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Author Topic: Immaculate Conception, Purgatory, Filioque & Papal Infallibility  (Read 7650 times) Average Rating: 0
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Peter J
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« Reply #90 on: June 05, 2012, 07:06:42 PM »

I think you perhaps should take a stab at the answer to that last question, as I have NO IDEA what the Tridentine Dogma of Original Sin is.  I'm even confused that there's a Tridentine Dogma vs. a Magersterial Catholic Teaching Dogma, vs. whatever other kinds of dogmas there are in the RC church. 

I think he just said "Tridentine dogma" because that particular dogma come from Trent (whereas e.g. the dogma of papal infallibility comes from Vatican I).
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« Reply #91 on: June 05, 2012, 07:17:18 PM »


There is a tendency, especially here on this site, of former Roman Catholic Orthodox and current Roman Catholics to trivialise the differences between the two Churches' doctrines regarding the Theotokos. I don't understand how one can not deny the IC as an Orthodox Christian when the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom requires a priest to pray "let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless one" (after the Great Entrance on Sundays and after Holy Communion). Could St. John Chrysotom have affirmed the IC? I cannot imagine it based on his liturgy. I know many Roman Catholics who seemingly have no limits in their Marian hypertrophy. I should hope that Orthodox Christians are more circumspect.

This is an unfair and inaccurate statement.  The belief in the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos long antedates Catholic teaching on the Immaculate Conception.  It is hardly a Latin innovation.  I suggest that you read the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Also see the following

The Sinlessness of the Theotokos

Veneration of the Mother of God

In his book The Burning Bush Bulgakov specifically addresses the objection that Mary cannot be sinless because Christ alone is the sinless one:

Quote
In its countless divine services dedicated to the Mother of God, the Holy Orthodox Church firmly and clearly teaches the absolute sinlessness of Mary in her birth, her holy childhood and adolescence, in the Annunciation, in the birth of her Son and throughout her entire life. We shall pause at only the most important dogmatic witnesses borrowed from the services of Theotokos feasts. As is evident from these witnesses, the Most Holy Virgin is called in her very birth "Holy of Holies," "living heaven," "temple of all kings and thrones," "sole immaculate one," "the true temple pure from infancy on," "hostile to the course of sin," etc. The question arises: is the idea of any sort of assault of sin, which even some fathers of the church, and with them other orthodox theologians, allow, compatible with this veneration? Obviously not. The Mother of God was sinless, not a single attack of sin approached her most pure soul, the bearer of perfect virginity. But in that case is she not made equal "to the one sinless" Lord Jesus? No, and therein is the whole point. Sinlessness belongs in a unique and exclusive sense to the Son of God conceived without seed from a virgin who had never known a man, in that He was a stranger not only to every personal sin but also to original sin. The latter had absolutely no power over the new Adam. ... It is quite the opposite in the case of the Most Pure and Immaculate One: in her, original sin preserved its entire power with all its fatal consequences--weakness and mortality of the body (for death is only the final revelation of this weakness). The Theotokos died a natural death in fulfilment of the natural law, which she bore in her human nature. Death was defeated only by the salvific power of Christ's resurrection and was ultimately annulled by it. The Lord Jesus is in this sense the Saviour for the entire human race, and in it of His mother as well.

So please do not accuse faithful Orthodox who acclaim the purity of the Most Holy and Immaculate Panagia of corruptive Latin influence.  We celebrate her life-long sinlessness because we believe this is the Orthodox tradition.  As far as the Immaculate Conception ... well, as Fr John Meyendorff wrote, if Byzantine Christians had held an Augustinian understanding of original sin, they would probably have confessed the immaculate conception of the Theotokos, too.   
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« Reply #92 on: June 06, 2012, 12:26:17 AM »

Firstly, I disagree that we HAVE to give more attention to dogmatic hermeneutics.  The dogmas are the dogmas are the dogmas.

That's like saying, the Bible is the Bible is the Bible. 

Protestants argue that the plain meaning of Scripture is clear and perspicuous.  Orthodox argue, not so.  The Bible needs to be interpreted.  The literal meaning of the text is not always its canonical and theological meaning.

Precisely the same holds for dogmatic statements.  They need to be interpreted.   

Quote
I believe our hermeneutics are pretty clear.  What would be the reason for clarification, if they are clear?

How can it be clear when the matter is hardly ever discussed by Eastern theologians?  The best (though brief) discussion I have come across was written over 75 years ago:  "Dogmas and Dogmatic Theology" by Sergius Bulgakov.  Also see Met Hilarion's essay "The Reception of Ecumenical Councils in the Early Church."  I'm sure the topic has been addressed by others (so much of Orthodox theology has not been translated into English); but I do think it fair to say that Orthodox theology simply has not devoted much time and energy to hermeneutics.  It's had other fish to fry.

What are the dogmas of the Orthodox Church?  Are dogmas restricted to the dogmatic definitions of the seven Ecumenical Councils?  Is the Palamite distinction between the divine essence and energies, as defined by several local councils in Constantinople in the 14th century, dogma?  Did these councils speak the final word about this distinction?

How are dogmas interpreted?  When we read the Chalcedonian definition, do we take St Leo or St Cyril as our guide?  When the 5th Ecumenical Council condemned universal salvation (apocatastasis), did it also intend to exclude the views of St Gregory Nyssen and St Isaac the Syrian? 

Etc., etc.  There is no escaping interpretation.  When the Council of Nicaea declared that Jesus Christ was homoousios with the Father, that did not end debate--quite the contrary.  The question then became, what the heck does homoousios mean? 

Quote
I've never encountered anyone who has recommended anything OTHER than Romanides' text on this subject, but I know he's not the only one to deal with it, & he's not necessarily THE authoritative figure, but he does a pretty darn good job addressing it.  Anything wrong with that?  Not enough? 

I honestly do not know how reliable Romanides's treatment of ancestral sin is.  When I read it a few years ago, I was not impressed.  He struck me as someone with an ideological axe to grind.  My unscholarly impression is that he gives us an homogenized presentation of the Eastern Fathers.  One thing for sure, I do not trust anything he says about St Augustine or any other Western writer.  I am not saying that folks should not be encouraged to read Ancestral Sin; but I certainly would be hesitant to grant it quasi-magisterial authority. 

The mention of Romanides raises an important question:  What precisely is the authority of the Latin Fathers in Orthodoxy?  My impression is that they functionally have no authority.  They are quoted when they agree with our favorite Eastern Fathers and are ignored when they disagree.  Now that is a hermeneutical decision, but on what grounds do we justify it?

I don't have the answers to these questions.  All I have are the questions.           
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« Reply #93 on: June 06, 2012, 10:56:42 AM »


There is a tendency, especially here on this site, of former Roman Catholic Orthodox and current Roman Catholics to trivialise the differences between the two Churches' doctrines regarding the Theotokos. I don't understand how one can not deny the IC as an Orthodox Christian when the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom requires a priest to pray "let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only Sinless one" (after the Great Entrance on Sundays and after Holy Communion). Could St. John Chrysotom have affirmed the IC? I cannot imagine it based on his liturgy. I know many Roman Catholics who seemingly have no limits in their Marian hypertrophy. I should hope that Orthodox Christians are more circumspect.

This is an unfair and inaccurate statement. 

In his book The Burning Bush Bulgakov specifically addresses the objection that Mary cannot be sinless because Christ alone is the sinless one:

Quote
In its countless divine services dedicated to the Mother of God, the Holy Orthodox Church firmly and clearly teaches the absolute sinlessness of Mary in her birth, her holy childhood and adolescence, in the Annunciation, in the birth of her Son and throughout her entire life. We shall pause at only the most important dogmatic witnesses borrowed from the services of Theotokos feasts. As is evident from these witnesses, the Most Holy Virgin is called in her very birth "Holy of Holies," "living heaven," "temple of all kings and thrones," "sole immaculate one," "the true temple pure from infancy on," "hostile to the course of sin," etc. The question arises: is the idea of any sort of assault of sin, which even some fathers of the church, and with them other orthodox theologians, allow, compatible with this veneration? Obviously not. The Mother of God was sinless, not a single attack of sin approached her most pure soul, the bearer of perfect virginity. But in that case is she not made equal "to the one sinless" Lord Jesus? No, and therein is the whole point. Sinlessness belongs in a unique and exclusive sense to the Son of God conceived without seed from a virgin who had never known a man, in that He was a stranger not only to every personal sin but also to original sin. The latter had absolutely no power over the new Adam. ... It is quite the opposite in the case of the Most Pure and Immaculate One: in her, original sin preserved its entire power with all its fatal consequences--weakness and mortality of the body (for death is only the final revelation of this weakness). The Theotokos died a natural death in fulfilment of the natural law, which she bore in her human nature. Death was defeated only by the salvific power of Christ's resurrection and was ultimately annulled by it. The Lord Jesus is in this sense the Saviour for the entire human race, and in it of His mother as well.

So please do not accuse faithful Orthodox who acclaim the purity of the Most Holy and Immaculate Panagia of corruptive Latin influence.  We celebrate her life-long sinlessness because we believe this is the Orthodox tradition.  As far as the Immaculate Conception ... well, as Fr John Meyendorff wrote, if Byzantine Christians had held an Augustinian understanding of original sin, they would probably have confessed the immaculate conception of the Theotokos, too.   

I wonder Father if my statement is "unfair". You have provided a quote by Sergei Bulgakov, someone who was far from uncontroversial. In fact, as I am sure you know, John Maximovitch, who was glorified, wrote in his book The Orthodox Veneration of the Mother of God, why the sophianism of Sergius Bulgakov is heresy. So I am not sure if citing Bulgakov is "fair". St. John Maximovitch did believe that Bulgakov's view on the Immaculate Conception was a corruptive Latin influence. He wrote:

Quote
“vain deceit” is the teaching of the Immaculate Conception by Anna of the Virgin Mary, which at first sight exalts, but in actual fact belittles Her. Like every lie, it is a seed of the “father of lies” (John 8:44), the devil, who has succeeded by it in blaspheme the Virgin Mary. Together with it there should also be rejected all the other teachings which have come from it or are akin to it. " http://preachersinstitute.com/2010/06/24/the-error-of-the-immaculate-conception/

He argued that the Immaculate Conception should be rejected because it:

Quote
(1) does not correspond to Sacred Scripture, where there is repeatedly mentioned the sinlessness of the
One Mediator between God and man, the man Jesus Christ (I Tim. 2:5);
(2) This teaching contradicts also Sacred Tradition, which is contained in numerous Patristic writings, where there is mentioned the exalted sanctity of the Virgin Mary from Her very birth, as well as Her cleansing by the Holy Spirit at Her conception of Christ, but not at Her own conception by Anna.
(3) The teaching that the Mother of God was purified before Her birth, so that from Her might be born the Pure Christ, is meaningless; because if the Pure Christ could be born only if the Virgin might be born pure, it would be necessary that Her parents also should be pure of original sin, and they again would have to be born of purified parents, and going further in this way, one would have to come to the conclusion that Christ could not have become incarnate unless all His ancestors in the flesh, right up to Adam inclusive, had been purified beforehand of original sin. But then there would not have been any need for the very Incarnation of Christ, since Christ came down to earth in order to annihilate sin.
(4) The teaching that the Mother of God was preserved from original sin, as likewise the teaching that She was preserved by God’s grace from personal sins, makes God unmerciful and unjust; because if God could preserve Mary from sin and purify Her before Her birth, then why does He not purify other men before their birth, but rather leaves them in sin? It follows likewise that God saves men apart from their will, predetermining certain ones before their birth to salvation.
(5) This teaching, which seemingly has the aim of exalting the Mother of God, in reality completely denies all Her virtues.

In fact, I think it is fair to say that Orthodoxy Christianity stands considerably apart from the RC dogma of the IC. For an Orthodox Christian, affirming this belief would mean satisfying three conditions:

1. Believing that the Theotokos was sinless from birth. Clearly some Orthodox affirm this, including evidently you. But Orthodoxy is not monolithic in this respect, as there is a wide spectrum of views supported by the Fathers including that the Theotokos was sinless from the Annunciation, that she committed some involuntary sins, or that she committed some minor sins. St. John Chrysostom and St. John Maximovitch did not affirm the view that the Theotokos was sinless from birth. Here on Orthodox Christianity.net, evidently only 50% of Orthodox Christians hold this view. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php?topic=28645.0

2. Holding an Augustinian understanding of original sin. I suspect that of the 50% that satisfy #1, relatively few Orthodox Christians would have an Augustinian understanding of original sin; and

3. Believing that the IC is not just theologoumenon but rather dogma. I suspect that almost no Orthodox who accept #1 and #2 would also require belief in the IC to be considered in communion with Christ's church. This would in fact suggest that St. John Chrysostom, whose liturgy we so often celebrate, was outside of the Church! (I don't know how Eastern Catholics handle this seeming contradiction of following the liturgy of someone who would reject RC dogma).

So, I think it is in fact fair to say that anyone who believes the IC is easily compatible with Orthodoxy may be trivialising the differences in between Orthodoxy and the Roman Church. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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« Reply #94 on: June 06, 2012, 11:46:32 AM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 
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« Reply #95 on: June 06, 2012, 12:09:33 PM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 


What do you do with the Fathers who assert that she was never touched by the blemish of any sin...ever...and who assert that her holiness is unique among all others of mankind...and that she does not carry "spot or stain"....etc.  Some of that is liturgical language.  When I point out the extreme language of holiness contained in the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple, I am told that is only a minor feast.  Does that mean that lex orandi only applies to major feasts?  etc.

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« Reply #96 on: June 06, 2012, 12:20:36 PM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 


What do you do with the Fathers who assert that she was never touched by the blemish of any sin...ever...and who assert that her holiness is unique among all others of mankind...and that she does not carry "spot or stain"....etc. 
The same thing we do with St. John Chrysostom's assertions on the matter.

Some of that is liturgical language.  When I point out the extreme language of holiness contained in the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple, I am told that is only a minor feast.  Does that mean that lex orandi only applies to major feasts?  etc.
You talking about the Orthodox texts, or the Vatican's?

It's the Immaculate Conception.  Not the Immaculate Presentation.
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« Reply #97 on: June 06, 2012, 12:37:16 PM »

I never argue against extremely correct Orthodox positions unless I use Orthodoxy sources...
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« Reply #98 on: June 06, 2012, 12:39:06 PM »

I never argue against extremely correct Orthodox positions unless I use Orthodoxy sources...
You use sources?  Haven't seen much of that...

So, what proof text from the service of the Presentation do you have?
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« Reply #99 on: June 06, 2012, 01:06:04 PM »

Firstly, I disagree that we HAVE to give more attention to dogmatic hermeneutics.  The dogmas are the dogmas are the dogmas.

That's like saying, the Bible is the Bible is the Bible. 

Perhaps serb1389's point can be phrased this way (forgive me if I misinterpret what you were getting at Fr.):
If Orthodoxy does not have a clear dogmatic hermeneutic (and I beleive that is what you are are asserting Fr. Aidan), then we have apparently gotten along for 2000 years without one. What in particular about the present time would make us need something we didn't need previously (particularly as compared to, say, the conciliar period when dogmatic controversies regularly shook the Church)? The only logical alternative to this would be that if we have not gotten along for 2000 years without a clear dogmatic hermeneutic, then we must have (or at some point have had) such a hermeneutic and the goal would be to understand/recover that rather than invent it.

(Personally, I think I'd suggest that while we do not have a 'clear' hermeneutic, we do have a practical, functional one born of the experiential nature of the Church that produces clear 'enough' dogmas. But that would take a lot more time and space to defend than I currently have, so I'll just leave it there as a suggestion).


Quote
The mention of Romanides raises an important question:  What precisely is the authority of the Latin Fathers in Orthodoxy?  My impression is that they functionally have no authority.  They are quoted when they agree with our favorite Eastern Fathers and are ignored when they disagree.  Now that is a hermeneutical decision, but on what grounds do we justify it?        

Forgive me, but I think you are making this question more complicated than it needs to be. A Father's individual authority rests on his witness to the common tradition and his place within the community of the Church (as a whole over time). The further any Father pushes into individual/idiosyncratic interpretation/speculation, the less authority his words carry on that matter. If St. Athanasius and St. Basil and St. Ambrose and St. Maximus all say the same (or similar) thing, that their words have a lot of authority. On the other hand, if St. Athanasius is the only person who says X, then it has considerably less authority--but because St. Athanasius is recognized throughout the Church as one of the most authoritative fathers, his personal opinion would still more weight than if St. John of Kronstadt (a widely beloved and respected saint but not one generally recognized as a doctrinal powerhouse) is the only person who says X. And in turn, St. John's personal opinion still carries more weight than that of random layman Y.

As far as the Latin Fathers go, we know where their particular current in the Tradition ended up--in the schism of the West and the eventual adoption of multiple innovations. It was not a case that the West was perfectly Orthodox in 1053 and became perfectly unorthodox in 1054. Clearly the seeds of the schism were sown earlier and developed over time. So when one looks at a Western Father and what he says is in agreement with Eastern Fathers (either directly or as different but complementary perspective), then we can see how his statement witnesses to the common tradition. But when what he says is not reflected at all in the Eastern, we approach it more cautiously. And that's true whether it's a dozen Latin Fathers or just one. Because the witness of a dozen Eastern Fathers is a broad witness to the flow of Tradition that has literally and directly been handed down to us from their time to this; whereas the the witness of a dozen Latin Fathers might be a witness to the deviation that would eventually carry the West out of the Church entirely.
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« Reply #100 on: June 06, 2012, 01:24:13 PM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 


What do you do with the Fathers who assert that she was never touched by the blemish of any sin...ever...and who assert that her holiness is unique among all others of mankind...and that she does not carry "spot or stain"....etc.  Some of that is liturgical language.  When I point out the extreme language of holiness contained in the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple, I am told that is only a minor feast.  Does that mean that lex orandi only applies to major feasts?  etc.



When saints disagree, we follow the Vincentian canon and look to the oldest Fathers to see what the original belief was. And the oldest clear statements (by some of the most respected and learned authorities) are pretty clear that the idea that the Theotokos was completely sinless is a later development. This is particularly true when one considers that the mechanism for its development is pretty obvious*, whereas its decidely unclear how an original tradition of sinlessness could have faded to the point that St. John Chrysostom in the 4th century could speak of the Theotokos sinning without it being controversial (one would think his enemies would have leapt at the chance to add accusations of impiety against the Mother of God against him if the idea of her sinlessness had any currency at all at the time).

*Everyone loves the Theotokos. Indeed, the more one enters into union with Christ, the more one loves His Mother who becomes *our* mother, just as His Father becomes Our Father. Normal people think their mother is a saint when she's just a nice lady. But our mother in Christ actually is a saint, and not just a saint but the greatest saint that ever lived. If normal people think their normal human mother is practically perfect, where is there to take that emotion applied to the Theotokos but exaggerate her from greatest saint to completely immaculate. And at the same time, the fastest way to start a fight with most people is to say something disparaging about their mom--in many cases, you can start a fight by saying something absolutely and objectively true about their mother, if you simply put it crudely enough. So everyone has an incentive to praise the Theotokos. No one has an incentive to tick their fellow Christians off by saying something negative about her, even if the statement were to be true. So lots of people compete to praise her as extravagantly as possible--while no one 'competes' or even wants to say 'well, yes, she was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'
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« Reply #101 on: June 06, 2012, 01:38:18 PM »

As far as the Latin Fathers go, we know where their particular current in the Tradition ended up--in the schism of the West and the eventual adoption of multiple innovations. It was not a case that the West was perfectly Orthodox in 1053 and became perfectly unorthodox in 1054. Clearly the seeds of the schism were sown earlier and developed over time. So when one looks at a Western Father and what he says is in agreement with Eastern Fathers (either directly or as different but complementary perspective), then we can see how his statement witnesses to the common tradition. But when what he says is not reflected at all in the Eastern, we approach it more cautiously. And that's true whether it's a dozen Latin Fathers or just one. Because the witness of a dozen Eastern Fathers is a broad witness to the flow of Tradition that has literally and directly been handed down to us from their time to this; whereas the the witness of a dozen Latin Fathers might be a witness to the deviation that would eventually carry the West out of the Church entirely.

I meant to add here, that I think you can see a similar dynamic if you look at the 'Antiochian school' post-Nestorius, although we've had a much longer time to work that out. That is, until Nestorius became infamous, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodorus, for example, were widely respected figures and authorities. But after their school of thought was shown to lead to Nestorianism, their writings came under increasing suspicion (ending with the 5th Ecumenical council's anathematization of Theodore). Now, you can't quote Theodore or Diodorus as authorities except to the extent that you can show whatever they were saying was in line with fully Orthodox Fathers. Similarly, Theodoret was not personally anathematized, but one has to be careful in quoting him as an authority because his Christology was associated with Nestorius's. St. John Chrysostom, on the other hand, while having connections to all these figures has been recognized as fully within the Orthodox tradition, and one can quote him without double-checking if this or that particular thought is 'Orthodox' or 'crypto-Nestorian' because of his place in the overall Tradition of the Church.
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« Reply #102 on: June 06, 2012, 01:44:05 PM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 


What do you do with the Fathers who assert that she was never touched by the blemish of any sin...ever...and who assert that her holiness is unique among all others of mankind...and that she does not carry "spot or stain"....etc.  Some of that is liturgical language.  When I point out the extreme language of holiness contained in the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple, I am told that is only a minor feast.  Does that mean that lex orandi only applies to major feasts?  etc.



When saints disagree, we follow the Vincentian canon and look to the oldest Fathers to see what the original belief was. And the oldest clear statements (by some of the most respected and learned authorities) are pretty clear that the idea that the Theotokos was completely sinless is a later development. This is particularly true when one considers that the mechanism for its development is pretty obvious*, whereas its decidely unclear how an original tradition of sinlessness could have faded to the point that St. John Chrysostom in the 4th century could speak of the Theotokos sinning without it being controversial (one would think his enemies would have leapt at the chance to add accusations of impiety against the Mother of God against him if the idea of her sinlessness had any currency at all at the time).

*Everyone loves the Theotokos. Indeed, the more one enters into union with Christ, the more one loves His Mother who becomes *our* mother, just as His Father becomes Our Father. Normal people think their mother is a saint when she's just a nice lady. But our mother in Christ actually is a saint, and not just a saint but the greatest saint that ever lived. If normal people think their normal human mother is practically perfect, where is there to take that emotion applied to the Theotokos but exaggerate her from greatest saint to completely immaculate. And at the same time, the fastest way to start a fight with most people is to say something disparaging about their mom--in many cases, you can start a fight by saying something absolutely and objectively true about their mother, if you simply put it crudely enough. So everyone has an incentive to praise the Theotokos. No one has an incentive to tick their fellow Christians off by saying something negative about her, even if the statement were to be true. So lots of people compete to praise her as extravagantly as possible--while no one 'competes' or even wants to say 'well, yes, she was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'

Interesting.  Did you just say the Theotokos "...was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'"?  Grin  I wonder how many people you just "ticked off"  Grin?

On a slightly different note, I'd be interested to see, if you or anyone else is able to provide it, some kind of chronology/time line, with the appropriate Church Fathers referenced, indicating the "development" of the beliefs that the Theotokos was first not sinless to then she was sinless.  Is that a reasonable request?  In other words, who said what when?
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« Reply #103 on: June 06, 2012, 02:00:00 PM »

Interesting.  Did you just say the Theotokos "...was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'"?  Grin  I wonder how many people you just "ticked off"  Grin?

Difficult to say. There certainly are a lot human beings who get "ticked off" when someone say something they disagree with. However, we don't know how many of those people even read witega's post (or anything on this forum for that matter).
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« Reply #104 on: June 06, 2012, 02:08:07 PM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 


What do you do with the Fathers who assert that she was never touched by the blemish of any sin...ever...and who assert that her holiness is unique among all others of mankind...and that she does not carry "spot or stain"....etc.  Some of that is liturgical language.  When I point out the extreme language of holiness contained in the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple, I am told that is only a minor feast.  Does that mean that lex orandi only applies to major feasts?  etc.



When saints disagree, we follow the Vincentian canon and look to the oldest Fathers to see what the original belief was. And the oldest clear statements (by some of the most respected and learned authorities) are pretty clear that the idea that the Theotokos was completely sinless is a later development. This is particularly true when one considers that the mechanism for its development is pretty obvious*, whereas its decidely unclear how an original tradition of sinlessness could have faded to the point that St. John Chrysostom in the 4th century could speak of the Theotokos sinning without it being controversial (one would think his enemies would have leapt at the chance to add accusations of impiety against the Mother of God against him if the idea of her sinlessness had any currency at all at the time).

*Everyone loves the Theotokos. Indeed, the more one enters into union with Christ, the more one loves His Mother who becomes *our* mother, just as His Father becomes Our Father. Normal people think their mother is a saint when she's just a nice lady. But our mother in Christ actually is a saint, and not just a saint but the greatest saint that ever lived. If normal people think their normal human mother is practically perfect, where is there to take that emotion applied to the Theotokos but exaggerate her from greatest saint to completely immaculate. And at the same time, the fastest way to start a fight with most people is to say something disparaging about their mom--in many cases, you can start a fight by saying something absolutely and objectively true about their mother, if you simply put it crudely enough. So everyone has an incentive to praise the Theotokos. No one has an incentive to tick their fellow Christians off by saying something negative about her, even if the statement were to be true. So lots of people compete to praise her as extravagantly as possible--while no one 'competes' or even wants to say 'well, yes, she was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'

That is very interesting.  Then there is no lex orandi with the following festal text:

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


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

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

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

The kontakion of the feast:

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

From Small Vespers:

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

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

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

From Great Vespers:

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

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

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

From Matins:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angels and men, let us honour the entry of the Virgin, for in glory she has
gone into the Holy of Holies.
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« Reply #105 on: June 06, 2012, 02:13:46 PM »

Interesting.  Did you just say the Theotokos "...was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'"?  Grin  I wonder how many people you just "ticked off"  Grin?

Difficult to say. There certainly are a lot human beings who get "ticked off" when someone say something they disagree with. However, we don't know how many of those people even read witega's post (or anything on this forum for that matter).

Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning? We believe that she did no active sin in her life, correct? How does one resist voluntary sin when even involuntary sin is beyond hope for most of us?

Not trying to pound the desk or anything. I'm just asking.  Undecided
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« Reply #106 on: June 06, 2012, 02:25:07 PM »

Interesting.  Did you just say the Theotokos "...was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'"?  Grin  I wonder how many people you just "ticked off"  Grin?

Difficult to say. There certainly are a lot human beings who get "ticked off" when someone say something they disagree with. However, we don't know how many of those people even read witega's post (or anything on this forum for that matter).

Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning? We believe that she did no active sin in her life, correct? How does one resist voluntary sin when even involuntary sin is beyond hope for most of us?

Not trying to pound the desk or anything. I'm just asking.  Undecided

I know it's too early for your vodka, biro, but................how 'bout a beer? Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #107 on: June 06, 2012, 02:32:48 PM »

Quote
Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning?
Does it matter? There is no need to make her something less than human to explain it.

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« Reply #108 on: June 06, 2012, 02:36:27 PM »

Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning?

You realize witega is Eastern Orthodox, right? (Not saying you don't realize that, just asking.)
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« Reply #109 on: June 06, 2012, 02:37:08 PM »

Clemente, you have misunderstood what I have written.  At no point have I defended the Immaculate Conception.  What I have done is to affirm the purity and sinlessness of the Theotokos.  I do not need the Immaculate Conception in order to do so, just as St John Damascene and St Gregory Palamas did not need the doctrine in order to do so.

Nor did Sergius Bulgakov support the IC dogma.  Quite the contrary.  He emphatically rejected it.  He rejected it because of its dependence on a formulation of grace which he deemed un-Orthodox.  He rejected it because it severs Mary from the holiness of Israel.  But Bulgakov did strongly affirm, as have many Orthodox through the centuries, the sinlessness of the Theotokos.  He also affirmed the sinlessness of the Forerunner.   

It appears to me that the promulgation of the IC dogma has led some Orthodox into a false dilemma:  if the IC dogma is false, then the Virgin Mary must be a sinner just like the rest of us. How very Protestant, if I may say so. Curiously, this dilemma seems more Western than Eastern.  If one does not uphold a Latin view of original sin (whether Augustinian or Thomist), then why is it impossible that the Theotokos may have led, by the grace of God, a sinless, immaculate life?  Again I refer the brethren to the Marian homilies of St Gregory Palamas.  Read these sermons and then tell me that St Gregory would have entertained, even for one moment, the possibility that the Theotokos was ever guilty of personal sin, that she ever lived in a state of spiritual alienation from the Holy Trinity.  I'll close with this passage from Met Kallistos Ware: 

Quote
In Orthodox devotion Mary is constantly termed panagia, 'all-holy,' panamomitos, 'without blemish,' and achrantos, 'without spot' or 'immaculate.' ... Orthodoxy understands this title [panagia]to mean that Mary is free from all actual sin, although she was born subject to the effects of original sin, in common with the other holy men and women of the Old Covenant. Thus the Orthodox Church sees in her the supreme fulfilment of sanctity in a human person--the model and paradigm of what it means by God's grace, to be authentically human.
 


What do you do with the Fathers who assert that she was never touched by the blemish of any sin...ever...and who assert that her holiness is unique among all others of mankind...and that she does not carry "spot or stain"....etc.  Some of that is liturgical language.  When I point out the extreme language of holiness contained in the Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple, I am told that is only a minor feast.  Does that mean that lex orandi only applies to major feasts?  etc.



When saints disagree, we follow the Vincentian canon and look to the oldest Fathers to see what the original belief was. And the oldest clear statements (by some of the most respected and learned authorities) are pretty clear that the idea that the Theotokos was completely sinless is a later development. This is particularly true when one considers that the mechanism for its development is pretty obvious*, whereas its decidely unclear how an original tradition of sinlessness could have faded to the point that St. John Chrysostom in the 4th century could speak of the Theotokos sinning without it being controversial (one would think his enemies would have leapt at the chance to add accusations of impiety against the Mother of God against him if the idea of her sinlessness had any currency at all at the time).

*Everyone loves the Theotokos. Indeed, the more one enters into union with Christ, the more one loves His Mother who becomes *our* mother, just as His Father becomes Our Father. Normal people think their mother is a saint when she's just a nice lady. But our mother in Christ actually is a saint, and not just a saint but the greatest saint that ever lived. If normal people think their normal human mother is practically perfect, where is there to take that emotion applied to the Theotokos but exaggerate her from greatest saint to completely immaculate. And at the same time, the fastest way to start a fight with most people is to say something disparaging about their mom--in many cases, you can start a fight by saying something absolutely and objectively true about their mother, if you simply put it crudely enough. So everyone has an incentive to praise the Theotokos. No one has an incentive to tick their fellow Christians off by saying something negative about her, even if the statement were to be true. So lots of people compete to praise her as extravagantly as possible--while no one 'competes' or even wants to say 'well, yes, she was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'

That is very interesting.  Then there is no lex orandi with the following festal text:

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


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

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

"Beholding the entry of the All-Pure, the angels were struck with
amazement, seeing how the Virgin entered into the Holy of Holies" (p.
190 Menaion )
Lex orandi: no IC.

The kontakion of the feast:

"The All-pure Temple of the Saviour, the precious Bridal Chamber and
Virgin, the sacred treasure of the glory of God, is led today into the
house of the Lord, and with her she brings the grace of the divine
Spirit. Of her God's angels sing in praise: "She is indeed the
heavenly Tabernacle." (P. 195 Menaion)
Lex orandi: No IC.

From Small Vespers:

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

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

The living Bridal Chamber of God the Word receives bread from the hands of a
divine angel, as she dwells in the Holy of holies.
Lex orandi: No IC.

From Great Vespers:

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

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

Ann, truly blessed by God's grace, led with gladness into the temple of the
Lord the pure and ever-Virgin, who is full of grace, and she called the
young girls to go before her, lamps in hand. `Go, Child,' she said, `to Him
who gave thee unto me; be unto Him an offering and a sweet smelling incense.
Go into the place which none may enter: learn its mysteries and prepare
thyself to become the pleasing and beautiful dwelling-place of Jesus, who
grants the world great mercy.'
Lex orandi: No IC.

From Matins:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angels and men, let us honour the entry of the Virgin, for in glory she has
gone into the Holy of Holies.
Lex orandi: No IC.

Then there is that lex orandi that while her Birth and Presentation are major feasts of the Holy Theotokos, but the conception of St. Anne is not.

Btw, somewhere here we have the Byzantine Texts which the Vatican has produced with the IC in it.  Anyone recall where they are?
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« Reply #110 on: June 06, 2012, 02:40:19 PM »

Quote
Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning?
Does it matter? There is no need to make her something less than human to explain it.

PP

I find it fascinating that you think of the Immaculate Conception as being "less than" human.  Very indicative, I think.
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« Reply #111 on: June 06, 2012, 02:46:37 PM »

Quote
I find it fascinating that you think of the Immaculate Conception as being "less than" human.  Very indicative, I think.
Shielding her somehow from a problem indicative of the human condition? Yes, I do think the IC makes her something elss than human.

Constantly having to rationalize everything, even to the point of such rationalization being completely silly is also indicative I believe.

PP
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« Reply #112 on: June 06, 2012, 02:55:07 PM »

For Emergency Use ONLY!!

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« Reply #113 on: June 06, 2012, 02:57:37 PM »

Where can I order this kit? I have my credit card out.
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« Reply #114 on: June 06, 2012, 03:09:04 PM »

Where can I order this kit? I have my credit card out.

You can private message me your credit card #, along with expiration date, and 3 digit i.d. number from the back.  Also send your address.  Once I receive these, I'll print you a copy and mail it to you.  Then I'll go shopping  Grin Grin Grin Grin!
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« Reply #115 on: June 06, 2012, 03:11:50 PM »

Aw you'll do that for me!! Thank you Smiley
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« Reply #116 on: June 06, 2012, 03:18:12 PM »

Aw you'll do that for me!! Thank you Smiley

Anytime.  Anytime, at all!  Grin Wink.

But wait.......if you send me the info in the next 5 minutes, I'll include a *second kit* !!!!! absolutely FREE!  (That is, until I go shopping  laugh laugh).
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« Reply #117 on: June 06, 2012, 03:19:43 PM »

This is better than the paid previews I spend hours watching!!
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« Reply #118 on: June 06, 2012, 03:21:54 PM »

This is better than the paid previews I spend hours watching!!

LOL!!!

Just wait until we get to the really long posts and pretty maps!!!  You ain't seen nothin' yet, brother!  Grin
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« Reply #119 on: June 06, 2012, 03:37:12 PM »

That is very interesting.  Then there is no lex orandi with the following festal text:

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


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

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

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

The kontakion of the feast:

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

From Small Vespers:

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

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

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

From Great Vespers:

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

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

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

From Matins:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.
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« Reply #120 on: June 06, 2012, 03:50:36 PM »

Interesting.  Did you just say the Theotokos "...was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'"?  Grin  I wonder how many people you just "ticked off"  Grin?

Difficult to say. There certainly are a lot human beings who get "ticked off" when someone say something they disagree with. However, we don't know how many of those people even read witega's post (or anything on this forum for that matter).

Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning? We believe that she did no active sin in her life, correct? How does one resist voluntary sin when even involuntary sin is beyond hope for most of us?

Not trying to pound the desk or anything. I'm just asking.  Undecided

I know it's too early for your vodka, biro, but................how 'bout a beer? Grin Grin Grin

Thank you.
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« Reply #121 on: June 06, 2012, 03:54:56 PM »

That is very interesting.  Then there is no lex orandi with the following festal text:

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


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

The Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple


At Orthros the Magnificat is replaced by these words:

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

The kontakion of the feast:

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

From Small Vespers:

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

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

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

From Great Vespers:

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

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

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

From Matins:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.

A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.
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« Reply #122 on: June 06, 2012, 03:56:13 PM »

Interesting.  Did you just say the Theotokos "...was purer than any other human being ever (i.e., the purest), but she wasn't sinless.'"?  Grin  I wonder how many people you just "ticked off"  Grin?

Difficult to say. There certainly are a lot human beings who get "ticked off" when someone say something they disagree with. However, we don't know how many of those people even read witega's post (or anything on this forum for that matter).

Well, if the Theotokos did not have extra grace her whole life, how did she get from age 1 to age 14 (or however old she was when she bore Jesus) without sinning? We believe that she did no active sin in her life, correct? How does one resist voluntary sin when even involuntary sin is beyond hope for most of us?

Not trying to pound the desk or anything. I'm just asking.  Undecided

I know it's too early for your vodka, biro, but................how 'bout a beer? Grin Grin Grin

Thank you.

On me!

Also, see posts #112 and #114 above.  Wink
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« Reply #123 on: June 06, 2012, 04:04:02 PM »

I expect the kit will come in handy.  Smiley
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« Reply #124 on: June 06, 2012, 04:11:26 PM »

I expect the kit will come in handy.  Smiley

Its usefulness grows exponentially when you accompany it with a beer or 3, although vodka is an admirable substitute, if preferred.

I keep mine on my desk, right next to my keyboard.  Since I started participating on this discussion board, I've worn through about 9 of them.  That might help explain a thing or two about some of my posts  Grin.
« Last Edit: June 06, 2012, 04:13:21 PM by J Michael » Logged

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« Reply #125 on: June 06, 2012, 04:13:14 PM »


But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.


A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.

All very good and interesting hermeneutical questions and considerations. Wink
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« Reply #126 on: June 06, 2012, 04:16:47 PM »


But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.


A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.

All very good and interesting hermeneutical questions and considerations. Wink

Thanks, Fr.!  And here I wasn't even certain of the meaning of hermeneutics until, well....say a day or so ago.  Grin  (Sheesh, it's hard enough to *type* let alone understand!)

I look forward to someone addressing them.
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« Reply #127 on: June 06, 2012, 04:29:26 PM »

But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.

A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.

Sorry, I'm being guarded with my language here because my only knowledge of the Virgin Mary being a type of the Old Temple is second hand, coming from Fr. Meyendorff who mentioned it in his Book Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes:

Quote
The Bible was always understood not simply as a source of revealed doctrinal propositions, or as a description of historical facts, but as a witness to a living Truth which had become dynamically present in the sacramental community of the New Testament Church. The veneration of the Virgin, Mother of God, for example, was associated once and for all with a typological interpretation of the Old Testament temple cult: the one who carried God in her womb was the true "temple," the true "tabernacle," the "candlestick," and God's final "abode." Thus, a Byzantine who, on the eve of a Marian feast, listened in church to a reading from the Book of Proverbs about "Wisdom building her house" (Pr. 9:1ff.) naturally, and almost exclusively, thought of the "Word becoming flesh"—i.e., finding His abode in the Virgin.

pg 21.

He does not directly provide a source for this particular claim, so I cannot be positive that he is correct. That being said, his scholarship is usually excellent, so I don't find any particular motivation to question his claim.
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« Reply #128 on: June 06, 2012, 04:40:44 PM »

I was not aware that Orthodoxy now submits its liturgical texts to the critical historical method before deciding on whether or not it stands up to lex orandi....good to know.   Does anyone know if that how they set up their Scriptural exegesis as well?

M.
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« Reply #129 on: June 06, 2012, 05:04:58 PM »

But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.

A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.

Sorry, I'm being guarded with my language here because my only knowledge of the Virgin Mary being a type of the Old Temple is second hand, coming from Fr. Meyendorff who mentioned it in his Book Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes:

Quote
The Bible was always understood not simply as a source of revealed doctrinal propositions, or as a description of historical facts, but as a witness to a living Truth which had become dynamically present in the sacramental community of the New Testament Church. The veneration of the Virgin, Mother of God, for example, was associated once and for all with a typological interpretation of the Old Testament temple cult: the one who carried God in her womb was the true "temple," the true "tabernacle," the "candlestick," and God's final "abode." Thus, a Byzantine who, on the eve of a Marian feast, listened in church to a reading from the Book of Proverbs about "Wisdom building her house" (Pr. 9:1ff.) naturally, and almost exclusively, thought of the "Word becoming flesh"—i.e., finding His abode in the Virgin.

pg 21.

He does not directly provide a source for this particular claim, so I cannot be positive that he is correct. That being said, his scholarship is usually excellent, so I don't find any particular motivation to question his claim.

I appreciate your candor and honesty, and am familiar with what you quote from Fr. Meyendorff, although not directly from him.  Be that as it may, to accept what you (and he) write at face value would be a mistake on my part, not because he's not an excellent scholar (I cannot judge that) or because you've misunderstood him (I've no idea, really) but because it doesn't really answer my questions and there's no other independent verification of the information you've given and/or hinted at.  (Gee, I hope *that* made sense!)
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« Reply #130 on: June 06, 2012, 05:10:47 PM »

But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.

A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.

Sorry, I'm being guarded with my language here because my only knowledge of the Virgin Mary being a type of the Old Temple is second hand, coming from Fr. Meyendorff who mentioned it in his Book Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes:

Quote
The Bible was always understood not simply as a source of revealed doctrinal propositions, or as a description of historical facts, but as a witness to a living Truth which had become dynamically present in the sacramental community of the New Testament Church. The veneration of the Virgin, Mother of God, for example, was associated once and for all with a typological interpretation of the Old Testament temple cult: the one who carried God in her womb was the true "temple," the true "tabernacle," the "candlestick," and God's final "abode." Thus, a Byzantine who, on the eve of a Marian feast, listened in church to a reading from the Book of Proverbs about "Wisdom building her house" (Pr. 9:1ff.) naturally, and almost exclusively, thought of the "Word becoming flesh"—i.e., finding His abode in the Virgin.

pg 21.

He does not directly provide a source for this particular claim, so I cannot be positive that he is correct. That being said, his scholarship is usually excellent, so I don't find any particular motivation to question his claim.

I appreciate your candor and honesty, and am familiar with what you quote from Fr. Meyendorff, although not directly from him.  Be that as it may, to accept what you (and he) write at face value would be a mistake on my part, not because he's not an excellent scholar (I cannot judge that) or because you've misunderstood him (I've no idea, really) but because it doesn't really answer my questions and there's no other independent verification of the information you've given and/or hinted at.  (Gee, I hope *that* made sense!)

That makes sense. That is the very reasoning behind my reticence to make any absolute statements.
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« Reply #131 on: June 06, 2012, 05:14:37 PM »

But this makes all sorts of presuppositions about the texts of the feast which need to be made clear. First one has to take for granted that this feast is meant to be understood as an historical event. Secondly, one would have to assume that, if it is an historical event, the event is portrayed with complete historical accuracy. How do we know, for example, that the entry of the theotokos was not meant to be understood in virtue of typology? Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh. And with the new temple entering the old one, the connection certainly would have been hard to miss. We also know that the feast is likely drawn from the pseudepigraphical infancy gospels. These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.

A couple of things.  I know the literal meaning of "lex orandi", but what does it mean in the context in which Mary has used it?

Secondly, you could be right about what you say, but is there any way to establish that you are?  Is it not somewhat presumptive on your part to state "Certainly, the medieval Christians would likely have understood the Old Testament Temple, the dwelling place of God, to be a type of the Theotokos, in whom God dwelled and from whom God took on flesh"?  How might we know this?

Thirdly, **without knowing the historical development of the liturgical texts in question** it occurs to me (perhaps erroneously) that it's at least as plausible to think the opposite of this: "These factors at the very least make it plausible that the feast of the Entry of the Theotokos was not meant to be understood historically, so it is hard to accept the claim that the hymns of this feast support the Immaculate Conception without at least some justification for reading them as historical texts.", i.e. that it *was* meant to be understood historically as well as typologically.

Just a few random thoughts.  I have them every once in a while  Wink.  Consider them at your own risk  Grin.

Sorry, I'm being guarded with my language here because my only knowledge of the Virgin Mary being a type of the Old Temple is second hand, coming from Fr. Meyendorff who mentioned it in his Book Byzantine Theology: Historical Trends and Doctrinal Themes:

Quote
The Bible was always understood not simply as a source of revealed doctrinal propositions, or as a description of historical facts, but as a witness to a living Truth which had become dynamically present in the sacramental community of the New Testament Church. The veneration of the Virgin, Mother of God, for example, was associated once and for all with a typological interpretation of the Old Testament temple cult: the one who carried God in her womb was the true "temple," the true "tabernacle," the "candlestick," and God's final "abode." Thus, a Byzantine who, on the eve of a Marian feast, listened in church to a reading from the Book of Proverbs about "Wisdom building her house" (Pr. 9:1ff.) naturally, and almost exclusively, thought of the "Word becoming flesh"—i.e., finding His abode in the Virgin.

pg 21.

He does not directly provide a source for this particular claim, so I cannot be positive that he is correct. That being said, his scholarship is usually excellent, so I don't find any particular motivation to question his claim.

I appreciate your candor and honesty, and am familiar with what you quote from Fr. Meyendorff, although not directly from him.  Be that as it may, to accept what you (and he) write at face value would be a mistake on my part, not because he's not an excellent scholar (I cannot judge that) or because you've misunderstood him (I've no idea, really) but because it doesn't really answer my questions and there's no other independent verification of the information you've given and/or hinted at.  (Gee, I hope *that* made sense!)

That makes sense. That is the very reasoning behind my reticence to make any absolute statements.

So, I guess we're back to square one.  Or, to be more precise, reply #121 above.   Wink
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« Reply #132 on: June 06, 2012, 05:21:01 PM »

I was not aware that Orthodoxy now submits its liturgical texts to the critical historical method before deciding on whether or not it stands up to lex orandi....good to know.   Does anyone know if that how they set up their Scriptural exegesis as well?

M.

Must something correspond to history in order to be true? Is the truth of the Entry of the Theotokos  or of the Dormition to be found in their historical accuracy?
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« Reply #133 on: June 06, 2012, 05:25:02 PM »

I was not aware that Orthodoxy now submits its liturgical texts to the critical historical method before deciding on whether or not it stands up to lex orandi....good to know.   Does anyone know if that how they set up their Scriptural exegesis as well?

M.

Must something correspond to history in order to be true? Is the truth of the Entry of the Theotokos  or of the Dormition to be found in their historical accuracy?

I do not think so by any means.  Perhaps I was misreading some of the responses to my publishing the texts from the feast.

Mary
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« Reply #134 on: June 06, 2012, 05:29:20 PM »

I was not aware that Orthodoxy now submits its liturgical texts to the critical historical method before deciding on whether or not it stands up to lex orandi....good to know.   Does anyone know if that how they set up their Scriptural exegesis as well?

M.

Must something correspond to history in order to be true? Is the truth of the Entry of the Theotokos  or of the Dormition to be found in their historical accuracy?

If something is true, and is said to have occurred in human history, how can there *not* be some kind of historical correspondence? 
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"May Thy Cross, O Lord, in which I seek refuge, be for me a bridge across the great river of fire.  May I pass along it to the habitation of life." ~St. Ephraim the Syrian

"Sometimes you're the windshield.  Sometimes you're the bug." ~ Mark Knopfler (?)
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