Thursday, August 15, 2013

Did Mary Die (Part 2)

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is drawing to an end now for 2013, and I was just browsing by Beggars All and saw the latest article (as of the publication of this article) from James Swan, who is rehashing an older discussion from at least nearly two years ago.  Here's a link to Swan's latest article:

And here are the comments so far there, including my own:

Nick said...The text of Munificenttisimus doesn't give any indication that Mary did not die. The text does however make comments to the effect that She did die:
Either way though, your overall argument doesn't hold water because the Dormition is secondary to the dogma of the Assumption itself. Even Protestants claim there are such things as non-essential aspects to dogmas.
If you want real confusion, consider the fact Protestants cannot agree on whether Jesus died for everyone or not. Svendsen denied the L in TULIP while White affirms it.
5:20 PM, August 15, 2013
Conhecereis a Verdade said...This dogmatic definition, completely devoid of biblical, patristic and historical support, is extremely curious because Pius XII could define with all certainty that Mary ascended into heaven in body and soul, but can not tell if he really died or not. Hence the obvious ambiguity of the words "having completed the course of her earthly life."
Indeed, an outstanding example of the double discourse typical of the popes.
9:10 PM, August 15, 2013
TomiPad said...Often Roman Catholics, under the premise that only infallible statements count, their church has never contradicted itself. Rome defines what a contradiction is and infallibly defines herself as possessing assured infallibility in accordance with her infallibly defined criteria. 
10:23 PM, August 15, 2013
Scott said...
As even this article from Swan points out, there is no definition of death in MD. The closest we come to that is that it DOES define "having completed the course of her earthly life." But again, MD does not seek to define whether she died or not, but that she was taken into Heaven, body and soul, and that IS defined, and infallibly so. Whether or not she died is PURELY a distraction to the TRUE subject at hand in MD.
My initial response to Swan's article from 2011 is here:
11:08 PM, August 15, 2013 (actual Arizona Time of posting)
In short, what I said to Swan today is a reiteration of what was said nearly two years ago.  Why the continued attempt to distract?  
Now, if Swan wants to discuss or debate "Did Mary Die?" - that's fine!  But attempting to use THAT discussion to derail the infallible definition of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, simply, not THAT discussion.

A couple more comments, as of 11am, August 16, 2013 (Arizona time)...
 Blogger Stephen Galanis said...
Firstly, Nick, "doesn't give any indication that Mary did not die" is the argument from ignorance. And you've backed up your view by citing... the infallible magisteirum? No. By citing Taylor Marshall. And he's not infallible. That's his interpretation of the magisterium. Thank you for that demonstration of real-world Catholic authority. You do see the irony of how you responded? You claim an epistemological advantage of Protestants, but if Catholics have to defend the perspicuity of the magisterium, then logically, it has already failed to be perspicuous.
Scott, you're right, there's no definition of death in MD. And you'll have to admit there is some level of confusion about whether Mary died or not. It may be a distraction, but Rome ought to settle the debate if it can. And if Rome wants to make historical claims about the assumption of Mary - and it is an historical claim - surely it knows whether or not she died? How on earth can one begin to defend "Mary definitely was assumed into heaven, but whether it was before or after her death we don't know"? Because whatever source you imagine supports the assumption (there would have been eyewitnesses - family at her deathbed, that sort of thing), that source would also contain the datum of whether Mary had died or not prior to her assumption. It's remarkable that Rome, and you, claim to know one but not the other. And what of those Catholics who died before the assumption was made a required belief? It wasn't necessary for salvation before 1950, so that just looks like Rome dictating terms to God.
6:23 AM, August 16, 2013

Blogger Scott said...
Dr. Marshall doesn't have to be infallible! We're not even discussing a topic under the charism of infallibility! I do find it a bit amusing to see Protestants continue to distract this way though - who do you think you're fooling?
As for your comment to me, whether or not she actually died is not important! What is important is that she "completed her course of her earthly life" and was "assumed, body and soul into Heaven." There is no real "need" for Rome to settle whether or not she experienced physical death - her course of this life was complete, period.
As I said (on the CathApol blog) if you want to discuss or debate whether she actually died, fine - that's another discussion. We can discuss this all you want, but when you get down to it, it's just musings of folks on the Internet positing opinions (ancient and/or new) regarding this.
MY POINT is that if we're "Remembering the Assumption of Mary" (as Swan entitled his article) then let us do that! Why the distraction?
We could discuss further, as you brought up, that prior to the 1950 defining of this dogma not all faithful Catholics held to the dogma - and I concur with that. The point, as you recognized, is that after the definition was promulgated no faithful Catholic can deny it. It becomes a recognition of the authority Jesus Christ empowered His Church with and denial of that authority becomes a denial of Christ - and THAT is more relevant than whether or not one "accepts" the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
1:50 PM, August 16, 2013

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