Intercession of the Saints throughout history

Discussion in 'Church History' started by Jellies, Aug 7, 2021.

  1. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, well, I don't see anything prohibiting members from pointing out the errors of other groups' (RC, Orthodox, etc.) teachings. Doing so seems particularly useful if it helps Anglicans give wide berth to those errors.
     
  2. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    That might be so if that is the purpose. I am an Anglican and still an Anglican, not because of what is wrong with other traditions but for what is right with out tradition. I football fan does not need to bad mouth cricket, to prove they are a football fan.
     
  3. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It explicitly says “no derogatory statements about Christianity”. Christianity includes Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and, yes, the Episcopal Church (as the latter is a part of the Anglican Communion). We could talk about what Anglicanism does and doesn’t include, but that might fall afoul of the rules.

    If a person doesn’t believe in praying to saints, then they shouldn’t do it. If another person has no problem with it, that person should be left to his or her own conscience. It is a mystical belief enshrined in a private devotional practice. Assuming both are Anglicans, the liturgy is identical for both. There is thus no good reason for that to be a church-dividing issue or a source of ugly polemics.
     
  4. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    I posted this in church history specifically talking about the historicity of the practice. I don’t think it’s bashing anyone to point out it’s not historical, and from what I gather it is against the 39 articles to invoke angels or Saints. If any anglicans do so against the articles that is their deicision, but again this was posted in history. Just like discussing the history of the Anglican Church I’m discussing the history of invocation of Saints. I do not believe death to reign over anyone in heaven, but that doesn’t mean that Mary can hear a billion prayers everyday. There’s a difference between praying to Saints as a sort of acknowledgment of the communion of Saints, and petitioning them with specific requests like a lot of people seem to do. Also, you have to admit that both Rome and the East are no issue with Mary being a co mediatrix. They both say that Mary’s prayers are better than ours because she was sinless and the mother of Jesus, and he listens to Mary more easily because “the prayer of the righteous has great power.” I don’t see either of these traditions speaking against this abuse. I’m aware anglicans are pretty toned down on this front so this isn’t really an issue for the Anglican Church. But we should still consider the premise which the other 2 traditions invoke Mary and the Saints, aka their merits. Which doesn’t go well with the Anglican doctrine of Christ’s righteousness being imputed to us. If you invoke Saints that’s not really an issue. But this is a history post, and like I was trying to say, the history for the invocation of Saints is by no means clear cut or on the favor of invoking Saints or angels. I even pointed out the council of laocidea and the fact it banned invoking angels and that Paul said the corinthians were worshipping angels. My post, again, was to talk about the historicity of the practice since many people assume this is the tradition of the undivided church or something. If everyone was like anglicans and just prayed to Saints normally I don’t think most Protestants would have an issue. But really ask yourself, why do most people ask Saints to pray for them? Especially Mary? It’s because their churches teach that the Saints prayers are more readily heard than ours. Both East and Rome believe Mary is our main intercesor and the most perfect creature God has ever made, so her prayers are better than ours. You can’t separate saint intercession from co mediatrix doctrine, sadly. I think anglicans invoking Saints should steer clear of any belief that Mary’s prayers are better than theirs. If there is anything the reformation got right, is that we are all justified by grace through faith, and Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. This means we are all equal before the eyes of God, because we are justified by Christ’s merits not our own. And if I’m justified by His merits, and Mary is justified by his merits, then we can both come with equal boldness before God. That the Saints in heaven may be stronger in faith is another issue. But like chrysostom says, God is more readily willing to respond to prayers made by us, not by others interceding for us. He wants a personal relationship with us. Christ is our God and Savior, but he is also human, and wants a relationship with us directly, not through Mary’s or anyone else’s mediation. You will be hard pressed to find a catholic or orthodox who affirms this. Their whole reason for praying to Mary several times is because they believe her prayers are more effective.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I wish you would use paragraphs

    This may be an established general consensus amongst many Roman Catholics, however there is little to define it, and you need to go looking.

    Catechism of the Catholic Church
    • PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH
      • SECTION TWO I. THE CREEDS
        • CHAPTER THREE I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
          • Article 9 "I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH"
            • Paragraph 6. MARY - MOTHER OF CHRIST, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH
    969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."

    970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it." "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."

    I think you will find little support for it in the East. Theotokos is the established position that Mary holds in the East.

    I don't think that is correct

    I don't take that as a given at all.

    Correct.
     
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  6. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    other religions traditions (& indeed some strands of Anglicanism) have been criticised here pretty much since the day that I joined..

    i think that it is part of classical anglicanism to stand boldly for the truth, and do not believe that religion is a mental gymnastic... the Roman Catholics make endless videos and articles about why we are wrong and it only makes sense for us to show where the balance of truth actually lies
    @Jellies is doing magnificent work
     
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  7. Sean611

    Sean611 Well-Known Member

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    Hello Jellies, I appreciate your reply. I am going to try to break down your post according to a single thought and my response.

    I have never made this claim and I am not sure where this argument is coming from. I simply believe that the more people one has praying for them the better.


    I think we are in agreement here and this pretty much sums up my argument quite well. I would take issue with worrying about what Protestants may say about the issue, as I think it has been quite well established by the historiographical record that Celtic Christianity (or Irish, English, Catholic, or whatever else one may want to call it) and a Celtic Church existed outside of tight papal jurisdiction and authority. Thus, what is referred to as Anglican Catholicism (or Christianity or whatever one may one to call it) has existed in the British Isles (mostly in the North) prior to any church split and certainly far longer than any form of Protestantism. Thus, and with respect, I am not too concerned with the thought of the continental reformers on this issue.


    In my branch of Anglicanism it has not been transformed into something different, unbiblical, or idolatrous. I will not attempt to speak or defend Roman Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy, as I am not and have never been a member of these churches. I am not going to attempt to isolate a few quotes or prayers in order to paint either group one way or the other, as that is not fair to them. I will say there have been Orthodox provinces (perhaps better described as national churches?) which have been isolated from one another for centuries, yet once they managed contact, it was amazing how these provinces had incredibly similar doctrines and practices despite the separation. I'm not saying this proves something one way or the other, just fascinating to note. (If anyone would like a more thorough explanation, just send me a message)


    I accept the first seven ecumenical councils of the undivided Church. I believe the arbitrary acceptance of less councils on the basis of the theology of the continental reformers is flimsy and is hard to support from a historical prospective. If the undivided Church cannot get it right, then who can? What becomes authoritative and who determines the meaning of scripture, doctrine, and practice? Luther? Calvin? Zwingli? My pastor at the non-denominational church? Therefore, in my opinion, the problems (or errors) came to a head after the first seven councils, largely due to papal politics, succession, papal supremacy, secular politics, and the subsequent schism with the East.


    I would definitely challenge iconoclasm as a "fact" of the early apostolic church. Christians have been using symbols, paintings, and other works to communicate ideas, theology, and to communicate in secrecy from the very beginning of the Church. What you describe sounds like hyper-Calvinist revisionism. The first case of iconoclasm that I am aware of occurred in the East and it was in the 8th and 9th centuries, if I am not mistaken. As for the books and stories you quoted, I have no knowledge of these. Were these books and/or stories accepted by the undivided Church as scripture or the basis for theology?


    I must admit I am a bit confused on what you are trying to convey here. Where have the masses dictated to the Church what they must believe and practice?


    I think the Church has always held a special place for the saints, especially the early Christian martyrs. I accept what the undivided Church taught and believed. However, if we dismiss all developments which have occurred throughout the history of the Church because we cannot prove apostolic practice, we will not be left with much certainty of anything.


    I cannot speak to Orthodox or Roman Catholic angel worship, as I have no clue where this comes from. However, tradition is what the Church is built upon and if we cannot trust that the universal and undivided church could get it right, then who or what do we appeal to as the ultimate sources of authority and who decides? Furthermore, if apostolic teaching is the only teaching we can use for the basis of authority then we are getting rid of some pretty incredible theologians and philosophers, many of which some Protestants hold in high regard.


    I will not speak on Orthodox beliefs on this matter as I am not Orthodox and I would perceive it as wrong for me to state what they believe on this issue. Speaking on Luther, I was LCMS for a short time and if Luther believed the Church had not run head first into apostacy, why start a new church? If the papacy (the office, not any one individual) is the antichrist, how does one believe Rome is not in apostacy? I mean the office that runs the Church is the antichrist! Again, certain sacraments could be seen as valid, but Luther believed the errors of Rome ran much deeper than an out of control papacy.


    I don't believe in papal infallibility or supremacy, but I do believe one could make the historical case for the bishop of Rome as a senior bishop and as a historically important bishop (of course, one could make the same case for Jerusalem, Antioch, and Constantinople as well). The Celtic Church certainly held the bishop of Rome in high regard (perhaps the highest), yet the pope did not exercise dominion in the British isles until much much later (at least in the North).

    The problem with the continental Protestant reform is that it holds their version of the Church as the Church until errors of Rome took hold throughout the whole Church. Modern historiography indicates this to be an incredibly tenuous position and not likely even close to being historically accurate. One can certainly maintain Rome was in error at the time of the reformation, yet one does not have to do away with our entire catholic heritage in order to correct these errors. The Reformation has been a disaster, over 20,000+ Protestant denominations and counting. Luther's true heresy was believing anyone could read the bible and come to his exact conclusions on scripture, yet not even Lutherans can agree on what Luther believed! To be fair, I hold the Roman Catholic Church responsible for the Reformation, as the current historiography is shows the Reformation was as much about secular politics, corruption, and overreach as it was about theological error.


    I am not going to try and mine quotes from the Church Fathers to support my points of contention. The problem with this entire thread is that it takes quotes outside their context in order to prove one point of contention over another. Regardless of how one sides on this issue, one should read the entirety of any church father and the historiographical catalogue on their writings before claiming to know what they believed or what their works mean. Regarding your last point, when did the undivided church cease to exist then and who gets to make that determination?
     
  8. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Wow that’s a lot to reply to lol:laugh:
    I will start by saying the early church was pretty iconoclastic. This isn’t Calvinist revisionism on my part, I am not Calvinist at all nor am I an iconoclast. I just have read a lot about church history. A big thing in the first 200 years of the church was Christians were accused of being atheists, because they did not worship like pagans. They had no altar or images or religious clothes. I don’t have issue with any of these btw this is just a fact. When the persecutions ended and Christianity became the official religion of the empire, Christians were still reluctant to furnish churches with images. God forbid statues. I’m not trying to be contrarian I just think this is a recognized historical fact, and you can read all about it on history books of the early church. The fact that there wasn’t an iconoclast period until the 7th century isn’t relevant. There wasn’t an iconoclast period because there weren’t any icons.
    As for nicea 2, doesn’t it anathemize anyone that doesn’t salute or venerate the images?
    I hardly think that’s worth an anathema. I think you should look more into the inconoclast controversy, it’s a really difficult topic. The 7th council was not ecumenically accepted until much later. There was a back and forth of iconodule and iconoclast emperors and each would persecute and kill the other side. It was by no means like any other council the church has ever had. On top of that, there is no warrant in scripture for venerating images. So how can the church anathemize those who don’t venerate them? Anglicans are supposed to hold scripture as the only infallible authority, and scripture is not in favor of venerating images at all. If you want to say scripture doesn’t touch on veneration but on idolatry, you still would have to explain how it’s possible to anathemize those of us who refuse to venerate images. The church got too cocky in my opinion. It’s ok to anathemize those who deny the trinity or deity of Christ, but an anathema because you refuse to bow down to, kiss, pray to, an image? That is not ok at all, and completely unlike the other church councils. The proof is in the long years of inconoclast controversy before the “triumph of orthodoxy.”
    One of the things I notice you say is that the whole church can’t be wrong. Have you read the 7th council? There were people for and against image veneration. How is that the whole church? It’s not like after the council everyone was venerating icons like in your modern day eastern church. This also wasn’t a thing in the west. If you read the popes letter, the west is for icons as a method of teaching the illiterate. Again, this could hardly be called a decision of the universal church. It’s arguably the most polarized council in all of Christian history. We can’t assume 7th century Rome was kissing and praying to icons like the modern day east. Neither can we assume the same for ALL eastern churches, because there were many iconoclasts in the East.
    I want to say again I’m not an iconoclast. I just think it’s wrong to look at modern day Christianity and say “yeah this is how it was 800 years ago. The church couldn’t possibly have been wrong all this time.”


    Can I ask if you know if the celts prayed to Saints before the takeover of Rome? I haven’t read about that but I’d be surprised if it was practiced in the liturgy of the church.

    I think we just have to keep in mind scripture is totally silent on this. We cannot be 100% sure that the God allows Saints to hear every single prayer. I certainly hope Mary isn’t hearing some of those more blasphemous prayers Catholics or orthodox like to say to her, I think it would make her very sad.
    This was a popular piety, but the church fathers did not make it a doctrine, and in modern day Rome and East it is a doctrine.
    This is st Augustine, on the care for the dead:
    “How then can they take part in the misfortunes of the living? For they are either enduring their own punishment, if such is what they have merited, or are resting in peace, as was promised to Josiah, where they experience no evil of any kind, either for themselves or seeing the suffering of others. For then they are freed from every evil which they endured while they were alive, both their own suffering and in seeing the suffering of others.
    So then we must confess that the dead indeed do not know what is happening in this life while it is taking place.”

    I think it is so obvious Augustine had no concept of the Saints hearing our prayers, from that short excerpt. You can read the whole thing and really see where he is coming from. how can we base doctrine upon something so flimsy and not supported by scripture? All I’m trying to say is that it was not taught by the apostles, so we shouldn’t be sure every single prayer makes it to the saint. We also should be careful of saying this is the practice of the universal church. Sure, it is now. But it wasn’t always. If it was then you wouldn’t get these contradictory statements from Augustine and ireneaus etc. I think another thing to keep in mind too is that the apostle Paul called angel worship what the corinthians were doing, and one thing they did was invoke angels. Ireneaus and the council of laodicea talk about invoking angels in the same breath as magic. This means that early practice of invoking angels was coupled with magic incantations and questionable Christian practices. So we cannot say this was the practice of the universal church. Again, what about laodicea. Do we just ignore them for the sake of the modern church?
    I get the sentiment of not wanting to say the whole church has been lead astray. But let’s think about it. We can say the whole Roman church has been leas astray, because the supreme infallible papacy is clearly not of divine origin and has no proof from scripture or the tradition of the East, oriental, Syrian, or English churches. This doesn’t mean that Roman Catholics are somehow displeasing God just because they follow the pope. Sure, they hold to an erroneous belief. And a big one at that. But they are still God fearing people who seek to obey and worship God. And not all popes have been utterly terrible. The same can be said for the “universal” church being sure of Saints hearing their every prayer. Maybe they don’t, maybe they do. In its infancy orthodox Christians did not invoke anyone but God. But now most Christians do. Maybe God has taken pity on us and allows the Saints to hear our prayers, given we have a desire to feel in communion with the church and not to have a co mediatrix in Mary. So yeah, I don’t think the apostles would approve of this practice, but that’s just me. Yet I still thimk God can allow the Saints to hear prayers, because clearly this is what the church has desired for a long time. But you can’t divorce invoking Saints from veneration and co mediation and praying from their merits in the early church or modern. This is how it developed. People praying to Mary because she is the mother of Christ and has some sway over them. Singing songs of praise and glory to Mary in the liturgy. These were all introduced after, clearly.
    I think tradition too often leads to making dogmatic beliefs out of the practices and piety of the masses. It makes the majority opinion a doctrine. Keeping in mind that I do not think the church went apostate, or that you sin by invoking Saints or angels, I think my arguments are reasonable. I’m not saying to ignore 1500 years of church tradition. I don’t believe the mdoern orthodox liturgy with its several prayers to Mary was practiced 1500 years ago. But even if it was. I’m not condemning the practice as a sin. I’m just saying we can’t be sure they hear all our prayers. I also don’t think the apostles would approve of it. And I hope that you would put more importance on what the apostles say over the tradition of the church. I don’t know if they would approve of the more tame intercession, like “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” Sadly they’re not alive. But I know for certain it’s not a dogma to them. It wasn’t in the original deposit of faith. So they wouldn’t anathemize me for not believing it. They also wouldn’t be like some orthodox or Catholics and claim it is apostolic teaching, because it’s so obvious that the apostles never taught this.
    So keeping alllll of this in mind:laugh:
    I don’t think it’s necromancy or idolatry like some Calvinists or others think. I don’t think God is displeased if I ask Mary or Peter to pray for me. But I do think God is displeased if I pray to Mary or Peter more than I do to him. I also think it saddens Him when some think their own prayers are less likely to be heard than Mary’s. There are just so many superstitious practices around it that Protestantism has just thrown out the whole thing instead of trying to salvage it. The main thing though, is that once you believe we are justified by faith alone you sort of pray to Saints less, because you don’t think their prayers can be mroe easily heard than yours. A Roman high medieval belief of Mary as co mediatrix occurred because of mortal sin. They believed that your prayers weren’t heard by God if you were in a state of mortal sin. But Mary would hear them. So then you’d end up praying to Mary most of your life because we all sin every single day…
    In the East they don’t believe in mortal sin. But this is where invocation of Saints emerged. And it has always been tied to devotion to a saint. As devotion to Mary developed, so did prayers to her, until eventually it got inserted into the liturgy. They also believe that prayers by Saints are more efficacious, because the “prayer of a righteous has much power” verse in James.
    I just hope you understand why some of us have such caution towards this practice. It’s so heavily tied up in the cultus of Saints and has so much superstition around it, such little support from scripture, and the church fathers are hardly unanimous in their support for it.
    again, I don’t think it displeases God if you do it for the right reasons. I don’t think MOST Roman Catholics or orthodox in their day to day life pray to Mary with some medieval concept of her as being their co mediatrix. They just think Mary is like their spiritual mother and that Christ has given her to the church to pray for us. So I hope you don’t think I’m writing most of Christianity off as displeasing to God or something. I don’t think I’m being revisionist by stating the historical facts that the church fathers hardly if at all speak on the subject, and the consent isn’t unanimous either. I also think if we accuse Protestants of being revisionist we have to accuse Rome of being revisionists in denial, because they think the early church even knew what papal supremacy or papal infallibility or ex cathedra was. We also have to say the same of the East who believes their liturgy of supposedly chrysostom was handed down unaltered and that since the beginning everyone was been kissing and praying to icons and singing songs to Mary during the liturgy. The truth is we all have some revisionism, it’s just I am not in denial about it.
    I am curious though, how has praying to Saints been beneficial for you? Have you felt they helped with any of your prayers? Or is because it helps you feel in communion with those in heaven?
    I find it hard to have a relationship of communion with a saint who has passed away, because I’m not sure if they can hear me at all. And if they do, they have bigger worries than becoming my spiritual mother or patron saint BFF. The kingdom of God is at hand.
    I’m happy for you that this practice has held odd you grow spiritually though. I hope you know I’m not bashing you or anyone else here, neither am i condemning it because I’m not God. I just don’t like historical revisionism, saying the church has alwaysssss done this.
     
  9. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    Honestly I’ve seen the opposite of what you say from orthodox. They’ve all said Mary is the highest most perfect creature God has ever made. You can’t find this in their catechism because they don’t have one lol…
    But they sure do believe it. I’m not just making this up, it’s what I’ve actually seen from orthodox.
    I’m just going to leave an orthodox prayer to Mary here that I found as the fourth search result after looking up orthodox prayer to Mary (so it’s not obscure at all):
    All-merciful Virgin Theotokos, Mother of compassions and love for mankind, my most beloved hope and aspiration! 0 Mother of the most sweet and most desired Savior, Who exceedeth every love, Jesus Christ, the Lover of mankind and my God, the Light of my darkened soul! I, the exceeding sinful and hopeless one, fall down before thee, to thee I make my prayer, 0 well-spring of compassion, Virgin Mary, who didst bear the Abyss of compassion and Depth of mercies and love for mankind: Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, I painfully cry to thee; have mercy on me who am all in wounds, who have fallen among brutish thieves and who am, alas!, stripped naked of the garment in which the Father clothed me. Wherefore I lie stripped of every good deed, my wounds stinking and festering before my madness. My Mistress, Theotokos, look down on me, I humbly pray thee, with thy merciful eye and despise me not, who am all in darkness, all in filth, all immersed in the mire of passions, terribly fallen and unable to stand. Do thou take pity on me and grant me a helping hand, lift me up out of sinful depths, 0 my Joy! Deliver me from them that surround me; make thy face to shine upon thy servant; save the perishing, cleanse the filthy, raise up the terrible fallen: for thou canst do all things, as thou art the Mother of God Almighty. Pour forth on me the oil of thy compassion and grant me to overflow the wine of compunction, for I have acquired thee as truly the only hope in my life; turn thou not away from me who flee to thee, but behold my grief, 0 Virgin, and the longing of my soul and accept this prayer and save me, 0 thou the Mediatress of my salvation. Amen.



    Can you really tell me this isn’t the same thing Roman Catholics believe? I’m aware the orthodox deny the co mediatrix doctrine, but the truth is they venerate Mary more than most modern Catholics do. No offense, but a lot of orthodox just like to make it seem like they’re super different from Catholics when they do the same exact thing. It doesn’t mattter if they don’t call Mary co mediatrix, some, not ALL, but some, treat her like one. This prayer is a good example of it. I really don’t buy orthodox vs Roman Catholic distinction a lot of anglicans make. They differ on the papacy and how they look at sin, and some other minor things. But that’s pretty much it.


    And yes I also wish I would use paragraphs :laugh:
    My sincere Apologies. I just don’t like typing or proofreading. I think that’s kinda obvious lol
     
  10. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    There is in fact an entirely different approach to theology in the East, when compared to the West. The fundamental on which they differ are important, and perhaps more important to the East than to the West. The do differ, and some of these differences are significant. And yes, they don't have a catechism, and the do have a creed. In their appreciation of the Theotokos they are incessant at every point Mary always points to Jesus.

    This of course is entirely consistent with the approach we see in John 2 'His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’''.

    I really do appreciate the difference between the Eastern and the RCC approach. I am quite OK that you may not like either approach, and I certainly would recognise in myself a clear difference in my approach to either of the approaches of the EOC, OOC and the RCC, but I don't think it helps to bundle them altogether and pretend they are the same.

    A proper approach to Mary should ensure that we do not fall for a Nestorian error. The Nestorians refused to accept the term Theotokos and instead championed the cause term Christotokos. Whilst that clearly appeals to some on the grounds that it builds a distance between themselves and the historic catholic churches, the risk is a failure to properly embrace the incarnation. Spong, of blessed memory, championed this position among many others, and held an alert for all Anglicans that we need to take seriously the Incarnation.

    PS: Thank you for your efforts with paragraphs.
     
  11. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    I understand they have different approaches to theology, but it is my opinion a lot of times they blow it way out of proportion in order to distance themselves from Rome.
    I do not deny the term theotokos for Mary, I don’t even have a problem with mother of God, or calling her the blessed Virgin. I genuinely do appreciate Mary, and I think she is a model example for every Christian girl out there. No one else in the world can have a higher honor than bearing God incarnate. But I am also very uncomfortable with prayers like the one I showed you.
    If you don’t think that prayer is worse than what the RCC teaches, what do you think they teach? To me it’s basically the same thing. I honestly do not see the difference between that prayer and the other dramatic prayers catholics say. I have also seen orthodox saying Mary is a special mediatrix (not co mediatrix). They believe Mary is the main saint who intercedes for the church, that’s why they’re always asking her to “have mercy on us.”
    Are you personally ok with prayers like that?
    I don’t think it can get worse than that to be honest lol. That prayer is the same thing as the other ones I posted from Alphonsus ligouri glories of Mary in my other reply. That the EO might have slightly different beliefs doesn’t change what actually happens in practice. And in practice prayers like those are the exact same as the prayers of Ligouri or any other extravagant (I will call it) prayers to Mary a catholic can say. To get more extravagant than that you’d have to call Mary a goddess or something.
    I couldn’t tell it was an orthodox prayer if I hadn’t seen it on an orthodox website.
    Btw, the Catholics also believe Mary also always point to Jesus. Just because they believe this on paper doesn’t mean some people don’t get out of line with their practices. I believe this orthodox prayer is one of those examples of being out of line. I honestly don’t know how it could get worse other than instead of calling Mary mistress calling her goddess…
    But I believe modern day Vatican 2 Catholics don’t hold blasphemous beliefs on Mary for the most part, and most of them don’t pray things like this. I think it’s fair to say both EO and RCs have people that treat Mary with devotion that should be given only to God. To say it’s RCs only is just not fair I think.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I see the primary error of Nestorianism as believing that Jesus' two natures were so separated that they were not in contact with one another; i.e., that Jesus existed more or less as two persons, one human and the other divine.

    As for Theotokos vs Christotokos, I think the Nestorians were prescient in their desire to distance Christianity from any concept that could become easily corrupted and twisted. A prime example of such corruption is seen in the Orthodox prayer posted by @Jellies:
    This is really problematic, isn't it? To pray to Mary, "you can do all things," and, "You are the Mother of the Almighty"? (If the Almighty had a Mother, He must have had a beginning, and therefore one might question whether the god being worshiped is the eternal God described in the Bible.) Using the term "Theotokos" which came to mean "Mother of God" has had a tendency throughout history to lead superstitious, poorly catechised church members into ascribing to Mary far greater status and power than she possesses. It not only elevates Mary to an unhealthy degree, it also diverts attention from Jesus to Mary; in real life and in history this can be seen to have taken place (hence the RC rosary, with which they pray 10 times to Mary for every 1 time to God). It would not have been so bad if they had stuck to the "God-bearer" concept, but in practice people gravitated to "Mother of God," an ill translation.
     
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    One ought to experience the Orthodox liturgy in all its power and beauty before criticizing it. Eastern Christianity has received enough abuse at the hands of Communism and radical Islam; they don’t need any from Western Christians. Eastern Orthodoxy has its problematic aspects; their prayers aren’t one of them.
     
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  14. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Mary is the Theotokos. If there is a problem with poorly catechised people. That does not mean change the truth but it means teach people better.
     
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  15. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I have sometimes asked myself if Calvin, Luther and Zwingli would have left a Vatican II Roman Catholic Church. I suspect that the answer would be no. However it is true to say that reformed churches have also moved on since that time. And of course without the Reformation there may well not have been a Vatican II as we know it!

    It is not natural for me to speak of Mary as Mother of God, and when I do use the term I am exceeding conscious that I mean by the term Theotokos. I have refrained from discussing the particular prayer cited by @Jellies as I have no source. Being Orthodox in origin I imaging it was probably written in Greek, and the translation posted here was in English that smelled Roman. Sadly Theotokos was translated into Latin as Mater Dei, which as most Easterners will tell you is a bit 2nd rate, and indeed when the RCC celebrates its liturgy in Greek the term they use is Theotokos and the Nicene Creed does not include the Filioque.

    The reason, and the problem is that Motherhood (like procession) in Greek has a stronger sense of origin that it does in Latin and English. The generally accepted and much more correct translation of Theotokos is 'God Bearer', and in all honesty that is a term I prefer.

    The error of Nestorius is to try to make Mary the Mother of Jesus, and in some way not the Mother of the Word Made Flesh. This discombobulation of the the consubstantial essence of Jesus, the Word Incarnate, is a fragmentising of the Gospel. It was an attempt to change the creed of the Council of Constantinople, and led to the Council affirming anathema of those who try to change the Creed, and that anathema has been affirmed at council since then, and indeed was part of the problem that led to the events of 1054.

    Perhaps the Latin Prayer Regina Coeli is more acceptable.

    Joy to thee of Queen of Heaven, Alleluia!
    He who thou was meet to bear, Alleluia!
    As he promised is arisen, Alleluia!
    Pour for us to Him thy prayer, Alleluia!​

    Mary is not a dead Roman Catholic, she is a live Jew. She is an archetype of every Christian, as she carried into the world, as we are all called to carry Christ into the world.
     
  16. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Theotokos just means God-bearer. A perfectly normal, neutral term, accurate Christologically, and better than merely a Christ-bearer.

    But in the Latin tradition, it became translated as "Mater Dei", mother of God. This is subtle, innocuous, and surely unintentional; but still heretical. It then got rolled up into the Cult of Mary in the later dark ages.
     
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  17. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    That does seem to be the better translation of it but I don't think Mother of God is heretical. I don't see the heresy in it. The Blessed Virgin Mary did after all give birth to Jesus who is God. He was fully God and fully man in her womb. Is the better translation preferable because of how Mother of God can be misconstrued to mean more. Yes. The more literal translation is always best. I choose to stick to Theotokos as that avoids all the translation issues.
     
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  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    The equivalent phrase in Greek to Mater Dei occurs throughout the Orthodox liturgy. The referent of the term “God” in the phrase is the person of the Son, not the nature common to the Three. As such, the phrase conforms to the Chalcedonian Definition and is thus neither heretical nor a Latin invention.
     
  19. Jellies

    Jellies Active Member

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    I think they would.
    Honestly for me one of the biggest hurdles, aside from the papacy of course, is the concept of mortal sin and temporal punishment. They believe, for example, if you go to church before 4pm Saturday you don’t fulfill your Sunday obligation but after 4pm you do. So if you go to church before 4pm on Saturday and count that as church for the week, you’re going to hell unless you repent. They also believe that not fasting on days appointed by the Roman church is a mortal sin. So if you eat fish on Friday you’re good, if you eat meat in danger of hell fire. I think this was pretty much the core issue of the Protestant reformation. Not even the Orthodox Church believes in this legalistic way of looking at sin and salavation. For Catholics, going to confession you still have to do penance in order to “atone” for temporal punishment for sins which Christ somehow failed to atone for. When you confess and do penance, you flip the switch from out of grace to in grace and you’re back into salvation. I’ve seen some here saying orthodox are Pelagians. I disagree. But if we are saying things like that, how are the Catholics not believing in a works based salvation? If you stand before God on the basis of going to church after 4pm and eating fish on fridays, you believe in a works based salvation. That Vatican 2 has made God more “kind” and places more emphasis on healing from sin rather than atoning for temporal punishment doesn’t make Trent null, it makes Vatican 2 an innovation.
    I know this is off topic but I just had to say that. I really really doubt the reformers would go back to Rome given these doctrines.
     
  20. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Hypostatic union. She gave birth to Jesus of Nazareth, not to Logos and the eternal Son eternally begotten of the Father.

    I don’t see that as a sufficient defense. Plenty in the Orthodox tradition is questionable and their veneration of images would be (and was) condemned as heretical by the church fathers.

    Firstly we don’t know that. That’s speculation. Second, even that doesn’t get it out of bind, because the Son had two natures, one human and one divine, and Mary did not give birth to the divine Logos who is “eternally begotten of the Father.”
     
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