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Spartacus
04-08-2015, 01:07 PM
There have been renegade popes in the past.

Its ok, It was just a hypothetical I thought of.

And the fact that, despite the utter scumbags (and occasionally actual heretics) that have been popes, the Holy Spirit has miraculously preserved the papacy from officially teaching error.

One Bad Pig
04-08-2015, 01:29 PM
And the fact that, despite the utter scumbags (and occasionally actual heretics) that have been popes, the Holy Spirit has miraculously preserved the papacy from officially teaching error.
Depending on your definition of "officially" (and pretending, for the moment, that the filioque is not error). :tongue:

Leonhard
04-08-2015, 10:36 PM
Depending on your definition of "officially" (and pretending, for the moment, that the filioque is not error). :tongue:

The filioque is for fraternal discussion between Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox. I'm not even sure we're in real disagreement about it. Depends entirely on what 'proceeds from' means.

mossrose
04-09-2015, 06:45 AM
And the fact that, despite the utter scumbags (and occasionally actual heretics) that have been popes, the Holy Spirit has miraculously preserved the papacy from officially teaching error.

That error would include Mariology...........right?

Leonhard
04-09-2015, 02:07 PM
That error would include Mariology...........right?

Which part of it? I've seen some protestants claim that its wrong to call the Virgin Mary the Mother of God, not realizing what that would imply about Jesus and His Divinity.

mossrose
04-09-2015, 02:38 PM
Which part of it? I've seen some protestants claim that its wrong to call the Virgin Mary the Mother of God, not realizing what that would imply about Jesus and His Divinity.


We can start with co-redemptrix.

Leonhard
04-09-2015, 02:47 PM
We can start with co-redemptrix.

There is no infallible statement on this. Though personally I don't see the problem with this (as its not a doctrine and dogma of the Church I won't defend it though, you're free to believe against it).

mossrose
04-09-2015, 03:40 PM
Which part of it? I've seen some protestants claim that its wrong to call the Virgin Mary the Mother of God, not realizing what that would imply about Jesus and His Divinity.

Ok, then, let's go here.

Please explain what Catholics mean when they call Mary the mother of God.

mossrose
04-09-2015, 03:44 PM
There is no infallible statement on this. Though personally I don't see the problem with this (as its not a doctrine and dogma of the Church I won't defend it though, you're free to believe against it).

Pope John Paul certainly was enthralled with Mary.

Leonhard
04-09-2015, 06:18 PM
Ok, then, let's go here.

Please explain what Catholics mean when they call Mary the mother of God.

Its not really controversial. Any mother does atleast two things to her son: after he comes into being in her womb, she carries him to term inside her and delivers him.

Christians agreed fairly early that Christ was fully man and fully God.

She's therefore Theotokos (The God Bearer) also called Mother of God. Because what she carried inside her womb, while fully human was also fully God.

Beyond that she dutifully raised Jesus from His infancy until his mission. Along with St Joseph, His guardian father.

And she is the source of his humanity (typically along with the father, though since Jesus was conceived by becoming incarnate without the aid of Joseph, the Virgin Mary is the sole material cause of Jesus humanity). He took it materially from her.

God is of couse in the end the ultimate course of anything. This is not denied here.

No Catholic or Eastern Orthodox has ever asserted, nor has this even been held by the uneducated people in old days, that the Virgin Mary was the source of Christ's Divine nature.

But if one denies that the Virgin Mary was Mother of God, one would also implicitly deny that Jesus was God.

Its not even possible to say that the Virgin Mary only carried the humanity of Jesus. Because that would imply that Jesus was merely human at one point and later became God as well. Or might also imply the heresy of Christ not being God while crucified.

So for these reasons, and others, all Christians should honour the Virgin Mary by calling her Mother of God.

Leonhard
04-09-2015, 06:22 PM
Pope John Paul certainly was enthralled with Mary.

Its hard to be a Catholic and not be enthralled by her. However the positions on the Virgin Mary, of her being coredemptrix and coremediatrix, aren't dogma and weren't defined to be so by St John Paul II.

They don't bind on anyones conscience, so I don't need to defend them in a discussion on infallibility of the pope and the magisterium. :shrug:

Catholicity
04-09-2015, 06:32 PM
We can start with co-redemptrix.
Co redemptrix wasn't Dogma never defined, however I was never comfortable with this word as I felt it was very bad terminology. The definition is Mary plays a small role in our salvation as she agreed to undo Eve's "no" by agreeing to Bring our Lord Jesus into the world for our Salvation.
Now to address Mother of God: She bore Jesus who is God. The term denotes her role as the Earthly mother of Jesus who is God. Another term is God-bearer or Theotokos which may perhaps be more appropriate, that she bore God the Son in her womb. Hence the title of Reverence. I greatly appreciate this more than the co-redemptrix/mediatrix as I find Theotokos says enough about Mary's Role in God's Plan for salvation.

mossrose
04-09-2015, 06:58 PM
the definition is Mary plays a small role in our salvation

Sorry. To say that any person plays any sort of role in our salvation is error.

She was the human vessel to carry the Saviour, but she needed Him the same as anybody else. She is blessed because of her willingness to obey God in this, but should not be venerated as she has been by the Catholics and Orthodox.

This is an unreconcilable point that can't be bridged by any ecumenism.

Leonhard
04-09-2015, 07:39 PM
Sorry. To say that any person plays any sort of role in our salvation is error.

Did anyone ever teach you to pray and had a proximate hand in your coming to know God?

It wasn't all you and God alone. Some printed the Bible you read and someone translated it.

Are humans the source of our salvation? No of course not. But we do coorporate with God. The Virgin Mary is the single greatest example of this. She believed in Christ before anyone else, and stood at the foot of the Cross along with those who loved him the most.


She was the human vessel to carry the Saviour,

This makes her His Mother.


but she needed Him the same as anybody else.

This has always been affirmed by the Church. In the Canticle of Mary she even says it herself "...for He has looked with favour on His lowly servant."


She is blessed because of her willingness to obey God in this,

Amen!


but should not be venerated as she has been by the Catholics and Orthodox.

If one can't honour any saint for their actions, I'd agree you can't honour the Virgin Mary. If you ought to honour the saints, then you ought more than anyone else to honour the Virgin Mary for the grace God gave her.


This is an unreconcilable point that can't be bridged by any ecumenism.

There's no ecumenism about this. Protestants, and I've seen staunch Calvinists agree, that the Virgin Mary should be called Mother of God.

Both Luther and Calvin honoured her in their writings. Using both of the titles I've used in this discussion. And it goes back in the Church as we basically have writings on her. St Augustine painted her greater than I did here.

Spartacus
04-09-2015, 08:23 PM
Apologies for not responding sooner: long day at work and haven't been able to log in until a little while ago. Hopefully what I'm saying isn't too redundant with what Leon has said.

Cath and Leonhard are right to say that co-redemptrix and mediatrix are not infallibly defined, though the Immaculate Conception and Assumption both meet the criteria for papal infallibility. We can get to those later, and no doubt you already have objections to at least the former (Romans 3:23, anyone?), but I think it's better to start with the earlier stuff. Incidentally, if any of y'all are looking for a readable book on mariology, the 3-part series Mary, Mother of the Son by Mark Shea is an exploration by an evangelical convert to Catholicism of the Church's teachings about Mary. Shea himself has no particular devotion to Mary: the book is his attempt to make sense of why other people do (iirc, the 3rd book is explicitly an exploration of the marian dogmas: I may well dig up my copy and refer to it if this conversation goes on long enough). That said, let's dive in.

The title of theotokos was officially recognized by an ecumenical council as a definitive repudiation of Nestorianism and an unequivocal commitment to the truth of the Incarnation: that Jesus was fully God and fully human. Saying that Mary is the mother of God is saying that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, that the divine and human were truly united in the person of Christ. To deny that Mary gave birth to God is to deny that Christ was fully and truly divine. The title, "Mother of God," in other words, says more about Jesus than it does about Mary.

I happen to believe that this pattern holds for other marian doctrines and dogmas: when we talk about Mary, we're fortifying our commitment to some other significant theological or soteriological concept. Or, as Mary herself put it, her soul magnifies the Lord. The immaculate conception and the assumption, as I understand them, point us toward a better understanding of the Church and of God's infinitely loving plan, but I think it's better if we just focus for now on the title of "Theotokos". Mossy, do you have any further questions about that title?

Spartacus
04-09-2015, 08:35 PM
Thirdly, ESPECIALLY LATELY: Pope Francis while definately a man of the people, has changed the morals of divorce, homosexuality, environmentalism, birth control and even abortion and birth control in away that the Church has long held Traditional interpretations of scripture.

If I can be forgiven for setting aside the rest of your post and personal story, Cath, I think you've bought into a media narrative that quite simply isn't true. Pope Francis hasn't changed the Church's position on any of those issues. In almost every question of doctrine, he is following in the footsteps of JPII and Benedict XVI. His personality is quite different from theirs, and his articulation might therefore not be as precise and careful as we saw from his predecessors, but nowhere have I seen him reject established Church teaching.

mossrose
04-09-2015, 08:58 PM
Apologies for not responding sooner: long day at work and haven't been able to log in until a little while ago. Hopefully what I'm saying isn't too redundant with what Leon has said.

Cath and Leonhard are right to say that co-redemptrix and mediatrix are not infallibly defined, though the Immaculate Conception and Assumption both meet the criteria for papal infallibility. We can get to those later, and no doubt you already have objections to at least the former (Romans 3:23, anyone?), but I think it's better to start with the earlier stuff. Incidentally, if any of y'all are looking for a readable book on mariology, the 3-part series Mary, Mother of the Son by Mark Shea is an exploration by an evangelical convert to Catholicism of the Church's teachings about Mary. Shea himself has no particular devotion to Mary: the book is his attempt to make sense of why other people do (iirc, the 3rd book is explicitly an exploration of the marian dogmas: I may well dig up my copy and refer to it if this conversation goes on long enough). That said, let's dive in.

The title of theotokos was officially recognized by an ecumenical council as a definitive repudiation of Nestorianism and an unequivocal commitment to the truth of the Incarnation: that Jesus was fully God and fully human. Saying that Mary is the mother of God is saying that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine, that the divine and human were truly united in the person of Christ. To deny that Mary gave birth to God is to deny that Christ was fully and truly divine. The title, "Mother of God," in other words, says more about Jesus than it does about Mary.

I happen to believe that this pattern holds for other marian doctrines and dogmas: when we talk about Mary, we're fortifying our commitment to some other significant theological or soteriological concept. Or, as Mary herself put it, her soul magnifies the Lord. The immaculate conception and the assumption, as I understand them, point us toward a better understanding of the Church and of God's infinitely loving plan, but I think it's better if we just focus for now on the title of "Theotokos". Mossy, do you have any further questions about that title?

My issues go way beyond the title. I appreciate you all trying to enlighten me, but I have far more problems with the veneration given to her. We can discuss the title till heck freezes over but it doesn't change in the slightest the veneration given to her. And the prayers to her.

I have a friend who was once a nun. She told me that Catholics pray to Mary because God is unapproachable and Christ is somewhat aloof, but God can't resist the Son and the Son can't resist His mother. So they pray to Mary to intercede with Christ.

Does not compute.

Look. Most of you know that I have issues with Catholicism. I have gone into it in detail in the past, and I know that none of us are going to change our minds.......at least I am not. I just don't understand how, if you are reading scripture, you can believe some of this stuff.

And I am not trying to insult anybody. I am very fond of you all, and I am troubled to think that so many here that I care about are, in my mind, being led astray by sometimes nothing more than tradition.

I challenge you to really get into scripture, line it up with what the RCC says, and then decide what you think is the truth.

And it isn't just issues with Mary. It is the priesthood, the pope, the eucharist, everything.

Spartacus
04-09-2015, 09:01 PM
Does your love for your children and grandchildren being you closer to God, or lead you further away from loving Him as you should?

rogue06
04-10-2015, 04:37 AM
Does your love for your children and grandchildren being you closer to God, or lead you further away from loving Him as you should?
We are all God's children

mossrose
04-10-2015, 06:59 AM
Does your love for your children and grandchildren being you closer to God, or lead you further away from loving Him as you should?

What? I am talking about people praying to Mary to intercede for them with Christ, and ultimately, God the Father. I can pray to any person of the Trinity without having to ask another sinful human to do it for me. And although we often ask others to pray on our behalf, they are living people, not dead ones.

And Mary was another sinful human who I am certain would be telling people they are in error praying to her, venerating her, even paying the slightest bit of attention to her beyond what is told us about her in scripture, if she even cared about what we are doing.

She is likely too busy glorifying her Saviour to even have a single thought about anyone here, let alone intercede for anybody.

Spartacus
04-10-2015, 08:03 AM
We are all God's children

That's not quite an answer to my question. Does God use our love for each other as a way of drawing us closer to Him?

Paprika
04-10-2015, 08:09 AM
But if one denies that the Virgin Mary was Mother of God
Only natural because 'mother' is so often connoted with 'source'.

One Bad Pig
04-10-2015, 08:48 AM
Sorry. To say that any person plays any sort of role in our salvation is error.
To deny that Mary had any role in our salvation is to deny that Jesus was born of her.


She was the human vessel to carry the Saviour, but she needed Him the same as anybody else.
Agreed. That in no way diminishes her role, however. (As an aside, the dogma of the immaculate conception is a logical consequence of St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin).

She is blessed because of her willingness to obey God in this, but should not be venerated as she has been by the Catholics and Orthodox.
When Mary bore the Son of God in her womb, she was literally a living temple of God. How can you not respect that?


This is an unreconcilable point that can't be bridged by any ecumenism.
When your mind is made up, there is no room for the Spirit to work.

mossrose
04-10-2015, 09:58 AM
Here are some things I have learned about JPII's devotion to Mary. I don't have the references anymore because I did this study a long time ago before everything was available on the internet.

If post-JPII Catholics disagree with any of this, then how could you consider this man God's (or maybe I should say, Mary's) authority on earth?

JP II believed these things about Mary.

--After his mother died when he was 8, he developed an intense devotion to Mary. When he became pope in 1978 he formally rededicated himself and his whole pontificate to Mary. He traveled around the world making numerous visits to various Marian shrines so he could venerate her in the fashion that Catholic theology calls him to -- “hyperdulia” -- a higher veneration than the angels receive. Following his example, millions of Catholics made Mary the primary focus of their lives and prayers because of his example.

--His papal crest, or coat of arms, was a huge “M” for Mary. His coffin was decorated with a large “M”.

-- His personal slogan, which was embroidered into all his papal robes in Latin, translates to “I am totally yours, Mary”. These are also the opening words of his last will and testament, and in that document he says, “I place this moment (of my death) in the hands of the mother of my master. In the same maternal hands I leave everything and everyone to whom I have been connected by my life and my vocation. In these hands I leave above all the church, and also my nation, and all of humanity. Each of us has to keep in the mind the prospect of death. I, too, take this into consideration constantly, entrusting that decisive moment to the mother of Christ, and of the church, to the mother of my hope………Victory, when it comes, will come through Mary.”

May, 1997 -- Message to general audience…..”The history of Christian piety teaches that Mary is the way which leads to Christ.”

After the failed assassination attempt in 1981, he credited Mary with saving his life. In 1992 and 1994, on the anniversary of the assassination attempt, he made special pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima to offer ceremonial prayers of thanksgiving to Mary.


He wrote the book, “John Paul II’s Book of Mary”. The ad copy inside the book says the book is for people “who seek a deeper relationship with Jesus and His mother.” The table of contents lists all the titles that the pope applied to Mary:

Gate of Heaven, Mediatrix of All Graces, Mirror of Perfection, Mother of the Church, Mother of Mercy, Pillar of Faith, Seat of Wisdom.

From the book:

--“Mary shares our human condition but in complete openness to the grace of God. Not having known sin, she is able to have compassion on every kind of weakness.” ( Why in her Magnificat did she call God her Saviour, then, if she never knew sin?)

--“She understands sinful man and loves him with a mother’s love. Precisely for this reason she is on the side of truth and shares the church’s burden in recalling always and to everyone the demands of morality.”

--“For every Christian, for every human being, Mary is the one who first believed, and precisely, with her faith as spouse and mother, she wishes to act upon all those who entrust themselves to her as her children. And it is well known that the more her children persevere and progress in this attitude, the nearer Mary leads them to the unsearchable riches of Christ.”

--”According to the belief formulated in the solemn documents of the Church, the glory of grace referred to in Eph. 1:6 (*to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved) is manifested in the “mother of God”, for the fact that she has been redeemed in a more sublime manner. As Christians raise their eyes with faith to Mary in the course of their earthly pilgrimages they strive together to increase in holiness. Mary, the exalted daughter of Zion, helps all her children wherever they may be, and whatever their condition, to find in Christ the path to the Father’s house. Nobody else can bring us, as Mary can, into the divine and human dimension of the mystery of the gospel.”

-- “We can turn to the blessed virgin, trustfully imploring her aid, in the awareness of the singular role entrusted to her by God, the role of Cooperator in Redemption, which she exercised throughout her life and in a special way at the foot of the cross.”

And, following JPII, Benedictus XVI, in his first statement as pope said, “I place the church and myself into the hands of Mary.”

Bold and italics here are mine.

Spartacus
04-10-2015, 10:02 AM
None of those statements as such were infallible simply by merit of JPII saying them, though I daresay all of them are nonetheless defensible.

I believe I already pointed this out, but the Immaculate Conception-- the idea that Mary was, by the Grace of God, conceived without original sin-- was infallibly defined in the mid 19th century.

mossrose
04-10-2015, 10:04 AM
To deny that Mary had any role in our salvation is to deny that Jesus was born of her.

It is not denying that Jesus was born of her. It is denying that she has anything to do with our salvation other than allowing herself to be used within God's will. It does not call for veneration of her in any other way.


Agreed. That in no way diminishes her role, however. (As an aside, the dogma of the immaculate conception is a logical consequence of St. Augustine's doctrine of original sin).

It only diminishes her role in the sense that that is ALL she did. She didn't and doesn't do anything else for us.


When Mary bore the Son of God in her womb, she was literally a living temple of God. How can you not respect that?

Scripture says all believers bodies are to be temples of God. We are used in different ways. And I don't disrespect the fact that Mary bore the Son of God in her womb. I disrespect how Catholics and others venerate her and make her almost equal to Christ for doing so.


When your mind is made up, there is no room for the Spirit to work.

And when your mind is not made up, there is lots of room for error to creep in.

AND, I am pretty certain that your mind is as made up as mine is. So, sauce for the gander.....

:tongue:

mossrose
04-10-2015, 10:08 AM
None of those statements as such were infallible simply by merit of JPII saying them, though I daresay all of them are nonetheless defensible.

Then why did millions of Catholics follow his example as if it were directly from God?


I believe I already pointed this out, but the Immaculate Conception-- the idea that Mary was, by the Grace of God, conceived without original sin-- was infallibly defined in the mid 19th century.

If Mary was without original sin, then she didn't need a Saviour. Were Mary's mother and father also without original sin in order for Mary to be conceived without sin? If so, then why are they not venerated as Mary is, and their parents, and back beyond the mists of time?

Because for Mary to be without original sin, then her father at the very least must have been sinless. And then what do you do with the verse that says, "For ALL have sinned and come sort of the glory of God"?

Does that get tossed out because it doesn't line up with infallible papal decree?

Leonhard
04-10-2015, 10:24 AM
It is not denying that Jesus was born of her. It is denying that she has anything to do with our salvation other than allowing herself to be used within God's will. It does not call for veneration of her in any other way.

Sure it calls for her veneration. I'm not sure how anyone Christ worked so close with could not be venerated, without disrespecting Him in some way.

Catholics don't think that the Virgin Mary was used against God's Will. It was entirely in His will that she be the new Eve, just as her Son is the new Adam. The last thing Christ did before giving up His spirit was to speak with her, honouring her by making St. John (and the whole Church by extension) her child, and giving her as the Church's mother.


It only diminishes her role in the sense that that is ALL she did. She didn't and doesn't do anything else for us.

If you think about it, there is one example in the New Testament where she interceded with her Son, and He did not refuse her request. I think though in general you have an issue not so much with Marian devotion here, but with the idea that any saint in Heaven can intercede for us. As I said before, if its good to venerate saint, then its almost a no brainer that the Virgin Mary should be venerated more than all the other saints. The only reason you'd not want to venerate her, is if there's no reason to honour the things God does with any human at all.

Likewise with prayer. If you can pray to a saint in Heaven, then you can most definitely pray to her, and its hard to think of anyone better to approach. The only reason you'd not want to pray with her (other than not being devoted to her), is that you think that its somehow wrong to pray to saints in Heaven.


Scripture says all believers bodies are to be temples of God. We are used in different ways.

This is not denied, but we're temples of the Holy Spirit. She must have been that in a very special way, given that the whole incarnation (which was a work of the Holy Spirit) got to take place inside her. Some go so far as to call her The Spouse of the Holy Spirit for that reason. And she was also a Temple of the Incarnate Word. She was the true Ark of the Covenant, litterally carrying the Word of God within her. And think about the reverence the Ark was treated with in the Old Testament, when it carried the Ten Commandments. And the Virgin Mary is even greater here!


And I don't disrespect the fact that Mary bore the Son of God in her womb. I disrespect how Catholics and others venerate her and make her almost equal to Christ for doing so.

Saying that the Virgin Mary is almost equal to Christ, is like saying that 1 is almost equal to infinity. All Catholics, and all Eastern Orthodox, fully affirm that any glory the Virgin Mary has comes solely from the merit of her Son, all the graces she enjoyed, and even her purity were all for the sake of her Son, to magnify Him, and to make her a fitting throne for him.

Her son is like a sun, giving off its own light. She's like the moon, giving off a reflection of this light, having none inherently on its own. Any respect we pay to any glory given to the Virgin Mary is respect we give to Christ. So in that sense, there's not really any limit to how highly we can venerate her, as long as we don't attribute to her things that belong solely to God. We don't, so likely we're probably venerating her too little.

Furthermore, while its true that Jesus says the Virgin Mary was blessed for carrying him, and nursing him, he implies that its her faith and love that made her the greatest of all Christians. And she believed in him before He had even been born, and was there every step throughout His passion and death.

Spartacus
04-10-2015, 10:36 AM
Then why did millions of Catholics follow his example as if it were directly from God?

They didn't follow it as it if were directly from God-- they followed it because they found it persuasive on its own merits. JPII was not the sole cause or even a significant factor in any growth of Marian devotion. He's representative of a long-standing tradition, but as far as I know, he added nothing new to it.


If Mary was without original sin, then she didn't need a Saviour. Were Mary's mother and father also without original sin in order for Mary to be conceived without sin? If so, then why are they not venerated as Mary is, and their parents, and back beyond the mists of time?

Because for Mary to be without original sin, then her father at the very least must have been sinless. And then what do you do with the verse that says, "For ALL have sinned and come sort of the glory of God"?

Does that get tossed out because it doesn't line up with infallible papal decree?

You're referring to Romans 3:23, which I already referenced briefly in post #15 of this thread :wink: I've done my homework on this issue. If you're willing to listen, I'm confident I can explain the Church's understanding of Mary to your satisfaction.

mossrose
04-10-2015, 10:47 AM
They didn't follow it as it if were directly from God-- they followed it because they found it persuasive on its own merits. JPII was not the sole cause or even a significant factor in any growth of Marian devotion. He's representative of a long-standing tradition, but as far as I know, he added nothing new to it.

Well, thanks for correcting me on that point. Which mostly only proves that Mariology has been around for longer than JPII and millions of Catholics have been following her for probably hundreds of years.

Spartacus
04-10-2015, 10:55 AM
Well, thanks for correcting me on that point. Which mostly only proves that Mariology has been around for longer than JPII and millions of Catholics have been following her for probably hundreds of years.

The title of theotokos goes back about 1500 years :wink:. The tradition of the Assumption/Dormition goes back to the time of the early Church, though it was only declared infallibly in the last hundred years.

Leonhard
04-10-2015, 11:46 AM
The title of theotokos goes back about 1500 years :wink:. The tradition of the Assumption/Dormition goes back to the time of the early Church, though it was only declared infallibly in the last hundred years.

Has the Dormition of The Mother of God also been declared infallible in the Catholic Church or is it so far only the Assumption (if so I fully expect the Dormition to follow someday).

Thoughtful Monk
04-10-2015, 03:30 PM
The title of theotokos goes back about 1500 years :wink:. The tradition of the Assumption/Dormition goes back to the time of the early Church, though it was only declared infallibly in the last hundred years.

I remember reading there was a lot of debate about theotokos before it became official. It might do us all some good to read what they discussed on it back to understand where the term comes from and what it means.

I have found a lot of doctrine is more refined that what I originally believed and the commentary helps. For example, I was reading on doctrines on the nature of the Trinity and found a couple points of my belief were borderline heresy.

Spartacus
04-10-2015, 09:58 PM
Has the Dormition of The Mother of God also been declared infallible in the Catholic Church or is it so far only the Assumption (if so I fully expect the Dormition to follow someday).

The doctrines are not identical, but they refer to basically the same event such that I don't feel particularly bad about conflating them despite the small distinctions. The dormition has not been declared infallible, and I guess I'd actually be surprised if it were.

robrecht
04-11-2015, 04:15 AM
What? I am talking about people praying to Mary to intercede for them with Christ, and ultimately, God the Father. I can pray to any person of the Trinity without having to ask another sinful human to do it for me. And although we often ask others to pray on our behalf, they are living people, not dead ones.

And Mary was another sinful human who I am certain would be telling people they are in error praying to her, venerating her, even paying the slightest bit of attention to her beyond what is told us about her in scripture, if she even cared about what we are doing.

She is likely too busy glorifying her Saviour to even have a single thought about anyone here, let alone intercede for anybody.They are not dead, but alive in Christ, and, of course, they care about us and love us. They cannot love God without loving their brothers and sisters in Christ, all mankind, and all creation. I know that you believe in the communion of saints, which means we are all in communion with each other in Christ. How could we not care for each other?


Yet she on earth has union
with God, the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with Thee.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 05:47 AM
Her son is like a sun, giving off its own light. She's like the moon, giving off a reflection of this light, having none inherently on its own. Any respect we pay to any glory given to the Virgin Mary is respect we give to Christ.
So we might as well venerate Christ and not Mary and avoid all the idolatry the latter tends to.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 06:48 AM
So we might as well venerate Christ and not Mary

During sacred liturgies her prayers invoked at certain points, at the penitential rite for instance.

Beyond that, there isn't really anything a Catholic has to do other than acknowledge the glory God gave to her.

I personally fell in love with her. And I direct most if not all prayers through her. Christ gave her to us for a mother, I doubt there are any of those who make themselves her children who wont be saved.


and avoid all the idolatry

Such as? I am not aware of any.

mossrose
04-11-2015, 07:25 AM
T
They are not dead, but alive in Christ, and, of course, they care about us and love us. They cannot love God without loving their brothers and sisters in Christ, all mankind, and all creation. I know that you believe in the communion of saints, which means we are all in communion with each other in Christ. How could we not care for each other?


Yet she on earth has union
with God, the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we,
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with Thee.

If you think that is what that song means, you are mistaken. Unless you think that the saints in the presence of the Lord are also praying to us just as you pray to them. Frankly, I haven't had any dead saints talking to me lately. Never, actually.

That song, all the way through, IS referring to the whole body of Christ, those living, and those in glory. The very first line is "The church's one foundation is JESUS CHRIST HER LORD". Emphasis mine. No Mary in there, anywhere. No mention of her in the entire hymn.

The "mystic, sweet communion" we share with those in God's presence is simply that we are all part of the body of CHRIST (not Mary), and we desire to be with them in heaven. Singing praises to Him, not worrying about what is occurring on the earth.

mossrose
04-11-2015, 07:33 AM
During sacred liturgies her prayers invoked at certain points, at the penitential rite for instance.

Beyond that, there isn't really anything a Catholic has to do other than acknowledge the glory God gave to her.

I personally fell in love with her. And I direct most if not all prayers through her. Christ gave her to us for a mother, I doubt there are any of those who make themselves her children who wont be saved.

I acknowledge the great gift God gave to Mary, but I have not fallen in love with her enough to think she is now a conduit for my prayers. She cannot answer prayer. She does not intercede for us. She is not my mother.

And by your statement that you "doubt there are any of those who make themselves her children who won't be saved", you have done away with the need for Christ and added something else to the way to salvation.

This is not the gospel of scripture, it is not the Jesus of scripture, and hence it is false teaching.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 08:12 AM
Such as? I am not aware of any.
:ahem:

But then again, you're a new Catholic so maybe you don't know: despite the careful delineation of the dogma it is quite common for the average Catholics to treat her as a god. And let us of course not forget all the increasing centralisation of Mariology into much Catholic praxis (as mossrose pointed out re: JPII) and theology, eg the increasing popularity of "co-redemptrix", "mediatrix of all graces" and


I happen to believe that this pattern holds for other marian doctrines and dogmas: when we talk about Mary, we're fortifying our commitment to some other significant theological or soteriological concept.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 09:18 AM
I acknowledge the great gift God gave to Mary, but I have not fallen in love with her enough to think she is now a conduit for my prayers. She cannot answer prayer. She does not intercede for us. She is not my mother.

Again, this comes from your belief that no saint in Heaven intercedes for us. I think that's a mistake.


And by your statement that you "doubt there are any of those who make themselves her children who won't be saved", you have done away with the need for Christ and added something else to the way to salvation.

I know what you're saying, but I just told you earlier in this thread that she has no glory she didn't receive from her Son. While she likely suffered more than any martyr when He died on the cross, this merit would not be sufficient to obtain the forgiveness of even the smallest sinner. However, like with the wedding and Christ's first miracle, I do think she can obtain graces for her children, such as repentance, conversion, purity, and other things they need when they try to seek Christ's forgiveness.


This is not the gospel of scripture, it is not the Jesus of scripture, and hence it is false teaching.

So far you haven't represented what I believe, so I have no problem agreeing that some of the things you're talking about is false. However you're the one who's in error if you think the saints in Heaven don't pray for us, or that its somehow only the prayers of sinful humans on Earth who matter. You're also in error if you think the Virgin Mary won't intercede for us, or that if she does that there's anything her Son will refuse her.

Since you're not using Scripture, I think in the end this is going to come down to a discussion of Tradition, and who has the authority to interpret it.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 09:39 AM
:ahem:

But then again, you're a new Catholic so maybe you don't know: despite the careful delineation of the dogma it is quite common for the average Catholics to treat her as a god.

You do realize that this is too vague to respond to, or even agree with, right? I don't have to acknowledge that as happening, as I'm not aware of it and I've been with people who pray to no one but Mary the Mother of God. There's nothing I've ever experienced that suggests that any Catholic, of any stripe, considers the Virgin Mary as anything other than the greatest follower of Christ, who were given unique and awesome graces, and place great confidence in her intercession for us with Him. Everyone, even an ignorant house wife of a peasant, in the words of St. Alphonsus, knows that the Virgin Mary is not God.

The only people I've met who considered her a Goddess, are all now protestants.

The most Holy thing we get to participate in, is the Sacrament of the Eucharist. That's the part of Catholic Faith where we actually get to be with Jesus substantially, not just spiritually. He's actually present under the appearance of bread and wine. Participating in a mass, where this is the unbloodied sacrifice to the Father, is the highest form of worship we can possible offer.

Marian devotion is no substitute for that. If for some bizarre and contrived reason I had to choose between saying saying many more prayers to her but not experience that, or say no prayer to her but get one more mass before I die? I'd chose to not pray. Though short of an Angle declaring, and making this sure to me, I'm really not sure why I'd believe it to begin with.


And let us of course not forget all the increasing centralisation of Mariology into much Catholic praxis (as mossrose pointed out re: JPII) and theology, eg the increasing popularity of "co-redemptrix", "mediatrix of all graces" and

There's nothing wrong with these titles. You can consecrate yourself to Jesus entirely through His Mother if you want to, which is something many pious Catholic's do. I certainly have no qualms doing that, unless it meant I couldn't receive the Sacraments, which it doesn't, because one of the things you're quite often made to pray for is greater fidelity to Christ, to confess your sins more often, to live more purely and to receive Christ often. Again you'd have to show where this is a problem.

This is especially ironic if you're doing this from a protestant position, because I've yet to see a Biblical verse about how many prayers are supposed to go to Jesus vs how many are supposed to go to saints. There's a false equivalence made between songs, prayers and worship in protestantism.

The Bible certainly isn't against praying to Saints, and in the books that Luther yanked out of the Bible (along with Hebrews, Jude, James and the Revelation, though he wasn't succesful in doing that to the canon for protestants), we do find that praying to saints is something that's within God's Will because of their intercession for our sake.

Tobit 12:15
I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.

2 Maccabees 12:44
For if he were not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.

2 Maccabees 15:14
And Onias spoke, saying, "This is a man who loves the brethren and prays much for the people and the holy city, Jeremiah, the prophet of God."
(Jeremiah has been bodily dead for a long time at the time of 2 Maccabees)

Paprika
04-11-2015, 09:46 AM
You do realize that this is too vague to respond to, or even agree with, right? I don't have to acknowledge that as happening, as I'm not aware of it and I've been with people who pray to no one but Mary the Mother of God. There's nothing I've ever experienced that suggests that any Catholic, of any stripe, considers the Virgin Mary as anything other than the greatest follower of Christ, who were given unique and awesome graces, and place great confidence in her intercession for us with Him. Everyone, even an ignorant house wife of a peasant, in the words of St. Alphonsus, knows that the Virgin Mary is not God.
Knowledge doesn't necessarily imply consistent action; consider how many know that money is not a god but act like it is.


There's nothing wrong with these titles. You can consecrate yourself to Jesus entirely through His Mother if you want to, which is something many pious Catholic's do. I certainly have no qualms doing that, unless it meant I couldn't receive the Sacraments, which it doesn't, because one of the things you're quite often made to pray for is greater fidelity to Christ, to confess your sins more often, to live more purely and to receive Christ often. Again you'd have to show where this is a problem.
It is an pattern of how more and more is ascribed to Mary who becomes more and more an idol de facto.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 09:53 AM
Knowledge doesn't necessarily imply consistent action; consider how many know that money is not a god but act like it is.

It is an pattern of how more and more is ascribed to Mary who becomes more and more an idol de facto.

Again, vague insinuations. This isn't really an argument I have to acknowledge. Is it that hard to think of a concrete example?

Paprika
04-11-2015, 10:09 AM
Again, vague insinuations. This isn't really an argument I have to acknowledge.
But you do.


Is it that hard to think of a concrete example?
I suspect if I give concrete examples, they'll be handwaved away as mere exceptions. And when I list general forms of increasingly idolisation you ask for concrete examples. Very well: yourself.

But as you say, "this is going to come down to a discussion of Tradition".

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 10:19 AM
But you do.

In what way? You insinuate that Catholics worship the Virgin Mary, and I do the only appropriate thing I ask for concrete examples, after having explained the nature of Marian devotion. You don't give that. I'm trying to be more gracious here than is warranted. I could have gone simple "This is no argument." and have been fully justified.


I suspect if I give concrete examples, they'll be handwaved away as mere exceptions. And when I list general forms of increasingly idolisation you ask for concrete examples. Very well: yourself.

Do you consider what St. John Paul II wrote about the virgin Mary to be idolisation. That is, do you think that he considered Mary to have dignities and powers in her own nature, that belongs solely to God, or that this was implied through his writings?


But as you say, "this is going to come down to a discussion of Tradition".

Ultimately yes.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 10:24 AM
In what way? You insinuate that Catholics worship the Virgin Mary, and I do the only appropriate thing I ask for concrete examples, after having explained the nature of Marian devotion. You don't give that. I'm trying to be more gracious here than is warranted. I could have gone simple "This is no argument." and have been fully justified.
We can do JPP II if you like. But as you've said, Marian devotion is central to Catholicism and I don't expect any traditional Catholic to budge.


Do you consider what St. John Paul II wrote about the virgin Mary to be idolisation. That is, do you think that he considered Mary to have dignities and powers in her own nature, that belongs solely to God, or that this was implied through his writings?
Idolatry isn't merely ascribing the dignities and powers that belongs solely to God to something else. But yes.



Ultimately yes.
As above, you're not going to budge. So rational dialogue, if you insist, but since the starting points are different we'll never agree. So to save time and effort on both our parts we can skip that and move on to rhetoric.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 10:28 AM
I've opened another thread in which you can explain what you mean by idolatry.

robrecht
04-11-2015, 10:31 AM
T

If you think that is what that song means, you are mistaken. Unless you think that the saints in the presence of the Lord are also praying to us just as you pray to them. Frankly, I haven't had any dead saints talking to me lately. Never, actually.

That song, all the way through, IS referring to the whole body of Christ, those living, and those in glory. The very first line is "The church's one foundation is JESUS CHRIST HER LORD". Emphasis mine. No Mary in there, anywhere. No mention of her in the entire hymn.

The "mystic, sweet communion" we share with those in God's presence is simply that we are all part of the body of CHRIST (not Mary), and we desire to be with them in heaven. Singing praises to Him, not worrying about what is occurring on the earth.I do not pretend to really know in any great detail what life is like in heaven, nor would I try to prove anything from one of your favorite hymns. I am not sure exactly what the nature of our mystical communion with the saints entails, but I see no biblical or other reason to exclude the fact that the saints in heaven love and care about us. Do you?

Do you believe, along with the early church, that in the liturgy we pray and worship God together with all the angels and saints?

Paprika
04-11-2015, 10:36 AM
I've opened another thread in which you can explain what you mean by idolatry.
The edit for clarification may help.

Pentecost
04-11-2015, 10:39 AM
Wait, are people denying Mary as Theokotos?

And denying veneration of the saints without appealing to an orthodox form of soul-sleep?

My fellow Protestants, if you are attacking the official RCC positions I cannot be in agreement with you. On the other hand if you are attacking the tendency of RCC lay people to know nothing of what the RCC teaches, then you have a bit of a point. I have met multiple Catholics who I know to have saving faith and they all either deny some of the teachings at issue, or hold to a proper and traditional teaching on these beliefs.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 10:40 AM
The edit for clarification may help.

I'm not sure what you changed.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 10:42 AM
I'm not sure what you changed.
'what belongs solely to God' -> 'the dignities and powers that belongs solely to God'.
I apologise for the error; watching a show late at night while posting isn't the best condition for accuracy.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 10:43 AM
'what belongs solely to God' -> 'the dignities and powers that belongs solely to God'.
I apologise for the error; watching a show late at night while posting isn't the best condition for accuracy.

http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6446-Is-this-idolatry

Paprika
04-11-2015, 10:45 AM
http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?6446-Is-this-idolatry
I have corrected my mistype, and as far as I see there isn't any disagreement on what the definition of idolatry is.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 10:53 AM
I have corrected my mistype, and as far as I see there isn't any disagreement on what the definition of idolatry is.

I'm not sure we're in an entire agreement. You end it on a 'but yes', yet you also say that its not merely attributing 'the dignities and powers that belongs solely to God' to a creature. Or is that exactly what you're saying. I'm just confused here.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 10:57 AM
This is the usual definition I go by.

Catholic Encyclopedia
"Idolatry etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God. St. Thomas (Summa Theol., II-II, q. xciv) treats of it as a species of the genus superstition, which is a vice opposed to the virtue of religion and consists in giving Divine honour (cultus) to things that are not God, or to God Himself in a wrong way. The specific note of idolatry is its direct opposition to the primary object of Divine worship; it bestows on a creature the reverence due to God alone."

Paprika
04-11-2015, 11:02 AM
I'm not sure we're in an entire agreement. You end it on a 'but yes', yet you also say that its not merely attributing 'the dignities and powers that belongs solely to God' to a creature. Or is that exactly what you're saying. I'm just confused here.
Idolatry is first and foremost not only limited to ascription but action. Secondly it can can also be false attribution of other things not dignities or powers - worship, for example.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 11:08 AM
Idolatry is first and foremost not only limited to ascription but action. Secondly it can can also be false attribution of other things not dignities or powers - worship, for example.

If you want to keep up this discussion, I'll say there's another thread for it now.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 11:09 AM
If you want to keep up this discussion
I don't, really. As before I'd rather skip to the rhetoric.

mossrose
04-11-2015, 02:56 PM
Again, this comes from your belief that no saint in Heaven intercedes for us. I think that's a mistake.

Can you show me, from scripture, not tradition, that the saints in heaven intercede for us.




I know what you're saying, but I just told you earlier in this thread that she has no glory she didn't receive from her Son. While she likely suffered more than any martyr when He died on the cross, this merit would not be sufficient to obtain the forgiveness of even the smallest sinner. However, like with the wedding and Christ's first miracle, I do think she can obtain graces for her children, such as repentance, conversion, purity, and other things they need when they try to seek Christ's forgiveness.

She did not suffer as a martyr when Christ died! She suffered as a mother would over her dead child! And that suffering has NO merit whatsoever for her to obtain grace for herself OR her "children"! She cannot obtain grace for anybody! She cannot obtain repentance or conversion! It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to Christ, and indwells us so that we are conscious of sin in our lives. Mary does nothing!

Show me in scripture where Mary does all these things.

And I must say, that at the wedding at Cana, Jesus was distancing Himself from Mary. She came to Him, said, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” This terminology had the effect of distancing Himself from His mother, and would have been about the same as Him saying, "Ma'am". While Jesus was not being rude, He was being rather abrupt.

Mary needed to realize at that point that she ought to be recognizing Jesus not as the son she had raised, but as the promised Messiah and Son of God, and that He had entered into the reason for His mission on earth. And His hour of death and exaltation was not yet at hand. He was on God's divine timetable decreed before the foundation of the world. She was pushing it.....




So far you haven't represented what I believe, so I have no problem agreeing that some of the things you're talking about is false. However you're the one who's in error if you think the saints in Heaven don't pray for us, or that its somehow only the prayers of sinful humans on Earth who matter. You're also in error if you think the Virgin Mary won't intercede for us, or that if she does that there's anything her Son will refuse her.

I guess we won't agree here, because I believe that you are the one in error.


Since you're not using Scripture, I think in the end this is going to come down to a discussion of Tradition, and who has the authority to interpret it.

How can I use scripture? You need to use scripture to prove to ME that what you believe about Mary is true. I can't find enough about her in scripture to even scratch the surface of what you are trying to tell me. It just isn't there.

And tradition? Nope. I will not follow tradition before scripture. And I certainly will not follow a man elected by other men to be the "Vicar of Christ" (whatever that means), who claims to have authority to interpret the scriptures. Because if he is REALLY interpreting the scriptures and not tradition, he will get down on his knees and repent for worshiping Mary and all the other saints, and leading millions upon millions of people astray in the process, instead of giving all glory to Jesus Christ, the ONLY Redeemer, the ONLY path to heaven. Who needs no help from His earthly mother to gather His children in.

If you can prove any of what you believe, by scripture alone, I would be delighted to discuss it with you. But no tradition will work with me.

mossrose
04-11-2015, 03:04 PM
I do not pretend to really know in any great detail what life is like in heaven, nor would I try to prove anything from one of your favorite hymns. I am not sure exactly what the nature of our mystical communion with the saints entails, but I see no biblical or other reason to exclude the fact that the saints in heaven love and care about us. Do you?

I see nothing in scripture that says the saints in heaven DO love an care about us. Can you show me where in scripture it says that? Oh, and I will not accept the Apocrypha as part of scripture.


Do you believe, along with the early church, that in the liturgy we pray and worship God together with all the angels and saints?

We are not praising as they do in heaven. We are bound by time and space and can't even comprehend what praising Him in heaven will be like. THEY are certainly not praising as we do. And they aren't praying FOR US. Show me from scripture where it says the saints in heaven pray for those on earth.

Adrift
04-11-2015, 03:12 PM
Again, vague insinuations. This isn't really an argument I have to acknowledge. Is it that hard to think of a concrete example?

I mean...just a quick google search brings up a number of examples.

We worship God the father, God the son and God the holy spirit. This is the holy trinity. Yes we worship Mary being the mother of Jesus. (https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120210084244AAiPiFG)

So do I worship Mary? Yes... but not as divinity... I worship her as the Mother of He whom I need for sustenance and subsistence. (http://www.brutallyhonest.org/brutally_honest/2012/08/do-i-as-a-catholic-worship-mary.html)

Admit That You Worship Her

“I do not worship her.” “She isn’t God.” “Guadalupe is just a woman.” These are all typical responses I get when I am talking to Latinos about Guadalupe. These objections arise when I try to articulate back what they have just told me about the Virgin. I’ll word things in a way they don’t like. They don’t want to be accused of worshiping Mary in any way. I often get treated to a lecture about how God and Jesus are the only people to be worshiped and Mary is just a helper or mediator for the people. ADMIT THAT YOU WORSHIP HER!

Would it really be that bad? Yes I worship Mary. She was the Mother of God and had to watch her son suffer and die. She began his ministry for him, at the wedding of Cana, and supported him throughout his life. Not only does she serve as an example for women she is an example of true faith. Add on top of that her appearance to Juan Diego in Mexico and we got ourselves a saint! Guadalupe’s influence over the natives of Mexico could arguably be the greatest conversion in Catholic history. What would be so wrong about worshiping her? Jesus didn’t come to Mexico, and if you think you can find God somewhere there then please show me. Guadalupe came though. She came for us when no one else did. And for that we should thank her and honor her.


Why I Worship Mother Mary?

Basically she's the Mother of Jesus Christ & she was the chosen 1 so that's explaining that she was so pure that God the Father of Heaven had chosen her instead of any other women.

When it comes to my Mother, I adore her so much & I love her alot & she conceived me in a natural way. So wen it comes to my Saviour Jesus Christ who has died just to save us from hell, why can't I worship his Mother.

Earthly Mothers Children are all born as gift of Love that's natural but when Mother Mary conceived it was the obedience of God, isn't she a good example in our spiritual life so why shouldn't I worship her?

I don't think she had her own children after Jesus, it has never been proven & it doesn't bother me. If there is an acceptance of female Pastors then I don't really see a need to avoid Mother Mary who is gift to the world.

Earthly Mothers Are Mothers but if people are saying that Mother Mary shouldn't be worshipped b'coz she's just a tool then I presume it's just 'crab'.

Mother Mary also sacrificed her life for God & conceived Jesus Christ.

It's a very painful moment for a Mother when a child dies so how would it have been for Mother Mary to have seen her God given son to die such a torturous death.

In my 26years of worship life to Mother Mary she has never failed me in any way. So she does exist as a Mother of Heaven there's not a single reason as to why I shouldn't worship her.

There are plenty of people who worship Mary, whether explicitly or implicitly. When you have more than 1.2 billion members worldwide, many in places where public education is extremely low, and superstition is very high, it'd be the height of naivety to assume that there aren't Catholics who don't actively worship Mary in the way a god is normally worshiped. To deny this doesn't seem very sincere. Surely we can all agree that there are many Protestants who hold to unorthodox beliefs, so it seems certain that there are Catholics that do so as well. The problem that many Protestants have with Catholicism and the Orthodox Church is that there doesn't seem to be any effort to remove that context or feel of worship away from Mary.

Official prayers like the following seem to incite Mary worship.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary 1

My Queen, my Mother, I give myself entirely to thee, and to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve.
Wherefore good Mother as I am thine own, keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.
Amen.

I think for a lot of non-Catholics, the problem comes down to what we believe worship is. As Paprika pointed out, one could think Jesus is Lord, but through their actions, focus, and devotion, make money their Lord, or make their children their Lord, or make Mary their Lord. A lot of the issue I think comes down to what "devotion" means to either side. Is "devotion" a form of worship? Can "devotion" become a form of worship? When does "devotion" cross from non-worship to actual worship? Are there examples in pre-Christian history where "devotion" was done to idols, icons, and the like with the understanding that it wasn't actual worship of a god? Was their "devotion" still idolatry?

mossrose
04-11-2015, 03:15 PM
Wait, are people denying Mary as Theokotos?

And denying veneration of the saints without appealing to an orthodox form of soul-sleep?


There is no issue of subscribing to any form of soul-sleep. We believe the saints (all of Christ's children are saints, not just those the Catholic church designates), who have died are alive and in spirit with Christ, and will, at the last day, receive their glorified bodies. To deny the veneration of Mary and all saints is correct, scripturally. And I will continue to point it out as error within the Catholic church.


My fellow Protestants, if you are attacking the official RCC positions I cannot be in agreement with you.

Then I guess you cannot agree with me.


On the other hand if you are attacking the tendency of RCC lay people to know nothing of what the RCC teaches, then you have a bit of a point. I have met multiple Catholics who I know to have saving faith and they all either deny some of the teachings at issue, or hold to a proper and traditional teaching on these beliefs.

The problem comes when lay people DO know what the RCC teaches and accept it as fact without going into scripture to study it for themselves. And that has been a huge problem for hundreds of years. Why do you think Latin was used so much for the masses performed by priests, and why do you think there was such dismay among the leaders of the RCC when the Bible was made readily available for the people to read for themselves? They didn't want the scriptures, the actual word of God, to interfere with their "traditions" set up by themselves to benefit the church, not the people. They were no better than the Pharisees of Jesus' time, who used religion as a hammer against the people to enrich themselves, and they kept the people away from the truth that Jesus came to present.

If you know Catholics who deny some of the teachings at issue, and claim to have "saving faith", then please ask them what they are still doing in the Catholic church? And if they hold to the traditional teachings on these beliefs, then I would question their salvation.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 05:27 PM
Can you show me, from scripture, not tradition, that the saints in heaven intercede for us.

I've done so, it happens to be from Scripture you don't recognise. I can give you more, of course, there's talk of the prayers of the Saints in the Book of Revelations. Saints in Heaven don't pray for themselves. They don't see to, they have everything that could possible be given to them and that they merit to get as a reward for their good deeds in Christ's name while on Earth. So it goes to reason that if they pray for anyone, they pray for those for whom those prayers would help. There's multiples of other places that hammer home the point that the Saints are alive, now, in the presence of God. That we're all surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, etc...


She did not suffer as a martyr when Christ died! She suffered as a mother would over her dead child!

Agreed, which means she suffered more than any martyr. Jesus, who hung on the cross, was her son. She loved Him more than any other Christian.


And that suffering has NO merit whatsoever for her to obtain grace for herself OR her "children"!

Under protestant thought, no one can earn merit of any kind whatsoever.

And the Catholic Church agrees with one part of this, and distinguishes between condign merit and congruent merit. Condign merit is basically the reward our actions deserve in and of itself. This is always little, finite and doesn't extend much beyond natural blessings connected to that work. If you're industrious, you get a lot of things done, etc... the question about eternal merit, meriting salvation, meriting increase in the beatitudes, meriting rewards in Heaven, this is not something we can earn qua our small, imperfect and finite deeds. However the Bible clearly teaches that we need to work for our salvation, that without works our faith is dead. It also clearly teaches that we're rewarded by God for our fidelity, in a manner proportionate to our obedience and conformity to His will. Especially in Heaven any Saint joy will be proportionate to the works he did while on Earth.

Furthermore God listens favourable to the prayers of a just man. Which implies the more holy you are, the more favour you have with God. So qua the merit we earn, our prayers, if they conform to the will of God, will have greater efficacy because of God's Justice and Mercy.

God doesn't have to give congruent merit to our actions. That's a reward for our behaviour which He gives superabundantly out of His goodness. However it is also true that if He didn't give it, we couldn't even be saved, because to have your sins forgiven even once in your life (much less the many times you'll be asking for it) is a grace so infinitely great that nothing we can do could earn it. We can't save ourselves on our own merit.

So I don't see how it would be possible to assert, without denying scripture, that the virgin Mary would occupy only a relatively unimportant position in Heaven, or that she'd be left without merit beyond her salvation, or that she wouldn't have favour with God and therefore be able to intercede. In fact, there's basically no Saint possible who could be higher than her. I have no doubt that in Heaven, if you saw the virgin Mary, and tried to spot St. Peter, St. Paul and St. John, they would be like three small stars next to the moon in the sky.

The question is whether suffering obtains merit. I'll offer that it does, it was the way Christ obtained infinite merit and pleased His Father, repaying him superabundantly for our crimes. When we suffer, especially when Mary suffered, there can be in that (depending on the disposition of the person) a conformity to the Will of God. Uniting yourself to Christ on the Cross.


She cannot obtain grace for anybody!

If her prayers can't obtain grace from Christ for others, then you have no business praying for anyone ever again. Pray for yourself, but not your children. And yet Christ told the women, while on His way to the Cross, to pray for their children. I say He was willing to listen to their prayers. The same goes with His mother.


She cannot obtain repentance or conversion!

You don't pray that someone else will be converted? If you do, do you think you're doing so in vain and that God doesn't listen?


It is the Holy Spirit who draws us to Christ, and indwells us so that we are conscious of sin in our lives.

Amen.


Show me in scripture where Mary does all these things.

Sola scriptura is a false doctrine, even so I've shown you enough for you to interact with.


And I must say, that at the wedding at Cana, Jesus was distancing Himself from Mary. She came to Him, said, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” This terminology had the effect of distancing Himself from His mother, and would have been about the same as Him saying, "Ma'am". While Jesus was not being rude, He was being rather abrupt.

Did Jesus do as she requested?


Mary needed to realize at that point that she ought to be recognizing Jesus not as the son she had raised, but as the promised Messiah and Son of God, and that He had entered into the reason for His mission on earth.

Mary was the first to believe. There's no evidence that she didn't believe this at this point. I think it was done more for our sake than for hers, but I agree with you. Up until this point he's lived so much as a human that aside from not sinning (and what a difference that would be!), His divinity wasn't seen. This is it, now He's invoking His divine title. It means His mission is beginning, which is probably why God had Him come to this wedding in the first place, and moved the virgin Mary to say what she did.

Remember also that it was St. John who wrote this, who went to live with the virgin Mary, and he calls her the Mother of Jesus. If Mary did not consider herself the mother of Jesus, or even if she did in feeble error (if that could be possible) then the Holy Spirit would have corrected him. However he didn't. Mary was the Mother of Jesus.

And lets not forget that the virgin Mary gives her famous answers to the servants "His mother said to the servants, Whatsoever he says to you, do it." Which is another part of Marian devotion, its constant focus on obeying Christ in everything He teaches, and to repent of sins.


How can I use scripture? You need to use scripture to prove to ME that what you believe about Mary is true. I can't find enough about her in scripture to even scratch the surface of what you are trying to tell me. It just isn't there.

I'd say its there, explicitly or implicitly. Which again leaves us with one subjective interpretation against another. If only God had given us a divinely inspired way of knowing how things are to be read on certain critical issues, so we could recognise error, and be one in the way that Christ prayed that we would be... :ahem:

I know its not that easy, right now I'm content explaining Catholic positions on these things, and offering the scripture the Church Fathers walked through as well.


And tradition? Nope. I will not follow tradition before scripture.

I wouldn't either, if there was a contradiction between tradition and scripture, so much worse for tradition. Though actually scripture is considered part of the tradition, though a pre-eminent part.


Because if he is REALLY interpreting the scriptures and not tradition, he will get down on his knees and repent for worshiping Mary and all the other saints, and leading millions upon millions of people astray in the process, instead of giving all glory to Jesus Christ, the ONLY Redeemer, the ONLY path to heaven. Who needs no help from His earthly mother to gather His children in.

Of course Christ needs no help from His Mother. Nor does He need prayers. He doesn't need Bibles. He doesn't need Church buildings. Worship music. He doesn't need tweb. He doesn't need us. Whatever He does He does because He wants to and out of the goodness of His Sacred Heart and Infinite Mercy and Unfathomable Wisdom. He wants us to pray to Him and to give Him worship, because its what we're made for, He wants us to experience the joy that comes from knowing Him. If He wants us to pray vocally, its because he made that one means of reaching Him. If the Bible exists, its because He wanted this to be a way for believers to come to know Him, rather than simple imparting inspired knowledge directly. He wants tweb to exist, because it does, and probably because of conversations like this one.

If He gave us His Mother for ours, then there was a reason for it. Christ, while on Earth, didn't perform as much as a single insignificant miracle that didn't teach us something. St. John didn't even call them miracles but signs. Likewise he wasn't exactly a man of vain words. There's been no disagreements between Christians until the protestants came on the scene, Christ gave his Mother Mary as a gift to the Church, as our Mother, and expressed final honours to her before His death.

Finally Catholics do not worship the Virgin Mary. We do not attribute to her things that are the sole prerogative of God. We don't honour her for things one could only honour God for. We call to her for our intercession, and we honour the things God did for her. All gifts freely given, undeserved on her part. She did not deserve to be born without sin, or to be kept free from sin all her life, or even while in that supremely clean state (last held by Eve after her creation) to have the Word of God incarnate within her, or having done that to raise the Child Jesus herself with St. Joseph, there's no way she could have merited the joys this gave her, or to be able to endure the sufferings that came with it, to become a gift as the Mother of the Church, to nurse the growing Church in Ephesus, to finally be assumed into Heaven and keep doing what she had always done, help the Church come to know her Son.

Is acknowledging this honouring the Virgin Mary greatly? Yes of course it is. However the Virgin Mary had nothing of this on her own. Her soul magnifies the Lord. However great I honour the Virgin Mary, it just means that Jesus her Son, is so much more infinitely great. So great Marian devotion, goes hand in hand, with deep reverence of Christ.

It certainly kills what I call best-buddy-Jesus syndrome.

Mary is the wrong place to search for idolatry in the Church. If there's one place where this could take place its the Eucharist. I'd have a harder time defending that. Not because its inconsistent with the Bible, or because its logically impossible, but because its hard to defend that Christ would love us enough to do something like that. That's the only place where occasionally a flies across my mind if what I'm doing is idolatry.

Leonhard
04-11-2015, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the links Adrift, I took a while writing this reply to Mossy and its 2:30am (woke up and couldn't fall to sleep). I'll check those blogs tomorrow, I appreciate you finding those examples.

Pentecost
04-11-2015, 06:01 PM
There is no issue of subscribing to any form of soul-sleep. We believe the saints (all of Christ's children are saints, not just those the Catholic church designates), who have died are alive and in spirit with Christ, and will, at the last day, receive their glorified bodies. To deny the veneration of Mary and all saints is correct, scripturally. And I will continue to point it out as error within the Catholic church. It is error to pray to dead saints because they are unaware of us, and therefore cannot intercede as a living saint can. Not because those who pray to them and respect them are committing idolatry. It's pointless, but not sinful.




Then I guess you cannot agree with me. Unfortunately.




The problem comes when lay people DO know what the RCC teaches and accept it as fact without going into scripture to study it for themselves. And that has been a huge problem for hundreds of years. Why do you think Latin was used so much for the masses performed by priests, and why do you think there was such dismay among the leaders of the RCC when the Bible was made readily available for the people to read for themselves? They didn't want the scriptures, the actual word of God, to interfere with their "traditions" set up by themselves to benefit the church, not the people. They were no better than the Pharisees of Jesus' time, who used religion as a hammer against the people to enrich themselves, and they kept the people away from the truth that Jesus came to present. I recognize that there was a need for the Reformation, and to a lesser extent a need to Protest even today, I refuse to submit myself to the Pope as the heir of Peter and God's singular emissary on Earth, but I have met and I expect I will continue to meet those within the RCC those whom I know to be a brother or sister, not just because they claim to believe much of what I believe but because the love of Christ flows out of them in such a way that cannot be faked.


If you know Catholics who deny some of the teachings at issue, and claim to have "saving faith", then please ask them what they are still doing in the Catholic church? And if they hold to the traditional teachings on these beliefs, then I would question their salvation. They claim they are Christians and more than that I can tell they are simply by interacting with them. I would expect that you've felt kinship with a brother or sister of the faith beyond what you would expect simply from a normal human interaction? I could be wrong about this, but I have met people and have instantly recognized them as Christian, this does not always happen, but one woman I met recently for example was as close to me as my own sister minutes after we started talking and praying together (outside her house). The Holy Spirit testified to our communion, and I've experienced this with self proclaimed Catholics as well. I understand that this isn't a particularly strong argument, and I will step away from now, but it has convinced me that fellowship with Catholics is possible even if we don't like their doctrines.

Adrift
04-11-2015, 06:03 PM
Thanks for the links Adrift, I took a while writing this reply to Mossy and its 2:30am (woke up and couldn't fall to sleep). I'll check those blogs tomorrow, I appreciate you finding those examples.

You're welcome. The blogs are clearly by lay people who don't seem very deep on the theological aspects of their faith (of course), but having been raised in Catholic neighborhoods (mostly Portuguese and Irish) with close Catholic friends, these sort of lay comments (sadly) don't surprise me at all.

robrecht
04-11-2015, 06:46 PM
I see nothing in scripture that says the saints in heaven DO love an care about us. Can you show me where in scripture it says that? Oh, and I will not accept the Apocrypha as part of scripture. I don't believe in throwing out scriptures that don't agree with my theology. And I do think there are other sources and methods for good theology in addition to scripture, pared down or complete. I can't think of any reason why the saints in heaven would not continue to love and care for their brothers and sisters in Christ, all mankind, and all creation. God loves us; why wouldn't all the angels and saints in heaven love us? Are they not more like unto God than we? And we are obligated to love our brothers and sisters in Christ.


We are not praising as they do in heaven. We are bound by time and space and can't even comprehend what praising Him in heaven will be like. And yet you claim to know that they are too busy to care about us any more.


THEY are certainly not praising as we do. And they aren't praying FOR US. How can you be so sure of this?


Show me from scripture where it says the saints in heaven pray for those on earth. Let's assume for the sake of discussion, there is nothing in the books of scripture that you accept as scripture that says this. That would not mean that something is not true or possibly true. The New Testament scriptures were written by members of the church, produced by communal traditions that were eventually written down. Why divorce the scriptures from church tradition?

One Bad Pig
04-11-2015, 08:20 PM
It is not denying that Jesus was born of her. It is denying that she has anything to do with our salvation other than allowing herself to be used within God's will. It does not call for veneration of her in any other way.
And by allowing herself to be used, she assisted in our salvation.


It only diminishes her role in the sense that that is ALL she did. She didn't and doesn't do anything else for us.
Untrue. Mary intercedes, and has interceded, for people. There are many miraculous icons of Mary which have worked cures through her intercession - not only physical, but spiritual healing as well. Muslim men who were moments earlier denouncing icons as blasphemous do not break down weeping in front of one and subsequently announce that Jesus is Lord without intercession (a potentially deadly heart defect was healed simultaneously, to boot). The saints also intercede for us.


Scripture says all believers bodies are to be temples of God. We are used in different ways.
Yes, but she was used uniquely. No one else was, or ever will be, the temple of the Incarnate Lord.

And I don't disrespect the fact that Mary bore the Son of God in her womb.
Yet Protestants in general tend to downplay that fact.

I disrespect how Catholics and others venerate her and make her almost equal to Christ for doing so.
As a former Protestant, I am highly conscious of the fact that I do not make her almost equal to Christ, though I do venerate her and the rest of the saints.


And when your mind is not made up, there is lots of room for error to creep in.
The Holy Spirit can protect against that, yes?

AND, I am pretty certain that your mind is as made up as mine is. So, sauce for the gander.....

:tongue:
Well, I converted (from growing up Independent Fundamental Baptist, no less), so there's that. :rasberry:

37818
04-11-2015, 08:48 PM
This area is for orthodox Christians only

One Bad Pig
04-11-2015, 08:54 PM
There are two issues: Necromancy.
Prayer to the saints has nothing to do with necromancy.

And that the man Jesus Christ is to be our sole intercessor.
Then I hope you never ask anyone to pray for you.

Spartacus
04-11-2015, 10:09 PM
There are enough people now in this discussion that any points I try to raise are likely to be either lost or turned around to mean more or less the opposite of what I actually meant (both of which I've already seen happen in this thread). In any case, Leonhard and OBP are both quite capable of presenting the tried and true apologetical arguments. You've got an Eastern Orthodox and a Catholic, both converts. Neither can be dismissed as having been brainwashed, and both seem to have a stronger Marian devotion than I do. And then there's robrecht, who seems to know a lot of little details of ecclesiastical history that I don't. So, yeah, not much more reason for me to be here.

Before I step back, though, it may be worth mentioning that it's my impression that Marian devotion among Catholics, aside from strongly ethnic populations, has been on the decline. It may be true that Catholics are very bad at understanding what their faith is actually about, but these days you can see that far more clearly in the protests surrounding the removal of teachers in Catholic schools who have entered into same-sex marriages.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 11:10 PM
Before I step back, though, it may be worth mentioning that it's my impression that Marian devotion among Catholics, aside from strongly ethnic populations, has been on the decline. It may be true that Catholics are very bad at understanding what their faith is actually about, but these days you can see that far more clearly in the protests surrounding the removal of teachers in Catholic schools who have entered into same-sex marriages.
As you say, decline in Mariology is rather limited and parochial, likely due to sexual liberalisation leading to a lower appreciation of the pure and hence the cult of Mary.

Paprika
04-11-2015, 11:16 PM
There are plenty of people who worship Mary, whether explicitly or implicitly. When you have more than 1.2 billion members worldwide, many in places where public education is extremely low, and superstition is very high, it'd be the height of naivety to assume that there aren't Catholics who don't actively worship Mary in the way a god is normally worshiped. To deny this doesn't seem very sincere.
Exactly, which is why I was rather nonplussed that Leonhard would deny it, and chalked it up to his relative newness to Catholicism.


Surely we can all agree that there are many Protestants who hold to unorthodox beliefs, so it seems certain that there are Catholics that do so as well. The problem that many Protestants have with Catholicism and the Orthodox Church is that there doesn't seem to be any effort to remove that context or feel of worship away from Mary.
Precisely. In fact, adoration of Mary in recent times by the Popes such as JP II and Benedict has only intensified.

Also, when in official doctrine common words or phrases ('Mother of God', 'co-redemptrix', 'Queen of Heaven' and so on) have to carefully (re)defined it is obvious that the the nuances created to remain within orthodoxy will be lost on a great deal of the common people.

37818
04-12-2015, 09:14 AM
This area is for orthodox Christians only

Catholicity
04-12-2015, 09:14 AM
Exactly, which is why I was rather nonplussed that Leonhard would deny it, and chalked it up to his relative newness to Catholicism .

Paprika there is absolutely no reason for you to attempt to pick a fight with Leo. Show some restraint. If you want to pick fights I am sure we have atheists in apo 301 who are happy to oblige.

Paprika
04-12-2015, 09:29 AM
Paprika there is absolutely no reason for you to attempt to pick a fight with Leo. Show some restraint. If you want to pick fights I am sure we have atheists in apo 301 who are happy to oblige.
Buzz off.

Leonhard
04-13-2015, 07:20 AM
Buzz off.

Not cool. :thumbd:

Paprika
04-13-2015, 09:00 AM
Not cool. :thumbd:
I couldn't care less how you regard it.

Bill the Cat
04-13-2015, 09:11 AM
I couldn't care less how you regard it.


5580

Cool it or leave this thread.

One Bad Pig
04-13-2015, 10:47 AM
Why? [It is still a perceived issue to some. It needs to be shown that it cannot be necromancy.]
Necromancy is about using incantations/magic to coerce a conversation with the dead (or to compel the dead to do various things, which is even less relevant). Prayer to the saints has nothing of the magical about it, is not coercion, and is not an attempt to have a conversation. It is merely a request for intercession made to the dead in faith that it will be heard and acted on. Calling that necromancy is no more than polemics.


Asking prayer from living persons is not the same as asking them that sleep, that is asking them who who are dead waiting their resurrection from the dead.
God is not the God of the dead, but the living.

Rushing Jaws
07-07-2015, 09:37 PM
Sorry. To say that any person plays any sort of role in our salvation is error.

She was the human vessel to carry the Saviour, but she needed Him the same as anybody else. She is blessed because of her willingness to obey God in this, but should not be venerated as she has been by the Catholics and Orthodox.

This is an unreconcilable point that can't be bridged by any ecumenism. Jesus Christ, Who is man, is not a person ? Salvation is intimately personal, which is why persons save persons. The Bible can only do what the Law is described as doing in Romans 7 - it can only condemn. For salvation (including salvation from the bondage of the Bible), persons are needed.

Mary is not venerated nearly enough. To talk of her as a vessel is horribly demeaning - it's de-humanising, no different from calling people "elements". It is beyond belief that some people honour dead politicians (who may be damned, for all that all anyone knows, which means they are enemies of Christ) while making a scruple of honouring the Mother of God whom, through His angel, God Himself calls "Blessed among women".

mossrose
07-08-2015, 06:40 AM
Jesus Christ, Who is man, is not a person ? Salvation is intimately personal, which is why persons save persons. The Bible can only do what the Law is described as doing in Romans 7 - it can only condemn. For salvation (including salvation from the bondage of the Bible), persons are needed.

I was excepting Christ. The Bible is not bondage. It is God's word, presenting the law of God, and pointing to the ONLY way to salvation, Christ. If you feel bondage to God's word, then perhaps you need to rethink whether or not you have salvation.


Mary is not venerated nearly enough. To talk of her as a vessel is horribly demeaning - it's de-humanising, no different from calling people "elements". It is beyond belief that some people honour dead politicians (who may be damned, for all that all anyone knows, which means they are enemies of Christ) while making a scruple of honouring the Mother of God whom, through His angel, God Himself calls "Blessed among women".

Mary was a servant of God. She had a special place in history. I do not dishonour her by calling her a vessel. I just do not worship her. Only the triune God is worthy of worship.

And for the record, I don't venerate any dead politicians or any other dead person, for that matter.

Bisto
04-03-2016, 01:06 PM
Hello! I'm not sure whether I should post this here or on the "Mary Mother of God" thread... but I'll do it here.

I read this thread (and a couple others related) the other day and, as an Evangelical, I must thank all Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox brethren for explaining how they understand Marian devotion, veneration of the saints, etc. I didn't previously know how you guys looked at this stuff, only how my Evangelical brethren make it look when asked (some of them raised RCC), but now it kind of makes sense to me how you arrive to such conclusions. Nonetheless, I still find it odd about those who would pray more to Mary than to God/Jesus/Spirit, or otherwise dedicate more time to their veneration than to Him, etc.


On these topics, I have the following broad questions: what do you think the 1st century church would say on these practices? Would a prison-bound Paul pray to Stephen to intercede for him and the Church? Would he support Christians asking the Patriarchs to intercede for them rather than praying to God? After Mary passed away (or was assumed to heaven, if that's what you believe happened to her), would a John approve of lay Christians directing their prayers at Mary, or giving her the level of devotion she gets nowadays in some places? etc.


And on a more historical side: Do we have evidence of 1st Century Jews directing similar veneration, prayer, etc. to the Patriarchs for example? e.g. praying to Abraham to intercede before God on their behalf or something like that? From what we know, would their "polemically strict monotheism", so to describe it, see such ideas favorably?

(I know it's been explained how this shouldn't be confused with idolatry, but it has also been pointed out that some lay Catholics do bring it to the point of worshipping Mary, in their own words. Some older sisters in my Church who came out of the RCC see these practices in a very negative light to this day... and it'd be interesting to consider how ancient Jews and the first Christians would have looked at it.)


I'm already thinking that for the 1st Century Jews, maybe one could say they didn't have this "Body dynamic" that was true for the Church, and from what I've seen in posts in this thread, this is seen as the heart of asking brethren who have passed away to intercede on behalf of the earth-bound Church. But still, I'd like to see your thoughts on this, and whatever historical evidence could shed light on what the ancient Christians would have thought about the practices that stem from said line of thought.


Thanks in advance for your replies!

Isaac.

Faber
04-03-2016, 01:49 PM
And on a more historical side: Do we have evidence of 1st Century Jews directing similar veneration, prayer, etc. to the Patriarchs for example? e.g. praying to Abraham to intercede before God on their behalf or something like that?

You got the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:1-31), but the rich man was already dead and it didn't get him anywhere.

One Bad Pig
04-03-2016, 02:22 PM
Hello! I'm not sure whether I should post this here or on the "Mary Mother of God" thread... but I'll do it here.

I read this thread (and a couple others related) the other day and, as an Evangelical, I must thank all Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox brethren for explaining how they understand Marian devotion, veneration of the saints, etc. I didn't previously know how you guys looked at this stuff, only how my Evangelical brethren make it look when asked (some of them raised RCC), but now it kind of makes sense to me how you arrive to such conclusions. Nonetheless, I still find it odd about those who would pray more to Mary than to God/Jesus/Spirit, or otherwise dedicate more time to their veneration than to Him, etc.
From my Orthodox experience, it would be unusual for someone to do so.


On these topics, I have the following broad questions: what do you think the 1st century church would say on these practices? Would a prison-bound Paul pray to Stephen to intercede for him and the Church? Would he support Christians asking the Patriarchs to intercede for them rather than praying to God? After Mary passed away (or was assumed to heaven, if that's what you believe happened to her), would a John approve of lay Christians directing their prayers at Mary, or giving her the level of devotion she gets nowadays in some places? etc.
It's not easy to tell, given our paucity of sources from the time period. It is certainly possible to show Mary excessive devotion, and I'm sure John would not approve of that.


And on a more historical side: Do we have evidence of 1st Century Jews directing similar veneration, prayer, etc. to the Patriarchs for example? e.g. praying to Abraham to intercede before God on their behalf or something like that? From what we know, would their "polemically strict monotheism", so to describe it, see such ideas favorably?

(I know it's been explained how this shouldn't be confused with idolatry, but it has also been pointed out that some lay Catholics do bring it to the point of worshipping Mary, in their own words. Some older sisters in my Church who came out of the RCC see these practices in a very negative light to this day... and it'd be interesting to consider how ancient Jews and the first Christians would have looked at it.)
Interestingly, there is some evidence (https://faculty.biu.ac.il/~testsm/Angels_Intermed.html) that Jews of the time may have prayed to angels and departed saints, asking them to intercede before the Lord.

Just how commonplace the appeal to angels was is demonstrated by a baraita in BT Ber 60b (Dereh Eretz 11; Kalla Rabbati 9:13):


On entering a privy one should say: ‘Be honoured, ye honoured and holy ones the minister to the Most High. Give honour to the God of Israel. Wait for me till I enter and do my needs, and I return to you’.[38]

Presumably, then, several times in the course of an ordinary day, a Jew would turn to angels and ask them not to accompany him to the privy. This custom, too, was later abolished because of objections to praying to angels....

Since contact with the dead was considered to contaminate the living, in Biblical times, as in the tannaitic period, there were some people who took care not to be rendered impure in this way.[50] However, the gradual disappearance of the laws of purity and impurity enabled the people to begin to visit graves and solicit the help of the deceased. This practice is first related by Rava in Babylon, according to whom the spies went up to Hebron to prostrate themselves on the graves of the patriarchs (BT Sot 34b).[52] Similarly, one of the Palestinian Amoraim of the third century believed in visiting cemeteries on fast days, ‘so that the dead shall plead for mercy on us’ (BT Taan 16a).

Even today, Jewish prayer (http://unitedwithisrael.org/what-does-judaism-say-about-angels/) invokes angels:


On returning home from services on Friday night, it is customary to sing to the “Shabbat Angels.” Before going to sleep, the bedtime prayers include a prayer for protection by the fours archangels: “To my right Michael and to my left Gabriel, in front of me Uriel and behind me Raphael, and over my head God’s presence.” So, too, many recite the words of Genesis 48:16 before going to sleep: “May the angel who redeems me from all evil, bless the children, and let my name be named in them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and let them flourish like fish for multitude in the midst of the land.” The Yom Kippur liturgy makes extensive mention of angels.


I'm already thinking that for the 1st Century Jews, maybe one could say they didn't have this "Body dynamic" that was true for the Church, and from what I've seen in posts in this thread, this is seen as the heart of asking brethren who have passed away to intercede on behalf of the earth-bound Church. But still, I'd like to see your thoughts, on this and whatever historical evidence could shed light on what the ancient Christians would have thought about the practices that stem from said line of thought.
I know that by the mid-2nd century, the early church was venerating martyrs (see The Martyrdom of Polycarp), but it's hard to say how or when that developed. If Jewish prayers of intercession to the departed holy ones go back that far, then martyrs may well have been invoked by the church from the beginning.

robrecht
04-04-2016, 04:57 AM
... Nonetheless, I still find it odd about those who would pray more to Mary than to God/Jesus/Spirit, or otherwise dedicate more time to their veneration than to Him, etc. ... Hi, Isaac. Has anyone here been defending the practice of praying more to Mary than to God???

Adrift
04-04-2016, 05:24 AM
Hi, Isaac. Has anyone here been defending the practice of praying more to Mary than to God???

Anecdotally, it does appear to be the case among the lay Catholics I know. It's only online that I typically find a more robust understanding of prayer among Catholics, but that's usually true for all those Christians I come into contact with on websites like these where the typical poster is often a bit more interested/involved in the faith than your average pew sitter.

Bisto
04-04-2016, 07:19 AM
Faber:
Yeah, I thought that example didn't really count, for the reasons you state :thumb:


OBP:
Thank you!! I'll look into those articles.

I assume there is a difference between angels and departed saints in the examples you quote...? (maybe it's just MY impression.) From my understanding, angels are to minister to God's people (as in Hebr. 1), and If I recall correctly, in Rev. 5 they implicitly serve as "carriers" of prayer (in the "incense" passage). I also remember some psalms where angels' presence or action is requested, commended, etc.

In my Church, I can remember times when a pastor or prophet asked the Lord for angelic presence and support, and a few times commanding them in the context of spiritual warfare, and a few times when some brother or sister had visions concerning angels, but not much otherwise...

In Jacob's words in particular, I had come to understand that the Angel he talks about in Gen. 48 is the Angel of YHWH / pre-incarnate Son, so I infer that when Jews repeat Jacob's prayer about "that" angel in particular, they'd be referring to the one who was God's manifestation Himself.

So in summary, is the distinction between angels and departed saints evident, blurred or non-existent in the context of angelic references?

(I'm checking the examples on the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Very interesting!)


Robrecht:
Hello! From what I read, nobody has postulated that here, and I assume you would be against such idea. Nonetheless, as Adrift has mentioned, it is an attitude one can find elsewhere. I didn't bring it up as "well poisoning" or anything of that sort ;)...

I think someone posted in this thread before that one gets concerned over people who misunderstand this stuff and end up doing what they shouldn't, though I understand this is also true of teachings all Christians would agree about (e.g. the Trinity).


Adrift:
That's what I was thinking :yes:. I would say something similar in a broader sense, not only about Catholics I've met vs. Catholics on sites like this one, but more generally about Christians I've met vs. Christians on sites like this one.


All:
Thanks again for your replies!! :smile:

One Bad Pig
04-04-2016, 05:42 PM
I assume there is a difference between angels and departed saints in the examples you quote...? (maybe it's just MY impression.) From my understanding, angels are to minister to God's people (as in Hebr. 1), and If I recall correctly, in Rev. 5 they implicitly serve as "carriers" of prayer (in the "incense" passage). I also remember some psalms where angels' presence or action is requested, commended, etc.
As far as I can tell, it would be less 'innovative' for Jews to ask angels to intercede for them, since angels are (literally) God's messengers. Both angels and saintly ones are seen as having special access to God, however.


In my Church, I can remember times when a pastor or prophet asked the Lord for angelic presence and support, and a few times commanding them in the context of spiritual warfare, and a few times when some brother or sister had visions concerning angels, but not much otherwise...
I can see that. :yes:


In Jacob's words in particular, I had come to understand that the Angel he talks about in Gen. 48 is the Angel of YHWH / pre-incarnate Son, so I infer that when Jews repeat Jacob's prayer about "that" angel in particular, they'd be referring to the one who was God's manifestation Himself.
In the case of Jews, they would certainly NOT be referring to that, as far as I know.


So in summary, is the distinction between angels and departed saints evident, blurred or non-existent in the context of angelic references?

Sorta. :yes: Aside from the distinction above, there is room for disagreement over which departed saints are sufficiently saintly for effective intercession - especially since there is absolutely no mechanism for canonization in Judaism.

robrecht
04-04-2016, 06:33 PM
Anecdotally, it does appear to be the case among the lay Catholics I know. It's only online that I typically find a more robust understanding of prayer among Catholics, but that's usually true for all those Christians I come into contact with on websites like these where the typical poster is often a bit more interested/involved in the faith than your average pew sitter.Seriously? I don't believe I've ever met a single Catholic who would ever defend such a position. And I have known an awful lot of Catholics!


Robrecht:
Hello! From what I read, nobody has postulated that here, and I assume you would be against such idea. Nonetheless, as Adrift has mentioned, it is an attitude one can find elsewhere. I didn't bring it up as "well poisoning" or anything of that sort ;)...It does seem like a very exaggerated claim to me.

Adrift
04-04-2016, 07:13 PM
Seriously? I don't believe I've ever met a single Catholic who would ever defend such a position. And I have known an awful lot of Catholics!

:shrug: Perhaps it's regional. I've lived in heavily Catholic towns (Portuguese and Irish). Seems very common place.

Bisto
04-04-2016, 07:23 PM
Seriously? I don't believe I've ever met a single Catholic who would ever defend such a position. And I have known an awful lot of Catholics!

It does seem like a very exaggerated claim to me.

I apologize if it left you with a bad taste :frown:. I said that was what I find "odd". Clearly it doesn't include you nor any Catholics you have known ;D


As an aside, I remember that some posts on the veneration of Mary being the highest among the saints, point her out as the one who has loved our Lord the most, being his mother. While I understand the force of this line of thought, I found myself thinking whether I could affirm that with such certainty. I think, why couldn't some brother or sister throughout the centuries have loved Jesus more?

I know there's really no way to know for sure until we sleep (we'll see who "shines" the most, perhaps?), but I think in particular of those brethren who have had the most horrible deeds forgiven to them in Christ (as in "who is forgiven more, loves more"). In my Church we've had brethren who, before the Lord called them, used to be satanists and did things I will not bring up, but from what I can see, they have been among the most faithful, consecrated, humble, etc., exemplary servants of God I have known. In a way, I look at Paul similarly. So I think, what of the brothers and sisters who have lived all this time? I wouldn't find it odd if the most loyal servant of Jesus ever turned out to be some "anonymous" saint long forgotten in the flesh, perhaps even a former criminal turned servant of the King, living a life consecrated to Him in some corner of the world, with a quiet yet powerful witness that impacted greatly the lives of the handful of people who met him/her, yet whose love for Him passed otherwise unnoticed. (I remember the woman that appears in Lewis' "The Great Divorce" too for a similar scenario.)

I understand the argument for saying that Mary would be "first" among Christ's followers... but in truth, I simply don't know. Perhaps she is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were otherwise.



:shrug: Perhaps it's regional. I've lived in heavily Catholic towns (Portuguese and Irish). Seems very common place.
Could be the case too in what I've seen and what my former-RCC brethren tell. We're in Chile (South America) and not exactly in the urban capital.

robrecht
04-04-2016, 07:34 PM
I apologize if it left you with a bad taste :frown:. I said that was what I find "odd". Clearly it doesn't include you nor any Catholics you have known ;D

As an aside, I remember that some posts on the veneration of Mary being the highest among the saints, point her out as the one who has loved our Lord the most, being his mother. While I understand the force of this line of thought, I found myself thinking whether I could affirm that with such certainty. I think, why couldn't some brother or sister throughout the centuries have loved Jesus more?

I know there's really no way to know for sure until we sleep (we'll see who "shines" the most, perhaps?), but I think in particular of those brethren who have had the most horrible deeds forgiven to them in Christ (as in "who is forgiven more, loves more"). In my Church we've had brethren who, before the Lord called them, used to be satanists and did things I will not bring up, but from what I can see, they have been among the most faithful, consecrated, humble, etc., exemplary servants of God I have known. In a way, I look at Paul similarly. So I think, what of the brothers and sisters who have lived all this time? I wouldn't find it odd if the most loyal servant of Jesus ever turned out to be some "anonymous" saint long forgotten in the flesh, perhaps even a former criminal turned servant of the King, living a life consecrated to Him in some corner of the world, with a quiet yet powerful witness that impacted greatly the lives of the handful of people who met him/her, yet whose love for Him passed otherwise unnoticed. (I remember the woman that appears in Lewis' "The Great Divorce" too for a similar scenario.)

I understand the argument for saying that Mary would be "first" among Christ's followers... but in truth, I simply don't know. Perhaps she is, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were otherwise.

Could be the case too in what I've seen and what my former-RCC brethren tell. We're in Chile (South America) and not exactly in the urban capital.
I think general statements about Mary's love for her son, Jesus, being greater than that of anyone else, are merely general reflections about any mother's love for her children being perhaps the greatest love that any of us normally know in our normal human experience. Such statements merely help us reflect upon the awesome doctrine of the incarnation. I don't think they are meant as some kind of dogmatic or verifiable quantification of any one person's love for God compared or contrasted with any other theoretical or concrete love experienced or expressed by anyone else.

Bisto
04-05-2016, 12:25 PM
I think general statements about Mary's love for her son, Jesus, being greater than that of anyone else, are merely general reflections about any mother's love for her children being perhaps the greatest love that any of us normally know in our normal human experience. Such statements merely help us reflect upon the awesome doctrine of the incarnation. I don't think they are meant as some kind of dogmatic or verifiable quantification of any one person's love for God compared or contrasted with any other theoretical or concrete love experienced or expressed by anyone else.

I see. Thanks for the clarification! :thumb: I wasn't sure if it was that or a dogmatic-like declaration :-)

Rushing Jaws
04-13-2016, 02:04 PM
That error would include Mariology...........right?Absolutely ! :)

Rushing Jaws
04-13-2016, 02:53 PM
Hi, Isaac. Has anyone here been defending the practice of praying more to Mary than to God???That just makes no sense - to pray to Our Lady, or to any other Saint, is praying to her Divine Lord, Who is Our Lord also. All that we receive through her, comes from Him. She comes from Him - no-one else is her Creator.

Love of Our Lady is not separable from love of the her Divine Son, Who is her Creator and Redeemer and Saviour and Lord. To love her at all, is to love Him, because she is, has, and does nothing that is not His. The light in her that makes her shine so gloriously, is always and entirely His Light in her. Total Consecration to her takes nothing from Him, because it has no purpose but union with Him. She is found only and always with Him and in Him - never in separation from Him. She cannot be loved, nor rightly seen, except in Him.

God is the "terminus" for all Christian prayer - bar none. Including all prayer to the Saints. To acknowledge the wealth and variety and breadth and height and depth of their graces, is to acknowledge the work of God in, for, and through them. The Saints reflected the many-splendoured Glory of God - they are evidences of Him, reminders of Him, further reasons for thankfulness to Him and ever-fuller adoration of Him. They have no purpose, except for Him.

Those of them whose devotion to Our Lady was most fervent and unreserved, such as St Alphonsus Liguori, or a host of others in East and West, seem to have the most fervent and unreserved faith in her Divine Son. Love of our Lady strengthens faith in Our Lord - it is anything but an obstacle to faith in Him. What is essential, is to begin with Him. Our Lady is less than nothing without Him, and will only be seen out of focus, if looked at in separation from Him.

Leonhard
04-13-2016, 04:05 PM
I pray almost exclusively to the Virgin Mary. I preface all the prayers I give Christ with an Ave, and so send the prayer to God through her immaculate hands. That's been a pious practice for a long time in Christianity. It has a focus on the kingship of Christ, and us being poor sinners. I do it for all the reasons Rushing Jaws lay out.

Any devotion I give to the Virgin, is also devotion given to God.

I imagine that when the Bible describes the saints as different stars in Heaven, with one shining as bright as the moon, that this moon is her. The Queen of Heaven, the greatest disciple of Christ. She was the first believer, and among the last to abandon Him. I challenge you to go back and read the Church Fathers on her. Pick up St. Augustine and read his prayers to her, they say nothing different then than what Catholics consider her to be now.

Bisto
04-13-2016, 08:56 PM
Rushing Jaws, Leonhard:

First, thanks for your thoughtful replies :-)

What you say is more or less what I understood from this and the other thread(s?). I guess I understand your points, and at its core, I agree (e.g. Mary took a part in Jesus' coming, like her own ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve, but in a unique way; or, the love-joined Body of Christ comprises all the people of God in Heaven and Earth).

The thing of describing Mary as the "moon" or "queen" among the saints is this picture of her as the "quintessential Christian", a point that I understand, even if I personally think it might not necessarily be right in the end (as in, it wouldn't be a surprise if some anonymous brother or sister through the centuries was the greatest, humblest, most faithful, etc. disciple of Christ ever). Nonetheless, I agree with your basic points, so I would agree she's one of the "top candidates" we know of, so to speak, so she may well end up being the "moon equivalent" (from our geocentric perspective, etc. :smile:).


My questions were more about what the Apostles and early Church would have practiced -- e.g. given that what few of Paul's prayers we have record of in the NT, they're addressed to God Himself. I will check more on the Fathers eventually, for sure, but it might still be notable, in a way, that the Apostles didn't do it in the prayers they wrote in their epistles. Nonetheless, this "silence" may well not mean much, since as seen in the articles provided by OBP, prayer to deceased saints may have been a thing back then.

In the end, while I more or less agree with your points, I personally wouldn't feel comfortable doing it at all. So I guess this is to understand you guys better, complement whoever I see (among my Evangelical brethren) with a different picture of the way it should be in a Catholic setting (since, like I said, my former-RC brethren have the lowest of opinions about these things), be able to relate better with any other Catholics I find (I met one today in a Bible study group in college :D), and in a way, "test" how they see it -- to make sure they're within the "parameters" implicit in your united witness so far.

robrecht
04-13-2016, 09:04 PM
I pray almost exclusively to the Virgin Mary. I preface all the prayers I give Christ with an Ave ...
To me this sounds more like praying with Mary to God, not to Mary herself as if one would or could pray to her apart from God.


... and so send the prayer to God through her immaculate hands. That's been a pious practice for a long time in Christianity. It has a focus on the kingship of Christ, and us being poor sinners. I do it for all the reasons Rushing Jaws lay out.

Any devotion I give to the Virgin, is also devotion given to God.

I imagine that when the Bible describes the saints as different stars in Heaven, with one shining as bright as the moon, that this moon is her. The Queen of Heaven, the greatest disciple of Christ. She was the first believer, and among the last to abandon Him. I challenge you to go back and read the Church Fathers on her. Pick up St. Augustine and read his prayers to her, they say nothing different then than what Catholics consider her to be now.Emphasis mine. Do you agree perhaps?