This is where knowing Catholic theology *really* pays off!

Here is an article about the alleged fluke of a supposedly “immaculately conceived” anteater.


Straightens tie.  Smooths down hair. Deep cleansing breaths. 

So here’s the thing.  The Immaculate Conception refers to the birth of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, who was conceived through ordinary sexual intercourse between her father and mother.  She was preserved from all sin, both original and actual, but she had a human father and mother.

What the writer above is actually alluding to is the Virgin Birth which, as the name suggests, means that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and not through ordinary sexual intercourse.

Anteaters, while sinless and occasionally born from parthenogenesis (i.e., without a father), are not conceived by the Holy Spirit.  They are, however, made by the Holy Spirit along with all rest of the universe.

I feel… good.  Boo, as they say, yah!

"How is it that my long comment from 2 days ago (discussing the ASP 2017 ..."

I had Lillian Vogl, the Chairwoman ..."
"Honestly, as a Soviet history buff I’m kind of impressed to see Beria back in ..."

Australian Conservatives are Catching the American ..."
"I would emphasize that 1 Corinthians 12 actually somewhat subverts the typical hierarchical use of ..."

Some thoughts on the Royal Wedding
"Hi Linda, there is not a conflict between the ASP and IDP. IDP has become ..."

I had Lillian Vogl, the Chairwoman ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Scott W.

    The confusion between the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth is ubiquitous in larger society. So much so, that even on CSI, a show that prides itself on detail (while sticking it to religion when they can) referred to an unexplained pregnancy as an immaculate conception. The only enemy of the Faith I can recall that could at least correctly identify the Immaculate Conception was George Carlin.

  • Rosemarie


    In his 1828 Dictionary, Noah Webster defined “Immaculate Conception” as “the conception of our Savior by the virgin Mary.” You can read it here online:,immaculate

    So the misconception (no pun intended) goes back nearly two hundred years, at least. Of course, since Catholics coined the term, the Catholic definition is correct no matter how prevalent the misunderstanding in popular culture.

    I’ve seen this error lead to at least two problems. First, I’ve heard some Catholics who didn’t know the proper definition say, “How could Jesus be conceived on December 8 and born on December 25?” (then you have point out the Feast of Mary’s Nativity on September 8 and the Annunciation on March 25, to dispel the idea that the Catholic liturgical cycle ignores the facts of human gestation!). Second, some Protestants mistakenly think that Catholics believe Mary was virginally conceived like Jesus, apparently because of this error. My husband once knew an Anglican clergyman who thought that was the case.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      “How could Jesus be conceived on December 8 and born on December 25?”

      Weeeeeeellllll…. how could Jesus:

      -raise the dead, twice?
      -convert water to wine?
      -walk on water?
      -restore a severed ear by touching it?
      -feed five thousand people with an armful of food?
      -get asphyxiated to death, then come back to life 36 hours later?

      Seems like a seventeen-day gestation period would be one of the least difficult occurrences to explain.

      • Rosemarie


        Perhaps. But I think the point of that question isn’t so much, “How could the omnipotent Son of God accomplish that.” It’s more like, “How can the Church be so stupid as to celebrate Jesus’ birth a mere seventeen days after His conception? Don’t they know a baby takes nine months to be born? Har, har, har; whatever priests thought that one up are such dolts!”

  • michigancatholic

    Mark, you get 1/10th of 1/100th of a point, because who cares? It’s an ANTEATER.

    • Don’t diss. Anteaters are cool. And sloths. Sloths are awesome. After humans, God’s best creations are sloths.

      • frnate

        And often quite difficult to distinguish between the two…

        • Anteaters are the ones with the long, funny noses.

          • Jacob

            No, between sloths and humans 🙂

            • Rebecca Fuentes

              Humans are less mossy. Sloths can be better company.

  • Ben

    Well, by the end of the article the prevailing theory is one of ‘delayed implantation’ of a previously fertilized egg.

    • Rosemarie


      I think they should do a “paternity test” to make sure. Parthenogenesis has been observed in nature with some invertebrates, fish, amphibians, lizards and even some birds, but not with mammals… yet. It would be very interesting if it turns out some mammals can conceive parthenogenetically as well.

      • Obpoet

        Just to be fair, they should do a maternity test as well.

  • SteveD

    I remember Cardinal Heenan (RIP) explaining the difference to an atheist interviewer who clearly thought that the virgin birth and the immaculate conception were the same thing. He asked his interviewer if he believed in original sin and he said that he certainly did not. ‘Ah well’ said the Cardinal, ‘that means that you believe that we were ALL immaculately conceived’.

  • All I can say is that I hope this generates new Catholic meme pictures about the sinlessness of anteaters.