quod pro nobis traditum est

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Pope's Visit



5pintLutheran said...

I liked his speech, until I heard:"eternal protection... virgin Mary." I know I'll anger the RC's who read this comment, but the church in Rome has elevated Mary to a Deity, parallel to our Lord. Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum. Pax Domini.

Fr. Timothy D. May, S.S.P. said...

Actually, they haven't. The Vatican recently disciplined some group within the Catholic Church that held extreme views on Mary. I believe this group no longer exists.

In recent years I have done some readings in official Catholic teaching documents, their theologians and writings of then Cardinal Ratzinger and some of his writings as Pope Benedict XVI. I have also talked with Catholic laity. I am quite confident that the Catholic Church teaches Jesus Christ as Savior and the cross as His sacrifice for sin. Mary is understood more in terms of ecclesiology.

Two further points. Lutherans today, heavily influenced by biblicism, would be uncomfortable with some of Luther's comments concerning Mary. Secondly, Lutherans today, apparently in reaction to both Rome and Constantinople, flee almost to an unbiblical view of Mary, forgetting all that Scripture does say of her and emphasizing her in an egalitarian manner. (Why does the Church, both East and West, hold Mary so highly from the earliest days and throughout the centuries?)

If the Reformation seeks credibility then we need to ask ourselves if Scripture means what it says when it says, "Blessed are you among women" and "For, behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed." Jesus has a higher view of Mary than we do today.

Are there dangers in popular piety? Certainly. Just as there are in every church body and religion on earth. If this video was the only exposure I had to Pope Benedict XVI then I might have reason for concern. There is no doubt that this Pope believes, teaches and confesses "Jesus of Nazareth" (true God and true Man) as Lord.

Fr. Timothy D. May, S.S.P. said...

Here is a fair and rather accurate anaylysis from the secular press of Pope Benedict XVI on the eve of his visit. Note especially the points of comparison with Pope John Paul II (which help to show us more about who he is and how he fills his office) and also the emphasis that this pope places on Jesus Christ.