Official Eastern Orthodox teaching: Immaculate Conception


#1

I have been thoroughly confused by different claims (it appears) about what the Orthodox teach regarding the Blessed Virgin's perpetual sinlessness.

Here I'm only asking what it is that the Orthodox Church actually teaches about her.
Leaving aside the Catholic dogmatic definition of the IC and the wording employed by the Pope in that definition, please answer these questions for me:

Per Orthodox teaching:

1) Was the Virgin filled with Grace at conception?
2) Alternatively, was she filled with Grace through out her entire existence?

Some imply that she was not- Is this the actual teaching of the Orthodox Church?


#2

Hey people....someone...anyone?? :shrug:


#3

Have to keep bumping this up until someone answers....:mad:...Come on people- is it really so difficult?


#4

The Eastern Orthodox Churches do NOT hold the effect of original sin against the "children" of Adam and Eve. Since they do not consider us to be born with original sin...there is no need for Mary to have been protected from it.

It's really quite simple. :)


#5

[quote="Marybeloved, post:3, topic:264155"]
Have to keep bumping this up until someone answers....:mad:...Come on people- is it really so difficult?

[/quote]

Perhaps this will answer your question.

dce.oca.org/assets/templates/bulletin.cfm?mode=html&id=114

Jon


#6

[quote="JonNC, post:5, topic:264155"]
Perhaps this will answer your question.

dce.oca.org/assets/templates/bulletin.cfm?mode=html&id=114

Jon

[/quote]

Thanx Jon,

But that article merely misrepresents the Catholic teaching and then explains the Orthodox belief against that caricature that has nothing to do with the actual catholic teaching.

I was wondering how they answer the questions I asked per Orthodox teaching, on its own, not against the Catholic teaching (which is always thoroughly misrepresented) without the usual polemical comparisons.

Was the Theotokos conceived in a state of Grace? Was she filled with Grace throughout her existence?

I'm only looking for an Orthodox position that does not need to present itself *against *another, and just teaches the Orthodox faith. Just the Orthodox answers to those questions, not a comparison with Catholicism- that's what I'm looking for.

Peace.


#7

[quote="Marybeloved, post:6, topic:264155"]
Thanx Jon,

But that article merely misrepresents the Catholic teaching and then explains the Orthodox belief against that caricature that has nothing to do with the actual catholic teaching.

I was wondering how they answer the questions I asked per Orthodox teaching, on its own, not against the Catholic teaching (which is always thoroughly misrepresented) without the usual polemical comparisons.

Was the Theotokos conceived in a state of Grace? Was she filled with Grace throughout her existence?

I'm only looking for an Orthodox position that does not need to present itself *against *another, and just teaches the Orthodox faith. Just the Orthodox answers to those questions, not a comparison with Catholicism- that's what I'm looking for.

Peace.

[/quote]

WOW...Must be rough being an unreliable newbie around here.

From Orthodox Wiki:

Most Orthodox reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception as unnecessary. Because Orthodoxy does not see ancestral sin as an inheritance of guilt or a stain, there is no reason for the miraculous removal of either. Nonetheless, Orthodox tradition does hold that the Theotokos remained free of personal sin, a belief shared with some reformers such as Martin Luther.


#8

...According to the Fathers, the inheritance from Adam consists not in a personal responsibility of all men for original sin, but simply in the inheritance of the consequences of that sin: death, corruption and the passions ... Hence the Orthodox have no difficulty in recognizing that the Mother of God was heir, like us, of the consequences of Adam's sin - Christ alone was exempt ---but at the same time pure and without personal sin, for she freely kept herself from all attraction for the world and for the passions, and she voluntarily co-operated in God's purpose by obeying His will with docility: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word," she replied to the Angel Gabriel (LK. 1:38).
(The Synaxarion, Vol. II, p. 361)


#9

People, my questions were these:

Was the Virgin filled with [size=3]grace[/size] at her conception or alternatively throughout her existence?

It seems impossible for people to answer these two questions w/out referring to their perceived understanding of catholic teaching.

Please just try to answer these two questions without talking about the IC or Catholic dogma. Just give the Orthodox teaching. Remember it’s all about Grace and whether she had it from conception and throughout her existence or not.

@Mickey- Your assumptions about the Western notion of original sin in your explanation is way off-base.

Peace.


#10

[quote="Marybeloved, post:9, topic:264155"]
Mickey- Your assumptions about the Western notion of original sin in your explanation is way off-base.

[/quote]

There are many threads about guilt vs consequences.......original vs ancestral sin. You can search for yourself...I will not debate the IC here.


#11

And you will not get an answer to your question. The Holy Orthodox Church does take a scholastic approach by attempting pinpoint an exact time that the Most Holy Theotokos was “filled with grace”. The Fathers of the Church are mostly quiet about such a question. We are happy to know that she was all pure and holy and filled with grace…and we leave it at that.

O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, O Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls.

Then perhaps you should have left the Latin doctrine of 1854 out of the thread title. :shrug:


#12

And you will not get an answer to your question. The Holy Orthodox Church does take a scholastic approach by attempting pinpoint an exact time that the Most Holy Theotokos was “filled with grace”. The Fathers of the Church are mostly quiet about such a question. We are happy to know that she was all pure and holy and filled with grace…and we leave it at that.

O Theotokos and Virgin, rejoice, O Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the Savior of our souls. Great- So it’s Orthodox teaching that Mary was filled with Grace throughout her life? That’s what I wanted to know.


#13

[quote="Marybeloved, post:12, topic:264155"]
Great- So it's Orthodox teaching that Mary was filled with Grace throughout her life? That's what I wanted to know.

[/quote]

I believe some of the Fathers imply that she was deified at the Annunciation......but again.....we do not dwell on it. ;)


#14

:thumbsup:

Unlike the Latin Rite where everything must be dealt with in absolute, the Eastern praxis is fine with leaving some loose ends. We can’t pretend we know everything, only God knows everything. We are fine with some things being left as a mystery.


#15

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:14, topic:264155"]
:thumbsup:

Unlike the Latin Rite where everything must be dealt with in absolute, the Eastern praxis is fine with leaving some loose ends. We can't pretend we know everything, only God knows everything. We are fine with some things being left as a mystery.

[/quote]

You are absolutely correct. They are not obsessed with details but rather faith. I think I answered the question correctly...but was ignored. I guess it takes time to be accepted. Gee...I think I've even been lectured by marybeloved.


#16

[quote="Marybeloved, post:9, topic:264155"]
People, my questions were these:

Was the Virgin filled with [size=3]grace[/size] at her conception or alternatively throughout her existence?

It seems impossible for people to answer these two questions w/out referring to their perceived understanding of catholic teaching.

The reason you are not getting the answer you are looking for is because you are asking a question that is strictly from a western perspective. As others have already said, we do not dwell on the "when's" and "how's" of the working of God. We simply accept the faith that God has delivered to us, and allow somethings to remain a mystery. There is no Orthodox teaching on whether or not the Mother of God was filled with grace at a certain time. She just was, and that's enough for us.

[/quote]


#17

[quote="adoglover1956, post:15, topic:264155"]
You are absolutely correct. They are not obsessed with details but rather faith. I think I answered the question correctly...but was ignored. I guess it takes time to be accepted. Gee...I think I've even been lectured by marybeloved.

[/quote]

I think you need to reread your post. You said absolutely nothing about my two questions. You talked about Orthodox objection to the IC dogma, about her sinlessnes etc- and nothing about Mary being filled with grace, which is what I asked. Mickey later understood and gave me the answer I was looking for. I have my answer- The Orthodox have no theology on the precise moment when Mary was filled with grace, though they believe she was- simple! :shrug:

PS:- If you call making a clarification as to the kind of answer I am looking for "lecturing you" then I have to wonder if you're interested in helping answer a question that has been asked or impose one so you can give an answer I already know and I'm not really interested in- :hmmm:

Peace.


#18

[quote="Marybeloved, post:12, topic:264155"]
Great- So it's Orthodox teaching that Mary was filled with Grace throughout her life? That's what I wanted to know.

[/quote]

What is grace to you?

How do you define it?


#19

[quote="Hesychios, post:18, topic:264155"]
What is grace to you?

How do you define it?

[/quote]

The indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in the Soul, or the life of God in the Soul.


#20

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:14, topic:264155"]
:thumbsup:

Unlike the Latin Rite where everything must be dealt with in absolute, the Eastern praxis is fine with leaving some loose ends. We can't pretend we know everything, only God knows everything. We are fine with some things being left as a mystery.

[/quote]

I love this about Orthodoxy. They are fine with living with and in the Mystery of God and dont feel a need, a desperation, and an (what seems to me) ego-driven "must" to have everything spelled out.

It's simply a beautiful element of trust and faith in God and living it out.


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