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Holy Mary, Mother of God?

Rich Kelsey

Pope Benedict

 

Catholics venerate Mary as:

“Queen of the universe”[1]

“center of the whole world”[2]

“greater than the many-eyed cherubim and the six-winged seraphim”[3]

 

and claim that,

 

“Heaven and earth are filled with the sanctity of … [her] glory."[4]

 

St. Ildephonsus of Toledo honored Mary with this salutation:

 

“O my Lady, my Sovereign, You who rule over me, Mother of my Lord.”[5]

 

Catholic Saint Bernard said:

 

"For, desiring to save the whole human race, He [God] has laid the full price of redemption in Mary's hands, letting her dispense it at her pleasure."[6]

 

Nowhere in the bible does it say that God gave authority to Mary to dispense redemption at her pleasure? On this subject Jesus said:

 

“… All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matt. 28:18)

 

Catholic leaders maintain:

 

“God exalted her [Mary] over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth." (Pope Benedict XVI, Catholic World News, CatholicCulture.org, November 27th 2006)[7]

 

Again, this teaching cannot be found in scripture.

 

St. Germanus said,

 

“Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings.”[8]

 

The Bible states that Jesus is the,

 

“KING OF KINGS.”[9]

 

One cannot have it both ways: either Jesus is the “KING OF KINGS”or he is not!

 

Pope Pius XII said,

 

“The theologians of the Church, deriving their teaching from these and almost innumerable other testimonies handed down long ago, have called the most Blessed Virgin the Queen of all creatures, the Queen of the world, and the Ruler of all.”[10]

 

It’s interesting that Pope Pius XII pointed to

 

“testimonies handed down long ago”

 

to give weight to Catholic dogma. But, what if those testimonies were formed by men who were steeped in the pagan concepts of ancient Rome?

 

“St. Andrew of Crete said,

 

“[Mary] … the Queen of the entire human race … is exalted above all things save only God himself.”[11]

 

However, the Bible claims that,

 

“… God placed all things under his [Christ’s] feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church” (Eph 1:22).

 

Not Mary![12]

 

The odds that anyone reading the bible alone would end up developing these Marian doctrines are extremely slim. In reality, the teachings of a highly exalted Mary came from:

 

Church council meetings[13]

Ex cathedra teachings[14]

Accepted traditions[15]

Figurative analogies[16]

Interpretations of symbolic scriptures[17]

 

As well as,

 

Marian apparitions[18]

 

More Extra-Biblical Dogma:

 

Catholics maintain that Mary was conceived and

 

“preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.” [19]

 

This doctrine is called the Immaculate Conception; however, it is not found in scripture.

 

Catholic also claim that Mary lived a

 

“perfectly sinless life.”[20]

 

If Mary was born without any stain of original sin, and then lived a sinless life, then why is it written in scripture:

 

“And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.’” (Luke 1:46-47)

 

Evidently Mary needed a savior because she had the same problem everyone else in the world has — sin. On this subject the Bible records:

 

“… There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10)

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

 

In the Book of Revelation, a search was made for someone who was worthy to break the seals and open a scroll; the only person found worthy in all of heaven and earth was Jesus Christ. Nobody else was worthy to open the scroll or even look inside it; this no doubt would include Mary.[21] According to scripture, Jesus is the only person who made it through life without sin.[22]

 

Catholics also insist that Mary,

 

“… having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”[23]

 

This teaching is called the "Assumption"[24] of Mary. Yet, there are no[25] biblical passages to support this teaching.

 

“The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae”[26] — which is a late dated (Sixth Century) spurious gospel supposedly written by the resurrected Apostle John. However, the lack of scriptural evidence did not prevent Mary’s bodily assumption into heaven from becoming dogma.[27]

 

On November 1st 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed:

 

“It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration… or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.”[28]

 

One might wonder why a recent pope would threaten people with,

 

“the wrath of Almighty God,”

 

for opposing his proclamation on a subject which has no basis in scripture?

 

Mary — Ruler of All?

 

Catholics maintain that,

 

“…the sovereign King [Jesus] has in some way communicated to her [Mary] his ruling power.”[29]

 

The words,

 

“in some way”

 

indicate that Catholic leaders have not found any clear proof[30] for this Marian dogma.

 

Conclusion:

 

From the Book of Acts, which records what Christ’s Apostles said and did, all the way through to the end of the Bible, Mary’s name is mentioned once:

 

“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14)

Contrast this with:

 

“Overall, there are significantly more titles, feasts and venerative Marian practices among Roman Catholics than any other Christian traditions.” (Encyclopedia of Catholicism by Frank K. Flinn, J. Gordon Melton, p.p. 443–444)

 

To make matters worse, Catholic scholars admit:

 

"Towards the end of the fourth century, the name Mary becomes rather frequent among Christians…" (Catholic Encyclopedia, The Blessed Virgin Mary, newadvent.org)

 

It was only when Christianity became the state religion[31] of Rome that the name Mary becomes used frequently.  Obviously, when Rome got control of Christianity, the gospel of Christ was changed.

Perhaps the most troubling Marian doctrine of all is the supposed role she plays in man’s salvation:

 

“No sinner in the world is beyond the hope of redemption; no one is so cursed that he cannot obtain pardon if he calls upon Mary. It is necessary to be in a state of sanctifying grace to be saved, but it is not necessary to be in a state of grace to call on Mary. As she was the representative of sinful humanity who gave consent to the Redemption, so she is still the representative of those who are not yet in a state of friendship with God… This role Mary plays.” (Call Upon Mary, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen).

 

The understanding that sinners can obtain pardon by calling upon Mary, not only lacks any scriptural basis; what is recorded in the Bible clearly contradicts it: The Apostle Peter, speaking of Jesus Christ, said,

“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

Peter went on to say,


“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Mary’s name was not mentioned by Peter. Yet, if there is still any doubt over which name should be called upon, perhaps the following scriptures will settle the matter:

“[There is] one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5)


“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)

 

 

For more information:

 

The Rise of Catholicsim

Perspective On Trinitarian Terms

Christian Articles

 

 

 


 

 

Endnotes:


[1] IDENTEM PIUMQUE ANIMUM
excerpts from (On the Rosary) by Pope Leo XIII

“… The form of prayer We refer to has obtained the special name of "Rosary," as though it represented by its arrangement the sweetness of roses and the charm of a garland. This is most fitting for a method of venerating the Virgin, who is rightly styled the Mystical Rose of Paradise, and who, as Queen of the universe, shines therein with a crown of stars. …” (Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII Promulgated on 20 September 1896)

 

[2] (Ethiopic Missal - Missale Aethiopicum, Anaphora Dominae nostrae Mariae, Matris Dei., quoted in Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954)

 

[3] Ibid

 

[4] Ibid

 

[5] (S. Germanus, In Praesentationem Ssmae Deiparae, 1: PG XCVIII, 303 A., quoted in Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954)

 

[6] (St. Bernard, quoted in THE GLORIES OF MARY, CHAPTER 3, PART 2, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, Redemptorist Fathers, 1931)

 

[7] “Christ's kingdom will be fully realized on earth, the Pontiff said, ‘after all the enemies - and in the last instance, death - have been defeated.’ Until then, he encouraged the faithful to ‘freely accept the truth of God's love.’ The prefect exemplar of that acceptance, he pointed out, is the Virgin Mary. Her humble and unconditional acceptance of God's will in her life, the Pope noted, was the reason that ‘God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.’" (Catholic World News, CatholicCulture.org, November 27th 2006)

 

[8] (S. Germanus, In Praesentationem Ssmae Deiparae, 1: PG XCVIII, 303 A.)

 

[9] “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:16, NIV)

 

[10] (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954)

 

[11] (Quoted in, Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954 — Id., Homilia III in Dormitionem Ssmae Deiparae: PG XCVII, 1099 A.)

 

[12] [Christ is] “… far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” (Eph 1:21)

 

[13] “Councils are legally convened assemblies of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts for the purpose of discussing and regulating matters of church doctrine and discipline.” (General Councils, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

 

[14] “… infallibility is not attributed to every doctrinal act of the pope, but only to his ex cathedra teaching… It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal. Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible... Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense… papal infallibility is a personal and incommunicable charisma, [good gift] which is not shared by any pontifical tribunal.” (Infallibility - papal infallibility, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

 

[15] “The word tradition (Greek paradosis) in the ecclesiastical sense, which is the only one in which it is used here, refers sometimes to the thing (doctrine, account, or custom) transmitted from one generation to another; sometimes to the organ or mode of the transmission (kerigma ekklisiastikon, predicatio ecclesiastica)… [Tradition is] … a given doctrine or institution [that] is not directly dependent on Holy Scripture as its source but only on the oral teaching of Christ or the Apostles. Finally with regard to the organ of tradition it must be an official organ, a magisterium, or teaching authority.” (Tradition and Living Magisterium, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

 

[16] “Is she not a rainbow in the clouds reaching towards God, the pledge of a covenant of peace?” (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954)

 

[17] “In the Apocalypse (12:1-16) occurs a passage singularly applicable to Our Blessed Mother: …Owing to her unspeakable privileges, Mary may well be described as ‘clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars’. It is true that commentators generally understand the whole passage as applying literally to the Church, and that part of the verses is better suited to the Church than to Mary. But it must be kept in mind that Mary is both a figure of the Church, and its most prominent member. What is said of the Church, is in its own way true of Mary” (The Blessed Virgin Mary, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

 

[18]“The Virgin Mary herself desired this tie. ‘What the Sovereign Pontiff defined in Rome through his infallible Magisterium, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God, blessed among all women, wanted to confirm by her own words, it seems, when shortly afterward she manifested herself by a famous apparition at the grotto of Massabielle. . .’ Certainly the infallible word of the Roman Pontiff, the authoritative interpreter of revealed truth, needed no heavenly confirmation that it might be accepted by the faithful. But with what emotion and gratitude did the Christian people and their pastors receive from the lips of Bernadette this answer which came from heaven: ‘I am the Immaculate Conception!’ … Soon the illustrious Pontiff who, like his predecessors, had honored the anniversary celebrations of the apparitions by sending a legate, decided to conclude the Jubilee of the Redemption at the Grotto of Massabielle where, in his own words, ‘the Immaculate Virgin Mary appeared several times to Blessed Bernadette Soubirous, and, in her kindness, exhorted all men to do penance at the scene of these wondrous apparitions, a place she has showered with graces and miracles.’ Truly, Pius XI concluded, is this sanctuary ‘now justly considered one of the principal Marian shrines in the world.’” (Le Pelerinage de Lourdes, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)


[19] “In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary ‘in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.’" (Immaculate Conception, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org)

 

[20] ALL-HOLY ‑- Mary, “the All-Holy,” lived a perfectly sinless life. (Catechism 411, 493)

 

[21]
Rev 5:1 Then I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll with writing on both sides and sealed with seven seals.

Rev 5:2 And I saw a mighty angel proclaiming in a loud voice, “Who is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll”

Rev 5:3 But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it.

Rev 5:4 I wept and wept because no one was found who was worthy to open the scroll or look inside.

Rev 5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:1-5)

 

[22]
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

“He [Christ] committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” (1 Peter 2:22)

 

[23] “We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory” (Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus, no 44)

 

[24] “Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary… by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body. Thus, when it was solemnly proclaimed that Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, was from the very beginning free from the taint of original sin, the minds of the faithful were filled with a stronger hope that the day might soon come when the dogma of the Virgin Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven would also be defined by the Church's supreme teaching authority. (.5 -.6 APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950)

 

[25] Clement is mute about the Assumption, so is Ignatius, Polycarp, Barnabas, Papias and Justin Martyr. From 70 A.D. to 403 A.D. there is not one word about what happened to Mary after her death. The silence is broken by Epiphanius (315-403 A.D.) but he breaks the silence only to inform us that the Scripture is silent about how Mary passed from this world. He writes, "Either the holy Virgin died and was buried; then her falling asleep was with honor, her death chaste, her crown that of virginity. Or she was killed, as it is written; 'And your own soul a sword shall pierce'; then her glory is among the martyrs and her holy body amid blessings, she through whom the light rose over the world. Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and he can do whatever he desires; for her end no one knows" (Theotokos, p. 117).

 

[26] “The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the [sixth century] Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae. Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition. (The Feast of the Assumption, Catholic Encyclopedia, newadvent.org / Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 6)

[27] “… it is in our own age that the privilege of the bodily Assumption into heaven of Mary, the Virgin Mother of God, has certainly shone forth more clearly. That privilege has shone forth in new radiance since our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the loving Mother of God's Immaculate Conception.” (APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950)

[28] “45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith. 46. In order that this, our definition of the bodily Assumption of the Virgin Mary into heaven may be brought to the attention of the universal Church, we desire that this, our Apostolic Letter, should stand for perpetual remembrance… 47. It is forbidden to any man to change this, our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul. 48. Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, in the year of the great Jubilee, 1950, on the first day of the month of November, on the Feast of All Saints, in the twelfth year of our pontificate.” (Sections 45-48, APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950)

[29] (Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII)

[30] “From these considerations, the proof develops on these lines: if Mary, in taking an active part in the work of salvation, was, by God's design, associated with Jesus Christ, the source of salvation itself, in a manner comparable to that in which Eve was associated with Adam, the source of death, so that it may be stated that the work of our salvation was accomplished by a kind of ‘recapitulation,’” (# 38. Ad Caeli Reginam, His Holiness Pope Pius XII, Encyclical on Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary, Promulgated October 11, 1954)  

[31] “When the Roman Emperor Constantine I converted to Christianity in the 4th century, he launched the era of Christian hegemony. Despite a short-lived attempt by the Emperor Julian to revive and preserve traditional and Hellenistic religion and to affirm the special status of Judaism, in 391 under Theodosius I Christianity became the official state religion of Rome, to the exclusion of all others. Pleas for religious tolerance from traditionalists such as the senator Symmachus (d. 402) were rejected, and Christian monotheism became a feature of Imperial domination. Other religions were gradually transformed, absorbed or strictly suppressed. Many forms of traditional religious practice, particularly festivals and games (ludi), which might be divorced from theological implications, retained their vitality through the 4th and 5th centuries. Rome's religious hierarchy and many aspects of ritual influenced Christian forms, and many pre-Christian beliefs and practices survived in Christian festivals and local traditions.” (Wikipedia, Religion in ancient Rome)


 

# holy mary mother of god, catholic church, false religion