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Diferences on Mary between EO and RC


No but I think the overall phraseology is what concerns people but more or less from what I read of it it doesn’t really negate or add anything we don’t already believe in which is that Mary cooperated with God’s salvific plan so in essence she is a co redemptrix through her cooperation.

That is not to say that we can ask for her forgiveness to be absolved of venial or mortal sin as only God can forgive sin especially through the sacrament of penance.

Essentially through one word it explains an over-complicated theology that we already believe in but sounds a little off to some.

I’m not sure that it necessarily needs to be a Dogma.


Yeah, this is because the EO stress the great importance of the title “Theotokos”, meaning Mother of God. This is the widely used title for Her, comparable to how us Catholics use “The Blessed Virgin”. Because Theotokos is the main title, they always try to depict Her with Jesus, usually as an infant.

This is an interesting thread.


That’s included, but “carrier” or “bearer” is probably closer.

Recently, at least in some eastern, “mother of God” has been replaced with Theotokos in they hymns for this reason.

So today, we have not a word of slavonic, but this one word of greek . . .



i feel like i gained a master’s degree in theology after reading this post

i need 48 hours or so to process… thank you


Neither Catholics nor Orthodox worship Mary.

The similarity between Orthodoxy & Catholicism is that Mary is Immaculate since her conception.

The difference is that in Catholicism it is Infallible defined: “the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin” VS in Orthodoxy, the “how” is not Infallibily defined.


That’s because it is difficult to translate. English and most other western languages lack a single verb that gives the same sense as the Greek. The Slavonic would be Богородица/Bogoroditsa, which is “God-bearer”.



Now why “Theotokos” is being inserted rather than “Bogoroditsa” is an interesting question on its own . . .



Theotokos (Mother of God or literally One who Brings forth, as in giving birth to, God) was defined in the 3rd Ecumenical Council & is certainly the most common usage in Divine Liturgy & prayers for Mary.

Another common way to refer to Mary is Panagia which means All Holy One.

And also Immaculate One.

These terms are used by Orthodox & Catholic Churches alike.


Oh, absolutely.

But there is the word “Bogoroditsa” in Slavonic, used liturgically for a millennium. What I don’t understand is why we’re suddenly using the greek when translating the Slavonic into English.

Church Slavonic was invented and created for liturgy, designed to translate the greek into it in a way mutually intelligible to the various slavonic tongues. A slavonic church using the greek instead is kinda of odd . . . the greek used an appropriate word; the slavonic word is defined by what is meant.

Wow–they gave me a whole week to assimilate the equivalent of a MS in quantitative genetic as an Economics graduate student . . .

but that’s not a difference.

That dogma is in response to the Augustinian notion of Original Sin–which itself is not dogma in the RCC! The EO and EC also hold that Mary was born without sin, as the individual stain of sin is foreign to the Eastern conception of Original Sin.

The Orthodox do not dispute the Mary was born without sin. Rather, they scratch their heads at making it a dogma, no differently than if the RCC declared that “2+2=4” was a dogma.

And they are also miffed at an individual church purporting to expound dogma on it’s own, and would probably dispute that, even if the formula of Vatican I on infallibility is correct, that its requirements were followed-=but that’s a separate issue from the theology of the IC.



You’re right. Though considering St. Augustine held the same view of the pre-divided Church, namely before Catholicism & Orthodox split, which other Church Fathers also held, personally I began to wonder and then eventually came to the conclusion that the modern-day Orthodox view of Original Sin must have been heavily influenced by Islam, who teach everyone is born free from sin. I noticed in my 15 years in the Orthodox Church, that the Greeks, my ancestral Church, essentially teach everyone is born free from sin & at some point after birth they end up sinning and they were under Muslim occupation for 400 years; while the Russians hold more closely to the Catholics on the issue of Original/Ancestral Sin and their Church was established Before the Great Schism and their country was never dominated by Islam.


Too much theology to wrap my head around! Some of it taken too far through church history, poking and prodding at great mysteries (Original Sin or thinking God is subject to man’s pathetic little magnifying glass i.e. nature of Trinity).

All I know is that we should follow Christ, and if we love him, keep his commandments. That he gave his Mother for us, as the last thing he could give in his normal earthly incarnation, and we should honor her as such. She is both caretaker and a model for us to follow. I wouldn’t really call that “worship” per se. The Protestant view, however, never sat well with me at all. They don’t even treat their own earthly mothers in a careless manner, so I think they’re hypocrites in this.


The problem with this is that these other people did not give birth to God! We are all important in our own way and God has foreseen us all, but in His Providence, He chose the Holy Virgin Mary from all eternity to be the vessel by which He would become part of the creation, raising lowly man, to the heights of God. This was the purpose before we were even created. Knowing that the Holy Virgin is God’s living temple, we know she is greater than even the Holy Cherubim and Seraphim. There was not and could not be another person that would give birth to God the Word. This is a poor speculation to think so and is not part of either the Orthodox or RCC theology.


I’m not sure what you mean, but we do believe that we each inherit original sin, which is more a deprivation than an actual thing. It is called a stain but is more the lacking of life spiritual and physical to an extant. So the consequences are physical death and a distance from God. But we are not as pessimistic as the West, knowing as St. Gregory the Theologian says, that God only punishes us for our own good, so there is a lesson to be learned being born in this condition, that is very capable of attaining life, spiritual and physical.

This is not correct. It is mainly Americans that don’t understand original sin, because it is hard to understand, that some falsely teach that we are born without sin. They most likely mean to say that we have no guilt for the sin of spiritual disease known as concupiscence, but that we have it is definitely supposed to be taught by all Orthodox. If you read writings that have been translated from Greek Bishops in the modern age, you will see that they definitely teach original sin. I would not make such a wild opinion that somehow Muslims that have tortured our Holy Saints somehow infected the Church with its heresies without more proof than an assumption.


I like what u say, But is not -“poor” speculation is philosophical reasoning. And Mary was not special by herself but because God created her that way, God could chose any woman and make her like mary. So God could created whoever he woulded want and with any carachteristics.

And the angels are superior to human. You just have to take a look how the prophets and even the apostle John did when did see an angel. Moreover these creatures did not need a saviour and the book of hebrews in order to dignify Jesus it says that he was made superior to the angels, cause they are the most holy creatures after God.


Orthodox have the biblical view that is to say they believe in fallen nature. Thats what the bible teaches. Original sin is a term that comes from neoplatonic philosophy reasoning and speculation. I agree 100% with the orthodox on that.


I mean that the Eastern view of original sin does not include personal guilt in the way the west does.



Mary had to be necessary for salvation, since she bore Jesus. If she had said no, there’d be no church or salvation. It was God’s will to choose Mary.


I think that your emphasis is off.

In light of her unique closeness to Christ and her singular role in salvation history, she is most commonly depicted with Christ.


Carrier or bearer would have been rendered phoros, not tokos. Taken literally that was decided to be heresy. Closer is “birth-giver” of God. The sense, in modern English is biological mother, not surrogate mother of God.


Do you think so?

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