If I may, I would like to speak on behalf of the RC perspective briefly.
One of the fundamental doctrines in Catholic theology is the communion of
saints. The family of God is not just the Christians here on earth, but also
the those who have gone before us and are with the Lord. These are
considered "more" alive than those on earth, because they are with God. They
are more in tune with God's will than we are, and so we ask for their
The veneration of Mary is based on a very early Christian understanding that
Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant, the New Eve, and the Queen Mother
(other Marian doctrines also flow from these understandings). Catholics
venerate her and turn to her for intercession because when we are adopted
into the family of God, we also adopt the family of God as our own. When you
fall in love with a person, you want to love all the people that this person
loves. When you marry a person, the family members of that person becomes
your family. That is why Catholics call Mary their mother, because she is
the theotokos - Mother of God. And Mary always points us to Jesus -"Do
whatever He tells you" (John 2:5). If Jesus was the perfect human on earth,
He would also have fulfilled the OT commandments perfectly, including
honoring His earthly parents. Thus, there is no way any Catholic or Orthodox
can honor Mary more than how Jesus has already honored her. He honored her
by making her His mother, the Queen Mother (an ancient eastern position of
honor among royalty), His Ark, and His Eve (in the sense that she represents
the church). The Catholic and Orthodox churches are simply practicing what
has been practiced since the early days of the church.
Why pray to Mary? (Why do Christians ask each other to pray?) When I ask you
to pray for me, I am saying implicitly that you know God, and you are a part
of the family I belong to. I would not go to a person whom I have very
little respect for to pray for me, or one who is wicked and against God.
Also, we honor Mary by praying to her, and in turn that honors God. When I
complete a piece of art that I am particularly proud of, and I show it off
to my friends, I feel honored when they praise the work. I don't want them
talking about how good I look or dressed or whatever, but I want them to
tell me how beautiful the work is. Mary is God's work of art (in a sense).
Read the writings of the early fathers (if you have the time) and it will
God bless you.
From: PHSEELY@aol.com [mailto:PHSEELY@aol.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2001 12:16 AM
Subject: Re: Saints (Was Re: Why YEC?)
I see that I was not clear. My point involves what I took to be understood
most of our list that in the Roman Catholic Church the Virgin Mary is not
just another saint. She has been exalted to the point that functionally she
is a veritable addition to the Trinity. It is this veritable god that is
being prayed to. Regardless of how unidolatrous the official RC statement of
doctrine about Mary may be, functionally she is an idol. People come to her
where by all rights they should be going to God. If I am correct, then we
have in these sincere prayers to Mary, prayers to an idol. If so, this is
idolatry; and in a biblical sense is a practice which is a lie.
It is to this over-exaltation of the Virgin Mary that I compare the
"conservative" over-exaltation of the Bible. And, I believe there is some
functional parallelism as well.
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