Rome and Mary
Updated June 9, 2008 (first published November 5, 1996) (David Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061, 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org; for instructions about subscribing and unsubscribing or changing addresses, see the information paragraph at the end of the article) –
Dialoguing with a Catholic apologist is like trying to pin a marble to a table with an ice pick. It keeps moving. If you quote historic Catholic councils and decrees to define Catholic doctrine, they claim you are irrelevant and that the Catholic Church has changed. If you quote directly from the declarations of modern Catholic decrees, they claim you have quoted out of context or you don’t understand the meaning of plain English words. If you argue that Rome has added to the Bible, they claim that all their doctrine is based upon the Bible. When you show them that their traditions are not based upon the Bible, they claim that it doesn’t matter since their tradition is equal to the Bible.
This phenomenon quickly shows itself when one deals with the Roman doctrines of Mary. According to official Catholic theology, Mary was born “immaculate” and was therefore sinless. She participated in the atonement of Jesus Christ by her agony at the cross and is therefore given the title “co-redemptress.” Since she bore the Lord Jesus Christ, she is given the title “Mother of God.” She ascended bodily up to Heaven and was crowned Queen of Heaven, and in this capacity she hears and answers prayers and helps guide earthly souls to eternity.
This is what the Catholic Church formally teaches about Mary. This was affirmed at the Vatican II Council in the mid-1960s, and it is taught in the New Catholic Catechism. We have given the citations for this in many of our books and articles. Anyone who cares to check this can readily obtain the relevant documents and examine the matter for himself.
THE GLORIES OF MARY
One of the respected Roman Catholic authorities on Mariology is Alphonsus Mary de Liguori (1696-1787), who was canonized as a saint by Pope Gregory XVI on May 26, 1839. He was declared a “Doctor of the Church” in 1871 by Pope Pius IX. Liguori has his own special day on the Roman Catholic calendar, that being August 1st. On this day, the official prayer to be made by Catholic people on behalf of Liguori asks God that they may be “taught by his admonitions.”
“Saint” Alphonsus gave many admonitions, but he is particularly famous for those that pertain to the Catholic Mary. In 1750, at age 54, he published “The Glories of Mary,” a book that has been translated into many languages and has wielded vast influence in the Roman Catholic Church.
Some will doubtless argue that it is unfair to use a 200-year-old book to define Catholic doctrine. Not so. Liguori’s book remains authoritative today, and it does represent official Catholic doctrine. Liguori’s works underwent a rigorous examination and received the unqualified approval of the Catholic Church. His works were tested 20 times by the rules of Urban VIII and Benedict XIV, and the resulting judgment was that they did not contain “one word worthy of censure.” The Glories of Mary was pronounced to be without error by Pope Pius VII in 1803 and by Pope Leo XII in 1825.
Pope Pius VII (1800-1823) was so infatuated with Liguori that he had his grave opened and had three fingers of his right hand cut off and taken to Rome, saying, “Let those three fingers that have written so well for the honor of God, of the Blessed Virgin and of religion, be carefully preserved and sent to Rome” (“Some Preliminary Observations by the Editor,” The Glories of Mary, St. Louis: Redemptorist Fathers, 1831, p. 20).
Liguori’s book continues to be published today with the official imprimatur [Latin meaning “Let it be printed”] of various Catholic authorities. Consider some excerpts from this book which does not contain ONE WORD worthy of censure by the Catholic Church.
I am citing from an edition of “The Glories of Mary” published by the Redemptorist Fathers, St. Louis, 1931 --
“Would that all sinners had recourse to this sweet mother! for then certainly all would be pardoned by God” (p. 75).
“... though the sinner does not himself merit the graces which he asks, yet he receives them, because this Blessed Virgin asks and obtains them from God, ON ACCOUNT OF HER OWN MERITS” (p. 73).
“Thou, my Mother, hast enamoured a God with thy beauty, and DRAWN HIM FROM HEAVEN INTO THY CHASTE WOMB; and shall I live without loving thee?” (p. 69).
“... we are those children for whom Mary, in order to obtain for us the life of grace, was obliged to endure the bitter agony of herself offering her beloved Jesus to die an ignominious death, and had also to see him expire before her own eyes in the midst of the most cruel and unheard-of torments. IT WAS THEN BY THIS GREAT OFFERING OF MARY THAT WE WERE BORN TO THE LIFE OF GRACE; WE ARE THEREFORE HER VERY DEAR CHILDREN, SINCE WE COST HER SO GREAT SUFFERING. And thus, as it is written of the love of the Eternal Father towards men, in giving his own Son to death for us, that God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son. ‘So also,’ says Bonaventure, ‘we can say of Mary, that she has so loved us as to give her only-begotten Son for us.’ And when did she give him? She gave him, says Father Nieremberg, when she granted him permission to deliver himself up to death...” (p. 59).
“Thus do I hope to die, breathing forth my soul into thy holy hands, and saying, My Mother my Mother Mary, help me, have pity on me!” (p. 56).
“THE PROPHET DAVID, ALTHOUGH SHE WAS NOT YET BORN, SOUGHT SALVATION FROM GOD BY DEDICATING HIMSELF AS A SON OF MARY, and thus prayed: Save the son of thy handmaid. ‘Of what handmaid?’ asks St. Augustine; and he answers, ‘Of her who said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord.’” (pp. 51,52).
“... Mary became our spiritual Mother, and BROUGHT US FORTH TO THE LIFE OF GRACE, WHEN SHE OFFERED TO THE ETERNAL FATHER THE LIFE OF HER BELOVED SON ON MOUNT CALVARY, with so bitter sorrow and suffering. So that St. Augustine declares, that ‘as she then co-operated by her love in the birth of the faithful to the life of grace, she became the spiritual Mother of all who are members of the one Head, Christ Jesus’” (p. 49).
“But if Jesus is the Father of our souls, Mary is also their Mother; for SHE, BY GIVING US JESUS, GAVE US TRUE LIFE; and afterwards, by offering the life of her Son on Mount Calvary for our salvation, SHE BROUGHT US FORTH TO THE LIFE OF GRACE” (p. 47).
“This was revealed by our Blessed Lady herself to St. Bridget, saying, ‘I am the Queen of heaven and the Mother of Mercy; I AM THE JOY OF THE JUST, AND THE DOOR THROUGH WHICH SINNERS ARE BROUGHT TO GOD. There is no sinner on earth so accursed as to be deprived of my mercy...” (p. 43).
“Let us, then, have recourse, and always have recourse, to this most sweet Queen, IF WE WOULD BE CERTAIN OF SALVATION ... LET US REMEMBER THAT IT IS IN ORDER TO SAVE THE GREATEST AND MOST ABANDONED SINNERS, who recommend themselves to her, that Mary is made the Queen of Mercy” (pp. 43,44).
“‘With such souls,’ says the Abbot Rupert, addressing our Blessed Lady, ‘SAVED BY THY MEANS, O great Queen Mary, wilt thou be crowned in heaven; for their salvation will form a diadem worthy of, and well-becoming, a Queen of Mercy’” (p. 44).
“This was foretold by the prophet David himself; for he says that God (so to speak) consecrated Mary Queen of mercy, ANOINTING HER WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS: GOD HATH ANOINTED THEE WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS [Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9]. In order that we miserable children of Adam might rejoice, remembering that in heaven we have this great Queen, overflowing with the unction of mercy and compassion towards us; and thus we can say with St. Bonaventure, ‘O Mary, thou art full of the unction of mercy and of the oil of compassion;’ therefore God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness” (pp. 38,39).
“And if Jesus is the King of the universe, Mary is also its Queen. ‘And as Queen,’ says the Abbot Rupert, ‘SHE POSSESSES, BY RIGHT, THE WHOLE KINGDOM OF HER SON’” (p. 36).
“‘Since the flesh of Mary,’ remarks the Abbot Arnold of Chartres, ‘was not different from that of Jesus, how can the royal dignity of the Son be denied to the Mother?’ ‘HENCE WE MUST CONSIDER THE GLORY OF THE SON, not only as being common to his Mother, but AS ONE WITH HER’” (p. 36).
The Glories of Mary is 703 pages in length and the entire thing is composed of abominations like the ones we have cited, exalting Mary to the place of Jesus Christ. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST BLASPHEMOUS BOOKS THAT HAS EVER BEEN PUBLISHED ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, YET, ACCORDING TO THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH’S HIGHEST AUTHORITIES, IT CONTAINS NOT ONE WORD OF ERROR. The same popes who canonized Liguori and exalted his books, cursed the 19th century Bible societies and forbade the people to possess the Bible without a license from Rome. We have documented this in our book Rome and the Bible, which is available from Way of Life Literature.
Rome exalts Mary to the place of the Lord Jesus Christ. She denies this, but her dogmas prove the denial to be a lie. God forbids His people to have fellowship with those who promote this type of error. If this were the only error Rome held, it would be sufficient to require Bible-believing people to mark and avoid it as false.
Romans 16:17-18 -- “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.”
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