XXXVI - 7(03) Excerpt
what of the night?”
"The hour has come, the hour is striking and striking at you,
the hour and the end!" Eze. 7:6 (Moffatt)
THREE GREAT WORDS
WWN 7(03) Excerpt)
As we have noted in the above study, the Papacy in 1854 promulgated the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception. In his book, Faith of Our Fathers, James Cardinal Gibbons quotes that Dogma as proclaimed:
We define that the Blessed Virgin Mary in the first moment of her conception, by the singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of the original sin. (p. 171)
Since we have already noted its conclusion in contrast to the Biblical "Seed" of the woman, we pass to the next dogma which validated such papal promulgations as infallible. In 1870, Vatican Council I formulated a new article of faith in these words:
We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed, that the Roman pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra - that is, when, in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal church, . . . is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and morals. (The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. V, p. 489)
Cardinal Gibbons declares this decree of Vatican Council I to be "the keystone in the arch of Catholic faith," (op. cit., p. 125), yet seems to modify its thrust by first stating what the dogma is not establishing, and then asking and answering the question, "What, then, is the real doctrine of Infallibility?" In answer, he wrote:
The Pope, therefore, be it known, is not the maker of Divine law; he is only its expounder. He is not the author of revelation, but only its interpreter. (ibid., pp. 123-124).
While we may have some reservations to these limitations placed by Gibbons because of the attempted change of the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week which alters "Divine law;" however, there can be no question, this dogma empowers the Pope to infallibly interpret the Scriptures. This was a direct challenge to true Protestantism which had declared "the Bible and the Bible only" as its religion. If the "Everlasting Gospel" is God's design to "consume and destroy" the "dominion" of the little horn "unto the end,"
then care needs to be exercised so that we do not establish a "magisterium" of our own to interpret the Bible.
In 1950, the reigning pope, Pius XII, proclaimed a "holy year," and being a devotee of the Virgin Mary, defined the church's teaching on her bodily assumption into Heaven. The year was closed in Fatima, Portugal, at one of the great Marian shrines of the Catholic world. This Dogma opened the door to manifestations of Spiritism under the guise of apparitions of the Virgin Mary. In the book, Thunder of Justice, this summary statement is made:
As the number of Marian apparitions throughout the world have increased at an alarming rate, especially in the past ten years, we are reminded of the writings of Saint Louis de Montfort (1673-1716), in which he shared his conviction "that a Reign of the Blessed Virgin would precede a Reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Just as Mary preceded the first coming of Jesus on earth, so too the Trinity has ordained that she would precede Christ's Second Coming." Never before in history have we experienced the number of apparitions and supernatural phenomena as we have in this century, particularly the latter half. On December 8, 1990, Mary stated to Father Gobbi: "I was driven by the Most Holy Trinity to become the Mother of the Second Advent, and thus my motherly task of preparing the Church and all humanity to receive Jesus, who is returning to you in glory. (p. 20; emphasis supplied)
It is not difficult to see how this dogma of the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven, opens the door for these spiritistic manifestations.
The current Pope, also a strong devotee of the Virgin Mary, would like to promulgate the Dogma that Mary is the co-mediatrix with Jesus Christ. Cardinal Ratzinger, head of the Propagation of the Faith, authorized the writing and release of information about this intended dogma. It was published May 27, 1993. It is being put on hold because of the negative reaction it might have on current ecumenical dialogues.