Mariano: My question as to how you know that doctrines that are particular to Roman Catholicism predated the canonized New Testament. Let us consider the “Sinlessness of Mary/Immaculate Conception of Mary.”
The following is a partial list of those who considered Jesus alone to be sinless, and or considered Mary to have sinned, and or considered her to not have had an immaculate conception:
The New Testament, Pope Leo I, Pope Galatius, Pope Gregory I, Pope Innocent III, Clemet of Alexandria, Ambrose, Bernard, Aquinas, Augustine, Antonitus, Tertullian, Irenaeus, Chrysostom, Origen, Basil, Cyril of Alexandria, Anselm, Peter Lombard, John of Damascus, Bonaventure.
BFHU: Your list is interesting but I will need documentation of exactly what was said and where so that I can read the context. I know for a fact that the New Testament does not state anywhere that Mary sinned or that Jesus was the only sinless person. So, this brings the whole list into question for me.
I know Protestants interpret by way of eisegesis, that the NT says Mary sinned along with the rest of us. Adam and Eve were sinless and could have remained immaculate. But they fell into sin.
On another point: your list brings something up that is not widely understood. The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was not defined and officially made an article of faith until the 19th Century. It was believed and taught in the Church, even Luther believed in Mary’s Immaculate conception. So, my understanding is, that it was generally accepted. However, because it had not been dogmatically defined, theologians were still permitted to question, explore, and discuss it. I would guess that these are the sort of writings you may be referring to above.
For instance, before the canon of the OT and NT was closed in the 5th Century, St. Jerome argued vehemently against the inclusion of the deuterocanonical books of the OT. However, once the pope closed the canon, and against St. Jerome’s advice, included the deuterocanonicals in the OT, St. Jerome, a faithful son of the Church accepted the decision and translated the OT into Latin, deuterocanonicals and all.
Similar agreements and disagreements, discussions and questions abounded regarding the exact way to understand the Trinity, before the Doctrine of the Trinity was dogmatically defined at the Council of Nicea in 325 AD. That doesn’t make the doctrine wrong. Before a doctrine is dogma disagreement is acceptable. After a doctrine is dogma disagreement is heresy.
I have said this elsewhere but it fits in this context and it really is helpful. Ever since Adam & Eve God ordained marriage between man & woman. Ok, historically and even today in some cultures there may be multiple wives. But marriage has never been between people of the same sex. So the Church has never dogmatically defined marriage as between one man and one woman. But in the near future this may indeed need to be done because our modern culture is becoming confused about the issue and confusing Catholics about the isssue. So, if the Catholic Church dogmatically defined marriage as between a man and woman in 2020, that would not mean at all that that is the date it was first believed. But no doubt in 2075 people will accuse the Catholic Church of inventing the dogma that marriage is only between a man and a woman in the year 2020.
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