is the perpetual virginity of Mary an infallible teaching of the Catholic Curch
In early Christian tradition St. Athanasius, Didymus the Blind, St. Epiphanius of Salamis, St. Jerome, St. Augustine, Leoporius, St. Cyril of Alexandria all famously referred to Mary as ever virgin or perpetual virgin without controversy.
The Council of the Lateran (649) declared that Mary conceived “without any detriment to her virginity, which remained inviolate even after his birth.”
The Second Council of Constantinople II (553-554) referred to Mary as “ever virgin” in Anathemas 2 and 6.
And Pope Pius XII’s infallible definition of the Assumption of Mary refers to Mary as “ever virgin.”
While none of these examples is an explicit dogmatic declaration of Mary as ever virgin, the long tradition that extends back to the earliest Church fathers up to this very day and the complete non-controversy of the title throughout the centuries gives the teaching dogmatic status:
The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One, cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples’ supernatural discernment in matters of faith when “from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful” they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God. Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints, penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life.
Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held.
- Lumen Gentium, 12, 25