Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"And I ask Blessed Mary, ever virgin..."

The title of this post comes from the confiteor, a prayer of repentance offered during the penentential rite at mass.

The post itself is in response to some discussion in class regarding the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Mother. The objections were:

1. There is no proof

2. It's not in the Bible

3. It was probably conveniently made up by some pope who thought it should be that way.

First, as we have discussed, there are many things that we can find no empirical proof for, but this lack of tangible evidence does not call into question the Truth of the matter. We discussed this at length earlier in the year.

Secondly, there are a number of things that are "not in the Bible", but they are nonetheless true. We forget that the Bible itself was created by the bishops - the Fathers of the Church, and it was their authority that assembled the books and guides our interpretation of it. They did not create the Bible to serve as a replacement for their authority. In other words, if you accept the authority of the Church on which books are Divinely inspired, why not accept its authority on other Truths that are not explicitly mentioned therein?

Finally, a hunch, or suspicion, or a feeling is not a solid foundation for doubting a doctrine. In fact, establishing the Truth on the basis of a hunch is precisely what "some pope" is being accused of. So instead, let's look at some of the writings of the Church Fathers - wise and holy teachers of the first centuries of the Church, who, I might add, were unanimous in their belief in the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady. If you feel compelled to dig a little deeper, feel free to check out the excerpts of this book: Mary and the Fathers of the Church: The Blessed Virgin Mary in Patristic Thought by Luigi Gambero. Much of the book is available online at Google Books. It may not put to rest your doubt, but it will at the very least present to you the generations of evidence that refute your hunch.

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