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Is it okay to agree with Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox?

Symeon

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Paradosis said:
The Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos fails to be a teaching held by the faithful of all times and all places, as it began in the West in the 12th century and enjoyed a long period of divided loyalty in the West and even gained some adherents in Orthodoxy.  However, that doesn't change the fact that this teaching is new and innovative and is not and cannot become an Orthodox belief.  At best, it is a speculative, theological opinion, which has much to disprove it and little to support it.  While you cannot be called a heretic for holding to it as an opinion, you may become a heretic once you try to defend it, as it isn't based on sound Orthodox principles. 

God bless,

Adam     
This is pretty close to how I feel about the IC.
 

PeterTheAleut

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Symeon said:
Why would he even have a reason not to, btw? There was no "evolution" back then.
So, because there was no theory of evolution back in the second century, St. Irenaeus had no reason to believe in anything other than a literal interpretation of the Creation of Man narrative?  You mean to say that the theory of evolution is the only reason anyone could understand these narratives as allegory? ::)  I'm sorry, but that line of anachronistic baloney just doesn't even come close to meeting the standards of intellectual rigor you try to display here.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
So, because there was no theory of evolution back in the second century, St. Irenaeus had no reason to believe in anything other than a literal interpretation of the Creation of Man narrative? You mean to say that the theory of evolution is the only reason anyone could understand these narratives as allegory? ::)
Well, it's pretty much the only reason people see the need to do it today. The Fathers "allegorized" the scriptures and drew deeper meaning from them, so to speak, but in doing that they saw no need to disregard the narrative as fictitious and not historical. The only reason Origen did so was because of his theological presuppositions (i.e. preexistence of souls).

I'm sorry, but that line of anachronistic baloney just doesn't even come close to meeting the standards of intellectual rigor you try to display here.
You can't please everyone.  ;) I think, if anything, forcing the Genesis narrative as pure allegory with no history onto the Fathers is "anachronistic baloney."
 

PeterTheAleut

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Symeon said:
Well, it's pretty much the only reason people see the need to do it today. The Fathers "allegorized" the scriptures and drew deeper meaning from them, so to speak, but in doing that they saw no need to disregard the narrative as fictitious and not historical. The only reason Origen did so was because of his theological presuppositions (i.e. preexistence of souls).

You can't please everyone.  ;) I think, if anything, forcing the Genesis narrative as pure allegory with no history onto the Fathers is "anachronistic baloney."
Pure allegory... historical narrative...  Which view is Patristic isn't even my point.  Besides, I don't see what this has to with any dogma of Original Sin and/or the Immaculate Conception.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Pure allegory... historical narrative...  Which view is Patristic isn't even my point.  Besides, I don't see what this has to with any dogma of Original Sin and/or the Immaculate Conception.
Yes, let's avoid another thread split. :p Anyway, you attempted to explain St. Irenaeus' writing of a kind of solidarity of all men in Adam's sin by way of a supposedly allegorical view of Genesis, so how the Fathers viewed this matter is relevant to that at least.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
The article [http://zimmerman.catholic.ac/evolution12.htm] goes on to show how, OTOH, Irenaeus saw Adam and Eve as mere children in the process of growth and development, children whose sin grew out of their desire to grow up too fast, such that they tasted of experiences for which God had not yet made them ready.  God had already planned to walk with His children and guide them along the path to deification, but sin only made this work more difficult.
Symeon, I'm still not satisfied that you have yet critiqued the above thesis directly.  You've talked about other aspects of St. Irenaeus's theology that can be used to support your point of view on the solidarity of all men in sharing the guilt of Adam and Eve, and you've talked about what other Fathers have to say about the inexperience of Adam and Eve, but you haven't said anything about what Ireneaus had to say about this, which is the subject of the above.  I'm still waiting.
 

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Symeon said:
Yes, let's avoid another thread split. :p Anyway, you attempted to explain St. Irenaeus' writing of a kind of solidarity of all men in Adam's sin by way of a supposedly allegorical view of Genesis, so how the Fathers viewed this matter is relevant to that at least.
I never made it an important point to address Irenaeus's view on the solidarity of all men in Adam's sin.  You did.  (My reply was just a passing comment.)  See the post immediately preceding this to see what I really want to address as important (to this discussion) in Irenaeus's work, and what I'm not going to let you dance around for the sake of your rhetoric.
 

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My own Mother memory eternal had a great devotion to the Most Holy Mother of God,,The holy Mother appeared to her on several occasions ....I asked Her once about the immaculate conception she never denied it ...Her devotion and love was so great to the holy Mother Of God.......stanislav
 

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Ok, I can address that by saying I agree with it. That Adam and Eve were "mere children in the process of growth and development, children whose sin grew out of their desire to grow up too fast, such that they tasted of experiences for which God had not yet made them ready.  God had already planned to walk with His children and guide them along the path to deification, but sin only made this work more difficult."
 

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As to the OP, The Roman dogma of the Immaculate Conception is contrary to the beliefs of Orthodoxy. If Bishop Kallistos Ware's comment in his book, is meant to say that Orthodox christians can hold as an opinion the roman dogma, then he is wrong- once again(he is quite the lousy Orthodox theologian).

The RC definition of the Immaculate Conception is as follows:
"The doctrine which holds that the blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privelege of Almighty God, in consideration of the MERITS of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, has been revealed by God and must therefore be firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."

This definition is full of difficulties for Orthodoxy.  First off, we are taught that the Theotokos was concieved by parents  who were spotless themselves,  because they themselves descended from a lineage of ancestors who were all holy.  St John of Damascus writes, "Joachim and Anna, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have born  as the Lord says, 'By their fruits you will know them'. The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your Daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you lead together you have fashioned a jewel of virginity..."  In the Matins of the Birth of The Theotokos we worship, "Ann, the barren and sterile, was not childless before God: For she was foreordained from many generations to become the mother of the pure Virgin, from whom the Maker of all creation sprang in the form of a servant."

A more damaging blow to the IC belief about the Theotokos being "preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception" is found in the Matinal Canon of the Service of the Annunciation, where a dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Theotokos takes place. About being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary responds:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my Soul and sanctified my Body, it has made me a Temple that containes God, a tabernacle divinely adorned, a living Sanctuary and the Pure Mother of Life." This event recalls Like 1.35-38

Another un-orthodox aspect of this dogma is the reference to the "merits" of Jesus Christ. That the crucifixion and ressurection of Christ in 33a.d.  actually saved Mary by going backwards thru space and time, thus saving her before it actually happened- is not Orthodox. In fact this belief renders the process of Theosis void.  Instead, as the holy Liturgical texts of the Orthodox church teach us, "O pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, thine end was conformable to thy nature..."(Dormition of the Theotokos). Christ Alone is the Immaculate Conception and any definition attempting to establish "when" or "how" the Theotokos remained sinless is futile and is a mystery .
"
 

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buzuxi said:
As to the OP, The Roman dogma of the Immaculate Conception is contrary to the beliefs of Orthodoxy. If Bishop Kallistos Ware's comment in his book, is meant to say that Orthodox christians can hold as an opinion the roman dogma, then he is wrong- once again(he is quite the lousy Orthodox theologian).

The RC definition of the Immaculate Conception is as follows:
"The doctrine which holds that the blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privelege of Almighty God, in consideration of the MERITS of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, has been revealed by God and must therefore be firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."

This definition is full of difficulties for Orthodoxy.  First off, we are taught that the Theotokos was concieved by parents  who were spotless themselves,  because they themselves descended from a lineage of ancestors who were all holy.  St John of Damascus writes, "Joachim and Anna, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have born  as the Lord says, 'By their fruits you will know them'. The conduct of your life pleased God and was worthy of your Daughter. For by the chaste and holy life you lead together you have fashioned a jewel of virginity..."  In the Matins of the Birth of The Theotokos we worship, "Ann, the barren and sterile, was not childless before God: For she was foreordained from many generations to become the mother of the pure Virgin, from whom the Maker of all creation sprang in the form of a servant."

A more damaging blow to the IC belief about the Theotokos being "preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception" is found in the Matinal Canon of the Service of the Annunciation, where a dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Theotokos takes place. About being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary responds:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my Soul and sanctified my Body, it has made me a Temple that containes God, a tabernacle divinely adorned, a living Sanctuary and the Pure Mother of Life." This event recalls Like 1.35-38

Another un-orthodox aspect of this dogma is the reference to the "merits" of Jesus Christ. That the crucifixion and ressurection of Christ in 33a.d.  actually saved Mary by going backwards thru space and time, thus saving her before it actually happened- is not Orthodox. In fact this belief renders the process of Theosis void.  Instead, as the holy Liturgical texts of the Orthodox church teach us, "O pure Virgin, sprung from mortal loins, thine end was conformable to thy nature..."(Dormition of the Theotokos). Christ Alone is the Immaculate Conception and any definition attempting to establish "when" or "how" the Theotokos remained sinless is futile and is a mystery .
"
This post, by far, has been the most useful for me to understand 'why' the Roman IC should not be considered.

Thank you.
 

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buzuxi said:
A more damaging blow to the IC belief about the Theotokos being "preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception" is found in the Matinal Canon of the Service of the Annunciation, where a dialogue between the Angel Gabriel and the Theotokos takes place. About being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit the Virgin Mary responds:

"The descent of the Holy Spirit has purified my Soul and sanctified my Body, it has made me a Temple that containes God, a tabernacle divinely adorned, a living Sanctuary and the Pure Mother of Life." This event recalls Like 1.35-38
Not to be arguementative but the bible says that Christ, "Was made perfect" by his acts of obedience. Does that mean he was not already perfect? Of course not. Mary may have been sanctified by the coming of the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean that she was not already made Holy.
 

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I wonder what the answer to the question is then. Some seem to think its ok for an EO Christian to believe in the IC; others do not.
 

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Papist said:
Not to be arguementative but the bible says that Christ, "Was made perfect" by his acts of obedience. Does that mean he was not already perfect? Of course not. Mary may have been sanctified by the coming of the Holy Spirit. But that does not mean that she was not already made Holy.
I think there is a slight difference between "was made perfect" and "was cleansed by the Holy Spirit."  To clean denotes actually having some sort of stain or being dirty before.  Perfection is being shaped into something, not necessarily denoting lack before, but rather growth, just as Christ grew from a child into an adult "in wisdom."  It's something pertaining to humanity.  He took on the limits of ignorance as a child even though He was essentially omniscient.  The Theotokos on the other hand needed the Holy Spirit to be cleansed from something, and according to Pope Leo of Rome, cleansed away "the sin," just as it cleansed it away from the Virgin's womb before Christ was conceived.

God bless.
 

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Papist said:
I wonder what the answer to the question is then. Some seem to think its ok for an EO Christian to believe in the IC; others do not.
From my reading it seems that it's acceptable to believe in the IC as Orthodox have understood it in the past; not as proposed by the Roman Catholic dogma. Bishop Kallistos has given a balanced response to the subject in his book "The Orthodox Church". Here is the quote again;

In the past individual Orthodox have made statement which, if not definitely affirming the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, at any rate approach close to it; but since 1854 the majority of Orthodox have rejected the doctrine, for several reasons. They feel it to be unnecessary; they feel that, at any rate as defined by the Roman Catholic Church, it implies a false understanding of original sin; they suspect the doctrine because it seems to separate Mary from the rest of the descendants of Adam, putting her in a completely different class from all the other righteous men and women of the Old Testament.

Bishop Kallostos then goes on to say that people who believe a doctrine of IC (I don't see that he is suggesting that Orthodox can believe the Roman Catholic dogma) should not be considered heretics; and that seems a reasonable conclusion IMO.

 

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Another point to ponder is, that the Orthodox church celebrates two conceptions as feast days: the conception of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the conception of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Tom Hopko pointed this out when he was refuting the IC at our retreat last fall. As Buzuxi so eloquently explained it: the Theotokos' lineage of ancestors were holy. She was the pure fruit that was produced from this lineage. Fr. Tom even went on to say, that the  coming together of her parents, as man and wife in producing her conception, was holy, good, pure, and without lust.
 

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In "The Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith", St. John Damascene writes that in assuming human Nature, the Logos freely assumed "unblameworthy passions, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, labor, tears, decay, shrinking from death, fear, agony with the bloody sweat, succor at the hands of Angels because of the weakness of nature, and other such like passions which belong by nature to every man" ("Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" III.20, Patrologia Græca, Vol. XCIV ).
An Augustinian view of the Fall and Original Sin combined with the Roman Catholic view of the Immaculate Conception does not allow for this. If "Original Sin" and the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Virgin, then so were the passions to which they give rise. Therefore, if the Virgin was did not have the consequences of the Fall in her nature along with the passions which result from it, then Christ did not assume these passions- and He was therefore not "a man like us in all things except sin", and therefore, human nature is unredeemed.
 

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Tamara said:
Another point to ponder, is that the Orthodox church celebrates two conceptions as feast days: the conception of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and the conception of St. John the Baptist. Fr. Tom Hopko pointed this out when he was refuting the IC at our retreat last fall. As Buzuxi so eloquently explained it: the Theotokos' lineage of ancestors were holy. She was the pure fruit that was produced from this lineage. He even went on to say, that the  coming together of her parents, as man and wife in producing her conception, was holy, good, pure, and without lust. 
You mean two other conceptions, in addition to Mary's (by Anna, her mother).  An important distinction between our celebrations: RC's celebrate it on Dec 8, while we celebrate it on Dec 9 (one day less than 9 months).  St. John the Baptist's is celebrated Sep 23 and his birth Jun 24 (one day more than 9 months) - each showing that they are as close to perfection as possible (a status indicated by the Lord Himself in St. John's case, and by the church in His Mother's case).  Only the Lord is celebrated as 9 months (Mar 25-Dec 25).
 

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ozgeorge said:
In "The Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith", St. John Damascene writes that in assuming human Nature, the Logos freely assumed "unblameworthy passions, such as hunger, thirst, weariness, labor, tears, decay, shrinking from death, fear, agony with the bloody sweat, succor at the hands of Angels because of the weakness of nature, and other such like passions which belong by nature to every man" ("Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" III.20, Patrologia Græca, Vol. XCIV ).
An Augustinian view of the Fall and Original Sin combined with the Roman Catholic view of the Immaculate Conception does not allow for this. If "Original Sin" and the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Virgin, then so were the passions to which they give rise. Therefore, if the Virgin was did not have the consequences of the Fall in her nature along with the passions which result from it, then Christ did not assume these passions- and He was therefore not "a man like us in all things except sin", and therefore, human nature is unredeemed.
Later in that same chapter you cite, St. John writes this:

"Of a truth our natural passions were in harmony with nature and above nature in Christ. For they were stirred in Him after a natural manner when He permitted the flesh to suffer what was proper to it: but they were above nature because that which was natural did not in the Lord assume command over the will. For no compulsion is contemplated in Him but all is voluntary. For it was with His will that He hungered and thirsted and feared and died."

Why is this? St. Maximus explains in Ad Thalassium 61:

“But the Lord, when he became a man, did not have a birth in the flesh preceeded by the unrighteous pleasure that caused death to be elicited as a punishment of our nature. He naturally willed to die, to take on death amid the passibility of his human nature.”

It is because the Lord assumed pre-fall humanity, untainted by Original Sin, that he was not naturally subject to these human passions. He underwent them only by will.

St. Augustine writes the same thing in On the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, II.48:

"Inasmuch, however, as in Him there was the likeness of sinful flesh, He willed to pass through the changes of the various stages of life, beginning even with infancy, so that it would seem as if even His flesh might have arrived at death by the gradual approach of old age, if He had not been killed while young. Nevertheless, the death is inflicted in sinful flesh as the due of disobedience, but in the likeness of sinful flesh it was undergone in voluntary obedience."

An Augustinian view of the fall does not in any way conflict with what St. John of Damascus writes.
 

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Symeon said:
It is because the Lord assumed pre-fall humanity, untainted by Original Sin, that he was not naturally subject to these human passions. He underwent them only by will.
But that means that the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Theotokos (and therefore Christ did not assume them) only to then be re-established in Christ's Human Nature. "He voluntarily assumed" means He freely accepted (literally "took up to Himself") what was there, not "he switched it off in His Mother only to switch it on again in Himself."
 

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ozgeorge said:
But that means that the consequences of the Fall were extinguished in the Theotokos (and therefore Christ did not assume them) only to then be re-established in Christ's Human Nature. "He voluntarily assumed" means He freely accepted (literally "took up to Himself") what was there, not "he switched it off in His Mother only to switch it on again in Himself."
I think the correct formula would be "The Theotokos was stained by Original Sin, as we all are, due to her natural birth. Christ was born immaculately of a virgin, and so was unstained by Original Sin. By will he underwent the blameless passions that his mother and all of humanity are subject to, although he himself was not naturally subject to these." I'm not arguing for the IC.
 

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Symeon said:
I think the correct formula would be "The Theotokos was stained by Original Sin, as we all are, due to her natural birth. Christ was born immaculately of a virgin, and so was unstained by Original Sin. By will he underwent the blameless passions that his mother and all of humanity are subject to, although he himself was not naturally subject to these." I'm not arguing for the IC.
How do you define "stain of Original Sin"?  Is this the same thing as the depravity of the fallen human condition of which Augustine spoke?  Or is this something different?
 

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Tamara,

The Orthodox Church also celebrates the Feast of the Conception of Theotokos on Dec 9. Fr Hopko just glossed over this?

Fr. Deacon Lance
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
How do you define "stain of Original Sin"?  Is this the same thing as the depravity of the fallen human condition of which Augustine spoke?  Or is this something different?
I define the stain of Original Sin as the "concupiscence" of which St. Augustine and the other Fathers spoke, yes. Basically, the liability to the "blameworthy passions." Even if the Theotokos, for instance, did not actively engage in any blameworthy passions, she was still naturally liable to them, while the Word in his human nature was not.

The Word was subject to neither the blameworthy nor the unblameworthy passions according to nature, but by will he assumed the latter.
 

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Symeon said:
I define the stain of Original Sin as the "concupiscence" of which St. Augustine and the other Fathers spoke, yes. Basically, the liability to the "blameworthy passions." Even if the Theotokos, for instance, did not actively engage in any blameworthy passions, she was still naturally liable to them, while the Word in his human nature was not.

The Word was subject to neither the blameworthy nor the unblameworthy passions according to nature, but by will he assumed the latter.
But St. Augustine does not make this distinction between "blameworthy" and "unblameworthy" passions. What you are actually doing is only accepting half of St. Augustine's understanding of "Original Sin"- the same half which the Orthodox church does not have a problem with either.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
How do you define "stain of Original Sin"?  Is this the same thing as the depravity of the fallen human condition of which Augustine spoke?  Or is this something different?
I think it means that we carry within us personally a stain that is the effect of the Original Sin of Adam. Mary, according to the RCC, was free of that effect  within her own soul which takes her out of the usual human condition.

We say humans do suffer from the effects of that Original Sin, which is to be born into a fallen World. But we do not inherit from our own Fathers and Mothers a personal effect, we carry no taint upon our soul.

Some people get confused by the Immaculate Conception dogma of the RCC because it is covered by a certain admirable looking piety. It is however an exit ramp off the highway of Ancient Christianity and into a paradigm filled with false assumptions.
 

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ozgeorge said:
But St. Augustine does not make this distinction between "blameworthy" and "unblameworthy" passions. What you are actually doing is only accepting half of St. Augustine's understanding of "Original Sin"- the same half which the Orthodox church does not have a problem with either.
So St. Augustine would have said that Christ's weariness, hunger, etc. were all blameworthy passions? Are you sure?  ;)
 

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username! said:
Isn't that Blessed Augustine, not Saint Augustine.
Blessed...  Saint...  What's the difference?  We call many of our saints "Blessed so-and-so", so this title does not mean Augustine is less than a saint.  Besides, St. Augustine was glorified well before the schism, iirc, and has never been removed from the roll of the Saints.
 

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Papist said:
Fr. Ambrose argues that its St. Augustine. I am not sure if he is an expert on the matter or not.
I'm not sure that Orthodoxy has the distinction between Blessed and Saint that Catholicism has; my understanding is that they are interchangeable.
 

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Deacon Lance said:
Tamara,

The Orthodox Church also celebrates the Feast of the Conception of Theotokos on Dec 9. Fr Hopko just glossed over this?

Fr. Deacon Lance
Hi Deacon Lance,

No, he didn't gloss over any part of her life. He went in to detail about her lineage, her conception, and her childhood. He referenced Scripture, iconography, hymns, liturgical texts and many other sources to give us as full of description as possible.
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
Blessed...  Saint...  What's the difference?  We call many of our saints "Blessed so-and-so", so this title does not mean Augustine is less than a saint.  Besides, St. Augustine was glorified well before the schism, iirc, and has never been removed from the roll of the Saints.
There was a reason that we were told this, and there was a distinction.  I didn't learn this in a theology on tap session, on the internet or over coffee.  I learned this in a very formal setting and from one of the most intelligent men I know, who happens to be one the people I look up to in this world. 
 

Marc1152

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Papist said:
All you asked was how I believe that the EC's misrepresent the Catholic Church. If you wanted more you should have asked for more. A real man asks the question he wants answered.
Was that post removed? I cant find it anywhere.

But getting back to the RCC's Immaculate Conception dogma , it is wholly unorthodox. This is because of the root assumption behind it which is the false idea of inherited guilt. The idea of inherited guilt ( the passing of the effect of Original Sin upon your sole personally from generation to generation) was not present in the Until
St. ( Blessed...whatever) Augustine. The RCC then had made a problem for itself. If the soul is damaged by this inherited taint, then the Theotokos is also blemished by this. Therefore, they had to fix this by inventing the Immaculate Conception heresy. The Orthodox never was all that much influenced by St. Augustine and never bought into inherited guilt/sin. They didn't have to fix a problem that didn't exist for them.

Orthodox can be fooled into thinking this dogma is okay to follow if all they look at is the Marian Piety that surrounds it , which looks admirable. But it is a misguided piety as the idea that the Lord created Mary in a special or different manner takes her out of the human realm and places her as a sort of demigod rather than as the greatest Saint and our best HUMAN intercessor. 
 

PeterTheAleut

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To our RC posters:  The purpose of the Faith Issues board, as stated in the Forum Index, is to foster "Discussion of issues and inquiries related to the Orthodox Christian faith".  I know the Immaculate Conception is a topic of great importance to you, but you'll have plenty of opportunities to discuss your point of view concerning this dogma on the Orthodox-Catholic Discussion board or the Orthodox-Other Christian Private Discussions board.

The OP has asked specifically if it's okay to agree with the Immaculate Conception and still be Orthodox.  The wording of this question therefore makes this an issue internal to the Orthodox Christian faith, which is why I've kept this thread here on the Faith Board and don't intend to move it.  I have allowed only enough input from you to correct any misconceptions we may have of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, but I will not allow you to preach your dogma with an eye for persuading us to believe as you do.  Again, you have two boards outside of the Faith Board for that.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and the Lord's blessings be upon you during your season of the Lord's Pascha.

- PeterTheAleut
Faith Issues Section Moderator
 

PeterTheAleut

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The most recent posts on this thread had more of the flavor of Orthodox-Catholic dialogue, so I split them off and merged them into a version of this discussion that should be more open to such dialogue:  Mary, Sin, and the Immaculate Conception
 

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Here is how I am beginning to understand the Immaculate Conception counterargument according to Orthodoxy (stop me if I'm wrong):

Say you have a cup of water, which represents God. Then, you have a jar of instant lemonade powder, which represents humanity, or the would-be humanity of Jesus. If you put the lemonade powder into the water, you change it's state, but not its nature. The powder changes from a solid state to a liquid state. The water cannot help but change the state of the powder. If the powder was Jesus' would-be humanity, the water (God) would change the sinful state, but not the basically-good nature. Hence, the IC is not needed. I put forth this idea to a Roman Catholic friend of mine. He asked, "Would the lemonade be any good if you put it in a dirty glass?" How would Orthodoxy respond to that? Thanks! :)
 
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