About 10 years ago I was walking around the Duomo of Milan and these ladies captured my attention as they were staring at this stained glass picture of Mary. Being spotted by one of the ladies she quickly came to me to hand me a rosary. As she tried to convince me to take it, I said that I only needed to pray to God and that I would not pray to Mary, her shock quickly turned to anger and she said “may Mary whip you with the seven whips of Satan!” As I booked it out of there I was wondering to myself first of all, why is Mary working with Satan? But second of all and more importantly, how in the world do you get to that point where one talks to Mary more than God? How do you get to the point where you pray 10 prayers to Mary for every prayer to God? Well in honor of the lady who cursed me that fateful day, here are 7 problems with the Roman Catholic Mary.
She’s the mother of God
495 Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus”, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before
the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord”.144 In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God” (Theotokos).145
In order to refute certain heresies that taught against the Hypostatic Union, the early Church named Mary the Theotokos (wrongly translated the mother of God, it actually means the God-bearer), not in order to raise Mary to a God-like level but rather to correct the heresy about Jesus. Over time this developed into this strange idea that Mary was the spiritual mother of Human beings. As time went on, Mary received more and more honor to the point where the following statements about her began to appear. It’s fascinating how in order to protect the church from heresies about Christ, the Church unknowingly ended up creating one about Mary. Some say that when Constantine made all of Rome “Christian” the pagans now forced to be “christians” brought in several idols. One of these idols was the mother goddess. They say that they replaced the worship of the mother goddess with the worship of the Roman Catholic Mary.
She is sinless
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God “the All-Holy” (Panagia), and celebrate her as “free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature”.138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. CCC (The Catechism of the Catholic Church)
The Bible clearly states that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) Mary herself refers to her Son as her personal savior (Luke 1:47). 1 John 1:8 adds, “If any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him.” Mary was a sinner who needed to be born-again just like everyone else who has ever taken a breath. Claiming that somehow she was without sin leads us to have a view of her that is unhealthy. This is an example of adding to Scripture, we end up venerating her, looking up to her and this leads us into thinking that somehow she has grace to impart on us.
She ascended into heaven
974 The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body. CCC
I still remember talking to Mario who was sure that Mary was taken up into heaven somewhere in the book of Acts. The priest had told him this in order to reassure him of its truth. For some reason the Catholic church has deemed it necessary to invent the bodily assumption of Mary. Why is this so? Why would the Catholic church invent this? It is not found in Scripture it is passed down through tradition, and this is one reason protestants warn against elevating tradition to the same level as the Bible.
She’s the queen of heaven
966 “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.” CCC
While I walked around the various churches in Rome it was quite surprising to see how much Mary was depicted, so it was quite evident that it was much more than veneration, it was downright worship, but I was brought to tears when I discovered a painting that resembled the one you see to the right. How in the world could they not see that crowning Mary the queen of heaven desecrates Christ? The crowning of Mary as queen of heaven is a key component of the RCC. It legitimizes their veneration of her and allows for all the prayers that are directed towards her. It’s interesting that Mohammed thought that the Christian Trinity was Father, Son and Mary because of the pagans influence on the Church as they began to make Mary more of an object of worship over the years. Ultimately human beings will be worshippers in heaven. God will share His glory with none of His Creation (Isaiah 42:8).
She’s a perpetual virgin
499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.154 In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.”155 And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin”.156 CCC
A simple reading of Scripture shows us that Mary was not a perpetual virgin. The fact that Matthew 1:25 tells us that Joseph didn’t have sexual relations with Mary until she bore Jesus clearly shows that when he was born they consummated the marriage. Matthew 12:46 shows us that Jesus had half-brothers and sisters. We know from church history that Jude and James were his brothers and both were writers of Scripture. The only reason this heresy entered the Church was to elevate Mary to a position of what the church perceives as purity.
She is a mediator
HAIL HOLY QUEEN, mother of mercy; our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn, then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen. (A prayer in the rosary)
The thinking is this, when a loving mother comes and asks you for a favor you will obey. When Mary told Jesus to help out at the wedding at Cana John 2:1-11 it is said that he simply could not refuse his sweet mother. And so we need a mediator between us and Christ in order to get Jesus to work on our behalf. The problem is that this contradicts Scripture and it is an invention of man. 1 Tim 2:5 clearly tells us that there is only one mediator and that is Christ himself. Jesus is our mediator (Rom 8:34, Heb 7:24-26), life (John 14:6), hope (1 Peter 1:3), He willingly gave up His life for His sheep, He needs no motherly convincing, He is all we need. Mary would cry if she could hear prayers like these.
She can do miracles (apparitions)
It doesn’t take a doctorate in Roman Catholic studies to know that Mary has been credited with several apparitions/miracles. When Mary is exalted to such a high position, it becomes inevitable that people will claim to have seen her. We have seen this with the heavenly tourism books. The difference is that The Roman Catholic Church has a system in place where they have accepted these apparitions as genuine miracles. While they don’t “force” catholics to believe in “these miracles” they have approved some “private revelations” as authentic.
While the Catholic Church goes out of it’s way to say that you need not believe in the apparitions in order to be a catholic, they contradict themselves when they approve of them and call them authentic. Mary does not work in this life. We cannot pray to her, she has no power, and she is definitely not appearing to men, especially since it causes men to give glory to Mary rather than the trinity. A case in point is when Pope John Paul II was shot and survived, he gave all the glory to Mary.
The Outcome: The Roman Catholic Mary minimizes Christ
As we’ve seen in the post “Evangelicals and Catholics cannot be together” if you elevate tradition to the same level of Scripture it is inevitable for Scripture to be twisted and minimized. In the same way, if you elevate a human being to a level in which they don’t belong it causes Christ to lose significance to the point where he becomes a different Christ. By exalting Mary in this way it is minimizing the uniqueness of Christ. He was the only one completely pure, without sin, who ascended to Heaven, who intercedes for us, who is the way the truth and the life, who gives abundant grace, who is actively at work in our lives and who is royalty in Heaven. His work on the cross was sufficient to save a soul instantly, and therefore does not need “help” from the saints or His mother to help accomplish our redemption.
If you are Catholic and by some miracle are still reading this I beg you to think about this. Think about the pharisees who had perverted God’s religion to the point where they were babbling prayers (Matt 6:7) valuing tradition above Christ (Col 2:8) and trusting in their works for salvation (Luke 18:9-14). Please ask your self if this is not what Rome has done as well? It is no different than every other religion that exalts man to the point where he is able to contribute to their salvation based on their performance. I beg you to stop trusting in man made rules and other humans and instead trust in Jesus alone whose resume is perfect and who’s once for all death on the cross completely satisfied God’s wrath.