Linda Frucchione said:
Red Headed Stepchild said:
The only thing I would add is that there are what I would call, Mary cults, ie, people who, by any reasonable description, "worship" Mary. When we were Catholic my Mom had a good friend who would travel to Medjugorge and other places to worship Mary, hoping to catch a glimpse of her animating a statue. I believe the apparitions are real and attested to by thousands of people. The messages these apparitions give are profoundly anti-biblical, and do ask to be worshiped. They are not of God. It's my prediction that the next doctrinal up-date out of Rome will be that Mary is co-redemptrix, (co-redeemer) along with Jesus. Many Catholics believe this already, even the last pope, JP II, who credited Mary for sparing his life when he was shot.
The next? It already is.
"an 1854 papal decree (Pope Pius IX) on the Immaculate Conception of Mary that has never been revoked, states, "Let all the children of the Catholic Church ... continue to venerate, invoke, and pray to the most blessed Virgin Mary, mother of God, conceived without original sin.""
Are you sure that's saying she's "co-redeemer". Bad enough as it is...I don't think so.
Chris Magrum said:
There were times way back when I used to hear about that stuff Red. Not in a long time. I can tell you that it's not me.
Chris, I believe that's not you, and I'm glad for it. BTW, my oldest friend from 1st grade still considers himself Catholic, even though he disagrees with much of its teachings. I imagine you and he are a lot alike in that regard. We have "intersting" discussions, and still love each other...as it should be.
I would like to respond to some of the things I have seen people post in regards to what Catholics believe about Mary and saints. I understand why some Protestants are confused about what Catholics believe. Unfortunately, a large majority of Catholics do not know and understand what the Catholic Church teaches. Catholics do not worship Mary, but we do respect Mary for the role she had in the life of our Lord. We view Mary as a role model of how we ought to behave as Christians. For Catholics, Mary exhibits humility and faithfulness to God's will. Think about what Mary went through. By most historical accounts I have read, Mary was probably about 14 when she became pregnant with our Lord. Imagine how shocked and scared she must have been when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. Mary responded, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Gabriel says to Mary, "Hail, favored one!" Catholics argue that God would not just pick any old woman to bear his Son. That makes logical sense to me. Mary was special because she was chosen to bear the Son of God. Also think about all the things Mary and Joseph had to endure in raising our Lord. Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt. Think about the pain Mary must have suffered watching Jesus being crucified. Mary made great sacrifices and endured much pain to carry out God's will. We respect her because she did this with grace, humility, and strength.
The next point I am going to make may be somewhat controversial. If you don't agree with it, I understand. Catholics have adopted Mary as our spiritual mother. We do have a Biblical basis for this. We believe that Jesus gave Mary to us as our spiritual mother based on the following passage from John. "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, 'Woman behold, your son.' Then he said to the disciple, 'Behold, your mother. " I know some would argue that Jesus was just asking John to take care of Mary after his death. Catholics read the Bible also on a symbolic level. We feel that on a symbolic level Jesus was giving Mary to use as a spiritual mother. I also want to add that there is justification for reading the Bible on the symbolic level. Jesus taught in parables. If you look at the parables only on a literal level, you will miss the point of what Jesus was trying teach on a symbolic or spiritual level.
I see nothing wrong with having respect for the mother of God. Catholics in no way place Mary above Jesus. We feel that by following her example of humility and obedience that we can develop a closer relationship with Christ. I think all Christians would agree that humility and obedience are two things that our Lord asks of us. For Catholics Mary does not replace Jesus, she points us towards him through the example of the life she led according to God's will.
Now I would like to address the issue of saints and praying to saints. First of all, the Catholic Church states that anyone can be a saint without necessarily being named a saint by the Church. Generally people who are named saints by the Church have lived high profile public lives. You could have a next door neighbor who lived a holy life dedicated to Christ. The Church would not say that this person was not a saint. We can all be saints in the view of the Catholic Church without being formally listed as a saint. Part of the purpose of the communion of saints is to give Catholics role models of holiness. I think we all agree that people need role models. We need people to show us how we should behave. Saints in a sense are only holy role models.
I know praying to saints is often a hot topic with many Protestants. Catholics view all people as God's children. We see all people as one human family. We believe that the connectedness of humans to each other does not end with death. We believe that those in Heaven are helping us fight evil and our spiritual battles here on earth. Just like angels are a part of spiritual warfare here on earth. When we "pray" to Saints, we are asking them to pray for us just like we would ask people we know pray for us or for something.
I hope maybe this might clear up some misconceptions people have had. If you don't agree with me, I understand but please don't attack Catholics who have a deep love and devotion to Christ as much as you do. Christ is the center of Catholicism. Think about this, if it was not for the Catholic Church would there be any Christianity? The Church preserved Christianity until the time of the Reformation. I agree that the Catholic Church has made some mistakes. That is a whole other topic of discussion. Please before you attack Catholics, make sure you have your facts straight. I am more than willing to answer any question people have about what Catholics believe. Many Catholics are conservative patriots so please do not drive them away from this site by insulting them. Liberals insult, conservatives engage in respectful intelligent conversations. God Bless You!
Linda Frucchione said:
Chris Magrum said:
I'm not so brainwashed as to throw around accusations of blasphemy for anothers beliefs which it would be quite easy to do. As a Christian I wouldn't be that arrogant. I hope one day you will find the peace you seek in Christ. You have a ways to go as do we all. Blessings.
I HAVE the peace I seek in Christ. I follow the Word of God and hate that which is evil. The founders and heads of the Catholic church are part of that evil. Especially the popes. They alter the Word and that is blasphemy. Claiming Mary can save ANYONE is also blasphemy.
Be specific about catholocism; it is not all ROMAN Catholic. I am Anglican Catholic. We believe the Bible is the word of God, as do Greek Orthodox and other Catholic denominations. We believe in the Nicene creed. We have no popes, we do have Bishops which is identical to the church during Peter's lifetime. In all things, educate yourselves with the truth. The truth has no agenda.
Jon Colson said:
As for the whole Hail Mary thing...I liken that to Romans 14:2-3, about what we can eat: "One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
Except that Jesus Himself said she is no more special than any other Christian. And Christians are to pray to NO ONE but God.
Chris Magrum, I went to bed last night just before all this stuff in the Identity of God forum. Brother, I would have defended you if I'd been here! I have had many good REDEEMED Catholic friends. This is not to say that there isn't a kernel of truth in the criticisms, but one cannot categorically say that ALL Catholics are this or that. Just as one cannot categorically state that all Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, or whatever, are Christians because they go to church. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car! :) It's what is in your heart that counts!