Dogma of Queen of Heaven

I have a co-worker, who is orthodox, explain to me, to put it simply, that the Catholic Church says that if you do not believe in the dogma; Mary, Queen of Heaven, then you are not considered Catholic and that priests and bishops know this but do not tell the laity. Is there any truth to this?

You must believe it. Otherwise you are saying the Pope is not infallible. In which case you are denying the whole core of the Catholic church itself. In which case, the Catholic church then becomes just like any other church.

That doesn’t mean you have to practice the veneration of Mary in any way. You just have to accept the church is right on its dogma of Mary.

The Orthodox have no business telling Catholics who is and who isn’t considered Catholic. They should worry about themselves.


What did your co-worker **actually **say?

The queenship of Mary is not a dogma. There are 4 Marian dogmas: Perpetual Virginity; Divine Motherhood; Immaculate Conception; and Assumption.

The queenship of Mary flows from the dogmas of Divine Motherhood and Assumption. This is doctrinal, expressed throughout the centuries, but has not been declared dogmatically.

Pope Pius XII’s 1954 encyclical gives us a liturgical feast day honoring Mary, Queen of Heaven:

Some Orthodox share this belief, although I don’t believe they express it quite the same way as we do.

The Church clearly teaches that Catholics must give assent to doctrine and dogma. Not a secret. It’s right there in the Catechism.

Rejecting doctrines of the faith doesn’t make one “not Catholic”.

A simple study of Church teaching shows that one who is baptized Catholic or makes a profession of faith (i.e. joins the Catholic Church after non-Catholic baptism) is henceforth ALWAYS a Catholic-- whether in good standing or not will depend upon the person.

Your friend likely has a faulty understanding of excommunication (particularly automatic excommunication) and how that may or may not apply to those who reject church teachings.


I do believe the main objection to this is semantics and misunderstanding. IMO they see “queen” as ruler. But this title bares no effort to take away from or suggest equality with God. There is always thought to be a hierarchy in heaven, much as revelation describes the elders. We are to honor our parents and such and we can respect and revere them without placing them in anyway equal to or greater than God. If there is a hierarchy as we believe in heaven it would be wholly illogical to think that Mary would not have a top spot o.O

Whether or not any individuals take this too far is not a matter of church teaching but individual issue.

What she was referring too was something called “The Anathemas,” so I found:

The Anathemas of the Second Council of Constantinople

And the only thing I found was this:

"IV. If anyone says that the holy, glorious, and ever-virgin Mary [Note: The claim that Mary is “ever-virgin” is Roman Catholic folklore. (Jonathan Barlow)] is called God-bearer by misuse of language and not truly, or by analogy, believing that only a mere man was born of her and that God the Word was not incarnate of her, but that the incarnation of God the Word resulted only from the fact that he united himself to that man who was born of her; if anyone slanders the Holy Synod of Chalcedon as though it had asserted the Virgin to be God-bearer according to the impious sense of Theodore; or if anyone shall call her manbearer or Christbearer, as if Christ were not God, and shall not confess that she is truly God-bearer, because God the Word who before all time was begotten of the Father was in these last days incarnate of her, and if anyone shall not confess that in this pious sense the holy Synod of Chalcedon confessed her to be God-bearer: let him be anathema."

So I don’t necessarily see anything considering Mary Queen of Heaven as dogmatic.

Am I correct on this point? Please advise. Thanks

To put it simply:

A) Jesus is the king of heaven and earth. Jesus is a descendant of David and his kingdom is a Davidic kingdom.

B) The Davidic kings, from Solomon down, honored the king’s mother as the Queen Mother, which was not an empty title but a position (though underneath the king, of course). She had her own seat beside the king. The names of the Queen Mothers are almost all recorded in scrilture itself in 2 Kings, when the king is described.

Put the two together. That makes Mary the “Queen Mother” of Jesus’ kingdom of heaven and earth.

Well, not exactly.

a) The Pope has not made an infallible declaration on the queenship of Mary.
b) Disbelieving the queenship of Mary has no bearing on papal infallibility.
c) Mary’s queenship is doctrinal, but not dogmatically defined. We are called to give religious assent.

892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent” which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

You said “to put it simply” which may have left out some of the meaning of what your co-worker said.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I think it is probably that they do not understand some of the Catholic concepts related to religious assent and possibly misunderstand automatic excommunication.

An Orthodox Christian? If so do you know what Church they belong to?

All the Saints will be crowned as kings and queens. Since Mary is a Saint par excellence, it makes perfect sense to refer to her as Queen of Heaven.

I’m actually shocked slightly that an Orthodox Christian would see this teaching as controversial. Just look at all of those Queen of Heaven icons, like this one :shrug:

Here’s a prayer by the fourth century St. Ephrem:

Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me.

Christi pax,


Well first we don’t even know what church the person in question belongs to. The OP used a small “o” in “Orthodox.” That may have been inadvertent but we could be talking about an orthodox Presbyterian. And second, the OP didn’t make it clear what was supposedly controversial. Is it the teaching itself or the supposed fact that the clergy are keeping its dogmatic nature secret from the laity? We need a little clarification to address the issue.

I actually thought of removing that part of my post entirely afterwards for many of the reasons you meantioned, but in the end I wanted an excuse to post an image of the Blessed Mother :smiley:

Christi pax,


And the reason I ask is I don’t know an Orthodox Christian who would have a problem calling Mary Queen of Heaven. I mean sometimes the Orthodox go further than Catholics in their veneration of Mary. I’m getting ready to leave for vespers here in a few minutes and at the end of the service the priest will pray “Most holy Theotokos save us!”

The only Marian dogma that I’ve seen consistent resistance to among the Eastern Orthodox is the Immaculate Conception for a number of reasons, but Queen of Heaven = no problem.

I find that the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom makes SO many more references to the Theotokos than the Mass of Blessed Paul VI (I only hear of her twice I think).

Christi pax,


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit