In defense of the immaculate conception

Many churches, including our brotherly, holy orthodox reject the Dogma of Immaculate conception. So in defense of the immaculate conception, what evidences are there that the Immaculate conception was a part of the ancient church. What did the fathers of the church speak about it?

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Well considering it’s right there in Luke 1 when the Angel greeted Mary with “Hail full of grace”, I think it was pretty well understood from the get-go.

The Greek word used being ‘full of grace’ is not used to my understanding in any other place in the Scriptures, and the understanding of ‘full of grace’ coincides with the concept of ‘immaculate’, and indeed, immaculate from Mary’s first ‘being’, I.e. her conception.

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I agree completely with stpurl.

Protestants read the Annunciation verse by verse, whereas Catholics read it phrase by phrase. The phrase “full of grace” is of inestimable importance to Catholics, because Mary was the first human being full of grace after Adam and Eve fell from grace. For this reason, Mary is sometimes called “The Second Eve.” In her being, humanity was first restored to sinless grace.

There was controversy for some time in the Church whether Mary was an ordinary woman or a very special woman, created without original sin. This controversy was terminated in the Church in 1854 by Pope Pius IX who invoked Papal Infallibility (Ineffabilus Deus) to forever decree the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

This is no longer a topic of controversy among Catholics. Pius IX’ Papal Decree ended any schism this subject might have generated, and keeps the Catholic Church unified.

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That is not an accurate description of the orthodox position; they generally don’t reject or even designee with the notion itself.

They reject,

  1. The notion of one church unilaterally propounding a dogma, and
  2. The need for the dogma, given the different understanding of Original Sin. To the eastern (including EC) notion, making it a dogma is s unnecessary (and silly) as calling “2+2=4” a dogma–unless you accept the Augustinian formation of Original Sin (which is not dogmatic in the west, and has never been accepted in the eat), pronouncing the IC just doesn’t say anything.
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We could look at their calendar. They celebrate the conception of Mary on December 8. Also their own prayers. They refer to the Holy Virgin as spotless. If she was not immaculately conceived then how could she be spotless?

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Once the issue of papal authority is resolved then all of the other issues will be resolved also.

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Catholic Answers’ tract, “What the Early Church Believed: Mary’s Immaculate Nature.”

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Flip that around: why does she need this dogma to be spotless, having. been, like the rest of us, born unstained, and then never sinning?

It only makes sense that Mary was conceived without original sin. The Mother of God could have NO sin within her! She was to be the vessel carrying God’s Son. No such vessel could be impure.

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It says that Mary was conceived with original holiness and justification.

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Were you born with the grace and justification that baptism provides?

You’re adding on to the doctrine of IC with that.

Western theology, following Augustinian thinking, says that we are born with the taint of original sin and in need of forgiveness. The doctrine of the IC is in response to this.

Eastern Christianity, both Orthodox and Catholic, does not accept this stain as being part of Original Sin, and does not hold that need forgiveness from original sin–and thus the head-scratching at the doctrine.

Even Martin Luther believed that Mary was born without the stain of original sin. Modern day Lutherans, not so much.

In a way your example proves the need. There is actually a recent famous case where no less a person that Fr Spadaro, editor of Civita Cattolica, claimed that two plus two can equal five.

The equivalent with regard to the Marian dogmata are the widespread claims of Protestantism.

The fact that historically the Orthodox have not had to contend much with Spadaros or Protestants explains why they don’t see the need. But we are in the front line…

No, I’m reiterating what’s in the Catechism and what I’ve read in works by Catholic bishops. Original Sin is being born lacking original holiness and justness, and the teaching of the Immaculate Conception can be understood in western terms as Mary being justified and filled with God’s grace from the moment of her conception. That Mary was created sanctified, an archetype of the Church. The “stain of original sin”, so to speak, is the lack of original holiness and justification, not any type of personal sin or positive mark.

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The augustinian view generally taught by the RCC is not dogmatic, and is not the teaching of the EC churches as a group.

And again, the EO do not “deny” anything about what the IC doctrine says about Mary; they just scratch their heads about it (as well as objecting by the RCC purporting to unilaterally issue dogma)

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