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Esme Lovette wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have some questions about the Virgin Mary and Original Sin.

  • Mary was supposedly born without original sin because she was conceived through the Lord's Blessing, without her father's seed involved, since apparently that's how hereditary sin is passed on, right?
  • But then, why can you only inherit original sin through your father?
  • Why don't mothers pass it on to their children?
  • Furthermore, since Mary isn't the daughter of God, in the way that Jesus is the Son of God, and her (father's/mother's) husband's seed wasn't used, is she technically conceived fatherless?


  { Why can you only inherit original sin through your father and was Mary conceived fatherless? }

Eric replied:

Dear Esme,

The teaching of the Immaculate Conception, [New Advent][Papal Encyclicals Online] to which you refer, does not involve any teaching that Mary was conceived without her father's seed. She was conceived in the usual fashion but was miraculously preserved from original sin, so she was not fatherless (Joachim was her father).

We don't know exactly how original sin is passed on; we know it is by propagation, not by imitation but whether it is passed down in genes or DNA or by mother or father is not defined by the Church.


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