Cloisters of Saint John Lateran, Rome. Source:

Saturday, 6 December 2014

"I Am The Immaculate Conception"; "Que Soi Era Immaculada Concepcion" (Part Three).

The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Feast Day 8 December.

Double of the First-Class
with an Octave.

White Vestments.

Text and Illustrations from Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia,
unless otherwise stated.

The Immaculate Conception.
Stained-Glass Window.
Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church,
Clonmel, County Tipperary,
Photo: 7 September 2012.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

The Immaculate Conception.
Artist: Diego Velázquez (1599–1660).
Date: Circa 1618.
Current location: National Gallery, London.
Source/Photographer: Web Gallery of Art:
Originally this painting, together with a Saint John the Evangelist at Patmos 
(now in the National Gallery, London), was in the
Carmelite Convent in Seville, Spain.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Speaking of the witness of the Church Fathers, in claiming for Mary, Titles such as "Free from all contagion of sin", Pope Pius XII wrote:

If the popular praises of The Blessed Virgin Mary be given the careful consideration they deserve, who will dare to doubt that she, who was purer than the Angels and at all times pure, was at any moment, even for the briefest instant, not free from every stain of sin?

The Roman Catholic tradition has a well-established philosophy, for the study of The Immaculate Conception and the Veneration of The Blessed Virgin Mary, in the field of Mariology, with Pontifical Schools, such as the Marianum, specifically devoted to this.

It seems to have been Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who, in the 12th-Century, explicitly raised the question of The Immaculate Conception. A Feast of The Conception of The Blessed Virgin had already begun to be Celebrated in some Churches of the West. Saint Bernard blames the Canons of the Metropolitan Church of Lyon for instituting such a Festival without the permission of the Holy See.

In doing so, he takes occasion to repudiate altogether the view that The Conception of Mary was sinless. It is doubtful, however, whether he was using the term "Conception" in the same sense in which it is used in the definition of Pope Pius IX. Saint Bernard would seem to have been speaking of conception in the active sense of the mother's co-operation, for, in his argument, he says: "How can there be absence of sin where there is concupiscence (libido)?" and stronger expressions follow, showing that he is speaking of the mother and not of the child.

English: Statue of The Immaculate Conception, Palmi, Italy.
Italiano: Antica statua di Maria Santissima Immacolata
venerata a Palmi nei secolo passati ed andata distrutta nel 1924.
Photo: 29 November 2012.
Source: Cartolina.
Author: Unknown.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Saint Thomas Aquinas, the greatest of the Mediaeval Scholastics, refused to admit The Immaculate Conception, on the ground that, unless The Blessed Virgin had at one time or other been one of the sinful, she could not justly be said to have been Redeemed by Christ.

Saint Bonaventure († 1274), second only to Saint Thomas in his influence on the Christian schools of his age, hesitated to accept it for a similar reason. He believed that Mary was completely free from sin, but that she was not given this Grace at the instant of her Conception.

The celebrated John Duns Scotus († 1308), a Friar Minor, like Saint Bonaventure, argued, on the contrary, that, from a rational point of view, it was certainly as little derogatory to the merits of Christ to assert that Mary was, by Him, preserved from all taint of sin, as to say that she first contracted it and then was delivered.

English: The Immaculate Conception statue above the High Altar,
Kloster Roggenburg, Kreis Neu-Ulm, Bavaria, Germany.
Deutsch: Immaculata und das Lamm Gottes über dem Hochaltar.
Kloster Roggenburg, Kreis Neu-Ulm, Bayern, Deutschland.
Photo: 31 October 2010.
Source: Own work.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Deutsch: Chorraum der Klosterkirche des Klosters Roggenburg,
Bayern, Deutschland.
English: Choir of the Imperial Abbey of Roggenburg
(Reichsstift Roggenburg), Roggenburg Abbey, Bavaria, Germany.
The statue of The Immaculate Conception can be seen above The High Altar.
Photo: 11 October 2003.
Source: Own work.
Author: Vincent Pál, permission given.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Proposing a solution to the theological problem of reconciling the Doctrine with that of Universal Redemption in Christ, he argued that Mary's Immaculate Conception did not remove her from Redemption by Christ; rather, it was the result of a more perfect Redemption, granted her because of her special rôle in Salvation history.

The arguments of Scotus, combined with a better acquaintance with the language of the Early Fathers, gradually prevailed in the schools of the Western Church. In 1387, the University of Paris strongly condemned the opposite view.

Scotus' arguments remained controversial, however, particularly among the Dominicans, who were willing enough to celebrate Mary's sanctificatio (being made free from sin) but, following the Dominican, Thomas Aquinas', arguments, continued to insist that her Sanctification could not have occurred until after her Conception.

Deutsch: Bamberg, Neuer Ebracher Hof, Unterer Kaulberg 4, Immaculata-Statue.
English: Statue of The Immaculate Conception, Bamberg, Germany.
Photo: 14 September 2008.
Source: Own work.
Author: AndreasPraefcke.
(Wikimedia Commons)

Popular opinion remained firmly behind the celebration of Mary's Conception. In 1439, The Council of Basel, which is not reckoned an Ecumenical Council, stated that belief in The Immaculate Conception of Mary is in accord with The Catholic Faith.

By the end of the 15th-Century, it was widely professed and taught in many theological faculties, but such was the influence of the Dominicans, and the weight of the arguments of Thomas Aquinas (who had been Canonised in 1323 and declared "Doctor Angelicus" of The Church, in 1567) that The Council of Trent (1545–1563) — which might have been expected to affirm the Doctrine — instead declined to take a position.

It is admitted that the Doctrine, as defined by Pope Pius IX, was not explicitly mooted before the 12th-Century. It is also agreed that "no direct or categorical and stringent proof of the Dogma can be brought forward from Scripture". But it is claimed that the Doctrine is implicitly contained in the teaching of The Fathers. Their expressions on the subject of the sinlessness of Mary are, it is pointed out, so ample and so absolute, that they must be taken to include Original Sin, as well as Actual Sin.

English: The High Altar,
The Church of The Immaculate Conception,
Tobelbad, Austria.
Deutsch: Altar der Kath.
Pfarrkirche Unbefleckte Empfängnis
in Tobelbad, Osterreich.
Photo: 29 June 2013.
Source: Own work.
Author: Isiwal.
(Wikimedia Commons)


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