Blurring the Lines of Distinction
-Unity With Rome-
By Sylvia Lacoski

To the Protestant Christian the cult of the Virgin Mary in the Roman Church is disquieting. He lowly mother of Christ in His humanity has become Queen of Heaven and the preferred object of worship. Professor Giovanni Miegge, in his book on Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine, points to the substitution of Mary for pagan deities and the erection of churches dedicated to her, on the foundations of temples formerly the focus of pagan devotion. (The Virgin Mary - Roman Catholic Marian Doctrine - Professor Giovanni Miegge)

Idolatry - The Character of False Religion
C.H. Spurgeon, in his autobiography The Full Harvest recounts a visit he made to Antwerp, “That city is so full of images of the Virgin Mary that you cannot turn the corner of a street without seeing them, sometimes under a canopy of many colours, arrayed in all manner of imitation jewelry, and at other times in neat little niches, picked out of the wall for their special accommodation.” The captain of the vessel Spurgeon sailed with was, like Spurgeon, from Essex and they soon found themselves sharing anecdotes. One of the captain’s tales so illustrating Antwerp - “the sailors may be excused for imagining every image which they see to be a Virgin Mary. One of them, who landed there, went to buy some tobacco and when he returned to the ship, his companions said, ‘that is very good tobacco Jack; where did you get it?’ ‘Oh!’ he answered, ‘you will know the shop, for there is a Virgin Mary sitting over the door, smoking a pipe!’ I don’t wonder at the man’s blunder, for among so many idols one may easily mistake a Turk and his turban for the Virgin Mary and her crown.” (C.H. Spurgeon Autobiography Vol. 2 - Banner of Truth)

The Advance of Popery
It was reported in The Times, 13th December 2003, that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has appointed an Australian Archbishop to “lead efforts to establish unity between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church,” culminating in, it is hoped, the publication of the long-waited document on the place of the Virgin Mary in the Anglican and Catholic Traditions. It was in December 1966 that Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, said he was so pleased with his dialogue with the Pope which was intended to “breathe life into the Anglican/Catholic relationship.” However these leaders have so departed from the Scriptures and their Articles of Faith they hardly know what they are doing.

The silence of Scripture concerning Rome’s doctrine of the Immaculate Conception 8th December 1854 (that Mary was born without sin), and her bodily assumption, proclaimed a dogma, 1st November 1950, is a rebuke, with not a syllable in the New Testament to back up their elaborate system of Mariolatry.

Pope John Paul II sees the Virgin Mary as fundamental to the survival of the church and his devotion to her is well known. His prayer “Totus Tuus” (completely yours) is directed to Mary, not the Mary of Scripture, but the fanciful claims of Rome. His passionate devotion to her developed when as a child he often stopped before the image of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” in the parish church. Since then he has been petitioned to elevate Mary as Co-Redemptrix by millions of Roman Catholics, including Mother Theresa (The Times - 21st August 1997). Romanists may quibble and deny they worship the Virgin, but what do expressions as Mary, Gate of heaven, Refuge of Sinners, Comforter of the Afflicted, etc. mean? Is there any way to God but through Christ, or any that can comfort but Christ?

Pious Brigands - A Legacy of Rome
Men may perform the most sacred rites, yet perpetrate the grossest crimes. In Italy, mainly the Papal States, Brigandage was part and parcel of the machinery of the Roman Church until it ended in 1903. No road was safe for the traveler. Whole provinces were terrorized by them and hundreds lost their lives at their hands every year. The monasteries afforded them shelter and were their depot for arms. A leader of the Brigands in Naples was Cardinal Fabrizio Ruffo, and the highwaymen who followed him always went to Mass before engaging in their nefarious activities. They were eminently religious, never going without their crosses and scapularies and images of the Virgin Mary, and all strove to make a pilgrimage to St. Peter’s Rome once a year at Easter! (The Roman Catholic Church in Italy - Alexander Robertson D.D.)

“Can Two Walk Together except They Be Agreed?”
“Roman Catholicism is not only not Christianity, but the very antithesis of Christianity” was the comment of one born in the Roman Church and a fervent Catholic from infancy. Dr. Raffaele Mariano, Professor of Philosophy in the University of Naples who, reading the New Testament, discovered that salvation was not by belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, but that change of heart, wrought in him through faith in Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. The essence of the Roman Church is that of a Society of “assurance of salvation” for those not touched by the Gospel and those not born anew.

The Roman Church constantly reaffirms its position, that it is the “one true Church” and true unity can only be found within its fold. Writing in the preface of his “Secret History of the Oxford Movement” Walter Walsh said “…bearing in mind the wholehearted efforts for Corporate Reunion with Rome, when a state of loyalty and obedience to the Pope would again come into existence in the Church of England, does it look as though the Romanizers were bent on upsetting all law and order within the Church of England, producing a state of Anarchy, solely in order that on the ruins may be erected the law and order of the Pope of Rome?”

From the Reformer - March/April 2004

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