Latest

27 Jul 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Catholic Church appreciated for Rescuing Slaves trapped in the Sea

Catholic pastoral workers play a crucial role in coming to the aid of “sea slaves" — fishermen who are held in inhumane conditions on the high seas for what can…

Read more

04 Oct 2016 News No comments

Normandy church where Fr Hamel was murdered by ISIS reopens

The Archbishop of Rouen led a procession through Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray before celebrating Mass at the church The Normandy church where Islamic extremists cu…

Read more

01 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (2)

Did the Church change the Mass so it would be more acceptable to Protestants?

Full Question Did the Church change the Mass so it would be more acceptable to Protestants? Answer The Church’s primary concern in the reform of th…

Read more

14 Mar 2015 Q&A Comments (9)

Doesn't 1 Corinthians tell us that Jesus' glorified body has no blood?

Full Question As a Bible-believing Christian I must tell you the Catholic Eucharist cannot be the blood of Christ because the glorified Jesus has no blood.…

Read more

25 Aug 2016 Uncategorized Comments (1)

What resource should we use to direct confirmation candidates who are cohabitating?

Full Question My wife and I are confirmation sponsors for a couple who are cohabitating. What is the best resource to steer them in the right direction? …

Read more

07 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Synod14: Second General Congregation: Summary of the General Debate

  Below is the Vatican's unofficial translation of the summary of the general debate of the Second General Congregation held yesterday afternoon in the …

Read more

31 Aug 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Teen dies from HICKEY - Why sexual education is important for Catholic youths

Julio Macias Gonzalez suffered the effects of a fatal blood clot caused by a hickey. According to the Mirror, paramedics responded immediately but the 17-yea…

Read more

16 Jun 2016 Articles Comments (6)

The Ripping of the Veil

On Ash Wednesday 2004, I was one of many Christians who stood in line for the opening of Mel Gibson's cinematic passion play, The Passion of the Christ. If I re…

Read more

29 Oct 2014 USA Comments (1)

Mandate revisions not enough - district court grants injunction to Ave Maria

Naples, Fla., Oct 29, 2014 / 02:07 am .- A federal court in Florida has granted Ave Maria University preliminary protection from the federal contraception manda…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

How should we understand intercourse within marriage if the Church says Mary remained “undefiled”; isn’t consummation necessary?

Full Question

I have always regarded faithfulness within marriage as a path to holiness equal in virtue to that of priests or sisters who remain celibate. However, with statements like “And to holy Mary, [the title] ‘Virgin’ is invariably added, for that holy woman remains undefiled” (Medicine Chest Against All Heresies 78:6 [A.D. 375]), the Church seems to teach that intercourse defiles the body . How can I reconcile the fact that a marriage is not considered valid unless it is consummated with the teaching that Mary never had intercourse with Joseph?

Answer

The Church does not teach that intercourse within marriage defiles the body. In Christian marriage such physical union is a holy thing. That quote expressing Mary’s perpetual virginity used a poor choice of words. Even though a marriage is consummated on the marriage bed, it is indeed valid the moment the vows have been spoken at the altar. The vows of religious life comprise an act of worship that direct the person to God in a more immediate way than do the vows of marriage. The process is considered higher because of its greater proximity to God. But the goals of both religious life and marriage are the same: union with God for all eternity. I encourage you to get the book Good News About Sex and Marriage by Christopher West (available through shop.catholic.com).










3 comments

  1. Pingback: How should we understand intercourse within marriage if the Church says Mary remained “undefiled"; isn’t consummation necessary? | PagadianDiocese.org

  2. Raymond Brown Reply

    if what you say is true, why is that a man or a woman must be able to consummate a marriage to be married by a Priest? Example paralyzed or a man who can not get an erection.

  3. Pingback: What does the Church teach concerning Mary’s virginity? | PagadianDiocese.org

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories