27 December 2018

UPDATE – Portuguese Bishop “Corrects” Claims About the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

The heretic attempts to backpedal. But, as Fr Zed says, 'Since I put the original story up on this blog, I figured that – in justice to that bishop – I should post his sermon which, I guess, he thought was a clarification of what he seems to have said to that news source'. I agree.

From Fr Z's Blog

A few days ago, we heard about a bishop and priest in Portugal – Bp. Manuel Linda, Bishop of Porto, and Fr. Anselmo Borges, essayist and university professor at Coimbra University  – in an interview with a prominent media source, denied the perpetual virginity of Mary and the virgin birth of Christ.  Merry Christmas.
I wrote about that HERE and it provoked strong responses.
Then is was reported that Bp. Linda denied saying what he said.  He said that he would “proclaim his total adherence to the faith of the Church regarding the virginity of Our Lady” at Christmas Mass during the Homily, which was broadcast by Radio Renascença Portugal’s Catholic radio.
A reader recorded and transcribed and translated the Bishop’s sermon.  Remember: this is the bishop, not that priest professor.  Here it is.  My correspondent wrote:
Here is the full translation of yesterday’s homily by Bishop Manuel Linda. It is a very literal rendering but I think it is readable enough in English…
Once again apologies for the delay, this is a very – very! – serious matter and it must be handled with total transparency, clarity and rigour.
If Bishop Linda did not really say what Observador (the news outlet) quoted him saying, they must publish a full explanation of why they made it up!
I believe this is a clear example of an occasion where us – the laity – have a strong role in pressuring the media (and the priests) for them to clean up the mess when… the feces impact the propeller!
The bishop’s sermon with my emphases:
These readings we have just heard, could not be comprehended without that clamor that the angels made to the shepherds of Bethlehem: “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10). But why that “great joy”? What did that birth bring of new to History and to those shepherds life?
Read with the key of Faith, the Gospel gives us the answer: in Jesus and with Jesus, fear and solitude disappear, since God comes to meet his creatures; our world becomes inhabitable, since God makes Himself a co-citizen of man; the reign is now of that light which destroys the darkness of mind and heart; congregates diversity around itself, represented by the almost antipodes of the poor shepherds and the rich wise men from the East, because the the crib is the place where all come together. But, fundamentally, “But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God” to use the words we’ve heard. It’s true: you and I dear believer are members of God’s family. Let us not forget this dignity.
It is this, and only this, what the Word born as a Child desires: to enlighten and to make a family from humanity with God, as well as from people between them. Better: to communicate to them its life in order that, with Him and in Him, we become sons of God and brothers amongst ourselves.
It it precisely because of this, that we note a big sadness in the words of the evangelist when he deplores that the Verb, the Messiah, was not duly welcomed by many: “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him”. Of course, Saint John was thinking about the Jews, a people amongst whom Christ was born. But we could refer this passage to the world at large. Particularly to the world of this time.
From everywhere, voices arise saying that our Christmas is beginning to be buried in the agitation and bustle, in materialism and in consumerism, in a pagan mentality that does not even pronounce the name of Jesus, Son of God. I would rather not be that pessimistic. Notwithstanding, I do recognize a few worrisome signs. In particular, at the level of a merely peripheral experience, without striking at its core, without the enchantment with the profoundness and the tenderness of the mystery which envelops us.
It’s just that Christmas is a complex occurrence. In it the three theological virtues which are the foundations of Christianity are conjugated: faith, hope and charity.
Christmas is faith because it implies that leap of quality that may transport us from the tenderness of the Child to the vision and acceptance of the Son of God, of he who “for us, men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven”, as we profess in the creed. It is the acceptance of the fulfillment of the Scriptures, mentioned in the second reading: “In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb 1, 1-2)
Christmas is hope. How can we abandon ourselves to sadness, to anguish, to fears, to despair, if we know we are loved and accompanied by God? Is salvation is with us and in us, how can we let ourselves submerge by the darkness of discouragement, by the dread of the future, by the weariness of the walk? With Him and in Him, our life acquires a new meaning: that of knowing that the big goal is the happy and venturous encounter with the Father.
Christmas is, still, love or charity. It reveals to us how far God’s love can reach: despite the continuous pride of imagining that we do not need God and even some rebellion against Him, He raises us to the category of his sons in the Son. It is He who communicates to us the divine life, without regard to the price of this offer: it is the price of the cross. For love and only for love.
Because our world has a marked deficit of faith, of hope and of charity, Christmas is thus becoming a merely civil feast and many reject the Child which is at its origin: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him”. As with in the days of Herod, it is in fact becoming a dangerous world both for the Child and for those who put their hope in Him. A world where it is politically incorrect to demonstrate faith and, through Annas or Caiaphas, some Christians are barred from accessing certain offices; where the institutions of the Church, especially the ones providing assistance and education, are looked down upon, if not ostracized and «legally» persecuted; where at a pretext of secularity it seems that believers lose their condition of citizens and the rights that arise therefrom; a world of cynicism which rejects the great values that are demonstrably useful for society, just because they are linked to the Church, setting up familial and social aridity and fragmenting existence; a world that wishes to bury the Church under a slab of silence, except when some kind of trouble provides the fuel to subject her to a long martyrdom of being burned in fired lit up by the media; a world of world leaders who do not lose their sleep over the christians who are decimated in the Near East, in Africa and around the globe; a world, at last, which seems to be establishing an equation, as gander as it is threatening for the future: «non-christian equals reality under protection; christian equals condemnation to beasts».
Nevertheless, this is not the last word. The final signature in the story is expressed in the certainty proclaimed in the first reading and in the psalm: “all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God”. And salvation is the absence of all evil and of all negativities which oppress us, even if we are not aware of it.
Evidently, there would be no Christmas without the Holy Virgin Mary, She who, in accordance with the faith of the Church -which is also my faith!-, is proclaimed “virgin before, during and after birth”, in an express manner since the Synod of Milan (year 390), or “Mater intacta”, as we say in the litany. We have greeted her and we thank her deeply for her irreplaceable contribution to the history of our salvation.
In this Christmas, with the Virgin Mary and through her eyes, let us turn to her Son. And let us find the profound meaning of the well-known verses of Pierre Mounier, placed in the speech of the God-Child:
“To touch me, set aside your scalpel…
To see me, leave aside your television systems…
To feel the pulsations of the divine in the world,
Do not bind yourselves to instruments of precision…
To read the Scriptures, leave criticism aside…
To savor Me, use some other sensibility…”
In the Child Jesus, happy holy holidays”
Okay, that’s the bishop’s sermon.
I have a sense that that paragraph was dropped in as an afterthought, as it seems hardly integral to the line of thought of the sermon.
But who am I to judge?
Since I put the original story up on this blog, I figured that – in justice to that bishop – I should post his sermon which, I guess, he thought was a clarification of what he seems to have said to that news source.  Namely…
Jesus is not the son of a virgin woman, both Father Borges and Bishop Linda explain. He was conceived by Mary and Joseph like any other person and he is “truly man”. Virginity is only associated with Mary as a metaphor to prove that Jesus was a very special person.
Regardless of these words, Bp. Linda told Observador that “we should never refer to the physical virginity of the Virgin Mary”
I think Fr. Borges still has a lot of explaining to do.
I’ll turn on the moderation queue for this.

Damn.  This is one of those stories that has no end, it seems.  It is amazing how, for example, when you drop a jar of liquid and it shatters, it goes everywhere.  In an instant, you have to clean up everything for a long time.
From my correspondent.
The article at Observador has been slightly (poorly – very poorly) changed. It is clear this follows some sort of request from the part of Bishop Linda. The new revised text onlyreflects changes to Bishop Linda’s quotes.
  1. There is one correction: attributing only to Father Anselmo Borges what previously had been attributed to both
  2. There is one insertion: regarding Bishop Linda’s wish NOT to deny the dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary (regardless of what he says elsewhere…)
  3. One deletion
This text has been altered at 15.00h of the 26th of December of 2018 in order to clarify Bishop Manuel Linda’s position in relation to the dogma of the perpetual virginity of Mary.

This is basically bad cosmetics. Nip and tuck, believing you can sweep the garbage under the bed to get a clean bedroom.

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