This morning we welcome Dr Theo Claptrap to the site to answer your questions on matters liturgical, biblical and ecclesiastical. Welcome Dr Theo and let's take a question:
Dr Theo, big fan, love your work, been following you for years...
Yes, yes get on with it.
Well I can't help noticing that today is the Festival of the Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Indeed it is. Your question?
Well what is that for?
Ah well, glad you asked me that. The idea is that for the Son of God to be completely pure and free from the stain of human sinfulness his human mother must also have been and so on. It used to be called the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. It is celebrated on the 8th December, nine months before the Nativity of Mary which is celebrated on the 8th September. I guess they assumed a full-term pregnancy. Started about the fifth century CE.
I think someone realised we'd have to be celebrating her grandparents, great-grandparents and so on. We'd disappear, immaculately up our own genealogy. Anyway if Christ is fully human as well as fully divine it is important that there was nothing special about his mother.
Exactly. Ordinary, obedient human lass, probably a teenager.
Exactly. The last thing she'd have wanted was a feast. Let alone one to celebrate her parents getting it on. Have you read the Magnificat?
Blimey won't that upset a few of our catholic friends?
Might do. Accuracy more important than friendship I reckon. You don't help your friends by agreeing with them when they're talking boll... Anyway, must dash, those Orange Lodge doors won't open themselves. Cheerio.
Dr Claptrap will be back to answer more of your questions after his meeting. Acknowledgement to the late Miles Kington who did this sort of thing from time to time.