Concerning a discussion with an anti-Catholic, the following statements were made about supposed opposition of the doctrine of Mary’s assumption:
–in 495 A.D., Pope Gelasius issued a decree which rejected this teaching as heresy and its proponents as heretics.
–In the sixth century (520 A.D.), Pope Hormisdas reaffirmed the condemnation of this doctrine, proving that the early Church viewed the assumption teaching, not as a legitimate expression of the pious belief of the faithful but as a heresy worthy of condemnation.
–in comment on the following quote from Epiphanius said in A.D. 377:
"Let them search the scriptures. They will not find Mary’s death; they will not find whether she died or did not die; they will not find whether she was buried or was not buried. More than that: John journeyed to Asia, yet nowhere do we read that he took the holy Virgin with him. Rather, Scripture is absolutely silent [on Mary’s earthly end] because of the extraordinary nature of the prodigy, in order not to shock the minds of men. . . . Neither do I maintain stoutly that she died. . . .
“Did she die? We do not know. At all events, if she was buried, she had no carnal intercourse. . . . Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and he can do whatever he desires” (Panarion, haer. 78, nn. 10-11,23: G.C.S., 37, 461-462; 474).
The anti-Catholic comments, saying that Epiphanius as a supposed proof that this doctrine was taught, but did not include in his quote, saying, “Either the holy Virgin died and was buried … Or she was killed…”, and therefore Epiphanius did not teach this doctrine because he had no grounds to do so, and thus decalring that he could not support it from Scripture, nor did he have any other reliable sources to turn to either.
And thus, his ‘crux’ question was, “How can a Church which is supposedly infallible promote teachings which the early Church condemned as heretical?” His conclusionis then that teachings such as Mary’s assumption are the teachings and traditions of men, not the revelation of God.
Please help me find some way to respond to this with decent resources, etc.