Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception

Mardukm

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Dear brother Isa,

Some final comments:

ialmisry said:
Look on the right links: he claims he was transferred from the "Roman" church to the Armenian Church, but is still in communion with "Roman" church.  Maybe the Catholicos should look into what baggage the sub-deacon brought over, or the fine print in his "translation."
As a matter of fact, the Armenian Apostolic Church (as well as the Syriac Orthodox Church) both have official pastoral provisions with the Catholic Church for limited intercommunion.  Brother DerGhazar's statements of requesting communion in a Catholic Church is absolutely fine.  You shouldn't be making snide comments about matters of which you are ignorant.

I have seen a number of Coptic Orthodox who claim that the "Vision of Bernadette" which claimed "I am the Immaculate Conception" occuring on March 25 (whose Immmaculate Conception was that?) as proof that the title Immaculate Conception should refer only to Christ's.  It isn't clear from your post: whose Conception is being refered to (cf. the "confusion" over St. Leo's quotes)?
I would think an Archbishop would have a better understanding than the laity (though I'll concede that might not be immediately evident to you given your ecclesiology).

Since you praises God you found some Armenian texts online "to combat the senseless polemics," might you provide us links that we may praise Him too?  (I apoligize that I did not put the link up for the text of Ineffibilus Desu and Mufficentissimus Deus, an oversight).
I had to sift through several pages of a google search to get that (that's why I was so happy ;D ), and I don't remember what combination of search words I used.  If you want to verify them, maybe you can google search the terms in the quotation.

Blessings
 

ialmisry

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Mardukm said:
Dear brother Isa,

So basically, you don't trust brother DerGhazar because of his ecumenical spirit. 
LOL.  Because of his muddled ecclesiology.

The Catholicos of Armenia has a different view of Latin-Armenian relationships:
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=60&pid=10&lng=en

The Armenians anathematised those who accepted Chalcedon.  The Fathers at Chalcedon and the other three following Ecumenical Councils anathematized those who did not accept them.  We Orthodox, EO and OO, are working on that.

The Vatican has had its councils, which have anathematized those who do not accept them.  Like Florence, where anyone with any sense among the Orthodox learned all they need to about the "ecumenical spirit" at such robber councils:
http://www.legionofmarytidewater.com/faith/ECUM17.HTM#3
After all these matters had been explained, the aforesaid Armenians, in their own name and in the name of their patriarch and of all Armenians, with all devotion and obedience accept, admit and embrace this salutary synodal decree with all its chapters, declarations, definitions, traditions, precepts and statutes and all the doctrine contained in it, and also whatever the holy apostolic see and the Roman church holds and teaches. They also accept with reverence all those doctors and holy fathers approved by the Roman church. Indeed, they hold as reprobated and condemned whatever persons and things the Roman church reprobates and condemns. They promise that as true sons of obedience, in the name as above, they will faithfully obey the ordinances and commands of the apostolic see.

When the aforesaid decree had been solemnly read out in our and the holy synod's presence, straightaway our beloved son Narses, an Armenian, in the name of the said envoys, publicly recited the following in Armenian and thereupon our beloved son Basil of the order of friars Minor, the interpreter between us and the Armenians, publicly read it out in Latin as follows.

Most blessed father and most holy synod. Recently the whole of this holy decree, which has now been read out in Latin in your presence, was clearly explained and interpreted to us word by word in our language. It was and is completely acceptable to us. To disclose our understanding more fully, however, we repeat its contents in summary.

The following is contained in it. First, you give to our people of the Armenians the holy creed of Constantinople, with the added phrase and the Son, to be sung or read within the mass in our churches at least on Sundays and greater feasts. Secondly, the definition of the fourth universal council of Chalcedon about two natures in the one person of Christ. Thirdly, the definition about the two wills and principles of action of Christ which was promulgated in the sixth universal council.
The Catholicos's official Web site doesn't have the added phrase and the Son:
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=10474&pid=10472&lng=en

Fourthly, you declare that the synod of Chalcedon and most blessed pope Leo rightly defined the truth about two natures in the one person of Christ against the impious doctrines of Nestorius and Eutyches. You order that we should venerate most blessed Leo as holy and a pillar of the faith and that we should reverently accept not only the synods of Nicaea, Constantinople and the first of Ephesus, but also all other synods legitimately celebrated . . authority of the Roman pontiff
The only reference to Pope St. Leo on the Catholicos' web site is the history of the rejection of him.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=60&pid=10&lng=en

Fifthly, a short scheme of the seven sacraments of the church, namely baptism, confirmation, eucharist, penance, extreme unction, orders and matrimony indicating the matter, the form and the minister of each; and that while the chalice is being offered in the sacrifice of the altar a little water should be mixed with the wine.
According to the Catholicos' web site, they do not mix water into the chalice, making a point that do not.  Maybe the sub-deacon hasn't been close enough to observe.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=5814&pid=2429&lng=en

Sixthly, a compendious rule of the faith of most blessed Athanasius, which begins: Whoever wills to be saved etc.
Lots of refrerences to St. Athanasius, but none to the creed that the Vatican attributes to him.

Seventhly, the decree of union concluded with the Greeks, which was promulgated earlier in this sacred council, recording how the holy Spirit proceeds eternally from the Father and the Son, and that the phrase and the Son was licitly and reasonably added to the creed of Constantinople. Also that the body of the Lord is effected in leavened or unleavened wheat bread; and what is to be believed about the pains of purgatory and hell, about the life of the blessed and about suffrages offered for the dead. In addition, about the plenitude of power of the apostolic see given by Christ to blessed Peter and his successors, . . . . . about the order of the patriarchal sees.
this is that Byzantization that you (I say with some justification) complain about.

As to the "plentitude of power" and "the order of the patriarchal sees," His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of Etchimiadzin and All Armenians doesn't seem to have signed on to this, claiming "To the Right Hand (of St. Gregory the Illuminator)and to Holy Etchmiadzin, the whole of the Armenian nation is bound"
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=4&pid=1

It seems sub-deacon's hand might be bound to Ethmiadzin, but his foot is stuck in the Vatican.

Eighthly, you decree that the following feasts should be kept on the following days, in accordance with the custom of the universal church: the annunciation of the blessed virgin Mary on 25 March, the birth of blessed John the Baptist on 24 June, the birth of our Saviour on 25 December, his circumcision on I January, the epiphany on 6 January, and the presentation of the Lord in the temple (or the purification of blessed Mary) on 2 February.
The Catholicos' calendar has nothing for 25 December.  Christmas is 6 January.  Annunciation April 7.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=26&pid=4&lng=en
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=12368&pid=11689&lng=en
Therefore we envoys, in our own name and in the name of our reverend patriarch and of all Armenians, with all devotion and obedience accept, admit and embrace, just as your holiness affirms in the decree, this most salutary synodal decree with all its chapters, declarations, definitions, traditions, precepts and statutes and all the doctrine contained in it, and also whatever the holy apostolic see and the Roman church holds and teaches. We accept with reverence all those doctors and holy fathers approved by the Roman church. Indeed we hold as reprobated and condemned whatever persons and things the Roman church reprobates and condemns. We promise that as true sons of obedience, in the name of the above, we will faithfully obey the ordinances and commands of this apostolic see.
It seems that the Supreme Catholicos isn't obeying those "ordinances and commands of" the Vatican.  Sub-deacon cannot serve two masters.  Someone said that.


That just goes to show us that you are not really interested in the Truth on these matters,
I'm the one facing the truth of these matters head on.  Some else is the one who doing double speak.

but are simply anti-Catholic
No, they are pro Armenian Orthodox.

and will say anything just to try to put Catholicism down.
I will state the Catholic Truth of what the Armenian Apostolic and Orthodox Church teaches against distortion of it by the Vatican.

And I didn't see the Catholicos say he rejected the teaching. 
Then you were not looking.

If he did, he certainly said it in a very round about way that is not very clear (but perhaps that is what you were hinging your whole argument on).
In 1854 the Roman Catholic Church declared as a doctrine of faith that St. Mary's conception was immaculate, thoroughly free of the original sin of Adam. However, our church and other churches do not accept articles of faith discovered or developed during recent times, and whatever is exclusively Christ God's cannot be attributed to any human creature.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=7762&pid=7736&lng=en
I don't know if understand the use of "however" as a disjunctive: it means what comes after contrasts with what comes before.  What part of "do not accept articles of faith" versus "declared as a doctrine of faith" is very round about and not very clear?

Your "source" says:
But even the Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware, in his book “The Orthodox Church,” states that although there is certainly no dogmas among the Eastern Churches, individual Orthodox may freely choose to believe that the Theotokos was immaculate from her Conception.  In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).
www.geocities.com/derghazar/ACRCMARY.DOC
So is the celebration the Conception or the IC?  And we can see why many, including myself, do not recommend "The Orthodox Church" anymore.  I'll leave it to the OO and the Armenians to comment on whether they find these statements by the Archmandrite and Patriarch in conformity with the teaching of their Supreme Catholicos.

(and watch out Father Ambrose: the same "source" says I am still researching the issue of the Immaculate Conception.  I have found that it is derived from the Eastern “Feast of the Conception of the Theotokos,” where she is honored as all-pure and immaculate, as you and I have discussed.  The Byzantine Liturgy states in reference to Mary’s Conception that she was, “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature.”  Quasi-Incarnation of the Holy Spirit in the making?  A sixth Marion Dogma).

I already responded to your use of it earlier, but as usual you did not respond.
I think the thread demonstrates I respond to every "point," no matter how trivial.

Was your response before or after you said that you were not responding to me anymore, and I said I had to attend to our wanna be pope, but would return?

If I missed your post, I apologize.  Please quote, and I will know what to reply to.

I stated that the Catholicos merely stated that the Armenian Church does not accept a teaching that would give to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ.  Great! Amen!  I as a Catholic agree.  But the dogma of the IC does not do that, so no problem there. 
Yes, yes.  And Pope Honorios wasn't a heretic, and the Popes of Rome who banned the filioque from the Creed didn't  condemn it, and the pope condemned the Crusaders he sent while he was usurping the throne of Constaninople for a Latin patriarch, and the Orthodox in communion with Rome, yada yada.  We are all VERY familiar with this line of "logic."

He also said that his Church does not accept new articles of Faith.  True, the IC is not an article of Faith in the Armenian Church - it is, rather, a theologoumenon.
The concept of her being morally immaculate later developed into the question of her Immaculate Conception (from Anna), a doctrine adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854.  The Armenian Church, on the other hand, does not accept this, as it attributes to Mary that which belongs only to Christ; only Christ was immaculately conceived.  Yet, her purity is unquestioned.  According to the teaching of the Armenian Church, at the time of the Annunciation when the Holy Spirit entered her she was cleansed of all sin (original sin) as she was to be the vessel in which God manifest was to be incarnated.
(c)2009 Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
http://www.armenianchurch.net/worship/mary/index.html
i.e.  The official web site of Sub-deacon Der-Ghazarian's superiors.

Anything round about?  Unclear?

You've demonstrated nothing.
::)

Move on, please.
Down the Tiber, no thank you.
 

Irish Hermit

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Mardukm said:
Father, you are just embarassing yourself now.

Can you please tell everyone here what it is that Baptism gains for us according to Catholic teaching?

Let me tell you from the horse's mouth - when we are Baptized, we gain sanctifying grace and original justice.

Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?

Nice try Father, but no cigar.  The real McCoy was already fully explained by me in an earlier post.

Please give it up Father.

It is not me but you who are embarrassing yourself.

Read some Catholic theology.   :laugh:


There is, as you ought to know, an ontological difference between:

1.   those who have never known original sin and

2.  those who have known it and been rescued from it by baptism.

In the case of the latter, baptism removes original sin, that is, it restores sanctifying grace.   But it still leaves the consequences of the original loss of sanctifying grace - concupiscence, sickness and death.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.   Indeed to place the consequences of original sin and the loss of sanctifying grace (death, disease, concupiscence, corruption)on anyone who has never ever been in the state of original sin nor ever lost sanctifying grace would be a transgression of divine justice.

Please consult a few books of theology to get a grasp of this not insignificant ontological distinction.


Of course it is at this point that the irrationality of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as it relates to the death of the Mother of God starts to seep out from under the edges.  This is why the Magisterium will allow you to believe as Papist does, as an Immortalist (that the Mother of God never died) or to believe as Pope Pius XI taught in Munificentissimus Deus that she did in fact die.    Roman Catholic theology cannot cope with the contradictions which it has created for itself on this point.
 

Mardukm

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The Catholic Churches or the Orthodox Churches have never taught that death is the result of the the loss of sanctifying grace.

Both have always taught SIMPLY and PLAINLY that the original or ancestral sin resulted in several consequences for mankind.  In different words, these consequences are: 1) loss of sanctifying grace; 2) loss of original justice 3) concupiscence; 4) physical/tactile effects such as death/illness (including emotional instabilities)/corruption.  Except maybe for #3 as it relates to #1 and #4, there is no causal relation between any of the othe consequences with each other.  #4 is not the result of #1, #2 is not the result of #1, #1 is not the result of #2, #1 is not the result of #4, etc. etc.  Each is merely and simply regarded by the Church as consequences of the first sin of our parents.  #1, #2, #3 and #4 are all the direct result of only one thing - the sin of our first parents.

Neither Church has ever taught what you claim.  There's no intermediary steps in the equation as you have not-so-brilliantly concocted.  Neither Church has ever delved into the mystery as deeply as you, Father.  Perhaps you are not really an adherent to apophatic theology. 

You must have stayed up all night to think up of this novel argument as anyone will notice that it has come many days after the start of this thread, though you certainly had opportunity to present it many times earlier.  It's pretty obvious this novel argument came out of the blue (as I predicted early on - new arguments will always come out of the polemic mind).

Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
Father, you are just embarassing yourself now.

Can you please tell everyone here what it is that Baptism gains for us according to Catholic teaching?

Let me tell you from the horse's mouth - when we are Baptized, we gain sanctifying grace and original justice.

Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?

Nice try Father, but no cigar.  The real McCoy was already fully explained by me in an earlier post.

Please give it up Father.

It is not me but you who are embarrassing yourself.

Read some Catholic theology.   :laugh:


There is, as you ought to know, an ontological difference between:

1.   those who have never known original sin and

2.  those who have known it and been rescued from it by baptism.

In the case of the latter, baptism removes original sin, that is, it restores sanctifying grace.   But it still leaves the consequences of the original loss of sanctifying grace - concupiscence, sickness and death.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.   Indeed to place the consequences of original sin and the loss of sanctifying grace (death, disease, concupiscence, corruption)on anyone who has never ever been in the state of original sin nor ever lost sanctifying grace would be a transgression of divine justice.

Please consult a few books of theology to get a grasp of this not insignificant ontological distinction.


Of course it is at this point that the irrationality of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as it relates to the death of the Mother of God starts to seep out from under the edges.  This is why the Magisterium will allow you to believe as Papist does, as an Immortalist (that the Mother of God never died) or to believe as Pope Pius XI taught in Munificentissimus Deus that she did in fact die.    Roman Catholic theology cannot cope with the contradictions which it has created for itself on this point.
 

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I was just alerted to the existence of this thread.  It's over 160 posts long and I'm not about to read through all of them.  I did, however, skim this page and I would like to address a few points:

The Armenian Church does not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  I have heard that emphatically and authoritatively taught in my church. 

I would not automatically rely on English translations from Classical Armenian, or even Modern Armenian, of prayers or other texts to support the idea that we do believe in such a thing.  Meaning often gets lost in translation and misunderstandings occur, especially if the translator is not a native speaker of English.  I have on more than one occasion come across people who thought the words "Immaculate Conception" referred to the Virgin Birth of Christ.

The Armenian Church has been rejecting Latin innovation since the early sixth century.  That includes all innovation, such as the IC and the Filioque. 

During the time of the Crusades, the Armenians in the Kingdom of Cilicia went into union with the Catholic Church for political and military reasons.  The Armenians in Greater Armenia reacted strongly against this and this eventually led to the Catholicosate being moved out of Cilicia and back to Etchmiadzin.  It also led St. Gregory of Datev, as well as some other Armenian theologians, to sit down and write out the traditional theology of the Armenian Church.  It is a great pity that St. Gregory Datevatsi's Book of Questions has never been translated into any modern language.  It exists today only in Classical Armenian.

I have always been told that apart from our Christological language, our beliefs are the same as the EO Church.  That is why Armenian clergy will give communion to EO's without reservation.

With regard to our relationship with the Catholics, our relations are very warm.  Our Catholicoi have often met with the Catholic Popes and they get along.  That doesn't mean, however, that we are in communion with them, or that we share beliefs that they have and which are rejected by our EO brothers.  We just happen to be good friends right now.

With regard to communing Catholics, the Armenian Church is more liberal than other Orthodox Churches and there are priests who will commune Catholics for certain pastoral reasons.  However, one should not read too much into that.  There are Armenian priests who will commune Assyrians for pastoral reasons, especially since intermarriage between Armenians and Assyrians is not uncommon.  However, that doesn't mean we share all their beliefs, especially their Christology.


 

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Dear brother Salpy,

Thank you so much for your input.  I've heard that the IC is a theologoumenon in the Armenian Church.  So it comes as no surprise that there might be some Armenians who believe it, and some who don't.  It's like the situation with the doctrine of toll houses in EO'xy.  There are Eastern Orthodox who not only believe it, but also say it is an article of Faith, yet there are other EO who are just as adamant about rejecting it and make that claim for the ENTIRE EOC.  Similarly, You seem to claim lack of belief in the IC for your entire Church when you say "the Armenian Church does not believe..."  But that is only to be expected if it is merely theologoumenon in your Church.

I agree with the statement that it is not an article of Faith in your Church, as the Catholicos quoted by brother Isa stated.  All I've ever stated is that the belief is theologoumenon, and I don't know why brother Isa is in such knots over it. 

Blessings,
Marduk

Salpy said:
I was just alerted to the existence of this thread.  It's over 160 posts long and I'm not about to read through all of them.  I did, however, skim this page and I would like to address a few points:

The Armenian Church does not believe in the Immaculate Conception of Mary.  I have heard that emphatically and authoritatively taught in my church. 

I would not automatically rely on English translations from Classical Armenian, or even Modern Armenian, of prayers or other texts to support the idea that we do believe in such a thing.  Meaning often gets lost in translation and misunderstandings occur, especially if the translator is not a native speaker of English.  I have on more than one occasion come across people who thought the words "Immaculate Conception" referred to the Virgin Birth of Christ.

The Armenian Church has been rejecting Latin innovation since the early sixth century.  That includes all innovation, such as the IC and the Filioque. 

During the time of the Crusades, the Armenians in the Kingdom of Cilicia went into union with the Catholic Church for political and military reasons.  The Armenians in Greater Armenia reacted strongly against this and this eventually led to the Catholicosate being moved out of Cilicia and back to Etchmiadzin.  It also led St. Gregory of Datev, as well as some other Armenian theologians, to sit down and write out the traditional theology of the Armenian Church.  It is a great pity that St. Gregory Datevatsi's Book of Questions has never been translated into any modern language.  It exists today only in Classical Armenian.

I have always been told that apart from our Christological language, our beliefs are the same as the EO Church.  That is why Armenian clergy will give communion to EO's without reservation.

With regard to our relationship with the Catholics, our relations are very warm.  Our Catholicoi have often met with the Catholic Popes and they get along.  That doesn't mean, however, that we are in communion with them, or that we share beliefs that they have and which are rejected by our EO brothers.  We just happen to be good friends right now.

With regard to communing Catholics, the Armenian Church is more liberal than other Orthodox Churches and there are priests who will commune Catholics for certain pastoral reasons.  However, one should not read too much into that.  There are Armenian priests who will commune Assyrians for pastoral reasons, especially since intermarriage between Armenians and Assyrians is not uncommon.  However, that doesn't mean we share all their beliefs, especially their Christology.
 

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Salpy said:
I have always been told that apart from our Christological language, our beliefs are the same as the EO Church.  That is why Armenian clergy will give communion to EO's without reservation.

With regard to our relationship with the Catholics, our relations are very warm.  Our Catholicoi have often met with the Catholic Popes and they get along.  That doesn't mean, however, that we are in communion with them, or that we share beliefs that they have and which are rejected by our EO brothers.  We just happen to be good friends right now.
Are there OFFICIAL pastoral provisions between EO and the Armenians (like between the CC and the Armenians)?

Blessings
 

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Salpy said:
I'm not sure what you mean.
Well. as far as I know, there are no actual written authoritative agreements between the EO and OO for pastoral provisions of limited intercommunion.  That is probably because the EO are not completely united on how they view the OO, unlike in the CC (on Eucharist, marriage, confession).  I realize that on a grass roots level, there is always some kind of pastoral reciprocity of the Sacraments, but the Church hierarchy itself do not officially (i.e., in an authoritative written document) recognize it with the EO, but DO officially recognize it with the CC (as far as the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church, and the Ancient Church of the East is concerned, anyway).

The only OFFICIAL pastoral provision I know of between the EO and OO is the one in Egypt between the COC and the EO Alexandrian patriarchate - but even that is not with regards to the COC in general but only to the Church in the boundaries of Egypt, and even then it is not with regards to the general laity, but only with regards to members of mixed marriages, and even then it does not apply to Sacraments in general, but only in regards to the Sacrament of marriage, and even then it does not apply to all marriages, but only to ones that does not violate the canons of the COC.  For example, the COC only permits divorce and remarriage in two instances - adultery and falling away from the Faith, but the EOC has many more reasons that allow for divorce and remarriage (some EO jurisdictions have more reasons than others). If an EO had a prior divorce due to reasons that are not one of the reasons permitted by the COC, then the pastoral provision would not apply, and the COC would not recognize that second marriage between the EO person and CO person, nor would the COC permit that ceremony in a CO church (i.e., building).

Did that explain it better?  Like I said, that there is no official pastoral provision between the EO and OO is limited to my knowledge.  I am wondering if your own knowledge can better supplement mine on the matter.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

Salpy

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I'm not aware of any agreements like that between the Armenian Church and the EO.  From the Armenian point of view, such an agreement would not be necessary, since they share the same faith as we do and we already commune them.  I'm not aware of any such agreement like that with the Catholics either.
 

Mardukm

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Dear brother Salpy,

Salpy said:
I'm not aware of any agreements like that between the Armenian Church and the EO.  From the Armenian point of view, such an agreement would not be necessary, since they share the same faith as we do and we already commune them.  I'm not aware of any such agreement like that with the Catholics either.
When I have time, I will do the research and provide the document here (if I have even more time, I'll post the the official agreement between the SOC and CC as well).  BTW, would you mind if I posted it in the Oriental Orthodox Forum instead (since I do not want to derail this thread on the matter any further).  Or perhaps some other Catholic reading this thread will do that.  It is a busy season right now, so please forgive.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?
You should read the holy bible in your spare time. ;)

Romans 6:3-5 (King James Version)

3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
 

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Dear brother Isa,

Any one who reads these posts will, with a little bit of thinking, realize that all your comments are just hot air.  You have not EVER successfully challened the purpose of this - that those who reject the IC as heresy are simply rejecting it based on straw man arguments.  All you've done is address tangential issues like who states they do not believe it as an article of Faith, why you don't trust the testimony of certain people, give some historical data on the relationship between churches, differences in practices and disciplines, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.  All for the purpose of trying to get people to not really think about the real issue and not think about the fact that you nor Father Ambrose have completely failed to demonstrate that the teaching of the IC is actually heresy - a very common polemical tactic.  You claim that you have addressed even the slightest matter in my posts, but that just demonstrates your tactic of trying to get people to focus on issues that are not really relevant - the typical tactic of the polemicists who have really no interest in the Truth.

I will address the more relevant aspects of your most recent post:

ialmisry said:
The Armenians anathematised those who accepted Chalcedon.  The Fathers at Chalcedon and the other three following Ecumenical Councils anathematized those who did not accept them.  We Orthodox, EO and OO, are working on that.

The Vatican has had its councils, which have anathematized those who do not accept them.  Like Florence, where anyone with any sense among the Orthodox learned all they need to about the "ecumenical spirit" at such robber councils:
This is just so much polemical hot air.  The Catholic Church has ALREADY worked it out with the OO.  That's why there's even OFFICIAL pastoral agreements between most of the OO and the CC.  What's your excuse?  I surmise the crux of the problem is Mt. Athos, who still regard the OO (like the CC) as heretics.  Wishful thinking, brother.  The EO will never break communion with Athos, and Athos, given its rigidity, will never stop considering the OO as heretics, unless the OO repudiates itself.  Don't make a statement like, "the EO and OO are working on that," then make some statement about the anathematizations of the Catholic Church with no other comment.  It just demonstrates the hypocrisy of your polemic mind.  The EO were just as involved in anathematizations over the matter as the CC, yet only the CC has concrete fruits of labor with the OO on the matter.  If the EO were really serious about resolving the issue with the OO, all they have to do publicly repudiate the views of Athos on the matter, which would be a sure sign to the EO world of what the hierarchy intends. But your own novel ecclesiology where even the laity can repudiate their bishops without the benefit of a Synod is the real problem, it seems to me.

If he did, he certainly said it in a very round about way that is not very clear (but perhaps that is what you were hinging your whole argument on).
In 1854 the Roman Catholic Church declared as a doctrine of faith that St. Mary's conception was immaculate, thoroughly free of the original sin of Adam. However, our church and other churches do not accept articles of faith discovered or developed during recent times, and whatever is exclusively Christ God's cannot be attributed to any human creature.
http://66.208.37.78/index.jsp?sid=1&id=7762&pid=7736&lng=en
I don't know if understand the use of "however" as a disjunctive: it means what comes after contrasts with what comes before.  What part of "do not accept articles of faith" versus "declared as a doctrine of faith" is very round about and not very clear?
What about the word "article of faith" and "theologoumenon" do you not understand?

Your "source" says:
But even the Orthodox Bishop Kallistos Ware, in his book “The Orthodox Church,” states that although there is certainly no dogmas among the Eastern Churches, individual Orthodox may freely choose to believe that the Theotokos was immaculate from her Conception.  In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).
www.geocities.com/derghazar/ACRCMARY.DOC
So is the celebration the Conception or the IC?  And we can see why many, including myself, do not recommend "The Orthodox Church" anymore.  I'll leave it to the OO and the Armenians to comment on whether they find these statements by the Archmandrite and Patriarch in conformity with the teaching of their Supreme Catholicos.
We already know what the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian says. He says that it is not to be accepted as an article of Faith.  You want to bend over backwards to make that mean "the teaching of the IC is a heresy" but you have miserably failed in your efforts.

I stated that the Catholicos merely stated that the Armenian Church does not accept a teaching that would give to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ.  Great! Amen!  I as a Catholic agree.  But the dogma of the IC does not do that, so no problem there. 
Yes, yes.  And Pope Honorios wasn't a heretic, and the Popes of Rome who banned the filioque from the Creed didn't  condemn it, and the pope condemned the Crusaders he sent while he was usurping the throne of Constaninople for a Latin patriarch, and the Orthodox in communion with Rome, yada yada.  We are all VERY familiar with this line of "logic."
As already stated, and this comment proves, you don't and can't address the real issue - i.e., is the dogma of the IC granting to Mary qualities that are reserved to Christ alone?  Is the teaching saying that Mary, like Christ, did not have a father?  Is the teaching saying that Mary, like Christ, is NATURALLY sinless, and not rather that she is sinless by Grace.  Is the teaching saying that Mary is divine?  Is the teaching saying that Mary's physical conception was not like any other human being's.  NO.  The teaching on the IC says none of these things.  So, obviously, if the Catholicos states that the Armenians Church does not accept any teaching that gives to Mary any qualities reserved to Christ, then he is not referring directly to the dogma of the IC as the Catholic Church teaches it.  Nor is her referring to the IC as the Armenians believe it.

He also said that his Church does not accept new articles of Faith.  True, the IC is not an article of Faith in the Armenian Church - it is, rather, a theologoumenon.
No response?  Good. That's settled then.

The concept of her being morally immaculate later developed into the question of her Immaculate Conception (from Anna), a doctrine adopted by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854.  The Armenian Church, on the other hand, does not accept this, as it attributes to Mary that which belongs only to Christ; only Christ was immaculately conceived.  Yet, her purity is unquestioned.  According to the teaching of the Armenian Church, at the time of the Annunciation when the Holy Spirit entered her she was cleansed of all sin (original sin) as she was to be the vessel in which God manifest was to be incarnated.
(c)2009 Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern)
http://www.armenianchurch.net/worship/mary/index.html
i.e.  The official web site of Sub-deacon Der-Ghazarian's superiors.

Anything round about?  Unclear?
Nothing at all.  It simply demonstrates that the diocese in America has that teaching.  But as brother DerGhazarian indicated, there are Armenian hierarchs ELSEWHERE who accept the teaching.  Like I've always said - THEOLOGOUMENON.  Banghead smiley please.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Dear brother Demetrios,

Demetrios G. said:
Mardukm said:
Now, if, according to your rather poorly reasoned sophism, the physical consequences (death, illness, corruption) and concupisence are the result of the loss of sanctifying grace, can you please explain to everyone here why we still suffer death/illness/corruption even after we have regained sanctifying grace through baptism?
You should read the holy bible in your spare time. ;)

Romans 6:3-5 (King James Version)

3Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
I'm not sure what you are implying.  Are you saying our bodies will not die simply because we are promised the resurrection.  The word "Resurrection" implies that we WILL die, don't you think? 

Father Ambrose apparently believes that we die as a result of the loss of santifying grace, not the Orthodox and Catholic teaching that BOTH our death AND spiritual privation are IMMEDIATE consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Therefore, he claims, since physical death is immediately caused by loss of sanctifying grace, then Mary's gaining of sanctifying grace at her conception means she would not die.  Of course, that idea is ludicrous.  You and I ALSO receive the SAME grace (that Mary received at her conception) during our Baptism.  If Father Ambrose's novel belief (or maybe he's just arguing it and not really believing it - you can't tell with polemicists) is true, then this must also mean that you or I will not die, since we get back sanctifying grace at our Baptism.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).
December 9 is when we celebrate the Conception of the Mother of God.  I have never seen or heard it described as the "Immaculate Conception" of the Mother of God.  We don't celebrate that.


We already know what the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian says. He says that it is not to be accepted as an article of Faith.  You want to bend over backwards to make that mean "the teaching of the IC is a heresy" but you have miserably failed in your efforts.
I and others at my church have been explicitly taught by someone who graduated from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary that the IC is not a belief of our Church.  It could be this was never explicitly addressed in a council or anything.  I don't know.  But I can tell you we don't share that belief with your Church.  Just because something has not been explicitly condemned in a council doesn't mean it isn't rejected. 

I have never heard anyone of any authority say that we believe in the IC.  I have heard it stated by those with authority that we don't.


 

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Dear brother Salpy,

Salpy said:
Mardukm said:
In the book “The Mother of God” by the Armenian Apostolic Archimandrite Vatche Iknadiossian, there is an interview of Fr. Iknadiossian by a Catholic periodical.  When asked about the Immaculate Conception he replied, “the dogma of the Immaculate Conception officially proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church in 1854, was not officially proclaimed by our Church.  Nevertheless we celebrate it as a very great feast, on 9th December (instead of 8th).
December 9 is when we celebrate the Conception of the Mother of God.  I have never seen or heard it described as the "Immaculate Conception" of the Mother of God.  We don't celebrate that.


We already know what the Supreme Catholicos of the Armenian says. He says that it is not to be accepted as an article of Faith.  You want to bend over backwards to make that mean "the teaching of the IC is a heresy" but you have miserably failed in your efforts.
I and others at my church have been explicitly taught by someone who graduated from St. Nersess Armenian Seminary that the IC is not a belief of our Church.  It could be this was never explicitly addressed in a council or anything.  I don't know.  But I can tell you we don't share that belief with your Church.  Just because something has not been explicitly condemned in a council doesn't mean it isn't rejected. 

I have never heard anyone of any authority say that we believe in the IC.  I have heard it stated by those with authority that we don't.
I absolutely believe you.  You reject it, and eveyone you know rejects it.  However, there are obviously others who do believe it, as evinced by brother DerGhazarian.  If you want to go to CAF, there is a father deacon there named Diak who has had contact with an Armenian priest who personally believes in the IC.  As your Catholicos states, it is not an article of Faith in your Church, but that's all he says about it.

Do you think the words "do not accept as an article of faith" precludes anyone believing it, albeit as theologoumenon (i.e., not as an article of Faith)?

Do you think the words "do not accept as an article of faith" necessarily mean it is heresy?

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
Father Ambrose apparently believes that we die as a result of the loss of santifying grace, not the Orthodox and Catholic teaching that BOTH our death AND spiritual privation are IMMEDIATE consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Therefore, he claims, since physical death is immediately caused by loss of sanctifying grace,
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.

then Mary's gaining of sanctifying grace at her conception means she would not die.  Of course, that idea is ludicrous.  You and I ALSO receive the SAME grace (that Mary received at her conception) during our Baptism.  If Father Ambrose's novel belief (or maybe he's just arguing it and not really believing it - you can't tell with polemicists) is true, then this must also mean that you or I will not die, since we get back sanctifying grace at our Baptism.

You have simply not grasped the Catholic distinction between


1.   those who have never known original sin and

2.  those who have known it and been rescued from it by baptism.

In the case of the latter, baptism removes original sin, that is, it restores sanctifying grace.   But it still leaves the consequences of the original loss of sanctifying grace - concupiscence, sickness and death.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.   Indeed to place the consequences of original sin and the loss of sanctifying grace (death, disease, concupiscence, corruption)on anyone who has never ever been in the state of original sin nor ever lost sanctifying grace would be a transgression of divine justice.



 

Pravoslavbob

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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.
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Mardukm said:
Father Ambrose apparently believes that we die as a result of the loss of santifying grace, not the Orthodox and Catholic teaching that BOTH our death AND spiritual privation are IMMEDIATE consequences of the sin of our first parents.  Therefore, he claims, since physical death is immediately caused by loss of sanctifying grace,
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.  What are the consequences of ancestral sin, Father?  

then Mary's gaining of sanctifying grace at her conception means she would not die.  Of course, that idea is ludicrous.  You and I ALSO receive the SAME grace (that Mary received at her conception) during our Baptism.  If Father Ambrose's novel belief (or maybe he's just arguing it and not really believing it - you can't tell with polemicists) is true, then this must also mean that you or I will not die, since we get back sanctifying grace at our Baptism.
You have simply not grasped the Catholic distinction between
Says the cow to the horse.

Here's what the Council of Trent taught on the matter:
"If anyone does not profess that the first man Adam immediately lost the justice and holiness in which he was constituted when he disobeyed the command of God...and that through this offense he incurred the wrath and the indignation of God and incurred the death with which God had previously threatened him...let him be anathema."

Here's what the Vatican Council taught on the matter:
"But man, ungrateful to his Creator and Father...incurred the anger and the wrath of God; ...lost holiness and justice for himself;...handed down to the entire human race not only death and corporal punishment, but [also] the death of the soul."

Comment: the "death of the soul" is that state of a lack of sanctifying grace that separates the soul from God.

Mmmmm.  Nothing here about your novel idea that physical death is the direct result of the loss of sanctifying grace.  All we read about from the teaching of the Catholic Church is that physical death is the DIRECT result of the disobedience of our first parents (not that it is the direct result of the loss of sanctifying grace) and that loss of sanctifying grace is ALSO a DIRECT result of the disobedience of our first parents.

In the case of those who have never known original sin, none of the consequences of original sin, including death or corruption in the grave, apply.
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 never tire of knocking down your straw men, do you.  I do hope you go to confession for bearing false witness before offering the Holy Sacrifice, Father.

Dear Orthodox brethren - if you want to know about the Catholic Church - heck, even if only to criticize her - I beg of you, please do not turn to the words of NON-Catholics, much less the words of ANTI-Catholics, ABOUT the Catholic Church, but find out the information directly from her magisterial documents.  I advise you, don't even take it from a layman such as myself (nor from lay organizations).  I submit to you that the BEST teachers of the Catholic faith would be her own teachers - our ecclesiastical Magisterium.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Mardukm said:
If you want to go to CAF, there is a father deacon there named Diak who has had contact with an Armenian priest who personally believes in the IC.  As your Catholicos states, it is not an article of Faith in your Church, but that's all he says about it.
So there's this discussion forum where someone says they know a priest who believes in IC.  That means nothing.  I wish I had a dollar for every Protestant I know who says they know someone who knows a priest who forbids people from reading the Bible.  

Even if this "father deacon" (obviously not an Armenian Orthodox--we don't call our deacons that) really does know a priest who said he believes that, it means nothing.  One priest doesn't represent the Church.  Also, as I said, a lot of Armenians mistake the phrase "Immaculate Conception" to mean something other than what it means in your Church.  Indeed the title of this thread indicates that it is misunderstood by many.  Especially with non-native speakers of English, you get people who think it means the Mother of God was conceived in a miraculous way (as in her parents were very old and infertile,) or they think it means the Virgin Birth of Christ.  I wasn't there for the conversation that took place between this deacon and the priest.  So I can't tell you what he really believes.  All I know is that this is not a teaching of our Church.  

Do you think the words "do not accept as an article of faith" precludes anyone believing it, albeit as theologoumenon (i.e., not as an article of Faith)?
My problem here is that I don't know what the word "theologoumenon" means.  I've seen the word a few times since I have been here, but I don't know what it is.  I've only seen it used by EO's.

With regard to what individual Armenians believe, there are Armenians out there who believe in just about anything.  There was a guy at my church a few years ago who got involved with some Oneness Pentecostals and then started going around telling people that it is acceptable in the Armenian Church to not believe in the Holy Trinity.  I am also sure that the Armenian Vassula crowd believes in IC, as well as all the other Latin innovations that my Church has rejected over the centuries.  One of those ladies likes to go around telling people that the Pope in Rome is the "vicar of Christ," whatever that means.

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.
 

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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
 

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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.
 

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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)






 

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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
 

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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.
 

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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

 

Papist

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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
 

Mardukm

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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.
 

Mardukm

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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
 

Mardukm

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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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