I could use your help. We have talked again today and he came saying that as a Catholic I was committing “theological suicide” by interpreting the passage like I did because if the women in this passage was marry then I would have to abandon the idea of the immaculate conception since the women in this passage is in pain while giving birth to Jesus and pain while giving birth is the result of original sin. (this is what he said) He then later went on to say that the women represented here in in fact the people of God and isreal, I knew what to say there but didnt know what to say about the ‘pain’ part of his argument.
Well, I’m not an expert, but I can at least help to solve this current dilemma you have with a simple Catholic principle: POLYVALENCE: that is, any particular Scripture verse, passage, etc. can have *multiple layers of meaning. *Hence, the woman of Rev. 12 need not be ONLY Our Lady, and nothing else, or ONLY the Church, or ONLY Israel, and nothing else. It can be all of these at the same time in certain places. Also, if there are multiple layers of meaning, certain details may be applicable to only certain layers and not others.
Hence, the “pain” of the woman in bringing forth Christ might only apply to Israel, who had to walk the way of the pilgrim (see the painful stages of the lives of the saints on my blog here, which is perhaps based on Israel’s own painful experience) to come to the fulfillment of Christ’s first Coming, and not, in this case, implying that Mary, as another level, brought forth child in ‘pain’.
Hence, ask your attackers if they accept polyvalence, or something analogous to that. If they don’t, you might get into a hard spot, but, of course, persons like this are their own pope. Honestly, the Catholic Church, from I have learned, does not at all tell us that Revelation has only one meaning. For crying out loud, I believe the Catechism even discusses the various types of genre or meaning in any given Biblical text: the literal sense, and the allegorical senses: which include (my memory is foggy) the moral sense, the anagogical sense,…
Here’s another example: the Two Witnesses can have several layers of meaning, as I suggested to a friend. Here’s a quote:
I think that many of your problems could be cleared up by realizing, first, that Revelation is MULTILAYERED, and MULTIDIMENSIONAL, that is, it is not necessarily to be understood completely from a chronological standpoint. For example, the respective sections of the seals, trumpets, and bowls could have layers of meaning that apply in several different occasions in Church history. For example, the Two Witnesses might have a fulfillment in
The beginning with Sts. Peter and Paul, murdered by Nero, who was, on one level, the “beast,”
At the end of Church history with Enoch and Elijah who will be murdered literally under THE Antichrist, and
Figuratively in the intermediate Church history through the Reunion of Christians to occur following the current Minor Apostasy (a type of the “beast”).
Similarly, the sections with the beast apply at least three times in Church history (pagan Rome, the Minor Apostasy, and the Great Apostasy), as well as the OT epochs of sin (remember the beast has seven [eight] “kings”, five of which had fallen before Christ (see Rev. 17:9-11))
Also, I have a certain way to interpret Rev. 12 and associated parts of the Apocalypse where the woman is primarily the RCC and which vindicate Catholicism historically. I can send it to you if you wish.
Anyway, hope this at least helps.
ps, and yes, GO SEAHAWKS! i live in Portland, so i’m somewhat your neighbor, although my native home is Michigan, hence, I pray for the day when the Lions make it to the SB!