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The Crusades, Templars & the Holy Grail => The Sacred Feminine, the Cathars & Gnosticism => Topic started by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:33:59 pm



Title: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:33:59 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/2/24/Bartolom%C3%A9_Esteban_Perez_Murillo_021.jpg/413px-Bartolom%C3%A9_Esteban_Perez_Murillo_021.jpg)

Mary, mother of Jesus as the Immaculate Conception. Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Museo del Prado.


Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:34:31 pm
The Immaculate Conception is, according to Roman Catholic dogma, the conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus without any stain of original sin, in her mother's womb: the dogma thus says that, from the first moment of her existence, she was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind, and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further believed that she lived a life completely free from sin. Her immaculate conception in the womb of her mother, by normal sexual intercourse (Christian tradition identifies her parents as Sts. Joachim and Anne), should not be confused with the doctrine of the virginal conception of her son Jesus.

The feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on December 8, was established in 1476 by Pope Sixtus IV. He did not define the doctrine as a dogma, thus leaving Roman Catholics freedom to believe in it or not without being accused of heresy; this freedom was reiterated by the Council of Trent. The existence of the feast was a strong indication of the Church's belief in the Immaculate Conception, even before its 19th century definition as a dogma.

The Immaculate Conception was solemnly defined as a dogma by Pope Pius IX in his constitution Ineffabilis Deus, on December 8, 1854.

The Roman Catholic Church believes the dogma is supported by Scripture (e.g. Mary's being greeted by Angel Gabriel as "full of grace" or "highly favoured"), as well as either directly or indirectly by the writings of many of the Church Fathers, and often calls Mary the Blessed Virgin (Luke 1:48). Catholic theology maintains that, since Jesus became incarnate of the Virgin Mary, it was fitting that she be completely free of sin for expressing her fiat. (Ott, Fund., Bk 3, Pt. 3, Ch. 2, §3.1.e).

For the Roman Catholic Church the dogma of the Immaculate Conception gained additional significance from the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1858. In Lourdes a 14-year-old girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed a beautiful lady appeared to her. The lady identified herself as "the Immaculate Conception" and the faithful believe her to be the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception is a Holy Day of Obligation, except where conferences of bishops have decided, with the approval of the Holy See, not to maintain it as such. It is a public holiday in some countries where Roman Catholicism is predominant e.g. Italy. In the Philippines, although this is not a public holiday, the predominance of Catholic Schools make it almost a holiday.



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:35:07 pm
The Conception of Mary was celebrated as a liturgical feast in England from the ninth century, and the doctrine of her "holy" or "immaculate" conception was first formulated in a tract by Eadmer, companion and biographer of the better-known St. Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (1033-1109), and later popularized by the archbishop's nephew, Anselm the Younger. The Normans had suppressed the celebration, but it lived on in the popular mind. It was rejected by St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Alexander of Hales, and St. Bonaventure (who, teaching at Paris, called it "this foreign doctrine," indicating its association with England), and by St. Thomas Aquinas who expressed questions about the subject, but said that he would accept the determination of the Church. Aquinas and Bonaventure, for example, believed that Mary was completely free from sin, but that she was not given this grace at the instant of her conception.

Despite this formidable array of tradition and scholarly opinion, the Oxford Franciscans William of Ware and especially Blessed John Duns Scotus defended the doctrine. Scotus proposed a solution to the theological problem involved of being able to reconcile the doctrine with that of universal redemption in Christ, by arguing that Mary's immaculate conception did not remove her from redemption by Christ; rather it was the result of a more perfect redemption given to her on account of her special role in history. Furthermore, Scotus said that Mary was redeemed in anticipation of Christ's death on the cross. This was similar to the way that the Church explained the Last Supper (since Roman Catholic theology teaches that the Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary made present on the altar, and Christ did not die before the Last Supper). Scotus' defence of the immaculist thesis was summed up by one of his followers as potuit, decuit ergo fecit (God could do it, it was fitting that He did it, and so He did it). Following his defence of the thesis, students at Paris swore to defend the position, and the tradition grew of swearing to defend the doctrine with one's blood. The University of Paris supported the decision of the (schismatic) Council of Basel in this matter. Duns' arguments remained controversial, however, particularly among the Dominicans, who were willing enough to celebrate Mary's sanctificatio (being made free from sin), but, following the Dominican Thomas Aquinas' arguments, continued to insist that her sanctification could not have occurred at the instant of her conception.

Popular opinion remained firmly behind the celebration of Mary's conception. The doctrine itself had been endorsed by the Council of Basel (1431-1449), and by the end of the 15th century was widely professed and taught in many theological faculties. However, the Council of Basel was later held not to have been a true General (or Ecumenical) Council with authority to proclaim dogma; and such was the influence of the Dominicans, and the weight of the arguments of Thomas Aquinas (who had been canonised in 1323, and declared "Doctor Angelicus" of the Church in 1567) that the Council of Trent (1545-63) - which might have been expected to affirm the doctrine - instead declined to take a position; it simply reaffirmed the constitutions of Sixtus VI, which had threatened with excommunication anyone on either side of the controversy who accused the others of heresy. It was not until 1854 that Pope Pius IX, with the support of the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic Bishops, whom he had consulted between 1851–1853, proclaimed the doctrine in accordance with the conditions of papal infallibility that would be defined in 1870 by the First Vatican Council.



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:36:15 pm
The doctrine is generally not shared by either Eastern Orthodoxy or by Christians of Reformed or Protestant traditions.

Protestants reject the doctrine because they do not consider the development of dogmatic theology to be authoritative apart from biblical exegesis, and that Mariology in general, including the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, is not taught explicitly in their interpretation of the Bible. It is accepted by some Anglo-Catholics, but is rejected by most in the Anglican Communion (and also by the Old Catholic Churches). In the Book of Common Prayer, December 8 — the "Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary" — is a "lesser commemoration", whose observance is optional. However, members of the Society of Mary are required to attend Mass that day.

Protestants argue that God would also need to have intervened in the conception of Mary's mother, and her mother, and so on down the ages. Catholicism's response to this would be that only Mary had to be kept free from sin, since she directly was going to bear Christ; her ancestors were not.

A further argument put forward by Protestants is from Mark 10:18 and the parallel Luke 18:9. When Jesus is addressed as "Good teacher" (NIV Mk 10:17), He is quoted as replying "No one is good - except God alone". It is posited that in doing so Christ clearly teaches that no one is without sin, whilst leaving room for the conclusion that he is in fact God incarnate. However, it is meant in the general sense.

Some Protestants also teach that our sinful nature is inherited from the father. Since Jesus of Nazareth did not have an earthly father, he did not inherit a sinful nature; hence, Mary did not need to be immaculately conceived. These Protestants base this view on Romans 5:12 which states that sin entered the world through a man, Adam (even though Eve sinned before Adam) and 1 Corinthians 11:3 which says that the head of every woman is the man. In response, however, the sin of Adam and Eve stains a person's soul, and both parents only contribute to the body, meaning God allows this to happen, and can certainly preserve someone.

Some Protestant groups of more recent origin, such as the Restoration Movement, do not believe in original sin. Consequently, they believe in the immaculate conception of everyone, not only of Mary.





Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:37:16 pm
Orthodox Christians do believe that Mary was without sin for her entire life, but they generally do not share the Augustinian and Medieval Roman Catholic Church's views on original sin. They note that St. Augustine (d. 430), whose works were not well known in Eastern Christianity until after the 17th century, has exerted considerable influence over the theology of sin that has generally taken root in the Latin Rite. However, Augustine's theory that Original Sin is propagated by the concupiscence of reproduction and that it can be expressed in terms of stain and quasi-personal guilt is not shared by Eastern Orthodoxy. Some Eastern Orthodox theologians also suggest that the references among the Greek and Syrian Fathers to Mary's purity and sinlessness may refer not to an a priori state, but to her conduct after she was born. Although this is not a dogma in the Orthodox Church, there is widespread belief that there was a pre-sanctification of Mary at the time of her conception, similar to what occurred for Saint John the Baptist in his mother's womb. However, Eastern Christianity tends to focus on the fact that the main consequence of Original Sin is the distortion of the nature of this world (prominently including, but not limited to, the nature of the human race).



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:37:50 pm
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 have also found Scriptural evidence for the Immaculate Conception in the angel Gabriel's greeting to Mary at the Annunciation, (Luke 1:28). The English translation, "Hail, Full of Grace," or "Hail, Favored One," is based on the Greek of Luke 1:28, "Χαίρε, Κεχαριτωμένη", Chaire kecharitomene, a phrase which can most literally be translated: "Rejoice, you who have been graced". The latter word, kecharitomene, is the Passive voice, Present Perfect participle of the verb "to grace" in the feminine gender, vocative case; therefore the Greek syntax indicates that the action of the verb has been fully completed in the past, with results continuing into the future. Put another way, it means that the subject (Mary) was graced fully and completely at some time in the past, and continued in that fully graced state. The angel's salutation does not refer to the Incarnation of Christ in Mary's womb, as he proceeds to say: "thou shalt conceive in thy womb…" (Luke 1:31).

The Church Fathers, almost from the beginning of Church History, found further Scriptural evidence by comparing the figure of Eve to the figure of Mary. St. Justin Martyr said that Mary was a kind of New Eve, "in order that the disobedience which proceeded from the serpent might receive its destruction in the same manner in which it derived its origin." (Dialogue with Trypho, 100) Tertullian argued in the same manner, saying, "As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. The delinquency which the one occasioned by believing, the other by believing effaced." (On the Flesh of Christ, 17) St. Irenaeus declared that Mary became "the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race," because "what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith." (Against Heresies, Book III, cap. 22, 4) St. Jerome coined the phrase, "Death came through Eve, but life has come through Mary," (Letter XXII, To Eustochium, 21). In addition "Blessed shall be the fruit of thy womb" is a reward for obedience to God by keeping the commandments


Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:38:50 pm
The Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914, however, states that these scriptures merely serve as corroborative evidence assuming that the dogma is already well established, and that there is insufficient evidence to prove the dogma to someone basing their beliefs solely on biblical interpretation:

No direct or categorical and stringent proof of the dogma can be brought forward from Scripture. …The salutation of the angel Gabriel — chaire kecharitomene, Hail, full of grace (Luke 1:28) indicates a unique abundance of grace… but the term kecharitomene (full of grace) serves only as an illustration, not as a proof of the dogma. ― Catholic Encyclopedia — Immaculate Conception:Proof from Scripture

Scripture verses sometimes used to show her Immaculate Conception (other than Luke 1:28) are

"And you shall make the ark of testimony of incorruptible wood And you shall gild it with pure gold, you shall gild it within and without; and you shall make for it golden wreaths twisted round about." (Exodus 25:10-11 Brenton LXX)

"So I made an ark of boards of incorruptible wood, and I hewed tables of stone like the first, and I went up to the mountain, and the two tables were in my hand." (Deuteronomy 10:3 Brenton LXX)

Other translations use the words "setim," "acacia," "indestructible," and "hard" to describe the wood used. In any case, Moses used this wood because it was regarded as very durable and "incorruptible." Mary is regarded by Catholic and Orthodox Christians as being the Ark of the Covenant in the New Testament and therefore it would seem fitting that the New Ark likewise be made "incorruptible" or "immaculate." The basis for called the Virgin Mary the Ark of the Covenant is based partly on the parallels of the Ark in Second Samuel 6 with the Nativity narrative of the Gospel of Luke. The Early Church Fathers have called Christ, the Church, and the Virgin Mary each at one point as being symbolized by the Ark.

Mary is also shown as being totally faithful towards Christ, especially during his Passion, when he was abandoned by His followers, even the apostles (apart from the young John). Mary's complete faithfulness could be the fruit of being sinless, as she could not then reject Christ in the darkest hour. In support to this doctrine, it also does not appear fit that Christ, God-incarnate, should be born in sinful vessel. The Immaculate Conception also compares to the original righteousness of Adam and Eve.



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:39:26 pm
There is a widespread misunderstanding of the term immaculate conception: many believe it refers to Mary's conception of Jesus, a confusion frequently met in the mass media. In the sense in which the phrase "Immaculate Conception" is used in Roman Catholic doctrine, it is not directly connected to the concept of Mary's "virginal conception" and the Incarnation of Christ. The Church celebrates the Immaculate Conception on 8 December, exactly nine months before celebrating Mary's birthday. The feast of the Incarnation of Christ, also known as The Annunciation, is celebrated on 25 March, nine months before Christmas Day.

Another misunderstanding is that by her immaculate conception, Mary did not need a saviour. On the contrary, when defining the dogma in Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX affirmed that Mary was redeemed in a manner more sublime. He stated that Mary, rather than being cleansed after sin, was completely prevented from contracting Original Sin in view of the foreseen merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race. In Luke 1:47, Mary proclaims: "My spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour." This is referred to as Mary's pre-redemption by Christ.



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:40:11 pm
Pope Pius IX defined ex cathedra the dogma of the Immaculate Conception on 8 December 1854. The Pope stressed that Mary's sinlessness was not due to her own merits, but truly, by the merits of her son, Jesus.

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore should firmly and constantly be believed by all the faithful."

Simply stated, Mary possessed sanctifying grace from the first instant of her existence and was free from the lack of grace caused by the "original or first sin" at the beginning of human history.



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:41:46 pm
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception celebrates the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

A feast called the Conception of Mary arose in the Eastern Church in the seventh century (prior to the Great Schism of 1054). It spread to the West in the eighth century. In the eleventh century it received its present name, the Immaculate Conception, in the West. In the eighteenth century it became a feast of the Roman Catholic Church. It is the only one of Mary's feasts that came to the Western Church not by way of Rome, but instead spread from the Byzantine area to Naples, and thence to Normandy during their period of dominance over southern Italy. From there it spread into England, France, Germany, and eventually Rome.[1]

Prior to Pope Pius IX's definition of the Immaculate Conception as Church dogma, most missals referred to it as the Feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The festal texts of this period focused more upon the action of her conception rather than the theological question of her preservation from original sin. A missal published in England in 1806 indicates the same collect for the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary was used for this feast as well.[2]

The propers for the feast of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medieval Sarum Missal, perhaps the most famous in England, merely address the action of her conception.

The collect for the feast reads:

O God, mercifully hear the supplication of thy servants who are assembled together on the Conception of the Virgin Mother of God, may at her intercession be delivered by Thee from dangers which beset us.

In 1854, Pius IX gave the infallible statement Ineffabilis Deus: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin."


Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:42:39 pm
It is a public holiday in Austria, Nicaragua, Chile, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Macau, Malta, Peru, and Paraguay. It is also a public holiday in the Philippines and is a Holy Day of Obligation, as it is in the United States and Ireland.

In Ireland, it may well be the busiest day of the year in the cities. As the day is so near Christmas, the cities are already extremely busy. This, coupled with the fact that all civil service workers are off work (which in turn means the schools are closed), makes 8 December the most popular day for parents to bring their children to the cities in order to do their Christmas shopping. It can be so busy that Bus Éireann often has to run its services at five times its normal capacity.


Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:43:24 pm
In the Anglican Communion, the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary may be observed as a Lesser Festival on 8 December, and many Anglo-Catholic parishes do so. Some parishes use the Roman Catholic nomenclature of "Immaculate Conception".

While the Eastern Orthodox Churches have never accepted the Roman Catholic dogma of the Immaculate conception, they do celebrate December 9 as the Feast of the Conception by St. Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos. While the Orthodox believe that the Virgin Mary was, from her conception, filled with every grace of the Holy Spirit, in view of her calling as the Mother of God, they do not teach that she was conceived without original sin as their understanding of this doctrine differs from the Roman Catholic articulation. The Orthodox do affirm that Mary is "all-holy" and never committed a personal sin during her lifetime.

The Orthodox feast is not a perfect nine months before the feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, September 8, as it is in the West, but a day later. This feast is not ranked among the Great Feasts of the church year, but is a lesser-ranking feast (Polyeleos).



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:45:54 pm
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a shared name of many cathedrals of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in the United States. They are all named after the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of The Immaculate Conception.


The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada is located on 91 Waterloo street.

The building of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was initiated by the second Bishop of New Brunswick, The Most Rev. Thomas Connolly. Realising that the Catholic population required a larger facility, Bishop Connolly on November 14, 1852 announced to the congregation his intention to proceed immediately with the **** of the Cathedral. Plans were subsequently prepared in New York during the winter of 1852-53, the foundation stone was laid in May 1853 and walls were erected and a roof laid by November 1853. The blessing and first mass in the new cathedral were celebrated on Christmas Day.

The task of completing the cathedral fell to Bishop J. Sweeney, the third Bishop of New Brunswick between 1861 and 1865. The spire was erected in 1871. It has a height of 230 feet to the top of the cross, equal to some 300 feet above sea level and about the highest point in the city. In the interior of the edifice the extreme length is 200 feet, the width at the transepts 116 feet and in the nave, 80 feet.

The cathedral chimes, installed in 1885, were first rung on that Christmas Day and consist of ten bells, the largest about 3,000 pounds in weight. The bells were cast especially for the New Orleans exposition, where they were awarded a gold medal. The chime is in the scale of D major, and includes a flat seventh bell, which will permit music in two different keys and forms. The whole chime weighs 12,000 pounds, exclusive of mountings. They were manufactured by the McShane Bell Foundry, Baltimore, Maryland.

The organ, one of the largest in Saint John, was built by Casavant Frères of St. Hyacinthe, Quebec in 1952. It consists of a three manual console, which controls four divisions (Great, Swell, Choir and Pedal). There are some 3,000 pipes, the largest of which is 16 feet, the shortest less than one inch. Over the altar is the life-size image of the crucified Saviour. A statue of exquisite beauty of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the Cathedral is set up in a Gothic shrine offsetting the pulpit of similar design on the opposite pillar.




Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:47:46 pm
The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Beijing (宣武门天主堂), also known as Nantang (南堂, the South Cathedral) to the locals, is a historic Roman Catholic Church located in Beijing, China. While the original foundation of the cathedral was in 1605, making it the oldest Catholic church in Beijing, the current building in the Baroque style dates from 1904. The present Bishop Joseph Li Shan, installed in September 2007, is one of the few bishops recognized by both the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Church and the Vatican.



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:49:06 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ae/Ricciportrait.jpg/455px-Ricciportrait.jpg)

Matteo Ricci

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, as a foundation, dates back to 1605, in the thirty-third year of the reign of the Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty. When the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci arrived in Beijing, the Emperor permitted him a residence slightly to the west of the site of the current cathedral, in the Xuanwumen district. Attached to this residence was a small chapel, in Chinese style, with only the presence of a cross atop the entrance to distinguish it as a church. This was at the time referred to as the Xuanwumen Chapel (宣武门礼拜堂).

In 1650, in the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Shunzhi of the Qing Dynasty, under the leadership of the German Jesuit Johann Adam Schall von Bell, work on a new church building was begun on the site of the Xuanwumen Chapel. Construction of was complete in two years, and the new church received the honour of a Ceremonial gateway with the words 钦宗天道 (Respect the Teachings of the Way of Heaven).



Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:51:02 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Schall.jpg)

Johann Adam Schall von Bell

Emperor Shunzhi was friendly to Schall and the church, visiting it no less than twenty four times, bestowing upon it a stone stela with the words 'built by Imperial Order' inscribed upon it.

In 1690, Beijing received its first Roman Catholic bishop, the Franciscan Bernardin della Chiesa, and the church became a cathedral

In 1703, in the twenty fourth year of the reign of the Emperor Kangxi, the cathedral was enlarged and renovated, and after ten years, a European-style building was complete, the second European-style building in Beijing after the Canchikou church. This was destroyed in 1720 by an earthquake in Beijing. A new cruciform structure was built in the baroque style, with a length of 86 metres and width of 45 metres. This was again severely damaged by an earthquake in 1703, in the eighth year of the Emperor Yongzheng, who donated 1000 taels of silver towards its repair. The repaired cathedral had larger and taller windows, resulting in a brighter and grander interior.

The cathedral was damaged by fire in 1775, in the fortieth year of the reign of the Emperor Qianlong, who donated 10,000 tales of silver for restoration work, bestown upon it a calligraphed board in the Emperor's own hand, with the words 万有真原 on it.

In 1838, in the fourteenth year of the reign of the Emperor Daoguang, due to constant conflicts with the power and influence of the Catholic Church, for the sake of peace, the Qing government decreed a restriction of the activity of the Catholic Church in China. In this decree, the cathedral was confiscated by the government and remained such until the end of the Second Opium War, when the Catholic Church was again permitted to act freely. The cathedral was reopened in 1860 under the leadership of Bishop Joseph Martial Mouly.

When the Boxer rebellion broke out in 1900, all the churches of Bejing were targets of vandalism, and on 14 June 1900, the cathedral was set razed to the ground, together with the other churches of Beijing.


In 1904, the present structure was completed, the fourth church on the site. On 21 December 1979, Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan was consecrated in the cathedral, the first major event in the life of the Catholic Church in China after the Cultural Revolution.

The cathedral is possibly the best known to foreigners, as it has an English-language mass on Sundays at 10 a.m., as well as Chinese-language masses every hour on the hour from 5-7 on weekdays and 6-9 on Sundays.




Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:52:03 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/de/Nantang_from_the_street.JPG/800px-Nantang_from_the_street.JPG)

Nantang Cathedral from the Street


Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:53:20 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f3/Nantang_NW.jpg/800px-Nantang_NW.jpg)

Nantang Cathedral from the North-West courtyard


Title: Re: Immaculate Conception
Post by: Grail Lord on December 05, 2007, 10:54:41 pm
(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6f/Nantang_interior.jpg/800px-Nantang_interior.jpg)

Interior of Nantang Cathedral