Originally Posted by YehoiakhinEx232
1. When did the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, first refer to the Woman as Our Lady? I know that the Early Church Fathers, described the Woman as symbolizing the Church, because it was obvious to them that the Woman was Mary and so didn’t feel the need to comment on them.
. The first time that Mary is referred to as “Woman” is by Jesus himself on the cross (John 19:26). I am not aware of any Father or Doctor of the Church referring to “the Woman” in Revelations as “Our Lady”. Regardless of whether they did or did not, scripture can hold a variety of meanings and therefore should not be bound to only one meaning. While the woman could be understood to represent the Church, the Church did not bring forth the male child (Jesus); Jesus brought forth the Church. Others would say that since the male child and the dragon are real persons (Jesus and Satan), the woman must be a real person as well and the Virgin Mary is the only real person that it could possibly be. On the other hand, it also seems fitting that the woman does actually represent the Church according to Revelation 12:17 where the dragon makes war on the “rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus”. But again, if we are the brothers and sisters of Christ, than Mary is also our mother and we can be called “her offspring” as well. It is not an either/or choice to the exclusion of all other views.
Originally Posted by YehoiakhinEx232
2. The majority of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church say, that the Dragon’s tail dragging a third of the stars and flinging them to the Earth, is a prophesy of the Antichrist leading a third of the Catholic hierarchy into error, schism, heresy, and apostasy. Is it OK for me to mention this, because the crown of twelve stars was brought up, and this might be helpful in reinforcing the fact that the crown of twelve stars represent the twelve stars. But I’m concerned it might be scandalous to bring it up because, of what’s happening in the Church now.
Are you certain that the majority of Fathers and Doctors say that the third of the stars represents Catholic hierarchy? It seems to me that the dominant view has always held that the third of the stars represented the fallen angels that followed Satan in his fall from grace. The twelve stars are generally understood to symbolize the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve apostles, and once they are in heaven, they can’t be cast down from heaven. Be that as it may……
I don’t know any protestant who believes that The Antichrist is actually here on earth at this time or that he was here sometime in the past (the middle ages perhaps), but has already been cast down to hell. No, they believe he is yet to come. The Fathers and Doctors of the Church were writing when there was only One Christian Church, the Catholic Church. Even if this does refer to a third of the Catholic hierarchy apostatizing or believing heresy, It has not taken place yet because the Antichrist is yet to come. Therefore, the Catholic Church (and the hierarchy) have always and still do maintain and uphold the “faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Even if a third will fall, that still leaves 2/3rds remaining faithful to lead the “church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth” (1 Tim 3:15). It could also refer to the Church throughout history losing a third to the antichrist throughout every generation and not necessarily all at one time.
It also could be understood as referring to Protestants or other Christian sects who broke away from the Church in schism, heresy, etc. When the antichrist comes, they may unknowingly willingly follow him having deserted what Christ established for their benefit. It could also refer to lay Catholics who reject ecclesial authority and forsake the sacraments. In my personal opinion, I think it refers to all of the above (fallen angels, Catholics both laity and clerical, protestants both laity and clerical, and even non believers) throughout time, or at any given time including the time of the Antichrist. Sticking like glue to the Catholic Church is the only sure way to avoid being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph 4:14).
Keeping that in mind, whether you choose to bring it up in your discussion is up to your prudential judgment. However, know that the Church has no official stance on this and so it will most likely just be opinion vs. opinion and may frustrate you and not be profitable to them. Stick to what has been defined by the Church through the years with Councils, Fathers, and Doctors as the witness that “this is the Apostolic Faith”, and not just another opinion among many.
And that is just my opinion.