• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

  2. The forums in the Christian Congregations category are now open only to Christian members. Please review our current Faith Groups list for information on which faith groups are considered to be Christian faiths. Christian members please remember to read the Statement of Purpose threads for each forum within Christian Congregations before posting in the forum.

Church Fathers And Roman Bishops Who Believed That Mary Was A Sinner

Discussion in 'Mariology & Hagiography' started by Jason Engwer, Jun 12, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jason Engwer

    Jason Engwer Newbie

    54
    +6
    Christian
    Single
    The belief that Mary was a sinner, by means of original sin and/or sinful behavior, was widespread in early Christianity. It predates the view that Mary was sinless. The following are some examples of early denials, either directly or indirectly, that Mary was sinless.

    Justin Martyr refers to Jesus as the only sinless person, and he denies that a Jewish opponent he was debating, Trypho, could cite a single other person who obeyed all of God's commandments (Dialogue With Trypho, 17, 88, 95). Irenaeus asks "who else is perfectly righteous, but the Son of God" (Demonstration Of The Apostolic Preaching, 72). Clement of Alexandria writes of Jesus, "He alone is sinless...For this Word of whom we speak alone is sinless. For to sin is natural and common to all." (The Instructor, 1:2, 3:12) Tertullian refers to Mary's "unbelief" and other sins in the process of discussing Matthew 12:46-50 (On The Flesh Of Christ, 7). J.N.D. Kelly wrote, "Origen insisted that, like all human beings, she [Mary] needed redemption from her sins; in particular, he interpreted Simeon's prophecy (Luke 2, 35) that a sword would pierce her soul as confirming that she had been invaded with doubts when she saw her Son crucified." (Early Christian Doctrines [San Francisco, California: HarperCollins Publishers, 1978], p. 493) Origen suggested that he was speaking for all Christians when he wrote:

    "While if by those 'who were without sin' he means such as have never at any time sinned,-for he made no distinction in his statement,-we reply that it is impossible for a man thus to be without sin. And this we say, excepting, of course, the man understood to be in Christ Jesus, who 'did no sin.'...God has not been able to prevent even in the case of a single individual, so that one man might be found from the very beginning of things who was born into the world untainted by sin...For in the connected series of statements which appears to apply as to one particular individual, the curse pronounced upon Adam is regarded as common to all (the members of the race), and what was spoken with reference to the woman is spoken of every woman without exception." (Against Celsus, 3:62, 4:40)

    Similarly, an anonymous writer of the third century repeats what seems to have been the popular view of the ante-Nicene era: "He [Jesus] alone did no sin at all" (A Treatise On Re-Baptism By An Anonymous Writer, 17). Basil of Caesarea thought that Luke 2:34-35 refers to sinful doubt on Mary's part at the time of Jesus' crucifixion, and that she would need to be restored after Jesus' resurrection, just as Peter was restored (Letter 260:6-9). He considers his interpretation of the passage so popular that he claims there's "no obscurity or variety of interpretation" (Letter 260:6). Michael O'Carroll writes the following about Hilary of Poitiers:

    "On the incident of Mary and the brothers waiting outside for Jesus [Matthew 12:46-50], H. [Hilary of Poitiers] proposes a novel exegesis: 'But since he came unto his own and his own did not receive him, in his mother and brothers the Synagogue and the Israelites are foreshadowed, refraining from entry and approach to him.'" (Theotokos [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1988], p. 171)

    And Cyril of Alexandria:

    "In this commentary, C. [Cyril of Alexandria] uses phrases about Mary which seem to continue the opinions of Origen (qv) and St. Basil (qv) on imperfection in her faith: 'In all likelihood, even the Lord's Mother was scandalised by the unexpected passion, and the intensely bitter death on the Cross...all but deprived her of right reason.' He tries to imagine the thoughts that passed through Mary's mind. Had Jesus been mistaken when he said he was the Son of Almighty God? Why was he crucified who said he was the life? Why did he who had brought Lazarus back to life not come down from the Cross? Then he recalls what had been written of the Lord's Mother: Simeon's sword, 'the sharp force of the Passion which could turn a woman's mind to strange thoughts.' The word woman is significant, for C. thought that the frailty of the female sex was a factor in what he then thought was collapse." (p. 113)

    Cyril of Jerusalem taught that only Jesus has been sinless, and he believed that Mary needed sanctified:

    "For we tell some part of what is written concerning His loving-kindness to men, but how much He forgave the Angels we know not: for them also He forgives, since One alone is without sin, even Jesus who purgeth our sins....Immaculate and undefiled was His generation: for where the Holy Spirit breathes, there all pollution is taken away: undefiled from the Virgin was the incarnate generation of the Only-begotten....This is the Holy Ghost, who came upon the Holy Virgin Mary; for since He who was conceived was Christ the Only-begotten, the power of the Highest overshadowed her, and the Holy Ghost came upon her, and sanctified her, that she might be able to receive Him, by whom all things were made. But I have no need of many words to teach thee that generation was without defilement or taint, for thou hast learned it." (Catechetical Lectures, 2:10, 12:32, 17:6)

    John Chrysostom accuses Mary of "self-confidence" and other sins (Homilies On Matthew, 44; Homilies On John, 21). Regarding Augustine, J.N.D. Kelly notes:

    "he [Augustine] did not hold (as has sometimes been alleged) that she [Mary] was born exempt from all taint of original sin (the later doctrine of the immaculate conception). Julian of Eclanum maintained this as a clinching argument in his onslaught on the whole idea of original sin, but Augustine's rejoinder was that Mary had indeed been born subject to original sin like all other human beings, but had been delivered from its effects 'by the grace of rebirth'." (Early Christian Doctrines [San Francisco, California: HarperCollins Publishers, 1978], p. 497)

    After quoting Ambrose, who said that only Jesus has been conceived without original sin, Augustine comments that Ambrose's view is consistent with "the catholic faith" (On The Grace Of Christ, And On Original Sin, 2:47-48).

    Philip Schaff counted seven Roman bishops who denied the sinlessness of Mary (The Creeds Of Christendom [Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998], Vol. I, p. 123). Michael O'Carroll comments that the Roman bishop Leo I viewed sin as being communicated by means of sexual intercourse, which is how Mary was conceived (Theotokos [Wilmington, Delaware: Michael Glazier, Inc., 1988], p. 217). O'Carroll writes of another Roman bishop, "On Mt 12:48-50, [Gregory the Great] thinks that Mary momentarily represented the Synagogue, which Christ no longer recognized." (p. 159) Even as late as the second millennium we see the sinlessness of Mary rejected by the Roman bishop Innocent III and other Western sources. O'Carroll cites the Pope saying that Mary was "begotten in guilt", that she needed "cleansing of the flesh from the root of sin" (p. 185).
     
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    +1,559
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Links attached for context.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2009
  3. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    +692
    Catholic
    Private
    Without going into some of these specifically, it is no secret that some of the Church Fathers thought Mary may have sinned, and that some of them believed her to be pure. But I think a misunderstanding of what Tradition is, is called for here, particularly doctrinal development as the theology is sorted out. Not that it doesn't matter what the ECFs had to say, but that if some can be found that do not hold to the doctrine that developed after their lifetimes does not change the truth of the matter, or that her Immaculate Conception has been divinely revealed. In fact, they all did their part in developing the theology whether they believed she may have sinned or not.
     
  4. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    +1,559
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Hi brother, is this where one slowly backs away from the term "consensus of the fathers" attempting to not make any waves?:p
     
  5. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    +692
    Catholic
    Private
    That term is indeed used regarding such things as the Real Presence, regeneration of baptism and the like in which there was near universality specifically affirming those doctrines. This makes a compelling argument that the teaching is apostolic. In conciliar fashion, the Church validated these beliefs.

    Take Arianism. There was a time after Nicea that the majority of bishops in the world actually supported Arianism and denied nature of the Trinity. This "majority" does not make a truth, even if they were believing contrary to what was called for at Nicea. For the Church never in an official (i.e. as part of the "office" held) capacity made a definition in favor of Arianism. So shall I cut & paste a bunch of quotes of early bishops who supported Arianism to "prove" that the doctrine of the Trinity is false?

    Take the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. There were a number of Church officials there who believed Gentiles needed to be circumcised. But the council decided otherwise. Are we then to cut & paste a list of all those who disagreed in order to claim some kind of "proof" that the decision of the council was wrong? Of course not. Before an issue is defined, it is not uncommon for there to be varying opinions.

    Incidentally, some of the quotes by the OP are specious and not really denials of an Immaculate Conception, but I needn't go into that, because my point still stands whether his quotes communicate exactly what he asserts or not. :)
     
  6. boswd

    boswd Well-Known Member

    +484
    Anglican
    Married
    I was wondering, is Mary being Sinless an official Doctrine postion of The Catholic Church? Is it required to believe this? Also has any Bishop of Rome ever make a Dogmatic claim of this position to be and "official" Postion of the Church?

    I went through the CCC on Mary and I could not find this statement of her being sinless>

    I know it's a belief as it is in other Christian denominations but is it an "Official Belief"

    Thanks
     
  7. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    +1,559
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Ineffabilis Deus

    A Catholic must believe all that the Church proposes to him for belief. Since the Immaculate Conception is a de fide dogma of the Church, you must believe it in order to be a Catholic in good faith.
     
  8. boswd

    boswd Well-Known Member

    +484
    Anglican
    Married
    yes it does say about her being born with out Original sin or "stain" that is nothing new. but I will go back and read it more throughly, but I did not see anything saying that she remained sinless.

    Again I know this is a belief but I was also wondering if it is a requirement etc.

    Thanks
     
  9. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    +1,559
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Just being born without sin would defeat their whole purpose, Rome promotes that she was a pure vessel when she birthed the Messiah, so yes remained sinless is part of that.
     
  10. simonthezealot

    simonthezealot have you not read,what God has spoken unto you?

    +1,559
    Non-Denom
    Married
    US-Others
    Read especially these paragraphs on the link i provided.

    ....Supreme Reason for the Privilege: The Divine Maternity
    and
    . . . Of a Super Eminent Sanctity
     
  11. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    +692
    Catholic
    Private
    You raise an interesting question, but I think Simon is correct in what Ineffabilis Deus suggests. Other references to her having remained sinless are certainly implied in the document on the Assumption:
    #5 Now God has willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary should be exempted from this general rule. She, by an entirely unique privilege, completely overcame sin by her Immaculate Conception, and as a result she was not subject to the law of remaining in the corruption of the grave, and she did not have to wait until the end of time for the redemption of her body.
     
  12. Jason Engwer

    Jason Engwer Newbie

    54
    +6
    Christian
    Single
    MrPolo wrote:

    "But I think a misunderstanding of what Tradition is, is called for here, particularly doctrinal development as the theology is sorted out. Not that it doesn't matter what the ECFs had to say, but that if some can be found that do not hold to the doctrine that developed after their lifetimes does not change the truth of the matter, or that her Immaculate Conception has been divinely revealed."

    A vague appeal to development isn't sufficient. Error can develop from truth, as illness develops from health or darkness from light. Roman Catholic theology developed over time, but so did the contradictory theologies of Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, etc.

    Different Roman Catholics have made different claims about the history of the doctrines of Roman Catholicism. Some will claim that a concept like Mary's sinlessness was always understood and taught by the church. Others will claim that the understanding of it only became widespread hundreds of years into church history. The significance of the data I've cited will be different for one Roman Catholic position than it is for another.

    Roman Catholicism claims that the church has held all apostolic tradition in every generation:

    "This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, 'the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.' 'The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer.'...The Church, 'the pillar and bulwark of the truth', faithfully guards 'the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints'. She guards the memory of Christ's words; it is she who from generation to generation hands on the apostles' confession of faith....In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a 'supernatural sense of faith' the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, 'unfailingly adheres to this faith.'" (Catechism Of The Catholic Church, 78, 171, 889)

    Regarding the immaculate conception of Mary, Pope Pius IX wrote (notice the repeated use of "ever", "always", "the Fathers", etc.):

    "The Catholic Church, directed by the Holy Spirit of God, is the pillar and base of truth and has ever held as divinely revealed and as contained in the deposit of heavenly revelation this doctrine concerning the original innocence of the august Virgin -- a doctrine which is so perfectly in harmony with her wonderful sanctity and preeminent dignity as Mother of God -- and thus has never ceased to explain, to teach and to foster this doctrine age after age in many ways and by solemn acts....And indeed, illustrious documents of venerable antiquity, of both the Eastern and the Western Church, very forcibly testify that this doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the most Blessed Virgin, which was daily more and more splendidly explained, stated and confirmed by the highest authority, teaching, zeal, knowledge, and wisdom of the Church, and which was disseminated among all peoples and nations of the Catholic world in a marvelous manner -- this doctrine always existed in the Church as a doctrine that has been received from our ancestors, and that has been stamped with the character of revealed doctrine. For the Church of Christ, watchful guardian that she is, and defender of the dogmas deposited with her, never changes anything, never diminishes anything, never adds anything to them; but with all diligence she treats the ancient documents faithfully and wisely; if they really are of ancient origin and if the faith of the Fathers has transmitted them, she strives to investigate and explain them in such a way that the ancient dogmas of heavenly doctrine will be made evident and clear, but will retain their full, integral, and proper nature, and will grow only within their own genus -- that is, within the same dogma, in the same sense and the same meaning. The Fathers and writers of the Church, well versed in the heavenly Scriptures, had nothing more at heart than to vie with one another in preaching and teaching in many wonderful ways the Virgin's supreme sanctity, dignity, and immunity from all stain of sin, and her renowned victory over the most foul enemy of the human race." (Ineffabilis Deus)

    In reality, we have no record of anybody teaching the sinlessness of Mary in the earliest centuries. Instead, there's widespread contradiction of the concept early on. If the Pope meant to say that the concept was absent in the historical record for hundreds of years, after which it gradually became popular in some parts of Christianity, then he was a poor communicator. Your denomination does this sort of thing frequently. It uses language suggesting a high view of the history of its doctrines, but then claims that a low view of that history was intended, despite the high language that was used. You can have it both ways. If the doctrine is widely accepted early on, you can claim that the Pope's language was meant to communicate that fact. If the doctrine is widely rejected early on, you can claim that the Pope's language was only meant to refer to some seed form of the doctrine that initially wasn't understood, but gradually came to be understood by some Christians in later generations.

    I've argued that both scripture and the earliest patristic Christians seem to have viewed Mary as a sinner. Why, then, are we supposed to think that her sinlessness is an apostolic tradition always held and taught by the church? Saying that widespread early contradictions of your view of Mary are consistent with the truthfulness of that view of her doesn't explain why we should think that your view of her is true.

    Data such as what I've cited in this thread closes one of the evidential doors. It narrows your options. If the sinlessness of Mary wasn't understood by the earliest Christians as an apostolic tradition handed down to them, then why are we supposed to think that it was?

    You write:

    "Incidentally, some of the quotes by the OP are specious and not really denials of an Immaculate Conception, but I needn't go into that"

    I wasn't just addressing the immaculate conception. And your assertion, followed by "I needn't go into that", isn't worth much.
     
  13. MrPolo

    MrPolo Woe those who call evil good + good evil. Is 5:20

    +692
    Catholic
    Private
    Here's Tradition defined. Notice it includes by example, and this dogma of which you are an opponent is rooted largely in the typology of Mary as the new Eve and the Ark of the Covenant. I hope you will post what some of the authors you quote have to say about the antiquity of this theology.
    I suggest you do a little more research. You have specific references in the 200s and the "Eve" typology in the 100s, and the Scriptural basis (OT and NT) before that.
     
  14. Catholic_NE

    Catholic_NE Newbie

    247
    +8
    Catholic
    Single
    Short answer: it has never been dogmatically defined.

    It gets more complicated, however, because some things that haven't been dogmatically defined are consider "official teachings" nonetheless. (Mary's perpetual virginity is a good example.)

    I'm pretty surprised, actually, that you weren't able to find a statement on it in the CCC.
     
  15. Catholic_NE

    Catholic_NE Newbie

    247
    +8
    Catholic
    Single
    After doing a little google-searching, I found that paragraph 2677 does call her "all-holy". ("All-holy", or panagia, is a traditional term used for Mary in the East, although it isn't heard quite so much in the West.)
     
  16. Jason Engwer

    Jason Engwer Newbie

    54
    +6
    Christian
    Single
    MrPolo wrote:

    "Here's Tradition defined."

    None of your quotes in that post address the sinlessness of Mary in particular, and none of them add much to what I had already cited from the Catechism Of The Catholic Church and Pope Pius IX in this thread. You cite Vincent of Lerins referring to "that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all", but the evidence suggests that the sinlessness of Mary doesn't meet that standard.

    You write:

    "Notice it includes by example, and this dogma of which you are an opponent is rooted largely in the typology of Mary as the new Eve and the Ark of the Covenant. I hope you will post what some of the authors you quote have to say about the antiquity of this theology."

    You haven't explained how either concept, the New Eve concept or the ark as a type of Mary concept, logically leads one to the conclusion that Mary was sinless. Not only does neither concept logically lead one to your conclusion, but some of the fathers I cited advocate such concepts while referring to Mary as a sinner. Tertullian, for instance, refers to Mary as a New Eve (On The Flesh Of Christ, 17) in the same document in which he refers to her unbelief and other sins (On The Flesh Of Christ, 7).

    There's no need for any New Testament figure to be foreshadowed by the ark of the covenant. And even if one were to be foreshadowed, the individual wouldn't have to be sinless. A lot of objects mentioned in the Old Testament are pure or holy in some sense. We don't conclude that there must be some sinless individual in the New Testament era who parallels each one of those objects.

    And even if we decided, unreasonably, that we must find such a parallel, why conclude that the New Testament individual involved is Mary? Why not Jesus? Or why not somebody else? Mary can be said to have carried Jesus in her womb, as the ark carried the word of God, but then we would be defining the word of God differently in each case. Why make such a parallel, then? Must there be a parallel in Mary's life for every aspect of the Old Testament ark? Since the ark was stolen by the enemies of God for a while, for example, must the same occur with Mary? How do you know what to parallel and what not to parallel? And Mary wasn't the only entity to carry Jesus in some sense. The cross carried Him. Joseph of Arimathea, or more specifically the men who worked for him, carried Jesus. So did Joseph's tomb. Why can't those objects or individuals be the parallel to the ark? As some of the leading Roman Catholic and Protestant scholars in the world concluded in their study of Mary:

    "However, in our judgment there is no convincing evidence that Luke specifically identified Mary with the symbolism of the Daughter of Zion or the Ark of the Covenant." (Raymond Brown, et al., Mary In The New Testament [Mahwah: Paulist Press, 1978], p. 134)

    The earliest ark parallels among the church fathers identify Jesus or something else, not Mary, as the parallel to the ark (Irenaeus, Fragments From The Lost Writings Of Irenaeus, 48; Clement of Alexandria, The Stromata, 5:6; Tertullian, The Chaplet, 9; Hippolytus, On Daniel, 2:6; etc.). The earliest patristic interpreter of Revelation 11:19 doesn't refer to Mary as the ark (Victorinus, Commentary On The Apocalypse Of The Blessed John, 11:19).

    You write:

    "You have specific references in the 200s and the 'Eve' typology in the 100s, and the Scriptural basis (OT and NT) before that."

    I've discussed the Eve typology, and I've discussed examples of Mary's sins mentioned in scripture in another recent thread. You'll need to be more specific about the alleged "references in the 200s". Even if there were such references, they would be predated by other sources I've cited who don't seem to have viewed Mary as sinless.
     
  17. boswd

    boswd Well-Known Member

    +484
    Anglican
    Married

    Yeah actually the CCC doesn't really have a alot on Mary. It does have that one section. But the way the Fundamentalist go on they would have you believe that 90% of the CCC is dedicated to Mary.
    I really feel they are more obsessed with how they feel Catholics view Mary then Catholics are on Mary herself

    It's like "aye charumba," people get on with your lives and go out and live your life in Christ in the way you like it. If people are soo obsessed with the Catholic Church maybe they need to go out pick up the game of golf or building ship models in a bottle. Something.
    It's get to the point where they are dedicated more of their lives on the Catholic Church then to Christ himself.
     
  18. Jason Engwer

    Jason Engwer Newbie

    54
    +6
    Christian
    Single
    boswd writes:

    "I really feel they are more obsessed with how they feel Catholics view Mary then Catholics are on Mary herself"

    Aside from all of the Roman Catholic prayers to Mary, Marian shrines, alleged Marian apparitions, veneration of Marian images, etc., we have many statements from Roman Catholic leaders like the following:

    "With equal truth may it be also affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ, thus as no man goeth to the Father but by the Son, so no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother....How grateful and magnificent a spectacle to see in the cities, and towns, and villages, on land and sea—wherever the Catholic faith has penetrated—many hundreds of thousands of pious people uniting their praises and prayers with one voice and heart at every moment of the day, saluting Mary, invoking Mary, hoping everything through Mary." (Pope Leo XIII, Octobri Mense)

    "O Virgin most holy, none abounds in the knowledge of God except through thee; none, O Mother of God, obtains salvation except through thee, none receives a gift from the throne of mercy except through thee." (Pope Leo XIII, Adiutricem Populi)

    "Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ: she is rightly honored by a special cult in the Church." (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution On The Church, no. 66)

    "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation....Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 969)
     
  19. boswd

    boswd Well-Known Member

    +484
    Anglican
    Married
    And as pointed out in other threads the above statements are not all that much different than statements made by many of the most important names in the Reformation. But as always they are overlooked as is how other Christian Faiths have similiar views and similiar venerations and also use her as intercession. But it always is only focused on the Catholics and no others.

    Like I said, golf is a great game.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  20. Jason Engwer

    Jason Engwer Newbie

    54
    +6
    Christian
    Single
    boswd wrote:

    "And as pointed out in other threads the above statements are not all that much different than statements made by many of the most important names in the Reformation. But as always they are overlooked as is how other Christian Faiths have similiar views and similiar venerations and also use her as intercession. But it always is only focused on the Catholics and no others."

    Quoting some Protestant reformers agreeing with some elements of the Roman Catholic view of Mary isn't equivalent to demonstrating that they agree with what I described in my last post in this thread or anything close to it. I've documented, in another recent thread, that the reformers also criticized some elements of the Roman Catholic view of Mary, and some of what I discussed in my last post isn't even addressed in your quotes of the reformers. In the posts I saw, you didn't even identify which quotes came from which reformers, whether those reformers later changed their view on the subject, their other comments that were more critical of the Roman Catholic view of Mary, etc.

    And your "always" comments are unreasonable. I and others have criticized false Marian beliefs in other groups, such as Eastern Orthodoxy. Much of my recent discussion here about the assumption of Mary has involved Eastern Orthodox participants. And groups like Eastern Orthodoxy and the Copts aren't as popular as Roman Catholicism and haven't made the same claims about Mary.

    What about balance in your posts?

    One group encourages its people to be "uniting their praises and prayers with one voice and heart at every moment of the day, saluting Mary, invoking Mary, hoping everything through Mary" (Pope Leo XIII, Octobri Mense). That group encourages "a special cult" for Mary who allegedly has been "exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son" (Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution On The Church, no. 66). That group's people frequently pray to Mary, bow before images of her, think they see images of Mary in everything from windows to trees, build shrines to her, think they've received apparitions from her, etc. This group has dogmatized highly unhistorical claims about her, such as that she was sinless and bodily assumed to Heaven, and threatens its people with loss of salvation if they oppose such doctrines.

    The other group you have in mind apparently consists of Protestants and others who often criticize Roman Catholics and their beliefs in online forums and other contexts. Some of that criticism is inappropriate, and some of those people behave irresponsibly. In some cases, their time would be better spent elsewhere. If you're only criticizing those people, not some larger category of critics of the Roman Catholic view of Mary, then I agree that those people should be criticized. But their errors aren't nearly as significant as the errors of Roman Catholicism.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Loading...