he Catholic Apologetics section of is dedicated to providing our visitors with conventional Catholic Apologetics, including biblical, theological, and historical issues surrounding the Catholic Faith. Each topic-page is divided into sub-categories: articles, dialogues, debates, and Q&A. Visitors who are interested in suggesting an article or asking a question are encouraged to e-mail us their request.
Question: I am wondering about how many apologists (as well as Church Doctors) use the greeting of the Archangel Gabriel to illustrate the Immaculate Conception. He says she is "full of grace". St. Alphonsus Ligouri, in his fantastic work The Glories of Mary, argues that this illustrates the Immaculate Conception. However, later on in the Acts of the Apostles (6:8), St. Stephen is described as being full of grace as well. The Vulgate's Latin is very similar in both situations. Thus, one could argue that the Archangel's greeting to Our Lady proves nothing, since the same phrase is used on St. Stephen. How would one respond to this?
Question: Genesis 2:24 clearly commands that husband and wife are to become "one flesh" (ie. – consumation of the relationship). Also, you said nothing about Genesis 1:28 which is a clear command of God that husband and wife are to procreate (unless of course they are physically not able to do so). By remaining a virgin, Mary would have not only denied the command of Scripture to consummate the relationship, but she would have been neglecting her role as a wife to do her part in "multiplying the earth". And for such neglect, Mary would have been guilty of sin by having remained a virgin throughout her marriage. It really doesn't get much plainer than that! The statement that Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 7:1 is not an obligatory statement, and it is this statement that Paul was looking to when he wrote 7:6. The reason why we know this? Because in vv.2-5, Paul begins to make commands, not concessions, regarding the necessity of the marriage relationship as it pertains to sexual intimacy. For instance, Paul makes use of the imperative mood in 7:5 by using the word apostereo, a present imperative verb. Therefore, his words in v.5 are a command, not a suggestion as has been asserted by you. Thus, consistent sexual intercourse marriage is expected of husband and wife within a marriage, and neglecting that command is sin.
Question: I understand the need for Jesus to take on a sinless humanity, but a Protestant will object that if God can give Mary a sinless humanity (that is to say a humanity free of original sin) via the work of the Holy Spirit in anticipation of her role in Salvation History, then God could have, likewise, given Christ a sinless humanity in the same manner as well without the necessity of His mother being free of original sin.
Question: I was wondering if you can help me with something. I know you are very busy so I will keep this short. I have read that there is a mistranslation of a word concerning the virgin birth of Christ. In the Book of Isaiah there is a passage prophesising the virgin birth. There is a word, almah, which in Hebrew apparently means young woman with no implicit connotation of her being virginal. Yet the Septuagint translates this word as parthenos which can have connotations of virginity. Can you help me out with this (it's really bothering me)? Thank you!
Question: Last night I was talking to this lady about Catholicism and trying to respond to her claim that 'Catholics worship Mary'. I was finally able to get her to see the difference between asking her to pray for us and worship. The question she asked that I had trouble answering even for myself was why ask Mary to pray for us when we can ask Jesus Himself for whatever we need? Sort of like, why ask the clerk to solve a problem when you can go to the boss? I find that people who have these convictions are very fixed in them and unwilling to believe they are not true. She knows another lady who is very devoted to Mary and it would be easy for non-Catholics to see that as worship by their definitions. Fundamentalists also have a visceral reaction to statues. I think they form quite a barrier to fundamentalists and for myself, and I don't see them as being necessary or even helpful. Holy cards are sufficient. What do you think?
Question: My name is Andrew Peters and I am a Catholic with a Fundamentalist Father. I can usually come out on top of most of our debates but he always stumps me with one about the Immaculate Conception. I've searched Catholic websites and picked the brains of other Catholics but no one has an answer that can satisfy me. I was hoping you could help me out or at least tell me that I'm not the only one ever faced with this argument! It goes like this:The problem is that if (2) is possible, then (1) becomes sort of a ridiculous statement. Why even worry about the possibility of Mary passing on her sin to Jesus if we weren't worried about Anne passing hers on to Mary? Why not just conceive Jesus immaculately without involving Mary? My answer is usually something along the lines of "I don't know why God decided to do it that way, he just did", which of course satisfies neither of us and he goes away with a victory. Most of my arguments for Mary are based on (1) so if he can show that it isn't true or necessary, he defeats me in a big way. I was hoping you could help me answer that question: Why even worry about the possibility of Mary passing on her sin to Jesus if we weren't worried about Anne passing hers on to Mary? Why not just conceive Jesus immaculately without involving Mary?
If Christ were to be perfect, Mary his mother must have been perfect also since otherwise she would have passed on her original sin to her son.
But for Mary to be perfect, St. Anne her mother did not have to be perfect because Mary was immaculately conceived by a special grace from God.
Question: I have just read St. Louis de Montfort's book True Devotion to Mary and have a question. We are told that we can deal with Jesus through Mary because it is more humble and more fitting because to go straight to Jesus would be too presumptuous. I can appreciate that, but does that mean that we should never go directly to Jesus? Doesn't Jesus want us to go directly to Him?
Question: My anti-Catholic husband has supposedly found a quote from Mary during one of her apparitions (I'm not sure which one) stating something like "through me you are saved". His objection of course is that only through Jesus Christ is one saved. Is there any way to search the words spoken by Mary to verify it as an exact quote? Or that it was more than likely taken out of context? In any case, what should my loving response be in order to best defend the Church?
Question: Can you tell me why the writers of the NT did not use suggenes/sungenis instead of adelphos? McCarthy argues that they could have used that term had they not meant to include literal brothers and sisters.
Question: Here's an objection I recently came across:
"The very fact that Miriam and Yosef were a normal, typical, Israeli Jewish family shows how GOD became totally identified with humans in every way. And since God invented sexual intercourse for the way humans (and other creatures) reproduce and share pleasure (in matrimony) to say that St. Joseph would have defiled the "holy sanctuary" by having relations with his wife, I find absurd."
Can you tell me how to answer the objection that it would be unusual or almost sacreligious or whatever for a Jewish couple like Mary and Joseph NOT to have intercourse?
Question: Can you tell me how in Luke 2:52, the Scriptures say Jesus "grew in wisdom"? How is this possible if Jesus is God? Because of the incarnation, he was fully man with all the limitations of a man, right? Likewise, how can Jesus say:
Abba, Father, all things are possible to thee; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what thou will. (Mark 14:36)
This one is a bit tougher. Didn't he share the same will? Didn't he willingly submit himself as a sacrifice or did he do so a bit begrudgingly out of his human fears? How can Jesus' will be different from the Father's will?
Question: I have a question in regards to the Rosary. As you know too well objectors often bring up Mt 6:7 where Jesus warns us not to use "vain repetitions" or in some translations "babbling" like the Pagans do. I have heard this explained as Jesus meant prayers like this were vain because the pagan gods do not exist. My question is about Sirach 7:14 which says "do not repeat yourself at your prayers". To whom is Ben Sirach speaking and how does this jibe with the above repetitious prayers? I have never heard a Protestant bring up this objection, probably because they don't have the deuterocanonical work in their Bible.
Question: The Bible Answer Man says that the "witnesses" of Hebrews 12:1 are simply the objects of inspiration to us running the race. Their "witness" to the Christian faith is our example. He alleges that this verse does not support the Roman Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints; that somehow these "witnesses" are witnessing us. He says that there is no reason to accept this interpretation and there is every reason to reject it. What do you say?