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If marriage is a sacrament, why couldn't Mary consumate her marriage to Joseph?

If marriage is a sacrament, why couldn’t Mary consumate her marriage to Joseph?.

I have been educating myself on how to defend the Faith and I have came to a point that is actually spawned an interesting discussion and I need help getting a clear a decisive understanding of the topic.

Back Story:
The conversation started about John 2:10 verse 12. The wording from the text implies from an English language perspective that Jesus has Brothers. As a friend pointed out it is possible because of a translation issues and possible in Aramaic there is not a word for Cousin. So that is the position I have taken but have not validated his answer myself.

The question of Mary and her purity came based on the above text.
That lead to myself making a statement:

Quote:

“That is part of the Mystery associated with the Blessed Mother. We have not think of things solely in the natural, but the super natural in order to understand the value and importance of the relationship of Joseph and Mary. Because of the law at the time Joseph was an important instrument in keeping Mary alive after the Miracle of Immaculate Conception. The text referenced does not mean that Christ had literal brothers. The main point is the very fact that the Lord commands us to honored they Mother and they Father defeats the implied relevance and status of Mary’s purity based on misunderstandings of this passage. We are called to be like Christ. Christ honored his Mother and that is why we have to honor Her now. Regardless of any other speculation HIS is the only point that matters on the topic of Mary. ”

Then the follow questions were asked:

Quote:

If Marriage is a Sacrament and the Load had commanded that a man an a women are to become one, how would Mary not be in a state of Grace if she obeyed God and consummated her Marriage with Joseph and possible had children? Is it out of the power of God to keep Mary in a state of Grace while participating fully in the Sacrament of Marriage? Would it also be contrary to faith and what is commanded if she did not consummate the Marriage and by that fact alone remove her from Grace?

Please help me answer these questions.

Thanks in Advance.

Re: Mary and the Sacrament of Marriage.


Hi,

The reason Mary did not have any other children was not to keep her in the state of grace. The main reason that we set her apart so, holding her in such high esteem is because of who Jesus is. The more we think of Him, the more sensitive we are about how special Mary had to be. The womb in which the Son of God was conceived was a tabernacle that was not to be tainted by the original sin in which any other child would be conceived. Jesus is God…..Jesus is God. It’s all about Him! People who want to discount Mary are actually discounting Him without realizing it.

Besides, her utlimate spouse was the Holy Spirit. Joseph simply took care of her and Jesus.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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Couldn't a couple of the same sex be called to holiness?

Couldn’t a couple of the same sex be called to holiness?

Why is it considered wrong to be in a homosexual relationship if the two men or two women live together, love each other and call each other to holiness? Whether or not they are sexually active is not the question… If people choose to be attracted to the same sex and they find someone that loves them and they actively try to bring each other closer to God why are they not recognized by the church? By not being recognized and accepted by the Church even if they are living chastely could that not foster hate? The people of the church have no way of knowing if this couple is sexually active and if the couple truly love each other what is wrong?


Last edited by Fr. Vincent Serpa; Jul 18, ’10 at 2:39 pm.

Re: Same Sex Relationships call to holiness?


Hi,

Everyone is called to holiness. But such a living relation could be an ongoing temptation to sin. However, if the two people are vigilant about avoiding temptation, then they would also need to be careful about not giving scandal by appearing to be living in a non celibate way. All things being equal, the Church would not prohibit having a roommate. But it must be said that it would be much easier, living in a celibate way with someone with whom one is not sexually attracted.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

What about Bill Maher?

Bill Maher at the PETA screening of I Am An An...
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What about Bill Maher?

My name is Greg, and this is my first time on this site. Are there any apologists out there who have seen the Bill Maher movie “Religioulous,” and if so, what do you think about it? For example, he asks why God wouldn’t have already destroyed the devil to protect His children. While I understand how ridiculous this question is, I’m having trouble eloquently phrasing an answer. Help, please?

 

Re: What about Bill Maher?


Hi,

For starters, he’s confining God to the limitations of the human situation. He judges God as if God were only a bigger version of him. Without faith, he can’t think outside of the human box. What for some appears to be sophistication, for those who believe it appears to be a rather sad, naiveté and clinging anger that is expressed in sarcastic humor and sometimes bitterness.

That God loves us in an infinite way is impossible for us to fully grasp even with faith. It is only when one considers God’s willingness to join us in our human situation and allow Himself to be tortured and put to death on our behalf that we get a handle on how much beyond our feeble minds His infinite love extends.

Certainly, not everyone is privy to this. To have faith, one must have a humble awareness of one’s inadequacy and need for it.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

Why should we believe in God if we can't observe him?

Why should we believe in God if we can’t observe him?

There is no empirical evidence supporting the existence of God. So why should we believe in him?

__________________
“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.”-St. Augustine

Re: Why should we believe in God if we can’t observe him?


Your question reminds me of a question posed to Pope Benedict XVI by a child in regards to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist:

Quote:
Andrea: In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. But how? I can’t see him!

Benedict XVI: No, we cannot see him, but there are many things that we do not see but they exist and are essential. For example: we do not see our reason, yet we have reason. We do not see our intelligence and we have it. In a word: we do not see our soul and yet it exists and we see its effects, because we can speak, think and make decisions, etc. Nor do we see an electric current, for example, yet we see that it exists; we see this microphone, that it is working, and we see lights. Therefore, we do not see the very deepest things, those that really sustain life and the world, but we can see and feel their effects. This is also true for electricity; we do not see the electric current but we see the light.

So it is with the Risen Lord: We do not see him with our eyes but we see that wherever Jesus is, people change, they improve. A greater capacity for peace, for reconciliation, etc., is created. Therefore, we do not see the Lord himself but we see the effects of the Lord: So we can understand that Jesus is present. And as I said, it is precisely the invisible things that are the most profound, the most important. So let us go to meet this invisible but powerful Lord who helps us to live well (source).

Just because we cannot see God through either a telescope or a microscope is no reason to assume that he does not exist.

__________________
“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” —St. Edith Stein Recent apologetics answers by Michelle Arnold

 

Is our decision to embrace the faith fallible?

Is our decision to embrace the faith fallible?

I was in a discussion with a Calvinist and I pointed out that he had no way of knowing what the canon of Scripture was, because he did not have an infallible Church to tell him; he countered by stating that my decision to believe in the infallibility of the Catholic Church was also fallible, so that we are basically in the same boat. How would I answer this?


 

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Jul 15, ’10 at 1:50 pm.

 

Re: Is our decision to embrace the faith fallible?


It is true that you are fallible. So am I. So is your friend. People can and do embrace the Catholic faith for the wrong reasons. But just because we are fallible does not mean that infallibility does not exist at all. It does not mean that Jesus Christ could not have chosen to found a Church that he would endow with his own authority and protect from moral and doctrinal error. It does not mean that Jesus could not have chosen to gift his Vicar with a special charism of infallibility.

I think your friend will agree that since Christ is God himself, all things are possible for Christ. The only question on which we as Catholics and he as a Calvinist will disagree is this: Did Christ actually grant infallibility to his Church and in a special way to his Vicar, the Pope? Rather than allow your friend to shift the discussion from debating the Church’s infallibility to debating your own, keep bringing him back to the topic of whether or not Christ gave his Church and the Pope the gift of infallibility.

And, as a side note, it is worth mentioning that this discussion with your friend got to the point that it did because, by your account, you first made it personal by telling him that “he had no way of knowing what the canon of Scripture was, because he did not have an infallible Church to tell him.” When debating with a non-Catholic, do not make the issues personal by saying things like “you can’t know” or “you don’t have.” Such argumentation is known as ad hominem and should be avoided.

__________________
“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” —St. Edith Stein Recent apologetics answers by Michelle Arnold

CA, always on point.

How do you honor an abusive father?

How do you honor an abusive father?

I will start out saying that I (like all of us) am trying to be the person that God intended.

I am having difficulties honoring my father. He was abusive to my brother and myself. My father is now “mentally disabled” and cannot function as an adult. He had a physical brain injury. I am no longer living in my parents’ home. My mother and he are still married. She takes care of him as he cannot do so on his own. I have requested that she not bring him to my house. If he is at another family gathering and walks into a room where I am, I will (the majority of the time) leave the room. I don’t “hate” him, I feel sorry for him (most of the time).

It is my understanding that I am to hold him in “love and esteem”? I find it very difficult to love a man that can treat his children the way my father did.

Re: How do you honor an abusive father?

Keep in mind that I am not a therapist. You may wish to talk to a Christian-friendly therapist about these issues. You can contact the Pastoral Solutions Institute for either telephone counseling or a referral to a therapist in your area.

All that I can tell you is that you don’t have to have good feelings about your father in order to give him honor as your father. You don’t even have to like him. What the feelings are known as is “affection,” and what you endured as a child may have made it impossible for you to have affection for your father. All that you must do to honor your father is to love him.

Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? But Christian love is not dependent upon affection. It is an act of the will that desires what is best for the beloved and is willing to sacrifice for the beloved. The ultimate object of that desire for the beloved is union with God. You must want for your father that he ultimately be saved. So, what can you do in the meantime to develop an attitude of Christian love for your father? Here are a few ideas that might help:

You might do what you can to support your mother in caring for your father. If you can’t tolerate physically caring for him yourself, you might hire a trained nursing assistant to give your mother respite breaks. So long as your father is not a danger to you or your family, you might visit with him and your mother at family gatherings and allow occasional visits in your home. You might go to your parents’ house on occasion and visit with them, or at least to bring them what material comforts you can that your mother might have expressed to you a need or desire for (e.g., food treats, books, comfort clothing, etc.).

The point is that if your father is no longer actively abusing you or your family, helping to care for him in his illness is one way to honor him. And, it will also allow you to honor your mother as well.

__________________
“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” –St. Edith Stein

Recent apologetics answers by Michelle Arnold

Seems to me that many people have this problem even sans the abusive parent. It obviously becomes harder to honor your parents when there is a lack personal affection for whatever reason.

Yet, as Ms. Arnold clearly points out, Christian love is not about the love you or I may have for another in the sense of personal affection or like for a person. Rather it is a love that originates with loving God first and in loving God you love other human persons because they too are made in the image and likeness of Him Who loves you and them. As a Christian, the love we have, especially for those we do not know, is rooted in the desire to sacrifice selflessly so that they may spend eternity in Heaven.

Thinking a little deeper on the original scenario, it would seem that there is an opportunity for the healing of both parties.

How do cardinals campaign for the papacy?

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A good response to an interesting question concerning the papacy:

How does one (for lack of a better word) “campaign” for the papacy? Surely the College of Cardinals is not familiar with every person eligible for the position, so how does the list of suitable persons get narrowed down?

Response from the Catholic Answers apologist:

It is generally agreed that a sure sign that a cardinal is not suitable for the papacy is if he actively campaigns for it. Anyone who wants that office is not someone who should be entrusted with it. The papacy is a burden no one is worthy of, that anyone suitable for it wants, and that both John Paul II (before his election) and Benedict XVI (immediately after his election) have likened to a death sentence.

That said, the “campaign process” usually involves private discussions among the cardinals once they arrive in Rome for a late pope’s funeral and extending to when the election begins. The discussions are informal in nature and can take place anywhere. It is said that one of the cardinals during Conclave I of 1978 engineered the election of John Paul I at the table of his favorite Italian eatery.

Once the cardinals are locked in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave, they move straight to voting. According to reports, they do not have any politicking during the conclave. Either the careful strategies of the previous days of the interregnum bear fruit, or they fall apart and the cardinals move in an entirely different direction and someone else is elected.

__________________

“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” –St. Edith Stein 

Recent apologetics answers by Michelle Arnold 

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How do cardinals campaign for the papacy?

Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ...

Image via Wikipedia

A good response to an interesting question concerning the papacy:
 

How does one (for lack of a better word) "campaign" for the papacy? Surely the College of Cardinals is not familiar with every person eligible for the position, so how does the list of suitable persons get narrowed down?

Response from the Catholic Answers apologist:

It is generally agreed that a sure sign that a cardinal is not suitable for the papacy is if he actively campaigns for it. Anyone who wants that office is not someone who should be entrusted with it. The papacy is a burden no one is worthy of, that anyone suitable for it wants, and that both John Paul II (before his election) and Benedict XVI (immediately after his election) have likened to a death sentence.

That said, the "campaign process" usually involves private discussions among the cardinals once they arrive in Rome for a late pope's funeral and extending to when the election begins. The discussions are informal in nature and can take place anywhere. It is said that one of the cardinals during Conclave I of 1978 engineered the election of John Paul I at the table of his favorite Italian eatery.

Once the cardinals are locked in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave, they move straight to voting. According to reports, they do not have any politicking during the conclave. Either the careful strategies of the previous days of the interregnum bear fruit, or they fall apart and the cardinals move in an entirely different direction and someone else is elected.

__________________

"If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him." –St. Edith Stein 

Recent apologetics answers by Michelle Arnold 

Zemanta helped me add links & pictures to this email. It can do it for you too.

How do cardinals campaign for the papacy?

Benedict XVI (2005-present, Episcopal form of ...

Image via Wikipedia

A good response to an interesting question concerning the papacy:
 

How does one (for lack of a better word) “campaign” for the papacy? Surely the College of Cardinals is not familiar with every person eligible for the position, so how does the list of suitable persons get narrowed down?

Response from the Catholic Answers apologist:

It is generally agreed that a sure sign that a cardinal is not suitable for the papacy is if he actively campaigns for it. Anyone who wants that office is not someone who should be entrusted with it. The papacy is a burden no one is worthy of, that anyone suitable for it wants, and that both John Paul II (before his election) and Benedict XVI (immediately after his election) have likened to a death sentence.

That said, the “campaign process” usually involves private discussions among the cardinals once they arrive in Rome for a late pope’s funeral and extending to when the election begins. The discussions are informal in nature and can take place anywhere. It is said that one of the cardinals during Conclave I of 1978 engineered the election of John Paul I at the table of his favorite Italian eatery.

Once the cardinals are locked in the Sistine Chapel for the conclave, they move straight to voting. According to reports, they do not have any politicking during the conclave. Either the careful strategies of the previous days of the interregnum bear fruit, or they fall apart and the cardinals move in an entirely different direction and someone else is elected.

__________________

“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” —St. Edith Stein 

Recent apologetics answers by Michelle Arnold 

Zemanta helped me add links & pictures to this email. It can do it for you too.

Response No. 3: Is abortion permissible to save the life of the mother?

One Response: Is abortion permissible to save the life of the mother? »

 

pianycist:

trust-in-jesus:

pianycist:

Actually, there are several situations where Catholicism says abortion is permitted, including situations where there is a 100% chance of the mother (and by proxy, fetus/baby) dying from some disease if the fetus/baby is not removed. ReligiousTolerance.Org’s “Possible Exceptions to the Roman Catholic Ban on Abortion” has more information. Church leaders in general would rather that one potential member die, if the alternative is one actual member and one potential member die. The mother can always choose to conceive again if she becomes healthy, and she can’t do that if she’s dead.

In short, Catholicism doesn’t teach that abortions are never permitted ever. Leaders within Catholicism currently disagree on the situations where an abortion is permitted, but the teaching is not that all abortion is objectively immoral. Why would an ethics committee in a Catholic hospital (the one in Arizona where a nun was recently excommunicated) have met to decide whether or not to allow a woman with pulmonary hypertension to have an abortion if abortions were objectively immoral in Catholicism? Because abortions are not objectively immoral in Catholicism, as is clearly written in this article about the Arizona excommunication.

P.S. Catholics for Choice is a wonderful organization.


Sorry, but this is patently false. Willful abortion – direct or indirect – is never permitted. “The fifth commandment forbids doing anything with the intention of indirectly bringing about a person’s death. The moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason..” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2269). Yes, there are situations where one must accept the death of a child as a possible outcome but it can never be the “intent” to kill the child in order to save the mother. Such cases are and have always been extremely rare.”

Again, the Church would rather that both mother and child survive but in the face of grave circumstances there is the expectation that the “life and integrity of the embryo and the human fetus…is directed toward its safe guarding or healing as an individual….It is gravely opposed to the moral law when this is done with the thought of possibly inducing an abortion, depending upon the results: a diagnosis must not be the equivalent of a death sentence.” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2274)

Willful abortion is never permitted. If the death of an unborn child should occur as an unintended result of a procedure then we can only trust that life (as our own lives) the Mercy of Our Blessed Lord.

Wrong. Willful abortion is an intrinsic evil:abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes” (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2271).], as is clearly written in this article about the Arizona excommunication[In the case of the Catholic nun who excommunicated herself by her actions (the bishop in the case was confirming this to be her state within the Church) we can go to Canon law which state clearly that “A person who procures a completed abortion incurs a latae sententiae excommunication” (Code of Canon Law 1398). The Catechism reiterates this:


Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense.The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae,”(76) “by the very commission of the offense,”(77) and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law.(78)The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy.
Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society. (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2272)

Catholics for Choice is a dissident group. You cannot be both Catholic and in favor of condoning the murder of the unborn.


Why is there a distinction between direct and indirect abortion if, as you say, Catholicism never permits abortion? Do you include ectopic pregnancy and uterine cancer—where the mother wants the child but she and the fetus will both die if she tries to bring the pregnancy to term—as situations where indirect abortion is also not permitted? That is what I was taught in Catholic school.


First, I wish to commend you on your thoughtful insight and sincerity. There are many who choose to discuss serious matters with insults rather than a cordial representation of facts and/or ideas. I will make sure to keep you and the others involved here in my prayers. Now on to my counterpoint:

The distinction is not direct versus indirect. The distinction concerns intent. If there is intent to kill the unborn then the abortion, whether direct or indirect, is gravely immoral and is never condoned. However, as I stated in my response above, there are extremely rare medical cases when must accept that the loss of the unborn child is highly probable such as those you presented. The key difference again is the willful intent to cause harm.

If you have time, please listen to the two doctors who explain this better than I:

  • Dr. John Wilke on Catholic Answers LIVE
  • Dr. George Delgado on Catholic Answers LIVE
  • Concerning Catholic education, I can assure you that many schools are such in name only. This is a serious problem for Catholic education at all levels and can be discussed later if you wish.