I wish to clear up a commonly held misconception regarding the Roman Catholic doctrine known as the Immaculate Conception. A vast number of individuals hold the belief that the IC and the Baby Jesus Virgin Birth are interchangeable historical/mythical events. The late (for what?) and immeasurably great George Carlin recently disabused me of this erroneous notion. The IC and Virgin Birth are distinguished as follows (Wikipedian sources):
The Immaculate Conception is the conception of the Virgin Mary without any stain (“immacula” in Latin) of original sin. From the first moment of her existence, Mary was preserved by God from the lack of sanctifying grace that afflicts mankind and that she was instead filled with divine grace. It is further said by Catholics that she lived a life completely free from sin [except for that one time in a 8-jet jacuzzi]. Belief in Mary’s immaculate conception in the womb of her mother, through sexual intercourse, should not be confused with the doctrines of the virginal conception of her son Jesus, known as the Annunciation and the Virgin Birth.
The Virgin birth of Jesus is a tenet of Christianity and Islam which holds that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke [straight shooters according to their many contemporaries] say that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit. These gospels, later tradition and current doctrine present Jesus’ conception as a miracle involving no natural father, no sexual intercourse, and no male seed in any form, but instead brought about by the Holy Spirit. [Intact hymen + Holy Spirit seed absorption = Jesus.]