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  #16  
Old Dec 24, '12, 11:11 pm
jwinch2 jwinch2 is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by BVMFatima View Post
Maybe he misread the question
That's okay though, because we all make mistakes

God Bless,
BVMFatima
Yep. I figured he might has just missed the title of the thread...

No worries.
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  #17  
Old Dec 25, '12, 6:23 am
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by Wedded to God View Post
The Orthodox view Mary as "superior to all created beings", although not divine. The Orthodox venerate Mary as conceived immaculate and assumed into heaven, but they do not accept the Roman Catholic dogmas on these doctrines. The Orthodox celebrate the Dormition of the Theotokos, rather than Assumption.

If u believe them true ....Why not accept them ?
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  #18  
Old Dec 25, '12, 8:43 am
BVMFatima BVMFatima is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by jwinch2 View Post
Yep. I figured he might has just missed the title of the thread...

No worries.


Merry Christmas everyone!
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  #19  
Old Dec 25, '12, 11:15 am
mardukm mardukm is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by Vico View Post
No, but they are referred to as the Big 4.
Yup, I thought the same thing.

Blessings,
Marduk
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  #20  
Old Dec 25, '12, 11:34 am
dzheremi dzheremi is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by Wedded to God View Post
The Orthodox venerate Mary as conceived immaculate
Hmm. This has not been my experience. We in the Coptic Orthodox Church do not believe this (see here), and as far as I know, neither do the EO/Chalcedonians (see here).
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  #21  
Old Dec 25, '12, 11:45 am
Wedded to God Wedded to God is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

Eastern Orthodox Christians say that Mary was without sin for her entire life, but they object to the dogmatic declaration of her immaculate conception.

In the tradition of Ethiopian Orthodoxy, the Kebra Nagast says:

He cleansed eve's body and sanctified it and made for it a dwelling in her for adam's salvation. She [i.e., mary] was born without blemish, for He made her pure, without pollution, and she redeemed his debt without carnal union and embrace...Through the transgression of eve we died and were buried, and by the purity of mary we receive honour, and are exalted to the heights (emphasis added).

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  #22  
Old Dec 25, '12, 12:34 pm
mardukm mardukm is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

Dear brother Dzheremi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzheremi View Post
Hmm. This has not been my experience. We in the Coptic Orthodox Church do not believe this (see here), and as far as I know, neither do the EO/Chalcedonians (see here).
From Suscopts:
"Roman Catholics believe that St. Mary was born without the consequences of Original Sin. This is not the Coptic Church's belief; for St. Mary herself said "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47). If she was born without sin why would she need salvation!"

I used to believe this as well, but I realized after reading Catholic sources that this is not actually what the Catholic Church teaches. Permit me to analyze this statement from the website:

Roman Catholics believe that St. Mary was born without the consequences of Original Sin
Not true. I grant that this is probably what some or even many Latin Catholics believe, but it is not what the dogma teaches. The dogma does not refer to all consequences of original sin, but only to the spiritual consequences (i.e., separation from God). This is what the "stain of Original Sin" means in the dogma - the "stain" is lack of holiness. It does not mean ALL the consequences of original sin. Mary was not preserved from the physical consequences of original sin (mortality, physical illness, etc.). Do you claim that the Coptic Orthodox Church teaches that the Theotokos lacked holiness at any point of her existence? Please answer that.

for St. Mary herself said "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47). If she was born without sin why would she need salvation.
The dogma directly teaches that God is her Savior in two ways:
(1) It states that it was "a privilege granted by Almighty God." Obviously, Mary needed God's intervention to save her from the condition which she would otherwise be subject to. She did not save herself, but it was God who saved her.
(2) She was saved from the stain of Original Sin (i.e., lack of holiness)"in view of the merits of Jesus Christ." You need to understand that the expression "merits of Jesus Christ" refers to one thing and one thing only in Latin theology - the Grace of Christ obtained from the Cross. So Christ's Sacrifice was indeed the thing that saved Mary from the stain of Original Sin (as are all creatures).

Basically, the CC teaches that while everyone normally receives the Gift of holiness and the Grace of the Cross at Baptism, Mary received them at the first instance of her existence (Tradition also holds that the forerunner received them in the womb of Mary).

The theological language of the dogma is indeed quite different from how Orientals (and Easterns) would normally express the matter, but it is the same Faith.

I would add to this misunderstanding something I read from a writing of HH Pope Shenoute of thrice-blessed memory. In it, he stated that the doctrine of the IC teaches that Mary did not have natural human conception. On the contrary, the doctrine of the IC does not even touch upon the physical conception of Mary, but refers specifically only to her spiritual conception (i.e., the moment her soul was created and infused into her body by God). This was authoritatively asserted by the Roman Pope Alexander VII way back in the 17th century, to correct the errors of certain Latin Catholics who indeed opined that Mary did not have a natural human conception. Pope Alexander authoritatvely asserted that the term "conception" in the expression "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary's spiritual conception, not her physical conception.

I write this only for the sake of understanding.

Certainly, if a non-Catholic understands the IC in the way expressed by Suscopts, then go ahead and reject it by all means. I'd reject it too if that is what the IC teaches. But, in actual fact, that is not what the IC teaches.

Blessings,
Marduk
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  #23  
Old Dec 25, '12, 6:29 pm
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GaryTaylor GaryTaylor is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

I believe there resides the thinking with singular grace.

"The Most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God." Ineffabilis Deus

My thinking is the spiritual sense with communion with God the Father.
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"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen." St. Gertrude
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  #24  
Old Dec 25, '12, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by mardukm View Post
Dear brother Dzheremi,



From Suscopts:
"Roman Catholics believe that St. Mary was born without the consequences of Original Sin. This is not the Coptic Church's belief; for St. Mary herself said "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47). If she was born without sin why would she need salvation!"

I used to believe this as well, but I realized after reading Catholic sources that this is not actually what the Catholic Church teaches. Permit me to analyze this statement from the website:

Roman Catholics believe that St. Mary was born without the consequences of Original Sin
Not true. I grant that this is probably what some or even many Latin Catholics believe, but it is not what the dogma teaches. The dogma does not refer to all consequences of original sin, but only to the spiritual consequences (i.e., separation from God). This is what the "stain of Original Sin" means in the dogma - the "stain" is lack of holiness. It does not mean ALL the consequences of original sin. Mary was not preserved from the physical consequences of original sin (mortality, physical illness, etc.). Do you claim that the Coptic Orthodox Church teaches that the Theotokos lacked holiness at any point of her existence? Please answer that.

for St. Mary herself said "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior" (Luke 1:46-47). If she was born without sin why would she need salvation.
The dogma directly teaches that God is her Savior in two ways:
(1) It states that it was "a privilege granted by Almighty God." Obviously, Mary needed God's intervention to save her from the condition which she would otherwise be subject to. She did not save herself, but it was God who saved her.
(2) She was saved from the stain of Original Sin (i.e., lack of holiness)"in view of the merits of Jesus Christ." You need to understand that the expression "merits of Jesus Christ" refers to one thing and one thing only in Latin theology - the Grace of Christ obtained from the Cross. So Christ's Sacrifice was indeed the thing that saved Mary from the stain of Original Sin (as are all creatures).

Basically, the CC teaches that while everyone normally receives the Gift of holiness and the Grace of the Cross at Baptism, Mary received them at the first instance of her existence (Tradition also holds that the forerunner received them in the womb of Mary).

The theological language of the dogma is indeed quite different from how Orientals (and Easterns) would normally express the matter, but it is the same Faith.

I would add to this misunderstanding something I read from a writing of HH Pope Shenoute of thrice-blessed memory. In it, he stated that the doctrine of the IC teaches that Mary did not have natural human conception. On the contrary, the doctrine of the IC does not even touch upon the physical conception of Mary, but refers specifically only to her spiritual conception (i.e., the moment her soul was created and infused into her body by God). This was authoritatively asserted by the Roman Pope Alexander VII way back in the 17th century, to correct the errors of certain Latin Catholics who indeed opined that Mary did not have a natural human conception. Pope Alexander authoritatvely asserted that the term "conception" in the expression "Immaculate Conception" refers to Mary's spiritual conception, not her physical conception.

I write this only for the sake of understanding.

Certainly, if a non-Catholic understands the IC in the way expressed by Suscopts, then go ahead and reject it by all means. I'd reject it too if that is what the IC teaches. But, in actual fact, that is not what the IC teaches.

Blessings,
Marduk
This was very helpful..

.... its the spiritual that was/is FULLY GRACED in Mary's & our case too !!
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  #25  
Old Dec 25, '12, 11:02 pm
dzheremi dzheremi is offline
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

Mardukm: I don't really care to get into a discussion with you about these matters. I provided those links because they show that the Orthodox Church, both non-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian, do not accept the Immaculate Conception, as the poster I was responding to wrote that they do. Whether or not they understand the doctrine properly according to you is another matter, and not one that I care to indulge even in the slightest. If you were to ask the vast majority of clergy, bishops, etc. in any of these churches if they believe in the Immaculate Conception, they'd say no. That's all. They will not accept it.

Wedded to God: The Kebra Negast, while produced within an Orthodox culture and obviously bearing the imprint of that culture and religion, is not considered in any way scripture or a source of doctrine within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Furthermore, the Ethiopian Orthodox affirm the same faith as the rest of the Oriental Orthodox, including condemnation of the Immaculate Conception. There has apparently been some confusion as the result of the actions of a bishop of the EOTC in Kansas who thought that the Immaculate Conception was Orthodox doctrine and banned a priest from serving in the church after he taught against it. This resulted in the laity and the head priest of the Church writing to the Coptic Orthodox Church to help support them in teaching the true Orthodox understanding of St. Mary against what their bishop wrongly believed (while they waited for a response from HH Abune Paulos; I am not aware what sort of response they received, and HH passed into eternal rest in August of this year). They stood up to their bishop on this matter and wrote to HH Pope Shenouda III directly regarding this matter, and HG Bishop David eventually came and taught them the right way, to prevent any further confusion or problems from the wrong teaching and action of their bishop.

Here is their letter to HH Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church: http://www.medhanialemeotcks.org/pdf...20Shenouda.pdf

Here is HG Bishop David's letter regarding the issue, indicating quite clearly that the Immaculate Conception is regarded as heretical: http://www.medhanialemeotcks.org/pdf...vid-Letter.pdf

In addition to these, HH Abune Paulos (the above-mentioned Ethiopian Patriarch) wrote a Ph.D. dissertation in 1988 at Princeton Theological Seminary on the Mariological tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church that clearly shows that EOTC tradition is against the Immaculate Conception. It is available at the website of Debre Sahel Medhani Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, accessible via the above links. I will not quote from it here due to its length (it is, after all, a Ph.D. dissertation, and runs well over 300 pages), but one section relevant to the Ethiopian understanding of the Theotokos' humanity as it is manifest in the Church's Mariology begins on p. 302, should you choose to read it.
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  #26  
Old Dec 26, '12, 12:12 am
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by dzheremi View Post
Mardukm: I don't really care to get into a discussion with you about these matters. I provided those links because they show that the Orthodox Church, both non-Chalcedonian and Chalcedonian, do not accept the Immaculate Conception, as the poster I was responding to wrote that they do. Whether or not they understand the doctrine properly according to you is another matter, and not one that I care to indulge even in the slightest. If you were to ask the vast majority of clergy, bishops, etc. in any of these churches if they believe in the Immaculate Conception, they'd say no. That's all. They will not accept it.

Wedded to God: The Kebra Negast, while produced within an Orthodox culture and obviously bearing the imprint of that culture and religion, is not considered in any way scripture or a source of doctrine within the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Furthermore, the Ethiopian Orthodox affirm the same faith as the rest of the Oriental Orthodox, including condemnation of the Immaculate Conception. There has apparently been some confusion as the result of the actions of a bishop of the EOTC in Kansas who thought that the Immaculate Conception was Orthodox doctrine and banned a priest from serving in the church after he taught against it. This resulted in the laity and the head priest of the Church writing to the Coptic Orthodox Church to help support them in teaching the true Orthodox understanding of St. Mary against what their bishop wrongly believed (while they waited for a response from HH Abune Paulos; I am not aware what sort of response they received, and HH passed into eternal rest in August of this year). They stood up to their bishop on this matter and wrote to HH Pope Shenouda III directly regarding this matter, and HG Bishop David eventually came and taught them the right way, to prevent any further confusion or problems from the wrong teaching and action of their bishop.

Here is their letter to HH Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Orthodox Church: http://www.medhanialemeotcks.org/pdf...20Shenouda.pdf

Here is HG Bishop David's letter regarding the issue, indicating quite clearly that the Immaculate Conception is regarded as heretical: http://www.medhanialemeotcks.org/pdf...vid-Letter.pdf

In addition to these, HH Abune Paulos (the above-mentioned Ethiopian Patriarch) wrote a Ph.D. dissertation in 1988 at Princeton Theological Seminary on the Mariological tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church that clearly shows that EOTC tradition is against the Immaculate Conception. It is available at the website of Debre Sahel Medhani Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, accessible via the above links. I will not quote from it here due to its length (it is, after all, a Ph.D. dissertation, and runs well over 300 pages), but one section relevant to the Ethiopian understanding of the Theotokos' humanity as it is manifest in the Church's Mariology begins on p. 302, should you choose to read it.
The letter shows that Bishop David presents a different concept than what the Catholic Church does in the Immaculate Conception. It appears that he may not understand the Catholic doctrine for it is not about the original sin but the stain of original sin which is different. Originating original sin is of Adam and what we are born with is originated original sin, and includes all consequences. One such consequence is lack at birth of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, which is termed the stain of original sin. So the Blessed Virgin Mary was subject the original sin, but was saved by Christ (preserved) from the stain. The letter has:
1. ... The Holy Spirit came upon the Blessed Virgin Mary to sanctify and purify her in order that the Incarnate Son of God may not inherit the original sin. ...
2. All human beings, including the Blessed Virgin Mary, were conceived with the original sin. (Psalm 51:5; Rom. 5:12).
Romans 5:12
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

So then the Catholic definition of the Immaculate Conception is not the same as what is in the letter.
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  #27  
Old Dec 26, '12, 1:32 am
dzheremi dzheremi is offline
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Perhaps my post reads as though I am only not interested in discussing this with Mardukm. Oops. I meant it to apply to anyone who will answer "that's not what Rome says". Please understand this: Any doctrine that places the Theotokos outside of the human nature that she shares with the rest of humanity will not be acceptable to the Orthodox."Original sin", "Stain of original sin", etc. We don't even have these ideas to begin with, so the fine distinctions you might make are kind of lost on the OO (and I would suspect largely on the EO, as well, though they seem to have more familiarity with post-Chalcedon doctrinal development in the Roman Church). I think that's kind of what has gotten Bishop Matthias (the EOTC bishop who forbade the priest in KS from serving in the church) into trouble: Using terms or offering opinions on subjects that aren't really well-understood by the communion as a whole, and hence confusing everybody. It'd be better just not to offer those opinions in that case. Not everything we have a private thought about needs to be shared, and certainly it shouldn't replace the authentic beliefs of the Church, which do not include the Immaculate Conception. There are probably also linguistic issues going on here, as we have no trouble calling St. Mary "immaculate", but don't mean it as any kind of support for the IC or any other foreign doctrine. Actually, as far as I can tell from hymns of the Church like Ge Gar Enthok, the word that is translated often as "immaculate" would be more precisely translated as "unmarried" (the Coptic, from the Greek, is "en-at-gamos", and the Arabic is "al-'arus alaty bghayr zawaj", literally "the bride who is without marriage" -- it should be clear from context which idea about the Virgin Mary that phrasing is supporting, and it's not the IC).
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  #28  
Old Dec 26, '12, 1:53 am
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Default Re: The Eastern Church on Marian Dogma/Doctrines

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Originally Posted by dzheremi View Post
Perhaps my post reads as though I am only not interested in discussing this with Mardukm. Oops. I meant it to apply to anyone who will answer "that's not what Rome says". Please understand this: Any doctrine that places the Theotokos outside of the human nature that she shares with the rest of humanity will not be acceptable to the Orthodox."Original sin", "Stain of original sin", etc. We don't even have these ideas to begin with, so the fine distinctions you might make are kind of lost on the OO (and I would suspect largely on the EO, as well, though they seem to have more familiarity with post-Chalcedon doctrinal development in the Roman Church). I think that's kind of what has gotten Bishop Matthias (the EOTC bishop who forbade the priest in KS from serving in the church) into trouble: Using terms or offering opinions on subjects that aren't really well-understood by the communion as a whole, and hence confusing everybody. It'd be better just not to offer those opinions in that case. Not everything we have a private thought about needs to be shared, and certainly it shouldn't replace the authentic beliefs of the Church, which do not include the Immaculate Conception. There are probably also linguistic issues going on here, as we have no trouble calling St. Mary "immaculate", but don't mean it as any kind of support for the IC or any other foreign doctrine. Actually, as far as I can tell from hymns of the Church like Ge Gar Enthok, the word that is translated often as "immaculate" would be more precisely translated as "unmarried" (the Coptic, from the Greek, is "en-at-gamos", and the Arabic is "al-'arus alaty bghayr zawaj", literally "the bride who is without marriage" -- it should be clear from context which idea about the Virgin Mary that phrasing is supporting, and it's not the IC).
I can say that the Catholic Church teaches that the Blessed Virgin Mary has 100% human nature.
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  #29  
Old Dec 26, '12, 2:04 am
dzheremi dzheremi is offline
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Sure, but it's not 100% the same as ours so long as she is personally exempt from something that the rest of us share. If it were just a matter of being sanctified in the womb or what have you, that would be one thing (we believe that John the Baptist was similarly sanctified), but to say that she was preserved from conception from ____ (I'll let you fill that in with whatever you think is appropriate, because again these are not concepts we normally deal in, so I don't want to use the wrong word and have my post dismissed out of hand on that account), when the rest of us are subject to _____, well...no. Then she is not like us, and so the flesh that Christ took from her is something other than that which shares the one (fallen) human nature. This is at the heart of why the Orthodox will not accept the IC: It distorts the theology of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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Old Dec 26, '12, 2:17 am
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Sure, but it's not 100% the same as ours so long as she is personally exempt from something that the rest of us share. If it were just a matter of being sanctified in the womb or what have you, that would be one thing (we believe that John the Baptist was similarly sanctified), but to say that she was preserved from conception from ____ (I'll let you fill that in with whatever you think is appropriate, because again these are not concepts we normally deal in, so I don't want to use the wrong word and have my post dismissed out of hand on that account), when the rest of us are subject to _____, well...no. Then she is not like us, and so the flesh that Christ took from her is something other than that which shares the one (fallen) human nature. This is at the heart of why the Orthodox will not accept the IC: It distorts the theology of the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
That difference, however is not of nature, but outside of human nature. Nature is that to which a human person has claim, as creature.
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