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Apologetic - the Sinlessness of the Virgin Mary

The supposed teaching of the sinlessness of the Theotokos was referenced, and a citation was needed. Father Thomas Hopko's essay on the Dormition was cited. I don't see how a single protopresbyter speaks for the entire Orthodox Church, so I removed the cite as insufficient to back up the claim.

Also, an essay by John Maximovitch was referenced to support the sinlessness was cited. But again I must say that I do not see how the opinion of one single bishop can constitute evidence of the teaching of the entire Orthodox Church. On top of this, John Maximovitch was not even a canonical bishop, as at the time he was part of the then schismatic group known as ROCOR. As such I removed this reference as well. A proper citation proving the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church on the sinlessness of Mary is still pending. Deusveritasest 15:47, March 2, 2008 (PST)

If you are not willing to accept a reference from a single person writing on behalf of the Orthodox Church, I do not understand what kind of citation you are looking for. Something from a synod or a patriarch or a canon? Admittedly, no one person is the Church, but I searched and did not find anything which was specifically contradicting this statement. I think an appropriate way to handle this would be to reinstate the citation from Fr. Thomas Hopko (which contains the exact sentence: "The Orthodox Church teaches that Mary is without personal sins." and was therefore cited as a reference), and present an opposing view—with citation from another source or sources, showing that some within the Orthodox Church hold one belief and others another. —magda (talk) 11:52, February 29, 2008 (PST)

I can not really discuss the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary since I am not worthy to and am not a Theologian nor do I have access to the Orthodox Churches writing collections on Mariology. One sentence I read is from St. Ephraim the Syrian, sourced around 361AD. "You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon you Mother." (Nisibene Hymn 27:8) In another passage, Ephraim writes (as though Mary was speaking): "The Son of the Most High came and dwelt in me, and I became His Mother; and as by a second birth I brought Him forth so did He bring me forth by the second birth, because He put His Mother's garments on, she clothed her body with His glory." (On the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh, 11).

Orthodox sources that discuss the mystery of the Virgin Mary include and we should refer to to warm our appetite on this discussion include but are not limitied to:

  1. the sinlessness of the Theotokos - St Tikhons Monastery.
  2. Homily On The Nativity Of The Most Pure Theotokos by St. Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov
  3. The Mystery of the Theotokos by Archbishop Stylianos of Australia
  4. The Theotokos by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South
  5. The Veneration of the Virgin Mary in the Orthodox Church by Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South

Perhapes a book that could be purchased: MARY: THE UNTRODDEN PORTAL OF GOD (On the Unspeakable Mysteries of Mary, Who Offered Herself as the Temple of the Creator and Mothered God in Human Flesh), George S. Gabriel, Ph.D. Well researched, this book is written on various levels to illumine and enrich the heart and faith of every reader in some way. Mary: The Untrodden Portal of God connects the mysteries of Mary to many aspects of Orthodox theology and liturgical life, including iconography, presenting a mosaic of the Orthodox faith and ethos

I must leave for now but I would love to take this discussion further on Monday. Have a peaceful weekend. Vasiliki 23:14, February 28, 2008 (PST)

I would like everyone involved with this to know that I am personally a believer in the sinlessness of the Theotokos, at the very least at the time of the Annuciation, if not even all throughout her life. So in that regard I am not an opponent of the doctrine and as such that is not why I am questioning the validity of the claim. My problem is when we go around saying "the Orthodox Church teaches this", "the Orthodox Church teaches that", without proper ecumenical evidence to back up that notion. I'm just leaving work right now so I'll get to your comments later tonight. Deusveritasest 15:47, March 2, 2008 (PST)
I understand where you are coming from. Something a lot of us today do not appreciate is that the "Church" is also a LIVING document always being 'edited' by the Holy Spirit through ...the CHURCH FATHERS! The Church Fathers of today are equally to be considered and respected as Church Fathers as those from 1000 years ago ... if a 'discussion' about a topic has general agreement by the Church Fathers, why not simply accept this as the Churches point of view? Christ himself did say to the Apostles (and therefore through succession our fathers) what you bind on Earth will be bound in Heaven Vasiliki 16:50, March 2, 2008 (PST)


I am not sure how to do a citation for the fact that the Church believes the Theotokos did not commit any sins, but here is one reference: "... all Orthodox are agreed in believing that Our Lady was free from _actual sin_ ...." (Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, 1993, page 259). Perhaps someone would be willing to fix this in the body of the article. --Fr Lev 22:18, August 16, 2010 (UTC)