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The following paper and outlines come from a research paper I wrote for a historical theology class in my undergraduate studies.  I thought it would be beneficial to post it on my blog for those who have catholic family members, friends, or coworkers, or who just want to understand what Catholics believe about Mary.  This paper gives an overview of the historical development of where these doctrines originated and the present view of the Roman Catholic Church:

Historical Outline:

Ante-Nicene (Before 325 AD) Development of Marian Doctrines in General:

i. Ante-Nicene Church Father references to Mary as the second Eve

ii. Monasticism’s influence on the virginity of Mary and an increased focus on Mary

iii. Early church fathers’ views on the perpetual virginity of Mary (Jerome, Origen, Justyn Martyr, etc)

iv. Early examples of Marian doctrines in Apocryphal books

Post-Nicene Development of Marian Doctrines to the Middle Ages:

i. Influence of the veneration of the saints on the 5th century on Marian doctrines

ii. Mary as the mother of God (theotokos) at the Ephesus and Chalcedonian Councils

iii. Hyperdulia of Mary [see footnote 45 for Muller’s definition of dulia & hyperdulia]

iv. Marian Festivals: The Annunciation of Mary, The Purification of Mary/Candelmas, The Bodily Assumption of Mary

Council of Trent, Vatican I & II to Present:

i. Pope Pius IX and the Immaculate Conception of Mary

ii. Mary as co-redemptrix and mediator of all graces in the council of Trent, Vatican I & II, Roman Catholic Catechism, and Papal Encyclicals

iii. Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church, St. Alphonse Ligouri, The Glories of Mary; further development of Mary as mediator of all graces and co-redemptrix

iv. Mary’s Titles according to RCC (Roman Catholic Church): Spouse of the Spirit, Queen of Heaven, Co-Redemptrix, etc.

A Synopsis of the Development of the Marian Doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church
I. Typology of Mary by Church Fathers in the 2nd Century: Irenaeus, Ambrose
II. The Development of the Marian Doctrine of Perpetual Virginity
i. Its ultimate source is from Apocryphal writings: for example the Ascension of Isaiah (11:8-14), says this about Mary, “Her womb was found as it was before she became pregnant”
ii. The influence of Monasticism in the early church helped to promote the teaching of Mary’s perpetual Virginity and those who disagreed such as Tertullian, Helvidius, Jovinian, and the bishop Bonosus of Sardica were condemned as heretics
iii. Epiphanius’ response to Marian sects at the end of the 4th century: He condemned those who denied Mary’s perpetual virginity, but also condemned the Collyridians in Arabia, a group of priestesses who offered up cakes to Mary and gave divine worship to Mary
III. The Immaculate Conception of Mary
i. A three-fold process as Schaff observes: I. Perpetual virginity of Mary, II. Mary exempt from actual sin, III. Mary exempt from Original Sin
ii. The Immaculate conception was first affirmed by Pelagius in response to Augustine who believed Mary never committed any actual sin, but still had original sin
iii. The festival of the Conception of Mary, December 8th, 1139
iv. Aquinas’ three-fold view of Mary’s sanctification
v. Duns Scotus’ (AD1266-1308) influence Popularizing the Immaculate Conception
vi. Pope Pius IX declares the Immaculate Conception official Catholic Dogma on December 8, 1854 in an “apostolic constitution” called Ineffabilis Deus
IV. Mary, Mother of God
i. The term theotokos ‘God bearer’ was first used at the council of Ephesus in AD 431 and Chalcedon in AD 451 in response to Nesotorianism
V. Mariolotry of the opponents of Nesotarianism after Chalcedon creed condemned Nesotarianism
VI. Bodily Assumption of Mary
i. Officially declared dogma by the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimis
ii. Originally comes from apocryphal sources: Liber qui apellatur Transitus, id est Assumptio Sancta Mariae, which was condemned with other apocryphal books as heretical by by the bishop of Rome, Gelasius I in his decree Decretum de Libris Cononicis Ecclesiasticis et Apocrypha
iii. The festival celebration for the Bodily Assumption of Mary first introduced by Emperor Mauritius (582-602)
VII. Mary as Co-Redemptrix (possible 5th Marian Doctrine, but not yet infallibly defined by the Pope)
i. Vatican II’s definition of Mary’s role as mediator & the terms dulia, latria, & hyperdulia
ii. Development in the Middle Ages: Thomas A. Kempis (AD1380-1471), St. Anselm (AD1033-1109) and St. Bonaventure (AD1221-1274)
iii. St. Alphonsus Ligouri, Doctor of the Catholic Church, The Glories of Mary
iv. John Paul II Encyclical letter, Redemptoris Mater
v. Current Pope, Francis I, on Mary as co-redemptrix:

http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-marys-faith-unties-the-knot-of-sin

VIII. Modern Ecumenical Challenges to Christianity

i. Manhattan Declaration
ii. Federal Vision Movement: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/11/the-end-of-protestantism

Dr. R. Scott Clark’s response: http://heidelblog.net/2013/11/contra-leithart-no-the-reformation-isnt-over/

The Development of the Marian Doctrines in the Roman Catholic Church                                        by Andrew Felts

The Marian Doctrines are an important point of debate amongst current suggestions of ecumenical unity among Catholics and evangelicals.  Many pro-life and other social issue groups can give the false appearance of unity among evangelicals and Catholics, when there is a clear contrast between the two on their ultimate authority and on the Gospel itself.  The Marian Doctrines affirmed by the Catholic Church demonstrate the distinctive authority for doctrine that Protestants affirm, sola scriptura, in contrast to the supplemental tradition of the Catholic Church in which the ultimate authority is sola ekklesia.  By tracing the development of the Marian Doctrines from the early church to the present affirmations by the Roman Catholic Church it will be clear that the Marian Doctrines are not just minor doctrinal differences, but rather undermine the Gospel and the authority of Scripture.

The second century marks the beginning of Marian Doctrine with the typology of Mary as the second Eve based on Genesis 3:15 and other texts.  Irenaeus (AD130-202) is the earliest church father to refer to Mary as “the advocate of the virgin Eve[1]”, which is also viewed by Irenaeus as Mary’s role of intercessor[2], however Irenaeus’ understanding of Marian doctrine was not as developed as it would later be by the Roman Catholic Church since he denied the sinlessness of Mary[3] based on John 2:4.  Ambrose (AD340-397) interpreted the gate of the outer sanctuary in Ezekiel’s vision of the temple to refer to Mary in Ezekiel 44:1-3[4], which comes to show that based on an Alexandrian allegorical interpretation just about any text could somehow refer to Mary, as later seen with Pope Pius IX’s use of scripture in support of the Immaculate Conception.

The Doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary originates from Gnostic writings including: Ascension of Isaiah, Odes of Solomon, and the Protoevangelium of James[5]; for example the Ascension of Isaiah (11:8-14), says this about Mary, “Her womb was found as it was before she became pregnant”[6]. The Marian Doctrine of perpetual virginity became popular in the early church as a result of the influence of Monasticism which emphasized the importance of virginity as a demonstration of greater piety and devotion to God, as Christopher Hall mentions, “Hence, the role of women in the early church was circumscribed within specific boundaries. Yet, as we have already seen, women could expand those boundaries significantly through renouncing traditional sexual and domestic roles for a life of Christian asceticism—behavior that fathers such as Jerome encouraged”[7].  As a result of this emphasis on virginity, Mary’s status of virgin extended throughout her whole life, and her marriage with Joseph became regarded as a nominal marriage, without sex[8], and the references in the Gospels to Jesus’ brothers were considered to be from a previous marriage that Joseph had, or Jesus’ cousins[9].  The Catholic Catechism defines the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity as follows:

“The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ’s birth “did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.” And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the “Ever-virgin.”[10]

Tertullian (AD160-220) was an early church father who challenged this interpretation and argued that Mary had a normal marriage and had children[11], however Tertullian and others who supported the view that Mary had a normal marriage at the end of the fourth century, Helvidius, Jovinian, and the bishop Bonosus of Sardica[12], were condemned as heretics by Jerome for denying the perpetual virginity of Mary[13]. Also at the end of the fourth century Epiphanius (AD310-403) condemned a group known as the Antidikomarianites in Arabia as heretics for denying the perpetual virginity of Mary, but Epiphanius also condemned a heretical sect known as Collyridians in Arabia, a group of priestesses who offered up cakes to Mary and gave divine worship to Mary[14] because Epiphanius said that adoration was to be given to Christ alone, which at least demonstrates the limitations in the early formulation of Marian Doctrines that it hadn’t reached the point later accepted by the Catholic Church of Mary being Co-Redemptrix.  Augustine (AD354-430) took the view that Mary had made a vow of virginity, however even catholic theologian Ludwig Ott says that it is contradictory to be a married virgin[15].  The Alexandrian hermeneutic is again employed by some early church fathers in defense of the perpetual virginity of Mary, for instance Ambrose’s interpretation of Mary as the East gate in Ezekiel’s vision in Ezekiel 44:1-3 is interpreted to mean that Mary’s womb remained closed because the gate was to remain closed after Jehovah had passed through[16].  Also Jerome (AD347-420) interpreted the resurrection of Jesus from the closed tomb to refer to Mary’s womb and Jesus’ birth[17].  The Letter to Anysius, Bishop of Thessalonica in AD 392 states the doctrinal importance of the perpetual virginity of Mary at that time since those in favor of the perpetual virginity of Mary saw it as connected to Christology, therefore they viewed those in opposition to Mary’s perpetual virginity as in opposition to Christ[18]; later councils re-affirmed the position of Mary’s perpetual virginity and condemned those as heretics who disagreed in the Council of the Lateran in 649[19], and the Constitution Cum Quorundam, 1555[20].

The doctrine of Mary’s Perpetual virginity later developed into the modern Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Immaculate conception, which was officially declared to be Catholic Dogma by Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1854 in an “apostolic constitution” called Ineffabilis Deus, which defines Mary’s immaculate conception as follows:

“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin”[21].

The Immaculate Conception was gradually reached as the final point starting from Mary’s perpetual virginity, followed by the exemption of Mary committing any actual sins, and ultimately, Mary being free from original sin also.  The first church father to teach that Mary was free from actual sin was Augustine[22] during his debate with Pelagius (AD354-420) over sin and grace, but Augustine did not deny that Mary had original sin from the fall[23], unlike his opponent Pelagius who affirmed that Mary had neither actual sin nor original sin.  Pelagius believed that Mary was sanctified in the womb as John the Baptist was, and the term immaculate used to refer only to Mary’s pure character, but not in reference to her conception[24].  The debate over Mary’s Immaculate Conception continued in the Middle Ages when the festival of the Conception of Mary was introduced by the Canons at Lyons in France on December 8th, 1139, and the feast quickly spread throughout Europe[25].  The festival was challenged by Bernard of Clairvaux (AD1090-1153) who opposed the festival as having no authority from the Catholic Church, and because he saw the teaching of the immaculate conception of Mary as diminishing Christ’s position since he alone is sinlessness, and he showed that if followed to its logical conclusion then the parents of Mary must have been without sin, and therefore it should extend back to Eve, proving Pelagius’ earlier argument against Augustine’s position that Mary was only free from actual sin[26].

In the Middle Ages the Dominicans and Franciscans debated over the immaculate conception of Mary, the Dominicans sided with Augustine’s position and denied that Mary had no original sin.  Aquinas (AD1225-1274), a doctor of the Catholic Church, argued that if Mary had been sanctified in the womb, then she would have no need of redemption, and then Christ wouldn’t be the Savior of all men, so she must have been born inheriting a sinful nature just as everyone else; in Aquinas’ three-fold system of Mary’s sanctification he exempts her from the incentive to sin when she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit and that she was freed from the consequences of sin[27].  Seven Popes denied that Mary was immaculately conceived from as early as the 5th century to the 14th century: Leo I (440-461), Gelasius I (492-496), Gregory I (590-604), Innocent III (1198-1216), Innocent V (January 21, 1276- June 22, 1276), John XXII (1316-1334), and Clement VI (1342-1352), but it wasn’t until Duns Scotus’ attack on original sin that the Immaculate Conception began to gain more approval.  Duns Scotus (AD1266-1308) was a professor at Oxford in the 14th century who vigorously attacked St. Thomas and Augustine’s view of original sin, even if he had to use eisegesis to prove his point in defense of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, and Oxford affirmed his position as the school’s position[28], which soon began heated debate among the Scotists (Franciscans) and Dominicans[29].  The Immaculate Conception gained favor with Pope Sixtus IV (AD1414-1484), and the Council of Trent attempted to take a middle position on the issue and stated that it was not intending to affirm the Immaculate Conception as a dogma of the Catholic Church, although it favored Pope Sixtus IV’s position and the Franciscans who affirmed the immaculate conception of Mary[30].  Later dispute arose over whether the term immaculate described Mary or her conception, and the King of Spain asked Alexander VII to clarify the issue, and Alexander VII issued a constitution on December 8, 1661, which defines the Immaculate Conception in similar terms that Pope Pius IX later did, it only lacked the statement that belief in the immaculate conception was necessary for salvation[31].

The primary scriptures used by Pope Pius IX to affirm the Immaculate Conception were: Genesis 3:15, Song of Solomon 4:7,4:12, Ezekiel 43:1-3, and Luke 1:28, but the primary two are Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28.  Pope Pius IX bases his interpretation of Genesis 3:15[32] on a revision of the Vulgate which had originally reflected the Hebrew to say that the woman’s seed will crush the head of the Serpent, as Jerome and other church fathers who knew Hebrew confirmed in the translation of the Vulgate, until it was later changed,[33] which justified Pope Pius IX’s statement on this verse: “Mary has crushed the head of the serpent,” i.e., destroyed the power of Satan, ‘with her immaculate foot!”[34]  Luke 1:28 similarly is used in support of the Immaculate Conception based on a theological translation of the Vulgate to say, “Hail (Mary), full of grace,” whereas most English versions translate it as favored one as the NASB, “Greetings, favored one.”  If the Roman Catholic translation of κεχαριτωμένη means “full of grace” and exempts Mary from original sin and all other sin, as Catholics argue, then all believers are exempt also and have this same grace as Mary since the same term is applied to believers’ benefits from Christ’s work of redemption in Ephesians 1:6.  Also the Catholic interpretation of Luke 1:28 tries to make an exception to Paul’s statements about the universal effects of the fall on all men such as Romans 3:23 by exempting Mary from original sin when Paul never exempts Mary.

The next significant development of Marian Doctrine in the early church was the teaching that Mary was the Mother of God, also called theotokos, which means God bearer.  The term theotokos was first used at the council of Ephesus in AD 431 and Chalcedon in AD 451 in response to Nesotorianism.  The use of theotokos, mother of God, in the context of the council of Ephesus and Chalcedon was to respond to the division that Nesotorians made between the two natures of Christ since they claimed Mary was only the mother of the human nature of Christ[35], so the term had a Christological focus in its historical context and was not meant to venerate Mary,[36] and it didn’t denote the additional titles to Mary that were later attributed to her by the Catholic Church such as Queen of Heaven and Co-Redemptrix.  Schaff however demonstrates that although the use of theotokos was able to reject Nesotorianism and preserve an orthodox Christology, the opponents of Nesotarius soon after began to venerate Mary on an idolatrous level of worship,[37] which would leave the path open for further development and exaltation of Mary, which was absent from the pre-Nicene church fathers[38].  Mary’s title, theotokos, continued to be used primarily in liturgy, especially in the Eastern Church by Basil (AD330-379) and Chrysostom(AD347-407)[39].

The next crucial Marian Doctrine is the Bodily Assumption of Mary, and as Pelikan explains all of these Marian Doctrines are necessary so that Mary can be qualified to be the mediatrix of sinners[40].  The Bodily Assumption of Mary was defined as doctrine of the Catholic Church by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimis as follows,

“Accordingly… 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 that the dogma was revealed by God, that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, after completing her course of life upon earth, was assumed to the glory of heaven both in body and soul.  Therefore, if anyone, which may God forbid, should dare either to deny this, or voluntarily call into doubt what has been defined by Us, he should realize that he has cut himself off entirely from the divine and Catholic faith”.

The origins of the doctrine of the Bodily Assumption can be traced back to 5th and 6th century apocryphal sources, which were condemned as heretical by the bishop of Rome, Gelasius I in his decree Decretum de Libris Cononicis Ecclesiasticis et Apocrypha[41], in which he lists specifically the apocryphal book: Liber qui apellatur Transitus, id est Assumptio Sancta Mariae.  The only patristic reference that might implicitly refer to Mary having some special form of death is a vague statement by Epiphanius, “For her end no one knows”[42]. The festival celebration for the Bodily Assumption of Mary was first introduced by Emperor Mauritius (582-602), and after the 9th century became one of the principal feats of the Catholic Church[43].

The last title of Mary is Co-Redemptrix, which as of present has not been infallibly defined by the Pope as a Marian dogma, but is clearly taught by the Catholic Church and its theologians, and it gives a useful understanding for those outside of the Catholic Church of the current development in Marian theology.  Vatican II provides the following definition of Mary’s mediatoral office:

“The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ.”[44]

Likewise the Catholic Church uses the terms latria, dulia, and hyperdulia to distinguish veneration and worship.  Latria is worship that is reserved to God alone, whereas dulia is a form of veneration given to the saints, and hyper-dulia is the highest form of veneration, which is given to Mary[45].  This distinction, however, is inconsistent with statements by the Catholic Church about Mary’s position and office, which demonstrate that this answer given at face value by the Catholic Church to appease ecumenical Protestants is vacuous when the teachings of Rome are examined and Rome speaks for herself to explain Mary’s role and status.  Thomas A. Kempis said the following concerning Mary’s role as mediatrix during the 15th century,

“He called Mary “the expiator of all the sins I have committed” and “my only hope”; it was through her mediation that all mercy was granted, and through her intercession that all prayers were heard.  Although Christ in his final hours of need had not sought her solace, mortals were to do so.  Therefore, he said, “do not seek only Jesus,” but “Jesus at your right hand and Mary at your left”[46].

This shows an early example of the development of Mary’s role as mediator prior to the Reformation; likewise St. Anselm (AD1033-1109)[47] and St. Bonaventure (AD1221-1274)[48] had a high view of Mary affirming that there is no salvation apart from Mary.  The most important catholic theologian of the 20th century who wrote about the Marian Doctrines was St. Alphonsus Ligouri, who wrote, The Glories of Mary, and since he is both a saint and a doctor of the church, a title only given to saints who have given particular guidance and insight to the Catholic Church, his writings are not mere opinions of a radical catholic, but affirmations of what Rome teaches about Mary and affirms what Anselm, Bonaventure, and others taught in the middle ages about Mary’s role as redemptrix, and raises her to an even higher status in the development of Marian Doctrines.  Ligouri clearly defines the Roman Catholic teaching of Mary as Queen of Heaven since the Catholic Church views Christ as a strict judge administering justice to sinners, who should go to his more compassionate mother, “Christ is a faithful and powerful Mediator between God and men, but in him men fear the majesty of God.  A mediator, then, was needed with the mediator himself; nor could a more fitting one be found than Mary”[49].  Ligouri continues to define Mary’s intercessory work as follows, which shows the distinction between latria and dulia is meaningless,

“…and therefore miserable will he be, and miserable will he be to all eternity, who, in this life, having it in his power to invoke me, who am so compassionate to all, and so desirous to assist sinners, is miserable enough not to invoke me, and so is damned”[50].

This contradicts Rome’s claim about Mary’s mediation flowing from Christ and being a lesser role of mediation since it makes the salvation of sinners dependent on her work of mediation[51].  Richard of St. Lawrence affirmed that Mary was involved in the Trinity’s work of salvation, “No one comes to me unless my Mother first of all draws him by her prayers”[52].  Pope John Paul clearly teaches what Ligouri affirms about Mary as redemptrix in his encyclical writing, Redemptoris Mater:

“41…Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, has a share in the kingdom of the Son.  The glory of serving does not cease to be her royal exaltation: assumed into heaven, she does not cease her saving service, which expresses her maternal mediation “until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.”  Thus, she who here on earth “loyally persevered in her union with her son unto the Cross,” continues to remain united with him, while now “all things are subjected to him, until he subjects to the Father himself and all things.”  Thus in her Assumption into heaven, Mary is as it were clothed by the whole reality of the Communion of Saints, and her union with the Son in glory is wholly oriented towards the definitive fullness of the kingdom, when “God will be all in all”[53].

This is clearly not just hyperdulia given to Mary when she is considered the very dwelling place & incarnation of the Holy Spirit[54], which exalts her status beyond any created being.  A more recent statement by the current pope, Francis I, about Mary was stated on October 10, 2013, where he “venerated” the statue of Lady Fatima, Mary, and he refers to Mary as “untying the knot of sin”, and renews his faith to Mary with the following brief prayer as reported by the Vatican news, “Pope Francis concluded his address by turning to the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, saying: “we thank you for our faith, and we renew our entrustment to you, Mother of our faith.”[55]

This history of the development of the Marian doctrines makes it very clear that there can be no unity among Catholics and protestants on the Gospel when Mary is exalted to a place in the Trinity as the incarnation of the Holy Spirit which undermines Christ perfect role as mediator (1 Timothy 2:5), the author of Hebrews clearly states in Hebrews 7:24 that Christ is able to save forever or to the uttermost those whom he makes intercession for, so salvation is based on the perfect intercessory work of Christ, and not Mary nor any other co-redeemer.  Unfortunately there are still modern attempts to bridge the divide between Catholics and evangelicals especially on moral issues such as abortion and marriage as in the Manhattan Declaration, November 20, 2009[56].  Also the Federal Vision movement shows sympathy to uniting protestants and Catholics, as Peter Leithart’s blog article on November 8, 2013, The End of Protestantism[57], argues for the concept of a Reformational Catholic, seeking common ground between Catholics,[58] however this is impossible with Rome’s view of authority allowing the Pope’s statements ex cathedra to be on par with Scripture and to base doctrine on apocryphal sources such as the perpetual virginity of Mary and Mary’s Bodily Assumption.  This should encourage believers to not be deceived by the façade of unity among Protestants and Catholics on the Gospel due to similarities on moral issues, but rather to faithfully proclaim the Gospel to them, proclaiming the prefect redemptive work of Christ in contrast to the incomplete work of the mass, and the consistency of sola scriptura in contrast to the Catholic Church’s inconsistent view of church tradition, and papal infallibility as its authority, which has been observed to be contradictory in many instances.

[1] Against Herecies 3.22.4

[2] Against Herecies 5.19.1

[3] Against Herecies 3.16.7

[4]  “What is that gate of the sanctuary, that outer gate facing the East and remaining closed: ‘And no man,’ it says, ‘shall pass through it except the God of Israel’? Is not Mary the gate through whom the Redeemer entered this world?… Holy Mary is the gate of which it is written: ‘The Lord will pass through it, and it will be shut,’ after birth, for as a virgin she conceived and gave birth.” Christopher A. Hall, Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 107

[5] J.N.D. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines (San Francisco: Haper & Row, 1978), 492

[6] Ibid, 492

[7] Christopher A. Hall, Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998), 47.

[8] CCC 500, “Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothers and sisters of Jesus (Cf. Mk 3:31–35; 6:3; 1 Cor 9:5; Gal 1:19).  The Church has always understood these passages as not referring to other children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, “brothers of Jesus,” are the sons of another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls “the other Mary.”( Mt 13:55; 28:1; cf. Mt 27:56.) They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression” (Cf. Gen 13:8; 14:16; 29:15; etc.)” Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), 126.  For a refutation of the use of brother in a more generic sense see Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. III: 416

[9]“The Roman Catholic Church attempts to explain these away as cousins, and therefore not children of Joseph and Mary at all. But the Greek has another word which means cousin, anepsios, as in Colossians 4:10: “Mark, the cousin of Barnabas.” Loraine Boettner, Roman Catholicism (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, 1962), 157.

[10] Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference, 2000), 126.

[11] Against Marcion 4, 19; De Monogia 8

[12] He was later removed from his office as bishop for not accepting the doctrine of Mary’s perpetual virginity and condemned as a heretic in the Letter to Anysius, Bishop of Thessalonica in AD 392. The Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary’s College St. Mary’s Kansas, The Church Teaches (Rockford, Ill: Tan Books and Publishers Inc.), 204

[13]“Jerome wrote, about 383, with indignation and bitterness against Helvidius and Jovinian, who, citing Scripture passages and earlier church teachers, like Tertullian, maintained that Mary bore children to Joseph after the birth of Christ. He saw in this doctrine a desecration of the temple of the Holy Ghost, and he even compares Helvidius to Erostratus, the destroyer of the temple at Ephesus” Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), Vol. III: 418.

[14] Ibid, Vol. III:417

[15] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, Ill; Tan Book Publishers, 1974), 207.

[16] Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), Vol. III: 417

[17] The resurrection of Jesus from the closed tomb and the entrance of the risen Jesus through the closed doors, also, was often used as an analogy. The fathers assume that the stone which sealed the Saviour’s tomb, was not rolled away till after the resurrection, and they draw a parallel between the sealed tomb from which He rose to everlasting life, and the closed gate of the Virgin’s womb from which He was born to earthly life. Jerome, Comment. in Matth. xxvii. 60: “Potest novum sepulchrum Mariae virginalem uterum demonstrare.” Ibid, 416

[18] “For the Lord Jesus would not have chosen to be born of a virgin if he had judged that she would be so incontinent as to taint the birthplace of the body of the Lord, the home of the eternal king, with the seed of human intercourse…For if they accept the doctrine on the authority of priests that Mary had a number of Children, then they will strive with greater effort to destroy the truths of the faith”  The Jesuit Fathers of St. Mary’s College St. Mary’s Kansas, The Church Teaches (Rockford, Ill: Tan Books and Publishers Inc.), 204

[19] “If anyone does not profess according to the holy Fathers that in the proper and true sense the holy, ever-Virgin, immaculate Mary is the Mother of God… let such a one be condemned” Ibid, 205

[20] “…With our apostolic authority we call to account  and warn… on behalf  of the omnipotent God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, all those  who have asserted or who have believed .. that [the Lord] was not conceived of the Holy Spirit according  to the flesh in the womb of the most Blessed and ever-virgin Mary, but that this conception in no way differed from other men…or that the same most Blessed Virgin Mary is not the true mother of God and that she did not remain a perfect virgin before, while, and forever after she gave birth” Ibid, 206

[21] “The Immacualte Conception,” Papal Encyclicals Online, http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm

[22] “for from him we know what abundance of grace for overcoming sin in every particular was conferred upon her who had the merit to conceive and bear him who undoubtedly had no sin,” Augustine, On Nature and Grace, 36.42 (Corpus scriptorium ecclesiasticorum latinorum. Vienna, 1866), cited by Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971), Vol. I: 314

[23] “Mary died because of inherited sin, but Christ died for the destruction of sin” Sermon 2 in Psalm 34; see Schaff, Creeds of Christendom Vol. I, footnote #2 on pg. 119-120 for more references from Augustine on Mary.

[24] Phillip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids, Mich., Baker Book House,1966),  Vol. I:120-121

[25] Ibid, I:121; Roman Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott also recognizes that the teaching of the immaculate conception wasn’t taught until the twelfth century by the British monk Eadmer, and he recognizes that the theoligans that Schaff cites from the 12th and 13th centuries: Petrus Lombardus, St. Alexander of Hales, St. Bonaventure, St. Albert the Great, and St. Thomas Aquinas, rejected the teaching of the immaculate conception. Ludwig, Ott. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford: Ill., Tan Book Publishers, 1974), 201.

[26] Phillip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids, Mich., Baker Book House, 1966), Vol. I:121

[27] Ibid. Vol. I:122

[28] Ibid. Vol. I:123

[29] “Taking their lead from Scotus rather than primarily from their earlier master, Bonaventure, Franciscan theologians became the champions of the new Mariology, while many Dominicans, partly in defense of their master Thomas Aquinas, opposed it, although they, too, accepted it by the conclusion of this period, explaining that it was necessary to go beyond Thomas, as well as beyond Bernard and Bonaventure, in this matter.” Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971),  Vol. IV: 39

[30] Council of Trent Session V: “This holy council declares, however, that it is not its intention to include in this decree, which deals with original sin, the blessed and immaculate Virgin Mary, the mother of God, but that the constitutions of Pope Sixtus IV, of happy memory, are to be observed under the penalties contained in those constitutions, which it renews.” url: http://saints.sqpn.com/trent05.htm

[31] Phillip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids, Mich., Baker Book House, 1966), Vol. I:125

[32] Schaff points out that the Vulgate mistranslates Genesis 3:15 to say that the woman rather than her seed, Christ bruises the head of the serpent, “In later times in the Latin church even the Ave with which Gabriel saluted the Virgin, was received as the converse of the name of Eva; though the Greek χαῖρε Luke 1:28, admits no such far-fetched accommodation. In like manner the bruising of the serpent’s head, Gen. 3:15, was applied to Mary instead of Christ, because the Vulgate wrongly translates the Hebrew הוּא יְשׁוּפְךָ ראֹשׁ, “ipsa conteret caput tuum; “while the LXX. rightly refers the הוּא to זֶרַע as masc., αὐτός and likewise all Protestant versions of the Bible.” Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910),  Vol. III: 414

[33] Schaff explains the debate among church fathers on how to translate Genesis 3:15, “Jerome himself, the author of the Vulgate, in his ‘Hebrew Questions,’ and Pope Leo I, condemn the translation ipsa.  But the blunder was favored by other Fathers (Ambrose, Augustine, Gregory I) who knew no Hebrew, and by the monastic asceticism and fanciful chivalric Mariolatry of the Middle Ages” Phillip Schaff, The Creeds of Christendom (Grand Rapids, Mich., Baker Book House, 1966), Vol. I:114

[34] Ibid, Vol.I:112; Ludwig Ott says that Pope Pius IX’s interpretation of Genesis 3:15 isn’t validated, but it’s still infallible nonetheless which leaves a glaring problem with Roman Catholic Authority if the Pope’s argument is fallible, but the doctrinal decision is still infallible, so then there are no bounds of fallible means by which the Catholic Church will finally arrive at its infallible dogmas, “The Bull “Ineffablis” approves of this messianic-marianic interpretation… The Bull does not give any authentic explanation of the passage.  It must also be observed that the infallibility of the Papal doctrinal decision extends only to the dogma as such and not to the reasons given as leading up to the dogma.”  Ludwig, Ott. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford: Ill., Tan Book Publishers, 1974), 200

[35] “His (Nesotorius’) own preferred term was Christotokos, which he set against both Theotokos and Anthrotokos, because it “both removes the blasphemy of [Paul of] Samosata…and avoids the evil of Arius and Apollinarius”: Mary was the bearer of Jesus Christ, the man in whom God the Logos dwelt, not of the Deity.” Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971), Vol. I:242

[36] James White provides a useful definition of Mary as the Mother of God in its historical context at the council of Ephesus & Chalcedon: “She was used to bring the Incarnate One into the world, but she did not add to or give rise to the Eternal Son who came into the world through her.  Her child was fully divine (hence she is theotokos) but she herself did not give rise to the divinity of her Son.  For this reason there can be nothing about the term theotokos that in any way exalts Mary, but only Christ.” James White, Mary- Another Redeemer? (Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers,1998), 48

[37] “The opponents of Nestorius, especially Proclus, his successor in Constantinople († 447), and Cyril of Alexandria († 444), could scarcely find predicates enough to express the transcendent glory of the mother of God. She was the crown of virginity, the indestructible temple of God, the dwelling place of the Holy Trinity, the paradise of the second Adam, the bridge from God to man, the loom of the incarnation, the sceptre of orthodoxy; through her the Trinity is glorified and adored, the devil and demons are put to flight, the nations converted, and the fallen creature raised to heaven” Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), Vol. III:421

[38] “The entire silence of history respecting the worship of the Virgin down to the end of the fourth century, proves clearly that it was foreign to the original spirit of Christianity, and belongs among the many innovations of the post-Nicene age” Ibid, Vol. III:423

[39] “To be sure, dogma had also spoken of her and had defined her as “Theotokos.”  Yet even this dogmatic formula had been derived from devotion and liturgy, which continued to be a seedbed of titles and ideas; for “to introduce the name of  Mary and hymns to Mary into all possible pieces of ancient liturgical treasure was one of the predominant concerns of the Byzantine liturgists.”  The Liturgy of Basil spoke of “the intercessions of the Holy Theotokos,” and the same phrase appeared also in The Liturgy of Chrysostom” Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971), Vol.  II: 139-140

[40] “Thus also the death (or “dormition”) of the “queen of heaven” proved that she was  a truly human participant in the common lot of all mankind; but her resurrection (which Protestants, of course, denied as unbiblical) set her apart also at the end of her life.  All those experiences of her own life made her uniquely accessible to the prayers of sinners as “mediatrix”- not indeed mediatrix of the justifying grace of God, which came through the merit of Christ alone, but of other graces and blessings, so that devotion to her was inseperable from devotion to him as “the final goal of all her devotions” Ibid. Vol. V:145, I will discuss later the exact nature of Mary’s mediation since Pelikan here accepts what Vatican II says at face value, but upon further examination Mary’s role of mediation is not merely of secondary grace and blessings, but is in fact partaking in the work of salvation.

[41] Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott has no problem affirming that the doctrine of the Bodily Assumption of Mary is based off of apocryphal sources, “The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus-narratives 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.” Ludwig, Ott. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford: Ill., Tan Book Publishers, 1974), 209-210

[42] Epiphanius, Panarion, Haer. 78.23

[43] Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), Vol. III:426

[44] Catholic Church, “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church: Lumen Gentium,” in Vatican II Documents (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011), Chapter V: 60

[45] Richard Muller gives this useful definition of the three terms latria, dulia, and hyperdulia: “latria (from the Greek λατρεία): worship; usually contrasted with dulia, reverence or veneration. In medieval theology the distinction was made between the latria due to God and Christ as the Son of God and the dulia due to the saints. Even the Virgin Mary, exalted above the saints as Mother of God, is not worthy of latria. After Albertus Magnus, it was customary to distinguish the high veneration, or hyperdulia, of Mary from the dulia due to saints. In Protestantism, worship of God continued to be described as latria, but dulia was excluded, since the veneration of saints and of Mary was denied. Christ is worthy of worship, but the basis of that worship or adoration is his divine nature. Prayer is not offered to the human nature of Christ.[45]” Richard A. Muller, Dictionary of Latin and Greek Theological Terms: Drawn Principally from Protestant Scholastic Theology (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1985), 172.

[46] Jaroslav Pelikan, The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1971), Vol. IV:40

[47] “St. Anselm says, “that it is impossible for one who is not devout to Mary, and consequently not protected by her, to be saved, so it is impossible for one who recommends himself to her, and consequently is beloved by her, to be lost” St. Alphonsus Ligouri, The Glories of Mary (Brooklyn: The Redemptorist Fathers, 1931), 221

[48] “And St. Bonaventure: “He who neglects the service of the blessed Virgin will die in his sins.” Again, “He who does not invoke thee, O Lady, will never get to heaven.” And, on the 99th Psalm that saint even says, “that not only those from whom Mary turns her face will not be saved, but that there will be no hope of their salvation” Ibid, 222

[49] Ibid, 196

[50] Ibid, 43

[51] Likewise here is another statement from Ligouri citing from Cardinal Bellarmine describing Mary’s role as mediatrix: “And who,” says Cardinal Bellarmine, “would ever dare to snatch these children from the bosom of Mary, when they have taken refuge there?  What power of hell, or what temptation, can overcome them, if they place their confidence in the patronage of this great Mother, the Mother of God, and of them?…We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God: we fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God.” Oh, how many victories have not the faithful gained over hell, by having recourse to Mary with this short but most powerful prayer!” Ibid, 52-53

[52] Ibid, 166-167

[53] “IOANNES PAULUS PP. II REDEMPTORIS MATER”, Vatican: The Holy See, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031987_redemptoris-mater_en.html; Catholic theologian Dr. Mark Miravelle, whose teachings are recommended by Pope John Paul II, says the following about Mary’s role in redemption, “The sanctifying action Mary received at the first instant of her conception was enacted by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Divine Sanctifier, for Mary is the “only one who has become the dwelling place of all the graces of the Holy Spirit.”…It is the Holy Spirit, the Divine Spouse of Mary, who prepares and sustains Mary at each stage of her coredemptive role…Her fiat mihi to the angel is a free “let it be done to me” to an intimate sharing in God’s new plan of salvation revealed by the Angel (cf. Luke 1:31-33)…It is a free “let it be done to me” in cooperating with the Redeemer so intimately that Mary Coredemptrix gave to the Saviour the very instrument of redemption…” Mark, Miravelle, Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate (Santa Barbra, CA: Queenship Publishing Company, 1993), 5

[54]St. Maximillian Koble says the following about Mary’s Coredemptive role: “Still, their union is so inexpressible, and so perfect that the Holy Spirit acts only by the Immaculata, his spouse… The third preson of the Blessed Trinity never took flesh; still, our human word “spouse” is far to weak to express the reality of the relationship between the Immaculata and the Holy Spirit.  We can affirm that she is, in a certain sense, the ‘incarnation’ of the Holy Spirit” Ibid, 54

[55] http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-francis-marys-faith-unties-the-knot-of-sin

[56] R.C. Sproul also expresses concern with the Manhattan Declaration’s ecumenical motives, which is why he didn’t sign it: “The drafters of the document, Charles Colson, Robert George, and Timothy George, used deliberate language that is on par with the ecumenical language of the Evangelicals and Catholics Together (ECT) movement that began in the 1990s. The Manhattan Declaration states, “Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s Word,” and it identifies “Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelicals” as “Christians.” The document calls Christians to unite in “the Gospel,” “the Gospel of costly grace,” and “the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness.” Moreover, the document says, “it is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season.” http://www.ligonier.org/blog/the-manhattan-declaration/

[57] http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/11/the-end-of-protestantism; also R. Scott Clark has written a useful response to Peter Leithart here: http://heidelblog.net/2013/11/contra-leithart-no-the-reformation-isnt-over/

[58] Peter Leithart, “A Protestant exaggerates his distance from Roman Catholicism on every point of theology and practice, and is skeptical of Roman Catholics who say they believe in salvation by grace. A Reformational Catholic cheerfully acknowledges that he shares creeds with Roman Catholics, and he welcomes reforms and reformulations as hopeful signs that we might at last stake out common ground beyond the barricade”.

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