As I have written on another thread, the "dogma" of the Immaculate Conception is an innovation of the Western Church, indeed only of the Latin Rite of the Western Church and only 150 years old. Its roots are in the scholasticism of the middle ages and an understanding of the Augustinian construct of "original sin" unknown in the Church in the East.
The dogma is only 150 years old, but the belief is much older than that. Duns Scotus resolved the debate over Mary's sinlessness in the Latin church in medieval times. Is the thread that you mentioned the one I started with the answer from the Eastern-rite Catholic, where you said his thinking was very Orthodox?
posted on 12/08/2004 2:49:42 PM PST
(Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix.... sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper...)
"Duns Scotus resolved the debate over Mary's sinlessness in the Latin church in medieval times"
In the East there has never been any serious question about the sinlessness of the Holy Theotokos. One of her most ancient titles is "Panagia", the ALL HOLY ONE (feminine gender). The issue in the West among the Latins had to do with their interpretation of what Blessed Augustine meant when he spoke about "original sin", or the "stain" of "original sin", a concept which the East never accepted, and probably Blessed Augustine wouldn't have come up with if a) he wasn't dealing with a local No African heresy and more importantly, b)he had any facility with Greek. +Augustine came up with a mighty defense against Pelagianism, but without the benefit of the thinking of the Greek Fathers and within the context of his own former Manicheanism. Unfortunately, the works of +Augustine were not translated into Greek until about the 14th century so the entire Eastern Church was unaware of the details of what he had written and thus had no opportunity to correct it "while the correcting was good" so to speak.
"Is the thread that you mentioned the one I started with the answer from the Eastern-rite Catholic, where you said his thinking was very Orthodox?"
No, some weeks ago a group of us here, Romans and Orthodox, had a very long discussion on another thread about the implications of the scholastic interpretation of Blessed Augustine's "original sin" theory. During that the subject of the Immaculate Conception came up since its only real raison d'etre is the "stain of original sin" and how to deal with it in the case of the Theotokos. To the extent that the dogma means what the encyclopedia says it means, as opposed the meaning advanced by some more patristic, as opposed to scholastic, thinking from the Roman Church and especially from the Eastern Rite Churches in communion with Rome, it is a pure Latin Rite innovation that the One Church, the Church of the Seven Councils never held. It is an example of post hoc, propter hoc scholastic reasoning. The article you posted contained a link to an article by an Eastern Rite Churchman who expressed his Church's understanding of the perpetual sinlessness of the Most Holy Theotokos. In my opinion, his statement is in accord with Orthodox theology and the teachings of the Fathers, but you will remember that he pointed out that words like "stain" and "original sin" and "merits of Christ" are foreign to the Eastern Church, even those in communion with Rome.
posted on 12/08/2004 3:28:45 PM PST
(Nuke the Cube!)
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