Ex Cathedra Debate Windsor v. Rosenthal

Ex Cathedra Debate

Scott Windsor

Phase 2a - Windsor's Responses to Rosenthal's Questions

1) I was merely reliant upon the definition of the Immaculate Conception (IC) as has already been quoted and cited.  The definition does not mention her birth, only her conception - and it is the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, not the doctrine of the Immaculate Birth.  That being said, yes, it is reasonable to assume she was born without the stain of Original Sin as well.  To answer your question directly, yes - she was born without the stain of Original Sin and no, she did not somehow pick up the stain between conception and birth.

2) Yes, I am aware of what I would consider other flawed, or at best lacking, translations of Luke 1:28.  Kecharitomene does not have a root of “favored” but a root of “charitoo” or “grace.”  Many Christians have been done a disservice in the lesser rendering of Luke 1:28, even in some modernist Catholic translations.

3) I do not just imply that Mary is somehow more highly favored, but I agree with Scripture where she is declared so!  See Luke 1:42 -

And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

Her cousin Elizabeth states in verse 43 that Mary is the “mother of my Lord” (God).:

And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

In verses 48-55 Scripture records the truth which Mary herself expressed that all generations henceforth would call her blessed because of the great things God had done to her - for all those who fear God:

48 Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  49 Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.  50 And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.  51 He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.  52  He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.  53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  54 He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:  55 As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.

Clearly Scripture itself expresses how the Blessed Virgin was more highly favored than others!  Who, among the “others,” can say they are the mother of our Lord and God?  (Luke 1:42-55 DRB emphasis mine).

4) It is not merely that the Blessed Virgin enjoys grace, but she is “full of grace.”  That “fullness” is what implies sinlessness.  I understand that you may not agree and even prefer a watered down translation - but again, my purpose in this debate is to demonstrate that this teaching is not contrary to Scripture - and if it can be implied through Scripture, it is not contrary to Scripture.

5) Why would a sinless Mary be required to pay the penalty for sin, which is death?  Because Scripture also tells us, as you have already pointed out, that ALL men have sin and fall short of the glory of God.  In her inheriting the penalty but not the stain, by that interpretation the teaching is still not contrary to Romans 3:23.

6) “Is it not true that God would not require a sinless person to pay the penalty for sin?”  It is not up to you or I to determine whom God would require to pay the penalty for sin (see Exodus 33:19 and Romans 9).  That being said, her own Son, Jesus Christ, was sinless and yet paid that price!  

7) You refer me/us to Fr. Hardon’s definition of grace, part of which includes in a secondary sense “preternatural gifts of freedom from concupiscence.”  There is no conflict in my position and Fr. Hardon’s definition for I (and we Catholics) do maintain that the Blessed Virgin was given the preternatural (beyond nature) gift of freedom from concupiscence (Original Sin).  Even if there was disagreement here, you’re going beyond the scope of this debate to ask that question.

8) “That being the case, can you prove that the undisputed interpretation of the Catholic Church is that Mary's enjoyment of grace means that she is sinless, which does not appear to be the case, since Catholics do not universally define it as you have?”   You have presented a false dilemma here.  Whether or not Catholics universally agree with me or the de fide teaching we are debating here is not the issue!  All we are required to argue in this debate is whether or not the defined teaching of the IC is contrary to Scripture.  Getting into speculations about the universality of acceptance of the teaching is quite another issue.  I will say that those who do not fully accept the teaching of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin cannot validly call themselves “Catholic.”   I repeat, I am not here in this debate to prove to you the teaching, only that it is not contrary to Scripture.  We need to stay focused.

Word Count: 875

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