Thursday, September 08, 2005

Eastern churches
On the spiritual state of many Eastern European immigrants
Not good

But there are places like this (which once got a quarter-year’s proceeds from this blog’s Amazon sales) and this. I think the Eastern Orthodox in the US will remain a minority and ethnic as some (though far from all) of the immigrants will pack some churches whilst the attrition/assimilation of other immigrants and the descendents will continue to be offset somewhat by the unexpected windfall of the converts (as I like to say, the ex-Evangelicals who would have been happy Anglicans or Newman-like RCs as recently as 50 years ago). Same for the UK, only smaller (they are, I’ve read somewhere, the country’s fastest growing episcopal church but in a secular sea they’re a few drops).

Wrong, guess again
Refuting some spite-Rome theological opinion on the day most Greeks along with the Roman Rite celebrate Our Lady’s birthday:
Does the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, participate in the "ancestral sin"?

The question does not make much sense for the Orthodox, for it is obvious that Mary, being part of the common human race issued of the first man (Adam), automatically participates in the fallen status and in the "spiritual death" introduced by the sin of the first man.
Got that covered.
The Fathers of the Church speculate on Luke 1:35, concluding that Mary was purified by the Holy Spirit the day of Annunciation, in order for her to become the "worthy Mother of God".
See the end of this entry. I understand the Greeks mined that opinion (see rebuttal to the next passage) and started pushing it after 1854. Before then nobody would have questioned that Panagia (Greek for ‘all-holy’; panayia phonetically) was immaculate. (Chances are a yiayia would have thwacked you with her cane for so doing and still might.)
However, even after she gave birth to the Son of God, Mary was not exempted of less serious ("venial") sins. St. John Chrysostom attributes to Mary the sin of vanity, in the context of the first miracle of Christ in Cana of Galilee.
Got that covered.
Mary was also saved by her Son, for her God is her savior (Luke 1:47) as well.
Got that covered.
It is unfortunate that the Roman Catholic Church promulgated the doctrine of the so-called "Immaculate Conception" in 1854, which contradicts the traditional doctrine of the Church concerning Mary.
- Metropolitan Maximos (Aghiorgoussis), Th.D., Greek Orthodox Bishop of Pittsburgh

I understand the metropolitan is not personally hostile to other Christians.

Sed contra:
Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
- Luke 1:28: the archangel Gabriel before Mary said yes and conceived by the Holy Ghost

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