It is clear to me that someone from the Catholic church wrote the wiki on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, as certain passages from scriputure are included, but not everything which may now be seen as "inconvenient". This is from the wiki:
"In his Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus (8 December 1854), which officially defined the Immaculate Conception as dogma for the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Pius IX primarily appealed to the text of Genesis 3:15, where the serpent was told by God, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed." According to the Roman Catholic understanding, this was a prophecy that foretold of a "woman" who would always be at enmity with the serpent—that is, a woman who would never be under the power of sin, nor in bondage to the serpent. Some Roman Catholic theologians[attribution needed] have also claimed the angel Gabriel's greeting to Mary at the Annunciation (Luke 1:28) as scriptural evidence for the Immaculate Conception."
This references the passage in Genesis which I found myself, but it omits the full verse and context that the pope includes in his argument.
Genesis 3:15 states: I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel."
The verse is not cut off after the bit about "her seed". It continues, and the part about "HE shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise HIS heel" refers to the "battle" between the serpent and a man. The pope used this full verse in his dogmatic proclamation, but at the time, in 1854, when this dogma was made, translations were not as accurate and the Pope relied on Jerome's mistranslation of a pronoun which made the verse to read "SHE shall bruise your head..." and the Pope writes an elaborate account of why Mary's crushing the head of the serpent indicates it was HER doing, that she reversed the role of original sin.
This fact is now being omitted even from wikipedia.
When I found out about the error, I told Br. Ansgar, "Why doesn't the Catholic church just fix the mistake and change their position? because now you know it's not supported as was thought in 1854 (and by the way, if the Pope is "infallible", why did he err in his argument for this dogma, when he was clearly speaking ex cathedra?)." But according to the monks, there was no going back. I argued the Catholic laity should know the truth. I said, if it's wrong, why can't it just be corrected? What's so wrong about that?
But to make a correction admits to an error in the first place. Which shouldn't and wouldn't have been a problem if 1., it had never been made "dogma" in the first place, against strong disagreement within the church, and 2., if the dogma of "papal infallibility" hadn't followed on the heels of the immaculate conception.
This was the order of proclaimed dogmas:
1854--Dogma of the Immaculate Conception
1870--Dogma of Papal Infallibility
1950--Dogma of The Assumption
Once the dogma of papal infallibility was made, this put the church in a position of having to defend and justify (against all reason should reason attempt to interfere) each and every dogma or proclamation made "ex cathedra" (from the chair) by the Pope.
I think God can withstand human error, and if it is his church, his church as well, and if God can "reveal" something later in the ages, I think it could also be argued that another revelation can clarify and fix a wrong assumption. But once the foundation is built, by a church like the RCC, to remove one brick risks collapse of the entire structure. Necessarily, because the RCC majority chose to make the immculate conception dogma, they had to later follow it up with making the Assumption dogma as well, because the brick wasn't fitting like it should. There were some doctrinal problems with the position of claiming Mary was sinless. If sin was the cause for mortal death, in theology, then Mary couldn't have ever died. She would need to ascend into heaven "body and soul" and never experience death for the theory to fit. And nowhere in scripture or tradition is this even argued by the RCC in the past. It came up after the immaculate conception was made dogma, in the last 100 years. What the RCC tries to use to defend the Assumption is paintings of Mary rising into heaven, which really doesn't make a good enough proof she never died. There are paintings by RCC monks of saints also rising into heaven assisted by angels, and no one is arguing St. Paul, and Peter, and the others never died and were "assumed".
When I went to the Mt. Angel Abbey, I was actually prepared to accept even basic ideas of transubstantion (the mystical conversion of mass), and other dogmas because there was some basis for them, in scripture and early church history, even if some of the interpretations had changed somewhat. But what I found odd were the newer additions of dogma.
I had found evidence they were wrong. The RCC had evidence from their OWN clergy and expert translators, they were wrong, but instead of correcting error, they tried to push it under the rug and justify it. I felt Catholic laity should KNOW. I thought this was all about "the truth" and why was the RCC trying to CONCEAL the truth as it was naturally revealed? I found myself commiserating with the spirit of Galileo, feeling disappointed that something so wonderful was obscured and probably lost forever. The RCC will now admit error as regards science, claiming this is not their forte and territory, but I realized they will never admit to doctrinal error, even if they secretly wished they could change it, they sort of tied their own hands with the Papal Infallibility dogma.
This was only the beginning of my discoveries. In my next post, I want to write about all of the good and faithful Catholic clergy who argued against the "immaculate conception of Mary", through the ages, when they were free to disagree without being at risk for excommunication or "heresy".
The term "immaculate conception" was used in early church history as well, but it was used to refer to Christ being conceived of a virgin, not of Mary's "sinless birth". I also want to explain the Catholic position of "grace" and how Mary was "preserved" and their biological argument for this (the idea that Mary should be sinless to begin with, was based on faulty scientific reasoning about how original sin was transmitted at conception, an idea which first came up in the 1400s).
I need to find the title of that beautiful painting by the Catholic monk who illuminated Christ crushing the head of the serpent. It proves the RCC had it "right" at some point, in the beginning, even with their translation of scripture or perhaps it was still in a language that was understood originally and then got screwed up in mistranslation later...and that later it was convoluted. First it was simple discussion and debate and one could believe as they liked (almost all of the Franscicans were completely opposed to, and battled against the idea of the immaculate conception of Mary in the middle ages and later), and then later, pressure, public pressure at that, entered the arena.
During the time of my inquiry, at the Abbey, I would say 90% of my letters, emails, conversations, and other things with Br. Ansgar and Fr. Joachim were of a religious nature. Br. Ansgar was a religious mentor to me and Fr. Joachim was a confessor for me. Fr. Joachim told me he would allow me to take mass and said, "You are Catholic in spirit." They knew of my questions about Mary but said these things should not distract me. However, a cafeteria Catholic is one who picks and chooses from the buffett what they want to accept, and this is not the official position of the RCC. You do not pick and choose. You either take it all, or leave it. One is either convinced of the truth of all the dogmas, or NOT. So I wasn't going to make a conversion, and take catechism and even consider whether I should be a nun, without being convinced in my mind.
My relationship with both Br. Ansgar and Fr. Joachim became very intimate. I don't mean sexually, but they were closer to me than my family at that time, and acted as counselors. I took Fr. Joachim's advice about everything--he was literally my counselor and confessor, and he promised me that anything I shared with him was bound by rules of confession and would not be divulged to others. I quit going to my Protestant church and went to some Catholic masses instead, including a Latin mass out past St. John's (a suburb of Portland, Oregon). Br. Ansgar was very conservative and against Vatican II reforms, and wished for a return to uniformity and the Latin Mass. Fr. Joachim advised me to cut out my friends and family, because "they don't understand you" and I did. He told me repeatedly how "special" I was and built me with a lot of flattery and attention. Later, I had an attorney tell me he thought it indicated I was being "groomed", in the way adults and children who are sexually abused are first groomed to accept behaviors which are contrary to conscience. This same attorney who told me this, I have questioned in his involvement with the Abbey and their lawyers.
My developing trust and respect for Br. Ansgar and Fr. Joachim and what I thought the Roman Catholic Church was "about" (the "truth"! of course!) set me up for the worst betrayal of my life.
I want to write more about my communications with Br. Ansgar and his postcards sent to me from France and other things. Br. Ansgar is very well known in France and in Quebec, Canada. French is practically his first language, and being a philosophy buff, he is well-received in France. When he went there to give lectures, he kept up his correspondence with me. When he returned, he sent me a couple of love letters of sorts, which were confusing to me. What were his intentions? I went to Fr. Joachim with my questions about this. Before I went to Fr. Joachim and told him, Br. Ansgar was proceeding full speed, and I didn't really "get" what was going on. I found out the hard way.