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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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The Catholic View of Mary’s Virginity

While Mary knew a preservative redemption and we are granted a normal chronological redemption (in the normal course of events), the agent is the same, Jesus Christ and his Cross. While the majority of Catholics are aware that the Immaculate Conception is in reference to Mary in the womb and not Christ, there are a few which confuse the title and doctrine. Similarly, many have a hard time distinguishing the Assumption of Mary from the Ascension of Christ.

Ignorance is even more widespread regarding the perpetual virginity of Mary. Some Catholics subscribe to the false Protestant assumption that the brethren in the Gospels were children of Joseph and Mary. The Lateran Synod of 649 AD defined the unique virginity of Mary. The definition is somewhat challenging to us today for many reasons. We tend to associate virginity with an absence of sexual activity. While this is certainly an essential component of the definition, it also places great store in Mary being physically intact. At the risk of being blunt, many women rupture or lose the virginal membrane due to physical exercise or medical intervention. However, we would still regard such “good girls” as virgins. The definition apparently insists that Mary was physically and morally a virgin.

Mary’s virginity is measured three ways: before the birth of Christ, during the birthing, and post-birth.