Terminology Tuesday: Immaculate Conception

* The Roman Catholic teaching that Mary the mother of Jesus was supernaturally prevented from being tainted by original sin so that she could give birth to Jesus as God’s own Son. The teaching was first suggested by the theologian Duns Scotus in the thirteenth century and declared to official Roman Catholic Dogma (authoritative teaching) by Pope Pius IX in 1854

*Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 63

Mary was a sinful person just as we all are! Nowhere in the Bible does it say anything about her remaining sinless.

God Bless

Brian Mason

19 thoughts on “Terminology Tuesday: Immaculate Conception

  1. If you are saying that you can lose your salvation then I will have to disagree from a biblical position.
    1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.” THEY WOULD HAVE REMAINED if they were really Christians to begin with.

    I don’t believe the Lord will be surprised with us nor does he change his mind. Once saved always saved. If you can lose it, what do you have to DO to keep it? Or are you suggesting that God is learning about us as we go along? God has a plan, not “Hmmmm I wonder what Joe’s gonna do today?”

    I agree with the passage of John 3: 36, I don’t believe we have a disagreement there?

    You should have used Gal 5: 21 in context with the rest of the passage;

    16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh [g]sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you [h]please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: [i]immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [j]factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who [k]belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
    It simply is indicating that a true Christian does NOT do any of the above. Nor would a true Christian be inclined to do so. Read the Gal 5: 24 again. Just as you misunderstand James 2: 24-26, as a true Christian shows his works by his faith not his faith by his works. A true Christian will bear good fruits.

  2. I am so sorry that you know someone who was victimized by a priest. This dark time of the Church has scarred the lives, and the faith, of many. It graphically demonstrates how sin affects the entire body of Christ.

    Since you mentioned the famous “Faith vs. Works” debate, I’ll summarize the Catholic position. We understand that without Jesus’ suffering, death and Resurrection, our lives are for naught. We can never do anything to make ourselves worthy of eternal life in heaven.

    We can, however, make ourselves unworthy. Christ redeemed every one of us, but none of us is guaranteed heaven just because He offered it to us. If we live in serious sin and die without sincerely repenting, we will throw away everything which Christ won for us unless we are unaccountable for our actions. God’s gift of free will never forces us to accept His love.

    I took these quotes from an article I wrote last year. They are just a few of the examples which show that more is required of us than just saying, “I believe.”

    John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him.”

    Gal. 5:21, “… I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 6:7-8, “Make no mistake: God is not mocked for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit.”

    John 15:14, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”

    James 2:24, 26: “See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone… For just as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”

  3. A great article on Mary Worship by John MacArthur from Grace To You: http://www.gtycanada.org

    Grace to You :: Unleashing God’s Truth One Verse at a Time
    Exposing the Heresies of the Catholic Church: Mary Worship
    Scripture: Selected Scriptures
    Code: B130227
    by John MacArthur
    After his prophetic vision of the eternal glories of heaven at the end of the book of Revelation, the
    apostle John described how he was overwhelmed by what he’d seen.
    And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these
    things. But he said to me, “Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the
    prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.” (Revelation22:8-9)
    The Roman Catholic Church has committed the same error as John, promoting a mere citizen of
    heaven to an improper place of authority and honor. Despite the overwhelming testimony of Scripture,
    the Catholic Church has elevated Mary—a self-described servant of the Lord (Luke 1:38)—to the
    same level as God, if not higher.
    In his Ineffabilis Deus in 1854, Pope Pius IX established as dogma the immaculate conception of
    Mary, which preserved her from inheriting original sin. His concluding statements provide a good
    summary of the Catholic view of Mary.
    Let all the children of the Catholic Church, who are so very dear to us, hear these words of ours. With
    a still more ardent zeal for piety, religion and love, let them continue to venerate, invoke and pray to
    the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, conceived without original sin. Let them fly with utter
    confidence to this most sweet Mother of mercy and grace in all dangers, difficulties, needs, doubts
    and fears. Under her guidance, under her patronage, under her kindness and protection, nothing is to
    be feared; nothing is hopeless. Because, while bearing toward us a truly motherly affection and
    having in her care the work of our salvation, she is solicitous about the whole human race. And since
    she has been appointed by God to be the Queen of heaven and earth, and is exalted above all the
    choirs of angels and saints, and even stands at the right hand of her only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ
    our Lord, she presents our petitions in a most efficacious manner. What she asks, she obtains. Her
    pleas can never be unheard.
    Those words are echoed and expanded on throughout Roman Catholic history. Tradition dictates that
    Mary is part of the monarchy of heaven, soliciting grace and mercy from the Lord on behalf of sinners,
    and covering sin by distributing from her Treasury of Merit. She became a co-redeemer with Christ inHis suffering on the cross, and is now a co-mediator alongside Him in heaven—essentially an
    alternative avenue of access to God. She replaces the Holy Spirit in bestowing aid and comfort to
    believers. In effect, she becomes an additional member of the Trinity.
    That blasphemy stands in sharp contrast to what Scripture actually says about Mary, and even what
    she says about herself. Luke 1:46-55 records her humble reaction to the news that she would give
    birth to the Son of God.
    And Mary said: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had
    regard for the humble state of His bondslave; for behold, from this time on all generations will count
    me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me; and holy is His name. And His mercy
    is upon generation after generation toward those who fear Him. He has done mighty deeds with His
    arm; He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. He has brought down
    rulers from their thrones, and has exalted those who were humble. He has filled the hungry with good
    things; and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given help to Israel His servant, in
    remembrance of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
    The God she praised—the God of the Bible—does not need to be coaxed or wooed to distribute His
    blessings. He’s not harsh, distant, or indifferent—He’s gracious, righteous, and merciful. Rather than
    glorifying herself, she humbly worshiped the Lord.
    Scripture actually has very little to say about Mary. There’s no description of her physical appearance,
    nothing about her life, her later years after Christ’s death, or her own death and burial. And when she
    does briefly appear with the disciples and the other believers on the day of Pentecost, she’s not an
    object of worship or even a leader in the early church—she’s just one among many. There simply are
    no biblical examples of anyone ever praying to her, honoring her, or venerating her.
    Nor does she play a role in any biblical explanation of the gospel. Paul wrote a magnificent treatise on
    the doctrine of salvation that we know as the book of Romans, and all he said about the mother of
    Jesus is that she was “a descendent of David” (Romans 1:3). He’s even less specific in Galatians,
    another lengthy exposition of the pure, true gospel in which he simply said that Christ was “born of a
    woman” (Galatians 4:4).
    Contrast that with the unending Catholic volumes on the life of Mary, the miracles of Mary, the death
    of Mary, the apparitions of Mary, and on and on it goes. That’s why it’s often a shock for Catholics to
    read the Bible and see how little is actually said about Mary.
    But that’s what happens when you elevate tradition to the level of Scripture and ascribe to men the
    infallible characteristics that only belong to God. It warps the truth of Scripture and distorts the Person
    and work of Jesus Christ.God alone is our Redeemer, our Deliverer, our Benefactor, and our Comforter. He alone is to be
    worshiped, venerated, adored, and petitioned. The testimony of Scripture is clear.
    Gather yourselves and come; draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; they have no
    knowledge, who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save. Declare and set
    forth your case; indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has
    long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God
    and a Savior; there is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am
    God, and there is no other. (Isaiah45:20-22)
    Available online at: http://www.gtycanada.org/blog/B130227
    COPYRIGHT (C) 2013 Grace to You
    You may reproduce this Grace to You content for non-commerical purposes in accordance with
    Grace to You’s Copyright Policy (http://www.gty.org/connect/Copyright).

  4. So the Word is not enough? Sir I will differ with you. Look I WAS in the RCC and saw enough abuses and actually a good friend of mine was raped by a “Man of the Cloth”. That aside I know there is bad everywhere. I pray you become saved and only God knows if you are, but please don’t tell me that you need works to be saved. The RCC is a works-based religion, as it claims to be in your catechism. God Bless and I assure you that my door will too “always be open”

  5. I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive. Unfortunately, our potential for dialogue is stifled by your wish to retain sola scriptura which, ironically, is itself unbiblical. Jesus told the apostles to, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” He did not tell them to wait until the New Testament was written, nor did He even instruct anyone to write it or that it would become the sole teaching authority for His people. He did, however, give the keys of heaven to Peter and the power to forgive sins in His name to the apostles and their successors. While the Catholic Church has certainly had its share of sinners, starting with the thrice-denying Peter and Doubting Thomas, it has not dropped the ball with doctrine.

    My responses have been thoughtfully considered, but none of my positions or proofs are my own creations. As a Catholic fortunate to have nearly 2,000 years of prayerful study and debate at my disposal, I am not left to my own devices. It is the “everyone can decide for himself” philosophy, started almost 500 years ago, which has produced the confusion of the now 20,000+ Christian denominations.

    I have been told by my girlfriend and other converts that anger is a common feeling when hearing something very new which strikes home suddenly. I really, really hope your research can guide you some day to join the Catholic Church, the universal Church born on that first Pentecost in the Upper Room. You will enjoy its blessings and sacraments as converts Francis Cardinal Arinze (Nigerian bishop), Tony Blair (former British prime minister), G.K. Chesterton, Marcus Grodi, Scott Hahn (former Protestant minister), Frances Shand Kydd (mother of Diana, Princess of Wales), St. Paul and Bishop John Henry Newman have/did.

    Hahn is a wonderful writer who wrote a book “Rome Sweet Home” describing his path. I am not trying to rub salt into wounds when I mention that he has been called “Luther in reverse” because he has been instrumental the conversions of many Protestant pastors.

    I am glad that we understand that Satan is trying to divide and conquer God’s people through noise (so that we don’t hear God’s voice) and confusions (so that we turn on one another). Sadly, many think he does not exist.

    Be assured that my “door will always be open.” May the Lord be with us!

  6. “1) “We know she was human thus born into sin.” Then, since Jesus was also human, then He was born into sin, too. Yikes, this can’t be! Of course, Jesus had no sin, “original sin” or committed. We agree? It also makes complete sense that He was not born into a woman with sin either”.
    You say this makes complete sense? How? Show me Biblical Scripture not Babblical Scripture please as you are stomping on the heretical path with great fervor! Please no conclusions or assumptions! We can address the rest of your post afterwards

  7. I like your suggestion that we take it one CCC paragraph or item at a time!

    1) “We know she was human thus born into sin.” Then, since Jesus was also human, then He was born into sin, too. Yikes, this can’t be! Of course, Jesus had no sin, “original sin” or committed. We agree? It also makes complete sense that He was not born into a woman with sin either.

    The Catholic teaching that Mary was granted the special gift of being spared from original sin is not a glorification of anything she could have earned. Rather, it was a GIFT from God, just like our redemption. We didn’t earn it. God gave it to us because of His infinite mercy and love. So, Church leaders far more knowledgeable than either of us came to the conclusion that the Immaculate Conception must have occurred to be consistent with Jesus not being born into sin.

    Now it’s time for “there’s no biblical reference.” Remember, there is no mention of “Trinity” in the Bible either, but we both accept the results of early Church fathers prayers and deep discussions of the subject. I do not know the specifics of how it was concluded that the Immaculate Conception had to have occurred. I do know that Christ gave His Church the authority to teach (Magisterium) and sends the Holy Spirit to guide it whenever key issues arise. The initial test of any doctrine being considered is “Does it contradict any Jesus said or anything else in Scripture?” After that, there are many writings on the subject which I have not taken the time to research. (That is also why some early books claiming to be inspired were not included in the Canon of Scripture because, individually, they were the sole contradictions of certain topics known to be true in the four Gospels, etc.)

    This is a good time to bring up “sola scriptura.” Where is/are the biblical reference(s) for it? I know of verses which speak to the contrary, but none which state the Bible is the Christian’s only source of guidance. It is a curiosity for me as “sola scriptura” was not accepted for the first 1,500 years of Christianity. Also, none of the apostles and St. Paul or any of the early fathers knew of it. (great, I’m close to 400 words already)

    2) “We know she had more children so she was no longer a Virgin.” Actually, we know that Mary had no other children besides Jesus. By chance, I posted an article just two weeks ago on this subject. To save space, here is the link: http://www.cartaremi.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/jesus-was-the-virgin-marys-only-child/

    3) “She will deliver our souls from death.” This was already covered in my last reply. I quoted CCC 966 that “You [meaning Mary] conceived the living God and, BY YOUR PRAYERS (my emphasis), will deliver souls from death.” “By your prayers” clearly shows that she has no power to deliver souls from death. The concept of intercessory prayer is so critical.

    You mentioned earlier how our requesting Mary to pray for us was akin to making her a goddess. But she cannot do any of this by herself; therefore, she’s is not being treated as a goddess. Example, in the movie “Ten Commandments,” Yul Brynner (playing the part of the pharaoh) prays to an idol to cure his terminally ill son. Big Difference here. He was praying for the idol god to do the curing. When we pray to Mary or the saints and ask them to ask God for a favor, we are not asking for their power because they don’t have the power. Only God does. Therefore, idolatry is not the issue here. If it is, then any time we ask a friend to pray for us or a relative, we are making that friend a god, too.

    4) “Mary Mother of God” was addressed earlier. As Elizabeth said, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” That’s pretty explicit. It means that Mary is the mother of the human nature of Jesus, but not of the divine nature attached to the Creator/Trinity.

    This can be coupled with the concern for calling Mary a “queen,” too. Here’s a way of looking at it. King George VI (the current Queen Elizabeth’s father), married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She then became Queen Elizabeth. However, as she did not have royal authority as her daughter does, she was not Queen Elizabeth II. She was “queen” only as wife to the king and not in the royal lineage, but still called “queen.” Jesus is our King. His mother, Mary, is therefore a queen, not in the majestic eternal and heavenly ruling capacity of her son, but still a queen in the limited human condition. “Queen mother” might be an easier term to consider.

    Sorry, have to leave early for work. I’ll address your concern for graven images later. Don’t have time to check this for grammar and style. Hope it will suffice.

  8. I see that we have both used a lot of words on this subject, let’s dissect it one at a time okay? I will quote your first rebuttal:

    “Paragraph 966 (CCC 966) The entire sentence, including the key phrase which was surgically removed, is: “You [meaning Mary] conceived the living God and, BY YOUR PRAYERS (my emphasis), will deliver souls from death.” “By your prayers” clearly shows that she has no power to deliver souls from death.
    All Christians (that includes even you and me!) can help deliver souls from eternal death by our prayers when we ask God to be His instruments, so that we may bring more souls to His Son and therefore, to eternal life.”

    The following was taken from http://www.vatican.va (CCC 966);

    “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.”508 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:

    In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.509

    Where can I begin? “preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory”

    Three things; First we know she was human thus born into sin. Second we know she had more children so she was no longer a Virgin. And third she will deliver our souls from death? 1 Timothy 2:5 reads: 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” I see no evidence that Mary is Mediatrix, Biblically but we see the opposite!

    She was exalted by the Lord “Queen over all things”? What heresy! AGAIN NO BIBLICAL REFERENCE.

    Mary Mother of God? Exodus 20: 4-5 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” It is scripturally clear that God warns against creating any idol before which anyone should bow. Images and statues abound in the Catholic Church.Mary is, however, the mother of the person of Christ who has two natures: divine and human. Not the Mother of the creator of the universe, how does that even make any sense?

    Finally read Hebrews 12: 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
    Mary said she needed a Savior Luke 14: 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. A person clear of sin does not need a savior. It is a contradiction of the RCC.

    God Bless

  9. This will only address the statements from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, some taken out of context and others misinterpreted.

    Paragraph 966 (CCC 966) The entire sentence, including the key phrase which was surgically removed, is: “You [meaning Mary] conceived the living God and, BY YOUR PRAYERS (my emphasis), will deliver souls from death.” “By your prayers” clearly shows that she has no power to deliver souls from death.
    All Christians (that includes even you and me!) can help deliver souls from eternal death by our prayers when we ask God to be His instruments, so that we may bring more souls to His Son and therefore, to eternal life.

    CCC 969: The whole sentence actually reads: “Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold INTERCESSION (my emphasis) continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” Humans are limited to helping one another by intercessory prayer because, without God, nothing can be accomplished. That clearly includes Mary as well.

    CCC 2677: The sentence fragment you quoted could be a problem for any Christian… except, once again, the key part which keeps the focus on God as our source of all that is good, not Mary, was conveniently removed.
    Here is the complete sentence: “Because she gives us, Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God (1) and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: ‘Let it be to me according to your word.’” A goddess doesn’t have to pray to get things done. Mary, the non-goddess, has to go to God for favors the same as the rest of the human race.

    (1) – I realize there are those who confuse this to mean she gave birth to more than just Jesus’ human nature, that somehow Catholics claim she gave birth to the entire God of the Trinity. At least her cousin Elizabeth understood when she said, “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

    CCC 2679: To spare the readers, I won’t quote the entire paragraph which begins with: “Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er)…” I appreciate your disagreement. In recent years, it has been impressed upon me that most non-Catholic Christians have a truncated definition of “prayer.” However, not all prayer is worship. I wish there was a more brilliant way to make this clearer. Well, we could refer to Revelation again and the “prayers of the holy ones” being presented on our behalf to God. These “prayers” do not include worship because intercessory prayer is not worship, but is a petition.

    CCC 971: Again, I will not quote the entire lengthy paragraph dealing with “devotion to Mary.” To put it briefly, if a Christian only claims devotion to Jesus, then he really “doesn’t get it.” Devotion (from CCC 971) “differs essentially from the ADORATION (my emphasis) which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit…” How can this possibly be confusing?!

    CCC 974: This proclaims Mary’s Assumption that she “was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son’s Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.” The non-goddess couldn’t raise herself. Only God can accomplish this and He can choose when He does it. He is not required to wait until the Second Coming to raise anyone body and soul. He is outside of time and sees all of time at once. Even if the Church were wrong (which it can’t be on matters of doctrine), how does the declaration of the Assumption contradict the Bible?

    CCC 972, regarding your excerpt that “we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary.” Are you implying that Catholics are looking to Mary to open the Gates of Heaven for us (Jesus’ accomplishment), or are we looking to her for grace (gift from the Father) or to explain the Word of God to us (through the Holy Spirit)? Sorry, you swung and missed. This paragraph is named “Mary- The Eschatological Icon of the Church.” In other words, we see in her what we look forward to as individuals and as a Church— how we “will be in the homeland at the end of (our) journey.” We will be “in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.”

    CCC 867, you say it means “in her [referring to Mary], the Church is holy.” Paragraph 867 is but one of a group of five describing “her,” the Church, not Mary. Mary is only mentioned once, at the end of this 867. This section of five concerns the holiness of the Church because “the Most Holy God is her author” and so forth. “Her holiness (that is the Church’s, not Mary’s) shines in the saints,” it means the saints personify the goodness of what the Church was meant to be. It ends with “in Mary she is already all-holy.” Simply put, Mary enjoys the perfection which the whole Church in heaven will be blessed with some day. It would be easier to explain if the “Church” being made of three parts (Militant, Suffering and Victorious) continued to be universally understood by all Christians as it had been until the 16th century. The Body of Christ is more than just us humans on our earthly journey.

    CCC 967: You disagree with “the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity.” What other purely human being is a better example of “complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit?”

    CCC 1053: I’ll include some of what was left out in your reply– “the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven…they see God as he is… by interceding for us and helping our weakness by their fraternal concern.” Jesus is mentioned because he is with His mother, our brothers and sisters in heaven, but is certainly not demoted to being considered equal to the rest of the Church Victorious. “Fraternal concern” relates to our fellow 100% humans in heaven who petition God on our behalf. And, of course, “seeing God as He is” also does not apply to Jesus because He is God.

    As I have exceeded 1,100 words today, it’s past time for me to trust that the Holy Spirit will guide you from this point, including the very well-intentioned, but ironically unbiblical “sola scriptura.” You have been a help to me because your disagreements have pushed me to more clearly understand the Church’s position on a couple of things.
    You and I share the same passion to correct what we believe to be misinformation. If you continue searching, I am hopeful that you will gain a surprising understanding of the Church, born on that amazing Pentecost.
    This is important stuff for both of us and I am thankful for the space I have been allowed on your blog.

  10. Since I believe that the Bible is all the evidence I need, I will go by that Sola Scriptura. The Holy Scripture says nothing about Mary being “the all-holy ever-virgin Mother of God” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, hereafter referred to as “CCC” 721), or “Queen over all things” (CCC 966), our “Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (CCC 969), who is “full of grace” (CCC 722), the “Mother of God and our mother” (CCC 2677), the “new Eve” (CCC 726), and the “seat of wisdom” (CCC 721). She had no original sin (CCC 508), and never committed sin (CCC 493). She is second only to her Son” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, par. 66) and sits “on the right hand of the majesty on high” (Pope Pius X, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14). In fact, “no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother” (Pope Leo 13th, Octobri Mense).

    And furthermore,  It is she who “delivers our souls from death” (CCC 966), and “continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation” (CCC 969). “Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man,” (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma4, Ott, page 213). Therefore, we can “entrust all our cares and petitions to her” (CCC 2677), “give ourselves over to her now” (CCC 2677), “pray to her” (CCC 2679), and have devotion to her (CCC 971). She was “taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven” (CCC 974). When speaking of the Church, “we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary,” (CCC 972). In her, the church is holy (CCC 867). “Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity” (CCC 967). Finally, in paradise the church gathers “around Jesus and Mary” (CCC 1053).

    You see sir, these are all the “Catholic Answers” I need. It is plain that the elevation of Mary to Goddess is written in your own Catechism and Catholic writings.

  11. The Greek say here for “highly favored one? It is the single Greek word kexaritomena and means highly favored, make accepted, make graceful, etc. It doesn’t mean “full of grace” which is “plaras karitos” (plaras = full and karitos = Grace) in the Greek.

  12. We know that Jesus and the Father is written about in the Bible, but wait so is the Holy Spirit….But still nothing about Mary remaining sinless or kept sinless.

    Acts 5: 3-4 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4 “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have …

    Romans 8: 11 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

    2 Cor 13: 14 14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.

    Romans 15: 30 30 Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,

  13. There are many instances of more than one translation for the same verse, especially since the 16th century. “Favored one” vs. “full of grace” is an example. I believe that the latter (from St. Jerome and the Greek) predates the “favored one” by a long time.

    In my last reply, I referred to the fact that even though Mary was sinless, that did not mean that she didn’t need her son to redeem her. No one could go to heaven after The Fall and before Jesus’ Resurrection. All were barred, including His mother.

    Mary is not a goddess. She was simply a peasant girl who, using the same free will which all of us have, consented to the Will of God in an extraordinary way. If intercessory prayer to Mary makes her a goddess, then what status are we giving to each other when we ask our friends and relatives to pray to God on our behalf? The proof of the existence of intercessory prayer exists in several places, including Rev. 5:8 and 8:3-4 (prayers of the holy ones already in eternal life).

    We have already agreed that an individual term such as “Trinity” does not have to be specifically written in the Bible for it to be an article of faith for Christians. It can come from our on-going understanding of biblical revelation. What I don’t understand are instances, such as when Jesus explicitly gave the apostles the power to forgive sins, that some don’t believe that He forgives sins through priests to this day. Apostolic succession is clear from the Church’s beginning. The apostles filled Judas’ spot with Matthias. Timothy and Titus were among the early bishops who ordained more priests to help carry on the apostles’ work until the Second Coming.

  14. Luke 1: 28 (NASB) And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” There is no objection that Mary was ‘Favored” but that is not a sinless human being. The Roman Catholic Church has been raising Mary to a Goddess level for hundreds of years! Why do you put this burden on a human woman? Seriously do you know what you are doing? Acts 5: 3-4 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not [b]under your control? Why is it that you have [c]conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” This plainly talks of the Holy Spirit the proof of the Holy Spirit. There is NO BIBLICAL SCRIPTURE SAYING THAT MARY IS ANYTHING BUT A HUMAN SINNER NEEDING A SAVIOR!

  15. Yes, I’m Catholic and the Trinity does exist even though it is not specifically mentioned in the Bible. And the same is true for some other aspects of our faith. While public revelation ceased with Christ’s Ascension, our understanding of Scripture is on-going. I don’t know when the term “Trinity” officially began, but the concept was always in the Bible even though the word isn’t. “Trinity” makes it a little easier for us to grasp but, of course, we’ll never be able to fully understand the mystery.

    This isn’t completely related, but it may be of help to some who believe the Catholic Church had councils to “invent” ideas of faith for which there were no Biblical bases. They were held to clarify or simply to re-affirm existing beliefs. Around the 4th century, there was a heresy floating around that Jesus was all human or all God, that He couldn’t be both. A council was held, not to decide, but to reaffirm what had been taught from Day One of the Church: that Jesus was God who had taken human form (the Incarnation), He was both. This must be believed to be a “Christian.” If the Church hadn’t taken action then, who knows what other foundational beliefs would have been corrupted from this.

    It’s happening today. The commandment against adultery has always applied to all sexual activity outside of a marriage between one man and one woman. (I actually came across a co-worker who was surprised to hear that single people could break this commandment– he was unfamiliar with “fornication.”)
    In the last fifty years or so, much of society have come to condone heterosexuals “living together.” The hedonistic train has picked up so much speed that many are attempting to equate “gay rights” with the “civil rights” movement and using civil law to redefine marriage — something even the Church has no authority to do. I hope you agree that we have a dangerous chain reaction occurring.
    Thanks for your patience! 🙂

  16. The Trinity isn’t mentioned in the Bible either, but that’s for another day!

    Was Mary sinless? Luke 1:28 says Mary was “full of grace.” The Greek word “kecharitomene” also means “perfected in grace.” “Perfect” leaves no room for sin. Or, one cannot be “full of grace” if there is any sin taking up space.

    As far as the Immaculate Conception is concerned, she did not earn this aspect of her being, of course. The gift from God says more about the dignity of Jesus Christ than it does about the Virgin Mary. It was given to her in anticipation of her being the vessel who would hold His Son until He was born. (Of course, she still receives “credit” and our undying gratitude for following the Will of God, unlike the first Eve who did not.) Regardless of being sinless, Mary still needed Jesus to redeem her because no one could enter heaven between the fall of Adam and Eve and the Resurrection.

    For those who question why we Catholics holding Mary in such high esteem, the angel called her “blessed are you among all women.” Middle Eastern languages have their own way of comparing. For example, “good, better and best.” They would have said: 1) you are good, meaning just that. If you were called better than someone, it would have come out literally something like “you are good than him.” If you were deemed the best, it would be “you are good among all.” Therefore, Mary was the most blessed of all women.

    A good site for questions and answers regarding Catholicism is CatholicAnswers.com. Bishop Sheen reminded us in the 1950’s that few actually hate the Catholic Church, most hate what they mistakenly believe it teaches. This is a helpful site. — Tony

  17. In fact in Luke 1:47 Mary says she will rejoice in God her Savior. That pretty much destroys that doctrine anyway.

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