Protestant converts: How did you deal with the Church's Marian doctrines?


The answer lies in knowing the culture your dealing with. Wives of early Jewish Kings were rarely if ever referenced as Queen simply because there usually was a multitude of them. After a King was crowned however and the
"authority" passed there would have been no question as to who the Queen mother would be since one can have only one mother…hence the new title as Queen Mother.


What in Mariology inspired you the most?


Your not using the titles correctly. The Queen is always the Kings wife though the term is rarely used as a title in early Jewish culture simply because the Kings tended to be polygamists. The title your looking for is Queen Mother and she gains this title from her son being chosen as the succeeding King. She would have been one Queen out of many until she gains the title Queen mother contingent upon her son being chosen as King from his fathers authority. In keeping with the Catholic typology Mary would have been either an immaculate “Queen” among many or Mary would not have been a Queen at all since the Angel did not hail her as Queen of heaven, earth, or anyone. That being said, there is no one to one correlation between Christ’s Kingship as a governing entity and an earthly King. There is no definable feminine aspect to the Godhead. There is no analogy of a single human Queen whom God is married to. This is a conceptual remnant of the Phoenician Queen of heaven the Goddess Astarte and her Husband the God Baal. This typing Mary as a Queen is a later development within the Church which has no correlation of understanding during Jesus’s or even Paul’s ministry on earth and it may have been as a result of an attempt by the Church to usurp other Goddess like pagan worship from spreading by inculcating a feminist aspect into the male dominated Christianity of the day after all the Church is well known for absorbing pagan rituals and worship sites into its own Christianized aspects.


And what if your Church apologizes for sinning by following its own understanding of scripture as Pope John Paul II did? Christ admonished the Pharisees for being hypocrites in not following what they themselves promote. Who in the clergy are we to call hypocrite? Yet are we to have hypocrites as our leaders? Is Christ to trust only the decayed wine skins to carry his best wine? The body that teaches true doctrine is the body that true doctrine has taught. We recognize the truth in doctrine through the holy spirit we don’t recognize the doctrine as truth first by acknowledging the authority of the barer of the doctrine. For it is said that all manner of wickedness comes out of the mouths of men and none are above needing redemption. Who among the clergy is without sin? Yet if the clergy speak truth how are we to know unless the truth is first made comprehensible apart from them who are sinners and if them who are sinners would be our leaders does not their actions speak truth or untruth made comprehensible to us through the holy spirit? It is my humble opinion that Gods doctrine will prevail in spite of the self defined infallible actions of men not because of them.


Devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

This Message was confided by Our Lord to Berthe Petit, a humble Franciscan Tertiary, born on January 23, 1870, at Enghien, Belgium:

“Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother pierced by the very sorrows which pierced Mine.” (December 25, 1909)

At the Holy Hour (March 25, 1912) the Blessed Virgin spoke thus: “I have called myself the Immaculate Conception. To you I call myself Mother of the Sorrowful Heart. This title willed by my Son is dear to me above all others. According as it is spread everywhere, there will be granted graces of mercy, spiritual renewal and salvation.”


During Midnight Christmas Mass she saw the wounded Heart of Jesus and close by was the pierced Heart of His Mother. Then she heard these words:

“Cause My Mother’s Heart, transfixed by sorrows that rent Mine, to be loved.”

"The Heart of My Mother has the right to be called Sorrowful and I wish this title placed before that of Immaculate because she has won it herself. The Church has defined in the case of My Mother what I myself had ordained ---- Her Immaculate Conception. This right which My Mother has to a title of justice, is now, according to My express wish, to be known and universally accepted. She has earned it by her identification with My sorrows; by her sufferings; by her sacrifices and her immolation in Calvary endured in perfect correspondence with My grace for the salvation of mankind . . . " [Sept. 8, 1911]


Why Devotion to the Heart of Our Mother in Her Sorrows?

Because Jesus wants this devotion.

“Jesus Christ Himself revealed to Blessed Veronica of Binasco,
that, He is more pleased in seeing His Mother compassionated than
Himself.” He said to her: ‘My daughter, tears shed for My Passion are
dear to Me; but as I loved My Mother Mary with an immense love, the
meditation on the torments which She endured at My death is even
more agreeable to Me.’

“Wherefore the graces promised by Jesus to those who are devoted
to the dolors of Mary are very great.”


You imply that Pope St. John Paul the Great admitted that the Church has taught false doctrine. That is a complete falsehood. He did not, and She has not.

All of the great people in the history of salvation had great failings. Christ’s promise that His Church would never teach false doctrine is true because He is God, not because His people are impeccable. As we all know, they aren’t.


And there in lies the problem. The same people who aren’t impeccable are the ones whose interpretation of doctrine we are to follow. How do we get by this dilemma? Why should we believe that we shouldn’t eat the chickens simply because the fox whose guarding the hen house says we shouldn’t eat the chickens but then eats the chickens himself? It may just as well be that the fox wanted all the chickens for himself and therefore developed a scheme with which to ensure this.
Jesus did not lie about his Church this I believe we can both agree on. But who or what comprises his Church about which he speaks? Is it only the clergy? Is it the Clergy and laity? Is it a mixture of both? Are you equating the Church with only that which is passed on infallibly? Why would you believe Christ is talking about a people who fails to follow their own infallible teaching? Why should we believe they teach infallibly if our experience of their actions says otherwise? Why do you believe men know the only possible way God ensures his doctrine is passed on through the generations? Is the holy spirit so particular or limited that his grace only falls on a few to teach infallibly? What is it that they teach that is not within our ability to grasp ourselves? If a teacher fails in his reputation why should he be allowed to continue to lead if by their leadership they lead men astray in equating their leadership with infallibility? And what was the Jews failure? Was it their not being an impeccable people despite God having a covenant with them? Was it that God gave them fallible teaching? If God gave the Jews infallible teaching but they weren’t an impeccable people following your line of reasoning shouldn’t we all still be Jews?


Easy: Jesus promised that his Church would never teach false doctrine.


That begs the question…What Church is Jesus making his promise about and who comprises its body. Catholics would say our Church of course and then go about proving it, but the proof lies in an interpretation by men proved fallible, even the proof that these fallible men cannot err in passing on true doctrine depends on believing the fallible men have correctly interpreted Jesus words which say they say says that they are the ones who interpret correctly. In the real world this would be called circular reasoning.


(Former Anglican/Evangelical here.)

It was the same for myself - Marian devotion was something which drew me, very much, to the Catholic Church.

I found that scripture supported some pre-eminence for Mary, which was completely lacking withing Anglicanism. The details didn’t particularly concern me.

This intends no lack of sympathy for the OP’s difficulties. I’m just responding as a former convert to the question.

The only Church teaching which bothered me for any extended period, during my conversion process, was The Sacrifice of the Mass. Eventually I realised that I could either accept all of Church teaching, or stay outside it - and accept the consequences of that. I chose to accept all of Church teaching. Within a very short time of being received into the Church that difficulty faded, and I’ve fully embraced The Sacrifice of the Mass within my spiritual life. Just as I’ve fully embraced all the other things which Protestants usually balk at - Purgatory, Confession, Prayers to Saints, veneration of Mary, etc… It works together as a “whole” which grows in time.

My experience has been very much that of Cardinal Newman:

Only this I know full well now, and did not know then, that the Catholic Church allows no image of any sort, material or immaterial, no dogmatic symbol, no rite, no sacrament, no Saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself, to come between the soul and its Creator. It is face to face, “solus cum solo,” in all matters between man and his God. Cardinal Newman, Apologia Pro Vita Sua


I’m a cradle Catholic so can’t answer this question about converts and Marian doctrines. However, I want to speak from experience. I’m well versed in Marian theology, have taught Catholic theology at the university level, etc. In short I’m an exceptionally well informed Catholic. That said, my most powerful and deep understanding of Mary comes from the simple prayer of the Rosary. It really had power, and said daily with faith it will truly give you a strong sense of having a mother’s guidance. I can’t explain it–it is not merely a pious platitude–it is a spiritual reality. And always, in a mysterious way, Mary is not the destination but the vehicle.


I would say the only Church that existed at the time is the one Jesus made the promise to. That Church may just have an unbroken link of succession dating back to the apostles themselves to differentiate themselves from any other Church.

Which churches claim to have that, and which ones have the history to back them up?


Easy. There’s only one church that has existed since the time of Christ, and its identity is no mystery. That’s an historical fact that has nothing to do with doctrine.

I suggest studying the writings of the early Church Fathers, men who learned the faith directly from the Apostles. I quoted some of them in the thread I linked to in my first post here - you did read it, didn’t you?


The problem is that from the get go, as soon as Christ ascended the Church was comprised of a multitude of opinions and ego’s vying for dominance. Even the Church Fathers argued points among themselves. There never was an obvious line of truth traceable through men back to Christ, yet he was always there I’m sure…in some. It was only after three hundred or so years after Christ that the brilliant idea was put forth to trace this so called truth continuously back to Christ so that a record could be made in order to justify authority, and who initiated and endorsed a particular lineage which placed them in a favorable and superior position? Why it was the Roman Church of course which happened to be found in the capital of the most powerful worldly entity of the time. The very governing peoples who Crucified Christ to begin with. With this Churches new found endorsement and ability to manipulate secular force it was able to dominate but no entirely or for long, hence the schism. Politics that’s all it boiled down to…not truth. The truth was surreptitiously hanging around in the background infecting individuals here and there despite this other worldly politicking. So far as we know, none of the other apostles appointed any single one of their brethren to single handedly lead the entire Church. Peter certainly wasn’t a leader in the Gospels…at least not in any recognizable form of leading…quite the contrary. As far as I’m concerned the foundation of Christ’s Church, that which the success of his Church is founded on must of necessity be without blemish and impeccable…the truth of his infallible word. Any foundation not born of such perfection would be doomed to strife and eventual failure, the same fate of Satan. Peter failed these founding principles a couple verses after the one Catholics site for his leadership when Christ called him Satan, or at least thinking as Satan would have him think. The one single thing the Catholic Church points to time and again to prove its authority is the one verse in the one Gospel that some scholars think wasn’t even original to the document but added later. They have nothing else. Unbroken succession? That succession is riddled with controversy and outrageous behaviors. It was broken in the beginning. Universal acceptance of its authority early on…please. Even the Church fathers argued the point, oh it was settled all right, settled with intimidation and force. How are you gonna put someone to death for heresy when the whole point of Christian Charity is that people are allowed to choose freely without recourse to violence or incarceration. Absolutely absurd. We accuse some Muslim sects of doing just that and condemn them. The Catholic Church is pretty darn comfortable in the world for me to believe Satan isn’t involved somehow…no, Christ’s Church isn’t the pompous one marching around in all its rich glory that you cant help but see, its the Church within all the Christian Churches comprised of those people not seeking their own recognition or glory but Christ’s. It is the Church persecuted because of its humble pursuit of Jesus and his glory not because of its own self inflicted travesties.


Your suggestion is well taken and I have studied the early Church Fathers. You must realize the extent to which Satan can go in order to confuse and abuse Christ’s Church. I am not a Catholic so simply saying the Roman Catholic Church is THE church Christ established because some authority figure within the same Church says so weighs little to me, unless it can be proven. From the Catholic Churches behavior’s I’m witnessing in my time I’m not so readily convinced. Some would have the Holy Spirit tethered to a few unchallengeable individuals as its sole source for passing on Gods holy truth and the Church has been paying homage to the world ever since by being its own worst enemy. In the beginning the world attacked Christ’s Church. Now it simply reacts to Catholic behavior.
You have to realize that even the early Church fathers were fallible men trying to dominate the early Christian church with their own ideas and agendas. If we are to believe the Church has not changed Allegiances were formed and broken in secret and pride was not absent from the scene. If we cherry pick some phrases from the early Fathers we can create a conception of a unified church traced back clear to Christ but this simply is not historically accurate…or as you’ve said, factual to reality. Keep in mind also how many records and references we don’t know about that may have been lost to time and someone’s particular agenda. You’d have to be naïve to believe the whole picture has come to light and no one would have destroyed documents that weren’t particularly favorable to an individual or their agenda. Never the less some things we do have are telling…one example of the misimpression one may get of early Christian unity in the “Church” a.k.a. your Catholic Church I will reference here, a little digging will get you more should you care; …continued


“the early Church Fathers disagreed strongly on who was being saved, from what and for what purpose.” This from Jaroslav Pelikan, commentator on the evolution of Christian doctrine which surveys the different meanings of salvation in early Christianity in “The Christian Tradition, vol. 1 pp 141-55. He was a Yale university professor.
As a matter of fact it was because of this early fragmentation of Christianity that the search for authority became more intense, not to prevent it, it had already happened, but to somehow salvage unity out of disunity. How is it that you can trace to Christ an unbroken chain of universal truth through this quagmire of confusion? The Catholic Church as you envision it today simply did not exist yet. Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons from 178-200 early statement of orthodoxy “The Adversus Omnes Haereses” was in response to critics which claimed the diversity of the scriptures made it difficult for a coherent message to be found in them and they should be open to individual interpretation. Irenaeus believed otherwise claiming the Apostles knew the truth and past it down to their successors. He mistakenly believed the Apostles were all of one mind. Scripture tells us different. Even the Apostles argued over Christ’s intentions after he ascended. Irenaeus believed the apostles…”have received the sure gift of the truth according to the pleasure of the Father…the rest we must regard with suspicion, either as heretics or evil minded.” This echoed by Tertullian: “wherever it has become apparent that the truth of Christian teaching and faith exists, there will be the truth of the scriptures and of their interpretations and of all Christian traditions.” In effect this truth rests with the bishops. Yet the problem still exists. It hadn’t become apparent! At least not in the eyes of the early Christians. How are we to be assured that the truth we are given is from the Father if even the bishops argue over it. It’s as if the unifying presence of the Holy Spirit is being shouted down by the bickering old men.
Remember Cyprian, bishop of Carthage from 248 till martyrdom. He was bitterly humiliated by his flock in the persecution of 251 when the majority of them decided to sacrifice to pagan Gods rather than face martyrdom. Cyprian declared that any lapsed clergy lost their right to the power to baptize. He was adamant about this and gathered much support from his fellow bishops. He was also adamant in condemning any who promoted schism within the Church. He was doing just that however when he came into bitter conflict with Stephen…a.k.a. the bishop of Rome, the presumed head of the Church.
On a side note Rome had tried to assert its authority in the 190s when it attempted to tell the Asian bishops on what date they should celebrate Easter which they rebuffed. So much for Irenaeus assertion in his Adversus Haereses that Rome was the see “with which all must be in agreement.” Apparently the Eastern bishops didn’t get the memo. Not a good testament to a unified church recognizing the authority of Rome…continued


Anyways because Cyprian had gathered support Stephen became isolated. Here is what Firmilian the bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia wrote to him…”Cut yourself off you most certainly have…since the genuine schismatic is the person who has made himself an apostate from the communion and the unity of the Church. While imagining it was in your power to excommunicate everyone, you have in fact succeeded in excommunicating yourself alone, from everyone else!” This he wrote to the bishop of Rome!
So what one unified Christian Church existing since the time of Christ are you talking about that is a historical fact? You quoted the fathers, so did I, where does that leave us?


So setarcos, here you are on a largely Catholic website pushing back continually on Catholics. Why not go ahead and convince us that, whatever your church is, it is the correct one. You’ve got very long and very many posts, but I don’t see you declaring yourself. How about starting there?

“Lord, to whom shall we go?” Show the Catholics here a better church setarcos!

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