What is the official RC Marian theology?


#1

It seems to me that there are large variations in the RC church in regards to Marian Theological practices. Everything from, simply saying the rosary on a nightly basis to kneeling down and praying to an image (Guadalupe).

It seems to be bordering on reliance to the Virgin for prayer requests to, as opposed to praying to God.

My question is, what is the official stance of the RC church in regard to praying to and relying on images for the answer of prayers? Some Priests I have spoken to condemn it and some seem to encourage it and others just don't care (or say anything either way).


#2

Dear friend,

Certainly, in some cultures people show greater affection to the likenesses of loved ones–whether they be pictures (icons), or statues than perhaps we do. Yet when a loved one is far away, pictures of such a person take on a greater significance, for most of us, than when the person is near by.

The official stance of the Catholic Church regarding honor given to Mary is no less and certainly no more than that given to her by God. Such a stance comes not from a diminished attention to the Person of Jesus, but rather, an exalted one. The more we acknowledge His sovereignty, the more we recognize how exalted the woman who is His mother has to be. Though only a human being, she has to be truly unique in all of humanity, to have come into such proximity with the Triune God: daughter of the Father, spouse of the Holy Spirit and mother of the Son. We only honor her because of Him. Therefore what can appear to some to be excessive demonstrations of honor—only emphasize how much greater He is. Everything about Mary speaks of Him when one considers who she really is.

Here the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts this into context in # 487 and the following:

usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#

Just type in “Mary” in the search box and then scroll back to # 487

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.


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