Anonymous asked this question on 7/31/2000:
I believe Romans 3:10 says "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Note it doesn’t say "except Mary." Let’s not forget my dear Catholics that Mary was not God, she was human. Yes, she was a very good human, but nevertheless she was human. Why do so many Catholic turn her into a goddess? I don’t think even Mary would be pleased with that gross turn of events. Some Catholics even refer to her as co-redemptress of the human race, don’t they? Let’s not forget there were probably plenty of women who could have taken her role. She was surely not the only one. Will any Catholic admit that there is often too much emphasis placed on Mary?
Thanks, thank you very much.
Thank you for your preoccupation so that your "dear" Catholics – haven’t I read this endearing expression somewhere? - wouldn’t forget that Mary was not God. Please, where does it say in the creed that we believe in God Father, Son, Holy Ghost and Mary the goddess? We will correct that at once. Thank you for your preoccupation in order to guard the purity of Catholic faith. You are a splendid example of brotherly love that transcends frontiers of denominations.
Irony aside (why couldn’t it be the truth?) I wonder why the Catholicism board is "exploding" all at once with questions about the moral and doctrinal integrity of the Catholic Church and its members? Something or somebody’s hurting?
May I venture to offer you some information? In the Catholic Church there have been two tendencies coined in the Latin phrases: "de Maria nunquam satis – about Mary never enough!" and " de Maria nequid nimis- about Mary not too much!"
These schools of thought surfaced in the Vatican Council II. The bishops of Europe and the other parts of the world where the separated brothers abound out of consideration for them as not to make the ecumenical dialogue more difficult cautioned against a Constitution regarding the Mother of God. The other bishops from countries where Catholicism is majority asked for a solemn pronouncement.
The marvelous consequence was the wonderful doctrine of the last part regarding the Church (see "Lumen Gentium" chapter VIII). You should read it as to acquire an adequate knowledge of the Church’s instructions regarding Mary.
Your problem is quite clear. In order to argue you have to jump from today – or if you prefer from Martin Luther – right to the Gospels. You close your eyes in front of the uninterrupted interpretation of Scripture. 1500 years of the Holy Ghost’s guiding are non-existent.
But Look at Hippolytus (PG 10,609), Gregorius Thaumaturgus and Didymus (PG 39,832), Epiphanius (III 474), Gregorius Naziancenus (PG 36, 325), Ephrem (carmina nisibena), Ambrosius (PL 15, 1599D) etc. Have they taught, fought and died in vain? The Holy Ghost was sleeping until 1500?
The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was unique from the beginning of her earthly life. In prevision of the death of her son she has been conceived (singulari gratia… et privilegio) without the consequences of original sin. She was, she is human. So was Jesus.
Please meditate the following:
Many serious scholars interpret the scenes of the cross described by Saint John as messianic teachings and not as biographical information. So read:
John 19 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He *said to His mother,"Woman, behold, your son!" 27 Then He *said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household." (The Church Fathers interpret this as Christ turning over to her all mankind. And they should receive her in their household)
Connect this with John 1 4 And Jesus *said to her,"Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come." 5 His mother *said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it." (Many of the Church Fathers conclude that she anticipated "his hour" and that from His hour on she can ask anything as can we only much more so. For whom will she be interceding? See the previous text!)
Go on reading
Rev 12:1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; 2 and she was with child; and she *cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth." Read the whole chapter.
Quite naturally these passages evoke an other one that mentions the word "woman": 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed" (The Father of the Church apply this text the same time to Mary and the Church).
In Scripture we have a coherent intentional doctrine about the role of the "Woman" in salvation don’t you think so? The "woman" is Mary.
In no instance is there even an insinuation of her being a goddess. You take the Scripture at face value and you don’t have to invent anything. Why are you so afraid of her being really the Mother of God and ours? This tenet doesn’t rob anything of God’s Glory. Quite on the contrary, only He could invent something so marvelous!
So you see that you don’t have to worry.