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 Post subject: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:24 pm 
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I'm on the RCIA team at my parish and today we were discussing the Immaculate Conception of Mary. One of our candidates asked if Mary had conceived other children after Jesus. I explained that it is a doctrine of the Church that Mary's virginity was considered "perpetual" and she had no other biological children after Jesus. Our director interrupted me and said that Mary's perpetual virginity wasn't a doctrine and that she most likely had other children. Am I misinformed? I certainly don't want to teach in error!


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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:30 pm 
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Your director is the one in error. It is most certainly a defined dogma of the Church that Mary remained a perpetual virgin.

Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Quote:
Mary - "ever-virgin"

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth "did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it." And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin".

500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the other Mary". They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.

501 Jesus is Mary's only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeed he came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operates with a mother's love."


http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/a ... 22a3p2.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:32 pm 
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Becca, you need to have a long talk with your pastor about your RCIA director. Heaven only knows what other non- (or anti-) Catholic teachings (s)he is giving.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:33 pm 
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Mrs. Timmy wrote:
Becca, you need to have a long talk with your pastor about your RCIA director. Heaven only knows what other non- (or anti-) Catholic teachings (s)he is giving.


I agree.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:37 pm 
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Thanks! I read that portion of the catechism when I got home, so I thought it was doctrine, I just didn't want to argue during our meeting, after all, I've only been a catholic for five years.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:26 am 
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I guess your director is not familiar with Luke 1:34-35.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:23 am 
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The problem with the Catechism is that it, in and of itself, has little authority beyond being a teaching instrument for the creation of local catechisms. It is the actual magisterial documents that it references that carry the weight. The following canons are from the Second Ecumenical Council of Nicaea, in 787 AD, and are considered binding by both Catholic and Orthodox. Canons on matters of faith and morals to which an anathema is attached are truly infallible in the strict sense of the term when they come from an ecumenical council. To deny them is to put one's soul in peril.

Quote:
214 Can. 2. If anyone does not confess that there are two generations of the Word of God, the one from the Father before the ages, without time and incorporeally, the other in the last days, when the same came down from heaven, and was incarnate of the holy and glorious Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, and was born of her, let such a one be anathema.

218 Can. 6. If anyone says that the holy glorious ever-virgin Mary is falsely but not truly the Mother of God; or (is the Mother of God) according to relation, as if a mere man were born, but not as if the Word of God became incarnate [and of her] from her, but the birth of the man according to them being referred to the Word of God as being with the man when he was born, and falsely accuses the holy synod of Chalcedon of proclaiming the Virgin Mother of God according to this impious conception which was invented by Theodore; or, if anyone calls her the mother of the man or the mother of the Christ, as if the Christ were not God, but does not confess that she is exactly and truly the Mother of God, because God the Word, born of the Father before the ages, was made flesh from her in the last days, and that thus the holy Synod of Chalcedon confessed her (to be), let such a one be anathema.

227 Can. 14. If anyone defends the epistle which Ibas is said to have written to Maris the Persian, which denied that God the Word became incarnate of the holy Mother of God and ever virgin Mary, was made man, but which said that a mere man was born of her, whom he calls a temple, so that God the Word is one, and the man another; and which slandered as a heretic Cyril in the number of the saints for having proclaimed the right faith of the Christians; and as one who wrote in a manner like that of the wicked Apollinaris, and blamed the first holy synod (held) in Ephesus, because it condemned Nestorius without an inquiry; and the same impious letter stigmatizes the twelve chapters of Cyril [see n. 113ff.] in the number of the saints as wicked and opposed to the true faith, and justifies Theodore and Nestorius and their impious doctrines and writings; if anyone then defends the said letter, and does not anathematize it, and those who defend it, and say that it is true, or part of it is, and those who have written and are writing in its defense, or in defense of the wicked (ideas) included in it, and dare to justify it or the impiety included in it in the name of the holy Fathers, or of the holy synod (held) in Chalcedon, and have persisted in these (actions) until death, let such a one be anathema.

http://patristica.net/denzinger/#n200

Boldface emphasis mine.

Justin


Last edited by Hazel-rah on Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:29 am 
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Also note that the Confiteor (the "I confess to Almighty God" prayer that's one of the penitential rites) refers to Mary as "ever-virgin."

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:02 am 
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If I might add,


"Let those, therefore, who deny that the Son is by nature from the Father and proper to his essence deny also that he took true human flesh from the ever-virgin Mary"

Athanasius, Discourses Against the Arians 2:70

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:04 pm 
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Just nit-picking: it's not just a doctrine, it's a dogma.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:11 pm 
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I would bring it up with the director before you bring it to the pastor's attention. Just my $0.02.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:40 pm 
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Correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:44 pm 
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Here is a link to a very helpful catechesis by St. John Paul II regarding the constant teaching of the Catholic Church regarding the perpetual virginity of Mary.

https://www.ewtn.com/library/papaldoc/jp2bvm31.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:33 pm 
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Thanks again for sharing your wisdom. I have decided to talk to my director before next Sunday, to discuss my concerns. I agree that would be the best way to handle the situation, but if she doesn't bring this up at our next RCIA meeting, I'll go to our Pastor.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 11:15 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:39 pm 
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The candidate who heard that error needs to be told the truth, if he/she hasn't already.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:08 pm 
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I've been unable to find the right time to talk to my director, but hopefully, I'll be able to tomorrow. Keep this matter in your prayers.


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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:38 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 4:09 am 
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Hopefully this is not a Rahnerian situation where your director will accept the title of “ever-virgin” and “perpetual virgin” but then reinterpret those phrases to mean something like a spiritual virginity, or symbolic, or what have you. This would be the rarest outcome, but it exists.

Some also say that Scripture and the early Church, continuing to the present day, had to produce certain doctrines, through a process of evolution, but these doctrines were at odds with the historical account. They explain that this was necessary so that the collective Church can express and live their faith somehow. Or in other words, “doctrine” that came into existence, which did not concur with history, was used a vehicle in order to give examples to the community, to have objects of belief that will situation the hearts and minds towards God even if they’re historically inaccurate. Sort of like fairy tales that teach people how to be virtuous.

This is a bunch of rotting baloney, of course. And hopefully it won’t come to bizarre argumentation like this.

Or it could be as simple as denying Church doctrine because she said it "wasn't a doctrine."

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 Post subject: Re: Mary's Perpetual Virginity
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2015 9:49 pm 
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I pulled our director aside to discuss the fact that the perpetual virginity of Mary is indeed a dogma of the church and handed her some material to read. She thanked me and said she would read it later and then said that this subject was discussed in her theology class and the conclusion was that it isn't a doctrine of the church. I feel funny "educating" her on church doctrine, as she is much more educated and articulate than I, plus I'm a convert of only 5 years. I hope she does reconsider her belief on this subject and we can teach this as dogma.


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