Rory asked:

Protestants say if Mary was sinless then why did she offer up turtle doves in Luke 2:24 to the priest as a sin offering?


Patrick Madrid replied:

"...it tracks with what Mary herself says in Luke chapter 1 where she says in verse 47, my spirit rejoices in God my savior. That actually ups the ante even further because if Mary was sinless one could say why then did she need a savior? If she needed a savior what was she saved from if she was sinless? Those are all good solid questions. The answer is that Mary did indeed need a savior. The sin offering that she offered in the temple was to fulfill the law of Moses and it was not because she herself was either ritually unclean ... she did it to be obedient to the law...

But to deal with the question of her sinlessness in light of her own recognition of needing a savior, the Catholic church points out that God can save people in one of two different ways. He can save them after they've fallen into sin. So that's a restoration from sin and that's what happens with you or me or any of us who receive salvation from God. It happens after we've contracted sin. But in the case of the Blessed Virgin Mary she was saved ... before she could ever be tainted by sin. So it was Jesus Christ who saved her by His death on the cross. He saved her from sin, but it was before she contracted it and that's just as powerful if not even more powerful and spectacular than what happens with us that are saved after the fact ..."


Rory replied:

They [protestants] would of course retort by making reference to the third chapter of Romans where Paul says that all men have sinned and all have fallen short.


Patrick Madrid replied:

"There are a couple ways that you can answer that. First of all if you take the word all, panta in the Greek, you can see in instances throughout the bible where the same word is used but it does not mean absolutely everything and everyone. A good example would be in Colossians chapter 1 verse 20 where it says that Jesus will reconcile all things to Himself. Well He's not going to reconcile the devil to himself. He's not going to reconcile the damned in hell to Himself. There are whole groups of people, not counting angels who are not part of that all ...

The second thing to say is that Saint Paul is actually quoting from the Old Testament. And if you look back at Psalm 14 which he's quoting from, also Psalm 53 you'll see that he is talking about a group of people, or at least it's being referred to a group of people, who persecute God's people. These are the people who've gone astray. They're not righteous. They're sinners and so forth. But they're juxtaposed and contrasted with God's people who are not part of that statement all have gone astray all have sinned, they are in a separate category. So this passage, on the surface it might seem to militate against the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. But when you dig a little further you realize it really doesn't bear up under the weight that people try to put on it."


Catholic Answers, "Open Forum" (San Diego: Catholic Answers, 2014)

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Show air date: October 21, 2014

Name of show: Open Forum

Guest comments by: Patrick Madrid

Question appeared in show: 1:39


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