Expert Answer Forum

Immaculate Conception QUESTION from Valerie Valtierra December 7, 1999 Is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in reference to the Immaculate Conception of Christ or of Mary?
Thank you for your time.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on December 9, 1999 Dear Miss Valtierra:
The Immaculate Conception refers to Mary.
What is meant by Immaculate conception is that God perserved her from orginal sin from the moment of her conception.
This was done because Mary's womb was to be the tabernacle of the Son of God. The tabernacle that holds the presence of God must be pure and unstained. The God of the Universe cannot Incarnate into the material world in an imperfect vessel. You'll see the idea of the need for purity and perfection in the tabernacle in the Old Testament with the Ark of the Covenant -- which forshadows the Ark of the New Covenant -- Jesus Christ -- that Ark being the womb of Mary.
You can read a detailed article about this dogma, which was formally defined in 1854 by the ex cathedra pronouncement of Pope Pius IX, from the 1917 Catholic Encylopedia.
As a formally defined dogma of the Church, the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is binding upon all Catholics. It is required for belief and failure to believe it or to obstinately doubt the doctrine constitutes a heresy.
In this age of hersey there are many who are trying to down-play the Church's Marian doctrines and doing so at their peril of their souls.
Our current Pope, John Paul II, is most decidedly a Marian Pope, much to the chagrene of liberals and has brought the proper emphasis and balance in understanding Mary and her role in salvation hisotry that had been lost in the post-Vatican II years when liberals, taking advantage of the confusion, tried to rape the Church of its traditions and faith.
Yesterday, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception celbrated that blessed event when Mary was prepared to be the Ark of our blessed Lord Jesus and thus assisted in bringing redemption to the human race.
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