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I agree with Fr. Ambrose.

Context is vital, and it may be that an Orthodox Christian would not agree with Fr. Kucharek's interpretation of the cited texts.

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Stephen J. Shoemaker, in his book on the traditions surrounding the Dormition, makes the point that modern theologians often apply dogmatic categories of thought to texts that were not intended to be taken in that fashion, and I think his point is a valid one, and one that is regularly ignored by Roman Catholic apologists.

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I wrote a couple posts but they were not posted, does anyone know a possible reason why? :S

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
I agree with Fr. Ambrose.

Context is vital, and it may be that an Orthodox Christian would not agree with Fr. Kucharek's interpretation of the cited texts.

You are so right!

The message which gives references to those quotes also says this:
________________________
Has Eastern Orthodoxy always opposed the doctrine of the
Immaculate Conception of the Theotokos, the Mother of God? She is
praised in the Megalynarion hymn in the Divine Liturgy and in Vespers
and Matins showing the pre-eminence of Mary among the saints:

It is truly right to bless you, O Theotokos, ever-blessed and
most pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the
Cheribum, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim,
without defilement you gave birth to God the Word: True
Theotokos, we magnify you.
_______________________________

There is some unusual logic at work which wants to see this, the most common hymn we sing several times a days and in our home prayers to the Mother of God, as somehow testifying to an Orthodox belief in the Immaculate Conception.

Such a conclusion just cannot be drawn from the prayer. It makes no sense to claim so. I suspect that the unquoted quotes may be of a similar unreliable nature.


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In a nutshell, the concept of the Theotokos being immaculately concieved does make Her less human, because a natural human in the fallen world, is a fallen human who bears the consequences of original sin. According to Orthodoxy, the Theotokos was sinless because She overcame Her fallen humanity by the Grace of God, and not because the Grace of God modified Her humanity to a pre-fall condition. According to Orthodoxy, redemption is achieved via the transformation of our nature, and not the modification of it. Orthodoxy cannot compromise on this understanding of salvation - theosis - for it is fundamental to our soteriology.

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Originally Posted by LittleFlower
I wrote a couple posts but they were not posted, does anyone know a possible reason why? :S
Perhaps because you are a new member your posts must be approved by a moderator.

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Originally Posted by Slavipodvizhnik
In a nutshell, the concept of the Theotokos being immaculately concieved does make Her less human, because a natural human in the fallen world, is a fallen human who bears the consequences of original sin. According to Orthodoxy, the Theotokos was sinless because She overcame Her fallen humanity by the Grace of God, and not because the Grace of God modified Her humanity to a pre-fall condition. According to Orthodoxy, redemption is achieved via the transformation of our nature, and not the modification of it. Orthodoxy cannot compromise on this understanding of salvation - theosis - for it is fundamental to our soteriology.
I can agree with your post, because I do not see the "original sin" in an Augustinian way.

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Dear Fr Kimel,

Below are the quotes you gave as listed by Kucharek. I admit that I am always uneasy about quotes which are not quoted.

Is there a possibility that we could see them?

Fr Ambrose, as indicated in my comment, I was merely quoting the short article by Dave Brown [ewtn.com], who was merely quoting from Kucharek's work. I'm afraid you'll have to follow up on the citations yourself. smile

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Originally Posted by Fr_Kimel
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
Dear Fr Kimel,

Below are the quotes you gave as listed by Kucharek. I admit that I am always uneasy about quotes which are not quoted.

Is there a possibility that we could see them?

Fr Ambrose, as indicated in my comment, I was merely quoting the short article by Dave Brown [ewtn.com], who was merely quoting from Kucharek's work. I'm afraid you'll have to follow up on the citations yourself. smile

Come on, Father. That's not right. You stack the deck with a busload of references to quotations supposedly showing Eastern belief in the Immaculate Conception and then tell us to go and look for them ourselves !! grin

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
[quote=Fr_Kimel][quote=Hieromonk Ambrose]a busload of references to quotations supposedly showing Eastern belief in the Immaculate Conception and then tell us to go and look for them ourselves !! grin

Haha! Whoever said forum life is fair. Besides, it's Lent. The work will be good for your soul. wink

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Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
What is deficient is not the Orthodox sources as you claim but the statements from the Encyclopedia which you have given above and in which you seem to place your faith. I speak of course as an Orthodox Christian and realise that the Encyclopedia statements are quite acceptable to Catholics.

The Orthodox answer to the contentions in the Encylopedia is the statement that "the Mother of God was conceived in the same state as every human being." That statement, simple as it is, should be held in mind.

Well, that's the point of this conversation, whether that is the Orthodox answer or an Orthodox answer, traditional or modern.

Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
I at first thought from your forum name of DoxRox that you are a new convert to Orthodoxy but you do not seem to place much credibility in Orthodox sources, Saint John Maximovitch, Patriarch Bartholomew?

I am a new convert who knows even saints, let alone Patriarchs, aren't infallible. There is no harm in further research to confirm the consensus of the Church. Worst case scenario, they were wrong about this. There are worst things.

So, is there no response to the anti-IC alternative I presented? Did I follow the logic correctly?

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For many years, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception kept me away from Catholicism. I could accept all of the other Marian dogmas as consistent with both Scripture and Tradition, but like many of the Orthodox posters I felt it went too far. So I can sympathize with those who object to it.

At the same time, I had a difficult time accepting the sinlessness of Mary. Growing up as a Protestant, I firmly held that Christ alone was sinless. However, once I became a Catholic, I came to understand Mary's sinlessness throughout her entire life as a result of God's grace and her cooperation with that grace throughout her entire life.

In reading the Orthodox objections to the Immaculate Conception, much is made of the difference in how East and West understand original sin. But is it possible that the Western/Latin approach to the Immaculate Conception is based not so much on original sin as it is on grace?

In other words, the Church - both East and West - agree on Mary's sinlessness. How could she be sinless throughout her whole life apart from God's grace, with which she cooperated from birth? If the grace of God was present to her from birth, allowing her to avoid all sin (even involuntary!) throughout her childhood, is it not reasonable to believe that this grace was present to her from the moment of her conception?

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Originally Posted by DoxRox
Originally Posted by Hieromonk Ambrose
What is deficient is not the Orthodox sources as you claim but the statements from the Encyclopedia which you have given above and in which you seem to place your faith. I speak of course as an Orthodox Christian and realise that the Encyclopedia statements are quite acceptable to Catholics.

The Orthodox answer to the contentions in the Encylopedia is the statement that "the Mother of God was conceived in the same state as every human being." That statement, simple as it is, should be held in mind.

Well, that's the point of this conversation, whether that is the Orthodox answer or an Orthodox answer, traditional or modern.

Our answer will be found in the liturgical deposit of the Church. It is completely trustworthy. Get hold of an English copy for the All Night Vigil for the Feast of the Conception of the Mother of God by Saint Anna. Ask your priest or the Choir master for it if you have to. If the Immaculate Conception is not there in the very lengthy texts you may safely conclude that it is not a teaching known to the Orthodox.

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Originally Posted by DoxRox
[I am a new convert who knows even saints, let alone Patriarchs, aren't infallible. There is no harm in further research to confirm the consensus of the Church. Worst case scenario, they were wrong about this. There are worst things.

But this is what I have been saying -- the truth of our teachings has been embodied in the liturgical deposit. As a new convert and especially if you are in a Sunday-only parish you may not be aware that there exists a vast treasury of several dozen large tomes, needed to perfom the services throughout the year. As is customary with Orthodox services these are not Western-style "hymns" to the Mother of God or the Saints but they are statements of concrete theology wedded to chant.

In the liturgical deposit you will find the consensus which you are seeking. It is the consensus of the entire Church since these liturgical works are used by ALL the Orthodox Churches. You will find that any idiosycrasies taught by this Church Father or that Church Father or any Patriarch have been carefully screened out.

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The saying of the prophets are now being fulfilled: the holy mountain is planted in the womb; the divine ladder is set up; the throne of the great king is ready; the God-inspired city is being adorned. The unburnable bush is beginning to bud forth, and the treasure house of grace is overflowing. It is spreading over the rivers of unfruitfulness of the god-wise Anne whom we glorify in faith.

3rd Sticheron of Vespers for the Conception of the Theotokos

How can one be a treasure house of grace if one is not in dwelt by the Holy Spirit?


My cromulent posts embiggen this forum.
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