“Where ever Mary is venerated, and devotion to her takes place, there the Church of Christ does not exist”. If Karl Barth is correct, the Church of Christ was not present yesterday (October 13th) in St. Peter’s square when Pope Francis entrusted the world to Mary. The occasion was offered by the veneration of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima which had been brought to Rome for a special Marian day. Marianism is one of the keys to interpreting the present pontificate and this celebration further highlights its pervasiveness.
Entrusting the World to Mary?
If Francis appears to break with many conventions on the way he lives out his being Pope, he is very traditional as far as his Marianism is concerned. Entrusting the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was done by Pius XII during World War II (1942) and twice by John Paul II (1982 and 1984). Francis then follows an established XX century tradition that unites pre- and post-Vatican II Roman Catholicism. These acts are responses to the message that Mary supposedly gave to the three young shepherds in Fatima (Portugal) in 1917…
Click here for the remainder of Dr. Leonardo De Chirico’s article:
Well said, Leo. “In spite of all that is said in ecumenical circles about the re-approachment between Roman Catholics and Evangelical Protestants on the Bible, this Act of Entrustment to Mary shows that their differences are not a matter of nuances, but of fundamental issues that lie at the heart of the faith itself. Thankfully, “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” (Psalm 24:1) and there is no need to entrust it to someone else.”
This Marianism is the one thing that drives me crazy when I read about Roman Catholic theology and spirituality. Otherwise I can appreciate Catholics.
Marian devotion smacks idolatry to me, worship of a mere creature. The talk about Mary as the Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix is repulsive for a sola Christus affirming Protestant.
Do you think there is some inherent mechanism in the Catholic faith that drives men to set Mary as their mediator between them and God? I’ve been wondering if it might be this Thomistic conception of God as the impassible one. God is viewed in a way that he is incapable of true mercy and identification with humans.
Matti, What precisely about the way Catholics define mediatrix or co-redemptrix do you find so objectionable?
Presumably you would not object to St. Paul calling us God’s fellow workers (1 Cor. 3:9). If this kind of co-mediation is compatible with the unique mediation of Christ, why is Mary’s incompatible?
Presumably you would also not object to interceding before God on behalf of your friends and family. This is certainly also a kind of mediation. If this kind of mediation is compatible with Christ’s unique mediation, why is Mary’s not?
Kevin, while I think that asking for the intercessions of deceased saints is unscriptural practice I don’t find it so repulsive. Neither is imitating the faith of great Christians.
What I find disturbing is theology like this: “Mary received from God a unique dominion over souls enabling her to nourish them and make them more and more godlike…” This comes from Louis de Monfort’s The Secret of Mary. http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/SECRET.HTM
It clearly elevates Mary to a category that is unidentifiable from the Bible. Given the nature of Roman Catholic doctrine of revelation, this is not a problem for Louis and his followers. However, for a Protestant this is.
Matti, it seems to me that saying it doesn’t use an identifiable Biblical category is a different charge than idolatry or replacing Christ as the mediator between man and God. If your main issue is the non-biblical category charge, I would suggest that even evangelical Protestants– even or especially the confessional variety who care a lot about theology– use plenty of non-biblical categories to describe what they think is theological truth. The trinity. Or much of the language from the ancient creeds that many Protestants retain (with the possible exception of the “descended into hell” bit from the Apostles Creed, which some famous Reformed Baptist pastors exclude). Most of the early general councils, which most if not all evangelical Protestants affirm to be true, used non-biblical categories to describe theological truth. If your problem is idolatry or interference with Christ’s mediation, how does anything in that Montfort quote show either of those things?
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