Question on the perpetual virginity of Mary...

I’ve noticed many protestants disagree with the Catholic dogma that Mary, mother of Jesus, was not a perpetual virgin. And I was wondering if there is anything in the scriptures that explicitly precludes the possibility of Mary not bearing other children following the birth of Christ?

It is my belief that the protestant leaders who created this belief used a mistranslation to claim “proof” that the Catholic Church was wrong.

I think Main Stream Protestants believe the Virgin Mary was a Perpetual Virgin. It is mostly the Evangelical, non-denominational, Southern Baptist types that claim the Virgin Mary had other children because the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of the Lord. It also says she was a Virgin “until” the Birth of Jesus. So they misinterpret the Scriptures to arrive at their conclusion. There are no EXPLICIT scriptural texts supporting the perpetual virginity of the BVM.

And He said to me,
"This gate shall remain shut;
it shall not be opened,
and no man shall enter by it;
for the Lord, the God of Israel,
has entered by it;
therefore it shall remain shut.
(Ezek 44:1-3).

Amen!

So when those Protestants who ignore our Blessed Mother stand before Jesus Christ…will they proudly proclaim…“Lord…I did not find your Mother worthy of the love and devotion afforded her by those idol worshiping Catholics and the like”…do you think our Lord will be pleased:rolleyes:

Hi’ Joe,

As said above, you cannot prove or disprove Mary’s perpetual virginity from explicit scripture passages. It is a truth handed down to us from Tradition, of which scripture is a part.

The Church interprets .brothers and sisters. either as close relatives, notably cousins (a use occurring elsewhere in scripture) or as children of Joseph from another marriage.

Verbum

Amen!

I don’t think it requires an ignorance or misinterpretation of scripture to reject our understanding of perpetual virginity. I think most people approaching the topic for the first time would assume that following childbirth, Mary would no longer have an intact hymen. Yet IIRC this is part of papal teaching on her perpetual virginity, which few Protestants would accept.

We don’t have to speculate about such things. The Lord knows perfectly what is in hearts.

Hi Digitonomy,

don’t think it requires an ignorance or misinterpretation of scripture to reject our understanding of perpetual virginity. I think most people approaching the topic for the first time would assume that following childbirth, Mary would no longer have an intact hymen. Yet IIRC this is part of papal teaching on her perpetual virginity, which few Protestants would accept.

I tend to agree with you. We should not assume ill will.

As to the physical integrity, the Fathers and Council members who spoke of Mary’s perpetual Virginity lived in an era when Virginity certainly meant physical integrity . This relates also to the pains of childbirth. Some years ago, John Paul lI said that Mary’s blrth pains took place at the foot of the Cross.

Verbum

If I may continue that quote…

**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 the same way
**

“eat bread before the lord” does not quite make sense here, because he was not seated at the right hand of the father during his tenure here on Earth.

I feel that it is rather a prophecy regarding Jesus’ ascension into heaven, and his coming return at the end of days. Only Christ will “enter this gate”, the gate of the Kingdom of Heaven, preserved for him, upon his death. He will sit at the right hand of the father . And then, he will leave that gate of heaven when he returns and lays his judgment upon us.

In other words, the means by which Christ descended and ascended into heaven, a virgin birth, and a “rising on the third day”, will not be open to any other human being.

With regard to the Immaculate Conception…that refers to Mary being sinless from the first moment of her conception in the womb of St. Anne.

In your last sentence you are referring to our Lord Jesus Christ being born of a Virgin…correct?

I thought virginity meant perpetual chastity. How did the hymen get into the discussion? Many women have very wide hymen openings that are not ruptured by copulation or childbirth. My first wife was a virgin but her hymen was almost non-existent.

The Church has generally understood perpetual virginity to mean more than just chastity - it implies not just a miraculous conception, but also a miraculous birth. Here are a couple of articles that discuss this issue:

The virgin birth of Christ - What the Church really teaches

Mary’s Virginity During the Birth of Jesus: The Catholic Church’s Perennial Tradition

Its ironic considering that the founders of Protestantism believed in the perpetual virginity of Mary and documented their belief.

It is interesting that one source claims that Mary’s womb remained sealed after Jesus’ birth. This implies that she had no monthly periods. She also did not give birth vaginally. Since any hymen would have been destroyed during birth, thus terminating her status as a totally intact “pure” woman, the birth must have been facilitated by baby Jesus miraculously appearing outside Mary’s body without any of the usual processes of childbirth such as breaking of the waters, expulsion of the placenta, and cutting of the umbilical cord. Do you suppose that Mary had no need of a placenta, and that Jesus was not attached to Mary through an umbilical cord, thus having His metabolism and excretion taken care of miraculously by God?

It seems that we could get hung up forever thinking on these mystical events. There are times when we just need to take a deep breath, believe in faith, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us deeper into the mystery, in awe of it, and not allow ourselves confusion and doubt by analyzing everything by our own standards.

**CCC #500 **Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus. (Cf. Mk 3:31–35; 6:3; 1 Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19) 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.” (Mt 13:55; 28:1; cf. Mt 27:56) They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.(Cf. Gen 13:8; 14:16; 29:15; etc.)
- Catholic Church. (2000). Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed., p. 126).

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