Ex Cathedra Debate Windsor v. Rosenthal

Ex Cathedra Debate

David Rosenthal

Phase 3a - Responses to Windsor's Questions

1) "When I say "sanctifying grace," what does that mean to you?"

I am not well acquainted with the term, but I will take a stab at it: Sanctifying grace is God's favor upon undeserving mankind that permits us to have righteousness attributed to us due to our faith in Jesus Christ, resulting in God's ability to accept us as sons due to the blotting out of our sins.

2) "Are you really saying that the Mother of our Lord did not receive a higher grace than anyone else? Whom else do you know of who was given this unique privilege?"

Only one woman is able to give birth to a given son. Although the privilege was not extended to me, I feel neither left out, despised, or disinherited. I am rather content that I was not chosen to give birth to Jesus or anyone else. The grace afforded me is quite sufficient, and in no way inferior. But if you wish to consider Mary's grace superior to that of others, I find no reason to oppose you in your opinion. When Paul approached the Lord to request that a malady of his be removed, the Lord said to Paul, "my grace is sufficient for you." I guess I feel that way.

3) "Do you believe that God Himself would allow Himself/His Son, to be born from a corrupted vessel? Please explain, if you do."

Mary was human. Mary inherited the same degree of original sin as every other human, with the one exception of Jesus himself. The Father of Jesus, who overshadowed Mary, leading to the conception of Christ, saw fit to use an imperfect human to carry out his plan, and I have no need or reason to question his judgment.

4) "Since I touched upon the only other definitive (key word) ex cathedra statement made by a pope, (found in Munificentissimus Deus), that being the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, body and soul, into heaven, I'll officially open it up. Do you believe the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as declared so in the ex cathedra statement of Pope Pius XII in 1950, to be inconsistent with Scripture? If so, why?"

I am not well acquainted with it. Perhaps you would like to make it the topic of the next debate. That being said, I am unaware of anything in scripture that supports the assumption that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her life. I doubt that it took place. I expect that there would have been early mention of it from one of the writers of scripture who outlived her.


5a) "You consistently ask, "If Mary were sinless, why should she be required to pay the penalty for sin, which is death?" Are you willing to admit that the ex cathedra statement does not make mention of the penalty of Original Sin, only the stain?"

Why not? I did not see it mentioned. Although no mention is made of the penalty for sin, but only of the stain, it naturally follows that, since the penalty of sin is death, and since Mary inherited the same original sin as all other humans after Adam, except for Jesus, that Mary should also die as a result. Which is what happened.

6) "Are you cognizant of the fact that the angel's declaration to Mary was PRIOR to her accepting of her role? Before she had done anything, she was already graced by God!?"

Indeed, she was highly favored beforehand, as she was chosen for the honor. She was chosen long before she was born.

7) "You mention St. Augustine, are you aware that he, when referring to a list of people whom he considered to live sinless lives, excepted the Blessed Virgin from that list as one who as given an "abundance" (fullness) of grace out of respect to our Lord. "We must except the holy Virgin Mary, concerning whom I wish to raise no question when it touches the subject of sins, out of honour to the Lord; for from Him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear Him who undoubtedly had no sin." (On Nature and Grace, Ch. 42 ).*"

I was not aware that he had written that, but he does not there state that Mary was sinless. Augustine states there that he did not wish to raise questions of Mary's sins, but he does specify in other writings that only Jesus was sinless. However, if we accept that Mary was sinless, solely based on your understanding that "full of grace" means that there is no room left for sin, then we must accept that Stephen was also sinless, since the scripture plainly states that he was full of grace. (In the Douay version we see that Stephen was called "full of grace": Acts 6:8 And Stephen, full of grace and fortitude, did great wonders and signs among the people.) So if Mary is full of grace (which is not the correct translation) and Stephen is also full of grace, then they must both be sinless. But we know that Stephen was not sinless.

Word Count: 546 (not counting the quoting of Windsor's questions)

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