Author Topic: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?  (Read 2588 times)

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Offline GammaRay

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Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« on: September 25, 2009, 06:02:13 PM »
I always hear about the so-called Mariology and how Cahtolics are overdoing it with the Theotokos. Can someone enlighten me on the matter? What do Catholics "add" to Mary (or what do the Orthodox "do not include", if you're a Catholic :P)?
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Offline ytterbiumanalyst

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 07:48:13 PM »
From whom do you hear this? I have only heard complaints of this nature from evangelicals.
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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 07:55:52 PM »
I always hear about the so-called Mariology and how Cahtolics are overdoing it with the Theotokos. Can someone enlighten me on the matter? What do Catholics "add" to Mary (or what do the Orthodox "do not include", if you're a Catholic :P)?

I've heard complaints about this from non-Orthodox, non-RC, but rarely (if ever) from the Orthodox.  I think the IC, dogmatic Assumption, and an over-emphasis on a nuanced title (co-Redemptrix) are over-doing it, as well as doing "hail Mary" instead of the Jesus prayer, but that's like criticizing someone who gets an 800 combined on their SAT's for their penmanship... There are more pressing issues at hand ;)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 07:56:16 PM by cleveland »
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 08:58:38 PM »
Indeed this is from a controversial website, but the article itself is well documented, and many of the sources are from within the RCC and the catechism. Some question whether the author actually exists, but "she" has published several books.

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/False%20Religions/Roman%20Catholicism/mary_worship_a_study.htm

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2009, 09:35:25 PM »
Just wanted to add, this is one persons viewpoint, who may or may not have been a RC nun. She attacks some Orthodox viewpoints as well.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:37:46 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline ms.hoorah

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2009, 09:59:23 PM »
Here is one example that is occurring in my neighborhood.  There is a group of RC women who sit in the back of the RC church every morning.  They do not participate in mass but they attend mass.  In unison, they loudly pray their prayers to Mary during the mass.  The priest tries to block them from entering the church during mass because they intentionally disrupt it. Apparently they are part of some national or international group.  My elderly, RC neighbor frequently rants about this “cult” {her words, not mine}.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 10:20:43 PM by ms.hoorah »

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Re: Do Catholics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2009, 10:50:41 PM »
I would say some Catholics do overdue it.  That said I think they are a very small minority.  Also Mariology is the study of the Theotokos a course taught in all Catholic and Orthodox seminaries to my knowledge.  Mariolatry is worship of the Theotokos which I think is what you meant.

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Offline John Larocque

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2009, 11:43:30 PM »
I have issues with private revelations and apparitions (nearly all of them) and elements of "popular Catholicism" - but have never felt that devotion to Our Lady was "too much." Far from it, I think Roman Catholics, especially those agitating for further dogmatic titles, could better further serve the cause by making better use of existing liturgical feast days such as the Dormition. Don't create new devotions, just make better use of the ones that they have... and stay away from condemned seers (such as the one whose theology underpins "Vox Populi").

Incidently, St. Vladimir's Press sells a book on early sermons on the Dormition, which is actually edited by a Jesuit, Fr. Brian Daley. I just got it in the mail and am looking forward to starting it.

Offline GammaRay

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Re: Do Catholics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2009, 07:55:34 AM »
I've been talking with an Orthodox priest about a Catholic icon where the Holy Trinity crowns the Theotokos. He said something like "...and the icon has some traces of the so-called Catholic Mariolatry...".
Ortho_cat, the link your cited is very poor. Using unofficial beliefs and misconcpetions of tha laity along with Sola Scriptura is an easy way to debunk any Catholic or Orthodox non-biblical doctrine (non-biblical does not mean anti-biblical).

Mariolatry is worship of the Theotokos which I think is what you meant.
Indeed! Thanks for the correction.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Do Catholics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2009, 08:31:14 PM »
I've been talking with an Orthodox priest about a Catholic icon where the Holy Trinity crowns the Theotokos. He said something like "...and the icon has some traces of the so-called Catholic Mariolatry...".
Ortho_cat, the link your cited is very poor. Using unofficial beliefs and misconcpetions of tha laity along with Sola Scriptura is an easy way to debunk any Catholic or Orthodox non-biblical doctrine (non-biblical does not mean anti-biblical).

Mariolatry is worship of the Theotokos which I think is what you meant.
Indeed! Thanks for the correction.

I know, I'm sorry, much of it was protestant propoganda.  Although, I did find that several of the quotes from the previous popes and the exerpts from the catechism were quite revealing, however.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2009, 08:33:43 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline Ionnis

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2009, 09:20:26 PM »
I have heard some Orthodox accuse Catholics of worshipping Mary or venerating her excessively.  I always refer them to St. John of Damascus.  He uses some of the most elevated language that I have ever seen used when speaking of the Theotokos. 
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Offline Ionnis

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2009, 09:23:16 PM »
Here is one example that is occurring in my neighborhood.  There is a group of RC women who sit in the back of the RC church every morning.  They do not participate in mass but they attend mass.  In unison, they loudly pray their prayers to Mary during the mass.  The priest tries to block them from entering the church during mass because they intentionally disrupt it. Apparently they are part of some national or international group.  My elderly, RC neighbor frequently rants about this “cult” {her words, not mine}.

I wonder if they are part of the "Mary is God" movement.  That group teaches that Mary is the Holy Spirit, if I'm not mistaken.  I feel sorry for the priest and parishioners who have to deal with those people.  :-/
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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2009, 12:48:09 AM »
I would not say that we venerate the Blessed Mother because it is through Mary that we come to Christ

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2009, 04:50:24 AM »
I would not say that we venerate the Blessed Mother because it is through Mary that we come to Christ

Care to expand on what you're saying here?

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2009, 11:11:09 AM »
I mean yes some Catholics do over venerate the Blessed Mother sometimes even leaving Jesus out of the picture but I don't think that the majority of Catholics over venerate her  and I definitely wouldn't call the rosary over veneration.


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Offline believer74

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2009, 02:13:50 AM »
This concept of over-veneration is something I have struggled with for some time. I wonder if there might be an individual aspect. I would guess most Orthodox and Catholics would say praying to Mary makes them feel much closer to God. While I really do actually get the concept, honestly I can't say I feel it. Probably the main thing I struggle with in regards to this issue is at what point does one feel closer to, or turn to, Mary, or the patron saint, before God, perhaps seeing her as more compassionate or on 'our side'. What does that do to my relationship with my creator. Just pondering. I didn't aim this at anyone posting before me.

Offline witega

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Re: Do Catholics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2009, 02:55:58 AM »
While I really do actually get the concept, honestly I can't say I feel it. Probably the main thing I struggle with in regards to this issue is at what point does one feel closer to, or turn to, Mary, or the patron saint, before God, perhaps seeing her as more compassionate or on 'our side'.

I think you really need to separate those into two issues not one. As pointed out earlier in the thread, believing that any human being, even the Theotokos, is 'more compassionate' than our All-Compassionate Lord is dangerously close to, if not actually heresy. As wonderful as the Theotokos is, she is still a created being. She can no more be 'more compassionate' than the infinite Godhead than she can be 'more all-powerful' or 'more omniscient'.

On the other hand, I often 'feel closer' to my wife, my father, my best friend than I do to God. That doesn't mean they are closer, but limited to my material senses and sinful mind as I am, I certainly feel that way. And while God--being omniscient, being my Creator, having become incarnate--may relate just fine to me, at this point in my progress, I find other human beings more relatable than the transcendent God. If I was a saint, then God would be all I need. But not having reached that point, I still need (or at least desire) the comfort of other human beings as well. And God, in His infinite mercy, gives me that--He has blessed me with a wife, with parents, with friends. He has blessed me with a parish community. And even beyond that, even if calamity tore all those from me, He has blessed me with a patron saint, with other saints that I can respect, relate to, and take as role models, with His own Mother.

One doesn't turn to Mary 'before God' or 'instead of God' any more than one turns to one's family or priest or fellow parishoners 'before' or 'instead of' God. One turns to all of the them *in addition* to God because our fellow Christians, still living, reposed, or glorified, are a community which our Lord has blessed us with.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2009, 03:35:06 AM »
This concept of over-veneration is something I have struggled with for some time. I wonder if there might be an individual aspect. I would guess most Orthodox and Catholics would say praying to Mary makes them feel much closer to God. While I really do actually get the concept, honestly I can't say I feel it. Probably the main thing I struggle with in regards to this issue is at what point does one feel closer to, or turn to, Mary, or the patron saint, before God, perhaps seeing her as more compassionate or on 'our side'. What does that do to my relationship with my creator. Just pondering. I didn't aim this at anyone posting before me.

Our priest teaches us that all intercessory prayer should be supplementary to our primary prayers to God.  I don't think one should ever replace their prayers to God by intercessions.

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2009, 06:47:38 AM »
This concept of over-veneration is something I have struggled with for some time. I wonder if there might be an individual aspect. I would guess most Orthodox and Catholics would say praying to Mary makes them feel much closer to God. While I really do actually get the concept, honestly I can't say I feel it. Probably the main thing I struggle with in regards to this issue is at what point does one feel closer to, or turn to, Mary, or the patron saint, before God, perhaps seeing her as more compassionate or on 'our side'. What does that do to my relationship with my creator. Just pondering. I didn't aim this at anyone posting before me.

Our priest teaches us that all intercessory prayer should be supplementary to our primary prayers to God.  I don't think one should ever replace their prayers to God by intercessions.

Exactly
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Offline believer74

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Re: Do Catholics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2009, 12:24:40 AM »
While I really do actually get the concept, honestly I can't say I feel it. Probably the main thing I struggle with in regards to this issue is at what point does one feel closer to, or turn to, Mary, or the patron saint, before God, perhaps seeing her as more compassionate or on 'our side'.

I think you really need to separate those into two issues not one. As pointed out earlier in the thread, believing that any human being, even the Theotokos, is 'more compassionate' than our All-Compassionate Lord is dangerously close to, if not actually heresy. As wonderful as the Theotokos is, she is still a created being. She can no more be 'more compassionate' than the infinite Godhead than she can be 'more all-powerful' or 'more omniscient'.

On the other hand, I often 'feel closer' to my wife, my father, my best friend than I do to God. That doesn't mean they are closer, but limited to my material senses and sinful mind as I am, I certainly feel that way. And while God--being omniscient, being my Creator, having become incarnate--may relate just fine to me, at this point in my progress, I find other human beings more relatable than the transcendent God. If I was a saint, then God would be all I need. But not having reached that point, I still need (or at least desire) the comfort of other human beings as well. And God, in His infinite mercy, gives me that--He has blessed me with a wife, with parents, with friends. He has blessed me with a parish community. And even beyond that, even if calamity tore all those from me, He has blessed me with a patron saint, with other saints that I can respect, relate to, and take as role models, with His own Mother.

One doesn't turn to Mary 'before God' or 'instead of God' any more than one turns to one's family or priest or fellow parishoners 'before' or 'instead of' God. One turns to all of the them *in addition* to God because our fellow Christians, still living, reposed, or glorified, are a community which our Lord has blessed us with.
Thanks for that nice answer, I actually hadn't thought of it in quite that way.

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Re: Do Catholics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2009, 01:18:50 AM »
Also Mariology is the study of the Theotokos a course taught in all Catholic and Orthodox seminaries to my knowledge. 
I've never heard of "Mariology" in an Orthodox seminary. All doctines about the Theotokos are Christological.
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Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Do Cahtolics over-venerate Virgin Mary?
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2009, 02:09:12 AM »
In the words of St. Epiphanius of Cyprus: "There is an equal harm in both these heresies, both when men demean the Virgin and when, on the contrary, they glorify Her beyond what is proper" (Panarion, "Against the Collyridians").