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I was wondering where the Eastern Rite Churches fall in regard to the teaching of Original Sin and the Immaculate Conception.

My understanding of the Orthodox Church's Teaching is that there was the original sin of Adam and Eve and that we suffer the consequences of that sin but not the guilt. Regarding the Immaculate Conception, that Mary was born with the stain of original sin but never committed sin.

For the Roman Catholic Church my interpretation of the teaching of original sin is that Adam and Eve committed original sin and we bear both the consequences and the guilt of that sin. In regard to the Immaculate Conception that Mary was saved from original sin and did not commit sin during her lifetime. This I believe is considered dogma of the Church.

I couldn't find anything in the forums that I felt directly addressed this, so I was hoping for clarification.

Are Eastern Catholics expected to except these teaching of the Catholic Church since they are in communion with Rome? This would be my guess. I realize that the Eastern Rites are suppose to retain and re-introduce themselves to their ancient traditions, but I would think if it is dogma al Rites withion the church would be expected to accept it? Not baiting an argument here, but as I said, just seeking clarification from someone more "in the know" than myself.

Thanks in advance.


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Your vision about the doctrine of the Catholic Church is wrong. There isn't any difference between the Catholic teaching and the Orthodox. Some Orthodox priests in fact consider a heresy from the Modernism to say that there is some difference between both teachings concerning original sin.

According to the Cathecism of the Catholic Church:

Quote
400 (...) By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. And that is why original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.


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You can find the Churches definition of the dogma here and see whether or not the Pope intends that it apply to the whole Church, East and West.

http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marye1.htm

This part in particular might be relevant:

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And indeed, illustrious documents of venerable antiquity, of both the Eastern and the Western Church, very forcibly testify that this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the most Blessed Virgin, which was daily more and more splendidly explained, stated and confirmed by the highest authority, teaching, zeal, knowledge, and wisdom of the Church, and which was disseminated among all peoples and nations of the Catholic world in a marvelous manner--this doctrine always existed in the Church as a doctrine that has been received from our ancestors, and that has been stamped with the character of revealed doctrine.


Perhaps it would be good to reconsider what original sin is and that might help you to understand what it means to be conceived without it.

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The main thing to keep in mind is that "guilt" is simply the English translation of the Latin term which means "consequences of a crime", not any kind of personal guilt for having committed an act. So in that sense there is no difference between East and West on Original Sin.

One difference that does come up in many cases, though isn't fundamental and represents more of a difference of emphasis, is that Latin theology tends to emphasize the "guilt" being the loss of Grace which leads to the corruption of natural inclinations, while the Byzantine tradition often focuses on the corruption of natural inclinations itself as the "guilt" or "consequence". It's in this difference that controversy on the Immaculate Conception usually comes up, because Mary still had certain consequences like mortality (as did Jesus Christ, incidentally), so it can be difficult from this perspective to say that Mary was conceived without Original Sin. From the Latin side it's no contradiction at all, since it's the absence of Grace that's being referred to by "Original Sin", and not the other consequences like mortality and such.

Personally I see no major difficulty in this teaching, when it's understood that it means that Mary was conceived in Divine Grace. It certainly doesn't change her nature into something different, and she is still a perfect model for what we can and should be. After all, we may not be filled with Divine Life at conception, but we certainly are by the Sacraments and working with the Holy Spirit, and in this Mary is our great model.

Peace and God bless!

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JW,

First of all, welcome to the Byzantine Forum!

Before I offer my 2 cents here, I'd like to suggest using the Forum's search utility, which should definitely pull up something on this subject, as we've discussed it numerous times.

Originally Posted by JW55
My understanding of the Orthodox Church's Teaching is that there was the original sin of Adam and Eve and that we suffer the consequences of that sin but not the guilt. Regarding the Immaculate Conception, that Mary was born with the stain of original sin but never committed sin.
Most Orthodox would agree with your first statement. However, with regard to Mary's being "born with the stain of original sin," the issue is that they/we don't see Original Sin as some kind of "stain" that one is born with.

Originally Posted by JW55
For the Roman Catholic Church my interpretation of the teaching of original sin is that Adam and Eve committed original sin and we bear both the consequences and the guilt of that sin. In regard to the Immaculate Conception that Mary was saved from original sin and did not commit sin during her lifetime. This I believe is considered dogma of the Church.
The gray area here is, just what do we mean by the "guilt" of Original Sin? In a thread on this subject earlier this year, it was stated that the Latin word "culpa" can also have the meaning of "debt," which would bring it much closer to the Byzantine understanding of this doctrine.

Originally Posted by JW55
Are Eastern Catholics expected to [accept] these teachings of the Catholic Church since they are in communion with Rome? This would be my guess. I realize that the Eastern Rites are supposed to retain and re-introduce themselves to their ancient traditions, but I would think if it is dogma all Rites within the Church would be expected to accept it?
This last question has probably been discussed here more than either of the others: just what does the mandate for the Eastern Cathoic Churches to return to their liturgical and theological roots mean in practical terms? (Note that this mandate is not coming only from Rome--the great UGCC leaders Sheptytsky and Slipyj were adamant about it, as were other EC leaders.) My take on this is that we should accept all Catholic dogmas, but try to understand them in a way that is consistent with Eastern tradition and the Holy Fathers. Granted, this is a daunting task, and there are many on both sides who insist that it is impossible. However, I believe that "with God all things are possible."


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
There isn't any difference between the Catholic teaching and the Orthodox. Some Orthodox priests in fact consider a heresy from the Modernism to say that there is some difference between both teachings concerning original sin.
Philippe,

That is quite an interesting statement! Given all the discussion we've had on this forum with regard to this very subject, I find it hard to believe that the position you set forth here would be accepted by many Orthodox priests. Can you give any examples?


Peace,
Deacon Richard

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Shlomo Msamsono Richard,

Quote
Originally Posted by JW55
Are Eastern Catholics expected to [accept] these teachings of the Catholic Church since they are in communion with Rome? This would be my guess. I realize that the Eastern Rites are supposed to retain and re-introduce themselves to their ancient traditions, but I would think if it is dogma all Rites within the Church would be expected to accept it?
This last question has probably been discussed here more than either of the others: just what does the mandate for the Eastern Cathoic Churches to return to their liturgical and theological roots mean in practical terms? (Note that this mandate is not coming only from Rome--the great UGCC leaders Sheptytsky and Slipyj were adamant about it, as were other EC leaders.) My take on this is that we should accept all Catholic dogmas, but try to understand them in a way that is consistent with Eastern tradition and the Holy Fathers. Granted, this is a daunting task, and there are many on both sides who insist that it is impossible. However, I believe that "with God all things are possible."

The above is actually very easy. Both Eastern and Western Catholics have to believe as JW stated, but how we get to that belief does not have to be the same.

Fush BaShlomo,
Yuhannon

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Originally Posted by JW55
I was wondering where the Eastern Rite Churches...

Shlomo (Peace) JW55,

Just an FYI, all the Churches within the Catholic Communion are full Churches. Rites refer to the liturgical practices within a Church. For example within the Roman Church you have the Latin, Mozarabic, Lyonaise, Bragan, and Ambrosian Rites within that Church.

Poosh BaShlomo (Stay in Peace),
Yuhannon

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Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
There isn't any difference between the Catholic teaching and the Orthodox. Some Orthodox priests in fact consider a heresy from the Modernism to say that there is some difference between both teachings concerning original sin.

Philippe,

That is quite an interesting statement! Given all the discussion we've had on this forum with regard to this very subject, I find it hard to believe that the position you set forth here would be accepted by many Orthodox priests. Can you give any examples?


Peace,
Deacon Richard


Deacon Richard, Here [romanitas.ru] you can see a study of Dr. Vladimir Moss, which intends to
defend Metropolitan Philaret's teachings against Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky's critic concerning among other things the view on the original sin. Bishop Khrapovitsky labeled as "scholastic" the writings of Bishop Philaret, because their doctrine is identical to the Catholic one. But in Dr. Moss' opinion, Metropolitan Philaret's doctrine is the one true Orthodox.




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Wow, great link! I'm only part way into it now, but it's very interesting so far. It deals with one of the biggest difficulties I've had in understanding modern Byzantine (Orthodox and Catholic) theology on Redemption, specifically the fact that I hear many modern attacks on notions of "satisfaction" and "justice", yet I read of such notions constantly in Scripture and in Eastern Fathers (even pre-Scholastic Fathers).

Sometimes I've felt like in the move to reclaim genuine Eastern Patrimony after "Western Captivity", truly Eastern traditions and theological thoughts that are "too much like the West's" are neglected or tossed out all-together, sometimes even branded as heretical errors. This is especially true in the case of Redemption theology, since the explicit foundation of satisfaction of Divine Justice in the Sacrifice of Christ was laid out by no less a Saint than Athanasius, as proof of Christ's Divinity, and a critical reason for the Incarnation, against the Arians.

I look forward to reading more of this article, and feel free to PM me any other articles along these lines should you ever come across them.

Peace and God bless!
Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
Originally Posted by Philippe Gebara
There isn't any difference between the Catholic teaching and the Orthodox. Some Orthodox priests in fact consider a heresy from the Modernism to say that there is some difference between both teachings concerning original sin.

Philippe,

That is quite an interesting statement! Given all the discussion we've had on this forum with regard to this very subject, I find it hard to believe that the position you set forth here would be accepted by many Orthodox priests. Can you give any examples?


Peace,
Deacon Richard


Deacon Richard, Here [romanitas.ru] you can see a study of Dr. Vladimir Moss, which intends to
defend Metropolitan Philaret's teachings against Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky's critic concerning among other things the view on the original sin. Bishop Khrapovitsky labeled as "scholastic" the writings of Bishop Philaret, because their doctrine is identical to the Catholic one. But in Dr. Moss' opinion, Metropolitan Philaret's doctrine is the one true Orthodox.

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Alas, "HOCNA" is not the most reliable source, to put it politely.

Those interested in the "Immaculate Conception" would do well to read the services for 8, 9, and 10 December in the Holy Transfiguration Monastery edition of the December Menaion.

Fr. Serge

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Originally Posted by Serge Keleher
Alas, "HOCNA" is not the most reliable source, to put it politely.

Those interested in the "Immaculate Conception" would do well to read the services for 8, 9, and 10 December in the Holy Transfiguration Monastery edition of the December Menaion.

Fr. Serge

You may have in fact been referring to this, but I'm not sure. The article is actually refutation of the HOCNA position, not a support of it.

I couldn't tell by your post if you thought the article was a HOCNA positin or not. blush

Peace and God bless!

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The socalled "HOCNA" defense of Metropolitan Anthony is available at the link below:

HOCNA [orthodoxyinfo.org]

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see the attached link from the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto (Canada) (writtn by His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Sotirios)

http://www.gocanada.org/catechism/catorsin.htm

In Christ,

Brad

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