A Nun publicly denied Mary’s Virginity

In a recent news story, Sister Lucia Caram, a Roman Catholic nun in Spain, publicly denied the dogma of the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The nun said: “I think Mary was in love with Joseph and that they were a normal couple – and having sex is a normal thing….”

This claim by Caram is abject heresy because it directly denies a dogma of the Roman Catholic Magisterium, Mary’s perpetual virginity (CCC 499 to 510; Denzinger 13, Nicene Creed; Councils of Ephesus, Constantinople II, and Florence). So any Catholic who rejects this teaching is guilty of heresy. And when one commits heresy knowingly, that is to say, in the knowledge that the heretical idea is contrary to the definitive teaching of the Church, the sin is formal heresy.

Now, based on the quotes from her in the press, we might say that instead of an obstinate denial of dogma, she is obstinately doubting the same. For she uses expressions such as “I wanted to say that it wouldn’t shock me if she had had a normal couple’s relationship with Joseph, her husband.” Even so, formal heresy is defined in Canon Law as obstinate denial or obstinate doubt.

“Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith….”

Every infallible teaching of the Magisterium is to be believed with “divine and Catholic faith”, which is the full assent of faith (theological assent).

But it is the grave sin of heresy to obstinately doubt or to obstinately deny. For example, suppose that someone says, “Jesus was just a man, and not the Son of God.” That claim is heresy. But if he changes the wording to: “Perhaps Jesus was just a man, or perhaps he was the Son of God.” That doubt, if it is obstinate, is still heretical. For faith in the teaching that Jesus is God made man is destroyed by either: the denial or the doubt. You do not have faith in Jesus if you say “maybe he is God, and maybe not”.

Which types of denial or doubt are obstinate? Denial or doubt, which one does not struggle against, and which is chosen resolutely, that is, steadfastly. By contrast, if a Catholics has passing doubts, from time to time, about any dogma, the doubt is not obstinate. Or if a Catholic has difficulty accepting a dogma, but continues to trust in the teaching of the Church, the doubt is not obstinate.

{9:22} But Jesus said to him, “If you are able to believe: all things are possible to one who believes.”
{9:23} And immediately the father of the boy, crying out with tears, said: “I do believe, Lord. Help my unbelief.”

In the case of Sister Lucia Caram, her public expressions indicate clear obstinacy. I am not judging her soul. I am simply believing her own words about her own beliefs. She has publicly clearly emphatically stated her considered belief that perhaps Mary was not a virgin, and that perhaps she had marital relations with Joseph. Sister Lucia Caram is guilty of public formal heresy, and she should not be permitted to receive holy Communion.

And yet we hear very little from Church leaders in response to this story.

“The remarks were denounced by the Bishop of Vic in Spain, who issued a reminder that Mary’s virginity was not in question and that statements to the contrary ‘do not conform’ to the faith of the Catholic church. The statement also apologized for any confusion Caram’s statements may have caused.”

The Bishop’s statement points out that Mary’s virginity is a dogma taught by the Second Council of Constantinople. But, as far as we know, he has not taken any formal action against the nun, nor has her Order. He should have publicly stated her excommunication, which is automatic under Canon Law for the sin of formal heresy (or formal schism). And other Bishops should also have spoken against her. Then her Order should expel her, if she remains unrepentant.

The Church today is facing a crisis of belief. Heretical ideas are widespread among the faithful, and it has reached the point where heretics openly proclaim their rejection of dogma, with little response from the Bishops and other Church leaders.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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3 Responses to A Nun publicly denied Mary’s Virginity

  1. Mark P. says:

    A heretical statement by someone who has taken vows does more damage to the church than a dozen History Channel “Bible” shows. These people legitimize the accusations and conspiracies of the secular media and society. One of the biggest reasons (in my opinion) for this lack of faith is a watering-down and demythologizing of Sacred Scripture. The fact that the USCCB endorses, and uses on its website, the NAB translation with its terrible footnotes is a scandal. Many Catholics have lost their “awe” of the Lord, and are led to believe such blasphemies like Jesus did not multiply the loaves and fishes, but rather encouraged everybody to share. As if 5000 hungry people who are told to share a meager five loaves and two fishes would then want to proclaim Jesus king. More likely, there would have been a riot. And aside from that, we profess that God is the “maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.” Creatio ex nihilo. So if we can profess that the entire universe was made from nothing, then it should not be such an enormous stretch to believe that Jesus created some bread and fish out of nothing. Many have also do not have a healthy fear of the Lord. It is easy to get back on track, following one simple sentence spoken by our Lord: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15)

  2. Sunimal Fernando says:

    Ron, What is happening now? Posters against Pope Francis in Rome , then Unbelievers, …?
    Evil sprit against Holy sprit ? End times near ?

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