Apologetics / Reflections Bible Catholic Church Catholic Faith

YES, MARY WAS IMMACULATE pt2: A RESPONSE TO INC MINISTER

 

 

 

By: Pastor Manny
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This is the continuation ng series ko for the case of Immaculate Conception in response sa isang post ng isang INC Minister. In my previous post, I explained kung paanong prinove ng Genesis 3:15 ang Immaculate Conception which the minister denied without giving any argument in his favor [1]. This time, magbibigay ako ng response sa kanya sa argument niya against the Sacred Tradition of the Immaculate Conception. He said:
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“This explains why the early theologians of the Catholic Church disagreed on the matter. In fact, they had debated on the question of whether Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, was conceived without any stain of “original sin” for centuries [2].”
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It’s true that for centuries, maraming hindi naniwala na Early Church Fathers sa Immaculate Conception in the sense na hindi sila naniwala na naconceive si Mary ng walang stains ng original sin. However, many of the theologians believe sa sinlessness ni Mary, something that INC denies. For example, St. Augustine said:
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“We must except the holy VIRGIN MARY, concerning whom I wish to raise NO QUESTION when it touches the SUBJECT OF SINS, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for OVERCOMING SIN in EVERY PARTICULAR was conferred UPON HER who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin [3] [emphasis added].”
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Take note na hindi poing ng post na ito ang magbigay ng quotes ng maraming Early Church Fathers sa sinlessness ni Mary to save space and address yung ibang points na binigay ng INC minister. Sa mga interested tignan ang overwhelming view ng Church Fathers sa sinlessness ni Mary, I recommend you to go to the references and check reference number 4 na may link ng blog ni Dave Armstrong, a Catholic Apologist, na nag compile ng writings ng mga fathers on this issue [4]. The INC minister made a point na may mga Church fathers from the Eastern Church ang naniwala na guilty ng “defects” si Mary, and he cited the Catholic Catechism by saying:
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“Church fathers of the East like, John Chrysostom, held that Mary was sometimes GUILTY of such MINOR DEFECTS:
“…Some oriental writers, including Chrysostom, held that Mary was sometimes guilty of such minor defects as vanity, as when she urged Jesus to work the miracle of changing water into wineat Cana.” (The Catholic Catechism, p. 159) [2] [emphasis added]”
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It’s true na may mga Church Fathers na naniwalang nag commit ng sin si Mary, at may mga Church Fathers na naniniwalang sinless si Mary. However, minority lang ang naniniwala na nag commit ng sin si Mary. Dave Armstrong said:
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“As for Church Fathers who refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the New Eve (Eve was originally sinless or immaculate), Second Eve, sinless, spotless, pure, without stain, immaculate, the Ark of the Covenant, or (negatively) who never attributed any actual sin to her, we find the following:
Hippolytus, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory Nyssa, Cyril of Jerusalem, Epiphanius, Athanasius, Jerome, Eusebius, Ephraim, Ambrose, Augustine, Proclus, Theodotus, Peter Chrysologus, Andrew of Crete, Fulgentius, Leo the Great, Gregory the Great, Germanus, John Damascene.
That makes AT LEAST 22 FATHERS in the AFFIRMATIVE, COMPARED TO 5 who attributed SIN to MARY (not counting the Montanist heretic Tertullian). By this broad reckoning, that is ABOUT 81% OF THE FATHERS (and these are only the major ones), which is more than enough to achieve a “consensus,” as even the phrase “unanimous consent of the fathers” never literally meant all of them, as Catholic apologist [5] [emphasis added].”
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The INC minister continued to make his point to even include St. Thomas Aquinas (and other scholastic theologians) kung saan dineny nila ang Immaculate Conception. The minister said:
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“St. Albert the Great (before 1200-1280), Doctor of the Church who is remembered as teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas, “denied the Immaculate Conception, since it was condemned by Blessed Bernard in the letter to the Lyonnese and by all the masters of Paris.” (Ibid., p. 10) [2]”
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It’s true na ang theologians during the medieval times reject the Immaculate Conception, and naimpluwensyahan ang iba tulad ni St. Thomas Aquinas. Ludwig Ott, a Catholic theologian, explained kung ano ang issue nila sa Immaculate Conception in his book “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma.” He said:
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“Under the influence of ST. BERNARD, the leading theologians of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries…REJECTED the doctrine of the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. Their difficulty was that they had NOT YET FOUND THE WAY to bring Mary’s freedom from original sin into consonance with the UNIVERSALITY OF ORIGINAL SIN, and with the NECESSITY of ALL MEN for REDEMPTION [6] [emphasis added].”
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In fact, makikita natin ang argument ni St. Thomas Aquinas kung saan sinabi niya na since Jesus saved people, including Mary, therefore si Mary ay naconceive with original sin at nasanctify lang siya after animation (animation refers sa infusion ng soul sa flesh). St. Thomas Aquinas said:
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“But this is unfitting, through implying that CHRIST is not the “SAVIOUR OF ALL MEN,” as He is called (1 Timothy 4:10). It remains, therefore, that the BLESSED VIRGIN was SANCTIFIED AFTER ANIMATION [7] [emphasis added].”
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After ni St. Thomas Aquinas, dumating ang theologian named St. John Duns Scotus na nagbigay ng solution sa issue ng immaculate conception and salvation ng Blessed Virgin. Sinabi niya na ang perfect mediator has the perfect act of mediation, and it’s better for someone to be saved by being preserved from original sin rather than having original sin and being sanctified after [8]. Kaya nga, minsan, sinasabi natin na “prevention is better than cure.” To help us understand yung explanation niya, may binigay na analogy from Catholic Answers saying:
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“Consider an analogy: Suppose a MAN FALLS into a DEEP PIT, and SOMEONE REACHES DOWN to pull him out. The MAN has been “SAVED” from the pit. Now imagine a WOMAN WALKING ALONG, and she too is ABOUT TO TOPPLE into the pit, but at the very moment that she is to fall in, SOMEONE HOLDS HER back and PREVENTS HER. She too has been SAVED from the pit, but in an even BETTER WAY: She was not simply taken out of the pit, she was PREVENTED FROM GETTING STAINED by the mud in the first place [9] [emphasis added].”
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Tulad ng INC minister, maraming non-Catholics ang nagsasabi na hindi makikita ang dogma ng Immaculate Conception sa Sacred Tradition, but that is not necessarily true. Ang identity ni Mary bilang “All Holy”, “New Eve”, “Ark of the New Covenant”, etc. ay present sa Scriptures and Tradition. It simply took years for the Catholic Church to fully understand the theology about it. I will end this post by quoting Pope Benedict XVI, whose birthday is today. Pope Benedict XVI said:
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“In this regard I would like to highlight a fact that I consider relevant. Concerning the teaching on the Immaculate Conception, important theologians like Duns Scotus enriched what the People of God already spontaneously believed about the Blessed Virgin and expressed in acts of devotion, in the arts and in Christian life in general with the specific contribution of their thought. Thus faith both in the Immaculate Conception and in the bodily Assumption of the Virgin was already present in the People of God, while theology had not yet found the key to interpreting it in the totality of the doctrine of the faith [10].”
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References:
[1] https://www.facebook.com/dcfvanguardsoftruth/posts/3227246717499607?__tn__=K-R
[2]https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2978445878887468&set=a.720889691309776&type=3
[3] https://ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf105.xii.xlvi.html
[4] https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2016/05/church-fathers-mary-is-sinless.html
[5] https://www.patheos.com/blogs/davearmstrong/2015/12/live-chat-debate-on-mary-vs-james-white.html
[6] Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma
[7] http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4027.htm
[8] The Catholic Catechism: A Contemporary Catechism of the Teachings of the Catholic Church
[9] https://www.catholic.com/tract/immaculate-conception-and-assumption
[10] http://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/audiences/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_aud_20100707.html

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