This question of mine springs from reading this article (Orthodoxy and the Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception) referenced in this answer to this Christianity SE question: What is the Catholic response to the Eastern Orthodox view that the Immaculate Conception remove Jesus' ability to redeem all of humanity?

Basically it contests the modern assertion of Orthodox teachers that the Eastern Orthodox church has always opposed the idea of the immaculate conception and instead taught that Mary became pure while raised in the temple as articulated in this podcast: Perfection Possible.

I have a suspicion that the article imposes Western Catholic meanings on the writings of the Eastern fathers/teachers that they cite. I could not look up the references on the internet (for free anyways). Can anyone provide support for or argument against this article while actually citing texts from Eastern Orthodox teachers that I can read or at least providing quotes. Any citation from an EO teacher before the 15th century would be fitting, as the article maintains that it wasn't until this time that the Orthodox began to react against the immaculate conception.

The one source I looked up this morning was from St. Gregory Palamas: Sermon on the Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple. Where he seems to teach something in complete agreement with the contemporary Orthodox view. Specifically, that the Virgin Mary was made pure not simply by election of God, but that her own will and ascetical efforts were involved as well. The corollary being that original sin doesn't need to be miraculously removed by the pre-election of God, but that our ancestral sin is removed by a participatory process.

  • Are you asking: "Did they begin opposing the Immaculate Conception around the time when Pope Pius IX defined it as dogma in Ineffabilis Deus (1854)?" – Geremia Sep 19 '17 at 17:48
  • Note that the Immaculate Conception is predicated on the Catholic understanding of Original Sin. Orthodox arguments against OS implicitly are arguments against IC. – bradimus Sep 19 '17 at 18:01
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    Duns Scotus was the first major theologian to defend the immaculate conception, and that was in the 13th century. Even Aquinas "opposed" immaculate conception as currently defined by Catholicism, if by "opposed" you mean "had a slightly different view." – Nathaniel Sep 19 '17 at 18:35
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    The IC is a very specific doctrine. It deals very specifically with the stain of OS. The EO believe that Mary was born with exactly the same nature that every other human is born with. Palamas teaches that Mary remained pure by the grace of God and her will. She was born of virtuous parents and dedicated to God. I fail to see were in that sermon that Palamas says Mary's nature was protected or preserved from OS at her conception. – bradimus Sep 20 '17 at 17:21

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