Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Perpetual Virginity of Mary

A few weeks back, I got a dyspeptic note from a Protestant Minister in training who took umbrage to my views on the illegitimacy of the various Protestant religions. In his note, he took especial umbrage to the Catholic dogma of the Perpetual Virginity acting as if there was no justification for this teaching.

I was planning to do an entire expose on this fallacious notion, but my good friend Matt1618 beat me to it.

He has a fine Catholic Apologetics Website:

His treatment of the PVM is excellent and I recommend it highly:

This is a condensed version of the same article:

The following is an article by a Hebrew Catholic, Br. Anthony Opisso, M.D., who has since gone before us marked with the sign of faith:

This is a treatise on the PVM written by St. Jerome, the greatest Scripture Scholar of the Patristic period:

The following is a variety of quotations from the Church Fathers on the PVM:

Here is s list of documents including Papal teaching on the PVM:

The following is a link to the website of of my friend and Catholic Apologist Dave Armstrong:

Here are some of his articles on the PVM:

The following is a term paper written by an Anglican arguing in favor of the PVM:

Here are some articles by my good friend Mark Bonocore defending the PVM:

Here is an article by Protestant Scholar Paul Owen on the PVM:

And here is an article by my good friend and Catholic Apologist John Pacheco:

So despite the pretensions of my Protestant 'minister-in-training' there is indeed lots of evidence in support of the PVM and absolutely nothing before the 18th Century even questioning it except for 3 people (Jovinian, Helvidius, and Bonosus) who were condemned as heretics. So in this matter -- as in so many others -- Protestantism is seen to be a modernist fraud that supports clearly heretical notions in the service of man-made religion.



A Simple Sinner said...

Dr. S, I have always liked you, and if I needed any reminding as to why, this post would have done.

Give 'em Heaven, Art!

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Thank you for the kind words. There is a depth and beauty to the Catholic faith that man-made counterfeits cannot even approach. But the purveyors of these false religions still keep trying to make up their own religions to compete with the Catholic Church that God founded. In the end, the Protestant heresies are attempts by men to justify themselves, by themselves, for themselves. The 'faith alone' error makes each Protestant into his/her own personal self-contained religion.

The Catholic and Biblical notion of a Church as a mystical body with functional members who contribute to each other's salvation disappears and is replaced by a disparate association of persons who no one but themselves.

In such a system, Mary preserving her virginity for God is seen as a useless extravagance that serves no purpose. She could bear the savior without sacrificing her bourgeoisie dream of husband and children. It is like the whole Incarnation was just a speed bump to get over so that merely human life could continue. I cannot imagine the role of the Mother of God as a mere adjunct to "REAL LIFE."

Protestantism trivializes the definitive encounter of Mary with God in the the conception, birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of her Son and in Pentecost where she sits among the Apostles receiving the Holy Spirit just as they do.

Any true Christian would give their eye-teeth to have the relationship with Jesus that Mary and Joseph had with Him. Being his mother and father exclusively would be the vocation of a lifetime.


TheDen said...

Dr. Sippo,

Thank you for all of the links. I really appreciate the candor and straightforwardness of your thoughts regarding Protestantism.

As a fellow Catholic, I find myself in agreement with your thoughts albeit not to the same level of animosity that you appear to have.

Granted, I have never gone toe to toe with James White so maybe I would have the same attitude that you do if I were ever to cross in his path.

Anyhow, I appreciate this post as my own logic and thoughts have concluded that Mary HAD to be a PVM and sinless.

You touch on it as her life after the birth of Jesus Christ would have been TOTALLY AND 100% devoted to Him.

To have another child (or multiple children) would mean that her focus would have to be spent equally on two (or more) who is God and one who was a mere creature.

Imagine the conversation, "Sorry Jesus...I know I was created for You but You'll just have to wait while I tend to Your brother...forget what I said about 'be it done unto me according to Your word.'"

Yeah, I'm sure that would go over well.

I think Protestants need to think this through a little more. Mary could not have had another child as that would have been sinful.

Please keep posting. I appreciate your insights.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Thank you for the feedback! I am glad to have been of some help.

I really don't have a lot of "animosity" towards our separated brethren. I think though that we Catholics have become wishy-washy and have not appreciated the true failings in the Protestant systems.

I have gone toe-to-toe with anti-Catholic bigots who have no regard for us Catholics whatsoever. The White's, Swan's, and Svendsen's of the world would do ANYTHING to to harm and demoralize you. They lack not only scholarship and honor, but charity as well. Someone has to stand up and tell them so to their faces. If it falls upon me to do this then so be it.

There is no greater gift from God than the fullness of the Catholic faith. Guard it jealously. Cling to it through thick and thin. Do sell out your birth-right for a mess of pottage. Eternity hangs in the balance. The false hopes of heretics can never give you what the simple faith of our fathers and mothers can.

Take care and God bless.


rr1213 said...

Theden said:
"I think Protestants need to think this through a little more. Mary could not have had another child as that would have been sinful."

Except that a married couple having children is not sinful.

Arthur C. Sippo MD, MPH said...

Ah, but the question is whether or not Mary was permitted to have sexual relations with Joseph. She had been overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and the Son of God had been conceived in her womb.

When a woman has been taken by God as his hand-maiden and espoused to Him thus bearing His child, she is bound to him forever. Despite the legal status of their marriage, Mary and Joseph were not free to have other children. Conjugal rights did not come automatically with the marital state. For a variety of reasons, a married woman under Jewish law may be forbidden from having sexual relations with her husband.

The womb of the BVM was the true Holy of Holies where God dwelled. As it said in Scripture about the Temple:

Eze 44:1 Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, which faces east; and it was shut.
Eze 44:2 And he said to me, "This gate shall remain shut; it shall not be opened, and no one shall enter by it; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it; therefore it shall remain shut.
Eze 44:3 Only the prince may sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."

At that time this was no big burden. Joseph could have taken a second wife if he had wanted since polygamy was tolerated. When Mary had accepted her role as the Mother of the Son of God, she did so freely and with full knowledge of its implications.

Sadly, Protestantism lacks a sense of the sacred and it adherents are far too enamored of the carnal sex act to appreciate the spiritual values of virginity and celibacy and the commitments that men and women may make "for the sake of the Kingdom."


A Simple Sinner said...

"Except that a married couple having children is not sinful."

Always with the reduction of the Holy Family to just another married couple...

A human being who held inside her own body the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, and the man from the House of David honored above all men to care for her.

If they were just Dick and Jane from down the street, it would be a tad different.

To really contemplate Who Christ was is to be more enamored of the human He chose for His birth than any human person who ever existed.