Does the Immaculate Conception mean Mary did not have free will?


#1

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but according to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, Mary was saved before she was born and so was unable to sin. Does this not contradict the idea of free will and synergy with God?


#2

[quote=Thepeug][A]ccording to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, Mary was saved before she was born and so was unable to sin.
[/quote]

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception teaches that Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin at the moment of her conception in anticipation of the redemption her Son would win for the human race:

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).

[quote=Thepeug]Does this not contradict the idea of free will and synergy with God?
[/quote]

No, just as it does not contradict the gift of free will that Adam and Eve were created sinless. Adam and Eve were created sinless (i.e., “immaculate”) but freely chose to sin; Mary, the new Eve, was preserved immaculate and freely chose not to sin. Being free of original sin meant that Mary was free from the concupiscence that inclines other human beings toward sin, but it did not deprive her of her free will.

**Recommended reading:

Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception and Assumption
How to Defend the Immaculate Conception** by Jason Evert


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