The Virgin Mary: The Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine

The Virgin Mary: The Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine

The Virgin Mary: The Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine

The Virgin Mary: The Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine

Excerpt

To the Protestant Christian the cult of Mary is disquieting and perplexing. The devout and lowly maiden of Judah has become Queen of Heaven. She through whom the Son of God came to dwell among men in intimate fellowship has become the Mediatrix through whom they are now to approach Him and the Father. Mary in Roman Catholic devotion receives many times the prayers that are addressed to God or Christ. She is the preferred object of devotion. Mary has eclipsed her Son. There has been another eclipse too. The devotion to Mary, in its operation, hides and virtually negates the warmest and most profound truth in Jesus' teaching--the Fatherhood of God.

The movement goes on. The extravagances of the Marian Congress at Ottawa, in 1947, were a shock to Protestants who cared about their faith. For the secularists it is to be feared that they appeared as evidence that all religion is superstition. This is not an age in which Christianity is well served by such demonstrations. The Christian ethic is being undermined by amoral humanism and attacked by militant scepticism. The supreme need is to recall this generation to Jesus Christ in loyalty to His person and acceptance of His teaching. Instead of this the devotion of millions is being directed to one who has left us relatively little to direct our faith or conduct.

These are the more disquieting facts. Perplexing aspects of the Marian cult are the ascription to her of characteristics and virtues that represent her as something far different from the mother of Jesus whom the early Church knew and its Scriptures record. Apocryphal writings of the post-apostolic age are responsible for some of this. But devout imagination of modern times has been equally responsible. Orthodoxy and Anglo- Catholicism have taken part in this. The Marian writings of these communions as well as those of the Roman Catholic Church are compounds of Biblical references--frequently farfetched--of devout and often very worthy meditations, and uncritical use of legendary material as historical fact for the establishment of doctrine.

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