Some readers wanted a “religious blog” for today’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
That bring up the role that Mary has played and does play in the Catholic faith.
The two extremes regarding Mary exist in parts of the Roman church that have made Mary a goddess – and the opposite Protestant extreme playing down of Mary.
Mary, unlike Jesus, who was God and man is totally human and was the daughter of Joachim and Anne.
In the Immaculate Conception we are asked to believe that Mary was conceived totally without sin while the rest of us are conceived in “original sin”.
This happened because God wanted the mother of his son to be totally sinless.
Original sin is a strange idea. It means that every baby is stained with the sin of their parents can’t forebears.
If a child in this world was the son or daughter of a murder would we say the child was born with the sin of murder on it’s soul?
I don’t think we would.
And if God, who invented the wonderful human reproductive system decided to by pass his wonderful creation and cut Mary’s husband, Joseph, out of the equation did not not make Jesus less human in his coming?
I think that Mary’s Immaculate Conception and Jesus’ virgin birth is really about a classical and primitive distaste for sex and the sexual reproductive act between a man and a woman – a superior man and an inferior woman?
And it ties in with the Jewish belief that a woman was dirty and untouchable during menstruation.
And it further ties in with the primitive Catholic belief that a woman had to be purified and “churched” after giving birth and before returning to the Sacraments.
The Judeo Christian preoccupation with sex and women’s bodies and bodily functions is totally outdated and crazy.
I believe that Mary was indeed special because she said YES to God.
She was the exemplar custodian of Jesus on earth.
She totally supported him in his ministry.
And while most ran away she stood by him at the moment of his death.
She was the first great Christian.
And she is truly Saint Mary.
Loving sexual intimacy is not inferior to virginity.
Marriage is not inferior to celibacy.
The sexual act of love making between two loving committed persons is a holy act.
The orgasm is the precursor of the Beatific Vision.
At that moment even devout atheists will cry out “Oh God”!
One of the great challenges facing today’s Catholicism and Christianity is the production of a new Theology of Sexuality.
And that does not mean a free for all or the notion that sexual sin cannot and does not exist – because it does!
So, today I will celebrate Mass in honour of Mary – servant, mother, wife, saint.
But I will not worship her as a goddess – because that is the last thing she would want.
Mary is a magnificent signpost to Jesus. But she is not the destination.
VIRGINITY, PRIESTS AND MONKS
Priests make a public promise of celibacy. That celibacy means not to party and not to have sex with anybody.
Monks make other vows – either the vow of chastity of the conversion of life. Those vows means not to have sex with anybody.
When priests and monks publicly proclaim that they are unmarried and chaste and at the same time have a secret sex life with others – they are being hypocritical and committing sexual sins.
The answer is for them to remain faithful to their vows and promises or to leave the priesthood and monastery and embrace their desired sexual lives.
Or another authentic option would be to leave the Roman Catholic Church and join a church which allows priests to marry and/or have same sex partners.
In this respect Dom Gregory Collins of Glenstal did an authentic thing by becoming a vicar in the most gay friendly diocese in the Church of England.
DOM RICHARD PURCELL
Has Dom Richard Purcell of Mount Mellerary undergone a Road to Demascus experience, made a good general confession and embraced a life of virginity?
If he has he should say so.
If he hasn’t why is he staying where he is?