COGaIC on Mary


COGaIC posted the following on Thursday:

Was Mary simply a devout young Jewish woman of ordinary means but sterling character—one whom God greatly honored by choosing her, a virgin, to miraculously conceive and bear His Son, the Savior; the wife of Joseph the carpenter, who later bore at least six children by him? Or is she the immaculately conceived New Eve—a perpetual virgin who, since being assumed body and soul into heaven upon her death to be enthroned as the Queen of Heaven, intercedes as Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix with Christ on behalf of the faithful, answering their prayers and even visiting some of them in apparitions? Such are the widely divergent views of Mary, the mother of Jesus, held in varying degrees by hundreds of millions of people.

Who was the real Mary, and why the great disparity of beliefs about her? Which version is the correct one, or does it matter? What we will see is that what one believes about Mary depends in large part on the source of those beliefs.

The second, far more elaborate, of the above two characterizations of Mary is simply a thumbnail sketch of the Roman Catholic Church’s body of belief relating to the virgin Mary, which it refers to as Mariology. It stands in stark contrast to the first description, held to more or less by non-Catholics who claim to base their beliefs only on the Bible. The principal dogmas—established by the church as authoritative—of Mariology are:

431 C.E., Mother of God This title for Mary was made official and incorporated into prayers at the third Ecumenical Council in Ephesus.

649 C.E., Perpetual Virginity At the Lateran Synod convened by Pope Martin I, Mary was deemed to have remained a virgin throughout her life.

1854 C.E., Immaculate Conception Pope Pius IX declared, ex cathedra (i.e., “from the chair,” a dogma established by a Pontiff, which means he invoked infallibility and made it an article of faith), Mary to have “been preserved exempt from all stain of original sin.”

1950 C.E., The Assumption Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma that at the end of her life Mary was taken up, body and soul, to heaven—thus sparing her body decay.

There may yet be more dogma bestowed on Mary in the coming years. Millions of Catholics unsuccessfully petitioned the late Pope John Paul II to officially confer the following titles on Mary by declaration: Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces and Advocate of the people of God. Perhaps Pope Benedict XVI or a successor will take this step.

In light of these post-biblical claims made about Mary, the Catholic Encyclopedia understandably comments: “The reader of the Gospels is at first surprised to find so little about Mary.” Indeed, the biblical narrative regarding Mary is decidedly scant.

And the above is basically correct.  Historically, there simply was no veneration of Mary like is seen today amongst the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics.

But the reality is that this will likely get worse.  Even one Eastern Orthodox writer has warned:

“Mother goddesses” known in the ancient world were not just confined to the Near East and Mediterranean but are universal. The Kogi Indians, among whom we lived in Columbia, worship a spirit called Nabuba, the “Ancient Mother.” When Roman Catholics missionaries attempted to evangelize the Kogi int he last century, they used a not-uncommon strategy for drawing pagan peoples into Rome’s fold: rather than explaining the differences between the pagan mysthology and Christian truth, they found “equivalences,” Christ, under this syncretistic view, corresponds to the Kogi Sejukukui (a trickster god who faked his own death by hiding in a cave), while Nabuba is said to be the Virgin Mary. This confusion has led the Kogis to call their pagan temples “cansamaria,” a corruption of “casa de Maria” (house of Mary).

Given these Roman Catholic “evangelistic methods” of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary “apparitions” of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one “path” among many? A recent issse of Orthodox Traidition (1966) contains the account of Matushka (wife of a Russian Orthodox priest) Katherine Swanson’s trip to Medjugorje, Croatia, to investigate the most famous of the recent cases of appartions of Mary in the Roman Catholic world. In it she recounts a telling episode:

Our guide took our group for an audience with the “seers.” During this audience, a pilgrim asked one of the children the following questions: “Does the Virgin say that the Catholic Church is the true church?” The response given by the child provides clear evidence of the ecumenical content and religious relativism which, oddly enough, increasingly mark the “revelations” at Medjugorje: “Our Blessed Mother says that all religions are equally pleasing to God.

The Life magazine article, then, is yet another contribution to this line of thought. Given the idea that all paths are equally valid, then all “Marys” are equally valid, too. The author describes several of the Marys of our times: Miearculous Mary (such as at Medjugorje), Mediator Mary (Who, as the author quotes Fr. Andrew Greeley saying, lets people into Heaven through the “back door”), (Editors notes: the Orthodox Church of course never taught about the “back door”, and of course one only prays that this is a matter of a figure of speech, but let us not dwell on the “back door”, but the gates of Paradise, the Kingdom of our God). Mediator Mary of the feminists, and Mother Mary. This last one, Mother Mary, is the role which the author considers the most appealing to non-Catholics: “The emotional need for her is so irresitible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It is known that Muslins revere Mary as a pure and holy saint…Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughtout the world. Many Protestants, even some who still reject notions of a supernatural Virgin, miss Mary.”

To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn? The Protestant Reformation rejected the distorted view of Mary which had developed in the West since the Schism of 1054, and which would ultimately result in the Roman Church’s proclamation of their dogma of the Immaculate Conception. But Protestantism did not just reject the Western view of Mary; it ignored Her altogether, in effect denying Her role in the Incarnation and, consequently, the part She plays in our salvation. As Rome began to see her more and more as a “goddess,” a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity, as it were, the Protestants reacted by down playing Her position and refusing to honor Her at all, this in spite of the Gospel words:“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed.”

Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apprently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22. viewed 05/11/09)

There are a variety of Catholic prophecies that suggest that apparitions claiming to be Mary will be around in the last days to encourage people to support “the Great Monarch” and “the Angelic Pastor”. (biblically known as the Beast and the False Prophet).

Apparitions claiming to be Mary may be amongst the signs and lying wonders that will accompany the “man of sin” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9).

For more information, please check out the following:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy.
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?

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