As part of the celebration of the Assumption of the Virgin, many believers wonder whether or not Saint Mary died before she was taken to heaven. The famous Spanish theologian José Antonio Forte responds to this concern.
In his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus (“Merciful God”), Pope Pius XII defined the doctrine of the Assumption of Saint Mary.
The Pope affirmed in that document that “the Immaculate Mother of God, the always Virgin Mary, After completing the course of her earthly life, she was considered body and soul to heavenly glory“.
“If someone, what God does not want, dares to voluntarily deny or question what we have determined, know that he has fallen from the divine and Catholic faith,” he added.
However, the papal document does not specify whether Santa Maria died.
Speaking to ACI Prensa some time ago, Father Forte explained that the ambiguity in the Apostolic Constitution “was not accidental, but was expressly required”.
He emphasized the doctrine of faith, “This is only an assumption“.
The Spanish priest, Doctor of Theology, noted that in the history of the Church “there were two fundamental traditions” relating to the end of Santa Maria’s days on earth.
On the one hand, he said, Eastern Christians “speak of the Virgin sleeping. There was not much of this tradition in the West at first. Some claimed that stillness had occurred. Others did not, they said that he had died.”
“Since there was no consensus in this area and what the dogmas express is faith, it was finally decided to leave it vaguely,” he said.
“The Church did not oppose who said one thing or who said anotherHe stressed it.
Faced with religious controversy, Pope Pius XII chose to “use the term occult.”
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