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False Catholic Mary Doctrine

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    False Catholic Mary Doctrine


    In the world, we can see a fervent goal of reaching a consensus between different churches and revival movements through ecumenism. The Roman Catholic Church is involved in ecumenism, and many people are not familiar with the Catholic doctrine. The Catholic "gospel" is a false one, and the Catholic Church does not represent Biblical Christian faith. The late bishop Alphonsus Liguiri, the author of a very well-known book titled "The Glories of Mary", writes in the book that Mary's intercessions are absolutely necessary for salvation, and that Mary, being the mother of God, is omnipotent and can save sinners.

    Catholic News Service posted a piece on June 4, 2015, stating that the sitting Pope, Francis, has just recently read The Glories of Mary. Francis says that he enjoyed the book because all chapters of the book show how Mary always leads us to Jesus Christ. The Catholic News Service says that the pope gives praise for the book. Pope Francis did not reject and revoke any of the Mary doctrines in the book, which means that the Pope approves of the book's unbiblical Mary teachings that mock God. If the book's Mary doctrines were contrary to the official Catholic doctrine, Francis should absolutely have pointed that out, but he did not, and gave praise to the book instead. The Pope's attitude and words of praise confirm that the Catholic Church continues to worship Mary. If someone still wants to disagree, he or she has not learned to read, is incapable of understanding written text or information that he or she has heard, or is blinded by the lie and is a liar.

    More info: Catholic Church Mary intercession omnipotent save sinners





    #2
    A little harsh in your condemnation of the Pope.
    He frequently says things that are intended to 'build bridges' and probably tends to look for something to praise in everything.

    If the book teaches what you claim, it deserves criticism. (Mary does not save, even in Catholic Doctrine, as far as I know). The Pope probably should criticize it.
    However a failure to criticize is not the same as embracing it as official Church Doctrine.

    It means the Pope is not perfect. Was there any real question of that? Are any of us?
    Let's at least save our criticism of the Catholic Church for things that genuinely need criticism and not invent reasons to be outraged.

    We will need to spend eternity with some of those people. ;)
    Comment>

      #3
      Francis says that he enjoyed the book because all chapters of the book show how Mary always leads us to Jesus Christ.
      I offer the same praise for the Biblical writings about Mary.

      Luke 1:38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

      Luke 1:46-55
      46 And Mary said:
      “My soul glorifies the Lord
      47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
      48 for he has been mindful
      of the humble state of his servant.
      From now on all generations will call me blessed,
      49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
      holy is his name.
      50 His mercy extends to those who fear him,
      from generation to generation.
      51 He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
      52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones
      but has lifted up the humble.
      53 He has filled the hungry with good things
      but has sent the rich away empty.
      54 He has helped his servant Israel,
      remembering to be merciful
      55 to Abraham and his descendants forever,
      just as he promised our ancestors.”

      John 2:5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

      Comment>

        #4
        Originally posted by atpollard View Post
        A little harsh in your condemnation of the Pope.
        PetriFB's comments are nothing compared to the early Reformers. They considered the pope and the prophet Muhammad to be the two horns of the anti-Christ, because they both put themselves in the center of God's earthly temple for praise and worship.

        Even our WCF has it:

        I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.[1]

        II. The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion;[2] and of their children:[3] and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ,[4] the house and family of God,[5] out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.[6]

        III. Unto this catholic visible Church Christ has given the ministry, oracles, and ordinances of God, for the gathering and perfecting of the saints, in this life, to the end of the world: and does, by His own presence and Spirit, according to His promise, make them effectual thereunto.[7]

        IV. This catholic Church has been sometimes more, sometimes less visible.[8] And particular Churches, which are members thereof, are more or less pure, according as the doctrine of the Gospel is taught and embraced, ordinances administered, and public worship performed more or less purely in them.[9]

        V. The purest Churches under heaven are subject both to mixture and error;[10] and some have so degenerated, as to become no Churches of Christ, but synagogues of Satan.[11] Nevertheless, there shall be always a Church on earth to worship God according to His will.[12]

        VI. There is no other head of the Church but the Lord Jesus Christ.[13] Nor can the Pope of Rome, in any sense, be head thereof; but is that Antichrist, that man of sin, and son of perdition, that exalts himself, in the Church, against Christ and all that is called God.[14]
        Jonathan Edwards, the first President of Princeton University, wrote in his "A History of the Work of Redemption." "The two great works of the devil which he … wrought against the Kingdom of Christ are … his Anti-Christian (Romish or Papal) and Mahometan (Muslim or Islamic) kingdoms … which have been, and still are, two kingdoms of great extent and strength. Both together swallow … up the Ancient Roman Empire; the (Papal) kingdom of Antichrist swallowing up the Western Empire, and Satan’s Mahometan kingdom the Eastern Empire … In the Book of Revelation (chapters 16 – 20) … it is in the destruction of these that the glorious victory of Christ at the introduction of the glorious times of the Church, will mainly consist…"

        Sola scripture, as one of Calvin’s “five solas,” manifests itself heavily upon his view of the Turks. Calvin held a strong view of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments) as the only Scripture of God. Anyone who rejected it, namely the Turks, were “devils, for they do not keep themselves in the bounds of Holy Scripture.” Calvin saw the prophecies of Daniel as relating to and fulfilling within his own historical context, and thus “Mahomet” (Muhammad) and the Pope (both the office itself and, specifically, Pope Paul III, who ruled from 1534 to 1549) are “the two horns of the Anti-Christ and the two legs correspond with Islam and the Papacy” (SD 1987:162).
        God bless,
        William
        Comment>

          #5
          I bet God places the early reformers in a Mansion next to a Catholic. :)

          Galatians 5 is for US (elect) not THEM (unsaved):

          13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

          16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

          19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

          22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.


          The Catholic Church of today has many, serious doctrinal differences with the Protestants. However, they are not the same as the abuses that led Luther to champion his cause and reformation to sweep Christendom.
          At one time, we might have been encouraged to come to blows over the issue of covenant vs believer baptism. Now we can talk and debate and actually search scripture to seek truth.
          Embracing 16th century hatred for 16th century Roman Catholicism is probably not a step towards fulfilling Galatians 5.

          Would we be better off talking with Catholics or misquoting their position (like anti-Calvinists do with our beliefs)?
          Comment>

            #6
            Originally posted by atpollard View Post
            The Catholic Church of today has many, serious doctrinal differences with the Protestants. However, they are not the same as the abuses that led Luther to champion his cause and reformation to sweep Christendom.
            At one time, we might have been encouraged to come to blows over the issue of covenant vs believer baptism. Now we can talk and debate and actually search scripture to seek truth.
            Embracing 16th century hatred for 16th century Roman Catholicism is probably not a step towards fulfilling Galatians 5.

            Would we be better off talking with Catholics or misquoting their position (like anti-Calvinists do with our beliefs)?
            Well, I don't share your sentiments or tolerance for false doctrine. And it is no wonder to me why so many "Protestant" denominations have regressed back to Catholicism for lack of knowledge.

            Solus Christus: The Catholic Church taught that we are saved by the merits of Christ and the saints, and that we approach God through Christ, the saints, and Mary, who all pray and intercede for us. The Reformers responded, “No, we are saved by the merits of Christ Alone, and we come to God through Christ Alone”.

            God bless,
            William
            Comment>

              #7


              What were those Solas?
              Last edited by atpollard; 09-15-2016, 01:02 PM.
              Comment>

                #8
                Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                I guess I'll go strike a blow for Orthodoxy and go burn a Catholic Church before they come to drown us rebaptizers. :rolleyes:

                What were those Solas so I can spray paint them on the wall?
                Sola Scriptura
                Sola Fide
                Sola Gratia
                Solus Christus
                Soli Deo Gloria
                Make no mistake.. from my conversations on the Catholic Answers forum, the more traditional and hard- core Catholics like us Protestants ( they normally don't distinguish us by confession.. A Lutheran, an Anglican, a Presbyterian and a Mennonite are all " heretics" alike) and our doctrine no more than we care for them and theirs. In fact, some will go out of their way to derail a thread for the sake of insulting us. Being as easily provoked as I am, my last post suggested that they incorporate the twenty- eight Articles of the Augsburg Confession into their Catechism if they were as serious about reunification as they said they were. As a matter of trivia, Protestants drowned their heretics, while the Catholics burned theirs at the stake.
                Comment>

                  #9
                  Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post

                  Sola Scriptura
                  Sola Fide
                  Sola Gratia
                  Solus Christus
                  Soli Deo Gloria
                  Make no mistake.. from my conversations on the Catholic Answers forum, the more traditional and hard- core Catholics like us Protestants ( they normally don't distinguish us by confession.. A Lutheran, an Anglican, a Presbyterian and a Mennonite are all " heretics" alike) and our doctrine no more than we care for them and theirs. In fact, some will go out of their way to derail a thread for the sake of insulting us. Being as easily provoked as I am, my last post suggested that they incorporate the twenty- eight Articles of the Augsburg Confession into their Catechism if they were as serious about reunification as they said they were. As a matter of trivia, Protestants drowned their heretics, while the Catholics burned theirs at the stake.
                  Thanks for the Solas.
                  Last edited by atpollard; 09-15-2016, 01:01 PM.
                  Comment>

                    #10
                    Originally posted by atpollard View Post

                    Thanks for the Solas.

                    Is the goal to drive Catholics from CF or to restore them to the truth in love.
                    I have no doubt that what you said about Catholic Answers forum is true, but that means that we can't really go there ant tell them the truth.
                    So the choice is to drive them all from here so they can not hear the truth here either, or to attempt to boldly proclaim the truth in love.
                    I see an oportunity for restoration. Not necessarily restoring the congregants to protestant churches, but planting the seeds of biblical orthodoxy among the Catholic elect.
                    God can do anything, but let's give him something to work with.

                    I recently visited the CARM forums for the first time.
                    I have more sympathy for William's intolerance of Arminianism that when I first arrived. Good grief, every discussion turns into an Arminian telling the Calvinists "Since you believe THIS, then ..." except 'THIS' is never what Calvinism actually teaches.
                    (Apparently one is not to ask the Moderators questions about that or one gets a 10 point infraction for talking to a Mod. Just a warning if anyone else visits - Rule 2.3 :) )

                    I cut my teeth on Religious Forums (which I suggest EVERYONE avoid) so I know how ugly it gets.

                    Anyway, as long as they are not being actively disruptive, I think that people with flawed theology coming to CF to hera truth is a good thing.
                    Jesus didn't feel the need to call everyone he met a brood of vipers or children of the devil, maybe we don't either.
                    They ( just like everybody else) deserve to hear the truth told in love. God forbid that they be driven from CF, AtPollard! The truth should be presented to them gently, without question, but we need to cling firmly to our own Confessions. Compromise inevitably leads to capitulation. I have no issue with any Catholic poster here and I think it's awesome that they're here and contribute. It's truly a place of dialogue, rather than a group of people ganging up on posters they see as " dissidents." You and I may well agree on more things than we disagree on and we have basic communication. I've learned quite a lot about Reformed theology ( thanks for the vids, William! :)) since I've been here and as a Lutheran, I am very grateful for the opportunity to fellowship with those who I share a Reformation heritage with. No, they are neither children of the devil, nor are they Anti- Christs. They are Christians with admittedly flawed theology, but they are Christians.

                    That should be focused on, but Original Sin being what it is, our instincts are inevitably to divide, to set the parameters of that division and to keep the " outsiders" out. Jesus prayed for unity and He said that people would know us by our love for each other. So, we present the truth to them in love and pray that the Holy Spirit takes it from there.
                    Comment>

                      #11
                      Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                      Is the goal to drive Catholics from CF or to restore them to the truth in love.
                      Hello atpollard,

                      I am tiring of you putting words in my mouth and equivocating hate towards another because of any intolerance towards false doctrine. I must admit that this method is making me want to cease responding to you at all. I am glad ConfessionalLutheran posted the Five Solae for educational purposes directed to you, because I must admit, I received your questioning and remarks as a little snappy and sarcastic and implying one does wrong because of any strict standard of Orthodoxy. I am suggesting, because you like to post as the "devils advocate" as you stated in the pasts that the lines are becoming a little too blurred.

                      I posted a confessional standard from my church in other posts, and your remark was totally received as being frustrated with Reformed confessional standards? And now today you state the warm sentiments towards ConfessionalLuteran's which only confuses me.

                      I am asking you to clarify your attitude and tone in your responses, especially the ones made yesterday. Am I wrongly imagining things? You'll have to excuse my questions, and my concern as I consider your tone made in posts. My concern is you driving away new members, especially ones looking for strict moderation for want of sincere inquiry in the Reformed faith. That is our target demographic, not Catholics.

                      Originally posted by ConfessionalLutheran View Post
                      No, they are neither children of the devil, nor are they Anti- Christs. They are Christians with admittedly flawed theology, but they are Christians.
                      Hello ConfessionalLutheran,

                      How important do you think theology is ConfessionalLutheran? Lemme ask you plainly, what are the implications of not worshiping the Father in Spirit and Truth? Does it necessitate true doctrine about the Father and His Son, and their partnership in rescuing sinners? I think I can ask you a straight question like that and get a straight answer from not only heart but also head, not one based on a solely emotional level but from a Creedal and Confessional standard.

                      What I find a little curious ConfessionalLutheran, is how you refer to Catholics as Christians, which I would think means you consider them co-laborers in the mission field for Christ? Your post #8 was right on target in my view and based on my experience, and I invite you to this thread to answer Worship of Mary in the Roman Catholic Church - Christforums post #4. Though, the thread is steering off track, I am quite curious for it seems that you actually have experience speaking with Catholics and debating them, and because of your responses made in post #8 here.

                      To note, Catholics are welcome here, have always been, though Pelagian and Semi-Pelagianism are moderated into that proper Category.

                      God bless,
                      William
                      Comment>

                        #12
                        Originally posted by William View Post
                        Hello atpollard,

                        I am tiring of you putting words in my mouth and equivocating hate towards another because of any intolerance towards false doctrine. I must admit that this method is making me want to cease responding to you at all. I am glad ConfessionalLutheran posted the Five Solae for educational purposes directed to you, because I must admit, I received your questioning and remarks as a little snappy and sarcastic and implying one does wrong because of any strict standard of Orthodoxy. I am suggesting, because you like to post as the "devils advocate" as you stated in the pasts that the lines are becoming a little too blurred.

                        I posted a confessional standard from my church in other posts, and your remark was totally received as being frustrated with Reformed confessional standards? And now today you state the warm sentiments towards ConfessionalLuterans which only confuses me.

                        I am asking you to clarify your attitude and tone in your responses, especially the ones made yesterday. Am I wrongly imaging things? You'll have to excuse my questions, and my concern as I consider your tone made in posts. My concern is you driving away new members, especially ones looking for strict moderation for want of sincere inquiry in the Reformed faith. That is our target demographic, not Catholics.


                        God bless,
                        William
                        I do apologize for any offense, that was not my intention.
                        Nor was it my intention to put any words in your mouth.
                        I applaud the criticism of false doctrine.

                        Some of the quotes from past centuries have used the term "Anti-Christ" in describing the Catholic Church and the Pope.
                        Is that a criticism of doctrine or a personal attack?
                        How can our Catholic friends (is it correct to view Bede as a Catholic friend) view a statement that the Catholic Church is the Anti-Christ?

                        I may have pushed back, too hard.
                        For that I do apologize.
                        I shall drop the subject.
                        Your house, your house rules.

                        God Bless,
                        Arthur
                        Comment>

                          #13
                          Originally posted by William View Post
                          Hello ConfessionalLutheran,

                          How important do you think theology is ConfessionalLutheran? Lemme ask you plainly, what are the implications of not worshiping the Father in Spirit and Truth? Does it necessitate true doctrine about the Father and His Son, and their partnership in rescuing sinners? I think I can ask you a straight question like that and get a straight answer from not only heart but also head, not one based on a solely emotional level but from a Creedal and Confessional standard.

                          What I find a little curious ConfessionalLutheran, is how you refer to Catholics as Christians, which I would think means you consider them co-laborers in the mission field for Christ? Your post #8 was right on target in my view and based on my experience, and I invite you to this thread to answer Worship of Mary in the Roman Catholic Church - Christforums post #4. Though, the thread is steering off track, I am quite curious because it seems that you actually have experience speaking with Catholics and debating them because of your responses made in post #8 here.

                          To note, Catholics are welcome here, have always been, though Pelagian and Semi-Pelagianism are moderated into that proper Category.

                          God bless,
                          William
                          I think theology is critical, William. It informs not only our practice, but also our understanding on who God is and how we are to relate to each other. Our Holy Faith is based on our theology. The implications of incorrect worship include such worship being rejected by God as insufficient. Yes, the Doctrine must be True for the faith to be valid.

                          I refer to Catholics as Christians insofar as they accept the Three Ecumenical Creeds, worship the Holy Trinity and utilize the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion. As far as co- workers, no. No, the Law and Gospel must both be taught and rightly divided, as the need for repentance and contrition for sin properly belongs to the Law and the Gospel communicates ( through the hearing of the Word and the Sacraments) grace and the forgiveness of sins. Catholic doctrine seems to mingle the Law and the Gospel together and as you mentioned, semi- Pelagianism is still regarded as a heresy in the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. Unfortunately, when you try to couple faith and works, the doctrine of free grace through faith is lost and one's salvation becomes a collaboration between the sinner and God for the sinner's salvation. Here is a statement put out by the website of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. I shall highlight the relevant portions:

                          QUESTION: What are the main theological differences between the theology of the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church?

                          ANSWER: At the risk of oversimplification, and keeping in mind that individual Lutheran (and Catholic) theologians would undoubtedly disagree about the success of recent Lutheran-Roman Catholic dialogues in lessening or even "resolving" historic doctrinal differences between these two churches, listed below are what the LCMS would regard as some of the major theological differences between the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic Church:

                          1. The authority of Scripture.

                          Lutherans believe Scripture alone has authority to determine doctrine; the Roman Catholic Church gives this authority also to the pope, the church, and certain traditions of the church.

                          2. The doctrine of justification.

                          Lutherans believe a person is saved by God's grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The Roman Catholic Church, while at times using similar language, still officially holds that faith, in order to save, must be accompanied by (or "infused with") some "work" or "love" active within a Christian.

                          3. The authority of the pope.

                          Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, Lutherans do not believe the office of the papacy as such has any divine authority or that Christians need to submit to the Pope's authority to be "true" members of the visible church.

                          4. Differences remain about both the number and the nature of the sacraments.

                          Roman Catholics speak of seven Sacraments while Lutherans tend to speak of only two (or three). More important than number is how the Sacraments are understood.

                          To take a single example, Lutherans believe that in the Sacrament of the Altar (Communion) Christ’s body and blood are truly present in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, but they do not accept the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation, which teaches that the elements are permanently changed from the substances of bread and wine to the substances of body and blood.

                          Transubstantiation is rejected for several reasons: It is a philosophical explanation for a work of Christ’s almighty Word which we can only believe, not explain. In seeking to explain a mystery it changes the plain and simple meanings of God’s Word (Scripture refers to the elements as both bread and wine and body and blood, 1 Cor. 11:26-27).

                          Transubstantiation leads to the assertion that the body and blood of Christ remain present “even apart from the administration of the Supper” and so encourages veneration of the elements apart from their sacramental use and detracts from the use Christ commands: “Take eat … drink … for the forgiveness of your sins.” Lutheran rejection of transubstantiation should not in any way be taken to mean a denial that Christ’s very body and blood are truly present in the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper for the forgiveness of sins.

                          5. Differences remain about the role of Mary and the saints.

                          Unlike Catholics, Lutherans do not believe it is proper or scriptural to offer prayers to saints or to view Mary as in any sense a "mediator" between God and human beings.

                          While Lutherans believe any doctrinal error has the potential to distort or deny Scripture's teaching regarding salvation, we also believe that anyone (regardless of denominational affiliation) who truly believes in Jesus Christ as Savior will be saved.


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                          QUESTION: What's the Lutheran response to the Roman Catholic teaching of purgatory?

                          ANSWER: Lutherans have always rejected the traditional Roman Catholic teaching regarding purgatory because 1) we can find no scriptural basis for it, and 2) it is inconsistent, in our view, with the clear teaching of Scripture that after death the soul goes directly either to heaven (in the case of a Christian) or hell (in the case of a non-Christian), not to some "intermediate" place or state.

                          What Scripture teaches concerning the death of the Christian is summarized as follows by Lutheran theologian Edward Koehler in his book, A Summary of Christian Doctrine:

                          In the moment of death the souls of the believers enter the joy of heaven. Jesus said to the malefactor: "Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). Stephen said in the hour of death: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). Whoever dies in the Lord is blessed "from henceforth" (Rev. 14:13).

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                          QUESTION: A non-Lutheran Christian friend of mine recently stated he believes Catholics are not saved and should not be considered Christians. What is the Synod's belief regarding the salvation of Catholics who adhere to Roman dogma?

                          ANSWER: The LCMS recognizes all Trinitarian church bodies as Christian churches (in contrast to "cults," which typically reject the doctrine of the Trinity and thus cannot be recognized as Christian).

                          In fact, a primary "objective" listed in the Synod's Constitution (Article III) is to "work through its official structure toward fellowship with other Christian church bodies" — which explicitly assumes that these "other church bodies" are "Christian" in nature.

                          That does not lessen the Synod's concern for the false doctrine taught and confessed by these churches, but it does highlight the Synod's recognition that wherever the "marks of the church" (the Gospel and Sacraments) are present—even where "mixed" with error—there the Christian church is present. Such a church is a heterodox church, that is, a church that teaches false doctrine.

                          Of course, personal salvation is not merely a matter of external membership in or association with any church organization or denomination (including the LCMS), but comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone.

                          All those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior are recognized as "Christians" by the Synod—only God can look into a person's heart and see whether that person really believes. It is possible to have true and sincere faith in Jesus Christ even while having wrong or incomplete beliefs about other doctrinal issues.

                          This explains why former Synod President A.L. Barry called members of the Roman Catholic Church "our fellow Christians" in his statement Toward True Reconciliation, which at the same time identifies and laments the false teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

                          The great danger is that believing things contrary to God's Word can obscure and perhaps even completely destroy belief in Jesus Christ as one's Savior. We pray this will not happen to those who confess Jesus Christ as Savior and yet belong to heterodox church bodies, including fellow Christians in the Roman Catholic Church.

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                          Denominations - Frequently Asked Questions - The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
                          Comment>

                            #14
                            Originally posted by atpollard View Post
                            Some of the quotes from past centuries have used the term "Anti-Christ" in describing the Catholic Church and the Pope.
                            Is that a criticism of doctrine or a personal attack?
                            How can our Catholic friends (is it correct to view Bede as a Catholic friend) view a statement that the Catholic Church is the Anti-Christ?
                            I am overjoyed by your response atpollard, I thought it better to confront you rather than turn from you based on my intuition. I failed to mention that I received tremendous bad news yesterday, and it may of actually caused me to project on people's responses. Since that seems to be the case, lemme offer to you my sincere apologies, because I withheld responding to you for sake of time to cool down and speak with a level head. I am sorry.

                            As for your question, we cannot change history. <--- Anyone that ignores history is bound to repeat the same mistakes. I think that should really answer your question, and about the criticism of doctrine or personal attacks by Reformers towards the papist, I think you'll agree that men back then were a little sterner than today. Protestants never intended to destroy the Catholic church, they were Reformers, attempting to steer her back to Orthodoxy, but they were met throughout history with discipline and persecution. We can't change that history, but we can try to learn from history and work towards the future, which doesn't necessitate abandoning our standards of Orthodoxy. The Five Solae are packed with theology, they unpack into Five mini creeds. Lemme give them a little context:

                            These “five solas” were developed in response to specific perversions of the truth that were taught by the corrupt Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Church taught that the foundation for faith and practice was a combination of the scriptures, sacred tradition, and the teachings of the magisterium and the pope; but the Reformers said, “No, our foundation is sola scriptura”. The Catholic Church taught that we are saved through a combination of God's grace, the merits that we accumulate through penance and good works, and the superfluity of merits that the saints before us accumulated; the reformers responded, “sola gratia”. The Catholic Church taught that we are justified by faith and the works that we produce, which the righteousness that God infuses in us through faith brings about. The reformers responded, “No, we are justified by sola fide, which lays hold of the alien righteousness of Christ that God freely credits to the account of those who believe”. The Catholic Church taught that we are saved by the merits of Christ and the saints, and that we approach God through Christ, the saints, and Mary, who all pray and intercede for us. The Reformers responded, “No, we are saved by the merits of solus Christus, and we come to God through Christ Alone”. The Catholic Church adhered to what Martin Luther called the “theology of glory” (in opposition to the “theology of the cross”), in which the glory for a sinner's salvation could be attributed partly to Christ, partly to Mary and the saints, and partly to the sinner himself. The reformers responded, “No, the only true gospel is that which gives all glory to God alone (soli deo gloria), as is taught in the scriptures.”

                            God bless, brother.
                            William
                            Comment>

                              #15
                              Originally posted by PetriFB View Post
                              In the world, we can see a fervent goal of reaching a consensus between different churches and revival movements through ecumenism. The Roman Catholic Church is involved in ecumenism, and many people are not familiar with the Catholic doctrine. The Catholic "gospel" is a false one, and the Catholic Church does not represent Biblical Christian faith. The late bishop Alphonsus Liguiri, the author of a very well-known book titled "The Glories of Mary", writes in the book that Mary's intercessions are absolutely necessary for salvation, and that Mary, being the mother of God, is omnipotent and can save sinners.

                              Catholic News Service posted a piece on June 4, 2015, stating that the sitting Pope, Francis, has just recently read The Glories of Mary. Francis says that he enjoyed the book because all chapters of the book show how Mary always leads us to Jesus Christ. The Catholic News Service says that the pope gives praise for the book. Pope Francis did not reject and revoke any of the Mary doctrines in the book, which means that the Pope approves of the book's unbiblical Mary teachings that mock God. If the book's Mary doctrines were contrary to the official Catholic doctrine, Francis should absolutely have pointed that out, but he did not, and gave praise to the book instead. The Pope's attitude and words of praise confirm that the Catholic Church continues to worship Mary. If someone still wants to disagree, he or she has not learned to read, is incapable of understanding written text or information that he or she has heard, or is blinded by the lie and is a liar.

                              More info: Catholic Church Mary intercession omnipotent save sinners



                              Yes, Mary- worship can get fairly blatant in that particular church body. In fact, there are those who want to name the Virgin Mary as " Co- Redemptrix" in our Salvation. Here's some of the scoop on that:
                              Mary Co-Redemptrix

                              by Br. Thomas Mary Sennott, M.I.C.M. February 21, 2006
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                              In this little paper I would like to deal primarily with Holy Scripture. The theological arguments for Our Lady Co-Redemptrix from Tradition and the Magisterium have been more than adequately handled by Dr. Mark Miravalle in his excellent Mary Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, 1 and the marvelous The Mother of Our Saviour and Our Interior Life by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. 2 The reason that liberals such as René Laurentin, et alia have been so successful in blocking attempts to define the doctrine of Mary Co-Redemptrix is that they have first suppressed the correct reading of Genesis 3:15. Here is the correct reading from the Douay-Rheims, which is a faithful translation of St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate:
                              I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel [3:15].
                              Notice how clearly it comes across that it is Our Lady who will crush the head of the serpent, thus redeeming man from his power. Our Lord the Redeemer is hidden, and it is almost as if it were just the Redemptrix alone. This has always been a shocker to Protestants. Here is an incorrect reading from their Revised Standard Version:
                              I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.
                              And now it is a shocker to today’s Protestantized Catholics. Here is the Confraternity’s watered down version:
                              I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at His heel.
                              First Things First

                              So a first step, I think, in promoting the doctrine of Mary Co-Redemptrix is to show that the Douay-Rheims is the correct reading. I have done two studies of this text, one which I called The Woman of Genesis, in which I used the Hebrew and Greek script, and another in an unpublished book entitled Adam and Eve (a sequel to my The Six Days of Creation ), in which I give the Hebrew and Greek in italicized Roman script. I think this latter version would be more appropriate for a paper such as this, so let me do a little cutting and pasting, and a lot of editing. Note: what I quote from my own past work will be set from here on in italics.

                              In this chapter I would just like to concentrate on the pronoun of our passage: “…shall crush.”

                              In Hebrew HU is “he,” and HE “she,” which is a little confusing to say the least. There is no “it” in Hebrew, bothHU and HE can be translated “it” depending on the context.

                              In Greek “he” is autos , “she” aute , and “it” auto .

                              In Latin “he” is ipse , “she” ipsa, and “it” ipsum .

                              Then in the next chapter I will go on to the verbs “crush” and “lie in wait for.” I am deliberately taking my time with this passage because, with Isaias 7:14: “Behold a Virgin,” it marks the high point of the Old Testament…Cornelius C0 Lapide in his great Commentaria in Scripturam Sacrum says that the underlying mystery is even reflected in the Hebrew grammar.

                              Also HU is often used instead of HE especially when there is some emphasis on action and something manly is predicated of the woman, as is the case here with the crushing of the serpent’s head…. It makes no difference that the verb is masculine yasuph , that is “(he) shall crush,” for it often happens in Hebrew that the masculine is used instead of the feminine and vice versa, especially when there is an underlying reason or mystery, as I have just said. 3

                              The “underlying mystery” is, of course, that Our Lady crushes the head of the serpent by the power of Our Lord.

                              The Importance Of Tradition

                              In Hebrew there were originally no vowels, just consonants; so there had to be oral tradition to know how a word was pronounced. This incidentally is an excellent argument against the Protestant (and also the Modernist) principle of sola Scriptura , “Scripture alone.” There are two sources of revelation, Scripture and Tradition. In the particular case of Genesis 3:15, we could not even read the passage without an explicit oral tradition; therefore, revelation had to extend both to the written word of God, Scripture, and the unwritten word of God, Tradition. Yet even when we are able to read the written word of God properly, we still do not know what it means, especially in a difficult passage like the one under consideration. “Thinkest thou that thou understandeth what thou readest?… How can I, unless some man show me?” (Acts 8:30,31) We need Tradition, the teachings of the Fathers, and the Magisterium of the Church to understand what the Bible truly means.

                              Around 600 A.D., a group of Jewish scholars, the Massoretes, tried to fix the oral tradition of Hebrew by inventing an arbitrary system of vowels now called “Massoretic points,” or simply “points.” Depending on where you placed the point, the same consonants could mean “he” or “she.” The personal pronoun in Hebrew is spelled (in Hebrew letters) he, waw, aleph . If you put the point in the middle of the waw , it means “he,” if you put it under the he , it means “she.” Needless to say these points are not inspired but have rather been the source of innumerable errors in the present-day Massoretic Hebrew text. Here is St. Robert Bellarmine, a Doctor of the Church, in his famous De Controversiis commenting on this problem:

                              Such errors do not compromise the integrity required by Holy Scripture in matters of faith and morals. For the most part, the differences in the various readings lie in the divergence of languages, while little or nothing has changed in the meaning. But the errors which have resulted from the addition of the [Massoretic] points in no way compromise the truth, for they have been added from without, nor do they change the text. So we can remove the points and read otherwise. 4

                              St. Robert is saying that nothing forbids us to change the current points to make the Hebrew conform to the Latin Vulgate’s ipsa , “she,” since the Vulgate is the only text declared authentic by the Church. Another Doctor of the Church, St. Alphonsus Maria De Liguori, is even more emphatic on this point in his The Divine Office:

                              Actual Inferiority of
                              the Hebrew Text


                              There is no doubt that the Hebrew text, being the original text, deserves, when considered by itself, to be preferred to all the versions; but the learned generally agree in saying that the original Hebrew is no longer perfectly exact. Indeed, Salmeron, Moririus, and others, teach that the Jews have altered it out of hatred for Christianity; many, with Bellarmine, think that many errors crept in through ignorance, or by the negligence of copyists. It should especially be remarked that after the fifth century, the Jewish doctors called Massoretes have added to the Hebrew text signs never before seen, that is points, which have taken the place of vowels, and that became the occasion of numerous equivocations and discordant interpretations.

                              Superiority and Authenticity
                              of the Vulgate


                              The Council of Trent, therefore, did not wish to do for the Hebrew text what it did for the Latin text of the Vulgate: for the latter it declared authentic by presenting it as exempt from all error, at least in what concerns the faith and moral precepts. Hence, in his dissertation on the transmission of the Holy Scriptures, Xavier Matthei concludes that, there being given no-matter-what Hebrew passage or text, and the Vulgate not agreeing with it, one should keep the Vulgate. ‘Not,’ he adds, ‘that this version is more authentic than the Hebrew text, but because it may be believed, on the one hand, that the passage in question is no longer to be found in the Hebrew as it was there primitively; on the other hand, that this primitive text is found exactly reproduced in the Vulgate — the only version that has merited to be approved by the Church. 5

                              A Hebrew Poetic Technique

                              …the Jewish philosopher Philo, who lived around 40 A.D., argued from the Hebrew poetic technique known as parallelism, that the reading should be “she.” Genesis, since it is an historical book, is written in prose; but whenever a prophecy is uttered, as is the case here, Moses turns to poetry. In the technique of parallelism, the idea in one line parallels the idea of the following line; as, for instance, in Our Lady’s Magnificat:
                              My soul doth magnify the Lord
                              And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour [Lk 1:46,47].
                              You can see that the ideas in the first line or stich, “soul” and “Lord,” complement the ideas “spirit” and “God” of the second line. In some cases, two lines, a distich or couplet, parallel a following couplet, as is the case in Genesis 3:15.
                              IA. I shall put enmities between thee and the woman,

                              B. and between thy seed and her seed:

                              IIA. She shall crush thy head,

                              B. and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.
                              In this case, line IA goes with line IIA, and line IB corresponds to line IIB. Therefore the “woman” of line IA corresponds with the “she” of line IIA. To make the subject of line IIA “he” or “it,” and to say that it relates to the “seed” of line IB, is bad Hebrew poetry according to Philo. In other words Philo is saying that the Revised Standard Version is bad Hebrew poetry, but the Vulgate is good Hebrew poetry. The Revised Standard Version is a faithful translation of the Massoretic text as we have it today, but the Massoretic text of today is a corrupted text.

                              Cornelius C0 Lapide says that another early Jewish witness to the “she” reading is the historian Josephus, who died around 101 A.D:

                              Whence also Josephus (Book 1, Chap. 3) reads it this way as our translator writes. For he says: ‘He ordained that the woman should inflict wounds on his head’ from which it is evident that Josephus in his day read aute , that is to say, “she.” 6

                              Josephus and Philo wrote in Greek, but knew Hebrew, so their testimony witnesses to the fact that both the Septuagint and the Hebrew of their day read “she.” C0 Lapide gives an even later Jewish witness, later even than the Massoretes, the Jewish philosopher, Moses Maimonides, who died around 1204. Of course, Maimonides did not believe in the Messianic or Mariological content of our prophecy, thinking that the woman of the context was merely Eve, but he obviously believed that the text read “she”:

                              Moses Maimonides writes, which is indeed amazing, ‘But what must be admired most of all, is that the serpent is joined with Eve, that is, its seed with her seed, its head with her heel; that she (Eve) should conquer it (the serpent) in the head, and that it should conquer her in the heel ( More Nebochim , Part II, chap. 30).” 7

                              So evidently in Maimonides’ day there were still some uncorrupted Hebrew texts available. C0 Lapide adds that even in his day there were two Hebrew codices in the Vatican library that read “she” (according to Kennicott numbers 227 and 239), and another in the Bernard de Rossi library. Also in the same library was an Onkelosi Codex [translation from the Hebrew into Aramaic] which read “she.” 8

                              The Septuagint

                              Let us now examine the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. The Septuagint, which dates from around 250 B.C., has always had a special place in the history of the Bible, and is never put on the same level as any other translation, such as the Douay-Rheims. The New Testament was inspired and written in Greek, but all its quotations from the Old Testament are from the Septuagint….

                              Origen, an early Father of the Church, is probably the first textual critic, and one of the greatest. In 255 A.D. he completed his famous Hexapla, a Greek word meaning “six columns,” in which he tried to recover the original text of the Septuagint. At the Jewish Council of Jamnia, held in the year 100 A.D., it was decided to render a new Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament because there was concern about Christian apologists who were converting Jews by pointing out the Messianic prophecies in the Septuagint. These prophecies seem to come through more clearly in Greek even than in Hebrew.

                              Accordingly, three new Greek translations were eventually brought out by the Jewish scholars Aquila, Symachus, and Theodotion. Thus, by Origen’s time, there were four Greek versions in circulation. Origen arranged these versions in six columns: in the first column, the current Hebrew; in the second, the Hebrew text in Greek letters; in the third, the version of Aquila; in the fourth, that of Symmachus, the fifth, the Septuagint with Origen’s emendations, and finally the sixth, that of Theodotion.

                              As if that weren’t complicated enough, three other anonymous translations of the Septuagint were discovered in Origen’s day which became known as the Quinta, Sexta and Septima : the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh. Two of these versions were actually discovered by Origen himself, one of them in a jar near Jericho, seventeen centuries before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered near the very same area. The Hexapla remained in the library at Caesarea in Palestine, where it was consulted by St. Jerome when he was working on the Vulgate. Unfortunately, this great work was lost when the library was destroyed by fire during the sack of Caesarea by the Moslems in 653.

                              However fragments of the Hexapla survived in the writings of the Fathers; and the great Benedictine biblical scholar, Bernard de Montfaucon, published a two-volume edition of these fragments in 1713. For our passage he gives the reading: autos , “he,” but adds: Allos aute , “in another place she.” Montfaucon comments:

                              …So some manuscripts[have it]: and this appears to have been the reading of some old translator, whose name we know not, and whom the translator of the Vulgate follows. 9

                              It is Mary who Counts!

                              Another great Benedictine Scripture scholar, Dom Rembert Sorg, says that Montfaucon is referring to the anonymous Quinta, Sexta, and Septima , which St. Jerome must have followed. However, most of the Greek Fathers read autos , “he,” for our passage, with the exception of St. Ephraim, who wrote in Syriac, and who reads “she.” But… this reading does not change the theological sense of our passage. It only becomes a bad reading if it is used to deny the Mariological sense, as do the Protestants and the Modernists. All the Greek Fathers appreciated the Mariological content of this prophecy. Let me read just one of the earliest, St. Justin Martyr, who died around 165 A.D. (St. John, the beloved disciple, died in 100 A.D., so you can see how close we are to the Apostolic Tradition), in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew :

                              We understand that He [Christ] became man by means of the Virgin, so that the disobedience caused by the serpent might be destroyed just as it began. Eve, a virgin, having conceived the word of the serpent, gave birth to disobedience and death. Mary, on the other hand, conceiving faith and joy when the Angel Gabriel announced to her that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her so that the Holy One born of her would be called the Son of God, answered: ‘Be it done unto me according to thy word.’ He is then born of her, He of whom the Scriptures so often speak. By her, God destroyed the empire of the serpent and of all the angels and men who became like to the serpent; and frees from death those who repent of their faults and believe in Him. 10

                              A Verbal Examination

                              In this chapter I would like to go through the two verbs in our text, “crush” and “lie in wait for,” in the Douay Rheims, which is a faithful translation of the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome. Let us examine these verbs in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, in that order.

                              If you recall, Father Vawter [Fr. Bruce Vawter, C.M., is the spokesman I use for Biblical Modernism] claimed that with regard to the Hebrew text, “the same verb shuph is used in each case, and hence the translation should be the same, namely “bruise.” But this is not necessarily true. The same verb can have quite different meanings in any language, including Hebrew. For example, I have just opened a dictionary at random, and I find:

                              summary (adj.)

                              1. comprehensive — as in a

                              “summary account;”

                              2. without delay — as in

                              “summary vengeance.”

                              Therefore, let us look up the Hebrew word shuph in a recognized Hebrew lexicon, Koehler-Baumgartner, 1967 edition:

                              shuph (verb)

                              1. A by-form of shaaph (see Brown, Driver, and Briggs); “to trample upon, crush”; Akkadian cognate shapu , “to trample under foot”; Syriac,”to rub, wear out, bruise.

                              shuph (verb)

                              2. Arabic cognate, shapa , “to see, look at, watch.”

                              Thus, we see that there are two distinct meanings for the verb shuph ; and, also, that shuph 1. is derived from an older verb sha’aph , which means “to trample upon.” This means we are dealing with two distinct but similar Hebrew roots, a situation employed in a Hebrew poetic technique known as paronomasia , or word play. Word play is also used in English poetry or in any language where words have several layers of meaning. So, a Hebrew would be aware of a double-meaning play on words as he read our passage: the woman is lying in wait to crush the serpent, while the serpent is lying in wait to be crushed. Now, the amazing thing about this particular paronomasia is that it comes across even in Greek, where the word for “crush” is teiro, and the word for “lie in wait for” is tereo , which are so similar. This gives us some idea why St. Augustine considered the Septuagint at least protectively inspired. Unfortunately, the word play does not come across in Latin, where the word for “crush” is conteret and the word for “lie in wait for” insidiaberis, nor, of course, does it transpose into English.

                              The edition of the Septuagint I am using (Samuel Bagster and Sons of London) has in the text (autos) teresei , “(he) will lie in wait for,” and tereseis “you will lie in wait for.” Then in a footnote is the alternate reading:teiresei ” (he) will crush” and teireseis “you will crush.” You can see how close the two versions are and how easy it would have been for a copyist to have made a mistake.

                              St. Jerome’s Dilemma

                              And, now, to the Latin of St. Jerome. I can picture St. Jerome with the Hebrew text before him, wondering how to translate the two verbs yashuphka and tashuphnu . Unlike Father Vawter, St. Jerome, I am sure, knew thatshuph could mean either “crush” or “lie in wait for.” He could also have had before him the two alternate readings of the Septuagint, teresei — tereseis, “lie in wait for” “lie in wait for,” and teiresei — teireseis , “crush” “crush.” So, I can imagine his arranging the verbs into a diagram to contrast the various possibilities in order to see which combination made the most sense. There are only four possibilities:

                              1. She will lie in wait for — you will lie in wait for

                              This was Father Vawter’s suggested translation of the Septuagint: “he will watch for your head, and you will watch for his heel.” This makes no sense in the context of a curse upon the serpent. There is no victory, not even a struggle; the serpent and the woman simply watch one another interminably.

                              2. She will crush — you will crush

                              This is the same as the Revised Standard Version: “He will bruise your head, and you will bruise his heel.” There is no victory here, only a struggle, which seems to end in a draw. Again, this makes little sense in the context of a curse upon the serpent, and an announcement of a continuous war between the serpent and the woman and the promise of a future total victory for the woman. To promise the serpent even a partial victory seems inappropriate.

                              3. She will lie in wait for — you will crush

                              Of course, this is absolutely untenable; the victory would go to the serpent .

                              4. She will crush — you will lie in wait for

                              I am sure that St. Jerome decided this was the only possibility that made any sense in the given context. What comes through is St. Jerome’s powerful image of the crushing foot of the woman, and the serpent’s terror-stricken view of her heel. “The devils also believe and tremble” (Jas 2:19).That St. Jerome went through some kind of a trial and error process such as this seems, also, to be the opinion of C0 Lapide. Notice that Father C0 Lapide, unlike Father Vawter, also knows that shuph can have two meanings:

                              The word shuph, which occurs twice in this declaration, has been rendered in many ways by interpreters. One can, however, quickly reduce them all to the two most important: one is contere , “to crush” or “trample under foot,” …and the other latenter observare , “to watch from hiding,” or insidias struere , “to set up snares.” The translator of the Vulgate, as though undecided between the two, first took the word in one of these meanings then the other. However, this translation is by far the most suitable for the whole passage. 11

                              We have the great advantage over Origen, in having an official version of the Bible, the Vulgate. If I had his genius and erudition, I would like to do, not an hexapla (six columns), but a treisapla (three columns): in the first column, the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome, in the second column the Greek Septuagint, and in the third column the Hebrew. We could go through the whole Old Testament and recover the original versions of both the Greek and the Hebrew by comparing them with the Latin. Of course, it wouldn’t be just automatic. Doubtless minor errors, not of faith or morals, have crept into the Vulgate. It might be possible to correct these from the Greek and Hebrew, especially if they are both in agreement. But if that is too huge a project, I am sure we have at least recovered the original Greek and Hebrew reading of Genesis 3:15.

                              Latin

                              She, Ipsa, will crush, conteret, thy head, and you will lie in wait for, insidiaberis, her heel.

                              Greek

                              She, Aute, will crush, teiresei, thy head, and you will lie in wait for, tereseis, her heel.

                              Hebrew

                              She, He, will crush, yashuphka, thy head, and you will lie in wait for, tashuphnu, her heel.

                              This concludes my citations from my unpublished Adam and Eve , and, hopefully, we have restored the correct reading of Genesis 3:15:

                              I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

                              A Prophecy Fulfilled

                              This beautiful prophecy was fulfilled in John 19:25-27:

                              Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother and his mothers sister, Mary of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalen. When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own.

                              St. John stands for the Church, and Our Lady is the Mother of the Church. St. John is not just Our Ladys son in a moral or metaphorical manner. He had received the Body and Blood of Our Lord the night before at the Last Supper. So he is physically and literally her son, of the same Body and Blood which she gave to Our Lord, truly another Christ. But Our Lady is also the Mother of all men, and St. John stands for all men. There is no such thing as a natural man. All men are born fallen in Adam, and redeemed in Christ. Mary is the Mother of Grace, including the grace of the Redemption. That grace comes from Jesus, from His Cross, through Mary as a channel, to all men. Our Lady suffered no birth pangs at the birth of Our Lord, for He came from her body like light through a window. But in becoming the Mother of all men she suffered terrible travail which is told in the Apocalypse:

                              And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered. (12:1,2)

                              We can now see the meaning of Genesis 3:15: She shall crush thy head. Mary redeems all men and the Church from the power of Satan. This Redemption begins with Christ the Redeemer and His Cross and passes through Mary to the Church. Of course, Our Lady is not the mother of unbelievers in the same way she is of Catholics. This is brought out clearly in another beautiful tableau from the Gospel of St. John:

                              But after they were come to Jesus, when they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers with a spear opened his side, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he that saw it hath given testimony: and his testimony is true. And he knoweth that he saith true: that you also might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture might be fulfilled: You shall not break a bone of him. And again another scripture saith: They shall look on him whom they pierced. (19:33-37)

                              This is another beautiful symbolic account of the birth of the Church. All the Fathers see here a parallel with God the Father taking from the side of the sleeping Adam, his virginal bride, Eve. So the Church, symbolized by the blood and water of its principal sacraments, Baptism and the Eucharist, is born from the side of the dead Christ. This thrust of the soldiers spear through Our Lords heart cost Our Lady terrible agony which was prophesied by Simeon in the Gospel of St. Luke: And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed (2:35). “Thoughts may be revealed”: What do you think of Jesus Christ? What do you think of His Mother? What do you think of His Church?

                              This tableau is most like Genesis 3:15, where Mary crushes the serpents head all alone. Jesus is dead, and it is Mary all alone whose sufferings symbolically bring forth the Church from her pierced Immaculate Heart. We could just as easily call Mary simply “Redemptrix,” as Co-Redemptrix. St. Louis Marie de Montfort says that you can name a thing by the goal, Jesus, or by the way, Mary, i.e., by the end, or by the means. But he adds, “Since we live in an age of pride when a great number of haughty scholars, with proud and critical minds, find fault even with long-established and sound devotions,” 12 it is best to stay with the customary “Co-Redemptrix.” 13

                              I think that once the correct reading of Genesis 3:15 is restored, the doctrine of Mary Co-Redemptrix will be seen to be eminently definable.
                              This article is included in Mary at the Foot of the Cross II , Acts of the International Symposium on Marian Co-Redemption held at Ratclife College in England. Published by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

                              1 Miravalle, Mark I., S.T.D., Mary Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Queenship Publishing,, P. O. Box 42028, Santa Barbara, CA, 1993.



                              2 Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., Reginald, The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life, B. Herder Book Co., St. Louis, MO, 1959; cf. Article III “The Sufferings of Mary as Co-Redemptrix,” pp.185-193.

                              3 À Lapide, Cornelius, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, Larousse, Paris, 1848, p.105.

                              4 Bellarmine, St. Robert, De Controversiis, Book II, chap. 2, Bellgate, Milan, 1721, p.74.

                              5 De Liguori, St. Alphonsus Maria, The Divine Office, Benziger Brothers, New York, 1890, pp.19, 20.

                              6 À Lapide, p.105.

                              7 Ibid

                              8 Ibid

                              9 Montfaucon, Vol. I, p.18, cited in Quigley, Richard, Ipse, Ipsa, Ipsum, Which? Fr. Pustet and Co., New York, 1890, p. 338.

                              10 Justin Martyr, St., Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, Chapter 100; cited in Donlon, Thomas C., O.P., and Cunningham, Francis L. B., O.P., Rock, Augustine, O.P., Christ in His Sacraments, The Priory Press, Dubuque, IA, 1958, p. 272.

                              11 À Lapide, p.106.

                              12 Montfort, St. Louis Marie, True Devotion to Mary, in God Alone, Montfort Publications, Bayshore, NY, 1997, p. 367.

                              13 I have deliberately kept this little paper Scriptural rather than theological; but lest even my friends misunderstand me, I thought it best to add a theological note from the Franciscan Father J.B. Carol. Father Carol is saying the same thing as I am only in careful theological language:
                              When we, therefore, say that Christ alone redeemed us, we are referring to His primary, universal, infinite, and self-sufficient causality in the redemptive process. We do not mean it in a sense that would exclude Mary’s secondary, finite, and totally subordinated share which drew all its efficacy from the merits of her Son. While Mary did not (could not) enhance the value of Christ’s redemptive merits and satisfactions, God was pleased to accept her share therein together with (but subordinated to) Christ’s sacrificial action and for the same purpose, namely, the redemption of the human race. Only in this restricted sense can we say that Mary ‘redeemed the human race together with Christ,’ as Pope Benedict XV boldly stated.
                              J.B. Carol, O.F.M., “Co-Redemptrix,” Dictionary of Mary, Catholic Book Publishing Co., NY, 1985, pp. 57, 58.
                              Mary Co-Redemptrix - Catholicism.org

                              You'll see a lot of double- talk and justifications as to the " why" of this kind of Marian worship, but all of this can be answered by plain and simple Scripture:
                              " 9If we are being examined today about a kind service to a man who was lame, to determine how he was healed,10then let this be known to all of you and to all the peopleof Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead,that this man stands before you healed. 11He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’…12Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” ( Acts 4: 9-12)

                              " 5For there is one God and onemediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,6who gave Himself as a ransom for all—the testimony that was given at just the right time.…" ( 1 Timothy 2:5-6)
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