The BVM intact?

If I understand correctly was Council of Trent infallible? If so, I found this

Catholic Catechism of the Council of Trent:
*"But as the Conception itself transcends the order of nature, so the birth of our Lord presents to our contemplation nothing but what is divine.

Besides, what is admirable beyond the power of thoughts or words to express, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut; or not to depart from every-day examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His mother’s womb without injury to her maternal virginity. … To Eve it was said: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate she brought forth Jesus the Son of God without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain." (Issued by order of Pope Pius V)*…sCreed03.shtml

So is Mary being virginally intact actually infallible teaching or are only specific parts of Trent (such as the Bible canon) infallible?

I don’t see how the Virgin Mary would have lost her virginity by giving birth :confused: A torn hymen doesn’t prove that someone isn’t a virgin anyway. And in this case she obviously was.

I believe that what we’re seeing here is a reflection of an earlier belief that equated virginity with an untorn hymen; thus, the perpetual virginity of Mary (in which I believe) rested on the supposed fact that her hymen was not torn during childbirth. I don’t know whether it was torn or not; I do know that for me, it is not a necessary evidence of her virginity. True virginity has to do with lack of sexual experience, not with the status of a particular membrane. In our days there are females who have intact hymens, but are about as unvirginal as . . . well, you get the picture.

As for the infallibility of the Council of Trent, I will leave that for someone else to argue; that is above my pay grade.

This is what the current Catechism says:

499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. [154] In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” [155] And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”. [156]

[154] Cf. DS 291; 294; 427; 442; 503; 571; 1880.
[155] LG 57.
[156] Cf. LG 52.

The Church has always taught the perpetual virginity of Mary, which means she remained a virgin before, during, and after the birth of Jesus. That first footnote #154 cites the semi-official collection of conciliar documents. The last number (1880) is the excerpt from the Council of Trent. All the other numbers come from previous popes and councils. Trent wasn’t breaking new ground with this statement.

What this teaching means from a mechanical standpoint is not something I think we need overly concern ourselves with.

Mary’s physical integrity is dogma. She was physically intact after conception and after the birth of Christ. This has been the understanding of the Church since the very beginning.

This has been the understanding of the Church since the very beginning. Only recently have people began questioning this belief, labeling it “antiquated” or a vestige of less educated times. It has always been the understanding of the Church that she was physically intact.


Is the status of the hymen the focus of the dogma, or is the focus the true nature of virginity – i.e., not “having known man?”

That is my question as well, and reminder: an answer without citations is not an answer.

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