Monday, May 21, 2018

Roman Catholicism Turns Mary into a God


By Keith Thompson

When one examines the honors, offices and titles which Rome has wrongly bestowed upon Mary in recent history, it is quickly apparent that they have attempted to usurp the Triune God and assign to Mary things which only belong to HIm. By doing this, Rome has given Mary glory which only God deserves. Here are some of the many examples:  

(1) Saint and doctor of the Catholic Church Alphonsus Liguori wrote, “the holy Church makes us call Mary our life” (Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, [Tucker, Printer, Perry’s Place, 1852], p. 52). 1 John 5:11-12, however, says, “11And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12).  

(2) The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church claims Mary is “Queen over all things” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, [DoubleDay, 1994], par. 966, p. 274). However, the emphasis of Scripture is that, as Revelation 17:14 says, Jesus is “Lord of lords and King of kings” (Revelation 17:14). Here we see Mary being paralleled with Jesus.  

(3) Alphonsus Liguori wrote, “Mary is the peace-maker between sinners and God” (Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, [Tucker, Printer, Perry’s Place, 1852], p. 163). However, Ephesians 2:14, 16 says, “14For he [Jesus] himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility. . . . 16and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility” (Ephesians 2:14, 16).  

(4) Vatican II Lumen Gentium calls Mary “the most holy Mother of God” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 66). Now, when this title was approved by The Council of Ephesus in 431, it was meant to stress the unity of Jesus’ human and divine natures. That is, Mary was the Mother of God the Son as a whole, not just his human nature, contra Nestorius who taught the disunity between Jesus’ divine and human natures. However, that council’s insistence on Mary being Mother of God was not the same as what we see in modern Roman Catholicism. Many modern Catholics think that by Mary being Mother of God she has some kind of overarching persuasion or position over YHWH. This is seen in Catholic paintings and literature where Mary is appealed to as the one who appeases God and persuades Him on various issues as a mother figure.  

(5) In a series of alleged Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal in 1917 approved by the Vatican, Mary is claimed to have said, “Are you willing to offer yourselves to God and bear all the sufferings He wills to send you, as an act of reparation for the conversion of sinners?” It also said, “Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it.” And: “I will never forsake you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.” It continued, “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners, and say many times, especially when you make some sacrifice: O Jesus, it is for love of You, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” And: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” It further stated, “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.” Then finally: “I want to tell you that a chapel is to be built here in my honour. I am the Lady of the Rosary.” (To read all the exchanges in the apparitions see Donal Anthony Foley, Marian Apparitions, the Bible, and the Modern World, [Gracewing Publishing, 2002], pp. 234-243). This is blasphemy and not the true Mary guided by the Spirit. For, the true Mary would know people do not have to offer themselves to God as a sacrifice to bear sufferings as reparation for the conversion of sinners (or as atonement for "the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary"), since there is allegedly no one to sacrifice themselves for them. Jesus Christ perfectly and sufficiently offered Himself once for all as a sacrifice to save and atone for sinners (Hebrews 9:29; 10:12). Mary would not say she offers salvation or saves people since Joseph would have told her, as the angel told him in a dream, that “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Jesus saves from sin, not Mary. Moreover, the true Mary would not seek to glorify herself or have people devote themselves to her having chapels built for her in her honor, since, those filled with the Spirit do not seek to glorify themselves. They seek to religiously glorify God alone and give him that kind of honor. As John 16:14 says concerning the Holy Spirit: “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

(6) Alphonsus Liguori wrote, “Mary delivers her Clients from Hell” (Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, [Tucker, Printer, Perry’s Place, 1852], p. 183). However, Galatians 1:4 says Jesus “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:4). Likewise Hebrews 7:25 says, “he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).  

(7) The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.’ The Church rightly honors ‘the Blessed Virgin with special devotion’” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, [DoubleDay, 1994], par. 971 p. 275). To say that to worship God it is essential to excessively venerate Mary (which is actually worship) the way modern Rome does is a blasphemy since the New Testament believers and apostolic fathers did not do this as we showed. To say they did not worship God properly is an attack on the apostles and those after them. More importantly, it is an attack on God since He can be worshiped just fine without Rome’s excessive veneration of Mary.

 (8) Pope Pius IX taught that Mary “has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world," (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus). Yet in Genesis 3:15 we are told Christ, and not Mary, crushes the serpent’s head: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15). He, Jesus, will crush the serpent’s head, not Mary.  

(9) The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church asserts that Mary is the believers’ “Helper” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, [DoubleDay, 1994], par. 969, p. 275). However, John 14:26 says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).  

(10) In the alleged apparition of Mary in Guadalupe, Mexico in 1531, Mary was purported to say, “I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me, to listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows. And to accomplish what my clemency pretends, go to the palace of the Bishop of Mexico, and you will say to him that I manifest my great desire, that here on this plain, a temple be built to me” (Kenneth P. Minkema, Spiritual Awakenings, ed. Louise A. Breen, Converging Worlds: Communities and Cultures in Colonial America, A Sourcebook, [Routledge, 2013], p. 305). However, David in Psalms 18:6 shows that it was to God and His Temple which believers were to pray toward and find consolation from their distress: “and in my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears” (Psalms 18:6). The true Mary would not want a temple built for her, or to have people look to her for things which Scripture calls believers to look towards God for. In fact, it’s the antichrist who wants a temple built to him so he can reside in it, receive honor, and be sought as the remedy of misery, etc (2 Thessalonians 2:4).  

(11) Liguori wrote, “The whole Trinity, O Mary, gave thee a name after that of thy Son above every other name, that in thy name every knee should bow, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth” (Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, [Tucker, Printer, Perry’s Place, 1852], p. 219). However, Philippians 2:10 says, “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:10). God never affirmed this of Mary.  

(12) The 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church claims that the multitude will be “gathered around Jesus and Mary in paradise” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, [DoubleDay, 1994], par. 1053, p. 297). However, the heavenly picture Scripture paints is that the multitudes will be gathered around the throne of the Lamb and the Father, not Mary. Revelation 5:13 says, “And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13). Revelation 7:9-11 also says, “9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God” (Revelation 7:9-11).

(13) In Vatican II we read, “She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him in suffering as he died on the cross” (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 61). In his Encyclical Jucunda Semper, Pope Leo XIII said Mary “willingly offered Him up to divine justice, dying with Him in her heart, pierced by the sword of sorrow” (Leo XIII, Jucunda Semper, 1894). Moreover, Pope Benedict XV (1914-1922) said, “To such an extent did she [Mary] suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son, and to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for man’s salvation . . . that we may rightly say that she together with Christ redeemed the human race” (Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia, 1918). The HarperCollins Encyclopeda of Catholicism explains: “By offering Christ in the sacrifice on the cross and by suffering in her heart the wounds he receives in his flesh, she actively shares in the redemptive work of her Son at its most critical moment” (The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, “Coredemptrix,” ed. Richard P. McBrien, [HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1995], p. 369). However, blood was required for the redemption (Hebrews 9:22). Jesus spilled his blood and thus redeemed man. Mary did not spill hers. Hence, she did not participate in the redemption a saving way. Also, it is not possible since only Jesus qualified to die for man’s sins since only Jesus’ sufferings could satisfy God the Father’s justice and wrath (Isaiah 53:3-5, 10; Romans 3:25). Jesus alone is the spotless lamb who qualified for redeeming man and suffering for him (Isaiah 53:7, 10; John 1:29; 1 Corinthian 5:7). In fact 1 Peter 1:18-19 affirms that only Jesus’ blood could redeem man.

(14) The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism says, “through her continual intercessions, Mary was seen as the dispensatrix (Lat.) who distributed and applied the graces of Christ” (The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, “Mediatrix,” ed. Richard P. McBrien, [HarperCollins Publishers, Inc., 1995], p. 848). St. Bernadine of Siena said, “Every grace granted to men has three successive steps: By God it is communicated to Christ, from Christ it passes to the Virgin, and from the Virgin it descends to us” (St. Bernadine of Siena quoted in Pope Leo XIII, Jucunda semper, 1894).  Liguori then clearly said all graces “should be dispensed by the hands and through the intercession of Mary” (Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary, (Tucker, Printer, Perry’s Place, 1852), p. 129). Pope Leo XIII said, “She dispenses grace with a generous hand from that treasure with which from the beginning she was divinely endowed in the fullest abundance” (Pope Leo XIII, Octobri mense, September 22, 1891). But, the book 2 John was written about A.D. 80. This is after Mary died. Yet, this letter affirms grace comes from God the Father and Christ, not from Mary in heaven: “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ” (2 John 1:3). Nowhere is it stated that Mary applies / dispenses grace from heaven to mankind. Such an idea contradicts the biblical witness. What is more, in order for Mary to be able to apply grace to billions of people around the world simultaneously without interruption until the end of the world, as Vatican II claimed (Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, 62), she would need to be able to be in different places at the same time. Only one who is omnipresent could do such a thing. Omnipresence, however, is a divine attribute of God (1 Kings 8:27). One would need to be able to know who to give grace to, which would require one to be all-knowing. Yet omniscience is also a divine attribute of God (1 John 3:20). One would need to be powerful enough to apply grace to billions of people on the earth at the same time. Yet omnipotence is a divine attribute of God (Job 42:2). Rome, by claiming Mary is the mediatrix of all graces, ends up giving her divine attributes which only God has and which serve glorify God alone.  

In summing up our discussion on Rome’s false teachings concerning Mary, it is befitting to quote the historian Philip Schaff’s remarks. He observed,

“After the middle of the fourth century it [the Church] overstepped the wholesome Biblical limit, and transformed the ‘mother of the Lord’ into the mother of God, the humble ‘handmaiden of the Lord’ into a queen of heaven, the ‘highly favored’ into a dispenser of favors, the ‘blessed among women’ into an intercessor above all women, nay, we may almost say, the redeemed daughter of fallen Adam, who is nowhere in Holy Scripture excepted from the universal sinfulness, into a sinlessly holy co-redeemer. At first she was acquitted only of actual sin, afterward even of original; though the doctrine of the immaculate conception of the Virgin was long contested, and was not established as an article of faith in the Roman church till 1854. Thus the veneration of Mary gradually degenerated into the worship of Mary; and this took so deep hold upon the popular religious life in the Middle Age, that, in spite of all the scholastic distinctions between latria, and dulia, and hyperdulia, Mariolatry practically prevailed over the worship of Christ. Hence in the innumerable Madonnas of Catholic art the human mother is the principle figure, and the divine child an accessory” (Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Volume 3, [Hendrickson Publishers, 2011], pp. 410-411).

2 comments:

  1. Well done! Another relevant passage of Scripture to use in this debate over the Roman Catholic Marian dogmas is Psalm 73:24-26.

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  2. This quote attributed to the Fatima apparitions is appalling, in my opinion:

    "In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world. Only I can help you. My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

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