Author Topic: A question on the Immaculate Conception  (Read 314240 times)

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Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1170 on: May 22, 2010, 03:15:21 PM »
Creepy 

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.  We love you anyway!   :angel:

Haha. I was actually talking about Fr. Kimel's post. While I ususally appreciate what he has to say, this last post was certainly not OK, especially for a Catholic priest.

Be very very careful here.  Father Kimel is quite on target with what he is saying and Cardinal Dulles was never chastised for his particular viewpoint as stated by Father Kimel.

Personally I am in agreement with the lifting of the anathemas as well but that is beside the point.

Pope Benedict is also of a mind to not require certain, shall we call them approaches or specific articulations of theological truths, to be held as they have been articulated in the west without benefit of the voice of the entire Church speaking in unison.

The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.

M.


Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1171 on: May 22, 2010, 03:23:47 PM »
Dear Mary,
In the case of Fr. Kucharek, whether he is holy or not, he presents his book in a scholarly manner.  I have a copy, though I have only read parts.  It is rather large, and I was warned in seminary not to use it because of the problems mentioned.  And it is the problem of using the form of scholarship without the actual process that is disturbing.

He may well have been a holy man and a reasonably well-educated priest to boot, but when you footnote sources you have not read, then you must indicate that you have not read them per MLA [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_MLA_Style_Manual ] and just about ever style-book I've ever heard of.


Don't you find it curious that when this Catholic speaks, I must note things in such a way so that I cannot make a declarative sentence without posting a footnote.

Yet Orest makes a broad assertion with nothing to support himself.

Not being in the mood to try to discredit Orest because I know him from elsewhere and actually like him and trust him reservedly, I accepted what he said but then asked him to look at other things.

For example...if I can read Latin and some reliable scholar includes an appendix in a secondary text of an intact document in Latin, I may quote that document without having to fly to Rome and go to the secret archives to get it, if I indicate that I have quoted it from the text of X.

And that is indeed the sort of thing that Father Casimir did do.

So you are speculating here without benefit of ANY sources, save for my own comments and Orest's.

There is nothing in your possession that would allow you to remark that any of Father Casimir's citations are irregular.

It is a RARE case when each and every citation in ANY scholarly document are without any blemish at all...so rare so as to be almost unthinkable.

Mary

Offline Papist

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1172 on: May 22, 2010, 03:41:23 PM »
Creepy  

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.  We love you anyway!   :angel:

Haha. I was actually talking about Fr. Kimel's post. While I ususally appreciate what he has to say, this last post was certainly not OK, especially for a Catholic priest.

Be very very careful here.  Father Kimel is quite on target with what he is saying and Cardinal Dulles was never chastised for his particular viewpoint as stated by Father Kimel.

Personally I am in agreement with the lifting of the anathemas as well but that is beside the point.

Pope Benedict is also of a mind to not require certain, shall we call them approaches or specific articulations of theological truths, to be held as they have been articulated in the west without benefit of the voice of the entire Church speaking in unison.

The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.

M.


I guess that we will have to agree to disagree here. If the Church has declared that these dogmas are true, then why would it not require those who are members of the Church to adhere to these truths?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 03:41:45 PM by Papist »
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1173 on: May 22, 2010, 03:41:51 PM »
Creepy  

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.  We love you anyway!   :angel:

Haha. I was actually talking about Fr. Kimel's post. While I ususally appreciate what he has to say, this last post was certainly not OK, especially for a Catholic priest.

Be very very careful here.  Father Kimel is quite on target with what he is saying and Cardinal Dulles was never chastised for his particular viewpoint as stated by Father Kimel.

Personally I am in agreement with the lifting of the anathemas as well but that is beside the point.

Pope Benedict is also of a mind to not require certain, shall we call them approaches or specific articulations of theological truths, to be held as they have been articulated in the west without benefit of the voice of the entire Church speaking in unison.

The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.


What I think you have brought into play here is our differing ecclesiologies.   The West has accepted the East as a kind of sister Church (I know Card Ratzinger isued a decree against the term) and as part of a two-lunged body, and the West has convinced itself that one part is not whole without the other.  Your mistake is to assume that the development of these inclusive attitudes in the West after Vatican II have been mirrowed by the development of the same attitudes in ther East.  They haven't.

The East is most firmly stuck back in pre-Vatican II attitudes of "we are the Una Sancta" and "we are the One True Church" and "we do not need a second lung or a second branch."  I suppose this ecclesiology smacks of the "triumphalism" of which Rome is always accused.

And so, when the East demands that the Church of Rome drop what it sees as heretical doctrines, it is acting under its own self-view as the Una Sancta, the Sola Sancta.  

This is softened of course by the demand, not for the achievement of unity by submission to any administrative structure which exists in the East,  but by total acceptance of the faith preserved in the East.  The whole genius of Orthodoxy, its very essence and its core is its faith.  If we begin to dialogue with a view to adjusting our faith for the sake of unity, we will destroy our inner being.  We will cease to be Orthodox.  To repeat the Eastern Catholic war cry:  "Nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter."

Offline Papist

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1174 on: May 22, 2010, 03:43:23 PM »
Creepy  

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.  We love you anyway!   :angel:

Haha. I was actually talking about Fr. Kimel's post. While I ususally appreciate what he has to say, this last post was certainly not OK, especially for a Catholic priest.

Be very very careful here.  Father Kimel is quite on target with what he is saying and Cardinal Dulles was never chastised for his particular viewpoint as stated by Father Kimel.

Personally I am in agreement with the lifting of the anathemas as well but that is beside the point.

Pope Benedict is also of a mind to not require certain, shall we call them approaches or specific articulations of theological truths, to be held as they have been articulated in the west without benefit of the voice of the entire Church speaking in unison.

The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.


What I think you have brought into play here is our differing ecclesiologies.   The West has accepted the East as a kind of sister Church (I know Card Ratzinger isued a decree against the term) and as part of a two-lunged body, and the West has convinced itself that one part is not whole without the other.  Your mistake is to assume that the development of these inclusive attitudes in the West after Vatican II have been mirrowed by the development of the same attitudes in ther East.  They haven't.

The East is most firmly stuck back in pre-Vatican II attitudes of "we are the Una Sancta" and "we are the One True Church" and "we do not need a second lung or a second branch."  I suppose this ecclesiology smacks of the "triumphalism" of which Rome is always accused.

And so, when the East demands that the Church of Rome drop what it sees as heretical doctrines, it is acting under its own self-view as the Una Sancta, the Sola Sancta.  

This is softened of course by the demand, not for the achievement of unity by submission to any administrative structure which exists in the East,  but by total acceptance of the faith preserved in the East.  The whole genius of Orthodoxy, its very essence and its core is its faith.  If we begin to dialogue with a view to adjusting our faith for the sake of unity, we will destroy our inner being.  We will cease to be Orthodox.  To repeat the Eastern Catholic war cry:  "Nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter."
Devout Latins still see the Catholic Church, not the Eastern Orthodox Church, as the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church".
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1175 on: May 22, 2010, 03:46:20 PM »

Don't you find it curious that when this Catholic speaks, I must note things in such a way so that I cannot make a declarative sentence without posting a footnote.
<snip>

Dear Mary,

I'm not entirely sure I understand exactly what you are referring to (either as a Catholic or just another Forum participant).

However, I will say this: when you make a controversial statement (and by that, the standard for 'controversial' lies with the hearer) you will probably need to provide lots and lots of footnotes.

One of the reasons, Mary, that you are getting the reactions you get to your posts are your questionings of other people's intentions.  You assume certain things about those you are dealing with and then you try to return the favor or complain loudly about what you perceive them to be doing to you, not realizing that most of the posters here treat you the same as they treat everyone else here.  They slap and shove, regardless of religious affiliation.  Read through other threads you are not involved with and you will see.

Some of your 'declarative statements' have been inaccurate, which I tried to point out to you and you somewhat agreed.  Footnoting help regulate the 'fiery keyboard.'   :)

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Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1176 on: May 22, 2010, 03:47:06 PM »
Creepy  

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.  We love you anyway!   :angel:

Haha. I was actually talking about Fr. Kimel's post. While I ususally appreciate what he has to say, this last post was certainly not OK, especially for a Catholic priest.

Be very very careful here.  Father Kimel is quite on target with what he is saying and Cardinal Dulles was never chastised for his particular viewpoint as stated by Father Kimel.

Personally I am in agreement with the lifting of the anathemas as well but that is beside the point.

Pope Benedict is also of a mind to not require certain, shall we call them approaches or specific articulations of theological truths, to be held as they have been articulated in the west without benefit of the voice of the entire Church speaking in unison.

The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.


What I think you have brought into play here is our differing ecclesiologies.   The West has accepted the East as a kind of sister Church (I know Card Ratzinger isued a decree against the term) and as part of a two-lunged body, and the West has convinced itself that one part is not whole without the other.  Your mistake is to assume that the development of these inclusive attitudes in the West after Vatican II have been mirrowed by the development of the same attitudes in ther East.  They haven't.

The East is most firmly stuck back in pre-Vatican II attitudes of "we are the Una Sancta" and "we are the One True Church" and "we do not need a second lung or a second branch."  I suppose this ecclesiology smacks of the "triumphalism" of which Rome is always accused.

And so, when the East demands that the Church of Rome drop what it sees as heretical doctrines, it is acting under its own self-view as the Una Sancta, the Sola Sancta.  

This is softened of course by the demand, not for the achievement of unity by submission to any administrative structure which exists in the East,  but by total acceptance of the faith preserved in the East.  The whole genius of Orthodoxy, its very essence and its core is its faith.  If we begin to dialogue with a view to adjusting our faith for the sake of unity, we will destroy our inner being.  We will cease to be Orthodox.  To repeat the Eastern Catholic war cry:  "Nec plus, nec minus, nec aliter."

LOL...I don't know what in God's name would make you think I make the mistake of thinking that the East reflects what the west has said about the east.

I'd have to brain dead to think that.

Do you know what is in the document on Sister Churches?  If not are you interested enough to have me haul it out?

I think your war cry should include St. Gregory Palamas then, because he added to the psychology of energies something that clearly was not there with the Cappadocians, or at least not according to scholars...heh!

M.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 03:47:39 PM by elijahmaria »

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1177 on: May 22, 2010, 03:54:16 PM »

Don't you find it curious that when this Catholic speaks, I must note things in such a way so that I cannot make a declarative sentence without posting a footnote.
<snip>

Dear Mary,

I'm not entirely sure I understand exactly what you are referring to (either as a Catholic or just another Forum participant).

However, I will say this: when you make a controversial statement (and by that, the standard for 'controversial' lies with the hearer) you will probably need to provide lots and lots of footnotes.

One of the reasons, Mary, that you are getting the reactions you get to your posts are your questionings of other people's intentions.  You assume certain things about those you are dealing with and then you try to return the favor or complain loudly about what you perceive them to be doing to you, not realizing that most of the posters here treat you the same as they treat everyone else here.  They slap and shove, regardless of religious affiliation.  Read through other threads you are not involved with and you will see.

Some of your 'declarative statements' have been inaccurate, which I tried to point out to you and you somewhat agreed.  Footnoting help regulate the 'fiery keyboard.'   :)

<Grinz>...I do understand.  

Part of it is that I've been in this kind of messy dialogue for nearly 15 years, know many of the people on this board and came here making the lethal error of presuming a camaraderie that most assuredly is not there for the likes of me.   I have backed away from that stance permanently, I hope.

Because I've seen the arguments over and over again and even experienced the odd moment when Orthodox believers have conceded a point, I allow the odd moment of pique where I suspect an argument is not entirely offered genuinely.  Father Ambrose is the case in point here.  Yes.  There are times when I see him as quite the self-conscious gadfly.  Let him protest!!

At any rate your points are well taken and I will try my best not to make any statements that I cannot note and double note, my own integrity be darned, because it is by all those here who have pushed for that which they do not demand of themselves.

M.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2010, 03:55:41 PM by elijahmaria »

Offline FatherGiryus

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1178 on: May 22, 2010, 03:59:52 PM »
<snip>
The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.

Dear Mary,

Some part of me dearly wishes that the RCC would just flat out insist that its dogmas, which are supposed to be statements of spiritual fact as opposed to enlightened opinions, are facts.  To make a dogmatic statement, then back away, ask for input, deliberate, etc. calls into question the whole process of forming dogmas and what exactly they are.

I find it difficult to imagine a 'dogma' to be optional.  It either is or it isn't.  If it is subject to further discussion, then it must no longer be an absolute and so you have to create a new catagory (like 'highly suggested').

So, if the ICVM is a dogma, then it should be held as a universal fact (as far as the RCC is concerned) and not exempted from certain parts of the church (i.e. Eastern Catholics, etc.) nor be a bargaining chip in some reunion negotiation ("We'll trade you Papal Supremacy for ICVM").

I am all for RCs standing up for their faith, so long as they don't criticize OCs for doing the same.
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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1179 on: May 22, 2010, 04:32:41 PM »
Creepy  

Aw, don't be so hard on yourself.  We love you anyway!   :angel:

Haha. I was actually talking about Fr. Kimel's post. While I ususally appreciate what he has to say, this last post was certainly not OK, especially for a Catholic priest.

Be very very careful here.  Father Kimel is quite on target with what he is saying and Cardinal Dulles was never chastised for his particular viewpoint as stated by Father Kimel.

Personally I am in agreement with the lifting of the anathemas as well but that is beside the point.

Pope Benedict is also of a mind to not require certain, shall we call them approaches or specific articulations of theological truths, to be held as they have been articulated in the west without benefit of the voice of the entire Church speaking in unison.

The Orthodox demand that the west simply declare these teachings to be heretical and to drop them is no more reasonable than it would be for the western Church to demand that the eastern confessions accept them as is without input or comment.

M.


I guess that we will have to agree to disagree here. If the Church has declared that these dogmas are true, then why would it not require those who are members of the Church to adhere to these truths?
I rarely agree with Papist, but here, I'm going to have to in regards to dogmatics. I have always understood dogmas to be unquestionable and were all on the same plane. It seems silly to me for one to say that one dogma is more worthy of belief than another. If we keep them all equal, then we don't run the risk of eventually dropping some because we find others better. :)

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Offline akimel

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1180 on: May 22, 2010, 04:53:54 PM »
Creepy

And welcome to the real world of Catholicism!  Avery Dulles was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II.  Clearly the Pope would not have done so if he believed that Dulles was teaching or had taught false doctrine. 

If you would like to explore further Cardinal Dulles's understanding of dogma and its proper interpretation, pick up a copy of his *The Survival of Dogma*, which though out of print is readily available through internet booksellers.  A few years before his death I asked Cardinal Dulles if his views on the hermeneutics of dogma had substantively changed since he wrote this book.  He said that, with minor modifications, he still basically believed what he wrote then.  I encouraged him to re-address the subject, but as far as I know he never did.  I have been told that he later withdrew his proposal to lift the anathemas, but I have not been able to confirm this nor do I know what reasons have may have offered for this change of mind. 

The point is, the Catholic Church enjoys a diversity of theological opinion.  It's a big 2,000 year old tent.  Most Catholic theologians do not treat dogmatic definitions in wooden, fundamentalist, formulaic fashion.  They are very much aware of the importance of historical context and of the inherent limitations and inadequacies of all dogmatic statements.  The debates between Catholic theologians over the past 150 years on the authority and proper interpretation of dogma have been vigorous, sophisticated, erudite, and heated.  Just compare the dogmatic minimalism of Cardinal Newman with the dogmatic maximalism of Cardinal Manning.  Dulles follows in the Newman tradition. 

I understand why some Catholics find this troubling.  Cardinal Dulles might be interpreted as advocating a doctrinal relativism, but that would be an inaccurate reading.  Dulles was, however, aware of the apophatic nature of dogmatic statements.  Our words cannot fully capture the divine realities to which they point.  As Fr Richard Neuhaus liked to put it:  "The Church’s teaching lives forward, and no definition, including that of councils, is entirely adequate to the whole of the truth." 

I know this opens up a can of creepy worms.  This is probably not the best thread or forum to pursue it.  But the real world of Catholicism is different from what one often finds presented on the internet.     

Offline akimel

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1181 on: May 22, 2010, 05:35:03 PM »

I rarely agree with Papist, but here, I'm going to have to in regards to dogmatics. I have always understood dogmas to be unquestionable and were all on the same plane. It seems silly to me for one to say that one dogma is more worthy of belief than another. If we keep them all equal, then we don't run the risk of eventually dropping some because we find others better. :)

Ahhh, if only things were so clear, even from an Orthodox perspective.  See, e.g., Hilarion Alfeyev, The Reception of the Ecumenical Councils in the Early Church. – St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly. Volume 47, No 3–4, 2003. P. 413–430.

The bottom line:  all dogmatic statements need to be interpreted. 

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1182 on: May 22, 2010, 05:38:47 PM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.


Creepy

And welcome to the real world of Catholicism!  Avery Dulles was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope John Paul II.  Clearly the Pope would not have done so if he believed that Dulles was teaching or had taught false doctrine. 

If you would like to explore further Cardinal Dulles's understanding of dogma and its proper interpretation, pick up a copy of his *The Survival of Dogma*, which though out of print is readily available through internet booksellers.  A few years before his death I asked Cardinal Dulles if his views on the hermeneutics of dogma had substantively changed since he wrote this book.  He said that, with minor modifications, he still basically believed what he wrote then.  I encouraged him to re-address the subject, but as far as I know he never did.  I have been told that he later withdrew his proposal to lift the anathemas, but I have not been able to confirm this nor do I know what reasons have may have offered for this change of mind. 

The point is, the Catholic Church enjoys a diversity of theological opinion.  It's a big 2,000 year old tent.  Most Catholic theologians do not treat dogmatic definitions in wooden, fundamentalist, formulaic fashion.  They are very much aware of the importance of historical context and of the inherent limitations and inadequacies of all dogmatic statements.  The debates between Catholic theologians over the past 150 years on the authority and proper interpretation of dogma have been vigorous, sophisticated, erudite, and heated.  Just compare the dogmatic minimalism of Cardinal Newman with the dogmatic maximalism of Cardinal Manning.  Dulles follows in the Newman tradition. 

I understand why some Catholics find this troubling.  Cardinal Dulles might be interpreted as advocating a doctrinal relativism, but that would be an inaccurate reading.  Dulles was, however, aware of the apophatic nature of dogmatic statements.  Our words cannot fully capture the divine realities to which they point.  As Fr Richard Neuhaus liked to put it:  "The Church’s teaching lives forward, and no definition, including that of councils, is entirely adequate to the whole of the truth." 

I know this opens up a can of creepy worms.  This is probably not the best thread or forum to pursue it.  But the real world of Catholicism is different from what one often finds presented on the internet.     

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1183 on: May 22, 2010, 05:43:02 PM »

I rarely agree with Papist, but here, I'm going to have to in regards to dogmatics. I have always understood dogmas to be unquestionable and were all on the same plane. It seems silly to me for one to say that one dogma is more worthy of belief than another. If we keep them all equal, then we don't run the risk of eventually dropping some because we find others better. :)

Ahhh, if only things were so clear, even from an Orthodox perspective.  See, e.g., Hilarion Alfeyev, The Reception of the Ecumenical Councils in the Early Church. – St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly. Volume 47, No 3–4, 2003. P. 413–430.

The bottom line:  all dogmatic statements need to be interpreted. 

The explanations may develop...the understanding may grow...but the core of the truth does not.

How that happens is not always as cut and dried as some might wish, and as you note it is not so in the eastern experience either.

M.

Offline Papist

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1184 on: May 22, 2010, 05:52:39 PM »
I am going to have to agree with Elijah Maria's last too posts. We cannot disagree with the Catholic Church's teaching. Otherwise, what would be the reason for being Catholic.
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Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1185 on: May 22, 2010, 05:54:08 PM »

I rarely agree with Papist, but here, I'm going to have to in regards to dogmatics. I have always understood dogmas to be unquestionable and were all on the same plane. It seems silly to me for one to say that one dogma is more worthy of belief than another. If we keep them all equal, then we don't run the risk of eventually dropping some because we find others better. :)

Ahhh, if only things were so clear, even from an Orthodox perspective.  See, e.g., Hilarion Alfeyev, The Reception of the Ecumenical Councils in the Early Church. – St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly. Volume 47, No 3–4, 2003. P. 413–430.

The bottom line:  all dogmatic statements need to be interpreted. 

Here is an accessible on-line article that makes points that are similar to the ones made in the SVS article.

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/2.aspx

Offline akimel

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1186 on: May 22, 2010, 06:28:58 PM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

I agree wholeheartedly ... yet ...

Dogmatic definitions need to be interpreted.  The need for interpretation is inescapable.  As Cardinal Newman wrote to the Duke of Norfolk:  "None but the Schola Theologorum is competent to determine the force of Papal and Synodal utterances, and the exact interpretation of them is a work of time." 

It's all very circular, I know, but I have not found a way to escape it.  And it doesn't matter whether one is Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. 

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1187 on: May 22, 2010, 08:14:05 PM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

I agree wholeheartedly ... yet ...

Dogmatic definitions need to be interpreted.  The need for interpretation is inescapable.  As Cardinal Newman wrote to the Duke of Norfolk:  "None but the Schola Theologorum is competent to determine the force of Papal and Synodal utterances, and the exact interpretation of them is a work of time." 

It's all very circular, I know, but I have not found a way to escape it.  And it doesn't matter whether one is Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. 

William G. Ward would NOT agree!!  :)

But you will be happy to know I am too sleepy to argue too strenuously tonight.

All I would append to this is that I don't agree to a free hand for the schola theologorum because it made quite a mess of things for many centuries and I am not eager to repeat some or any of it or add new-fangled modernisms to it, or even old-fangled modernisms to it!!

Also we are missing an element which is the role of the laity in defending the faith, first and foremost and most powerfully by prayer, then through catechetics and last and also least by apologetics.

Finally, though implicit throughout, it would be remiss if we did not explicitly mention the power of the Holy Spirit without which, we'd not be very much of anything at all. Amen.

M.

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1188 on: May 22, 2010, 09:22:27 PM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

I agree wholeheartedly ... yet ...

Dogmatic definitions need to be interpreted.  The need for interpretation is inescapable.  As Cardinal Newman wrote to the Duke of Norfolk:  "None but the Schola Theologorum is competent to determine the force of Papal and Synodal utterances, and the exact interpretation of them is a work of time." 

It's all very circular, I know, but I have not found a way to escape it.  And it doesn't matter whether one is Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. 

William G. Ward would NOT agree!!  :)

But you will be happy to know I am too sleepy to argue too strenuously tonight.

All I would append to this is that I don't agree to a free hand for the schola theologorum because it made quite a mess of things for many centuries and I am not eager to repeat some or any of it or add new-fangled modernisms to it, or even old-fangled modernisms to it!!

Also we are missing an element which is the role of the laity in defending the faith, first and foremost and most powerfully by prayer, then through catechetics and last and also least by apologetics.

Finally, though implicit throughout, it would be remiss if we did not explicitly mention the power of the Holy Spirit without which, we'd not be very much of anything at all. Amen.

M.

Just before "Finally" I had intended to interject some brilliant comment on the communion of saints and doctors of the Church, which to my way of thinking is far more compelling a witness carrying multiple times the gravitas than any contemporary schola theologorum...but I ran out of brilliant about two hours ago.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1189 on: May 23, 2010, 01:08:38 AM »
The West has accepted the East as a kind of sister Church (I know Card Ratzinger isued a decree against the term) and as part of a two-lunged body,
Do you know what is in the document on Sister Churches? 
I am familar with it, but for those who are not....

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
NOTE ON THE EXPRESSION
«SISTER CHURCHES»

+ Joseph Card. Ratzinger
Prefect
+ Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
Secretary

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000630_chiese-sorelle_en.html

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1190 on: May 23, 2010, 01:12:49 AM »

Father Ambrose is the case in point here.  Yes.  There are times when I see him as quite the self-conscious gadfly.  Let him protest!!

I claps you to my bosom and greets you with a holy kiss.

Gadfly: One that acts as a provocative stimulus

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1191 on: May 23, 2010, 01:26:44 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."

Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1192 on: May 23, 2010, 01:31:01 AM »

It's all very circular, I know, but I have not found a way to escape it.  And it doesn't matter whether one is Orthodox, Catholic, or Protestant. 

Much of the logic which prevails in the Church is by necessity circular.  That is just a fact.  The reason is that it stems from an initial act of faith - in other words "I believe that this is the authentic Orthodox Church founded by God Almighty and therefore I believe it is gifted with the charism of discernment of truth."   It's circular.  Much the same as the Catholics who would say, "I believe that the Pope is chosen as the successor of Peter and has the gift of infallibility.  Therefore all that he defines on faith amd morals is true."

In neither case is this "logic" at all convincing to an outsider.  But it is convincing to a believer.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1193 on: May 23, 2010, 03:29:39 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."
Kinda reminds me of the many matters of faith held in our Tradition that so many Orthodox posters here dismiss as "never having had a formal conciliar definition." :D
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 03:31:09 AM by PeterTheAleut »
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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1194 on: May 23, 2010, 03:36:02 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."
Kinda reminds me of the many Orthodox posters here who dismiss matters of faith held in our Tradition as "never having had a formal conciliar definition." :D

Two Orthodox beliefs which would fit, at least technically, into this approach would be the true presence of Christ in the eucharistic bread and wine and the physical assumption of the Mother of God.  Another would be the Church itself which has never had a conciliar definition.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1195 on: May 23, 2010, 05:18:35 AM »
To which encyclical of the Pope were the Orthodox bishops relying in 1895?  I think it was "Praeclara Gratulationis Publicae."

This contains the famous phrase of Pope Leo XIII:

"We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty"

That must have been quite startling for the Orthodox to read!!

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1196 on: May 23, 2010, 07:37:24 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."

Assertion without real foundation in the self-proclaimed understanding of the Catholic Church.

Would you like to proclaim something for us Father?  Are you anointed in ways we have not yet discerned so as to speak for the Catholic Church above and beyond her own understanding?  It would seem so in your discussions here and elsewhere?

As a lay Catholic it is explicitly stated that it is a major part of my role to defend the faith.  

What is your role?  To lay waste to her understanding and destroy it in the eyes of all who are eager to see the distortions?

Mary
« Last Edit: May 23, 2010, 07:38:04 AM by elijahmaria »

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1197 on: May 24, 2010, 09:11:10 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."

Assertion without real foundation in the self-proclaimed understanding of the Catholic Church.

I love you to bits, Mary.  I love your unexcelled chutzpah!   ;D

Quote
Would you like to proclaim something for us Father?  Are you anointed in ways we have not yet discerned so as to speak for the Catholic Church above and beyond her own understanding?  It would seem so in your discussions here and elsewhere?

Pure Mary Lanserism.   :laugh:  You have spent about 10 or 12 pages of laboured argumentation attempting to tell the Orthodox Church what it believes!!    Non-stop argumentation that we believed the Immaculate Conception for 1200 years and then we abandoned the belief.

WHO is telling which Church what they believe?!  Seems to me that it is Mary Lanswer doing that to the Orthodox Churdh.

Quote
As a lay Catholic it is explicitly stated that it is a major part of my role to defend the faith. 

What is your role?  To lay waste to her understanding and destroy it in the eyes of all who are eager to see the distortions?



And your role?  To lay waste the Orthodox rejection of the Immaculate Conception and force it on us.  The last official statement from the Orthodox on the Immaculate Conception was in 1895 with the Patriarch and Synod of Bishops of Constantinople terming it an "heretical innovation", unknown to the undivided Church, created in the West, an innovation which Rome must discard if it hopes for unity.

Chutzpah indeed!!!    Audacious is your middle name!!!     :laugh:

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1198 on: May 24, 2010, 09:18:16 AM »
My goal in this was never to say that the east had defined a doctrine of Immaculate Conception.

That is one more of your unparalleled exaggerations, picked up and trumpeted by others.

But that does not make it true at all.  

I laid out the points in this discussion that I was trying to make and I laid them out explicitly and unless they have been removed by the management they are still here in the thread.

Pressing the point that Orthodoxy has had a doctrine of Immaculate Conception just like the papal Church was not my point at all.  

Suggesting strongly that there is a patristic witness that was followed by the west that originated in the east to the fulness of grace of the Theotokos from the moment of her becoming certainly was what I was doing.

Now are you calling me a liar?   Apparently.  I thought that was frowned upon on this Forum?  Well...now and then.

Mary

This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."

Assertion without real foundation in the self-proclaimed understanding of the Catholic Church.

I love you to bits, Mary.  I love your unexcelled chutzpah!   ;D

Quote
Would you like to proclaim something for us Father?  Are you anointed in ways we have not yet discerned so as to speak for the Catholic Church above and beyond her own understanding?  It would seem so in your discussions here and elsewhere?

Pure Mary Lanserism.   :laugh:  You have spent about 10 or 12 pages of laboured argumentation attempting to tell the Orthodox Church what it believes!!    Non-stop argumentation that we believed the Immaculate Conception for 1200 years and then we abandoned the belief.

WHO is telling which Church what they believe?!  Seems to me that it is Mary Lanswer doing that to the Orthodox Churdh.

Quote
As a lay Catholic it is explicitly stated that it is a major part of my role to defend the faith.  

What is your role?  To lay waste to her understanding and destroy it in the eyes of all who are eager to see the distortions?



And your role?  To lay waste the Orthodox rejection of the Immaculate Conception and force it on us.  The last official statement from the Orthodox on the Immaculate Conception was in 1895 with the Patriarch and Synod of Bishops of Constantinople terming it an "heretical innovation", unknown to the undivided Church, created in the West, an innovation which Rome must discard if it hopes for unity.

Chutzpah indeed!!!    Audacious is your middle name!!!     :laugh:
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 09:18:38 AM by elijahmaria »

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1199 on: May 24, 2010, 09:30:48 AM »
Mary is working overtime, it seems trying to infect us with a Latin plague, virus, disease,  illness the  Catholic church is suffering from..... ;D
Have you tried going to The Ecumenical Patriarchs web site you might have some fans their...  ;D
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1200 on: May 24, 2010, 09:53:24 AM »
Mary is working overtime, it seems trying to infect us with a Latin plague, virus, disease,  illness the  Catholic church is suffering from..... ;D
Have you tried going to The Ecumenical Patriarchs web site you might have some fans their...  ;D

Orthodoxy does not need anyone from the Catholic side to cause confusion in the house.  In fact I am not in favor of my Church spending one more dime in Orthodox lands or engaging in some sort of misguided so-called evangelization project.

Because on the ground it will look just like this Forum and that is NOT a burden that I'd like to see my Church bear.

Maybe you could get the Methodists to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to Orthodox lands...for Orthodox Churches and Seminaries...I think that is what you should be doing.  Go hit up the protestants.

M.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1201 on: May 24, 2010, 09:57:12 AM »
Mary...
Your Preaching a Unknown Mary to us, A Pagan Demigoddess that pops up On occasion in spurious Catholic Apparitions ,that points to herself  says Look at me ,and claim she the immaculate conception,and says other odd strange things .....We Orthodox Know Our Holy and Blessed Theotokos yours is not ours ..... >:( and you will never convince us to believe  in yours...
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 10:04:24 AM by stashko »
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1202 on: May 24, 2010, 09:59:02 AM »
Mary...
Your Preaching a Unknown Mary to us, A Pagan Demigoddess that pops up On occasion in spurious Catholic Apparitions ,that points to herself  says Look at me ,and claim she the immaculate conception,and says other odd strange things .....We Orthodox Know Our Holy and Blessed Theotokos your is not ours ..... >:( and you will never convince us to believe  in yours...

Orthodoxy does not need anyone from the Catholic side to cause confusion in the house.  In fact I am not in favor of my Church spending one more dime in Orthodox lands or engaging in some sort of misguided so-called evangelization project.

Because on the ground it will look just like this Forum and that is NOT a burden that I'd like to see my Church bear.

Maybe you could get the Methodists to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to Orthodox lands...for Orthodox Churches and Seminaries...I think that is what you should be doing.  Go hit up the protestants.

M.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1203 on: May 24, 2010, 10:21:52 AM »
In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

But without proper interpretation, these “received doctrinal truths”  can cause scandal to the faithful.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1204 on: May 24, 2010, 10:24:24 AM »
What is your role?  To lay waste to her understanding and destroy it in the eyes of all…

I think that Fr Ambrose’s arguments are frustrating to you because you see the truth in his statements (albeit perhaps subconsciously).  ;)

I believe this is the reason you so often throw insults such as these his way.

But then….this is a great blessing for Fr Ambrose.  :)

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1205 on: May 24, 2010, 11:16:30 AM »
What is your role?  To lay waste to her understanding and destroy it in the eyes of all…

I think that Fr Ambrose’s arguments are frustrating to you because you see the truth in his statements (albeit perhaps subconsciously).  ;)

I believe this is the reason you so often throw insults such as these his way.

But then….this is a great blessing for Fr Ambrose.  :)
I think that the reason you are making such silly statements is that you see the truth of Maria's arguments. This cognitive dissonance must difficult for you.
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Offline Mickey

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1206 on: May 24, 2010, 11:22:31 AM »
This cognitive dissonance must difficult for you.

ROTFL!   :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Offline ialmisry

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1207 on: May 24, 2010, 11:23:36 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."
The boldface sums it all up nicely how the Vatican keeps on going down faster the path onto which it has strayed.  That problem is getting bigger, not smaller.

It would be interesting to have a study on the origins and development of the dogma of the Magisterium, another of the Vatican's innovations of the her original Apostolic Faith.
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Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1208 on: May 24, 2010, 11:39:12 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."
The boldface sums it all up nicely how the Vatican keeps on going down faster the path onto which it has strayed.  That problem is getting bigger, not smaller.

It would be interesting to have a study on the origins and development of the dogma of the Magisterium, another of the Vatican's innovations of the her original Apostolic Faith.

Are you the Isa Almisry who was/is an instructor at Northern Illinois?

M.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1209 on: May 24, 2010, 11:55:52 AM »
This is all quite fine as long as one remembers that this so-called diversity of theological opinion remains in the realm of opinion until received into the ordinary magisterial teaching or dogmatically defined.

And in the end, what remains are the dogmatic statements which must be maintained.  In the end it is the received doctrinal truths that must be upheld and faithfully promulgated.

The question is then, what of the teaching is central.   How much of it is absolute and how much may be found in a different expression.

Theologians do not decide that...the CHURCH decides that.

Again we bump into one of the major defining differences better the Church and Roman Catholicism, the triumph of magisterialism over Tradition.  This is the triumph pf the ruling elite over the faith of the faithful.  The Church Docens (Pope and Magisterium) vs. the Ecclesia Discens (the great unwashed.)

Nothing in Roman Catholicism has any certainty until it has achieved a magisterial definition and proclamation.

Matters of faith may have been held in the Tradition of Roman Catholicism for time out of mind - but they may be easily dismissed and consigned to the scrap heap of tradition as "never having had a magisterial definition."
The boldface sums it all up nicely how the Vatican keeps on going down faster the path onto which it has strayed.  That problem is getting bigger, not smaller.

It would be interesting to have a study on the origins and development of the dogma of the Magisterium, another of the Vatican's innovations of the her original Apostolic Faith.

Are you the Isa Almisry who was/is an instructor at Northern Illinois?

M.
No, but I'm curious as to why you ask, as I can't see the connection with the rest of the posts. I mean, you baldly ask me to identify myself rather than ask anything about what I've posted. As far as I can tell Northern Illinois (my sister did go there, btw, I almost did for accreditation) isn't accredited by the Vatican's magisterium.

Is this to provide the authority for my statements, much like we ask (e.g. LBK) for the authority of your statements which contradict what we know? Like publication information on liturgical texts which should be public rather than personal/private (hence the term "publish")?  I mean, we're not gnostics.  At least we aren't.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 12:01:41 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1210 on: May 24, 2010, 12:11:02 PM »
Dear Father Al and others who might be interested,

Here is an excerpt from a wonderful E-Journal entry on ST MARY IN THE CHRISTIAN EAST.  It is also a visually beautiful entry:

http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_9/Cross.htm


The 14th Century of Theophanes of Nicaea,

St Gregory Palamas & St Nicholas Cabasilas

Archbishop Dimitri Muretov's 1884 sermon is full of the echoes of the theology of three fourteenth century theologians who are the undisputed apogee of Marian teaching in the Christian East. In the theology of Theophanes the whole cosmos turns around Mary. He saw her mediation, which the feast of Pokrov celebrates, as grounded in the order of things universal. The divine gifts flow from Christ through his Mother. She has a kind of sacramental role under Christ. Theophanes, following the theological style of Pseudo-Dionysios, sees properties such as omnipotence, dominion and wisdom reflected in Mary. He actually says that she is the 'universal cosmic and super cosmic good,' the cosmos par excellence, because the Word delights to dwell more with her than in heaven. [23]

For St Gregory Palamas Mary's mediation is not open to doubt. For him it is implicit in his theory of her destiny and her place in creation. He wrote,

        'No divine gifts can reach either angels or men, except through her mediation. As one cannot enjoy the light of a lamp...save through the medium of this lamp, so every movement towards God, every impulse towards good coming from him is unrealizable save through the mediation of the Virgin.'[24]

Nicholas Cabasilas' theology is more arresting still. There are strong echoes of Jacob of Sarug in his belief that in Mary mankind 'superbly showed by his deeds the strength that he has against sin.'  This is not Pelagian. Rather, the fruit of his complex anthropology is that he believed that Mary manifested nature as God had intended it to be. In Mary the aboriginal nature of mankind is manifested. In Cabasilas' thought it is simply not good enough that God should make Mary immaculate as if by some irresistible divine act. Something had to come from within man. Thus, while he believed that God had chosen her 'as a kind of sanctuary for himself and had preferred her before all the earth,' someone had to manifest man as God had meant man to be. This had to be achieved by overcoming all sin 'from within man himself, by diligence and strength.'[25] Consequently, Mary is the 'saint of saints' who opened the door of holiness to others. Cabasilas is at his most forceful, and the tradition is at its height when he wrote that

        'The Incarnation of the Word was not only the work of the Farther, of his power and of his Spirit, but was also the work of the will and the faith of the Virgin; without the consent of the Immaculate one, without the contribution of her faith, this plan was as unrealisable as without the intervention of the three divine persons themselves.'[26]

Figure 17: Pentecost - Rabula Codex, c.586.

Though a work of the 6th century, we can illustrate Cabasilas' last startling claim for Mary the Mother of God in this icon of Pentecost from the Rabula Codex AD 586, (Fig. 17) the earliest surviving representation of the Pentecost. Most later icons of the Pentecost do not portray Mary as amongst the apostles at Pentecost. Rather, they show the Apostles receiving the tongues of fire while old man Cosmos looks to them with up stretched arms for salvation and renewal from his well of cosmic alienation. In this earlist icon Mary is not simply amongst the Apostles. She is the leading figure. Even the way she is painted makes her the strongest figure in the whole composition. No work could better illustrate Cabasilas' belief that in the time between the Lord's ascension to heaven and the coming of the Spirit in Pentecost, it was Mary the Mother of Jesus who was the Spirit-bearer to the Church, who communicated the Spirit to the post-Ascension believers.  Though St Nicholas Cabasilas has stated it most dramatically and latterly, we can see from our survey that this was the consistently developing view of the eastern Church throughout the ages. Mary was not only 'Theotokos' while she carried the divine man, Jesus. She is always 'Theotokos' and as such communicates him to the world in the Church, and known or unknown, to the soul of the Christian believer.

[1] F.J. Moloney, The Gospel of John (Sacra Pagina , Series) p. 504.

[2] Ibid. (vv.25 [2x], 26[2x],27

[3] Ibid.

[4]Dialogue with Trypho  100, 4-5, in Patrologia Greca 6, 709-712. Hereafter PG.

[5] O'Carroll in his Theotokos: A Theological  Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, claims that the first certain literary use of the title Theotokos occurred in 325 A.D. in Epist. ad Alexand. Byzant.,1,12, (PG 18,568c) a work of Alexander of Alexandria (d.328). Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia has drawn my attention to even earlier certain uses of 'Theotokos.' See Origen, Homilies on Luke, fragments 41.3; 80.4 (ed. M.Rauer, second edition, pp.244,260);cf. Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 7.332 (PG 67.812B).

[6] Manchester, 1938, III, 46ff.

[7] This is not the place to argue for the historicity of the presentation and temple stories. It may  very  well be that as the greatness of the mystery of the person of the Mother of God is apprehended by the minds of early Christians, they begin, almost naturally, to construct an early life parallelling the elements of the life of her divine Son, such as Virginal Conception, Presentation in the Temple etc.  The story as history is not what matters. What matters is the story as witness to the Early Christian apprehension of Mary's mysterious greatness.

[8]In M.R.James (ed.trans.) The Apocryphal New Testament  ( Oxford, 1924) pp.42-43.

[9]Ibid. VI.

[10] Ibid. X.

[11] Ibid XI.

[12] It was only in late medieval times that the Protevangelium  had some influence on developments in Marian devotion in the West.  

[13]Idid,  On the Nativity of the Virgin Mary,    I,474ff, J.B. Pitra, Analecta Sacra, I (1876), p.11.

[14] Icon of the Protection/Intercession of the Mother of God, Northern province of Nvgorod, second half of the 16th century.

[15] Life of St Andrew the Fool, ed. Lennart Rydén, 2 Vols., Studia Byzantina Upsaliensia 4, 1995, p. 254.

[16] The girdle and veil of the Virgin were prized relics kept in this same Church from the time of the Emperor Leo I in the 5th century. The feast day of their translation to Blachernae, 2 July, is the origin of the much later Western feast of the ‘Visitation’.

[17] Mary Cunningham, Sobornost  p. 62-64.

[18]Ibid.

[19] Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1984., pp. 28-29.

[20]Ibid.

[21]Ibid.

[22] Novgorod Icon, mid 16th century.

[23]   For more see O'Carroll, op.cit.,Theophanes of Nicaea. p.340.

It would be sheer blindness not to acknowledge that in these 14th century theologians there was plenty of material to inspire the 19th and 20th century Russian sophiological theologians such as Soloviev, Bulgakov and Florovsky. It is true that their 'sophiology' met with resistance from 'conservative' Orthodox authorities, but it is tempting to ask if these same authorities might not have been out of touch with certain elements in their own Eastern approach and not a little influenced by non-Orthodox sources in their opposition to the idea of Sophia, the All-Wisdom of God.

[24] O’Carroll, op.cit., St Gregory Palamas.

[25]  O'Carroll, op. cit., St Nicholas Cabasilas

[26]  Ibid.

    Author

        Rev Dr LAWRENCE CROSS, a priest of the Russian Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand, is a Associate-Professor in the School of Theology (Victoria) of Australian Catholic University and a member of the Centre for Early Christian Studies.

        Email: L.Cross@patrick.acu.edu.au
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 12:11:50 PM by elijahmaria »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1211 on: May 24, 2010, 01:12:11 PM »
Dear Father Al and others who might be interested,

Here is an excerpt from a wonderful E-Journal entry on ST MARY IN THE CHRISTIAN EAST.  It is also a visually beautiful entry:

http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/research/theology/ejournal/aejt_9/Cross.htm


The 14th Century of Theophanes of Nicaea,

St Gregory Palamas & St Nicholas Cabasilas

Archbishop Dimitri Muretov's 1884 sermon is full of the echoes of the theology of three fourteenth century theologians who are the undisputed apogee of Marian teaching in the Christian East. In the theology of Theophanes the whole cosmos turns around Mary. He saw her mediation, which the feast of Pokrov celebrates, as grounded in the order of things universal. The divine gifts flow from Christ through his Mother. She has a kind of sacramental role under Christ. Theophanes, following the theological style of Pseudo-Dionysios, sees properties such as omnipotence, dominion and wisdom reflected in Mary. He actually says that she is the 'universal cosmic and super cosmic good,' the cosmos par excellence, because the Word delights to dwell more with her than in heaven. [23]

For St Gregory Palamas Mary's mediation is not open to doubt. For him it is implicit in his theory of her destiny and her place in creation. He wrote,

        'No divine gifts can reach either angels or men, except through her mediation. As one cannot enjoy the light of a lamp...save through the medium of this lamp, so every movement towards God, every impulse towards good coming from him is unrealizable save through the mediation of the Virgin.'[24]

Nicholas Cabasilas' theology is more arresting still. There are strong echoes of Jacob of Sarug in his belief that in Mary mankind 'superbly showed by his deeds the strength that he has against sin.'  This is not Pelagian. Rather, the fruit of his complex anthropology is that he believed that Mary manifested nature as God had intended it to be. In Mary the aboriginal nature of mankind is manifested. In Cabasilas' thought it is simply not good enough that God should make Mary immaculate as if by some irresistible divine act. Something had to come from within man. Thus, while he believed that God had chosen her 'as a kind of sanctuary for himself and had preferred her before all the earth,' someone had to manifest man as God had meant man to be. This had to be achieved by overcoming all sin 'from within man himself, by diligence and strength.'[25] Consequently, Mary is the 'saint of saints' who opened the door of holiness to others. Cabasilas is at his most forceful, and the tradition is at its height when he wrote that

        'The Incarnation of the Word was not only the work of the Farther, of his power and of his Spirit, but was also the work of the will and the faith of the Virgin; without the consent of the Immaculate one, without the contribution of her faith, this plan was as unrealisable as without the intervention of the three divine persons themselves.'
[26]

Figure 17: Pentecost - Rabula Codex, c.586.

Though a work of the 6th century, we can illustrate Cabasilas' last startling claim for Mary the Mother of God in this icon of Pentecost from the Rabula Codex AD 586, (Fig. 17) the earliest surviving representation of the Pentecost. Most later icons of the Pentecost do not portray Mary as amongst the apostles at Pentecost. Rather, they show the Apostles receiving the tongues of fire while old man Cosmos looks to them with up stretched arms for salvation and renewal from his well of cosmic alienation. In this earlist icon Mary is not simply amongst the Apostles. She is the leading figure. Even the way she is painted makes her the strongest figure in the whole composition. No work could better illustrate Cabasilas' belief that in the time between the Lord's ascension to heaven and the coming of the Spirit in Pentecost, it was Mary the Mother of Jesus who was the Spirit-bearer to the Church, who communicated the Spirit to the post-Ascension believers.  Though St Nicholas Cabasilas has stated it most dramatically and latterly, we can see from our survey that this was the consistently developing view of the eastern Church throughout the ages. Mary was not only 'Theotokos' while she carried the divine man, Jesus. She is always 'Theotokos' and as such communicates him to the world in the Church, and known or unknown, to the soul of the Christian believer.

[1] F.J. Moloney, The Gospel of John (Sacra Pagina , Series) p. 504.

[2] Ibid. (vv.25 [2x], 26[2x],27

[3] Ibid.

[4]Dialogue with Trypho  100, 4-5, in Patrologia Greca 6, 709-712. Hereafter PG.

[5] O'Carroll in his Theotokos: A Theological  Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary, claims that the first certain literary use of the title Theotokos occurred in 325 A.D. in Epist. ad Alexand. Byzant.,1,12, (PG 18,568c) a work of Alexander of Alexandria (d.328). Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia has drawn my attention to even earlier certain uses of 'Theotokos.' See Origen, Homilies on Luke, fragments 41.3; 80.4 (ed. M.Rauer, second edition, pp.244,260);cf. Socrates, Ecclesiastical History, 7.332 (PG 67.812B).

[6] Manchester, 1938, III, 46ff.

[7] This is not the place to argue for the historicity of the presentation and temple stories. It may  very  well be that as the greatness of the mystery of the person of the Mother of God is apprehended by the minds of early Christians, they begin, almost naturally, to construct an early life parallelling the elements of the life of her divine Son, such as Virginal Conception, Presentation in the Temple etc.  The story as history is not what matters. What matters is the story as witness to the Early Christian apprehension of Mary's mysterious greatness.

[8]In M.R.James (ed.trans.) The Apocryphal New Testament  ( Oxford, 1924) pp.42-43.

[9]Ibid. VI.

[10] Ibid. X.

[11] Ibid XI.

[12] It was only in late medieval times that the Protevangelium  had some influence on developments in Marian devotion in the West.  

[13]Idid,  On the Nativity of the Virgin Mary,    I,474ff, J.B. Pitra, Analecta Sacra, I (1876), p.11.

[14] Icon of the Protection/Intercession of the Mother of God, Northern province of Nvgorod, second half of the 16th century.

[15] Life of St Andrew the Fool, ed. Lennart Rydén, 2 Vols., Studia Byzantina Upsaliensia 4, 1995, p. 254.

[16] The girdle and veil of the Virgin were prized relics kept in this same Church from the time of the Emperor Leo I in the 5th century. The feast day of their translation to Blachernae, 2 July, is the origin of the much later Western feast of the ‘Visitation’.

[17] Mary Cunningham, Sobornost  p. 62-64.

[18]Ibid.

[19] Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate, 1984., pp. 28-29.

[20]Ibid.

[21]Ibid.

[22] Novgorod Icon, mid 16th century.

[23]   For more see O'Carroll, op.cit.,Theophanes of Nicaea. p.340.

It would be sheer blindness not to acknowledge that in these 14th century theologians there was plenty of material to inspire the 19th and 20th century Russian sophiological theologians such as Soloviev, Bulgakov and Florovsky. It is true that their 'sophiology' met with resistance from 'conservative' Orthodox authorities, but it is tempting to ask if these same authorities might not have been out of touch with certain elements in their own Eastern approach and not a little influenced by non-Orthodox sources in their opposition to the idea of Sophia, the All-Wisdom of God.

[24] O’Carroll, op.cit., St Gregory Palamas.

[25]  O'Carroll, op. cit., St Nicholas Cabasilas

[26]  Ibid.

    Author

        Rev Dr LAWRENCE CROSS, a priest of the Russian Catholic Church under the jurisdiction of the Melkite Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Australia and New Zealand, is a Associate-Professor in the School of Theology (Victoria) of Australian Catholic University and a member of the Centre for Early Christian Studies.

        Email: L.Cross@patrick.acu.edu.au

"Russian Catholic Church": is Cross a Russian name?  Under the Melkites in Australia. Talk about convoluted.

Interesting, as the boldface contradicts your precious dogma.

Now can you answer the question?
No, but I'm curious as to why you ask, as I can't see the connection with the rest of the posts. I mean, you baldly ask me to identify myself rather than ask anything about what I've posted. As far as I can tell Northern Illinois (my sister did go there, btw, I almost did for accreditation) isn't accredited by the Vatican's magisterium.

Is this to provide the authority for my statements, much like we ask (e.g. LBK) for the authority of your statements which contradict what we know? Like publication information on liturgical texts which should be public rather than personal/private (hence the term "publish")?  I mean, we're not gnostics.  At least we aren't.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1212 on: May 24, 2010, 01:28:14 PM »

"Russian Catholic Church": is Cross a Russian name?  Under the Melkites in Australia. Talk about convoluted.

Interesting, as the boldface contradicts your precious dogma.

The Catholic teaching on the Immaculate Conception clearly states that the Mother of God still must act in the conformation of her human will to the will of God, and that is clearly what is indicated in the text that you indicated.  She is saved by an anticipatory grace, not an overweening one. 

You are certainly free to impute an irresistible grace to Catholic teaching but you're wrong to do so.

M.

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1213 on: May 24, 2010, 01:31:03 PM »


Greetings to all of my brothers and sisters in Christ ~

Quite frankly, I really don't see any worthwhile point in continuing the discussion on this thread. A clear stalemate was reached long ago. Both sides have repeatedly stated their respective views without any acceptable resolution. This matter is not likely to be satisfactorily resolved as long as the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches retain their different theological positions regarding the Immaculate Conception.

In acknowledging this blatant fact, it seems as if this debate continues solely for the sake of non-productive argument, often conducted with a stunning absence of true Christian charity. As such, I find this never ending exchange a very wearisome waste of time and energy that would be better spent in devoutly practicing our own Faith to the best of our ability, rather than in fruitless attempts to convince others that our differing opinions are more valid than theirs. In the end, we won't be held responsible and accountable before God for what others choose to believe, but only for what each of us personally chooses to believe.

That having been said, I now return to my simple life of prayer, wishing all parties in this debate the great gift of abundant spiritual blessings from the Father of Lights!

"Nothing is so characteristically Christian as being a peacemaker. I cannot persuade myself that without offering love to others and peace towards all, I can be called a worthy servant of Jesus Christ." St. Basil the Great

"Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgment. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil." St. Seraphim of Sarov

As ever, a humble monk ~

Cosmos
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 01:46:44 PM by Cosmos »
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Offline elijahmaria

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Re: A question on the Immaculate Conception
« Reply #1214 on: May 24, 2010, 01:41:03 PM »
A few of the contributors in this discussion have insisted that the Immaculate Conception, in its dogmatic expression, is dependent upon so-called scholastic constructs.

The following is an ostensibly Orthodox catechetical teaching. Can anyone tell me if this discussion and the definitions contained within are acceptable tenets of Orthodoxy?

If not can you point out what is not Orthodox?  

Also, and only if it is Orthodox,  could you tell me what you see as exceptional between this definition and Catholic teaching or so-called scholastic teaching or Augustinian teaching on original sin?

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/10/1.aspx#25

THE FALL

The biblical story of the Fall prefigures the entire tragic history of the human race. It shows us who we were and what we have become. It reveals that evil entered the world not by the will of God but by fault of humans who preferred diabolical deceit to divine commandment. From generation to generation the human race repeats Adam’s mistake in being beguiled by false values and forgetting the true ones — faith in God and verity to Him.

Sin was not ingrained in human nature. Yet the possibility to sin was rooted in the free will given to humans. It was indeed freedom that rendered the human being as an image of the Maker; but it was also freedom that from the very beginning contained within itself the possibility to fall away from God. Out of His love for humans God did not want to interfere in their freedom and forcibly avert sin. But neither could the devil force them to do evil. The sole responsibility for the Fall is borne by humans themselves, for they misused the freedom given to them.

What constituted the sin of the first people? St Augustine believes it to be disobedience. On the other hand, the majority of early church writers say that Adam fell as a result of pride. Pride is the wall that separates humans from God. The root of pride is egocenticity, the state of being turned in on oneself, self-love, lust for oneself. Before the Fall, God was the only object of the humans’ love; but then there appeared a value outside of God: the tree was suddenly seen to be ‘good for food’, ‘a delight to the eyes’, and something ‘to be desired’ (Gen.3:6). Thus the entire hierarchy of values collapsed: my own ‘I’ occupied the first place while the second was taken by the object of ‘my’ lust. No place has remained for God: He has been forgotten, driven from my life.

The forbidden fruit failed to bring happiness to the first people. On the contrary, they began to sense their own nakedness: they were ashamed and tried to hide from God. This awareness of one’s nakedness denotes the privation of the divine light-bearing garment that cloaked humans and defended them from the ‘knowledge of evil’. Adam’s first reaction after committing sin was burning sensation of shame. The second reaction was his desire to hide from the Creator. This shows that he had lost all notion of God’s omnipresence and would search for any place where God was ‘absent’.

However, this was not a total rupture with God. The Fall was not a complete abandonment: humans could repent and regain their former dignity. God goes out to find the fallen Adam; between the trees of Paradise He seeks him out asking ‘Where are you?’ (Gen.3:9). This humble wandering of God through Paradise prefigures Christ’s humility as revealed to us in the New Testament, the humility with which the Shepherd seeks the lost sheep. God has no need to go forth and look for Adam: He can call down from the heavens with a voice of thunder or shake the foundations of the earth. Yet He does not wish to be Adam’s judge, or his prosecutor. He still wants to count him as an equal and puts His hope in Adam’s repentance. But instead of repenting, Adam utters words of self-justification, laying the blame for everything on his wife: ‘The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate’ (Gen.3:12). In other words, ‘It was You who gave me a wife; it is You who is to blame’. In turn, Eve lays the blame for everything on the serpent.

The consequences of the Fall for the first humans were catastrophic. They were not only deprived of the bliss and sweetness of Paradise, but their whole nature was changed and disfigured. In sinning they fell away from their natural condition and entered an unnatural state of being. All elements of their spiritual and corporeal make-up were damaged: their spirit, instead of striving for God, became engrossed in the passions; their soul entered the sphere of bodily instincts; while their body lost its original lightness and was transformed into heavy sinful flesh. After the Fall the human person ‘became deaf, blind, naked, insensitive to the good things from which he had fallen away, and above all became mortal, corruptible and without sense of purpose’ (St Symeon the New Theologian). Disease, suffering and pain entered human life. Humans became mortal for they had lost the opportunity of tasting from the tree of life.

Not only humanity but also the entire world changed as a result of the Fall. The original harmony between people and nature had been broken; the elements had become hostile; storms, earthquakes and floods could destroy life. The earth would no longer provide everything of its own accord; it would have to be tilled ‘in the sweat of your face’, and would produce ‘thorns and thistles’. Even the animals would become the human being’s enemy: the serpent would ‘bruise his heel’ and other predators would attack him (Gen.3:14-19). All of creation would be subject to the ‘bondage of decay’. Together with humans it would now ‘wait for freedom’ from this bondage, since it did not submit to vanity voluntarily but through the fault of humanity (Rom.8:19-21).

CONSEQUENCES OF ADAM’S SIN

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

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

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

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

The Old Testament writers had a vivid sense of their inherited sinfulness: ‘Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me’ (Ps.51:7). They believed that God ‘visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation’ (Ex.20:5). In the latter words reference is not made to innocent children but to those whose own sinfulness is rooted in the sins of their forefathers.

From a rational point of view, to punish the entire human race for Adam’s sin is an injustice. But not a single Christian dogma has ever been fully comprehended by reason. Religion within the bounds of reason is not religion but naked rationalism, for religion is supra-rational, supra-logical. The doctrine of original sin is disclosed in the light of divine revelation and acquires meaning with reference to the dogma of the atonement of humanity through the New Adam, Christ: ‘...As one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous... so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord’ (Rom.5:18-21).

JESUS CHRIST, THE ‘NEW ADAM’

The first-created Adam was unable to fulfil the vocation laid before him: to attain deification and bring to God the visible world by means of spiritual and moral perfection. Having broken the commandment and having fallen away from the sweetness of Paradise, he had the way to deification closed to him. Yet everything that the first man left undone was accomplished for him by God Incarnate, the Word-become-flesh, the Lord Jesus Christ. He trod that path to the human person which the latter was meant to tread towards Him. And if this would have been the way of ascent for the human person, for God it was the way of humble condescension, of self-emptying (kenosis).

St Paul calls Christ the ‘second Adam’, contrasting Him with the ‘first’: ‘The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven’ (1 Cor.15:47). This parallelism was developed by St John Chrysostom, who emphasized that Adam was the prototype of Christ: ‘Adam is the image of Christ ...as the man for those who came from him, even though they did not eat of the tree, became the cause of death, then Christ for those who were born of Him, although they have done no good, became the bearer of righteousness, which he gave to all of us through the cross’.

Few people accepted the second Adam or believed in Him when He down to earth. The Incarnate Jesus, Who suffered and was raised, became a ‘a stumbling block to Jews and folly [Greek, skandalon] to Gentiles’ (1 Cor.1:23). Declaring Himself to be God and making Himself equal to God, Jesus scandalize Jews and was accused in blasphemy. As to the Greeks, Christianity was folly for them because Greek thought sought a logical and rational explanation for everything; it was not within its power to know a suffering and dying God. For many centuries Greek wisdom built a temple to ‘an unknown God’ (Acts 17:23). It was incapable of understanding how an unknowable, incomprehensible, all-powerful, almighty, omniscient and omnipresent God could become a mortal, suffering, weak human person. A God, Who would be born of a Virgin, a God Who would be in swaddling clothes, Who would be put to sleep and be fed with milk: all of this seemed absurd to the Greeks.

Even among the Christians of the first centuries, the mystery of godmanhood was explained in a different ways. In the second century the Docetists claimed that Christ’s human nature was merely transparent: it only seemed that He suffered and died on the cross, while God in fact, being passionless, could not suffer at all. The Docetists considered all that was material and corporeal to be evil and could not concede that God had put on sinful and evil flesh, that He had united Himself with dust. The other extreme was that of Arianism which denied Christ’s Divinity and reduced the Son of God to the level of created being. How were extremes to be avoided and how was the Church to find a legitimate explanation for the mystery of Christ?
« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 01:41:59 PM by elijahmaria »