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the entries of recent memory my own circle the years we have lived the identity i choose - - + +
two interesting days - a window's reflection
a straight course on a meandering path
two interesting days
25th anniversary of the u.s. release of pink floyd's the wall

and to mark the occasion, my friend daryl and i will be doing a special three-hour broadcast on wcwm.  in addition to playing the entire album, there will be commentary and insights by the both of us, looking at the history of the album (and all the different things associated with it) and the psychology behind the narrative.  it will be very interesting indeed.  so if you are in the local williamsburg area, it's 90.9 fm.  if you are not (which 90-95% of my friends are in this category), you can listen to our webcast that can be found on http://www.wcwm.org.

150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of the immaculate conception

i thought i was going to write this extremely detailed tirade about it but other things have pulled me away from this.  personally i strongly dislike this dogma proclaiming that the virgin mary was born with[out] the stain of original sin.  first off, it's the arrogance of proclaiming it a dogma.  the assumed premise - which is followed by the roman catholic church and what largely makes papal infallibility possible - is that we know exactly what sin is.  the fathers of the CHURCH have differing opinions on it and the CHURCH does not dogmatize any of them.  while st. augustine should be respected as a theologian, it does not mean that the CHURCH teaches his opinions.  we consider it but we don't usually teach it.  sin is not so much a physical or an inherent physiological condition (although sin does have physiological consequences) but it is more of a state of being absent from GOD.  so we are born not so much with a stain of sin but with the absence and deficiency of GOD.  we are still created in the image of GOD, but the likeness is damaged.  i say damaged because it can be salvagable... and that's where the incarnation comes in.  that moment where the creator becomes creation, where GOD becomes man... that is the beginning of our salvation.  so really, it's not st. anne's conception of the theotokos that should recieve the most lavish attention (although the theotokos' nativity is celebrated on september 8/21), it is the true conception that is immaculate... the theotokos conceiving with the HOLY SPIRIT CHRIST at the annunciation =]

all my objections to the dogma that was proclaimed by pope pius ix at st. peter's bascilla, rome can be grouped into four main categories:

the first one is ecclesiastical.  this dogma is linked with another idea that i have objected... that the bishop of rome is the visible head of the CHURCH, the vicar of CHRIST, infallible on issues of faith and morals and so on.  first off, infallibility is made possible by the HOLY SPIRIT.  second off, infallibility is not concentrated into one person.  while st. peter had a special role granted onto him by CHRIST, you have to remember two things: 1) why st. peter got it (through a confession of faith) and 2) there were ten [judas iscariot would be out of the picture because of his sin and his death] other people who do the same thing.  the CHURCH believes that as a bishop, all the bishops inherent the promises of st. peter and all take part in it together in a concilliar matter.  there is no one person that has the sole power and ability to proclaim the truth.  the roman catholics believe that it can and this is why they are schismatics from the CHURCH.  this dogma of the immaculate conception reenforces that idea, especially after the apparition at lourdes, the papal infallibility dogma was declared at the first vatician council.

the second one is mariological.  of course, the west has had a strange relationship with the theotokos that was not balanced.  st. epiphanius of cyprus has on several occasions outlined a spectrum of extremes concerning the theotokos.  in his treatise "against the collyridians" he says "there is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men deman the virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify her beyond what is proper."  so the protestants, more the hard-line anti-roman catholic fundamentalists, are admonished because of their marginalisation of the theotokos [what, theotokos?  that sounds like pagan polllution to me].  but the roman catholics are admonished as well and in particular, duns scotus who has said that it is better to err on the side of overglorification for the sake of not offending her by refusing her honor that she is entitled to.  how can she be offended?  is the hymn containing the words "more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim" not enough for her?  good grief.  but the immaculate conception dogma helps encourage a strange image of the virgin mary.  titles galore.  apparitions galore.  she is the one really decides who resides in heaven and who resides in hell.  she rules over the kingdom of mercy while CHRIST rules over the kingdom of justice (a la alphonsus liguari).  and so on, and so on, and so on.

the third one is christological and much for the same reasons as the mariological.  so as the image of the theotokos becomes more warm and inviting, the image of CHRIST becomes one of sterness and cold-distance.  not only that, if the theotokos was not born with the stain of original/ancestral sin, then that would mean her mother had to have that, and then her mother, then her mother and so on... until you realise "what was the point of having GOD incarnate for our salvation?"  after all, His death would have been nothing but vanity (or words to that effect... i know it's from st. paul's epistle to the thessalonians).  so the person of CHRIST gets more and more diminished when the attention is all on the theotokos or all the attention is put on her for the wrong reasons.

and lastly, it's soiterological.  aside from what i menitoned before, there is another more devastating reason.  if being born as a human being with a stain of sin imprinting on you, then there is something inherently wrong with the nature.  the only way to avoid being incarnate in such a sinful way is to have the nature of the mother's humanity be changed to accomodate it.  well... there is a problem with that.  if her humanity is different than the rest of us lowly sinners and this is the humanity that CHRIST inherited, then what about salvation for the rest of us?  really, CHRIST died for the theotokos and not for the rest of us.  after all, to use st. gregory nazianzen (or "the theologian")'s dictat: what is not assumed is not saved.  so there goes everything we proclaim and believe.

i know all of it sounds harsh and i wish i had more details to support everything (and i know i do).  but more importantly i wish there was more love in it... i think there is but i have a feeling that there isn't.


GOSPODI IESU HRISTE, SINY BOZHIY, pomiluy mya greshnago [and please correct this if the spelling or the grammar is incorrect]

the mood in our hearts: thoughtful thoughtful

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canadianchia From: canadianchia Date: December 9th, 2004 12:13 am (UTC) (the entry of a specific time)
how funny that you're friends with daryl, although it makes sense since you both work at the radio station. :D he and i have been friends since freshman year. small world, eh?
flamingophoenix From: flamingophoenix Date: December 9th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC) (the entry of a specific time)
personally i strongly dislike this dogma proclaiming that the virgin mary was born with the stain of original sin. 
I think you mean without? :-) if you're referring to the Immaculate Conception, that is.

infallibility is pretty wacky, all right.
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