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# The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman

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Magoosh GMAT Instructor
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The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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13 Dec 2012, 12:35
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The term “Immaculate Conception,” a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with
(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by
(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in
(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by
(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by

For a discussion of Sentence Correction tips, as well as a full analysis of this particular question, see this blogpost:
Top Six GMAT Grammar Tips for Sentence Correction

Mike
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 01:37
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mikemcgarry wrote:
The term “Immaculate Conception”, a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, [color=#ff0000]not referring
to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with
(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by
(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in
(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by
(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by[/color]

For a discussion of Sentence Correction tips, as well as a full analysis of this particular question, see this blogpost:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2012/top-six-gm ... orrection/

Though it initially seemed quite tough because a huge portion of sentence was underlined, after understanding the meaning it was clear that the question is testing some easy concepts.
i)"not to x, but to y"
ii) if the preceding phrase is not a part of a modifier then "that" can't be preceded by a "comma".

Some answer choices use "they" as referrent but its unclear what "they" refers to.

Choice C incorrectly uses "comma +verbing", implying a cause and effect relationship.

"Occured by" is correct not "occured with or occured in".
E doesn't shows the needed contrast.
+1D
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 01:40
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what is the difference between "doctrine of..." and "doctrine that ...". Need help with this split.
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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14 Dec 2012, 12:58
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Marcab wrote:
what is the difference between "doctrine of..." and "doctrine that ...". Need help with this split.

In this context, both of these are correct. Here we are talking about the source of the doctrine, not what the doctrine says.

The idiom for the word "doctrine" is similar to the idioms for the words "teaching", "idea", "ideology", "theory", "principle", etc. etc., all those "mental collection" words.

For the source, we can use either a "that"/"which" subordinate clause
= the doctrine that the pope proclaimed
= the idea about which Darwin first wrote
= the idea that Descartes repudiated

or we can use the preposition "of"
= the doctrine of classical Buddhism
= the teachings of Confucius
= the thought of the Thomist school
= the ideology of the Khmer Rouge

For what the doctrine/idea/teaching/ideology is actually saying, the thought embodied in it ----- this is tricky. If we are going to name only a single noun, then we can use the preposition "about" or the participle "concerning" or the preposition "of", but if we are going to describe an action, then the GMAT doesn't like cramming an entire action into a prepositional phrase --- for this case, the GMAT would demand either a "that"/"which" clause with a full [noun] + [verb] structure.
Noun-only constructions:
= the doctrine of the Prophet Muhammad unique status among prophets
= the doctrine about Christ's human and divine natures
= the teaching concerning the afterlife
= the teachings about racial tolerance
= the idea of non-conservation of parity
= the principle of least action

Full clause constructions
= the doctrine that Christ pre-existed from all eternity
= the teaching that the Buddha, in his first sermon, "turned" the wheel of Dharma
= the axiom by which the geometric space becomes Euclidean
= the idea that all men are created equal
= the hypothesis that Bacon wrote Shakespeare's plays
= the principle that one should resort to violence only in defense

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 01:00
Hii Mike.
So in the answer choices, is "proclaimed" being used as a "participle" and not a "verb"?
If it is the case, then the question is crystal clear now.
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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15 Dec 2012, 15:54
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Marcab wrote:
Hii Mike.
So in the answer choices, is "proclaimed" being used as a "participle" and not a "verb"? If it is the case, then the question is crystal clear now.

Dear Marcab,

In the answers with the word "that"
... a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854,
the whole segment from the word "that" to the comma is a subordinate clause, a "that"-clause --- the words "Roman Catholic Church" is the subject of the clause and "proclaimed" is the verb of the clause, a bonafide real verb. Clauses always have a bonafide noun-subject and bonafide verb.

BUT
In the answers with the word "of"
... a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854,
now, the phrase "of the Roman Catholic Church" is just a prepositional phrase, a self-contained modifier, and the word "proclaimed" (same spelling!) now functions as a participle modifying the word "doctrine." It is not a full bonafide verb, but merely a participle, a modifier.

When I designed this question, I included this split, setting it up so the exact same form of the verb, proclaimed, same spelling and everything, would be used in some of the answers as a verb and in others as a participle. This is one of the harder features of the question to recognize.

Does all this make sense?

Mike
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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16 Dec 2012, 00:42
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Fantastic explanation Mike.
Now the difference between verb and participle is very clear.
Thanks a lot.
+1 to you.
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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03 Jan 2013, 17:37
Good question!! Excellent explanation!!

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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05 Jan 2013, 15:41
The term “Immaculate Conception”, a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

nailed this one pretty quickly, but it was a little intimidating at first.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with - see ya later "that"

(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by - see ya later "that"

For these two I honed in on the verb "refer", since the doctrine has the ability to refer ie present tense, choose D.

Please let me know if my logic is wrong on that.

(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in - tense of referring, wrong

(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by

(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by - the doctrine can refer today no need for the past tense here, tyson KO.

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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17 May 2015, 11:15
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The term "Immaculate Conception", a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with

(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, which, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by

(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in

(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by

(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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17 May 2015, 13:47
The term "Immaculate Conception",a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

Idiom: Not X but Y. In the original sentence Not X is put as a modifier which is incorrect. On this logic, A, C (use Not X and Y – incorrect) are eliminated. Option B incorrectly uses “this conception is believed to be occurring”. Use of present continuous is not justified given the other verb tenses in the question stem. Option E also uses Not X and Y and is thus eliminated. D is the correct answer.

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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14 Oct 2015, 11:00
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The term "Immaculate Conception", a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with

(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, which, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by

(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in

(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by

(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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23 Oct 2015, 17:35
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tuanquang269 wrote:
The term "Immaculate Conception", a doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with ordinary procreative means.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with

(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, which, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by

(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in

(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by

(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by

Dear tuanquang269
I'm happy to respond! This is another question that I wrote, so I am happy to explain it. It's a wordy and hard one.

Split #1: As the prompt stands, it has no full verb---it's not a complete sentence. Both (A) and (C) have the participle "referring," rather than a full verb at that place. The famous missing verb mistake! These two are wrong.

Split #2: the mysterious "they" --- in options (A) & (E), we have ". . . the fact that they believe . . ." Presumably, the referent are the people in the Roman Catholic Church, but this Church is a singular collective noun, and would have to take a singular pronoun. Use of "they" here is wrong.

Split #3: idiom with "means." The word "means" occurs after the underlined section. The correct idiom is "by means" or "by [adjective] means." The constructions "in means" or "with means" are incorrect, so we can reject choices (A) & (C).

Split #4: the mid-sentence contrast, after "occurred miraculously"
(A) despite his mother Mary being a virgin = awkward, not acceptable on the GMAT
(B) even though his mother Mary was a virgin = a full clause = perfectly fine
(C) with his mother Mary being a virgin = no contrast at all, and an awkward unacceptable construction
(D) even though his mother Mary was a virgin = a full clause = perfectly fine
(E) with his mother Mary being a virgin = no contrast at all, and an awkward unacceptable construction
In choices (A), (C), and (E), we have the construction [preposition] + [noun] + [participle]. In some uses, as here, this construction is entirely unacceptable. For a more detailed discussion, see,
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2015/with-noun- ... orrection/

All of these taken together show that the only possible answer here is (D).

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2015, 03:42
Dear Mike,
I have a question about B and D
+not refer to...but to (in B) .vs refer not to...but to (in D)
IMO, that is the reason to pick B or D. But I read somewhere that choice B is preferable.
Could you explain?
Thank you!

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2015, 17:38
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khoathanglong wrote:
Dear Mike,
I have a question about B and D
+not refer to...but to (in B) .vs refer not to...but to (in D)
IMO, that is the reason to pick B or D. But I read somewhere that choice B is preferable.
Could you explain?
Thank you!

Dear khoathanglong
I'm happy to respond. The structure about which you are asking is the Once Outside or Twice Inside rule, which is explained here:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/gmat-paral ... ce-inside/
Here, because the "not" applies to only one branch of the parallelism, it must go on the inside of the parallel structure.
Correct: refer not to...but to --- in (D)
Incorrect: not refer to...but to---in (B)
This is another reason why (D) is correct and (B) is wrong. In the second version, the word "not" comes before the verb "refer," so we would expect the "not . . . but" contrast to compare one verb to another: it does not refer to X but does something else. The second branch of the parallelism is not another verb, but merely another preposition, so we have to show that we are comparing the two prepositional phrases. That's what the version in (D) does.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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18 Nov 2015, 18:00
Thank you Mike, I got it
It means 'not' and 'but' are both followed by the same type of word (V, N, Prep) :D

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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28 Dec 2015, 02:53
Although delving into multiple concepts, this tough question can be coincidentally fixed on the
D-day by the correlative conjunction parallelism of – not to … but to --- about which Mike has pointed out.

(A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with --it should be referring not to the conception …. but to the conception.

(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, which, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by—correct format is – did not refer to the conception but referred to the conception

(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in --- use of ‘and, takes away the contrast and is unidiomatic. – It should be not to – but to--

(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by --- correct idiomatic parallelism.

(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by --- same error as in C

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2016, 02:08
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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman [#permalink]

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02 Jul 2016, 12:46
IMHO D

A) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, not referring to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously despite his mother Mary being a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred with
the antecedent of "they" is not clear

(B) that the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, did not refer to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to be occurring by
Verb tense is wrong

(C) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referring not to the conception of Jesus, that in Christianity occurred miraculously with his mother Mary being a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred in
usage of being

(D) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, refers not to the conception of Jesus, which, according to Christianity, occurred miraculously even though his mother Mary was a virgin, but to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that this conception is believed to have occurred by
OK

(E) of the Roman Catholic Church formally proclaimed in 1854, referred not to the conception of Jesus, that, as Christianity says, occurred miraculously when his mother Mary was a virgin, and to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, Anne, despite the fact that they believe this conception occurred by
the antecedent of "they" is not clear

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Re: The term Immaculate Conception , a doctrine that the Roman   [#permalink] 02 Jul 2016, 12:46

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