Dear brother Isa,
I was hoping you would join in! Glad to see you!
Glad to see you!
I interrupted our last discussion on this due to obligations in responding to posts at CAF and other real life responsibilities,
WHAT? CAF isn't real life? LOL.
so I'm glad we can continue it.
Miss that thumb's up smiley. Have to give it to CAF, they had a nice collection of smileys.
If he believes the dogma of the IC makes any comment about the physical corruption to which Mary was subject, then he does not.
With all due respect to HH Patriarch Bartholomew, it is obvious he does not understand the substance of the dogma of the IC. It would seem he does.
Our priest just spoke on this issue in the sermon last Sunday, on the topic of blood. In pertinent part, he pointed out that the hymns about St. Mary of Egypt (I'm not sure if you are aware of her story, I don't believe she is in the Coptic Synaxarion)http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/Mary_of_Egypt
owe more to Plato than to the Bible, as the Bible speaks of the spiritual in very physical terms. The idea of the spirit being some etherial object is alien to it. He pointed to the idea of life being in the blood, and pointing out that the philosopher Seneca somehow knew, by observation, that draining the body of blood would part the spirit from the body.
As to the case in point, any spiritual corruption will and does have psychosomatic repurcusions. Hence the reference to physical corruption.
That is, by the way a point the Fathers hammer on: the angels, who are pure spirit (a reletive term: only God is really a spirit) fell before the physical creation, contra the Gnostics.
Once you explain to me how we are sanctified from original/ancestral sin at baptism yet still retain corruption - once you can explain to me how our bodies can die while our souls yet live - once you can explain to me how you claim there is not a dualism in our nature - then I will address this claim. The dogma of the IC is nothing more nor less than the graces of Baptism conferred upon memory at the moment of her conception. If you admit dualism in the patristic dogma on Baptism, then nothing more need be said.
The dogma of the IC concerns ONLY the spiritual being of the Theotokos, NOT her physical being. The dogma of the IC does NOT say she was preserved from physical corruption with all its attendant failings (death, illness, sorrow, etc.). Rather, the dogma of the IC ONLY refers to the preservation of her spiritual purity.A little too dualistic. Death, illness, sorrow are the effects of original sin. It is rather odd that she would be preserved from the stain of original sin but suffer its effects. Is that what you are claiming?
I came across this, amongst the jurisdiction issues that have been keeping me busy here:
As the book of Genesis states, Adam lived in the most beautiful garden (named Eden or Paradise), planted by God, and there he enjoyed all the blessings of life. He knew no sickness nor suffering. He feared nothing, and all beasts submitted to him as their master. Adam suffered neither cold nor heat. Although he toiled by caring for the garden of Eden, he did so with pleasure. His soul was filled with awareness of the Divine presence, and he loved his Creator with his whole heart. Adam was always calm and happy and knew no unpleasantness, sorrow, or concern. All his desires were pure, righteous, and orderly; his memory, intellect, and all other faculties were in harmony and were constantly being perfected. Being pure and innocent, he was always with God and conversed with Him as with his Father, and in return God loved him as His own beloved son. In brief, Adam was in Paradise, and Paradise was within him.http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/kingdomofheaven.aspx
If Adam had not sinned, he would have remained forever blessed, and all his descendants would have enjoyed blessedness. It was for this very purpose that God had created man. But Adam, having succumbed to the tempter-devil, transgressed against the law of the Maker and took pleasure in the taste of the forbidden fruit. When God appeared to Adam right after he had sinned, Adam, instead of repenting and promising obedience henceforth, began to justify himself and to blame his wife. Eve in turn blamed the serpent for everything. And so it was that sin became a part of human nature, deeply injuring it because of the lack of repentance of Adam and Eve. The existing communion with the Maker was cut and the blessedness lost. Having lost Paradise within himself, Adam became unworthy of the external Paradise and was therefore banished from it.
After the fall into sin, Adams soul darkened: his thoughts and desires became muddled, and his imagination and memory began to cloud. Instead of peace and joy he met sorrow, agitation, ruination, misery, and woe. He experienced hard labor, poverty, hunger, and thirst. And after years of unsurpassed sorrows, sickly old age began to oppress him, and death neared. Worst of all, the devil, the perpetrator of every evil, obtained through sin the ability to influence Adam and to further alienate him from God.
The whole of nature, which had previously served Adam as a means to happiness, had now become hostile to him. From then on Adam and all his descendants began to suffer from cold and heat and to experience hunger and the effect of changes in climate and environmental conditions. Animals became unfriendly toward people and looked upon them as enemy or prey. Adams descendants began to suffer from different diseases, which gradually became more varied and severe. Men forgot that they were brothers and began to fight with each other, to hate, to deceive, to attack and to kill each other. And finally, after all kinds of hard labors and tribulations, they were doomed to die, and, as sinners, to go to Hades and experience eternal punishment there....It is the Holy Spirit Himself Who established within the Church the means of distributing His blessings to the faithful: the Holy Mysteries and other liturgical services. Non-Orthodox Christians are sadly mistaken when they assert that they can always, whenever it suits them, receive the Holy Spirit through well-known means (which are unfortunately also used during spiritual seances and pagan mysteries). Those who dare to orchestrate these means will not only remain empty of the divine gifts but also commit a terrible sin against the Holy Spirit.
Anyone who considers asking the Holy Spirit for beneficial gifts must know that these gifts are meant only for those who possess true faith. Indeed, the Lord first of all enlightened the Apostles with the true doctrine and then bestowed upon them the Holy Spirit. Similarly, the Apostles did not bestow beneficial gifts upon newly baptized Christians immediately, but only after a certain period of testing and affirmation in the true faith. That is why the Lord called the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Truth, and His Church, the beatified community of the faithful, is called in Scripture the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).
These words of St. Innocent to the Aleuts (and then to the Russians) show that original sin does not confine itself to "spiritual" effects. The reverse is also true: hence incorrupt relics, etc.
To pick up with my priest, this is the issue of the Blood of Christ being poured out. God was loved for the first time as He ought to be, and God's life was poured out into humanity. Until then, the grace of baptism was not operative. As the Holy Theotokos would first have to be born and mature to be able to conceive Christ to give Him that Blood, the IC can't go via a time loop and be accomplished.
On time loops, see this thread "Incarnate Christ in Old Testament"
Again, if Christ transcended space and time, at no point has He not been incarnate. There are Orthodox authors who testify to this. Any time when God is spoken of anthropomorphically in the Old Testament, it is the incarnate Christ.
If Christ is eternally incarnate, as in having been incarnate (having a material, human body and nature, as well as being fully God) "in the beginning", then where does the Annunciation fit in? Did the Word of God become flesh twice? Or more than twice? And whose flesh did He take on before the events of the Annunciation? Or was this "old" flesh discarded when He became incarnate by the Virgin?
This is a mighty theological pickle you're getting yourself into, my friend. You may be confusing the prefigurative OT appearances of God the Word (the three strangers at the Oak of Mamre, the angel of God who wrestled with Jacob, etc etc) with the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among us, which is an entirely different proposition to the types and shadows of the OT.
Nothing I've read from Eastern and Oriental theologians refutes the dogma of the IC as taught by the Catholic Church.
Though it is couched in Latin language, it is obvious the dogma does not contradict any Eastern or Oriental teaching on the corruption that is the result of original/ancestral sin.
Actually, as many Eastern AND Oriental theologians have shown, it does. And it was even fought in the West in Latin, so we can't be blaming culture or language on this one.
Except for apologetics/polemics with the Latins, I've never seen anything on it in EO or OO theologians, which would be odd if it were a dogma. The absence of a major feast day for it is also a give away.
All I've seen are 1) a failure to distinguish between the spiritual and physical consequences of original/ancestral sin;
If not seeing a seperation between the spiritual and physical consequences of ancestral sin is a "failure," then I'd agree.
2) a failure to admit the dual nature of the human person (a soul distinct from the body, NOT separated but distinct nonetheless;
The Bible doesn't make the distinction you are suggesting, nor the Fathers. Why should we? Like the Creed says "Resurection of the Dead," or "of the Body" if you prefer the Apostles Creed.
3) a failure to distinguish between sinlessness derived from Grace (which is what Mary possessed) versus a sinlessness derived from divine nature (which is what Jesus possesses);
No, we know the difference and why the former precludes the IC.
and 4) a failure to account for the context of the different belief in ensoulment in the early Latin Church.
LOL. Do the Latins make babies differently from the rest of us?
The difference in ensoulment is a problem between you and your Thomas Aquinas, who fought the IC, and trying to explain away the "Angelic Doctor"'s mistake in so crucial a matter. It has nothing to do with us, EO or OO.
No, those are old ones that have already been refuted. I'm talking about the original vs. ancestral sin and the lack of free will arguments. These have likewise been refuted, but I'm sure polemicists will invent new ones.
I know innovative non-Catholic polemicists are good at thinking up various and novel ways to reject the dogma of the IC,
No, the old ones, like Bernard of Clairveaux's, suffice.
The supporters of the IC are ever inventive, though.
So everyone knows what Bernard of Clairveaux had to say:
6. Whence, then, was the holiness of that conception? Shall it be said that Mary was so prevented by grace that, being holy before being conceived, she was therefore conceived without sin; or that, being holy before being born, she has therefore communicated holiness to her birth? But in order to be holy it is necessary to exist, and a person does not exist before being conceived. Or perhaps, when her parents were united, holiness was mingled with the conception itself, so that she was at once conceived and sanctified. But this is not tenable in reason. For how can there be sanctity without the sanctifying Spirit, or the co-operation of the Holy Spirit with sin? Or how could there not be sin where concupiscence was not wanting? Unless, perhaps, some one will say that she was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and not by man, which would be a thing hitherto unheard of. I say, then, that the Holy Spirit came upon her, not within her, as the Angel declared: The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee (S. Luke i. 35). And if it is permitted to say what the Church thinks, and the Church thinks that which is true, I say that she conceived by the Holy Spirit, but not that she was conceived by Him; that she was at once Mother and Virgin, but not that she was born of a virgin. Otherwise, where will be the prerogative of the Mother of the Lord, to have united in her person the glory of maternity and that of virginity, if you give the same glory to her mother also? This is not to honour the Virgin, but to detract from her honour. If, therefore, before her conception she could not possibly be sanctified, since she did not exist, nor in the conception itself, because of the sin which inhered in it, it remains to be believed that she received sanctification when existing in the womb after conception, which, by excluding sin, made her birth holy, but not her conception.http://www.ccel.org/ccel/bernard/letters.lxviii.html
7. Wherefore, although it has been given to some, though few, of the sons of men to be born with the gift of sanctity, yet to none has it been given to be conceived with it. So that to One alone should be reserved this privilege, to Him who should make all holy, and coming into the world, He alone, without sin should make an atonement for sinners. The Lord Jesus, then, alone was conceived by the Holy Ghost, because He alone was holy before He was conceived. He being excepted, all the children of Adam are in the same case as he who confessed of himself with great humility and truth, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin hath my mother conceived me (Ps. li. 6).
8. And as this is so, what ground can there be for a Festival of the Conception of the Virgin? On what principle, I say, is either a conception asserted to be holy which is not by the Holy Ghost, not to say that it is by sin, or a festival be established which is in no wise holy? Willingly the glorious Virgin will be without this honour, by which either a sin seems to be honoured or a sanctity supposed which is not a fact. And, besides, she will by no means be pleased by a presumptuous novelty against the custom of the Church, a novelty which is the mother of rashness, the sister of superstition, the daughter of levity. For if such a festival seemed advisable, the authority of the Apostolic See ought first to have been consulted, and he simplicity of inexperienced persons ought not to have been followed so thoughtlessly and precipitately. And, indeed, I had before noted that error in some persons; but I appeared not to take notice of it, dealing gently with a devotion which sprang from simplicity of heart and love of the Virgin. But now that the superstition has taken hold upon wise men, and upon a famous and noble Church, of which I am specially the son, I know not whether I could longer pass it over without gravely offending you all. But what I have said is in submission to the judgment of whosoever is wiser than myself; and especially I refer the whole of it, as of all matters of a similar kind, to the authority and decision of the See of Rome, and I am prepared to modify my opinion if in anything I think otherwise than that See.
Bernard is also an opponent of the absolute papal power in the Church. As certainly as he recognizes the papal authority as the highest in the Church, so decidedly does he reprove the effort to make it the only one. Even the middle and lower ranks of the Church have their right before God. To withdraw the bishops from the authority of the archbishops, the abbots from the authority of the bishops, that all may become dependent on the curia, means to make the Church a monster (De consideratione., iii,
Btw, he's no friend of ours:
I, for one, shall speak about those obstinate Greeks [i.e. Orthodox], who are with us and against us, united in faith and divided in peace, though in truth their faith may stray from the straight path.
De Consideratione, iii, 1. (btw, he refers to Ephraim as "diligent doctor," so he likes him).
But besides Bernard, II Corinthians 5:21 "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" renders all this potuit, decuit ergo fecit nonsense gibberish.
Since the Sinless one became Sin for us, all this talk about that, of course His mother had to be sinless, is rather unnecessary.