This information I stumbled upon when researching the east and the Immaculate Conception of The Mother of God
It seems the east used to believe in immaculate conception. In fact, in 1855, the Athenian professor, Christopher Damalas, was able to declare in response to the Immaculate Conception proclamation by Pope Pius IX that :
“We [The Orthodox] have always held and always taught this doctrine. This point is too sacred to give rise to quarrels and it has no need of a deputation from Rome”.
An example of this is George Scholarios (+1456), the last Patriarch of the Byzantine Empire, has also left us a homily on the Dormition and an explicit affirmation of the Immaculate Conception. He says that Mary was
“all pure from the first moment of her existence” (gegne theion euthus).
From Chrysostom, Vol. VI, No. 5 (Spring 1983), pp. 151-159.
A contemporary and opponent of Photius, the monk Theognostes, wrote in a homily for the feast of the Dormition, that Mary was conceived by “a sanctifying action”, ex arches - from the beginning. It seems to me that this ex arches exactly corresponds to the “in primo instanti“ of Roman theology. "
Gregory Palamas, archbishop of Thessalonica and doctor of the hesychasm (+1360) in his 65 published Mariological homilies, developed an entirely original theory about her sanctification. On the one hand, Palamas does not use the formula “immaculate conception” because he believes that Mary was sanctified long before the “primus instans conceptionis“, and on the other, he states quite as categorically as any Roman theologian that Mary was never at any moment sullied by the stain of original sin. Palamas’ solution to the problem, of which as far as we know, he has been the sole supporter, is that God progressively purified all Mary’s ancestors, one after the other and each to a greater degree than his predecessor so that at the end, eis telos, Mary was able to grow, from a completely purified root, like a spotless stem “on the limits between created and uncreated”.
The Emperor Manuel II Paleologus (+1425) also pronounced a homily on the Dormition. In it, he affirms in precise terms Mary’s sanctification in primo instanti. He says that Mary was full of grace
“from the moment of her conception” and that as soon as she began to exist … there was no time when Jesus was not united to her”
It must be noted that Manuel was no mere amateur in theology. He had written at great length on the procession of the Holy Spirit and had taken part in doctrinal debates during his journeys in the West. One can, therefore, consider him as a qualified representative of the Byzantine theology of his time.
It is rather strange that the most precise Greek affirmation of the Immaculate Conception should come **from the most anti-Latin, the most “Protestantizing” of the patriarchs of Constantinople, Cyril Lukaris (+1638). He too gave a sermon on the Dormition of Our Lady. **He said that Mary
“was wholly sanctified from the very first moment of her conception (ole egiasmene en aute te sullepsei) when her body was formed and when her soul was united to her body”;
and further on he writes:
“As for the Panaghia, who is there who does not know that she is pure and immaculate, that she was a spotless instrument, sanctified in her conception and her birth, as befits one who is to contain the One whom nothing can contain?” Panaghia, who is there who does not know that she is pure and immaculate, that she was a spotless instrument, sanctified in her conception and her birth, as befits one who is to contain the One whom nothing can contain?”
So when do the East change its position on the Immaculate conception ?