Was Mary a sinner or not?


If we are to believe that Mary the Mother of God was completely sinless in her lifetime from conception to death, how does that reconcile with Romans 3:23 : “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God”. This scripture, if interpreted and understood correctly, is saying that all of humanity, including Mary, has sinned. So why does Catholic Doctrine teach that Mary was sinless? Is there a problem with Greek-to-English translation which obscures or consolidates the actual teaching into fewer words?


Hello padslvr.

The “all” here means all groups of people. Specifically Jews AND Gentiles are sinners. It is not saying ALL individuals commit sins.

I hope this helps.

God bless.


By the way. Welcome to CAF.


The word *all *can be understood in a absolute sense that admits no exception or in a practical sense that admits one or more exceptions. Since Sacred Scripture elsewhere identifies Jesus Christ as an exception, as someone who did not sin, the word *all *in this case ought be understood in a practical sense that admits exceptions and the Virgin Mary, the faithful “handmaid of the Lord,” was an exception.


I found this helpful


I have understood that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived in the womb of St. Ann without sin, God declared the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary sinless through HIs grace and the love of His Son, and kept her to himself all the days of her life. I believe that God could not allow His Son to be born of a woman who bore the stain of sin and kept her sinless. Mary was obedient in all ways.





If you could have created your mother - would you have created her perfect?

I know that I certainly would have. Being that Jesus is God don’t you think that He is capable of creating His mother, well perfect? All things are possible with God.

Also, just because Mary was created perfect does not mean that she did not need a Savior. Of course she did and she knew that when she spoke the words, "“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Those words are Mary accepting Jesus as her Lord and Savior.

She is the perfect disciple of Christ as one who is holy, always serves Christ,
never betrays or abandons Christ and always leads other to follow Christ.

That is why the Catholic Church views Mary, the mother of Jesus, as the perfect disciple of Christ.

ps. Thank you Tim for your post and comment on Romans 3:23. And yes very important when studying Scripture to use a Catholic Bible when looking up Catholic doctrine or your just not going to get an authentic understanding.


Romans 3:23 is a quote from Psalms 14 and 53.

They have all fallen away;
they are all alike depraved;
there is none that does good,
no, not one.

(Psalm 53:4)

This is an example of how a Bible with a good cross reference is so valuable. A good cross reference would point out that a significant portion of Romans 3 is actually a quote from these Psalms.

David wrote these Psalms at a time when Israel had fallen into great sin. He was not talking about every human throughout all history but Israel at that particular time. Paul was using this as an example to illustrate that sin comes through the law but justification and righteousness comes through faith, and to point out the behavior of the Jews of his day who were insisting that the Gentiles in Rome still had to follow the Jewish laws to be saved. That’s the whole point of the Book of Romans.

David was not writing about Mary, or even himself, but the people of his day.

***And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." *(Luke 1:45)

No one had more faith than Mary.



More to the point, Paul and David were not talking about Jesus Christ.

He was a human as well as God, but He didn’t sin.

“All have sinned” and “no, not one” are examples of the figure of speech called “hyperbole.” It’s talking big and dramatically, and not qualifying what you say - because the point would be weakened if you went back and added the qualifications.

(“Oh, yeah, except the Lord Jesus. And his mom Mary. And that baby there who just got baptized. And Callistomene over there, who got baptized but is mentally disabled, and has never had enough reasoning power to sin. And that kid Athenaios over at his home, who got baptized when he was too young to have sinned, and then fell into a coma before he could ever sin. And a bunch of people like that… Oops, that was so boring a qualification that some guy just fell asleep and fell out the window.”)

The point is that one might be Jewish and have lived a righteous life, or one might be Gentile and have lived righteously according to the stuff Gentiles were supposed to do under Noah’s covenant. But that doesn’t mean one can look down on other people who are “real sinners,” because pretty much any person other than Jesus and Mary who has achieved the age of reason has sinned, even if only in small ways.

If you have sinned in any way, that’s a big deal and you need Jesus to save you, and you need to transform your life by living in Jesus, and hence becoming more like Him and more sinless. (Even if it’s sometimes two steps forward, one step back; or even one step forward, two steps back. In Jesus, we keep working on it.)


=padslvr;12645393]If we are to believe that Mary the Mother of God was completely sinless in her lifetime from conception to death, how does that reconcile with Romans 3:23 : “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God”. This scripture, if interpreted and understood correctly, is saying that all of humanity, including Mary, has sinned. So why does Catholic Doctrine teach that Mary was sinless? Is there a problem with Greek-to-English translation which obscures or consolidates the actual teaching into fewer words?

“All” here is a writers option of words. Many times words used in the bible are NOT to be taken literally while some others ARE to be taken as such. Which is WHY we need to follow Church Inspired by God Teachings and know well our Catholic Faith. Here the message is a Moral teaching: “All men sin” {1 John 1:8-10, affirms this}… BUT that FACT does nor prohibit or inhibit God from making an exception to this reality. After all God is OUR Creator.

Here’s the essential truth:

Because God is Perfect He choose as is His RIGHT to also have His Mother be Perfect before, and after her pregnancy. Such is God’s right, and such was Mary’s will.:thumbsup:

God Bless you,


Do you believe that Jesus was human and thus a sinner; or that He was not human?


Sometimes I wonder how some folks have such a hard time realizing that God’s will is sinlessness for as many as possible and that it the reasons He sent his Son, to reconcile sinners to Himself. His will is Heaven for all and He made it possible thru the Redemption His Son won for us. Yeah, they agree with this, however when it is actually lived by a human being, namely His own Mother, then all of a sudden it is impossible. With God all things are possible, another statement they will agree with, accept when it comes to Mary His Mother. Why is total sinlessness lived by one person so impossible to them? It is silliness. They’ll say they are saved and going to Heaven no matter what, but try and say God did that actual thing for His own Mother, and you find it impossible. It cannot be both ways. Either God can do all He wills or He can’t and if He can’t do it for His own Mother, why do they think He will do it for them?



An example of where all in the bible does not always mean ALL.

Matthew 3:1-7.

*The Preaching of John the Baptist.

1 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea*
2 [and] saying, “Repent,* for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
3* It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

“A voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
Make straight his paths.’”

4* John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
5 At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him
6 and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.*
7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees* coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?**

Every biblical commentary I have ever read says John refused to baptize some of the Pharisees and Sadducees, so how could ALL of Judea be baptized by John. What about the Roman legions that were in Judea? Were they all being baptized also? Highly doubtful.

By the way if all does mean ALL in this passage, then it is a great argument for infant baptism. :cool:


Church teaching is absolutely clear on this.


Did Jesus sinl?.
Did the innocent children (all 2 years old and younger) slaughtered by Herod sin?
Hass a child who dies at birth sinned?

So, you see, there are some exceptions.


I hope people understand this good point made by several Saints.

God created Mary sinless because He did not want Satan to have the least dominionship over her. Nobody but God has ever been over and above Mary, as she was created to be the Immaculate Mother of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, of God Himself. God bless you.


Nicely done, Thanks,

But don’t forget Original Sin which all of the above except Christ inherited.



59 Roman Catholics are also bound to believe that “the most blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin” (Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, defined by Pope Pius IX, 1854).[11] The definition teaches that Mary, like all other human beings, has need of Christ as her Saviour and Redeemer (cf. * Lumen Gentium* 53; *Catechism of the Catholic Church *491). [12] The assertion of Paul at Romans 3:23 - “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” - might appear to allow for no exceptions, not even for Mary. However, it is important to note the rhetorical-apologetic context of the general argument of Romans 1 – 3, which is concerned to show the equal sinfulness of Jews and Gentiles (3:9). Romans 3:23 has a quite specific purpose in context which is unrelated to the issue of the “sinlessness” or otherwise of Mary.


There is another teaching that is a doctrine proximal to the faith:

*]In consequence of a Special Privilege of Grace from God, Mary was free from every personal sin during her whole life: immune from all sin mortal and venial.
A doctrine proximal to the faith (sententia fidei proxima) is regarded by theologians generally as a truth of Revelation but not finally promulgated as such by the Catholic Church.

The Virgin recognized God as her Saviour. Luke 1:46 And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
**47 **And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
**48 **Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
The Marian Chaplet of Ten Virtues has this:Let us pray.
Father, You prepared the virgin Mary to be the worthy mother of Your Son. You let her share beforehand in the salvation Christ would bring by His death, and kept her sinless from the first moment of her conception.


None of the early reformers taught that Mary was a sinner. This demonic lie came about much later, in the 17th or 18th century, and popularized among certain evangelical groups only recently. Clearly, it is a man made belief based on eisegesis of a few verses. You can point out that “all” does not necessarily mean “every single one” in all cases, as done repeatedly, so it boils down to blindness.


Thank you!

You have a couple of really great resources here!

Continued Blessings,


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