Originally posted by wolfgang59
Questions for Christians only:
(I understand that this has been Catholic dogma since 1800s so perhaps this question is aimed at non-Catholics)
Does your church support the Immaculate Conception?
Do you? Is it an important belief?
Was Mary herself immaculately conceived, free from original sin when her mother conceived her?
The New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967, Vol. VII, pp. 378-381) acknowledges regarding the origin of the belief: “ . . . the Immaculate Conception is not taught explicitly in Scripture . . . The earliest Church Fathers regarded Mary as holy but not as absolutely sinless. . . . It is impossible to give a precise date when the belief was held as a matter of faith, but by the 8th or 9th century it seems to have been generally admitted. . . . [In 1854 Pope Pius IX defined the dogma] ‘which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin in the first instant of her Conception.’” This belief was confirmed by Vatican II (1962-1965).—The Documents of Vatican II (New York, 1966), edited by W. M. Abbott, S.J., p. 88.
perhaps other well versed catholic scholars who frequent the forum, for example the illustrious Conrau may be be able to offer some insight into its importance. we ourselves (jehovahs witnesses) find no scriptural basis for it, and indeed there seems to be reason to reject it.
The Bible itself says: “Well then, sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” (Rom. 5:12, JB.) Does that include Mary? The Bible reports that in accord with the requirement of the Mosaic Law, 40 days after Jesus’ birth Mary offered at the temple in Jerusalem a sin offering for purification from uncleanness. She, too, had inherited sin and imperfection from Adam.—Luke 2:22-24; Lev. 12:1-8.
this of course is simply our stance, others may have a different evaluation and different reasons.