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 Post subject: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:44 am 
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Since I, a recent revert, heard a visiting Priest I have been bothered. I accept everything about the Annuciation and Mary's virginity. That is not the issue. This priest, however, said that when the angel came to Mary she told him had pledged her virginity to the Lord (before what was asked of her) and the angel told her that her gift had been accepted.
On his youtube video Father stated that Mary and Joseph were pledged to a virginal (and he uses 'virginal' rather than 'celibate') marriage before the Annunciation. First, if that were true what was the point of their being married. The priest at the parish where this Father spoke said this Father uses personal revelation, etc. As a recent revert from Evangelical churches, I heard a number of ministers speak from "personal revelation" and emotion, and I thought coming back to Catholicism would get away from that. I do not believe what this priest taught, and find it upsetting that he would add to scripture. It has affected me.
I wrote to him, but he did not answer. Is this Catholic Doctrine?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 1:48 pm 
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Welcome!

That Mary had taken a vow is a pious tradition. It comes from the Protoevangelium of James, not Scripture but a writing by one of the Early Church Fathers. You may read this document here http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0847.htm

Here is a good article by Jimmy Akin.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/KEY2MARY.HTM

Mary's perpetual virginity is not only Doctrine, it is Dogma. The taking of vows is not doctrine, it is tradition.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:09 pm 
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I agree with kage_ar.

I would add one point, and that is that the scriptural text of the Annunciation in Luke's Gospel is also suggestive of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

St. Luke wrote:
And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?

Two things stand out about Mary's response. First, I don't know from Greek, but if I recall correctly what I have read from those who do, the translation given above captures the sense of "not knowing man" being an ongoing thing, as the translation above suggests (that's the Douay-Rheims, a very old Catholic translation, but it's also rendered that way in old Protestant translations like the King James).

The second point is easier to approach because it doesn't depend on nit-picking over verb tenses and all that. It's that, if Mary doesn't intend to remain a virgin, it's hard to make sense of her response. She's engaged. What's the issue? What does she mean if not that she's not planning on knowing her husband in that way?

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:31 pm 
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Adding another note, "Private Revelation" has a specific meaning in the Church.

From the Catechism (this is a handy website, you can search the CCC by word!)

http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/67.htm

67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:09 pm 
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Thank you for your responses. My question, before I look into the references you posted, is whether Mary took a vow of perpetual celibacy before the Annunciation. I have no issue with her perpehaake ttual virginity after the Annunciation. Did Joseph also that vow before the Annunciation?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Gerri wrote:
Thank you for your responses. My question, before I look into the references you posted, is whether Mary took a vow of perpetual celibacy before the Annunciation. I have no issue with her perpehaake ttual virginity after the Annunciation. Did Joseph also that vow before the Annunciation?



There is no 'official' position on when Mary took a vow of virginity, but from the Early Church it has been commonly believed that Mary's parents, Anna and Joachim, were barren, and that when Mary was born she was especially consecrated to God. So basically, she was special from birth.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Gerri wrote:
Thank you for your responses. My question, before I look into the references you posted, is whether Mary took a vow of perpetual celibacy before the Annunciation. ....


You might read Max Kolbe's response again - because "not knowing man" is what he is addressing - from the Luke 1 passage.

Max Kolbe wrote:
Quote:
... And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?

Two things stand out about Mary's response. First, I don't know from Greek, but if I recall correctly what I have read from those who do, the translation given above captures the sense of "not knowing man" being an ongoing thing, as the translation above suggests ....

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:19 am 
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Gerri wrote:
Thank you for your responses. My question, before I look into the references you posted, is whether Mary took a vow of perpetual celibacy before the Annunciation. I have no issue with her perpehaake ttual virginity after the Annunciation. Did Joseph also that vow before the Annunciation?


The simple answer is we do not know. We can surmise, but, it cannot be stated with 100% certainty.


When looking at the marriage of Mary and Joseph, we have to remove our modern lenses. This was an arranged marriage, it was not the "romance" that some Protestants have mythologized (the book "Two From Galilee" comes to mind, such a tacky book).

One way the tradition goes is that Mary had made such a vow. The social fabric of that time did not have a place for a righteous, single woman. Women lived with their parents, then their husband/inlaws or a brother and later with a son and his family. With no siblings, when Mary's parents died, she would have been very vulnerable.

Tradition says Joseph was older than Mary, that he was a widower with children. He was aware of her vow, her father would have made him aware - and when I think about it, as St Joachim knew of her vow when seeking a husband for Mary I'd imagine that would have been one of the criteria.

Joseph was a righteous man, he became betrothed to Mary - she would be a mother to his already born children and that there would not be a sexual aspect to their marriage (where we get the term "Josephite Marriage").

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:15 am 
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kage_ar wrote:
Tradition says Joseph was older than Mary, that he was a widower with children.

That's "a" tradition, not "the" tradition. :fyi:

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:05 pm 
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There were other people who were celibate: Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah. Also, if Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, that would have meant she was off limits to anyone else.

http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/TALMUD.HTM
http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/co ... ary/03.asp

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:34 pm 
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Bagheera wrote:
kage_ar wrote:
Tradition says Joseph was older than Mary, that he was a widower with children.

That's "a" tradition, not "the" tradition. :fyi:


Me and my articles...

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:07 pm 
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You may be confused because you are misusing the words "celibate" and "celibacy". To be celibate is to be unmarried. To take a vow of celibacy means to take a vow not to marry. As a result, a "celibatge marriage" is a contradiction in terms, and an impossibility, rather like "dry moisture", or "noisy silence."

Many people misuse the words, and think "celibate" is synonymous with "continent" (go look it up; I don't mean Asia or Africa...), "chaste", or "virginal", but in the careful and exact usage when discussing Catholic beliefs and practices, they aren't,

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:27 pm 
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you are correct in that I may have confused the words, celibate and celibacy, however, the point I was making was that the scriptural explanation of the Annunciation is so very beautiful and part of the Cornerstone of our faith as Christians. I love that our Blessed Mother, Mary was willing to totally accept whatever our Lord had for her. No one could wish for more in their faith. I meditate on that often and pray that for my family.
The other parts added through tradition, revelation, or some other writings just seem totally unnecessessary and distracting. It was also upsetting to me, rightly or wrongly, because in speaking of the Annunciation it seemed things were added to scripture, and was a distraction to me. Why add to something so beautiful in itself?
Coming from other denominations after I left the Catholic church years ago, I have heard many people add their opinion to scripture. I, personally, prefer, the readings as we hear them at Mass without embelishment from other sources.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 8:09 pm 
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Wow, Custos is back

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:04 pm 
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Custos???


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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:55 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 11:46 am 
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Max Kolbe wrote:
The second point is easier to approach because it doesn't depend on nit-picking over verb tenses and all that. It's that, if Mary doesn't intend to remain a virgin, it's hard to make sense of her response. She's engaged. What's the issue? What does she mean if not that she's not planning on knowing her husband in that way?
Yes, that’s my understanding also.

At the annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) Gabriel says to Mary: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with [or Grace from] God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” (vv. 30-31) The follows description of his mission (vv. 32-33), whereupon Mary answers with surprise: “How can this be, since I know no husband?” (v. 34)

The Angel did not say “You are pregnant.” He used the future form. The Greek verb, translated ‘conceive,’ is συλλήμψῃ (syllēmpsē), 2. person, singular, future, medium, indicative of συλλαμβάνω (syllambánō), ‘to conceive.’ The text thus do tell us that Gabriel approach a woman betrothed to a man, telling her that she would, some time in the future, conceive a son.

But why would this come as a surprise? Didn’t Mary know how these things worked? It seems to me that the only way this text makes sense is to asume that Mary knew that she would remain a virgin. That is the only reason I can think of (outside barrenness) that a betrothed woman would be surprised that she would one day, in the future, become pregnant. This is also congruent with our oldest sources, telling us that Joseph was older than Mary, that says that ‘the siblings of Jesus’ (who are never called the children of Mary) were probably the children of Joseph or the cousins of Christ.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:01 pm 
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Custos wrote:
You may be confused because you are misusing the words "celibate" and "celibacy". To be celibate is to be unmarried. To take a vow of celibacy means to take a vow not to marry. As a result, a "celibatge marriage" is a contradiction in terms, and an impossibility, rather like "dry moisture", or "noisy silence."

Many people misuse the words, and think "celibate" is synonymous with "continent" (go look it up; I don't mean Asia or Africa...), "chaste", or "virginal", but in the careful and exact usage when discussing Catholic beliefs and practices, they aren't,


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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:14 pm 
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Gerri wrote:
Thank you for your responses. My question, before I look into the references you posted, is whether Mary took a vow of perpetual celibacy before the Annunciation. I have no issue with her perpehaake ttual virginity after the Annunciation. Did Joseph also that vow before the Annunciation?


It is based on her response to Archangel Gabriel. Folks back then knew how babies were made since they had livestock and they were not insulated from the facts of life, so she wasn't asking how a woman gets pregnant but was obviously indicating that she had committed to having 'no relations with man'.

The Nazirite vow was not uncommon (examples can be found in the Hebrew Bible in Judges and Samuel)

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 Post subject: Re: Is this Doctrine?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 1:35 pm 
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IgnatiusOfAntioch wrote:
Gerri wrote:
Thank you for your responses. My question, before I look into the references you posted, is whether Mary took a vow of perpetual celibacy before the Annunciation. I have no issue with her perpehaake ttual virginity after the Annunciation. Did Joseph also that vow before the Annunciation?


It is based on her response to Archangel Gabriel. Folks back then knew how babies were made since they had livestock and they were not insulated from the facts of life, so she wasn't asking how a woman gets pregnant but was obviously indicating that she had committed to having 'no relations with man'.

The Nazirite vow was not uncommon (examples can be found in the Hebrew Bible in Judges and Samuel)


Right. Devout tradition holds she was a temple virgin, given in "marriage" to Joseph for protection but who was expected to remain a virgin, I believe but this is not a certain truth, though it would make sense. Given this, the responsibility of Mary being pregnant becomes an even bigger social scandal than just a personal situation. Oh, Mary!

I recently went to an excellent talk on the language of the annunciation: The Silence of Mary. The angel left her is abrupt language. He was respectfully giving her time to digest what she was being told.

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