by Matt Slick
Does the Roman Catholic Church, in any way, replace Jesus with Mary? Protestants routinely say yes. However, Catholics respond by saying that Mary points to Jesus, that tradition has revealed the elevated position that Mary holds in the Catholic's lives and in the salvation of those who are members of the Catholic Church.
But, without a doubt, Mary holds an elevated position in Catholicism. That position is far more revered than Scripture states. In fact, the position Mary holds is equivalent to being a goddess in many respects. Now, of course, the Roman Catholics will object to this. They deny she is a goddess. They are correct. She is not a goddess, and the Roman Catholic Church denies that she is one. That's good.
However, there is a rather ominous entry in the Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 460 about become gods. It says...
"The Word became flesh to make us "partakers of the divine nature":"For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God." "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God." "The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."
Nothing before or after that paragraph denies that we can actually become gods. I am concerned because of that lack of clarity. Perhaps it has to do with the Catholic Church's exaltation of Mary to goddess-like status. After all, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that Mary can hear the prayers of millions of people, across the globe, both spoken and thought, in different languages, all at the same time - as well as answer them. That is a serious promotion to a goddess-like status all the while maintaining that she is not a goddess.
Nevertheless, does the Roman Catholic Church replace Jesus with Mary in various areas? In my opinion, it does. And in so doing, is guilty of promoting idolatry. Please consider the following table of comparison between Mary and Jesus and decide for yourself if you think the RCC goes too far in its promotion of Mary.
|Access to Christ||"And, no man goeth to Christ but by His Mother," (Vatican Website: Encyclical of Pope Leo 13th on the Rosary, Octobri Mense, Pope Leo 13th, 1903-1914)||John 7:37, "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink."
Matthew 11:28, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest."
|Advocate, Helper, Mediatrix||"This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix," (CCC 969).||1 John 2:1, "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;"
John 14:16, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever." Note: "another" in Greek is allos which means another of the same kind...the same kind as Jesus.
1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,"
|All Holy One||"By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the "Mother of Mercy," the All-Holy One," (CCC 2677)||John 1:1, 14, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...14 And the Word became flesh, and cdwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
1 Peter 1:16, "because it is written, 'YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.'"
|At the right hand of...||Mary sits at the right hand of Christ (Pope Pius X, 1835-1914, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14)||Matthew 26:64, "Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”"
Acts 2:33, "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear."
|Atonement||"Christ alone truly offered the sacrifice of atonement on the Cross...In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her divine son for men, made atonement for the sins of man and (de congruon) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she cooperates in the subjective redemption of mankind," (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma4, Ott, page 213)." (Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, Ott, page 213)||John 1:29, "The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
1 Peter 2:24, "and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed."
|Best to look to...||"After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary," (CCC 972).||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."
Ephesians 1:22–23, "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all."
1 Cor. 11:1, "Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ."
|Crushed the serpent's head||Mary crushed the head of the serpent
"Hence, just as Christ, the Mediator between God and man, assumed human nature, blotted the handwriting of the decree that stood against us, and fastened it triumphantly to the cross, so the most holy Virgin, united with him by a most intimate and indissoluble bond, was, with him and through him, eternally at enmity with the evil serpent, and most completely triumphed over him, and thus crushed his head with her immaculate foot. (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus)
|Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.”|
|Delivers souls from death||"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," (CCC 966).||John 11:26, "and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
John 8:51, "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death.”
|Entrusting themselves to...||"Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her"(CCC 2677)||John 17:9, "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours;"
|Intercession||"This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation...Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix," (CCC 969).||Romans 8:34, "34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us."
Hebrews 7:25, "Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."
|Prayer to||"Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men," (CCC 2679).||John 14:14, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it."
1 Cor. 1:2, "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours." .... with ... Psalm 116:4, "Then I called upon the name of the LORD: 'O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!'"
|Queen/King over all things||"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..." (CCC 966).||Acts 10:36, "The word which He sent to the sons of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ (He is Lord of all)."
Revelation 17:14, "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”"
Revelation 19:16, "And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”"