Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception

Mardukm

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Thank you brother bob.  I totally respect your point of view.

Pravoslavbob said:
There are many threads on this forum concerning the Immaculate Conception.  I'm not sure why this one was started, as the issue has been looked at fairly intensely. 

At this point in time, it would seem that you are allowed to believe in the IC and be Orthodox at the same time, as far as I can tell. However, it is still an erroneous doctrine as far as the Orthodox Church  is concerned.  I remember that Metropolitan Kallistos Ware mentioned in The Orthodox Church words to  the effect that it is not problematic.  But I think he is wrong.
Blessings
 

Mardukm

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Salpy said:
Is that what theologoumenon means?  Is it a fancy Greek word for BS?  If that is the case, then yes, it's theologoumenon.  What it is not, however, is a legitimate teaching of my Church.
Theologoumenon, simply put, means that members are free to believe it or reject it  Theologoumenon means that it is not an article of Faith.  Theologoumenon also means, however, that the belief is NOT CONDEMNED.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
Here's a perfect example of the way polemicists will tweak the words of Catholic doctrine for the purpose of misleading others.   The dogma never states that Mary had "never known original sin." The teaching simply states that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.
You're really digging yourself into a big hole.

If the dogma never states that the Mother of God had "never known original sin" does that mean Catholics believe that in reality she did know original sin?

Isn't that gobbledygook, Marduk?

If anybody is tweaking words, it is you with such statements.    Do you ever sit down and discuss your opinions with any Catholic theologian?
 

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Okay wow...many things to talk about:

Mardukm said:
Personally, I've never pondered the idea of whether the Theotokos knew she was immaculately conceived.  The interest on the matter would be on the same level as me wondering if the Theotokos knew at, say, age 7 that she would be the Theotokos.  I do not see any fruit that can come from an intellectual consideration of whether the Saints had an omniscient knowledge of exactly what Graces they had received/were receiving/would receive from God.

Blessings,
Marduk
I think this does need intellectual consideration.  As I said before, St. Luke offers us an implication that she never knew.  The interest of the matter is not, imo, at the same level as wondering if the Virgin Mary would know she would be the Theotokos.  For one thing, we know that she never knew.  For another thing, she wasn't even the Theotokos YET.  But according to the belief of the IC, she was IC'ed since her conception.  I think this speaks volumes.  Do you know of any saint sanctified for a role not knowing they were sanctified?  Does God just give grace to people without their knowledge?  Does God condemn people without their knowledge?  Do we raise our children without telling them that they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?  The knowledge about people's state, good or bad is the reason for continual evangelization and teaching as well.  Knowledge of your own status requires serious thought, imo.

Mardukm said:
St. Jacob's belief on the matter really is not a Faith-defining issue.  At the very least, if the COC has made it a Faith-defining issue, it is a very recent development in teaching.  Since most documents from the Synod are not in English, maybe it will take some time.

But I ask you this, honestly.  We both know that we don't live and breathe by every word from any human, even a Saint.  Do you think it is proper for the Synod to respond to the Catholic Church's making the IC a faith defining issue, by themselves making something else a faith-defining issue?  To me, it would seem the proper or even better course of action would be to leave the matter the way it always was - theologoumenon.
People I've known have understood through Sunday schools, priestly sermons, messages of HH in his weekly sermons that the IC is condemned.  If you read the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, you will find that one thorn in the issue of unification among many in the eyes of the Coptic Church is the IC.  Among the laity, I've heard many things like the General Resurrection will be bodiless, or that they never heard of St. Severus, the pillar of faith, or that a one-day old infant had to have committed some sort of sin (not understanding fully the idea of what it means that "no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth"), or that if someone looked at you with an evil eye, you're cursed (ya, that I've heard).  There are many many laity I've met who do not have a correct understanding of the Trinity as well, even at an adult age.

The Church has expressed strong opposition of the IC for the main reason because of the liturgical prayer of the departed which as I stated before, "For no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth."  This "no one" includes the Virgin Mary in the eyes of the Coptic Church.  The Coptic Church also uses Romans 5:12-14 as their support, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because of which all sinned.  (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come....)"

The Coptic Church's opposition I would contend however is just the other side of the same coin as the Latin Church's dogmatic acceptance.  If it's theologomenoun, why make it a dogma?  Why then join a church that condemns anyone who does believe it?

These are good points to ponder.  I would ask that you consider the ramifications of your comments for our beliefs regarding the Forerunner.  St. John was sanctified even BEFORE he was born.  Does this mean St. John lost his free will, or any part of it?

Blessings,
Marduk
True, but he was raised as a Forerunner and knew he was to be the Forerunner.  It was very clear when the Pharisees asked him who he was, and he gave them the prophecy from the great Isaiah, understanding fully well his role.  Luke's gospel does not give us that option.  The Virgin Mary however was understood as one to be raised as a Virgin devoted to the altar according to tradition, but not to know that she would be the one who would bear the Logos.

In addition, just as we can't say the Forerunner was IC'ed, so we can't say the same of the Theotokos.  The Holy Spirit have descended and given grace to anyone He wills, as the Old Testament (OT) has shown.  Prophets, judges, kings, priests, even pagans at some points.  It is a matter of sanctification for the role, just as the OT vessels were washed with water and anointed with oil for a purpose.  The anointing however does not indicate a removal of Original Sin.  So I don't mind the idea that the Virgin Mary was anointed from conception, but I personally find it unacceptable to remove Original Sin from conception.

Mardukm said:
Are you absolutely sure that the Synod and HH's appeal to St. Jacob is an indication that they are trying to make it a Faith-defining issue?  Is it possible that their appeal is simply to emphasize that there are Fathers (actually I can count only two in the early Church) who express the belief that Mary's sanctification occurred at the Annunciation?  In other words, maybe their point is not to make it a Faith-defining belief, but rather to insist on the fact that it remain theologoumenon.

For if it is their purpose to make it a Faith-defining belief, wouldn't that mean the Armenians are heretics for believing it (albeit not as dogma, but as theologoumenon).

Blessings,
Marduk
I was waiting for Salpy to reply before I can mention anything.  It seems that as far as the Coptic Church knows, the Armenian and Syriac churches don't believe it.  Whatever goes on inside the other Churches, I can't answer that for you.

As much St. Jacob goes, he is a significant post-Chalcedonian father who expressed his opposition to Chalcedon (he was born in 451, at the heart of the matter itself).  He is also a Syriac father continuing in the poetic tradition of St. Ephrem.  The Coptic Church throughout her history has mingled traditions with the Syriac Church in the past and have probably the closest relationship together besides the Churches in Africa (for instance, St. Severus had departed in Egypt's deserts themselves, the fasting of three days commemorating Jonah and the people of Nineveh, and we have a "Syrian" monastery in Egypt).  Many of St. Jacob of Serug's writings are translated in Arabic and have been read by many.  I don't know a Coptic priest who does not know who St. Jacob of Serug is, especially since Coptic people love the Theotokos very dearly and his writings have become influential in Coptic Mariology.

Mardukm said:
St. Proclus of Constantinople: “As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Homily 1

St. Ephrem of Syria: “Those two innocent women, Mary and Eve, had been utterly equal, but afterwards one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life.”
- “You and your mother are the only ones IMMUNE from all stain; for there is no spot in Thee, o Lord, nor any taint in your Mother.”

St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation. To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.
I was wondering if you can give us a text of Proclus' first homily, that maybe we can understand the context of this quote.

I would contend that one can interpret St. Ephrem through St. Jacob, since both have a common poetic tradition, especially in the praises of the Theotokos.  For one thing, I find nothing contradicting my beliefs when saying that she is "the cause of life."  As we sing in the Coptic Church, she is the "salvation of our father Adam."

I would personally interpret the "immunity of sin" in the case of the Theotokos not in the sense of Original Sin, but in the sense of her will.  It is for this reason why Christ chose her, especially for her life among people and still maintaining perfection and immaculate righteousness.  They have an immense love for the Theotokos, and perhaps it explains why St. Ephrem felt she was the "only one."  Or perhaps, she's the only one in bodily form due to the Assumption along with Christ.  Nevertheless, I don't know the context of this quote nor have I read enough of St. Ephrem to understand his meaning.  I can only with some confidence say that because both Sts. Ephrem and Jacob are of Syriac traditions, St. Jacob had to have some influence from the writings of his predecessor St. Ephrem.

I disagree that St. Jacob cannot be used as a source of definitive statement.  For it could simply mean as I stated before in a matter of her own personal will, she chose not to sin her whole life.  It was very clear from his writings that it was at the Annunciation the curse was removed from her.  This does not mean St. Jacob was inconsistent in his thoughts.  It simply alludes to the fact that there is another interpretation of the word "stain" or "immaculate."  Coptic hymnology is filled with such language, and yet still the heirarchs (who above anything know Coptic hymnology by heart) would still vehemently reject the IC.

The amazing thing about the Theotokos is that unlike Eve who was without Original Sin and sinned, that the Theotokos was in Sin and did not sin.  Through freedom Eve chose to disobey God through a commandment that demanded her obedience, while the Theotokos chose to submit in obedience to God in a request that did not demand her obedience.  This is the most amazing thing about the Theotokos, and why we praise her, along with her immaculate and stainless life.  What is more amazing?  A person who is IC'ed, doesn't sin and "chooses" to be the Theotokos, or a person who is under the Curse of Sin, yet doesn't sin, and chooses to be the Theotokos?

Finally, I'd like to comment on Isa's post providing quotes by Pope Leo.  It seems that Leo taught the following based on these quotes:

Christ alone was born without sin.
That no one is undefiled even if one lived a single day.
Christ alone was born without sin because He was the only one born through a Virgin (in which case undefiled by concupiscence both carnally and mentally) and maintaining her virginity.
That the Virgin had to accept the conception in thought before it was actually occurring.
The Virginity and Chastity of the Theotokos is her stainless state of mind, with which Christ used for His incarnation.  In fact, he seems to teach that the source of one being born of the curse of the Original Sin was man's seed.  So it was imperative that the seed come from a divine source and that the mother be a Virgin for Christ to be born without Original Sin.  Because of this, He took from her human nature without natural seed from which Original Sin is transmitted, but from Divine Seed, a unique conception.

He seems to make no mention of her being IC'ed as a source of the IC of Christ.  In fact, the source is clear as if taking the words out from the Creed:  Virginity and the Holy Spirit (although I would personally stress not Virginity as if sexual intercourse is dirty, but Virginity as to avoid the old seed and become the New Seed...it's not very clear to me whether Leo teaches this or not, but this is my belief based on St. Severus of Antioch).

The only thing confusing about any of the quotes is one thing, and perhaps Isa can help me out on this one for clarity's sake.  Leo states in his second sermon on the Nativity:  "And to this end, without male seed Christ was conceived of a Virgin, who was fecundated not by human intercourse but by the Holy Spirit. And whereas in all mothers conception does not take place without stain of sin, this one received purification from the Source of her conception. For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred."

Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ.  Is that what is meant by "her conception," i.e. the conception that occurred in her?  Or is he alluding, as possibly could be the alternative Latin interpretation, she also was IC'ed?  Perhaps, consulting the Latin may help us better understand a better translation.  I personally lean towards the former not because of personal leaning but because of the sentence right after, "For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred" as a clarification of the former sentence, not as a separate and independent act, as I'm anticipating would be the Latin interpretation.

I don't know.  This seems to be what I'm reading in Leo.  Perhaps, other quotes of clarification can help prove me wrong?

God bless.

PS  Forgive me for the lengthy post.
 

Dan-Romania

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It`s simple and cristal clear : Mary is a servant , a humble woman , the mother of Jesus . She was the daughter of Joachim and Ana , and like all humans born from below , from two normal people , a man and a woman inherited the Original Sin of Adam and Eve , like all humans are . The idea of the Immaculated Conception is not at the birth of Mary , but at the birth of Jesus . Mary is like a woman that serves God , the maid of God . She is not like a fancy queen , who claims authority and worship and all kinds of superstitions . From what i read from the thread i opened : "The orthodox canon of Marial apparitions" the last reply and that link concerning the catholic apparitions of Mary , they are all doubtfull . The visions are very weird , sometimes "Mary" is small very small , Sometimes she is dressed with a serpant . Some of the children wich saw visions of the Mary , were not sure of their visions , they had a little doubt . Let`s not forget the weirdness of people entering into trance , also not all people manage to see , hear her , in some cases . Even the way this apparitions are made , the details of the visions . In not just one of them , when "Mary" claims she is the Immaculated conception , she appears with Joseph and Jesus , leaving sign of other bad interpretations . In other appearences "she" is gaving the child she has in her arms to children for them to hold it . And in all this apparitions on wich the catholic dogma was initialised of the WRONG "Immaculated Conception" "she" is diminuating the role of Jesus , and if we look in the Gospel of Truth , in the NT , she is always gives Jesus the first plan , the grace lifting Him up , not decreasing His role . In all the catholic "apparitions" she demands something , as for her own name and not just once threateness if that will not happen . In other cases she says , She can`t stop the wrath of Jesus , like she wants us good , and she is good and Jesus is not merciful , like the mercy of God is not from eternity . The Immaculated Conception (wich refers to the birth of Mary , from Joachim and Anna) is a demonical deceivt , lifting up Mary in wrong way , diminuating her true nature . Mary said , at the Wedding in Cana refering to Jesus : Do what ever He says . That is Her role . Be sure to read the link from "The orthodox dogma of Marial apparitions" , in Faith Issues . The conclusion is Mary was not born Immaculated , she was born from Joachim and Ana , the Immaculated Conception is the birth of Jesus and refers at Jesus . Peace . Let us focuss and our Passover , wich is Jesus Christ , our Lord and our Saviour , we are in the Holy Weeks , and the Passover is a weak near !
 

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It`s simple and cristal clear : Mary is a servant , a humble woman , the mother of Jesus . She was the daughter of Joachim and Ana , and like all humans born from below , from two normal people , a man and a woman inherited the Original Sin of Adam and Eve , like all humans are . The idea of the Immaculated Conception is not at the birth of Mary , but at the birth of Jesus . Mary is like a woman that serves God , the maid of God . She is not like a fancy queen , who claims authority and worship and all kinds of superstitions . From what i read from the thread i opened : "The orthodox canon of Marial apparitions" the last reply and that link concerning the catholic apparitions of Mary , they are all doubtfull . The visions are very weird , sometimes "Mary" is small very small , Sometimes she is dressed with a serpant . Some of the children wich saw visions of the Mary , were not sure of their visions , they had a little doubt . Let`s not forget the weirdness of people entering into trance , also not all people manage to see , hear her , in some cases . Even the way this apparitions are made , the details of the visions . In not just one of them , when "Mary" claims she is the Immaculated conception , she appears with Joseph and Jesus , leaving sign of other bad interpretations . In other appearences "she" is gaving the child she has in her arms to children for them to hold it . And in all this apparitions on wich the catholic dogma was initialised of the WRONG "Immaculated Conception" "she" is diminuating the role of Jesus , and if we look in the Gospel of Truth , in the NT , she is always gives Jesus the first plan , the grace lifting Him up , not decreasing His role . In all the catholic "apparitions" she demands something , as for her own name and not just once threateness if that will not happen . In other cases she says , She can`t stop the wrath of Jesus , like she wants us good , and she is good and Jesus is not merciful , like the mercy of God is not from eternity . The Immaculated Conception (wich refers to the birth of Mary , from Joachim and Anna) is a demonical deceivt , lifting up Mary in wrong way , diminuating her true nature . Mary said , at the Wedding in Cana refering to Jesus : Do what ever He says . That is Her role . Be sure to read the link from "The orthodox dogma of Marial apparitions" , in Faith Issues . The conclusion is Mary was not born Immaculated , she was born from Joachim and Ana , the Immaculated Conception is the birth of Jesus and refers at Jesus . Peace . Let us focuss and our Passover , wich is Jesus Christ , our Lord and our Saviour , we are in the Holy Weeks , and the Passover is a weak near !
Amen! Amen! Amen!

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema.
(Galatians 1:8)

And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light.
(2nd Corinthians 11:14)






 

Mardukm

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minasoliman said:
Okay wow...many things to talk about:
INDEED, brother! When I first read through your post, I was very impressed by your insights.  Please permit the following comments for your consideration:

Mardukm said:
Personally, I've never pondered the idea of whether the Theotokos knew she was immaculately conceived.  The interest on the matter would be on the same level as me wondering if the Theotokos knew at, say, age 7 that she would be the Theotokos.  I do not see any fruit that can come from an intellectual consideration of whether the Saints had an omniscient knowledge of exactly what Graces they had received/were receiving/would receive from God.
I think this does need intellectual consideration.  As I said before, St. Luke offers us an implication that she never knew.  The interest of the matter is not, imo, at the same level as wondering if the Virgin Mary would know she would be the Theotokos.  For one thing, we know that she never knew.  For another thing, she wasn't even the Theotokos YET.  But according to the belief of the IC, she was IC'ed since her conception.  I think this speaks volumes.  Do you know of any saint sanctified for a role not knowing they were sanctified?  Does God just give grace to people without their knowledge?  Does God condemn people without their knowledge?  Do we raise our children without telling them that they were baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?  The knowledge about people's state, good or bad is the reason for continual evangelization and teaching as well.  Knowledge of your own status requires serious thought, imo.
I believe a differentiation needs to made between the grace she received at the conception and the grace she received at the Annunciation (I mentioned this already in my prior post regarding St. Jacob of Sarug - the Grace necessary for her to be the Ark of the Covenant is a of wholly different order than the Grace she received at her conception, which is simply the same Grace we receive at our Baptism).  Having made that differentiation, then we can proceed to ask, "did she know her role and why she was sanctified from her conception?" Yes, she did know.  And St. Luke implies that by the very fact that she asked, "How can this be for I know not a man?" The reason she was sanctified from the moment of her conception was to indicate that she would be TOTALLY God's.  We know she must have known this because according to our Tradition Sts. Hannah and Eliakim promised her to God. Thus, she indeed grew up with the knowledge that in body and soul, she belonged to God - that is why she was dedicated as a Virgin.  I'm sure you are aware that St. Eliakim had a vision of a white dove entering St. Hannah upon Mary's conception. Who do you think the White Dove refers to?

Now, the Grace of being the Ark of the Covenant, to be OVERSHADOWED by FULL DIVINITY is a Grace of a totally different order. Her purpose for receiving THAT Grace was revealed to her at the Annunciation.

Mardukm said:
St. Jacob's belief on the matter really is not a Faith-defining issue.  At the very least, if the COC has made it a Faith-defining issue, it is a very recent development in teaching.  Since most documents from the Synod are not in English, maybe it will take some time.

But I ask you this, honestly.  We both know that we don't live and breathe by every word from any human, even a Saint.  Do you think it is proper for the Synod to respond to the Catholic Church's making the IC a faith defining issue, by themselves making something else a faith-defining issue?  To me, it would seem the proper or even better course of action would be to leave the matter the way it always was - theologoumenon.
People I've known have understood through Sunday schools, priestly sermons, messages of HH in his weekly sermons that the IC is condemned.  If you read the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, you will find that one thorn in the issue of unification among many in the eyes of the Coptic Church is the IC.  Among the laity, I've heard many things like the General Resurrection will be bodiless, or that they never heard of St. Severus, the pillar of faith, or that a one-day old infant had to have committed some sort of sin (not understanding fully the idea of what it means that "no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth"), or that if someone looked at you with an evil eye, you're cursed (ya, that I've heard).  There are many many laity I've met who do not have a correct understanding of the Trinity as well, even at an adult age.
I believe we're talking about two different things here.  I thought you were referring to dogmatizing the belief of St. Jacob that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the Annunciation, not about dogmatizing the rejection of the IC.  But I guess that doesn't really effect the point of the direction of our conversation. I'll clarify further shortly.

The Church has expressed strong opposition of the IC for the main reason because of the liturgical prayer of the departed which as I stated before, "For no-one is undefiled even if he lives a single day on earth."  This "no one" includes the Virgin Mary in the eyes of the Coptic Church.  The Coptic Church also uses Romans 5:12-14 as their support, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because of which all sinned.  (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses (even over those who had not sinned) according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come....)"
This goes to the crux of the point of this whole thread - are those who oppose the IC simply misunderstanding it?  Let's analyze what St. Severus is saying?  If he is referring to the fact that all experience corruption and death, then I don't see how the Coptic Church can oppose the teaching of the IC, for the IC implicitly admits that.  And neither does the Scripture effect the integrity of the teaching of the IC, since, as repeatly stated (I mean to Fr. Ambrose, not to you) the teaching only admits that she was SPIRITUALLY purified at conception, and did not affect her physically in any way.  If the COC is using St. Severus and Scripture to prove that Mary was actually spiritually impure (i.e., a sinner), then that would simply run counter to the Traditional teaching of the Church.

The Coptic Church's opposition I would contend however is just the other side of the same coin as the Latin Church's dogmatic acceptance.  If it's theologomenoun, why make it a dogma?  Why then join a church that condemns anyone who does believe it?
Well, EVERY apostolic Christian in the world believes in the Assumption, and Orthodox STILL complain that it was dogmatized. So I don't think the rest of Orthodoxy would view such a move by the Coptic Church with very much favor.

These are good points to ponder.  I would ask that you consider the ramifications of your comments for our beliefs regarding the Forerunner.  St. John was sanctified even BEFORE he was born.  Does this mean St. John lost his free will, or any part of it?
True, but he was raised as a Forerunner and knew he was to be the Forerunner.  It was very clear when the Pharisees asked him who he was, and he gave them the prophecy from the great Isaiah, understanding fully well his role.  Luke's gospel does not give us that option.  The Virgin Mary however was understood as one to be raised as a Virgin devoted to the altar according to tradition, but not to know that she would be the one who would bear the Logos.
You seem to be backtracking a bit here.  You admitted earlier that she did not need to know that she would be Theotokos until her Annunciation, remember?  Why are you now arguing she needed to know this beforehand?

In addition, just as we can't say the Forerunner was IC'ed, so we can't say the same of the Theotokos.
I believe just the opposite.  Since the Forerunner was NOT IC'd, then the Theotokos must be IC'd.  For the one who was considered by our Lord the greatest among those born of woman was purified from the womb of his mother; how much more should the one greater than him, the humblest one of all, (i.e., the least) who is Mary, have been purified even earlier than him.

The Holy Spirit have descended and given grace to anyone He wills, as the Old Testament (OT) has shown.  Prophets, judges, kings, priests, even pagans at some points.  It is a matter of sanctification for the role, just as the OT vessels were washed with water and anointed with oil for a purpose.  The anointing however does not indicate a removal of Original Sin.
 
True, but I believe St. John was not only anointed, but also purified in his mother's womb, was he not?

So I don't mind the idea that the Virgin Mary was anointed from conception, but I personally find it unacceptable to remove Original Sin from conception.
But the dogma does not teach that Original sin was removed.  It simply says that the STAIN of original sin was removed (i.e., the spiritual consequences).  If the dogma actually stated that Original Sin itself was removed, then she would not have had the possibility of dying.  But all the dogma basically says is that Mary was purified from the moment of her conception (as evidence by the vision of St. Eliakim, and the testimony of several Fathers in the early Church)

Mardukm said:
Are you absolutely sure that the Synod and HH's appeal to St. Jacob is an indication that they are trying to make it a Faith-defining issue?  Is it possible that their appeal is simply to emphasize that there are Fathers (actually I can count only two in the early Church) who express the belief that Mary's sanctification occurred at the Annunciation?  In other words, maybe their point is not to make it a Faith-defining belief, but rather to insist on the fact that it remain theologoumenon.

For if it is their purpose to make it a Faith-defining belief, wouldn't that mean the Armenians are heretics for believing it (albeit not as dogma, but as theologoumenon).
I was waiting for Salpy to reply before I can mention anything.  It seems that as far as the Coptic Church knows, the Armenian and Syriac churches don't believe it.  Whatever goes on inside the other Churches, I can't answer that for you.
Regardless of the beliefs of other Churches, I think the issue I already raised above about trying to dogmatically define something as a matter of Faith is relevant.

Mardukm said:
St. Proclus of Constantinople: “As He formed her without any stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain.” Homily 1

St. Ephrem of Syria: “Those two innocent women, Mary and Eve, had been utterly equal, but afterwards one became the cause of our death, the other the cause of our life.”
- “You and your mother are the only ones IMMUNE from all stain; for there is no spot in Thee, o Lord, nor any taint in your Mother.”

St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation. To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.
I was wondering if you can give us a text of Proclus' first homily, that maybe we can understand the context of this quote.
That will have to come next week.  I got the quote from an EO website giving an honest appraisal of the IC, but that is all it gave. I will have to do research (unless you do it yourself by then).

I would contend that one can interpret St. Ephrem through St. Jacob, since both have a common poetic tradition, especially in the praises of the Theotokos.  For one thing, I find nothing contradicting my beliefs when saying that she is "the cause of life."  As we sing in the Coptic Church, she is the "salvation of our father Adam."
That was not the point of the quote.  The point was that St. Ephrem regarded Mary and Eve as "UTTERLY EQUAL" before they made their respective decisions.  I  believe that indicates that St. Ephrem believed Mary - like Eve - was in a state of spiritual purity from the moment of their existence.

I would personally interpret the "immunity of sin" in the case of the Theotokos not in the sense of Original Sin, but in the sense of her will.  It is for this reason why Christ chose her, especially for her life among people and still maintaining perfection and immaculate righteousness.  They have an immense love for the Theotokos, and perhaps it explains why St. Ephrem felt she was the "only one."  Or perhaps, she's the only one in bodily form due to the Assumption along with Christ.  Nevertheless, I don't know the context of this quote nor have I read enough of St. Ephrem to understand his meaning.  I can only with some confidence say that because both Sts. Ephrem and Jacob are of Syriac traditions, St. Jacob had to have some influence from the writings of his predecessor St. Ephrem.
I can see where you are coming from. I was thinking more along the lines of his very comparison of Mary to Jesus Himself. What does that imply? I mean I agree that when we say Mary is all-pure and all-holy singularly does not NECESSARILY dictate the IC, but to compare her holiness to Jesus' own holiness is saying a lot more.

The rest needs to wait.  Thank you again for the wonderful conversation.

Abundant Blessings
 

Irish Hermit

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Mardukm said:
Irish Hermit said:
The many Catholic distinctions of types of grace - sanctifying grace, prevenient grace, subsequent grace, gratuitous grace, acccidental grace, operating grace, co-operating grace, etc., etc., are quite unknown to the Orthodox.
Is that supposed to be a response?  Your argument over words just demonstrates that you are not Orthodox in your belief over the matter.
Yes, it is a response.  Catholics make a strong connection between the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the words of the Archangel addressed to the Mother of God:  "Hail, Full of Grace."

I confess, reluctantly :) , that I find I do not know what Catholics mean by "Full of Grace."  Do they believe that she was full of actual grace?  Or full of gratuitous grace?

Or was she full of a mixture of all the graces?  Was she a mixture of co-operating grace and accidental grace, etc?

Or was she full of only one type of grace?  And were the other graces absent?  But then would she be "full"?  There's a lot of confusion here.

In all the years of study this topic was never covered.  So I hope you are able to help here.

 

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Father, the correct theological language is "Mary never knew or was touched by sin"  and "Mary knew or was never touched by the STAIN of original sin," the STAIN of original sin defined as the SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES of original sin.

Your false witness and malice grows tiresome during this Holy Season.  Please, go to confession for your false witness and your malice.

Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
Here's a perfect example of the way polemicists will tweak the words of Catholic doctrine for the purpose of misleading others.   The dogma never states that Mary had "never known original sin." The teaching simply states that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.
You're really digging yourself into a big hole.

If the dogma never states that the Mother of God had "never known original sin" does that mean Catholics believe that in reality she did know original sin?

Isn't that gobbledygook, Marduk?

If anybody is tweaking words, it is you with such statements.     Do you ever sit down and discuss your opinions with any Catholic theologian?
 

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Dearest Father Ambrose,

Thank you for your honest question.  I do not think we as non-Latins need to understand what the term "full of grace" means.  Even Mary did not comprehend her greeting.  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome) is the Orthodox teaching that Grace does not take away free will.  That is also what Latins teach.

I believe the very fact that the Catholic Church OFFICIALLY makes the greeting of the Annunciation (i.e., "full of Grace") a very basis for the dogma demonstrates its orthodoxy, for, as stated, it is Orthodox teaching that Grace does not take away free will.

Humbly,
Marduk

Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
Irish Hermit said:
The many Catholic distinctions of types of grace - sanctifying grace, prevenient grace, subsequent grace, gratuitous grace, acccidental grace, operating grace, co-operating grace, etc., etc., are quite unknown to the Orthodox.
Is that supposed to be a response?  Your argument over words just demonstrates that you are not Orthodox in your belief over the matter.
Yes, it is a response.  Catholics make a strong connection between the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the words of the Archangel addressed to the Mother of God:  "Hail, Full of Grace."

I confess, reluctantly :) , that I find I do not know what Catholics mean by "Full of Grace."  Do they believe that she was full of actual grace?  Or full of gratuitous grace?

Or was she full of a mixture of all the graces?   Was she a mixture of co-operating grace and accidental grace, etc?

Or was she full of only one type of grace?  And were the other graces absent?  But then would she be "full"?  There's a lot of confusion here.

In all the years of study this topic was never covered.  So I hope you are able to help here.
 

Irish Hermit

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Mardukm said:
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)
On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."


http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265

 

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Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)
On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."


http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265
This is on topic... ::) not.
 

Irish Hermit

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Papist said:
Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)
On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."


http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265
This is on topic... ::) not.
Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.
 

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minasoliman said:
The Coptic Church's opposition I would contend however is just the other side of the same coin as the Latin Church's dogmatic acceptance.  If it's theologomenoun, why make it a dogma?  Why then join a church that condemns anyone who does believe it?
First, I am not aware that the COC is in "opposition" to the teaching of the IC.  All I'VE ever heard when I was not in communion with Rome was that it is not accepted.  And we also always have to wonder if those who "oppose" it are actually understanding what the IC teaches.  This whole thread has amply demonstrated that those who oppose it clearly do NOT understand it.  Aside from brother Isa and Fr. Ambrose, who have been refuted on the matter, we have people like brother Dan who think the IC teaches that Mary did not have a father.  That kind of polemic I'm not even going to address.

Second, there is a difference between an excommunication and an anathema.  Excommunication only cuts one off from the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church whereby one cannot receive her Sacraments.  Anathema cuts one off from both the Catholic Church AND the people of God wherein their salvation is called into question.  Anathema Maranatha is another censure (used in the early Church), and that one is the worst!  In any case, as already explained to brother Isa, the dogma of the IC contains neither an anathema nor an anathema Maranatha!  And given the Catholic Church's teaching on invincible ignorance and her teaching that the grace of salvation can exist outside the visible boundaires of the CC.... well, let's leave it at that.

St. Jacob of Sarug actually sits on the fence.  In one place, he states that Mary was free from the sentence of Adam and Eve at the annunciation, yet in another place, he states, “the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier…if ANY STAIN had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.” Of course, for St. Jacob to state that God selected her based on her soul not having any stain means that Mary must have been “stainless” even BEFORE the Annunciation. To me, the only legitimate interpretation possible is that St. Jacob believed that she received Graces to have a stainless soul BEFORE the Annunciation, while believing that the Grace she received at the Annunciation was a different kind of Grace.  For surely the Grace for Mary to be OVERSHADOWED by the FULL divinity must be of an entirely different order than the Graces received at Baptism by which creatures are cleansed of the stain of all sin.  In any case, St. Jacob certainly cannot be used to make any sort of DEFINITE statement against the teaching of the IC.
I disagree that St. Jacob cannot be used as a source of definitive statement.  For it could simply mean as I stated before in a matter of her own personal will, she chose not to sin her whole life.
As stated to Father Ambrose, it is Orthodox teaching that Grace does not remove (or even damage) Free Will in any way.  I really don't understand the dichotomy being placed between having free will and being "full of grace."

It was very clear from his writings that it was at the Annunciation the curse was removed from her.  This does not mean St. Jacob was inconsistent in his thoughts.  It simply alludes to the fact that there is another interpretation of the word "stain" or "immaculate."  Coptic hymnology is filled with such language, and yet still the heirarchs (who above anything know Coptic hymnology by heart) would still vehemently reject the IC.
Exactly.  And, as I've many times stated, the dogma does not say that Mary was preserved from original sin, but rather that she was preserved from the STAIN of original sin.  Indeed, as you say, St. Jacob specifically alludes to that difference.  Which gets back to the question, "What is it exactly that opponents of the Catholic teaching on the IC reject?"  Are opponents actually rejecting what the IC teaches, or simply something else that is really NOT being taught by the dogma of the IC?

The amazing thing about the Theotokos is that unlike Eve who was without Original Sin and sinned, that the Theotokos was in Sin and did not sin.
 I don't see how you can conclude this if St. Ephrem says that Eve and Mary were "UTTERLY EQUAL" before their respective decisions.  The belief of Mary being the New Eve is even more ancient that St. Ephrem, and I believe St. Ephrem has given us the proper interpretation of that belief from the Fathers before him.  

Through freedom Eve chose to disobey God through a commandment that demanded her obedience, while the Theotokos chose to submit in obedience to God in a request that did not demand her obedience.  This is the most amazing thing about the Theotokos, and why we praise her, along with her immaculate and stainless life.  What is more amazing?  A person who is IC'ed, doesn't sin and "chooses" to be the Theotokos, or a person who is under the Curse of Sin, yet doesn't sin, and chooses to be the Theotokos?
The IC does not affect free will any more than Baptism affects free will.

Finally, I'd like to comment on Isa's post providing quotes by Pope Leo.  It seems that Leo taught the following based on these quotes:
I haven't read that thoroughly yet.  So that's it for now.

Abundant Blessings,
Marduk
 

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I have never ever claimed to be EO.  Please demonstrate your lie to our readers with some proof.  So it comes down to ad hominem attacks for you, since you have nothing - absolutely nothing - that you can say against the Truth of the Catholic Church.  Please don't try to shift everyone's attention away to the real focus of this thread.

And please do go to confession.

Irish Hermit said:
Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.
 

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Dear brother Mina,

I would like to add a few things:

Mardukm said:
I can see where you are coming from. I was thinking more along the lines of his very comparison of Mary to Jesus Himself. What does that imply? I mean I agree that when we say Mary is all-pure and all-holy singularly does not NECESSARILY dictate the IC, but to compare her holiness to Jesus' own holiness is saying a lot more.
This is why in my post indicating the numerous EO Fathers that believed in the IC, I never once quoted a Father that merely stated that Mary was "all-holy" or "all-pure" or somesuch language.  That, I believe, is not sufficient to demonstrate belief in the IC.  However, to explicitly compare the holiness of Mary to the holiness of Jesus Himself is a whole different animal.

I don't see how you can conclude this if St. Ephrem says that Eve and Mary were "UTTERLY EQUAL" before their respective decisions.  The belief of Mary being the New Eve is even more ancient that St. Ephrem, and I believe St. Ephrem has given us the proper interpretation of that belief from the Fathers before him.
I would also like to point out that the only difference that the Fathers perceived between Mary and Eve was the disobedience of one and the obedience of the other.  The Catholic teaching which simply repeats St. Ephrem's teaching seems to me to be more faithful to the patristic tradition than the notion that there were other differences between Mary and Eve.

As already stated, I've never heard any direct "opposition" to the teaching of the IC from the COC.  All I've heard are opposiitions to matters that the dogma of the IC never teaches.  And assuming Copts understand what the IC actually teaches, the most I've heard is that it is not accepted as an article of Faith.  I have spoken to fellow Copts on this matter before my translation to the Catholic Church.  I've never met one yet in the real world who believes the teaching is to be condemned.  The most I'd heard from the regular CO is, "oh, we don't accept it as a dogma."  After my translation to the CC, I've spoken about it to Copts, and after my explanation, the reaction has been unanimous - "Oh, I did not know that is what it's really saying.  I don't think the CO condemns that."  There are others who rigtly add, "Let me see what my bishop says about it." I can only hope that the bishops of the COC have studied the teaching sufficiently to understand and be able to instruct their faithful on the matter.  I sincerely believe that the most an OO could say, if they actually knew what the dogma teaches is, "it's not an article of faith for us."  I don't see how an informed OO could say, "that teaching is condemned." As I noticed, sister Salpy stopped short of calling the teaching a heresy. And indeed, the Catholicos of the Armenians has not condemned it, but has simply stated that it is not accepted as an article of faith.

Blessings
 

ialmisry

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Irish Hermit said:
Papist said:
Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
  All we need to understand as Orthodox Christians (you, not in communion with Rome, and me in communion with Rome)
On Catholic Answers Forum it is an offence punishable by expulsion from the Forum for any Orthodox to use the term "Catholic" of himself or his Church.  Several Orthodox have been banned for doing it.

But here you are, on an Orthodox Forum. claiming that you are Orthodox.  Lucky you, that the Moderators here who do not follow the dictatorial policy on CAF which compels the Orthodox to deny who we are.

My last post on CAF was occasioned by this:

"The Orthodox are at sixes and sevens at the moment, and trying to discern if they have a place here. The theological determination that we are not permitted to call ourselves Catholics on the Forum has already caused consternation and I have had two messages on the topic. I referred them to their parish priests to ask him if they may continue to participate without sinning. I shall have to make the same determination in my own case."

and prior to that:

"There is no doubt that it *is* now difficult for us Orthodox to participate without the danger of denying our faith. For the purpose of this Forum the Moderator has made the decision that we are defined as non-Catholics and she has affirmed this decision several times.

This puts us in a bind since at the Liturgy and at morning prayers we proclaim that we are members of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church."

I am not sure how far and under what circumstances we can deny that without denying Christ and His Church. And does our participation here constitute such a denial? We need a couple of theologians (not me!) to decide on this.

Therese, I am not questioning your right to decide the running of the Forum. That's a given. I am just wondering whether Orthodox can participate here without sinning against their own self-understanding."


http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=2936265#post2936265
This is on topic... ::) not.
Take it up with Marduk.  Marduk introduced into this thread the claim that he is just as much an Orthodox Christian as I am.  When he speaks with EOs he claims to be the same as us.  When he speaks with Copts he claims to be the same as them.  I find that he is using terminology dishonestly and it needs to pointed out.
I'm afraid I have to disagree, Father. Marduk usually tries to seperate us EO from the OOs as far as possible, like here:
Mardukm said:
Alpo said:
Since there seems to be quite many converts to both Oriental Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy, I'd like to inquire, what made you choose the way you did. Why did you choose Oriental Orthodoxy rather than Eastern Orthodoxy? And the other way around: Why did you choose Eastern Orthodoxy rather than Oriental Orthodoxy?
I am an Oriental Catholic who translated to Catholicism from Coptic Orthodoxy about four years ago.  I love Orthodoxy and I never considered my translation to Catholicism as a rejection of anything from my Coptic Orthodox heritage, but rather merely a rejection of my MISconceptions about Catholicism.  Thus, I am never bothered to hear of a Catholic wanting to convert or translate to Orthodoxy.  Whenever I come upon such people, though, I always make sure they know about Oriental Orthoodxy.  It is my opinion that Oriental Orthodoxy is in many respects more faithful to the Sacred Tradition of the Holy Fathers than Eastern Orthodoxy.
You can read the rest, and my response there.  It's the usual: how the OOs are so much more like the Latins than they are like the EOs,......

But yes, Father, as you point out, NO Orthodox is in communion with the Vatican.

I am still very interested if Mardukm can answer the thread Athanasios started from Mardukm's inspiration, on how OO ecclesiology is so like the Latin and unlike EO ecclesiology.  All us OO and EO seem to be wondering at what he is "seeing."  So, Mardukm, can you take a look at his thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18981.msg282051.html#msg282051
 

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Dear brother Mina,

minasoliman said:
Finally, I'd like to comment on Isa's post providing quotes by Pope Leo.  It seems that Leo taught the following based on these quotes:

Christ alone was born without sin.
That no one is undefiled even if one lived a single day.
Christ alone was born without sin because He was the only one born through a Virgin (in which case undefiled by concupiscence both carnally and mentally) and maintaining her virginity.
That the Virgin had to accept the conception in thought before it was actually occurring.
The Virginity and Chastity of the Theotokos is her stainless state of mind, with which Christ used for His incarnation.  In fact, he seems to teach that the source of one being born of the curse of the Original Sin was man's seed.  So it was imperative that the seed come from a divine source and that the mother be a Virgin for Christ to be born without Original Sin.  Because of this, He took from her human nature without natural seed from which Original Sin is transmitted, but from Divine Seed, a unique conception.

He seems to make no mention of her being IC'ed as a source of the IC of Christ.  In fact, the source is clear as if taking the words out from the Creed:  Virginity and the Holy Spirit (although I would personally stress not Virginity as if sexual intercourse is dirty, but Virginity as to avoid the old seed and become the New Seed...it's not very clear to me whether Leo teaches this or not, but this is my belief based on St. Severus of Antioch).

The only thing confusing about any of the quotes is one thing, and perhaps Isa can help me out on this one for clarity's sake.  Leo states in his second sermon on the Nativity:  "And to this end, without male seed Christ was conceived of a Virgin, who was fecundated not by human intercourse but by the Holy Spirit. And whereas in all mothers conception does not take place without stain of sin, this one received purification from the Source of her conception. For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred."

Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ.  Is that what is meant by "her conception," i.e. the conception that occurred in her?  Or is he alluding, as possibly could be the alternative Latin interpretation, she also was IC'ed?  Perhaps, consulting the Latin may help us better understand a better translation.  I personally lean towards the former not because of personal leaning but because of the sentence right after, "For no taint of sin penetrated, where no intercourse occurred" as a clarification of the former sentence, not as a separate and independent act, as I'm anticipating would be the Latin interpretation.

I don't know.  This seems to be what I'm reading in Leo.  Perhaps, other quotes of clarification can help prove me wrong?
I have not analyzed the quotes given by brother Isa yet, but let me make these comments:
1) I am not aware that the Catholic Church uses Pope St. Leo as a source for the dogma of the IC.

2) Your observation that "Context clues to me make me interpret this as while others receive taint from intercourse, the Virgin received purification from conception of Christ" has great relevance here.  St. Augustine tells us that the reason that intercourse is considered sinful (i.e., the "taint of intercourse") is because of the element of lust.  However, as you well know, our Tradition states that Sts. Hannah and Eliakim did not conceive the Theotokos in lust.  That should give you a further clue as to the orthodoxy of the Catholic teaching on the IC (as I've stated before, I'm just arguing for its orthodoxy, not its status as a dogma).

3) As to the specific quote you mentioned, I think it refers to BOTH the fact that (a) original sin was not transitted because original sin was thought to be transmitted through the male seed, and (b) that Mary was also purified in some mysterious way not known to us in order to be able to receive the FULL divinity.  

This last point has two ramifications for our discussion so far.  First, it demonstrates the difference between Jesus' conception and Mary's conception.  Jesus did not obtain original sin because he did not have a human father.  In distinction, Mary did not obtain the STAIN of original sin by a special Grace from God.  So the dogma of the IC indeed grants nothing to Mary in the matter of conception that was Christ's alone.

Second, it demonstrates the distinction between the STAIN of original sin, on the one hand, from original sin per se, on the other.  Obviously, Mary still needed some other kind of Grace in order to receive the FULL divinity other than the Grace she received at the IC (which Grace is simply the same Grace we receive at Baptism).  As St. Jacob taught, she was already "without stain" even before the Annunciation (for God had already chosen her before the moment of the Annunciation).  I don't think the Church has plumbed the depths of the mystery of original sin, so I don't want to needlessly speculate on the matter, but rather simply believe what she has already taught.

In any case, as stated, I am not aware that Pope St. Leo has ever been used as a DIRECT witness for the patristic teaching on the IC (unlike St. Ephrem, among the Oriental [as distinct from Eastern] Fathers that is - there are several more from the Western Fathers accepted by the Oriental Church).  I do think that nothing in Pope St. Leo's writings opposes or contradicts the teaching.  But, like I said, I have not fully combed through the writings provided by brother Isa.

Abundant blessings,
Marduk
 

Mardukm

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Dear brother Isa,

ialmisry said:
I am still very interested if Mardukm can answer the thread Papist started from Mardukm's inspiration, on how OO ecclesiology is so like the Latin and unlike EO ecclesiology.  All us OO and EO seem to be wondering at what he is "seeing."  So, Mardukm, can you take a look at his thread?
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18981.msg282051.html#msg282051
Thank you for wending away this tangent from this thread.  It's much appreciated.  I will go there and respond when I have time.  I don't want to debate with you over the matter in the Convert Forum.  I expressed what I believe and that's that.  The purpose of that Forum specifically does not permit debate.  I notice there are certain Forums here that require admin permission.  I have not asked for that permission, nor do I intend to.  I am not in the business of debating for the sake of debating (which is the purpose of those certain Forums).  I just want the Truth of the Catholic Faith to be known by making sure she is not misrepresented.  And I don't think those forums would be the proper context do do that (since they only seem to exist to satisfy polemic agendas).  TBH, I have not yet pressed the link above.  If it is to one of the forums that requires special admin permission, you probably will have to go about it without my participation.

Blessings,
Marduk
 
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