Mary's "fiat": an unfortunate title?


#1

I recently heard a protestant theologian make a comment on national radio regarding Catholic teaching on Mary’s “fiat”.

He claims that since “fiat” means *a legally binding command, *Catholics believe that Mary actually **commanded **God.

I understand that this is absolutely NOT what Catholics believe. A creature, no matter now holy and perfect, could never command the Creator!

But, isn’t this an unfortunate choice of a word to describe Mary’s “let it be done to me”? Why, indeed, do we use the term “fiat” if it means “to command”?


#2

The ignorance of the protestant “theologian” is shocking. And I really do hope it’s ignorance and not something darker.

The english idiom fiat might have those connotations, but the Latin fiat is a subjunctive verb, it means “may it be done.” It is an expression of assent to God’s will.


#3

Hmmm…I think I know what’s wrong…

I recently heard a protestant theologian

“Fiat” only means an exercise of authority in English. In Latin, the language of this usage, Fiat translates to “let it be.”

-ACEGC

PS–read the top line of this page en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiat explaining what the other meanings of Fiat are…that’s my source.


#4

[quote=monina]I recently heard a protestant theologian make a comment on national radio regarding Catholic teaching on Mary’s “fiat”.

He claims that since “fiat” means *a legally binding command, *Catholics believe that Mary actually **commanded **God.

I understand that this is absolutely NOT what Catholics believe. A creature, no matter now holy and perfect, could never command the Creator!

But, isn’t this an unfortunate choice of a word to describe Mary’s “let it be done to me”? Why, indeed, do we use the term “fiat” if it means “to command”?
[/quote]

What is unfortunate that people attempt to interpret the bible for their own purposes and do not seek the true word of God. The Gospel according to Luke 1:38. reads “And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.” She first acknowledges her low state in life as well as her dedication to the service of God. Gabriel has just finished explaining to Mary that despite her “not knowing man” she will bear the Son of the Most High. She does not say “do this according to my command” but rather she bows in obedience to God’s will and says “be it done to me according to thy word”. This is similar to Christ praying to His Father in the Agony of the Garden, where He concludes “not My will, but Yours be done”.

The words are beautifully written only the interpretation is of base material.

:hmmm:


#5

[quote=Vatican II]The words are beautifully written only the interpretation is of base material.
[/quote]

Right.

To monina - fiat is not a poor choice of words. Please don’t blame the word itself.

We can’t anticipate what protestants will stoop to, so let’s just keep our beautiful language intact.


#6

[quote=monina]I recently heard a protestant theologian make a comment on national radio regarding Catholic teaching on Mary’s “fiat”.

He claims that since “fiat” means *a legally binding command, *Catholics believe that Mary actually **commanded **God.
[/quote]

Some Catholics have gone that far - so he is not wrong if he says that such a claim has been made.

I understand that this is absolutely NOT what Catholics believe. A creature, no matter now holy and perfect, could never command the Creator!

But, isn’t this an unfortunate choice of a word to describe Mary’s “let it be done to me”? Why, indeed, do we use the term “fiat” if it means “to command”?

Talk of Mary’s Fiat always makes me think of Volvos; and sometimes of the roar of Moses’ Triumph - I wonder why he preferred motor-cycles.

“Fiat…” means “Let there be…” - as in “Fiat lux” - “Let there be light” or “Fiat voluntas Tua” - “Thy Will be done”; or in Luke 1, “Fiat mihi secundum voluntatem Tuam” - “Let it be to me according to Thy Will.” ##


#7

[quote=Vatican II]What is unfortunate that people attempt to interpret the bible for their own purposes and do not seek the true word of God. The Gospel according to Luke 1:38. reads "And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her."
The words are beautifully written only the interpretation is of base material.

Well, to do this protestant theologian justice, he did indeed read from Luke 1:38 and claim that Mary’s response was perfect, humble and holy. He maintains that the Roman Catholic Church added the connotation of it being a command by utilizing the term “fiat”, giving Mary more power than it was due her in Scripture.

monina
[/quote]


#8

Well, to do this protestant theologian justice, he did indeed read from Luke 1:38 and claim that Mary’s response was perfect, humble and holy. He maintains that the Roman Catholic Church added the connotation of it being a command by utilizing the term “fiat”, giving Mary more power than it was due her in Scripture.

monina

I’m not so sure that being damned with faint praise is such a good thing, when he goes on to say, quite incorrectly, that the Church “added the connotation of it being a command by utilizing the term fiat.’”

And, it’s particularly ironic that he is the one who has added to a perfectly good Latin word a connotation never intended by the Church, but which only exists in his imagination.


#9

Sigh.

Good luck, then!


#10

[quote=Della]I’m not so sure that being damned with faint praise is such a good thing, when he goes on to say, quite incorrectly, that the Church “added the connotation of it being a command by utilizing the term fiat.’”

And, it’s particularly ironic that he is the one who has added to a perfectly good Latin word a connotation never intended by the Church, but which only exists in his imagination.
[/quote]

Thank you. I really thought I was going insane to see intelligent sounding people saying “yes, I see the man’s point.”

If I were to point out that Luther’s bible contains the word mit, and spread lies that Luther claimed Jesus played baseball because the word mit is in Luther’s bible, I would rightly be called mentally defective. And I would hope and expect that Catholics would not come to my defense saying “yes, I can see the man’s point.”


#11

I believe I heard this same “theologian’s” program on Thursday and Friday. I was OK with him, thinking he’s misguided, but not mean, until he used the word “repugnant” to describe a Vatican document on Mary. What I found the most funny about his show Friday was he ended it by telling the people he was talking to that “they’re not experts in Catholicism” by just going to this lecture. He didn’t catcht the irony–he seems to think he is!!


#12

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