Roman Catholic Maryology: Mary in Roman Catholicism, part 10 – Sinless?

At a glance:
If Mary was sinless, she could have been the ultimate sacrifice and truly our savior. Yet, Mary in her humility declared God to be her savior, she knew the true state of her soul. Again the Catholic apologist come to the rescue of un-Biblical teachings but these semantic loopholes do not suffice, nor do they lessen the impact of declaring that a mere human being can be sinless.

New American Bible:
Luke 1:46-47, “And Mary said: ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.’”

The New Testament of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Luke 1:46-47, “And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.’”

The New Testament Rendered from the Original Greek with Explanatory Notes:
Luke 1:46-47, “And Mary said: ‘My soul extols the Lord; and my spirit leaps for joy in God my Savior.’”

Mary calls God her savior—only sinners need a savior. Yet, Catholic apologists claim that she needed a redeemer even though she was absolutely sinless. Jesus was sinless and He never calls God His savior. Moreover, as seen in our article Immaculately Conceived? the woman in Revelation 12, which tradition, the Pope and apparitions attribute to Mary, is suffering from the stain of original sin. Mary for all her blessedness has a mere human and therefore not perfect.
She called God her savior because she knew the state of her blessed soul. She was not aware that about one thousand eight hundred fifty four years after she lived she would be infallibly proclaimed as having been born without sin. She also did not know that about one thousand five hundred forty seven years after she lived she would be infallibly proclaimed as having not sinned whatsoever during her whole life.

As we saw in Immaculately Conceived? Mary’s sinlessness is said to be, “thought by Catholics to be the result of a special divine privilege, as distinguished from Christ’s sinlessness, which was a necessary postulate of His divinity.” Why is Mary’s sinlessness different from that of Jesus?
Let us define two forms of sinlessness. One is that of Jesus, which is to say that He lived on earth as a human does and yet He was without sin. The other is the sinlessness of the sinner who is forgiven by God and is therefore, seen as what may be termed positional sinlessness. A sacrifice for sin had to be spotless, unblemished, without sin. If Mary was sinless in conception and through her whole life then by definition she herself could have been the sin barer and Jesus could have stayed in heaven and not humbled Himself in deepest humiliation, unto death.
Also, if Mary was sinless, she is the one who fulfilled the Law by keeping it to perfection. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the “Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). This is because God knew that no mere human could live up to absolute perfection. False doctrine is like telling a lie, one must tell more and more lies in order to cover up the original lie. And so if Mary was sinless she could be the sin bearer, this is utterly un-Biblical and so the dogma has to state that she was indeed sinless but it is a divine privilege.

Why this privilege? Because tradition reasons that Jesus could not be born sinless if he were born from a sinner and so Mary was made sinless by dogma. But if Jesus could not be born sinless if he were born from a sinner then how was Mary born sinless from two sinners (her parents)? We must assume that from Adam and Eve onwards there has always been, from generation to generation a lineage of sinless people from whom Jesus came. This is impossible because Adam and Eve sinned and the genealogy of Jesus is full of sinners. And so we are back to the divine privilege.
Why, we must ask; If a divine privilege preserve Mary from original sin and practical sin why could it not do the same for Jesus? Why did He have to be born from a sinless mother? Apparently the only reason to impose sinlessness upon Mary is in order to exalt her to a place that she herself in her humility would not accept.

“The perfect sinlessness of Mary had, since Apostolic times, been taught by the Fathers of the Church who appealed to such Scriptural texts as Genesis 3:15 (known as the proto-Evangelium or ‘First Gospel’) and Luke 1:28” (Wade L. J. Menezes, C.P.M., The Immaculate Conception).
Genesis 3:15 has absolutely nothing to do with sinlessness and certainly nothing to do with Mary’s sinlessness in particular. Also, Luke 1:28 only speaks of Mary’s sinlessness according to the vivid imagination of un-Biblical dogma. Note also that while it is undeniable that Mary was blessed, so were all believers, here are some examples,

Blessed are the poor in spirit…Blessed are those who mourn…Blessed are the meek…Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…Blessed are the merciful…Blessed are the pure in heart…Blessed are the peacemakers…Blessed are the eyes that see what you see…Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on (Matthew 5:3-9, Luke 10:23 & Revelation 14:13).

Catholic Apologist Karl Keating wrote:

Mary too required a Savior. Like all other descendants of Adam, by her nature she was subject to the necessity of contracting original sin. But by a special intervention of God, undertaken at the instant she was conceived, she was preserved from the stain of original sin and certain of its consequences. She was therefore redeemed by the grace of Christ, but in a special way, by anticipation. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception thus does not contradict Luke 1:47 (Karl Keating; Director of Catholic Answers [a Catholic apologetics organization], Catholic and Fundamentalism, The Attack on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians” (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1988), Nihil Obstat: Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pollard, S.T.D., Censor Librorum. Imprimatur: +Most Reverend Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles 1-28-88. p. 270).

We are supposed to believe that Mary was perfect and called God her savior, not because she knew the state of her human soul but we are supposed to believe that she understood that she was destined to sin but that, by anticipation, God redeemed her before she ever sinned. This really gets us back to the fact that she never sinned and therefore needed no savior. Jesus did not sin and He never calls God His savior.

The Bible Makes the Issue of Sin Very Clear:
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Romans 3:10-12).

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive 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” (1st John 1:8, 10).

The Bible also makes it clear that there is one single exception to this:
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:14-15).
We are told this about Jesus and no one else in fact it was not until 1547 and 1854 AD that Mary was infallibly referred to by the Vatican as sinless. Although as usual, we find that it is alleged to be an ancient belief, does age make right? “The belief in Mary’s sinlessness appeared early in church history. In the fourth century St. Ambrose spoke of Mary as ‘free of every stain of sin’” (Alan Schreck; Associate Professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio, Catholic and Christian, An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs (Ann Arbor, MI.: Servant Books, 1984), Nihil Obstat: Monsignor Joseph P. Malara-Censor Librorum. Imprimatur: Most Reverend Albert H. Ottenweller-Bishop of Steubenville. p. 177, quoting Ambrose of Milan, “Commentary on Psalm 118,” 22, 30, in Faith of the Early Fathers, vol. 2, W.A. Jurgens, ed., p. 166). What if someone made a doctrinal error long ago, does it make it truth today?

Catholic Theologian Ludwig Ott wrote, “Neither the Greek nor the Latin Fathers explicitly teach the Immaculate Conception of Mary….individual Greek Fathers (e.g., Origen, Basil, John Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria) taught that Mary suffered from venial personal faults, such as ambition and vanity” (Ludwig Ott; Roman Catholic Theologian, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (Rockford, IL: Tan Book Publishers, 1974), pp. 201 & 203).

Indeed, in the very words of scripture we learn that Mary and Joseph brought Jesus “to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord…and to offer a sacrifice according to that said in the Law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:22, 24). Why offer the turtle doves? “when the days of her purifying are fulfilled, for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring a lamb of the first year for a burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtle-dove, for a sin offering to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to the priest” (Leviticus 12:6).

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1 thought on “Roman Catholic Maryology: Mary in Roman Catholicism, part 10 – Sinless?”

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    […] One more note about the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth; it was at this occasion that Mary stated what is known as the magnificat which states, in part, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47). Note that Mary refers to God as “my Savior” thus doing away with the Roman Catholic claim that she was 1) born immaculate and also lived a sinless life. Now, of course, Roman Catholicism has a contrived answer to the affect that what Mary was actually stating is that God is her savior because God saved her, who needed no saving, preemptively—God saved her from even incurring sin, from ever sinning in the first place. This leads to many questions/problems such as: 1) Whence comes such a concept; how is that anywhere at all in the Bible (such a question is jejune to Roman Catholics who employ the Bible and additionally, the sayings of saints and apparitions, the proclamations of Popes and councils, etc.)? 2) In such a case, why could not the sinless Mary be not only a unique co-mediatrix and co-redeemer but simply our savior by herself and in her own right (or is it, in her own rite?)? For details, see: Mary in Roman Catholicism, part 10 – Sinless? […]

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