Apologetic - the Sinlessness of the Virgin Mary
The supposed teaching of the sinlessness of the Theotokos was referenced, and a citation was needed. Father Thomas Hopko's essay on the Dormition was cited. I don't see how a single protopresbyter speaks for the entire Orthodox Church, so I removed the cite as insufficient to back up the claim.
Also, an essay by John Maximovitch was referenced to support the sinlessness was cited. But again I must say that I do not see how the opinion of one single bishop can constitute evidence of the teaching of the entire Orthodox Church. On top of this, John Maximovitch was not even a canonical bishop, as at the time he was part of the then schismatic group known as ROCOR. As such I removed this reference as well. A proper citation proving the universal teaching of the Orthodox Church on the sinlessness of Mary is still pending. - by deusveritasest (Christopher Dombrowski)
I can not really discuss the sinlessness of the Virgin Mary since I am not worthy to and am not a Theologian nor do I have access to the Orthodox Churches writing collections on Mariology. One sentence I read is from St. Ephraim the Syrian, sourced around 361AD. "You alone and your Mother are more beautiful than any others, for there is no blemish in you nor any stains upon you Mother." (Nisibene Hymn 27:8) In another passage, Ephraim writes (as though Mary was speaking): "The Son of the Most High came and dwelt in me, and I became His Mother; and as by a second birth I brought Him forth so did He bring me forth by the second birth, because He put His Mother's garments on, she clothed her body with His glory." (On the Nativity of Christ in the Flesh, 11).
A more recent Orthodox source we can refer to is the sinlessness of the Theotokos - St Tikhons Monastery. I must leave for now but I would love to take this discussion further on Monday. Have a peaceful weekend. Vasiliki 23:14, February 28, 2008 (PST)