Peace be with you Ron,
You have asked a great deal here and I will address each topic one at a time. Understanding, I pray, that the questions you ask are very involved issues. So I will start with the Perpetual Virginity of Mary:
[quote:gbima654]499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin[/quote:gbima654]
[quote:gbima654]The Bible on the other hand says in Matthew 1:25 – And (Joseph) knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (KJV)[/quote:gbima654]
The basis for your first Bible quote is the word [b:gbima654][u:gbima654]until[/u:gbima654][/b:gbima654] not [b:gbima654][i:gbima654]till[/i:gbima654][/b:gbima654], you may or may not know that the Greek word for [b:gbima654]until[/b:gbima654] has two meanings and does not imply or exclude normal marital conduct. Because it has been so well addressed in previous writings and responses, I present this for you to read:
[quote:gbima654]Matthew 12:46-50 talks about Jesus’ brethren, (And don’t give me the part about them being His cousins, read the Scripture itself)
John 7:5 – For neither did his brethren believe in him.
Acts 1:14 – These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
A few quick contemporary definitions to help with the example of context:
Greek – ‘ah
Jewish – 251 (Morphology)
Brethren -n. brothers, kin, relatives (Archaic)
brother – n. male sibling; title of a monk used as form of address; fellow member, man who belongs to the same race, male who belongs to the same religion or profession
kin – n. family, kindred, relatives; relative, relation; kinship; family relationship
relative – family member, kinsman
Unfortunately your interpretations of these passages are in literalistic sense and can lead to dangerous interpretations and conclusions. Context of the word and used of the original text is most important. If I say, “That’s a [b:gbima654]cool[/b:gbima654] car!” does one think the car is cold to the touch? Or is it that I really like the car? Another example would be the use of the terms [b:gbima654]Brothers[/b:gbima654] and [b:gbima654]Sisters[/b:gbima654] in a Christian environment. We do not mean of blood relations do we? If so, a long talk is needed with our parents. No we mean our union in the Body of Christ. As it was the tradition of the Jews, first and second centuries Christians. Brethren did not mean ” a male sibling” as you propose.
Jewish custom, as is ours today, recognized kin or family members as brethren. Vine Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (a non-catholic publication BTW) second definition is [i:gbima654]”a blood relative[/b][/i:gbima654] and use the following example – Abram’s nephew is termed his [b:gbima654][i:gbima654]brother[/i:gbima654][/b:gbima654] in Gen. 14:16 (KVJ) [i:gbima654]And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.[/i:gbima654] We know they were not “male siblings” but they were relatives.
Further, St. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11:2 (KVJ) [i:gbima654]Now I praise you, [b:gbima654]brethren[/b:gbima654], that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.[/i:gbima654] These letters of St. Paul was to the Church in Corinth, are we to believe that [b:gbima654]ALL[/b:gbima654] who were in the Church in Corinth were his “male siblings”? And what of the women? I am not mocking you, God knows, but allowing literalistic interpretations guide you can only harm God’s Word! And if you say that it only applies to certain passages at certain times to support your believes, then no two people can understand God’s Word in the same or at least similar manner.
I also suggest you read CCC 500 and 501. You quote of the Catechism is not complete without the entire section of Mary – “ever-virgin”. It is much like law, one cannot quote parts of a law to make it fit unto ones action nor can the law omit case law that scopes it.
And lastly Protestant reformers even supported The Mary’s Perpetual Virginity of Mary:
[b:gbima654]Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote:[/b:gbima654]
It is an article of faith that Mary is Mother of the Lord and still a virgin. … Christ, we believe, came forth from a womb left perfectly intact. (Weimer’s The Works of Luther, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, v. 11, pp. 319-320; v. 6. p. 510.)
” This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Ghost, who at the Conception and birth of the Son so favored the Virgin Mother as to impart to her fecundity while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity.”9
In this work whereby she was made the Mother of God, so many and such great good things were given her that no one can grasp them. … Not only was Mary the mother of him who is born [in Bethlehem], but of him who, before the world, was eternally born of the Father, from a Mother in time and at the same time man and God. (Weimer’s The Works of Luther, English translation by Pelikan, Concordia, St. Louis, v. 7, p. 572.)
[b:gbima654]John Calvin (1509-1564) wrote:[/b:gbima654]
It cannot be denied that God in choosing and destining Mary to be the Mother of his Son, granted her the highest honor. … Elizabeth called Mary Mother of the Lord, because the unity of the person in the two natures of Christ was such that she could have said that the mortal man engendered in the womb of Mary as at the same time the eternal God. (Calvini Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Braunschweig-Berlin, 1863-1900, v. 45, p. 348, 35.)
Calvin also upheld the perpetual virginity of Mary.
[b:gbima654]Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531), wrote:[/b:gbima654]
I firmly believe that Mary, according to the words of the gospel as a pure Virgin brought forth for us the Son of God and in childbirth and after childbirth forever remained a pure, intact Virgin. (Zwingli Opera, Corpus Reformatorum, Berlin, 1905, v. 1, p. 424.)
I will address Saints next. Please be patient. God Bless!
[i:gbima654]We often judge a thing according to our preference and therefore our judgement is emotional rather than objective.” – Limatations of Christ Book 1 Chapter 14.[/i:gbima654]