I am a Protestant who would be very eager to convert to Catholicism if I could reconcile the issue of the Virgin Mary.
This may be hard for non-converts to understand, but Mary is a MAJOR stumbling block for those of us who were not raised in the Catholic Church. The biggest problem is that we know nothing of her other than she was the mother of Jesus - she is hardly ever mentioned in our world outside of that event.
I have read an article on Patrick Madrid’s Surprised by Truth site, and I can reconcile the information I see about Mary there - that the Co-Redemptrix means she said “yes” to Jesus, etc. To oversimply, that Mary is one of the best (after Jesus) examples of how we are to be as believers.
What I do not understand, and where it seems to me that Mary is being elevated to God-like status, is the Marian apparitions. I don’t understand, from the Fatima apparitions, why a humble woman who seeks to lead us to Jesus would say to consecrate Russia to her - like she would be the one responsible for saving the nation. It seems that in apparitions, Mary is demanding adoration, devotion, laud, etc. for herself by asking for shrines, consecrations, and so forth and claiming that she will convert a certain area.
This seems (to me) out of character for the humble person that Mary is shown to be throughout the gospel narrative, as well as infringing upon God’s right to be the sole object of our adoration and the sole director of salvation.
Can anyone help explain this to me? I know that we Protestants have trouble understanding pious love, but this seems to go beyond those boundaries, and (as I said) is the one stumbling block holding me back from enrolling in my nearest RCIA class.
Thanks so much, and sorry for the novel.