Cases of aberrant devotions to Mary in the Roman Church

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

  1. Thomas Didymus

    Thomas Didymus Member

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    Nothing much I can think of at the moment to add to this goodly, informative thread but can offer this tidbit despite my understanding of ancient Hebrew and koine Greek being underwhelming:

    In instances where "Blessed" or "Happy" is mentioned in the Bible, both are correct given the context. "Happy", as I understand it, is the literal rending from the scriptural text. I can see the concern over using this word over "Blessed" given how modern readers may fail to see religious connotations in the current usage of the English language [talking about "Happy"]. This issue is simply resolved, regardless of which word is being used, when the expressed meaning is understood to represent that either of them is to be "divinely favored by God" or "having God's divine favor". Keeping blessed Mary in mind, this is also considered in the Gospels when she is conceived by the Holy Spirit to be the mother of Jesus, textual differences due to different faith traditions and interpretations aside.

    If further explanation is needed after this description, we then can say it's when we follow God's will in spite of having our own, observing His commandments respectfully without turning our faith into consciously following rules for the sake of rules. Don't get me wrong. Rules are good and need to be followed. What I'm saying is, it is better to honor them subconsciously, that we do them without thinking about them. We love them because of faith and through our faith rather than turning it into a calculated exercise that puts us front and center, because of our desire, instead of God.

    Psalm 119:97 KJ
    O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.
     
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  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    just saw this....

    35ribcgsjsp61 copy.jpg
     
  3. 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.
    .
     
  4. 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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  5. 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
     
  6. 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.
     
  7. 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
  8. 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)
    .
     
  9. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I should point out that while we completely accept the Chalcedonian formulations, the reason “Mother of God” sounds weird to pious ears is because it stems from St Jerome’s unfortunate Latin formulation: “Mater Dei”. He was translating the original Greek phrase of “Theotokos”. If we skip Jerome and translate Theotokos directly into modern English, it would say “God Bearer”. That’s a lot better than “Mother of God”, for a bunch of reasons.
     
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  10. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    i came across this in my Twitter travels..

    E4rEroeXIAE3991.jpeg
     
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  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    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.
    .
     
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  12. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Twitter I try to stay off there.
     
  13. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps it is no accident that the Blessed Virgin Mary was dogmatically given the title Theotokos at Ephesus.
     
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  15. Fr. Brench

    Fr. Brench Well-Known Member Anglican

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    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.)
     
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  16. ZachT

    ZachT Active Member

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    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.
     
  17. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    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.
     
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  18. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
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  19. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    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.
     
  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

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