In my previous article, I gave a brief overview of what I had observed in my interaction with and study of Roman Catholicism. The singular objection I had to the Church was the Marian doctrines, those teachings surrounding the Jewish woman who conceived while a virgin and gave birth to Jesus. One commentator wrote:
Romanism/Papism is not Christianity.
This is a common answer and one of the main points of criticism from the Reformed Protestants against the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, it misses a larger picture. There is nothing inherently wrong in the Roman Church having a single leader of authority in the Pope. Standing against the Church because of the Pope sounds like a parallel of the cause of democracy against a monarchy. The conflict between democracy and monarchy are not good reasons for a man to reject entry into the Church.
There is, however, a much older and ancient conflict rooted in the origins of man that has plagued man throughout history and is manifesting itself today in blatant and defiant ways. Though the first man to exist is responsible for the fallen state of our world, his fall followed the voice of a woman.
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life (Genesis 3:17 ESV).
Heeding the voice of women can be good if the women are wise, but treacherous if the woman are fools. Yet, even when there are wise women around, a man should always first and foremost heed the words of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit).
The modern movement of feminism, which has been around since well before the nineteen sixties, counters this idea by proposing two fundamental ideas. One, that women should always been heeded, and, two, women are always wise.
Protestant Christianity posits that no person has ever lived a perfect life without sin save for Jesus Christ. Through one man, Adam, disaster has befallen us, and through one perfect man, Jesus, hope has enveloped us. Nothing in the history of the Christian faith allows for a perfect woman.
Yet, not only does Catholicism allow for a perfect woman, but the rational conclusion that as the Son of Man came to seek and save that which was lost, so has the Daughter of Woman. There are no formal doctrines of Mary’s divinity, but she is given a perfect humanity, like Jesus, and is considered always wise, like Jesus. Her divinity is implied. None of Jesus’ disciples were perfect and neither were the apostles that followed. It would be considered blasphemy to attribute St. Peter what has been attributed to Mary.
So, then, the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church, which are rejected by the Eastern Orthodox Church and are not supported in the recorded history found in scripture, look very much like modern feminism. The core relationship in heaven is no longer Father and Son, to be reflected in families on earth, but rather it is Mother and Son, with fatherhood considered secondary or simply utilitarian. The early church dealt with feminism as well.
This would not be so horrible if the doctrines on Mary were secondary and the practice of veneration optional. Mary, however, is a pivotal figure of the Catholic faith. To cut Mary out of the Catholic fabric would be to leave the faith naked and abandoned. To be Catholic, a man must venerate Mary, accept her perfect humanity, submit to her heavenly authority, doubt nothing concering her modern manifestations, devote one’s life to her completely, and glorify her implied divinity. To be Catholic, one must sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is Mary, Queen Mother Almighty.” One has but to read through official prayers and see the worship. To be Catholic, one must bow with the knee and confess with the tongue that not only is Jesus Lord to the glory of the Father, but Mary is Lady to the glory of Her son.
That is one reason to avoid the Roman Catholic Church.