by Matt Slick
Roman Catholics are told by their church to pray to Mary. They exalt Mary to an incredibly high level and attribute things to her that are, well, idolatrous. as you will see from the questions below, they exalt her exceedingly. As a Protestant who is dedicated to the sufficiency of the word of God, I find nothing of the following issues found in Scripture. Since they are not there in the word of God, they are inventions from the Roman Catholic Church.
Nevertheless, here is a list of questions for Roman Catholics. They are designed for two purposes. First, to verify what the Roman Catholic believes in relationship to Mary. Second, to help Roman Catholics see how the exalt Mary so exceedingly, that it approaches, if not commits, idolatry.
- Do you pray to Mary?
- "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," (CCC 2679).
- Do you believe that Mary is capable of hearing all peoples prayers to her, both spoken and thought, in different languages, all over the world, all of the same time?
- May the Blessed Virgin hear your every prayer," (Message of John Paul II, read by H. E. Msgr. Francesco Marchisano, Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens, Saturday, 31, May 2003).
- Do you bow before statues of Mary?
- I could not find any official statement advocating Roman Catholics to bow before statues of Mary, but it goes without saying that it occurs everywhere.
- Do you believe that when considering the church's origin, mission, and destiny, there is no better way to look into Mary? (Logically, in context, this means that looking to Jesus is not better than looking to Mary?)
- "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).
- Do you believe that Mary's prayers deliver your souls from death?
- "...You [Mary] conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death," (CCC 966)
- Do you entrust your cares to Mary?
- "Holy Mary, Mother of God...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.' [Lk 1:38] By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: 'Thy will be done,'" (CCC 2677).
- Do you believe that Mary sits at the right hand of Christ?
- "...she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces. Jesus "sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high" (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son...," (Pope Pius X, 1835-1914, Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum, 14).
- Do you believe that Mary is second only to Jesus?
- "Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son" (Vatican Council II, p. 421)
- Do you believe that you cannot go straight to Christ, but must go to Jesus only through Mary?
- "so 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).
- Do you believe that Mary was preserved from original sin?
- She was "Preserved free from all stain of original sin," (CCC, par. 966).
- Do you believe that Mary is our mediator?
- "The Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix," (CCC par. 969).
- Do you believe that Mary helped make atonement for our sins?
- "...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 Dogma, Ott, page 213).
- Do you believe that Mary crushed the head of the serpent?
- "All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin—in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world," (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus).
None of these things are found in the Bible. But that has not stopped the Roman Catholic Church from promoting them. This is nothing short of idolatry.
Why does the Roman Catholic Church attribute things to Mary that belong to God including atonement of sins, sinlessness, crushing the head of the serpent, delivering us from death, our mediator, etc.? These are the things attributed to God.
Again we must ask can the Roman Catholics show any of these teachings from Scripture?