What does the Orthodox REALLY say about the Immaculate Conception of John the Baptist?


#1

Hi. I stumbled upon a Wikipedia article about John the Baptist being immaculately conceived, and my favorite Saint, Catherine of Siena supposedly believed this?

Is it his immaaculate conception permanent? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception_of_Saint_John_the_Baptist

But I also heard from my grandfather that the Orthodox church teaches this to be true? What do they really say about it? Thanks for your help guys.


#2

[quote="MelissaThompsn, post:1, topic:270147"]
Hi. I stumbled upon a Wikipedia article about John the Baptist being immaculately conceived, and my favorite Saint, Catherine of Siena supposedly believed this?

Is it his immaaculate conception permanent? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception_of_Saint_John_the_Baptist

But I also heard from my grandfather that the Orthodox church teaches this to be true? What do they really say about it? Thanks for your help guys.

[/quote]

:eek: And Pope Leo XIII too.

I think that somewhere we must draw the line between what IS definitely part of the deposit of the faith shared by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches throughout history, and what is merely pious belief held by some but not universal.

Immaculate Conception of Mary - while the term and the logic are based on Western thought about a Western concept of original sin, and therefore get treated with suspicion, the underlying truth that Mary was spared any commission of sin is shared universally. Ditto for original sin, purgatory, and other things.

That hosts of angels collected all the blood Jesus shed along the way to be crucified, that Mary's virginity means an intact hymen after delivering a baby by osmosis in addition to lack of sexual intercourse, that Jesus never got flu - these, IMHO, belong on the other side of the line. No harm in them, great devotion and piety possible through them, but, like Zeitun and Knock and Fatima etc., they are non-compulsory benefits.

I'm sure I'll get a lot of reprimanding on that.


#3

But is it a SIN to say it? Even if a Pope says its ok? I dont understand, please use simple english.


#4

The Catholic Church has NEVER taught that John the Baptist was conceived without original sin (which is what Immaculate Conception means), and I am willing to bet that the Orthodox Churches have never taught such a thing, either. While there is a pious belief that John the Baptist was cleansed of Original Sin when Mary visited Elizabeth (and the infant John leapt with joy in her womb), it is not required to believe that.
It is abundantly clear that the wikipedia writer has no clue what Immaculate Conception actually means. One cannot be conceived (immaculately or otherwise) AFTER one's own conception.


#5

Keep in mind the distinction between being conceived without sin and being born without sin.

A common Catholic belief (not formally defined) is that St. John the Baptist and also St. Joseph were born without sin (the stain of original sin was washed from them while they were in their mothers' wombs).

Perhaps you are confusing that idea with the one of being conceived without sin?


#6

[quote="MelissaThompsn, post:3, topic:270147"]
But is it a SIN to say it? Even if a Pope says its ok? I dont understand, please use simple english.

[/quote]

No Pope has ever stated that John the Baptist was conceived (created) without sin. Pope Leo XIII believed (as do many Catholics and Orthodox) that John was cleansed of that sin before birth, and thus born without sin. Yes, it is ok to believe the latter.


#7

[quote="Stephen_Korsman, post:2, topic:270147"]
:eek: And Pope Leo XIII too.

I think that somewhere we must draw the line between what IS definitely part of the deposit of the faith shared by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches throughout history, and what is merely pious belief held by some but not universal.

Immaculate Conception of Mary - while the term and the logic are based on Western thought about a Western concept of original sin, and therefore get treated with suspicion, the underlying truth that Mary was spared any commission of sin is shared universally. Ditto for original sin, purgatory, and other things.

That hosts of angels collected all the blood Jesus shed along the way to be crucified, that Mary's virginity means an intact hymen after delivering a baby by osmosis in addition to lack of sexual intercourse, that Jesus never got flu - these, IMHO, belong on the other side of the line. No harm in them, great devotion and piety possible through them, but, like Zeitun and Knock and Fatima etc., they are non-compulsory benefits.

I'm sure I'll get a lot of reprimanding on that.

[/quote]

The perpetual virginity of our Most Holy Mother is a doctrine of the faith. It is "de fide" meaning essential to our faith. I'm not sure if that is what you're trying to say, but just to be safe.


#8

I'm surprised you stumbled on that so quickly, because that article was only created yesterday. It is under intense scrutiny by some editors, including me, and has already been nominated for deletion.

Please read the linked sources for the true story on this. There is no belief that John was immaculately conceived. Some believe that he was sanctified in the womb, possibly by the visitation of Mary. There is a papal encyclical that says this and that is what Catherine of Siena stated. Nobody has said that he was immaculate from the point of conception and the article is misnamed, to say the least.


#9

[quote="Stephen_Korsman, post:2, topic:270147"]
... Mary's virginity means an intact hymen after delivering a baby by osmosis (in addition to the de fide doctrine of a lack of sexual intercourse) ... they are non-compulsory benefits.

[/quote]

[quote="Thomas_Francis, post:7, topic:270147"]
The perpetual virginity of our Most Holy Mother is a doctrine of the faith. It is "de fide" meaning essential to our faith. I'm not sure if that is what you're trying to say, but just to be safe.

[/quote]

It was a bit unclear. I've quoted myself above and added clarification in red.

Perpetual virginity = lack of sexual intercourse before and after = de fide = dogma = part of the universal faith.

Delivery of Jesus by osmosis to keep the hymen intact = non-compulsory benefit = pious belief but not essential.


#10

The Church has never declared anything that would connote this idea of “osmosis.” All she has said definitively is that Mary was a virgin before, DURING, and after the birth of Jesus. But I don’t think we should read specific concepts into that.

It’s like her Assumption: we know definitively that Mary was taken body and soul to Heaven “when the course of her earthly life was finished.” We can’t read into that whether Mary suffered death or not. It is what it is.


#11

That article is poorly constructed. Very amateurishly hacked together.

It seems to have been written by someone who does not understand the theory behind the immaculate conception (of anyone, or no one - no matter).

Stay away from junk articles that have not been properly vetted. If you want to know what Orthodox think of any of this, go post on an Orthodox forum and ask your questions.


#12

[quote="MelissaThompsn, post:1, topic:270147"]
Hi. I stumbled upon a Wikipedia article about John the Baptist being immaculately conceived, and my favorite Saint, Catherine of Siena supposedly believed this?
Is it his immaaculate conception permanent? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immaculate_Conception_of_Saint_John_the_Baptist
But I also heard from my grandfather that the Orthodox church teaches this to be true? What do they really say about it? Thanks for your help guys.

[/quote]

JL: I Think the one who did the article is confused between CONCEPTION and being SANCTIFIED in the womb. The following caption in the article appears under the painting Elizabeth meeting Mary.

“Saint Elizabeth meeting the Blessed Virgin Mary. The moment of John's Immaculate Conception. By Jacques Daret, Oil on Canvas painting. Circa 1434, Berlin Museum.”]

The above caption says, ** "The moment of John's Immaculate Conception." ** Well at this meeting John had been CONCEIVED for six months.

Lk1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

Then speaking of John the Baptist Luke tells us the following

Lk1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, even FROM HIS MOTHER'S WOMB.

Lk1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth HEARD THE SALUTATION OF MARY, THE BABE LEAPED IN HER WOMB; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: [The same God who filled and sanctified Mary AT CONCEPTION. Also sanctified John the Baptist in the womb AFTER CONCEPTION. According to New Advent both John and the prophet Jeremiah were sanctified in their mother’s womb.

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07674d.htm Move down to, The conception of John the Baptist.


#13

[quote="Stephen_Korsman, post:9, topic:270147"]
It was a bit unclear. I've quoted myself above and added clarification in red.

Perpetual virginity = lack of sexual intercourse before and after = de fide = dogma = part of the universal faith.

Delivery of Jesus by osmosis to keep the hymen intact = non-compulsory benefit = pious belief but not essential.

[/quote]

Sorry for the confusion. May God bless you.


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