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  DEVELOPMENT OF ROMAN DOCTRINES ON MARY - 4

Immaculate Conception of Mary


If the salvation is to be completed Jesus has to be God and Man. If he is only God, he cannot pay the price for mankind. Only a man could pay the penalty of sin of mankind. But no man could survive the fallen nature of man. The wages of sin is death. No man could escape death, because he is born in the species of Adam. Hence Jesus was Man being taken flesh from Mary - of the Adamic Origin. He has taken the fallen nature of man through her. Jesus bore on his flesh the original sin - the sinful nature of man like every other man in Adamic race. Though he was sinless, he was still a mortal being of Adamic race bearing the original sin in his body. Otherwise he is not a fit sacrfice. Thus Issaih proclaims:

Is.53:5-6 But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned--
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,

But if he has to overcome death and redeem he will have to be God.

Declaration of Immaculate conception of Mary

"The most blessed Virgin Mary was from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ. Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin."

Pope Pius IX Inefabilis Deus 1854 DS 2803

The declaration of Immaculate conception of Mary to make her free from all original sin of mankind would make Jesus unfit as a sacrifice for man. Sure enough if God wanted to make someone free from original sin he could by virtue of his sovereignity. It is not the sovereignity of God that comes in question but the validity and necessity of such an act. Is it necessary for salvation. Quite the contrary it makes the whole incarnation invalid. The sacrifice on the cross an unacceptable sacrifice as an atonement for the sin of mankind. An immaculate Mary is theologically unacceptable.

The whole series of ancestry of Jesus traced by Mathew and Luke shows clearly that the lineage was never intented to be a holy series. Quite the opposite. People are often surprised that the lineage is through Judah and not through Joseph. Judah's character is clear in his behaviour with his daughter-in-law. He was least hesitant to lie with a prostitute. During the intimate intercourse he did not even recognise his daughter-in-law Tamar. Four women are mentioned in Mathew's genealogy - where the legal genealogy is mentioned. Breaking the tradition Mathew mentions four women. . All the four are women of poor repute. First is Tamar - who enticed her father - in - law into lying with her. The second is Rahab, the harlot. The third is the Moabitess Rehab, whom the tradition considers as once the priestess of Baal. The Fourth is Betsheba - Uriah's wife who was in adulterous relation with David. Why were they mentioned specifically even though mention of women's names were a taboo in the Jewish culture? This was clearly to show that Jesus came in a fallen human race carrying the original sin. The Immaculate conception tries to break this chain of theological necessity. The scripture requires and emphasizes that he came as a member of this fallen race, carrying with him the fallen nature. He broke this viscious cycle. It is therefore a necessary and sufficient condition that Mary is not immacualte and she represented the fallen mankind.

"Original sin is only a sin in an analogical nature. It is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act." (Catechism 404) " By baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins as well as all punishment for sin" (Council of Florence (1439) DS 1316

In fact asssuming the affirmation of infallible Roman Catholic Church every infant that is baptised in the Roman Catholic Church is immortal and they should not die as long as they do not commit personal sin. As all know infants commit personal acts of sin. Yet we know that they die. Baptism do not either impart immunity to original sin or original sin has nothing to do with sickness, decay and death. This thread is necessary as we look at the assumption of Mary.

The effect of removal of original sin from any person is to make them sinless and perfect. Since sin has no authority over them they do not decay nor can they die. That was what God meant when he created Adam. God wanted to have eternal fellowship with man. In the fall his character became evil - he missed the mark and decay and death entered into this world as a consequence. This decay and death was not only for mankind and on all living, but also on all matter. The whole universe us now under bondage of decay and will be released from this bondage when the sons of men come into the Kingdom.

Rom 8:19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

If Mary was immaculate she was immortal. Sin cannot have any dominion over her. However history cleary states that Mary died and she was burried. Even the Roman Catholic tradition do state that she was indeed buried. Her death implies and declares her to be a daughter of Eve with original sin in her and consequently paid the price in death.

Let us assume for the moment that the sacrficial lamb need not be with original sin in Him. Then who is the best sacrificial lamb? Mary or Jesus. Mary because she is of Adamic Oriign, She is free from original sin. She is sinless in her life ("By the grace of God Mary remained free from every personal sin her life long" Catechism 492). There was no need of God to incarnate. Death could not have held her in bondage because she was sinless. Mary had simply usurped Jesus. If on the other hand it was only a question of removal of original sin for the perfect lamb, God could have easily done that in Jesus even if he was born from any woman. A mother with no original sin is simply superfluous.

Thus we see that the doctrine of immaculate conception of Mary - that Mary was given the grace to be without original sin - undermine the purpose of incarnation and of Jesus and his mission. Clearly this is not the case is seen by the fact Mary was not martyred - i..e. her body was not forcefully destroyed by external forces of the fallen world as Jesus' was. She died a normal death of old age due to decay of the body - a consequence of original sin. In clear theological terms the declaration of immaculate conception of Mary was a declaration that the death of Jesus was not a sufficient sacrifice for the redemption of mankind.

This was known very very clearly to all early Catholic Theologians. Catholic scholar Sir Thomas Aquinas wrote, "Certainly (Mary) was conceived with original sin, as is natural. . . . If she would not have been born with original sin, she would not have needed to be redeemed by Christ, and, this being so, Christ would not be the universal Redeemer of men, which would abolish the dignity of Christ." Chapter CCXXXII bis. Thomas Aquinas, Compendio do Teologia, Barcelona, 1985.

St. Augustine knew the importance of Adamic origin and its requirement for redemption and commented that if Mary had been free from the power of sin, it was not because of her birth, but because of her rebirth by God's grace. Yet, in A.D. 1439, a council meeting in Basel, Switzerland, declared the immaculate conception of Mary as a dogma. At the Council of Trent, in 1546, when the new dogma was affirmed it was by subterfuge, "We do not wish to enclose in the decree in which original sin is dealt with, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God." Cesar Vidal, The Myth of Mary, 138.

The corruption came in slow steps and in December 8, 1854, the dogma of the immaculate conception was stated with a little more boldness: "The doctrine that sustains that the most blessed virgin Mary was preserved immune from any stain of original sin in the first moment of her conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in foresight of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, this doctrine revealed by God should be, therefore, firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful." . Finally, at the Vatican II Council decreed that Mary was "preserved immune from every stain of original sin."

Neither the scriptures nor the Apostolic tradition ever hinted of this. My search could not locate even any gnostic or apocryphal writings to the effect. It is purely a myth developed much later. It was an outgrowth of the Papal Church of Rome. I have quoted in full the article which explains this dogma. A careful reading will tell that the dogma was not taught until after a millenium and even then not without stringent opposition with most scholars objecting to it. It simply grew as a conjecture without solid scriptural or historical basis. The only assurance of this I can find in the Marian literature is that Mary herself made this claim." Mary herself is said to have confirmed the doctrine in a 14th century visitation to St. Bridget of Sweden."

1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 


Here are the extracts from the text from Catholic Encyclopaedia (It is copy righted and so we could give only portions) the subject. You may read it from source for full article.

"Immaculate Conception

The Doctrine

In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary "in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin." The subject of this immunity from original sin is the person of Mary at the moment of the creation of her soul and its infusion into her body. .....

The Holy Scripture

Genesis 3:15

No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. (Proto-evangelium), ........"and I will put enmity between thee and the woman and her seed; she (he) shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her (his) heel" (Genesis 3:15). The translation "she" of the Vulgate is interpretative; it originated after the fourth century, and cannot be defended critically. ...............

Luke 1:28

The salutation of the angel Gabriel -- chaire kecharitomene, Hail, full of grace (Luke 1:28) indicates a unique abundance of grace, a supernatural, godlike state of soul, which finds its explanation only in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. But the term kecharitomene (full of grace) serves only as an illustration, not as a proof of the dogma.

Other texts

From the texts Proverbs 8 and Ecclesiasticus 24 (which exalt the Wisdom of God and which in the liturgy are applied to Mary, the most beautiful work of God's Wisdom), or from the Canticle of Canticles (4:7, "Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee"), no theological conclusion can be drawn. ..........

Tradition

In regard to the sinlessness of Mary the older Fathers are very cautious: some of them even seem to have been in error on this matter.

  • Origen, although he ascribed to Mary high spiritual prerogatives, thought that, at the time of Christ's passion, the sword of disbelief pierced Mary's soul; that she was struck by the poniard of doubt; and that for her sins also Christ died (Origen, "In Luc. hom. xvii").

  • In the same manner St. Basil writes in the fourth century: he sees in the sword, of which Simeon speaks, the doubt which pierced Mary's soul (Epistle 259).

  • St. Chrysostom accuses her of ambition, and of putting herself forward unduly when she sought to speak to Jesus at Capharnaum (Matt., xi , 46; Chrysostom, Hom. xliv; cf. also "In Matt.", hom. iv).

....................

Mary as the second Eve

This celebrated comparison between Eve, ......and the Blessed Virgin is developed by:

  • Justin

  • Irenaeus

  • Tertullian ,

  • Julius Firm cus Maternus

  • Cyril of Jerusalem

  • Epiphanius

  • Theodotus of Ancyra , and

  • Sedulius

The absolute purity of Mary

Patristic writings on Mary's purity abound. ...............

St. John Damascene (Or. i Nativ. Deip., n. 2) esteems the supernatural influence of God at the generation of Mary to be so comprehensive that he extends it also to her parents. He says of them that, during the generation, they were filled and purified by the Holy Ghost, and freed from sexual concupiscence. Consequently according to the Damascene, even the human element of her origin, the material of which she was formed, was pure and holy. This opinion of an immaculate active generation and the sanctity of the "conceptio carnis" was taken up by some Western authors; it was put forward by Petrus Comestor in his treatise against St. Bernard and by others. Some writers even taught that Mary was born of a virgin and that she was conceived in a miraculous manner when Joachim and Anne met at the golden gate of the temple (Trombelli, "Mari SS. Vita", Sect. V, ii, 8; Summa aurea, II, 948. Cf. also the "Revelations" of Catherine Emmerich which contain the entire apocryphal legend of the miraculous conception of Mary.

From this summary it appears that the belief in Mary's immunity from sin in her conception was prevalent amongst the Fathers, especially those of the Greek Church. The rhetorical character, however, of many of these and similar passages prevents us from laying too much stress on them, and interpreting them in a strictly literal sense. The Greek Fathers never formally or explicitly discussed the question of the Immaculate Conception.

The Feast

The older feast of the Conception of Mary (Conc. of St. Anne), which originated in the monasteries of Palestine at least as early as the seventh century, and the modern feast of the Immaculate Conception are not identical in their object. .....

.......Gradually the solemnity emerged from the cloister, entered into the cathedrals, was glorified by preachers and poets, and eventually became a fixed feast of the calendar, approved by Church and State. ........

The Controversy ........Greek and Syrian Churches regarding the sinlessness of Mary, he asserted that the feast was foreign to the old tradition of the Church. .......... (A long list controversy is now listed)

By a Decree of 28 February, 1476, Sixtus IV ........... published in 1483 a constitution in which he punished with excommunication all those of either opinion who charged the opposite opinion with heresy (Grave nimis, 4 Sept., 1483; Denzinger, 735). In 1546 the Council of Trent, ........Baius that "no one but Christ was without original sin, and that therefore the Blessed Virgin had died because of the sin contracted in Adam, and had endured afilictions in this life, like the rest of the just, as punishment of actual and original sin" (Denzinger, 1073) ...... also issued a constitution in which he forbade all public discussion of the subject. ......... "

From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press, Inc. Electronic version copyright 1996 by New Advent, Inc.