Mary, the Mother of Jesus

edited December 1969 in Coptic Orthodox Church
What role does Mary play in Coptic faith and is she seen as being free from original sin like the Catholics believe?



  • Mary, the mother of god is not seen in the coptic church as sinless. We the orthodox believe that St. Mary is born with sin like everone of us. The only person without sin is Christ our lord.

    What role does Mary play in Coptic faith?- written by taylor
    Answer- Same as in the catholic church, but like i said, we don't believe she is sinless.

  • [quote author=desertnurse link=topic=5428.msg72316#msg72316 date=1181530540]
    What role does Mary play in Coptic faith and is she seen as being free from original sin like the Catholics believe?

    St. Mary, the Theotokos, Mother of God, have her own respect in the Coptic Church. She is not the sinless as the Catholics say. This dogma is called Immaculate Conception, (Click on the link for more info.

    She is in fact our highest intercessor in heaven. She is the queen on the right hand of Christ. She is the human who is full of grace. Most importantly, she is the Theotokos, the Mother of God. I only intend to repeat Theotokos because that subject was one of the main reasons for the council of Constantinople apposing the Nestorian heresy.
  • Actually, there is a very strong Coptic Orthodox tradition for regarding St. Mary as sinless. I encourage everyone to read Fr. T. Malaty's book St. Mary in the Orthodox Concept, for further information in this regard.

    The primary issue of conflict is interpreting the basis of such sinlessness. The RC's will claim that God miraculously transformed her nature such that she was no longer capable of sin. We Orthodox would argue that it was St. Mary's perfect obedience, and participation in the Grace of God--a perfect synergy, that explains her sinlessness.
  • I believe that our church's stance on this issue is that the Theotokos was born with sin, like every other human being. However, when the Holy Spirit descended on her, it sanctified her womb of the original stain of sin to make her worthy of giving birth to Christ. It was, however, St. Mary's complete obedience to the will of God that made this possible.
    Anyone, please correct me if I have misspoken. 
  • Dear Taylor,

    Iqbal and EpNomos EnTaio have, as always, represented the Coptic position, which is, like all the Coptic positions, Orthodox and avoids over elaboration. One big difference between the Roman Catholics and the Orthodox is that we have always admitted the limits of what the human mind can understand about the Ineffable God. Thus, we accept that the bread and wine become His Body and His Blood; how? We don't know, we just know that they do; this the Church has always believed, and so do we believe; it is a Divine Mystery.

    Similarly with the Most Holy and Blessed Theotokos. Born of human parents and fully human, she automatically inherits the marred human nature that is the result of sin in the world; how much more meritorious therefore is it that she was fully obedient to God and lived her blessed and holy life without sin. That is why she is the Queen of our race and an example to us all of what even a sinful human being can do if they devote their whole life to God and to obedience to Him.

    The idea of the Immaculate Conception was a very late addition to Roman belief (like Papal Infallibility) and is one of the barriers to unity between ourselves and Rome. We have, of course, an immense respect for the Bishop of Rome's position, and the Church has always acknowledged the special place of honour held by one who is bishop where Sts. Peter and Paul were martyred; but primacy, no, Immaculate conception, no, and Infallibility, no - oh, and whilst we are at this one, filioque no.

    I hope this helps.

    In Him,

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