Blaspheming Our Lady’s Virginity In Partu
An essential part of our Catholic Faith is the doctrine that Our Blessed Lady brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a virgin. To deny this is to blaspheme her Sacred Virginity. It is also to undermine our holy Faith and, by so doing, to endanger the salvation of souls.
Sometimes, the undermining of this doctrine is quite subtle, giving the impression that the doctrine is left unchanged. Take, for example, these two excerpts from the sixth edition of Katholische Dogmatik,(1) written by Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller, now Head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, when he was Bishop of Regensburg:
§ The occurrence of the spirit-wrought conception of Jesus by the Virgin Mary evades an empirical and scientific-biological verification, which, however, does not mean that it is not real […] Reality is more than that extract from it which can empirically be grasped.
§ It [Our Lady’s Virginity in giving birth] is not a question of exceptional physiological characteristics in the natural process of the birth (such as perhaps, the non-opening of the neck of the womb, the absence of any breach of the hymen and the absence of any childbirth pains), but of the salvific and redeeming influx of the grace of the Redeemer into human nature, which had been “wounded” by Original Sin. The birth is not limited for the mother exclusively to a biological process. It constitutes a personal relationship to the Child.
Quite apart from the gratuitous use of inverted commas around the word “wounded” in the second extract, two words — “virginity” and “birth” — have been gratuitously and arbitrarily redefined. Just as birth is a biological process, not a relationship, so virginity does have precise physiological concomitants — as any gynaecologist will tell you.
The second extract flatly contradicts the authoritative teaching of the Catechism of the Council of Trent on Our Lady’s virginitas in partu (virginity in giving birth), which is:
But as the Conception itself transcends the order of nature, so also the birth of our Lord presents to our contemplation nothing but what is divine.
Besides, what is admissible beyond the power of thoughts or words to express, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut (John XX.19); or, not to depart from every-day examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His Mother’s womb without injury to her maternal virginity. This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Ghost, who at the Conception and birth of the Son so favoured the Virgin Mother as to impart to her fecundity while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity.(2)
There is no magisterial warrant for the then Bishop Müller’s setting aside, as of no consequence, Our Lady’s virginity in partu. What he has written is both tragic and part of the mystery of iniquity. To dismiss Our Lady’s virginity in partu is, objectively, to blaspheme it.
Nominalism adopted: Ontology and Teleology jettisoned
Müller’s statement smacks of Nominalism. The latter abhors ontology — the sane study of being, which was brought to such perfection by Saint Thomas Aquinas.
To abhor ontology is to abhor the definitions which flow from it. Nominalism pervasively corrodes Catholic thinking. It leaves traditional terminology intact but devoid of its true ontological meaning. Thus, it is left open to quite arbitrary reinterpretation.
For example, one might say that ecumenism is wholly grounded in pernicious Nominalism: you take the word ‘unity’ (one of the four marks of the true Church), keep it, reinterpret it to mean something the Church still lacks, and away you go! “Virginity” is similarly redefined by Müller in purely spiritual terms.
Nominalism is a philosophical theory according to which — because it has jettisoned ontology — one cannot know anything in any depth; one just gives it a name (hence “nominalism”) which is practical in current usage. This, of course, precludes the possibility of ever defining anything. It paralyzes thought and makes people subject to all sense-impressions. It is the latter by which they conduct their lives, and no longer the truth. The enemies of Christ are very keen on promoting Nominalism, which gives them a free hand to get Catholics to put their faith in Modern Man.
As part of the laudatory blurb on the back cover of Müller’s book, Pope Benedict XVI had this to say: “The only textbook at present existing on the market in our field which is written by one single author and, and which makes visible in such a way the great structure of the world of the Catholic Faith in its inner unity.” Alas, this eulogy fails to reveal the terrible slight to one of Our Lady’s privileges. Neither pope nor bishop has the right to expound heresy — or to permit its being expounded.
Since Vatican II, popes and most bishops seem to have lost sight of the teleology (purpose) of all ecclesiastical power and authority. It was Aristotle who first understood and described the fact that our universe is teleological — goal/purpose-orientated — through and through. Saint Thomas Aquinas perfected this unsurpassably brilliant metaphysical insight.
All forms of power — including papal and episcopal – have a divinely ordained purpose. One man who grasps this fundamental truth, where Catholic teaching is concerned, is the German Catholic writer Martin Mosebach. In a recent interview he gave to Der Spiegel,(3) concerning the papacy of Pope Francis, he used the arresting expression “der Papst ist an die Tradition gefesselt”: the Pope is fettered to Tradition. He goes on to say: “He cannot move one millimetre from it.” This is sound teleology: the raison d’être of the papacy is to defend and uphold Tradition: in dogma, liturgy, canon law, biblical exegesis and catechesis. No pope has the power to tamper with any of these.
The fact that Cardinal Müller is now the Church’s senior doctrinal sentinel shows how far the diabolical disorientation, mentioned by Sister Lucy of Fatima, has taken hold at the highest levels of the Church. He needs our prayers.
How can we make reparation for so monstrous a slight to Our Blessed Lady? She herself has shown us two complementary ways.
During her apparition of 13th July 1917, in Fatima, the Mother of God said to the three children:
When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
On 10th December 1925, Our Lady appeared to Lucy, now Sister Lucy, at Pontevedra in Spain. She said:
You at least try to console Me and announce in My name that I promise to assist at the moment of death, with all the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months shall receive the sacrament of Confession, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary, and keep Me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to My Immaculate Heart.
Our Lord later explained to Sister Lucy that the devotion involves five Saturdays because there are five ways in which people offend or blaspheme the Immaculate Heart. One of these involves blasphemies against her Perpetual Virginity.
The other way of making reparation to Our Lady is to follow Her advice to the three child-seers of Fatima, when making a sacrifice for sinners, to pray as follows:
O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer this sacrifice to Thee.
(1) Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Katholische Dogmatik: Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie, Herder, 2004, pp. 495 and 498.
(2) Catechism of the Council of Trent, Article III, Roman Catholic Books.
(3) Der Spiegel, “Dieser Papst macht Stimmung”, 23 May 2015.