Is Mary Immaculate?
This teaching is a dogma within the Church of Rome; it is part of an article of faith by Pope Pius IX. The question is does this dogma agree with scripture?
This article sets out to examine this dogma and to question the validity of the claims that this dogma makes.
When Pope Pius IX, was speaking on this subject ex cathedra (infallibly), he acted on his own authority, in this we know through history as many other popes have done the same.
Modern Romanism examined May 1927 [p246]: “On the 8th December 1854 in the following terms: – “By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority we declare, pronounce and define the doctrine which holds that the most blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instant of her conception, by a special grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, has been revealed by God, and therefore is to be firmly and steadfastly believed by all the faithful.”
It is explained further by the Vatican expounded by the words of Pope Pius IX by Pope Pius XII, The APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS DEFINING THE DOGMA OF THE ASSUMPTION November 1, 1950
 43. We rejoice greatly that this solemn event falls, according to the design of God’s providence, during this Holy Year, so that we are able, while the great Jubilee is being observed, to adorn the brow of God’s Virgin Mother with this brilliant gem, and to leave a monument more enduring than bronze of our own most fervent love for the Mother of God.
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
Rome’s defiance and curse upon anyone who rejects the authority of the Pope would suffer torment in hell for his/her rejection of the Pope’s authority on matters of dogma, this plainly points out that Mary is innocent from all sin, has never had original sin, this teaching has been clearly rejected in the Bible, Romans 5:12, but we know from history the subject of this dogma has been debated between the Dominican Catholics and the Order of Assisi (Franciscans)
 “Initially opposed by the Dominicans, the Franciscans argued on the Immaculate Conception’s behalf. For awhile, a great debate raged about the doctrine. The Council of Basle in 1439 affirmed that the Immaculate Conception was a pious belief in accordance with the Catholic faith” before that time it was never something that was taught in the primitive Church it would appear that through Rome becoming more superstitious, admitting these statements by its own authority, not God through the Holy Scriptures themselves, this later became the tool that developed into Mariolatry.
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is obligatory to believe, upon rejection of this will result in your soul being condemned.
Modern Romanism examined May 1927 [p237]:
“Wherefore if any shall presume – which may God avert – to think in their heart otherwise than has been defined by us, let them know and moreover understand, that they are condemned by their own judgement, that they have made shipwreck as regards the faith, and have fallen away from the unity of the Church”
The plain meaning of this definition is that Mary was born miraculously; that she never had original sin or taint of man’s fallen nature; that she never committed actual sin, and that her death was not the result of the law of sin in herself, but the result of the general law of death in humanity-a solitary exception, neither mentioned, nor suggested, nor hinted at, to the law laid down by St. Paul (Rom. v.12, D.): “By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men; in whom ALL have sinned.”
This teaching has not been proclaimed only by the Authority of Pope Pius IX, this dogma is false and dangerous as it is saying Mary is central to our salvation and is opposed to the scriptures for the following reasons.
Modern Romanism examined May 1927 [p240]:
(.1) The doctrine contradicts the express Biblical teaching of “it is Christ alone who is without sin,” 2 Cor.5:2; 1 Pt. 2:22; 1 Jn.3:5, Phil.2:5-8
(.2) It supposes the creation of one “sui generis” Neither strictly human nor divine, “Sui generis” is Latin for “of its own kind/genus” or “unique in its characteristics”.
(3.) It interferes with the reality of the Incarnation, since by this doctrine Christ did not partake of that human nature which He came to redeem.
(4.) It takes away from Christ’s glory in the miracle of the Incarnation by conferring a portion of it upon Mary.
(5.) It is the climax of a monstrous doctrine which ought to have been nipped in the bud-a doctrine which attributes to Mary a more perfect love and sympathy towards sinners than to Christ, with a more accessible and powerful meditation than that of the Son of God, and indirectly aims at exalting Mary to an equality with the Incarnate Son of the Highest.
A Catholic scholar may give reference to Paul in Colossians 2:4 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
Making an entire doctrine out of one verse rather than contextualising what Paul was saying, Paul does not give himself the title co-redeemer. If you notice in the Bible the term redeemer makes reference to an unsaved person who is redeemed and being reconciled through Christ. The word redeemer or co-redeemer does not give reference or place to any human being.
Paul makes the purpose of his sufferings clear in 2 Corinthians 1:3-8
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.
7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
Paul never gives reference to those who are servants of Christ can redeem others rather what the Bible does teach it is through Christ alone who offers redemption Hebrews 9:1-28 and Ephesians 1:7.
This does not justify Rome’s position, the Pope admitted he acted on his own authority on such matters on faith and would only show such statements made by the pontiff to be blasphemous, the Bible also makes no reference to Mary being the new Eve.
This teaching states ““In stating her total ‘yes’ to the divine plan, Mary is completely free before God. At the same time, she feels personally responsible for humanity, whose future was linked with her reply”, the Holy Father said at the General Audience of Wednesday, 18 September, as he examined the significance of Mary as the New Eve. Here is a translation of the Pope’s catechesis, which was given in Italian and was the 33rd in the series on the Blessed Mother.”
As we can see from the historic time-line shown below, concerning the development of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, the popes would not allow any dissent concerning the matter even though this was not without controversy especially between the Dominicans and the Franciscans.
From 1483 we can see how this development:
Our Brief against Rome 1907 [P128]
1483 Pope Sixtus IV. Condemned those who maintained that the doctrine itself was heretical.
1570 Pope Pius V. Forbade all public discussion on the Matter.
1622 Pope Gregory XV Strictly forbade any one to maintain, even in private discussions, that the Blessed Virgin was conceived in original sin.
1750 Pope Benedict XIV Summed up the matter “The Church inclines to the opinion of the Immaculate Conception; but the Apostolic See has not yet defined it as an article of faith.”
1849 Pope Pius on February 1st Wrote from Gaeta to the Bishops of the Catholic world to ascertain their feeling and opinion on the matter. The Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Bishops, 490 in number, were nearly unanimous in favour of defining the doctrine, but the most eminent Bishops of France, Germany and Switzerland deprecated the proceedings.
1854 Pope Pius IX on December 1st, In the presence of more than 200 Bishops, solemnly defined the doctrine as a truth contained in the original teachings of the Apostles and an article of Divine faith. (AKA Dogma)
For over 500 years the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was developed in the Roman Church. The Vulgate (The Bible in Latin) would show a complete mistranslation of Gen 3:15 they use this to give Mary status she does not have ‘I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for —>her heel. &c.’ <–
Whereas the correct rendition of the Hebrew is in the KJV Gen 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise—–> his heel.<—– “
Immediately after the definition, statues to the Virgin were raised in every part of France, inscribed with the words: ‘ O Marie, conçue sans péché, priez pour nous,’ or again with the famous text in Latin ‘Ipsa conteret,’ ‘she shall crush thy head.’ The doctrine itself has been discussed in the most painfully minute way by Roman writers, and we may be thankful that as Protestants we spared these unholy and unscriptural refinements.
The scriptures more emphasise that it was our Lord who was born of a pure Virgin she was most favoured amongst all women and that she rejoiced in God her Saviour.
Upon examination of the translation Gralia plena (Full of Grace), we can see by looking at the Greek charitoō in Luke 1:28 means Highly Favoured and Kecharitomene is never used to describe Mary as being “FULL” of grace; but rather Mary received grace from God, in Luke 1 verse 30 says “And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.”
Was Mary the Immaculate Conception or Jesus?
The Vatican teaches, as an article of faith, that Mary herself was born without sin from the very first moment she came into this world, and that is no trace of original sin in her compared to the rest of mankind. Mary alone was exempt by a miracle of God.
“We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of JesusChrist, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.” Constitution Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854, Pius IX
We know from the Bible itself that Pius IX is rejecting scriptural authority on two accounts, the first being that the only one who is free of original sin is Jesus Christ himself, as stated in Hebrews 4:15 and in 1 Peter 2:22.
The Bible teaches that Jesus alone was conceived as the only perfect one and the only one without sin, because Jesus is the only one in complete union with Gods divinity. John 1:1,14, Col 2:9, Heb. 1:3
The following scriptures shows us this about Jesus.
He is worshiped (Matt. 2:2,11; 14:33).
He was called God (John 20:28; Heb. 1:8)
He was called Son of God (Mark 1:1)
He is prayed to (Acts 7:59).
He is sinless (1 Pet. 2:22; Heb. 4:15).
He knows all things (John 21:17).
He gives eternal life (John 10:28).
All the fullness of deity dwells in Him (Col. 2:9).
None of this can ever describe Mary as she was not free from original sin.
Second Mary could not have been sinless. Luke 1:46 – 47 refute this. We know historically that the doctrine of Mary being free from original sin gradually came in through successive popes who taught that at no point throughout Mary’s life did she sin. However when we read in the Bible it clearly states that all who have descended from Adam has inherited sin, the only exception the Bible makes is Jesus.
In Luke 1:46 – 47 Mary herself makes reference to “My Saviour”. The very words “My Saviour” show that Mary is confessing that she needed a Saviour. Thus it is very clear that she recognised the stain of sin in her own life. To state otherwise means that any Roman Catholic would have to infer that Mary is lying but by her own words “My Saviour” she was admitting that she was not sinless, but was a sinner like everyone else. The Scriptures refute Rome’s position on the Immaculate Conception. See Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, 1 Cor 15:22, 1 John 1:8,10, Romans 3:10. Also Mary had to make an offering for sin for purification after the birth of her son, because Mary was considered to be ceremonially unclean, Luke 2:22-24. This is also confirmed in Leviticus 12:6-8 as this is a requirement for every Jewish woman.
The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception takes Jesus from the centre of faith and places Mary as the primary focus in the minds of many Catholics.
We read in the scriptures that no true Christian should pray to Mary i.e the Rosary. Jesus makes this very clear and places the word of God of more importance than Mary.
Luke 11:27 – 28 27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” 28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
Handbook to the controversy with Rome, 1909 [P133].
Holy Scripture has naturally no occasion to speak of a sin on the part of the Mother of our Lord. As for what has been regarded as such by Protestant ex-pounders of Scripture, that she neglected her most sacred duty towards God in the care of her Divine Son, when on the journey back from Jerusalem she allowed Him out of her sight for a whole day; such harmless motives may be thought of for this lack of anxiety that only a strong inclination in that direction could pronounce that there was anything wrong here.
There is more force in the remark that the perplexity of the Mother with regard to her exalted Son in the midst of work points, although not absolutely to sinfulness with reference to the Son of man, yet to an ill –humour hardly altogether devoid of guilt, which could give occasion for the mischievous suggestion which she made.
For that the Mother had merely come with the others on account of the evil reports concerning Him in order, as Olshausen thought, to draw comfort for herself from His company, or, as Neander, to soften down what was an offence in the view of his relations, there is no hint in the context of that narrative, and reference for the Divine Word does not permit of our inventing anything even with good intentions.
2 Pet 16 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
Rome’s article of faith on the Immaculate Conception is nothing more than a cunningly devised fable. There is no scriptural support for such a teaching; a cunningly devised fable is devised to be acceptable. In order to make this dogma acceptable the RCC had to introduce it slowly and over time the popes made this increasingly popular. This is nothing more than another doctrine devised by the vain imagination of the Roman Pontiffs.
1 Timothy 1:3, 4 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith so do.
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