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Chris wrote:

Hello gang!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

I was researching the Marian doctrines and think I'm starting to understand them better.

Correct me if I'm wrong but the purpose of the Marian doctrines are not to bring glory or praise to her, because she is nothing but a creature, a mortal, but the purpose in them are to glorify her Son!

Historically, as the Church was developing, and continues too, heresy was creeping in and not giving credit to Christ being both 100% divine and 100% human. That said, this is where I'm finding difficulty:

  • Why does the Church make believing and accepting these teachings mandatory for ones salvation?

A Protestant friend of mine said,

"This is what Protestantism has meant by faith + works, while in contrast, the Catholic Church puts Christ + believing and accepting Marian doctrines as necessary for the individual.

Christ alone is sufficient."

Thanks!

Chris

  { Why does the Church make believing in Marian doctrines mandatory for ones salvation? }

Paul replied:

Dear Christopher,

Let me answer you from a particular angle.

  • Why as Christians do we have to believe in the character Eve?
  • Isn't it enough to believe that Adam was the reason for our fall and original alienation from God?

After all, it was Adam to whom God warned and it is his eating of the forbidden fruit that caused what we all experience as original sin — from which Jesus came to save us from.

  • Why can't the existence of Eve and her role in the fall be optional for Catholics to believe?

The answer begins with the fact that God revealed certain data to us in Scripture and Tradition that He wants us to accept. You could say that some Revelation may be more central to the salvific message than other parts, but all of it forms an integrated whole that God requests that we accept in order to clearly know the message.

The Marian doctrines are a part of the whole of the deposit of faith, much of which is contained in the Word of God through Sacred Tradition. They enable us to understand Christ as well as God's plan for salvation in a way we would not be able to without them.

Peace,

Paul

Chris replied:

Hi Paul,

Thanks! That does make sense. Blessings!

Chris

Mike replied:

Hi Chris,

Thanks for the question.

First, let me positively affirm what you have said.

You said:
Correct me if I'm wrong but the purpose of the Marian doctrines are not to bring glory or praise to her, because she is nothing but a creature, a mortal but the purpose in them are to glorify her Son! Historically, as the Church was developing, and continues too, heresy was creeping in and not giving credit to Christ being both 100% divine and 100% human.

95% on the nose! Marian doctrines have to be accepted by Catholic Christians because they say something about who Jesus is, and as Catholics we have to defend who Jesus is in the public square. I would only add that we can't totally ignore, as Christians, Mary's free will to say:

Yes, Gabriel, I will becoming the Mother of God the Father's human son, Jesus,
if He wants me to.

Mary had just as much free will to say no to Gabriel, as Eve had to say no to the devil in the Garden of Eden. We don't worship Mary because of her holy choice but we honor her because without her yes, your Protestant friend wouldn't even be able to say the name, Jesus.

You said:
A Protestant friend of mine said,

".
 .
 .

Christ alone is sufficient."

And we would say, Amen, brother preach it! but I would ask your Protestant friend:

  • How are you defining Jesus?
  • Who is Jesus Christ?
  • What alone is sufficient?

The title of this web posting is:

  • Why does the Church make believing in Marian doctrines mandatory for ones salvation?

The Answer:

Because Marian teachings say something about who Jesus, the Incarnate God-Man, is.

When talking to Protestants it is always important to remember that we base our theology on two, good, but different questions.

  • The Protestant asks:

      What do I have to do to be saved?

  • The Catholic Christian asks:

      Who is Jesus Christ?

It's always good to bring this distinction up early in faith-sharing conversations.

I hope this helps,

Mike

Chris replied:

Mike,

Thank you for your response.

This has helped a lot!

Chris

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