Inaccurate Understanding of the Immaculate Conception

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Irish Hermit said:
Just coming back to this thread to ask a question of the Catholic members.  It was posed to me today by a visitor.

Catholics place on awful amount of emphasis on the Archangel's greeting to the Mother of God "Hail, FULL  OF  GRACE" and this greeting is a strong plank in their argumentation for the Immaculate Conception.

Now if "Full" in fact means "Full" and not half-full or 7/8ths full does this mean that Mary was necessarily fully deified (as in theosis) from the moment of her conception?   Does it mean that she has existed from the first moment of her existence in the supreme condition of total final theosis?   This is something which the rest of us willl never obtain since theosis is a never-ending journey into the infinity of God.
I think you are delving too deeply into the divine mysteries through use of human reason.  ;) To be honest, I don't know. She was filled with grace, yes. Was there a way for to be even more full than full? I suppose.
 

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I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.  ::)
 

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monkvasyl said:
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?
 

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I have heard the same thing.

That is why in Orthodox icons, you often see Anna and Joachim with a "bed" in the background, to symbolize that they had "relations" in order to conceive the Theotokos.



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LizaSymonenko said:
I have heard the same thing.

That is why in Orthodox icons, you often see Anna and Joachim with a "bed" in the background, to symbolize that they had "relations" in order to conceive the Theotokos.
Haha. I understand the reasoning behind this and think its good reasoning BUT you have to admitt that its pretty funny!  ;D
 

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Papist said:
monkvasyl said:
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?
It was an Orthodox priest...he was a convert from some Protestant group and always had an obsessive bone to pick with the Catholic church. He would try to pinpoint the exact moment the Holy Spirit left the Catholic church.
 

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monkvasyl said:
Papist said:
monkvasyl said:
I remember one priest who would preach that the Immaculate Conception meant that Mary was born without her parents having sex.   ::)
Whoa!!! Was this an Orthodox or Catholic priest?
It was an Orthodox priest...he was a convert from some Protestant group and always had an obsessive bone to pick with the Catholic church. He would try to pinpoint the exact moment the Holy Spirit left the Catholic church.
Awww. We would miss him if he did that.
 

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Dear brother Mina,

I did not get to my e-mails until 2 days ago. Sorry for the long delay. I admit I was not intending to come back here. Thanks for your questions.

Dear Mardukm (is it pronounced Mardooq, with the Arabic letter "qaf" at the end?)
Correct. Many of my friends call me “Mark” for short.
As I said before, the sanctification by the Holy Spirit is not the same as the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism.  He sanctified many in the Old Testament, and even descended on a pagan king to speak prophecy.  Just because the Holy Spirit descends on such people doesn't mean the Holy Spirit takes away their "stain" (I'm using the word stain now, since you believe something differently than I had imagined, and I'll explain why I feel there's a contradiction between your belief and what I learned).

The Holy Spirit sanctified even Judas Iscariot, for he was performing miracles in the name of Christ along with the other Apostles.  The Holy Spirit sanctified even Saul the King, who betrayed the kingly honor, in which David had to be chosen afterwards.  These men chosen by God are an example of God showing us that those He had chosen still had the freedom to leave.  In addition, their sanctifications are not removal of "stains" either.
Sanctification is simply a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can sanctify in many various ways, and such gifts are not the same for all.  The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception (really nothing more than the Grace of Baptism) is different from the effect of sanctification on Judas (to be an Apostle and perform miracles) and on Saul (to have the divine right of kingship). The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception was also different from the effect of the sanctification she received at the Annunciation.  The grace Mary received at the moment of her conception was the grace to dedicate herself to God.  In distinction, the grace Mary received at the annunciation was the grace to be able to bear the FULL DIVINITY, and, also, IMO, the unique grace to remain a virgin despite bearing Christ.

I pray I have now answered you sufficiently on this matter of sanctification, demonstrating that in this respect, the IC does not contradict the Oriental Tradition. Of course, I always welcome any other questions.

St. Severus teaches us that death causes us to sin.  Nevertheless, there are some who have the law of death in the members and do not sin.  That is death reigned in the likeness of Adam "even unto those who have not sinned" (Romans 5:14).  Death was the issue that needed to be conquered, as it is the cause of sin for most people.  Thus, when Christ died destroying death, the sting of death, which is sin, no longer exists, for death is destroyed, and thus no more stings (1 Cor. 15).  The Oriental Orthodox Church does not differentiate between "stain" as you define it and "Original Sin."  Stain to us is the act of sinning.  Stain to you is removing the propensity to sin.  However, to us the propensity to sin comes from death.  Thus, it contradicts our tradition (especially St. Severus) if one is to say that one can remove the propensity of sin without death.  This is an affront to our own dogma, and contradicts it tremendously, much worse than what I had previously thought the IC meant.
I guess more clarification is in order.  The stain of sin (the spiritual consequences of the fall) is a universal concept in all the Traditions – Oriental, Eastern, and Western.  I think that is undeniable.  Fine, don’t call it “stain,” but don’t you think we need to go beyond mere terminology in order to truly understand each other?  Isn’t this method of ecumenism the very one proposed by our Oriental Tradition?  Now, aside from the spiritual consequences (the West specifically calls it “stain,” and other Traditions don’t use that word, though the words “taint” or “filth” is common enough in the language of the Oriental Fathers – which is the same thing), there are the physical consequences of sin, which are death and corruption (including physical/emotional/psychological illnesses and instabilities). For example, Pope St. Athanasius wrote in one place: “For this cause, then death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the race of man was perishing; the rational man made in God’s image was disappearing, and the handiwork of God was in process of dissolution” (On the Incarnation of the Word); and in another place, he wrote, “But when man, by the counsel of the Serpent, departed from the consideration of God, and began to regard himself, then they not only fell to bodily lust, but knew that they were naked, and knowing, were ashamed. But they knew they were naked not so much of clothing, as that they were become stripped of the contemplation of divine things, and had transferred their understanding to the contraries.” Further, he wrote “Whence also when it gets rid of all the filth of sin which covers it and retains only the likeness of the Image in its purity, then surely this latter being thoroughly brightened, the soul beholds as in a mirror the Image of the Father, even the Word, and by His means reaches the idea of the Father, Whose Image the Savior is.”(Against the Heathen)  So from our Father Athanasius, we see that the Fall not only had physical consequences, but also spiritual consequences (the “stain” or “taint” or “filth” of sin).

Personally, I don’t accept your understanding that “death is the cause of sin.” That seems like an overly Byzantine understanding of original sin. What I learned as a Copt and Oriental growing up is exactly what Pope St. Athanasius taught – that the Fall had spiritual AND physical consequences, death being just one of those (physical) consequences, and another being the “stripping of the contemplation of divine things” (a spiritual consequence) – though these are not the only physical and spiritual consequences of the Fall.  Making physical death the be all and end all of the Fall is not what I learned as a Copt growing up.

Here is an excerpt from HH Pope Shenoute’s Adam and Eve: After the fall, this image was distorted; the moral human nature was wounded, weakened and damaged by sin. A predisposition to sin invaded the human nature. It is written that Adam begot a son in his own likeness, after his image (Gen 5:3). In other words, Adam begot a son in his own ‘distorted’ image. Therefore, St. Paul said, “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph 2:3). King David also said, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5).
The sinful human nature that we inherited is sentenced to death for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Thus death reined over all humanity as St. Paul said, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12), “by one man disobedience many were made sinners” (Rom 5:19).

According to Byzantine Tradition, which it seems you are espousing, death and fear of it causes sin.  In distinction, according to the Coptic Tradition (which is more similar to the Latin Tradition in this regard), it is sin that causes death.  I am just presenting to you what I learned growing up as a Copt.  You seem to have had a different educational experience, leaning more towards the Byzantine/Eastern understanding, which may be part of the cause of the discrepancies in our respective viewpoints.

My friend, yes we all believe in the Assumption.  But not all of us believe in the IC.  Big difference.
I agree, but we disagree on the result of this difference. I believe that since a matter of UNANIMOUS agreement is deemed to be UNdogmatizable (is that a word? Well, you know what I mean) by some within Orthodoxy, then a matter that does NOT have unanimous agreement has even LESS merit to obtain dogmatization.  I mean, since there are many in the EOC and even some in the OOC who agree that the IC is a legitimate theologumenon, wouldn’t dogmatizing AGAINST it cause even more disunity?

Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it, and vice-versa, when the dogma is properly understood. (3) I have hope that when it is properly understood, it will eventually be acceptable to all. (4) The proscription is only an excommunication, and not an anathema. (5) The proscription of a dogma is not an inherent part of the dogma. It is conceivable that the proscription may be lifted.

No, I said that according to Luke, she DID NOT know until her Annunciation.  If she was IC'ed, then she should have known before the Annunciation.  That's my argument.
Since she was IC’d NOT for the purpose of bearing Christ, but simply to be dedicated completely to God, then it seems we are in agreement. 

Now, I'm confused.  What's the difference between "purification" and "removal of the stain of Original Sin?"
In my understanding, they are the same.  The Grace of “purification,” of “removal of the stain of Original Sin” is merely the Grace of Baptism, the same Grace Mary received at the moment of her conception, and which the forerunner, being the greatest among those born of women, excepting that person who is least (who is Mary), received in the womb of his mother St. Elizabeth. The Catholic Council of Trent taught that Baptism “makes us pure, without stain…” This will be more fully explained in the next part, where you ask about the effects of baptism.

My friend, I had this dialogue before with a Catholic who was a convert from Protestantism.  He explained to me that Christ's being both God and man, outside time and within time.  In time His death destroyed Original Sin and can have its effects outside time.  One of these effects therefore was the IC.  He used this understanding to clear any misunderstanding that the Theotokos did not need Christ for her salvation.  But supposedly, it was Christ's death working back in time to bring salvation to the Theotokos in her conception from St. Anna.  This lead me to the understanding that the Latins understand that Original Sin was removed from her, and there was no differentiation between "stain" and "Original Sin."  Now, I get a different understanding.
You have the spiritual fruits of patience and understanding, brother, and I appreciate that a lot.

Nevertheless, I tell you this.  Don't we believe that baptism removes "Original Sin?"  But what you say that if Original Sin is removed, we shouldn't die.  So does that mean we only removed the stain as well?
Yes, Baptism only removes the spiritual consequences of Original sin (sin, in all its forms and understanding, loss of original justice, loss of sanctifying Grace, spiritual death), not the temporal/physical consequences (i.e., death, corruption, etc.). This is the same Grace that Mary received at her conception, and which the Forerunner received while yet in his mother’s womb.

This is why I find your interpretation of the IC to be actually more dangerous than the previous interpretation I understood.  Alexandrian tradition, through Sts. Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus (although he's really Syriac) teach us that the sin of one lead to the death of all, and that the spiritual death we all have leads us to sin.  St. Paul even teaches this as well in Romans 5:12.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Previously, you spoke of death, and it seemed like you were not making a distinction between physical death, and spiritual death (which is why I said your understanding seems more Byzantine than Coptic). But now I see you are distinguishing between the temporal/physical consequences of original sin from the spiritual consequences of original sin. So I apologize for my assumption earlier.  On this basis, given my explanation above of what Baptism does, I think we can come to an agreement. But, as always, more questions are welcome.

Thus, if the IC was a removal of her "stain" by the Holy Spirit, and it is the "stain" that leads all to sin, then this is dogmatically in contradiction with the belief that our spiritual death causes us to sin.
I don’t follow your rationale here.  I never denied that spiritual death causes us to sin. Perhaps you can explain this some more, because from my perspective, we have actually made some headway.

I have to respectfully disagree.  I saw "equality" as a matter of previous actions, not state of the soul.  Equality can also be a matter of humanity.  Christ is equal to us by His human nature, equal to the Father by His divine nature.  In this case, it is clear the "equality" is in the matter of their "innocence," and I interpret this to mean their previous actions of sinlessness.
I think “utterly equal” is different from mere “equal.” Like you said, there are different kinds of equality, but “utter equality” is a different thing, n’est pas.

But alas, even you should concede that even the state of the soul, there's no "real" equality, for Original Sin was not removed (as was the case with Eve), but merely the "stain."  So, then what does St. Ephraim mean then?  It is stain, Original Sin, or actions?
Yes, I agree that St. Ephraim was speaking after a spiritual fashion when he said “utterly equal.” “Utterly equal” refers to all matters in the realm of the spirit. This not only includes actions (ie., not sinning), but also the lack of the stain (spiritual death, absence of original holiness, absence of original justice).

The comparison between Christ and the Virgin Mary can be why Christ chose the Theotokos as His mother, not necessarily as some sort of removal of "stain".  St. Jacob of Serug said that if there was anyone else more perfect than Mary, Mary wouldn't have been chosen.
I’ll agree that it MIGHT be only in reference to the fact that both Christ and Mary never sinned, but when we say Christ is “sinless” do you think we mean only that Christ never sinned, and not actually that Christ also did not have the stain of original sin?  Thus, when a Father compares Mary’s sinlessness to Christ’s, why should we automatically think that it refers only to the fact of not sinning actively?

You misunderstand my question.  I'm not questioning free will brother.  I'm simply asking which is more amazing?  Those under the curse who don't sin or those not under the curse who don't sin?  This is a matter of contemplation that I find why the Theotokos is most amazing, stainless even under the curse of Original Sin (in the way I understand though, since there's no belief in our church of some sort of "stain").
But Mary was also under the curse of death (physical death, that is, not spiritual death).  The dogma of the IC does not deny that.

My friend, forgive me but the actions of intercourse require actions of sexual feelings.  If it is this sexual feeling besides intercourse that is considered "lustful" and thus "sinful," then this has dire consequences socially.  Yes, I understand St. Augustine may have taught thus, but I don't think this teaching is held consistently through the Fathers.  This sounds to me semi-Manichean.  The Coptic Church does not hold to this belief.
I never understood “lust” to refer to mere sexual impulse or sexual feelings. I was never taught that as a Copt. You admit the Coptic Church does not hold to that belief, yet you are equating “lust” with mere sexual desire.  We believe Sts Anna and Eliakim did not conceive Mary in lust.  That does not mean they had no sexual desire for each other.  So on this matter, I don’t think there is disagreement. St. Augustine taught that lust is a mortal sin, but he never taught that mere sexual desire is a mortal sin.  Lust does not only refer to a disordered sexual desire, btw, but to any EXCESSIVE passion for something. 

If it's lust in bed, and not merely male seed, that transmits "stain", why didn't Christ have an earthly father?  Assuming it's possible to not have sexual feelings in bed, wouldn't it be possible that some people in the past might have been born without the "stain" as well, and that the Theotokos was not the only one who was IC'ed according to your beliefs?
Since I don’t equate “lust” with “sexual desire,” then I think your point here is moot.

So now we have two immaculate events?  One at conception and one at the Annunciation?  I thought the Latins thought the conception was enough for the Incarnation?
First of all, yes, I think that is a popular Latin theologoumenon, but it is not what the dogma of the IC actually teaches.  The Apostolic Constitution on the dogma merely states that the she was IC’d because it was fitting for her AS the Theotokos. But it does NOT say that she was IC’d because it was necessary for her TO BE Theotokos. Like I said, this latter belief is a Latin theologoumenon which I myself do not hold. Though I would add that in the quotes I provided earlier of EOC Fathers, St. Proclus of Constantinople makes an explicit causal connection between the immaculateness of Jesus’ birth and Mary being immaculately conceived.

Secondly, yes, there are two immaculate events. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ.  The Immaculate nature of their respective conceptions came about differently.  Mary was immaculately conceived by the Grace of Baptism being applied to her at the moment of her conception.  In distinction, Jesus was immaculately conceived because he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, without a human father. So the IC does not give to Mary anything that is uniquely Christ’s.

The idea that her Virginity, her celibacy, her lustless thought was the primary reason for Christ being born without Original Sin was something that St. Severus fought against Julian with.  Julian thought the same, but St. Severus said this wasn't the primary reason.  The primary reason was for Christ to become the first fruits of salvation, a New Seed for mankind, so that "in Adam, all die, but in Christ, all live."  Not merely the act of Virginity itself, but what this Virginity entails, i.e. that no male seed means a New Seed is born, and a New Life is to be obtained.  It signifies as well spiritual birth, for just as Christ was born from the Virgin, so we are reborn from the baptismal font.
That’s all good and well, but I don’t see what this has to do with the dogma of the IC.  The dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her virginity, her celibacy, or lustless thought.

Finally, some word documents (HE Metropolitan Bishoy's website) from the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, and what the Coptic Church finds problems with:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Catholics/The%20Immaculate%20conception.doc
IF what HE Bishoy claims of the dogma of the IC is true, then I would agree with him. But he seems to have a misunderstanding of what the dogma of the IC teaches in several places, as well. If you want to discuss those points of misunderstanding, let me know.

There is no such belief in the Coptic Orthodox Church to begin with, thus the IC is not a dogma since the idea of the "stain" doesn't even exist anyway, and in fact seems to contradict the ideas of the Alexandrian fathers, as I have mentioned before.  It would be interesting to hear what the Coptic Church has to say about the particular belief of the "stain."
We don’t have to use the WORD “stain.” But if you understand that there is a distinction between spiritual death and physical death; if you understand that when we are baptized, it is spiritual death, and not physical death, that is being immediately conquered; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of deficiency in man’s holiness; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of spiritual wound, and not just physical death – then I think you might agree that even though the COC does not USE THE WORD “stain,” the very concept is there nevertheless.

God bless.
Right back atcha with abundance.

I advise you my friend that instead of defining what other churches believe, just defend your own church's faith, and leave the beliefs of other churches to be defined by those within those churches.  It is why Salpy is upset, but she wouldn't ban you.
I don’t think I ever defined anything for the Armenian Church, and I apologize if it seemed that way.  I specifically stated that I agree that the IC is not an Article of Faith for the Armenian Church as a whole, and that, given sister Salpy’s quotes from the American Armenian Church, that it is not a belief in the American Armenian Church.  But she tries to speak for her whole Church, which she has no authority or right to do, and the Armenian Church is not restricted to the U.S. There was no reason for her to be upset - like when she accused me of stating that the OO is the same as the CC, which I never did.  She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics. I hope she is not prejudiced, but if that is the case, I can only pray for her.
 

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Mardukm said:
She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics.
It is not good to assume.  :(
 

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Mickey said:
Mardukm said:
She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics.
It is not good to assume.  :(
Well when we Catholics experience it from the online East over and over again, its hard for us not to assume.  :(
 

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Mardukm said:
Dear brother Mina,

I did not get to my e-mails until 2 days ago. Sorry for the long delay. I admit I was not intending to come back here. Thanks for your questions.

Dear Mardukm (is it pronounced Mardooq, with the Arabic letter "qaf" at the end?)
Correct. Many of my friends call me “Mark” for short.
As I said before, the sanctification by the Holy Spirit is not the same as the grace of the Holy Spirit in baptism.  He sanctified many in the Old Testament, and even descended on a pagan king to speak prophecy.  Just because the Holy Spirit descends on such people doesn't mean the Holy Spirit takes away their "stain" (I'm using the word stain now, since you believe something differently than I had imagined, and I'll explain why I feel there's a contradiction between your belief and what I learned).

The Holy Spirit sanctified even Judas Iscariot, for he was performing miracles in the name of Christ along with the other Apostles.  The Holy Spirit sanctified even Saul the King, who betrayed the kingly honor, in which David had to be chosen afterwards.  These men chosen by God are an example of God showing us that those He had chosen still had the freedom to leave.  In addition, their sanctifications are not removal of "stains" either.
Sanctification is simply a generic term for the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can sanctify in many various ways, and such gifts are not the same for all.  The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception (really nothing more than the Grace of Baptism) is different from the effect of sanctification on Judas (to be an Apostle and perform miracles) and on Saul (to have the divine right of kingship). The effect of the sanctification Mary received at the moment of her conception was also different from the effect of the sanctification she received at the Annunciation.  The grace Mary received at the moment of her conception was the grace to dedicate herself to God.  In distinction, the grace Mary received at the annunciation was the grace to be able to bear the FULL DIVINITY, and, also, IMO, the unique grace to remain a virgin despite bearing Christ.

I pray I have now answered you sufficiently on this matter of sanctification, demonstrating that in this respect, the IC does not contradict the Oriental Tradition. Of course, I always welcome any other questions.

St. Severus teaches us that death causes us to sin.  Nevertheless, there are some who have the law of death in the members and do not sin.  That is death reigned in the likeness of Adam "even unto those who have not sinned" (Romans 5:14).  Death was the issue that needed to be conquered, as it is the cause of sin for most people.  Thus, when Christ died destroying death, the sting of death, which is sin, no longer exists, for death is destroyed, and thus no more stings (1 Cor. 15).  The Oriental Orthodox Church does not differentiate between "stain" as you define it and "Original Sin."  Stain to us is the act of sinning.  Stain to you is removing the propensity to sin.  However, to us the propensity to sin comes from death.  Thus, it contradicts our tradition (especially St. Severus) if one is to say that one can remove the propensity of sin without death.  This is an affront to our own dogma, and contradicts it tremendously, much worse than what I had previously thought the IC meant.
I guess more clarification is in order.  The stain of sin (the spiritual consequences of the fall) is a universal concept in all the Traditions – Oriental, Eastern, and Western.  I think that is undeniable.  Fine, don’t call it “stain,” but don’t you think we need to go beyond mere terminology in order to truly understand each other?  Isn’t this method of ecumenism the very one proposed by our Oriental Tradition?  Now, aside from the spiritual consequences (the West specifically calls it “stain,” and other Traditions don’t use that word, though the words “taint” or “filth” is common enough in the language of the Oriental Fathers – which is the same thing), there are the physical consequences of sin, which are death and corruption (including physical/emotional/psychological illnesses and instabilities). For example, Pope St. Athanasius wrote in one place: “For this cause, then death having gained upon men, and corruption abiding upon them, the race of man was perishing; the rational man made in God’s image was disappearing, and the handiwork of God was in process of dissolution” (On the Incarnation of the Word); and in another place, he wrote, “But when man, by the counsel of the Serpent, departed from the consideration of God, and began to regard himself, then they not only fell to bodily lust, but knew that they were naked, and knowing, were ashamed. But they knew they were naked not so much of clothing, as that they were become stripped of the contemplation of divine things, and had transferred their understanding to the contraries.” Further, he wrote “Whence also when it gets rid of all the filth of sin which covers it and retains only the likeness of the Image in its purity, then surely this latter being thoroughly brightened, the soul beholds as in a mirror the Image of the Father, even the Word, and by His means reaches the idea of the Father, Whose Image the Savior is.”(Against the Heathen)  So from our Father Athanasius, we see that the Fall not only had physical consequences, but also spiritual consequences (the “stain” or “taint” or “filth” of sin).

Personally, I don’t accept your understanding that “death is the cause of sin.” That seems like an overly Byzantine understanding of original sin. What I learned as a Copt and Oriental growing up is exactly what Pope St. Athanasius taught – that the Fall had spiritual AND physical consequences, death being just one of those (physical) consequences, and another being the “stripping of the contemplation of divine things” (a spiritual consequence) – though these are not the only physical and spiritual consequences of the Fall.  Making physical death the be all and end all of the Fall is not what I learned as a Copt growing up.

Here is an excerpt from HH Pope Shenoute’s Adam and Eve: After the fall, this image was distorted; the moral human nature was wounded, weakened and damaged by sin. A predisposition to sin invaded the human nature. It is written that Adam begot a son in his own likeness, after his image (Gen 5:3). In other words, Adam begot a son in his own ‘distorted’ image. Therefore, St. Paul said, “we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (Eph 2:3). King David also said, “I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Ps 51:5).
The sinful human nature that we inherited is sentenced to death for “the wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). Thus death reined over all humanity as St. Paul said, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12), “by one man disobedience many were made sinners” (Rom 5:19).

According to Byzantine Tradition, which it seems you are espousing, death and fear of it causes sin.  In distinction, according to the Coptic Tradition (which is more similar to the Latin Tradition in this regard), it is sin that causes death.  I am just presenting to you what I learned growing up as a Copt.  You seem to have had a different educational experience, leaning more towards the Byzantine/Eastern understanding, which may be part of the cause of the discrepancies in our respective viewpoints.

My friend, yes we all believe in the Assumption.  But not all of us believe in the IC.  Big difference.
I agree, but we disagree on the result of this difference. I believe that since a matter of UNANIMOUS agreement is deemed to be UNdogmatizable (is that a word? Well, you know what I mean) by some within Orthodoxy, then a matter that does NOT have unanimous agreement has even LESS merit to obtain dogmatization.  I mean, since there are many in the EOC and even some in the OOC who agree that the IC is a legitimate theologumenon, wouldn’t dogmatizing AGAINST it cause even more disunity?

Thus, why do you join a church that doesn't give us the freedom for the IC to be theologemoun?
For several reasons. (1) I personally and wholeheartedly believe in it. (2) There is nothing in my Oriental Tradition that contradicts it, and vice-versa, when the dogma is properly understood. (3) I have hope that when it is properly understood, it will eventually be acceptable to all. (4) The proscription is only an excommunication, and not an anathema. (5) The proscription of a dogma is not an inherent part of the dogma. It is conceivable that the proscription may be lifted.

No, I said that according to Luke, she DID NOT know until her Annunciation.  If she was IC'ed, then she should have known before the Annunciation.  That's my argument.
Since she was IC’d NOT for the purpose of bearing Christ, but simply to be dedicated completely to God, then it seems we are in agreement. 

Now, I'm confused.  What's the difference between "purification" and "removal of the stain of Original Sin?"
In my understanding, they are the same.  The Grace of “purification,” of “removal of the stain of Original Sin” is merely the Grace of Baptism, the same Grace Mary received at the moment of her conception, and which the forerunner, being the greatest among those born of women, excepting that person who is least (who is Mary), received in the womb of his mother St. Elizabeth. The Catholic Council of Trent taught that Baptism “makes us pure, without stain…” This will be more fully explained in the next part, where you ask about the effects of baptism.

My friend, I had this dialogue before with a Catholic who was a convert from Protestantism.  He explained to me that Christ's being both God and man, outside time and within time.  In time His death destroyed Original Sin and can have its effects outside time.  One of these effects therefore was the IC.  He used this understanding to clear any misunderstanding that the Theotokos did not need Christ for her salvation.  But supposedly, it was Christ's death working back in time to bring salvation to the Theotokos in her conception from St. Anna.  This lead me to the understanding that the Latins understand that Original Sin was removed from her, and there was no differentiation between "stain" and "Original Sin."  Now, I get a different understanding.
You have the spiritual fruits of patience and understanding, brother, and I appreciate that a lot.

Nevertheless, I tell you this.  Don't we believe that baptism removes "Original Sin?"  But what you say that if Original Sin is removed, we shouldn't die.  So does that mean we only removed the stain as well?
Yes, Baptism only removes the spiritual consequences of Original sin (sin, in all its forms and understanding, loss of original justice, loss of sanctifying Grace, spiritual death), not the temporal/physical consequences (i.e., death, corruption, etc.). This is the same Grace that Mary received at her conception, and which the Forerunner received while yet in his mother’s womb.

This is why I find your interpretation of the IC to be actually more dangerous than the previous interpretation I understood.  Alexandrian tradition, through Sts. Athanasius, Cyril, and Severus (although he's really Syriac) teach us that the sin of one lead to the death of all, and that the spiritual death we all have leads us to sin.  St. Paul even teaches this as well in Romans 5:12.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Previously, you spoke of death, and it seemed like you were not making a distinction between physical death, and spiritual death (which is why I said your understanding seems more Byzantine than Coptic). But now I see you are distinguishing between the temporal/physical consequences of original sin from the spiritual consequences of original sin. So I apologize for my assumption earlier.  On this basis, given my explanation above of what Baptism does, I think we can come to an agreement. But, as always, more questions are welcome.

Thus, if the IC was a removal of her "stain" by the Holy Spirit, and it is the "stain" that leads all to sin, then this is dogmatically in contradiction with the belief that our spiritual death causes us to sin.
I don’t follow your rationale here.  I never denied that spiritual death causes us to sin. Perhaps you can explain this some more, because from my perspective, we have actually made some headway.

I have to respectfully disagree.  I saw "equality" as a matter of previous actions, not state of the soul.  Equality can also be a matter of humanity.  Christ is equal to us by His human nature, equal to the Father by His divine nature.  In this case, it is clear the "equality" is in the matter of their "innocence," and I interpret this to mean their previous actions of sinlessness.
I think “utterly equal” is different from mere “equal.” Like you said, there are different kinds of equality, but “utter equality” is a different thing, n’est pas.

But alas, even you should concede that even the state of the soul, there's no "real" equality, for Original Sin was not removed (as was the case with Eve), but merely the "stain."  So, then what does St. Ephraim mean then?  It is stain, Original Sin, or actions?
Yes, I agree that St. Ephraim was speaking after a spiritual fashion when he said “utterly equal.” “Utterly equal” refers to all matters in the realm of the spirit. This not only includes actions (ie., not sinning), but also the lack of the stain (spiritual death, absence of original holiness, absence of original justice).

The comparison between Christ and the Virgin Mary can be why Christ chose the Theotokos as His mother, not necessarily as some sort of removal of "stain".  St. Jacob of Serug said that if there was anyone else more perfect than Mary, Mary wouldn't have been chosen.
I’ll agree that it MIGHT be only in reference to the fact that both Christ and Mary never sinned, but when we say Christ is “sinless” do you think we mean only that Christ never sinned, and not actually that Christ also did not have the stain of original sin?  Thus, when a Father compares Mary’s sinlessness to Christ’s, why should we automatically think that it refers only to the fact of not sinning actively?

You misunderstand my question.  I'm not questioning free will brother.  I'm simply asking which is more amazing?  Those under the curse who don't sin or those not under the curse who don't sin?  This is a matter of contemplation that I find why the Theotokos is most amazing, stainless even under the curse of Original Sin (in the way I understand though, since there's no belief in our church of some sort of "stain").
But Mary was also under the curse of death (physical death, that is, not spiritual death).  The dogma of the IC does not deny that.

My friend, forgive me but the actions of intercourse require actions of sexual feelings.  If it is this sexual feeling besides intercourse that is considered "lustful" and thus "sinful," then this has dire consequences socially.  Yes, I understand St. Augustine may have taught thus, but I don't think this teaching is held consistently through the Fathers.  This sounds to me semi-Manichean.  The Coptic Church does not hold to this belief.
I never understood “lust” to refer to mere sexual impulse or sexual feelings. I was never taught that as a Copt. You admit the Coptic Church does not hold to that belief, yet you are equating “lust” with mere sexual desire.  We believe Sts Anna and Eliakim did not conceive Mary in lust.  That does not mean they had no sexual desire for each other.  So on this matter, I don’t think there is disagreement. St. Augustine taught that lust is a mortal sin, but he never taught that mere sexual desire is a mortal sin.  Lust does not only refer to a disordered sexual desire, btw, but to any EXCESSIVE passion for something. 

If it's lust in bed, and not merely male seed, that transmits "stain", why didn't Christ have an earthly father?  Assuming it's possible to not have sexual feelings in bed, wouldn't it be possible that some people in the past might have been born without the "stain" as well, and that the Theotokos was not the only one who was IC'ed according to your beliefs?
Since I don’t equate “lust” with “sexual desire,” then I think your point here is moot.

So now we have two immaculate events?  One at conception and one at the Annunciation?  I thought the Latins thought the conception was enough for the Incarnation?
First of all, yes, I think that is a popular Latin theologoumenon, but it is not what the dogma of the IC actually teaches.  The Apostolic Constitution on the dogma merely states that the she was IC’d because it was fitting for her AS the Theotokos. But it does NOT say that she was IC’d because it was necessary for her TO BE Theotokos. Like I said, this latter belief is a Latin theologoumenon which I myself do not hold. Though I would add that in the quotes I provided earlier of EOC Fathers, St. Proclus of Constantinople makes an explicit causal connection between the immaculateness of Jesus’ birth and Mary being immaculately conceived.

Secondly, yes, there are two immaculate events. The Immaculate Conception of Mary, and the Immaculate Conception of Jesus Christ.  The Immaculate nature of their respective conceptions came about differently.  Mary was immaculately conceived by the Grace of Baptism being applied to her at the moment of her conception.  In distinction, Jesus was immaculately conceived because he was conceived of the Holy Spirit, without a human father. So the IC does not give to Mary anything that is uniquely Christ’s.

The idea that her Virginity, her celibacy, her lustless thought was the primary reason for Christ being born without Original Sin was something that St. Severus fought against Julian with.  Julian thought the same, but St. Severus said this wasn't the primary reason.  The primary reason was for Christ to become the first fruits of salvation, a New Seed for mankind, so that "in Adam, all die, but in Christ, all live."  Not merely the act of Virginity itself, but what this Virginity entails, i.e. that no male seed means a New Seed is born, and a New Life is to be obtained.  It signifies as well spiritual birth, for just as Christ was born from the Virgin, so we are reborn from the baptismal font.
That’s all good and well, but I don’t see what this has to do with the dogma of the IC.  The dogma of the IC has nothing to do with her virginity, her celibacy, or lustless thought.

Finally, some word documents (HE Metropolitan Bishoy's website) from the dialogues between the Coptic and the Catholic churches, and what the Coptic Church finds problems with:
http://metroplit-bishoy.org/files/Dialogues/Catholics/The%20Immaculate%20conception.doc
IF what HE Bishoy claims of the dogma of the IC is true, then I would agree with him. But he seems to have a misunderstanding of what the dogma of the IC teaches in several places, as well. If you want to discuss those points of misunderstanding, let me know.

There is no such belief in the Coptic Orthodox Church to begin with, thus the IC is not a dogma since the idea of the "stain" doesn't even exist anyway, and in fact seems to contradict the ideas of the Alexandrian fathers, as I have mentioned before.  It would be interesting to hear what the Coptic Church has to say about the particular belief of the "stain."
We don’t have to use the WORD “stain.” But if you understand that there is a distinction between spiritual death and physical death; if you understand that when we are baptized, it is spiritual death, and not physical death, that is being immediately conquered; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of deficiency in man’s holiness; if you understand that the Fall resulted in some sort of spiritual wound, and not just physical death – then I think you might agree that even though the COC does not USE THE WORD “stain,” the very concept is there nevertheless.

God bless.
Right back atcha with abundance.

I advise you my friend that instead of defining what other churches believe, just defend your own church's faith, and leave the beliefs of other churches to be defined by those within those churches.  It is why Salpy is upset, but she wouldn't ban you.
I don’t think I ever defined anything for the Armenian Church, and I apologize if it seemed that way.  I specifically stated that I agree that the IC is not an Article of Faith for the Armenian Church as a whole, and that, given sister Salpy’s quotes from the American Armenian Church, that it is not a belief in the American Armenian Church.  But she tries to speak for her whole Church, which she has no authority or right to do, and the Armenian Church is not restricted to the U.S. There was no reason for her to be upset - like when she accused me of stating that the OO is the same as the CC, which I never did.  She seems intent on misrepresenting me for the reason I can only guess that she is prejudiced against Catholics. I hope she is not prejudiced, but if that is the case, I can only pray for her.
Mardukm you made a long post ! What i have to say that the conclusions you reached at are beyond stupidity . Mary was born from man seed and all born from man seed are touched by the stain of the Ancestral Sin , like it was repeated many times concerning this subject "In Adam we all die , and in Jesus we all resurrect" cause death ruled upon whole people trought the mistake and sins of Adam as a stain upon everyone born from his seed . So everyone who is born from man seed(the seed of Adam) like every human being has been born is touched by the stain of the original sin, everyone who is born from a human father . Trough the consequence of the stain we all die . The death of the flesh is a consequence of the spiritual death and the Ancestral Sin , because of it . Mary died . As for Jesus , He died too , but He died for our sins , He came to bear our sickness, and carry our sins , our burdens fell on Him . He died as a consequence of our sins . To redeem us . As it says : "When i will lift up i will pull everyone at me" , that refered to wich death He will suffered . He was not born from a human father , He is from mother without father and from Father without mother .Joseph was Jesus father by addoption , Jesus addopted our sins and ilness . By addoption He is made direct bloodline trough Joseph untill Abraham , by Matthew , thus signifying the redemption also of the just Joseph and of those who believe in Him . Therefore only Jesus was born without father , and was born from above . He was the only one spotless from birth . That is why we all need to reborn , to be born from above . John the Baptist said : He who comes from the sky is above all . Mary was born like every human being , the exception being Jesus , from the seed of the man (Adam) , therefore the spot of the ancestral sin being upon her . By saying that Jesus is outside time , and by the Salvation He was going to give humanity , from that grace He saved Mary from her birth , that would imply that Mary also would have been outside time , and a predestinated person that affecting in a way or another the free-will of Mary. Mary said herself , after receiving the announciation from the arhangel : "My heart rejoiced in God my Saviour ." after the angel said "the Holy Spirit will descend on thee" , therefore she was not born from above and was not saved untill the Holy Spirit descended on Her . Without the Holy Spirit we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven , the Scriptures say . Without being born from above , being reborn , this rebirth of Mary happen when the Holy Spirit descend on Her . Therefore the IC about the birth of Mary is an heresy .
 

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Papist said:
Well when we Catholics experience it from the online East over and over again, its hard for us not to assume.  :(
Experience what?
 

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Mickey said:
Papist said:
Well when we Catholics experience it from the online East over and over again, its hard for us not to assume.  :(
Experience what?
anti-Catholic prejudice including the misreresentation of Catholic teachings as well as our personal beliefs.
 

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Papist said:
anti-Catholic prejudice including the misreresentation of Catholic teachings as well as our personal beliefs.
I find it very interesting that whenever the Orthodox offer intelligent refutations regarding post schism innovations of Rome, (such as the IC), they are called anti-Catholic bigots.  :-\
 

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Mickey said:
Papist said:
anti-Catholic prejudice including the misreresentation of Catholic teachings as well as our personal beliefs.
I find it very interesting that whenever the Orthodox offer intelligent refutations regarding post schism innovations of Rome, (such as the IC), they are called anti-Catholic bigots.  :-\
Well I have yet to see a refutation of Catholic doctrine from the East that can be characterized as you have described above. However, if you would read the context of this thread Maduk was concerned about the fact that another poster was misrepresenting his views and that it appeared to be intentional. One can only assume that an intentional misrepresentation of the views of another person or group may not come from the purest of intentions.
 

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Papist said:
Well I have yet to see a refutation of Catholic doctrine from the East that can be characterized as you have described above.
That is because you are too busy complaining that everyone is an anti-Catholic bigot.

Papist said:
However, if you would read the context of this thread Maduk was concerned about the fact that another poster was misrepresenting his views and that it appeared to be intentional.
I read Marduk's post and I am not convinced. He always spins things quite well.  The poster he refers to is quite intelligent and charitable. Marduk always gets upset when someone calls him on the carpet.  ;)
 

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Mickey said:
That is because you are too busy complaining that everyone is an anti-Catholic bigot.
No its because I'm too intelligent. Look I am not going to get drawn into another one of your nonsensical back and forths. If you want to continue this just do it with some one else. Fr. A has taught you well.
Mickey said:
I read Marduk's post and I am not convinced. He always spins things quite well.  The poster he refers to is quite intelligent and charitable. Marduk always gets upset when someone calls him on the carpet.  ;)
Marduk is one the most intelligent and fair posters I have ever seen on any forum. There have been times that he and I have disagreed at CAF but he was never unfair. I think that you simply, as has always been the case since your conversion, like to make unfounded and unfair statements. I am done with this conversation. If you want to continue this, do so on your own.
 

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Papist said:
No its because I'm too intelligent.
:eek:

Papist said:
Marduk is one the most intelligent and fair posters I have ever seen on any forum.
I suppose that depends.


Papist said:
as has always been the case since your conversion, like to make unfounded and unfair statements.
That statement is unfair and unfounded.  I try to research my topics as much as time allows while looking for patristic support.


Papist said:
I am done with this conversation. If you want to continue this, do so on your own.
Goodbye and God bless.
 

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Dear brother Dan-Romania,

I have responded to all your arguments here already (that others have already given), but you have not replied to any of my posts, except to repeat your claims.  I don’t know if that is your unique way of asking me to respond directly to you.  I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  So I will respond here to your points. After that, I’ll leave you alone, unless you want to discuss something further without making unfounded accusations.

Mary was born from man seed and all born from man seed are touched by the stain of the Ancestral Sin , like it was repeated many times concerning this subject "In Adam we all die , and in Jesus we all resurrect" cause death ruled upon whole people trought the mistake and sins of Adam as a stain upon everyone born from his seed . So everyone who is born from man seed(the seed of Adam) like every human being has been born is touched by the stain of the original sin, everyone who is born from a human father . Trough the consequence of the stain we all die . The death of the flesh is a consequence of the spiritual death and the Ancestral Sin , because of it . Mary died.
Yes, and we all die too, despite having received the Grace of Baptism where the stain of original sin is removed.  The dogma of the IC simply asserts that Mary received the Grace of Baptism at the moment of her conception.  That she died is nothing more than a straw man argument. Like I said, we die too even after receiving the Grace of Baptism.  Does that mean that the Grace of Baptism is really nothing, or that WE never received the Grace of Baptism?

By saying that Jesus is outside time , and by the Salvation He was going to give humanity , from that grace He saved Mary from her birth , that would imply that Mary also would have been outside time,
Well, we are saved 2000 years after the death of Christ on the cross.  Does that mean that we are outside time?  Your argument makes no sense.  Do you not know that Scripture states that the Lord suffered from the foundation of the world?  Do you not know that St. John himself witnessed the Sacrifice outside time (as recorded in the book of Revelation)?

and a predestinated person that affecting in a way or another the free-will of Mary.
We are all predestinated, but our belief (you as an Orthodox and me as a Catholic) is not predeterminism (which is a Calvinist heresy), but rather foreknowledge of God.  So Mary received the Grace of Baptism at her conception.  St. John received it in his mother’s womb.  We receive it as infants, and others as adults.  Does that mean that we lose our free will after receiving the Grace of Baptism?

Mary said herself , after receiving the announciation from the arhangel : "My heart rejoiced in God my Saviour ."
If I pull someone out of a pit, would I not have saved that person?  If I PREVENTED a person from falling into that same pit, would I still not have saved that person?  In the same way, God is my savior for pulling me out of the pit of original sin, and God is Mary’s savior by PREVENTING her from falling into the pit of original sin. In either case, free will is not destroyed, proven by the fact that Adam and Eve, who were created outside the pit of original sin, were able to fall into it nevertheless.

after the angel said "the Holy Spirit will descend on thee" , therefore she was not born from above
Show me where the Catholic Church teaches that she was born from above.

and was not saved untill the Holy Spirit descended on Her. Without the Holy Spirit we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven , the Scriptures say . Without being born from above , being reborn , this rebirth of Mary happen when the Holy Spirit descend on Her.
Yet, St. Jacob of Sarug taught that Mary was perfect, without stain, even BEFORE the Annunciation.  And are you not aware that Tradition states that a white dove entered St. Anna when Mary was conceived?  Why would you say that Mary did not have the Holy Spirit before the Annunciation?  Does the fact that Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit at the Annunciation mean that she did not have the Grace of the Holy Spirit before that time?

Therefore the IC about the birth of Mary is an heresy
You have not shown why that is the case. All you have done is given a lot of illogical and unpatristic reasons for your claim.  Your arguments have all been self-refuting.

Blessings,
Marduk
 

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Papist said:
No its because I'm too intelligent. Look I am not going to get drawn into another one of your nonsensical back and forths. If you want to continue this just do it with some one else. Fr. A has taught you well.
Unfair, Papist!  The sum total of our posts on CAF about the Immaculate Conception must add up to several days of our lives.  From my side I tried to conduct those discussions in as intelligent as matter as my decaying brain matter allows.

My bottom line remains:    I was conceived in exactly the same state as the Mother of God;  if she was immaculately conceived, then so was I.
 

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Mardukm you completly twisted what i said , and understand only what you wanted to understand , not to say you didn`t even quote the phrases as they were having continuity , but you quoted small parts making them interpretable , what i said is very clear , the fact that you don`t want to see it , and twist my words , and try changind the ideas i made , firstly reveals a sign of disrespect of my personna at secondly your interest of having right more than others , searching your own righteouss even if it is detrimental of the true . What i said is clear , your answers reveal foulishness , disrespect , and self-righteouss. The so many suppositions about the IC birth of Mary , are different and differ from one person to another . As Saint Ambrose of Milan said quoting from the Song of Solomon : "I am black and beautiful" . As he(Saint Ambrose) says black because of the human nature , black because she comes from the sinners , beautiful trough faith , trough grace . And also from Song of Solomon : "Who is this who is risen whitened" the commentary of Saint Ambrose : who is this who was black and now is white ? And Ambrose says that the Church took stained clothes , but her soul was washed and cleaned trough the bath of the rebirth .Also from Song of Solomon : Beautiful you are my love and there is no blemish , no defect in you , and Ambrose says because the blame was swallowed by water . The comentary of St Ambrose of Milan if from the Writings about the Sacraments(Mysteries) of the Church , sorry for my english .
 

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None of the ancient Holy Fathers say that God in miraculous fashion purified the Virgin Mary while yet in the womb; and many directly indicate that the Virgin Mary, just as all men, endured a battle with sinfulness, but was victorious over temptations and was saved by Her Divine Son.
St John Maximovitch
 

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Irish Hermit said:
Papist said:
No its because I'm too intelligent. Look I am not going to get drawn into another one of your nonsensical back and forths. If you want to continue this just do it with some one else. Fr. A has taught you well.
My bottom line remains:    I was conceived in exactly the same state as the Mother of God;  if she was immaculately conceived, then so was I.
Not a good syllogism. If God chose to bestow the grace of baptism on Mary at the moment of her conception, then that is his choice. Just as it was his choice to betow the grace of baptism on St. John the Baptist before he was even born.
 

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Mickey said:
None of the ancient Holy Fathers say that God in miraculous fashion purified the Virgin Mary while yet in the womb; and many directly indicate that the Virgin Mary, just as all men, endured a battle with sinfulness, but was victorious over temptations and was saved by Her Divine Son.
St John Maximovitch
So believe that the All Holy, All Pure, Immaculate Theotokos was not even purified in the womb but St. John the Baptist was? WOW.
 

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The Orthodox Church, highly exalting the Mother of God in its hymns of praise, does not dare to ascribe to Her that which has not been communicated about Her by Sacred Scripture or Tradition.

The teaching that the Mother of God was purified before Her birth, so that from Her might be born the Pure Christ, is meaningless; because if the Pure Christ could be born only if the Virgin might be born pure, it would be necessary that Her parents also should be pure of original sin, and they again would have to be born of purified parents, and going further in this way, one would have to come to the conclusion that Christ could not have become incarnate unless all His ancestors in the flesh, right up to Adam inclusive, had been purified beforehand of original sin. But then there would not have been any need for the very Incarnation of Christ, since Christ came down to earth in order to annihilate sin.
St John Maximovitch
 

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Mickey said:
The Orthodox Church, highly exalting the Mother of God in its hymns of praise, does not dare to ascribe to Her that which has not been communicated about Her by Sacred Scripture or Tradition.

The teaching that the Mother of God was purified before Her birth, so that from Her might be born the Pure Christ, is meaningless; because if the Pure Christ could be born only if the Virgin might be born pure, it would be necessary that Her parents also should be pure of original sin, and they again would have to be born of purified parents, and going further in this way, one would have to come to the conclusion that Christ could not have become incarnate unless all His ancestors in the flesh, right up to Adam inclusive, had been purified beforehand of original sin. But then there would not have been any need for the very Incarnation of Christ, since Christ came down to earth in order to annihilate sin.
St John Maximovitch
St. John Maximovitch is attacking a straw man. Of course Christ could have been born of a sinner or one who had be stained by original sin. That would not have affected his holiness in the least. It was quite possible. However, it was proper and fitting, even though not 100% necessary, that the Holy Ark that bore him would be constructed of the purest gold adn the finest wood, a person undefiled by sin. Notice the difference between "necessary" and "proper".
A question to you Mickey. Was the All Holy, All Pure, Immaculate Theotokos personally guilty of Sin?
And what is more, how can St. John the baptist have been sanctified before birth but not the All Holy Theotokos?
 

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The teaching of the grace-given sinlessness of the Virgin Mary denies Her victory over temptations; from a victor who is worthy to be crowned with crowns of glory, this makes Her a blind instrument of God’s Providence.
St John Maximovitch
 

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It is not an exaltation and greater glory, but a belittlement of Her, this “gift” which was given Her by Pope Pius IX and all the rest who think they can glorify the Mother of God by seeking out new truths. The Host Holy Mary has been so much glorified by God Himself, so exalted is Her life on earth and Her glory in heaven, that human inventions cannot add anything to Her honor and glory. That which people themselves invent only obscures Her Face from their eyes. Brethren, take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, wrote the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:18).
St John Maximovitch
 

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Mickey said:
The teaching of the grace-given sinlessness of the Virgin Mary denies Her victory over temptations; from a victor who is worthy to be crowned with crowns of glory, this makes Her a blind instrument of God’s Providence.
St John Maximovitch
Another poor arguement. Goodness, St. John Maximovitch may be very holy but he is not very good at constructing an arguement. His arguement would only  follow IF the Blessed Virign Mary did not have Free Will. However, she did have free will and could have sinned if she had so chosen. Yet she did not and was victorious over sin. Thus, once again St. John Maximovitch's arguement is just silly.
 

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“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
 

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Mickey said:
It is not an exaltation and greater glory, but a belittlement of Her, this “gift” which was given Her by Pope Pius IX and all the rest who think they can glorify the Mother of God by seeking out new truths. The Host Holy Mary has been so much glorified by God Himself, so exalted is Her life on earth and Her glory in heaven, that human inventions cannot add anything to Her honor and glory. That which people themselves invent only obscures Her Face from their eyes. Brethren, take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, wrote the Apostle Paul by the Holy Spirit (Col. 2:18).
St John Maximovitch
This is just a silly arguement as it assumes the truth of the EO position from the get go. If you assume you are correct you will conclude you are correct.
 

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Mickey said:
“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
What's your point? Yes only Christ is the only one who is "perfectly holy" becuase he is the only one who is Holy in and of himself. Any other person who is holy is not perfectly so because their holiness is derived from God and not one's self.
 

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“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
 

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Mickey said:
“Of all those born of women, there is not a single one who is perfectly holy, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in a special new way of immaculate birth-giving, did not experience earthly taint”
(St. Ambrose, Commentary on Luke, ch. 2).
Already addressed. Try again. Furthermore, if you want to use this quote to support your position you first have to define what St. Ambrose meant by "earthly taint" and second you have to deal with the fact that quote does NOT say that Christ is only one who did not experience "earthly taint". It only says that he is the only one who is perfectly holy.
BTW, do you think that this quotes refutes what the liturgy says about Mary being the "All Holy",  "All Pure", "Immaculate" Theotokos?
 

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“One Man alone, the Intermediary between God and man, is free from the bonds of sinful birth, because He was born of a Virgin, and because in being born He did not experience the touch of sin”
(St. Ambrose, Against Julian, Book 2).
 

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Mickey said:
“One Man alone, the Intermediary between God and man, is free from the bonds of sinful birth, because He was born of a Virgin, and because in being born He did not experience the touch of sin”
(St. Ambrose, Against Julian, Book 2).
He was free from the bonds of a sinful birth in and of himself. Yes. Mary was bound to it but sanctified so that she would not experience it. Still waiting for you to construct an arguement. BTW, doesn't this quote REFUTE the EO position on original sin?
 

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“I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by the reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, ‘One must glorify the Mother of God as much as possible.’ This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
 

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Mickey said:
“I am frightened now, seeing that certain of you have desired to change the condition of important matters, introducing a new festival unknown to the Church, unapproved by the reason, unjustified by ancient tradition. Are we really more learned and more pious than our fathers? You will say, ‘One must glorify the Mother of God as much as possible.’ This is true; but the glorification given to the Queen of Heaven demands discernment. This Royal Virgin does not have need of false glorifications, possessing as She does true crowns of glory and signs of dignity. Glorify the purity of her flesh and the sanctity of Her life. Marvel at the abundance of the gifts of this Virgin; venerate Her Divine Son; exalt Her Who conceived without knowing concupiscence and gave birth without knowing pain. But what does one yet need to add to these dignities? People say that one must revere the conception which preceded the glorious birth-giving; for if the conception had not preceded, the birth-giving also would not have been glorious. But what would one say if anyone for the same reason should demand the same kind of veneration of the father and mother of Holy Mary? One might equally demand the same for Her grandparents and great-grandparents, to infinity. Moreover, how can there not be sin in the place where there was concupiscence? All the more, let one not say that the Holy Virgin was conceived of the Holy Spirit and not of man. I say decisively that the Holy Spirit descended upon Her, but not that He came with Her.”
Bernard of Clairvaux
Again a poor arguement by St. Bernard. The Immaculate Conception is not based on any of the arguements listed above. It was not necessary and it is not Catholic teaching that it was necessary. However it was Proper. Now are you going to continue slinging quotes like protestants do or are you going to engage in an arguement?
 
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