The misunderstanding that won’t go away

Conversation on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (proclaimed as dogma 160 years ago and  still misunderstood, especially by devout Catholics who haven’t thought this one through).


Catholic friend: Does that mean the Blessed Virgin Mary’s parents Saints Anne and  Joachim never had sex or even her grandparents?

Me, mildly: You might be mixing up the actual Catholic teaching that Mary, “by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin” (Encyclical Ineffabilis Deus of Pope Pius IX), with the peculiar and incorrect idea that Mary was conceived in Anne’s womb without her parents having had intercourse (a belief not taught by the Church).


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