When discussing theological concepts, it is important that every heart be humble and open to learning the truth. That there is ultimate truth is a presuppositional thought that must be held for any learning to take place. For Protestants, the ultimate source of theological truth is the Bible. “Sola Scriptura,” “Scripture alone,” was a rallying cry of the Reformation. It is a cry that needs to be heard again for an important part of Christian theology is under assault from within the church by none other than the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis. According to news stories, Pope Francis has boldly declared that Mary, the mother of the humanity of Christ, should be at the second Holy Trinity, “even putting her at Godhead level” (Tanya Diente, International Business Times, September 17, 2014).
Whatever convoluted thinking Pope Francis may have used to arrive at this conclusion, it is a conclusion contrary to the historic Christian faith, contrary to Catholic dogma, and contrary to Holy Scripture. The hope of the church is not in an organizational institution, nor in an exalted woman, but in “God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” (1 Tim. 1:1).
It is not hard to discern one reason why Pope Francis is enamored with Mary and that is, like many men, he is missing the influence of a good woman in his life. The Catholic Church forbids priests to marry and demands priests be celibate even though the doctrinal position of celibacy is declared in the Bible to be a doctrine of devils. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth” (1 Tim. 4:1–3).
Though the Catholic Church forbids its priests to marry, the natural libido will find abnormal expressions. Two forms have captured the imagination of Catholic priests and popes. First, there is pedophilia. In recent years billions of dollars have been squandered by the Catholic Church to pay lawyers to defend the Catholic Church against charges of corruption, and to make settlements with the victims of a religious dogma that is demonic in origin, according to Scripture. Second, there is an unnatural love affair with Mary, perpetually misnamed the “Virgin Mary”, for according to the Bible Mary did not remain a virgin following the birth of Jesus. The Biblical record is that Mary and Joseph had normal intimate relationships following the birth of Christ resulting in a family of many children.
Joseph resumed normal intimate marital relationship following the birth of Jesus. Matthew 1:25 states, “And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” The word “knew” is a word that speaks of the intimate act of marriage. Joseph did not “know” Mary “until” Jesus was born. Then, Joseph did “know” Mary with the result being the birth of other children.
Joseph and Mary had several children resulting in a large family. Matthew 13:55, “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?” Matthew 27:56 states specifically that Mary was the mother of James and Joses.
Mary was not a perpetual virgin; she is neither a Co-Remptrix, nor Mediatrix. Mary is a sinner in need of a Saviour by her own confession. Luke 1:47, “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”
There was no need for Mary to remain a virgin following the birth of Christ. There is no need for the Catholic Church to twist Scripture in order to teach that the handmaiden of the Lord remained a virgin. Mary was blessed “among women”, but she is not to be exalted above women (Luke 1:28).
Let the word go forth, to circle the globe, that Pope Francis has moved from teaching the traditional Catholic error of Mary being a Co-Remptrix, and Mediatrix, to heresy, by making Mary a member of the Godhead. Traditional Catholics should rise up in alarm and protest this papal heresy. The Protestant Church should pray for the pope, while warning faithful Christians to stay true to the Bible and cry again, “sola Scriptura!”