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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Let Us Get This Straight

The Orthodox Church in the United States, and most Russian and Greek Orthodox people, disagree with the status of Original Sin and the status of Our Lady, Mary, with regard to sin.

This came up because of a comment on whether the Russian churches need "conversion" regarding teachings concerning Mary, as well as the acceptance of the Pope as the Head of the Universal Church.

Here are some bullet points where the teaching on Mary in the Orthodox Church does not agree with the true teaching found in the Catholic Church.

We need to pray for the conversion of those who hold these opinions.
  • According to the Orthodox, we only suffer the consequences of Original Sin, but are not actually born in Original Sin. This is a serious departure from the true teaching of the Church, which is that we are all born with Original Sin--hence the urgent necessity for baptism.
  • Mary was not born without Original Sin, but freely willed not to sin. This is a huge departure from the Catholic Teaching that Mary is the Immaculate Conception. She was born without Original Sin, exempt as the Mother of God selected from all time to be the New Eve.
  • From this knowledge, it is clear to me that Russia needs conversion, as this important dogma, clarified here, on December 8, 1854 by Pope Pius IX, "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."
  • A good history may be found on this website.
  • We cannot pretend that the Russian and Greek Orthodox Churches are not in schism, and, therefore, we cannot attend services regularly or in lieu of our Sunday obligation. Those who do are in disobedience to Holy Mother Church and risking losing grace through the serious sin of disobedience. Only in emergencies, when a Catholic Church cannot be found in order for one to make one's Sunday obligation, can one attend Sunday Divine Liturgy in any Orthodox church.
  • Lastly, this fact of the nonconformity of so many Orthodox peoples to a major teaching of the Church may be seen in connection with the need for Russia to be consecrated to the Immaculate Conception. I may be changing my position on this fact, judging from the fact that those following Orthodoxy must be brought wholly into the Church, and the awareness of new problems in Russia, and old problems resurfacing. I am looking at all the evidence clearly again. However, as a lay person, it is only my position to pray for the Pope and bishops in this regard, as the message of Our Lady was not for the Laity--unlike heresies, which are our job to help clarify and teach against, as members of the Church Militant.