Catholic Shrines: “Holy” sites or whited sepulchres?

I listen regularly to Catholic talk radio show, “Calling All Catholics,” The Station of the Cross (101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY), and one of the priest-hosts is Peter Calabrese who works at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima here in Western New York

Making a pilgrimage to a “holy shrine” used to be a very popular endeavor for Catholics, although I’m sure much of the enthusiasm has faded among the younger generations. The Roman Catholic church teaches that its members can earn indulgences that remit temporal punishment in purgatory by visiting officially sanctioned, “consecrated” shrines.

There are many shrines all over the U.S., but the closest shrine to me is the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, NY, around 100-miles west of Rochester. The shrine church was completed in 1965. It’s a glass-domed structure that depicts the Northern Hemisphere. A 13-foot-tall statue of Mary, “Queen of Heaven,” stands atop the dome (see photos).

On the 16-acre grounds are 150 statues of Mary, Jesus, and various saints. Special prominence is given to statues depicting the alleged Marian apparition at Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

Imagine the many thousands of souls who have walked the spacious grounds of this shrine over the last 52-years, stopping before the many statues and offering prayers to Mary and the saints, asking for their intercession and help in bringing them to salvation. Most of what is presented at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is un-Biblical and even anti-Biblical. Many would say the shrine buildings and grounds are beautiful and inspiring. The lights. The statues. It’s all meant to appeal to the flesh. But genuine Christians worship the Lord God in spirit and in truth. Salvation does not come by pilgrimages to shrines and other religious exercises. Salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Buildings crumble and fall but Christ is the solid Rock of eternal salvation. Put your faith in Him and nothing else. That is what Mary really desires.

“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:23-24

Just imagine, if you can, the apostle Paul and Barnabas, walking together through Lewiston and coming upon this shrine with its many statues and its focus on the “Queen of Heaven.” They would think they were seeing an idolatrous pagan Roman shrine rather than someplace supposedly associated with Christianity.

Below is a listing of all the Catholic shrines in the USA:
http://www.catholicshrines.net/

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New book examines Mariolatry

Thanks to Maria at Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – Christiana on the narrow way for making me aware of this forthcoming book devoted to the topic of Mariolatry. “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Mary: the Mother of God?” by evangelical pastor and leader of an outreach ministry to Roman Catholics, Leonardo De Chirico, is due to be published on December 1st. Amazon is currently accepting pre-orders. See here. De Chirico’s previous book, “A Christian’s Pocket Guide to the Papacy: Its origin and role in the 21st century” (2014), is excellent and is available at Amazon. See here.

The most important difference between Catholics and Bible Christians is their contrasting beliefs on how a person is saved. Catholics believe in salvation by sacramental grace and merit while Bible Christians believe in the Gospel of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Another major difference between the two groups is their opposing views on Mary. Catholics believe Mary was sinless and shares in the offices of Jesus Christ as the Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, and Channel of all Graces. Catholics in error go to her regularly in prayer, asking for her help in their efforts to merit salvation. Bible Christians believe that while Mary was certainly blessed to be chosen as Jesus’s mother, she was still a sinner who needed to accept Christ as her Savior by faith alone. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say sinners must entreat Mary as Catholics do. In contrast, the Bible specifically warns against elevating Mary to a position she certainly would oppose.

“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

In all its theological force and devotional ramifications, Mariology is an inescapable, all-embracing, and fundamental tenet of Roman Catholic theology and practice. Moreover, it is a deeply troubling development because it is impossible to see a linear and coherent connection between this Marian devotion and the more sobering account of what the Bible actually says […]

via Go read! Leonardo De Chirico — Pilgrim’s Progress revisited – Christiana on the narrow way

Postscript: It’s a small point but I must say I’m not a fan of the cover designs for the two books; far too nondescript.

A bullet in the crown of the “Queen of Heaven.”

FATTY

Catholic talk radio is abuzz with chatter about Fatima. This year, Catholics round the world will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the alleged apparition of Mary to three peasant children at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Fatima on May 12th and 13th when he will declare the three children, Lúcia Santos and Francisco and Jacinta Marto, as “saints.”

Catholicism ranks Fatima as the most important Marian apparition. Pope John Paul IIFAT was devoted to “Our Lady of Fatima” and was convinced she had saved him from an assassination attempt in 1981. One of the bullets that was removed from John Paul’s body was mounted in the crown placed on the statue of Mary at the sanctuary at Fatima (see photo of crown with bullet protruding under blue globe).

With Fatima we have another example of Mariolatrous pageantry and ceremony, with absolutely no attention given to accepting Jesus Christ as personal Savior by faith. Splendid religious ritual and solemnity devoted to Mary have pushed aside simple, saving faith in Christ.

Catholics proclaim that Mary is the Queen of Heaven and that she rules as Mediatrix of All Graces and as Co-Redeemer. But God does not share His glory with another.

“The children gather wood, the fathers kindle fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven. And they pour out drink offerings to other gods, to provoke me to anger.” – Jeremiah 7:18

“But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” And the women said, “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven rand poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands’ approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?” Then Jeremiah said to all the people, men and women, all the people who had given him this answer: “As for the offerings that you offered in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your officials, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them? Did it not come into his mind? The Lord could no longer bear your evil deeds and the abominations that you committed. Therefore your land has become a desolation and a waste and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day. It is because you made offerings and because you sinned against the Lord and did not obey the voice of the Lord or walk in his law and in his statutes and in his testimonies that this disaster has happened to you, as at this day.” Jeremiah said to all the people and all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have declared with your mouths, and have fulfilled it with your hands, saying, ‘We will surely perform our vows that we have made, to make offerings to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her.’ Then confirm your vows and perform your vows!” – Jeremiah 44:17–25

Fatimah was the favorite daughter of false prophet, Muhammad. As a consequence, many Muslim girls are given her name. Fatima, Portugal was named after a Moorish princess. Christians would be surprised to learn that Muslims venerate Mary. She is mentioned much more in the Quran than the Bible. Many Muslims make the pilgrimage to Fatima. Could another Marian apparition at Fatima someday be the catalyst for a one-world religion?

See a live webcam of the Marian statue with the bullet crown at the Fatima sanctuary here.

Fatima 2017 – Capitalizing on religious fervor

FATI

One of the high points for the Roman Catholic church this year will definitely be when pope Francis visits Fatima, Portugal on May 12th and 13th in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the alleged appearance of Mary to the three children there in 1917. Fatima is widely viewed by Catholics as the most important Marian apparition.

Coincidentally (or rather, strategically), the Vatican has just announced that Francis has officially recognized the miracle attributed to the intercession of two of the Fatima children – “Blesseds” Francisco and Jacinta (photo, middle and right), thus paving their way to sainthood. The third child who witnessed the alleged apparition, Lúcia Santos, has already been green-lighted for canonization. Could Francis declare all three individuals to be “saints” when he visits Fatima in May? That seems to be the case from the story below. Can anyone spell “opportunistic”?

It often takes the Vatican multiple centuries before they declare someone a saint but if a person was extremely popular the church has been known to capitalize on their fame by expediting the process (see pope  John Paul II, mother Teresa, and Fulton Sheen in the very short-term once the dioceses of New York City and Peoria, Illinois stop fighting over his remains).

Catholicism’s non-biblical concept of a “saint” fits their theology. For Catholics, a saint is someone who lived an extraordinarily holy life and is rewarded with a mediatorial presence in Heaven. In contrast, God’s Word says no one is good.

“As it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” – Romans 3:10-12

“Not even one” includes Mary.

The Bible refers to the saints (“hagios” – set apart ones) as all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior and are reborn spiritually. And what about all those Marian apparitions? Mary is in Heaven worshipping her Savior. These alleged apparitions that point people to the Catholic gospel of sacramental grace and merit can either be attributed to religious hysteria or demonic activity. Evangelicals would be amazed at how much veneration/worship is accorded to Mary by Catholics in comparison to Jesus Christ. Catholics, on the other hand, would be amazed at just how little Mary is mentioned in the New Testament.

Nowhere in the Bible do believers pray to anyone other than God. In contrast, the Scriptures specifically warn against trying to communicate with the dead. Put man-made traditions aside and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior by faith alone and then ask the Lord to lead you to an evangelical church in your area. See here.


Pope Francis to proclaim Fatima visionaries saints during Portugal trip
https://cruxnow.com/uncategorized/2017/03/23/pope-francis-proclaim-fatima-visionaries-saints-portugal-trip/


For more on Catholicism’s unbiblical teachings on “saints,” see here.

For more on Catholic Mariolatry, see here.

The “Hail Mary” pass strikes again!

I used to watch a lot of football in my younger days. On Sundays, I was pretty muchhm glued to the television set from noon until 7 p.m.; it didn’t matter who was playing. But my football- watching days are pretty much behind me at this point.

Yesterday, I felt a little sluggish so I just sat on the couch and watched the Giants-Packers playoff game. The Giants controlled the first twenty-six minutes of the game although they were only ahead, 6-0. Packers QB, Aaron Rogers, then drove downfield and threw a touchdown pass to put Green Bay ahead, 7-6. The Packer’s “D” subsequently smothered the G-Men’s offense, forcing them to punt after a three-and-out. Rogers then took over and with seconds left in the half, threw a 60-yard “Hail Mary” pass into the end zone for another touchdown. The Pack never looked back and won the game handily, 38-13.

But what about the “Hail Mary” pass? How did that term become part of the popular lexicon? I did a little research and found out the phrase got its start in the 1930s at the Catholic University of Notre Dame (“Our Lady”). Members of the football team coined the phrase to denote a “long, low-probability pass attempted at the end of a half when a team is too far from the end zone to execute a more conventional play, implying that it would take divine intervention for the play to succeed.” Divine intervention from Mary? Catholics ascribe many characteristics of deity to Mary and believe she shares with Jesus Christ the offices of Mediator and Redeemer. Many Catholics pray to Mary rather than to God the Father or Jesus Christ because they have been taught she is more sympathetic to their circumstances and will more readily help them merit their salvation.

The phrase was pretty much isolated within Catholic college football but NFL commentators began talking about the “Hail Mary” pass in connection with the Dallas Cowboys’ Roman Catholic quarterback, Roger Staubach, in the 1970s.

Doug Flutie of Boston College (Catholic Jesuit) then became the king of the “Hail Mary” pass with his legendary, game-winning touchdown heave against Miami (FL) in 1984.

So the “Hail Mary” pass has become standard football parlance. You’ll even hear born-again believers in Jesus Christ who are football fans commenting on an unbelievable “Hail Mary” pass they witnessed over the weekend.

Yet, Mary would want everyone to turn from her and turn to Jesus Christ. Mary cannot save anyone. She was a sinner herself. Repent of your sins and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior.

“And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47

“And there is salvation in no one else (but Jesus Christ), for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12


What is the “Hail Mary” that Catholics say so often?
https://www.gotquestions.org/Hail-Mary.html

What does the Bible say about the virgin Mary?
https://www.gotquestions.org/virgin-Mary.html

Was Mary sinless?

Tomorrow, Thurday, December 8th, marks the Feast of the Immaculate Conception ofiv Mary on Catholic calendars. The Catholic church teaches that Mary was conceived without a sin nature and that she did not commit one single sin during her entire life. This teaching defies God’s Word, which says there is not one human being who is without sin. The claim that Mary was sinless began to gain traction in the 4th-century. In 1854, pope Pius IX defined Mary’s immaculate conception as infallible, binding dogma.

Because Mary’s immaculate conception is a binding dogma, Catholics who do not believe it commit mortal sin. The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is one of the Catholic church’s “holy days of obligation.” Catholics are obligated to attend mass on Thursday. If they fail to attend mass without a valid reason, they commit mortal sin and are doomed to hell if they do not confess the sin to a priest.

Relatively few Catholics take their church’s rules seriously. Only 35% of U.S. Catholics “always,” “frequently,” or “usually” attend mass on holy days of obligation. The overwhelming majority, 65%, either “seldom” or “never” attend mass on holy days of obligation (see the cara link below).

My heart is saddened for Roman Catholics who venerate/worship Mary and attempt to merit their salvation by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules as they’ve been taught. Accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and come out of religious legalism. Worship God alone.

https://gotquestions.org/immaculate-conception.html

http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-315/exposing-the-idolatry-of-mary-worship-catholic-dogma-part-1

http://cara.georgetown.edu/masseucharist.pdf

“I prayed 19,345 prayers this past year but they weren’t prayers to God”

A few days ago I wrote about “good Catholics.” It’s generally agreed among Catholics thatros those who follow the prescribed rules of the church – like going to mass every Sunday and going to confession regularly – are “good” Catholics. There’s a very small percentage of those “good” Catholics who take it even a step further and do things like go to mass daily or say the rosary daily.

Evangelicals know that many Catholic use rosaries but they may not know some of the details involved. The standard rosary is made up of 59 beads. When a Catholic uses the rosary they will say 53 “Hail Mary” prayers and 6 “Our Father” prayers along with some other standard prayers mixed in.

What exactly is said in the “Hail Mary” prayer? Let’s take a look:

“Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

The first portion of the Hail Mary prayer comes from excerpts from Luke 1:28 & 42 (see the Catholic Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition). The first line says Mary is “full of grace” but Bible scholars agree the meaning of the Greek text is something closer to “favored one” (NASB and ESV). Yes, Mary was favored and blessed by the Lord to bear Jesus in her womb. But Mary was a sinner as we all are and was trusting in the Lord for her salvation (“…my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” – Luke 1:47)

The second portion of the prayer is a creation of the Catholic church and didn’t appear in print until Savonarola’s “Esposizione sopra l’Ave Maria” in 1495. Mary is not holy. Only God is holy. Mary was given the title, “Mother of God” ( theotokos – God bearer) in the 400s in reaction to heresy which emphasized Christ’s humanity over His divinity. The thinking was that since Jesus is God, then Mary was the mother of God, which eventually led to elevating Mary to a position of semi-deity. Catholics believe that, like God, Mary is omnipresent and able to hear the millions of prayers said to her every day throughout the world. Catholics believe Mary, the sympathetic mother, intercedes and mediates on behalf of their salvation before a harsh and judging God. God may not forgive but soft-hearted Mother Mary does and she will intercede for her followers. Catholics believe that by giving birth to Jesus and witnessing His death on the cross, Mary plays an active role in the redemption of sinners. So, Catholics believe that Mary shares Christ’s intercessory offices of Mediator and Redeemer and that she is also the channel of all of God’s graces. Catholics believe that salvation comes through their church’s sacraments which dispense grace channeled through Mary so that the partaker is able to obey the Ten Commandments (impossible!) and church rules in order to merit Heaven. Catholics must constantly work at meriting their salvation so they pray to Mary and the saints for assistance in helping them live a good life right up until the “hour of (their) death.”

If you were a devoted Catholic and prayed the rosary every day you would spend 122 hours a year praying to Mary (20 minutes x 365 days = 7300 minutes or 122 hours). In one year you would pray 19,345 prayers to Mary (53 beads x 365 days = 19,345 prayers).

Mary was a sinner who loved the Lord and accepted Christ as her Savior like every believer. Mary is currently in Heaven worshipping her Savior. She is not omnipresent like God. She does not hear prayers. Nowhere in God’s Word does any believer pray to anyone other than God. Salvation does not come by receiving the sacraments and by obeying the Ten Commandments (impossible!). The Law only shows us that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Yes, God is a Holy Judge but He is also loving and merciful. He loves us so much He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a perfect life and die for our sins. But Jesus rose from the grave, defeating sin and death and offers the free gift of salvation to all who repent of their sins and accept Him as their Savior.

Mary would be sorely grieved by all the devotion given to her. She would want you to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, just as she did, and to worship God alone.

Mary, Full of Grace, and Luke 1:28

Roman Catholicism, Mary, and Idolatry

When Catholics read the New Testament for the first time, they are surprised by how little Mary is mentioned. As the early church became increasingly institutionalized, it syncretized many of the Roman pagan beliefs and practices including worship of the mother goddess. For how Mariolatry evolved see “The Virgin: Mary’s Cult and the Re-emergence of the Goddess” by distinguished British historian, Geoffrey Ashe.

Critique of Mariolatry quickly turns into ecumenical hug fest

The Cult of the Virgin: Catholic Mariology and the Apparitions of Marymaaaa
By Elliot Miller and Kenneth B. Samples
Baker Book House, 1992, 188 pages

“The Cult of the Virgin” is an interesting examination of Roman Catholic Mariolatry. Catholicism’s elevation of Mary to semi-deity as Mediatrix and Co-Redemptrix has absolutely no scriptural foundation and seriously detracts from the work of Jesus Christ. I especially enjoyed the chapters on Medjugorje and the other alleged Marian apparitions.

However, a serious problem with this book is that the authors, Elliot Miller and Kenneth Samples, approach Roman Catholicism as a legitimate branch of Christianity. Both authors are connected with the Christian Research Institute, an evangelical apologetics ministry that researches cults and non-Christian religions. The founder of CRI, Walter Martin, stated in 1980 that “if any Catholics are saved they are saved not because of the Roman Catholic Church but in spite of it.” Since the death of Martin in 1989, CRI has progressively softened its stance toward Catholicism. Despite Rome’s many unscriptural doctrines, CRI refuses to categorize Catholicism as a heretical church. Hank Hanegraaff, Martin’s successor, believes that while Rome teaches several doctrinal errors it is, at its core, a Christian church. There’s a recording of Elliot Miller, co-author of this book, on You Tube stating it’s possible for Catholics to be saved by following official Catholic doctrine (see here).

But for many evangelicals who remember the reasons for the Reformation, it’s still quite clear that the gospel of Rome is fundamentally different from the Gospel of Jesus Christ of the New Testament. For Rome, salvation comes by receiving its clergy-administered sacraments and by obeying the Ten Commandments. In contrast, evangelical Christians believe the Biblical message of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Is justification by faith or by works? It can’t be both (Romans 11:6). Yes, Rome does espouse some orthodox doctrines, but its position is wrong on so many others, most importantly regarding justification, that it doesn’t warrant the respect and legitimacy offered by Miller and Samples.

The accommodating authors even go so far as to include a short rebuttal from popular Jesuit priest, Mitch Pacwa! They introduce Pacwa by asserting that his “manner of life evidences a strong personal relationship with Christ” (p.161). Hmm. As a Catholic priest, Pacwa teaches the Catholic faithful that they must merit their salvation by receiving the sacraments and by refraining from mortal sin. Even one unconfessed “mortal” sin dooms a Catholic to an eternal hell. How does that square with having a “personal relationship with Christ” who came to save sinners, not the self-righteous, works-religionists? Pacwa is a fiercely traditionalistic Catholic apologist who has frequently debated evangelical Christians and appears regularly on the conservative Catholic EWTN cable network. I have personally witnessed Pacwa on EWTN promoting the Catholic doctrine of salvation by sacramental grace and merit. Search Amazon for books authored by Pacwa and you’ll find he has written many, many titles which promote Catholicism’s standard, unbiblical doctrines, unchanged since the Reformation. By embracing Pacwa as a “brother in Christ,” Elliot and Miller are burying their heads in the sand since Pacwa and his church clearly teach a “different gospel” of sacramental grace and merit. Speaking as an ex-Catholic who left religious ritualism and legalism for the GOOD NEWS of salvation by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, I am perplexed by Elliot’s and Miller’s blindness.

Rome has changed none of its doctrines since the Reformation so why do some evangelicals now embrace it? Co-author Samples has pointed elsewhere to theologian Peter Kreeft as an example of a Catholic who allegedly holds the Reformation in high regard and supposedly believes the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone. As a Catholic, Kreeft is obliged to believe God’s salvific grace is dispensed through the sacraments like water from a tap. Search Amazon for books authored by Kreeft and you’ll find an amazing number of titles written by him which all promote Catholicism’s false gospel of sacramental grace and works-righteousness.

The authors openly confess that “The Cult of the Virgin” is an effort to promote “ecumenical dialogue.” Miller, Samples, Norman Geisler (who wrote the forward to this book), and other compromising evangelicals can quibble with Catholics over issues like Mariolatry, but the bottom-line issue for evangelicals is Catholicism’s works-based justification, which is antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course, Catholic apologists object to accusations that their religion teaches works righteousness. They claim their teachings on salvation are also based on faith and God’s grace. But the truth of the matter is Catholics believe God’s grace, infused into their souls via the sacraments, enables them to perform meritorious works and avoid sin in order to earn their way to heaven. Despite the sophistry it all boils down to works and merit.

Hanegraaff and CRI have devoted a large amount of energy and resources confronting the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and smaller groups but the number of souls led astray by these cults are but a tiny fraction compared to the number of souls deceived by the legalism of Rome.

The Assumption of Mary?

Yesterday, August 15th, Catholics all over the world celebrated the Feast of theASSU Assumption of Mary. The Catholic church teaches that at the end of her life, Mary was taken up body and soul to Heaven and that she is currently seated at the right hand of Jesus Christ as Mediatrix, Co-Redemptrix, and Channel of all God’s graces.

In the 4th-century, a small but determined group began calling for an exalted position for Mary in church theology. Claims were made for her immaculate conception, followed by claims for her assumption, although earlier church writers had made no mention of either assertion. Her immaculate conception was finally defined as a dogma of the church in 1854 and her assumption in 1950. Catholics are obliged to believe both teachings or incur mortal sin. But the rise of Mariology within Catholicism was just another example of the increasingly institutionalized church adapting pagan beliefs and practices. See “The Virgin” (1976) by historian Geoffrey Ashe for an examination of the pagan roots (mother goddess worship) of Mariology.

The Feast of the Assumption is a major holiday for Catholics and is often a “holy day of obligation” whereby Catholics are normally required to attend mass or they incur a mortal sin. However, because the Feast of the Assumption fell on a Monday this year, the U.S. bishops did not require Catholics to attend mass. To be frank, the bishops are having a hard enough time getting Catholics to attend obligatory mass on Sundays let alone the following day. Officially absolving parishioners from mandatory mass attendance yesterday saved the clergy the embarrassment of thousands of near-empty churches on a “holy day of obligation.”

I was listening to “Calling All Catholics” (Station of the Cross, 101.7 FM, Buffalo, NY) yesterday and “father” Jacek Mazur was bemoaning the fact that, in Poland, Mazur’s native country, Catholics are required to attend mass on the Feast of the Assumption no matter what day it falls on. He felt the U.S. bishops are too soft on their subjects and that the church needed to enforce a uniform policy worldwide.

I don’t believe Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven. Early church writers never bothered to mention such an important event. Why not? Because it never happened. Mary was a sinner like every person born on Earth and needed a Savior.

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.'” – Luke 1:46-47

Mary is NOT the Mediatrix or the Co-Redemptrix. The Catholic church would have Mary share in the holy offices of Jesus Christ but Jesus is the ONLY Mediator and Jesus is the ONLY Redeemer. Catholics who read the New Testament for the first time are startled to find that Mary is barely mentioned in comparison to the immense honors, duties, and privileges she is accorded by the Catholic church. In fact, Jesus corrects those who would give Mary any special reverence or even worship:

“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

Catholic friend, Mary would be saddened by all the devotion and worship given to her by the Catholic church. Jesus Christ is the only Savior. Accept Him. There is no need to pray to Mary or the saints. Pray to Jesus Christ. Accept Him as your Savior.


From John MacArthur:

Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma, Part 1
https://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-315/exposing-the-idolatry-of-mary-worship-catholic-dogma-part-1

Exposing the Idolatry of Mary Worship: Catholic Dogma, Part 2
http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/90-316/exposing-the-idolatry-of-mary-worship-catholic-dogma-part-2

“Five reasons why I cannot pray to the Virgin Mary”

Why I do not pray to Mary: Five reasons why I cannot pray to the Virgin MaryMary
By Will Graham
Evangelical Focus
2/20/16

Mary. What a wonderful woman of God. Her faith, her obedience and her wholehearted submission to the will of God never cease to amaze me.

Down and throughout the ages few saints have been as sorely tried and tested as she was; and yet through it all, she remained faithful to the God of Israel and to the Son she so problematically bore. No Bible loving person can fail to be moved by Mary’s God-centered love; but at the same time, no Bible reader could ever fall into the trap of turning Jesus’ mother into a quasi-Savior-like figure to whom we must pray and intercede earnestly (and through whom we have access to the Father). Such thinking is a blatant distortion of New Testament faith. So do I pray to Mary? No, I don’t. Why don’t I pray to her? Let me offer you a bouquet of reasons.

1.- Mary isn’t God
One, I don’t pray to Mary because Mary isn’t God. The Bible makes it crystal clear that prayer is to be directed to God and God alone. The Bible strictly prohibits the deification of any creature in the stead of God. I can’t help thinking how horrified mild Mary would have been had she realized that so many billions of biblically ignorant ‘believers’ would use her name to usurp the authority of the Almighty.

See the rest of the article via the link below:
http://evangelicalfocus.com/magazine/1379/Why_I_do_not_pray_to_Mary