Cases of aberrant devotions to Mary in the Roman Church

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Stalwart, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Chinese churches paint Jesus as Chinese; the Africans paint him as Black; the Europeans paint him as White. So let's put the woke nihilism aside.


    ChineseJesus.jpg BlackChrist_md_web.jpg


    Anyway let's not derail this, so back to the thread at hand.
     
  2. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Having explored that particular rabbit run . . . . . what about the downsides of idolising the Mother of God. Would even she disapprove of some of the excesses she is humiliatingly subjected to by her misguided, over-enthusiastic devotees?
     
  3. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    IMHO Protestants get too worked over the "mediatrix" title. I've never met a rightly catechized Roman Catholic who didn't fully assent to 1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus."

    But they also recognize that their are lesser, subordinate mediators/mediatrixes. And we do too, though we don't know we do. Abraham mediated on behalf of Sodom and Gemorrah, Moses on the people of Israel, etc. And if protestants truly believed in no other mediators they would never ask for others' to pray for them.

    “Mary, being Mediatrix of all Graces and Queen of all Martyrs, merited for us all the graces we receive and made satisfaction for our sins.”

    The language is hyperbolic and poetic, but not heretical or idolatrous. St. Gabriel the Archangel proclaimed he was "highly favored" or "full of grace" and was chosen by God to be the Mother of God. From her womb came the Holy Incarnation. She is therefore the Theotokos, the God bearer, who brought forth Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, King of Kings, from whom all Graces flow. In that sense, she is the Queen Mother, without whom there is no manger, no cross, no resurrection,no ascension. Those are just facts pulled from the Gospel. Therefore,she is a co-worker in Christ's mediation between God and man. Nothing aberrant in any of that.
     
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  4. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Whoa! "Nothing aberrant"????

    Mary, being Mediatrix of all Graces and Queen of all Martyrs, merited for us all the graces we receive and made satisfaction for our sins.

    Mary most certainly is not Mediatrix (capital "M" denoting primacy) of all the graces we receive; Jesus is our one and only 'capital M' Mediator. Mary did not personally make satisfaction for our sins and indeed would have been unable to do so, for only a sinless person could die for the sins of all, and Mary was a sinner in need of God's grace like the rest of us.

    Nothing made Mary indispensible. There is no good reason to say of Mary, "without whom there is not manger, no cross, no resurrection..." Were the earliest descendants of Adam all indispensable, or did God make a new start for mankind through just one man, Noah? Was Moses indispensable to the Israelites, or could God have raised up another leader? Was Solomon indispensable, or could God have worked through another man? No mortal human has ever been indispensable in God's plan. If Mary had not been willing, God would not have approached her for the task of bearing Jesus; instead He would have foreordained another woman for the honor and privilege.

    That's right, it was a privilege for Mary to bear the Son of God. We all are privileged to have become children of God by grace through faith, but that doesn't mean the rest of unsaved humanity should put us on a pedestal and look up to us. Nor should any of us have put Mary up on a pedestal as someone greater or higher than the rest of us followers of Christ. Mary is one of us, a sinner saved by grace like us, a believer and a disciple like us, no greater and no less.
     
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  5. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member

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    So your issue is capitalization? That's a new one for me

    You say nothing made Mary indispensible. But 1 thing does: God. Going back to the protoevangelion in Genesis, it is clear that God's plan was for salvation to come from a woman's seed. That woman out of all women that had ever been or ever would be, was Mary. But you know better than God which part of His plan is dispensible and which is not? I don't think I can walk with you off that plank.
     
  6. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Some people see, "Hail Mary, full of grace," and they get a mental picture of a woman who is holier than the rest, better than the rest, more deserving than the rest. They picture Mary as a woman chosen by God because she was full of this special inner beauty called "grace." That idea is inaccurate.

    What is grace? While not a comprehensive definition, one could loosely define grace as the unmerited favor and gift of Almighty God. The thing I want to call attention to is the fact that grace is a gift from God which He gives to a person who doesn't deserve it. Grace descends from God and is bestowed by His sovereign strength; receiving God's grace does not reflect any merit or specialness on the part of the recipient (beyond the fact that grace is usually received through faith in God). Therefore, for Mary to be full of grace speaks of God's greatness and goodness infinitely more than of Mary's.
     
  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I concur with this statement. Mary's yes behold I am the handmaid of the Lord is a response to grace, and a response with grace to participate in grace. It is by this yes that the great moment in the story began to unfold as the word became flesh and dwelt among us and so we see Mary's meaning and purpose to to faithfully bear Jesus into the world. As such whilst he role is unique, so each one of us in our unique way are also called to bear Jesus into the world, and each of us will know that our so doing is but a pale reflection of what Mary did, and more precisely what God did through Mary.
     
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Today I was scanning through radio stations and fell upon a RC broadcast (IIRC it was a production of the 'Virgin Most Powerful' network). A woman (a nun, I believe) was saying that when the angel greeted Mary by saying "Hail," the Greek word was used to denote the special respect due to royalty; she further stated that Mary, being the mother of the King of the Universe, was thereby a queen and this is why she was greeted with the special word χαίρω
    (chairō).

    But when one examines the N.T. for this word (#5463) in the concordance, one finds that it most often denotes rejoicing, gladness, and joy; when used as a salutation it is (according to the Greek scholar Zodhiates) like saying 'happiness to you.' And most interestingly, the Jewish religious leaders addressed Judas with this word when he offered to betray Jesus.

    I wonder if the nun thinks that Judas was a member of royalty? :p She certainly made her position sound plausible, and I'm sure the average RC listener would have been completely taken in by this incorrect assessment.
     
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  9. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Isn't it amazing what lengths human beings will go to, to believe what they want to believe rather than what actually IS.
    .
     
  10. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    “The Coronation”, by the Spanish painter Diego Velasquez:

    :facepalm:

    0AAE8CDF-38BA-454C-AC84-8BD57FEED8AB.jpeg
     
  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Bizarre! Why is that baby looking up her skirt, or is he just trying to ignore all the beheaded ones with wings sprouting out of their necks, in the fog.
     
  12. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That’s a good question. However, the infants with two wings are cherubim (although they should have four; see Ezekiel chapters 1 and 10, and also the cherubim are synonymous with the tetramorphs, which are held to represent the four evangelists and their gospels (Matthew has a human face, Mark, the visage of a lion, Luke, the visage of a calf, and John, an eagle, these being reflections on the distinct character of the four Gospels.* Likewise, the “beheaded ones” are Seraphim, as described in Isaiah 15 and elsewhere. Cherubim and Seraphim play a vital role in Christian theology, as do the angels in general, so it is a good idea to familiarize oneself with the Old Testament pericopes that describe their appearance, and one can, from that, also evaluate, appreciate or critique artistic or iconographic depictions thereof.

    To wit, this artwork is not how I want to see the honorable cherubim and glorious seraphim depicted. In addition to the cherub in a seemimgly inappropriate position as cited by Tiffy, the artist fails to get the details right on any of the angels; they all seem to have the wrong number of wings. And on the subject of personal aesthetic preference, depicting the cherubim after the manner of the putto image is a characteristic of the visual arts of the Baroque that I am not entirely comfortable with.** Nor was this painting, which appears to be a representation of the Holy Spirit descending on the Theotokos, well conceived theologically. Traditional iconography one finds in the East and West, which along with Gothic architecture was revived in Britain in the 19th century by the Oxford Movement in the spirit of Romanticism, abolishing the dry, cold Neoclassicism of the late 18th century, is more careful in its theological depictions; new icons are adopted slowly before making it onto a Byzantine or Coptic iconostasis, an Armenian bema, a traditionally-minded Roman parish*** or an Anglican or Lutheran stained glass window.

    * St. Irenaeus of Lyons, who is in the opinion of patristics expert Fr. John Behr, the first scholar of theology or divine, to use an appropriate Anglican term, drew heavily on the appearance of the number four in nature in order to discount the validity of the heretical and pseudepigraphic Gnostic gospels; for example, just as there are four cardinal directions and four winds, there are four true Gospels.

    ** To put it mildly.

    *** These do exist; there are several architects specializing in traditional architecture for Catholic churches, and the style of new and refurbished churches inclines towards the pre-schism Romanesque, avoiding Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Modernist excesses.
     
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  13. Liturgyworks

    Liturgyworks Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Ethiopian Orthodox icons depict our Lord with a Levantine appearance, as well as the Virgin Mary and other persons where lighter skin is indicated. However, they do depict angels as being black, which seems fine to me, given their pneumatic nature.
     
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  14. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    just saw this....

    35ribcgsjsp61 copy.jpg
     
  15. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    If by this he is meaning that Miriam, acted as the bridge between heaven and earth for God, by her obedience and willingness to surrender her flesh to God's purposes and take into herself the spirit of The Most High, providing a womb for the foetus of The Son of God, was travelling the road of obedience to Christ that WE must all be willing to travel, then he might have a point.
    .
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice if that's what Francis meant. But that's not what he said! He said that Mary herself is the road we all must travel in order to reach God. Heresy! Francis declares that Mary is the key intercessor of the Roman religion.

    If Mary is any sort of road, she is a detour that leads to a dead end. DANGER: BRIDGE OUT
     
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  17. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Yeah he did not say Mary's faith is the road we must travel, but that she herself is our road..
    Almost like they don't say that peter's faith was the Rock, but that he physically was...

    As if they skipped the bible class where the Lord taught that the physical flesh profiteth nothing
     
  18. rstrats

    rstrats Member

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    In trying to determine what the attitude toward Mary should be it might be useful to start with what the Messiah's attitude was with regard to her. In general it doesn't seem very flattering.
     
  19. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Personally I think it would be nice if the Anglican liturgy at some point used the actual title “Mother of God”, though it is unclear to me precisely to what extent historic Anglicanism officially endorses the canons and decrees of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451). The 1979 BCP includes the Definition of Chalcedon in the Historical Documents section and to my knowledge was one of the first, if not the first, to do so, and I’m not entirely sure what to make of that.

    In my experience, this whole phenomenon is a uniquely RC pathology. In short, Roman Catholicism is not one but two distinct, partially overlapping religions: the Mass and the Divine Office one side, and Private Devotion on the other. The BVM gets mentioned maybe twice in a typical NO mass (and there are no prayers to her), and it’s rare to see people thumbing their way through a rosary in a vernacular mass. Aside from an occasional invocation of the BVM or other saint in the NO mass or Divine Office, the whole thing looks almost generically Protestant. Since the Divine Office has been reduced to a reading office, and even this is only obligatory for clergy, there are no practical external controls on what can happen with Private Devotion. Catholic laypeople are ill-served by every public service just being a mass. They might not be so inclined to such excesses of devotion if they had the chance to participate in Matins or Vespers, done with good taste but also a sense of grandeur (or even pageantry, dare I say). That is after all part of their priests’ jobs. The minimization of the liturgy gives free reign to private excesses.

    There are excesses in EO as well, but the centrality and maximization of the liturgy leaves it firmly in control of the bounds of proper devotion. Very few prayers occur in EO manuals that one would not also say in the liturgy at some point. And the fulness of the liturgy leaves little need for inventiveness in devotion. Nor, if you’re a practicing EO, is there time for such. The excesses in EO have more to do the rubrics than with any attempts to establish new dogma. Bowing and even prostrating before icons of the Theotokos is deeply problematic, but even so, you will not find EO attempts to attribute the work of redemption to our Lord’s mother, at least not in the nakedly vulgar terms one commonly sees emanating from RC fringes. It is a pathology unique to them, and is a result of the fact that RC is not a unified religion.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  20. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    In short, I'd say he loved his mum (Jn.19:26-27) but didn't go all the way to piously addressing her as 'The Queen of Heaven". (Matt.:12:48-50)
    .