'With regard to the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., I think, in order to obtain a clear mind on the subject, it is necessary to remember that the doctrine is not a modern "Roman Catholic Invention" -indeed when the Vatican council declared it de fide they claimed only to be confirming the teaching of the early fathers and bishops of the Church-a claim which has very solid foundation. (It is a historical fact of some interest that the doctrine was passionately held and defended by the Church in England from very early days.) The meaning of the doctrine is simply that Our Lord is truly human, taking substance of the Blessed Virgin, and is the author of the new race. In order to break the entail of original sin by the direct intervention of God and His prevenient Grace, Our Lady was conceived without the stain of original sin (sine macula delicti)-hence the word "immaculate"-and was saved by the childbearing of Jesus. So the fathers can write of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of Her Saviour and ours. Putting the dogma simply, what it amounts to is that by the prevenient grace of God, Our Lady was conceived in that state of grace which we are born into through the Sacrament of Baptism ....
'It is an interesting and significant fact that the Feast of the Conception of the B.V.M. was left in the Prayer Book Calendar by the reformers, while they removed, among other feasts of Our Lady, the Assumption. The word "immaculate" does not appear in the calendar because it was not in common use-but the whole meaning of the Feast of the Conception of the B.V.M. depends upon the dogma that it was unique-otherwise why keep a feast about it? Moreover the Christmas Preface of the Prayer Book was inserted by the Reformers; it is not taken from the Roman Misssal and is peculiar to the B.C.P. Here there is emphasis upon Our Lord taking substance of the B.V.M. "and that without spot of sin" -sine macula delicti-and the collect speaks of our Lord being born of a pure virgin.' (On another occasion in the same context Raymond had written: written: 'Surely the word "pure" means something more than that the Virgin Mary was qualified to be a member of the Girls Friendly Society ?')
The Life of Raymond Raynes
Raymond Mosley (Author)