Can someone explain Mary's place in Catholicism and other Churches? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 05:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have gotten a book on Mary from the Catholic store in town. As I read it I'd like to have someone to ask questions of and discuss points with. I have always wondered what Mary's place was within the religion of Christianity and why she attracts devotion.
Thanks,
Michelle
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#2 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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What do you want to know?
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#3 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All of it..... Why protestants think it is unbiblical? Why do Catholics think it is biblical? What exactly is her place??? I guess I'll have better questions once I start reading the book.
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#4 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 06:41 PM
 
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Here's a link to the article on Mary from the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia.

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#5 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 07:12 PM
 
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What book did you get? I'm curious because I have Hail, Holy Queen: The Mother of God in the Word of God by Scott Hahn so I'm wondering if that is the one you got?
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#6 of 45 Old 06-12-2008, 07:25 PM
 
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The Orthodox also venerate Mary and hold her in high esteem. We do not believe in the immaculate conception or the assumption. would you like an Orthodox perspective or just a Catholic one? I ask because it sounds like you are coming at this from another faith than Catholicism but i don't want to intrude if you just want a Catholic perspective.

in the mean time . . . .

Here is an interesting article about the evangelical church starting to embrace Mary a little more. (grab a cup of coffee)

eta~ this article only takes into account the Catholic belief of Mary which differs considerably from Orthodox beliefs. Also they reference a picture in the article but it is not there here is the picture.

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#7 of 45 Old 06-13-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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Why protestants think it is unbiblical? Why do Catholics think it is biblical? What exactly is her place???
Well, I guess it helps to remember that the Catholic Church rests on both Tradition and Scripture, whereas the Protestants use only Scripture, so that may be why much surrounding the Blessed Virgin Mary is rejected by Protestants as unbiblical.

Of course, Catholics believe that Scripture only adds to and supports what is taught in Tradition.

Her place essentially is that of the highest veneration and highest esteem of all humans created by God after Her Son Jesus Christ. She was conceived in her mother's womb (St. Anne) free from Original Sin. She is the only human being ever given this special privilege. She is the Queen of Heaven and Earth and the Queen of all Saints. As the Mother of God, she is also considered the Co-Redemptrix of humanity with her Son Jesus Christ. We pray to her for her intercession because Our Lord cannot refuse a request of His mother. I guess that's a surface snapshot.
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#8 of 45 Old 06-13-2008, 08:02 AM
 
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I also think of Mary as my mystical mother in a sense. I feel her presence a lot in my life, and know she has interceded for me on a few occasions in my life. It's as if Jesus is saying to me, "Talk to mom - she'll understand." if that makes any sense. But I don't pray to her, I ask her to pray for me. Many people with a devotion to Mary say, "To Jesus through Mary." She is such an important part of my spirituality, words can't describe it. It was Mary that brought me to Jesus and brought me home to the Catholic Church. There's a lot I can't put into words, but when I pray the rosary sometimes I feel transported, a lot like an intense meditative experience.

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#9 of 45 Old 06-13-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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I'm not catholic, don't pretend to play one, but the mother of god seems like a pretty important position

Sorry for the interruption, I was on my way to another thread and stumbled in here.
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#10 of 45 Old 06-13-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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I'm Catholic. We really like her.

Do you have any questions in particular you want answered?
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#11 of 45 Old 06-13-2008, 07:09 PM
 
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catholic.com has various articles on Mary and Marian theology that might be helpful- http://www.catholic.com/library/mary_saints.asp
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#12 of 45 Old 06-14-2008, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks- I want perspective from all faiths.... sorry, didn't mean to make the OP catholicism vs. protestants......

I will get to some more specific questions. The book I got is : well.... it has already disappeared into my clutter.... I'll post back Ard when I find it.
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#13 of 45 Old 06-14-2008, 10:26 PM
 
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The Immaculate Conception is Mary's conception, not Jesus's. The Immaculate Conception involved Mary's Mother, Hannah. The Feast is December 8, and the Feast of Her birth is September 8. Mary is regarded as set aside and special, chosen to be the Mother of G-d. Catholics do not believe that she had any other children before or after the birth of Jesus.

The concept of her Assumption into Heaven is from 1879, Vatican I, and the Feast Day is August 15. It is a Catholic concept.

She is venerated in countries, that, in my research, had strong traditions of goddess worship in the pagan era.
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#14 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 09:12 AM
 
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The Immaculate Conception is Mary's conception, not Jesus's. The Immaculate Conception involved Mary's Mother, Hannah. The Feast is December 8, and the Feast of Her birth is September 8. Mary is regarded as set aside and special, chosen to be the Mother of G-d. Catholics do not believe that she had any other children before or after the birth of Jesus.

The concept of her Assumption into Heaven is from 1879, Vatican I, and the Feast Day is August 15. It is a Catholic concept.
Mary's mother is St. Anne, not a woman named Hannah.

The the Assumption wasn't invented in 1879. The concept of the Assumption had existed for centuries and the feast of the Assumption had been celebrated since at least the 5th century. The first Vatican council was petitioned to define the bodily Assumption of the Virgin The doctrine of the Assumption was declared infallibly, ex cathedra, in 1950. That doesn't mean the belief in the Assumption didn't exist before then.

The Eastern Orthodox also teach the Assumption, and I have the feeling they'd have an objection against your insinuation that belief in the Assumption didn't occur until the Roman Church made it up.
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She is venerated in countries, that, in my research, had strong traditions of goddess worship in the pagan era
This makes no sense. Almost all cultures engaged in Goddess worship at some point in their history. It's like saying "Mary's venerated in countries where ancient people ate bread."
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Mary's mother is St. Anne, not a woman named Hannah.
The Hebrew name Hannah or Channah became Anne in English. It is the same name.

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The the Assumption wasn't invented in 1879. The concept of the Assumption had existed for centuries and the feast of the Assumption had been celebrated since at least the 5th century. [skip]
The Eastern Orthodox also teach the Assumption, and I have the feeling they'd have an objection against your insinuation that belief in the Assumption didn't occur until the Roman Church made it up.
Yes, and thank you for making that point. The Orthodox usually refer to it as the Dormition of the Mother of God, but it refers to the same event.

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This makes no sense. Almost all cultures engaged in Goddess worship at some point in their history. It's like saying "Mary's venerated in countries where ancient people ate bread."
Just what I was thinking. There is an impulse, for some reason, to explain every Christian belief as a distortion of some related Pagan belief. Christians can revere Mary without it being sublimated Aphrodite worship.
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#16 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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Mary's mother is St. Anne, not a woman named Hannah.
Hannah is the Hebrew translation for Anne. In many translations, Miriam is used as the Hebrew word for Mary. Rebecca is translated as Rivka and Isaac can be Yitzak in modern Hebrew. Languages do change over a period of two thousand years.

As for the Assumption, yes, tales and rumors were around for centuries before Vatican I, but it was not official until Vatican I. I work in an Orthodox Church and the priests told me that the Assumption is largely a Catholic concept. They may have a similar concept, but that is not the impression I got from discussing the idea with them.

There are rumors that Jesus and Mary Magdalen married and had a family also, but the Church has made no move to have a feast day for it nor make it an official Church teaching. Rumors and stories are just that.

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It's like saying "Mary's venerated in countries where ancient people ate bread."
Mary was a woman, not a piece of bread. The Church has always been known to incorporate local traditions as Christian symbols, as the Christmas tree and many others. It is not a stretch to incorporate one venerated woman in place of another.
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#17 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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The Church has always been known to incorporate local traditions as Christian symbols, as the Christmas tree and many others. It is not a stretch to incorporate one venerated woman in place of another.
The Church has not incorporated the Christmas tree into it's traditions. This is a tradition started by people (please correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it is a German custom brought to the U.S. by immigrants?) that has spread, at least throughout North America. In other words, although many Catholics may have Christmas trees and use this motif in their decorations, it has nothing to do with the Church. The spread of the image has to do with commercialism, not the Church.

And I think it is a valid point that Mary is a stronger focal point in some cultures than others, depending on what was in place there before Catholicism took root. It's always interesting to see the intermingling of beliefs/traditions and culture....but I think it is a stretch to say that the Church "decided" to replace goddess worship with Mary...I think the role of Mary made sense to people and they venerate her for who she was/is to them, and maybe they were more open to the idea because of their ancestors spiritual beliefs...just a thought

ETA: The veneration of Mary is very strong in Mexico because of the appearance of Mary to St. Juan Diego - La Virgen de Guadalupe is very important to Mexicans and all Spanish-speaking people. She is the patron of the Americas and protector of the unborn.

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In terms of protestant vs. Catholic, there are many differences. I think nearly all Protestants love Mary... but there is no praying to Mary, etc. But, there is no concept of praying to Saints either.... it's more of a pray directly to God type thing. There also is not the concept of perpetual virginity in Protestant theology. Protestants believe that Jesus had actual brothers... born by his Mom Mary and Stepfather Joseph.

From an Islamic standpoint, Mary rocks. She is the only woman to have a book of the Qur'an named after her. Maryam (Arabic version of Mary) is viewed as "the most saintly, pious, chaste, and virtuous woman ever and a highly respected figure in Islam."

The major difference is that we don't view Jesus as Divine. We view him as a prophet. (Not too shabby, but not the same as God.) You can read more here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Mary_in_Islam


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#19 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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As for the Assumption, yes, tales and rumors were around for centuries before Vatican I, but it was not official until Vatican I.
This is a highly inaccurate statement demstrating a lack of knowledge of the Catholic Church and how She works. The Catholic Church rests upon two things: Tradition and Scripture.

Therein lies the basis of all of our doctrine and dogma. Theologically, there is no difference for Catholics between doctrine and dogma. Catholics are obliged under pain of mortal sin to believe both doctrine and dogma.

The only difference between doctrine and dogma is that a doctrine becomes dogma when it is given an explicit definition, by the Pope, under some very specific conditions whereby he is given the explicit protection of the Holy Ghost, and this is known as speaking ex cathedra.

But, this is in no way a reinvention of, a change to, or a creation of a particular doctrine. It is a restatement of the doctrine, unchanged, that has always been taught since the earliest days of the Apostles. A doctrine is usually elevated to the staus of dogma by the calling of a Council, and this is done when a particular doctrine is being questioned and attacked and heresies are spreading in relation to that doctrine. Elevating it to dogmatic status is meant to squash the heresy.

To say that "tales and rumors" of the Blessed Virgin Mary's Assumption were "around" is completely wrong and diminishes the seriousness of the doctrine, and to say that the reality of Her Assumption for Catholics did not become "official" until Vatican I is highly inaccurate.
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#20 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 04:38 PM
 
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The Catholic Church rests upon two things: Tradition and Scripture.
Scripture? How about commentary. I went to Catholic School for eight years and rarely read scripture; it was referred to, but we never read it for ourselves. More recently my two younger sons attended Catholic High Schools and never cracked a Bible.

A Cathechism yes. TExtbooks yes. Never a Bible.
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#21 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 05:23 PM
 
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Scripture? How about commentary. I went to Catholic School for eight years and rarely read scripture; it was referred to, but we never read it for ourselves. More recently my two younger sons attended Catholic High Schools and never cracked a Bible.

A Cathechism yes. TExtbooks yes. Never a Bible.
That's very unfortunate. That doesn't mean that what StacyL said isn't true. Catholics may do a poor job (at times) at educating our youth on Scripture, and we may well rely too much upon textbooks and commentary. Food for thought. As an adult, I've certainly taken it upon myself to read Scripture and certainly I read it with my children.

Off topic of the thread, but I do think Catholic schools feel called upon to be available to all children and sometimes the religious aspect of the school gets a bit watered down, IMHO. But they usually always have a lovely statue of Mary somewhere.

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#22 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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Duh, of course you're right about Anne/Hannah. I'm used to the variations of Mary, but I totally forgot about that one. Apologies!

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Scripture? How about commentary. I went to Catholic School for eight years and rarely read scripture; it was referred to, but we never read it for ourselves. More recently my two younger sons attended Catholic High Schools and never cracked a Bible.

A Cathechism yes. TExtbooks yes. Never a Bible.
I'm really not trying to be snarky, but just because you went to a "Catholic" school that never properly catechized you doesn't suddenly erase 2 thousand years of Christian tradition. It just doesn't prove anything other than what we already know- there are a lot of really bad Catholic schools out there. There are also a lot of really great ones.

The Assumption most certainly was not merely a "tale or rumor" and the EO and RCC will both outright reject that notion.

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It's always interesting to see the intermingling of beliefs/traditions and culture....but I think it is a stretch to say that the Church "decided" to replace goddess worship with Mary...
Yeah, exactly.




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The Church has always been known to incorporate local traditions as Christian symbols
This isn't unique to the RCC, it's something all people across time have done. That doesn't mean they were all just pulling things out of you know where.
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That's very unfortunate. That doesn't mean that what StacyL said isn't true. Catholics may do a poor job (at times) at educating our youth on Scripture, and we may well rely too much upon textbooks and commentary. Food for thought. As an adult, I've certainly taken it upon myself to read Scripture and certainly I read it with my children.

Off topic of the thread, but I do think Catholic schools feel called upon to be available to all children and sometimes the religious aspect of the school gets a bit watered down, IMHO. But they usually always have a lovely statue of Mary somewhere.



We read Scripture daily, and my daughter's Catholic school did the same, even in Pre-K and Kindergarten.
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#24 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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Scripture? How about commentary. I went to Catholic School for eight years and rarely read scripture; it was referred to, but we never read it for ourselves. More recently my two younger sons attended Catholic High Schools and never cracked a Bible.

A Cathechism yes. TExtbooks yes. Never a Bible.
Wow, that is a bummer.

Unfortunately, a testament to the sad state of affairs in the Church in the 20th century.
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#25 of 45 Old 06-15-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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Wow, that is a bummer.

Unfortunately, a testament to the sad state of affairs in the Church in the 20th century.
I went to Catholic school (8th grade through HS graduation) in the Archdiocese of Detroit from 1982-1987. I *think* we read the NT some in Confirmation classes (our 8th grade religion class), but that was IT.

Might have changed NOW, but seems to be pretty common from 20-25 years ago.

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#26 of 45 Old 06-16-2008, 12:34 AM
 
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I went to Catholic school (8th grade through HS graduation) in the Archdiocese of Detroit from 1982-1987.


Where did you go? My brother went to Brother Rice for a year. My school used to swim at Mercy. My best friend went to Our Lady of Refuge and probably never cracked a Bible the entire time.

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I went to Catholic School K-12 and we studied the Bible a ton. I had a semester of New Testament and a semester of Old Testament my Freshman year in high school. And we used the Bible in all my other HS religion classes (morality, catholic social doctrine, apologetics, christian vocation, liturgy, church history) So i suppose it is all about where you go.

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#28 of 45 Old 06-16-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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http://www.protomartyr.org/mary.html

Here is a really great article on Mary from an Eastern orthodox perspective. The guy who wrote it is a convert who is now a priest. He is really good at communicating these sorts of things.

this is the most important differences between Catholic and Orthodox beliefs concerning Mary.

Quote:
There are two other beliefs . . . first is her bodily assumption into heaven, the other her immaculate conception. It was widely reported in the early Church that shortly after her death, Mary's body was assumed into heaven. In later centuries, the Roman Church ratified this belief as dogma, while the Eastern Church withheld such an official imprimatur. Most Christians agree that such a miracle is within the realm of firm biblical precedent, Enoch and Elijah being two examples. Further, there is no known record of any gravesite or relics of the Holy Virgin. . . . The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a doctrine unique to the modern Roman Church. In an effort to distance Mary (and protect Christ) from the stain of sin, the Immaculate Conception holds Mary was conceived and born without sin. The Orthodox Church firmly rejects this doctrine on the basis of both Scripture and tradition. Whatever other excesses may have cropped up in history, the Roman Church has never believed or officially taught that Mary was in any way coequal with the Trinity or was to be worshiped with the Trinity. Such allegations are sometimes set forth by critics of the Roman Church, but without basis in fact.
(cut to stay within the user agreement andbolding mine)


other fun stuff . . .

http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theotokos

The churches neglect of Mary really irritated me and was one of my first draws away from there. if nothing else I felt she deserved honor. we never even talked about her except at Christmas.

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#29 of 45 Old 06-16-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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Where did you go? My brother went to Brother Rice for a year. My school used to swim at Mercy. My best friend went to Our Lady of Refuge and probably never cracked a Bible the entire time.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Wyandotte, Downriver area. I grew up in Trenton. Moved out of Detroit area 12 years ago to come to Chicago - best move I've ever made. I wanted to get away from auto industry (as well as the parents - another story!).

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#30 of 45 Old 06-16-2008, 08:39 PM
 
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From an Islamic standpoint, Mary rocks. She is the only woman to have a book of the Qur'an named after her. Maryam (Arabic version of Mary) is viewed as "the most saintly, pious, chaste, and virtuous woman ever and a highly respected figure in Islam."
This is very interesting, I didn't know this. Thanks for sharing.

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