Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Stalwart, Oct 14, 2019.
i came across this in my Twitter travels..
Strange. I have never heard it claimed that she was a pagan godess. Only that the Roman Catholic church regarded her as The Queen of Heaven. Which has always seemed strange to me because that would imply that she is God the Father's wife, rather than the mother of the reigning Christ.
Twitter I try to stay off there.
I think I can explain the thought process. Some have observed that worship of a goddess of 'love and fertility' had been prevalent for many centuries by the time of the early church. Ishtar was the popular name in Babylon, but there are strong parallels between Ishtar and Ashtoreth (worshipped by some Israelites), Isis (of the Egyptians), and Aphrodite (of Greece), among others. Some think they were basically the same goddess known by different names in different cultures. It is said that all of them were known in their own circles as "Queen of Heaven" or "Lady of Heaven."
Some Protestants feel that, as Christianity spread among people who were former worshipers of the goddess, a gradual but steadily increasing number of new converts to the visible church tended to hold on to some of their previous affections, and in Mary they saw a figure that resonated with them. Thus, Mary's status within the church expanded over time. Stephen Shoemaker wrote that no extant writing from the first 150 years of the church “elevates her status significantly within the discourse of Christian theology.” But from the late 2nd. Century and thereafter, one can find evidence of steady growth in the cult of Mary and in her perceived status. The desire for a female goddess-like figure in religion, encouraged and helped along by the lies of the deceiver in his wish to corrupt the true faith, may have provided the impetus for the growing acceptance and development of Marianism in the church. Since it eventually reached the point at which Mary also became known as "Our Lady" and "Queen of Heaven," those Protestants wish to point out the similarities between the older goddess worship and the newer, seemingly inordinate, hyperdulia bestowed by many upon Mary.
Francis gives a good example of that when he states that Mary is "the road we must travel in order to reach" Almighty God. And now we have an example of some layperson stating without reservation that Mary is greater than Ishtar, Ashtoreth, Aphrodite, etc. A great many RCs would like to see Mary declared "Co-Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix" with Christ. When they pray their Rosary, they perform nearly 10 times as much prayer to Mary as to God. They depict Mary as a mature mother holding (controlling) the baby Jesus in her arms, as if Christ were still "her little man." They claim that they don't worship Mary, but actions and attitudes speak loudly.
Perhaps it is no accident that the Blessed Virgin Mary was dogmatically given the title Theotokos at Ephesus.
For what it's worth, the title Queen of Heaven is probably more of a motherly image than a married-to-God-the-Father creepy weirdness. In ancient Israel, the Queen Mother (that is, the mother of the reigning king) was sometimes simply called the Queen. 1 Kings 2 is the strongest example of this, where Bathsheba is enthroned alongside her son Solomon. Roman piety uses this as a Marian typology; she reigns in heaven alongside her Son Jesus. It is, perhaps, their only half-decent appeal to Scripture to attempt to prop up Mary as capable of our invocation. (Again, considering what Bathsheba does in 1 Kings 2.)
The 'Queen Mother' is only titled so if she was married to the former king. If the wife of the king sires no heirs, and so a nephew or cousin inherits the throne, the new king's mother is not titled 'queen'. The old monarch's wife keeps the title, but is instead called 'queen dowager'.
We can only assume it was the same in Israel. The Gebirah (e.g. Queen Mother) was the highest female authority in Israel. This makes sense if it was a position reserved for the former king's wife. The wife of the monarch was one of the king's chief advisors and closest confidants. The Gebirah was also one of the king's chief advisors. It would therefore make sense that the queen who had served in the previous king's administration and understood the intricacies of the previous king's policies would have their opinion ranked higher than the current queen-consort, or any other woman at court.
Yikes, this reaffirms all our fears about Marian devotion, and then some. I don't know that many RCs of the reformation referred to Mary as more than a goddess.
Interestingly, the Twitter post quotes an Eastern Orthodox acclamation. “More honorable…” is the antiphon for the Magnificat at Orthodox Matins, and it’s used elsewhere in the Liturgy as well. I consider Orthodox piety toward the BVM to be significantly more robust than its RC counterpart, and yet I’ve never heard an EO Christian refer to her as a “goddess”. EO Marian devotion is basically the same as it was 500 years ago, and is strictly controlled. RC Marian piety has continued to grow, seemingly without restraint. I wonder why that is.
Speaking of the Protoevangelium of James, a gnostic heterodox document from the 2-3rd centuries AD which was the source for basically all of the Roman Catholic marian doctrines.
I just found out that one of the top 3-5 RC vloggers in the world made a whole episode reading from this document:
Obviously he makes provisos that it's not an inspired document. But he does open it and read it as a valuable document about Mary. I couldn't believe it when I saw it.
I have attached the text of the Infancy Gospel (Protoevangelium) of James, for those who are interested. The document is clearly not scripture and clearly not canonical, and has been determined to be heterodox. The video was streamed on the 9th of September 2021, the feast of Johachim and Anna (Mary's Parents), so not unrelated to the matter of the day.
Given that the document stems from around 150 ad, it is ample evidence that some Christians early saw as significant the role of Mary in the story of salvation. I think it tells us more about the beliefs of the community in which it originated (almost certainly gnostic) than it tells us about Mary and her parents.
I certainly don't think it is the source of all RCC Marian doctrine, though you can certainly see the seeds of some of it. Once you read a bit of it, your realise that it is neither of the standard nor quality of that which has been received as the canonical New Testament. My slight interest in it would be more academic than spiritual. Equally we do not need to be afraid of it.
I think this is Rita of Cascia rather than Mary, but the point is the same nonetheless.
Popular RC apologist Michael Lofton: Mary is our spiritual mother like God is our spiritual father.
Around the 9:20 mark:
That stuff has really gotten out of hand. If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be “unmoored”.
When I was a Catholic, not only did I have problems with what is basically 'Mary worship' - despite what RC says - I also felt if I wanted to emulate someone, it wouldn't be someone who was born without original sin and who never sinned, but someone more like St Joseph, who was completely human and a very good man who agreed to marry a woman who was pregnant with a child that was not his own. He had to have a lot of trust in Mary, faith in God and patience to cope with the 'weirdness' of what was happening in his life.
But it comes right down to it, I can't see why people feel the need to pray to saints, or ask them to intercede, when they just take their concerns to Jesus. Saints might be good examples, but some of them are just strange, so I tend to look for examples of goodness in people I know who are truly good, like my own mother was.
I have nothing against respecting Mary, but honestly, I agree that it has gotten out of hand to the point of idolatry,
Nor did He ever refer to her as His "mother" although He did refer to her as the mother of one of His disciples.
In fact, as far as scripture is concerned, there are only 3 times mentioned where the Messiah spoke to her. And He seemed to be a bit perturbed with her 2 of those times. The 3rd time He merely told her to look at her son.
Also, He only spoke 2 times with regard to what someone said about her and again His response couldn't be considered very flattering.
And then aside from the Messiah, there is the fact that other than Galations 4:4 saying that the Messiah was born of a woman, none of the epistle writers ever mention her in any of their letters including the one to the church at Rome and the two by Peter. It just seems strange that none of the New Testament epistle writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit to include any of the doctrines regarding Mary or even mention her if she is intended to be such a vital part of the Roman/Latin Rite Catholic religion.
I think the title that the RCC gives to her of 'Co-Redeemer' is the one I hate the most. Jesus is the Redeemer and he doesn't need a co-redeemer to help him out.
Idle speculation, at best.
Kolbe may have died bravely, but his theology was a hot mess. That quote from him shows complete ignorance.
Sadly, many RCs have been deceived by that sort of bad teaching about Mary.