Video – Fr. Christiaan Kappes – Nazianzen’s Prepurified Virgin – CONF 311

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Ave Maria!

At the Symposium "Sursum Actio" at Notre Dame Univ. from Jun 8-9, 2015, in honor of the life work of Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, F.I.,  Fr. Christiaan Kappes, S.L.D., from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, gives the tenth conference which he titles, "Nazianzen’s Prepurified Virgin in Augustine, through Maximus and Theodore of Canterbury, into Visigoth and Anglo-Saxon Tradition". He traces the roots of the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception to the Eastern Father St. Gregory of Nazianzen and his doctrine of Mary being prepurified.  He points out that the Eastern idea of Mary's purification in the Bible includes Jesus' purification as well. Thus this positive idea of purification does not suggest any impurity in Mary which is one of the early objections to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in the West. He starts with Fr. Peter's insights into the roots of the Immaculate Conception in Eastern Theology sighting his book The Immaculate Conception which he wrote with the help of Fr. Peter and was published by the Academy of the Immaculate. He then uses copious quotes and historical facts to trace the linkage of these roots  to the West and finally to England where the doctrine is given local acceptance and finally theological support from Bl. John Duns Scotus, paving the way for its dogmatic proclamation in 1854. This has Ecumenical considerations in regard to the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the Eastern Orthodox. The outline is as follows:

Part I - Fehlner and the Immaculata in Byzantium - 7:43

Part II - The Prepurification or Purified Virgin in Byzantium - 11:06

Part III -The Prepurified Virgin in the West, namely Augustine - 19:20

Part IV - The Prepurified Virgin of the Lateran Council 649 and Maximus the Confessor - 28:08

Part V - Prepurified Virgin in Anglo-Saxon England - 38:12

He includes quotes from:


Maximus the ConfessorLateran Council of 649, Third Council of Constantinople in 680, Gregory Palamas and Palamite theology, Mark of Ephesus, Ildefonsus of Toledo, St. Gregory Naziansen, John Damascene, Mark of Ephesus, St. Augustine of Hippo, Rufinius Latinus, Theodore of Tarsius (Theodore of Canterbury), Sophronius of Jerusalem, Ephraim Greckus, Venerable Bede, St. John Damascene, Paschasius Radbertus who wrote  de Partu Virginis

The talk is followed by a commentary by Fr. Peter and then a round table discussion with the other presenters:

Fr. Peter: At council of Florence, Franciscans and the Greeks Palamites verses the Dominicans under John Torquemada who tried to condemn the Scotists and the Palamites
Only now is the value of Gregory Palamas and the Palamite school being recognized in the West.

Fr. Christiaan Kappes' book: The Immaculate Conception, Why Thomas Aquinas Denied, while John Duns Scotus, Gregory Palamas and Mark Eugenicus Professed the Absolute Immaculate existence of the Virgin Mary.

Also mentioned: Fehlner, Peter Damian M. "De metaphysica mariana quaedam" (Metaphysical Mariology) In Immaculata Mediatrix 1, no.1 (2001): 13-42.

This symposium, Sursum Actio ("Lift up your Actions" or more loosely "Lift up your Hearts"), was organized in honor of the life work of Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner after he won the Cardinal John J. Wright Marialogical Award of 2015 from the Mariological Society of America for his outstanding contributions to Mariology.

For a complete list of all fourteen talks from this symposium:

Audio (MP3)


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