Let’s Look at Roman Catholicism


In the book of the prophet Jeremiah, God calls the attention of the prophet to the idolatrous practices of the Jews who were, with their children, involved in worshipping “the queen of heaven.” (Jeremiah 7:17&18). According to Jeremiah 44:15–28, these stubborn people refused to forsake these heathen practices, even when solemnly warned about the dire consequences that would result from their provoking God to anger by their conduct. Roman Catholicism has through the centuries until the present day, taken the name attributed to this heathen goddess Ishtar, believed then to be the wife of Baal, who was also known as Molech, and affixed it to the earthly mother of our Saviour, thus associating her with God-dishonouring heathen idolatry. Mariology; the adoration and veneration of Mary, as the “Queen of Heaven,” must be seen for what it is—profane, heathen idolatry.

Popes however, since Sixtus IV, as far back as 1476, have referred to the Virgin Mary as the “The Queen of Heaven,” thus, elevating her to a position far beyond, even sainthood. An encyclical issued from St. Peter’s Basilica, from Pope Pius XII, in 1954, officially proclaimed Mary to be the second Eve and the Queen of Heaven. Since Christ is the “new Adam,” Mary is the “new Eve.” Since Christ is the King, Mary is Queen. Thus, goes the reasoning of Rome.

Such is the significance of the person of the, “Ever Virgin” Mary, within the system of Roman Catholic teaching, that two Popes, pronounced certain years to be celebrated throughout Christendom, as “Marian years.” Pope Pius XII, in 1953, proclaimed 1954 to be celebrated as a Marian year. According to a pronouncement from Pope John Paul II, who confirmed Mary’s title as “Mother of the Church,” the year 1987 was likewise to be a Marian year throughout the Roman Catholic Church. His initiating encyclical, Redemptoris MaterOn the blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Pilgrim Church,” is said to be the longest ever written on the subject.

More recently, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Nigeria announced the year 2017, to be celebrated as a Marian Year. The message from Archbishop Augustine Obiora Akubueze to the Nigerian people, was, “The celebrations will afford the faithful the opportunity to be close to Christ through Mary His Mother. Whenever we find Mary we always find Christ. Therefore Mary is a sure way to Christ. In addition to the many spiritual blessings that God is going to bestow on you and your family this year, it also affords all of us the opportunity to learn more about Mary.” Whatever the bishop may say, our Lord Jesus, again and again throughout the gospel record of his earthly ministry, urges us to come directly to him. Nowhere, do we find even a hint that we are to come through Mary to the Saviour. He assures us, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.” (John 6:37).

Numerous claimed visions of Mary throughout history, with associated messages from her, and purported healings by her, have all played a role in insuring continued devotion to her. Being, as Rome claims, “the Mother of God,” we don’t have a Saviour without her. We really depend upon Mary for our soul’s salvation. Thus, Rome teaches, “This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us gifts of eternal salvation…Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition. The above statement, while exalting Mary, clearly undermines the teaching of Scripture upon the sufficiency of the Lord Jesus Christ, as a divine Saviour. According to this assertion, sinners not only stand in need of Mary’s help, but Christ himself, the Son of God, requires her assistance in the work of Redemption. While Jesus Christ is acknowledged by Rome to be the divine Son of God, whose death atones for sin, his earthly mother is elevated throughout her teaching, to a position in the scheme of redemption, for which there is not the slenderest warrant in Scripture. Such is the degree of focus upon the person and supposed merits and ministry of Mary that there are as many, and probably more, statues and pictures of the Madonna (Virgin Mary), throughout the world than there are crucifixes. All over the world, wherever Roman Catholicism is established, the importance of praying to Mary is emphasized, with multitudes of deluded souls putting their faith in her, in the hope that she will ensure them a safe entrance into Heaven when this life is ended.

In a contemporary Roman Catholic publication, “Heaven Opened by the practice of Three Hail Marys,” it states that “One of the greatest means of salvation and one of the surest signs of predestination, is unquestionably, the devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin. All the holy doctors of the Church are unanimous in saying with St. Alphonsus of Liguori: “A devout servant of Mary shall never perish.” The chief thing is to persevere faithfully until death in this devotion.”

It is a historical fact that both Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict XV, among others, gave their “Apostolic Blessing” to this form of devotion. Roman Catholics are thus encouraged to pray: “Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.” The reason for this devotion, we are told, is that Mary revealed herself to St. Melchtilde in the 13th Century, assuring her of peace at the time of her death if she faithfully maintained this devotional practice. Mary, it is alleged, instructed Melchtilde, that “The first Hail Mary will be in honour of God the Father, whose omnipotence raised my soul so high above every other creature that after God I have the greatest power in heaven and on earth. In the hour of your death I will use that power of God the Father to keep any hostile power far from you.” According to Melchtilde, Mary informed her, “The second Hail Mary will be said in honour of the Son of God who communicated His inscrutable wisdom to me. In the hour of your death I will fill your soul with the light of that wisdom so that all the darkness of ignorance and error will be dispelled.” Likewise, “The third Hail Mary will be in honour of God the Holy Ghost who filled my soul with the sweetness of His love and tenderness and mercy. In your last hour I will then change the bitterness of death into divine sweetness and delight.” It is alleged that Mary later revealed the following to St. Gertrude the Great: “To any soul who faithfully prays the Three Hail Marys, I will appear at the hour of death in a splendour so extraordinary that it will fill the soul with heavenly delight.”

For some anxious soul facing death and the prospect of spending, according to Rome’s teaching, an indefinite time in Purgatory, such promises may certainly be comforting. Why however, we must ask; are promises referred to by the Apostle Peter as, “exceeding great and precious promises,” (2Peter 1:4) not sufficient to provide all the comfort needed in both life and at death? It appears from Scripture, that the very person who the Roman Catholic Church claims was the first Pope, was satisfied with the divine promises already given to believers, long before any purported visions of Mary or messages from her. What better promise could a child of God require than that of the Saviour, who says to his believing people, via the disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:1–3). In the case of the dying malefactor on the cross: in his hopeless situation, all he had was the simple prayer of faith, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” Jesus, amidst all his agony, responded, “Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:42&43). What more comfort or assurance could the poor malefactor wish for?

As they put their trust in the teaching of Roman Catholicism, many benighted souls will continue, no doubt, to cling to their “Hail Marys” for comfort at death. Yet, another Apostle, Paul, knew nothing of this. Writing to the Church in Corinth, he quoted from the Old Testament, applying the truth spoken through the prophet Hosea, to the finished work of Christ, stating, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1Corinthians 15:54–57). Paul did not point the Corinthians to Mary, but only to the glorious, triumphant Christ. When the Apostle wrote this first epistle to the Corinthians, he was explaining to them some of the great matters relating to the death of believers, such as the heavenly state, and the future resurrection. His words are full of spiritual comfort and hope for all who believe in Christ as their Saviour. The bible, in fact, is replete with sweet divine promises to God’s children for every situation; far excelling any fanciful, or mythical promises, claimed and disseminated by so-called saintly visionaries. As Paul, reminded the Corinthians; it remains true: “all the promises of God in him (Christ Jesus) are yea and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” (2Corinthians 1:20).

Even to this present time, papal devotion to the cult of Mary is as strong as ever. The Catholic News Agency recently reported that Pope Francis, at a special Mass in the Basilica of Mary Major, on January 28th this year, asserted that “When we go through difficult times or have problems or worries, Mary is our shield, guarding our faith and protecting us from evil. Where the Madonna is at home the devil does not enter…Mary is the sure ark in the midst of the flood.” He continued: “As Christians, we cannot be neutral or detached from our Mother;…And we are, first of all children, beloved children, who have God for a Father and the Madonna for a Mother.”

Whose teaching do we trust—that of the Holy Spirit in the Bible, or that of a deluded Pope? Paul told the Ephesian believers that they were “accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6). God’s beloved Son is the all-sufficient Saviour for sinners, so that it is written, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25). What a glorious saviour for even the worst of sinners; yet one whose sufficiency is denied by the teaching and practices of Rome and its papacy.