The Catholic Church: A Friendly Discussion with Our Catholic Friends (Part 2c)

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church 

A Friendly Discussion with Our Catholic Friends

(Part 2c) 

  1. The Place of Mary, the Mother of Christ Jesus

Since Roman Catholicism give such a prominent place to Mary, we must ask what Scripture teaches concerning this pure, devout, and blessed woman.

The Word of God does give an important role to Mary, the simple Nazarene woman whom the Lord used to bring His Son into the world.  This pure virgin of Galilee gave birth to Jesus and raised Him to maturity (Luke 1-2).  She was the wife of Joseph and the mother of four other sons and two or more daughters (Matthew 13:55-56; Mark 6:3).  Mary went with Jesus and His brothers to the marriage feast (John 2:1-11).  She and her sons attempted to speak to Jesus when He was teaching, and the Lord said, “’Who is my mother and who are My brothers?’  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers!  For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother’” (Matthew 12:48-50).  Although He deeply respected His earthly mother, Jesus thereby indicated that spiritual relationships were more significant than physical ones.

On the cross, the Lord committed Mary’s care to John (John 19:25-27).  We also read that Mary and her sons (Jesus’ brothers) were in the gathering of 120 disciples in the upper room before the pouring out of the Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 1:13-14).   And that is the end.  That is the last time Mary is mentioned by name in the entire New Testament.  So although Mary had a crucial role in Christ’s incarnation, she had no recognizable place after Pentecost.[1]

In contrast, the Catholic Church has elevated Mary, the human mother of Jesus Christ, nearly to the level of deity.  While this statement would be rejected by Catholic theologians, the place that is given to Mary in devotion and worship is due only to God in Christ Jesus!  Notice some of the many titles given by Catholic writers and leaders to this virtuous woman of God, the mother of our Lord:

Holy Mother of God, Glory of the Holy Spirit, Perfect disciple of Christ, Untarnished image of the Church, Our Lady, Splendor of the Church, Champion of God’s People, Queen of mercy, Queen of all saints, Queen of patriarchs and prophets, Queen of apostles and martyrs, Queen of all earth, Queen of heaven, Queen of the universe, Mother of Divine grace, Sinless Mother, Mother of Our Creator, Virgin rightly renowned, Gate of heaven, Morning Star, Refuge of sinners, Queen of the rosary, and Queen of peace.[2]

Because of this, some non-Catholics have accused Catholicism  of believing in a theological Quadrinity composed of Father, Mother, Son, and Spirit!  This would not be true, according to official Catholic theology, but in a practical manner, it does approach this.  The Word of God is clear that only God and the Lord Jesus should receive such honors as those reflected in the above titles!  “For us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him” (1 Corinthians 8:6).  This is why we must reject anything similar to the Mariolatry of Catholicism (and the Orthodox Church as well).

Catholic apologists Chacon and Burnham exalt Mary by saying, “We honor Mary because of her great privileges: she was conceived without sin, became the mother of God while remaining a virgin, and was assumed bodily into heaven.  There she reigns as a queen of heaven and earth, mother of the Church, God’s greatest creature, and mankind’s greatest boast.”[3]  Non-Catholics will at first be shocked at such assertions, but these are the kinds of claims that traditional Catholics will make concerning Mary!

This blasphemous exaltation of a mere human being shows the extent to which a Church will go to promote their decreed dogmas.  We know that God is “Lord of heaven and earth” (Acts 17:24; Matthew 11:25) and that Christ has “all authority . . . in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18), but the Catholic Church adds to this by proclaiming Mary as “Queen of heaven and earth.”  According to this theology, Heaven has both a King and a Queen!

Not only this, but Catholicism teaches that Jesus is the new “Adam” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:45) and Mary is the “new Eve.”  Christ Jesus, the Creator of the universe, and Mary, a mere creature, are put on the same level![4]  This is not true Christianity but a gross deviation from it that must cause pagans to view it with disgust.  It is one reason why Muslims and Jews must reject what they mistakenly assume is a fundamental belief of Christianity but actually is a distortion of it.  We must never given anyone the impression that Mary is anything other than a mere woman of God.

  1. The Sinlessness of Mary?

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church claims that Mary was sinless.  Mary “was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.”[5] One Catholic source explains:

The Immaculate Conception means that Mary, whose conception was brought about the normal way, was conceived without original sin or its stain—that’s what “immaculate” means: without stain. The essence of original sin consists in the deprivation of sanctifying grace, and its stain is a corrupt nature. Mary was preserved from these defects by God’s grace; from the first instant of her existence she was in the state of sanctifying grace and was free from the corrupt nature original sin brings.[6]

We know that there are various views on the subject of “original sin” (or Adamic sin), but the point that we can make is that Catholicism teaches that Mary’s spiritual condition was very different from all others.  She was in a class by herself.  “By a special intervention of God, undertaken at the instant she was conceived, she was preserved from the stain of original sin and its consequences.”[7]  Further, Catholicism teaches that since there was no Adamic (or Original) sin in Mary’s soul from the time of her conception, she never committed even one sin—of thought, word, or deed—all of her earthly life!

Was Mary sinless?  Did she never sin in thought, word, or deed?  Was she unlike other human beings?  The Word of God clearly says that Mary was a sinner just as every other human being is.  Paul wrote, “All [including Mary] have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  “There is no man who does not sin” (1 Kings 8:46).  “There is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20).  John the apostle said, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. . . . If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8, 10).  It is clear that sin is the common experience of humanity, therefore Mary herself must have sinned.

The Catholic Church teaches that Romans 3:23 and other passages that teach the universality of sin allows for exceptions.  Note their explanation:  “We also know of another very prominent exception to the rule: Jesus (Heb. 4:15). So if Paul’s statement in Romans 3 includes an exception for the New Adam (Jesus), one may argue that an exception for the New Eve (Mary) can also be made.”[8]  They would say that only two people of mature age committed no sin: The “New Adam” (Jesus) and the “New Eve” (Mary).  They were the exceptions.  This is entirely speculative and without Biblical foundation.  It comes from church tradition centuries after the New Testament era.  Furthermore, it is blasphemous to place Mary on the same level as the Lord of Glory.

Since Mary was guilty of sin as we are (Romans 3:23),and was “dead” in “trespasses and sins” as we are (Ephesians 2:1), she also needed to be redeemed by God through the death of Christ Jesus the Son of God.  Even Mary acknowledged her need of a Savior from sin and death: “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47).  Jesus came into the world to save sinners—and this included Mary (1 Timothy 1:15).

  1. Mary as the Mother of God?

The Catholic Church claims that Mary is the Mother of God!  “The Church confesses that Mary is truly ‘Mother of God.’”[9]  Although there may have been a reason for this doctrine in the beginning—to affirm the full deity of Christ Jesus—the implications of this title are serious and disastrous.  It suggests that Mary in some way contributed to Christ’s deity.

We must remember that Mary contributed to Christ’s humanity only; it was God the Father who begat Christ in His deity.   That is, Christ’s deity came from God and His humanity came from Mary, thus we shouldn’t think of Mary giving birth to “God” unless we keep the above facts in mind.  Furthermore, we must remember that Christ was “God” from all eternity (John 1:1)—and not just when He was incarnated in Mary’s womb.

Christ was “born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:3-4).  Christ’s humanity and deity must ever be acknowledge, and calling Mary the “Mother of God” confuses this very important issue.  Gabriel the angel appeared to Mary, a virgin, and said that “the holy Child shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:32-35).  The term “Mother of God” gives an entirely faulty view of what happened in the incarnation, thus we should avoid using it.  The Catholic Church (as well as the Orthodox Church and others) should likewise refrain from using such a term filled with so many false ideas.

  1. Is Mary a Virgin Today?

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was not only a virgin at the time that she was promised a Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:18-25), but she continues to be a virgin today, hence the frequent reference to “the Virgin Mary” in their writings, catechisms, and affirmations.  “The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.  In fact, Christ’s birth ‘did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it.’  And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary Aeiparthenos, the ‘Ever-virgin.’”[10]

It is commendable that the Roman Catholic Church (as well as the Orthodox Churches) staunchly defends the virgin conception and birth of Christ through Mary, especially when this cardinal doctrine is being questioned or outright denied by numerous liberal mainline Protestant denominations.  But the Catholic Church doesn’t stop with Scripture in its affirmations of Mary’s perpetual virginity.  Apologists Chacon and Burnham acknowledge that “biblical passages in support” of this dogma “are not explicit and we have to rely on Apostolic Tradition and the teaching authority of the Church”[11]

Some historians suggest that this false view may have arisen when life-long celibacy and monasticism began to be revered in the post-apostolic church and this doctrine would have bolstered this denigration of the sexual relationship (in marriage).  Celibacy was exalted as the higher form of devotion to God, using Matthew 19:10-12 and 1 Corinthians 7 as proof.  Philip Schaff, the renowned church historian, writes:

Many virgins of the early church devoted their whole energies as deaconesses to the care of the sick and the poor, or exhibited as martyrs a degree of passive virtue and moral heroism altogether unknown before.  Such virgins Cyprian, in his rhetorical language, calls ‘the flowers of the church, the masterpieces of grace, the ornament of nature, the image of God reflecting the holiness of our Savior, the most illustrious of the flock of Jesus Christ, who commenced on earth that life which we shall lead once in heaven.[12]

This writer speaks of the views of Ignatius, who valued celibacy; of Justin, who wanted celibacy to prevail as much as possible; of Tatian, who condemned marital cohabitation; of Cyprian, who exalted the unmarried state. He goes on to say:

Celibacy was most common with pious virgins, who married themselves only to God or to Christ, and in the spiritual delights of this heavenly union found abundant compensation for the pleasures of earthly matrimony.[13]

Augustine would have contributed to this view of virginity of Mary since he taught that a certain uncleanness was attached to sexual intercourse, even in the context of marriage.  We can see that with the negative view of the sexual relationship and the exaltation of celibacy, it would be natural for views of Mary to be influenced.  In time, the life-long virginity of Mary came to be accepted as fact.

Whatever the origin, Scripture shows us that Mary later had a normal sexual relationship with Joseph, and had at least two daughters and four other sons (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3; cf. John 7:5; Matthew 12:46; Mark 3:31; Luke 8:19; Acts 1:14).  James was the brother of the Lord Jesus (Acts 15:13; 21:18; Galatians 2:9), as was Jude (Jude 1), thus they must have been children of Joseph and Mary.  Catholic teaching is that the “brothers” of Christ might have been His “cousins” or “relatives.”[14]  However, the common meaning of the Greek adelphoi is “brothers”—and only a preconceived doctrine would deny this usual meaning.

Let us openly affirm that Mary was a virgin at the time of Christ’s conception; she had no relations with a man.  But let us also acknowledge that Mary was married and had a normal married life with Joseph.

  1. Is Salvation through Mary?

We all know that Jesus is frequently called our “Savior” since He was to “save His people from their sins” (Luke 2:11; Matthew 1:21).  Paul tells us that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). We know too that Peter declared, “There is salvation in no one else” (Acts 4:12).  This is so fundamental to anyone who believes the Bible that nothing more should be said.

However, we know that the Catholic Church connects salvation itself with Mary, along with Jesus.  “The Virgin Mary ‘cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation’ . . . By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.”[15]  “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. . . . Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”[16]

Later we will notice that Catholicism teaches that the Church is the means of salvation.  But it also teaches a peculiar view that connects Mary to the Church itself:

When Christ, our Head, looks down from the Cross at the Church, He sees Mary.  THE CHURCH IS MARY.  She is Holy Mother Church, containing, as it were, all the members of the Church in herself to unite them to Christ, our Head.

Mary is the Mother of Christ in the flesh, but in the life of grace, she is His bride.  Her divine life came from His, not His from hers.  What Pope Pius XII says of the Church is true of her, ‘As a second Eve she came forth from the side of the new Adam in His sleep on the Cross.’  She is the new Eve leading all her children to the Cross, the tree of life, to drink from Christ’s open side the living waters of the Holy Spirit, the new wine of holy love.[17]

Non-Catholics must read this carefully and see what is actually being officially taught by Catholicism.  They are saying that Mary is the “Church” itself, and within her—the Church—are “all the members of the Church in herself.”  But is Mary the Church?  Are we “in” Mary as we are “in” Christ?  Is Mary our Mother?  No, we are not in Mary.  Scripture says the very opposite.  The Bible says, “We, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5).  Paul writes, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature” (2 Corinthians 5:17).  We are in Christ and Mary herself is in Christ, since she belongs to Him; but the Catholic Church teaches that we are in Mary and that she herself constitutes the Church.  This is why they would say that Mary is “Holy Mother Church.”

Further, notice that the quotation says that Mary is “His bride”!  Scripture teaches that the “church” (community of the saved) or the body of believers constitute Christ’s bride or “wife” (cf. Ephesians 5:22-27; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:2).  Mary is not Christ’s “bride” or “wife”!  But we are shocked to read that one Catholic source claims, “Our Lord showed St. John the meaning of what had happened on Mt. Calvary, using Jerusalem as a symbol for Mary, Mother of the Church.”[18]  But Revelation 21:2 and 10 state, “I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, make ready is a bride adorned for her husband. . . . He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy City, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God.”  In no way can the Heavenly City be a “symbol for Mary, Mother of the Church.”  This is eisegesis, a radical reading into the text of Scripture to support a preconceived view.  This shows how Catholicism exalts Mary far beyond what Scripture does.

This doctrine of Catholicism is filled with faulty reasoning and outright false teaching.  Obviously, Mary was willing to be the means through whom Jesus was born into the world (Luke 1:26-38; Matthew 1:18-25; Galatians 4:4).  Only in this sense can it be said that she was a “means” of salvation.  Jesus is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-2) rather than Mary!  God is our Helper (Hebrews 13:6) rather than Mary!  Christ is our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) rather than Mary!  We know very little about Mary and the Holy Spirit so worked in the New Testament writers that nothing more is said about this woman after Acts 1:14.  Mary must have been a virtuous woman—but in no way was she the bearer of salvation.

  1. Mary and the Bodily Assumption into Heaven?

The Catholic Church

The Catholic Church maintains that Mary bodily ascended to Heaven as Queen over all things.  This may have included her resurrection after her death, or some Catholics believe that she never died.  Instead, she was transformed or “assumed” into heaven without death.  “By the special privilege of her Assumption, the body of the Blessed Virgin Mary, united to her immaculate soul, was glorified and taken into heaven.”[19] “The doctrine doesn’t specify if Mary died; it merely states that after the completion of her life, she was taken body and soul into heaven.”[20]  This must be true, since “there is no record of her relics or remains anywhere.”[21]  The official teaching states:

Finally, the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things. . . . The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son’s Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians.[22]

This doctrine was made a required point of Catholic dogma on November 1, 1950 by Pius XII.  In other words, it is incumbent on the Catholic that he or she believe in the Assumption of Mary; otherwise, a mortal sin is committed and the Catholic will be sent to hell.  Pius XII explained that “her body was preserved unimpaired in virginal integrity, and therefore it was fitting that it should not be subject to destruction after death, and that since Mary so closely shared in Christ’s redemptive mission on earth, she deserved to join him also in bodily glorification.”[23]

As we stated, Catholics are not sure if Mary died and was raised or if she didn’t die at all but simply was “assumed” into heaven.  One authority says:

The Church has never formally defined whether she died or not, and the integrity of the doctrine of the Assumption would not be impaired if she did not in fact die, but the almost universal consensus is that she did die. Pope Pius XII, in Munificentissimus Deus (1950), defined that Mary, “after the completion of her earthly life” (note the silence regarding her death), “was assumed body and soul into the glory of heaven.”[24]

Catholics claim that the “Assumption” was observed by Catholics as early as the fifth century.  Within 200 years of this date, the belief of the Assumption was widespread in Europe and in 1568 Pius V made the Assumption a holy day for all the church.[25]  As we noted above, it was finally declared a Catholic dogma in 1950. Since it is thought that Mary was sinless, many or even most Catholics say that she did not die but was taken directly to heaven from her earthly life.

The chief “proof” that Catholics give for Mary’s assumption into heaven is that no one knows where she was buried and where her bones are!  “Here was Mary, certainly the most privileged of all the saints, certainly the most saintly, but we have no record of her bodily remains being venerated anywhere.”[26]  We reply that the bones of John the baptizer and many prophets and apostles are lost, but this does not say that God resurrected them!  We simply don’t know where they were buried and the early Christians didn’t indulge in the collecting and worship of relics as later Catholics did.

Does this really agree with God’s Word?  In no way can the Assumption of Mary harmonize with the Scriptures.   Paul tells us, “As in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).  He didn’t say, “All will be made alive except Mary, for she already has experienced a resurrection or transformation, thus she is alive in body form in heaven right now!” When Paul speaks of the resurrection from the dead, he says, “Each in his own order; Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming” (1 Corinthians 15:23).  He didn’t say there was another resurrection—of Mary—between that of Christ and the general resurrection of all believers.  No, there was Christ’s resurrection 2,000 years ago—and next the resurrection of all Christians (John 5:29).  The doctrine of Mary’s bodily assumption to heaven is a false doctrine, one that is required that Catholics believe.

  1. Mary as the Object of Veneration or Worship?

We all know that God is the Supreme Being and Creator of heaven and earth, thus He alone is to receive our worship (along with the Lord Jesus Christ).  Jesus refers to Deuteronomy 6:13 and 10:20, saying, “You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only” (Matthew 4:10).  In heaven, the heavenly creatures “worship” God “who lives forever and ever,” saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

In contrast to this exclusive worship or veneration of the Lord God (John 4:23) and the Lord Jesus Christ(Revelation 5:11-14), the Catholic Church views Mary in heaven as the object of veneration (a form of worship).  “We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven.”[27]   No, they are gathered around God the Father (Revelation 4:8-11) and Christ Jesus the Lord and Lamb (Revelation 5:8-14).  They are not gathered around Jesus and Mary!

Does anyone have the permission and even obligation to “venerate” the glorified Mary in heaven—and is this “veneration” permissible whereas “worship” is not allowed?  As we have noted earlier, Mary has not yet been resurrected or glorified but awaits these divine works in the future.  “Veneration” is a form of worship.  The faithful Catholic is active in those attitudes and actions that constitute real and actual worship, including prayer, praise, glorification, adoration, kneeling, prostration, and making images.  But the Lord warns, “You shall worship the LORD your God, and serve Him only” (Matthew 4:10).  The angel in Revelation said, “Fear God, and give Him glory (14:7).  We must not “fear,” “give glory to,” or “worship” anyone other than the living God (and the Lord Jesus Christ).

Those who venerate (worship) Mary assure us that she has accumulated so much “merit” by her sinless life and good deeds, that spiritual and needy Catholics can draw upon these merits for their own lack of merit in God’s sight.  Mary’s works are thought to constitute a “treasury” of merits on which faithful Catholics may draw: “This treasury includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God.”[28]

In reality, no one has an excess of merit but we all are in continuing need of the mercy of God—including Mary.  We are like the slave in Christ’s parable, “When you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done’” (Luke 17:10).  Since even the most righteous of us has no excess merit, we can’t offer this to anyone else.  Just as we all need God’s mercy, so Mary herself needs His mercy.  Catholic teaching also says that we may seek the merit that comes from Catholic saints and this too is false.  We cannot worship Mary and plead for her mercy in our spiritual need.

Those who seek to justify worshiping Mary (along with Catholic saints and angels) contend that they give “adoration” (latria) to God, which is worship, but they only give “veneration” (hyperdulia) to Mary, and this is less than worship.  On the contrary, both latria and dulia are synonyms for worshiping God.  The Catholic distinction is false.[29]  Further, “the reality is that many typical Catholics do in fact worship Mary by their words and actions.”[30]  In Exodus 20:5, God commands, “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.”  The Hebrew term “worship” (avad) here is translated into the Greek Septuagint (LXX) by both dulia and latria.[31]

If Catholics were to objectively consider the exaltation of Mary, they could see that indeed they are worshiping a mere creature, something that is due only to God.  They bow down to her, they speak words of adoration of her and to her, they light candles before her, they pray to her and praise her, they make images of her—placing them in their sanctuaries and homes and front lawns, and they do numerous other acts of worship.  All of this is an offense against a Holy God for it constitutes worship of a creature rather than the Creator.  They have “worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen” (Romans 1:25).  Indeed, the “veneration” (worship) of Mary is serious sin and violation of God’s express command.

Please check all of the articles in this series on the Catholic Church:

Part 1a

Part 1b

Part 1c

Part 2a

Part 2b

Part 2c

Part 3a

Part 3b

Part 3c

Part 4a

Part 4b

Part 4c

 

 

[1] Cf. Ron Rhodes, Reasoning, pp. 281-282.

[2] Dan Corner, Is This the Mary of the Bible?, pp. 54-56; from The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Litany of the Blessed Virgin, and Litany of Loreto.

[3] Beginning Apologetics I, p. 23.

[4] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 411.

[5] Ibid.

[6] catholic.com/library/Immaculate _Conception_and_Assum.asp

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Catechism, p. 125.

[10] Catechism, p. 126.

[11] Beginning Apologetics I, p. 19.

[12] History of the Christian Church, Vol. 2, p. 399.

[13] Ibid., p. 402.

[14] Chacon and Burnham, Beginning Apologetics I, p. 20).

[15] Catechism, p. 128.

[16] Catechism, p. 252.

[17] The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, Revised, p. 81.

[18] Ibid.

[19] The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism, Revised, p. 88.

[20] Chacon and Burnham, Beginning Apologetics I, p. 19.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Catechism. p. 252.

[23] Ron Rhodes, Reasoning, p. 265.

[24] catholic.com/library/Immaculate _Conception_and_Assum.asp

[25] Ekstrom, A New Concise Catholic Dictionary, p. 26.

[26] catholic.com/library/Immaculate _Conception_and_Assum.asp

 

[27] Catechism, p. 274.

[28] Catechism, p. 371.

[29] Ron Rhodes, Reasoning, p. 282.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Ibid.

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