BASIC R.C. BELIEF
Husband of Mary, foster-father of Jesus. Roman Catholics do not believe he
ever lived with Mary as a true husband but was protector of Mary and Jesus.
It took centuries for anyone to notice him, but recently he has been
elevated beyond all saints except Mary. Because of his intimate contact
with Mary and Jesus, many theologians claim a freedom from sin for him.
Some restrict this sinlessness to when he was married to Mary. It is more
commonly held that throughout his life he never sinned grievously (CATHOLIC
DICTIONARY OF THEOLOGY, volume II, page 165).
A unique level of veneration, proto-dulia, is advocated by some for
The tradition that he died before the Crucifixion is probably upheld by
Jesus' committing Mary to John; His own brothers being unbelievers (John
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