Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thomas Aquinas (and the Fathers of the Church) on Mary's non-Immaculate Conception

Thomas Aquinas did not believe that Mary's conception was immaculate. In fact he was quite clear about the matter in his Compendium of Theology:
As appears from the foregoing exposition, the Blessed Virgin Mary became the mother of God’s Son by conceiving of the Holy Spirit. Therefore it was fitting that she should be adorned with the highest degree of purity, that she might be made conformable to such a Son. And so we are to believe that she was free from every stain of actual sin-not only of mortal sin but of venial sin. Such freedom from sin can pertain to none of the saints after Christ, as we know from 1 John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” But what is said in the Canticle of Canticles 4:7, “You are all fair, my love, and there is no spot in you,” can well be understood of the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God.

Mary was not only free from actual sin, but she was also, by a special privilege, cleansed from original sin. She had, indeed, to be conceived with original sin, inasmuch as her conception resulted from the commingling of both sexes. For the privilege of conceiving without impairment of virginity was reserved exclusively to her who as a virgin conceived the Son of God. But the commingling of the sexes which, after the sin of our first parent, cannot take place without lust, transmits original sin to the offspring. Likewise, if Mary had been conceived without original sin, she would not have had to be redeemed by Christ, and so Christ would not be the universal redeemer of men, which detracts from His dignity. Accordingly we must hold that she was conceived with original sin, but was cleansed from it in some special way.

Some men are cleansed from original sin after their birth from the womb, as is the case with those who are sanctified in baptism. Others are reported to have been sanctified in the wombs of their mothers, in virtue of an extraordinary privilege of grace. Thus we are told with regard to Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb of you mother I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you” (Jer. 1:5). And in Luke 1:15 the angel says of John the Baptist: “He shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” We cannot suppose that the favor granted to the precursor of Christ and to the prophet was denied to Christ’s own mother. Therefore we believe that she was sanctified in her mother’s womb, that is, before she was born.

Yet such sanctification did not precede the infusion of her soul. In that case she would never have been subject to original sin, and so would have had no need of redemption. For only a rational creature can be the subject of sin. Furthermore, the grace of sanctification is rooted primarily in the soul, and cannot extend to the body except through the soul. Hence we must believe that Mary was sanctified after the infusion of her soul.

But her sanctification was more ample than that of others who were sanctified in the wombs of their mothers. Others thus sanctified in the womb were, it is true, cleansed from original sin; but the grace of being unable to sin later on, even venially, was not granted to them. The Blessed Virgin Mary, however, was sanctified with such a wealth of grace that thenceforth she was preserved free from all sin, and not only from mortal sin, but also from venial sin. Moreover venial sin sometimes creeps up on us unawares, owing to the fact that an inordinate motion of concupiscence or of some other passion arises prior to the advertence of the mind, yet in such a way that the first motions are called sins. Hence we conclude that the Blessed Virgin Mary never committed a venial sin, for she did not experience such inordinate motions of passion. Inordinate motions of this kind arise because the sensitive appetite, which is the subject of these passions, is not so obedient to reason as not sometimes to move toward an object outside the order of reason, or even, occasionally, against reason; and this is what engenders the sinful impulse. In the Blessed Virgin, accordingly, the sensitive appetite was rendered so subject to reason by the power of the grace which sanctified it, that it was never aroused against reason, but was always in conformity with the order of reason. Nevertheless she could experience some spontaneous movements not ordered by reason.

In our Lord Jesus Christ there was something more. In Him the lower appetite was so perfectly subject to reason that it did not move in the direction of any object except in accord with the order of reason, that is, so far as reason regulated the lower appetite or permitted it to go into action of its own accord. So far as we can judge, a characteristic pertaining to the integrity of the original state was the complete subjection of the lower powers to reason. This subjection was destroyed by the sin of our first parent, not only in himself, but in all the others who contract original sin from him. In all of these the rebellion or disobedience of the lower powers to reason, which is called concupiscence (fomes peccati), remains even after they have been cleansed from sin by the sacrament of grace. But such was by no means the case with Christ, according to the explanation given above.

In the Blessed Virgin Mary, however, the lower powers were not so completely subject to reason as never to experience any movement not preordained by reason. Yet they were so restrained by the power of grace that they were at no time aroused contrary to reason. Because of this we usually say that after the Blessed Virgin was sanctified concupiscence remained in her according to its substance, but that it was shackled.
- Thomas Aquinas, Compendium of Theology, Part 1, Chapter 224

I'd like to draw the reader's attention to a few interesting things:

1) Thomas Aquinas clearly and repeatedly denies any immaculate conception:
  • She had, indeed, to be conceived with original sin, inasmuch as her conception resulted from the commingling of both sexes.
  • Likewise, if Mary had been conceived without original sin, she would not have had to be redeemed by Christ, and so Christ would not be the universal redeemer of men, which detracts from His dignity.
  • Accordingly we must hold that she was conceived with original sin, but was cleansed from it in some special way.
  • Therefore we believe that she was sanctified in her mother’s womb, that is, before she was born.Yet such sanctification did not precede the infusion of her soul. In that case she would never have been subject to original sin, and so would have had no need of redemption.
  • Furthermore, the grace of sanctification is rooted primarily in the soul, and cannot extend to the body except through the soul. Hence we must believe that Mary was sanctified after the infusion of her soul.
  • In the Blessed Virgin Mary, however, the lower powers were not so completely subject to reason as never to experience any movement not preordained by reason. Yet they were so restrained by the power of grace that they were at no time aroused contrary to reason. Because of this we usually say that after the Blessed Virgin was sanctified concupiscence remained in her according to its substance, but that it was shackled.
This is an abundantly clear, reasoned position from Thomas Aquinas against the idea of any immaculate conception of Mary. I mention this not to suggest that Thomas Aquinas' reasoning is correct, or that I agree with his position.

I raise it to point out that Pius IX's claims regarding history are patently untrue:
And indeed, illustrious documents of venerable antiquity, of both the Eastern and the Western Church, very forcibly testify that this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the most Blessed Virgin, which was daily more and more splendidly explained, stated and confirmed by the highest authority, teaching, zeal, knowledge, and wisdom of the Church, and which was disseminated among all peoples and nations of the Catholic world in a marvelous manner -- this doctrine always existed in the Church as a doctrine that has been received from our ancestors, and that has been stamped with the character of revealed doctrine. For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus -- that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning.
- Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854), Are we really supposed to believe that Thomas Aquinas, the foremost theologian of the middle ages, was unaware of "this doctrine" which allegedly "always existed in the Church as a doctrine that has been received from our ancestors, and that has been stamped with the character of revealed doctrine"? Or are we simply to suppose that Thomas Aquinas thought it was a revealed doctrine, but rejected it anyway?

2) Thomas Aquinas realized the significance of 1 John 1:8

1 John 1:8: “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

Thomas Aquinas tried to get around this by essentially making it forward-looking only.

But Thomas Aquinas has not rightly recognized that this was nothing unique to the New Testament era:

Romans 3:9-12
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

That is also a New Testament text, but Paul relies on the Old Testament text to prove his point.

Psalm 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

As also elsewhere:

Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

Accordingly, Paul concludes:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Paul does not exclude Mary from this, just as the fathers did not:

Tertullian (c. 160-c. 220):
Thus some men are very bad, and some very good; but yet the souls of all form but one genus: even in the worst there is something good, and in the best there is something bad. For God alone is without sin; and the only man without sin is Christ, since Christ is also God.
ANF: Vol. III, A Treatise on the Soul, Chapter 41.

Basil of Caesarea (AD. 329-379):
When thou hast blessed the Lord out of Scripture according to thy power, and hast sent up thy praise to Him, then begin to humble thyself and say, ‘I am not worthy, O Lord, to speak before Thee, because I am a sinner.’ Even though thou knowest nothing evil of thyself, thou must speak so; for none is without sin, but God only.

Greek text: Ὅταν δὲ δοξολογήσῃς ἀπὸ τῶν Γραφῶν, ὡς δύνασαι, καὶ ἀναπέμψῃς αἶνον πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν, τότε ἄρχου μετὰ ταπεινοφρόσύνης, καὶ λέγε. Ἐγὼ μὲν, Κύριε, οὐκ εἰμὶ ἄξιος ἐπὶ σοῦ φθέγξασθαι, διότι σφόδρα ἁμαρτωλὸς τυγχάνω. Κὰν μὴ σύνοιδάς τι σεαυτῷ φαῦλον, οὕτω χρὴ σε λέγειν. Οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀναμάρτητος εἰ μὴ μόνος ὁ Θεός.
Constitutiones Monasticae, Caput I. §3. PG 31:1329; for translation, see Richard Travers Smith, The Fathers for English Readers: St. Basil the Great (New York: Poit, Young and Company, 1879), pp. 145-146.

Ambrose (c. 339-97):
No Conception is without iniquity, since there are no parents who have not fallen.

Latin text: Nec conceptus iniquitatis exsors est, quoniam et parentes non carent lapsu.
Prophetae David ad Theodosium Augustum, Caput XI, PL 14:873; for translation, see I. D. E. Thomas, The Golden Treasury of Patristic Quotations (Oklahoma City: Hearthstone Publishing, 1996), p. 258.

Augustine (354-430):
In a similar way we can speak of our Lord’s “sin,” meaning what sin brought about, because he assumed his flesh from that very stock that by sin had deserved death. To put it briefly: Mary, descended from Adam, died because of sin. Adam died because of sin, and the Lord’s flesh, derived from Mary, died to abolish sins.

Latin text: Sic ergo peccatum Domini, quod factum est de peccato, quia inde carnem assumpsit, de massa ipsa quae mortem meruerat ex peccato. Etenim ut celerius dicam, Maria ex Adam mortua propter peccatum, Adam mortuus propter peccatum, et caro Domini ex Maria mortua est propter delenda peccata.
In Psalmum XXXIV, Sermo II, §3, PL 36:335; Works of Saint Augustine, John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., Expositions of the Psalms 33-50, Part 3, Vol. 16, trans. Maria Boulding, O.S.B. (Hyde Park: New City Press, 2000), Exposition 2 of Psalm 34 (35), p. 62.

Fulgentius, bishop of Ruspe (c. 467-532):
For the flesh of Mary, which had been conceived in iniquities in the usual manner, was the flesh of sin which begot the Son of God in the likeness of the flesh of sin...

Latin Text: Caro quippe Mariae, quae in iniquitatibus humana fuerat solemnitate concepta, caro fuit utique peccati, quae Filium Dei genuit in similitudinem carnis peccati.
Epistola XVII, Cap. VI, §13, PL 65:458.

Clement of Alexandria (ca. 150 - 215):
Now, O you, my children, our Instructor is like His Father God, whose son He is, sinless, blameless, and with a soul devoid of passion; God in the form of man, stainless, the minister of His Father's will, the Word who is God, who is in the Father, who is at the Father's right hand, and with the form of God is God. He is to us a spotless image; to Him we are to try with all our might to assimilate our souls. He is wholly free from human passions; wherefore also He alone is judge, because He alone is sinless.
(The Paedogogus, Book I, Chapter 2)

Origen (ca. 185 – 232):
And as it is necessary that that which is mortal should die, and it is impossible but that it should die, and as it must needs be that he who is in the body should be fed, for it is impossible for one who is not fed to live, so it is necessary and impossible but that occasions of stumbling should arise, since there is a necessity also that wickedness should exist before virtue in men, from which wickedness stumbling-blocks arise; for it is impossible that a man should be found altogether sinless, and who, without sin, has attained to virtue.
(Commentary on Matthew, Book XIII, Section 23)

Cyprian of Carthage (died 258):
Let us then acknowledge, beloved brethren, the wholesome gift of the divine mercy; and let us, who cannot be without some wound of conscience, heal our wounds by the spiritual remedies for the cleansing and purging of our sins. Nor let any one so flatter himself with the notion of a pure and immaculate heart, as, in dependence on his own innocence, to think that the medicine needs not to be applied to his wounds; since it is written, "Who shall boast that he has a clean heart, or who shall boast that he is pure from sins? " [Proverbs 20:9] And again, in his epistle, John lays it down, and says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." But if no one can be without sin, and whoever should say that he is without fault is either proud or foolish, how needful, how kind is the divine mercy, which, knowing that there are still found some wounds in those that have been healed, even after their healing, has given wholesome remedies for the curing and healing of their wounds anew!
(Treatise 8: On Works and Alms, Section 3)

Cyril of Jerusalem (ca. 315 – 386):
For we tell some part of what is written concerning His loving-kindness to men, but how much He forgave the Angels we know not: for them also He forgives, since One alone is without sin, even Jesus who purges our sins. And of them we have said enough.
(Catechetical Lectures, Lecture 2, Section 10)

Rufinus (ca. 345 – 410):
For He alone it is Who has not sinned, and has taken away the sins of the world. For if by one man death could enter into the world, how much more by one man, Who was God also, could life be restored!
(Commentary on the Apostles' Creed, Section 25)

John Cassian (ca. 360 – 435):
Full well, when he says that He was sent in the flesh, does he exclude for Him sin of the flesh: for he says "God sent His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin," in order that we may know that though the flesh was truly taken, yet there was no true sin, and that, as far as the body is concerned, we should understand that there was reality; as far as sin is concerned, only the likeness of sin. For though all flesh is sinful, yet He had flesh without sin, and had in Himself the likeness of sinful flesh, while He was in the flesh but He was free from what was truly sin, because He was without sin: and therefore he says: "God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh."
(On the Incarnation, Book IV, Chapter 3)

Gregory the Great (ca. 540 – 604):
Moreover, since no one among men in this world is without sin (and what else is sinning but flying from God?), I say confidently that this my daughter also has some sins. Wherefore, that she may perfectly satisfy her mistress, that is eternal Wisdom, let her, who fled alone, return with many. For the guilt of turning away will be imputed to no one who in returning brings back gain.
(Registrum Epistolarum, Book VII, Letter 30: To Narses)

Sedrach (10th or 11th Century)
Sedrach says to God: O Lord, You alone are sinless and very compassionate, having compassion and pity for sinners, but your divinity said: I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.

And the Lord said to Sedrach: Do you not know, Sedrach, that the thief was saved in one moment to repent? Do you not know that my apostle and evangelist was saved in one moment? "Peccatores enim non salvantur," for their hearts are like rotten stone: these are they who walk in impious ways and who shall be destroyed with Antichrist.

Sedrach says: O my Lord, You also said: My divine spirit entered into the nations which, not having the law, do the things of the law. So also the thief and the apostle and evangelist and the rest of those who have already got into your Kingdom. O my Lord; so likewise do You pardon those who have sinned to the last: for life is very toilsome and there is no time for repentance.
(Apocalypse of Sedrach, Section 15)

What are we to conclude? Was Gregory the Great just forgetting about Mary - did that slip Augustine's mind too?

But if you will conclude that Aquinas and all the fathers quoted above were simply forgetful and absent-minded. And even if you will read the clear teaching of Paul and John regarding the universal sinfulness of mankind so as to be forward-looking only - still consider this:

Mark 10:18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Will anyone dare to suggest that Jesus forgot about his own mother?

-TurretinFan

P.S. My friend Dr. White will be debating this very topic of the Immaculate conception (and alleged sinlessness of Mary) with Christopher Ferrara in a few hours. May God be glorified by the debate, and may many come to see the truth that Mary properly had Jesus as her Savior.

19 comments:

natamllc said...

I pause, as this as most other threads hereon this blog posted are long.

I would comment some before going farther into it.

I am intrigued by these two things written:

In our Lord Jesus Christ there was something more. In Him the lower appetite was so perfectly subject to reason that it did not move in the direction of any object except in accord with the order of reason, that is, so far as reason regulated the lower appetite or permitted it to go into action of its own accord.


I would come back to the words, "reason" and "order" commenting on moving onto maturity leaving the "lower carnal appetite" behind.

Next your third bullet:

Accordingly we must hold that she was conceived with original sin, but was cleansed from it in some special way.


First, I would like to highlight a Greek Word used twice in the New Testament; once by Paul and once by Peter:

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

1Pe 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:


The Greek word is: λογικός
logikos
log-ik-os'
From G3056; rational (“logical”): - reasonable, of the word.

The English word in Romans 12:1, "reasonable" and the English word in 1 Peter 2:2, "word" is λογικός/logikos.

Also, the Apostle Paul, when "setting" Titus into his place as a Minister of Christ for Righteousness sake, wrote this:

Tit 1:4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Tit 1:5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into
order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you--
Tit 1:6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.


What lesson comes to me as I ponder the Truth revealed by these Scriptures, Romans 12:1, 1 Peter 2:2 and Titus 1:4-6?

I would say what we experience Mary experienced before us and she was not exempted from original sin or her own personal dealings with sinful doubts and shame and unbelief about Christ, as we all. This is primary and elementary as Hebrews 5 and 6 develops. Paul wrote that he was "not" ashamed of the Gospel. I suppose he too struggled with being ashamed of it himself?

What I can assert is some, Mary included in this group, I suppose, grew moving on in redemption Grace and experienced a depth of maturity in it? She by virtue of her personal physical experiences of being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit that Christ was conceived in her womb and coming to full term gave birth to Him is what she held in her heart after until the day she passed to Glory. I see the Scripture teaches plainly that she did struggle with doubts about Him and I don't believe every Elect soul moves to her level of maturity that she did overcoming her doubts and fears? Surely the thief next to Christ at the crucifixion made it to Paradise being solely as an infant in Christ!

Why do I sum this up that way? I refer you to Hebrews 6:3, that is why.

Second, as we learn from Paul the Apostle, there is an order and a process of maturity that one goes through when growing in Grace and the Knowledge of the Truth. I suppose, we like Brother Martin Luther, will only know that we too are beggars all on our death beds?

continued

natamllc said...

continuing

Finally, regarding the third bullet point in your thread. I would only leave off with these verses not seeing Mary being kept in any other "special way" than the "only" way all of God's Saints are kept, whether or not God permits us to go onto the depth and level of maturity we suppose Mary attained before passing out of this life to her own inheritance in Heaven?

Rom 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.


1Pe 1:5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


I believe it is extraordinary that Mary should be figured greater than all Saints seeing what is there but Saints/sinners on earth and Saints/sinners in Heaven?

I do believe you hold as much of a special place in God's heart as Mary.

Here is how I would describe that predestination:

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
Eph 1:5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.


Mary, undoubtedly found and discovered and now knows for certain that she too was predestined for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of God Eternal Will in Glory!

And I hasten to say, so do you!

CathApol said...

It is quite acceptable to be a Catholic, as St. Thomas Aquinas, and profess that the Blessed Virgin Mary inherited Original Sin, in fact, I do too. The definition of the Immaculate Conception does not say that she did not inherit Original Sin, it only states she was preserved from the STAIN of Original Sin at the very moment of her conception. I believe and accept that the Blessed Virgin Mary too needed a Redeemer, who - upon her fiat - came into the world through her womb. She became the Ark of the New Covenant.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

PS- A response I gave earlier this year:
http://cathapol.blogspot.com/2010/04/immaculate-conception.html

Turretinfan said...

Scott:

The very short answer is that you don't understand the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. I'll try to provide a longer, more detailed answer, when I have time.

May I ask if you got this idea from some official source? A priest, bishop, catechism, or something like that?

-TurretinFan

CathApol said...

I got my information from the definition of the dogma. Many have gone into theological speculation regarding the Immaculate Conception, but such speculations are not binding upon Catholics. What IS binding is the definition: We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.
http://www.americancatholictruthsociety.com/docs/pix_ineffabilis_deus.htm

Scott<<<

Turretinfan said...

In other words, you came up with this yourself, correct? No one told you that this is the right way to understand that particular definition? I don't want to misrepresent you in my reply.

natamllc said...

Scott,

wherever that comes from, this quote:

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

It is not found in the Holy Scriptures nor is there any other Words inspired by the Holy Spirit written like them. He simply would not conflict with Himself with words such as are found in the American Catholic Truth Society citation you bring hereon!

That quote also is very anachronistic. It puts into what God has revealed already something that God has not said nor revealed.

Let's be clear about it?

Here is as succinct an expression of who and what Mary is about at His ascension, not her's, she too falling so short of the Faith once delivered to the Saints, as all the rest who got to touch Him, see Him, cry, laugh and sing hymns with Him did:

Luk 24:44 Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
Luk 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
Luk 24:46 and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
Luk 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
Luk 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
Luk 24:49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high."
Luk 24:50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
Luk 24:51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
Luk 24:52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
Luk 24:53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.


You have got to know and understand Mary was with that group, especially when you consider this with that:

Joh 19:23 When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom,
Joh 19:24 so they said to one another, "Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be." This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, "They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." So the soldiers did these things,
Joh 19:25 but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
Joh 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
Joh 19:27 Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.


Why was she taken into "his" home and not allowed to go to her own house and children?

The way your religion makes her out to be, those words certainly would not have been necessary!

CathApol said...

In other words, you came up with this yourself, correct? No one told you that this is the right way to understand that particular definition? I don't want to misrepresent you in my reply.

I would like to know what, exactly, are you referring to here. The whole explanation I gave, or just parts of it?

Scott<<<

PS- Pardon my delay in responding.

CathApol said...

nat wrote:
Scott,
wherever that comes from, this quote:

We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.

It is not found in the Holy Scriptures nor is there any other Words inspired by the Holy Spirit written like them. He simply would not conflict with Himself with words such as are found in the American Catholic Truth Society citation you bring hereon!


Nat,
The quote comes directly from Ineffabilis Deus by Pope Pius IX wherein the definition of the Immaculate Conception is found. No, that is not Scripture, nor need it be! Scripture itself states that "whatsoever you shall bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven..." and this definition was so bound.

The definition states she is preserved from the STAIN of Original Sin (not from inheriting it, nor the consequences of it). How is this in conflict with Scripture? I posit, it is not.

Changing subjects almost entirely, you ask:
Why was she taken into "his" home and not allowed to go to her own house and children?

The way your religion makes her out to be, those words certainly would not have been necessary!


Nat, we ask the same question! IF Mary indeed had other children, WHY would she have gone with St. John, and not with those other children? As I understand it, this would have been quite scandalous to do, IF there were other children.

AMDG,
Scott<<<

athanasios said...

If you love the Truth, then say whole truth and not be misleading as you are now in your saying about Thomas Aquinas...

For whole truth is, that although Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae denied Immaculate Conception, on the other hand, in his earlier and later writings he AFFIRMED Immaculate Conception!!!

So e.g. Father Reginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange (the greatest thomist of 20) in his commentary of Thomas' Summa Theologiae (see: here or here) says that Thomas Aquinas went through three stages of development with regard to the Immaculate Conception:

1. Early Stage (before 1254 - Commentary on Sentences): Thomas affirmed the Immaculate Conception of Mary

2. Middle Stage (1254-1272 - Summa theologiae): Thomas denied the Immaculate Conception of Mary

3. Final Stage (after 1272): Thomas returned to his faith in the Immaculate Conception of Mary


Here are the texts that Garrigou-Lagrange gives to support his thesis:


1. In the first period, which was from 1253 to 1254, he affirmed the privilege, for he wrote: "Such was the purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was exempt from both original and actual sin." [Com. in I Sent, d. 44, q. 1, a. 3, ad 3]

2. In the second period, St. Thomas explicitely denies the Immaculate Conception: "The Blessed Virgin did indeed contract original sin." [Summa theologiae IIIa, q. 27, a. 2, ad 2]

3. In the third period, "For she [the Blessed Virgin] was most pure because she incurred the stain neither of original sin nor of mortal sin nor of venial sin."[Expositio super salutatione angelica]

Turretinfan said...

That theory has long been debunked, since the "neither original" in that final quotation is an interpolation. Gibbings pointed that out long ago in his "Roman forgeries and falsification" but you can see for yourself if you get a critical text of the work.

The Latin actually says "Ipsa enim purissima fuit et quantum ad culpam, quia ipsa virgo nec mortale nec veniale peccatum incurrit." ("For she [the Blessed Virgin] was most pure because the Virgin herself incurred neither mortal nor venial sin.")

If you love the truth, seek out whether I am telling you the truth.

http://www.corpusthomisticum.org/cst.html

What is especially shameful about this lie (I know you posted in good faith, friend, but you got this theory ultimately from a liar) is that the same work earlier explained:

"Sed Christus excellit beatam virginem in hoc quod sine originali conceptus et natus est." ("But Christ excels the Blessed Virgin in this, because he was conceived and born without original [sin].")

(Oddly enough, I independently discovered this and then found it in Gibbings.)

-TurretinFan

athanasios said...

Thanks for the interesting observation. I just quoted from summarization of that Lagrange's book. And I gave here also two links form which one - as I now see - was not complete.

As I also see, you wrote today also another article about this, where you critized Lagrange saying:

Garrigou-Lagrange wrote:
In the final period of his career, when writing the Exposito super salutatione angelica----which is certainly authentic [39]-----in 1272 or 1273, St. Thomas expressed himself thus: 'For she [the Blessed Virgin] was most pure in the matter of fault (quantum ad culpam) and incurred neither Original nor mental nor venial sin.'
The problem is this: The "neither original" in that quotation is an interpolation. Gibbings pointed that out long ago in his "Roman forgeries and falsifications" but you can see for yourself if you get a modern critical text of the work.


However, insted "-----" Lagrange wrote somethig more, where he talked also about "modern critical editions".

This is a complete source also with footnotes. Lagrange's words with his footnotes are:


In the last period of his life, however, from 1272 until 1273, St. Thomas wrote a work that is certainly authentic.[2477] In a recent critical edition of this small work made by J. F. Rossi, c. M., we read: "For she [the Blessed Virgin] was most pure because she incurred the stain neither of original sin nor of mortal sin nor of venial sin."[2478] If it be so, then St. Thomas at the end of his life, after mature reflection, and in accordance with his devotion toward the Blessed Virgin, again affirmed what he had said in the first period of his life.[2479]

We must note other passages indicative of this happy return to his first opinion.[2480]

[...]

Thus St. Thomas probably at the end of life reaffirmed the privilege of the Immaculate Conception. Father Mandonnet[2481] and Father J. M. Voste[2482] thought so.
__________________
FOOTNOTES:

2478cf. Divus Thomas, pp. 445-79, and Monografie del Collegio Alberoni. Sixteen out of the nineteen codices have the words "nec originale"; hence Father Rossi concludes that the text is authentic

2479cf. Com. in I Sent., d. 44, q. 1, a. 3, ad 3

2480cf. Compendium theologiae, chap. 224, wherein we read: "Not only was the Blessed Virgin Mary immune from actual sin, but also from original sin, being purified in a special manner." But it would not have been a special privilege if she had been purified as Jeremias and St. John the Baptist had been in the womb, some time after her animation. Likewise in the explanation of the Lord's Prayer, the fifth petition, St. Thomas says: "Full of grace, in whom there was no sin." Also in the Com. in Ps. 14:2, we read: "There was absolutely no stain of sin both in Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary." Also Com. in Ps. 18:6, he writes: "There was no obscurity of sin in the Blessed Virgin."

2481Bulletin thomiste, January to March, 1933, pp. 164-67

2482See his Com. in Summam theol. S. Thomae. De mysteriis vitae Christi; 18f. In the explanation of the Hail Mary, St. Thomas still says: "The Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin, " but, as Father Voste observes: "Unless we admit an intolerable contradiction in this same passage, it must evidently be understood... as referring to the stain that is to be instrumentally transmitted through the seed and the flesh, but not at all of formal original sin personally, contracted by the soul and person of Mary."

Turretinfan said...

"Sixteen out of the nineteen codices have the words "nec originale"; hence Father Rossi concludes that the text is authentic"

This would be funny if it wasn't such an obviously wrong way to decide the matter.

In any event, as I already noted, the author fails to inform the reader that in the same work he is quoting, Thomas explicitly denies the immaculate conception of Mary.

-TurretinFan

athanasios said...

"In any event, as I already noted, the author fails to inform the reader that in the same work he is quoting, Thomas explicitly denies the immaculate conception of Mary."

He did it! See last paragraph of my previous post, namely Lagrange's footnote 2482.

Therefore Lagrange both
- used "recent critical edition"
- inform reader about omission of "nec originale" in some MSS
- inform reader about passage "The Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin" from the same document.

So don't be so on him ;)

Although IMHO it is true that Thomas denied Immaculate Conception holding opinion of Aristotle that people are conceived without soul and only later they are animated. He believed that Mary was conceived with original sin, but it was in time when she hadn't a human soul yet. It was several days later when she was animated (received a human soul). And during that animation she was cleaned from that original sin (and also since that time she hadn't committed any sin).

This he teached in many documents including text that you quoted in original post.

And thus his position in this topic, although errorneous according to current catholics, still not so errorneous as opition of protestants.

Turretinfan said...

Unless you've reproduced footnote 2482 wrong, it is a reference to Suarez' commentary on Thomas' Summa, and to the notes of Voste found therein.

There's nothing in Lagrange telling you that the same document in which he's citing the interpolation actually explicitly denies the immaculate conception.

It's embarrassing enough for him that he's trying to justify (with Rossi, allegedly) citing the interpolation on the basis of it being found in a majority of the codices (as though that were strong evidence for its genuineness).

As for whose error is worse, judged by the authority of Scripture, your doctrine is plainly false. Of course, you aren't willing to judge it that way, instead you choose to judge it according to the standard of "the Church said it." If you continue to apply that standard, how will you ever see the light?

-TurretinFan

athanasios said...

You said: "judged by the authority of Scripture, your doctrine is plainly false."

Sorry, friend, but reality teaches me that by word "Scripture" in such sentences everyone mean just HIS INTERPRETATION of Scripture. For I see that protestants themselves disagree one with another in many questions although they all claims that their teaching is plainly from Scripture and they all used sentences like this yours (even such men like "Jehovah's witness" claim so!).

Also in this case. What I said in my previous post, I should rather said "many protestants" instead just "protestants", for now I found one article which says that Luther himself believed in Immaculate Conception:

http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2010/09/martin-luthers-belief-in-immaculate.html

athanasios said...

"Unless you've reproduced footnote 2482 wrong, it is a reference to Suarez' commentary on Thomas' Summa, and to the notes of Voste found therein."

I just quoted both text and footnote from mentioned work of Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (1877–1964).

Here is his text with his footnotes:

Thus St. Thomas probably at the end of life reaffirmed the privilege of the Immaculate Conception. Father Mandonnet[2481] and Father J. M. Voste[2482] thought so.
[footnote:]
2481Bulletin thomiste, January to March, 1933, pp. 164-67
2482See his Com. in Summam theol. S. Thomae. De mysteriis vitae Christi; 18f. In the explanation of the Hail Mary, St. Thomas still says: "The Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin, " but, as Father Voste observes: "Unless we admit an intolerable contradiction in this same passage, it must evidently be understood... as referring to the stain that is to be instrumentally transmitted through the seed and the flesh, but not at all of formal original sin personally, contracted by the soul and person of Mary."


--- END OF QUOTATION ---

Thus Lagrange in this note inform reader that Thomas in that incriminate work (Expositio Salutationis angelicae=Super Ave Maria=Explanation of the Hail Mary) said: "The Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin."

Therefore Lagrange inform readers that according to Thomas Mary was "conceived in original sin."

HOWEVER Thomas meant here time when Mary has not soul! He (following Aristotle) thought that she received soul several days later. But then (when she was receiving human soul) she was cleaned from that sin!

This is what Voste says (quoted by Lagrange) that Thomas there referred "to the stain that is to be instrumentally transmitted through the seed and the flesh, but not at all of formal original sin personally, contracted by the soul and person of Mary."

I.e. according to Thomas, Mary before being human has original sin, but not when she was human. While she was human (with human soul) she had never any sin, neither original, nor personal.

Such position is essentially identical to current catholic teaching about "Immaculate Conception", namely that Mary's human soul has never original sin. Only Thomas problem was, that he thought that Mary during first days after conception was being without human soul. Therefore Thomas wouldn't call it "Immaculate Conception" for his different understanding of "conception" itself, but we - who understand "conception" in such sense that human in that moment receive also human soul - could say that Thomas believe in Immaculate "conception" (namely that Mary never has any sin). This seems to be how Lagrange and Voste used it, since they quoted Thomas sentece: "The Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin", but noted that Thomas doesn't talked here about soul.

Turretinfan said...

Regarding Scripture, I knew you would refuse. The darkness will not come to the light of the Scripture. Why not? John 1 tells those who have ears to hear.

Regarding Luther, who cares? God used him mightly, but he was neither the first nor the last, neither the beginning nor the end.

For what it's worth you should be getting your facts about Luther from someone more reliable than Taylor Marshall (the same guy who led you astray about Thomas Aquinas). For instance, try this website:

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2008/10/lutheran-scholar-ac-piepkorn-on-luthers.html

Regarding the footnote, see my next comment ...

Turretinfan said...

I think on further reflection that this is not Suarez' commentary but Voste's own commentary that is being referenced.

Let me further grant for the sake of discussion that he is informing the reader that this passage is his admission that the same work that he cites as showing "change of opinion" expresses the same opinion.

What then?

Shall we applaud him for honesty for claiming that Thomas had a "return to his first opinion" and "St. Thomas probably at the end of life reaffirmed the privilege of the Immaculate Conception" when the evidence is just the opposite?

For indeed, Thomas affirms the immaculate conception of Christ, but denies it of Mary, claiming she was only immaculately born.

-TurretinFan