UPDATE 26 Dec:
The bishop “corrected” things – he thinks – in a sermon. HERE
UPDATE 24 Dec:
Note below that I wrote: “what they are reported to have said”
From a reader …
Quick update: as expected Bp. Linda has now denied saying what he said. According to his (I think) note to Observador, he will “proclaim his total adherence to the faith of the Church regarding the virginity of Our Lady”
(He will proclaim [it]…) tomorrow at Mass, during the Homily, which will be broadcasted by Radio Renascença (Portugal’s ‘c’atholic radio).
I will try to get that and send it to you
If the bishop was misquoted, what about the other guy?
Originally Published on: Dec 24, 2018
Their responses include that Mary was not a virgin and that Christ, conceived in the normal human way, was not born in Bethlehem.
This, a contradiction of the clear teaching of the Church, is heresy. These men should be investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and required publicly to correct what they are reported to have said.
Try this on for size…
3. And how can Jesus be the son of a virgin?
Jesus is not the son of a virgin woman, both Father Borges and Bishop Linda explain. He was conceived by Mary and Joseph like any other person and he is “truly man”. Virginity is only associated with Mary as a metaphor to prove that Jesus was a very special person.
The gospel of St. Luke, one of the most trustworthy in the Bible, tells us that an angel called Gabriel was sent by God to the city of Nazareth, in Galilee, to visit Mary, presented as “a virgin wedded to a man”. The angel said to her: “Mary, do not fear, because you have found grace before God. And in your womb, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be grand and he will be called the son of the Highest. And our Lord God will give to him the throne of David, his father. He will reign eternally in the house of Jacob and his kingdom will have no end”.
Mary was confused because she had never had sexual relations with any man. But the angel Gabriel explained it to her: “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you and the virtue of the Highest will cover you with his shadow. For that, the Saint, who will be born from you, will also be called Son of God. And also, your cousin Elizabeth has conceived a son in her old age. And this is the sixth month for that who was called sterile. Nothing is impossible for God”.
Regardless of these words, Bp. Linda told Observador that “we should never refer to the physical virginity of the Virgin Mary”: “The Old Testament says many times that Jesus would be born from a damsel, daughter of Israel, who would be simple, poor and humble. But, in truth, that is only a reference to that woman’s total devotion to God. The gift of being mother of God was given to Mary because because she had an undivided heart. What matters is the total donation”, Bp. Linda explains. And he adds: “There certainly exist women with a broken hymen [which is associated to the physical sign of a woman losing her virginity] who are more virgin in the sense of total devotion to God that other women with an intact hymen”.
So, to say that Jesus was born of a virgin woman is a theological truth but not necessarily a biological truth. Fr. Borges even adds that “theology is not a treatise in biology” and that the virginity of Mary only serves to “underline the importance of Jesus as God’s special son”: “Mary and Joseph only later realized the special son they had had. Any mother is amazed at her sons and with Mary and Joseph the same thing happened. Our Lady is special because she converted to the message of Jesus. Sometimes she understood it, sometimes she didn’t”, Fr. Borges concludes.
There are other wrong ideas about the life of Jesus beside having been born from a virgin woman. For example, it is a custom to say that Mary’s parents were called Anna and Joaquim, but that is nowhere to be found in the Bible. It is just that those aspects became “tradition”, Bp. Linda explains.
Fr. Borges agrees and says that happens because Jesus’ biography started to be written backwards. Jesus was, probably, not born in Bethlehem as the Bible says: in truth, he must have been born in Nazareth. But since for Christians Jesus is “the true Messiah”, then that means in theory that, like Joseph, he is part of the lineage of king David, who was from Bethlehem. Jesus must have also been exiled in Egypt, as the Bible suggests. Only he is the “true liberator”. Now, Moses is from Egyptian origins and was a liberator of the people of Israel. That is why a parallel was drawn between both.
The Church teaches clear that Mary always a virgin ante partum, in partu, post partum, before, during and after the birth of Jesus Christ.
So much for the prophecy that the Messiah, from the line of David, would be born in David’s city, Bethlehem (“house of bread”), where David was crowned.
There is an old but good piece about the virginity of Mary by Fr. William Most. HERE He lays out various point at which the Church clarified the doctrine of the virgin birth and perpetual virginity of Mary. It is a good reference.
The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary was was taught very early by Fathers, including, Sts. Athanasius, Ambrose, and Augustine. It was taught dogmatically at Constantinople II in 553 that Mary is “ever-virgin.” Pope Martin I (+655) taught that “ever-virgin” meant Mary was a virgin before, during, and after Christ’s birth. This has been reaffirmed so many times through the centuries that summing them up here would take too much space. As Fr. Most puts it:
A doctrine taught with multiple papal approval plus that of Vatican II should be called infallible, for these texts show the intention to make it definitive by their repetition. It shows the way the texts of the Church are to be understood. So the Holy Office was right in calling the ideas of [Viennese theologian Albert] Mitterer and others, “flagrant contradiction to the doctrinal tradition of the Church.”
Mitterer and others, such as Walter Kasper and Jean Galot have bought into same garbage that these Portuguese clerics have peddled.
“Flagrant contradiction to the doctrinal tradition of the Church.”
This is the poison fruit of too great an emphasis on those tools of modern scholarship which wind up destroying that to which they are applied. The inevitable result is the sowing of confusion and the erosion of faith of good people. What these men did was nothing short of scandalous.
The best examination of what this improper approach to the data of faith does – and its corrective – is from Benedict XVI in the first volume of his three part Jesus of Nazareth series. In his forward, he lays it all out.