www.byzcath.org
I am wondering why most Roman Catholics consider the Immaculate Conception to be an ex-cathedra (that is infallible, from the seat of Peter) statement? My knowledge is there is no list of ex-cathedra statements, so we aren’t really sure which ones fall under the definition of the First Vatican Council (which is a big problem). Most would consider the Immaculate Conception of Mary, as well as her Assumption into heaven to be two that fit the criteria. I would like to deal with the first one, though if anyone has insight into the Assumption that they wish to share that would be fine. My question springs from the limitation that the council expressly puts on an infallible ex-cathedra statement, and that is the Pope’s inability to make new doctrine.

Originally Posted by Vatican Council I: Pastor aeternus
For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

What does this limitation imply? At the very least should it imply that the teaching is unquestionably Apostolic? That is to say, that it was at least being discussed in some manner during the apostolic era? That it fits the definition of ‘catholic,’ (i.e. that which has been believed everywhere, always, and by all)? The history of the Immaculate Conception is not based upon the unanimous consent of the fathers, nor is it based upon scripture (this is typically admitted). According to the noted Roman Catholic scholar, Ludwig Ott, the historical development of the Dogma goes by the 7th Century feast of the Conception of St. Anne celebrated in the east. The celebration later spread to the west. “The object of the celebration of the feast was initially the active conception of St. Anne, which, according to the Proto-Gospel of St. James, occurred after a long period of childlessness, and was foretold by an angel, as an extraordinary manifestation of God’s grace.” So at this point it was not be celebrated in respect to the state of Mary’s soul at the time of her conception. He continues, “At the beginning of the twelth century, the British monk Eadmer, a pupil of St. Anselm of Canterbury, and Osbert of Clare, advocated the Immaculate (passive) Conception of Mary, that is, her conception free from original sin. Eadmer wrote the first monograph on this subject. On the other hand, St. Bernard of Claivaux, on the occasion of the institution of the Feast in Lyons (about 1140), warned the faithful that his was an unfounded innovation, and taught that Mary was sanctified after conception only, that is when she was already in the womb. Under the influence of St. Bernard, the leading theologians of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries rejected the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Their difficult was that they had not yet found the way to bring Mary’s freedom from original sin into consonance with the universality or original sin, and with the necessity of all men for redemption. “ (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ludwig Ott, pg 201). Prior Pope had also taught that Mary was conceived with original sin (to be fair, they did so as ‘private theologians’):

Innocent III - Sermon on the Purification of the Virgin.
But forthwith [upon the Angel's words, 'The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee'] the Holy Ghost came upon her. He had before come into her, when, in her mother's womb, He cleansed her soul from original sin; but now too He came upon her to cleanse her flesh from the 'fomes' of sin, that she might be altogether without spot or wrinkle. That tyrant then of the flesh, the sickness of nature, the 'fomes' of sin, as I think, He altogether extinguished, that henceforth any motion from the law of sin should not be able to arise in her members.

John XXII - Sermon 1 on the Assumption.
She (the Virgin) passed, first, from a state of original sin, second, from a state of childhood to maternal honor, third, from misery to glory.

In his Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus, Pius IX, stated, “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.” How is it that he says the doctrine always existed in the Church even if we allow for western understanding of development of doctrine? Among the fathers there were those who even attributed sin to Mary during her Divine Son’s ministry (St. John Chrysostom is the example most cited). Furthermore the definition itself is based upon the theology of the western church, and does not take into account the eastern approach:
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The Definition
Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church to God the Father through his Son, that he would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit. In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete. Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”
He then goes on to declare that if anyone thinks differently he is condemned by his own judgment. Since the majority of people who we would consider to be ‘Catholic,’ have not believed in the Immaculate Conception this seems like rather harsh wording .
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Hence, if anyone shall dare -- which God forbid! -- to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment; that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith; that he has separated from the unity of the Church; and that, furthermore, by his own action he incurs the penalties established by law if he should are to express in words or writing or by any other outward means the errors he think in his heart.
So I ask again, given the importance of this definition to the ongoing ecumenical effort, why is this teaching considered Dogmatic by so many on the Roman Catholic side? Is it because of the strong wording? We could find equally strong wording for other teachings that are no longer in vogue (a couple of examples: Exsurge Domine (1520), which condemns those who say that heretics being burned is against the will of the Spirit [#33], and Unam Sanctam which states that ‘it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.’) Is it due to the historical evidence? Or is due to the fact that we think Pope Pius IX wanted it to be infallible? I think it would go along way if this document was relegated to theologumen of the Latin Church (since at best its teaching is a minority opinion of the west), and it seems that Vatican 1’s limitation on new doctrine would give a comfortable out. I hope this post isn't inflammatory, I am just trying to understand why so many hold to the opinion that it is 'ex-cathedra.'

Thank you,
Bob

Originally Posted by ByzBob
We could find equally strong wording for other teachings that are no longer in vogue (a couple of examples: Exsurge Domine (1520), which condemns those who say that heretics being burned is against the will of the Spirit [#33], and Unam Sanctam which states that ‘it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.’)
Theologians have generally pointed out that these are not ex-cathedra statements by the definition given in Pastor Aeternus because these are not directed toward the Universal Church. It is my understanding that any excercise of an ex-cathedra teaching must explicitly include the following:

The Pope musty declare that he is speaking in his capacity as pastor of all Catholics through his supreme Apostolic Authority. It must be universal
He is defining a dogma of faith and morals.
The teaching is meant to be definitive and accepted by the entire universal Church.

Ok. By why, for example, does Exsurge Domine not fit into this ex-cathedra definition?

http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo10/l10exdom.htm

The definition comes from the pope himself.
2. He is acting as Pastor of all the Faithful:
In virtue of our pastoral office committed to us by the divine favor” and
“We forbid each and every one of the Faithful…
3. He invokes his apostolic authority:
When you were about to ascend to Your Father, You committed the care,
rule, and administration of the vineyard, an image of the triumphant
Church, to Peter, as the head and Your vicar and his successors. Rise,
Peter, and fulfill this pastoral office divinely entrusted to you as mentioned
above. In virtue of our pastoral office committed to us by the divine
favor…
4. This is a judgment on an issue of faith or morals:
We can under no circumstances tolerate or overlook any longer the
pernicious poison of the above errors without disgrace to the Christian
religion and injury to orthodox faith… We have therefore held a careful
inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation
with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman
Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders,
besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and
in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not
Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather
are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against
the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church.
5. The definition is binding on all:
By listing them, we decree and declare that all the Faithful of both sexes
must regard them as condemned, reprobated, and rejected . . . We restrain
all in the virtue of holy obedience and under the penalty of an automatic
major excommunication.... We forbid each and every one of the Faithful of
either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be
incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or
defend them.
To me at least, it does not fit because the pope is "judging" on an issue of faith and morals in condemning Martin Luther. He is not "proposing" a definitive dogma of the faith to be held by all.

That being said, this is the explanation I have heard as to why many theologians do not consider this, also, to be ex cathedra.

As for the why of the I.C. it flows out of the redemption. You make some good points that history seems to show that it developed in one place and the practice spread elsewhere. I honestly do not know about this.
Originally Posted by danman916
That being said, this is the explanation I have heard as to why many theologians do not consider this, also, to be ex cathedra.

Fair enough. Not sure I agree, but fair enough. My major concern remains, however, and that is the novelty of the doctrine, and why that wouldn't trigger the limitation of Vatican 1. My other concerns is dogmatizing Marian doctrines - I agree with Fr. Hopko on this point, that the Marian doctrines should not be dogmatized.
i really don't know the history behind this. Things don't get dogmatized "just because". There is always a reason, and I have to admit to ignorance on the reasons why the I.C. and Assumption were promulgated.
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Things don't get dogmatized "just because".

No? Happens more often than you might think.

Quote
There is always a reason

But not always a very good one.
Dear brother Dan,

Originally Posted by danman916
i really don't know the history behind this. Things don't get dogmatized "just because". There is always a reason, and I have to admit to ignorance on the reasons why the I.C. and Assumption were promulgated.
Actually, the apostolic consitutions of the dogmas explain it. They were dogmatized at the request of bishops and laity from many quarters of the Church.

Blessings
Originally Posted by danman916
Things don't get dogmatized "just because". There is always a reason, and I have to admit to ignorance on the reasons why the I.C. and Assumption were promulgated.
Danman,

It was my understanding that the dogmatic proclamation of the Assumption had a lot to do with a petition drive that brought tens of thousands of signatures to the pope's desk. I admit that that would hardly qualify, from an Orthodox perspective, as justification for a dogmatic definition.

Similar petitions were sent to JPII, requesting that Mary be dogmatically given the titles of "Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate." I believe Pope John Paul acknowledged the petitioners and informally recognized the titles, but declined to go further.


Peace,
Deacon Richard
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Things don't get dogmatized "just because".

No? Happens more often than you might think.

Can you give examples, please?
Let me ask the question another way. If the IC dogma can be shown historically to be a novelty, but it is still ex-cathedra per Vatican 1's definition was the council wrong when it said that the charism was not given in order to create new doctrine?
I guess so, but it begs the question, what exactly is a "novelty" and how can we demonstrate that this was a later belief not found in the Apostolic faith? Would not the acceptance of the sinless of the Theotokos qualify as such?
Originally Posted by danman916
I guess so, but it begs the question, what exactly is a "novelty" and how can we demonstrate that this was a later belief not found in the Apostolic faith? Would not the acceptance of the sinless of the Theotokos qualify as such?

I don't believe that sinless = Immaculate Conception. Indeed, St. Bernard of Claivaux, accepted that Mary was sinless, but warned the faithful that the Immaculate Conception was an unfounded innovation. Teaching instead that Mary was sanctified after conception only, that is when she was already in the womb.

The patristic period is typically the paradigm for determining the questions of antiquity when it comes to doctrine. If Ott was correct, then the Immaculate Conception was not taught during that period.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear ByzBob,

Can you provide a source for
Quote
Indeed, St. Bernard of Claivaux, accepted that Mary was sinless, but warned the faithful that the Immaculate Conception was an unfounded innovation. Teaching instead that Mary was sanctified after conception only, that is when she was already in the womb.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Dear brother Bob,

The proscription at the end of the Dogma is not a proscription against denial of the dogma. It is a proscription against rejection of Church authority.

Do a study on the language of the anathemas from the Christological controversies, (and anathemas given by the Church, in general), and perhaps you will see what I mean.

In any case, proscriptions attached to dogmas are not part of the dogma and can potentially be revoked. In fact, at Vatican 1, for example, one of the two main concerns expressed by the Eastern bishops regarding the Decree on Papal Primacy is that
it should be promulgated without an anathema (the other concern, of course, was that an explicit statement on the rights of bishops should be added - which the Council did, but rather added it to the Decree on Infallibility).

Blessings
Originally Posted by danman916
I guess so, but it begs the question, what exactly is a "novelty" and how can we demonstrate that this was a later belief not found in the Apostolic faith? Would not the acceptance of the sinless of the Theotokos qualify as such?
I don't believe the IC is a novelty at all. It is implicit in Scripture, and as early as the second century. The Protoevangelium of James mentions that Mary did not experience the pains of childbirth (prophesied in Isaiah 66), and since the pains of childbirth was a punishment for the original sin -- well, the teaching is not a leap of faith at all. THis besides the fact that the designation of Mary as the new Eve likewise goes back to the second century, and there are Scripture passages in the prophetic verses of the OT that support such a belief.

Blessings
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by danman916
I guess so, but it begs the question, what exactly is a "novelty" and how can we demonstrate that this was a later belief not found in the Apostolic faith? Would not the acceptance of the sinless of the Theotokos qualify as such?

I don't believe that sinless = Immaculate Conception. Indeed, St. Bernard of Claivaux, accepted that Mary was sinless, but warned the faithful that the Immaculate Conception was an unfounded innovation. Teaching instead that Mary was sanctified after conception only, that is when she was already in the womb.
I agree with your comment here. But you have to remember that there was a general theologoumenon in the Latin Church at that time that the spiritual conception occurred many days after the physical conception, whereas the Easterns believed that spiritual and physical conception occurred all at once. St. Bernard (as well as many Latins of that period) believed that Mary's purification occurred at her spiritual conception - indeed, as you say, when she was already in the womb. But what do you think is the consequence of establishing a belief that the physical conception and spiritual conception occurs at the same time? If you believe that purification occurs at the spiritual conception, is that not identical to the teaching on the IC?

Quote
The patristic period is typically the paradigm for determining the questions of antiquity when it comes to doctrine. If Ott was correct, then the Immaculate Conception was not taught during that period.
See my comment to brother Dan above.

Also, we have the explicit statement of St. Ephraim that before their respective cosmic decisions, Mary and Eve were - in his words - "utterly equal."

There is a traceable explicit teaching on the purity of Mary since the first moment of her existence in each century from the third century onwards.

Blessings
Nonsense. The immaculate conception is a Christological, not a mariological doctrine, whose import is to ensure the sinlessness of Christ while ensuring his humanity in light of the Latin belief that the stain of original sin was transferred through conception from the parents to the offspring. While the East always believed in the sinlessness of Mary, the refusal of the East to believe we are born with a stain of sin into a state of sin obviated the need for such a doctrine. i.e., we are all "immaculately conceived".

That Mary was preserved from sin is a universal belief. That the West wants to believe certain things about how this was accomplished is perfectly appropriate--for the West. It is significant that this particular Western theologumenon did not even begin to gain currency until the Middle Ages, prior to which the West in its modesty was willing to let sleeping dogs lie. What we have in this case (as with Eucharistic Adoration) is the Latin Church attempting to get out in front of an element of popular piety that risked getting out of control.

As to why Pius IX promulgated the doctrine as a "dogma" in the manner he did, the answer is two-fold: (1) because he believed he could; and (2) because, more generally, the Latin Church had been abusing the term "dogma" for a long time, and had gotten into the bad habit of "dogmatizing" matters of doctrine or even Church usage which did not fall under the purview of dogma.
Originally Posted by mardukm
I don't believe the IC is a novelty at all. It is implicit in Scripture, and as early as the second century. The Protoevangelium of James mentions that Mary did not experience the pains of childbirth (prophesied in Isaiah 66), and since the pains of childbirth was a punishment for the original sin -- well, the teaching is not a leap of faith at all.

I didn't see that Mary did not experience the pains of childbirth in the Protoevanglium. Is this the complete text? http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/infancyjames-roberts.html
I may just have missed it. Not that I disagree that she did not experience the pains. Death is also a consequence of original sin, and since we celebrate her Dormition it must be that we believe that she died. So I'm not sure that how helpful her not experiencing the pains of childbirth is in establishing the genesis of the belief.

Quote
This besides the fact that the designation of Mary as the new Eve likewise goes back to the second century, and there are Scripture passages in the prophetic verses of the OT that support such a belief.

The new Eve belief does little to establish when Mary was sanctified. The point here is that we cannot make the case, logically, that the Immaculate Conception, as defined in 1854, was part of the 'oral tradition,' of the apostles, or else we are left wondering how all the fathers missed it, and in fact denied it in most cases. Since the Church teaches that the deposit of faith ended with the apostles, and that in order for a doctrine to be considered as 'catholic,' it must have been believed always, everywhere, by everyone we should be able to find an explicit teaching somewhere in the fathers for a belief that is now considered binding on the conscience of all Catholics. If we cannot then is the doctrine 'new,' and thus not dogma at all, but rather a valid opinion to hold?
As far as I can tell, we just affirm the idea of spotlessness, and the rest is speculation. I am not comfortable with the idea of "preservation", if that's meant somehow as not being an act of the will. I also don't agree with the idea of "punishment" of any form.
Seems to me that Pius IX very much wanted to isse an infallible dogmatic definition, and the Immaculate Conception seemed convenient for the purpose.

Fr. Serge
The same could be said of Pius XII and the Assumption of Mary. I like to think of ex Cathedra definitions as theological nuclear weapons--only valuable when not used, and when used a concession of failure.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear Stuart,

From what I understand about the doctrine of the Assumption is that it was worded in such a way that it could be understood in other modes other than the latin understanding that she did not die. What I've heard is that it states that at the end her time on earth (horrible paraphrasing what little I remember) she was taken assumed (because it was not by her own power) into heaven.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Seems to me that Pius IX very much wanted to issue an infallible dogmatic definition, and the Immaculate Conception seemed convenient for the purpose.
Fr. Serge,

Do you think that was because he saw a need to confirm the Papacy in its new "all-spiritual" role in the strongest terms possible?


Peace,
Deacon Richard
I have to admit, I find this all really hard to fathom.
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
Nonsense.
What is this response referring to?

Quote
The immaculate conception is a Christological, not a mariological doctrine, whose import is to ensure the sinlessness of Christ while ensuring his humanity in light of the Latin belief that the stain of original sin was transferred through conception from the parents to the offspring.
The importance of the IC as a corollary of Christological Truth has nothing to do with the sinlessness of Christ. That’s a blasphemous notion, wouldn’t you agree – the idea that the God-man had to inherit his sinlessness from someone? Christ is sinless in and of Himself because He is God.

The Christological importance of the dogma is to affirm the complete purity of the vessel from whom the Second Person of the Trinity would receive His immaculate flesh. This is the importance attached to the teaching by every Father of the Church who has taught about it. The ironic thing is that this Christological relevance is not part of the dogma, and I sorely wish it was, for it would infinitely increase the dogmatic value of the teaching. The apostolic constitution uses words like “proper” and “fitting,” whereas the Fathers testified that this was a necessity in the plan of salvation.

Quote
While the East always believed in the sinlessness of Mary, the refusal of the East to believe we are born with a stain of sin into a state of sin obviated the need for such a doctrine. i.e., we are all "immaculately conceived".
The “stain of sin” or “state of sin” refers to nothing more nor less than the state of separation from God. Are you saying that the East today denies that we are born separated from God, and that this is indeed an inherited state?

Quote
What we have in this case (as with Eucharistic Adoration) is the Latin Church attempting to get out in front of an element of popular piety that risked getting out of control.
Bad example. Eucharistic Adoration is a disciplinary devotion of the Church, not a dogma.

Quote
As to why Pius IX promulgated the doctrine as a "dogma" in the manner he did,
By “manner,” do you mean his having asked the bishops of the world for their input before proceeding with a definition?

Quote
the answer is two-fold: (1) because he believed he could;

In union with the majority of the world’s bishops, who doubts that he could?

Quote
and (2) because, more generally, the Latin Church had been abusing the term "dogma" for a long time, and had gotten into the bad habit of "dogmatizing" matters of doctrine or even Church usage which did not fall under the purview of dogma.
Could you give 2 or 3 examples of the Latin Church having dogmatized a non-theological matter (i.e., a mere practice or discipline?).

Blessings,
Marduk
Dearest Father Serge,

Originally Posted by Fr Serge Keleher
Seems to me that Pius IX very much wanted to isse an infallible dogmatic definition, and the Immaculate Conception seemed convenient for the purpose.
That doesn't seem probable, given the description of the process of how the definition came about according to the Apostolic Constitution. There was almost a six-year gap between the time he inquired of the matter to his brother bishops and when the dogma was actually promulgated. Further, many requests for the definition had already been received by his predecessor. ISTM that if Pio Nono was itching to make an infallible Decree, he would have done it the moment he entered office.

Humbly,
Marduk
For what it’s worth, there are several quotes from the early Father’s (easily found on web searches on Mary), that talk about her purity, immaculate, greatness, without any stain, had no sin. Now, I’m sure that these teachings of the Fathers aren’t new to anyone here, but they are often used in support of the Immaculate conception.
(These came from scripturecatholic.com)




"He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption." Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

"This Virgin Mother of the Only-begotten of God, is called Mary, worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, one of the one." Origen, Homily 1(A.D. 244).

"Let woman praise Her, the pure Mary." Ephraim, Hymns on the Nativity, 15:23 (A.D. 370).

"Thou alone and thy Mother are in all things fair, there is no flaw in thee and no stain in thy Mother." Ephraem, Nisibene Hymns, 27:8 (A.D. 370).

"O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all O Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides." Athanasius, Homily of the Papyrus of Turin, 71:216 (ante AD 373).

"Mary, a Virgin not only undefiled but a Virgin whom grace has made inviolate, free of every stain of sin." Ambrose, Sermon 22:30 (A.D. 388).

"We must except the Holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." Augustine, Nature and Grace,4 2[36] (A.D.415).

"As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

"A virgin, innocent, spotless, free of all defect, untouched, unsullied, holy in soul and body, like a lily sprouting among thorns." Theodotus of Ancrya, Homily VI:11(ante A.D. 446).

"The angel took not the Virgin from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged from Joseph, but gave her to Christ, to whom she was pledged in the womb, when she was made." Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 140 (A.D. 449).

"[T]he very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary, if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary." Jacob of Sarug (ante A.D. 521).

"She is born like the cherubim, she who is of a pure, immaculate clay." Theotokos of Livias, Panegyric for the feast of the Assumption, 5:6 (ante A.D. 650).


"Today humanity, in all the radiance of her immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendour and attraction of human nature; but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence is born, this nature regains in her person its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model truly worthy of God.... The reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation." Andrew of Crete, Sermon I, On the Birth of Mary (A.D. 733).

"[T]ruly elect, and superior to all, not by the altitude of lofty structures, but as excelling all in the greatness and purity of sublime and divine virtues, and having no affinity with sin whatever." Germanus of Constantinople, Marracci in S. Germani Mariali (ante A.D. 733).

"O most blessed loins of Joachim from which came forth a spotless seed! O glorious womb of Anne in which a most holy offspring grew." John of Damascus, Homily I (ante A.D. 749).

Dear brother Dan,

Of your 15 quotes, I would count only 7 that actually support the doctrine of the IC. There are others out there, of course, from the early Fathers.

Blessings,
Marduk
Originally Posted by mardukm
Dear brother Dan,

Of your 15 quotes, I would count only 7 that actually support the doctrine of the IC. There are others out there, of course, from the early Fathers.

Blessings,
Marduk

That's interesting...without reading into them the "pre-conceived" notion of IC...I can't find patristic evidence in any of them for the IC.
Really none of the quotes implicitly teach when she was 'sanctified,' in the womb, which is why the IC is a valid opinion (though perhaps a minority one).

The reason why it is not proper grounds for a dogma are two-fold. The first reason is it is predicated on the theological assumptions of one church, without reference to the teachings and praxis of the other churches in that communion. The second reason is because it is not part of the proclamation of the gospel.
However, it is part of the Liturgical Tradition of all the Apostolic Churches, whether implicitly or explicitly. Whether or not one reads the text the 'exact' same way as the Latin proclamation is up to question, but it cannot be denied that such a reading is possible.
The liturgical tradition of the churches is a good point. Could it be that the west felt it necessary to dogmatize certain things because of the relative scant references to them liturgically? The purity of the of the Theotoksis is proclaimed at every celebration of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Since it is so much a part of the liturgical tradition, it is not questioned, nor does it require explanation, and thus there is no reason to "dogmatize" it. By comparision, thumbing through the Tridentine Mass one is struck by the lack of reference of the same.
Ok, so when we say the word, immaculate, what exactly does that mean?

It seems that the west applies this to mean without sin and preserved from all sin from the moment of her creation in the womb of St. Anne. Are there other equal ways of interpereting this among the Fathers?

What about the Angelic saluation, Hail full of grace. Doesn't the Greek form of the word, Kecharitomene infer that she was made full of grace as a past event that is future enduring?

i'm no theolgian, but this is how I've understood it to be.
Originally Posted by danman916
Ok, so when we say the word, immaculate, what exactly does that mean?

It seems that the west applies this to mean without sin and preserved from all sin from the moment of her creation in the womb of St. Anne. Are there other equal ways of interpereting this among the Fathers?

This, I think is exactly the issue. As I have always understood it, the early church had no interpretation of "immaculate" meaning "preserved from sin at the moment of her creation in the womb" since Christ is alone in being without sin. (I know I just opened a "can of worms" in regards to Mary) This interpretation was later created and many in the West were against such an interpretation since it did not conform with ancient tradition...
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Really none of the quotes implicitly teach when she was 'sanctified,' in the womb, which is why the IC is a valid opinion (though perhaps a minority one).
ByzBob,

It's interesting to note that the question of *when* Mary's unique sanctification took place seems to be of little importance in Eastern thinking, yet is seen as absolutely crucial in Western thinking.

Let's consider this: as we all know, the feast celebrating Mary's conception began in the East and migrated west around the 11th Century. We also know that a number of prominent Western theologians, including St. Bernard of Clairvaux, opposed the idea of having a feast in honor of Mary's conception. What is often missed, however, is the fact that all the discussion about this feast in the West simply assumes that its purpose is to celebrate the moment of Mary's sanctification!

I would therefore conclude that this uniquely Western concern about the moment of Mary's sanctification is NOT an essential part of the dogma, and if we can just set that aside, we will have removed a major obstacle to reunion!

(The nature of Original Sin, of course, is a separate issue and needs to be dealt with similarly but separately.)


Peace,
Deacon Richard
It's absolutely important to the West because (contra Markdum), it's really all about Christ. Christ is sinless. Christ is a man, born of a woman. All men are born into a state of sin. Therefore. . .

Does not compute. Does not compute. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

The doctrine of the immaculate conception circumvents the incongruity and leaves both the Western doctrine of original sin and the dogma of Christ's sinless nature intact.

And, again, contra Markdum, all Marian doctrines are at their foundation Christological in nature.
Originally Posted by Epiphanius
I would therefore conclude that this uniquely Western concern about the moment of Mary's sanctification is NOT an essential part of the dogma, and if we can just set that aside, we will have removed a major obstacle to reunion!

(The nature of Original Sin, of course, is a separate issue and needs to be dealt with similarly but separately.)


Peace,
Deacon Richard

Dear Deacon Richard,

I agree with you, but most Roman Catholics that I have meet don't allow this sort of latitude, as they considered it ex-cathedra. It is their understanding that the dogmatic statement is expressed near the end of Ineffabilis Deus:

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We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

As I was listening to a recent debate on this topic between a Roman Catholic and a Protestant apologists it seemed that what the Protestant objected to the most was that it was now “required,” belief. In a certain sense, I empathized with his concern. So given the new doctrine "plank," of Vatican 1 I wondered if it really rose to an ex-cathedra statement, even from a western perspective. It is unfortunate that this teaching, along with some other ones is considered de fide in the west, since it (the question of the state of Mary’s soul at the time of conception) is a non-essential, and liberty was hitherto allowed on this, as well as other non-essential questions.

Bob
Dear brother Job,

Originally Posted by Job
Originally Posted by mardukm
Dear brother Dan,

Of your 15 quotes, I would count only 7 that actually support the doctrine of the IC. There are others out there, of course, from the early Fathers.

That's interesting...without reading into them the "pre-conceived" notion of IC...I can't find patristic evidence in any of them for the IC.
Let me just take two of the 7,

He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption." Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

What does the word “exempt” mean to you?

As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

What does it mean that God “formed her without any stain?” What relevance can we attach to the fact that St. Proclus is analogizing that statement about Mary, with the very conception of Jesus?

Blessings
Dear brother Job,

Originally Posted by Job
Originally Posted by danman916
Ok, so when we say the word, immaculate, what exactly does that mean?

It seems that the west applies this to mean without sin and preserved from all sin from the moment of her creation in the womb of St. Anne. Are there other equal ways of interpereting this among the Fathers?

This, I think is exactly the issue. As I have always understood it, the early church had no interpretation of "immaculate" meaning "preserved from sin at the moment of her creation in the womb" since Christ is alone in being without sin. (I know I just opened a "can of worms" in regards to Mary) This interpretation was later created and many in the West were against such an interpretation since it did not conform with ancient tradition...

I agree with you that this is the exact issue. What do such words as "pure" and "immaculate" mean? Coming from an Oriental background, I, like you, have never before considered such terms as meaningful evidences of the IC --- until tonight.

As I was pondering my response to you in my previous post, it dawned on me that when the Fathers East, West, and Orient speak of the "stain" or "blemish" (or any other synonym the Fathers have used) of sin, they are not speaking literally. They are referring, rather, to a state of separation from God. I know the Latins have always taught this, but I never made the connection before.

If "pure" or "immaculate" means not having the "stain of sin," and "stain of sin" means "separation from God," then a Father who states that Mary "never had a stain" or "has never been defiled" means simply that there was never a moment in Mary's existence that she was separated from God. That does indeed denote a belief in the Immaculate Conception.

Blessings,
Marduk
Originally Posted by StuartK
It's absolutely important to the West because (contra Markdum), it's really all about Christ. Christ is sinless. Christ is a man, born of a woman. All men are born into a state of sin. Therefore. . .

Does not compute. Does not compute. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

The doctrine of the immaculate conception circumvents the incongruity and leaves both the Western doctrine of original sin and the dogma of Christ's sinless nature intact.

And, again, contra Markdum, all Marian doctrines are at their foundation Christological in nature.
Where is your opinion (that the Dogma was intended to preserve the sinlessnes of Christ) expressed in the Dogma or in the apostolic consitution? Please give us a direct quote.

Mary's utter purity was necessary not so she could pass on her unblemished nature to the God-man, but rather because God is sinless and could not abide in anything that was touched by sin.

Basically, you have it the other way around.

Blessings
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by byzbob
I agree with you, but most Roman Catholics that I have meet don't allow this sort of latitude, as they considered it ex-cathedra. It is their understanding that the dogmatic statement is expressed near the end of Ineffabilis Deus:

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We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

As I was listening to a recent debate on this topic between a Roman Catholic and a Protestant apologists it seemed that what the Protestant objected to the most was that it was now “required,” belief. In a certain sense, I empathized with his concern. So given the new doctrine "plank," of Vatican 1 I wondered if it really rose to an ex-cathedra statement, even from a western perspective. It is unfortunate that this teaching, along with some other ones is considered de fide in the west, since it (the question of the state of Mary’s soul at the time of conception) is a non-essential, and liberty was hitherto allowed on this, as well as other non-essential questions.
At CAF, I initiated a thread in the Eastern Catholicism Forum called "Is the IC a hindrance to unity." I don't know if its permitted to link to another Forum here in ByzCath, so I would just like to invite you to check out the thread. It's not very long at this point, only 3 pages. I believe it has great relevance for the issues you bring up.

Blessings
Christ is risen!

The hour is late and my wits are not their sharpest. However...

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I would therefore conclude that this uniquely Western concern about the moment of Mary's sanctification is NOT an essential part of the dogma, and if we can just set that aside, we will have removed a major obstacle to reunion!

I would say that to ignore concern for the moment is to sacrifice an extremely pressing modern issue: When does human life begin? There is an intrinsic tie between the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the Catholic defense of the moment of conception as the beginning of human life.

As I said, it's late for me. I hope that made sense.
It's always a very, very bad idea to taylor doctrine to address transient social issues rather than transcendent truths. There is plenty of scriptural and patristic support for the fact that life begins at conception. In any case, the scientific evidence for that fact are now overwhelming. Not even abortionists deny that a fetus is a human being--they just don't care.
Originally Posted by mardukm
He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption." Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

What does the word “exempt” mean to you?

The question is what did it mean to Hippolytus? I looked, but can't locate this quote in it's context so unless someone has the entire context we are left with one sentence that is being used to buttress the Latin concept of the IC. In order to maintain this you would have to prove that Hippolytus had the same understanding of original sin as did Pius IX when he promolgated the doctrine in 1854. You also have to prove that his use of exempt meant at the exact moment of insemination, not sometime afterwards. In short, I don't think that this proves the IC (esp. given the historical and patristic evidence to the contrary). Nor do I think it is a valid question to ask what the word "exempt," means to us. Indeed, that is much like the Protestant arguement against the sinlessness of the Mother of God. Romans 3:23 states, "for all have sinned..." "What does 'all' mean to you?"

Originally Posted by mardukm
As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

What does it mean that God “formed her without any stain?” What relevance can we attach to the fact that St. Proclus is analogizing that statement about Mary, with the very conception of Jesus?

Again, we can only speculate, which is much the point. Here is what we know: The Immaculate Conception was not promologated until 1854, which means that up until that point there was liberty on the question. If it is really a De Fide (of the faith) doctrine then why was liberty allowed on it for 19 centuries? If it was a central dogma then why didn't an early council deal with the question since there were differing opinions? There is a quote that comes to us from the early church (attributed to Augustine): In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, in all things charity.
The underlining issue, seems to me, to be a difference on the understanding of dogma. What is dogma, what elements of the Christian faith are proper subject to dogma, and how do we know?

Bob
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by mardukm
He was the ark formed of incorruptible wood. For by this is signified that His tabernacle was exempt from putridity and corruption." Hippolytus, Orations Inillud, Dominus pascit me (ante A.D. 235).

What does the word “exempt” mean to you?

The question is what did it mean to Hippolytus?...You also have to prove that his use of exempt meant at the exact moment of insemination, not sometime afterwards....Nor do I think it is a valid question to ask what the word "exempt," means to us.
Hippolytus states that she "was exempt." He did not say she "was made exempt." The diction is pretty plain, to me anyway. I don't think I'm reading anything into it.

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In order to maintain this you would have to prove that Hippolytus had the same understanding of original sin as did Pius IX when he promolgated the doctrine in 1854.
The stain of Original Sin has always been understood by the Church to refer in part to spiritual death/corruption - separation from God. That is a unanimous teaching of all the Churches, and that is all that the Dogma of the IC refers to - that Mary was exempt from the spiritual effects of Original Sin (i.e., she was never for one instance in her existence separated from God). The dogma of the IC has nothing to do with the physical effects of the Orignal Sin (physical death/corruption).

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In short, I don't think that this proves the IC (esp. given the historical and patristic evidence to the contrary).
The historical evidence against the IC is sparse, to say the least. There are 1 or 2 Fathers who say Mary actually sinned. There are 2 or 3 Fathers who say only Jesus was exempt from the consequences of the Fall, and this because He is God. That has no bearing on the teaching of the IC, because whereas Jesus' exemption was natural (because He is God), Mary's exemption was of Grace. And, of course, there are 2 or 3 Latin Fathers in the Middle Ages who opposed it, not because they did not believe Mary was sanctified at her spiritual conception (which is what the IC teaches), but only because they thought the spiritual conception occurred many days after the physical conception. That's the sum of the supposed patristic evidence "against" the teaching, which is not much at all.

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Indeed, that is much like the Protestant arguement against the sinlessness of the Mother of God. Romans 3:23 states, "for all have sinned..." "What does 'all' mean to you?"
That verse really has no bearing on the discussion. St. Paul is referring to actual sin (the context of the verse is the righteousness that comes from performing the works of the law), not original sin, and all apostolic Churches admit this verse does not refer to Mary (since Mary never actually sinned).

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Originally Posted by mardukm
As he formed her without my stain of her own, so He proceeded from her contracting no stain." Proclus of Constantinople, Homily 1 (ante A.D. 446).

What does it mean that God “formed her without any stain?” What relevance can we attach to the fact that St. Proclus is analogizing that statement about Mary, with the very conception of Jesus?
Again, we can only speculate, which is much the point.
I assume from your subsequent statements that you agree that this statement supports the IC.

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Here is what we know: The Immaculate Conception was not promologated until 1854, which means that up until that point there was liberty on the question. If it is really a De Fide (of the faith) doctrine then why was liberty allowed on it for 19 centuries? If it was a central dogma then why didn't an early council deal with the question since there were differing opinions?
But what differing opinions? I summarized the extent of the supposed opposition to the IC above. The very great majority of the early Fathers would not have had a problem with the teaching of the IC. Even the Eastern Church did not have a problem with the IC. For example, the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine had a very strong Traditional belief in the matter. It was only at the turn of the 19th/20th centuries that the belief in the IC became systematically opposed within the EOC. And even then, there has been no official synodal condemnation of the teaching.

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There is a quote that comes to us from the early church (attributed to Augustine): In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, in all things charity.
The underlining issue, seems to me, to be a difference on the understanding of dogma. What is dogma, what elements of the Christian faith are proper subject to dogma, and how do we know?
Dogma is Truth. It's necessity is dependent on its relationship to the central Truths of our Faith - namely, Truths about God.

In the Catholic Church, there is an hierarchy of Truths. The central Truths are about God proper (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and belief in these are necessary for salvation. All other Truths exist insofar as they are an aid to reinforcing the central Truths about God. Insofar as they serve that purpose, they are likewise necessary for salvation. One can generally (though by no means concisely) gauge their relative necessity by the proscriptions attached to them. If they are anathemas, they have a special and unique relation to the Truths about God (for example, Truths about the teaching authority of the Church, without which our knowledge of God would suffer or not exist at all). If they are not anathemas (such as in Munificentissimus Deus and Ineffabilis Deus), that would normally mean that the Truth is not central (and thus not absolutely necessary for salvation), but necessary only insofar as it reinforces the central Truths.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the whole of the revelation of the Mystery of Christ. In Catholic doctrine there exists an hierarchy of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christian Faith…The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of Christian faith and life. It is the mystery of God in himself. It is therefore the source of all the other mysteries of faith, the light that enlightens them. It is the most fundamental and essential teaching in the “hierarchy of the truths of faith.

In any case, a person who believes that the IC is a valid theologoumenon, but not a dogma, does not fall under the proscription of the Decree. Only those who obstinately believe and teach that it is a heresy fall under its proscription. Since no Orthodox Synod (Eastern or Oriental) has condemned the teaching as a heresy, then it does not divide. If in the future, an Orthodox Synod decides it is a heresy (God forbid), then it is not the Catholic Church that has made it a source of division, but rather that Synod.

Blessings,
Marduk
I really have to wonder why, inevitably, Markdum comes down on the side of Latin doctrine, each and every time. Were we of the Christian East so incredibly obtuse that, somehow, we missed all of these important interpretations for millennia, but are expected to accept that the Latin Church was the one, only, ultimate and exceptional conduit of truth--even though it took them something like eighteen centuries to get around to "defining" some of them?
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
I really have to wonder why, inevitably, Markdum comes down on the side of Latin doctrine, each and every time. Were we of the Christian East so incredibly obtuse that, somehow, we missed all of these important interpretations for millennia, but are expected to accept that the Latin Church was the one, only, ultimate and exceptional conduit of truth--even though it took them something like eighteen centuries to get around to "defining" some of them?
I don't understand why the IC is "Latin" doctrine. Do you deny that the ROC in Ukraine had a Brotherhood of the Immaculate Conception in the Middle Ages? I believe it was Father Ambrose who brought up the fact in a post a while ago that a bishop in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has forbidden his priests to speak against the IC. There are many EO and OO who accept the teaching, so I don't understand why you style it as a "Latin" doctrine.

You also have to understand that the EO argument against the IC based on the difference in understanding of Original Sin has no bearing on me as an Oriental. The Oriental Tradition does not delineate between the spiritual and physical effects of original sin as sharply as the Eastern Tradition does. So if I don't accept the validity of that rhetoric, it has nothing to do with the Latins.

Blessings,
Marduk
My dear Markdum,

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine had lots of things not found elsewhere due to its proximity to the West, so it proves nothing. It is, according to a number of Orthodox authorities, including Metropolitan Kallistos, acceptable for an individual Orthodox Christian to believe in the immaculate conception of Mary; it is a permissible theologumenon. Is it a dogma of the universal Church? No, it is not, nor is it a suitable area for dogmatization.

I find the doctrine to be unnecessary to fulfill its fundamental purpose of ensuring the sinlessness of Christ within Byzantine-Orthodox anthropology, but I am not going to excommunicate anyone who believes it. On the other hand, I have a lot of problems with trying to force the doctrine upon others as "necessary for salvation", for that is obviously not the case.

What I want to know is why you so vociferously defend the dogmatic nature of this doctrine, instead of accepting it as one of any number of speculations about how and why Mary was preserved from all sin.
Originally Posted by StuartK
My dear Markdum,

The Orthodox Church in Ukraine had lots of things not found elsewhere due to its proximity to the West, so it proves nothing.
It proves that it was not a heresy, as many EO regard it today.

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It is, according to a number of Orthodox authorities, including Metropolitan Kallistos, acceptable for an individual Orthodox Christian to believe in the immaculate conception of Mary; it is a permissible theologumenon. Is it a dogma of the universal Church? No, it is not, nor is it a suitable area for dogmatization. I find the doctrine to be unnecessary to fulfill its fundamental purpose of ensuring the sinlessness of Christ within Byzantine-Orthodox anthropology
I disagree, obviously. I believe it is a necessary corollary to the dogma of our Lord's divinity. If our Lord was merely human, as many to this day believe, then the utter purity of Mary as his mother would be entirely unnecessary.

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but I am not going to excommunicate anyone who believes it. On the other hand, I have a lot of problems with trying to force the doctrine upon others as "necessary for salvation", for that is obviously not the case.
Agreed. And neither does the Decree say it is "necessary for salvation."

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What I want to know is why you so vociferously defend the dogmatic nature of this doctrine, instead of accepting it as one of any number of speculations about how and why Mary was preserved from all sin.
I defend it because it is Truth. I don't believe it is mere speculation because of the witness of the Fathers on the matter. As stated, I believe the utter purity of Mary as Theotokos is a natural corollary of the Divinity of the Son, who cannot abide in anything touched by sin. You and I have Christ through our baptism, and we experience the Energy of God, but you nor I, nor anyone else in history, had the honor of having within herself the fullness of divinity. I cannot accept the idea that God would unite Himself in the manner of the Incarnation with anyone who has been touched by the stain of sin, original or otherwise, at any moment in her life.

And, of course, I vociferously defend it against those who claim it is a heresy.

Blessings,
Marduk
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It proves that it was not a heresy, as many EO regard it today.

Who are these Orthodox who think it's a heresy? Why do I never seem to meet any of them? And, in any case, who cares? I am more concerned about my Latin brethren who seem to think not believing in the immaculate conception is a heresy, because that has direct implications for me, and all of us in the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike.

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I defend it because it is Truth.

You mean you think it is Truth. Other than the assertion of the Latin Church, there is no consensus of the Fathers on the matter, and much dissent. Lacking a universal consensus--and I mean truly universal, not by unilateral fiat of one Church over the others--then it is simply one theological speculation among others, and not a particularly important one at that.

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And neither does the Decree say it is "necessary for salvation."

There are all those anathemas, though.

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I believe it is a necessary corollary to the dogma of our Lord's divinity. If our Lord was merely human, as many to this day believe, then the utter purity of Mary as his mother would be entirely unnecessary.

Again, your theological speculation, not mine.

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You and I have Christ through our baptism, and we experience the Energy of God, but you nor I, nor anyone else in history, had the honor of having within herself the fullness of divinity. I cannot accept the idea that God would unite Himself in the manner of the Incarnation with anyone who has been touched by the stain of sin, original or otherwise, at any moment in her life.


Ah, well that's the real issue: you can't accept it, but obviously a good many others feel this is unnecessary given their understanding of the consequences of Adam's fall. And that being the case, by what right can this interpretation be imposed upon Churches that have a different interpretation?
Originally Posted by StuartK
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It proves that it was not a heresy, as many EO regard it today.

Who are these Orthodox who think it's a heresy? Why do I never seem to meet any of them? And, in any case, who cares? I am more concerned about my Latin brethren who seem to think not believing in the immaculate conception is a heresy, because that has direct implications for me, and all of us in the Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox alike.
Go to websites like orthodoxinfo and orthodoxchristianity and you'll find enough of them.

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I defend it because it is Truth.

You mean you think it is Truth. Other than the assertion of the Latin Church, there is no consensus of the Fathers on the matter, and much dissent. Lacking a universal consensus--and I mean truly universal, not by unilateral fiat of one Church over the others--then it is simply one theological speculation among others, and not a particularly important one at that.
If you can show me a single Father (except the one or two expressed the opinion that she actually sinned) who taught that Mary had a single stain while she was alive, keeping in mind that "stain" or "blemish" or "spot" refers to separation from God, then I'll believe you when you say that there was no universal consensus.

In any case, what I "think" is Truth is irrelevant. It's what the Church teaches that is Truth.

Btw, would you claim that the Essence/Energy distinction is "Truth," despite the fact that there is no universal consensus from the Fathers on it? If you admit that the Essence/Energy distinction is only a speculation, I will do likewise with the IC.

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And neither does the Decree say it is "necessary for salvation."

There are all those anathemas, though.
What anathemas? From my reading of Church history, when the Church wants to anathematize, it doesn't walk on eggshells. Where are the words "let them be anathema!" in the Decrees?

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I believe it is a necessary corollary to the dogma of our Lord's divinity. If our Lord was merely human, as many to this day believe, then the utter purity of Mary as his mother would be entirely unnecessary.

Again, your theological speculation, not mine.
So you don't believe that Mary had to be utterly pure for the Lord to descend upon her?

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You and I have Christ through our baptism, and we experience the Energy of God, but you nor I, nor anyone else in history, had the honor of having within herself the fullness of divinity. I cannot accept the idea that God would unite Himself in the manner of the Incarnation with anyone who has been touched by the stain of sin, original or otherwise, at any moment in her life.

Ah, well that's the real issue: you can't accept it, but obviously a good many others feel this is unnecessary given their understanding of the consequences of Adam's fall. And that being the case, by what right can this interpretation be imposed upon Churches that have a different interpretation?
No. The real issue is that there is nothing in the Decree that imposes the belief on others "under pain of damnation." There is a proscription against obstinately opposing the taeching (which means the proscription is not against those who merely doubt it, nor against those who believe it but do not think it should be dogma, nor against those who deny it because they have been taught to oppose it throughout their life, nor against those who deny it because they don't understand it, or any number of other exceptions that come into play by virtue of invincible ignorance). There is a proscription against publicly opposing it in writing, which is punishable by law, not damnation. At best, the proscription is an excommunication. There's nothing in the Decree that states that it is "necessary for salvation." The real issue is your claim that it does.

Blessings,
Marduk
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Go to websites like orthodoxinfo and orthodoxchristianity and you'll find enough of them.

I prefer to interact with flesh-and-blood Orthodox, thanks. The web has a tendency to bring out extremists, Catholic and Orthodox alike.

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So you don't believe that Mary had to be utterly pure for the Lord to descend upon her?

I don't believe that this required any prenatal action on the part of God. Since we are born without the stain of Adam's sin, but rather with Adam's consequent mortality, Mary--like all of us--would be responsible only for the sins which she committed after her birth, both voluntary and involuntary. As the Tradition says Mary was preserved from all sin through her perfect cooperation with the Holy Spirit, that is sufficient. As the consequence of Adam's fall is death, and as the Tradition also says Mary fell asleep in the flesh and was assumed bodily into heaven, it is also apparent that Mary shared all the elements of human nature, including mortality.

As Tradition says Christ voluntarily surrendered his life for the life of the world, it is evident that his sinlessness has nothing to do with the circumstances of his mother's conception, but with the perfect harmony of his human and divine natures within the single hypostasis of Jesus of Nazareth. As I said, we have our own unique anthropology and soteriology developed over the course of a millennium; why should we abandon it in favor of a different one that does not share our assumptions?

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There is a proscription against publicly opposing it in writing, which is punishable by law, not damnation. At best, the proscription is an excommunication.

You know, in Talmudic studies, there is a method called pilpul, which is defined as "an infinite splitting of hairs". This goes beyond pilpul to making distinctions without differences. To be excommunicated is to be separated from the Body of Christ, which is for all intents and purposes equivalent to a decree of damnation--at least in the mind of the vast majority of Catholics (and maybe a lot of Orthodox, too).
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by mardukm
Go to websites like orthodoxinfo and orthodoxchristianity and you'll find enough of them.

I prefer to interact with flesh-and-blood Orthodox, thanks. The web has a tendency to bring out extremists, Catholic and Orthodox alike.
I think it is certainly a great sign that you have not met any Orthodox in real life who call the IC a heresy. I believe that is the ideal. The proscription in the IC does not apply to those who have the attitude as you have described from those Orthodox you have met in real life. It only applies, as the proscription explicitly states, to those who “obstinately maintain” an opposition to the teaching.

Comment: The Assumption is not a dogma to the EO, but would any EO feel comfortable or sit idly by while anyone calls it heresy? Would not EO rather actively defend the teaching? So it should not surprise you to find a Catholic, even an Oriental Catholic, or even an Eastern Catholic who believes it but does not believe it should be dogma, who defends the IC.

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So you don't believe that Mary had to be utterly pure for the Lord to descend upon her?
I don't believe that this required any prenatal action on the part of God. Since we are born without the stain of Adam's sin, but rather with Adam's consequent mortality, Mary--like all of us--would be responsible only for the sins which she committed after her birth, both voluntary and involuntary. As the Tradition says Mary was preserved from all sin through her perfect cooperation with the Holy Spirit, that is sufficient.

Mortality is not the only thing we inherited from Adam and Eve. We also inherited the state of separation from God (otherwise known as spiritual death, otherwise known as the stain of original sin). Question – do you deny that? Tradition says Mary never had that stain – any stain - during her entire existence. Does or can the Byzantine Tradition distinguish between sin (offense against God) from the stain/blemish/spot of sin (the resultant separation from God due to the offense)? If it can, I don’t understand what an Eastern would be abandoning (as you later propose) by accepting the teaching on the IC, or at least admitting it is a valid theologoumenon. Perhaps you or another Eastern can explain.

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As the consequence of Adam's fall is death, and as the Tradition also says Mary fell asleep in the flesh and was assumed bodily into heaven, it is also apparent that Mary shared all the elements of human nature, including mortality.
Since the dogma of the IC does not teach that Mary did not die, then it would seem the tension here is just a matter of semantics. Surely that can be overlooked, as St. Paul has exhorted us (“Charge them before God to stop disputing about words; it serves no useful purpose” – 2 Tim 2:14). In other words, by all means, don’t use the word “original sin” in order to understand the dogma, if the word means something differently to you. But it would be a wholly artificial and unwarranted excuse to use that difference in definition as a basis to reject it. In that light, I would ask you again, what would an Eastern be abandoning by accepting the teaching of the IC, or at least admitting that it is a valid theologoumenon?

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As Tradition says Christ voluntarily surrendered his life for the life of the world, it is evident that his sinlessness has nothing to do with the circumstances of his mother's conception, but with the perfect harmony of his human and divine natures within the single hypostasis of Jesus of Nazareth.
On this issue, I admit I can’t help. I have repeatedly stated that the purpose of the IC is not to ensure that Christ will inherit sinlessness, but rather to ensure the utter purity of the vessel in view of the awful majesty and holiness of God Who cannot abide by anything touched by sin. And I have asked you before to provide proof for your theory from the dogma itself or the apostolic constitution, but you have not. If you need to impose this artificial and false intent upon the doctrine in order to oppose it, then the problem may not be with the doctrine after all, but something else?

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There is a proscription against publicly opposing it in writing, which is punishable by law, not damnation. At best, the proscription is an excommunication.
You know, in Talmudic studies, there is a method called pilpul, which is defined as "an infinite splitting of hairs". This goes beyond pilpul to making distinctions without differences. To be excommunicated is to be separated from the Body of Christ, which is for all intents and purposes equivalent to a decree of damnation--at least in the mind of the vast majority of Catholics (and maybe a lot of Orthodox, too).
Ahhhh. But you would be guilty of a bit of anachronism here, brother. Today, the CC does not seem to distinguish between Anathema and Excommunication, but for almost 2,000 years, including the period when the IC was promulgated, the Church did. The Council of Trent used Anathemas, and so did the First Vatican Council. If the Church wished to utilize an anathema as the proscription for Ineffabilis Deus, the Church could and would have certainly done so. And certainly, the Church was fully aware that there was a big difference between an anathema and an excommunication. An anathema was a condemnation proper, but an excommunication was intended to be corrective; the anathema was primarily an exercise of the Church’s juridical authority (case in point – the Church even placed anathemas on dead heretics), while the excommunication was primarily an exercise of the Church’s pastoral ministry. To style an excommunication as an automatic threat to one’s salvation would place the early Church under condemnation for excluding repentant sinners, according to the gravity of the sin, for as much as 20 years away from the Eucharist.

But apart from that, I know you know that the Catholic Church does not teach that it is impossible for those outside her visible communion to attain salvation (though indeed any Grace of salvation outside the Church has come through the Church in the first place, which is the font of Christ’s salvation).

So if the dogma of the IC places an apparent barrier to reunion by virtue of its proscription, it would not be the fault of the Church who has carefully worded the Decree in view of her pastoral responsibility, but rather of those who (perhaps unintentionally) misinterpret her intent.

Blessings,
Marduk
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I think it is certainly a great sign that you have not met any Orthodox in real life who call the IC a heresy.

I have met far more Catholics who say not believing in the immaculate conception is a heresy. So I will say now, openly, to your face: I don't believe in the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary. Am I a heretic, in your book?

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Comment: The Assumption is not a dogma to the EO, but would any EO feel comfortable or sit idly by while anyone calls it heresy? Would not EO rather actively defend the teaching? So it should not surprise you to find a Catholic, even an Oriental Catholic, or even an Eastern Catholic who believes it but does not believe it should be dogma, who defends the IC.

You certainly like to mix your apples and oranges, don't you. Your statement is logical gibberish, and ignores one critical difference between the Dormition and the immaculate conception: the former has been received universally as part of the Tradition, in the Western and Eastern Churches alike (the doctrine and the feast in fact originated in the East and was adopted in the West in the fifth century, which makes it pure chutzpah for the Latin Church to think it has to "define" it for us), while there is no such consensus on the immaculate conception. It remains a theologumenon of the Latin Church, and nothing more.

If you believe the immaculate conception is true, good for you. Believe to your heart's content. Do not presume to impose it on others, insisting that they abandon critical elements of their Church's Tradition to do so.

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And certainly, the Church was fully aware that there was a big difference between an anathema and an excommunication.

Still making distinctions without a difference. For close to a millennium, the Latin Church taught that to die out of communion with the Church of Rome was tantamount to being cast into the outer darkness. That's what gave excommunication its force, until, of course, it got devalued from overuse (it's one thing to excommunicate someone for failing to believe in the Trinity, quite another to do so as the penalty for refusing to bankroll the Pope's latest war, or building project). When you find yourself falling back on legalisms, you ought to hang it up--your argument is failing.

Originally Posted by StuartK
For close to a millennium, the Latin Church taught that to die out of communion with the Church of Rome was tantamount to being cast into the outer darkness.

Really? I was taught (in the Latin Church) that excommunication ceases to exist at the moment of death, so it's impossible to die excommunicated. The Church has no juridical power over the dead, and she is not infallible in juridical matters, so the punished individual is ultimately judged by God.

Originally Posted by StuartK
That's what gave excommunication its force
I'd say that it was rather the fact that subjects of the excommunicated individual were relieved from their feudal oaths.
The "stain" is mortality, that is the shadow we live under. That is one of the reasons the idea of "preservation" does not make sense. We as humans are all of the same nature, and in the same state in the wake of the fall.

I would not use the word heresy because I don't see the point of that. The whole thing is based on an anthropology I simply don't share however.
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If the Church wished to utilize an anathema as the proscription for Ineffabilis Deus, the Church could and would have certainly done so. And certainly, the Church was fully aware that there was a big difference between an anathema and an excommunication. An anathema was a condemnation proper, but an excommunication was intended to be corrective; the anathema was primarily an exercise of the Church’s juridical authority (case in point – the Church even placed anathemas on dead heretics), while the excommunication was primarily an exercise of the Church’s pastoral ministry.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if Ineffabilis Deus is "ex-cathedra," and you refused it, wouldn't you be falling under the anathema of Vatican 1 anyway?
Originally Posted by Vatican 1
... Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

That is the problem with considering the IC "ex-cathedra," because then it is considered to be irreformable, according to Vatican 1. The fact that you consider there to be some room for another approach seems to indicate that you agree that it is not "ex-cathedra." Is that accurate?
It helps if you don't consider Vatican I to be a valid council, or Pastor aeternus to have any authoritative standing.
Of course Vatican I was a valid council! But it has to be understood in the light of the other councils of the church, both before and afterwards. It cannot be understood in isolation.
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Of course Vatican I was a valid council! But it has to be understood in the light of the other councils of the church, both before and afterwards. It cannot be understood in isolation.

Would do you mind explaining this? For me, in light of the councilor nature of the early church, Vatican 1 becomes harder, not easier, to understand.
Latrocinium.
The answer depends on the question. What is it about Vatican I that you find hard to understand/accept?

As I understand Vatican I, reading it together with the rest of the teaching of the Fathers and the Councils, the infallibility of the Pope depends on the infallibility of the Church, which is guaranteed to Her by the Lord (Mt 16:18). So the Pope is infallible when, in communion with the other Bishops, he teaches what the Church has always taught.

As for the two papally defined dogmas (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption), I believe in them and hold them to be true, but I also accept that they are couched in Western theological terms which seem strange to Eastern Christians.

To give a counter-example, as a Latin Catholic I do not feel completely at home with the invocation "Most Holy Theotokos, save us!" but I accept that this is the liturgical language of the East and that this is the Eastern way of expressing the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary brings us salvation not on her own but through her Son.

So, while I realize not everyone will agree with me, I believe that with a little bit of good will and mutual understanding, we can overcome these apparent differences between East and West.
The answer depends on the question. What is it about Vatican I that you find hard to understand/accept?

1. The council was not free and open. The agenda was closely controlled by the Curia, and interventions contrary to the preordained outcome were suppressed.

2. The council did not represent a majority of the bishops. By the time Pastor aeternus was passed, only a rump synod was present. Most of the anti-infalliblists, seeing the handwriting on the wall, departed early. It is debatable whether there was evan a quorum.

3. Compulsion was employed upon the delegates, the most famous example being Melkite Patriarch Gregorios, who was forced to sign the confession of faith Pius IX required from all the bishops--despite which, a considerable number managed to escape without signing (mainly by leaving early), some of whom never signed it at all.

4. It is quite evident that moral unanimity was not present regarding Pastor aeternus, therefore it is not binding on anyone whose particular Church has not received it.
Stuart,

It is difficult to address this kind of criticism when you give no sources for your views.

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Stuart,

It is difficult to address this kind of criticism when you give no sources for your views.

With all due respect, StuartK, I agree with Latin Catholic.
I did not source this time because this horse has been flogged too many times after its demise. Just look up earlier threads on Vatican I. But I suggest a look at August Berhard Hasler's book How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. (Doubleday) 1981; and Luis M. Bermeo's Infallibility on Trial: Church, Conciliarity and Communion (Christian Classic) 1992. The latter makes extensive use of contemporaneous notes taken by French theologian M. Icard, which includes such priceless examples as Pius IX public humiliation of Guidi.

Bermejo quotes, for instance, this contemporary statement of Bishop F. Lecourtier, a delegate to the council:

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Our weakness at this moment comes neither from Scripture nor from the tradition of the Fathers, nor the witness of the general councils, nor the evidence of history. It comes from our lack of freedom, which is radical. An imposing minority, representing the faith fo more than one hundred million Catholics, that is, almost half of the entire Church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which contradicts the conciliar traditions. It is crushed by commissions which have not been truly elected and which dare insert undebated paragraphs into the text after the debate has closed. It is crushed by the commission of postulates, which has been imposed upon it from above. It is crushed by the absolute absence of discussion, response, objections and the opportunity to demand explanations. . . It is crushed by the nuncios, who try to promote the priests ahead of the bishops as witnesses of the faith. . . The minority is crushed above all by the full weight of the extreme authority which oppresses it with the praise and encouragement it lavishes on the the priests in the form of papal briefs. [pp.121-122]

Bermejo does some interesting math, too. He notes that the total number of bishops who attendede the First Vatican Council was 793, but not all of these showed up for every session, and, as the council continued, fewer and fewer were in attendance. Of these, 285 of the bishops were from Italy, and 61 from the Oriental "rites". All of these were financially dependent upon the Papacy, which used that fact to force them to conform to Papal positions. The 61 Oriental bishops were directly controlled by the Praefect of the Propaganda Fidei (today the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Cardinal Barnabo. Of those, sixteen signed a postulatum against Pastor aeternus, but were forced by Barnabo to withdraw their signatures. As is well known, Melkite Patriarch Gregorios I Yousef was reprimanded, threatened and instructed not to address the council Fathers again without first submitting his speech for approval by Barnabo (this was during the council itself, and predates the infamous incident of the papal buskin upon the patriarchal neck). Between them, the Italians and the Orientals represented 43% of the total bishops in attendance. On the day that Pastor aeternus was approved, the combined Italian and Oriental vote constituted half of the bishops voting. That comes awfully close to the Chicago Rules.

So, I'll stand with Fr. Sergei Bulgakov, who described Vatican I as having "as much claim to be called a council as the present day meetings of delegates in the USSR to be regarded as free expressions of the will of the people".

I can go on at great length, and provide many other contemporaneous quotes from people who were there (e.g., Bishop Strossmeyer writing to Lord Acton: "There is no denying that the Council lacks freedom from beginning to end", and later to Professor Reinkens in the Netherlands, "My conviction, which I shall defend before the judgment seat of God just as I defended it in Rome, is firm and unwavering, namely that the Vatican Council had not the freedom necessary to make it a true council and to justify resolutions that would bind the conscience of the entire Catholic world"), but that would be tedious, and I have done so many times over the years, so if you wish to find citations, do what I did, and hunt for them.
Stuart,

Thank you for providing this information on your sources. However, both Hasler and Bermejo seem to me rather tendentious.

In particular, I am not convinced by August B. Hasler, who seems to me a bit extreme. I would instead suggest reading Mark E. Powell, who in Papal Infallibility: A Protestant Evaluation of an Ecumenical Issue[/i] [books.google.co.uk] (Eerdmans, 2009) suggests that "Hasler [...] is engaged in heated polemic and obviously exaggerates his picture of Pius IX." Powell turns instead to Dom Cuthbert Butler's [i]The Vatican Council 1869-1870: Based on Bishop Ullathorne's Letters (Longmans, 1930) for a contemporary view of the proceedings.

This approach seems much more satisfactory to me.
I think rather not. There are far too many individuals cited verbatim in Bermejo to be discounted as exaggerations and polemic, and to discount critics of the council because they are critical of the council seems a bit tautological to me. The treatment of the Eastern Catholic bishops at the council is, by itself, more than sufficient to discredit it in my eyes.
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
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I think it is certainly a great sign that you have not met any Orthodox in real life who call the IC a heresy.

I have met far more Catholics who say not believing in the immaculate conception is a heresy.
Well, then we can both agree that calling the IC a heresy is a big no-no. smile

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So I will say now, openly, to your face: I don't believe in the doctrine of the immaculate conception of Mary. Am I a heretic, in your book?
If you have been paying any attention at all to what I have been writing, instead of nitpicking at at a comment here and there, then you would know the answer is "no."

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Comment: The Assumption is not a dogma to the EO, but would any EO feel comfortable or sit idly by while anyone calls it heresy? Would not EO rather actively defend the teaching? So it should not surprise you to find a Catholic, even an Oriental Catholic, or even an Eastern Catholic who believes it but does not believe it should be dogma, who defends the IC.

You certainly like to mix your apples and oranges, don't you. Your statement is logical gibberish, and ignores one critical difference between the Dormition and the immaculate conception: the former has been received universally as part of the Tradition, in the Western and Eastern Churches alike (the doctrine and the feast in fact originated in the East and was adopted in the West in the fifth century, which makes it pure chutzpah for the Latin Church to think it has to "define" it for us), while there is no such consensus on the immaculate conception. It remains a theologumenon of the Latin Church, and nothing more.
I obviously disagree. There was near-unanimous consensus before the turn of the 19th/20th centuries. It was only at that time that the EO made a concerted effort to oppose it, and even then, there is testimony at that time that the EO did not reject the teaching, so much as the dogmatization. So there is no difference between my desire to defend the IC, and an EO's desire to defend the Assumption.

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If you believe the immaculate conception is true, good for you. Believe to your heart's content. Do not presume to impose it on others,

Does anyone who disagrees with Stuart automatically get accused of "presuming to impose" the differing belief on others? Are you immune from your own criticism, brother Stuart? Let's dispense with the ad hominems, OK?

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insisting that they abandon critical elements of their Church's Tradition to do so.
This is an empty claim, especially as I gave you two opportunities in an earlier post to explain in what way accepting the IC is tantamount to abandoning "critical elements" of the Eastern Tradition --- and you did not respond.

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And certainly, the Church was fully aware that there was a big difference between an anathema and an excommunication.

Still making distinctions without a difference. For close to a millennium, the Latin Church taught that to die out of communion with the Church of Rome was tantamount to being cast into the outer darkness.

I'm glad brother Peter corrected you on that point.

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That's what gave excommunication its force, until, of course, it got devalued from overuse (it's one thing to excommunicate someone for failing to believe in the Trinity, quite another to do so as the penalty for refusing to bankroll the Pope's latest war, or building project). When you find yourself falling back on legalisms, you ought to hang it up--your argument is failing.
When you find yourself bringing up points not germaine to the topic just to disparage the Latin Church, that's a sure sign of something. crazy

Blessings
Dear brother AMM,

Originally Posted by AMM
The "stain" is mortality, that is the shadow we live under.
A few comments:
Can you clarify this statement? Are you he saying that the "stain" is only mortality, and not also spiritual death (i.e., separation from God)? IIRC, when the Fathers speak of "stain" or "blemish" or "spot" or whatnot, they always refer to the soul or to human nature (i.e., body and soul).

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That is one of the reasons the idea of "preservation" does not make sense. We as humans are all of the same nature, and in the same state in the wake of the fall.
Do you say this because you assume the IC teaches that Mary did not physically die?

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I would not use the word heresy because I don't see the point of that. The whole thing is based on an anthropology I simply don't share however.
That's understandable.

Blessings
Death--true death--is eternal separation of the soul from the body due to spiritual separation from God. However, by his death Christ has conquered death, so true death--the eternal separation of the soul from the body is ended. The death of the body is but a sleep, and those who, when presented before Christ's judgment seat, insist upon remaining separated from God bring condemnation upon themselves.
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Do you say this because you assume the IC teaches that Mary did not physically die?

It might be more correct to say that because Mary did die, the notion that Mary was preserved from the consequences of Adam's sin does not seem to be correct. Unless you want to insist that the ancient sources for the doctrine of the Dormition and Assumption of Mary are incorrect.
Dear brother Bob,

Thank you for the question.

Originally Posted by ByzBob
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If the Church wished to utilize an anathema as the proscription for Ineffabilis Deus, the Church could and would have certainly done so. And certainly, the Church was fully aware that there was a big difference between an anathema and an excommunication. An anathema was a condemnation proper, but an excommunication was intended to be corrective; the anathema was primarily an exercise of the Church’s juridical authority (case in point – the Church even placed anathemas on dead heretics), while the excommunication was primarily an exercise of the Church’s pastoral ministry.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if Ineffabilis Deus is "ex-cathedra," and you refused it, wouldn't you be falling under the anathema of Vatican 1 anyway?
Originally Posted by Vatican 1
... Therefore, such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are of themselves, and not by the consent of the Church, irreformable.
So then, should anyone, which God forbid, have the temerity to reject this definition of ours: let him be anathema.

That is the problem with considering the IC "ex-cathedra," because then it is considered to be irreformable, according to Vatican 1. The fact that you consider there to be some room for another approach seems to indicate that you agree that it is not "ex-cathedra." Is that accurate?
Whether one believes any particular infallible ex cathedra decree (btw, I have to add "infallible" to that statement because not all ex cathedra decrees are infallible) is irreformible has nothing to do with the proscription of this Vatican dogma.

I know several Catholics who accept the Vatican dogmas as well as the Dogma of the Assumption, but doubt or do not in good conscience or by mere lack of understanding do not accept the dogma of the IC, Latins and Easterns alike (I've met only one Oriental Catholic who is of like disposition).

In other words, one's acceptance of the teaching that the Pope has the charism to share in the infallibilty of the Church, and that decrees of his in such wise are irreformible on their own, and not by consensus, has no absolute relation to one's belief in another particular teaching that may have been decreed by the Pope in such wise. Lack of belief in the IC does not automatically mean that one denies the teaching on papal infallibilty. Further, on the principle of invincible ignorance, the circumstances that govern one's acceptance of the first may altogether be different from the circumstances that govern one's acceptance of the other.

I'll give you another example. The Church teaches that all Truth is from God and given to us through the Holy Spirit by virtue of His Magisterium (i.e., divine teaching authority). Does one's lack of belief in, say, the Sacrament of Marriage automatically mean that you don't believe in the teaching that all Truth is from God or that Truth is given through the Holy Spirit?

Does that help?

Blessings
Dear Latin Catholic,

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
The answer depends on the question. What is it about Vatican I that you find hard to understand/accept?

As I understand Vatican I, reading it together with the rest of the teaching of the Fathers and the Councils, the infallibility of the Pope depends on the infallibility of the Church, which is guaranteed to Her by the Lord (Mt 16:18). So the Pope is infallible when, in communion with the other Bishops, he teaches what the Church has always taught.

As for the two papally defined dogmas (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption), I believe in them and hold them to be true, but I also accept that they are couched in Western theological terms which seem strange to Eastern Christians.

To give a counter-example, as a Latin Catholic I do not feel completely at home with the invocation "Most Holy Theotokos, save us!" but I accept that this is the liturgical language of the East and that this is the Eastern way of expressing the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary brings us salvation not on her own but through her Son.

So, while I realize not everyone will agree with me, I believe that with a little bit of good will and mutual understanding, we can overcome these apparent differences between East and West.
That was well put. Thank you.

Blessings
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
I did not source this time because this horse has been flogged too many times after its demise. Just look up earlier threads on Vatican I. But I suggest a look at August Berhard Hasler's book How the Pope Became Infallible: Pius IX and the Politics of Persuasion. (Doubleday) 1981; and Luis M. Bermeo's Infallibility on Trial: Church, Conciliarity and Communion (Christian Classic) 1992. The latter makes extensive use of contemporaneous notes taken by French theologian M. Icard, which includes such priceless examples as Pius IX public humiliation of Guidi.

Bermejo quotes, for instance, this contemporary statement of Bishop F. Lecourtier, a delegate to the council:

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Our weakness at this moment comes neither from Scripture nor from the tradition of the Fathers, nor the witness of the general councils, nor the evidence of history. It comes from our lack of freedom, which is radical. An imposing minority, representing the faith fo more than one hundred million Catholics, that is, almost half of the entire Church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which contradicts the conciliar traditions. It is crushed by commissions which have not been truly elected and which dare insert undebated paragraphs into the text after the debate has closed. It is crushed by the commission of postulates, which has been imposed upon it from above. It is crushed by the absolute absence of discussion, response, objections and the opportunity to demand explanations. . . It is crushed by the nuncios, who try to promote the priests ahead of the bishops as witnesses of the faith. . . The minority is crushed above all by the full weight of the extreme authority which oppresses it with the praise and encouragement it lavishes on the the priests in the form of papal briefs. [pp.121-122]

Bermejo does some interesting math, too. He notes that the total number of bishops who attendede the First Vatican Council was 793, but not all of these showed up for every session, and, as the council continued, fewer and fewer were in attendance. Of these, 285 of the bishops were from Italy, and 61 from the Oriental "rites". All of these were financially dependent upon the Papacy, which used that fact to force them to conform to Papal positions. The 61 Oriental bishops were directly controlled by the Praefect of the Propaganda Fidei (today the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Cardinal Barnabo. Of those, sixteen signed a postulatum against Pastor aeternus, but were forced by Barnabo to withdraw their signatures. As is well known, Melkite Patriarch Gregorios I Yousef was reprimanded, threatened and instructed not to address the council Fathers again without first submitting his speech for approval by Barnabo (this was during the council itself, and predates the infamous incident of the papal buskin upon the patriarchal neck). Between them, the Italians and the Orientals represented 43% of the total bishops in attendance. On the day that Pastor aeternus was approved, the combined Italian and Oriental vote constituted half of the bishops voting. That comes awfully close to the Chicago Rules.

So, I'll stand with Fr. Sergei Bulgakov, who described Vatican I as having "as much claim to be called a council as the present day meetings of delegates in the USSR to be regarded as free expressions of the will of the people".

I can go on at great length, and provide many other contemporaneous quotes from people who were there (e.g., Bishop Strossmeyer writing to Lord Acton: "There is no denying that the Council lacks freedom from beginning to end", and later to Professor Reinkens in the Netherlands, "My conviction, which I shall defend before the judgment seat of God just as I defended it in Rome, is firm and unwavering, namely that the Vatican Council had not the freedom necessary to make it a true council and to justify resolutions that would bind the conscience of the entire Catholic world"), but that would be tedious, and I have done so many times over the years, so if you wish to find citations, do what I did, and hunt for them.
I would love to discuss this and perhaps correct your conception of the Vatican Council, but this thread and forum is obviously not the place. All I'll say right now is that all the "facts" are wrenched out of their proper context. Bermejo and Fr. Bulgakov just give you bits and pieces, creating a lively, if false, caricature of the Council.

If anyone would like to start a new thread on the matter, or direct me to an existing one, I'll take it up there.

Blessings
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I would love to discuss this and perhaps correct your conception of the Vatican Council

Why do you presume I need correction? Maybe you need to jettison some of your preconceived notions, instead. This is an example of the tautological thinking that pervades any attempt to discuss Vatican I in an objective manner. " The council is ecumenical because the council is ecumenical" just doesn't cut the mustard.
Originally Posted by mardukm
Whether one believes any particular infallible ex cathedra decree (btw, I have to add "infallible" to that statement because not all ex cathedra decrees are infallible) is irreformible has nothing to do with the proscription of this Vatican dogma.

I know several Catholics who accept the Vatican dogmas as well as the Dogma of the Assumption, but doubt or do not in good conscience or by mere lack of understanding do not accept the dogma of the IC, Latins and Easterns alike (I've met only one Oriental Catholic who is of like disposition).

I am a little confused by your answer. Are you saying that the Immaculate Conception is not an infalliable ex-cathedra statement? When you have a moment, please clarify.

Thank you,
Bob
Dear brother Bob,

Please forgive my inadequate language.

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by mardukm
Whether one believes any particular infallible ex cathedra decree (btw, I have to add "infallible" to that statement because not all ex cathedra decrees are infallible) is irreformible has nothing to do with the proscription of this Vatican dogma.

I know several Catholics who accept the Vatican dogmas as well as the Dogma of the Assumption, but doubt or do not in good conscience or by mere lack of understanding do not accept the dogma of the IC, Latins and Easterns alike (I've met only one Oriental Catholic who is of like disposition).

I am a little confused by your answer. Are you saying that the Immaculate Conception is not an infalliable ex-cathedra statement? When you have a moment, please clarify.
All I am saying is that Catholic A accepts the dogma of the IC. Catholic B does not in good conscience accept the dogma of the IC. But both believe the dogma on papal infallibility.

In other words, the proscription contained in the dogma on papal infallibility only applies to lack of belief in that teaching [i]itself[/i] -- it does not apply to one's lack of belief in any other teaching.

I hope that helps.

Blessings
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
Why do you presume I need correction? Maybe you need to jettison some of your preconceived notions, instead. This is an example of the tautological thinking that pervades any attempt to discuss Vatican I in an objective manner. " The council is ecumenical because the council is ecumenical" just doesn't cut the mustard.
My reasons for accepting the ecumenicity and infallibility of that Council is not so simplistic. wink As far as correction, I'll give you just one example of the error of your sources:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Bermejo quotes, for instance, this contemporary statement of Bishop F. Lecourtier, a delegate to the council:

Quote
Our weakness at this moment comes neither from Scripture nor from the tradition of the Fathers, nor the witness of the general councils, nor the evidence of history. It comes from our lack of freedom, which is radical. An imposing minority, representing the faith fo more than one hundred million Catholics, that is, almost half of the entire Church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which contradicts the conciliar traditions. It is crushed by commissions which have not been truly elected and which dare insert undebated paragraphs into the text after the debate has closed. It is crushed by the commission of postulates, which has been imposed upon it from above. It is crushed by the absolute absence of discussion, response, objections and the opportunity to demand explanations. . . It is crushed by the nuncios, who try to promote the priests ahead of the bishops as witnesses of the faith. . . The minority is crushed above all by the full weight of the extreme authority which oppresses it with the praise and encouragement it lavishes on the the priests in the form of papal briefs. [pp.121-122]
I'm sure readers here in ByzCath or other Eastern sites will look at that quote and say -- "See! The non-Latins had absolutely no freedom!"

But here are just a few of the facts:
1) Bishop Lecourtier was a Neo-ultramontanist, not a member of the Minority Party. The Majority Party was composed of the Ultramontanists and the "Neo-ultramontanists." The latter was the name given by contemporary writers to the group that adhered to an Absolutist Petrine view. They were distinct from the Ultramontantists who were of the High Petrine view.
2) When the Bishop complains that there was an imposing minority, he did not have the Minority Party in mind, but the Neo-ultramontanists who were themselves a minority within the Majority party.
3) When he complains that the Council was adding paragraphs out of the blue, he is referring to the historical Proem of the Decree on Infallibility, which was added through the diligence of the Minority Party as well as many ultramontanist members of the Majority Party. The Neo-ultramontanists lobbied vociferously that the Proem was nothing more than Gallicanism in disguise! There was indeed sufficient debate on the matter, but - being a member of the group that did not get their way - he is obviously going to present the case in the least endearing light.

That is why I do in fact believe your understanding of Vatican 1 needs correction. It is not so much a knock on you, but rather on your sources. If you wish to discuss this issue further, it would probably be best, in deference to the judgment of the Moderator of course, to start a new thread in a new forum, or just give me a link to an existing thread on the matter.

Blessings,
Marduk
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I hope that helps.

It certainly does. Now it is my turn to clarify. My original question was an attempt to focus on the 'official,' standing of the IC, as you understand it. My purpose for bringing up Vatican 1's teaching on ex-cathedra statements was to further define what is meant by an ex-cathedra statement as such, and also to see what, if any, liberty is allowed for dissention from the definitions.

It would seem that if we say there is some liberty allowed on this doctrine, it is somehow 'reformable,' and it should not fall under the purview of an ex-cathedra definition. Yet, it is listed as one in most, if not all, documented cases of ex-cathdra statements, see the Catholic Encylopedia for example (I'm not sure if this qualifies as an 'official,' listing).
Originally Posted by StuartK
I think rather not. There are far too many individuals cited verbatim in Bermejo to be discounted as exaggerations and polemic, and to discount critics of the council because they are critical of the council seems a bit tautological to me. The treatment of the Eastern Catholic bishops at the council is, by itself, more than sufficient to discredit it in my eyes.

Hermann Pottmeyer writes about Vatican I and develops an understanding of just how Pastor Aeternus can be interpreted within the light of a primacy in communion as understood in the first millenium.

Eventhough many strong-arm tactics were used at Vatican I, the Holy Spirit was still present. The truth was proclaimed at Vatican I. However, that truth will be found in a much more nuanced reading of the Vatican I documents than many read them before.

I realzied that a "nuanced view" makes many uncomfortable, because they only see it as weaseling out. But i don't think this is the case considering that our understanding of the deposit of faith develops and matures over time. Divine revelation does not change, but our understanding of it does.
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Even though many strong-arm tactics were used at Vatican I he Holy Spirit was still present

How do we know that, without tautological reasoning? Or can the irregularities and lack of charity by which the council was governed by themselves be taken as evidence that the Holy Spirit was indeed lacking?

I'm not sure that the fruits of Vatican 1 have been such that we need to retain it, even if we nuanced it. Has it been good, on the whole, for the Latin Church or the Church's in communion with her?

Next it must be asked if it has borne fruit on the universal level. It remains an obstacle to reunion with the EO, and for what? Are the two dogmatic definitions that have come from Papal infallibility (the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption) really worth keeping alive the illusion of Papal infallibility? The church did not need an infallible proclamation of the later, and the former, being couched in Latin terms is of dubious value. Are we really suppose to take Mat 16 to mean that a special charism was given to Peter alone so he could, 1850 years later, define as dogma, a theolgoical opinion of a particular church? Up until that point there was freedom on the question, since the fathers did not see it as directly relating to the person of Christ and his mission to save humanity.

The universal jurisdiction that was given to the Pope by the council also has practical difficulties. I recently watched the CNN videos on youtube, called “What the Pope knew,” and it highlighted, for me, that bishops simply don’t feel free to act within their territory. This is a known problem with centralized control/authority, and it was culpable, to some extent, in prolonging the ministries of pedophile priests. So rather than nuancing Vatican 1, I think a truly ecumenical council needs to deal with the question of the Petrine ministry.
Like the doctrine of the temporal supremacy of the Pope (taught de fide for centuries), papal infallibility may eventually come to be seen as a doctrine conditioned by the history and culture of the time in which it was promoted. And like the temporal supremacy of the Pope, it will quietly be set aside, with everybody pretending it never happened.
Bishop Lecourtier was a Neo-ultramontanist, not a member of the Minority Party.

1. What the heck is a "neo-ultra-montanist"?

2. That someone on the other side also felt that the council lacked freedom makes my point, not yours. You seem to be working backwards from the assumption that Vatican I was ecumenical to finding reasons why it was so.
Even some who accepted the council's definition complained of its irregularity. Cardinal Newman springs to mind as one critical of the lack of freedom, who nevertheless accepted the council.
Originally Posted by StuartK
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Even though many strong-arm tactics were used at Vatican I he Holy Spirit was still present
How do we know that, without tautological reasoning?
One could make the same argument about any council. The criteria for determining the presence of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon the ways in which one sets the rules for declaring a council as ecumenical.

Quote
Or can the irregularities and lack of charity by which the council was governed by themselves be taken as evidence that the Holy Spirit was indeed lacking?
Do you mean then, that this never existed? No previous council had occurences of a lack of charity and no Bishop ever ued strong-arm tactics in the first millenium?


[/quote]
Originally Posted by StuartK
Like the doctrine of the temporal supremacy of the Pope (taught de fide for centuries)
De fide? What is your Source? I don't doubt that this was taught, but it seems to stretch to say that it was expressed a de fide dogma.
How about Unam Sanctam?

Here are three quotes from Unam Sanctam that demonstrate that it teaches temporal supremacy as a matter of dogma.

“We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal.”

"For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgment if it has not been good."

“Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
Quote
Do you mean then, that this never existed? No previous council had occurences of a lack of charity and no Bishop ever ued strong-arm tactics in the first millenium?

The Council of Ephesus doesn't even come close. The False Synod of Ephesus, the "Latrocinium" or "Robber's Synod", where violence and the threat of violence were employed by Dioscoros of Alexandria to prevent the reading of the Letter of Pope Leo, as well as to prevent the accusers of Eutyches from being heard in council is the best analogy. Pius IX employed the same strategy to rig the First Vatican Council (albeit in more refined manner), so why is Ephesus II the "Latrocinium" while Vatican I is "ecumenical"?

Another example of a rigged synod would be "Ignatian" synod of 869-870, which was repudiated by both Constantinople and Rome at the "Photian" synod of 879-880. It is interesting that Rome excepted the latter council for more than two centuries, but after 1054 it somehow became a "latrocinium" in its own right, even though it was far better attended and more open than its predecessor.
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
How about Unam Sanctam?
Doesn't pass muster because it is not a bull addressed to the universal Church.
It was addressed to a particular monarch (whom i can't remember off-hand).
Glory to Jesus Christ!

I believe that was between Pope Boniface VIII and Philip the Fair (the French king)I believe. When the prestige of the Papacy had seriously started to fall.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
As every Pope between Boniface and Pius XII upheld it, it's hard to disassociate the Church from that position (see what I mean about not always right but never wrong?). In 1958, Pius XII finally put a wooden stake through its heart by dismissing it in an offhanded statement that it was a necessary and perhaps inevitable doctrinal development, but not part of the transcendent deposit of faith. In the meanwhile, just how many people did the Church condemn over the intervening centuries because they refused to acknowledge this transient bit of doctrinal development?
Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
How about Unam Sanctam?
Doesn't pass muster because it is not a bull addressed to the universal Church.
It was addressed to a particular monarch (whom i can't remember off-hand).

Wrong. Reread the part about "absolutely necessary for salvation." If that doesn't qualify a statement as being a matter of dogma, then nothing does. Furthermore, the language about "every human creature" shows that the intended scope of Unam Sanctam was universal.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
How about Unam Sanctam?
Doesn't pass muster because it is not a bull addressed to the universal Church.
It was addressed to a particular monarch (whom i can't remember off-hand).

Wrong. Reread the part about "absolutely necessary for salvation." If that doesn't qualify a statement as being a matter of dogma, then nothing does.


Dear Athanasius the L,

There is a lot of historical nuance one has to understand about the surrounding events and happenings of the time. Pope Boniface VIII was a Pope who was thinking that the world was still in the height of Medieval Papal power when Popes could bring kings to their knees. He did not understand that times had already changed from just the previous century when dealing with King Philip IV (aka the Fair I believe). By this time in history the prestige and power had move from Rome to the Kings and rulers of the Western European kingdoms. Before this Bull came out, there had been an escalating tension between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV in which Philip kept disregarding and counter measuring the decrees of the Pope. The culmination of that Bull was the last attempt (he was in process of excommunicating Philip when Philips men captured and beat the Pope to try to sign a document that he was guilty of false accusations Philip made against him and he soon died after that because of his injuries and never wrote/finished the excommunication) was the last attempt to bring King Philip back into line. He used the strongest language possible to get Philip to submit but to no avail. At best, in understanding the historical circumstances, one can say that this language was simply used to bring a flippant king back into line or at the most that this stretches to Roman Catholics only. Let us try our best to not take quotes out of so much historical context.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
I really don't need the history lesson. I hold two graduate degrees in theology-one of them in historical theology. I stand by what I've written. The language about the necessity to salvation demonstrates that the pope intended to raise this teaching to the level of dogma. The language of "every human creature" shows that the scope was intended to extend beyond the feud between the Pope Boniface and Philip the Fair.
Indeed, Unam Sanctum was believed to be ex-cathedra (prior to Vatican II that is):

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra" “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”[Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, 468-469.]
Athanasius,

Do not misunderstand. YOU may have such learning, but not all of us do. I have just recently learned this interesting bit of history. If you felt I was condescending, which it seems that is how you received my last message, than please know that was not my intention. None the less, the person from whom I have learned is just as learned as you and a Roman Catholic as well (I'm assuming you are Roman Catholic from your comments). I also stand by what I have recently learned. I may not have the extended education you do, but I trust the people from whom I learn.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
How about Unam Sanctam?
Doesn't pass muster because it is not a bull addressed to the universal Church.
It was addressed to a particular monarch (whom i can't remember off-hand).

Wrong. Reread the part about "absolutely necessary for salvation." If that doesn't qualify a statement as being a matter of dogma, then nothing does. Furthermore, the language about "every human creature" shows that the intended scope of Unam Sanctam was universal.

i know what it says. If you hold two degrees, then you know that a binding dogmatic papal statement must be addressed to the entire universal Church. Clearly, Unam Sanctam was not. Vatican I clearly stated what makes an infallible teaching of a pope. There are several criteria. Unam Sanctam fits some of those criteria, but not all of them.

If this is de fide dogma, then it is irreformable so that we now have a problem with Stuart's statement about Pius XII.

Quote
In 1958, Pius XII finally put a wooden stake through its heart by dismissing it in an offhanded statement that it was a necessary and perhaps inevitable doctrinal development, but not part of the transcendent deposit of faith.
If this is, as you say, then according to your criteria, Pius XII becomes a heretic with his affirmation.
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
I really don't need the history lesson. I hold two graduate degrees in theology-one of them in historical theology. I stand by what I've written. The language about the necessity to salvation demonstrates that the pope intended to raise this teaching to the level of dogma. The language of "every human creature" shows that the scope was intended to extend beyond the feud between the Pope Boniface and Philip the Fair.

Dogmatic statements cannot "intend". They must explicitly state that a dogmatic definition is being sought, that this definition is irreformable in the future so that no new development may occur, that it is an article of faith to be held defintively by all the faithful, and must be addressed to all the faithful, by definition.

Unam Sanctam fails in the last regard because the bull was not promulgated to all Christians, but to specific individuals. This dis-qualifies it as being qualified for classification as a de fide dogma.
Quote
There is a lot of historical nuance one has to understand about the surrounding events and happenings of the time.

Once again, they may not always be right, but they are never wrong. I went to a Jebbie university, though, and am largely immune to this sort of stuff, now.

Notice, though, that there never is any historical nuance floating around Vatican I--even though the entire council makes no sense without an understanding of the rise of the nation-state and the Italian risorgiamento.
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Dogmatic statements cannot "intend". They must explicitly state that a dogmatic definition is being sought, that this definition is irreformable in the future so that no new development may occur, that it is an article of faith to be held defintively by all the faithful, and must be addressed to all the faithful, by definition.

That's fatuous. If applied with rigor, half of the Tradition would fall outside the realm of dogma.
Originally Posted by danman916
Dogmatic statements cannot "intend". They must explicitly state that a dogmatic definition is being sought, that this definition is irreformable in the future so that no new development may occur, that it is an article of faith to be held defintively by all the faithful, and must be addressed to all the faithful, by definition.

Unam Sanctam fails in the last regard because the bull was not promulgated to all Christians, but to specific individuals. This dis-qualifies it as being qualified for classification as a de fide dogma.

That is interesting since according to Denzinger it used to be considered ex-cathedra, and Ludwigg Ott lists it as one of the proofs of the "de fide" dogma that outside the church no man will be saved.
Catholicism is way too messy.

I must be nuts for wanting to be a Byzantine Catholic.
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Athanasius,

Do not misunderstand. YOU may have such learning, but not all of us do. I have just recently learned this interesting bit of history. If you felt I was condescending, which it seems that is how you received my last message, than please know that was not my intention. None the less, the person from whom I have learned is just as learned as you and a Roman Catholic as well (I'm assuming you are Roman Catholic from your comments). I also stand by what I have recently learned. I may not have the extended education you do, but I trust the people from whom I learn.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

I am not Roman Catholic. I'm Eastern Catholic.
Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
I really don't need the history lesson. I hold two graduate degrees in theology-one of them in historical theology. I stand by what I've written. The language about the necessity to salvation demonstrates that the pope intended to raise this teaching to the level of dogma. The language of "every human creature" shows that the scope was intended to extend beyond the feud between the Pope Boniface and Philip the Fair.

Dogmatic statements cannot "intend". They must explicitly state that a dogmatic definition is being sought, that this definition is irreformable in the future so that no new development may occur, that it is an article of faith to be held defintively by all the faithful, and must be addressed to all the faithful, by definition.

Unam Sanctam fails in the last regard because the bull was not promulgated to all Christians, but to specific individuals. This dis-qualifies it as being qualified for classification as a de fide dogma.

Its language clearly (at least it is clear to me) shows that its message was intended not to be limited to Philip the Fair. BTW-and I don't mean to be rude-I'm not particularly interested in your (relatively modern and Roman Catholic) definitions of what qualifies a document as being dogmatic (and yes, I'm aware that they are commonly held definitions among Roman Catholics-so I'm not attacking you personally). To me, the language of Unam Sanctam makes clear that Pope Boniface intended to bind the faithful by the teaching as a matter of dogma, in spite of the fact that the document might have been occasioned by his confrontation with Philip the Fair. Furthermore, I think we can all agree that a medieval pope did not have access to the decrees of a 19th century synod when determining the necessary criteria for a teaching to amount to dogma that binds the faithful. As I said previously, if claiming that the acceptance of a teaching to be necessary for salvation does not equate with considering it to be a matter of dogma, then nothing does.
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Dogmatic statements cannot "intend". They must explicitly state that a dogmatic definition is being sought, that this definition is irreformable in the future so that no new development may occur, that it is an article of faith to be held defintively by all the faithful, and must be addressed to all the faithful, by definition.

That's fatuous. If applied with rigor, half of the Tradition would fall outside the realm of dogma.

Only half?
Originally Posted by ByzBob
That is interesting since according to Denzinger it used to be considered ex-cathedra,
I will have to look in my copy of Denzinger this weekend, when I am home and have the time. Denzinger lists the pertinent documents of the Church that are sources Catholic doctrine and dogma. I don't know what you mean by "considered ex-cathedra" by Denzinger.

Quote
and Ludwigg Ott lists it as one of the proofs of the "de fide" dogma that outside the church no man will be saved.
I don't have my copy of Ott at this time either, but the dogma of "Outside the Church there is no salvation" is not dependent upon Unam Sanctam. We are talking about whether or not the definition given in Unam Sanctam is de fide dogma. The necessity of the Church for salvation is a different issue that is de fide based on other documents. I think you may be confusing the topics. WHile they are related, they are distinct.
Originally Posted by danman916
I will have to look in my copy of Denzinger this weekend, when I am home and have the time. Denzinger lists the pertinent documents of the Church that are sources Catholic doctrine and dogma. I don't know what you mean by "considered ex-cathedra" by Denzinger.

I gave the citation on the previous page of this thread. Here it is again for your reference, and as an aid to help you research into it:

Originally Posted by Dezinger
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra" “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”[Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, 468-469.]

Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Quote
I hope that helps.

It certainly does. Now it is my turn to clarify. My original question was an attempt to focus on the 'official,' standing of the IC, as you understand it. My purpose for bringing up Vatican 1's teaching on ex-cathedra statements was to further define what is meant by an ex-cathedra statement as such, and also to see what, if any, liberty is allowed for dissention from the definitions.

It would seem that if we say there is some liberty allowed on this doctrine, it is somehow 'reformable,' and it should not fall under the purview of an ex-cathedra definition. Yet, it is listed as one in most, if not all, documented cases of ex-cathdra statements, see the Catholic Encylopedia for example (I'm not sure if this qualifies as an 'official,' listing).
OK. I see what you are saying. The mitigations of invincible ignorance, the difference between an anathema and excommunication -- these factors do not in any way diminish the quality of the teaching as Truth. Rather, they have relevance only for the culpability of the Christian for denying that Truth in the eyes of God and the Church.

For example, suppose someone does not believe the teaching of the IC because he or she has grown up with a different understanding of "original sin." The doctrine of invincible ignorance takes into account that circumstance. Your degree of culpability for not believing in the dogma is gauged by the level of free will you possess in the act of denying the dogma. If one is indoctrinated from birth that "original sin" means this, not that, it would be exceedingly difficult for that person to accept that, wouldn't you agree? That indoctrination has affected your full freedom to accept the dogma, and the Church nor God would hold you culpable for denying the dogma. Of course, there are many circumstances that could affect your free choice in the matter. To be certain, however, even if one were invincibly ignorant, if one's action is motivated by malice or obstinacy in anyway, one still has full culpability.

Let me give a biblical example. In the OT, God gave certain laws, and the severity of the punishment for disobeying that law was determined by one's willfullness (i.e., the degree of freedom one had for disobeying the law). Does the variance in punishment mean that the Law of God is "reformable?" Jesus likewise taught the principle of invincible ignorance, asserting that only those who have heard and not believed will deserve eternal punishment. In another place, Jesus affirms the same principle through a parable, teaching that those who knew the master's will and disobeyed will receive a severe beating, while those who did not know will only receive a light sentence. Because of these degrees of culpability, are we to assume that the master's will is "reformable?"

I hope that helps.

Blessings
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Even though many strong-arm tactics were used at Vatican I he Holy Spirit was still present

How do we know that, without tautological reasoning? Or can the irregularities and lack of charity by which the council was governed by themselves be taken as evidence that the Holy Spirit was indeed lacking?
There was no lack of charity. There were a few irregularities. But I ask that you don't go down this route. In the eyes of the Oriental Orthodox, the Fourth Ecum had very similar problems. If you want to judge the infallibility of a council by the conduct of some of its members, you'd better be prepared to get rid of a few of our cherished Ecumenical Councils from the list.

Blessings
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
Like the doctrine of the temporal supremacy of the Pope (taught de fide for centuries), papal infallibility may eventually come to be seen as a doctrine conditioned by the history and culture of the time in which it was promoted. And like the temporal supremacy of the Pope, it will quietly be set aside, with everybody pretending it never happened.
After Unam sanctam, please show us what other Pope "taught" the temporal supremacy of the Pope.

Blessings
Dear brother Stuart,

Originally Posted by StuartK
Bishop Lecourtier was a Neo-ultramontanist, not a member of the Minority Party.

1. What the heck is a "neo-ultra-montanist"?
I explained it my the previous post. Was something lacking my explanation?

Quote
2. That someone on the other side also felt that the council lacked freedom makes my point, not yours. You seem to be working backwards from the assumption that Vatican I was ecumenical to finding reasons why it was so.
Actually, your citation of Bishop Lecourtier defeats your purpose greatly. First of all, it was made by a neo-ultramontanist who was opposed to the Minority Party, so it did not prove your intent whatsoever to demonstrate the lack of freedom of the Minority Party.

Secondly, the fact that a neo-ultramontanist who opposed the Minority Party would make such complaints demonstrates that the Minority Party indeed had much more influence at the Council than you pretend.

Thirdly, every complaint he made in your excerpt were either directed against the influence of the Minority Party, or simply mere exaggerations (which I hope to demonstrate as this discussion progresses - if you so wish).

Lastly, why would you even listen to the complaints of a neo-ultramontanist who was the staunchest opponent of the Minority Party? He complains against paragraphs added through the efforts of the Minority Party, and you lend support to him? That you want to use the comments of such a person seems to betray a certain disingenuousness to your rhetoric. You can't use the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" principle, because he was even more of an "enemy" to the Minority Party than the Pope and the other ultramontanists were.

As the Mod does not seem to mind that we are discussing this in this thread, I invite you to state your reasons why you think the Council lacked freedom, or any other reason you can think of to try to diminish the authority of the Council. I hope to impress upon you that perhaps it is you who is actually trying to find artificial reasons and excuses to convince yourself that the Council is unacceptable.

Blessings,
Marduk
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Even some who accepted the council's definition complained of its irregularity. Cardinal Newman springs to mind as one critical of the lack of freedom, who nevertheless accepted the council.
Can you specify what these irregularities were? I hope to clear up some common misconceptions and myths of the First Vatican Council, if you don't mind.

Blessings,
Marduk
Dear brother Athanasius,

Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
How about Unam Sanctam?

Here are three quotes from Unam Sanctam that demonstrate that it teaches temporal supremacy as a matter of dogma.

“We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal.”

"For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgment if it has not been good."

“Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
You do realize, I hope, that the only dogmatic teaching in the Bull is the last line. The rest of it -- his opinion at best.

Blessings
Originally Posted by StuartK
As every Pope between Boniface and Pius XII upheld it, it's hard to disassociate the Church from that position (see what I mean about not always right but never wrong?). In 1958, Pius XII finally put a wooden stake through its heart by dismissing it in an offhanded statement that it was a necessary and perhaps inevitable doctrinal development, but not part of the transcendent deposit of faith.
Upheld what? No one so far has demonstrated that the "temporal supremacy of the Pope" is a de fide teaching. All we have is your word. grin

Quote
In the meanwhile, just how many people did the Church condemn over the intervening centuries because they refused to acknowledge this transient bit of doctrinal development?
How many? Have you been taking classes at Jack Chick university? wink

Blessings
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Indeed, Unam Sanctum was believed to be ex-cathedra (prior to Vatican II that is):

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra" “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”[Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, 468-469.]
Thank you for quoting that. It highlights the fact that the dogma in the decree is only the last line, not what went on before it. So Unam Sanctam does nothing to prove brother Stuart's claim that the "temporal supremacy of the Pope" is a de fide doctrine.

Blessings
Originally Posted by mardukm
Actually, your citation of Bishop Lecourtier defeats your purpose greatly. First of all, it was made by a neo-ultramontanist who was opposed to the Minority Party, so it did not prove your intent whatsoever to demonstrate the lack of freedom of the Minority Party.

If I may. Where are you getting your information about Bishop Lecourtier? If he was not part of, and opposed to the minority party why did he write:

Quote
"Our weakness at this moment comes neither from Scripture not the tradition of the Fathers nor the witness of the General Councils nor the evidence of history. It comes from our lack of freedom, which is radical. An imposing minority, representing the faith of more than one hundred million Catholics, that is, almost half of the entire church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which contradicts conciliar traditions... The minority is crushed above all by the full weight of the supreme authority which oppresses it with the praise and encouragement it lavishes on the priests in the form of papal briefs.."

He then went onto throw his conciliar documents in the Tiber and left Rome prematurely. Three years later Lecourtier had to pay the price for his gesture, and was dismissed as bishop of Montpellier.

His words and actions seem to indicate that he was not part of the infallibilist party to any degree. What is the sources that contradicts that?
Originally Posted by mardukm
Thank you for quoting that. It highlights the fact that the dogma in the decree is only the last line, not what went on before it. So Unam Sanctam does nothing to prove brother Stuart's claim that the "temporal supremacy of the Pope" is a de fide doctrine.

I disagree that Unam Sanctum being considered an infalliable ex-catherdra Papal Bull prior to Vatican II would lead one to the conclusion that its teaching was never held as dogma. It was being argued that Unam Sanctum was not binding because it was not intended to address the entire church. Is it now being argued that the Pope intended to bind one part of the teaching, but not the other parts? Is this information contained in the Bull?
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by mardukm
Actually, your citation of Bishop Lecourtier defeats your purpose greatly. First of all, it was made by a neo-ultramontanist who was opposed to the Minority Party, so it did not prove your intent whatsoever to demonstrate the lack of freedom of the Minority Party.

If I may. Where are you getting your information about Bishop Lecourtier? If he was not part of, and opposed to the minority party why did he write:

Quote
"Our weakness at this moment comes neither from Scripture not the tradition of the Fathers nor the witness of the General Councils nor the evidence of history. It comes from our lack of freedom, which is radical. An imposing minority, representing the faith of more than one hundred million Catholics, that is, almost half of the entire church, is crushed beneath the yoke of a restrictive agenda, which contradicts conciliar traditions... The minority is crushed above all by the full weight of the supreme authority which oppresses it with the praise and encouragement it lavishes on the priests in the form of papal briefs.."

He then went onto throw his conciliar documents in the Tiber and left Rome prematurely. Three years later Lecourtier had to pay the price for his gesture, and was dismissed as bishop of Montpellier.

His words and actions seem to indicate that he was not part of the infallibilist party to any degree. What is the sources that contradicts that?
As explained in my original post, his mention of a "minority" was not referring to the Minority Party (of which the Eastern and Oriental bishops were a part), but rather to the Neo-ultramontanists, who were a minority group within the Majority Party.

He threw away the conciliar documents because he thought that the Council was promoting the Gallican heresy. He felt the Council had made too many concessions to the Minority Party. If people reading this will take a moment and meditate on the significance of that fact, one will perhaps begin to have their eyes opened to the reality that the First Vatican Council does not actually teach what her non-Catholic detractors have made her out to teach. Vatican 1 did not teach or promote the Absolutist Petrine position, but rather the High Petrine position.

You may look anywhere on the I-net for a biography of Bishop Lecourtier (I haven't personally done so).

My source for the Vatican Council is Dom Cuthbert Butler, The Vatican Council 1869 - 1870, Newman Press (Maryland, 1930). This book was the primary influence that changed my whole mind about the papacy before I entered the Catholic communion. I had found it at a library sale for only 50 cents about 7 years ago. I think it currently goes for about $50 on Amazon. It was God's providence that I found this book.

Blessings
Dear brother Bob,

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by mardukm
Thank you for quoting that. It highlights the fact that the dogma in the decree is only the last line, not what went on before it. So Unam Sanctam does nothing to prove brother Stuart's claim that the "temporal supremacy of the Pope" is a de fide doctrine.

I disagree that Unam Sanctum being considered an infalliable ex-catherdra Papal Bull prior to Vatican II would lead one to the conclusion that its teaching was never held as dogma. It was being argued that Unam Sanctum was not binding because it was not intended to address the entire church. Is it now being argued that the Pope intended to bind one part of the teaching, but not the other parts? Is this information contained in the Bull?
You may argue the other point with those who brought it up. There is another, greater, reason why people do not consider the Bull infallible, but I'm too tired to continue right now.

I will just suggest, however, that you read up on the doctrine of infallibility from the old Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent. It will explain to you that not all parts of an ex cathedra decree are infallible dogma, and which parts are. I had assumed this was common knowledge among all Catholics. confused

Blessings,
Marduk
Originally Posted by mardukm
I will just suggest, however, that you read up on the doctrine of infallibility from the old Catholic Encyclopedia at New Advent. It will explain to you that not all parts of an ex cathedra decree are infallible dogma, and which parts are. I had assumed this was common knowledge among all Catholics.

I understand that, but if the Pope who wrote the Bull doesn't tell you which parts are and which parts aren't infallible how do you know? That is why I asked you if the Bull contained that information.
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by danman916
I will have to look in my copy of Denzinger this weekend, when I am home and have the time. Denzinger lists the pertinent documents of the Church that are sources Catholic doctrine and dogma. I don't know what you mean by "considered ex-cathedra" by Denzinger.
I gave the citation on the previous page of this thread. Here it is again for your reference, and as an aid to help you research into it:
Originally Posted by Dezinger
Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra" “With Faith urging us we are forced to believe and to hold the one, holy, Catholic Church and that, apostolic, and we firmly believe and simply confess this Church outside of which there is no salvation nor remission of sin… Furthermore, we declare, say, define, and proclaim to every human creature that they by absolute necessity for salvation are entirely subject to the Roman Pontiff.”[Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, 468-469.]
A question (as noted above) about the citation. My copy of Denzinger is Edition 31. The excerpts in the standard Denzinger are in the original languages, the above is in English and presumably a translation. I do not find the "ex cathedra" designation in my copy. Who, then, is actually giving the "ex cathedra" designation?

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Indeed, Unam Sanctum was believed to be ex-cathedra (prior to Vatican II that is):

Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302, ex cathedra" “With Faith ... Roman Pontiff.”[Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, 468-469.]
The issue is that from this, Denzinger (with its prestige) emerges as the source and designator.

Originally Posted by ByzBob
That is interesting since according to Denzinger it used to be considered ex-cathedra,...
Quote
Who, then, is actually giving the "ex cathedra" designation?

Indeed.
Originally Posted by ByzBob
I disagree that Unam Sanctum being considered an infalliable ex-catherdra Papal Bull prior to Vatican II would lead one to the conclusion that its teaching was never held as dogma. It was being argued that Unam Sanctum was not binding because it was not intended to address the entire church. Is it now being argued that the Pope intended to bind one part of the teaching, but not the other parts? Is this information contained in the Bull?
Unfortunately, many thought that Limbo was dogma too.
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Quote
Who, then, is actually giving the "ex cathedra" designation?

Indeed.
More information on the publication having the words "ex cathedra" would help. The citation "Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma, B. Herder Book. Co., Thirtieth Edition, 1957, 468-469" has much in common with what would be cited for the edition in the original languages, however, I would have expected as the title the original "Enchiridion Symbolorum." Is a translator noted? An ISBN? etc.?
Originally Posted by danman916
Unfortunately, many thought that Limbo was dogma too.

One can hardly blame for having thought Limbo was dogma, since it was taught at the Council of Florence.

Originally Posted by Session 6—6 July 1439
...But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains.
Bob,
My point was that some things that were thought as dogma, were really actually not dogma all along, eventhough they were treated that way.

BTW, the teaching of the Council of Florence is still valid today. Limbo was a particular way to explain what the council taught of those who died in original sin only to explain the absolute necessity of water baptism with those who had done nothing personally sinful to merit their own damnation, so the two were brought together and Limbo was commonly understood to have a status that it never did.
Originally Posted by danman916
Bob,
My point was that some things that were thought as dogma, were really actually not dogma all along, eventhough they were treated that way.

BTW, the teaching of the Council of Florence is still valid today. Limbo was a particular way to explain what the council taught of those who died in original sin only to explain the absolute necessity of water baptism with those who had done nothing personally sinful to merit their own damnation, so the two were brought together and Limbo was commonly understood to have a status that it never did.

Please clarify. Are saying that it is a still the teaching today that those who die with original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains? How does that differ from the doctrine of limbo?

Also please note that Pope Pius VI Condemned as false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools the doctrine that rejects limbo.

Pope Pius VI, Auctorem fidei, Aug. 28, 1794:

“26. The doctrine which rejects as a Pelagian fable, that place of the lower regions (which the faithful generally designate by the name of the limbo of the children) in which the souls of those departing with the sole guilt of original sin are punished with the punishment of the condemned, exclusive of the punishment of fire, just as if, by this very fact, that these who remove the punishment of fire introduced that middle place and state free of guilt and of punishment between the kingdom of God and eternal damnation, such as that about which the Pelagians idly talk; FALSE, rash, injurious to Catholic schools”

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Please clarify. Are saying that it is a still the teaching today that those who die with original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains?
Yes, absolutely.

Quote
How does that differ from the doctrine of limbo?
It is one particular explanation of the Council of Florence, but it is not the only one. As The Theological commission explained, several years ago when it released the document, The Hope of salvation for infants who die without baptism", that there are valid theological and liturgical reasons for the theological virtue of Hope (not faith) that the condition of their original sin can be remitted in other ways known to God, but not explicitly revealed.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c...doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html

As part of the ITC's report, it stated that Limbo is still a valid theological opinion eventhough there are few if any who hold to that opinion anymore.
It only held the theological certainity of "common teaching" in Ludwig Ott's text. This grade of theological certainty is fairly low.

Quote
Also please note that Pope Pius VI Condemned as false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools the doctrine that rejects limbo.
All that Auctorum fide did was to condemn those who said that Limbo was not valid theological speculation. He did not affirm that one must hold to that speculation as revealed truth. What Pius VI did was reject the limitation others wanted to place on theological thought in this area.
Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Please clarify. Are saying that it is a still the teaching today that those who die with original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains?

Quote
Yes, absolutely.
Are babies born with original sin?

Quote
Originally Posted by ByzBob
How does that differ from the doctrine of limbo?
It is one particular explanation of the Council of Florence, but it is not the only one. As The Theological commission explained, several years ago when it released the document, The Hope of salvation for infants who die without baptism", that there are valid theological and liturgical reasons for the theological virtue of Hope (not faith) that the condition of their original sin can be remitted in other ways known to God, but not explicitly revealed.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c...doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html

As part of the ITC's report, it stated that Limbo is still a valid theological opinion eventhough there are few if any who hold to that opinion anymore.
It only held the theological certainity of "common teaching" in Ludwig Ott's text. This grade of theological certainty is fairly low.

Quote
Also please note that Pope Pius VI Condemned as false, rash, injurious to Catholic schools the doctrine that rejects limbo.
All that Auctorum fide did was to condemn those who said that Limbo was not valid theological speculation. He did not affirm that one must hold to that speculation as revealed truth. What Pius VI did was reject the limitation others wanted to place on theological thought in this area.

This may have been what the commission stated but if "those who die with original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains," is still the teaching of the church, this would include unbaptized infants/children, since the church teaches that they have original sin alone . I don’t see how you cannot arrive at any other conclusion. Florence appears unambiguous on the matter.

It is interesting that this is being regulated to theological opinion, but the Immaculate Conception is an infallible pronouncement, which lacks pedigree and universal consent. Which brings me back to my original question.

Originally Posted by mardukm
Dear brother Athanasius,

Originally Posted by Athanasius The L
How about Unam Sanctam?

Here are three quotes from Unam Sanctam that demonstrate that it teaches temporal supremacy as a matter of dogma.

“We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal.”

"For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgment if it has not been good."

“Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.”
You do realize, I hope, that the only dogmatic teaching in the Bull is the last line. The rest of it -- his opinion at best.

Blessings

Dear Brother Mardukm,

You do realize, I hope, that I placed the first two quotes with the last in order to demonstrate that when Pope Boniface dogmatically taught the necessity of being subject to the Roman Pontiff that he was not merely speaking about the religious authority of the papacy, but the temporal authority as well.

Blessings
Bob,

Yes, all are born into the state if original sin. You shoul read the ITC document as it addresses all of these Church documents. I think it is worthwhile reading.
Quote
Are babies born with original sin?

No.
Quote
Yes, all are born into the state if original sin.


Define your terms.
Quote
No.

You, too.
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Yes, all are born into the state if original sin.


Define your terms.

I can't cut and paste very easily on my iPhone, but I refer to the CCC 978, 1250, and 1263.
You'll have to speak to me in a language I understand. I don't speak CCC, and refuse to learn how.
Originally Posted by StuartK
You'll have to speak to me in a language I understand. I don't speak CCC, and refuse to learn how.
I don't understand. What's the problem with the Catechism. I referred to it as I did out of being brief since I'm not really at a pc where I can cut and paste and give explanation.
Originally Posted by AMM
Quote
Are babies born with original sin?

No.

Allow me to rephrase. Is it the Roman Catholic understanding that babies are born with original sin?
Originally Posted by danman916
Bob,

Yes, all are born into the state if original sin. You shoul read the ITC document as it addresses all of these Church documents. I think it is worthwhile reading.

It is called equivocation. The ITC study on Limbo is neither a papal document, nor a magisterial document, but a modern theological exercise. I happen to agree that Limbo was bad doctrine, but its roots go deeper than the ICT documents admits. I believe that the Limbo is based on defined doctrines at the Second Council of Lyons, and the Council of Florence. If one accepts these definitions that Limbo is inevitable. If however, one if following the current trends in Rome then they will see that Rome is gradually letting go of the so-called defined dogmas of the later western councils. It just strikes me as odd that when the Revenna documents are discussed typically it is a well intentioned RC that points out that they aren’t official, or when the western councils are alluded to as general councils then we are asked to provide official quotes, documentation etc., But when it is a doctrine that they might not like so much, like Limbo, then any non-binding document will do.
Originally Posted by ByzBob
... I happen to agree that Limbo was bad doctrine, but its roots go deeper than the ICT documents admits. I believe that the Limbo is based on defined doctrines at the Second Council of Lyons, and the Council of Florence. If one accepts these definitions that Limbo is inevitable...

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by danman916
Unfortunately, many thought that Limbo was dogma too.

One can hardly blame for having thought Limbo was dogma, since it was taught at the Council of Florence.

Originally Posted by Session 6—6 July 1439
...But the souls of those who depart this life in actual mortal sin, or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains.
Limbo is "based on" and "taught at." But the councils never actually use the word "limbo" and if it were being dogmatized as such, it surely would have to be explicit.

Limbo should be seen as a concept broader than just the limbo of infants, and medieval theologians speculated concerning it in ways that were consistent with Scripture. Let's give them credit where due and even learn from them.

Quote
Medieval theologians described the underworld ("hell", "hades", "infernum") as divided into four distinct parts: hell of the damned (which some call Gehenna), Purgatory, limbo of the fathers, and limbo of infants.
limbo [en.wikipedia.org]

After all, from the Gospel itself:

RSV Luke 16:23 and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom.

RSV Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

As to the details (with references) of who said what, how, and when, and what it means, I recommend this pdf: Point/Counterpoint: Is Limbo a Catholic Doctrine? [catholicintl.com]

Also, in First Things: Antinomies of Limbo: Some Historical Milestones [firstthings.com]

Bob, the ITC didn't just decide to study the subject one day. JPII commissioned the study and It was published with the popes approval. The ITC is an official part of curia that helps inform the Church on theological issues. It has more importance than you are willing to give it and it specifically addresses the issues you raise here. You can dismiss it ifyou want as equivocation, but it is the most comprehensive theological study ever given to the subject.
Originally Posted by danman916
You can dismiss it if you want as equivocation,


Thanks, I think I will.

In the Latin tradition it is taught that we are born with original sin. This teaching would have been well known by the council fathers at Florence. Thus, when they said, ... or in original sin alone, go down straightaway to hell to be punished, but with unequal pains," they understood to whom this teaching was directed (i.e. infants who died prior to baptism). To pretend otherwise is to read into history what you want it to say, rather than allowing it to speak for itself.



Originally Posted by ajk
As to the details (with references) of who said what, how, and when, and what it means, I recommend this pdf: Point/Counterpoint: Is Limbo a Catholic Doctrine? [catholicintl.com]


Thanks for bringing Bob Sungenis into this discussion. Here is his pdf on the recent Catholic vs. Protestant debate on the Immaculate Conception - notice what he says about the Patristic witness for the doctrine:

http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/FerraraWhite_Debate_on_Immaculate_Conception.pdf
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Thanks for bringing Bob Sungenis into this discussion. Here is his pdf on the recent Catholic vs. Protestant debate on the Immaculate Conception - notice what he says about the Patristic witness for the doctrine:

http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/FerraraWhite_Debate_on_Immaculate_Conception.pdf
As a vignette illustrating his position -- that there is a Patristic witness for the Immaculate Conception -- I offer (from the article):
Quote
As for the patristic evidence for the Immaculate Conception, all that the Catholic Church needs is one witness to show that the concept or doctrine existed during that time period. That’s not a hard task. Dr. White’s favorite Father, Athanasius, gives a strong indication he believed Mary to be without sin. He writes: “He took it [his
body] from a pure and unstained Virgin, who had not known man" (On the Incarnation of the Word, 8). Of course, Dr. White will argue that “pure and unstained” does not teach specifically that Mary was conceived without Original Sin, and he would be correct, but we don’t need to have it explicitly stated in order to conclude that Athanasius believed Mary to be without sin; and once we see that Athanasius regarded Mary as without sin, then we only need to use our reason to work backward to Mary’s conception and see the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. To even begin to refute this, Dr. White would have to show that it would be impossible for Athanasius to have believed that Mary was conceived without Original Sin, a formidable task indeed considering that he already accepted that she was sinless. Moreover, there are many other Fathers who made similar remarks about Mary. The Church, guided by the Holy Spirit to discern and evaluate these various statements, then makes its judgment on their value.
StuartK,

Regarding the posts about Psalm 51: 5 --Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me (King James version)-- that were deleted due to the problems with server, you stated that the translation is incorrect and that the word is sins not sin.

Well, I am looking right at the verse and it's sin. I can't find any King James translation that has the word in the plural.
The Septuagint Psalter is correctly translated as sins.

"For behold, I was conceived in inquities, and in sins did my mother bear me." Psalter of the Seventy translated by Holy Transfiguration Monastery

"Behold, I was born in inquities and in sins my mother conceived me" Septuagint Psalter translated by Baron Jose DeVinck and Fr Leonidas Contos
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Originally Posted by griego catolico
StuartK,

Regarding the posts about Psalm 51: 5 --Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me (King James version)-- that were deleted due to the problems with server, you stated that the translation is incorrect and that the word is sins not sin.

Well, I am looking right at the verse and it's sin. I can't find any King James translation that has the word in the plural.

My brother in Christ, Griego,

Why are you not using a Catholic Bible first of all?

Second, out of curiosity, I searched for the Douay-Rheims Bible. It is Psalm 50:7 in this version and it says: "For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in SINS did my mother conceive me." (emphasis mine). If you do not believe me, then go right there, here is the link:

http://www.drbo.org/chapter/21050.htm

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
BTW, I save all the conversations that I am interested (since I get the emails when new posts are made) and have the posts that everyone had put in this thread that have not been saved. Would anyone want these to be posted?

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
My brother in Christ, Griego,

Why are you not using a Catholic Bible first of all?

Well, considering the discussion involves those who identify themselves as "Orthodox in communion with Rome", refering to a Catholic Bible would probably have gotten the same response as the post above about reading the CCC. No offense, StuartK. grin

Quote
Second, out of curiosity, I searched for the Douay-Rheims Bible. It is Psalm 50:7 in this version and it says: "For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in SINS did my mother conceive me." (emphasis mine). If you do not believe me, then go right there, here is the link:

http://www.drbo.org/chapter/21050.htm

Why would I not believe you? smile

The NAB version of the Bible which is used in the Roman Catholic Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours has it in the singular.
Originally Posted by griego catolico
The NAB version of the Bible which is used in the Roman Catholic Mass and in the Liturgy of the Hours has it in the singular.


Oh what to do when two good Catholic Bibles disagree LOL

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Glory to Jesus Christ!

I found this, I think decent, article from the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines :

Quote
Orthodox view on Immaculate Conception

The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God was first promulgated as a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church in the year 1854, by Pope Pius IX. The official statement of it, is as follow:

"The doctrine which declares that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, was the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church."

The declaration of this doctrine to be a dogma of the Western Catholic Church marked the end of a period of often bitter controversy between its adherents and those who denied it, a controversy that involved some of the most well known Western Catholic theologians.

Throughout the Eastern part of the Roman empire, from as far back as the fifth century, a feast day was observed on 9th December entitled The Conception of Saint Anna. This feast day celebrated the events surrounding the conception of the Mother of God by Saint Anna in her and her husband Joachim's old age, as set forth in the apocryphal Protoevangelion of James.

There was no attempt on the part of the hymn writers of the early church to suggest that there was any other miracle than the conception in the face of prolonged sterility.

This feast day soon became popular with Western Christians, and by the 8th century was celebrated on 8th December. Soon after, some western churchmen began teaching that Mary, from the moment of her conception, was "miraculously innocent" of the guilt of original sin.

This teaching was bitterly opposed by such churchmen as the great Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, and the great Dominican Doctor of the Western Church Thomas Aquinas. Eventually however, in 1854, those who accepted the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception gained the attention of the Pope, who effectively ended all the controversy about it by officially promulgating it as an official teaching of the Western Catholic Church.


In order to understand the position of the Orthodox Church on this teaching we must begin with understanding the Orthodox concept of original sin, as opposed to that which prevails in the Western Catholic Church.

The Western Catholic Church's teaching of original sin, is based in part on the writings of Saint Augustine, which states that each human being at the moment of conception shares in the guilt of Adam's sin of disobedience.

This was based on Saint Augustine's slightly flawed Latin translation of Romans 5:12. Augustine did not read Greek with any great proficiency. Augustine read it as saying "so death spread to all men in whom (Adam) all men sinned", rather than "so death spread to all men because all men sinned", which is how the original Greek reads.

It is this teaching that led Western Catholic thinkers to create a place called "Limbo" (from the Latin word limbus, "border" or "hem"), meaning on the border of heaven. They said this is where the souls of unbaptised infants could find refuge, since though not guilty of any personal sin, they still had the guilt of original sin on their souls, and so could not enter heaven proper.

In the medieval Western Catholic Church, original sin was believed to be transmitted in a physical sense through conception. It thus became important to many that Mary be preserved from this taint. Hence the creation in the ninth century of the doctrine of the immaculate conception.

The Orthodox Church has kept alive the original understanding of the early Church as regards "original sin." The early Church did not understand "original sin" as having anything to do with transmitted guilt but with transmitted mortality. Because Adam sinned, all humanity shares not in his guilt but in the same punishment.

We are tempted by sin and we become guilty of it through committing our own personal sins. We therefore suffer and we die. This is the orthodox understanding of original sin. It is not something that we are guilty of personally, but an action whose consequences have affected our lives as humans. As humans we sin, and our own guilt is because of our own personal sin.

In the light of this, the Western Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is redundant.

In Orthodox eyes, there is simply no original guilt for Mary to be made innocent of. Which is also why we have no Limbo for infants who die unbaptised, which was also at one time the usual teaching of the Western Catholic Church.

Often those advocating the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, have sought to discover it in Orthodox writers of the Middle Ages or in Orthodox hymns.

Orthodox writers who often refer to Mary as having been "prepared," and "sanctified," and who hail her as the "immaculate one," are thinking in the context of the Orthodox view of original sin, not the Western. None of these writers put forth a claim that Mary was immortal – which necessarily follows for those who accept the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. It does not fit in the context of the Orthodox view of original sin.

Many of these theologians held to a view that by special grace the Mother of God did not commit any personal sins. Others asserted that Mary was sanctified through her response to Archangel Gabriel at the annunciation, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38).

Taken at face value, the Western doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is seen by the Orthodox as separating the Mother of God from the rest of the human race. If true, this would have made it impossible for Christ to become truly man, because Mary would therefore not be subject to the same conditions of humanity as those for whom Christ had become incarnate in order to save. Mary is human, and through her, God became fully human as well.

During this Advent season, the Orthodox Church frequently remembers the Virgin Mary as a gift of humanity to God, through whom God gave Himself back to humanity. One of our Christmas hymns asks "What shall we offer You, Christ, You Who for our sakes appeared on earth as a man? Every creature which You have made offers You thanks.....… We offer You a Virgin Mother. Pre-eternal God, have mercy on us."

Edited from an article in "The Word" Magazine. The Word is the official print publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

Here is the source: http://www.antiochianarch.org.au/Orthodox-view-on-Immaculate-Conception.aspx

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Something I would like to point out in their quote of the official statement is this part:

Quote
is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church.

And if that is true, then why are those of us who are Eastern Catholics bothered by this? Even the statement itself declares that this to believed by the "faithful of the Roman Catholic Church". My only question would be if it is for the "faithful of the Roman Catholic Church" then why is it being pushed as something to be believed by all Catholics ?

Manuel,

From my understanding and experience, any Eastern Catholic is regarded as part of "all the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church" by the Orthodox churches.
Dear griego,

I just edited my previous post upon research of the original document.

Thank you none the less,

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Tsk, tsk, tsk.

The "my bad" should be said by the writer of the article in "The Word" Magazine for misquoting the declaration.

If this article were part of a research paper for a class, he/she would be marked down significantly for misquoting. No excuse. Poor job on the part of whoever this writer was.

As my professor would say, "Check your sources!"
The word missing from the article is "some"--"some" Orthodox see the doctrine of the immaculate conception as heretical; "some" Orthodox see the doctrine of the immaculate conception as separating Mary from the rest of mankind. But other Orthodox don't, and I would imagine that the majority of Orthodox have never given the matter even a second's thought.

Funny how some Orthodox are quick to rise up and thunder that only an ecumenical council can speak for all of Orthodoxy, but then, when it suits them, feel free to speak pontifically on behalf of all Orthodoxy.
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
BTW, I save all the conversations that I am interested (since I get the emails when new posts are made) and have the posts that everyone had put in this thread that have not been saved. Would anyone want these to be posted?

Yes, I think that would be a service to us all. Thanks.
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Oh what to do when two good Catholic Bibles disagree LOL
There is a dictum that every translation lies. The best that can be done is to check the originals, consequently, since that's a plural (originals), there is even an issue of the authentic text -- textual criticism.

The LXX is for the most a translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic. Even so it has, properly, great authority in the Church. The two standard scholarly versions of the LXX, Rahlfs' and Brenton's, have in the Greek the dative plural, sins/αμαρτιαις. The (scholarly) standard Hebrew text, the Masoretic Text (MT), however, has the singular, sin/חטא. The old vulgate, and older Catholic translations based on it, follow the LXX reading and have sins/peccatis; but newer translations which often follow the MT directly, like the NAB, and it seems the current Latin Nova Vulgata, have the singular sin/peccato.

So everyone is correct in a way. Also,a plural sins admits a particular sin and is more general.
Originally Posted by Luvr of East

Originally Posted by griego catolico
No excuse. Poor job on the part of whoever this writer was.

The article misquotes, misrepresents, exhibits convoluted reasoning and twisted logic, and displays abysmal ignorance or prejudice, likely both. It should be an embarrassment to the author and whoever publishes it.
Quote
The LXX is for the most a translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic.

Oversimplification. The Hebrew text currently in use is the Masoretic version, which was compiled between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. In the first century, there were several competing Hebrew versions, some closer to the Masoretic, some closer to the LXX. There were also a number of Aramaic versions in circulation. In short, the canon of the Jewish Bible was not fixed at the time. The LXX was, without a doubt, the most widely read, and was the version cited in the New Testament in the overwhelming majority of cases. For the Apostolic Church, the LXX was the Old Testament, and nobody thought otherwise until Jerome.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
The LXX is for the most a translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic.

Oversimplification. The Hebrew text currently in use is the Masoretic version, which was compiled between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. In the first century, there were several competing Hebrew versions, some closer to the Masoretic, some closer to the LXX. There were also a number of Aramaic versions in circulation. In short, the canon of the Jewish Bible was not fixed at the time. The LXX was, without a doubt, the most widely read, and was the version cited in the New Testament in the overwhelming majority of cases. For the Apostolic Church, the LXX was the Old Testament, and nobody thought otherwise until Jerome.


I was going to ask something to this extent/nature. Thanks for answering ahead of time.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by StuartK
Oversimplification. The Hebrew text currently in use is the Masoretic version, which was compiled between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD.
Yes, and I believe that the oldest extant copies of the Masoretic text date from the 8th or 9th century.

Postscript: Is there a way to add the pages that were lost back into this thread? I have copies of the original pages 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 on my hard drive.
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
The LXX is for the most a translation of the Hebrew and Aramaic.

Oversimplification.
Not at all. Read all I said in context. A complicated topic summarized in a short paragraph is of necessity a simplification: it is providing the reference frame for the quoted words. Or are you telling me that the LXX is NOT a translation of the original Hebrew and Aramaic as stated?

Originally Posted by StuartK
The Hebrew text currently in use is the Masoretic version, which was compiled between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. In the first century, there were several competing Hebrew versions, some closer to the Masoretic, some closer to the LXX. There were also a number of Aramaic versions in circulation. In short, the canon of the Jewish Bible was not fixed at the time. The LXX was, without a doubt, the most widely read, and was the version cited in the New Testament in the overwhelming majority of cases. For the Apostolic Church, the LXX was the Old Testament, and nobody thought otherwise until Jerome.
Note what I said about the authority of the LXX and specifying "scholarly" editions and the complicating factor of textual criticism.

When Jesus read from the scroll in the synagogue at Nazareth (Luke 4:17-21)do you think it was the Greek of the Septuagint?
Originally Posted by StuartK
The LXX was, without a doubt, the most widely read, and was the version cited in the New Testament in the overwhelming majority of cases. For the Apostolic Church, the LXX was the Old Testament, and nobody thought otherwise until Jerome.
Well said! Sadly most modern English translations of the Bible use the Masoretic text for the Old Testament instead of the Septuagint, and this usage causes discrepancies between the Old Testament and New Testament when the latter is quoting the former (compare Hebrews 10:5-7 to Psalm 40:6-8 RSV).
Originally Posted by StuartK
For the Apostolic Church, the LXX was the Old Testament, and nobody thought otherwise until Jerome.
There were versions of the LXX and Jerome translated from THEM and available manuscripts in Hebrew as would be expected of a translator. Here and in another post in this thread -- maybe one of the lost posts -- Jerome's name in used in vain. This is especially odd and uninformed since, as I noted previously -- and what actually pertains to THIS thread -- the old vulgate (relative to the current version), follows the LXX:
Originally Posted by ajk
The old vulgate, and older Catholic translations based on it, follow the LXX reading and have sins/peccatis;
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
The LXX was, without a doubt, the most widely read, and was the version cited in the New Testament in the overwhelming majority of cases. For the Apostolic Church, the LXX was the Old Testament, and nobody thought otherwise until Jerome.
Well said! Sadly most modern English translations of the Bible use the Masoretic text for the Old Testament instead of the Septuagint, and this usage causes discrepancies between the Old Testament and New Testament when the latter is quoting the former (compare Hebrews 10:5-7 to Psalm 40:6-8 RSV).
It depends on which version of the versions of the LXX is consulted. This was discussed here in March 2008. The NAB Note quoted sums it up rather well.

No matter how venerable, the LXX is a translation. Greek and other languages are unable to do complete justice to the way the Hebrew uses, for instance, the words Adam and Eve. This is seen, for instance, in considering how Chavvah/Zoe/Eve/Life is rendered by the LXX where a choice, not needed in the Hebrew, must be made of either translating of transliterating; cf. Gen 3:20 and Gen 4:1. That choice is even more apparent with the name Adam.

This is interesting but quite off topic. I reply only because it has been brought up (unfortunately here) and I felt it needed correction.

No matter how venerable, the Masoretic text postdates the LXX by some four to six centuries, and the Masoretes were making their translation choices as well--unless you think that Hebrew from the ninth century BC at all resembled Hebrew from the fourth century AD. They also made choices based on exegetical and apologetic considerations. They had many texts from which to choose, and who is to say if the Masoretes made better choices than the translators in Alexandria?

The simple fact is this: when the Apostles wanted to refer to the Old Testament, invariably they went to the LXX. When the Fathers wanted to refer to the Old Testament, they also went to the LXX. Unless you want to go around correcting Holy Tradition--including the liturgical texts, the acts of the Councils and the works of the Fathers--you have to accept the LXX as the Old Testament of the Church, and the work of the Seventy (or Seventy-Two) as divinely inspired in its own right.
Originally Posted by StuartK
No matter how venerable, the Masoretic text postdates the LXX by some four to six centuries, and the Masoretes were making their translation choices as well--unless you think that Hebrew from the ninth century BC at all resembled Hebrew from the fourth century AD. They also made choices based on exegetical and apologetic considerations. They had many texts from which to choose, and who is to say if the Masoretes made better choices than the translators in Alexandria?
Well, they're your words and I repeat them: "...who is to say if the Masoretes made better choices than the translators in Alexandria?" I never claimed they did. YOU here state the issue about the very strawman that YOU have created. Again, go back and read what I actually wrote and you will find I spoke of standard and scholarly texts in a way that is factual and noncommittal. The only deference I did give was to the LXX. Also, the dates above don't bear directly on the dating or quality of actual manuscripts, scrolls, etc.

Originally Posted by StuartK
The simple fact is this: when the Apostles wanted to refer to the Old Testament, invariably they went to the LXX.
Often, mostly, but NOT always.

Originally Posted by StuartK
When the Fathers wanted to refer to the Old Testament, they also went to the LXX.
Again, which one. Do all LXX manuscripts and versions agree exactly? [Answer: No, they don't.]

Originally Posted by StuartK
Unless you want to go around correcting Holy Tradition--including the liturgical texts, the acts of the Councils and the works of the Fathers--you have to accept the LXX as the Old Testament of the Church, and the work of the Seventy (or Seventy-Two) as divinely inspired in its own right.
No, I don't "have to accept." For someone who can so easily dismiss the Catholic dogma that actually is the subject of this thread, the Immaculate Conception, you proclaim your own about the LXX with the greatest of ease.

May we please return to the subject of the thread.
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Originally Posted by ajk
May we please return to the subject of the thread.

I know how you feel. It's unusual it seems for a thread to stay on track for long lol.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Originally Posted by ajk
May we please return to the subject of the thread.

I know how you feel. It's unusual it seems for a thread to stay on track for long lol.

These offers may help.


Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
BTW, I save all the conversations that I am interested (since I get the emails when new posts are made) and have the posts that everyone had put in this thread that have not been saved. Would anyone want these to be posted?

Yes, I think that would be a service to us all. Thanks.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Postscript: Is there a way to add the pages that were lost back into this thread? I have copies of the original pages 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 on my hard drive.

Speaking of textual criticism, in this our age of information, it is ironic that information can still get lost, even when precautions to prevent loss are in place. It would be interesting to see how well, to what degree, a recovery of all the posts, in certain form, could be made.

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by AMM
Quote
Are babies born with original sin?

No.

Allow me to rephrase. Is it the Roman Catholic understanding that babies are born with original sin?

Based on what I'm reading in this thread, I honestly have no idea what the view of original sin is.
Originally Posted by AMM
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by AMM
Quote
Are babies born with original sin?

No.

Allow me to rephrase. Is it the Roman Catholic understanding that babies are born with original sin?

Based on what I'm reading in this thread, I honestly have no idea what the view of original sin is.

It all comes down to perspective. This whole thread has been an argument about which particular lense of viewing original sin is right, or is better, or is closest to the most ancient traditions.

The west focuses on sin as breaking the divine law of God. Original sin is then cast in a negative view of a stain of something missing. Baptism is seen as the rememdy to the violation of the law that we are born into.
The east focuses on sin more like a sickness that breaks our relationship to God. Original sin, then is seen as mortality as a result of that sickness. Baptism is seen as the way in which we are brought into that relationship in the covenant with God.

The Immaculate Conception can be seen from both frameworks and can be reconciled in both. The problem is that neither side is willing to accept the fact that the catholicity of the Church means that something received from the part is meant for the entire whole. We're too interested in our own particular interpretation and what we see as faulty in the other guy. That is why we've seen comments about the Roman pontiff cast in suich an uncharitable light in this thread.

Perhaps once we see the gift that east and west brings in illuminating the truth about God in any belief, we will stop competing for our own particular tradition to have to one-up the other. Both sides, east and west, have terrible track records in this regard.
Such is pride that has brother argue against brother without realizing the gift that both brings.

Originally Posted by danman916
It all comes down to perspective...

The Immaculate Conception can be seen from both frameworks and can be reconciled in both. The problem is that neither side is willing to accept the fact that the catholicity of the Church means that something received from the part is meant for the entire whole. We're too interested in our own particular interpretation and what we see as faulty in the other guy. That is why we've seen comments about the Roman pontiff cast in suich an uncharitable light in this thread.


I appreciate your sentiments, and the general tone of your post. However, if one side decides to dogmatize its belief that puts an entire new paintjob on the question. I think most people on the eastern side don't have a problem with the IC as such, but have a concern with rising it to the level of dogma. A dogma that puts one outside the church if they should question it.
But we don't seem to ahve this problem with other things that have been dogmatized. For instance, transubstantiation was dogmatized, yet it poses no real problem for anyone. It is understood as a truth as expressed in western terms. The same type of approach can be used for the I.C. in my honest opinion.

There has been a lot said about an apparent contradiction between the East's call to embrace their own traditions and the call to affirm the developments recognized in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. This doesn't have to be problematic, IMO. Maybe it becomes an issue of hair-splitting in which we recognize the tension between the two views (East and West), and realize that they are parts of a whole.
It really is the dogmatization of *these* issues that creates the polarization. That is not to say that any dogma creates discord, as you note with transubstantiation. That is just going into further detail than the East is comfortable with, but not *wrong* per se.

However, stating an understanding to be infallibly true at pain of anathema is something else, especially when the understanding just doesn't "go into further detail" i.e. transubstantiation, but potentially breaks from a view that the East may hold entirely (as many are very open to the idea that Mary sinned with no problem to their Christology). So we aren't just talking about "going into further detail" but taking one understanding of many, and proclaiming it to be inerrant and the Word of God, as if anybody who believes differently does not just disagree with the Western church, but with God Himself. That's a pretty big difference.

It's the same mindset that led to this original post in the first place: is the IC even infallible at all? If the "whole Church" must believe it to be true for it to be infallible, is the "whole Church" only the Roman Catholic church? Then what of those who are of the East?
Originally Posted by danman916
But we don't seem to ahve this problem with other things that have been dogmatized. For instance, transubstantiation was dogmatized, yet it poses no real problem for anyone. It is understood as a truth as expressed in western terms. The same type of approach can be used for the I.C. in my honest opinion.

There has been a lot said about an apparent contradiction between the East's call to embrace their own traditions and the call to affirm the developments recognized in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. This doesn't have to be problematic, IMO. Maybe it becomes an issue of hair-splitting in which we recognize the tension between the two views (East and West), and realize that they are parts of a whole.
One does not have to accept the theory of transubstantiation, which is predicated upon the metaphysics of Aristotle, in order to believe that the Eucharistic elements are the true body and blood of Christ. In fact, Pope St. Gelasius denied the idea of a "substantial" change in the Eucharistic elements in his treatise De Duabis Naturis, for as he said: "Certainly the sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive are a divine reality, because of which and through which we are made sharers of the divine nature. Nevertheless the substance or nature of bread and wine does not cease to exist. And certainly the image and likeness of the Body and Blood of Christ are celebrated in the carrying out the Mysteries" [Edward J. Kilmartin, The Eucharist in the West, page 41].

Is Pope St. Gelasius a heretic because he did not believe in transubstantiation?
Quote
This whole thread has been an argument about which particular lense of viewing original sin is right, or is better, or is closest to the most ancient traditions.

Which just tells me there is no actual agreed upon view of Original Sin, even within Catholicism itself. That is one of the things I have gotten out of this thread.

To base a dogma on something to which there is no agreement, does not make sense to me. It is not something that I personally have to grapple with, since it isn't my church, but I find it puzzling.
I think that one can only say there is no agreement when one insists that Original Sin must be seen in one particular exclusive way only. Both East and West have tried to insist that their way is the exclusive way. One side views it from the perspective of law, one side views it from the perspective of brokenness in a relationship.
Quote
I think that one can only say there is no agreement when one insists that Original Sin must be seen in one particular exclusive way only.

I think you mean there can be variance of opinion when there is no dogma that codifies one particular view. Clearly there is disagreement within Catholicism itself however as evidenced in this thread despite the dogma; but that is a different issue.

there can be variance of perspective.
Transubstantiation is a codified dogma, yet Eastern Catholics are not required to proclaim the real presence in a thomistic framework. The Oriental Orthodox did not accept the exact formulation of Chalcedon, yet they understand the faith in the same way, though expressed differently. Why should the Immaculate Conception be any different?
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Why should the Immaculate Conception be any different?

Clearly it isn't, as people have rather freely said they don't accept it as a dogma.
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
One does not have to accept the theory of transubstantiation,which is predicated upon the metaphysics of Aristotle...
What exactly is that "theory"?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
In fact, Pope St. Gelasius denied the idea of a "substantial" change in the Eucharistic elements in his treatise De Duabis Naturis, for as he said: "Certainly the sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive are a divine reality, because of which and through which we are made sharers of the divine nature. Nevertheless the substance or nature of bread and wine does not cease to exist. And certainly the image and likeness of the Body and Blood of Christ are celebrated in the carrying out the Mysteries" [Edward J. Kilmartin, The Eucharist in the West, page 41].
The quote has made the rounds but I've not found its source to be specified clearly. Does Kilmartin give a source publication for the primary reference and a location therein?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Is Pope St. Gelasius a heretic because he did not believe in transubstantiation?
First let's be sure what he may have not believed. Since he could not have known the term "transubstantiation" which was coined only later, the question is based on an anachronism.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
One does not have to accept the theory of transubstantiation,which is predicated upon the metaphysics of Aristotle...
What exactly is that "theory"?
The theory that says, contrary to what Pope St. Gelasius taught, that the substance of the bread and wine change, but that the accidents remain the same.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Is Pope St. Gelasius a heretic because he did not believe in transubstantiation?
First let's be sure what he may have not believed. Since he could not have known the term "transubstantiation" which was coined only later, the question is based on an anachronism.
He denies any change of substance in connection with the bread and wine, but if you want to try and assert otherwise, by all means quote him asserting the later Western theory.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
In fact, Pope St. Gelasius denied the idea of a "substantial" change in the Eucharistic elements in his treatise De Duabis Naturis, for as he said: "Certainly the sacraments of the Body and Blood of Christ that we receive are a divine reality, because of which and through which we are made sharers of the divine nature. Nevertheless the substance or nature of bread and wine does not cease to exist. And certainly the image and likeness of the Body and Blood of Christ are celebrated in the carrying out the Mysteries" [Edward J. Kilmartin, The Eucharist in the West, page 41].
The quote has made the rounds but I've not found its source to be specified clearly. Does Kilmartin give a source publication for the primary reference and a location therein?
In his footnotes Fr. Kilmartin, S.J., gives the text in Latin, although I am not going to transcribe that for you, but it is available in his book (see pages 41 and 42), and then he gives the following bibliographical information, "Gelasius, Tractate 3, De Duabis Naturis in Christo adversus Eutychem et Nestorium 14, (Thiel 541-542 [Schwartz, see above in no. 83])."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Thanks for bringing Bob Sungenis into this discussion. Here is his pdf on the recent Catholic vs. Protestant debate on the Immaculate Conception - notice what he says about the Patristic witness for the doctrine:
As a vignette illustrating his position -- that there is a Patristic witness for the Immaculate Conception -- I offer (from the article):
Quote
As for the patristic evidence for the Immaculate Conception, all that the Catholic Church needs is one witness to show that the concept or doctrine existed during that time period. That’s not a hard task. Dr. White’s favorite Father, Athanasius, gives a strong indication he believed Mary to be without sin. . . .
Dear Ajk,

Are you in agreement with Mr. Sungenis, and do you consider this to be a valid approach to the fathers?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
I'm not familiar with the writings of Sungenis and would need to know more to better answer. To what were you referring when you wrote "notice what he says about the Patristic witness for the doctrine."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Stuart, I do not mean this as a trap, or to corner you, but how, then can you reconcile this with the words of the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus . . .
Easy--it's just the the rantings of a rather opinionated Italian gentleman, and no concern of mine. Just because a Pope says something, and then says it is dogmatically binding, doesn't mean everybody will accept it as such. Just ask Gregory VII Hildebrand or Boniface VIII.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by StuartK
Easy--it's just the the rantings of a rather opinionated Italian gentleman, and no concern of mine.
Oh, come now. You know better than that. It is far more than a ranting opinionated Italian Gentleman. You know that an Apostolic Constitution is no such thing and has a whole lot of magesterial authority to it. Ineffabilis Deus explicitly states that the mind of the Bishops was sought out. You're just being coy. I don't see how your statement can be reconciled that the I.C. can be treated by any Catholic as theologemoun.

Quote
Just because a Pope says something . . .
That's just rhetorical maneuvering. You're smart enough to know that this isn't something as simple as the pope waking up in the morning and deciding to make something dogmatic. With all due respect, claiming it as the rantings of an Italian gentleman is no position or defense at all. If a fellow Eastern Catholic were to come to you, feeling very torn because they want to be faithful to the Church, and didn't know how to reconcile Ineffabilis Deus with their own tradition as an Eastern Catholic, would you just tell them to pay no mind to the rantings of a Pope (which borders on being uncharitable IMO), or would you offer another way to help explain it to them?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Stuart, I do not mean this as a trap, or to corner you, but how, then can you reconcile this with the words of the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus . . .
Easy--it's just the the rantings of a rather opinionated Italian gentleman, and no concern of mine.
Unfortunately, such a slur extends beyond the Pope himself:
Quote
Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful." [Cf. Denz., n. 1641.]
Ineffabilis Deus Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854. link [papalencyclicals.net]

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by StuartK
Just because a Pope says something, and then says it is dogmatically binding . . .
This basically answers the thread's Subject: "Why is the Immaculate Conception considered Ex-Catherda [sic]?"
Originally Posted by StuartK
. . . doesn't mean everybody will accept it as such. Just ask Gregory VII Hildebrand or Boniface VIII.
The clear point of Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam was that such non-acceptance is, well, unacceptable.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Stuart, I do not mean this as a trap, or to corner you, but how, then can you reconcile this with the words of the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus . . .
Easy--it's just the the rantings of a rather opinionated Italian gentleman, and no concern of mine. Just because a Pope says something, and then says it is dogmatically binding, doesn't mean everybody will accept it as such. Just ask Gregory VII Hildebrand or Boniface VIII.
Successfully holding my tongue. Carry on.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
Quote
Stuart, I do not mean this as a trap, or to corner you, but how, then can you reconcile this with the words of the Apostolic Constitution, Ineffabilis Deus . . .
Easy--it's just the the rantings of a rather opinionated Italian gentleman, and no concern of mine. Just because a Pope says something, and then says it is dogmatically binding, doesn't mean everybody will accept it as such. Just ask Gregory VII Hildebrand or Boniface VIII.
"Into the valley of Death / rode the six hundred" (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

Stuart, you do have a talent for polemics!


This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by StuartK
Just because a Pope says something, and then says it is dogmatically binding . . .
This basically answers the thread's Subject: "Why is the Immaculate Conception considered Ex-Catherda [sic]?"
Originally Posted by StuartK
. . . doesn't mean everybody will accept it as such. Just ask Gregory VII Hildebrand or Boniface VIII.
The clear point of Boniface VIII's Unam Sanctam was that such non-acceptance is, well, unacceptable.

Thank you for posting. This is what I've found so comforting about being Catholic. We don't have to torture ourselves about the truth. It is beautifully and clearly explained to us and we are to be like children and trust in the authority placed over us by God. If there are any Catholics who would accuse me of being "latinized" for such a way of thinking, then I guess I'm latinized.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear desertman,

I'm confused. Are you an Eastern Catholic or a Roman Catholic that was looking and changing Churches? Sorry, I forgot. I know there is a new person on here that was looking at changing from Rome to one of the Eastern Catholic Churches other than myself but I forget who he is.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
The clear point of the rejection of Unam Sanctam was sometimes even the Pope gets too big for his britches. Which is why Dante reserved a special spot in hell for Boniface.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear desertman,

I'm confused. Are you an Eastern Catholic or a Roman Catholic that was looking and changing Churches? Sorry, I forgot. I know there is a new person on here that was looking at changing from Rome to one of the Eastern Catholic Churches other than myself but I forget who he is.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

Hello again!

Yes, I'm Roman Catholic discerning a call East. So when I said I've been latinized, I was being ironic. Please pray for me!
This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Originally Posted by desertman
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Dear desertman,

I'm confused. Are you an Eastern Catholic or a Roman Catholic that was looking and changing Churches? Sorry, I forgot. I know there is a new person on here that was looking at changing from Rome to one of the Eastern Catholic Churches other than myself but I forget who he is.
Hello again! Yes, I'm Roman Catholic discerning a call East. So when I said I've been latinized, I was being ironic. Please pray for me!
Dear desertman,

I was wondering if that was you. Quite the irony lol. I started a new thread asking two questions. One of the questions is for you. Would you mind answering ? I'm curious and wish to understand you and others better. Here is the link: [The link is no longer active]

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by danman916
That's now the second uncharitable comment toward the Latin Rite Episcopacy.

I'm outta this thread.

NOTE: The original comment that Danman916 was responding to has been lost.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
At the First Council of Nicaea, while the bishops were the formal delegates and held episcopal jurisdiction, the weight of moral authority actually rested on the Confessors who had suffered in the persecutions for their faith. And laymen have, on occasion, stood against the collected weight of all the bishops, and been vindicated in their stand--witness Maximos the Confessor, a simple monk.

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Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Good question! No, but there are only two statements that are generally accepted as being ex cathedra, and they both use the same form of words . . .
This in interesting from the Code of Canon law:
Quote
Can. 749 §1 In virtue of his office the Supreme Pontiff is infallible in his teaching when, as chief Shepherd and Teacher of all Christ's faithful, with the duty of strengthening his brethren in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act a doctrine to be held concerning faith or morals.
§2 The College of Bishops also possesses infallibility in its teaching when the Bishops, gathered together in an Ecumenical Council and exercising their Magisterium as teachers and judges of faith and morals, definitively declare for the universal Church a doctrine to be held concerning faith or morals; likewise, when the Bishops, dispersed throughout the world but maintaining the bond of union among themselves and with the successor of Peter, together with the same Roman Pontiff authentically teach matters of faith or morals, and are agreed that a particular teaching is definitively to be held.
§3 No doctrine is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is manifestly demonstrated.
#3 states that no doctrin is understood to be infallibly defined unless this is the manifestly demonstrated. What is the process for demonstrating if a doctrine has been infallibly defined?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Well may you ask. I can only point to the two existing examples: Ineffabilis Deus and Munificentissimus Deus. And, I think it is worth comparing them with Ordinatio sacerdotalis, because I am given to understand that Pope John Paul II wanted to make an infallible statement, but was dissuaded from doing so. Instead he made a statement which is as close as possible to being infallible without actually using the words employed by Popes Pius IX and Pius XII.

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Originally Posted by ByzBob
I will concede that it is generally thought of as being one of two (or more) statements, but does that assumption equal reality? Has Rome ever officially said that it was, if so where? Or has it just been thought of as one? If it has not been manifestly demonstrated that it is one then it would appear that there is some allowance, even on the RC side. I’m not sure that the language alone is sufficient since we can find similar wording in documents no one considers ex cathedra.

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
At the First Council of Nicaea, while the bishops were the formal delegates and held episcopal jurisdiction, the weight of moral authority actually rested on the Confessors who had suffered in the persecutions for their faith. And laymen have, on occasion, stood against the collected weight of all the bishops, and been vindicated in their stand--witness Maximos the Confessor, a simple monk.
Stuart is making a good point. No statement, whether from a Council or a Pope, can ever be truly infallible unless it is received by the faithful. There is no magic here.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Yes, I have just mentioned Ordinatio sacerdotalis as an example of a document which uses the language of (near-)infallibility. Frankly, this is all a matter of reception, but I do think Ordinatio sacerdotalis will turn out to be just as important as Ineffabilis Deus or Munificentissimus Deus.

However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims. Therefore, I try to avoid contradicting the teaching of the Popes and Councils of the Catholic Church.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
At the First Council of Nicaea, while the bishops were the formal delegates and held episcopal jurisdiction, the weight of moral authority actually rested on the Confessors who had suffered in the persecutions for their faith. And laymen have, on occasion, stood against the collected weight of all the bishops, and been vindicated in their stand--witness Maximos the Confessor, a simple monk.
Stuart is making a good point. No statement, whether from a Council or a Pope, can ever be truly infallible unless it is received by the faithful. There is no magic here.
Is there a canon for this, or is it just generally accepted? Just wondering.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Indeed, according to the biography by Ian Ker [amazon.co.uk], Blessed John Henry Newman was critical of the dogma of Papal Infallibility, not because he did not believe in it, but because he thought it was unnecessary at the time. He did not believe in defining dogmas merely for the sake of devotion. He thought that dogmatic definitions should be made from necessity. And, as such, Ordinatio sacerdotalis is a much better candidate for infallible status, because it is clearly a necessary answer to current and widespread heresies and misunderstandings.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
At the First Council of Nicaea, while the bishops were the formal delegates and held episcopal jurisdiction, the weight of moral authority actually rested on the Confessors who had suffered in the persecutions for their faith. And laymen have, on occasion, stood against the collected weight of all the bishops, and been vindicated in their stand--witness Maximos the Confessor, a simple monk.
Stuart is making a good point. No statement, whether from a Council or a Pope, can ever be truly infallible unless it is received by the faithful. There is no magic here.
Is there a canon for this, or is it just generally accepted? Just wondering.
Again, good question. I am referring to the sensus fidelium as understood by Vatican II (Lumen Gentium [vatican.va] 35), but also in the sense of St. Vincent of Lérins: "what all men have at all times and everywhere believed must be regarded as true [newadvent.org]." What I am trying to say is that no Pope and no Council can make up a new doctrine which did not already in some way, shape or form exist in the mind of the faithful.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims.
Must be a Latin Catholic thing, since I was baptized into the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church, and was not required to make any such promise. The Rites of Illumination in the Byzantine Rite are widely available, and I defy anyone to find such an oath. The Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople is entirely sufficient.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims.
Must be a Latin Catholic thing, since I was baptized into the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church, and was not required to make any such promise. The Rites of Illumination in the Byzantine Rite are widely available, and I defy anyone to find such an oath. The Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople is entirely sufficient.
Very possibly. However I am happy with the promise I have made. The Latin Church is never short on lofty ideals.

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Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
I digress, but I almost envy you. I was "only" baptized as an infant as an Evangelical Lutheran, and subsequently confirmed as a Catholic. I would have liked to have been able to remember my own baptism.

Still, I definitely believe that the baptism of infants is valid according to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

And, I suppose it is fitting that a difference should be made between neophytes and repentant heretics . . . wink

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Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
And, I suppose it is fitting that a difference should be made between neophytes and repentant heretics . . .
As opposed to us heathens, I guess?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
And, I suppose it is fitting that a difference should be made between neophytes and repentant heretics . . .
As opposed to us heathens, I guess?
No one who has been baptized as a Ruthenian Catholic would ever qualify as a heathen. You are included in the category of neophytes, whereas I am the repentant heretic.

This is not to say that I haven't sometimes wondered at your apparent animus against anything and everything emanating from Rome. Still, I think Rome can take care of itself and so a bit of criticism won't hurt.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Before I was a Ruthenian I was a non-practicing Jew. The ancestors of some of the people in my parish probably chased some of my ancestors up and down the Carpathians.

I don't have an animus against Rome. I simply take Rome at its word regarding what it wants Greek Catholics to do, not to mention the promises Rome makes to our Orthodox brethren. I can't help it if that bumps up against some other things Rome wants people to do.

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Originally Posted by Irenaeus
Originally Posted by mardukm
Of your 15 quotes, I would count only 7 that actually support the doctrine of the IC. There are others out there, of course, from the early Fathers.
Hello,

I love this seventh century one: St. Sophronius (died 638), Patriarch of Jerusalem, was one of the last of the Fathers and one of the greatest exponents of Mary's primacy of excellence. He almost stated the Immaculate Conception in western terms:
Quote
Others before you have flourished with outstanding holiness. But to none as to you has the fullness of grace been given. None has been endowed with happiness as you, none adorned with holiness like yours, none brought to such great magnificence as yours; no one was ever possessed beforehand by purifying grace as were you... And this deservedly, for no one came as close to God as you did; no one was enriched with God's gifts as you were; no one shared God's grace as you did (St. Sophronius, In SS Deip. Annunt. 22 Patrologia Latina 87c, 3248, in Michael O'Carroll, "Theotokos: A Theological Encyclopedia of the Blessed Virgin Mary," p. 329, italics and ellipsis in O'Carroll).
Peace, in and out,
Irenaeus

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Almost, but not quite, as was pointed out by Meyendorff. The most important thing Fr. John wrote about it was this:
Quote
But, it should be remembered--especially in the context of the poetical, emotional or rhetorical exaggerations characteristic of Byzantine liturgical Mariology--that such concepts as "purity" and "holiness" could easily be visualized even within the framework of pre-Christian humanity, which was considered as mortal, but not necessarily "guilty". In the case of Mary, her response to the angel abd ger status as the "New Eve" gave her a special relation to the "new race" born of her. Yet never does one read in Byzantine authors any statement which would imply that she had received a special grace of immortality. Only such a statement would clearly imply that her humanity did not share the common lot of the descendants of Adam. [. . .] So the Byzantine Church, wisely preserving the scale of theological values that always gave precedence to the basic fundamental truths of the Gospel, abstained from enforcing any dogmatic formulation concerning Mary, except that she was truly and really the Theotokos, "Mother of God". No doubt, this striking title, made necessary by the logic of Cyrillian Christology, justified her daily liturgical acclamation as "more honorable than the Cherubim, and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim." What greater honor could be rendered to a human being? What clearer basis could be found for a Christian theocentric anthropology? Indeed, what greater honor could? So, this is not really about ensuring proper veneration or devotion to the Theotokos, for in this area, Orthodox piety equals if not exceeds that of the West. Which means just one thing: our disagreement is fundamentally about the priority of the Latin Church and its theology over all other Churches. Which is why, of course, in its discussions with the Orthodox Churches, the Holy See never even raises the issue of the immaculate conception. For Rome, it's a non-issue. For Romans--and many Greek Catholics, apparently--its a matter of self-identification.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Is the last paragraph of the Quote Meyendorff?
Originally Posted by StuartK
Indeed, what greater honor could? So, this is not really about ensuring proper veneration or devotion to the Theotokos, for in this area, Orthodox piety equals if not exceeds that of the West. Which means just one thing: our disagreement is fundamentally about the priority of the Latin Church and its theology over all other Churches. Which is why, of course, in its discussions with the Orthodox Churches, the Holy See never even raises the issue of the immaculate conception. For Rome, it's a non-issue. For Romans--and many Greek Catholics, apparently--its a matter of self-identification.
If Meyendorff wrote the following then he really misses the mark:
Originally Posted by StuartK
Yet never does one read in Byzantine authors any statement which would imply that she had received a special grace of immortality. Only such a statement would clearly imply that her humanity did not share the common lot of the descendants of Adam. . .
The important point is that "her humanity" DID "share the common lot of the descendants of Adam." As has been correctly noted, this sharing reinforces that Christ, who took flesh from her, is unambiguously "true Man."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Originally Posted by StuartK
I don't have an animus against Rome. I simply take Rome at its word regarding what it wants Greek Catholics to do, not to mention the promises Rome makes to our Orthodox brethren. I can't help it if that bumps up against some other things Rome wants people to do.
Good. I agree that we should take Rome at its word. We should not "accept" Rome's words and then proceed to explain them away. But I hope you agree that the words of Councils and Popes must be read hermeneutically. Each declaration of a Council or a Pope must be seen in the context of other declarations, and in the context of the historical situation at the time. Therefore, when discussing a particular dogma like the Immaculate Conception, or a particular Council like Vatican I, they cannot be seen in isolation, but as part of the whole history of dogmas and councils. Otherwise, you risk depending too much on only one dogma or one council.

So, looking at Vatican I, you point out that the Eastern bishops were badly treated. That certainly raises doubts about the Council, but it doesn't automatically discredit its decrees. After all, I believe that the Oriental Orthodox are still unhappy about the way they were treated at Chalcedon in 451. But that does not mean that Chalcedon wasn't a valid Council. However, continuing the comparison, it is clear that Chalcedon dealt with pressing issues of Christology, whereas Vatican I "only" dealt with the question of the exercise of the Petrine ministry.

Continued in the post below.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Continued from the post above.

Also, looking at Pastor Aeternus, this document needs to be read in the context of the historical situation in 1869-70 and in the context of the history of the Petrine ministry. It was felt by many at the time that it was necessary to affirm the authority of the Pope in the face of the impending unification of Italy. I believe there were some Ultramontanists who wanted Papal Infallibility to extend to politcs as well, something which would have been completely disastrous. Thankfully, they were defeated.

As I have said before, and I believe to be true, no Council can make up new truths, but can only confirm and elucidate what is already true. Infallibility only means that the Church cannot teach falsehood. It does not mean that individual teaching documents are guaranteed to be perfect expressions of the truth. We are after all limited by human language.

Looking at Pastor Aeternus in isolation, then, is dangerous, and Rome does not require us to do so. Witness for example the teaching of Vatican II on the College of Bishops (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 1964), and the teaching of Pope John Paul II in Ut Unum Sint from 1995 on the need to reconsider how the Petrine ministry is exercised.

I hope you will excuse this rather long post, but I do think that we have to try to be very careful and nuanced when discussing complex dogmatic issues. Otherwise we risk doing more harm than good.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by danman916
Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims.
Must be a Latin Catholic thing, since I was baptized into the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church, and was not required to make any such promise. The Rites of Illumination in the Byzantine Rite are widely available, and I defy anyone to find such an oath. The Creed of Nicaea-Constantinople is entirely sufficient.
The profession of faith that Latin Catholic is referring to is part of the rite of receiving non-Catholic (baptized) Christians into the full communion of the Church. You would not have done this since you made your profession of faith when you were baptized. In the Latin Rite, catechumens make their renunciation of sin and profession of faith before being baptized through a series of affirmations:

i.e. Priest: Do you believe in God the Father, creator of heaven and earth?
Catechumen: "I do"
Priest: Do you believe...... Catechumen: "I Do"
etc.

Christians already baptized are received into the Church after making this affirmation of faith. After which, they also recite the Nicene Creed during the liturgy. Maybe Ruthenian's receive other non-Catholic Christians in a different way with a different liturgical formula. I don't know.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by ajk
Is the last paragraph of the Quote Meyendorff?
No, I dragged too far. The last line from Meyendorff is:

"What greater honor could be rendered to a human being? What clearer basis could be found for a Christian theocentric anthropology?"

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
Almost, but not quite, as was pointed out by Meyendorff. The most important thing Fr. John wrote about it was this:
Quote
But, it should be remembered--especially in the context of the poetical, emotional or rhetorical exaggerations characteristic of Byzantine liturgical Mariology--that such concepts as "purity" and "holiness" could easily be visualized even within the framework of pre-Christian humanity, which was considered as mortal, but not necessarily "guilty". In the case of Mary, her response to the angel abd ger status as the "New Eve" gave her a special relation to the "new race" born of her. Yet never does one read in Byzantine authors any statement which would imply that she had received a special grace of immortality. Only such a statement would clearly imply that her humanity did not share the common lot of the descendants of Adam. . .
Stuart, I love Meyendorff's book on Byzantine theology, and I agree with what he said here, and with what you (and several others) have been saying throughout this thread. There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the [Roman] Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims. Therefore, I try to avoid contradicting the teaching of the Popes and Councils of the Catholic Church.
I believe all that the Melkite Catholic Church professes and believes, which is why I accept the Seven Ecumenical Councils as binding, and why I also accept the primacy, but not the supremacy, of the bishop of Rome ". . . as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
To be clear, like it or not, the Immaculate Conception is not Catholic "theory" but Catholic dogma.

"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?

If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
To be clear, like it or not, the Immaculate Conception is not Catholic "theory" but Catholic dogma.
You are welcome to consider it as such, but I do not.
Originally Posted by ajk
"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?
Yes. All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy (see St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 78).

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?
St. John Chrysostom answered this question in his Baptismal Instructions: "Blessed be God, who alone does wonderful things! You have seen how numerous are the gifts of baptism. Although many men think that the only gift it confers is the remission of sins, we have counted its honors to the number of ten. It is on this account that we baptize even infants, although they are sinless, that they may be given the further gifts of sanctification, justice, filial adoption, and inheritance, that they may be brothers and members of Christ, and become dwelling places for the Spirit" [St. John Chrysostom, Third Baptismal Instruction, no. 6].

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Originally Posted by griego catolico
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the [Roman] Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims. Therefore, I try to avoid contradicting the teaching of the Popes and Councils of the Catholic Church.
I believe all that the Melkite Catholic Church professes and believes, which is why I accept the Seven Ecumenical Councils as binding, and why I also accept the primacy, but not the supremacy, of the bishop of Rome ". . . as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."
Apotheoun,

With all due respect, do you therefore ignore what the CDF stated that such profession is not possible? I am trying to understand how one can say he/she is Catholic and yet not accept what the Catholic Church teaches. Wouldn't this amount to an Eastern form of "cafeteria Catholicism"? I don't see any Church document that supports "Eastern Orthodox in communion with Rome".

This is not a criticism of you. I am trying to undertsand your perspective. smile

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by griego catolico
Apotheoun,

With all due respect, do you therefore ignore what the CDF stated that such profession is not possible? I am trying to understand how one can say he/she is Catholic and yet not accept what the Catholic Church teaches.
Yes, I reject the response to the Melkite Profession of Faith written by then Cardinal Ratzinger. I do not equate the Catholic Church with the Latin Church, and so what it believes on these issues is its own business. I am a Melkite Catholic, not a Roman Catholic.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by griego catolico
Wouldn't this amount to an Eastern form of "cafeteria Catholicism"?
No, that would only follow if to be Catholic meant to be Latin, but that is clearly a false proposition.
Originally Posted by griego catolico
I don't see any Church document that supports "Eastern Orthodox in communion with Rome".
The Melkite Profession of Faith issued by the Melkite Catholic Holy Synod is a Church document.
Originally Posted by griego catolico
This is not a criticism of you. I am trying to undertsand your perspective. smile
I am not offended by your questions. May God grant you many joyful years.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
To be clear, like it or not, the Immaculate Conception is not Catholic "theory" but Catholic dogma.
You are welcome to consider it as such, but I do not.
To be clear(er), I mean objectively. For instance, a recent, official presentation of the Catholic faith says:
Quote
491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.
[emphasis added] CCC [vatican.va]. One may not like it, but there it is.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?
Yes. All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy (see St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 78).
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?
St. John Chrysostom answered this question in his Baptismal Instructions: "Blessed be God, who alone does wonderful things! You have seen how numerous are the gifts of baptism. Although many men think that the only gift it confers is the remission of sins, we have counted its honors to the number of ten. It is on this account that we baptize even infants, although they are sinless, that they may be given the further gifts of sanctification, justice, filial adoption, and inheritance, that they may be brothers and members of Christ, and become dwelling places for the Spirit" [St. John Chrysostom, Third Baptismal Instruction, no. 6].
Yet the clear point of the Creed is:

Ὁμολογῶ ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.
Confíteor unum baptísma in remissiónem peccatorum.
I confess/profess one baptism unto/into/for the remission/forgiveness of sins.

What then of un-baptized new-borns who die? Heaven? Hell? Etc.? If Etc.?, then what is it?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
To be clear, like it or not, the Immaculate Conception is not Catholic "theory" but Catholic dogma.
I have no doubt that Roman Catholics think the theory of the Immaculate Conception is a dogma, but it is not. It does not represent the theological tradition of the East.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
St. John Chrysostom answered this question in his Baptismal Instructions: "Blessed be God, who alone does wonderful things! You have seen how numerous are the gifts of baptism. Although many men think that the only gift it confers is the remission of sins, we have counted its honors to the number of ten. It is on this account that we baptize even infants, although they are sinless, that they may be given the further gifts of sanctification, justice, filial adoption, and inheritance, that they may be brothers and members of Christ, and become dwelling places for the Spirit" [St. John Chrysostom, Third Baptismal Instruction, no. 6].
Yet the clear point of the Creed is: Ὁμολογῶ ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. Confíteor unum baptísma in remissiónem peccatorum. I confess/profess one baptism unto/into/for the remission/forgiveness of sins. What then of un-baptized new-borns who die? Heaven? Hell? Etc.? If Etc.?, then what is it?
I am sure that St. John Chrysostom was familiar with the creed, but he simply did not read it in an Augustinian fashion. No one is conceived or born sinful.

As far as an unbaptized baby is concerned, his end is the same as that of every other man, i.e., he will participate for all eternity in the divine energy. Nevertheless, his (i.e., the unbaptized baby’s) experience of that divine presence will not be the same as that of a man who - through the free exercise of his will - lived a life of virtue, but he will not be punished with damnation, for as a mere babe he committed no sins. I am not an Augustinian.

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?
Yes. All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy (see St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 78).
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
Mortality is the difference, and all the consequences that flow from it (e.g., a tendency to fall into sin by trying to prolong this mortal existence, the unruliness of the passions which seek to fulfill pleasure with no thought to one's eternal destiny, etc.). Mortality is problem enough, which is why there is no need to invent a legal fiction that all men are conceived or born sinful.

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Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
To be clear(er), I mean objectively. For instance, a recent, official presentation of the Catholic faith says:
Quote
. . . That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception . . .
That is a Western presentation of the faith. Look, I understand that what I am saying is hard for many Catholics (Roman and Eastern) to accept, but as the Melkite Patriarch said back in 2002: "The difficulty lies in the fact that Rome is not ready to give the Eastern Catholic Churches the genuine rights they deserve. Rome would more easily give them to the Orthodox Churches. We do not represent, in a full sense, genuine Orthodoxy, to Rome or to the Orthodox Churches. Therefore, it is just and fit to ask: Are we allowed to have this role, to be a bridge, to be a window? Can we really fulfill such a role? Are we prepared for it? For my part, I answer: Yes! Because I am convinced of that role, in spite of the deep difficulty. I am convinced that nobody can do it on our behalf, or in our place, and that, even if this role is denied to us by different sides. My deep conviction is based upon the experience of the history of our Church. We, the Melkites, were able to accomplish this role for about 300 years of our communion with Rome. Even before that time (1724), we always played this role of openness, of flexibility, of reconciliation, of mediation. We always wanted to reconcile the two poles of ecclesiology: Constantinople and Rome. We did a lot to reconcile the two visions or ecclesiologies. We never asked for or requested reciprocity. We did what we did as genuine Orientals, because we consider that we are committed to something that is not extraneous to us or to our tradition. We are defending our own tradition in the framework of our communion with Rome. That is precisely the role of a bridge and a window. We can do a lot because of our Eastern character, our communion with Rome, and our deep sensibility to the Eastern tradition."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
The key word in that that clause of the Creed is not "remission" but "one". As I said, the principal reason for its inclusion was pastoral--a rejection of the multiple baptisms for the remission of sins which was commonplace at the time (and in the absence of a fully developed Sacrament of Reconciliation). In any case, most catechumens in the late fourth century were adults--they had actual sins to remit, but remission of sins was not--and is not--the principal purpose of baptism, merely one of its happy concomitants. In fact, infant baptism was probably pretty rare at the time, and for quite some time, bishops flailed around looking for a good reason to do so. Augustine's answer was not the one accepted in the East, though.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
The key word in that that clause of the Creed is not "remission" but "one". As I said, the principal reason for its inclusion was pastoral--a rejection of the multiple baptisms for the remission of sins which was commonplace at the time (and in the absence of a fully developed Sacrament of Reconciliation). In any case, most catechumens in the late fourth century were adults--they had actual sins to remit, but remission of sins was not--and is not--the principal purpose of baptism, merely one of its happy concomitants. In fact, infant baptism was probably pretty rare at the time, and for quite some time, bishops flailed around looking for a good reason to do so. Augustine's answer was not the one accepted in the East, though.
Well said!

In the quotation I provided from St. John Chrysostom's baptismal homilies he corrects the error of those who think that baptism only removes sins by mentioning the other gifts it bestows. Certainly baptism removes sins from one who has committed them, while also bestowing the other gifts mentioned by St. John, but in the case of a baby, who of course has committed no sins, it provides only those other gifts.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
What then of un-baptized new-borns who die? Heaven? Hell? Etc.? If Etc.?, then what is it?
I am sure that St. John Chrysostom was familiar with the creed, but he simply did not read it in an Augustinian fashion. No one is conceived or born sinful.

As far as an unbaptized baby is concerned, his end is the same as that of every other man, i.e., he will participate for all eternity in the divine energy. Nevertheless, his (i.e., the unbaptized baby’s) experience of that divine presence will not be the same as that of a man who - through the free exercise of his will - lived a life of virtue, but he will not be punished with damnation, for as a mere babe he committed no sins. I am not an Augustinian.
Is asking that question "Augustinian"? I hope not: for clarification, I have another. What then of the state of one who dies as: unbaptized new-born infant; unbaptized adult noble "pagan"; just baptized?

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
The key word in that that clause of the Creed is not "remission" but "one". As I said, the principal reason for its inclusion was pastoral . . .
Well said!

In the quotation I provided from St. John Chrysostom's baptismal homilies he corrects the error of those who think that baptism only removes sins . . .
It is the key word if one wants to make it so and ignore the other quite explicit words. However, where was it said (the "As I said...")? I do of course agree that noting the other graces and aspects of baptism is an important catechesis.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
Mortality is the difference, and all the consequences that flow from it (e.g., a tendency to fall into sin by trying to prolong this mortal existence, the unruliness of the passions which seek to fulfill pleasure with no thought to one's eternal destiny, etc.). Mortality is problem enough, which is why there is no need to invent a legal fiction that all men are conceived or born sinful.
I explicitly excepted mortality so you haven't answered my question.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
To be clear(er), I mean objectively. For instance, a recent, official presentation of the Catholic faith says:
Quote
. . . That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception . . .
That is a Western presentation of the faith. Look, I understand that what I am saying is hard for many Catholics (Roman and Eastern) to accept, but as the Melkite Patriarch said back in 2002: "The difficulty lies in the fact that Rome is not ready to give the Eastern Catholic Churches the genuine rights they deserve. Rome would more easily give them to the Orthodox Churches. We do not represent, in a full sense, genuine Orthodoxy, to Rome or to the Orthodox Churches. Therefore, it is just and fit to ask: Are we allowed to have this role, to be a bridge, to be a window? Can we really fulfill such a role? Are we prepared for it? For my part, I answer: Yes! . . ."
Apotheoun,

What is the source for this? I'm not asking to question it, but I would like to know since I am changing from Rome to the Melkite Church.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by ajk
What then of the state of one who dies as: unbaptized new-born infant; unbaptized adult noble "pagan"; just baptized?
The propensity to ask these sorts of questions is what gets the Western Church into trouble (IMO), and causes it to develop such things as purgatory, limbo, indulgences, etc., etc. Sometimes it is better to not ask so many questions. Trust in God.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Apotheoun,

What is the source for this? I'm not asking to question it, but I would like to know since I am changing from Rome to the Melkite Church.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
The Melkite Patriarch's comments are taken from the "Orientale Lumen VI Conference Proceedings 2002," which is available for purchase from Eastern Christian Publications [ssl.webvalence.com].

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by StuartK
The key word in that that clause of the Creed is not "remission" but "one". As I said, the principal reason for its inclusion was pastoral . . .
Well said!

In the quotation I provided from St. John Chrysostom's baptismal homilies he corrects the error of those who think that baptism only removes sins . . .
It is the key word if one wants to make it so and ignore the other quite explicit words. However, where was it said (the "As I said...")? I do of course agree that noting the other graces and aspects of baptism is an important catechesis.
Perhaps, but as Fr. Meyendorff pointed out long ago, the creed speaks of "sins" not "sin." It is not referring to some notion of "original sin."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
Mortality is the difference, and all the consequences that flow from it (e.g., a tendency to fall into sin by trying to prolong this mortal existence, the unruliness of the passions which seek to fulfill pleasure with no thought to one's eternal destiny, etc.). Mortality is problem enough, which is why there is no need to invent a legal fiction that all men are conceived or born sinful.
I explicitly excepted mortality so you haven't answered my question.
Yes, I did answer your question, and it is not my problem that you do not like the answer. Mortality is the effect of the original sin, and everything that it brings with it, e.g., unruliness of passions, an inordinate desire to keep this life going at all costs, a weakening of the will, etc.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by ajk
What then of the state of one who dies as: unbaptized new-born infant; unbaptized adult noble "pagan"; just baptized?
The propensity to ask these sorts of questions is what gets the Western Church into trouble (IMO), and causes it to develop such things as purgatory, limbo, indulgences, etc., etc. Sometimes it is better to not ask so many questions. Trust in God.
Asking questions is how we learn. If you don't like "purgatory, limbo, indulgences", even though they are in the vocabulary of the Catholic Church, then answer the question, if you can, without using them. It may be the case that "it is better to not ask so many questions" because the answers are not to one's liking. But I do trust that as there are rational questions that can legitimately be asked, there are also true answers.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by ByzBob
Originally Posted by ajk
Asking questions is how we learn. If you don't like "purgatory, limbo, indulgences", even though they are in the vocabulary of the Catholic Church, then answer the question, if you can, without using them. It may be the case that "it is better to not ask so many questions" because the answers are not to one's liking. But I do trust that as there are rational questions that can legitimately be asked, there are also true answers.
The secret things belong to God. Our musing about what may or may not happen to an unbaptized infant that dies is just that, our musings. As Christ told Peter, "What concern is it of yours? You follow me."

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by griego catolico
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Mortality is problem enough, which is why there is no need to invent a legal fiction that all men are conceived or born sinful.
Apotheoun,

Then how do you reconcile what you state with what Psalm 51:5 says: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me (King James Translation)?

The Sacred Scriptures are certainly not fiction.

God bless. smile

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
The problem is not in asking questions, but in insisting one has the answer, particularly when the subject is a true mystery. The Fathers warned us of the dangers of idle speculation, for they knew how divisive it could become, and how it could lead one into the realm of spiritual delusion. Better, they thought, to have the humility to say, "I don't know", or "It is a deep mystery", and leave it at that. But some people just need to have everything nicely packaged, placed in a box and tied up with a ribbon--and in matters pertaining to God, that way lies both madness and error.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by griego catolico
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me . . .
The KJV translation is incorrect. The LXX says, "in sins did my mother conceive me". That plural is important, and its absence in the Vulgate may have much to do with how the Western concept of sin as guilt transmitted through sexual reproduction originated.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Originally Posted by StuartK
Originally Posted by griego catolico
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me . . .
The KJV translation is incorrect. The LXX says, "in sins did my mother conceive me". That plural is important, and its absence in the Vulgate may have much to do with how the Western concept of sin as guilt transmitted through sexual reproduction originated.
Stuart,

What is the LLX?

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by AMM
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Stuart,

What is the LLX?

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
I am not Stuart, but it's the Septuagint. The Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church.

This is a re-post of a post that was lost:

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Originally Posted by AMM
I am not Stuart, but it's the Septuagint. The Old Testament used by the Orthodox Church.
Thank you none the less. biggrin

Manuel
That is the last of the Lost Posts that I was able to retrieve.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming! biggrin
Originally Posted by StuartK
Nonsense. The immaculate conception is a Christological, not a mariological doctrine, whose import is to ensure the sinlessness of Christ while ensuring his humanity...
The IC is Mariology as it pertains only to Mary among human persons after the fall, but the link with Christology as stated here is true and important. The IC dogma does not distance Mary from Mankind as some (rather uninformed) objections claim; rather, as noted above, the IC shows how Christ's humanity -- the humanity of a Divine Person -- has an unambiguous and direct link to ours: As the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer of the Latin Mass says, He is "a man like us in all things but sin" and in the Letter to the Hebrews "We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin" (Heb 4:15). Since Mary, a human person, is without sin, so too is Jesus, a divine person, without sin but still one of us in His -- in our -- humanity.

Originally Posted by StuartK
... in light of the Latin belief that the stain of original sin was transferred through conception from the parents to the offspring.
Just as we inherit death.

Originally Posted by StuartK
While the East always believed in the sinlessness of Mary,...
Significant details of the belief vary.

Originally Posted by StuartK
...the refusal of the East to believe we are born with a stain of sin into a state of sin obviated the need for such a doctrine.
As shown in recent posts that may be lost, the Russian Church accepted the IC for some time and apparently understood the sense of "original sin." I think a subsequent Patristic renewal among the Eastern churches sought and seeks to reclaim indigenous Eastern terminology. This is good but does not erase history. The objections to Western or Latin or Roman Catholic terminology and vocabulary that was clearly understood and accepted in the past only further complicate and obscure a documented understanding that should be a given in these discussions.

Originally Posted by StuartK
i.e., we are all "immaculately conceived".
Certainly not so for the Catholic and therefore Eastern Catholic. Is this even accepted Orthodox teaching?

Originally Posted by StuartK
That Mary was preserved from sin is a universal belief. That the West wants to believe certain things about how this was accomplished is perfectly appropriate--for the West.
The dogma (see below) is for the Church -- that is, East and West and North and South.

Originally Posted by StuartK
It is significant that this particular Western theologumenon did not even begin to gain currency until the Middle Ages, prior to which the West in its modesty was willing to let sleeping dogs lie.
The timing does not go to veracity and the Truth, though not stated explicitly, was and is still the Truth. What is a Dogma before being declared other than a theologumenon?

Originally Posted by StuartK
As to why Pius IX promulgated the doctrine as a "dogma" in the manner he did, the answer is two-fold: (1) because he believed he could; and (2) because, more generally, the Latin Church had been abusing the term "dogma" for a long time, and had gotten into the bad habit of "dogmatizing" matters of doctrine or even Church usage which did not fall under the purview of dogma.
Close enough even with the "": it's "dogma" i.e. Dogma. The answer to the thread's subject is, as inferred here, that it was so proclaimed. As to what falls "under the purview of dogma" the actual, public, solemn, clear actions of the Catholic Church speak against any private opinions to the contrary.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
Mortality is the difference, and all the consequences that flow from it (e.g., a tendency to fall into sin by trying to prolong this mortal existence, the unruliness of the passions which seek to fulfill pleasure with no thought to one's eternal destiny, etc.). Mortality is problem enough, which is why there is no need to invent a legal fiction that all men are conceived or born sinful.
I explicitly excepted mortality so you haven't answered my question.
Yes, I did answer your question, and it is not my problem that you do not like the answer. Mortality is the effect of the original sin, and everything that it brings with it, e.g., unruliness of passions, an inordinate desire to keep this life going at all costs, a weakening of the will, etc.
Oh, but I do like the answer: "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." as you say. But my actual question (the innermost quote above) remains unanswered. Here is the context:
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
To be clear, like it or not, the Immaculate Conception is not Catholic "theory" but Catholic dogma.

"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?

If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?
And an interesting response, but not an answer to the question:
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?
Yes. All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy (see St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 78).
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

Thank you for re-posting the lost posts and for all the reformatting.
Originally Posted by ajk
Oh, but I do like the answer: "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." as you say. But my actual question (the innermost quote above) remains unanswered. Here is the context:
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
To be clear, like it or not, the Immaculate Conception is not Catholic "theory" but Catholic dogma.

"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?

If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?
No, I have answered the question. Mary is conceived and born mortal, which means she is subject to death and all that follows from it, e.g., unruliness of the passions, a desire to maintain her mortal existence, weakening of the will, etc., but none of these things, which are all a part of being mortal, have anything to do with the idea that a person is somehow conceived or born sinful or guilty. There is no need for a theory of Immaculate Conception in the East, because there is no need to protect the Theotokos from the fiction that she would have been conceived or born sinful without it.

As to why babies are baptized, I answered that already, and so I see no need to repeat myself. No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty.
Originally Posted by ajk
Thank you for re-posting the lost posts and for all the reformatting.
You're welcome.
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
No, I have answered the question. Mary is conceived and born mortal, which means she is subject to death and all that follows from it, e.g., unruliness of the passions, a desire to maintain her mortal existence, weakening of the will, etc., but none of these things, which are all a part of being mortal, have anything to do with the idea that a person is somehow conceived or born sinful or guilty.
You wrote: "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." You say "the original sin" by which I understand the personal sin of Adam: The personal sin of Adam resulted in his mortality, that is, "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." According to this, if I understand it, the sin of Adam has only an inherent existential consequence for us, his descendants, and that consequence is death and all that it entails. Is there not also an inherent spiritual consequence?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of Immaculate Conception in the East, because there is no need to protect the Theotokos from the fiction that she would have been conceived or born sinful without it.
But I do not see it, nor does the Catholic Church, as "fiction." So, reconstructing:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.

Originally Posted by ajk
"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Yes. All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy (see St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 78).

Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

"this state" = "No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty"; "All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy."

QUESTION: In what ways does "this state" differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
As to why babies are baptized, I answered that already, and so I see no need to repeat myself.
You did answer and I intend to return to it. This question of mine was included only as context in my last post although it does go to the point:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty.
You say it again so I ask again:

Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

"this state" = "No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty"; "All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy."
Originally Posted by ajk
You wrote: "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." You say "the original sin" by which I understand the personal sin of Adam: The personal sin of Adam resulted in his mortality, that is, "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." According to this, if I understand it, the sin of Adam has only an inherent existential consequence for us, his descendants, and that consequence is death and all that it entails. Is there not also an inherent spiritual consequence?
The spiritual consequence is the return to non-being, which Christ reversed through the incarnation by which ever-being was given to all mankind. Heaven and hell only became possible with the incarnation.
Originally Posted by ajk
But I do not see it, nor does the Catholic Church, as "fiction."
You seem to be confusing the theological tradition of one Church, i.e., the Roman Church, with the tradition of the Catholic Church.

The Byzantine Church is Catholic too, and its theological tradition has as much weight as the Roman tradition.

Problems have arisen because the Roman Church has tried to turn its speculations into dogma (e.g., the Roman view of the original sin, the theory of the Immaculate Conception, the idea that the bishop of Rome has supremacy over all the other bishops, the filioque, etc.), and that has brought about the present division between East and West.
Originally Posted by ajk
QUESTION: In what ways does "this state" differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
The difference is this: Adam was created immortal but with the potential to fall into mortality, while we are conceived and born mortal but with the potential to have ever-well-being, that is, if we cooperate with the divine energy.
Originally Posted by ajk
QUESTION: In what ways does "this state" differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

Not to butt in, but that's simple. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were not subject to death. After the Fall, they and humankind were and still is.

An infant's soul is in the same state that Adam's was, however, the difference you seek is that these souls are born into a world where death reigns. Sin is a result of death's grip.

It is why Jesus, through death, has conquered death, to redeem this world that was corrupted. Eve's rejection of God and "yes" to Satan is redeemed by Mary's acceptance of God and "yes" to Gabriel. Through Eve, Adam introduced death. Through the Theotokos, Jesus the new Adam conquered death.

Mary being filled with God's Grace to reject sin from her infancy makes sense to me in only one way: that she might, full of Grace as Eve was, say "yes" to God when Eve said "no". The free will of Mary redeeming the free will of Eve. Jesus then, through His death, conquering the death that Adam introduced. I don't understand this to be dogmatically true, and my apostolic faith and Christology are none the lesser if she was filled with this grace at the annunciation, or if she had sinned in her life anyways.

Are we really suggesting that Jesus would have sinned had Mary not been sinless? That is silly.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
As to why babies are baptized, I answered that already, and so I see no need to repeat myself.
You did answer and I intend to return to it. This question of mine was included only as context in my last post although it does go to the point:
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty.
You say it again so I ask again:
Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
"this state" = "No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty"; "All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy."
I have answered this question, but you do not like the answer, because you accept the Roman position, while I do not.

Re-read the quotation from St. John Chrysostom, because that summarizes my own position, babies - as he said - are sinless, but are baptized in order to give the other gifts associated with that holy mystery.

You are free to believe that babies are born guilty and sinful if you wish, but I will never believe such nonsense.
Originally Posted by jjp
Not to butt in, but that's simple. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were not subject to death. After the Fall, they and humankind were and still is.
I agree. And thank you for "butting in." biggrin

Originally Posted by jjp
An infant's soul is in the same state that Adam's was, however, the difference you seek is that these souls are born into a world where death reigns. Sin is a result of death's grip.
I agree.

Originally Posted by jjp
It is why Jesus, through death, has conquered death, to redeem this world that was corrupted. Eve's rejection of God and "yes" to Satan is redeemed by Mary's acceptance of God and "yes" to Gabriel. Through Eve, Adam introduced death. Through the Theotokos, Jesus the new Adam conquered death.

Mary being filled with God's Grace to reject sin from her infancy makes sense to me in only one way: that she might, full of Grace as Eve was, say "yes" to God when Eve said "no". The free will of Mary redeeming the free will of Eve. Jesus then, through His death, conquering the death that Adam introduced. I don't understand this to be dogmatically true, and my apostolic faith and Christology are none the lesser if she was filled with this grace at the annunciation, or if she had sinned in her life anyways.
Well said! One of the problems with the Immaculate Conception theory is that it tends to make Mary's will irrelevant. Salvation is a synergistic process. I have even had Roman Catholic friends say that Mary could not sin, that she had no free will, because - in a sense - grace replaced her free will.
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
You wrote: "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." You say "the original sin" by which I understand the personal sin of Adam: The personal sin of Adam resulted in his mortality, that is, "...Mortality is the effect of the original sin..." According to this, if I understand it, the sin of Adam has only an inherent existential consequence for us, his descendants, and that consequence is death and all that it entails. Is there not also an inherent spiritual consequence?
The spiritual consequence is the return to non-being, which Christ reversed through the incarnation by which ever-being was given to all mankind. Heaven and hell only became possible with the incarnation.
Ok, there is also a spiritual consequence. But it is "non-being"? And "Heaven and hell only became possible with the incarnation." Please explain.

I don't believe this question has been addressed fully:

Originally Posted by ajk
If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?

The reason for baptism - infant or adult - is entry into the Church (i.e. the ekklesia, the assembly of Christians, the body of Christ). The baptized participates in the fullness of life and the deification which God gives to the church through its worship. It's one of three essential stages in a person's "putting off the old man for the new", his joining of the community which is the body of Christ and his "ordination" for his ministry as one of the people of God*.

This is integral to the "Byzantine" tradition, as can be seen in the rite of baptism/chrismation/Eucharist for initiates into the Church. Certainly, Baptism forgives the sins that the baptized committed beforehand. But its fundamental purpose is to renew the person so he can participate in the Church (i.e. its common worship, its sacramental life and the fruits thereof - one is not saved individually).

For infants, the baptism is also the parents and sponsor's affirmation that they will participate in the church and raise the child to participate. The child would otherwise be outside the church and would live a life without grace until his later baptism. The "fruits" of the sacraments are not limited to what can be grasped rationally.

My $0.02.

*sorry, my current vacation reading is Father Nicholas Afanasiev's "Church of the Holy Spirt" and it's rubbing off some. Though he went a bit far sometimes, I personally can't find fault with his basic points.
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
One does not have to accept the theory of transubstantiation,which is predicated upon the metaphysics of Aristotle...
What exactly is that "theory"?
The theory that says, contrary to what Pope St. Gelasius taught, that the substance of the bread and wine change, but that the accidents remain the same.
I can accept this as your statement of transubstantiation, and in that sense, your theory of transubstantiation. You use what is usually considered as scholastic terminology by invoking "accidents." You state that your theory is "contrary to what Pope St. Gelasius taught." While you may state your theory and make comparisons, the actual teaching, the dogmatic statement of the Catholic Church, is what is relevant. Do you know what the actual teaching says?
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Even as a Roman Catholic, even when I used to be a proud papist ignorant of the east as a whole, I had issues with the IC because as I understand it, this belief states that Mary was conceived in state that she was already saved. In other words, she was in that state that baptized Christians are in. It was like she was pre-saved if you will. That's how I understood it. Is that how any of you who are proponents of the IC understand it? That she was in a state of salvation before salvation was available? In doing some research on this, it seems that the Dominicans took up Thomas Aquinas' position until it was dogmatized which I find interesting.



Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Glory to Jesus Christ!

So I have been doing some reading in the CCC and reflection on this whole controversy. I have a few questions that may seem redundant, but please humor me in answering even those that may seem self explanatory. First a comparison between the states of Adam and Eve before and after the fall.

Before the fall: they were immortal, had a will that was fully intact, were not inclined towards sin, had infused knowledge, had (what the Roman Catholic Church refers to) preternatural gifts (not sure if there is an equivalent term or belief in Eastern Christianity), and a certain union or life with God.

After the fall: they were mortal, had a weakened will, were inclined towards sin (either because of concupiscence or of their passions), a darkened understanding, had to learn knowledge, lost their preternatural gifts and were spiritually dead.

We are born into this latter state (of Original Sin or of the consequences of the ancestral sin).

A few questions:

Q1) Is the original holiness and justice that Adam and Eve lived in a life of grace? In other words, did they share in the life of God as we baptized Christians do?

Q2) If no, what was their relationship to God if they were not sharers of His grace, sharers in His life? Obviously it is different from both our baptized condition and that of non-baptized persons.

Q3) If after the fall, we were separated (from whatever kind of relationship our first parents had) from God and all are born in this state of spiritual death, then how would the most Holy Theotokos be "full of grace" if she is in a state of spiritual death as the rest of humanity if there was no Immaculate Conception?

Q3) Unless she was made "full of grace" at the moment of the angel's salutation and had lived a life without sin (which we all, east and west agree on, well, I guess not all as I just remembered some Orthodox believe she did sin ) then how could the God from whom we are separated be held in the womb of a creature which is in spiritual death? (I ask this question this because 1) I understand as stated that there is an understanding that she was made "full of grace" upon the salutation. But, 2) the counter argument being proposed instead of the Immaculate Conception is that she was in the same state as any other individual except that she did not sin.)

Upon reflection of this last question, in the Eastern understanding, are all men after Adam and Eve born in a state of spiritual death or does one have to commit sin to be spiritually dead? If one is not spiritually dead unless they commit a mortal sin and the Eastern understanding is not that we received spiritual death from Adam, then I could better understand the counter argument for Mary being in the same state as the rest of humanity.

Again, these may seem self-explanatory but please humor me in answering these questions.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
how could the God from whom we are separated be held in the womb of a creature which is in spiritual death?

I always hear this question as a rhetorical and supposedly self-explanatory point that Mary "must have been" sinless in order for Jesus to be residing in her womb. I've never understood that necessity, as if God would have had His hands tied in the matter somehow.
Glory to Jesus Chris!

Originally Posted by jjp
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
how could the God from whom we are separated be held in the womb of a creature which is in spiritual death?

I always hear this question as a rhetorical and supposedly self-explanatory point that Mary "must have been" sinless in order for Jesus to be residing in her womb. I've never understood that necessity, as if God would have had His hands tied in the matter somehow.

jjp,

If you read carefully, you will notice I kinda cover my bases here with full spectrum. And if you read carefully, you may see why Roman Catholics need it. Why their theology calls for it.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Even as a Roman Catholic, even when I used to be a proud papist ignorant of the east as a whole, I had issues with the IC because as I understand it, this belief states that Mary was conceived in state that she was already saved.
Some on this forum have stated that all of us are immaculately conceived. Would that mean we are born already saved?
Glory to Jesus Christ!

Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Even as a Roman Catholic, even when I used to be a proud papist ignorant of the east as a whole, I had issues with the IC because as I understand it, this belief states that Mary was conceived in state that she was already saved.
Some on this forum have stated that all of us are immaculately conceived. Would that mean we are born already saved?

ajk,

Be careful not to mix Eastern and Western theology here.

*Will you people stop nit picking and trying to gotcha parts of my post when I know you guys are intelligent enough to read my post in whole and understand there are parts that deal with Eastern theological understanding and there are parts that deal with Western theological understanding.*

If you are trying to be smart I will not respond. But in this case I will not assume that.

No, they do not mean that ajk. Because that belief that marry was redeemed at the moment of her conception is Roman Catholic and not Eastern. And if you read carefully, the Roman Catholic theology needs that because it is Roman belief that we received spiritual death from Original Sin.

I am about to go to work, so I won't be able to post from the CCC for reference until later tonight.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Even as a Roman Catholic, even when I used to be a proud papist ignorant of the east as a whole, I had issues with the IC because as I understand it, this belief states that Mary was conceived in state that she was already saved. In other words, she was in that state that baptized Christians are in.
Allowing that saved has a broader connotation -- we are being saved -- then, yes, in that baptism remits the stain of original sin from which Mary was preserved. As the dogma says:
Quote
...by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin.

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
It was like she was pre-saved if you will. That's how I understood it. Is that how any of you who are proponents of the IC understand it?
It is best to stick with the words of the dogma. It does address a nascent aspect of salvation, being preserved from original sin.

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
That she was in a state of salvation before salvation was available?
That is a contradiction and, consequently, incorrect.

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
In doing some research on this, it seems that the Dominicans took up Thomas Aquinas' position until it was dogmatized which I find interesting.
Since Aquinas was not a proponent of the IC, you should reexamine your research. It was the theology of the Franciscan John Duns Scotus that is said to provide explanations and framework.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
In doing some research on this, it seems that the Dominicans took up Thomas Aquinas' position until it was dogmatized which I find interesting.
Since Aquinas was not a proponent of the IC, you should reexamine your research. It was the theology of the Franciscan John Duns Scotus that is said to provide explanations and framework.

ajk,

What I mean is that the Dominicans were against the IC up until it was dogmatized by the Pope. Not that they were proponents for it.

Thank you for your responses.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
ajk,

Be careful not to mix Eastern and Western theology here.

*Will you people stop nit picking and trying to gotcha parts of my post...
The mixing, as I have said and as the divergence of this topic in this forum alone shows, is what should be desired. By that I mean a homogeneous expression of the theology -- of The Faith -- understandable to East and West, because there is not a separate Truth for each.

To those who see "nit picking" I offer that "God is in the details." The feeling of "gotcha" should be overcome by explanation. It may be, however, the proper feeling for those who offer lofty theological concepts, often glibly stated, that are found wanting when scrutinized.



Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
ajk,

Be careful not to mix Eastern and Western theology here.

*Will you people stop nit picking and trying to gotcha parts of my post...
The mixing, as I have said and as the divergence of this topic in this forum alone shows, is what should be desired. By that I mean a homogeneous expression of the theology -- of The Faith -- understandable to East and West, because there is not a separate Truth for each.

Dear ajk,

I do not think that it is a matter of there being two truths here, but rather that there are different expressions of that truth. Also, these theologies are distinct and bound in the nuances of history as well.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by ajk
To those who see "nit picking" I offer that "God is in the details." The feeling of "gotcha" should be overcome by explanation. It may be, however, the proper feeling for those who offer lofty theological concepts, often glibly stated, that are found wanting when scrutinized.

Dear ajk,

Isn't the traditional subject of that quoted saying a tad different . . . wink grin lol.

And do not try to put ideas (lofty theological concepts) into someone else words. I do my best to be humble and that is why I offer my thoughts in question format but will defend them if I feel someone is treating them unfairly and without context.

When you say:

Quote
Some on this forum have stated that all of us are immaculately conceived. Would that mean we are born already saved?

You are mixing different understandings of the same word, Immaculate. There are two worlds that you are trying to force together. The understanding in the IC works for Roman Catholicism because of the belief that spiritual death was passed was passed on to all of humanity:

Quote
CCC: 403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul".291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.292

Once someone answers the questions I posted, I will have a clearer understanding if one of the understandings in the East is that spiritual death was not passed on to us, Adam's decedents. If spiritual death was not passed on to us, then what need is there in that theological context for the IC?

I'm just trying to clear what has become to me a muddled picture of mixing and not keeping distinct these two spiritual heritages. I contend, contrary to your opinion, that it is this mixing that causes the greatest confusion.

But oh how far (and I have definitely become part of this) we have come away from the main question:

Originally Posted by ByzBob
I am wondering why most Roman Catholics consider the Immaculate Conception to be an ex-cathedra (that is infallible, from the seat of Peter) statement?

AJK, if you wish to continue, I would suggest starting a new thread.

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
When you say:

Quote
Some on this forum have stated that all of us are immaculately conceived. Would that mean we are born already saved?

You are mixing different understandings of the same word, Immaculate.
The subject of this thread provides the context for the terms. That is the given understanding. Nevertheless, what are the "different understandings of the same word, Immaculate"?

To my understanding, here is another possible way of probing the same topic:

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
...are all men after Adam and Eve born in a state of spiritual death or does one have to commit sin to be spiritually dead?

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
The understanding in the IC works for Roman Catholicism because of the belief that spiritual death was passed was passed on to all of humanity:

Quote
CCC: 403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul".291 Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.292

Once someone answers the questions I posted, I will have a clearer understanding if one of the understandings in the East is that spiritual death was not passed on to us, Adam's decedents. If spiritual death was not passed on to us, then what need is there in that theological context for the IC?


Was such a spiritual death "passed on to us"?

Which churches of the communion that is the Catholic Church (as in Catechism of the Catholic Church) holds a view that diverges from that stated in CCC§403 above?

side note: how do you do
Quote
§
that?

Thank you,

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
Originally Posted by ajk
To those who see "nit picking" I offer that "God is in the details." The feeling of "gotcha" should be overcome by explanation. It may be, however, the proper feeling for those who offer lofty theological concepts, often glibly stated, that are found wanting when scrutinized.

Dear ajk,

Isn't the traditional subject of that quoted saying a tad different . . . wink grin lol.
No.

Originally Posted by Luvr of East
And do not try to put ideas (lofty theological concepts) into someone else words. I do my best to be humble ...
Perhaps a disclaimer is in order: My posts are addressed to ALL on the forum for scrutiny and critique. They are not solely addressed to anyone in particular unless that is explicit. And I do not care for such one-on-one exchanges: I find them contrary to the openness of a forum.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
And do not try to put ideas (lofty theological concepts) into someone else words. I do my best to be humble ...
Perhaps a disclaimer is in order: My posts are addressed to ALL on the forum for scrutiny and critique. They are not solely addressed to anyone in particular unless that is explicit. And I do not care for such one-on-one exchanges: I find them contrary to the openness of a forum.

ajk,

Anyone is always welcome to interject. You responded to statements I made so I engage you in one on one conversation whilst still open to others joining in. Just because you are being engaged one on one does not mean that the conversation is being confined to only those two individuals.

Kyrie eeison,

Manuel
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
But I do not see it, nor does the Catholic Church, as "fiction."
You seem to be confusing the theological tradition of one Church, i.e., the Roman Church, with the tradition of the Catholic Church.

The Byzantine Church is Catholic too, and its theological tradition has as much weight as the Roman tradition.

Problems have arisen because the Roman Church has tried to turn its speculations into dogma (e.g., the Roman view of the original sin, the theory of the Immaculate Conception, the idea that the bishop of Rome has supremacy over all the other bishops, the filioque, etc.), and that has brought about the present division between East and West.
How do you identify, what is the designation for, the communion of churches that includes the particular church of Rome?
Originally Posted by MarkosC
I don't believe this question has been addressed fully:

Originally Posted by ajk
If "no one is born guilty or sinful" why are new-born babies baptized? What is the theology -- the faith -- for baptizing?

The reason for baptism - infant or adult - is entry into the Church ...
I agree with the ecclesiological connection: Outside the Church, no salvation. The question was intended to focus on the innate -- basic or primitive -- soteriology. That is, as noted:

Originally Posted by MarkosC
For infants, the baptism ... The child would otherwise be outside the church and would live a life without grace until his later baptism.
Is this saying, then, that the unbaptized child is without grace?
Originally Posted by Luvr of East
side note: how do you do
Quote
§
that?

Manuel,

Other than cut and paste biggrin , the special character for a section (variously called a 'section symbol', 'section mark', or 'section sign') is produced by use of key combinations; which combination is used depends on the format in which you're typing. The plural by the way ('sections') is §§

Using HTML: Either enter &sect - followed immediately by a semicolon or enter §

Using UBB: Enter &sect - again followed immediately by a semicolon (I had to not type the semicolon or it would have produced the symbol, rather than show you the code, since UBB is the default here)

In Windows: Enter ALT0167 (hold the ALT key while typing the numbers) - whoops, almost forgot, you must type the numbers on the keypad - not the main keyboard.

In Mac OS: Enter OPTION 6 (hold down the OPTION key while typing the number)

To do it here, other than by cut & paste, you would have to either use the UBB code or else use the HTML code, after selecting "Using HTML" from the 'Markup' drop-down below the reply box (the default is "Using UBB Code").

Many years,

Neil
Thank you Neil,

Kyrie eleison,

Manuel
Re-reconstructing here for context:
Originally Posted by ajk
So, reconstructing:
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
There is no need for a theory of the "Immaculate Conception" in the East, because no one is born guilty or sinful.
Originally Posted by ajk
"no one is born guilty or sinful" -- but what about from conception? Is everyone also immaculately conceived?
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Yes. All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy (see St. Gregory Palamas, Capita Physica, no. 78).
Originally Posted by ajk
Except for mortality and its consequences, how does this state differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
"this state" = "No one is conceived or born sinful or guilty"; "All that has being exists naturally in the divine energy."
QUESTION: In what ways does "this state" differ from that of Adam before the Fall?

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
QUESTION: In what ways does "this state" differ from that of Adam before the Fall?
The difference is this: Adam was created immortal but with the potential to fall into mortality, while we are conceived and born mortal but with the potential to have ever-well-being, that is, if we cooperate with the divine energy.
As the context indicates, mortality and its consequences -- "Except for mortality and its consequences" -- was explicitly excluded.

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by jjp
Not to butt in, but that's simple. Before the fall, Adam and Eve were not subject to death. After the Fall, they and humankind were and still is.
I agree. And thank you for "butting in." biggrin
As the context indicates, mortality and its consequences -- "Except for mortality and its consequences" -- was explicitly excluded.


Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by jjp
An infant's soul is in the same state that Adam's was, however, the difference you seek is that these souls are born into a world where death reigns. Sin is a result of death's grip.
I agree.
The difference I seek is not "that these souls are born into a world where death reigns. Sin is a result of death's grip." As I said: As the context indicates, mortality and its consequences -- "Except for mortality and its consequences" -- was explicitly excluded.

HOWEVER, The answered to my "QUESTION" and with agreement is:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by jjp
An infant's soul is in the same state that Adam's was,...
I agree.


Originally Posted by jjp
It is why Jesus, through death, has conquered death, to redeem this world that was corrupted. ... Through Eve, Adam introduced death. Through the Theotokos, Jesus the new Adam conquered death.
Please correct me if I interpret the words incorrectly.

"redeem this world that was corrupted" The corruption is: death and all the sins committed after the Fall; the resultant state of alienation of all creation from God; the personal sin of Adam and the personal sin of Eve in eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Genesis 2:17; 3:6 ff.

"through death..." That is, Jesus by His death on the Cross, by accepting death in the flesh, and by His subsequent resurrection from the dead...

“...has conquered death.” What is the meaning of "death" here -- in that Jesus "conquered death" or in His trampling down death -- in relation to the statement that Jesus has "redeem this world that was corrupted"?



Originally Posted by ajk
“...has conquered death.” What is the meaning of "death" here -- in that Jesus "conquered death" or in His trampling down death -- in relation to the statement that Jesus has "redeem this world that was corrupted"?

If death condemns humanity to sin, and sin condemns humanity to hell (or separation from God, a fundamental corruption of humanity's relationship with him in Eden), then Christ, the New Adam, by giving us a new communion with God and restoring the separation that sin imparts, has conquered the death that brought about this separation (sin) in the first place.

As for the difference excluding mortality and its consequences, that goes a bit above my pay grade I would think. The knowledge of good and evil is a tempting response. Although I can also just as easily, or perhaps more easily, see that this knowledge is fundamental to the fallen world (watch a war, or MTV) and unavoidable for an innocent newborn to be exposed to. In Eden it was not, thus the apple. But as I said, I am only speculating.
Originally Posted by jjp
Originally Posted by ajk
“...has conquered death.” What is the meaning of "death" here -- in that Jesus "conquered death" or in His trampling down death -- in relation to the statement that Jesus has "redeem this world that was corrupted"?

If death condemns humanity to sin,...
If? Does it or not?

Originally Posted by jjp
...and sin condemns humanity to hell (or separation from God, a fundamental corruption of humanity's relationship with him in Eden),...
There was an issue raised about sin and sins so I need to ask for clarification about "sin condemns humanity to hell." A perspective against the wording and theology of the IC is that there is no singular sin in the sense of an original sin that is common to Mankind.


Originally Posted by jjp
... then Christ, the New Adam, by giving us a new communion with God and restoring the separation that sin imparts, has conquered the death that brought about this separation (sin) in the first place.
That restoration took place at a specific point in time. How does the transformation from the old to new Adam now happen?

Originally Posted by jjp
As for the difference excluding mortality and its consequences, that goes a bit above my pay grade I would think.
Not following this? A key issue is that there is or is not an original sin. Everyone agrees that death is transmitted and thus, as a consequence, sins are committed. But is the actual sin of Adam transmitted as sin, original sin, to his descendants, that is, something besides death/mortality?


Originally Posted by jjp
The knowledge of good and evil is a tempting response.
To me, saying this already puts the matter on a moral plane, not just the existential aspect of mortality /death. It would seem to me that to say that the "knowledge of good and evil" is transmitted is to begin on a path of reasoning that leads to the concept of original sin.


Originally Posted by jjp
Although I can also just as easily, or perhaps more easily, see that this knowledge is fundamental to the fallen world (watch a war, or MTV) and unavoidable for an innocent newborn to be exposed to. In Eden it was not, thus the apple. But as I said, I am only speculating.
Right. The speculation is interesting and appreciated: a knowledge (of good and evil) that is fundamental to the fallen world. Can that be seen as a consequence of death/mortality?

==============================================================

Disclaimer to All: I'm not trying to put words in others' mouths. I'm drawing conclusions and speculating and appreciate clarifications and corrections.
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by jjp
If death condemns humanity to sin,...
If? Does it or not?

It's an if/then statement. [en.wikipedia.org] You can't splice it like that without completely losing the meaning.

I am not trying to be rude so forgive me if I seem that way regardless, but when you excerpt a few words from my sentence and take them out of the context they belong in, meaningful communication becomes problematic, if not impossible. It's a pattern I've already noticed in this conversation. Your questions don't follow logically from my responses, and I assume that I am not doing an adequate job of presenting my ideas.

I do hope that somebody else is more capable than I am of explaining the Eastern position to you.
Originally Posted by jjp
Originally Posted by ajk
Originally Posted by jjp
If death condemns humanity to sin,...
If? Does it or not?

It's an if/then statement. [en.wikipedia.org] You can't splice it like that without completely losing the meaning.
The splice was only to emphasize the key words. I believe it is correct that "death condemns humanity to sin." Do you agree, disagree, or don't know?

Originally Posted by jjp
I am not trying to be rude so forgive me if I seem that way regardless, but when you excerpt a few words from my sentence and take them out of the context they belong in, meaningful communication becomes problematic, if not impossible. It's a pattern I've already noticed in this conversation.
If anything I was concerned that I was over-quoting and repeating too much of others' post in my responses. I consciously strive to present a proper context. In the future if I quote you I will do so in full.

Originally Posted by jjp
Your questions don't follow logically from my responses, and I assume that I am not doing an adequate job of presenting my ideas.
It seems then that our logic differs. Even if not, communicating, especially subtle concepts is difficult (Genesis 11:6-9)-- even with a common language. Pentecost awaits.

Originally Posted by jjp
I do hope that somebody else is more capable than I am of explaining the Eastern position to you.
I appreciated your post. A definite problem that you share with some others -- one that hampers addressing the issues themselves -- is that you are "explaining the Eastern position." There are a number of Eastern positions, one of which is mine as an Eastern Catholic. For instance, an Eastern synthesis based solely on Eastern (Greek) Patristics is an interesting and worthwhile endeavor. I find, however, that it is incomplete in that it does not permit itself to be informed by the also-rich theological experience of the West. As such, it comes across to me as theological xenophobia.

You raised a very good point about the knowledge of good and evil that should be commented on further (by anyone).

-----------------------------
PS I just looked at my previous post and see that I did quote you in full. That's the best anyone can do for context.
Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by ajk
To be clear(er), I mean objectively. For instance, a recent, official presentation of the Catholic faith says:
Quote
. . . That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception . . .
That is a Western presentation of the faith. Look, I understand that what I am saying is hard for many Catholics (Roman and Eastern) to accept, but as the Melkite Patriarch said back in 2002: "The difficulty lies in the fact that Rome is not ready to give the Eastern Catholic Churches the genuine rights they deserve. Rome would more easily give them to the Orthodox Churches. We do not represent, in a full sense, genuine Orthodoxy, to Rome or to the Orthodox Churches. Therefore, it is just and fit to ask: Are we allowed to have this role, to be a bridge, to be a window? Can we really fulfill such a role? Are we prepared for it? For my part, I answer: Yes! Because I am convinced of that role, in spite of the deep difficulty. I am convinced that nobody can do it on our behalf, or in our place, and that, even if this role is denied to us by different sides. My deep conviction is based upon the experience of the history of our Church. We, the Melkites, were able to accomplish this role for about 300 years of our communion with Rome. Even before that time (1724), we always played this role of openness, of flexibility, of reconciliation, of mediation. We always wanted to reconcile the two poles of ecclesiology: Constantinople and Rome. We did a lot to reconcile the two visions or ecclesiologies. We never asked for or requested reciprocity. We did what we did as genuine Orientals, because we consider that we are committed to something that is not extraneous to us or to our tradition. We are defending our own tradition in the framework of our communion with Rome. That is precisely the role of a bridge and a window. We can do a lot because of our Eastern character, our communion with Rome, and our deep sensibility to the Eastern tradition."
The Melkite Patriarch here is not undoing any of the Church's dogmas. He voices a legitimate complaint, and one should not read more into it than what is actually stated.

Specifically:

Originally Posted by Apotheoun
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
However, as a convert to Catholicism I have made a promise to believe and confess all that the [Roman] Catholic Church believes, confesses and proclaims. Therefore, I try to avoid contradicting the teaching of the Popes and Councils of the Catholic Church.
I believe all that the Melkite Catholic Church professes and believes, which is why I accept the Seven Ecumenical Councils as binding, and why I also accept the primacy, but not the supremacy, of the bishop of Rome ". . . as the first among the bishops, according to the limits recognized by the Holy Fathers of the East during the first millennium, before the separation."


But what does the Melkite Church profess about the IC? What is stated here [mliles.com]?
Quote
Pius IX's unilateral declaration of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was considered imprudent by Byzantine Catholics.

* Since the Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox do not understand Original Sin in the same way as the Latins, the concept of the Immaculate Conception makes no sense in Eastern theology
* The Byzantine Catholics and the Orthodox believe that only an Ecumenical Council can declare dogma.
That is quite a sweeping and pompous statement being made as the site notes: the "Melkite Greek Catholic Church Information Center is an unofficial Melkite Greek Catholic Web site and has not been reviewed or approved by any Melkite clergy person." It certainly does not speak for me and other "Byzantine Catholics" and it is pretentious for it to do so: thus, the word hubris [merriam-webster.com] applies. Does it/this accurately express the position of the Melkite Church?

But what do the Melkites profess about the IC? The site of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton [melkite.org] does not appear to comment. Some would argue that the best profession of faith is not a statement as such in words but the living reality and application. Take for instance the statement made by EGLISE IMMACULEE CONCEPTION HELIOPOLIS, LE CAIRE, EGYPTE [egliseimmaculee.com]. There it is said:
Quote
This church is called in Arabic language "Al Azrah al Tahira" (the Virgin the All-Pure) but from the foundation it is known also by the French name of "IMMACULEE CONCEPTION" to honor the dogma of the Immaculate Conception proclaimed by the Pope Pius IX on 8 December 1854.
link [egliseimmaculee.com]

And just to be clear about what these Melkite "Byzantine Catholics" profess, they have a page THE WAY TO AN ADULT FAITH THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION [egliseimmaculee.com] which begins:
Quote
"We declare , pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful". ("Ineffabilis Deus", Apostolic Constitution issued by Pope Pius IX on December 1854)...

With the term "Immaculate Conception”, however, we mean that the conception of Mary in the womb of Saint Anne was free from all stain of original sin, the sin of Adam and Eve, which affected all other human beings. While other human creatures enter this world in a state of original sin, and have to be purified by Baptism, the Virgin Mary entered this world in a state of original sanctity...

This unique and miraculous event happened in the first moment of the Blessed Mary's conception, when her soul was created and infused into her body. From the first moment of Mary's animation in Saint Anne's womb, Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin, and sanctifying grace was granted to her, before sin could take effect in her soul. (Cf The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. VII Copyright 1910 by Robert Appleton Company). It is also important to note that the dogma of the Immaculate Conception doesn't teach us that Mary was exempted from the temporal penalties of Adam - from sorrow, bodily infirmities, and death. However it does allow us to conclude that all the passions, all the debilities pertaining to original sin, were excluded from her existence, as well as obviously all other sins...


This Eastern "presentation of the faith" (cf. the beginning of this post) expresses the Catholic Church's belief properly and without reservation.
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