Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mary Ann Collins On Mary Worship, Part II

Picking up where I left off, I had some time to try and track down this accusation:

In 495 A.D., Pope Gelasius issued a decree which rejected this teaching as heresy and its proponents as heretics. In the sixth century, Pope Hormisdas also condemned as heretics those authors who taught the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary.

I checked several secular history sources, and none mention anything to do with this. The Nestorian controversy was going on at this time, but that was the only thing remotely related to Mary. Pope Gelasius is mostly referred to for setting the setting the Bible canon, which historians now think was a later Pope, for declaring Manicheans heretics for not taking communion under both kinds, and for combating another Eucharist-related heresy.

Pope Hormisdas gets even less mention in online encyclopedias than Pope Gelasius. Pope Hormisdas is reunited the Eastern and Western Church, after he convinced the Eastern Church to repudiate the heresy of Monophysitism. Monophysitism says that Jesus has only one nature, and that is his divine nature.

I think this Webster guy that she quotes so much is just making stuff up, and I'm not the only one.

The next section concerns parallels of Mary and Goddess worship.

Mary Ann Collins does not use The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop as her source, but that is the original, completely discredited book which really started the Catholic=pagan argument. Many Bible Christians consider The Two Babylons as very authoritative on this sort of thing. Christians such as Ralph Woodrow, who has his own evangelistic association.

Mr. Woodrow found The Two Babylons so compelling, he wrote his own book about the pagan origins of Catholicism. But then, he started actually checking Hislop's citationsand they were not what they were purported to be. So Mr. Woodrow recanted his book, and wrote a different book called The Babylon Connection? debunking The Two Babylons.

The final section is How Did We Get Here:

The Early Fathers used Scripture as the standard against which they tested Church tradition. The modern Catholic doctrine that Church tradition is equal in authority with the Bible is contrary to the writings of the Early Fathers.

A survey of the Early Church Fathers does not support this.

She again cites Webster here, and this assertion of Webster was challenged in this article.

Notice the sleight of hand by Mr. Webster. He equates St. Irenaeus’s and Tertullian’s understanding of Tradition to mean Scripture. Both of these Fathers clearly understood Tradition as a substantive and coordinate authority alongside Scripture. These same Fathers believed that the doctrines of the Catholic Church are found in Tradition as well as in Scripture. However, they do not make the misguided conclusion that Tradition is equated to Scripture since Tradition includes the same doctrines that Scripture contains. The primary difference between Scripture and Tradition is that they convey the same teaching but through different mediums. One transmits the doctrines via the written Scriptures while Tradition transmits these same doctrines through the life, faith and practice of the Church. If Scripture is equated with Tradition than the writings of St. Irenaeus and Tertullian are reduced to nonsense.

The Pope is said to be infallible whenever he makes an official decree on matters of faith and morals. According to Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for the Pope to teach false doctrine. Catholics are expected to obey the Pope without question even when he is not making an “infallible” statement about doctrine. They are expected to submit their wills and minds to the Pope without question.

I covered Papal infallibility and other Pope issues here.

The history of the early Church shows that the Bishop of Rome was considered to be just another bishop. For example, Pope Gregory (590-604 A.D.) explicitly stated that all of the bishops were equal. He specifically repudiated the idea that any one bishop could be the supreme ruler of the Church.

No, that is not the case. Regarding Pope Gregory, Webster is again mentioned by name in this article.

In the seventeenth century, the Catholic church officially condemned Galileo as a heretic because he taught that the earth revolves around the sun. . .The “infallible” pronouncement of the Catholic Church regarding Galileo's teaching was wrong.

There was no infallible pronouncement about Galileo. For more information on the Galileo case, see this article.

There is a brief mention of Marian apparitions, however, she does not mention that Marian apparitions are considered private revelation, and are not required belief for any Catholic.

That concludes my survey of Mary Ann Collins lengthy article. If I didn't address something that you would like more information about, please leave a comment.

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