Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception

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Mardukm said:
Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it,
His Holiness Pope Shenouda appears to contradict what you present as Coptic tradition on the Immaculate Conception. 


"The Divine nature (God the Word) was united with the human nature which He took of the Virgin Mary
by the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit purified and sanctified the Virgin's womb so that
the Child to whom she gave birth would inherit nothing of the original sin
; the flesh formed of
her blood was united with the Only-Begotten Son. This Unity took place from the first moment of
the Holy Pregnancy in the Virgin's womb. As a result of the unity of both natures-the Divine and
the human-inside the Virgin's womb, one nature was formed out of both: "The One Nature of God
the Incarnate Logos" as St. Cyril called it.


"The Nature of Christ"
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

Note what the Pope is saying.  That the Virgin's womb was not purified and sanctified until the time when she conceived the Lord.  Note that she was purifed at that time so that Christ would not inherit anything of original sin, something which it is clear affected her until this time of cleansing when the incarnation took place.




 

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cleveland said:
Mardukm said:
Mardukm said:
ialmisry said:
I put in bold what you seem to have missed in the OP.
Why not just stop beating around the bush.  Please tell us why you think that excerpt is different from the Catholic understanding?
I hope an EO answers this, and I pray everyone who is reading this thread pays careful attention.  TOO often, we hear the notion that the Catholic Church's teaching on original sin is SOOOOOOO different from the Eastern Orthodox teaching on original sin, a myth invented by modern EO polemics, and perpetuated by the disinterest of many EO to even bother to try to find out the actual truth of the matter from the horse's mouth, being content with the hearsay they get from their "apologists."  If this cannot actually be proven, then I hope EO out there will stop and think before giving an ear to statements against the Catholic Church, just because the authors of those statements bear affiliation with the EOC.  In any case, this will be just one more step to help the cause of true unity, which is based neither on lies, accomodation, nor forced uniformity, but rather on genuine understanding and acceptance of each other. 
Maybe you should read some of the threads where some of us have already hashed this out ad nauseam before (click the "Immaculate Conception" tag at the bottom).  I know you already started on some of them:

Mardukm said:
Brother cleveland,

I read two of the links, and they did not give me any information why the dogma of the IC is a heresy, per se.  After that, my attention was occupied by other matters.  So I admit I did not read all of the links.  In any case, the current discussion in the CAF is sufficiently holding my interest, and I think those who have participated have represented the EO position pretty well.  When the hustle and bustle over there finishes, I will come back here to finish the reading.

Thanks for posting the links, btw.  I'm sure you have other things better to do as an admin, so I really do appreciate it.
But I also know you have more to look through.  Please do!
Yes, I will do so.  Thanks for reminding me.

Mardukm said:
Blessings
We Orthodox usually don't get blessings from a balcony.
I don't understand.  Can you explain what you mean?

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it,
His Holiness Pope Shenouda appears to contradict what you present as Coptic tradition on the Immaculate Conception. 


"The Divine nature (God the Word) was united with the human nature which He took of the Virgin Mary
by the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit purified and sanctified the Virgin's womb so that
the Child to whom she gave birth would inherit nothing of the original sin
; the flesh formed of
her blood was united with the Only-Begotten Son. This Unity took place from the first moment of
the Holy Pregnancy in the Virgin's womb. As a result of the unity of both natures-the Divine and
the human-inside the Virgin's womb, one nature was formed out of both: "The One Nature of God
the Incarnate Logos" as St. Cyril called it.


"The Nature of Christ"
http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf

Note what the Pope is saying.  That the Virgin's womb was not purified and sanctified until the time when she conceived the Lord.  Note that she was purifed at that time so that Christ would not inherit anything of original sin, something which it is clear affected her until this time of cleansing when the incarnation took place.
Are you not reading all of my posts?  I already addressed this several times.  I am in complete agreement with HH Pope Shenoute.  I believe, like any Oriental, that the specific Grace to be able to bear the FULL, UNVEILED DIVINITY was given to the Theotokos at the Annunciation.  The Grace Mary received at her Conception, in distinction, was different - specifically, it was merely the Grace of Baptism.  And as I've stated several times already, the dogma itself gives no indication that the IC was intended for Mary to BE ABLE to bear Christ.  It SIMPLY states that at the moment of her conception, she was preserved from the stain of original sin.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, every objection I've read here has absolutely NOTHING to do with the dogma itself, but are really straw men EXTRAPOLATIONS of the dogma that the dogma itself never claims.

Also, Father, I feel you are misrepresenting me.  I never claimed that there is a Coptic Tradition on the IC.  All I've ever stated is that in my study of Catholicism, I've never found anything about it that contradicts my Coptic Tradition.  Don't worry, this matter is being fully investigated between brother Mina and myself.  Thank you for your concern, however.

Humbly,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm,

Would you first read the following quoted section (reference coming soon) and indicate whether it is a good summary of your (and, by extension, your understanding of RC) belief concerning the IC?

The Immaculate Conception is, according to Roman Catholic Dogma, the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain ("macula" in Latin) of original sin. Under this aspect Mary is sometimes called the Immaculata (the Immaculate One), particularly in artistic contexts. The dogma says that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin. Her immaculate conception in the womb of her mother, by sexual intercourse, should not be confused with the doctrine of the virginal conception of her son Jesus.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant.

The Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus on 8 December 1854. The Roman Catholic Church believes the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g., Mary's being greeted by the Angel Gabriel as "full of grace") as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of Church Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Ambrose of Milan. Catholic theology maintains that since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception defined by Pope Pius IX is also viewed as a key example of the use of sensus fidelium shared by the faithful and the Magisterium rather than pure reliance on Scripture and Tradition. The Vatican quotes in this context Fulgens Corona, where Pius XII supported such a faith:

   "If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?”

The Roman Catholic tradition has a well-established philosophy for the study of the Immaculate Conception and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the field of Mariology, with Pontifical schools such as the Marianum specifically devoted to this.
 

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Mardukm said:
Brother Papist has given a solid defense to which you did not respond at all, but when your use of a verse was refuted, you just came up with another verse
Hi Mark,

Yes. I came up with many quotes. I did not need to respond to Papist because he did not refute anything--and neither have you. An avalanche of words does nor equate to refutation.

Mardukm said:
Like I said, brother Papist has already done an excellent job of refuting
And like I said--he has refuted nothing.


Mardukm said:
His statements do not deny in any way the teaching of the IC. 
He says nothing about the Virgin's Immaculate conception, or conceptional baptism, or salvation at ensoulment.


Mardukm said:
St. Ambrose maintained that St. Joachim’s seed was immaculate – which would account for Mary’s IC.
The Orthodox use the term "Immaculate" for Our Lady often and they are not referring to the IC. Neither does the language for St Joachim's immaculate seed refer to the Vatican's definition of the IC.

Nice try though Mark!

 

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Mardukm said:
The Grace Mary received at her Conception, in distinction, was different - specifically, it was merely the Grace of Baptism. 
Let me get this straight. You say that Our Lady received the grace to conceive the Saviour at the annuciation and the IC merely refers to a spontaneous divine baptism in the womb at the moment of conception.

Does Rome agree with this explanation?
 

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Mardukm said:
It is easy to see that St. Basil’s statement here does not dictate against the teaching of the IC of Mary.
Absolutely! St Basil would never refute such a doctrine because it did not exist.

But he does say:  “There is none without stain before Thee, even though his life be but a day, save Thou alone….
 

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Dear brother Cleveland,

cleveland said:
Would you first read the following quoted section (reference coming soon) and indicate whether it is a good summary of your (and, by extension, your understanding of RC) belief concerning the IC?

The Immaculate Conception is, according to Roman Catholic Dogma, the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain ("macula" in Latin) of original sin. Under this aspect Mary is sometimes called the Immaculata (the Immaculate One), particularly in artistic contexts. The dogma says that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin. Her immaculate conception in the womb of her mother, by sexual intercourse, should not be confused with the doctrine of the virginal conception of her son Jesus.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on 8 December, was established as a universal feast in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant.

The Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus on 8 December 1854. The Roman Catholic Church believes the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g., Mary's being greeted by the Angel Gabriel as "full of grace") as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of Church Fathers such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Ambrose of Milan. Catholic theology maintains that since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception defined by Pope Pius IX is also viewed as a key example of the use of sensus fidelium shared by the faithful and the Magisterium rather than pure reliance on Scripture and Tradition. The Vatican quotes in this context Fulgens Corona, where Pius XII supported such a faith:

   "If the popular praises of the Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?”

The Roman Catholic tradition has a well-established philosophy for the study of the Immaculate Conception and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the field of Mariology, with Pontifical schools such as the Marianum specifically devoted to this.
That is a pretty good summary of the dogma.  There are three things I would point out for comment and correction:

1) "The dogma says that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace."
In the clause "and that she was instead filled with divine grace," I would replace the word "divine" with the word "sanctifying."  Using the word "divine" draws one into the error that Mary was somehow made into some sort of demi-god.  Using the word "divine" instead of "sanctifying" also detracts from the otherwise obvious fact that the Grace Mary received at her conception is simply the Grace we all receive at Baptism - namely, sanctifying Grace.

2) "The Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX" This statement on its own would make one think that this "dogma" is just like any other dogma defined by the Church - such as those defined by the Ecumenical Councils. When one looks at the dogmas of the Ecumenical Councils, one discovers that every dogma is accompanied by a very severe proscriptive penalty that redounds to the very salvation of a person - namely, an anathema.  But the dogma of the IC does not contain an anathema, but merely an excommunication.  Given the Catholic Church's dogmatic teaching that the Grace of salvation can be found outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church, then this particular proscriptive penalty in the dogma does not really tend to the loss of one's salvation.  Without the foregoing explanation, a non-Catholic reading it (and perhaps even a Catholic reading it) might think, wrongly, that the "dogma" of the IC also contains the normative "loss of salvation" intent that has historically accompanied the dogmas of the Church.  FYI, the dogma of the Assumption does not even contain a proscriptive penalty altogether!!!

3) "Catholic theology maintains that since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat."  As the explanation implies, this is a theologoumenon in the Catholic Church, which is held mainly by Latin Catholic.  I don't have to believe it as an Oriental Catholic.  But really, the subordinate clause ("it was fitting that ...") is very problematic because it is so vague.  What does it mean?  Is it saying that without the IC, she could not have given her fiat?  Does it mean that without the IC, Jesus could not have become incarnate of the Virgin? Does it mean that the IC caused her not to be able to sin (that is, lost her free will)?  Since this is just a theologoumenon, it does not really belong in an explanation of the IC.  This additional clause just confuses people, and might make readers think that this theologoumenon is somehow an inherent part of the dogma.  It should be left out altogether.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to explain.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
In arguing the “veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary…the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents,” St. Bernard seems to have forgotten a very important fact.  Mary was not divine, but Jesus IS.  So the honor of the IC need not extend beyond the Theotokos.  Obviously, the “conceived of the Holy Spirit” argument is merely a straw man.  The concupiscence argument I address in the next section. 
Of course! St Bernard is offering a warning not let such innovations spiral out of control. He says: “…but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment.”

Our Lady is greatly venerated with many dignities. But St Bernard is telling us that the doctrine of the IC has crossed the line when he says:  “But what does one yet need to add to these dignities?”


Mardukm said:
St. Bernard seems to have forgotten a very important fact.
It is a good thing that you are here to correct him.  ::)
 

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Mardukm said:
The Grace Mary received at her Conception, in distinction, was different - specifically, it was merely the Grace of Baptism. 
Can you offer us official sources of Catholic teaching (the Catechism, papal statements)  which agree with your equation of the Immaculate Conception or rather, Immaculate Ensoulment with Conceptional Baptism?

Do you ever discuss your theological theories with a competent Catholic theologian?
 

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Mardukm said:
Are you not reading all of my posts?  I already addressed this several times.  I am in complete agreement with HH Pope Shenoute. 

All I've ever stated is that in my study of Catholicism, I've never found anything about it that contradicts my Coptic Tradition.
Marduk, I feel that your studies may be too narrowly focused according to your personal theological preferences and you may be misrepresenting Coptic teaching.

__________________________________
St. Mary’s Immaculate Conception:

Some Church fathers do not believe Virgin Mary to be without faults, such as St. Irenaus, Origen, St. John Chrysostom. However, these opinions do not represent the widespread Mariologicall Tradition of the early Church. We believe that St. Mary’s holiness is unique and surpasses heavenly creatures; she passed all her life in holiness as the true Ark of the Covenant, which was made of incorruptible wood laid with Gold from inside and outside. The Orthodox Church, whose love towards St. Mary is deep-rooted, considers her more holy than all the heavenly creatures, whilst a natural member of the human race.

We do not set her apart from the human race by assuming that she was born without original sin (immaculate conception), as if she was born of no human seed. Thus, the Church makes a distinction between St. Mary’s life before and after the moment of Divine Incarnation.

St. Mary herself declared her need of salvation when she said, “my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.”
(Lk 1:47)

This Orthodox concept preserved our Church from any exaggeration or confusion between Lord Jesus Christ and His blessed mother; no worship is offered to her, but only veneration and praise. In other words, in the Orthodox Church there is an accurate line that divides Lord Jesus Christ from His blessed
mother; the only one who was Immaculately Conceived is our Lord Jesus Christ.

This lecture is adapted from ‘Comparative Theology’ by H.H. Pope Shenouda III and ‘St. Mary in the Orthodox Concept’ by Fr. Tadros Malaty.
http://www.suscopts.org/messages/lectures/marilecture1.pdf
 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
It is easy to see that St. Basil’s statement here does not dictate against the teaching of the IC of Mary.
Absolutely! St Basil would never refute such a doctrine because it did not exist.

But he does say:  “There is none without stain before Thee, even though his life be but a day, save Thou alone….
I have already provided a quote from St. Ambrose where he disagrees with basil on this.
 

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Mardukm said:
But you have been shown several times that the dogma of the IC does not refer to her physical conception, but to her spiritual conception, the moment of her ensoulment.
 
Yes Mark. You can go on and on about ensoulment and conceptional baptism. We have heard you talk about it before. However St Bernard is very clear when he says: “She could not be sanctified in the moment of Her conception by reason of the sin which is inseparable from conception, then it remains to believe that She was sanctified after She was conceived in the womb of her mother.”

Mardukm said:
In fact, his “conceived by the Holy Spirit” argument may not have been a straw man at all, but something he heard from an Eastern proponent of the IC.
I see. St Bernard is reacting to some Eastern gossip? Sheesh!


Mardukm said:
All his arguments against it indirectly demonstrate that the Eastern Fathers believed in the IC, not to mention the direct testimony of Eastern Fathers themselves at the time.
Nice tactic Mark. You have attempted to thrust the IC innovation upon the Eastern Fathers. LOL!
 

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Mardukm if I look back on this thread i might find that you have maybe 1/2 of different opinions about the IC. In a way or another none of them convincing , and all revealing the chaos trying to explain something that it isn`t true . It gets to chaos and nonsens, that is how i see it .
 

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Mardukm said:
Even Mary needed Christ as her Redeemer, as St. Bonaventure stated.
Indeed! But St Bonaventure is not confirming the IC with that statement.  ;)
 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
His statements do not deny in any way the teaching of the IC. 
He says nothing about the Virgin's Immaculate conception, or conceptional baptism, or salvation at ensoulment.
And says nothing to contradict it either.

Mardukm said:
St. Ambrose maintained that St. Joachim’s seed was immaculate – which would account for Mary’s IC.
The Orthodox use the term "Immaculate" for Our Lady often and they are not referring to the IC. Neither does the language for St Joachim's immaculate seed refer to the Vatican's definition of the IC.
Father Ambrose was talking about his seed, not about Mary.  Take it up with Father Ambrose.

Nice try though Mark!
Are you able to give a response without a snide remark?

Blessings
 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
The Grace Mary received at her Conception, in distinction, was different - specifically, it was merely the Grace of Baptism. 
Let me get this straight. You say that Our Lady received the grace to conceive the Saviour at the annuciation and the IC merely refers to a spontaneous divine baptism in the womb at the moment of conception.

Does Rome agree with this explanation?
I'll be giving an explanation for Fr. Ambrose in a moment.

Blessings
 

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Mardukm said:
It is plainly evident that this statement by this EO saint is staggeringly false
So far, you have corrected two RC saints (Bernard and Bonaventure) and you have insulted St John Maximovitch.  

These traits that you carry do not further your arguments.
 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
It is easy to see that St. Basil’s statement here does not dictate against the teaching of the IC of Mary.
Absolutely! St Basil would never refute such a doctrine because it did not exist.

But he does say:  “There is none without stain before Thee, even though his life be but a day, save Thou alone….
So, basically, what you're saying is that you can't refute the argument that he is only referring to the NATURAL state of Jesus, as distinct from those who can be without stain BY GRACE.  Good.  That's settled then.

Blessings
 
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