Thanks for joining me today as we continue our series examining and responding to Catholic apologist and philosopher, Peter Kreeft’s book, “Forty Reasons I Am A Catholic” (2018).
Claim #17: I am a Catholic because of my mother
The reader might mistakenly assume from the title of this chapter that Kreeft is going to give credit to his Dutch Reformed mother for his initial “conversion” to Roman Catholicism and his continuation as a member. Such is not the case. By “mother,” Kreeft is referring to Mary, who Catholics venerate/worship as their spiritual mother. He writes, “(Mary) loves me and watches over me as any good mother does her child” (p. 59). Kreeft cites John 19:27, “Behold, your mother!,” which is Roman Catholicism’s primary scriptural “proof-text” for Mary’s exalted status as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix.* Kreeft continues by citing Mary’s humble obedience, as recorded in the initial passages of Luke, as the example for all Catholics. He also claims the Roman church shares with Mary (or rather, is endowed by Mary with) the role of spiritual mother as “Mother Church.”
The mother goddess was one of the most exalted deities in Greek, Roman, and Mesopotamian pagan religions as the patron of fertility and motherly nurture. The increasingly institutionalized early Christian church regrettably adapted many pagan beliefs and practices, including worship of the mother goddess. The Collyridian sect introduced Marian veneration/worship into the church in the 4th Century, and Marian devotion quickly spread (see “The Virgin” (1976) by noted historian, Geoffrey Ashe). Marian devotees extrapolated from John 19:27 and a few other Bible passages a complex Mariology, which semi-deifies Mary and exalts her as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix. Catholics ascribe to Mary the offices held solely by Jesus Christ as Mediator and Redeemer. Mary plays a large/co-preeminent role in Catholic soteriology (salvation system) as many Catholics pray to Mary, futilely seeking her assistance, as they attempt to merit Heaven.
In Scripture, Mary is an example of humble obedience to the Lord and she would be horrified by Rome’s blasphemous semi-deification of her. The Holy Spirit included two passages in Scripture that specifically counter the very type of veneration/worship that Catholicism accords to Mary:
“As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’ But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” – Luke 11:27-28.
“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.’ He replied to him, ‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’” – Matthew 12:46-50
When I read the New Testament for the first time as a Roman Catholic, I was absolutely shocked to see that Mary, with her co-preeminent status in RC theology, is not mentioned at all after Acts 1:14! If Mary is the all-important “Mediatrix of all graces” and “Co-Redemptrix” with Christ as Rome claims, then why didn’t Paul and the other apostles, as guided by the Holy Spirit, mention her at all in their epistles? Marian devotion is a prime example of Catholic “sacred tradition” subverting and supplanting God’s Word. The Roman Catholic church’s exaltation and veneration/worship of Mary is a distinguishing heretical mark of its total apostasy.
*Although the RCC has not officially defined the dogma of Mary as Co-Redemptrix in deference to ecumenism, the doctrine is prevalent throughout Catholicism. Pope John Paul II publicly referred to Mary as Co-Redemptrix at least six times (see here).
Next week: Claim #18: I am a Catholic because of the angels, and their invisible and anonymous mediation