of God had been from seed, He would not have been a new man, nor the Author of new life which will never grow old. If He were from the old stock and had inherited its sin, He would not have been able to bear within Himself the fullness of the incorruptible Godhead or to make His Flesh an inexhaustible Source of sanctification, able to wash away even the defilement of our First Parents by its abundant power, and sufficient to sanctify all who came after them.”

St. Nicholas Cabasilas, The Life in Christ:

"It was neither yesterday nor the day before that the evil began, but at the time that we began to exist. As soon as Adam despised his good Master by believing the evil one and was perverted in will, his soul lost its health and well-being. From that time on his body agreed with the soul and was in accord with it, and was perverted with it like an instrument in the hand of the craftsman. The soul shares its passions with the body by being closely united with it, as is shown by the fact that our body blushes when the soul is ashamed and wastes away when the soul is beset by anxieties. Because our nature was extended and our race increased as it proceeded from the first body, so wickedness too, like any other natural characteristic, was transmitted to the bodies which proceeded from that body. The body, then, not merely shares in the experiences of the soul but also imparts its own experiences to the soul. The soul is subject to joy or vexation, is restrained or unrestrained, depending on the disposition of the body. It therefore followed that each man's soul inherited the wickedness of the first Adam. It spread from his soul to his body, and from his body to the bodies which derived from his, and from those bodies to the souls. This, then, is the old man whom we have received as a seed of evil from our ancestors as we came into existence. We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness, but, as the psalmist says, 'we have gone astray from the womb, we err from our birth' (Ps. 58:4)."

These Holy Fathers declare our nature to be "guilty" and say that "sin," "evil" and "wickedness" are inherit within it. St. Nicholas says "We have not seen even one day pure from sin, nor have we ever breathed apart from wickedness." This is quite a bit more than mere death. If you agree with these quotes, then you can not fault St. Philaret, who is not nearly as harsh. And of course, our natural guilt is not a personal one; even St. Augustine did not think that.
Natural guilt... personal guilt...  seems like a lot of hairsplitting over semantics to me.  What difference does it make if we are considered guilty of Adam's sin?  (BTW, what of those Fathers who may have espoused different definitions of original sin?  I'll try to find a few this weekend.  Would you reject them as not authoritative because they don't fit your predefined world view?  If so, then you will end up doing exactly what you accused me of doing in Reply #15 when you accused me of attacking--i.e., rejecting--the West. Wink)

Quote
Do you also think the St. John disagreed with St. Ignatius Brianchaninov, when he quoted him to effect that, while immaculate and pure personally, sin and eternal death were manifested in the Theotokos? He also proceeds to quote St. Ambrose to the same effect, and this is after he has finished his polemics against the IC.

Look, I don't disagree that we are in some way cursed by the Fall of Adam, and I don't have a problem with the language the Fathers use to describe this curse.  However, the words you quoted and emphasized can be used just as consistently within the Latin definition of original sin that serves as the framework for the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as with the Byzantine-Slavic definition that leads to a rejection of the dogma.  So how, specifically, do the words you quoted support your point of view exclusively?  Are you not just filtering these quotes from the Fathers through your particular world view, a world view I don't share with you?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 05:02:57 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #32 on: April 12, 2008, 04:52:08 AM »


The monastics and holy men generally know best.  Wink
And yet, because the Church has always been much more than just the monastics and holy men--I assume you mean ascetics--and because the Gospel of Christ's Incarnation IS unique to Christianity, unlike her ascetic practices found in most other religions, there is room for the historians and other "academics" in the Church.  IOW, the Holy Spirit indwells the WHOLE Church and is not the possession of the monastics and ascetics alone. Wink

Now, I have to get up earlier than is my wont on a Saturday morning because of the Divine Liturgy of the Akathist Hymn, so I better wrap this up for now so I can go to bed.  Despite our disagreements, I have really enjoyed debating this issue with you, and I hope we haven't departed too much from the intent of the OP so that I have to split this off into its own thread tomorrow. Wink  Have a good night, and may the blessings of the Lord be upon you as you sing the Akathist to the Theotokos (interestingly appropriate for this thread, is it not? Cool) this weekend, if you haven't done so already.

- Peter
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2008, 05:06:49 AM »

Natural guilt... personal guilt...  seems like a lot of hairsplitting over semantics to me.  What difference does it make if we are considered guilty of Adam's sin?

Well, I have no problem saying, with St. Gregory Palamas, that I have a guilty nature that Christ has redeemed. Personal sins are sins that we personally commit. Our natural guilt is our sin-inclined state, concupiscence, unable to approach God.

Quote
(BTW, what of those Fathers who may have espoused different definitions of original sin?  I'll try to find a few this weekend.  Would you reject them as not authoritative because they don't fit your predefined world view?  If so, then you will end up doing exactly what you accused me of doing in Reply #15 when you accused me of attacking--i.e., rejecting--the West. Wink)

The only Father who I think really holds a different view of Original Sin would be Blessed Theodoret, who Fr. John Meyendorff holds up to be as a prime example of the "Eastern" view, and in my reading approaches Pelagianism on this issue (ironically, Theodoret attacked St. Cyril and his followers as Pelagian in one of his letters). While I have a great fondness for Theodoret, I would not hold him up as a model on this issue. But do try to find some more quotes and we can discuss them (perhaps in the inevitable split thread  Wink).

Quote
Look, I don't disagree that we are in some way cursed by the Fall of Adam, and I don't have a problem with the language the Fathers use to describe this curse.  However, the words you quoted and emphasized can be used just as consistently within the Latin definition of original sin that serves as the framework for the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as with the Byzantine-Slavic definition that leads to a rejection of the dogma.  So how, specifically, do the words you quoted support your point of view exclusively?  Are you not just filtering these quotes from the Fathers through your particular world view, a world view I don't share with you?

Well, this goes back to the question of whether there actually is any difference. The Byzantine-Slavic definition does not naturally lead to a rejection of it, as St. John Maximovitch does not combat it on these grounds, or even dispute them. Nor does the Latin definition naturally lead to it, as many of the later Latin "saints" (such as Bernard and Thomas), who where very Augustinian on Original Sin, still rejected the IC. So what is the definitive demarcation line between the two views?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 05:19:24 AM by Symeon » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2008, 05:09:29 AM »

And yet, because the Church has always been much more than just the monastics and holy men--I assume you mean ascetics--and because the Gospel of Christ's Incarnation IS unique to Christianity, unlike her ascetic practices found in most other religions, there is room for the historians and other "academics" in the Church.  IOW, the Holy Spirit indwells the WHOLE Church and is not the possession of the monastics and ascetics alone. Wink

Now, I have to get up earlier than is my wont on a Saturday morning because of the Divine Liturgy of the Akathist Hymn, so I better wrap this up for now so I can go to bed.  Despite our disagreements, I have really enjoyed debating this issue with you, and I hope we haven't departed too much from the intent of the OP so that I have to split this off into its own thread tomorrow. Wink  Have a good night, and may the blessings of the Lord be upon you as you sing the Akathist to the Theotokos (interestingly appropriate for this thread, is it not? Cool) this weekend, if you haven't done so already.

- Peter

May the Lord be upon you also. Have a good sleep.  Smiley
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2008, 09:44:53 AM »

From an Orthodox perspective, the Immaculate Conception is an absurd solution to a non existent problem.
Which person among you has repented of their "Original Sin"? The notion of culpability for someone else's sin is simply absurd.
There is no culpability in inheriting the Ancestral Sin. We merely inherit the consequences of it- we live under the conditions of the Fall.
Christ and the Theotokos both lived under the conditions of the Fall- they were both subject to death.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 10:21:27 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Tzimis
Site Supporter
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 2,374



« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2008, 10:17:23 AM »

From an Orthodox perspective, the Immaculate Conception is an absurd solution to a non existent problem.
I agree. Because mans fall isn't sin, but the consequences from sin.
Logged

Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2008, 11:31:57 AM »

The only Father who I think really holds a different view of Original Sin would be Blessed Theodoret, who Fr. John Meyendorff holds up to be as a prime example of the "Eastern" view, and in my reading approaches Pelagianism on this issue (ironically, Theodoret attacked St. Cyril and his followers as Pelagian in one of his letters). While I have a great fondness for Theodoret, I would not hold him up as a model on this issue. But do try to find some more quotes and we can discuss them (perhaps in the inevitable split thread  Wink).
ozgeorge,  how do you answer this charge that the Patristic Consensus supports a Western view of Original Sin, that there's really a dearth of Fathers who support what we call the Orthodox point of view?  A case of selective reading of the Fathers to support one's own dogmatic tradition?
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2008, 11:33:16 AM »

ozgeorge,  how do you answer this charge that the Patristic Consensus supports a Western view of Original Sin, that there's really a dearth of Fathers who support what we call the Orthodox point of view?  A case of selective reading of the Fathers to support one's own dogmatic tradition?

I answer with one word: "Bollocks".
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,097


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2008, 12:20:12 PM »

I tend to be sympathetic towards Symeon's view.  We had a discussion a while ago about this same issue, except with an interesting twist of including St. Athanasius to it.  I also included a link to Vladimir Moss' book on the issue.

I think what needs to be done is to define words like "guilt," "original sin," even the word "sin" in that phrase before we can condemn the West as heretical at this point.

In addition, if Original Sin is wrong, as +Ware says, yet he says that Immaculate Conception is up for theological opinion.  In other words, since it carries with it the baggage of "Western" Original Sin, should that also be a "theological opinion" among Orthodox, and not heresy?

God bless.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2008, 12:31:07 PM »

From an Orthodox perspective, the Immaculate Conception is an absurd solution to a non existent problem.
Which person among you has repented of their "Original Sin"? The notion of culpability for someone else's sin is simply absurd.
There is no culpability in inheriting the Ancestral Sin. We merely inherit the consequences of it- we live under the conditions of the Fall.
Christ and the Theotokos both lived under the conditions of the Fall- they were both subject to death.

Of course I've never repented of it. Its not a personal sin. But we can say our nature is "guilty," after a fashion, as St. Gregory Palamas and others say. You attack a straw man.

And Christ did not live under the conditions of the fall by nature, but by will. His human nature was not subject to either the blameless passions, the unblameless passions, or death. He underwent the last two only by will, as Sts. Maximus and John of Damascus teach us.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2008, 12:40:41 PM »

ozgeorge,  how do you answer this charge that the Patristic Consensus supports a Western view of Original Sin, that there's really a dearth of Fathers who support what we call the Orthodox point of view?  A case of selective reading of the Fathers to support one's own dogmatic tradition?

My own "dogmatic tradition" was actually the Romanidian view, but then I came around to seeing things differently. That said, I am not convinced that we (me, you, ozgeorge) actually have different views on the subject, I just think there is a stubborn insistence in misreading the Western position and where it is coming from that was not characteristic of Orthodox teachers and theologians in the past.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2008, 12:53:17 PM »

I found this article regarding St. Irenaeus's view of the original sin quite enlightening.  http://zimmerman.catholic.ac/evolution12.htm

I'm in the process of reading Irenaeus's works right now, coincidentally, so I'm sure I'll eventually run across this and be able to quote a bit from my own reading, but I'm not there yet.  The essential thrust of the article is to contrast an Irenaean view of original sin against the view that Augustine would formulate a couple centuries later, with a lot of guidance from St. Ambrose.  According to the article, Augustine viewed Adam as somewhat of a superman endowed with traits far beyond the measure of mortal man, making his sin and the sin of his wife a drastic and precipitous fall into depravity, a fall that marred God's original plan for mankind and forced Christ to step in as a repairman to fix the damage.  The article goes on to show how, OTOH, Irenaeus saw Adam and Eve as mere children in the process of growth and development, children whose sin grew out of their desire to grow up too fast, such that they tasted of experiences for which God had not yet made them ready.  God had already planned to walk with His children and guide them along the path to deification, but sin only made this work more difficult.

Mabye this doesn't address directly the definition of original sin, the Augustinian view that makes Immaculate Conception necessary in the minds of some, and an Orthodox defense against this.  But this does, however, frame our understanding of original sin within the backdrop of a totally different understanding of the narrative of the creation of Man and his fall.  Now, does an Irenaean view of the Fall make an Augustinian view of original sin even possible?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 12:58:43 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2008, 01:17:14 PM »

The dogma sets Mary apart from the rest of humanity in a way that is detrimental to the Gospel.  If she was consecrated from her conception for the purpose of bearing the Son of God into the world, and if she was rendered, by God's grace, intrinsically different from the rest of man, then she is not truly and fully human with human free will.
Actually there is no damage done to the gospel because of the Immaculate Conception. You assume that because Mary was concieved free from Original Sin that she is Intrinsically different from the rest of humanity. However that means that you must assume that Original Sin is intrinsic to being human. This is completely fasle. When man was created he was created in the state of original perfection with no OS. OS was added to humanity later so it is actually extrinsic to the human person. Because it is extrinsic if one person does not have OS and another does then they are only extrinsically different and not intrinsically different. Furthermore, to be free from OS does not make some one less human. It actually means that a person has a more fully actualized humanity because OS is not proper to the human person but, rather, a defect imposed by sin. All of us who are concieved with original sin have a broken or damaged human nature. But Mary, because she does not have this broken or damaged human nature is not less human but more. Finally, you assume that because she does not have original sin that she does not have a free will. Again this is an invalid conclusion. Ask your self the following question. Were Adam and Eve created with OS? The answer is a resounding "NO". Yet did that prohibit them from possessing a free will? Absolutely not! We know from the scriptures that they did in fact have a free will and we know this because they did, in fact, choose to sin. Being free from the stain of OS does not mean that one does not have a human free will nor does it mean that one does not still have the free choice to sin or not to sin. In fact, a preson who is concieved with out original sin would have a greater freedom to choose not to sin because such a person who have an undamaged will.
She could not have chosen to obey her calling if she was predestined to do so. The great example for us and the act that made salvation possible is Mary's free will obedience to God's plan of salvation, when she could very well have said to God, "No, I will not submit to your plan."  She needed to obey out of the freedom of her will, something the dogma of the Immaculate Conception denies her.
Again you claim that Mary's freedom from OS undermines her free will? Did Adam and Eve's freedom from OS undermine their free will?
Just to clarify what the IC is. It simply means that from the first moment of her existance, Mary, just like Adam and Eve, was free from Original Sin. Is does not mean that she had no free will. It does not mean that the she could not have chosen to sin. It does not mean that she was not humjan. It simply means that she was created with a perfect human nature just as Adam and Eve were.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 01:31:16 PM by Papist » Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2008, 01:20:37 PM »

I found this article regarding St. Irenaeus's view of the original sin quite enlightening.  http://zimmerman.catholic.ac/evolution12.htm

 According to the article, Augustine viewed Adam as somewhat of a superman endowed with traits far beyond the measure of mortal man, making his sin and the sin of his wife a drastic and precipitous fall into depravity, a fall that marred God's original plan for mankind and forced Christ to step in as a repairman to fix the damage. 
It doesn't make them supermen or ubermen. Rather it shows that because of are fallen state we are sub-men. Not that we are less than human, but that our humanity is damaged and definitely below what it was intended to be. What Adam and Eve were, we should have been had it not been for the fall. Without Christ's redeeming sacrifice we do not fully actualize our humanity.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2008, 01:22:01 PM »

My own "dogmatic tradition" was actually the Romanidian view, but then I came around to seeing things differently. That said, I am not convinced that we (me, you, ozgeorge) actually have different views on the subject, I just think there is a stubborn insistence in misreading the Western position and where it is coming from that was not characteristic of Orthodox teachers and theologians in the past.
Actually, I really don't object to the content of Western dogmatic theology as though most of her concepts are nowhere to be found in the Eastern Fathers.  My bone of contention with Western theology is her apparently unbalanced and restrictive dependence on the wisdom and teachings of a select few of the Holy Fathers as though this were the entire breadth of the Patristic Consensus.  I don't doubt that we can find support for a Western view of original sin in such Eastern luminaries as St. Gregory Palamas and St. Nicholas Cabasilas, but this is quite possibly only a small part of the much larger picture that we might actually be ignoring.
Logged
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2008, 01:26:30 PM »

Human nature was not redeemed in Mary and then passed on to Christ, it was redeemed in Christ.  The only conception that was immaculate was Christ's because as I believe Hipplytus said, he wove humanity into his divine nature as an act of his will. At this point it was purified.

Some here are trying to argue that because various Fathers don't condemn the Immaculate Conception that therefore it's ok to believe. Then they try to find quotes from Eastern Fathers that make it sound like one could extrapolate an immaculate conception doctrine from them. No! It was not taught as the consensus of the Fathers.  People were deified without this doctrine. The faith survived without this doctrine.  No Father has systematized even speculation on this doctrine. There is no need to believe it and speculation on it is dangerous. A friend of mine ended up going into schism and becoming an Eastern Catholic over this speculation. Let's stick with what we know, and not venture to guess on what we don't. Are any of us really qualified to speculate on something our Fathers have not defined?
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 01:27:15 PM by Anastasios » Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2008, 01:38:07 PM »

Actually there is no damage done to the gospel because of the Immaculate Conception. You assume that because Mary was concieved free from Original Sin that she is Intrinsically different from the rest of humanity. However that means that you must assume that Original Sin is intrinsic to being human. This is completely fasle. When man was created he was created in the state of original perfection with no OS. OS was added to humanity later so it is actually extrinsic to the human person. Because it is extrinsic if one person does not have OS and another does then they are only extrinsically different and not intrinsically different. Furthermore, to be free from OS does not make some one less human. It actually means that a person has a more fully actualized humanity because OS is not proper to the human person but, rather, a defect imposed by sin. All of us who are concieved with original sin have a broken or damaged human nature. But Mary, because she does not have this broken or damaged human nature is not less human but more. Finally, you assume that because she does not have original sin that she does not have a free will. Again this is an invalid conclusion. Ask your self the following question. Were Adam and Eve created with OS? The answer is a resounding "NO". Yet did that prohibit them from possessing a free will? Absolutely not! We know from the scriptures that they did in fact have a free will and we know this because they did, in fact, choose to sin. Being free from the stain of OS does not mean that one does not have a human free will nor does it mean that one does not still have the free choice to sin or not to sin. In fact, a preson who is concieved with out original sin would have a greater freedom to choose not to sin because such a person who have an undamaged will. Again you claim that

Mary's freedom from OS undermines her free will? Did Adam and Eve's freedom from OS undermine their free will?

Just to clarify what the IC is. It simply means that from the first moment of her existance, Mary, just like Adam and Eve, was free from Original Sin. Is does not mean that she had no free will. It does not mean that the she could not have chosen to sin. It does not mean that she was not humjan. It simply means that she was created with a perfect human nature just as Adam and Eve were.
Uh, I think I asked you only for a correction of my restatement of the text of the Immaculate Conception dogma articulated by Pope Pius IX in 1854.  I didn't ask for a complete RC spiel on how the Immaculate Conception is consistent with the [RC view of the] Gospel of Jesus Christ, particularly because that isn't what the OP requested on this, the [Orthodox] Faith Issues board.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2008, 02:10:12 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #48 on: April 12, 2008, 01:40:48 PM »


Uh, I think I asked you only for a correction of my restatement of the text of the Immaculate Conception dogma articulated by Pope Pius IX in 1854.  I didn't ask for a complete RC spiel on how the Immaculate Conception is consistent with the [RC view of the] Gospel of Jesus Christ, particularly because that isn't what the OP requested on this, the [Orthodox] Faith Issues board.
All I did was correct your misunderstanding. It took some explaining to so but for you to accuse me of more than correction is just silly. Don't start problems where there are none. I think that is called "trolling".
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #49 on: April 12, 2008, 02:00:22 PM »

All I did was correct your misunderstanding. It took some explaining to so but for you to accuse me of more than correction is just silly. Don't start problems where there are none. I think that is called "trolling".
I asked the question, so it is my prerogative to define and explain my question and what a satisfactory answer to my question is.
Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #50 on: April 12, 2008, 02:03:06 PM »

I asked the question, so it is my prerogative to define and explain my question and what a satisfactory answer to my question is.
If you don't want a complete answer, then don't ask the question.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #51 on: April 12, 2008, 02:42:08 PM »

2.  The dogma sets Mary apart from the rest of humanity in a way that is detrimental to the Gospel.  If she was consecrated from her conception for the purpose of bearing the Son of God into the world, and if she was rendered, by God's grace, intrinsically different from the rest of man, then she is not truly and fully human with human free will.  She could not have chosen to obey her calling if she was predestined to do so.  The great example for us and the act that made salvation possible is Mary's free will obedience to God's plan of salvation, when she could very well have said to God, "No, I will not submit to your plan."  She needed to obey out of the freedom of her will, something the dogma of the Immaculate Conception denies her.
Maybe I should reassign the emphases in the above paragraph to make it express my reasoning more clearly, since I misled you into arguing about the affect of freedom from Original Sin on free human will.  Maybe someone is totally free to exercise her own free will, but can she REALLY submit freely to her calling if she is predestined to do so?  The question I really meant to broach regards the interplay between God's sovereign predestination and man's free will.
Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #52 on: April 12, 2008, 06:49:29 PM »

Human nature was not redeemed in Mary and then passed on to Christ, it was redeemed in Christ.  The only conception that was immaculate was Christ's because as I believe Hipplytus said, he wove humanity into his divine nature as an act of his will. At this point it was purified.

Some here are trying to argue that because various Fathers don't condemn the Immaculate Conception that therefore it's ok to believe. Then they try to find quotes from Eastern Fathers that make it sound like one could extrapolate an immaculate conception doctrine from them. No! It was not taught as the consensus of the Fathers.  People were deified without this doctrine. The faith survived without this doctrine.  No Father has systematized even speculation on this doctrine. There is no need to believe it and speculation on it is dangerous. A friend of mine ended up going into schism and becoming an Eastern Catholic over this speculation. Let's stick with what we know, and not venture to guess on what we don't. Are any of us really qualified to speculate on something our Fathers have not defined?

Bravo!
And yes, the Immaculate Conception makes the Virgin Mary the Redeemer of our Fallen Nature.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Pravoslavbob
Section Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 3,181


St. Sisoes the Great


« Reply #53 on: April 13, 2008, 12:51:11 AM »

I have had lengthy discussions about this over at Monachos and also at Energetic Procession, and I don't want to rehash it again.

A starting place would be these blogs from Ephrem Hugh Bensusan:

http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/03/original-sin-in-eastern-orthodox.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2006/12/ancestral-vs-original-sin-false.html
http://razilazenje.blogspot.com/2007/01/original-sin-west-haters-strike-back.html

Right.  Well.....I've noticed for a long time that you are a big fan of Bensusan.  (Your old avatar even came from his blog, if I am not mistaken.Wink)  He makes some good points that should be taken into consideration and given serious thought, but in my opinion it is going too far to say that the West has been unfairly "slandered" when Orthodox theologians have opined that it tends to have different views than the Orthodox do concerning original sin. 

Quite apart from all the opinions voiced here by Peter, Ozgeorge and Anastasios, (which I agree with), I would like to say: lex orandi, lex credendi.....or perhaps "by their fruits you shall know them."  If the West is pretty much the same as the East on the issue of original sin, why is it that the West seems to have had so many more neurotic "hang ups" with hellfire through the ages?  Quite a few Western children have been scared out of their wits by Western clerics and theologians who have threatened them with fire and brimstone because of their innate "wickedness".  Of course, Many Eastern children have been turned off the Orthodox Church as well, but for different inexcusable reasons than the inexcusable reasons that have come to pass in the West, as far as I can tell.  Wink  I'm sure you'll come back now with some quotes from Kalomiros or one of the Eastern Fathers or a hideous icon of the last judgment or tell me that this really has nothing to do with how the doctrine of original sin is perceived.  But I think it does.  I think there is a difference, and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 01:35:58 AM by Pravoslavbob » Logged

Religion is a disease, and Orthodoxy is its cure.
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #54 on: April 13, 2008, 01:33:30 AM »

Human nature was not redeemed in Mary and then passed on to Christ, it was redeemed in Christ.  The only conception that was immaculate was Christ's because as I believe Hipplytus said, he wove humanity into his divine nature as an act of his will. At this point it was purified.

Some here are trying to argue that because various Fathers don't condemn the Immaculate Conception that therefore it's ok to believe. Then they try to find quotes from Eastern Fathers that make it sound like one could extrapolate an immaculate conception doctrine from them. No! It was not taught as the consensus of the Fathers.  People were deified without this doctrine. The faith survived without this doctrine.  No Father has systematized even speculation on this doctrine. There is no need to believe it and speculation on it is dangerous. A friend of mine ended up going into schism and becoming an Eastern Catholic over this speculation. Let's stick with what we know, and not venture to guess on what we don't. Are any of us really qualified to speculate on something our Fathers have not defined?

I think there has been a misunderstanding. I am not advocating the IC, but am in fact against it. I am only attacking the underpinnings of certain arguments against it (i.e. that it supposedly comes from a false conception of Original Sin).
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #55 on: April 13, 2008, 01:50:06 AM »

Bravo!
And yes, the Immaculate Conception makes the Virgin Mary the Redeemer of our Fallen Nature.

That does seem to be a good argument against the IC, and one that I hadn't thought of before.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #56 on: April 13, 2008, 02:03:02 AM »

Right.  Well.....I've noticed for a long time that you are a big fan of Bensusan.  (Your old avatar even came from his blog, if I am not mistaken.Wink)  He makes some good points that should be taken into consideration and given serious thought, but in my opinion it is going too far to say that the West has been unfairly "slandered" when Orthodox theologians have opined that it tends to have different views than the Orthodox do concerning original sin.

Yes, I do enjoy Ephraim's writings quite a bit, even when I disagree with him (which is less and less, these days). His conclusions appear to me to be pretty much spot on (and I concluded this after much resistance, consideration, and serious thought).

Quote
Quite apart from all the opinions voiced here by Peter, Ozgeorge and Anastasios, (which I agree with), I would like to say: lex orandi, lex credendi.....or perhaps "by their fruits you shall know them."  If the West is pretty much the same as the East on the issue of original sin, why is it that the West seems to have had so many more neurotic "hang ups" with hellfire through the ages?  Quite a few Western children have been scared out of their wits by Western clerics and theologians who have threatened them with fire and brimstone because of their innate "wickedness".  Of course, Many Eastern children have been turned off the Orthodox Church as well, but for different inexcusable reasons than the inexcusable reasons that have come to pass in the West, as far as I can tell.  Wink  I'm sure you'll come back now with some quotes from Kalomiros or one of the Eastern Fathers or a hideous icon of the last judgment or tell me that this really has nothing to do with how the doctrine of original sin is perceived.  But I think it does.  I think there is a difference, and the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

What is the logical connection between the Western preaching of hell fire and and the Western idea of Original Sin? Huh I'm not seeing it.

Anyway, like you predicted, I will cite an example from the east: St. John Chrysostom preaches hellfire and damnation (and in quite literal terms) probably more than Jonathan Edwards
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 02:56:16 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2008, 02:13:02 AM »

I think there has been a misunderstanding. I am not advocating the IC, but am in fact against it. I am only attacking the underpinnings of certain arguments against it (i.e. that it supposedly comes from a false conception of Original Sin).
Yet you did say in one of your first posts on this thread that you deem it acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the Immaculate Conception as a private theological opinion, even though you personally disagree with the doctrine.

St. Gennadius Scholarius believed in the Immaculate Conception in a very Scotistic sense. I think its wrong and shouldn't be dogmatized, but I have no problem accepting it as a private theological opinion about which men may disagree.
(emphasis mine)

Therefore, I see Anastasios actually understanding you correctly. Wink
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #58 on: April 13, 2008, 02:21:29 AM »

Yet you did say in one of your first posts on this thread that you deem it acceptable for Orthodox to believe in the Immaculate Conception as a private theological opinion, even though you personally disagree with the doctrine.
(emphasis mine)

Therefore, I see Anastasios actually understanding you correctly. Wink

Yes, but I am not trying to show that the IC can be "extrapolate[d]" from the Eastern Fathers.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #59 on: April 13, 2008, 02:22:00 AM »

I found this article regarding St. Irenaeus's view of the original sin quite enlightening.  http://zimmerman.catholic.ac/evolution12.htm

...

Maybe this doesn't address directly the definition of original sin, the Augustinian view that makes Immaculate Conception necessary in the minds of some, and an Orthodox defense against this.  But this does, however, frame our understanding of original sin within the backdrop of a totally different understanding of the narrative of the creation of Man and his fall.  Now, does an Irenaean view of the Fall make an Augustinian view of original sin even possible?
Symeon,

I'm not going to let you ignore the most venerable Father Irenaeus in this discussion.  After reading the article I linked above and some of the accompanying quotes from St. Irenaeus (in the article), what have you to say about his view of original sin?  I think he can be classed as just as Eastern as he is Western, and he was only one or two generations removed from the Holy Apostle John the Theologian, which puts him much closer to the Apostles than any Father you've quoted thus far.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 02:23:16 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #60 on: April 13, 2008, 02:28:10 AM »

Yes, but I am not trying to show that the IC can be "extrapolate[d]" from the Eastern Fathers.
Well, you have tried to show how a Western view of original sin can be extrapolated from the Eastern Fathers.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #61 on: April 13, 2008, 02:36:19 AM »

St. Irenaeus doesn't dwell on the subject of Original Sin at length, but he does write of a kind of racial solidarity in Adam's sin.

Against Heresies 5:16:3
Quote
And not by the aforesaid things alone has the Lord manifested Himself, but [He has done this] also by means of His passion. For doing away with [the effects of] that disobedience of man which had taken place at the beginning by the occasion of a tree, “He became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;” rectifying that disobedience which had occurred by reason of a tree, through that obedience which was [wrought out] upon the tree [of the cross]. Now He would not have come to do away, by means of that same [image], the disobedience which had been incurred towards our Maker if He proclaimed another Father. But inasmuch as it was by these things that we disobeyed God, and did not give credit to His word, so was it also by these same that He brought in obedience and consent as respects His Word; by which things He clearly shows forth God Himself, whom indeed we had offended in the first Adam, when he did not perform His commandment. In the second Adam, however, we are reconciled, being made obedient even unto death. For we were debtors to none other but to Him whose commandment we had transgressed at the beginning.
http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ix.vii.xvii.html
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 02:43:16 AM by Symeon » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #62 on: April 13, 2008, 02:37:48 AM »

Well, you have tried to show how a Western view of original sin can be extrapolated from the Eastern Fathers.

Yes, but that isn't the same thing as the IC.  Wink
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #63 on: April 13, 2008, 03:03:16 AM »

St. Irenaeus doesn't dwell on the subject of Original Sin at length,
Of course not, because he held to a totally different view of the sin of Adam and Eve.  Instead of a major fall from a state of perfection through willful rebellion, the sin of our first parents was to Irenaeus the impetuous disobedience of young, inexperienced children.  Instead of the stain of depravity and guilt that comes from an Augustinian view of the Fall, we see in Irenaeus an emphasis on the curse of death and increased human weakness in the face of temptation.  (I'm trying to find specific quotes from his writings to serve as examples, but the web site to which I posted a link earlier today doesn't want to open.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 03:32:37 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #64 on: April 13, 2008, 04:51:15 AM »

Of course not, because he held to a totally different view of the sin of Adam and Eve.
I think it is primarily because he was refuting the Gnostic madmen and so the subject was not of prime importance.

Quote
Instead of a major fall from a state of perfection through willful rebellion, the sin of our first parents was to Irenaeus the impetuous disobedience of young, inexperienced children.
There may be a small difference of emphasis in patristic views of what Catholics call "Original Justice," but I am primarily interested in the "after," i.e. Original Sin. Men can live like angels, as St. Ambrose says, and still be young and inexperienced. St. Maximus teaches us that it was because of their inexperience that Adam and Eve fell. Their gnomic will needed to be trained in the virtues. For all that, he still holds a very severe view of Original Sin that is almost Augustinian.

Quote
Instead of the stain of depravity and guilt that comes from an Augustinian view of the Fall, we see in Irenaeus an emphasis on the curse of death and increased human weakness in the face of temptation.
Well, like I said, St. Irenaeus also sees a solidarity of all men in Adam's sin.

Quote
(I'm trying to find specific quotes from his writings to serve as examples, but the web site to which I posted a link earlier today doesn't want to open.)
The essay opens fine for me.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 05:04:11 AM by Symeon » Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2008, 12:20:29 PM »

Peter, however we define Original Sin, we can all agree that at some point at Adam and Eve didn't have it. Nonetheless, they had real and free human wills. The same would be true of the Theotokos if she were born of the IC.

This is my view. Should not be surprise, since I did become a Catholic after considering EO. The IC allowed Our Lady to become the New Eve. It gave her true free will, unimpeded by original sin. She could have sinned, but she chose not to. The IC made her truly free to make that choice. The IC is so important to my understanding of Mary that my belief that she was sinless throughout her life would not hold without it. Romans 3:23: "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Our wills were corrupted by the Fall---we are enslaved in sin, from the beginning. But enough of our wills remain to choose Christ, who "make(s) all things new." Our Lady, bearer of the Christ, also her savior, had a body uninjured by sin, because from her conception she was given the grace to be free to remain pure and undefiled.

« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 12:22:27 PM by lubeltri » Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2008, 02:41:04 PM »

Maybe I should reassign the emphases in the above paragraph to make it express my reasoning more clearly, since I misled you into arguing about the affect of freedom from Original Sin on free human will.  Maybe someone is totally free to exercise her own free will, but can she REALLY submit freely to her calling if she is predestined to do so?  The question I really meant to broach regards the interplay between God's sovereign predestination and man's free will.
The IC doesn't destroy free will because it does not take away Mary's free will. She, like Adam and Eve, could have chosen to sin if she willed it. She simply did not.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
scamandrius
Crusher of Secrets; House Lannister
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Greek by desire; Antiochian by necessity
Posts: 5,959



« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2008, 05:06:13 PM »

Our Lady, bearer of the Christ, also her savior, had a body uninjured by sin, because from her conception she was given the grace to be free to remain pure and undefiled.

But her body was "injured" bys in in the sense that it was still subject to mortality, hence she died (or fell asleep) and was taken up into heaven.

My question to you Lubeltri and Papist, was Mary in need of the cross of Christ as the rest of us?  If so, then she doesn't need to be immaculately conceived. If not, then the Scriptures and Holy Fathers lie when it says that Christ came to save us all.
Logged

I seek the truth by which no man was ever harmed--Marcus Aurelius

Those who do not read  history are doomed to get their facts from Hollywood--Anonymous

What earthly joy remains untouched by grief?--St. John Damascene
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,097


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2008, 05:20:04 PM »

It's not so much that the free will was literally taken, but it raises more questions.

1.  Did she know she was free from Original Sin?
2.  Was she raised to become the Mother of God?  Does that mean knew from birth she would be chosen to be the Mother of God?
3.  Wouldn't that mean that she was pressured to accept being the Mother of God?

This last part is the crucial part.  This is why the free choice debate ensues when it comes to the IC.  It's not so much as the faculty is removed, but that the environment around her forces her to choose something that she may have not even wanted.  Imagine if she didn't accept after all.  Does that mean she's the only human being without Original Sin until God finds another?

Now, we all know God knew she was going to accept, but within human limitations, God had to act accordingly so that no pressure is left upon her to accept such a burdensome responsibility for the sake of all mankind.  In fact, we know very well from St. Luke she had no idea she was being considered as Theotokos.  Thus, it doesn't make any sense how someone who did not know would be given an exemption to the effects of Original Sin.

Consider this passage from Leo of Rome, his 24th Sermon:

Quote
And each one is a partaker of this spiritual origin in regeneration; and to every one when he is re-born, the water of baptism is like the Virgin's womb; for the same Holy Spirit fills the font, Who filled the Virgin, that the sin, which that sacred conception overthrew, may be taken away by this mystical washing.‎

If the Virgin was without sin, why would Leo, the Pope of Rome and leader of Chalcedon, say that the Holy Spirit came just to clean off that sin that the Virgin carried?

God bless.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #69 on: April 13, 2008, 07:08:55 PM »

This is my view. Should not be surprise, since I did become a Catholic after considering EO. The IC allowed Our Lady to become the New Eve. It gave her true free will, unimpeded by original sin. She could have sinned, but she chose not to. The IC made her truly free to make that choice. The IC is so important to my understanding of Mary that my belief that she was sinless throughout her life would not hold without it. Romans 3:23: "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Our wills were corrupted by the Fall---we are enslaved in sin, from the beginning. But enough of our wills remain to choose Christ, who "make(s) all things new." Our Lady, bearer of the Christ, also her savior, had a body uninjured by sin, because from her conception she was given the grace to be free to remain pure and undefiled.
But how does this address the question of the OP?  How does this explain how it's possible to hold to belief in the Immaculate Conception and be Orthodox?  (You may have noticed that I haven't yet moved this thread to Orthodox-Catholic Discussions. Wink  The way the OP voiced his question does make this an issue internal to the Orthodox Faith.)
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 07:22:32 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #70 on: April 13, 2008, 07:42:34 PM »

Well, like I said, St. Irenaeus also sees a solidarity of all men in Adam's sin.
Which is possible if St. Irenaeus also sees the biblical narrative of the fall of Adam and Eve as an allegory of the fall of all mankind rather than as a literal historical account.

Quote
The essay opens fine for me.
It opened for me when I originally posted the link.  Probably a momentary connection glitch when I tried to open it again hours later.
Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #71 on: April 13, 2008, 08:25:47 PM »

But how does this address the question of the OP?  How does this explain how it's possible to hold to belief in the Immaculate Conception and be Orthodox?  (You may have noticed that I haven't yet moved this thread to Orthodox-Catholic Discussions. Wink  The way the OP voiced his question does make this an issue internal to the Orthodox Faith.)

Sorry about that!  Smiley I got so caught up in this lengthy and interesting discussion that I forgot the OP.

My answer to the OP would be....probably not. At least for me. That's why I became a Catholic and not EO. I didn't think that you EO would accept me if I remained Augustinian. Who knows, maybe I might have chosen EO if I had lived during the Captivity.  Wink
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 08:27:04 PM by lubeltri » Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #72 on: April 13, 2008, 08:45:40 PM »

My goodness things go wild over the weekend...  Embarrassed

Is there such a thing as a Scriptural Principle of Preparation?

Before I made thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee, and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee and made thee a prophet unto the nations. ~ Jer. 1:5

« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 08:47:10 PM by ignatius » Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Paradosis
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54


« Reply #73 on: April 13, 2008, 09:46:53 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

I make take some slack for saying this, but my impression of Metropolitan Kallistos is that he places too much emphasis on the distinction between dogma and theologoumena.  In other writings, he has hinted that the only things we are strictly obligated to accept are the dogmatic definitions.  While this may sit well in ecumenism, I don't believe it is a fully accurate presentation of the Orthodox Faith.  While non-dogmatic teachings are in the realm of theologoumena, all theologoumena aren't equal.  Those theological opinions that we are taught in an ordinary fashion that have been affirmed at all times and all places by the faithful, are as much of an obligation for us to believe as are dogmatic definitions.  In fact, dogmas come from this body of universally accepted theologoumena and are meant to be defenses of them. 

The Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos fails to be a teaching held by the faithful of all times and all places, as it began in the West in the 12th century and enjoyed a long period of divided loyalty in the West and even gained some adherents in Orthodoxy.  However, that doesn't change the fact that this teaching is new and innovative and is not and cannot become an Orthodox belief.  At best, it is a speculative, theological opinion, which has much to disprove it and little to support it.  While you cannot be called a heretic for holding to it as an opinion, you may become a heretic once you try to defend it, as it isn't based on sound Orthodox principles. 

God bless,

Adam       
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 10:34:44 PM by Paradosis » Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #74 on: April 13, 2008, 10:05:20 PM »

I make take some slack for saying this, but my impression of Metropolitan Ware is that he places too much emphasis on the distinction between dogma and theologoumena.  In other writings, he has hinted that the only things we are strictly obligated to accept are the dogmatic definitions.  While this may sit well in ecumenism, I don't believe it is a fully accurate presentation of the Orthodox Faith.  While non-dogmatic teachings are in the realm of theologoumena, all theologoumena aren't equal.  Those theological opinions that we are taught in an ordinary fashion that have been affirmed at all times and all places by the faithful, are as much of an obligation for us to believe as are dogmatic definitions.  In fact, dogmas come from this body of universally accepted theologoumena and are meant to be defenses of them. 

The Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos fails to be a teaching held by the faithful of all times and all places, as it began in the West in the 12th century and enjoyed a long period of divided loyalty in the West and even gained some adherents in Orthodoxy.  However, that doesn't change the fact that this teaching is new and innovative and is not and cannot become an Orthodox belief.  At best, it is a speculative, theological opinion, which has much to disprove it and little to support it.  While you cannot be called a heretic for holding to it as an opinion, you may become a heretic once you try to defend it, as it isn't based on sound Orthodox principles. 

God bless,

Adam       

Thanks Adam for the measured response.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #75 on: April 13, 2008, 10:22:38 PM »

Who's this Metropolitan Ware?  I only know of a Metropolitan Kallistos Wink
« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 10:22:57 PM by Anastasios » Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #76 on: April 13, 2008, 10:33:57 PM »

I didn't desire to get everyone in a conflict.
On a discussion board, debate does not necessarily equate to conflict, so don't fret that you started a fight or anything.  It's all good. Wink

Quote
"From the Orthodox point of view, however, the whole question belongs to the realm of theological opinion; and if an individual Orthodox today felt impelled to believe in the Immaculate Conception, he or she could not be termed a heretic for so doing" (Ware, The Orthodox Church, 260).

This is the quote I was familiar with and the one I believe affords me recognition of the Immaculate Conception as acceptable for me to claim.
One thing to remember:  Metropolitan Kallistos may be the most recognizable and most knowledgeable catechist in the Church today, but that doesn't make him an infallible authority on anything.  Every one of us is certainly free to disagree with his theological opinions without forfeiting any level of Orthodoxy.  In fact, he may just be wrong on the statement you quoted.
Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #77 on: April 13, 2008, 10:59:52 PM »

From reading the passage in Metropolitan Kallistos' book, I get the impression that he is not so much encouraging the belief in the Immaculate Conception, but applying brakes to the very real danger of declaring someone who might believe it a heretic. And let's face it, that is a term that is bandied about with much abandon.

Metropolitan Kallistos states;

In the past individual Orthodox have made statement which, if not definitely affirming the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, at any rate approach close to it; but since 1854 the majority of Orthodox have rejected the doctrine, for several reasons. They feel it to be unnecessary; they feel that, at any rate as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, it implies a false understanding of original sin; they suspect the doctrine because it seems to separate Mary from the rest of the descendants of Adam, putting her in a completely different class from all the other righteous men and women of the Old Testament.

It seems to me that this is a question that should be discussed with a priest or one's spiritual father, because of the confusion there might be in any understanding, especially if coming from a Roman Catholic background. Only with discussion could points of confusion be identified and irradicated and the belief brought in line with Orthodox thinking. 
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Tamara
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of America
Posts: 2,208


+Pray for Orthodox Unity+


« Reply #78 on: April 13, 2008, 11:14:05 PM »

Ignatius,

If you click on the audio link below you will hear Fr. Tom Hopko's description of why we do not believe in the IC.
He speaks about it in the first third of this lecture. He came to California in November and delivered a whole retreat to us on, "Who is the Theotokos?" If you are interested you could listen to one lecture an evening for the next week or so. It was a very informative and interesting retreat.

Sincerely, Tamara

http://audio.ancientfaith.com/specials/hopkolectures/theotokos/hopkotheotokos1_2.mp3


« Last Edit: April 13, 2008, 11:19:06 PM by Tamara » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2008, 12:07:13 AM »

Which is possible if St. Irenaeus also sees the biblical narrative of the fall of Adam and Eve as an allegory of the fall of all mankind rather than as a literal historical account.

Yes, except that St. Irenaeus, like every early church father (with the moderate exception of Origen), viewed the biblical narrative as literal. We went over this in an earlier thread. Why would he even have a reason not to, btw? There was no "evolution" back then.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 12:15:24 AM by Symeon » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #80 on: April 15, 2008, 01:15:32 AM »

The Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos fails to be a teaching held by the faithful of all times and all places, as it began in the West in the 12th century and enjoyed a long period of divided loyalty in the West and even gained some adherents in Orthodoxy.  However, that doesn't change the fact that this teaching is new and innovative and is not and cannot become an Orthodox belief.  At best, it is a speculative, theological opinion, which has much to disprove it and little to support it.  While you cannot be called a heretic for holding to it as an opinion, you may become a heretic once you try to defend it, as it isn't based on sound Orthodox principles. 

God bless,

Adam       

This is pretty close to how I feel about the IC.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #81 on: April 15, 2008, 01:31:00 AM »

Why would he even have a reason not to, btw? There was no "evolution" back then.
So, because there was no theory of evolution back in the second century, St. Irenaeus had no reason to believe in anything other than a literal interpretation of the Creation of Man narrative?  You mean to say that the theory of evolution is the only reason anyone could understand these narratives as allegory? Roll Eyes  I'm sorry, but that line of anachronistic baloney just doesn't even come close to meeting the standards of intellectual rigor you try to display here.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 01:31:27 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2008, 01:35:56 AM »

So, because there was no theory of evolution back in the second century, St. Irenaeus had no reason to believe in anything other than a literal interpretation of the Creation of Man narrative? You mean to say that the theory of evolution is the only reason anyone could understand these narratives as allegory? Roll Eyes

Well, it's pretty much the only reason people see the need to do it today. The Fathers "allegorized" the scriptures and drew deeper meaning from them, so to speak, but in doing that they saw no need to disregard the narrative as fictitious and not historical. The only reason Origen did so was because of his theological presuppositions (i.e. preexistence of souls).

Quote
I'm sorry, but that line of anachronistic baloney just doesn't even come close to meeting the standards of intellectual rigor you try to display here.

You can't please everyone.  Wink I think, if anything, forcing the Genesis narrative as pure allegory with no history onto the Fathers is "anachronistic baloney."
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 01:44:11 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #83 on: April 15, 2008, 02:02:08 AM »

Well, it's pretty much the only reason people see the need to do it today. The Fathers "allegorized" the scriptures and drew deeper meaning from them, so to speak, but in doing that they saw no need to disregard the narrative as fictitious and not historical. The only reason Origen did so was because of his theological presuppositions (i.e. preexistence of souls).

You can't please everyone.  Wink I think, if anything, forcing the Genesis narrative as pure allegory with no history onto the Fathers is "anachronistic baloney."
Pure allegory... historical narrative...  Which view is Patristic isn't even my point.  Besides, I don't see what this has to with any dogma of Original Sin and/or the Immaculate Conception.
Logged
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #84 on: April 15, 2008, 02:08:44 AM »

Pure allegory... historical narrative...  Which view is Patristic isn't even my point.  Besides, I don't see what this has to with any dogma of Original Sin and/or the Immaculate Conception.

Yes, let's avoid another thread split. Tongue Anyway, you attempted to explain St. Irenaeus' writing of a kind of solidarity of all men in Adam's sin by way of a supposedly allegorical view of Genesis, so how the Fathers viewed this matter is relevant to that at least.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 02:09:16 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2008, 02:19:22 AM »

The article [http://zimmerman.catholic.ac/evolution12.htm] goes on to show how, OTOH, Irenaeus saw Adam and Eve as mere children in the process of growth and development, children whose sin grew out of their desire to grow up too fast, such that they tasted of experiences for which God had not yet made them ready.  God had already planned to walk with His children and guide them along the path to deification, but sin only made this work more difficult.
Symeon, I'm still not satisfied that you have yet critiqued the above thesis directly.  You've talked about other aspects of St. Irenaeus's theology that can be used to support your point of view on the solidarity of all men in sharing the guilt of Adam and Eve, and you've talked about what other Fathers have to say about the inexperience of Adam and Eve, but you haven't said anything about what Ireneaus had to say about this, which is the subject of the above.  I'm still waiting.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 02:32:13 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2008, 02:21:37 AM »

Yes, let's avoid another thread split. Tongue Anyway, you attempted to explain St. Irenaeus' writing of a kind of solidarity of all men in Adam's sin by way of a supposedly allegorical view of Genesis, so how the Fathers viewed this matter is relevant to that at least.
I never made it an important point to address Irenaeus's view on the solidarity of all men in Adam's sin.  You did.  (My reply was just a passing comment.)  See the post immediately preceding this to see what I really want to address as important (to this discussion) in Irenaeus's work, and what I'm not going to let you dance around for the sake of your rhetoric.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 02:42:49 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #87 on: April 15, 2008, 03:07:52 AM »

My own Mother memory eternal had a great devotion to the Most Holy Mother of God,,The holy Mother appeared to her on several occasions ....I asked Her once about the immaculate conception she never denied it ...Her devotion and love was so great to the holy Mother Of God.......stanislav
Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #88 on: April 15, 2008, 03:13:24 AM »

Ok, I can address that by saying I agree with it. That Adam and Eve were "mere children in the process of growth and development, children whose sin grew out of their desire to grow up too fast, such that they tasted of experiences for which God had not yet made them ready.  God had already planned to walk with His children and guide them along the path to deification, but sin only made this work more difficult."
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 03:16:59 AM by Symeon » Logged
buzuxi
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: GREEK ORTHODOX
Jurisdiction: WORLD ORTHODOXY AGAINST ECUMENISM
Posts: 265


« Reply #89 on: April 15, 2008, 03:42:22 AM »

As to the OP, The Roman dogma of the Immaculate Conception is contrary to the beliefs of Orthodoxy. If Bishop Kallistos Ware's comment in his book, is meant to say that Orthodox christians can hold as an opinion the roman dogma, then he is wrong- once again(he is quite the lousy Orthodox theologian).

The RC definition of the Immaculate Conception is as follows:
"The doctrine which holds that the blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privelege of Almighty God, in consideration of the MERITS of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, has been revealed by God and must therefore be firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."

This definition is full of difficulties for Orthodoxy.  First off, we are taught that the Theotokos was concieved by parents  who were spotless themselves,  because they themselves descended from a lineage of ancestors who were all holy.  St John of Damascus writes, "Joachim and Anna, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have born  as the Lord says, 'By their fruits you will know them'. The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your Daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you lead together you have fashioned a jewel of virginity..."  In the Matins of the Birth of The Theotokos we worship, "Ann, the barren and sterile, was not childless before God: For she was foreordained from many generations to become the mother of the pure Virgin, from whom the Maker of all creation sprang in the form of a servant."

A more damaging blow to the IC belief about the Theotokos being "preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception" is found in the Matinal Canon of the Service of the Annunciation, where a dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Theotokos takes place. About being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary responds:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my Soul and sanctified my Body, it has made me a Temple that containes God, a tabernacle divinely adorned, a living Sanctuary and the Pure Mother of Life." This event recalls Like 1.35-38

Another un-orthodox aspect of this dogma is the reference to the "merits" of Jesus Christ. That the crucifixion and ressurection of Christ in 33a.d.  actually saved Mary by going backwards thru space and time, thus saving her before it actually happened- is not Orthodox. In fact this belief renders the process of Theosis void.  Instead, as the holy Liturgical texts of the Orthodox church teach us, "O pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, thine end was conformable to thy nature..."(Dormition of the Theotokos). Christ Alone is the Immaculate Conception and any definition attempting to establish "when" or "how" the Theotokos remained sinless is futile and is a mystery .
"
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 04:21:39 AM by buzuxi » Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #90 on: April 15, 2008, 10:51:56 AM »

As to the OP, The Roman dogma of the Immaculate Conception is contrary to the beliefs of Orthodoxy. If Bishop Kallistos Ware's comment in his book, is meant to say that Orthodox christians can hold as an opinion the roman dogma, then he is wrong- once again(he is quite the lousy Orthodox theologian).

The RC definition of the Immaculate Conception is as follows:
"The doctrine which holds that the blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privelege of Almighty God, in consideration of the MERITS of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, has been revealed by God and must therefore be firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."

This definition is full of difficulties for Orthodoxy.  First off, we are taught that the Theotokos was concieved by parents  who were spotless themselves,  because they themselves descended from a lineage of ancestors who were all holy.  St John of Damascus writes, "Joachim and Anna, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have born  as the Lord says, 'By their fruits you will know them'. The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your Daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you lead together you have fashioned a jewel of virginity..."  In the Matins of the Birth of The Theotokos we worship, "Ann, the barren and sterile, was not childless before God: For she was foreordained from many generations to become the mother of the pure Virgin, from whom the Maker of all creation sprang in the form of a servant."

A more damaging blow to the IC belief about the Theotokos being "preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception" is found in the Matinal Canon of the Service of the Annunciation, where a dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Theotokos takes place. About being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary responds:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my Soul and sanctified my Body, it has made me a Temple that containes God, a tabernacle divinely adorned, a living Sanctuary and the Pure Mother of Life." This event recalls Like 1.35-38

Another un-orthodox aspect of this dogma is the reference to the "merits" of Jesus Christ. That the crucifixion and ressurection of Christ in 33a.d.  actually saved Mary by going backwards thru space and time, thus saving her before it actually happened- is not Orthodox. In fact this belief renders the process of Theosis void.  Instead, as the holy Liturgical texts of the Orthodox church teach us, "O pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, thine end was conformable to thy nature..."(Dormition of the Theotokos). Christ Alone is the Immaculate Conception and any definition attempting to establish "when" or "how" the Theotokos remained sinless is futile and is a mystery .
"

This post, by far, has been the most useful for me to understand 'why' the Roman IC should not be considered.

Thank you.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #91 on: April 15, 2008, 11:24:39 AM »



A more damaging blow to the IC belief about the Theotokos being "preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception" is found in the Matinal Canon of the Service of the Annunciation, where a dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Theotokos takes place. About being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary responds:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my Soul and sanctified my Body, it has made me a Temple that containes God, a tabernacle divinely adorned, a living Sanctuary and the Pure Mother of Life." This event recalls Like 1.35-38
Not to be arguementative but the bible says that Christ, "Was made perfect" by his acts of obedience. Does that mean he was not already perfect? Of course not. Mary may have been sanctified by the coming of the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean that she was not already made Holy.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #92 on: April 15, 2008, 11:27:20 AM »

I wonder what the answer to the question is then. Some seem to think its ok for an EO Christian to believe in the IC; others do not.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 11,097


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


WWW
« Reply #93 on: April 15, 2008, 02:21:20 PM »

Not to be arguementative but the bible says that Christ, "Was made perfect" by his acts of obedience. Does that mean he was not already perfect? Of course not. Mary may have been sanctified by the coming of the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean that she was not already made Holy.

I think there is a slight difference between "was made perfect" and "was cleansed by the Holy Spirit."  To clean denotes actually having some sort of stain or being dirty before.  Perfection is being shaped into something, not necessarily denoting lack before, but rather growth, just as Christ grew from a child into an adult "in wisdom."  It's something pertaining to humanity.  He took on the limits of ignorance as a child even though He was essentially omniscient.  The Theotokos on the other hand needed the Holy Spirit to be cleansed from something, and according to Pope Leo of Rome, cleansed away "the sin," just as it cleansed it away from the Virgin's womb before Christ was conceived.

God bless.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for \\\"unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.\\\" (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #94 on: April 15, 2008, 08:07:30 PM »

I wonder what the answer to the question is then. Some seem to think its ok for an EO Christian to believe in the IC; others do not.

From my reading it seems that it's acceptable to believe in the IC as Orthodox have understood it in the past; not as proposed by the Roman Catholic dogma. Bishop Kallistos has given a balanced response to the subject in his book "The Orthodox Church". Here is the quote again;

In the past individual Orthodox have made statement which, if not definitely affirming the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, at any rate approach close to it; but since 1854 the majority of Orthodox have rejected the doctrine, for several reasons. They feel it to be unnecessary; they feel that, at any rate as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, it implies a false understanding of original sin; they suspect the doctrine because it seems to separate Mary from the rest of the descendants of Adam, putting her in a completely different class from all the other righteous men and women of the Old Testament.

Bishop Kallostos then goes on to say that people who believe a doctrine of IC (I don't see that he is suggesting that Orthodox can believe the Roman Catholic dogma) should not be considered heretics; and that seems a reasonable conclusion IMO.

Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
Tamara
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of America
Posts: 2,208


+Pray for Orthodox Unity+


« Reply #95 on: April 15, 2008, 08:25:06 PM »

Another point to ponder is, that the Orthodox church celebrates two conceptions as feast days: the conception of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the conception of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Tom Hopko pointed this out when he was refuting the IC at our retreat last fall. As Buzuxi so eloquently explained it: the Theotokos' lineage of ancestors were holy. She was the pure fruit that was produced from this lineage. Fr. Tom even went on to say, that the  coming together of her parents, as man and wife in producing her conception, was holy, good, pure, and without lust.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 11:25:21 PM by Tamara » Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #96 on: April 15, 2008, 10:47:22 PM »

In "The Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith", St. John Damascene writes that in assuming human Nature, the Logos freely assumed "unblameworthy passions, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, labor, tears, decay, shrinking from death, fear, agony with the bloody sweat, succor at the hands of Angels because of the weakness of nature, and other such like passions which belong by nature to every man" ("Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" III.20, Patrologia Græca, Vol. XCIV ).
An Augustinian view of the Fall and Original Sin combined with the Roman Catholic view of the Immaculate Conception does not allow for this. If "Original Sin" and the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Virgin, then so were the passions to which they give rise. Therefore, if the Virgin was did not have the consequences of the Fall in her nature along with the passions which result from it, then Christ did not assume these passions- and He was therefore not "a man like us in all things except sin", and therefore, human nature is unredeemed.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Fr. George
formerly "Cleveland"
Administrator
Stratopedarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox (Catholic) Christian
Jurisdiction: GOA - Metropolis of Pittsburgh
Posts: 20,053


May the Lord bless you and keep you always!


« Reply #97 on: April 15, 2008, 11:22:34 PM »

Another point to ponder, is that the Orthodox church celebrates two conceptions as feast days: the conception of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the conception of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Tom Hopko pointed this out when he was refuting the IC at our retreat last fall. As Buzuxi so eloquently explained it: the Theotokos' lineage of ancestors were holy. She was the pure fruit that was produced from this lineage. He even went on to say, that the  coming together of her parents, as man and wife in producing her conception, was holy, good, pure, and without lust. 

You mean two other conceptions, in addition to Mary's (by Anna, her mother).  An important distinction between our celebrations: RC's celebrate it on Dec 8, while we celebrate it on Dec 9 (one day less than 9 months).  St. John the Baptist's is celebrated Sep 23 and his birth Jun 24 (one day more than 9 months) - each showing that they are as close to perfection as possible (a status indicated by the Lord Himself in St. John's case, and by the church in His Mother's case).  Only the Lord is celebrated as 9 months (Mar 25-Dec 25).
Logged

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the one who can't read them." Mark Twain
---------------------
Ordained on 17 & 18-Oct 2009. Please forgive me if earlier posts are poorly worded or incorrect in any way.
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #98 on: April 15, 2008, 11:58:07 PM »

In "The Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith", St. John Damascene writes that in assuming human Nature, the Logos freely assumed "unblameworthy passions, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, labor, tears, decay, shrinking from death, fear, agony with the bloody sweat, succor at the hands of Angels because of the weakness of nature, and other such like passions which belong by nature to every man" ("Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" III.20, Patrologia Græca, Vol. XCIV ).
An Augustinian view of the Fall and Original Sin combined with the Roman Catholic view of the Immaculate Conception does not allow for this. If "Original Sin" and the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Virgin, then so were the passions to which they give rise. Therefore, if the Virgin was did not have the consequences of the Fall in her nature along with the passions which result from it, then Christ did not assume these passions- and He was therefore not "a man like us in all things except sin", and therefore, human nature is unredeemed.

Later in that same chapter you cite, St. John writes this:

"Of a truth our natural passions were in harmony with nature and above nature in Christ. For they were stirred in Him after a natural manner when He permitted the flesh to suffer what was proper to it: but they were above nature because that which was natural did not in the Lord assume command over the will. For no compulsion is contemplated in Him but all is voluntary. For it was with His will that He hungered and thirsted and feared and died."

Why is this? St. Maximus explains in Ad Thalassium 61:

“But the Lord, when he became a man, did not have a birth in the flesh preceeded by the unrighteous pleasure that caused death to be elicited as a punishment of our nature. He naturally willed to die, to take on death amid the passibility of his human nature.”

It is because the Lord assumed pre-fall humanity, untainted by Original Sin, that he was not naturally subject to these human passions. He underwent them only by will.

St. Augustine writes the same thing in On the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, II.48:

"Inasmuch, however, as in Him there was the likeness of sinful flesh, He willed to pass through the changes of the various stages of life, beginning even with infancy, so that it would seem as if even His flesh might have arrived at death by the gradual approach of old age, if He had not been killed while young. Nevertheless, the death is inflicted in sinful flesh as the due of disobedience, but in the likeness of sinful flesh it was undergone in voluntary obedience."

An Augustinian view of the fall does not in any way conflict with what St. John of Damascus writes.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2008, 11:58:27 PM by Symeon » Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #99 on: April 16, 2008, 12:12:25 AM »

It is because the Lord assumed pre-fall humanity, untainted by Original Sin, that he was not naturally subject to these human passions. He underwent them only by will.
But that means that the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Theotokos (and therefore Christ did not assume them) only to then be re-established in Christ's Human Nature. "He voluntarily assumed" means He freely accepted (literally "took up to Himself") what was there, not "he switched it off in His Mother only to switch it on again in Himself."
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 12:14:31 AM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #100 on: April 16, 2008, 12:21:24 AM »

But that means that the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Theotokos (and therefore Christ did not assume them) only to then be re-established in Christ's Human Nature. "He voluntarily assumed" means He freely accepted (literally "took up to Himself") what was there, not "he switched it off in His Mother only to switch it on again in Himself."

I think the correct formula would be "The Theotokos was stained by Original Sin, as we all are, due to her natural birth. Christ was born immaculately of a virgin, and so was unstained by Original Sin. By will he underwent the blameless passions that his mother and all of humanity are subject to, although he himself was not naturally subject to these." I'm not arguing for the IC.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 12:21:45 AM by Symeon » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #101 on: April 16, 2008, 12:28:17 AM »

I think the correct formula would be "The Theotokos was stained by Original Sin, as we all are, due to her natural birth. Christ was born immaculately of a virgin, and so was unstained by Original Sin. By will he underwent the blameless passions that his mother and all of humanity are subject to, although he himself was not naturally subject to these." I'm not arguing for the IC.
How do you define "stain of Original Sin"?  Is this the same thing as the depravity of the fallen human condition of which Augustine spoke?  Or is this something different?
Logged
Deacon Lance
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Byzantine Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archeparchy of Pittsburgh
Posts: 2,891


Liturgy at Mt. St. Macrina Pilgrimage


« Reply #102 on: April 16, 2008, 12:31:01 AM »

Tamara,

The Orthodox Church also celebrates the Feast of the Conception of Theotokos on Dec 9. Fr Hopko just glossed over this?

Fr. Deacon Lance
Logged

My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #103 on: April 16, 2008, 12:44:52 AM »

How do you define "stain of Original Sin"?  Is this the same thing as the depravity of the fallen human condition of which Augustine spoke?  Or is this something different?

I define the stain of Original Sin as the "concupiscence" of which St. Augustine and the other Fathers spoke, yes. Basically, the liability to the "blameworthy passions." Even if the Theotokos, for instance, did not actively engage in any blameworthy passions, she was still naturally liable to them, while the Word in his human nature was not.

The Word was subject to neither the blameworthy nor the unblameworthy passions according to nature, but by will he assumed the latter.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 12:58:06 AM by Symeon » Logged
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #104 on: April 16, 2008, 11:48:08 AM »

I define the stain of Original Sin as the "concupiscence" of which St. Augustine and the other Fathers spoke, yes. Basically, the liability to the "blameworthy passions." Even if the Theotokos, for instance, did not actively engage in any blameworthy passions, she was still naturally liable to them, while the Word in his human nature was not.

The Word was subject to neither the blameworthy nor the unblameworthy passions according to nature, but by will he assumed the latter.
But St. Augustine does not make this distinction between "blameworthy" and "unblameworthy" passions. What you are actually doing is only accepting half of St. Augustine's understanding of "Original Sin"- the same half which the Orthodox church does not have a problem with either.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,647


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #105 on: April 16, 2008, 12:05:42 PM »

How do you define "stain of Original Sin"?  Is this the same thing as the depravity of the fallen human condition of which Augustine spoke?  Or is this something different?

I think it means that we carry within us personally a stain that is the effect of the Original Sin of Adam. Mary, according to the RCC, was free of that effect  within her own soul which takes her out of the usual human condition.

We say humans do suffer from the effects of that Original Sin, which is to be born into a fallen World. But we do not inherit from our own Fathers and Mothers a personal effect, we carry no taint upon our soul.

Some people get confused by the Immaculate Conception dogma of the RCC because it is covered by a certain admirable looking piety. It is however an exit ramp off the highway of Ancient Christianity and into a paradigm filled with false assumptions.
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
Symeon
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Posts: 582


Radovan Karadzic - Serbian Hero


« Reply #106 on: April 16, 2008, 12:21:31 PM »

But St. Augustine does not make this distinction between "blameworthy" and "unblameworthy" passions. What you are actually doing is only accepting half of St. Augustine's understanding of "Original Sin"- the same half which the Orthodox church does not have a problem with either.

So St. Augustine would have said that Christ's weariness, hunger, etc. were all blameworthy passions? Are you sure?  Wink
Logged
username!
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Ukrainian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvaniadoxy
Posts: 5,063



« Reply #107 on: April 16, 2008, 02:00:32 PM »

So St. Augustine would have said that Christ's weariness, hunger, etc. were all blameworthy passions? Are you sure?  Wink
Isn't that Blessed Augustine, not Saint Augustine.
Logged

PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #108 on: April 16, 2008, 02:56:15 PM »

Isn't that Blessed Augustine, not Saint Augustine.
Blessed...  Saint...  What's the difference?  We call many of our saints "Blessed so-and-so", so this title does not mean Augustine is less than a saint.  Besides, St. Augustine was glorified well before the schism, iirc, and has never been removed from the roll of the Saints.
Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #109 on: April 16, 2008, 03:07:04 PM »

Isn't that Blessed Augustine, not Saint Augustine.
Fr. Ambrose argues that its St. Augustine. I am not sure if he is an expert on the matter or not.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #110 on: April 16, 2008, 03:15:55 PM »

Fr. Ambrose argues that its St. Augustine. I am not sure if he is an expert on the matter or not.

I'm not sure that Orthodoxy has the distinction between Blessed and Saint that Catholicism has; my understanding is that they are interchangeable.
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #111 on: April 16, 2008, 03:18:04 PM »

I'm not sure that Orthodoxy has the distinction between Blessed and Saint that Catholicism has;
It doesn't.

my understanding is that they are interchangeable.
They are.
Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
Veniamin
Fire for Effect!
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the South
Posts: 3,372


St. Barbara, patroness of the Field Artillery


« Reply #112 on: April 16, 2008, 03:19:32 PM »

It doesn't.
They are.


Yay, I got one right!
Logged

Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a vulgar brawl. ~Frederick the Great
Tamara
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of America
Posts: 2,208


+Pray for Orthodox Unity+


« Reply #113 on: April 16, 2008, 05:40:03 PM »

Tamara,

The Orthodox Church also celebrates the Feast of the Conception of Theotokos on Dec 9. Fr Hopko just glossed over this?

Fr. Deacon Lance

Hi Deacon Lance,

No, he didn't gloss over any part of her life. He went in to detail about her lineage, her conception, and her childhood. He referenced Scripture, iconography, hymns, liturgical texts and many other sources to give us as full of description as possible.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2008, 05:41:21 PM by Tamara » Logged
username!
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Ukrainian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvaniadoxy
Posts: 5,063



« Reply #114 on: April 17, 2008, 03:49:03 PM »

Blessed...  Saint...  What's the difference?  We call many of our saints "Blessed so-and-so", so this title does not mean Augustine is less than a saint.  Besides, St. Augustine was glorified well before the schism, iirc, and has never been removed from the roll of the Saints.

There was a reason that we were told this, and there was a distinction.  I didn't learn this in a theology on tap session, on the internet or over coffee.  I learned this in a very formal setting and from one of the most intelligent men I know, who happens to be one the people I look up to in this world. 
Logged

Marc1152
Warned
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Rocor
Posts: 12,647


Probiotic .. Antibiotic


« Reply #115 on: April 17, 2008, 04:10:18 PM »

All you asked was how I believe that the EC's misrepresent the Catholic Church. If you wanted more you should have asked for more. A real man asks the question he wants answered.

Was that post removed? I cant find it anywhere.

But getting back to the RCC's Immaculate Conception dogma , it is wholly unorthodox. This is because of the root assumption behind it which is the false idea of inherited guilt. The idea of inherited guilt ( the passing of the effect of Original Sin upon your sole personally from generation to generation) was not present in the Until
St. ( Blessed...whatever) Augustine. The RCC then had made a problem for itself. If the soul is damaged by this inherited taint, then the Theotokos is also blemished by this. Therefore, they had to fix this by inventing the Immaculate Conception heresy. The Orthodox never was all that much influenced by St. Augustine and never bought into inherited guilt/sin. They didn't have to fix a problem that didn't exist for them.

Orthodox can be fooled into thinking this dogma is okay to follow if all they look at is the Marian Piety that surrounds it , which looks admirable. But it is a misguided piety as the idea that the Lord created Mary in a special or different manner takes her out of the human realm and places her as a sort of demigod rather than as the greatest Saint and our best HUMAN intercessor. 
Logged

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #116 on: April 17, 2008, 10:41:52 PM »

To our RC posters:  The purpose of the Faith Issues board, as stated in the Forum Index, is to foster "Discussion of issues and inquiries related to the Orthodox Christian faith".  I know the Immaculate Conception is a topic of great importance to you, but you'll have plenty of opportunities to discuss your point of view concerning this dogma on the Orthodox-Catholic Discussion board or the Orthodox-Other Christian Private Discussions board.

The OP has asked specifically if it's okay to agree with the Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox.  The wording of this question therefore makes this an issue internal to the Orthodox Christian faith, which is why I've kept this thread here on the Faith Board and don't intend to move it.  I have allowed only enough input from you to correct any misconceptions we may have of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, but I will not allow you to preach your dogma with an eye for persuading us to believe as you do.  Again, you have two boards outside of the Faith Board for that.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and the Lord's blessings be upon you during your season of the Lord's Pascha.

- PeterTheAleut
Faith Issues Section Moderator
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #117 on: April 17, 2008, 11:20:43 PM »

The most recent posts on this thread had more of the flavor of Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, so I split them off and merged them into a version of this discussion that should be more open to such dialogue:  Mary, Sin, and the Immaculate Conception
« Last Edit: April 17, 2008, 11:37:59 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Myrrh23
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,639



« Reply #118 on: May 17, 2008, 11:50:52 AM »

cool
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 11:52:14 AM by Myrrh23 » Logged

*I am no longer posting on OC.net*

We all have a Black Dog and a White Dog inside of us. The One you feed the most eventually eats the Other.

All are tempted, but it is the courageous person who clings to God during the storm. For the Ego is a prison, but Christ is the Liberator
Myrrh23
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,639



« Reply #119 on: June 01, 2008, 07:43:19 PM »

Here is how I am beginning to understand the Immaculate Conception counterargument according to Orthodoxy (stop me if I'm wrong):

Say you have a cup of water, which represents God. Then, you have a jar of instant lemonade powder, which represents humanity, or the would-be humanity of Jesus. If you put the lemonade powder into the water, you change it's state, but not its nature. The powder changes from a solid state to a liquid state. The water cannot help but change the state of the powder. If the powder was Jesus' would-be humanity, the water (God) would change the sinful state, but not the basically-good nature. Hence, the IC is not needed. I put forth this idea to a Roman Catholic friend of mine. He asked, "Would the lemonade be any good if you put it in a dirty glass?" How would Orthodoxy respond to that? Thanks! Smiley
Logged

*I am no longer posting on OC.net*

We all have a Black Dog and a White Dog inside of us. The One you feed the most eventually eats the Other.

All are tempted, but it is the courageous person who clings to God during the storm. For the Ego is a prison, but Christ is the Liberator
Simayan
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate - GOA
Posts: 816



« Reply #120 on: June 01, 2008, 08:28:54 PM »

This metaphor is making my head hurt...

But the real question is, does the aqueous solution that represents humanity have a charge, and if so, is it a cation or an anion? That'll determine whether we're a very base species or extremely caustic.  Cheesy
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008, 08:29:38 PM by Simayan » Logged

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, nor mourning nor crying nor suffering, for the old order of things has passed away."
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,394



« Reply #121 on: June 01, 2008, 09:56:25 PM »

Well, is fallen human nature a "dirty glass" which gives a sense of contamination or repugnance, maybe or is the state humanity that of being more like 'chipped' or warped or somehow 'broken' but still partaking of what God declared to be "very good" and and that He loved so much that He sent his Son?  Since, I think, part of the brokeness of humanity is the part about pain and suffering and death, it seems to be that Our Lord did have that in being fully Man as well as fully God.

One might certainly still drink lemonade out of a glass that has some crazing or air bubbles or lumps or chips it seems to me.  But then again, I don't believe in the IC, no offense intended. 

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Ebor
Vanyar
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Posts: 6,394



« Reply #122 on: June 01, 2008, 09:57:20 PM »

This metaphor is making my head hurt...

But the real question is, does the aqueous solution that represents humanity have a charge, and if so, is it a cation or an anion? That'll determine whether we're a very base species or extremely caustic.  Cheesy

 Cheesy Cheesy  Oh no!  Science humour!  Good one, Simayan!

 Smiley

Ebor
Logged

"I wish they would remember that the charge to Peter was "Feed my sheep", not "Try experiments on my rats", or even "Teach my performing dogs new tricks". - C. S. Lewis

The Katana of Reasoned Discussion

For some a world view is more like a neighborhood watch.
Sarah
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 111


« Reply #123 on: June 01, 2008, 10:28:20 PM »

The citric acid of the lemonade would clean the glass.   Grin

God was/is.  God made man.  Relationship intact.  Man sinned.  Relationship broken.  Jesus had to come to fix the break.  Mary was human and would suffer the natural consequence of the broken relationship, death.  If Mary's relationship with God didn't need fixing, then Jesus wasn't her Savior--she would be His equal.  We know this is not true.  The Theotokos was pure but still has the capacity to sin--she just didn't.  To use the original "dirty glass" analogy, if Jesus didn't assume our human nature in its entirety, then it would be like trying to clean the dirty glass while encased in a clean one.  The clean one would get cleaner, but the dirty one would still be dirty--what's the point?  Maybe the glass was only dirty on the outside.   Wink
Logged
Orthodox Catholic
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Catholic
Jurisdiction: UGCC
Posts: 2


« Reply #124 on: June 02, 2008, 04:39:11 PM »

Dear Friends,

John Meyendorff, as we know, mentioned Orthodox theologians who understood the Western doctrine on the Immaculate Conception and Original Sin - and accepted them both. 

There were also "Orthodox Brotherhoods of the Immaculate Conception" in the Orthodox Church at Kyiv during the Baroque era to which belonged also St Dmitri of Rostov and a number of professors of the Kyivan-Mohyla Academy (which according to Florovsky gave a heavy emphasis to the Immaculate Conception in both theological as well as devotional terms - but without going so far as to condemning those who didn't accept it).

Prof. Poselyanin in his book on Orthodox icons of the Theotokos (Bogomater) does list a few Western pictures of the Immaculate Conception that appears to have gained acceptance as "locally miraculous" images in Orthodoxy (and the "icon" of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Horodyschenske as well).

The Orthodox Church knew of the private views of St Dmitri and others and this did not prevent them from being glorified as Orthodox Saints.

On the other hand, one could make the argument that accepting the Western views in this regard fails to provide a truly Orthodox theological position on the complete holiness of the Most Holy Theotokos (and how true!).

It would be important to discuss what "Original Sin" means in Orthodox theology and how it is radically distinguishable from the Western point of view.

In a study I read on John Duns Scotus, the Franciscan theologian who laid the Western theological groundwork for the Immaculate Conception dogma (amid great opposition from the Paris School at the time), the authors admitted there was more than one RC view on what Original Sin was in terms of what it did to our nature.

What was fascinating to read was that Scotus appeared closer to Orthodox theology on the score of the impact of Original Sin on human nature than to Augustine (according to the authors).

Alex
Logged
ytterbiumanalyst
Professor Emeritus, CSA
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA Diocese of the Midwest
Posts: 8,790



« Reply #125 on: June 03, 2008, 01:13:05 PM »

How would Orthodoxy respond to that? Thanks! Smiley
We wouldn't use dehydrated lemonade. We'd use lemons.
Logged

"It is remarkable that what we call the world...in what professes to be true...will allow in one man no blemishes, and in another no virtue."--Charles Dickens
Sophie
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 217


« Reply #126 on: June 03, 2008, 01:47:46 PM »

You could say the glass was clean because the glass was never used, nor exposed and was constantly safeguarded. The liquid inside sanctified the glass. But as Mary was the recipient of Grace as well as the source of our Lord´s human nature, the metaphor is not very successful (the glass is only a recipient). Still, you can argue that to give a human nature, you have to take it out of a human nature. I would have thought that if the Theotokos had been conceived in an immaculate fashion, it has to be proven somehow that she´s still fully human, otherwise there may be doubt.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 01:48:28 PM by Sophie » Logged

"Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside your head and permit them to land!" (Priestmonk Christodoulos Aggeloglou, Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain Mount Athos, Greece, 1998,pp. 29-30, 48)
Heorhij
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA, for now, but my heart belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Posts: 8,576



WWW
« Reply #127 on: June 03, 2008, 02:33:15 PM »

You could say the glass was clean because the glass was never used, nor exposed and was constantly safeguarded. The liquid inside sanctified the glass. But as Mary was the recipient of Grace as well as the source of our Lord´s human nature, the metaphor is not very successful (the glass is only a recipient). Still, you can argue that to give a human nature, you have to take it out of a human nature. I would have thought that if the Theotokos had been conceived in an immaculate fashion, it has to be proven somehow that she´s still fully human, otherwise there may be doubt.

I think I agree with Sophie. One possible shortcoming of Myrrth's metaphor is that is imiplies that the humanity of Christ had already existed before the Immaculate Conception (the powdered lemonade did exist in the jar). However, as far as I undrestand (and I am not a theologian so I can be wrong), the Church's doctrine is that until the very moment of Annunciation/Immaculate Conception, Christ's humanity simply did not exist at all. It was CREATED at the moment of conception from cells of the Theotokos.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 03:05:38 PM by Heorhij » Logged

Love never fails.
admiralnick
Cardinal, Editor for Photogalleries
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,880


« Reply #128 on: June 03, 2008, 02:33:49 PM »

The only way for Mary to be conceived immaculately would be for Joachim and Anna to have been sinless.... We know that wasn't the case. Mary sinned like everyone else up until the time (Annunciation) that Christ is conceived in her (at which point she is immaculate) therefore, she can give birth to an immaculate Son who would not be subject to original sin.

Plain, simple, and neither sweet nor sour, just right.

-Nick
Logged

The ORIGINAL: "NULL"
AMM
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 2,076


« Reply #129 on: June 03, 2008, 02:51:28 PM »

I have no problem with it.
Logged
admiralnick
Cardinal, Editor for Photogalleries
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,880


« Reply #130 on: June 04, 2008, 01:30:03 PM »

The only way for Mary to be conceived immaculately would be for Joachim and Anna to have been sinless.... We know that wasn't the case. Mary sinned like everyone else up until the time (Annunciation) that Christ is conceived in her (at which point she is immaculate) therefore, she can give birth to an immaculate Son who would not be subject to original sin.

Plain, simple, and neither sweet nor sour, just right.

-Nick

Just to further my point, do the Orthodox not celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos? If she is not subject to the penalty of original sin, she would not die. If she was immaculate, then we would have some issues with "There is no man living who does not sin"... (excepted from prayers and the ending of the funeral service). I can provide a more definite reference if anyone would like.

-Nick
« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 01:30:50 PM by admiralnick » Logged

The ORIGINAL: "NULL"
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #131 on: June 04, 2008, 03:18:07 PM »

Dear Friends,

John Meyendorff, as we know, mentioned Orthodox theologians who understood the Western doctrine on the Immaculate Conception and Original Sin - and accepted them both. 

There were also "Orthodox Brotherhoods of the Immaculate Conception" in the Orthodox Church at Kyiv during the Baroque era to which belonged also St Dmitri of Rostov and a number of professors of the Kyivan-Mohyla Academy (which according to Florovsky gave a heavy emphasis to the Immaculate Conception in both theological as well as devotional terms - but without going so far as to condemning those who didn't accept it).

Prof. Poselyanin in his book on Orthodox icons of the Theotokos (Bogomater) does list a few Western pictures of the Immaculate Conception that appears to have gained acceptance as "locally miraculous" images in Orthodoxy (and the "icon" of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Horodyschenske as well).

The Orthodox Church knew of the private views of St Dmitri and others and this did not prevent them from being glorified as Orthodox Saints.

On the other hand, one could make the argument that accepting the Western views in this regard fails to provide a truly Orthodox theological position on the complete holiness of the Most Holy Theotokos (and how true!).

It would be important to discuss what "Original Sin" means in Orthodox theology and how it is radically distinguishable from the Western point of view.

In a study I read on John Duns Scotus, the Franciscan theologian who laid the Western theological groundwork for the Immaculate Conception dogma (amid great opposition from the Paris School at the time), the authors admitted there was more than one RC view on what Original Sin was in terms of what it did to our nature.

What was fascinating to read was that Scotus appeared closer to Orthodox theology on the score of the impact of Original Sin on human nature than to Augustine (according to the authors).

Alex


I guess this is where 350 years of the U*ia gets you, and certain local churches.
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
A Sombra
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 112


« Reply #132 on: June 06, 2008, 08:07:24 AM »

Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?

If you want the short answer, it is "No."
Logged
theinformer
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 66


« Reply #133 on: June 08, 2008, 10:14:53 PM »

There is only one immaculate person and that is christ.According to the truth, the most Holy Virgin was purified from any stain of the original sin by the Grace of the Holy spirit, when the archangel told her: "The holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee"(luk 1.35). Nowwhere in the gospels, in the decrees of the councils or in the works of the fathers is there found anything about this teaching of the immaculate conception.This disgusting error places the virgin mary in comparison with god, how can you make her identical to him?. Absoltley absurd, she is still his servant.
Logged
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #134 on: June 09, 2008, 02:27:36 AM »

What about these title's ....Пре Света,Пре Блажена,Пре Славна,Пре Благословена Бого Мајка, Богородица Дјева Марија... why are they used if it isn't true,,,,??... SmileyCentral.com" border="0
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 03:10:19 AM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #135 on: June 09, 2008, 03:37:26 AM »

What about these title's ....Пре Света,Пре Блажена,Пре Славна,Пре Благословена Бого Мајка, Богородица Дјева Марија...
Could you please translate these titles into English?
Logged
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #136 on: June 09, 2008, 03:45:03 AM »

Brother,,Im not sure what the english translation is ,,,there's people here that can read cirillica and do a proper translation...hang on some one will,,and ill know allso......SmileyCentral.com" border="0these titles are in my cirillica prayer book....
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 03:46:04 AM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #137 on: June 09, 2008, 12:38:33 PM »

Could you please translate these titles into English?


Pre -mean's before pre blessed, pre sanctified,, pre holy,, pre Graced ,,,,it could be interpeded as imaculate at her birth....SmileyCentral.com" border="0
Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #138 on: June 09, 2008, 01:25:32 PM »

I have been listening to a podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko on the Theotokos the last couple days, and it is really interesting. He speaks about why as Orthodox we don't adhere to the Immaculate conception like the Roman Catholics do. We believe that she was "immaculately" conceived in that when Joachim and Anna copulated that it was without any sin. But they did have sex in order to conceive her. And by that token John the Baptist was also immaculately conceived.

And Fr. Hopko pointed out that Mary sings about how God is her Savior, if she was already saved by being born "Immaculately" why would she need Christ as her Savior?

Just a couple things I noted in the Fr. Hopko podcast. It can be found on Ancient faith radio if anyone want to listen to it.

(EDIT: Oh! I must be listening to the podcast of the retreat you went to Tamara! So I am just reiterating what you have said. In any cast it is a great podcast).
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 01:28:34 PM by Quinault » Logged
Amdetsion
Worship God with all thy strength and all thy might
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Patriarchate; Addis Abebe Ethiopia
Posts: 931


HH Abuna Pawlos - Patriarch of Ethiopia


« Reply #139 on: June 09, 2008, 02:49:20 PM »

Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?

If you want the short answer, it is "No."

The short answer seems to be the absolute truth.

But I would like to impose just a little and put it a little more "lightly":

no...
Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
Amdetsion
Worship God with all thy strength and all thy might
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Jurisdiction: Ethiopian Patriarchate; Addis Abebe Ethiopia
Posts: 931


HH Abuna Pawlos - Patriarch of Ethiopia


« Reply #140 on: June 09, 2008, 02:54:27 PM »

I have been listening to a podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko on the Theotokos the last couple days, and it is really interesting. He speaks about why as Orthodox we don't adhere to the Immaculate conception like the Roman Catholics do. We believe that she was "immaculately" conceived in that when Joachim and Anna copulated that it was without any sin. But they did have sex in order to conceive her. And by that token John the Baptist was also immaculately conceived.


"like" the Roman Catholics seems to imply that you all do believe in "immaculate conception" but in your own spin.

I have never heard of this a t  a l l among the Orthodox Church.

What councils or scriptures does this father sight for his points of view?
Logged

"ETHIOPIA shall soon stretch out her hands unto God".....Psalm 68:vs 31

"Are ye not as children of the ETHIOPIANS unto me, O children of Israel"?....Amos 9: vs 7
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #141 on: June 09, 2008, 02:55:23 PM »

I have been listening to a podcast by Fr. Thomas Hopko on the Theotokos the last couple days, and it is really interesting. He speaks about why as Orthodox we don't adhere to the Immaculate conception like the Roman Catholics do. We believe that she was "immaculately" conceived in that when Joachim and Anna copulated that it was without any sin. But they did have sex in order to conceive her.

The Immaculate Conception does not say that she was not conceived through copulation. Sts. Joachim and Anne did copulate to conceive her, and that sex act was certainly not sinful.

And Fr. Hopko pointed out that Mary sings about how God is her Savior, if she was already saved by being born "Immaculately" why would she need Christ as her Savior?

The Magnificat is a cornerstone of Catholic devotions. We certainly do not see any contradiction. Christ IS her Savior.

From the Catechism:

490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role."132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace".133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace.

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God,134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:

    The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135

492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son".136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".137

493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature".138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long.

132 Lumen Gentium 56.
133 Luke 1:28.
134 Luke 1:28.
135 Blessed Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854): DS 2803.
136 Lumen Gentium 53, 56.
137 Cf. Ephesians 1:3-4.
138 Lumen Gentium 56.
Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #142 on: June 09, 2008, 03:18:32 PM »

^  Thanks for clearing up a misconception, lubeltri. Smiley
Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #143 on: June 09, 2008, 03:23:13 PM »

So he saved her before he was concieved in her? From my understanding up until His death on the cross everyone was under the old covenant. So how then could Mary be saved before Christ ever became man, let alone before he died on the cross?
Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,182


WWW
« Reply #144 on: June 09, 2008, 03:41:02 PM »

So he saved her before he was concieved in her? From my understanding up until His death on the cross everyone was under the old covenant. So how then could Mary be saved before Christ ever became man, let alone before he died on the cross?

The Virgin Mary was chosen by God to give Birth to the son of God in the flesh.  Mary never questioned the announcement and never questioned anything Christ did starting with the miracle in Cana.  The Crucifixion of Christ represented Christ as the Tree of Life between Heaven and Earth which was forbidden to Adam & Eve after eating the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Mary was the first person "saved" in the New Covenant before the penitent Thief on the Cross.
Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #145 on: June 09, 2008, 03:49:04 PM »

But the theif was "saved" at the time of Christs death. To say that the Theotokos was saved at her conception over a decade before she concieved Christ, let alone the decades before Christs death seems odd.

And isn't the concept of "original sin" foreign to Orthodox thought anyway?
Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #146 on: June 09, 2008, 03:53:47 PM »

So he saved her before he was concieved in her? From my understanding up until His death on the cross everyone was under the old covenant. So how then could Mary be saved before Christ ever became man, let alone before he died on the cross?

Jesus's redemption works retroactively, just as it did for the righteous who lived and died before the Incarnation. After the Crucifixion, Jesus came down to where they were waiting for him, collected them up, and brought them to heaven.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 03:55:11 PM by lubeltri » Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,182


WWW
« Reply #147 on: June 09, 2008, 03:55:10 PM »

But the theif was "saved" at the time of Christs death. To say that the Theotokos was saved at her conception over a decade before she concieved Christ, let alone the decades before Christs death seems odd.

I'm only going back to when the Theotokos conceived Christ she was saved.  I don't (nor the Orthodox Church doesn't) believe that the Theotokos was saved at her Conception.  I never understood what the Immaculate Conception was other than the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

And isn't the concept of "original sin" foreign to Orthodox thought anyway?

No concept of "original sin" in Orthodoxy and the Scripture passage proving it evades me.   Smiley
Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,182


WWW
« Reply #148 on: June 09, 2008, 03:56:46 PM »

Jesus's redemption works retroactively, just as it did for the righteous who lived and died before the Incarnation. After the Crucifixion, Jesus came down to where they were waiting for him, collected them up, and brought them to heaven.

Retroactive redemption?   Shocked  Sounds like a court order.
Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #149 on: June 09, 2008, 04:03:42 PM »

The "Immaculate conception" from a Catholic point of view (from my understanding, correct me if I am wrong) is that Mary was born without sin or the potential to sin.
Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #150 on: June 09, 2008, 04:04:14 PM »

I never understood what the Immaculate Conception was other than the Annunciation of the Theotokos.

You're not the first to confuse the virgin birth with the Immaculate Conception. It's amazing how common it is.

For example, I had to keep writing the Guardian to tell them their writers were mixing it up. Here's their latest correction:

The following correction was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Saturday March 3 2007

Immaculate conception was once more confused with virgin birth, this time in the column below. The doctrine of immaculate conception is, as we have pointed out in five previous corrections, the belief that Mary herself was conceived without the stain of original sin. The virgin birth is the doctrine of Christ's birth without a human father.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/feb/21/childrensservices.comment
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 04:04:38 PM by lubeltri » Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #151 on: June 09, 2008, 04:07:42 PM »

Retroactive redemption?   Shocked  Sounds like a court order.

If the "old covenant" were enough to save us, why bother with the Incarnation and Crucifixion, many long years after the Fall? Christ has existed since before time, "by whom all things were made"---he atoned for all, past, present and future.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 04:17:12 PM by lubeltri » Logged
Quinault
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 4,509


What about frogs? I like frogs!


« Reply #152 on: June 09, 2008, 04:24:35 PM »

SolEX01: I have to say that I find it a little comical that you are arguing for a issue and you aren't aware of what it is.

I was confused by this initially too. Think of it this way. Catholics believe Mary is the Immaculate conception. The use of the word "the" is key. We believe in the immaculate conception of Christ. They believe that Mary IS the immaculate conception.
Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #153 on: June 09, 2008, 05:17:40 PM »

I was confused by this initially too. Think of it this way. Catholics believe Mary is the Immaculate conception. The use of the word "the" is key. We believe in the immaculate conception of Christ. They believe that Mary IS the immaculate conception.

The idea that God would provide a special grace to preserve Jesus from original sin does not make any sense (I shudder just typing that).

If you don't believe in original sin, then every conception is immaculate.
Logged
AMM
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: ACROD
Posts: 2,076


« Reply #154 on: June 09, 2008, 05:22:11 PM »

My understanding of the RCC teaching is that in essence what we receive in baptism, Mary received from in her conception.  I have, as I said, no major issue with the doctrine.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 05:22:31 PM by AMM » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #155 on: June 09, 2008, 05:53:00 PM »

If the "old covenant" were enough to save us, why bother with the Incarnation and Crucifixion, many long years after the Fall? Christ has existed since before time, "by whom all things were made"---he atoned for all, past, present and future.
lubeltri,

If you're posting on this thread solely to clear up our misunderstandings of RC dogma, fine.  But please be careful that you make clear that that's all you're doing.  I don't want to remind you again that the Faith board is not the place for you to preach your RC faith.  Thank you.  -PtA
Logged
lubeltri
Latin Catholic layman
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Archdiocese of Boston
Posts: 3,795



« Reply #156 on: June 09, 2008, 05:56:05 PM »

lubeltri,

If you're posting on this thread solely to clear up our misunderstandings of RC dogma, fine.  But please be careful that you make clear that that's all you're doing.  I don't want to remind you again that the Faith board is not the place for you to preach your RC faith.  Thank you.  -PtA

That's what I'm trying to do. I don't preach online. In person, on the other hand...  Smiley
Logged
SolEX01
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Holy Metropolis of New Jersey
Posts: 11,182


WWW
« Reply #157 on: June 09, 2008, 06:10:13 PM »

SolEX01: I have to say that I find it a little comical that you are arguing for a issue and you aren't aware of what it is.

Well, because this is a Faith forum, I dare not argue where the concept of Immaculate Conception initially came from.
Being that Discernment is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, I feel that I can argue something which is inherently in error.   Wink

I was confused by this initially too. Think of it this way. Catholics believe Mary is the Immaculate conception. The use of the word "the" is key. We believe in the immaculate conception of Christ. They believe that Mary IS the immaculate conception.

Christ is descended from David by both St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary.  Mary was conceived using conventional means, not by anything extraordinary.

Deleted reference to American football.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2008, 06:26:52 PM by SolEX01 » Logged
Riddikulus
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,788



« Reply #158 on: June 09, 2008, 06:42:22 PM »

And isn't the concept of "original sin" foreign to Orthodox thought anyway?

Only the Western concept of original sin is foreign to Orthodox thought.
Logged

I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)
theinformer
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 66


« Reply #159 on: June 10, 2008, 01:25:06 AM »

The Approach of the Orthodox Fathers

As pervasive as the term original sin has become, it may come as a surprise to some that it was unknown in both the Eastern and Western Church until Augustine (c. 354-430). The concept may have arisen in the writings of Tertullian, but the expression seems to have appeared first in Augustine’s works. Prior to this the theologians of the early church used different terminology indicating a contrasting way of thinking about the fall, its effects and God’s response to it. The phrase the Greek Fathers used to describe the tragedy in the Garden was ancestral sin.

Ancestral sin has a specific meaning. The Greek word for sin in this case, amartema, refers to an individual act indicating that the Eastern Fathers assigned full responsibility for the sin in the Garden to Adam and Eve alone. The word amartia, the more familiar term for sin which literally means “missing the mark”, is used to refer to the condition common to all humanity (Romanides, 2002). The Eastern Church, unlike its Western counterpart, never speaks of guilt being passed from Adam and Eve to their progeny, as did Augustine. Instead, it is posited that each person bears the guilt of his or her own sin. The question becomes, “What then is the inheritance of humanity from Adam and Eve if it is not guilt?” The Orthodox Fathers answer as one: death. (I Corinthians 15:21) “Man is born with the parasitic power of death within him,” writes Fr. Romanides (2002, p. 161). Our nature, teaches Cyril of Alexandria, became “diseased…through the sin of one” (Migne, 1857-1866a).  It is not guilt that is passed on, for the Orthodox fathers; it is a condition, a disease.

In Orthodox thought Adam and Eve were created with a vocation: to become one with God gradually increasing in their capacity to share in His divine life—deification[2] (Romanides, 2002, p. 76-77). “They needed to mature, to grow to awareness by willing detachment and faith, a loving trust in a personal God” (Clement, 1993, p. 84). Theophilus of Antioch (2nd Century) posits that Adam and Eve were created neither immortal nor mortal. They were created with the potential to become either through obedience or disobedience (Romanides, 2002).

The freedom to obey or disobey belonged to our first parents, “For God made man free and sovereign” (Romanides, 2002, p. 32).  To embrace their God-given vocation would bring life, to reject it would bring death, but not at God’s hands. Theophilus continues, “…should he keep the commandment of God he would be rewarded with immortality…if, however, he should turn to things of death by disobeying God, he would be the cause of death to himself” (Romanides, 2002, p. 32)

Adam and Eve failed to obey the commandment not to eat from the forbidden tree thus rejecting God and their vocation to manifest the fullness of human existence (Yannaras, 1984).  Death and corruption began to reign over the creation. “Sin reigned through death.” (Romans 5:21) In this view death and corruption do not originate with God; he neither created nor intended them. God cannot be the Author of evil. Death is the natural result of turning aside from God.

Adam and Eve were overcome with the same temptation that afflicts all humanity: to be autonomous(free), to go their own way, to realize the fullness of human existence without God. According to the Orthodox fathers sin is not a violation of an impersonal law or code of behavior, but a rejection of the life offered by God (Yannaras, 1984). This is the mark, to which the word amartia refers. Fallen human life is above all else the failure to realize the God-given potential of human existence, which is, as St. Peter writes, to “become partakers of the divine nature” (II Peter 1:4).  St. Basil writes: “Humanity is an animal who has received the vocation to become God” (Clement, 1993, p. 76).

In Orthodox thought God did not threaten Adam and Eve with punishment nor was He angered or offended by their sin; He was moved to compassion.[3] The expulsion from the Garden and from the Tree of Life was an act of love and not vengeance so that humanity would not “become immortal in sin” (Romanides, 2002, p. 32). Thus began the preparation for the Incarnation of the Son of God and the solution that alone could rectify the situation: the destruction of the enemies of humanity and God, death (I Corinthians 15:26, 56), sin, corruption and the devil (Romanides, 2002).     

It is important to note that salvation as deification is not pantheism because the Orthodox Fathers insist on the doctrine of creation ex nihilo (Athanasius, 1981).  Human beings, along with all created things, have come into being from nothing.  Created beings will always remain created and God will always remain Uncreated. The Son of God in the Incarnation crossed the unbridgeable chasm between them. Orthodox hymnography frequently speaks of the paradox of the Uncreated and created uniting without mixture or confusion in the wondrous hypostatic union. The Nativity of Christ, for example, is interpreted as “a secret re-creation, by which human nature was assumed and restored to its original state” (Clement, 1993, p. 41). God and human nature, separated by the Fall, are reunited in the Person of the Incarnate Christ and redeemed through His victory on the Cross and in the Resurrection by which death is destroyed (I Corinthians 15:54-55). In this way the Second Adam fulfills the original vocation and reverses the tragedy of the fallen First Adam opening the way of salvation for all.

The Fall could not destroy the image of God; the great gift given to humanity remained intact, but damaged (Romanides, 2002). Origen speaks of the image buried as in a well choked with debris (Clement, 1993).  While the work of salvation was accomplished by God through Jesus Christ the removal of the debris that hides the image  in us calls for free and voluntary cooperation. St. Paul uses the word synergy, or “co-workers”, (I Corinthians 3:9) to describe the cooperation between Divine Grace and human freedom. For the Orthodox Fathers this means asceticism (prayer, fasting, charity and keeping vigil) relating to St. Paul’s image of the spiritual athlete (I Corinthians 9:24-27). This is the working out of salvation “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Salvation is a process involving faith, freedom and personal effort to fulfill the commandment of Christ to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

The great Orthodox hymn of Holy Pascha (Easter) captures in a few words the essence of the Orthodox understanding of the Atonement: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, And upon those in the tombs bestowing life” (The Liturgikon, Paschal services, 1989).  Because of the victory of Christ on the Cross and in the Tomb humanity has been set free, the curse of the law has been broken, death is slain, life has dawned for all. Maximus the Confessor (c. 580 – 662) writes that “Christ’s death on the Cross is the judgment of judgment” (Clement, 1993, p. 49) and because of this we can rejoice in the conclusion stated so beautifully by Olivier Clement: “In the crucified Christ forgiveness is offered and life is given. For humanity it is no longer a matter of fearing judgment or of meriting salvation, but of welcoming love in trust and humility” (Clement, 1993, p. 49).


The piety and devotion of Augustine is largely unquestioned by Orthodox theologians, but his conclusions on the Atonement are (Romanides, 2002). Augustine, by his own admission, did not properly learn to read Greek and this was a liability for him. He seems to have relied mostly on Latin translations of Greek texts (Augustine, 1956a,

p. 9). His misinterpretation of a key scriptural reference, Romans 5:12, is a case in point (Meyendorff, 1979). In Latin the Greek idiom eph ho which means because of was translated as in whom. Saying that all have sinned in Adam is quite different than saying that all sinned because of him. Augustine believed and taught that all humanity has sinned in Adam (Meyendorff, 1979, p. 144). The result is that guilt replaces death as the ancestral inheritance (Augustine, 1956b) Therefore the term original sin conveys the belief that Adam and Eve’s sin is the first and universal transgression in which all humanity participates.

Augustine famously debated Pelagius (c. 354-418) over the place the human will could play in salvation. Augustine took the position against him that only grace is able to save, sola gratis (Augustine, On the Predestination of the Saints, 7)[4]. From this a doctrine of predestination developed (God gives grace to whom He will) which hardened in the 16th and 17th centuries into the doctrine of two-fold predestination (God in His sovereignty saves some and condemns others). The position of the Church of the first two centuries concerning the image and human freedom was abandoned.

The Roman idea of justice found prominence in Augustinian and later Western theology. The idea that Adam and Eve offended God’s infinite justice and honor made of death God’s method of retribution (Romanides, 2002). But this idea of justice deviates from Biblical thought. Kalomiris (1980) explains the meaning of justice in the original Greek of the New Testament:
The Greek word diakosuni ‘justice’, is a translation of the Hebrew word tsedaka. The word means ‘the divine energy which accomplishes man’s salvation.’ It is parallel and almost synonymous with the word hesed which means ‘mercy’, ‘compassion’, ‘love’, and to the word emeth which means ‘fidelity’, ‘truth’. This is entirely different from the juridical understanding of ‘justice’. (p. 31)

The juridical view of justice generates two problems for Augustine. One: how can one say that the attitude of the immutable God’s toward His creation changes from love to wrath? Two: how can God, who is good, be the author of such an evil as death (Romanides, 1992)? The only way to answer this is to say, as Augustine did to the young Bishop, Julian of Eclanum (d. 454), that God’s justice is inscrutable (Cahill, 1995, p. 65). Logically, then, justice provides proof of inherited guilt for Augustine, because since all humanity suffers the punishment of death and since God who is just cannot punish the innocent, then all must be guilty in Adam. Also, by similar reasoning, justice appears as a standard to which even God must adhere (Kalomiris, 1980). Can God change or be subject to any kind of standard or necessity? By contrast the Orthodox father, Basil the Great, attributes the change in attitude to humanity rather than to God (Migne, 1857-1866b). Because of the theological foundation laid by Augustine and taken up by his heirs, the conclusion seems unavoidable that a significant change occurs in the West making the wrath of God and not death the problem facing humanity (Romanides, 1992, p. 155-156).

How then could God’s anger be assuaged? The position of the ancient Church had no answer because its proponents did not see wrath as the problem. The Satisfaction Theory proposed by Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033-1109) in his work Why the God-Man? provides the most predominant answer in the West[5]. The sin of Adam offended and angered God making the punishment of death upon all guilty humanity justified. The antidote to this situation is the crucifixion of the Incarnate Son of God because only the suffering and death of an equally eternal being could ever satisfy the infinite offense of the infinitely dishonored God and assuage His wrath (Williams, 2002; Yannaras, 1984,

p. 152). God sacrifices His Son to restore His honor and pronounces the sacrifice sufficient. The idea of imputed righteousness rises from this. The Orthodox understanding that “the resurrection...through Christ, opens for humanity the way of love that is stronger than death” (Clement, 1993, p. 87) is replaced by a juridical theory of courtrooms and verdicts.

The image of an angry, vengeful God haunts the West where a basic insecurity and guilt seem to exist. Many appear to hold that sickness, suffering and death are God’s will. Why? I suspect one reason is that down deep the belief persists that God is still angry and must be appeased. Yes, sickness, suffering and death come and when they do God’s grace is able to transform them into life-bearing trials, but are they God’s will? Does God punish us when the mood strikes, when our behavior displeases Him or for no reason at all? Are the ills that afflict creation on account of God? For example, could the loving Father really be said to enjoy the sufferings of His Son or of the damned in hell (Yannaras, 1984)? Freud rebelled against these ideas calling the God inherent in them the sadistic Father (Yannaras, 1984, p. 153). Could it be as Yannaras, Clement and Kalomiris propose that modern atheism is a healthy rebellion against a terrorist deity (Clement, 2000)?  Kalomiris (1980) writes that there are no atheists, just people who hate the God in whom they have been taught to believe.

Orthodoxy agrees that grace is a gift, but one that is given to all not to a chosen few. For Grace is an uncreated energy of God sustaining all creation apart from which nothing can exist (Psalm 104:29). What is more, though grace sustains humanity, salvation cannot be forced upon us (or withheld) by divine decree. Clement points out that the “Greek fathers (and some of the Latin Fathers), according to whom the creation of humanity entailed a real risk on God’s part, laid the emphasis on salvation through love: ‘God can do anything except force a man to love him’. The gift of grace saves, but only in an encounter of love” (Clement, 1993, p. 81). Orthodox theology holds that divine grace must be joined with human volition.


Source:  http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/2004-hughes-sin.php
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 01:10:10 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #160 on: June 10, 2008, 01:41:45 AM »

Could you please credit the source you just quoted?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 09:48:56 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
theinformer
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 66


« Reply #161 on: June 10, 2008, 01:52:36 AM »

Pastoral Practice East and West

In simple terms, we can say that the Eastern Church tends towards a therapeutic model which sees sin as illness, while the Western Church tends towards a juridical model seeing sin as moral failure. For the former the Church is the hospital of souls, the arena of salvation where, through the grace of God, the faithful ascend from “glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18) into union with God in a joining together of grace and human volition. The choice offered to Adam and Eve remains our choice: to ascend to life or descend into corruption. For the latter, whether the Church is viewed as essential, important or arbitrary, the model of sin as moral failing rests on divine election and adherence to moral, ethical codes as both the cure for sin and guarantor of fidelity. Whether ecclesial authority or individual conscience imposes the code the result is the same.

Admittedly, the idea of salvation as process is not absent in the West. (One can call to mind the Western mystics and the Wesleyan movement as examples.) However, the underlying theological foundations of Eastern Church and Western Church in regard to ancestral or original sin are dramatically opposed. The difference is apparent when looking at the understanding of ethics itself. For the Western Church ethics often seems to imply exclusively adherence to an external code; for the Eastern Church ethics implies “the restoration of life to the fullness of freedom and love” (Yannaras, 1984, p. 143).

Modern psychology has encouraged most Christian caregivers to view sin as illness so that, in practice, the juridical approach is often mitigated. The willingness to refer to mental health providers when necessary implies an expansion of the definition of sin from moral infraction to human condition. This is a happy development.  Recognizing sin as disease helps us to understand that the problem of the human condition operates on many levels and may even have a genetic component.

It is interesting that Christians from a broad spectrum have rediscovered the psychology of spiritual writers of the ancient Church. I discovered this in an Oral Roberts University Seminary classroom twenty-five years ago through a reading of “The Life of St. Pelagia the Harlot.” My journey into Orthodoxy and the priesthood began at that point. These pastors and teachers of the ancient Church were inspired by the Orthodox perspective enunciated in this paper: death as the problem, sin as disease, salvation as process and Christ as Victor.

Sin as missing the mark or, put another way, as the failure to realize the full potential of the gift of human life, calls for a gradual approach to pastoral care. The goal is nothing less than an existential transformation from within through growth in communion with God. Daily sins are more than moral infractions; they are revelations of the brokenness of human life and evidence of personal struggle. “Repentance means rejecting death and uniting ourselves to life” (Yannaras, 1984, 147-148).

In Orthodoxy we tend to dwell on the process and the goal more than the sin. A wise Serbian Orthodox priest once commented that God is more concerned about the direction of our lives than He is about the specifics. Indeed, the Scriptures point to the wondrous truth that, “If thou, O God, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand, but with Thee there is forgiveness” (Psalm 130:3-4). The way is open for all who desire to take it. A young monk was once asked, “What do you do all day in the monastery?” He replied, “We fall and rise, fall and rise.”

The sacramental approach in the Eastern Church is an integral part of pastoral care. The therapeutic view frees the sacrament of Confession in the Orthodox Church from the tendency to take on a juridical character resulting in proscribed, impersonal penances. In Orthodoxy sacraments are seen as a means of revealing the truth about humanity and also about God (Yannaras, 1984, p. 143). After Holy Baptism we often fail in our work of fulfilling the vocation to unbury the image within. Seventy times seven we return to the sacrament not as an easy way out (confess today, sin tomorrow), but because humility is a hard lesson to learn, real transformation is not instantaneous and we are in need of God’s help. Healing takes time. Sacraments are far from magical or automatic rituals (Yannaras, 1984, p. 144). They are personal, grace-filled events in which our free response to God’s grace is acknowledged and sanctified. Even in evangelical circles where Confession as sacrament is rejected the altar call often plays a similar role. It is telling that the Orthodox Sacrament of Confession always takes place face to face and never in the kind of confessional that appeared in the West. Sin is personal and healing must be equally personal. Therefore nothing in authentic pastoral care can be impersonal, automatic or pre-planned. In Orthodoxy the prescription is tailored for the patient as he or she is, not as he or she ought to be.

The juridical approach that has predominated in the West can make pastoral practice seem cold and automatic. Neither a focus on good works nor faith alone are sufficient to transform the human heart. Do positive, external criteria signify inner transformation in all cases? Some branches of Christian counseling too often rely on the application of seemingly relevant verses of Scripture to effect changes in behavior as if convincing one of the truth of Holy Scripture is enough. Belief in Scripture may be a beginning, but real transformation is not just a matter of thinking. First and foremost it is a matter of an existential transformation. It is a matter of a shift in the very mode of life itself: from autonomy to communion. Allow me to explain.

Death has caused a change in the way we relate to God, to one another and to the world. Our lives are dominated by the struggle to survive. Yannaras writes that we see ourselves not as persons sharing a common nature and purpose, but as autonomous individuals who live to survive in competition with one another. Thus, set adrift by death, we are alienated from God, from others and also from our true selves (Yannaras, 1984).  The Lord Jesus speaks to this saying, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew16:26). Salvation is a transformation from the tragic state of alienation and autonomy that ends in death into a state of communion with God and one another that ends in eternal life. So, in the Orthodox view, a transformation in this mode of existence must occur. If the chosen are saved by decree and not by choice such an emphasis is irrelevant. The courtroom seems insufficient as an arena for healing or transformation.

Great flexibility needs to exist in pastoral care if it is to promote authentic transformation. We need to take people as they are and not as they ought to be. Moral and ethical codes are references, certainly, but not ends in themselves. As a pastor entrusted with personal knowledge of people’s lives, I know that moving people from point A to Z is impossible. If, by the grace of God, step B can be discovered, then real progress can often be made. Every step is a real step. If we can be faithful in small things the Lord will grant us bigger ones later (Matthew 25:21). There need be no rush in this intimate process of real transformation that has no end.  As a priest and confessor I tell those who come to me, “I do not know exactly what is ahead on this spiritual adventure. That is between you and God, but if you will allow me, we will take the road together.”

A Romanian priest found himself overhearing the confession of a hardened criminal to an old priest-monk in a crowded Communist prison cell. As he listened he noticed the priest-monk begin to cry. He did not say a word through his tears until the man had finished at which time he replied, “My son, try to do better next time.” Yannaras writes that the message of the Church for humanity wounded and degraded by the ‘terrorist God of juridical ethics’ is precisely this: “what God really asks of man is neither individual feats nor works of merit, but a cry of trust and love from the depths” (Yannaras, 1984, p. 47). The cry comes from the depth of our need to the unfathomable depth of God’s love; the Prodigal Son crying out, “I want to go home” to the Father who, seeing his advance from a distance, runs to meet him. (Luke 15:11-32)

What this divine/human relationship will produce God knows, but we place ourselves in His loving hands and not without some trepidation because “God is a loving fire… for all: good or bad.” (Kalomiris, 1980, p. 19) The knowledge that salvation is a process makes our failures understandable. The illness that afflicts us demands access to the grace of God often and repeatedly. We offer to Him the only things that we have, our weakened condition and will. Joined with God’s love and grace it is the fuel that breathed upon by the Spirit of God, breaks the soul into flame.

Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said: Abba, as much as I am able I practice a small rule, a little fasting, some prayer and meditation, and remain quiet, and as much as possible keep my thoughts clean. What else should I do? Then the old man stood up and stretched out his hands toward heaven, and his fingers became like ten torches of flame. And he said: If you wish you can become all flame. (Nomura, 2001, p. 92)

As we have seen, for the early Church Fathers and the Orthodox Church the Atonement is much more than a divine exercise in jurisprudence; it is the event of the life, death and resurrection of the Son of God that sets us free from the Ancestral Sin and its effects. Our slavery to death, sin, corruption and the devil are destroyed through the Cross and Resurrection and our hopeless adventure in autonomy is revealed to be what it is: a dead end. Salvation is much more than a verdict from above; it is an endless process of transformation from autonomy to communion, a gradual ascent from glory to glory as we take up once again our original vocation now fulfilled in Christ. The way to the Tree of Life at long last revealed to be the Cross is reopened and its fruit, the Body and Blood of God, offered to all.  The goal is far greater than a change in behavior; we are meant to become divine.


Source:  http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/2004-hughes-sin.php
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 01:11:19 AM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #162 on: June 10, 2008, 01:58:45 AM »

theinformer, If you're going to copy and paste long blocks of text like this, you need to credit your sources.  Failure to do so is plagiarism.  Please read my personal message.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2008, 09:48:38 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Faith: Agnostic
Posts: 29,580



« Reply #163 on: June 10, 2008, 02:06:43 AM »

Fwiw, here it is: http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/2004-hughes-sin.php

Ancestral Versus Original Sin: An Overview with Implications for Psychotherapy
by V. Rev. Antony Hughes, M.Div
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Logged

Problem: John finds a spider under his bed. John eats the spider. John gets sick to his stomach.

Question: Why did John get sick?
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #164 on: June 10, 2008, 02:08:37 AM »

Fwiw, here it is: http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/orthodoxy/articles/2004-hughes-sin.php

Ancestral Versus Original Sin: An Overview with Implications for Psychotherapy
by V. Rev. Antony Hughes, M.Div
St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Thanks for the info, Asteriktos. Smiley
Logged
LBK
Warned
Merarches
***********
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 10,556


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us!


« Reply #165 on: June 10, 2008, 03:23:33 AM »


Pre -mean's before pre blessed, pre sanctified,, pre holy,, pre Graced ,,,,it could be interpeded as imaculate at her birth....SmileyCentral.com" border="0

Quote
Пре Света,Пре Блажена,Пре Славна,Пре Благословена Бого Мајка, Богородица Дјева Марија...

Stashko, this is embarrassing. You should know that the prefix Пре (pre), be it in the modern Serbian language, or in Old Church Slavonic, does NOT mean pre in the English sense, i.e. that which came before. Пре means all, like the Greek prefix Pan, as in Panaghia (All-holy), Panaghathi (all-good), etc.  Therefore, the translation of the above is All-holy, All-blessed (or, as is sometimes rendered, most-blessed), All-glorious, All-praised Mother of God, Mary, Virgin Mother of God .

Therefore, any thought of ascribing the idea of the immaculate conception to the above liturgical phrase (which occurs during the Great and Little Litanies at Orthodox services) simply doesn't stand up. Please be more careful, lest misunderstandings occur.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 03:27:32 AM by LBK » Logged
stashko
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: ИСТОЧНИ ПРАВОСЛАВНИ СРБИН
Jurisdiction: Non Ecumenist Free Serbian Orthodox Church
Posts: 4,998


Wonderworking Sitka Icon


« Reply #166 on: June 10, 2008, 11:38:51 AM »

Oh i didn't know that ,,i allway's thought pre meant before in english and serbian ..in serbian what about [ sve sveta] all holy  ,,live and learn i allway's say...that's why i tried holding off on the english translation....Huh??...SmileyCentral.com" border="0Thank you for the correction...
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 11:43:27 AM by stashko » Logged

ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.
theinformer
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 66


« Reply #167 on: June 12, 2008, 12:54:18 AM »

Anyone familiar with the juridical approach and the external code of the west?.


Tangent split off to this thread: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,16435.msg235835.html#msg235835
« Last Edit: June 13, 2008, 08:05:07 PM by ozgeorge » Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #168 on: January 09, 2009, 08:56:45 AM »

Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?

Even some of the greatest Saints of the Roman Catholic Church did not agree with the Immaculate Conception.

1.  Thomas Aquinas was opposed to the new doctrine:

"Certainly Mary was conceived with original sin, as is natural. . . . If she
would not have been born with original sin, she would not have needed to be
redeemed by Christ, and, this being so, Christ would not be the universal
Redeemer of men, which would abolish the dignity of Christ."

Chapter CCXXXII bis. Thomas Aquinas, Compendio do Teologia, Barcelona, 1985.


2.   Catherine of Sienna, another great Catholic theologian and mystic, weighed in on the anti-Immaculate Conception side after she had a personal revelation from Christ that Mary was conceived in original sin.  (Sorry, but I cannot lay my hands on a direct quote for this.)


3.   Bernard of Clairvaux also knew of it and rejected it. If it were official Church teaching or even simply traditional teaching would he have denied it? This is all the more striking because his profound love for Mary and his writings in her honour had gained him the title of "Troubadour of the Virgin." Read his Epistle 174...

"I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, 'One must glorify the Mother of God as much as Possible.' This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of Her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her.


"I say that the Virgin Mary could not be sanctified before Her conception, inasmuch as She did not exist. if, all the more, She could not be sanctified in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable from conception, then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after She was conceived in the womb of Her mother. This sanctification, if it annihilates sin, makes holy Her birth, but not Her conception. No one is given the right to be conceived in sanctity; only the Lord Christ was conceived of the Holy Spirit, and He alone is holy from His very conception. Excluding Him, it is to all the descendants of Adam that must be referred that which one of them says of himself, both out of a feeling of humility and in acknowledgement of the truth: Behold I was conceived in iniquities (Ps. 50:7). How can one demand that this conception be holy, when it was not the work of the Holy Spirit, not to mention that it came from concupiscence? The Holy Virgin, of course, rejects that glory which, evidently, glorifies sin. She cannot in any way justify a novelty invented in spite of the teaching of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of imprudence, the sister of unbelief, and the daughter of lightmindedness"



Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #169 on: January 09, 2009, 09:02:06 AM »

The Patriarch and the Immaculate Conception

In December of 2004, the Italian Catholic newspaper Thirty Days ran a story about the 150th anniversary of the Roman proclamation of the Immaculate Conception as dogma. As part of that, they interviewed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about the Orthodox Akathist to the Theotokos -- a truly beautiful prayer/poem/song -- and in passing asked him about the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Patriarch politely told them that it was wrong, and correctly identified its roots as being in the notion of original sin. It is a brief but excellent presentation of the Orthodox position:

(Question): The Catholic Church this year celebrates the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. How does the Eastern Christian and Byzantine Tradition celebrate the Conception of Mary and her full and immaculate holiness?

Bartholomew I: The Catholic Church found that it needed to institute a new dogma for Christendom about one thousand and eight hundred years after the appearance of the Christianity, because it had accepted a perception of original sin – a mistaken one for us Orthodox – according to which original sin passes on a moral stain or a legal responsibility to the descendants of Adam, instead of that recognized as correct by the Orthodox faith – according to which the sin transmitted through inheritance the corruption, caused by the separation of mankind from the uncreated grace of God, which makes him live spiritually and in the flesh. Mankind shaped in the image of God, with the possibility and destiny of being like to God, by freely choosing love towards Him and obedience to his commandments, can even after the fall of Adam and Eve become friend of God according to intention; then God sanctifies them, as he sanctified many of the progenitors before Christ, even if the accomplishment of their ransom from corruption, that is their salvation, was achieved after the incarnation of Christ and through Him.

In consequence, according to the Orthodox faith, Mary the All-holy Mother of God was not conceived exempt from the corruption of original sin, but loved God above of all things and obeyed his commandments, and thus was sanctified by God through Jesus Christ who incarnated himself of her. She obeyed Him like one of the faithful, and addressed herself to Him with a Mother’s trust. Her holiness and purity were not blemished by the corruption, handed on to her by original sin as to every man, precisely because she was reborn in Christ like all the saints, sanctified above every saint.

Her reinstatement in the condition prior to the Fall did not necessarily take place at the moment of her conception. We believe that it happened afterwards, as consequence of the progress in her of the action of the uncreated divine grace through the visit of the Holy Spirit, which brought about the conception of the Lord within her, purifying her from every stain.

As already said, original sin weighs on the descendants of Adam and of Eve as corruption, and not as legal responsibility or moral stain. The sin brought hereditary corruption and not a hereditary legal responsibility or a hereditary moral stain. In consequence the All-holy participated in the hereditary corruption, like all mankind, but with her love for God and her purity – understood as an imperturbable and unhesitating dedication of her love to God alone – she succeeded, through the grace of God, in sanctifying herself in Christ and making herself worthy of becoming the house of God, as God wants all us human beings to become.

Therefore we in the Orthodox Church honor the All-holy Mother of God above all the saints, albeit we don’t accept the new dogma of her Immaculate Conception. The non-acceptance of this dogma in no way diminishes our love and veneration of the All-holy Mother of God.

http://minorclergy.journalspace.com/...rd&entryid=145
Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #170 on: January 09, 2009, 10:08:33 AM »

Father Bless,

It's interesting you posted this on the broad because I was fortunate to have my Priest over last night for the Blessing of our Home and afterwards we sat down for a small meal and a conversation concerning our conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy (Russian via OCA). I admitted to him my difficulty in shaking off Classic Catholic teaching of Original Sin and my views of the BVM as immaculate. We talked about St. Cyprian and Augustine... our Parish is named after St. Cyprian so it was a saint we were both familiar with.

I deeply wish that you and the other members here could help me come to a more comfortable understand of the nature of Original Sin in light of the teachings of St. Cyprian and St. Symeon the New Theologian. At the present moment I don't think that I could, in good conscience, disavow the teachings of the West. I don't believe that Rome has be faithful to the continuity of Holy Tradition but I do have deep reservations with the elusive teachings of Original Sin taught by many Orthodox. I'm not trying to be obstinate but I find it difficult to grasp.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Jonny
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 88


Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion


« Reply #171 on: January 09, 2009, 11:28:36 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

My problem with the Immaculate Conception is not the dogma itself which makes perfect sense inside of a Roman understanding of original sin but rather the reason the dogma came about. The dogma exists purely because the Roman Church sees original sin as something that we are all guilty off; each of us is damned by Adams transgression and it is transmitted to us like a hereditary disease. The Orthodox understanding of original sin, as far as I can tell, differs from the Catholic understanding. Original sin means that we are all born with a sinful disposition but not with one sin already 'in the bank' so to speak. Due to this fundamental difference there is no need to see Mary as having been born immaculately, in other words without that one sin, because she did not need to be protected from Adams sin in that way. What our Lady did experience was an abundance of grace that allowed her, with the help of that grace, to avoid sin but she was still tempted by sin at every turn.

To have an Immaculate Conception with the Orthodox understanding of original sin is to portray Mary as a being untouched by sin in any way and almost incapable of sinning for she would not have been born with a predisposition towards sin. To hold such beliefs along with Mary being bodily assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven is almost to see her as having never been human in the way that we are, in other words fallen. She becomes more perfect than Christ in that 'He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us' (2 Corinthians 5:21) and thus Christ experienced our fallen nature and was tempted by sin and overcame it by virtue of his Divinity but Mary would never have been tempted at all and thus would have been perfect without the grace of Christ to aid her by virtue of her Immaculate Conception. If you follow the logic to its final conclusion, if the Father had deemed that Mary should be born without original sin then there would have been no need for the Christ event due to the fact that the Father would have a restored Mary to the state of man before the fall and from that itself the old creation could be restored rather than a new creation, one where we are not simply restored but also divanised, being inaugurated.
Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #172 on: January 09, 2009, 11:51:01 AM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

My problem with the Immaculate Conception is not the dogma itself which makes perfect sense inside of a Roman understanding of original sin but rather the reason the dogma came about. The dogma exists purely because the Roman Church sees original sin as something that we are all guilty off; each of us is damned by Adams transgression and it is transmitted to us like a hereditary disease. The Orthodox understanding of original sin, as far as I can tell, differs from the Catholic understanding. Original sin means that we are all born with a sinful disposition but not with one sin already 'in the bank' so to speak. Due to this fundamental difference there is no need to see Mary as having been born immaculately, in other words without that one sin, because she did not need to be protected from Adams sin in that way. What our Lady did experience was an abundance of grace that allowed her, with the help of that grace, to avoid sin but she was still tempted by sin at every turn.

To have an Immaculate Conception with the Orthodox understanding of original sin is to portray Mary as a being untouched by sin in any way and almost incapable of sinning for she would not have been born with a predisposition towards sin. To hold such beliefs along with Mary being bodily assumed into heaven and crowned queen of heaven is almost to see her as having never been human in the way that we are, in other words fallen. She becomes more perfect than Christ in that 'He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us' (2 Corinthians 5:21) and thus Christ experienced our fallen nature and was tempted by sin and overcame it by virtue of his Divinity but Mary would never have been tempted at all and thus would have been perfect without the grace of Christ to aid her by virtue of her Immaculate Conception. If you follow the logic to its final conclusion, if the Father had deemed that Mary should be born without original sin then there would have been no need for the Christ event due to the fact that the Father would have a restored Mary to the state of man before the fall and from that itself the old creation could be restored rather than a new creation, one where we are not simply restored but also divanised, being inaugurated.

Hi Jonny,

I'm not sure that is correct because both Adam and Eve were 'untouched' by sin and yet 'fell'. Why would our BVM be any different? Having 'sanctifying grace' at conception doesn't mean that she was 'deified' at conception anymore than we would argue one who receives Baptism is 'deified'.

We know that throughout the history of the Jewish people certain individuals found favor with God... Elijah springs to my mind. He was taken to heaven by chariot. This exception of particular favor by God doesn't have to dismantle the need for redemption through the Incarnation and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. With every rule there are the exceptions. Noah was one, Enoch, Elijah, Mose, etc. These exceptions doesn't undo the necessity of the real need for a redeemer.

I appreciate your thoughts but I'm not convinced that your reasoning is sound. If you read the Liturgical Text of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy concerning the BVM you will note that even they believe she was taken up into heaven and set on the thrown of heaven. I think this is found in the Annunciation Feast texts but I could be wrong. I was reading them last night. I will be able to post them letter this evening when I return home.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Jonny
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 88


Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion


« Reply #173 on: January 09, 2009, 12:20:11 PM »

Hi Jonny,

I'm not sure that is correct because both Adam and Eve were 'untouched' by sin and yet 'fell'. Why would our BVM be any different? Having 'sanctifying grace' at conception doesn't mean that she was 'deified' at conception anymore than we would argue one who receives Baptism is 'deified'.

The difference being that Adam and Eve were not predestined to fall. Every human born with a sinful disposition will sin, it is impossible not to without God's grace. In Mary's case if she had been born without that disposition to sin then she could abstain from sin without the need for grace.

As for Baptism, the Roman Church sees it as forgiving original sin, however that again is only relevent if you see original sin as something that is transmitted, as if we are born with a black mark that needs washed away. If you don't see it that way then Baptism is us being Baptised into Christs death and Resurrection and washed clean of all our sins. Baptism opens us up to grace and starts the process of theosis but it does not complete it, it does not liberate us from or disposition to sin. If it did there would be no need for any other sacrament for total grace would have been imparted and we would be irredeemably saved.



We know that throughout the history of the Jewish people certain individuals found favor with God... Elijah springs to my mind. He was taken to heaven by chariot. This exception of particular favor by God doesn't have to dismantle the need for redemption through the Incarnation and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. With every rule there are the exceptions. Noah was one, Enoch, Elijah, Mose, etc. These exceptions doesn't undo the necessity of the real need for a redeemer.

However all of these people are saved by Grace, not by lack of sinful disposition. In a way they are saved by the grace of the timeless sacrifice of Christ.



I appreciate your thoughts but I'm not convinced that your reasoning is sound. If you read the Liturgical Text of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy concerning the BVM you will note that even they believe she was taken up into heaven and set on the thrown of heaven. I think this is found in the Annunciation Feast texts but I could be wrong. I was reading them last night. I will be able to post them letter this evening when I return home.

True. The emphasis is slight different though. In the Orthodox Church the mystery is the empty tomb of Mary where as in the Roman Church it is the bodily Assumption of Mary. Also note the wording of the dogma of the Assumption in the Latin Church, it states that at the culmination of her earthly life Mary was assumed. It was deliberately left open so that it can be believed that she did not even die first.

Queen of Heaven is also subtly different. In the Roman understanding of it we apply the Queen mother theology from Davids court in the Old Testament, that the Son will always grant the Mothers request. This also can be taken as putting Mary above Christ and we can see that the idea is growing in suggested dogmas such as 'Coredemptrix and Medatrix of all Graces', a dogma that JPII was actually very keen on.

Logged
Jonny
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 88


Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion


« Reply #174 on: January 09, 2009, 12:22:24 PM »

Its also quite amusing to have an Orthodox Christian defending the Immaculate Conception and a Catholic attacking it. You and I should head to Rome, we could end this schism just the two of us!  laugh
Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #175 on: January 09, 2009, 12:53:12 PM »

Its also quite amusing to have an Orthodox Christian defending the Immaculate Conception and a Catholic attacking it. You and I should head to Rome, we could end this schism just the two of us!  laugh

He he he... Not after I bring up my views on Infallibility...  Undecided
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 12:53:27 PM by ignatius » Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #176 on: January 09, 2009, 01:00:41 PM »

The "Immaculate conception" from a Catholic point of view (from my understanding, correct me if I am wrong) is that Mary was born without sin or the potential to sin.
Actually, we Catholics do NOT deny that Mary had the potential to sin. She absolutely had this potential because she had free will. Rather than removing the potential for sin, Mary was created in the same state as Adam and Eve who were quite capable of sin. The grace of the immaculat conception just preserved Mary from inheriting a fallen nature.
That all being said, Catholics do believe that Mary never sinned.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Jonny
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 88


Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion


« Reply #177 on: January 09, 2009, 01:04:59 PM »

The "Immaculate conception" from a Catholic point of view (from my understanding, correct me if I am wrong) is that Mary was born without sin or the potential to sin.
Actually, we Catholics do NOT deny that Mary had the potential to sin. She absolutely had this potential because she had free will. Rather than removing the potential for sin, Mary was created in the same state as Adam and Eve who were quite capable of sin. The grace of the immaculat conception just preserved Mary from inheriting a fallen nature.
That all being said, Catholics do believe that Mary never sinned.


To copy and paste my reply to this question which I've given above:

The difference being that Adam and Eve were not predestined to fall. Every human born with a sinful disposition will sin, it is impossible not to without God's grace. In Mary's case if she had been born without that disposition to sin then she could abstain from sin without the need for grace.
Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #178 on: January 09, 2009, 01:06:42 PM »

Hi Jonny,

I'm not sure that is correct because both Adam and Eve were 'untouched' by sin and yet 'fell'. Why would our BVM be any different? Having 'sanctifying grace' at conception doesn't mean that she was 'deified' at conception anymore than we would argue one who receives Baptism is 'deified'.

The difference being that Adam and Eve were not predestined to fall. Every human born with a sinful disposition will sin, it is impossible not to without God's grace. In Mary's case if she had been born without that disposition to sin then she could abstain from sin without the need for grace.

As for Baptism, the Roman Church sees it as forgiving original sin, however that again is only relevent if you see original sin as something that is transmitted, as if we are born with a black mark that needs washed away. If you don't see it that way then Baptism is us being Baptised into Christs death and Resurrection and washed clean of all our sins. Baptism opens us up to grace and starts the process of theosis but it does not complete it, it does not liberate us from or disposition to sin. If it did there would be no need for any other sacrament for total grace would have been imparted and we would be irredeemably saved.



We know that throughout the history of the Jewish people certain individuals found favor with God... Elijah springs to my mind. He was taken to heaven by chariot. This exception of particular favor by God doesn't have to dismantle the need for redemption through the Incarnation and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. With every rule there are the exceptions. Noah was one, Enoch, Elijah, Mose, etc. These exceptions doesn't undo the necessity of the real need for a redeemer.

However all of these people are saved by Grace, not by lack of sinful disposition. In a way they are saved by the grace of the timeless sacrifice of Christ.

Yes, pre-Incarnation/pre-resurrection I might add which is my problem with your presumption that Mary's Fullness of Grace somehow exempts the necessity of a Saviour. Exceptions to the rule do not make the rule null and void but only cause us to recognize God's Providence at work 'even when we were sinners'.

Quote

I appreciate your thoughts but I'm not convinced that your reasoning is sound. If you read the Liturgical Text of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy concerning the BVM you will note that even they believe she was taken up into heaven and set on the thrown of heaven. I think this is found in the Annunciation Feast texts but I could be wrong. I was reading them last night. I will be able to post them letter this evening when I return home.

True. The emphasis is slight different though. In the Orthodox Church the mystery is the empty tomb of Mary where as in the Roman Church it is the bodily Assumption of Mary. Also note the wording of the dogma of the Assumption in the Latin Church, it states that at the culmination of her earthly life Mary was assumed. It was deliberately left open so that it can be believed that she did not even die first.

This is not true. The Pope who declared the Dogma also declared her death in the same document. I'm not keen on this kind of forensic picking and choosing that modern Catholics do with these documents. We can only understand the Pope's wording 'at the culmination of her earthly life' through the lens of his own words in the same document 'i.e. she died'. To somehow deny this is a contradiction in proper interpretation.

Quote
Queen of Heaven is also subtly different. In the Roman understanding of it we apply the Queen mother theology from Davids court in the Old Testament, that the Son will always grant the Mothers request. This also can be taken as putting Mary above Christ and we can see that the idea is growing in suggested dogmas such as 'Coredemptrix and Medatrix of all Graces', a dogma that JPII was actually very keen on.

You should do yourself a favor and do a search on this issue because it's not that clear that Orthodox don't have their own ideas of Medatrix... of the BVM.

But please know I'm not here to 'defend' Catholic Dogmas. I'm here to honestly deal with them so that I can enter into Holy Orthodoxy with a clear conscience at peace with the faith of the Church, that is the Holy Orthodox Church.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #179 on: January 09, 2009, 01:10:05 PM »

The "Immaculate conception" from a Catholic point of view (from my understanding, correct me if I am wrong) is that Mary was born without sin or the potential to sin.
Actually, we Catholics do NOT deny that Mary had the potential to sin. She absolutely had this potential because she had free will. Rather than removing the potential for sin, Mary was created in the same state as Adam and Eve who were quite capable of sin. The grace of the immaculat conception just preserved Mary from inheriting a fallen nature.
That all being said, Catholics do believe that Mary never sinned.


To copy and paste my reply to this question which I've given above:

The difference being that Adam and Eve were not predestined to fall. Every human born with a sinful disposition will sin, it is impossible not to without God's grace. In Mary's case if she had been born without that disposition to sin then she could abstain from sin without the need for grace.
That assumes that adam and eve didn't need grace either, but what is grace but God himself? If Grace is God himself, then to live without grace is to live without God. Yet, we were made for God. We were made for grace. Thus to be with out grace is a corruption of our souls. Thus, even with the immaculate conception, which is the presence of Sanctifying grace in here soul, Mary would have to choose to remain in that grace. I.E. sinlessness cannot happen without grace period.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Jonny
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 88


Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion


« Reply #180 on: January 09, 2009, 04:44:52 PM »

That assumes that adam and eve didn't need grace either, but what is grace but God himself? If Grace is God himself, then to live without grace is to live without God. Yet, we were made for God. We were made for grace. Thus to be with out grace is a corruption of our souls. Thus, even with the immaculate conception, which is the presence of Sanctifying grace in here soul, Mary would have to choose to remain in that grace. I.E. sinlessness cannot happen without grace period.

How do we define grace is the question then. I shall have to do some reading on this and get back to you. I know that Thomist theology has both Angels and Adam and Eve as being recipients of grace even though they have not fallen but it was a development of the middle ages and it would be interesting to see why it developed and what from. I'll get back to you soon on this!
Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #181 on: January 09, 2009, 05:52:52 PM »

That assumes that adam and eve didn't need grace either, but what is grace but God himself? If Grace is God himself, then to live without grace is to live without God. Yet, we were made for God. We were made for grace. Thus to be with out grace is a corruption of our souls. Thus, even with the immaculate conception, which is the presence of Sanctifying grace in here soul, Mary would have to choose to remain in that grace. I.E. sinlessness cannot happen without grace period.

How do we define grace is the question then. I shall have to do some reading on this and get back to you. I know that Thomist theology has both Angels and Adam and Eve as being recipients of grace even though they have not fallen but it was a development of the middle ages and it would be interesting to see why it developed and what from. I'll get back to you soon on this!
I look forward to your response. It is my understanding that Eastern Orthodox theology views grace as God himself, uncreated, the divine energies. If I am wrong please correct me. I like this approach and I don't actually think that its incompatible with the western view of grace. In the west when we speak of created Grace, we are not talking about the substacne itself, i.e. God's life that is placed in us. That would have to be uncreated. But we are talking about the state of having that uncreated life in us. The state of being in that grace (the "State of Grace) is created because that state could not have existed until there were persons to be in that state. Thus when the East speaks of Uncreated Grace and the West speaks of Created Grace we are not contradicting one another because we are talking about tow different things altogether.
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #182 on: January 09, 2009, 06:07:24 PM »

Father Bless,

It's interesting you posted this on the broad because I was fortunate to have my Priest over last night for the Blessing of our Home and afterwards we sat down for a small meal and a conversation concerning our conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy (Russian via OCA). I admitted to him my difficulty in shaking off Classic Catholic teaching of Original Sin and my views of the BVM as immaculate. We talked about St. Cyprian and Augustine... our Parish is named after St. Cyprian so it was a saint we were both familiar with.

I deeply wish that you and the other members here could help me come to a more comfortable understand of the nature of Original Sin in light of the teachings of St. Cyprian and St. Symeon the New Theologian. At the present moment I don't think that I could, in good conscience, disavow the teachings of the West. I don't believe that Rome has be faithful to the continuity of Holy Tradition but I do have deep reservations with the elusive teachings of Original Sin taught by many Orthodox. I'm not trying to be obstinate but I find it difficult to grasp.
To tell you the truth, I don't believe I am capable of conveying in one or two written paragraphs what your priest has failed to convey in a face to face conversation in the course of an evening.  Get back to him and ask him to help you out out some more.
Logged
username!
Section Moderator
Protokentarchos
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Ukrainian Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Pennsylvaniadoxy
Posts: 5,063



« Reply #183 on: January 09, 2009, 06:11:20 PM »

The "Immaculate conception" from a Catholic point of view (from my understanding, correct me if I am wrong) is that Mary was born without sin or the potential to sin.
Actually, we Catholics do NOT deny that Mary had the potential to sin. She absolutely had this potential because she had free will. Rather than removing the potential for sin, Mary was created in the same state as Adam and Eve who were quite capable of sin. The grace of the immaculat conception just preserved Mary from inheriting a fallen nature.
That all being said, Catholics do believe that Mary never sinned.

Which Catholics?  I take it you mean Roman Catholic.
Logged

PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #184 on: January 09, 2009, 07:25:02 PM »

I look forward to your response. It is my understanding that Eastern Orthodox theology views grace as God himself, uncreated, the divine energies. If I am wrong please correct me. I like this approach and I don't actually think that its incompatible with the western view of grace. In the west when we speak of created Grace, we are not talking about the substacne itself, i.e. God's life that is placed in us. That would have to be uncreated. But we are talking about the state of having that uncreated life in us. The state of being in that grace (the "State of Grace) is created because that state could not have existed until there were persons to be in that state. Thus when the East speaks of Uncreated Grace and the West speaks of Created Grace we are not contradicting one another because we are talking about tow different things altogether.

Papist, please be aware that this thread is on the Faith Issues board, because the issue of whether we Orthodox are free to accept the theory of the Immaculate Conception is fundamentally a question internal to the Orthodox faith.  This question is not really open to dialogue with Catholics such as yourself.  If you feel it necessary to correct a misconception, please do.  Just don't go any farther in an attempt to dialogue with us here on this issue.  That's what you have the Orthodox/Catholic (public) and Orthodox/Other Christian Private boards for.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

- PeterTheAleut
Section Moderator
Logged
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #185 on: January 09, 2009, 07:40:54 PM »

Father Bless,

It's interesting you posted this on the broad because I was fortunate to have my Priest over last night for the Blessing of our Home and afterwards we sat down for a small meal and a conversation concerning our conversion from Roman Catholicism to Orthodoxy (Russian via OCA). I admitted to him my difficulty in shaking off Classic Catholic teaching of Original Sin and my views of the BVM as immaculate. We talked about St. Cyprian and Augustine... our Parish is named after St. Cyprian so it was a saint we were both familiar with.

I deeply wish that you and the other members here could help me come to a more comfortable understand of the nature of Original Sin in light of the teachings of St. Cyprian and St. Symeon the New Theologian. At the present moment I don't think that I could, in good conscience, disavow the teachings of the West. I don't believe that Rome has be faithful to the continuity of Holy Tradition but I do have deep reservations with the elusive teachings of Original Sin taught by many Orthodox. I'm not trying to be obstinate but I find it difficult to grasp.
To tell you the truth, I don't believe I am capable of conveying in one or two written paragraphs what your priest has failed to convey in a face to face conversation in the course of an evening.  Get back to him and ask him to help you out out some more.

That is fine Father. I nothing if not patient. I'll have a chance to talk with him at Great Vespers this weekend. It's not something that is prohibiting me from continuing to participate with the community of St. Cyprian's but I don't see my entry into Orthodoxy furthered without more help. I welcome you're prayers.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
ignatius
Baptacathadox
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Roman Catholic > Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA - Diocese of the South
Posts: 1,690


My Son Aidan... :-)


« Reply #186 on: January 09, 2009, 08:05:35 PM »

As Moses and Elias were only mortal men, wouldn't they have suffered the same fate as all those who came before Christ, including death?

As Moses and Elias were only mortal men, wouldn't they have suffered the same fate as all those who came before Christ, including Adam and Eve, who were only freed from Hades when Christ descended there?  If that is true, how then could they have been present at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13 and Mark 9: 2-13)?  (Sep. ’01)

Let's deal with the easy one first.  The glorious Prophet Elias (or Elijah) did not die, therefore his soul was never in Hades!  Yep. You can read the story of his ascent into heaven via a "chariot of fire" in II Kings (2:1-12).  He will descend from heaven to earth to prophesy again before the Second Coming of Christ and will be killed at that time.  The Prophet Elias is one of the "two witnesses" St. John the Theologian writes of in the eleventh chapter of Revelation.  (By the way, the other witness" who will return to earth and be killed is Enoch, the only other human that did not yet die.  Read the entire fifth chapter of Genesis and you will discover that while all others are noted as having "died," Enoch is described as having "walked with God.")

Now to the holy God-seer Moses.  We can read of Moses' death and burial (by none other than God Himself!) in the book of Deuteronomy (34:1-12).  He Who buried him is He Who has the power to call his spirit to Tabor for a very special purpose. You see, Moses is symbolic of the Law  which was given to him by God on Mount Sinai, while Elias is symbolic of all the Prophets.  Together they represent the entire Old Testament, and thus together represent the fullness of the revelation of God to Israel. There on Mount Tabor in Galilee, Jesus, Who is the Fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets, meets with those who in their persons stand for the Law and the Prophets.  The two who met God on Mount Sinai now meet Him again on Mount Tabor.  Elias the Prophet is temporarily sent from heaven since it was prophesied that his return would precede the coming of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5 & 6), and Moses is temporarily called from Hades to confirm that those held captive there shall be freed by Christ and that the dead shall rise in Him.  The appearance of the one tells the holy Apostles Peter, James and John that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ), while the appearance of the other tells these three chosen disciples that He will defeat death and raise the dead.
Logged

St Basil the Great (330-379 A.D.): “I think then that the one goal of all who are really and truly serving the Lord ought to be to bring back to union the churches who have at different times and in diverse manners divided from one another.”
fatman2021
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Banned
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Russian Old-Orthodox Church
Posts: 152

Protopope Avvakum, pray for us.


WWW
« Reply #187 on: January 09, 2009, 08:38:19 PM »

no.
Logged

O God be merciful to me a sinner. You, O Lord who created me, have mercy on me. I have sinned without number,O Lord, have mercy on me and forgive me, a sinner.
prodromas
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Under the Green Pope
Posts: 1,239

Greek Orthodox


« Reply #188 on: January 09, 2009, 08:49:28 PM »

no.

You know what, I saw the name fatman as the last post on this thread and I was hoping for a strong and conclusive answer and you have done just that. Do you see Catholics, the IC is wrong and fatman has proved it wrong.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 08:49:54 PM by prodromas » Logged

The sins I don't commit are largely due to the weakness of my limbs.

1915-1923 Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւն ,never again,
ܩܛܠܐ ܕܥܡܐ ܐܬܘܪܝܐ 1920-1914, never again,
השואה  1933-1945, never again,
(1914-1923) Ελληνική Γενοκτονία, never again
Jonny
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Inquirer
Jurisdiction: ROCOR
Posts: 88


Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion


« Reply #189 on: January 09, 2009, 08:53:50 PM »

no.

You know what, I saw the name fatman as the last post on this thread and I was hoping for a strong and conclusive answer and you have done just that. Do you see Catholics, the IC is wrong and fatman has proved it wrong.

I'm sold! It will trouble me no more!!!  laugh
Logged
Papist
Patriarch of Pontification
Toumarches
************
Offline Offline

Faith: Catholic
Jurisdiction: Byzantine
Posts: 12,189


Praying for the Christians in Iraq


« Reply #190 on: January 11, 2009, 05:57:04 PM »

I look forward to your response. It is my understanding that Eastern Orthodox theology views grace as God himself, uncreated, the divine energies. If I am wrong please correct me. I like this approach and I don't actually think that its incompatible with the western view of grace. In the west when we speak of created Grace, we are not talking about the substacne itself, i.e. God's life that is placed in us. That would have to be uncreated. But we are talking about the state of having that uncreated life in us. The state of being in that grace (the "State of Grace) is created because that state could not have existed until there were persons to be in that state. Thus when the East speaks of Uncreated Grace and the West speaks of Created Grace we are not contradicting one another because we are talking about tow different things altogether.

Papist, please be aware that this thread is on the Faith Issues board, because the issue of whether we Orthodox are free to accept the theory of the Immaculate Conception is fundamentally a question internal to the Orthodox faith.  This question is not really open to dialogue with Catholics such as yourself.  If you feel it necessary to correct a misconception, please do.  Just don't go any farther in an attempt to dialogue with us here on this issue.  That's what you have the Orthodox/Catholic (public) and Orthodox/Other Christian Private boards for.  Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

- PeterTheAleut
Section Moderator

ridiculous.
 You are now on Post Moderation for 40 days for publicly disputing a Moderator's decision. 
 
Logged

Note Papist's influence from the tyrannical monarchism of traditional papism .
ozgeorge
I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Oecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the New Rome, the Great Church of Christ.
Posts: 16,382


My plans for retirement.


WWW
« Reply #191 on: January 11, 2009, 06:17:52 PM »

Could the Non-Orthodox please stop trolling this forum? This is the Faith Issues Forum, which is for "Discussion of issues and inquiries related to the Orthodox Christian faith." We have provided a Catholic-Orthodox Forum for debate between Catholics and Orthodox Christians,  and indeed there are several threads there on the Immaculate Conception. We have also provided an Orthodox-Other Christian Forum to debate issues relevant in that area.
Stop trolling.
I have already dealt severely with someone who ignored this request from a moderator, and I will not hesitate to do the same to anyone else.
George
(Global Moderator)

« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 06:33:30 PM by ozgeorge » Logged

If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.
sprtslvr1973
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA; Jurisdiaction of Dallas and the South
Posts: 680


"Behold I stand at the Door and Knock" Rev. 3:20


« Reply #192 on: December 03, 2009, 03:48:29 PM »

To the question in the title of this thread:
Answer: No
Logged

"Into thy hands I commend my spirit"- Luke 23:46
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24
PeterTheAleut
The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
Section Moderator
Protospatharios
*****
Online Online

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 31,955


Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!


« Reply #193 on: December 03, 2009, 05:45:19 PM »

To the question in the title of this thread:
Answer: No
Would you care to explain why you think this?
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #194 on: December 03, 2009, 06:40:19 PM »

I read several books on Orthodox views of Our Blessed Virgin Mother and I appear to continue to hold to the Immaculate Conception. I once thought I read the Bishop Ware stated that it was okay. Is it okay?

I have been taught that the tiny little foetus who went on to become the all-holy Mother of God was conceived in the same spiritual state as every other human being.   In other words her conception was no different to yours and mine, Pope Benedict the XVI's, George Bush's and the Dalai Lama's.

Was I taught wrongly?
Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #195 on: December 03, 2009, 06:56:57 PM »

I think to believe in the Immaculate Conception holds to the Latin concept of original sin and rejects the Orthodox view of "ancestral sin" and not being able to inherit the guilt of sin from previous generations. There is alot of baggage that goes along with the I.C. belief.
Logged
sprtslvr1973
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA; Jurisdiaction of Dallas and the South
Posts: 680


"Behold I stand at the Door and Knock" Rev. 3:20


« Reply #196 on: December 03, 2009, 07:47:17 PM »

It just has never been part of Orthodox teaching. Kind of like asking can an OC believe in Limbo, purgatory, juridical confession, or transsubstattiation?

First, Why wouldn't Mary's mother have to be born of a virgin, and her mother before her?

As I understand it much of this come from the Augustinian idea that guilt was transmitted father to son and so Mary had to be immaculate in order to avoid that stain. The OC never accepted that.
Logged

"Into thy hands I commend my spirit"- Luke 23:46
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” - Mark 9:24
Kaste
Site Supporter
Sr. Member
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christian
Jurisdiction: member of the Invisible Church
Posts: 158


« Reply #197 on: December 05, 2009, 11:09:05 PM »

Symeon said:

Quote
Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

I am so glad an Orthodox sees this too. 

K
Logged
GabrieltheCelt
Hillbilly Extraordinaire
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,988


Chasin' down a Hoodoo...


« Reply #198 on: December 06, 2009, 03:42:23 PM »

Symeon said:

Quote
Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

I am so glad an Orthodox sees this too. 

K

  By and large, the Holy Orthodox Church has been a persecuted Church; we do not create problems but must constantly deal with them.  Ergo, once this issue became a problem, it too was dealt with.  And it will continue to be dealt with until the Last Day.  Our Priests, monastics, holy martyrs and right down to the lay people, all who care for the Pearl of Great Price, will fight for it.
Logged

"The Scots-Irish; Brewed in Scotland, bottled in Ireland, uncorked in America."  ~Scots-Irish saying
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #199 on: December 06, 2009, 04:46:01 PM »

Symeon said:

Quote
Yes, no one really saw the point of arguing against the Western view of Original Sin until Frs. Schmemman, Meyendorff, and Romanides, came along to rescue us from the "Western captivity," and now no one can stop harping on it. Read those excerpts from earlier Orthodox confessions and catechisms presented in one of the links I gave to you earlier.

I am so glad an Orthodox sees this too. 

K

I see that Symeon's earlier posts refer to links to the internet writings of Ephrem Bensusan.

Ephrem Bensusan's writings on Original Sin (and atonement) have come in for criticism by the Orthodox because they spring from a Protestnt paradigm.

He is a convert from a Protestant background who is trying to integrate his studies at a Protestant institution into his Orthodoxy.  In short it would be advisable to withhold credence from his understanding of original sin (and atonement.)   It is not necessarily classical Orthodox teaching.

Somewhere there is a very useful critique of his writings - now if only I could find it! :-)

Logged
Ortho_cat
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: AOCA-DWMA
Posts: 5,392



« Reply #200 on: December 07, 2009, 07:38:51 AM »

Is it common Orthodox thought that she was purified/cleansed from sin at the annunciation (similar to the effect of baptism in Christ)?
Logged
Irish Hermit
Kibernetski Kaludjer
Warned
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 10,991


Holy Father Patrick, pray for us


« Reply #201 on: December 07, 2009, 08:07:06 AM »

To the best of my knowledge there is no settled teaching within Orthodoxy on this point.  Here is something from the Ecumenical Patriarch which indicates, at least to me, that he himself is not really too sure about things.  Sometimes the Orthodox seem to feel obliged, quite unnecessarily in my view, to profess to have a viewpoint and opinion to offer simply because the Roman Catholics have such meticulously defined views.

The Patriarch and the Immaculate Conception

In December of 2004, the Italian Catholic newspaper Thirty Days ran a story about the 150th anniversary of the Roman proclamation of the Immaculate Conception as dogma. As part of that, they interviewed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew about the Orthodox Akathist to the Theotokos -- a truly beautiful prayer/poem/song -- and in passing asked him about the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception. The Patriarch politely told them that it was wrong, and correctly identified its roots as being in the notion of original sin. It is a brief but excellent presentation of the Orthodox position:

(Question): The Catholic Church this year celebrates the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. How does the Eastern Christian and Byzantine Tradition celebrate the Conception of Mary and her full and immaculate holiness?

Bartholomew I: The Catholic Church found that it needed to institute a new dogma for Christendom about one thousand and eight hundred years after the appearance of the Christianity, because it had accepted a perception of original sin – a mistaken one for us Orthodox – according to which original sin passes on a moral stain or a legal responsibility to the descendants of Adam, instead of that recognized as correct by the Orthodox faith – according to which the sin transmitted through inheritance the corruption, caused by the separation of mankind from the uncreated grace of God, which makes him live spiritually and in the flesh. Mankind shaped in the image of God, with the possibility and destiny of being like to God, by freely choosing love towards Him and obedience to his commandments, can even after the fall of Adam and Eve become friend of God according to intention; then God sanctifies them, as he sanctified many of the progenitors before Christ, even if the accomplishment of their ransom from corruption, that is their salvation, was achieved after the incarnation of Christ and through Him.

In consequence, according to the Orthodox faith, Mary the All-holy Mother of God was not conceived exempt from the corruption of original sin, but loved God above of all things and obeyed his commandments, and thus was sanctified by God through Jesus Christ who incarnated himself of her. She obeyed Him like one of the faithful, and addressed herself to Him with a Mother’s trust. Her holiness and purity were not blemished by the corruption, handed on to her by original sin as to every man, precisely because she was reborn in Christ like all the saints, sanctified above every saint.

Her reinstatement in the condition prior to the Fall did not necessarily take place at the moment of her conception. We believe that it happened afterwards, as consequence of the progress in her of the action of the uncreated divine grace through the visit of the Holy Spirit, which brought about the conception of the Lord within her, purifying her from every stain.

As already said, original sin weighs on the descendants of Adam and of Eve as corruption, and not as legal responsibility or moral stain. The sin brought hereditary corruption and not a hereditary legal responsibility or a hereditary moral stain. In consequence the All-holy participated in the hereditary corruption, like all mankind, but with her love for God and her purity – understood as an imperturbable and unhesitating dedication of her love to God alone – she succeeded, through the grace of God, in sanctifying herself in Christ and making herself worthy of becoming the house of God, as God wants all us human beings to become.

Therefore we in the Orthodox Church honor the All-holy Mother of God above all the saints, albeit we don’t accept the new dogma of her Immaculate Conception. The non-acceptance of this dogma in no way diminishes our love and veneration of the All-holy Mother of God.

http://minorclergy.journalspace.com/...rd&entryid=145
Logged
Vladik
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 990


From the CIS with love