I heard a debate..and agree with the Evangelical party


#1

I listened to this eight minute “discussion” yesterday night.

youtube.com/watch?v=K5ZpHODuMNY

and … sigh… I had to agree with the Evangelical man. As far as I could see, Fr. Mitch Pacwa got grilled … and did not get much of a say… But what could he have said anyway…
I can hardly deny that this is a huge stumbling block for me my self… that Mary is given names and roles and praise that belongs to God alone and that this is a huge stumbling block to every protestant that hears these words… I can’t blame them.
Yes… some Catholic that has studied for some years may be able to give an explanation - a long one using a lot of strange paths - to get the Protestant to understand what we think and why…
but such should certainly not be necessary…

agh… I gotta be honest with you brothers and sisters… when I see things like this I wonder if I could ever do ministry in the Catholic Church… for I long to serve Christ but I would never defend such a prayer… and let’s face it, this marian devotion is all over the place… in our hymns and liturgy too… I just understand the Evangelicals and Protestants too well when they stand there with open mouths and call us crazy and bordering on idolatry in this area :frowning:

Would somebody please say something?.. and please dont be harsh with me… its no fun being in my shoes as it is.


#2

Luther believed in the Catholic teaching on Mary and protestantism followed not its founder.


#3

The way I look at it, God bestowed upon Mary the greatest honor possible: He asked her to be the Mother of God and to bear the Savior of the world within herself. No matter what titles or devotions or prayers I offer to Mary, none of them compare to the great honor God Himself has already given to Mary.

Also, I know that I’m not placing Mary above or on par with God when I uses certain titles or prayers. I’m only trying to honor her as God did. To me, it seems like a non-issue. The idea that I am “worshipping Mary” seems ridiculous to me because I know that’s not what I’m doing.

That said, I can certainly understand how many of the externals can look problematic to protestants (and even many Catholics). I can respect that people find difficulty with Marian doctrines and devotions even though I have never expreienced the same stumbling block.

I’m not sure if this helps you at all. :o


#4

I’m going to share something with you from a completely different perspective than you would probably hear from anyone else.
I used to be a huge fan of the Christian Research Institute.

Dr. Walter Martin brought up so many points, and each one has to be explained through 2,000 years of Church History and understanding. Each one probably would require at least a paper or a chapter to respond to sufficiently. Fr. Pacwa had only a few moments to respond to all of Dr. Martin’s points, and had to personally select the one he’s respond to.

Something American evangelicals don’t know about is the anthropology of language. Dr. Martin and sola scripture types ONLY use the words themselves, and I saw that coming and then Dr. Martin brought up a very WESTERN syllogism argument.
The Bible isn’t WESTERN, and neither is the Church.

Words and Language have both a denotative and a connotative meaning. In order to understand the nuances of languages, we have to know the difference. This is especially apparent in relation to our faith, which uses language to express itself. The denotative meaning is the dictionary definition of the word. The connotative meaning is everything we “read into” the words based on our own experiences, our history, our tradition, our frame of reference, etc.
So many Bible literalists use a word, thinking everyone in the whole world has the same understanding of the word.

Catholics and protestants are speaking two different LANGUAGES. Catholic apologists recognize this and attempt to address it first off, but protestants are stuck in the words and can’t get beyond them.

So much of Marian theology is really about the Protestants beefs with how Catholics use words. When Catholics say, “Mary, …our life, our sweetness, and our hope.” It doesn’t mean that Jesus isn’t our life, our sweetness and our hope.

I could say that my daughter is “My life, my sweetness, and my hope.” I could say that my spouse is “my life, my sweetness, and my hope.”

“Help me Obi Wan Kenobe, you’re my only hope.”

The arguments protestants have with Marian theology could be used against poetry about America. "America, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. "

When Catholic theology states that no one comes to Christ except through Mary, we mean that our salvation is realized BECAUSE Mary said “Yes” to the angel Gabriel in Luke 2.

Catholic faith is MORE than just the words on the page. It’s more than just a syllogism.


#5

There is a very big difference in seeing Mary as role model whose humility to imitate and advocating prayer to her …

But I am ever so tired of this phrase of Catholic ignorance that people here seem to chant like they read it in some book or heard it on a program and just uncritically make it their own truth: that “Luther believed in Catholic teaching on Mary”…that is nonsense. Wherever did you get that?
Did you sit down and read anything Luther wrote? I doubt it because he was very clear about this: Prayer is due to God alone and everything else is unbiblical. Imitation of their faith, yes, praying to them, big no. I have read a number of Luther’s texts including his two catechisms ( I study at a Lutheran academic faculty)… some places in his writings he even calls prayer to saints a near occasion of sin because you place your hope in someone besides God to grant you things that only God can give you.

… See, you got it all backwards… when some Lutherans today pray to saints they do it in opposition to the clear words of Luther.


#6

I watched the first one minute of that video. Didn’t need to see any more. There are more than a half a dozen assumptions and claims Mr. Cheap Suit (whoever he is), that are false, misstated, and plain wrong in the first 60 seconds alone.

It’s an eight minute video (I guess, I didn’t watch the whole thing - no sense watching the ten thousandth rerun of tired old tripe) For Father Mitch to refute his claims would take hours.

Just one simple example of the “forked tongue” tactic you see on that “inquisition”. Mr. Cheap Suit says that the Assumption Mary parallels the Ascension of Jesus. Wrong ! Jesus ascended of his own power, Mary was taken up by a power beyond herself. Taken up as a gift. (And as an aside, the Assumption of Mary shows up a foretaste of our own Assumption/Resurrection of the body at the end of time. It’s a very comforting doctrine. And it shows us that Heaven is three dimensional-at least to our understanding). Anyway, Mr. Cheap Suit understands his tactics. Don’t for a minute believe this line of questioning is coming from someone who has no understanding of the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Understand that Catholics will always appear to lose on these kinds of programs because Catholic doctrine has taken thousands of years to form, articulate, and qualify. Not to mention that revelation is God’s thing - and he does it one His own time. What we believe as Catholics is not possible to put into cute little eight second sound bytes, like the charges of the Church’s detractors.

These kinds of videos used to make me mad. Actually they still do, but I’m not upset with the accuser, I’m upset that Pacwa would put himself in a no-win situation like this one.

Or - was this a 60 minute video edited down to suit the purpose of some anti catholic detractor ??? I wonder.


#7

Ahhh … unbiblical. Our appreciation of Mary is extrabiblical, something that is not at odds with the words of Scripture. And, extrabiblical is not synonomous with anti-biblical either.

Ask yourself, does the Protestant concept of biblical - sola scriptura, offend God in that effectively Protestantism teaches that because the Bible is “completed” God is prohibited from revealing anything more to mankind?

Catholic beliefs that are extrabiblical do not contradict the teaching of Scripture. Unless of course you can make a buck or get on TV by saying they do.


#8

Well maybe I am just Evangelical in my use of words as well as my understanding of them… I don’t pray the Magnificat anymore because I did not believe in the words.
Neither would I ever call my spouse, child or country “my life” or “my hope”… that would be nonsense… That is just not the right use of words and concepts.
But when Jesus says “I Am the Life” then I literally believe Him for it. No one else has the authority to say that about himself but God… So let us mean what we say.
Its like the same when people tell me they are Christians because they are baptised, but they dont believe in God :eek: … I long for clarity… clarity… there are enough misunderstandings in the world… the Church does not have to add some to that.

In my view the Bible it self says: “let your “yes” be a “yes” and your “no” be a “no””. and if no one understands us then maybe we should learn to speak the language that they might… and we might understand ourselves… because yes… some do place trust in Mary that is not appropriate …

I am not against asking Mary to pray for me sometimes… I wanna make that clear… I do not see it as a necessity to a good Christian life or to piety though … but I don’t mind that people do it and I do sometimes pray the rosary… But I really put the limit where people start to give her titles that are misunderstood by every law of normal understandable language.

:frowning:


#9

I am not defending Sola Scriptura. You gotta read my post and what it answered… I only made clear that Luther did not allow nor accept prayer to the saints.


#10

I look at that prayer this way:

First, you left out a few very important words. It’s actually “Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”

Jesus is mercy.
Jesus is our life.
Jesus is our sweetness.
Jesus is our hope.

Mary is the mother of Jesus.

Therefore, Mary is the “Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope.”

Does that make sense?


#11

I don’t know why protestants don’t understand it, it’s so easy. Maybe they just don’t want to understand it. We worship God only but we venerate Mary. Anyway, Mary herself asked children in Fatima to say the rosary. What she does is always according to God’s will.
Remember that if you chose protestants instead of the CC, you reject Real Presence, apostolic succession, sacrament of reconciliation, etc.
God bless.


#12

I watched the first one minute of that video. Didn’t need to see any more. There are more than a half a dozen assumptions and claims Mr. Cheap Suit (whoever he is), that are false, misstated, and plain wrong in the first 60 seconds alone.

Sorry brother… but then you missed the main point.

(…) Anyway, Mr. Cheap Suit understands his tactics. Don’t for a minute believe this line of questioning is coming from someone who has no understanding of the teaching of the Catholic Church.

EWell he might not have… but neither did his audience or even I… so there is a problem… and making a superficial joke about the man’s suit wont change that fact.

Understand that Catholics will always appear to lose on these kinds of programs because Catholic doctrine has taken thousands of years to form, articulate, and qualify.

Obviously takes thousands of years to grasp and explain as well then, or what ?

These kinds of videos used to make me mad. Actually they still do, but I’m not upset with the accuser, I’m upset that Pacwa would put himself in a no-win situation like this one.

These videos dont make me mad… not at all… they give me a short illustration of what keeps the christian brother’s divided… and that I find interesting. And Pacwa I dont blame… but I could be tempted to ask my self: “That pope the Evangelical man was quoting… What was that Pope thinking?? … was he out of his right mind?!”


#13

The Magnificat is word-for-word from Scripture, though (Luke 1:46-55). What’s wrong with it? :confused:


#14

One more thing, Mary is never against or instead of Jesus, she leads us to Jesus.
Saying the rosary is not idoltary, it’s a powerful prayer.
During the exorcism when she comes, devil is the most scared (I know I don’t use the most proper words but I hope you know what I mean), she is the one to crush the head of the serpent.


#15

Dear Kay…
Thats how I preferred to view the prayer myself for a while… but then I thought: no, there is not explaining it away… It does not say that which you wish it to say. If its in any way clear it says: Mary = our life, sweetness and hope.
You even have people on this thread who will agree with me on that and pray it excatly with that meaning…

Besides… the prayer that was quoted in the clip also was beyond misunderstanding… Mary was called “Our glory, our honour” and given the role of taking us to heaven amongst other things…
And the Evangelicals dont have to seach for these prayers and songs… they are right there in our song books and prayer books…
:frowning:
It’s just wrong…


#16

First off I will make the presumption that you are accurately portraying the event. However, just because Fr. Mitch din’t yell as loud as this Protestent doesn’t mean that he lost any debate. Logically Fr. Mitch probably held his tongue then it is because he saw that the protestent would not be persuaded. Or maybe he was just afraid he may say something that would not be Christlike. Or maybe he wasn’t at his best. Or maybe he was thinking, why Lord can’t they just accept the truth. I don’t know. These call in shows are pot luck anyway. Anything can happen. It is not like Rush Linbaugh where the calls are screened.

If a formal debate were to be held in true debate formats where no badgering or machine gun questions were allowed then Fr. Mitch would hold his own. He is a gentleman and a scholar.

Just because some Protestent wants to believe his own version of Christianity doesn’t make it correct. Remember this: They don’t have a valid priesthood, sacraments, Bible. They believe things like Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide and OSAS. I can see why Fr. Mitch probably would just leave someone to wallow in their own slime. He handles it lot better than most. I have heard Catholic Apologists that were pretty rude and Fr. Mitch was not one of them.

Look, Our Lady was born without sin and then did not sin during her whole life. That is the most fabulous accomplishment of all human history, except for her Son’s life, death and resurrection.
She is worthy of adoration because She is such a loving mother and good role model. She wants you to come to her. She wants to help you. Giving her a stream of title like the Litany of the Blessed Mother where we ask her to pray for us is a good thing.

Marian apparations are real, they happened, tons of witnesses, tons of healings. Just because you don’t want to believe them doesn’t make them not real.


#17

[quote=“Luther:Christmas Sermon, 1531”][She is the] highest woman and the noblest gem in Christianity after Christ . . . She is nobility, wisdom, and holiness personified. We can never honor her enough. Still honor and praise must be given to her in such a way as to injure neither Christ nor the Scriptures.
[/quote]

[quote=“Luther’s Little Book of Prayer”][Mary] is full of grace, proclaimed to be entirely without sin- something exceedingly great. For God’s grace fills her with everything good and makes her devoid of all evil.
[/quote]


#18

OK, you don’t pray the Magnificat because you don’t believe the words. Did I get that right? The Magnificat is right out of Scripture. Read the Gospel of Luke, 1: 46-55. There it is, word for word. The “our life, our sweetnes, and our hope” come from a prayer written in the 12th century. Langauge was much more flowery then. It was written in the language of the times.

Many people say or do things that they don’t really mean, for whatever reason. It is not limited to Catholics! Of course there are those who place trust in Mary. Why would it not be appropriate to trust her? If I pray to Mary, what am I doing? I am asking her to intercede (pray) for me. Why would I do that if I didn’t trust that she would do as I ask?

Why are you blaming Christ’s Church for the behavior of some of its members? Remember that we have free will. We can choose to say, do, or think whatever we want. If someone chooses to claim to be a Christian because they’re baptized, but say they don’t believe in God, whose responsibility is that? Not the Church’s, but their own. The Church speaks very clearly. People often reject or alter teachings (like ABC) because of their own needs or wants. This is not the Church, but individuals.

Hope this answers some of your concerns.

Peace,
Linda


#19

Funny, I remember in, oh about fourth grade CCD class, good Sister Theresa explained that we Catholics pray to God, to Jesus, through Mary. That Mary always points the way to her son. That is her role, and all our devotion (not worship) to Mary is understood by that fact.

I was about 9 years old and it didnt take me thousands of years to understand that.

In fact, I read a very interesting observation about Mary in a recent publication. The writer was saying that Mary and her role are defined to mankind, and particularly Catholics, by the last words we hear Mary speak in scripture.

Those last words were at the Wedding at Cana. Mary says to the wine stewards, “Do whatever He tells you to do.” Says it all.

Mary always points to her son. All Catholic devotion to Mary is a prayer WITH Mary to her Son.

The RCC has taught this for centuries. If people don’t want to understand it, that’s their choice. A poor one in my opinion, but they have the right…


#20

angelusm: One more thing, Mary is never against or instead of Jesus, she leads us to Jesus.

Already there I totally and utterly disagree with you. For me Jesus and the Holy Spirit alone is the Door to life that is in Him and through Him. Some Catholics say: “through Mary to Jesus”… again I cant tell you how wrong that sounds to me… I rather say: Through Jesus to everyone and everything else… He is the only One who can stand alone and uphold anyone or anything in existence or truth… everything good comes from Him as primary and only source.

Saying the rosary is not idoltary, it’s a powerful prayer.

I agree with you… I enjoy praying the Rosary myself from time to time… But I tell you in honesty that the titles and honours that are directed at Mary in our church today is a temptation for me that causes much suspicion… and not only for me… you know this

During the exorcism when she comes, devil is the most scared

Yes… as he is of everyone past and present that is a servant of God and calls upon the name of Jesus doing His will.

(I know I don’t use the most proper words but I hope you know what I mean), she is the one to crush the head of the serpent.

**Actually that is not entirely accurate. Its nowhere written that she crushes the head of the serpent. That was a translation mistake in Jeromes translation of the Bible in the fourth century (as far as I remember the century)… every Catholic scolar knows this. The Greek original text said that Eva’s offspring will crush the serpent’s head… if you see it as a prophesy that means Mary’s Son, Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent… there is no room for misinterpretation.

Peace**
.


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