Skip to comments.The Assumption of Mary
Posted on 08/17/2009 9:10:31 AM PDT by AnalogReigns
THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY
A Roman Catholic Dogma Originating with Heretics and Condemned as Heretical by 2 Popes in the 5th and 6th Centuries.
By William Webster
The Roman Catholic doctrine of the assumption of Mary teaches that she was assumed body and soul into heaven either without dying or shortly after death. This extraordinary claim was only officially declared to be a dogma of Roman Catholic faith in 1950, though it had been believed by many for hundreds of years. To dispute this doctrine, according to Romes teaching, would result in the loss of salvation. The official teaching of the Assumption comes from the decree Munificentissimus Deus by pope Pius XII:
All these proofs and considerations of the holy Fathers and the theologians are based upon the Sacred Writings as their ultimate foundation. These set the loving Mother of God as it were before our very eyes as most intimately joined to her divine Son and as always sharing His lot. Consequently it seems impossible to think of her, the one who conceived Christ, brought Him forth, nursed Him with her milk, held Him in her arms, and clasped Him to her breast, as being apart from Him in body, even though not in soul, after this earthly life. Since our Redeemer is the Son of Mary, He could not do otherwise, as the perfect observer of Gods law, than to honour, not only His eternal Father, but also His most beloved Mother. And, since it was within His power to grant her this great honour, to preserve her from the corruption of the tomb, we must believe that He really acted in this way. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God Who has lavished His special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honour of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by Our own authority, We pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Hence, if anyone, which God forbid, should dare wilfully to deny or call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic faith...It is forbidden to any man to change this, Our declaration, pronouncement, and definition or, by rash attempt, to oppose and counter it. If any man should presume to make such an attempt, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul (Munificentissimus Deus, Selected Documenst of Pope Pius XII (Washington: National Catholic Welfare Conference), 38, 40, 44-45, 47).
This is truly an amazing dogma, yet there is no Scriptural proof for it, and even the Roman Catholic writer Eamon Duffy concedes that, there is, clearly, no historical evidence whatever for it ... (Eamon Duffy, What Catholics Believe About Mary (London: Catholic Truth Society, 1989), p. 17). For centuries in the early Church there is complete silence regarding Marys end. The first mention of it is by Epiphanius in 377 A.D. and he specifically states that no one knows what actually happened to Mary. He lived near Palestine and if there were, in fact, a tradition in the Church generally believed and taught he would have affirmed it. But he clearly states that her end no one knows. These are his words:
But if some think us mistaken, let them search the Scriptures. They will not find Marys death; they will not find whether she died or did not die; they will not find whether she was buried or was not buried ... Scripture is absolutely silent [on the end of Mary] ... For my own part, I do not dare to speak, but I keep my own thoughts and I practice silence ... The fact is, Scripture has outstripped the human mind and left [this matter] uncertain ... Did she die, we do not know ... Either the holy Virgin died and was buried ... Or she was killed ... Or she remained alive, since nothing is impossible with God and He can do whatever He desires; for her end no-one knows. (Epiphanius, Panarion, Haer. 78.10-11, 23. Cited by juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology, Vol. II (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), pp. 139-40).
In addition to Epiphanius, there is Jerome who also lived in Palestine and does not report any tradition of an assumption. Isidore of Seville, in the seventh century, echoes Epiphanius by saying that no one has any information at all about Marys death. The patristic testimony is therefore non-existent on this subject. Even Roman Catholic historians readily admit this fact:
In these conditions we shall not ask patristic thoughtas some theologians still do today under one form or anotherto transmit to us, with respect to the Assumption, a truth received as such in the beginning and faithfully communicated to subsequent ages. Such an attitude would not fit the facts...Patristic thought has not, in this instance, played the role of a sheer instrument of transmission (Juniper B. Carol, O.F.M., ed., Mariology, Vol. I (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955), p. 154).
How then did this teaching come to have such prominence in the Church that eventually led it to be declared an issue of dogma in 1950? The first Church father to affirm explicitly the assumption of Mary in the West was Gregory of Tours in 590 A.D. But the basis for his teaching was not the tradition of the Church but his acceptance of an apocryphal Gospel known as the Transitus Beatae Mariae which we first hear of at the end of the fifth century and which was spuriously attributed to Melito of Sardis. There were many versions of this literature which developed over time and which were found throughout the East and West but they all originated from one source. Mariologist, Juniper Carol, gives the following historical summary of the Transitus literature:
An intriguing corpus of literature on the final lot of Mary is formed by the apocryphal Transitus Mariae. The genesis of these accounts is shrouded in historys mist. They apparently originated before the close of the fifth century, perhaps in Egypt, perhaps in Syria, in consequence of the stimulus given Marian devotion by the definition of the divine Maternity at Ephesus. The period of proliferation is the sixth century. At least a score of Transitus accounts are extant, in Coptic, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic, and Armenian. Not all are prototypes, for many are simply variations on more ancient models (Juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology, Vol. II (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), p. 144).
Thus, the Transitus literature is the real source of the teaching of the assumption of Mary and Roman Catholic authorities admit this fact. Juniper Carol, for example, writes: The first express witness in the West to a genuine assumption comes to us in an apocryphal Gospel, the Transitus Beatae Mariae of PseudoMelito (Juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology, Vol. l (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), p. 149). Roman Catholic theologian, Ludwig Ott, likewise affirms these facts when he says:
The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitusnarratives of the fifth and sixth centuries. Even though these are apocryphal they bear witness to the faith of the generation in which they were written despite their legendary clothing. The first Church author to speak of the bodily ascension of Mary, in association with an apocryphal transitus B.M.V., is St. Gregory of Tours (Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford: Tan, 1974), pp. 209210).
Juniper Carol explicitly states that the Transitus literature is a complete fabrication which should be rejected by any serious historian:
The account of Pseudo-Melito, like the rest of the Transitus literature, is admittedly valueless as history, as an historical report of Marys death and corporeal assumption; under that aspect the historian is justified in dismissing it with a critical distaste (Juniper Carol, O.F.M. ed., Mariology, Vol. l (Milwaukee: Bruce, 1957), p. 150).
It was partially through these writings that teachers in the East and West began to embrace and promote the teaching. But it still took several centuries for it to become generally accepted. The earliest extant discourse on the feast of the Dormition affirms that the assumption of Mary comes from the East at the end of the seventh and beginning of the eighth century. The Transitus literature is highly significant as the origin of the assumption teaching and it is important that we understand the nature of these writings. The Roman Catholic Church would have us believe that this apocryphal work expressed an existing, common belief among the faithful with respect to Mary and that the Holy Spirit used it to bring more generally to the Churchs awareness the truth of Marys assumption. The historical evidence would suggest otherwise. The truth is that, as with the teaching of the immaculate conception, the Roman Church has embraced and is responsible for promoting teachings which originated, not with the faithful, but with heretical writings which were officially condemned by the early Church. History proves that when the Transitus teaching originated the Church regarded it as heresy. In 494 to 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius issued a decree entitled Decretum de Libris Canonicis Ecclesiasticis et Apocryphis. This decree officially set forth the writings which were considered to be canonical and those which were apocryphal and were to be rejected. He gives a list of apocryphal writings and makes the following statement regarding them:
The remaining writings which have been compiled or been recognised by heretics or schismatics the Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church does not in any way receive; of these we have thought it right to cite below some which have been handed down and which are to be avoided by catholics (New Testament Apocrypha, Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed. (Cambridge: James Clarke, 1991), p. 38).
In the list of apocryphal writings which are to be rejected Gelasius signifies the following work: Liber qui apellatur Transitus, id est Assumptio Sanctae Mariae, Apocryphus (Pope Gelasius 1, Epistle 42, Migne Series, M.P.L. vol. 59, Col. 162). This specifically means the Transitus writing of the assumption of Mary. At the end of the decree he states that this and all the other listed literature is heretical and that their authors and teachings and all who adhere to them are condemned and placed under eternal anathema which is indissoluble. And he places the Transitus literature in the same category as the heretics and writings of Arius, Simon Magus, Marcion, Apollinaris, Valentinus and Pelagius. These are his comments. I have provided two translations from authoritative sources:
These and the like, what Simon Magus, Nicolaus, Cerinthus, Marcion, Basilides, Ebion, Paul of Samosata, Photinus and Bonosus, who suffered from similar error, also Montanus with his detestable followers, Apollinaris, Valentinus the Manichaean, Faustus the African, Sabellius, Arius, Macedonius, Eunomius, Novatus, Sabbatius, Calistus, Donatus, Eustasius, Iovianus, Pelagius, Iulianus of ERclanum, Caelestius, Maximian, Priscillian from Spain, Nestorius of Constantinople, Maximus the Cynic, Lampetius,Dioscorus, Eutyches, Peter and the other Peter, of whom one besmirched Alexandria and the other Antioch, Acacius of Constantinople with his associates, and what also all disciples of heresy and of the heretics and schismatics, whose names we have scarcely preserved, have taught or compiled, we acknowledge is to be not merely rejected but excluded from the whole Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and with its authors and the adherents of its authors to be damned in the inextricable shackles of anathema forever (New Testament Apocrypha, Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Ed., (Cambridge: James Clark, 1991).
These and [writings] similar to these, which ... all the heresiarchs and their disciples, or the schismatics have taught or written ... we confess have not only been rejected but also banished from the whole Roman and Apostolic Church and with their authors and followers of their authors have been condemned forever under the indissoluble bond of anathema (Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma (London: Herder, 1954), pp. 69-70).
Pope Gelasius explicitly condemns the authors as well as their writings and the teachings which they promote and all who follow them. And significantly, this entire decree and its condemnation was reaffirmed by Pope Hormisdas in the sixth century around A.D. 520. (Migne Vol. 62. Col. 537-542). These facts prove that the early Church viewed the assumption teaching, not as a legitimate expression of the pious belief of the faithful but as a heresy worthy of condemnation. There are those who question the authority of the so-called Gelasian decree on historical grounds saying that it is spuriously attributed to Gelasius. However, the Roman Catholic authorities Denzinger, Charles Joseph Hefele, W. A. Jurgens and the New Catholic Encyclopedia all affirm that the decree derives from Pope Gelasius, and Pope Nicholas I in a letter to the bishops of Gaul (c. 865 A.D.) officially quotes from this decree and attributes its authorship to Gelasius. (See Henry Denzinger, The Sources of Catholic Dogma (London: Herder,1954), pp. 66-69; W. A.Jurgens, TheFaith of theEarlyFathers, vol. I (Collegeville: Liturgical, 1970), p. 404; New CatholicEncyclopedia, vol. VII (Washington D.C.: Catholic University, 1967), p. 434; Charles Joseph Hefele, A History of the Councils of the Church (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1895), vol. IV, pp. 43-44). While the Gelasian decree may be questioned by some, the decree of Pope Hormisdas reaffirming the Gelasian decree in the early sixth century has not been questioned.
Prior to the seventh and eighth centuries there is complete patristic silence on the doctrine of the Assumption. But gradually, through the influence of numerous forgeries which were believed to be genuine, coupled with the misguided enthusiasm of popular devotion, the doctrine gained a foothold in the Church. The Dictionary of Christian Antiquities gives the following history of the doctrine:
In the 3rd of 4th century there was composed a book, embodying the Gnostic and Collyridian traditions as to the death of Mary, called De Transitu Virginis Mariae Liber. This book exists still and may be found in the Bibliotheca Patrum Maxima (tom. ii. pt. ii. p. 212)....The Liber Transitu Mariae contains already the whole of the story of the Assumption. But down to the end of the 5th century this story was regarded by the Church as a Gnostic or Collyridian fable, and the Liber de Transitu was condemned as heretical by the Decretum de Libris Canonicis Ecclesiasticus et Apocryphis, attributed to pope Gelasius, A.D. 494. How then did it pass across the borders and establish itself within the church, so as to have a festival appointed to commemorate it? In the following manner: In the sixth century a great change passed over the sentiments and the theology of the church in reference to the Theotokosan unintended but very noticeable result of the Nestorian controversies, which in maintaining the true doctrine of the Incarnation incidentally gave strong impulse to what became the worship of Mary. In consequence of this change of sentiment, during the 6th and 7th centuries (or later):
1)The Liber de Transitu, though classed by Gelasius with the known productions of heretics came to be attributed by one...to Melito, an orthodox bishop of Sardis, in the 2nd century, and by another to St. John the Apostle. 2) A letter suggesting the possibility of the Assumption was written and attributed to St. Jerome (ad Paulam et Eustochium de Assumptione B. Virginis, Op. tom. v. p. 82, Paris, 1706). 3) A treatise to prove it not impossible was composed and attributed to St. Augustine (Op. tom. vi. p. 1142, ed. Migne). 4) Two sermons supporting the belief were written and attributed to St. Athanasius (Op. tom. ii. pp. 393, 416, ed., Ben. Paris, 1698). 5) An insertion was made in Eusebiuss Chronicle that in the year 48 Mary the Virgin was taken up into heaven, as some wrote that they had had it revealed to them.
Thus the authority of the names of St. John, of Melito, of Athanasius, of Eusebius, of Augustine, of Jerome was obtained for the belief by a series of forgeries readily accepted because in accordance with the sentiment of the day, and the Gnostic legend was attributed to orthodox writers who did not entertain it. But this was not all, for there is the clearest evidence (1) that no one within the church taught it for six centuries, and (2) that those who did first teach it within the church borrowed it directly from the book condemned by pope Gelasius as heretical. For the first person within the church who held and taught it was Juvenal, bishop of Jerusalem (if a homily attributed to John Damascene containing a quotation from from the Eutymiac history...be for the moment considered genuine), who (according to this statement) on Marcian and Pulcherias sending to him for information as to St. Marys sepulchre, replied to them by narrating a shortened version of the de Transitu legend as a most ancient and true tradition. The second person within the church who taught it (or the first, if the homily attributed to John Damascene relating the above tale of Juvenal be spurious, as it almost certainly is) was Gregory of Tours, A.D. 590. The Abbe Migne points out in a note that what Gregory here relates of the death of the Blessed Virgin and its attendant circumstances he undoubtedly drew...from Pseudo-Melitos Liber de Transitu B. Mariae, which is classed among apocryphal books by pope Gelasius. He adds that this account, with the circumstances related by Gregory, were soon afterwards introduced into the Gallican Liturgy...It is demonstrable that the Gnostic legend passed into the church through Gregory or Juvenal, and so became an accepted tradition within it...Pope Benedict XIV says naively that the most ancient Fathers of the Primitive CHurch are silent as to the bodily assumption of the Blesseed Virgin, but the fathers of the middle and latest ages, both Greeks and Latins, relate it in the distinctest terms (De Fest. Assumpt. apud. Migne, Theol. Curs. Compl. tom. xxvi. p. 144, Paris, 1842). It was under the shadow of the names of Gregory of Tours and of these fathers of the middle and latest ages, Greek and Latin, that the De Transitu legend became accepted as catholic tradition. The history, therefore, of the belief which this festival was instituted to commemorate is as follows: It was first taught in the 3rd or 4th century as part of the Gnostic legend of St. Marys death, and it was regarded by the church as a Gnostic and Collyridian fable down to the end of the 5th century. It was brought into the church in the 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries, partly by a series of successful forgeries, partly by the adoption of the Gnostic legend on part of the accredited teachers, writers, and liturgists. And a festival in commemoration of the event, thus came to be believed, was instituted in the East at the beginning of the 7th, in the West at the beginning of the 9th century (A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, William Smith and Samuel Cheetham, Ed., (Hartford: J.B. Burr, 1880), pp. 1142-1143).
R.P.C. Hanson gives the following summation of the teaching of the Assumption, emphasizing the lack of patristic and Scriptural support for it and affirming that it originated not with the Church but with Gnosticism:
This dogma has no serious connection with the Bible at all, and its defenders scarcely pretend that it has. It cannot honestly be said to have any solid ground in patristic theology either, because it is frist known among Catholic Christians in even its crudest form only at the beginning of the fifth century, and then among Copts in Egypt whose associations with Gnostic heresy are suspiciously strong; indeed it can be shown to be a doctrine which manifestly had its origin among Gnostic heretics. The only argument by which it is defended is that if the Church has at any time believed it and does now believe it, then it must be orthodox, whatever its origins, because the final standard of orthodoxy is what the Church believes. The fact that this belief is presumably supposed to have some basis on historical fact analogous to the belief of all Christians in the resurrection of our Lord makes its registration as a dogma de fide more bewilderingly incomprehensible, for it is wholly devoid of any historical evidence to support it. In short, the latest example of the Roman Catholic theory of doctrinal development appears to be a reductio ad absurdum expressly designed to discredit the whole structure (R.P.C. Hanson, The Bible as a Norm of Faith (University of Durham, 1963), Inaugral Lecture of the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity delivered in the Appleby Lecture Theatre on 12 March, 1963, p. 14).
Pius XII, in his decree in 1950, declared the Assumption teaching to be a dogma revealed by God. But the basis upon which he justifies this assertion is not that of Scripture or patristic testimony but of speculative theology. He concludes that because it seems reasonable and just that God should follow a certain course of action with respect to the person of Mary, and because he has the power, that he has in fact done so. And, therefore, we must believe that he really acted in this way. Tertullian dealt with similar reasoning from certain men in his own day who sought to bolster heretical teachings with the logic that nothing was impossible with God. His words stand as a much needed rebuke to the Roman Church of our day in its misguided teachings about Mary:
But if we choose to apply this principle so extravagantly and harshly in our capricious imaginations, we may then make out God to have done anything we please, on the ground that it was not impossible for Him to do it. We must not, however, because He is able to do all things, suppose that He has actually done what He has not done. But we must inquire whether He has really done it ... It will be your duty, however, to adduce your proofs out of the Scriptures as plainly as we do...(Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1951), Vol. III, Tertullian, Against Praxeas, ch. X and XI, p. 605).
Tertullian says that we can know if God has done something by validating it from Scripture. Not to be able to do so invalidates any claim that a teaching has been revealed by God. This comes back again to the patristic principle of sola scriptura, a principle universally adhered to in the eaerly Church. But one which has been repudiated by the Roman Church and which has resulted in its embracing and promoting teachings, such as the assumption of Mary, which were never taught in the early Church and which have no Scriptural backing.
The only grounds the Roman Catholic faithful have for believing in the teaching of the assumption is that a supposedly infallible Church declares it. But given the above facts the claim of infallibility is shown to be completely groundless. How can a Church which is supposedly infallible promote teachings which the early Church condemned as heretical? Whereas an early papal decree anathematized those who believed the teaching of an apocryphal Gospel, now papal decrees condemn those who disbelieve it. The conclusion has to be that teachings such as Marys assumption are the teachings and traditions of men, not the revelation of God.
Not an ecumenical thread boys...so have at it!
Just another heresy by the RC church. Nothing new.
I guess you did not read the Holy Tradition handed down from one person to another on the other thread.
Your source here is non-Catholic, hence it has no bearing in my opinion.
"Never apologize for the Blessed Virgin Mary!"
Oh well, just the invincibly ignorant here.
Don’t let historicly provable facts get in the way of non-Christian faith...
O Mary Conceived Without Sin, Pray For Us Who Have Recourse to Thee.
If Mary was conceived without original sin, then she would have borne no stain of sin from the time of her conception and would therefore have not been subject to any characteristics of the fallen nature of the human race since the fall of Adam and Eve. One of the consequences of the fall of Adam and Eve was that humans by their very nature would be subject to physical/bodily death and the natural decay of their physical forms over time.
If Mary was conceived without original sin, then by her very nature she would not have been subject to these consequences related to a natural physical/bodily death.
If you want to contest the Catholic doctrine of the Assumption, then by definition you must question the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. Which means she could not have died a "natural" human death as anyone else would.
And if the Immaculate Conception was not a true, historical fact, then I'm not sure you can even say with any definitive authority that Jesus Christ was Divine.
Thanks EVER so much for posting information about my church from people who totally reject it. So informative.
The article isn't 'well researched' if it believes that the Catholic Church worships Mary.
William Webster is either ignorant of Catholic teaching or lying about it.
“And if the Immaculate Conception was not a true, historical fact, then I’m not sure you can even say with any definitive authority that Jesus Christ was Divine.”
Why? There is no scriptural basis for the Immaculate Conception (”In the Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX pronounced and defined that the Blessed Virgin Mary “in the first instance of her conception, by a singular privilege and grace granted by God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin”).
The same can be said, with the additional sting of irony, about the man-made dogma known as sola Scriptura.
Utter nonsense. Mary was ancillary to the advent of Christ. She was not born without original sin. NOTHING in the scripture points to contrary.
To claim all of the trappings of the Immaculate Conception is to deny why Christ came in the first place. If ONE person can claim that they are without sin, then He died on the cross for NOTHING!
Paul states, unequivocally, that ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Christ alone was without original sin because He was not conceived of through mans will, but of God's will!
To claim that those who disagree with IC would deny Christ His divinity is intellectually dishonest and, IMHO, blasphemy.
Truth be told. I have to look at it as my bit of comedy for the day.
Worship Mary!!!!! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!
Oh yeah baby, these people sure know what they are talking about.
I almost snorted Diet Coke up my nose.
Geez oh pete, with Obama in the Whitehouse, don’t we have better things to do?
You simply know very little or nothing of the teaching of Immaculate Conception.
>>of non-Christian faith...<<
As someone who went through the Ordination ceremony for priesthood, I would disagree.
Mary knew quite well that she was in need of a Savior. Only a person, lost to sin, would have this awareness. Mary was a sinner, saved by Grace. She was not born sinless, did not lead a sinless life, was not a perpetual virgin, was not assumed into Heaven before death. Show me ANYWHERE in scripture where these claims are validated!
Or the eternal present.
Listen guys, hate to harp, but don’t cast pearls before swine. Not worth the argument.
I will instead give you something to pray for; My son enters seminary next year. He is consecrating himself to the Blessed Mother, as do most, if not all, priests. Each time you see an antagonistic thread, say a Hail Mary for his discernment. Our Blessed Lady smiles warmly on these acts of Charity.......
God Bless you all, my FRiends.......
Hail Mary! Full of Grace! The Lord is with Thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, PRAY FOR US sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
May the Lord shine on your son and bless him!
Contemplate, if you haven't already upon -
The Holy Rosary, the prayer of the Gospel thru Mary's eyes : "Magnificat anima mea Dominum" - "MY SOUL doth MAGNIFY the LORD."
Actually, you’re putting your own private human logic, above the holy Scriptures, that is seeing it as higher authority than the Word of God.
I believe Jesus was the divine Son of God, not because I can figure it out...from some imaginary sequence of Mary’s conception being sinless, thereby enabling her to bear Jesus, as also sinless, rather, I believe it because the holy Scriptures tell us directly that He is God and man, without sin.
Scripture never says Mary was without sin—it says she was given grace (which is unmerited favor) from God, and became pregnant as a virgin with Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Beyond that, the Holy Spirit writing through the Evangelists, does not say—and to speculate beyond that—as Roman human tradition has done—is downright silly, foolish—and even impious, arrogant and really unsafe.
The gospels actually indicate Jesus’ family—including Mary, one would think—didn’t always believe in Him—even at one point thought Him insane: “When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” (Mark 3:21)....not exactly sinless belief.
Elevating Mary, without a shred of backing from holy Scriptures, DIRECTLY COMPETES with giving glory to Jesus Christ—Who is forever praised and glorified, WITHOUT RIVALS!!!
>>”Magnificat anima mea Dominum” - “MY SOUL doth MAGNIFY the LORD.”<<
That is easily dismissed by those who take the Bible literally. *snicker*
Anything short of perfection in His human nature — including His mother and His conception — would be incompatible with the notion that Jesus Christ was Divine.
non-Christian is anything, anything at all...even if that is hundreds of years old “Christian” tradition...that takes away glory from Jesus Christ.
Excellent point. And may your son and his vocation be blessed every day of his life.
You need to finish the prayer:
Luke 1:46-47, Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. Mary knew that she needed a savior.
Then Jesus sinned according to that logic. ALL = ALL unequivcally.
>>Who is forever praised and glorified, WITHOUT RIVALS!!!<<
Yep, that’s what the Catholic Church teaches too.
Mary is not held in as high of a place as Jesus. Phew! Sometimes Non-Catholics in a tizzy really make me laugh.
Mary never claimed that she was without sin.
The doctrine of the Assumption is based on a sacred tradition that reflects an understanding of Mary's nature that dates back through the centuries.
>>non-Christian is anything, anything at all...even if that is hundreds of years old Christian tradition...that takes away glory from Jesus Christ.<<
So the Catholic Church is not Christian, in your opinion?
So...God could prevent Mary from being tainted by original sin, but he couldn’t do that for Jesus?
Rubish. Christ was the bridge between sinful man and perfect God. He was both 100% man and 100% God. His 'perfection' came from His divine nature and was without original sin because His father was THE Father, not Joseph.
By extension, your logic implies the need for sinless ancestors, which is heresy.
Have you bothered to read that book we call the Bible? Try building a strawman in a corn field. Your logic is poor.
Suuure you were.
Mary knew quite well that she was in need of a Savior.
And she had one! She was redeemed from the moment of her Immaculate Conception.
Explanation of the dogmaLudwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, p. 199, via wikipedia.
In Catholic teachings the dogma is explained as follows:1. The essence of original sin consists formally in the lack of sanctifying grace. Being preserved from original sin, Mary entered existence in a state of sanctifying grace.
2. Mary's freedom from original sin was an unmerited gift of God's grace.
3. The efficient cause of the Immaculate Conception was Almighty God.
4. The meritorious cause was the Redemption by Jesus Christ. It follows from this that even Mary was in need of redemption and was, in fact, redeemed "by the grace of Christ" in a more perfect way than other human beings. Christ's redemption frees all humanity from original sin. The uniqueness of what Christ has done for Mary is that she was freed from original sin before ever inheriting it, while the rest of humanity is freed after it has been inherited from Adam and Eve. Thus, this dogma in no way contradicts the dogma that all children of Adam are subject to original sin and in need of a savior.
5. The final cause of the Immaculate Conception is her Motherhood of God.
Of course Mary knew she needed a savior because she was filled with grace and knew humility better than anyone. For her to be saved from Original Sin did not require her to get dirty in the process. Just like I can save you from a pit either by pulling you out of it or by stopping you from falling into it in the first place. Either way you are saved.
That might seem like a reasonable position to take, but some serious contradictions to this assertion appear even in the Gospels themselves.
Scripture never says sola Scriptura..
And she had one!
According to your own private notions of human logic.
I really don't understand exactly how God the Son was born to a Jewish virgin. Do you?
All I know is the holy Scripture tells me this is true, so I accept it.
To conceive of a trail of human logic behind that, and then do demand its acceptance as fact, puts your own logic above and beyond the revelation of the Holy Spirit in the bible.
And what about St. Anne? Wouldn't she also have to be sinless to have an immaculate conception of Mary? Oh wait...that's a MIRACLE!
If an axiom taken to a logical conclusion becomes an absurdity, then the axiom must be wrong.
Christ was wholly God and wholly Man. Immaculate Conception precludes the latter.
But if His intent was that Mary would have a role in salvation history beyond her natural role as a human being then His plan would likely provide a special consideration for her that would be far beyond even what He would bestow upon the greatest of His saints.
Something else that's worth noting is that Mary occupies a very special place even from a purely natural/scientific perspective.
If Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and had no "natural" human father, then His human form would contain a genetic code (DNA) that was identical to Mary's. I would ponder on that for a moment and think about the possible ramifications of that salient fact.
The Church proceeds the written New Testament.
Mary never claimed so, but the Roman Catholic Church teaches such:
Mary, the All-Holy, lived a perfectly sinless life. (Catechism 411, 493)
Familiar? The doctrine of the Assumption is based on a sacred tradition that reflects an understanding of Mary's nature that dates back through the centuries.
Seems to me that Jesus took issue when man gave preference to TRADITION vice the Word of God:
Mat 15:1-8 Then some Pharisees and teachers of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked,
"Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don't wash their hands before they eat!"
Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?
For God said, 'Honor your father and mother' and 'Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'
But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' he is not to 'honor his father' with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.
You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you: " 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Sometimes supernatural Christianity and natural science cross paths in remarkable ways.
The Assumption of Mary was made up very recently when the Catholic church realized the the Immaculate Conception (that is, Mary was without sin) demanded the assumption, error begats error begats error .....
There are five billion people on the earth, and a likely equal number who have ever lived: all of us assuredly have sinned and have benefited from Christ's salvific death and resurrection.
The Immaculate Conception is like a precursor of - or a doorway to - the Incarnation: God entered our reality as both God and Man: he couldn't have become Man without a sinless Mother.
For if humanity had lost sanctifying grace, how much less could it receive God Himself, the source of that grace? Therefore God made Mary free of Original Sin so that she would be a suitable vessel, ark, portal, gateway for Him to enter humanity.
This is why Mary is often depicted as the new Eve: Adam and Eve were both created with sanctifying grace (i.e. they had no Original Sin when they were created). But Adam and Eve lost that grace: and their descendants lost it too. We regain it through Mary in the Body of her Son, Jesus.
The Incarnation is the central reality here: The Immaculate Conception is merely the frame of the central, history-shattering mystery that is the Incarnation. The great mystery of the Incarnation is - almost in passing - the reason for the much lesser mystery of the Immaculate Conception.
We shouldn't attempt to divorce Mary's divine gift of sinlessness from the Incarnation: the one is a small piece of the other. It would be bizarre to talk about Mary's gifts and graces without first recognizing that she is the Mother of God Almighty.