Posted by: frroberts | August 12, 2015

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity

There are two classical patristic sources for the dogma of the perpetual virginity of the Mother of the God. The first is the fifth ecumenical council, the Second Council of Constantinople, which met in 553. The council fathers refer to Mary as “ever-virgin” five times in this council. In none of these instances does the council offer a definition, it simply uses the phrase in a way that assumes the readers know its meaning. The second patristic source comes at the Lateran Synod of 649, which was not an ecumenical council. Here the explication of Mary’s virginity is much more specific. In this synod, Pope and bishops anathematized those who rejected Mary’s perpetual virginity by teaching that Mary remained a virgin after giving birth. In other words, the brothers and sisters of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels are not Mary’s children.

Canon 3. If anyone does not properly and truly confess in accord with the holy Fathers, that the holy Mother of God and ever Virgin and immaculate Mary in the earliest of the ages conceived of the Holy Spirit without seed, namely, God the Word Himself specifically and truly, who was born of God the Father before all ages, and that she incorruptibly bore, her virginity remaining indestructible even after His birth, let him be condemned.


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