Do Catholics and Orthodox consider the idea of Joseph and Mary having sexual relations as "adultery," given that Mary was found with child by the Holy Spirit?Matthew Bellisario replied:
Hi Pilgrim. I am not aware of anyone saying that it would have been adultery.Richard Froggatt added:
Pilgrim, If I put myself in Joseph's shoes I wouldn't touch Mary that way, would you? I am being sincere when I say this.I've heard similar sentiments expressed in the past. I'll paraphrase here my friend David Bryan, an EO seminarian - if I were Joseph, I'd have some serious hesitation about having intimacy with a woman whose womb had been inhabited by God Himself.
From Letters Between a Catholic and an Evangelical, pp 290-291, Fr John Waiss, Opus Dei, made a similar, yet more disgusting statement.
Q: Would God just use Mary?
John Waiss (questioning James McCarthy): Jim, would Jesus ever say to His mother, "What you would have gained from me is Corban" (that is, given to God, see Mark 7:11-12)? Would God just use Mary to bear Him in her womb and then deny any special relationship to His mother?
Jim: No, I wouldn't think so.
Q: Is implying Mary is a harlot offensive to Jesus?
John: The "until" of Matthew 1:25 - that Joseph "knew her not unti [Greek eos]..." - is similar to Jesus' promise to remain with us "until [Greek eos] the completion of the age " (Matthew 28:20, Darby Translation). This doesn't imply He will abandon us afterwards - at least I hope not! What you seem to imply is that Mary plays the harlot by having children by another lover (Joseph in this case) after having Jesus by the Holy Spirit (emph added), since:
If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? ... You have played the harlot with many lovers; and would you return to me? says the Lord. --Jeremiah 3:1
If someone implied this of your mother, wouldn't you take offense? Isn't doing the same to Mary a great offense to Jesus?
Jim: Does my claim that Mary had children by Joseph after the birth of Jesus really make her a harlot and Joseph "another lover"? Before drawing such conclusions, note that under Jewish law, Joseph and Mary were already husband and wife. Scr identifies Joseph as Mary's "husband"...Frankly, I think your whole line of reasoning should be abandoned. We cannot apply the terms of human relations to this extraordinary case. Mary and the Holy Spirit were not lovers, were not maried, and did not have sexual relations. No divorce occurred, so Jer 3:1 does not apply. Neither should we question the properity of Joseph and Mary having children. They were legally married, of which the Lord says, "they become one flesh" (Gen 2:24). After the birth of Jesus, they had children. What's wrong with that (link added, obviously)?
I was speechless when I read Waiss' statement. What other explanation than that Rome has a bizarre and unhealthy fascination with sex, expressed (again, bizarrely) in selective prudishness:
-For certain grown men, sex is not OK, nor is marriage, but if you do choose to have sex with little boys, the hierarchy will hide your crime and reassign you.
-For Mary, sex with your husband is not OK.
-For Mary, sex with the Holy Spirit is OK. Waiss' view reduces to Greek mythology, or to take a more homegrown example, Mormonism. Yikes.