“A friend of mine teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, never committed a sin. Would you comment on this?”
The Catholic Church teaches two errors with reference to Mary’s alleged sinlessness:
- It argues that the mother of Jesus was conceived “immaculately,” i.e., she did not inherit, as others supposedly do, the guilt of Adam’s “original sin.”
- The Roman Church contends that Mary never committed an actual sin.
Both of these views are false.
It is true that Mary did not contract the guilt of Adam’s original sin, because nobody has. It has nothing to do with Mary’s conception. Guilt simply is not inherited. The child does not bear the iniquity of the parent (Ezekiel 18:20). Human beings go astray; they are not born that way (cf. Isaiah 53:6). One is spiritually dead because of his personal sin (Ephesians 2:1 ), not due to the sin of others.
Further, it is not true that Mary never committed an actual sin. In her magnificent psalm uttered while carrying the Christ child, she exclaimed, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:47). Observe that she referred to the Lord as “my Savior”—not merely “a Savior,” or “the Savior.” No sinless person needs a Savior. Clearly this statement implies that Mary was a sinner just like the rest of us (Romans 3:23).
Doubtless she was one of the noblest ladies ever to grace this planet; nevertheless, she was not without sin (cf. 1 John 1:8, 10).