You guys always surprise me

Of all the stuff I blogged on yesterday, I was amazed that the big topic was the James ossuary and (what was really the big point of interest) the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.

I’ve never had much trouble with this doctrine, and it always puzzles me that so many of my Protestant friends thinks it’s a big deal. The scriptural evidence for it seems rather reasonable (it explains why Mary talks as she does at the Annunciation, and is highly credible from the viewpoint of how a pious Jew like Joseph would react to a woman who was a sort of “second Ark of the Covenant” (“Don’t touch!”). Meanwhile the arguments against it are easily dispensed with (Joseph could have had children by a previous marriage or something.) So I’ve never thought it was a big problem.

What puzzles me is why so many Protestants I run into think it’s worth going to the mat over. Major figures in their own tradition have no trouble with it (namely Luther, Calvin, and Wesley, among others) and are none the worse for wear. Believing in it does no harm and rather a lot of good. So if a Catholic holds it as dogma, why sweat about it?

It just doesn’t seem worth getting exercised over if you aren’t a Catholic. And if you are, then it doesn’t seem like something to reject on any particular grounds other than some sort of vague discomfort. For myself, I had real difficulties with other Marian dogmas (though I accepted them on the basis of “I believe that I may understand” once I came to accept the authority of the Tradition and the Magisterium). But with the PV of Mary, I never even had that much trouble. It’s always seemed to me to be a rather pointless thing for a Protestant to protest.

Not that I minded the vigorous discussion, mind you. I was just surprised by the energy this particular topic seems to generate. I’ve never quite seen why it does.


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