Church History Forum: the Immaculate Conception
the Immulate Conception QUESTION from dr theadore August 22, 2001 Am i right to assume that because of Marys special relationship with God the Father and been chosen to bring the Saviour into this world that she was without sin conceived as a spotless maid and why do Old Catholics reject this Dogma?
ANSWER by Q & A Staff on August 25, 2001 Dear Dr. Theadore,
Mary was chosen by God from the beginning of time to be the Mother of the Saviour. As the ark of the Old Testament was a sacred vessel, so much more must the ark of the New Covenant be, as she was to carry for nine months the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Please see, for example, Catholic answers: Immaculate Conception and Catholic Encyclopedia: Immaculate Conception for more information on this dogma.
Regarding your question as to why the Old Catholics reject this dogma: the reason for this is that the dogma was defined infallibly by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1854. Old Catholics, who were formed by the dissident Joseph Dollinger after the First Vatican Council (1869-70) do not accept the dogma of papal infallibility.
As a group, the Old Catholics were far more numerous in the couple of years after Vatican Council I, but then went into rapid decline.
As a matter of fact, the Old Catholics, who number only a few thousand adherents, are something of an illogical group. On the one hand, they claim to recognize the Pope as the successor of Peter (though rejecting his infallible magisterium) yet at the same time they reject the dogmatic definition of an Ecumenical Council (namely, Vatican I). So, on the one hand, they reject the authority of an ecumenical Council under papal authority (as shown by their rejection of the Dogma of Papal Infallibility) and at the same time they reject the dogmatic teaching action of the Pope when he acts alone. So they in effect have no binding authority.
An example of their illogical standpoint is the fact that they waited till 1870 to reject the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, even though this dogma was defined in 1854! However, they claim to reject this dogma today because they reject Papal infallibility (defined in 1870). So why then did they not reject the dogma for the first sixteen years? They are placed in an untenable position by this standpoint.
I hope this answer is of help to you in your discussions.
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