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PROGRESSIVIST DOCUMENT OF THE WEEK
Müller Denies the Perpetual Virginity of Our Lady
In his book Catholic Dogmatics. For a Study and Practice of Theology (Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie)
Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller questions the dogma of the virginity of Mary. The Church teaches the perpetual virginity of Our Lady, before, during and after giving birth. Her perpetual virginity is a binding doctrine of the Faith.
However, the present day Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, questions this teaching.
At right the cover of Muller’s book and the texts in German; below, the translation of the highlighted text .
Beyond a Gnostic-dualistic misinterpretation of the virginitas in partu as a denial of the reality of Jesus’ humanity, the Church’s doctrine must be explained in the sense of the reality of the Incarnation. It is not about specific physiological peculiarities in the natural process of birth of Jesus (such as the birth canal not being opened, the hymen not being broken, and the absence of birth contractions), but rather about the healing and saving influence of the Redeemer’s grace on human nature. …
Because of her “yes” to God becoming man of her, Mary’s relationship to Jesus, even in the act of giving birth, should already be seen from the perspective of the eschatological salvation that came about in Christ. The content of the faith statement, therefore, does not refer to physiologically, and empirically verifiable somatic details. Rather, it recognizes already in the birth of Christ the initial signs of the eschatological salvation of the Messianic end time which dawned with Jesus (cf. Is 66:7-10; Ezek 44:1-2).
In any theological interpretation of Mary’s freedom from “pain” in the salvific event of the Savior’s birth, one should also take into account the biblically-based doctrine that Mary followed the way of the cross (Lk 2:35; Jn 19:25). With Mary as model, Christian spirituality recognizes in every birth, accepted by a woman in faith, an experience of the salvation that has come in the end time.
(Gerhard Ludwig Müller, “Die Jungfräulichkeit Marias in der Geburt”, in Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie (Freiburg: Herder, 2003), p 498
Posted on March 2, 2013