Did Pope Benedict cross the line about Mary?

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Pope Benedict XVI made a variety of improper theological statements about Mary yesterday.  Here is the first:

“If the Church does not exist without Pentecost, neither does Pentecost exist without the Mother of Jesus, since she lived in a wholly unique way what the Church experiences each day under the action of the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said in the general audience.  (Naab K.  Benedict XVI: Mary Invites Us to Pray for More Than Ourselves.  Zenit, March 14, 2012.  http://www.zenit.org/article-34459?l=english)

Did he cross the line?

It should be understood that the only mention of Mary around the time of Pentecost in the Bible is in Acts 1:14.  Here are two Catholic renditions of that portion of scripture:

13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alpheus, and Simon Zelotes, and Jude the brother of James.  14 All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.  15 In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said: (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty: (Acts 1:13-15, Douay-Rheims).

13 and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. 14 With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 15 One day Peter stood up to speak to the brothers — there were about a hundred and twenty people in the congregation, (Acts 1:13-15, New Jerusalem Bible).

Thus, while the Apostle Peter seemed to have a certain prominence then, even the two Catholic versions cited for those scriptures do not indicate that Mary was essential for Pentecost.  In my view, the Pope crossed the line here.

Notice carefully some more of what the Pope stated:

“The Mother of Jesus was placed by the Lord in the decisive moments of salvation history, and she always knew how to respond with complete availability — the fruit of a profound bond with God that had matured through assiduous and intense prayer. […] As Mother of God and Mother of the Church, Mary exercises her maternity until the end of history.  “Let us entrust every phase of our personal and ecclesial lives to her, not the least of which is our final passing…”  (Naab K.  Benedict XVI: Mary Invites Us to Pray for More Than Ourselves.  Zenit, March 14, 2012.  http://www.zenit.org/article-34459?l=english)

Notice that the Bible shows that the only name that is needed for salvation is Jesus, and not Mary, again according to two Catholic renditions of scripture:

10 Be it known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God hath raised from the dead, even by him this man standeth here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was rejected by you the builders, which is become the head of the corner.  12 Neither is there salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:10-12, Douay-Rheims)

10 you must know, all of you, and the whole people of Israel, that it is by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, and God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man stands before you cured. 11 This is the stone which you, the builders, rejected but which has become the cornerstone. Only in him is there salvation; 12 for of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’ (Acts 4:10-12, New Jerusalem Bible)

Sacred scripture does not give any hint that Jesus placed His mother Mary in the decisive moments of salvation history.  Nor does it give any hint that we are to entrust anything to Mary, let alone every phase of our personal and ecclesial lives to her.  The only scriptural “command,” if you will, about Mary is that Christians will call her blessed.  And we do.  The Pope has publicly crossed the line here.

Many non-Catholics will say that this is nothing new and that Bishops of Rome have long overlooked scripture to teach traditions that they embraced that were not in the Bible nor held by the original apostles.

My reporting of this today, however, is related to the fact that since becoming Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Ratzinger took positions that were not as supportive of certain “Marian” dogmas and beliefs as many Catholics seemed to have preferred.

For example, because of his writings on Fatima, Mary, and ecumenical matters, in 2002 certain Catholic priests (who are still part of the Church of Rome and have not been defrocked) wrote that Pope Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger had, “sheer audacity,” writings “that should disturb any Catholic,” “blatantly falsified” “Our Lady’s prophecy” through “tampering,” caused “butchery of the message of Fatima,” “taken the lead in attempting nothing less than the murder of the Message of Fatima,” “conspired, and then acted publicly, to impose upon the Church a version of the Fatima Message that bears no resemblance to the Catholic prophecy,” become one of “many collaborators” in “auto-demolition of the Church,” committed a “crime” through his explanation of Fatima, tried to “bury the Fatima Message,” contributed to a “jig-saw of truths, half-truths, and lies,” presented something “wholly lacking in credibility,” wrote at least one “lie,” written another statement that “borders on heresy and blasphemy,” become “at least a material heretic,” made “citations to Scripture which…obscure the simplicity of God’s truth,” made “a patently fraudulent interpretation,” made a “bogus—bordering on blasphemous—interpretation,”  made “not only lies but clumsy lies,” been “deceptive,” emanated “lies,””blatantly undermined” at least one Catholic “dogma” in a manner that was “outrageous,” committed “fraudulent witness tampering,” “deliberately tampered with the words of the Mother of God,” “deliberately ignored the Virgin’s prophecy,” promoted “exegetical frauds,” committed “grotesque and blasphemous interpretation” which “debases the Mother of God,” flatly contradicted his own testimony in 1984,” caused “a shameless deconstruction of the Message of Fatima,” “produced only confusion,” “caused untold damage to the Church,” changed “his prior testimony,” and produced commentary that “scandalizes the faithful” (Kramer P. The Devil’s Final Battle. Good Counsel Productions, 2002, pp. 65, 66, 109, 130, 132, 136, 141, 142, 164, 165, 178, 210, 232, 233, 246-247, 259, 275).

Yet in 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger, who actually did (prior to 2002) make several biblically-appropriate statements related to Mary and Fatima, was made pope.

My concern is that since becoming pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI has started to change and make more “traditional” and less biblical statements related to Mary.

This is important because I suspect that in the future, one or more apparitions that many will believe are Mary the Mother of Jesus will become more public and be part of the signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) that the Bible warns about (cf. Isaiah 47:1-12; Revelation 18:7,23).  Teaching people that they should “entrust every phase of our personal and ecclesial lives to her” is a step towards getting them to accept apparitions that may become public in a relatively short time from now.

Some type of global religious unity is prophesied in scripture before Jesus returns (Revelation 13:4,8) and not in a favorable light.  It is likely that public appearances (as opposed to apparitions seen by relatively few) of something that people will claim to be Mary of the Bible will be a factor in this unity.

Yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI made public statements that seem to be setting people up to accept Mary and consider that she still has an integral role in personal salvation, despite what the Bible teaches.  Pope Benedict XVI crossed several serious theological lines for those of us who believe sacred scripture.

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