Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception

Michał

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Dan-Romania said:
Waiting for your assistance .
As far as the Temple story is concerned:
- OrthodoxWiki article: http://orthodoxwiki.org/Presentation_of_the_Theotokos
- Ancient Faith Radio podcast (mp3): http://audio.ancientfaith.com/hopko/stt_2008-11-20.mp3
 

Mickey

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I see you've come back a few days early.  ;)

Mardukm said:
These are not my words, but the words of people like brothers Mickey and IsaAlmisry, who take little snippets of what I write and create some exaggerated straw man out of them.
What you write are your words.  It is all we have to go on regarding your opinion.

Mardukm said:
Another example is brother Mickey's claim that I stated that St. Palamas believed "the Latin version of the IC." I've never done such a thing, but merely another exaggerated creation in brother Mickey's mind in order to make my statements utterly abhorrent. 
I am glad this is cleared up. We agree then, that St Gregory Palamas did not support the Latin IC.

Mardukm said:
What I do speak out against are particular EO (those I call "modern EO") whose main drive is not to preserve the Orthodox Faith, but to create as wide a false dichotomy between Catholicism and Orthodoxy as possible. 
You are living in an imaginary world and you try to spin many things.  There is not a false dichotomy--there is a true dichotomy. Holy Orthodoxy and RCism are very far apart on many things.  The Orthodox whom you refer to as "modern" are in fact those Orthodox who hold to the Sacred Tradition of the Fathers.  Your spin on RC innovations are not going to change that.

Mardukm said:
I do it simply to demonstrate that these modern EO don't have a real basis for creating their false dichotomies between Catholicism and Orthodoxy. 
You do it because you are now subject to the supreme infallible pontiff.

Mardukm said:
So if you're asking for proof from me that "Orthodoxy as a whole" has "changed the faith in this area," I can't provide any.
Amen.


 

Mickey

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Second Chance said:
these particular verses are plain and simple and hardly require further elucidation, which you have not done either. You simply dismiss them out of hand. Let me ask you brother what have you got against the Word of God that you seemingly prefer the words of men (saintly and learned but men nevertheless)?
Thank you second chance. I enjoy your posts.  :)
 

PoorFoolNicholas

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
So if you're asking for proof from me that "Orthodoxy as a whole" has "changed the faith in this area," I can't provide any.
Amen.
Thank you for your honesty. It seems your argument has now degraded, as Mickey pointed out previously, to saying that Orthodoxy used to teach "such and such", but do not anymore. It would seem that this is purely your own opinion, and not in any way based in fact. If it were based in fact, you would provide some evidence, which you have already stated, you can't.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
It seems to me that the Catholics writing here are beginning to push the envelope and instruct the Orthodox in the Orthodox faith.  That is something they complain strongly about when the boot is on the other foot.

The Catholics on the Forum have satisfied themselves that the authentic Orthodox teaching on both original sin and the Immaculate Conception is identical to the Catholic teaching.    Since they have established this to their own satisfaction it is rude of them to continue this conversation, hammering the point home again and again and insisting on teaching the Orthodox what the Orthodox faith is.
We are not convinced that you currently believe what we believe. Just that you once did.
 

PoorFoolNicholas

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Papist said:
We are not convinced that you currently believe what we believe. Just that you once did.
Then prove it. It should be rather simple. You have convinced yourself. Why not convince us as well?
 

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PoorFoolNicholas said:
Papist said:
We are not convinced that you currently believe what we believe. Just that you once did.
Then prove it. It should be rather simple. You have convinced yourself. Why not convince us as well?
That has been done to death on this and other threads. Quotes have shown that the East once believed in Original Sin, the Atonement, Purgatory, etc etc etc ad infintum. This dizzying drip is getting old. Goodness gracious.
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
PoorFoolNicholas said:
Papist said:
We are not convinced that you currently believe what we believe. Just that you once did.
Then prove it. It should be rather simple. You have convinced yourself. Why not convince us as well?
That has been done to death on this and other threads. Quotes have shown that the East once believed in Original Sin, the Atonement, Purgatory, etc etc etc ad infintum. This dizzying drip is getting old. Goodness gracious.
I always find this claim that the Latin have adopted our discarded beliefs rather intriguing.  It never asked why they were discarded. ::)
 

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ialmisry said:
I always find this claim that the Latin have adopted our discarded beliefs rather intriguing.  It never asked why they were discarded. ::)
LOL!  :laugh:
 

Papist

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ialmisry said:
Papist said:
PoorFoolNicholas said:
Papist said:
We are not convinced that you currently believe what we believe. Just that you once did.
Then prove it. It should be rather simple. You have convinced yourself. Why not convince us as well?
That has been done to death on this and other threads. Quotes have shown that the East once believed in Original Sin, the Atonement, Purgatory, etc etc etc ad infintum. This dizzying drip is getting old. Goodness gracious.
I always find this claim that the Latin have adopted our discarded beliefs rather intriguing.  It never asked why they were discarded. ::)
No we didn't adopt your discarded beliefs. We had those beliefs too. But we didn't get rid of 'em.  ;D
 

ialmisry

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Papist said:
ialmisry said:
Papist said:
PoorFoolNicholas said:
Papist said:
We are not convinced that you currently believe what we believe. Just that you once did.
Then prove it. It should be rather simple. You have convinced yourself. Why not convince us as well?
That has been done to death on this and other threads. Quotes have shown that the East once believed in Original Sin, the Atonement, Purgatory, etc etc etc ad infintum. This dizzying drip is getting old. Goodness gracious.
I always find this claim that the Latin have adopted our discarded beliefs rather intriguing.  It never asked why they were discarded. ::)
No we didn't adopt your discarded beliefs. We had those beliefs too. But we didn't get rid of 'em.  ;D
LOL. I'll leave you to figure that out.
 

Mickey

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Papist said:
No we didn't adopt your discarded beliefs. We had those beliefs too. But we didn't get rid of 'em. 
I can't even respond to that one.  :-\
 

Fr. George

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So it cannot be claimed that the Orthodox do not accurately represent the RC position on the IC and the underlying issues (Original Sin, for example):

The Fall, Fall of Angels, & Original Sin:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm

Conception by the Holy Spirit & Virgin Mary; the IC:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p122a3p2.htm#II

Mary the Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a9p6.htm

Sin:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

Judgment, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell, the Final Judgment:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm

Reconciliation:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c2a4.htm
 

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Thanks for the quick references.

Perhaps one of the non-Catholic "experts" on Catholicism can explain for us where the differences exist, according to the texts you have given to us.

Blessings

cleveland said:
So it cannot be claimed that the Orthodox do not accurately represent the RC position on the IC and the underlying issues (Original Sin, for example):

The Fall, Fall of Angels, & Original Sin:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm

Conception by the Holy Spirit & Virgin Mary; the IC:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p122a3p2.htm#II

Mary the Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a9p6.htm

Sin:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p3s1c1a8.htm

Judgment, Heaven, Purgatory, Hell, the Final Judgment:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a12.htm

Reconciliation:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p2s2c2a4.htm
 

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Mardukm said:
Thanks for the quick references.

Perhaps one of the non-Catholic "experts" on Catholicism can explain for us where the differences exist, according to the texts you have given to us.
Nobody but the RC's (and maybe you) are claiming to be "experts" on Catholicism.  But the same cannot be said in the other direction.
 

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Dear brother Nicholas,

PoorFoolNicholas said:
Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
So if you're asking for proof from me that "Orthodoxy as a whole" has "changed the faith in this area," I can't provide any.
Amen.
Thank you for your honesty. It seems your argument has now degraded, as Mickey pointed out previously, to saying that Orthodoxy used to teach "such and such", but do not anymore. It would seem that this is purely your own opinion, and not in any way based in fact. If it were based in fact, you would provide some evidence, which you have already stated, you can't.
I think you misunderstood what I said.  My argument has not degraded.  It's just that there are people like brother Mickey who like to exaggerate what I say and knock down the straw man.  The only thing I've ever claimed is that the dogma of the IC is not a heresy, and is a legitimate theologoumenon in Orthodoxy. I've already proven that, and no one has contested it.  I've never claimed it was a teaching of Orthodoxy "as a whole." Those are your own words, and the straw man creation of people like brother Mickey.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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cleveland said:
Mardukm said:
Thanks for the quick references.

Perhaps one of the non-Catholic "experts" on Catholicism can explain for us where the differences exist, according to the texts you have given to us.
Nobody but the RC's (and maybe you) are claiming to be "experts" on Catholicism.  But the same cannot be said in the other direction.
But these non-Catholics keep claiming that there is such a wide chasm between Orthodoxy and Catholicism on the issue of original sin.  They made the claim FIRST.  Apparently, they know enough about Catholicism to make that claim, so why don't they back it up?

Blessings
 

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They don't have to know as much about Catholicism as they do about their Orthodoxy to make such a claim; as to "why don't they back it up" I can tell you why I've avoided the substantive portion of this debate: some of us have hopped on this merry-go-round before, and have had our arguments ignored or skipped for a debate of points not relevant to the main ones.  At some point, fatigue sets in when people don't actually listen to what you're saying (and supporting with evidence).  I was doing this song-and-dance in 10th grade with teachers more than twice my age who had advanced degrees in Catholic Theology; I learned then about the intricate side-steps and have become quite weary of them.
 

ialmisry

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Mardukm said:
Dear brother Nicholas,

PoorFoolNicholas said:
Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
So if you're asking for proof from me that "Orthodoxy as a whole" has "changed the faith in this area," I can't provide any.
Amen.
Thank you for your honesty. It seems your argument has now degraded, as Mickey pointed out previously, to saying that Orthodoxy used to teach "such and such", but do not anymore. It would seem that this is purely your own opinion, and not in any way based in fact. If it were based in fact, you would provide some evidence, which you have already stated, you can't.
I think you misunderstood what I said.  My argument has not degraded.  It's just that there are people like brother Mickey who like to exaggerate what I say and knock down the straw man.  The only thing I've ever claimed is that the dogma of the IC is not a heresy, and is a legitimate theologoumenon in Orthodoxy. I've already proven that, and no one has contested it.  
You haven't been reading evidently.


I've never claimed it was a teaching of Orthodoxy "as a whole." Those are your own words, and the straw man creation of people like brother Mickey.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Second Chance said:
Mardukm said:
Dear brother Second Chance,
1. The dogma created a new species of man--a species of one that has the characteristics of a demi-God. It is one thing to believe that God became man so that man can become God (through a lifelong struggle). It is another thing to believe in the IC, where Theosis is not achieved but granted to a human at a moment of conception.
There are three major errors in your rhetoric here. First, brother, there are only two kinds of beings – ones that don’t need Grace, and ones that do.  Demi-gods, like the gods of paganism, do not need Grace - they are self-sufficient half-human/half-divine beings. Mary is not one of those, since she, like everyone else, needed the Grace of God. Your wholly artificial distinction between Mary and the rest of humanity has no support from the Fathers. It is a very recent and modern rhetorical invention that did not even cross the minds of the numerous Fathers who expressed belief that Mary was made pure by God from the first moment of her existence. Sin never touched Mary.

Second, as there are really only two types of people, not distinguished by the false and artificial distinction you have proposed of WHEN people receive the Graces (should we have another category for people who were sanctified in their mother’s womb – like Sts. John and Jeremiah? Were they demi-gods, too?), it is actually your own version of Mary that is quite unacceptable.  Your Mary is a Pelagian invention who does not need Grace in order to be holy in the eyes of God, a novelty that has no room in Catholicism nor historic Orthodoxy. Not even the Latin Saints of the Middle Ages who refused the introduction of the Eastern Feast of the Conception into the West were ever so creative as to make this modern and novel argument of a Pelagian version of Mary (the comments of St. Jacob of Sarug are being discussed by brother Mina and myself, and I daresay his comments, taken in context, in no way lend credence to this Pelagian version of Mary you support).

Third, even after proving to you that the IC does not deprive Mary of her free will, you once again bring up a similarly unfounded claim that Mary did not throughout her life give a free-will response to the Grace in her.  At any time during her life, Mary had the possibility of choosing to reject the Grace that was given to her – that is the thing you don’t understand and perhaps unconsciously misrepresent about the Catholic teaching.  Mary and Eve were “utterly equal” before their respective decisions, as St. Ephrem wrote.  They both had the Grace of sinlessness, and both had the possibility of freely rejecting the Grace in them.  The beautiful thing about Mary is that she responded to the Grace positively throughout her life. 
I would be guilty as charged, if the straw horses that you are busy knocking down were indeed real. My Mary is definitely not a Pelagian conception (Pelagius after all simply denied the original sin).
Then you need to read up on Pelagius a little more.  His teaching was condemned by the Third, Fifth, and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, so you should at least be knowledgeble on what it is the Church rejects about his teaching.  His teaching not only denied original sin, but also denied that Grace is not necessary to attain to a holiness acceptable to God (there are other points, but as far as our topic is concerned, those are the relevant ones).

She was an extraordinary human, but a human nevertheless. As such, she needed God's saving grace as much as anybody.
That's exactly what the dogma of the IC says, so you are obviously misrepresenting the teaching of the IC.  It is useless for you to claim that she needed God's saving Grace, yet SIMULTANEOUSLY assert that she did not need Grace to attain a holiness acceptable to God before the Annunciation.  Your version of Mary is a Pelagian creature.  The only way you will prove otherwise is if you admit that Mary had Grace even BEFORE the Annunciation, which calls into focus the issue of WHEN she received that Grace.  In any case, this definitely brings in the possibility that Mary received these Graces at her conception, which is what the dogma of the IC teaches.  You can claim otherwise, but you can't deny that it is a possibility and that it occurred before the Annunciation, which makes the dogma at least a legitimate theologoumenon, and not a heresy (which has always been my only point).

Now, it is one thing to say that the mind of the Church or the Holy Fathers tell us that Mary, although by nature a sinner, did not actually sin after the Lord sanctified her (choose a datapoint from the Holy Scriptures). I can live with this belief even if it is not in the Bible precisely because it does not contradict the Holy Scriptures. I have no problem with a sinner being so full of grace that he simply does not sin, even though he knows he is capable of sinning and must continue in the holy struggle.
Sin never touched Mary.  PERIOD.  

However, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception in essence says that Mary was never by nature a sinner: the plain meaning of being free from the stain of original sin from the moment of conception can only mean  that.
So what?  That does not mean (1) it was not of Grace, nor does it mean that (2) she had no capacity to sin, nor that (3) her sinlessness was not the result of a free-will response to the awesome Grace given her.  These latter ideas are not contained in the dogma, but is your own invention.

2. The reasonable consequences of this dogma have included the worship of Mary by some, as if she is God,
That’s relative. Easterns freely exclaim, “Mary save us,” something not even Latins would do. “Is Mary a god that you think she can save us?” a Protestant might ask. Please don’t make these inconsistent arguments against Catholics. As the Lord said, don’t judge, or the judgment you have pronounced on others will be turned back on you.  In any case, who has actually made a demi-god out of Mary?  Is it those who have created a self-sufficient Mary requiring no Grace to be holy in God’s eyes whereby He chose her, or is it Catholics who teach that Mary did indeed need Grace – like everyone else - to be holy in the eyes of God?
As I demonstrated, your Pelagian straw horse will not work.
No. You did not demonstrate anything.  You merely evaded the matter by saying "she is not" without giving any reason.  Either the holiness she had throughout her life - EVEN BEFORE THE ANNUNCIATION was of Grace AND free will, or of free will alone.  The latter teaching is Pelagian, and it is the one that has been consistently claimed by the Orthodox here.  The former is the patristic and Catholic teaching.  

Orthodox people who pray to Mary to "save" them do not necessarily believe that she can do so on her own. Orthodox theology is solid on this point, although some prayer formulations and some language from some our saints do come very close to the edge. I do not think that one has to pray to the Holy Theotokos, any Saint, or our dearly departed ones to be saved. We ask for the intercession of the living and the dead members of the Holy Body of our Lord because the Holy Scriptures instruct us to do so. Granted that there are many Orthodox who believe that the Holy Theotokos is better able to intercede for us. With Orthodox, I don't believe it is matter of doctrine as much as it is a matter of piety.
Yes, that is what the CC teaches as well.  All of Mary's prerogatives are of Grace, not of her own power.

OTH, what is the poor, uneducated and unlettered Latino peasant to do when the priests are offering up prayers to Jesus and His Mother who is without sin and also crowned as the Queen of Heaven, called co-redemptrix, co-mediatrix, etc...? Why, I do think that they worship her the same way as they worship her son. And, it is no wonder that the Vicar of Christ, in this case Pope Leo X, can contradict himself in one paragraph (Ad Diem Illum, 1904): "We are then, it will be seen, very far from attributing to the Mother of God a productive power of grace - a power which belongs to God alone. Yet, since Mary carries it over all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us de congruo, in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us de condigno, and she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces." Please tell me how ordinary people are not justified in thinking that "productive power of grace" is in practical terms different from "supreme Minister of the distribution of graces"?
I suppose the poor, uneducated, unlettered Eastern Orthodox peasant will have the same reaction whenever they hear their priests say "Mary save us."

and, on the other hand, the debasement of her example to believers as the examplar par excellence of belief and trust in God.
Rather, the debasement is in your creation of a Pelagian exemplar of Mary.
Looking past your obsession with Pelagianism, which I have assured you that I am not a fan of, allow me to explain.
Your claims are meaningless because you assert that Mary did not need Grace in order to be holy before the Annunciation (unless you are willing to admit that she had this Grace before then).  The teaching of the IC grants her this Grace.  All you can offer is a Pelagian creation (unless, as stated, you admit that Mary had Grace even before the Annunciation).

The principal distinction of the Holy Theotokos is that as a normal human being--that is a sinner-- she, through the Grace of God, became an extraordinary human being worthy of emulation. I believe this is one of the main definitions of a Saint, no? The very reason to emulate her vanishes with Immaculate Conception.
No, it doesn't.  Does one need to possess the possibility of sinning in order to be fully human?  Well, Mary had that possibility, so she was fully human.  You can't refute what I stated.  Your claim is based on a misunderstanding of concupiscence, and you have yet to refute my patristic explanation of concupiscence.

3. The dogma is refuted by the plain text of the Holy Scriptures. It is one thing to resort to the Holy Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils when the Scriptures need explaining. It is another thing where there is no need to because the Scriptures are definitive.
What Scriptures? The ones that Protestants use against the doctrine of Mary’s sinlessness? I don’t see how that gets you anywhere.  You were already refuted earlier in your use of these verses.
Funny, although I addressed my reply to you, Papist replied with a question, which I subsequently answered.
And I answered you, but you have yet to give an actual response.  All you have done, as in other cases, is evade my response and simply repeat your unfounded claims.

BTW, don't you think that it is bad form to argue against my point by saying that these verses are also used by Protestants?
It's the truth that they use those verses to argue against the patristic teaching of Mary's sinlessness. I don't see why you would object, unless this is another example of evasion on your part.

First, I believe the Holy Scriptures belong to humanity. Second, these particular verses are plain and simple and hardly require further elucidation, which you have not done either. You simply dismiss them out of hand.
I refuted you based on your own interpretation that the passages do not refer to "actively sinning," but rather the fact that humanity has "the possibility of sinning." I demonstrated to you that Mary still had the possibility of sinning, according to a proper and patristic understanding of the concupiscence. But the simple matter is that you can't respond , so the best you can do is complain that I did not respond to you - even though I did.  

Let me ask you brother what have you got against the Word of God that you seemingly prefer the words of men (saintly and learned but men nevertheless)?
 Protestants would tell you that you have given a wily interpretation of those verses, because they use it to indicate "actively sinning." The OBVIOUS meaning of those passages is the Protestant understanding.  But you need to explain it away by referring to the Fathers.  So I would ask you the same question - why would you prefer the words of men (saintly and learned but men nevertheless) against the Word of God?  Remember the Lord's exhortation about judging someone lest that judgment be turned back on you (and quite easily so).

Blessings,
Marduk
 

Mardukm

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Dear brother Cleveland,

cleveland said:
They don't have to know as much about Catholicism as they do about their Orthodoxy to make such a claim;
Is that generally the standard here in this website - that you don't really need to know about what Catholicism actually teaches in order to criticize it and claim it is teaching heresy?  Is that the general attitude of Eastern Orthodox apologetics?  That's a sincere question.

as to "why don't they back it up" I can tell you why I've avoided the substantive portion of this debate: some of us have hopped on this merry-go-round before, and have had our arguments ignored or skipped for a debate of points not relevant to the main ones.  At some point, fatigue sets in when people don't actually listen to what you're saying (and supporting with evidence).  I was doing this song-and-dance in 10th grade with teachers more than twice my age who had advanced degrees in Catholic Theology; I learned then about the intricate side-steps and have become quite weary of them.
I think I've addressed everything as much as I can.  And many of my responses are not met, but simply avoided.  But regardless of those other points, is it too much to ask exactly what it is about the issue of original sin that is so different between the EO and the CC.  Would a separate thread focused on Original Sin be appropriate?  Are there other threads already that address the matter?  St. Palamas' teaching on original sin is something new to me, and I was surprised how practically identical it is to my understanding as a Catholic and Oriental, given the constant claims of modern EO otherwise.  So is it too much to ask how St. Palamas' teaching differs from the Catholic teaching?  I mean, even given the links you recently provided, there is no difference IMO, so perhaps someone else can point it out.  Remember, the topic would be, "St. Palamas teaching compared with the CC teaching."

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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ialmisry said:
You haven't been reading evidently.
All I've seen are reasons why this or that person does not accept it.  NO ONE has yet proven that it is heresy or that it is not a legitimate theologoumenon.

Blessings
 

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Good news!  I found St. Palamas' sermon relating to the IC.

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_+entry-of-the-theotokos+by-saint-gregory-palamas.html

A few things I found interesting:

1) His understanding of how the IC came about is nothing like the comment given by Father Ambrose earlier.  Palamas did not claim that there were generations that grew to holiness of which Mary was the pinnacle.  He simply says that one can trace the lineage of this holiness down through the ages.  So St. Palamas' understanding is not really that drastic, but I suppose it is contingent upon opponents of the IC to make Palamas' understanding as unpalatable as possible.

2) St. Palamas states that Mary was sinless by nature.

3) St. Palamas, like St. Proclus of Constantinople in the fifth century, makes an intimate and causal connection between Mary's sinlessness and Jesus' own.  This is pretty interesting because not even the Catholic dogma of the IC admits that much (though many indeed contend that the dogma of the IC at least implies it).

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
ialmisry said:
You haven't been reading evidently.
All I've seen are reasons why this or that person does not accept it.  NO ONE has yet proven that it is heresy or that it is not a legitimate theologoumenon.
A theologoumenon is whether cows and elephants and dogs go to heaven.  To call such an important doctrine about the All-Holy Mother of God a theologoumenon is a great insult to her.  It is an insult to her from either side of the fence.  Either it is true and must be accepted as the Church's authentic tradition and therefore as dogma obligatory on all right-believing Christians, or it is false and must be rejected.

So please!  Do not say it can be a theologoumenon!
 

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Mardukm said:
Good news!  I found St. Palamas' sermon relating to the IC.

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_+entry-of-the-theotokos+by-saint-gregory-palamas.html

A few things I found interesting:

1) His understanding of how the IC came about is nothing like the comment given by Father Ambrose earlier.  Palamas did not claim that there were generations that grew to holiness of which Mary was the pinnacle.  He simply says that one can trace the lineage of this holiness down through the ages.  So St. Palamas' understanding is not really that drastic, but I suppose it is contingent upon opponents of the IC to make Palamas' understanding as unpalatable as possible.
If you trace your way back to the quote I provided you will see that it comes from Fr Lev Gillet.  Fr Lev was a Roman Catholic priest and monk who became Orthodox back in the day.  He remained so devoted to Roman Catholicism, continuing to spend large amounts of time in European Catholic monasteries and lecturing all over Europe in favour of union that there was speculation he had never converted to Orthodoxy at all and he was a Roman implant or double agent sent by the Vatican to undermine Orthodoxy.  So he had no great axe to grind against the Immaculate Conceoption by misrepresenting Gregory Palamas.
 

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Mardukm said:
Good news!  I found St. Palamas' sermon relating to the IC.

http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/feasts-of-the-theotokos_+entry-of-the-theotokos+by-saint-gregory-palamas.html
That the sermon in on the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple (not the Conception of St. Anne) should have told you something.

So should have this:
Except for God, there is no one who is without sin, or life-creating, or able to remit sin. Therefore, the new Adam must be not only Man, but also God. He is at the same time life, wisdom, truth, love, and mercy, and every other good thing, so that He might renew the old Adam and restore him to life through mercy, wisdom and righteousness. These are the opposites of the things which the author of evil used to bring about our aging and death.

Today we celebrate the memory of those things that contributed, if only once, to the Incarnation. He Who is God by nature, the Co-unoriginate and Coeternal Word and Son of the Transcendent Father, becomes the Son of Man, the Son of the Ever-Virgin. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today, and forever" (Heb. 13:8), immutable in His divinity and blameless in His humanity, He alone, as the Prophet Isaiah prophesied, "practiced no iniquity, nor deceit with His lips" (Is. 53: 9). He alone was not brought forth in iniquity, nor was He conceived in sin, in contrast to what the Prophet David says concerning himself and every other man (Ps. 50/51: 5). Even in what He assumes, He is perfectly pure and has no need to be cleansed Himself. But for our sake, He accepted purification, suffering, death and resurrection, that He might transmit them to us.
A few things I found interesting:

1) His understanding of how the IC came about is nothing like the comment given by Father Ambrose earlier.  Palamas did not claim that there were generations that grew to holiness of which Mary was the pinnacle.  He simply says that one can trace the lineage of this holiness down through the ages.  So St. Palamas' understanding is not really that drastic, but I suppose it is contingent upon opponents of the IC to make Palamas' understanding as unpalatable as possible.
It is first incumbent on proponents of the IC to first show that St. Palamas believed it.  Because it's not in this sermon.

2) St. Palamas states that Mary was sinless by nature.
Where?


3) St. Palamas, like St. Proclus of Constantinople in the fifth century, makes an intimate and causal connection between Mary's sinlessness and Jesus' own.  This is pretty interesting because not even the Catholic dogma of the IC admits that much (though many indeed contend that the dogma of the IC at least implies it).

Blessings,
Marduk
Where's that here?

Btw,

She Who is manifest as the Holy of Holies, Who has a body even purer than the spirits purified by virtue

seems to contradict your Manichean views of the IC.
 

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Mardukm said:
My argument has not degraded.
 

It surely has.

Mardukm said:
It's just that there are people like brother Mickey who like to exaggerate what I say and knock down the straw man.  
All you have left at this pont--is to accuse people of knocking down "straw men".  

Mardukm said:
I've never claimed it was a teaching of Orthodoxy "as a whole."  
Amen.


 

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Mardukm said:
No one has yet proven that it is heresy or that it is not a legitimate theologoumenon.
LOL! Does "legitimate theologoumenon" mean "almost doctrine".  :laugh:
 

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Mardukm said:
You did not demonstrate anything.

You merely evaded the matter...

Your claims are meaningless...

All you can offer is a Pelagian creation...

You can't refute what I stated.

...you have yet to give an actual response.

All you have done, as in other cases, is evade my response and simply repeat your unfounded claims.

...unless this is another example of evasion on your part.

But the simple matter is that you can't respond...

...the best you can do is complain that I did not respond to you...

Protestants would tell you that you have given a wily interpretation of those verses...

But you need to explain it away
This is classic markud.  You feel that if you insult someone and/or tell them enough times in your avalanche of words that they are wrong---that people may begin to believe your claims. How very sad.

Mardukm said:
I refuted you based on your own interpretation
And then puff yourself up for good measure. Sheesh.


 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
No one has yet proven that it is heresy or that it is not a legitimate theologoumenon.
LOL! Does "legitimate theologoumenon" mean "almost doctrine".  :laugh:
I know what you mean. Other than saying St. Gregory "may" have taught it, which I have yet to see, nothing has been shown. But, apparently, it has been taught since the times of the Apostles....
 

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Dear brother Isa,

That the sermon in on the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple (not the Conception of St. Anne) should have told you something.
Yes, it told me that St. Palamas believed in the IC.

So should have this:
Except for God, there is no one who is without sin, or life-creating, or able to remit sin. Therefore, the new Adam must be not only Man, but also God. He is at the same time life, wisdom, truth, love, and mercy, and every other good thing, so that He might renew the old Adam and restore him to life through mercy, wisdom and righteousness. These are the opposites of the things which the author of evil used to bring about our aging and death. Today we celebrate the memory of those things that contributed, if only once, to the Incarnation. He Who is God by nature, the Co-unoriginate and Coeternal Word and Son of the Transcendent Father, becomes the Son of Man, the Son of the Ever-Virgin. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday and today, and forever" (Heb. 13: , immutable in His divinity and blameless in His humanity, He alone, as the Prophet Isaiah prophesied, "practiced no iniquity, nor deceit with His lips" (Is. 53: 9). He alone was not brought forth in iniquity, nor was He conceived in sin, in contrast to what the Prophet David says concerning himself and every other man (Ps. 50/51: 5). Even in what He assumes, He is perfectly pure and has no need to be cleansed Himself. But for our sake, He accepted purification, suffering, death and resurrection, that He might transmit them to us.
Why is it so difficult for some EO to understand the difference between a state that is OF AND BY GRACE, and one that is due to self-sufficiency?  And why is it so hard for some EO to take a CONTEXTUAL reading of a text, instead of little snippets.  You do that a lot, if not all the time.

Here is a passage from the Sermon which you have selectively missed:
BY GOD HIMSELF, the Mother of God was proclaimed and given to them as a child, so that from such virtuous parents the all-virtuous child would be raised. So in this manner, chastity joined with prayer came to fruition by producing the Mother of virginity
You tell us here how, if it is BY GOD, how can it be not OF GRACE?

Besides, in his Sermon on the Feast of the Dormition, St. Palamas explicitly tells us that the spiritual prerogatives of Mary are OF GRACE:
Actually, if Her soul, which was a habitation of God's grace, is borne up to heaven, forsaking the mundane, as becomes clear from many examples, and as we believe, how could that body which received within itself the Only-Begotten and Pre-eternal Son of God, the inexhaustible source of grace, and also showed forth His Body by giving birth to Him, not be carried up from earth to Heaven?

In any case, permit me to point out another section of the Sermon:
And truly, if the grateful woman (of whom the Gospel tells us), after hearing the saving words of the Lord, blessed and thanked His Mother, raising her voice above the din of the crowd and saying to Christ, "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps Thou hast sucked" (Lk. 11:27), then we who have the words of eternal life written out for us, and not only the words, but also the miracles and the Passion, and the raising of our nature from death, and its ascent from earth to Heaven, and the promise of immortal life and unfailing salvation, then how shall we not unceasingly hymn and bless the Mother of the Author of our Salvation and the Giver of Life, celebrating Her conception and birth, and now Her Entry into the Holy of Holies?
I would love to get a Sermon by St. Palamas on the Feast of the Conception, as he obviously considered it very important.  That would probably settle the matter once and for all (as far as St. Palamas is concerned).  Does anyone here have it?

It is first incumbent on proponents of the IC to first show that St. Palamas believed it.  Because it's not in this sermon.
Here it is for the contextually-challenged:
Now He finds a Handmaiden perfectly suited to these needs, the supplier of HER OWN UNSULLIED NATURE, the Ever-Virgin now hymned by us…”Tell me, what else could the word “UNsullied nature” mean?

Also:“So, in order to render the Virgin worthy of this sublime purpose, God marked this ever-virgin Daughter now praised by us, from before the ages, and from eternity, choosing Her from out of His elect.
Did God “choose” her at the Annunciation?  Obviously not, so she must have possessed her “unsullied Nature” before that time.

Did God “choose” her when she was 10 years old?  Obviously not, because St. Palamas says she was already sanctified before then.

Did God “choose” her when she entered the Temple?  Obviously not, because not only does St. Palamas say that she was chosen from Eternity, but also that she was ALREADY sanctified when she entered the Temple.
They have now led this truly sanctified child of God, now the Mother of God, this Virgin into the Temple of God. And She, being filled with Divine gifts even at such a tender age

I have read interpretations that say that God sanctified her from Eternity, but I don’t agree.  Someone can’t be sanctified unless that person comes into existence.  Rather, she was sanctified from the moment of her existence, sanctified for the very purpose, as St. Palamas states, of having the “unsullied nature” from whom Jesus himself would derive his own spotless nature.

Understand that the dogma of the IC does not even go this far.  The dogma does not dogmatize this matter of which St. Palamas speaks – that is, the “WHY” of the matter - but only dogmatizes the mere fact that she had, in Palamas’ words, an “unsullied nature.”

2) St. Palamas states that Mary was sinless by nature.
Where?
Now He finds a Handmaiden perfectly suited to these needs, the supplier of HER OWN UNSULLIED NATURE, the Ever-Virgin now hymned by us…

and again:

But it was impossible to unite that Most High Nature, Whose purity is incomprehensible for human reason, to a sinful nature before it had been purified. Therefore, for the conception and birth of the Bestower of purity, a perfectly spotless and Most Pure Virgin was required.

Note that he does not say that the Virgin Mary was purified (which begs the question of when she herself was purified).  Rather, he says that the NATURE was purified.  Our nature was purified, according to St. Palamas, by the creation of a woman who was “UNSULLIED” in her nature.  Note also that this is BY GRACE, not that Mary was in and of herself sufficient to have an unsullied nature.  Finally, note also that a purified nature is not identical to a glorified (i.e., divinized) nature.  Mary’s body was not glorified until her Dormition/Assumption (actually, many – not all- Fathers say her body was glorified at the Annunciation).  Though our nature was purified in Mary, it was only in Christ that it was glorified (i.e., actually transformed).

Once again, I ask why it is so difficult for some EO to take contextual readings of things, but are so habitual about taking only taking little snippets from the sources.

3) St. Palamas, like St. Proclus of Constantinople in the fifth century, makes an intimate and causal connection between Mary's sinlessness and Jesus' own.  This is pretty interesting because not even the Catholic dogma of the IC admits that much (though many indeed contend that the dogma of the IC at least implies it).
Where's that here?
Therefore, the coeternal and identical Image of goodness, Preeternal, transcending all being, He Who is the preexisting and good Word of the Father, moved by His unutterable love for mankind and compassion for us, put on our image, that He might reclaim for Himself our nature which had been dragged down to uttermost Hades, so as to renew this corrupted nature and raise it to the heights of Heaven. FOR THIS PURPOSE, He had to assume a flesh that was BOTH NEW AND OURS, that He might refashion us from out of ourselves.

And again:
Therefore, God deigned to receive our nature from us, hypostatically uniting with it in a marvellous way. But it was impossible to unite that Most High Nature,Whose purity is incomprehensible for human reason, to a sinful nature before it had been purified. Therefore, for the conception and birth of the Bestower of purity, a perfectly spotless and Most Pure Virgin was required.

Once again, I ask why it is so difficult for some EO to take contextual readings of things, but are so habitual about taking only little snippets from the sources.

Btw,
She Who is manifest as the Holy of Holies, Who has a body even purer than the spirits purified by virtue
seems to contradict your Manichean views of the IC.
[/quote]
Hahaha!  You’ll have to explain that one for everyone here.  I said that Grace is required by the Virgin Mary.  How is that Manichean?  You are creative, but not a very good apologist.

BTW, here’s another IC quote from an EO Saint:
The constraints of infertility were destroyed -- prayer, upright manner of life, these rendered them fruitful; the childless begat a Child, and the childless woman was made an happy mother. Thus the IMMACULATE FRUITION issuing forth from the womb occurred from an infertile mother, and then the parents, in the first blossoming of Her growth brought Her to the temple and dedicated Her to God.
Archbishop St. Andrew of Crete

Btw, fruitfulness begins at conception, not birth, in case anyone is going to argue that this passage refers only to an immaculate birth.

I wish I had more time to give more quotes from the numerous EO saints who expressed belief in the IC. Maybe later.

Here’s a discussion by Alexander Roman on the IC, commenting on its historic acceptance in certain circles of Orthodoxy.

http://www.ukrainian-orthodoxy.org/articles/catholic/holymother.htm

Lastly, I would like to repeat an earlier request: Does anyone have a link to a sermon by an Eastern Father on the Feast of the Conception prior to the 19th century?  The only one I could find online was a 14th century sermon from the English Church by John Mirk (the English Church was the first one in the Western Patriarchate to accept the Eastern Feast of the Conception) which gives its miraculous circumstances, as well as a vision by someone from Mary that her Conception should be honored.

Blessings
 

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I would like you to tell me where i can find homilies about Mary, from orthodox theologians , esspecially St Gregory Palamas . From her conception to her dormitation . I will appreciate it and thanks .
 

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Dan-Romania said:
I would like you to tell me where i can find homilies about Mary, from orthodox theologians , esspecially St Gregory Palamas . From her conception to her dormitation . I will appreciate it and thanks .
Dan, here is one which I love very much...

Sermon on the Dormition of the Virgin Mary
Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica

http://www.oca.org/FSsermons-details.asp?SID=4&ID=9
 

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Mardukm said:
Yes, it told me that St. Palamas believed in the IC.
Hmmm?  Nothing you have posted implies that St Gregory believed or taught the Latin definition of the IC.  In fact, you have also stated that you do not believe that St Gregory adhered to the Latin understanding of the IC.  I think you have simply resorted to an attempt to confuse people with very long dissertation-like posts.  :-\




 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
Yes, it told me that St. Palamas believed in the IC.
Hmmm?  Nothing you have posted implies that St Gregory believed or taught the Latin definition of the IC.  In fact, you have also stated that you do not believe that St Gregory adhered to the Latin understanding of the IC.  I think you have simply resorted to an attempt to confuse people with very long dissertation-like posts.  :-\
Yes, I know. And now he is contradicting himself badly. I would get all of his posts around to show him where he has contradicted himself, but I don't really want to read 3000 pages....You have not shown St. Gregory believed in the Latin IC. And I doubt you will ever be able to prove it.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Dan-Romania said:
I would like you to tell me where i can find homilies about Mary, from orthodox theologians , esspecially St Gregory Palamas . From her conception to her dormitation . I will appreciate it and thanks .
Dan, here is one which I love very much...

Sermon on the Dormition of the Virgin Mary
Saint Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica

http://www.oca.org/FSsermons-details.asp?SID=4&ID=9
thanks
 

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The battle raged concerning the acceptance of the innovative teaching of the IC for many years between the Dominicans and the Franciscans. One can imagine the confusion amongst the laity.  Finally, the council of Trent had the opportunity to settle it once and for all.  What did Trent do? Nothing. Why did the Pope of Rome not take the opportunity to invoke his infallible authority while convening a council to settle the dispute? Was he afraid of a schism?  Perhaps the people would not have accepted the infallibility of the Pope at this time?

The Roman Catholic bishop Milner had this to say:
“The Church does not decide the controversy concerning the Conception of the Blessed Virgin, and several other disputed points, because she sees nothing clear and certain concerning them either in the written or unwritten Word, and therefore leaves her children to form their own opinions concerning them.”

And today, thanks to Pope Pius IX, the Latin Catholic Church has the 150 year old infallible doctrine of the IC.
 

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Mickey said:
The Roman Catholic bishop Milner had this to say:
“The Church does not decide the controversy concerning the Conception of the Blessed Virgin, and several other disputed points, because she sees nothing clear and certain concerning them either in the written or unwritten Word, and therefore leaves her children to form their own opinions concerning them.”

And today, thanks to Pope Pius IX, the Latin Catholic Church has the 150 year old infallible doctrine of the IC.
I would love the Catholics on this forum to please explain why this statement exists, IF the IC is such an Apostolic teaching. I will be waiting. Oh, and they can still provide those quotes from St. Gregory Palamas as well. Try to do it before I have gray hair.
 

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Dear PoorFoolNicholas,
I'm afraid they'd answer that the pope was guided by the Holy Spirit to complete His former revelation, since they believe both in Papal infallibility and in Doctrinal Development.
This is absurd since they condemn Jehovah's Witnesses for exactly the same reasons (their claims that the Directive Body is infallible and that through it the holy spirit "enlightens" the Watchtower Society on matters of faith and ethics).

In Christ,    Alex
 
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