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Sunday, August 20, 2017
Date Posted:
1/21/1999

Contents
Jesuits' Strategy
Mary & Holy Spirit
Greatest Weapons
Irresistible Weapon
5 Fallible Infallibles
Infiltration
Williamite Revolution
Reformation Battle


Romanism, Mary and the Holy Spirit


Lecture at a Seminar of the European Institute of Protestant Studies
Professor Arthur Noble

Introduction

The previous two lectures at today's seminar have dealt with the Mariolatry of Romanism in relation to God the Father and God the Son respectively. My task is to examine the subject "Romanism, Mary and the Holy Spirit". This is an extremely difficult undertaking, not least because it has never been systematically attempted before; but with the Bible as my infallible guide to eternal truth I have the means of exposing yet another blatant falsehood of the Roman Church.

It is impossible, in the forty minutes at my disposal, to present a complete analysis of the Biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit and the way in which Romanism corrupts it, especially through infiltrating it with Mariolatry; but at least there are certain key aspects which can be allowed to determine the structure of our investigation.

1. The Mary of the Bible and the Mary of Romanism

Before coming to our subject proper I want to emphasise that there is not the remotest relationship between the Mary of the Bible and the Mary of the Roman Church. The Bible records nothing at all about the birth of Mary, says very little about her life, and provides no comment whatever about her death. She is not mentioned throughout all the Acts of the Apostles, except in one solitary instance (Acts 1:14) where the disciples were assembled together and we are told that they gave themselves all with one accord to prayer and supplication with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brethren. Now is it not remarkable that this, the last view that God gives us of the mother of Jesus, is not of her as the object of the disciples' prayers, adoration or worship, as is the case in Romanism, but as a woman in supplication herself - as one of a group of sinners who felt their need for the Holy Spirit and continued praying earnestly for ten days until the Spirit descended on the day of Pentecost and - we read in Acts 2:4 - all of them "were filled with the Holy Ghost"! After this, Mary is not again mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.

How different from the Mary of Romanism with her supposed eternal virginity, her sinless life, her assumption and all her other divine attributes! The Church of Rome has not been wanting in supplying the supposed deficiency. Papal authors, ignoring the revealed Word of God, have first imagined, and then believed, and then written vast volumes about the birth and the life and the death of Mary - and long before her birth and long after her death. They tell us that she was present at the Creation, and they say that she will welcome the redeemed into Heaven, where the doctrine of the Assumption (proclaimed in 1950 by Pius XII) tells us she herself already is. They have had supernatural visions and wondrous revelations, and have progressively transformed her into a fiction which bears no resemblance to the actual Mary of the Bible. They have made a "perpetual virgin" [Catechism of the Catholic Church, §499] of a real woman who was not only Christ's and his brethren's mother, but also Joseph's loving wife. They have turned into the "Queen of the Universe" a fragile human being about whose welfare the dying Jesus on the Cross was so concerned that he entrusted her to the care of John.

You can read all about this idealised and idolised Mary in Liguori's book The Glories of Mary, which was published at the end of the 18th century, a later edition appearing in 1931. This Cardinal Alphonsus de Liguori - who, incidentally, declared that lying and prostitution were acceptable in certain circumstances - was highly praised by the Church of Rome, and in 1803 the Congregation of Rites decreed that "in all the writings of Alphonsus de Liguori there is not one word that can justly be faulted". Thus the Vatican formally pronounced all of his teaching to be that of the Church of Rome. Later he was elevated to become a "Saint"! I read with great interest a pamphlet by Dr. Paisley which more accurately describes this man as "Liguori the Filthy".

This book The Glories of Mary is a virtual summary of how the so-called great "saints" of the Roman Church have distorted the Biblical Mary. The chapter headings are staggering, ascribing to Mary titles, abilities and functions which belong to God alone: "Mary, our Life, our Sweetness", "our Hope", "our Help", "our Guardian", "our Salvation", "Mother of Mercy", "Queen of Heaven" - every one of them a fantasy invented by Rome; every one of them a usurpation of the attributes of one or more Persons of the Holy Trinity.

Martin Luther had already written much against such elevation of Mary to divine status. In The Works of Luther, Vol. 22, we read: "[...] since His mother, Mary, the virgin, was known to be a plain carpenter's wife, no more respect was shown to her than to any ordinary woman. [...] For the greater the men of God and the larger the measure of the Spirit in them, the greater the diligence and attention they devote to the Son rather than to the mother."

2. The Revealed Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity

Before we can understand Rome's teaching on the relationship between Mary and the Holy Spirit, a brief commentary on the nature of the Trinity is necessary.

The trinity of persons in one Divine essence is a revealed doctrine. It is not the product of human thinking, and yet it is revealed in the Bible to human reason. It is above and beyond reason, but not contrary to reason. One does not have to abandon one's reasoning powers to grasp it. In I Thes. 5:21 we are exhorted: "Prove all things."

The unity of God is clearly taught in the Bible. Deut. 6:4 - "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord." Isa. 44:6 - "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God." The Unitarians have no monopoly on the doctrine of one God.

The Scriptures also teach that the one and only God, whose Name is Jehovah, exists in three persons - in a threefold relationship as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God is called Father, and if there is a Father there must be a Son. Note however that in the Biblical context of the Trinity, 'Father' and 'Son' are terms to denote relationship rather than time, for God is eternal. In human relationships time is involved, for the father must be older than the son; but since God the Father is eternal, the Son is also eternal. In John 17:5 the Son speaks of the glory which He had with the Father "before the world began". Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ is expressly called God in the Bible. Speaking of Him in I Tim. 3:16 Paul says: "Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh." In John 10:30 Jesus Himself says: "I and the Father are one."

By the same token, the Holy Spirit is plainly declared to be the eternal God. The Bible says that at creation "the Spirit of God moved upon the waters" (Gen. 1:2). Christ told His disciples that He would pray the Father to send them another Comforter - another Paraclete - another person of like kind - to be their helper after He would leave them (John 14:16). Hence the Holy Spirit is a distinct person in the Godhead. When Peter charges Ananias with lying to the Holy Ghost, he then says: "Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God." (Acts 5:3-4) Hence the Holy Spirit is revealed as being God and being eternal.

It is said that when Patrick went to preach to the pagans in Ireland, he found great difficulty in making clear to them this truth about the Trinity. When he was asked whether there were three Gods or one, he picked up a shamrock and said: "As there are three in one and one in three in this little plant, so is God."

The Westminster Confession explains it as follows: "In the unity of the Godhead there be three persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son."

The American New Hampshire Confession states likewise: "We believe that there is one and only one living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, Whose Name is Jehovah, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth; inexpressibly glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honour, confidence, and love; that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, equal in every divine perfection, and executing distinct but harmonious offices in the great work of human redemption."

3. Rome's Corrupted Doctrine of the Trinity

Now you would hardly expect the Church of Rome to agree with this pure and unadulterated definition of the Trinity as revealed in the Word of God. After all, she has had a historical propensity for claiming the sole right to interpret the Bible and to supplant and supplement it with her ecclesiastical traditions. She has even gone so far as to pretend that the Bible is subservient to her traditions.

It is true that the Roman Church acknowledges the Trinity of God. §260 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church [Pocket Edition, Veritas, Dublin, 1995] mentions "the perfect unity of the Blessed Trinity"; §260 states: "The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith [...]"; and in §266 Rome claims that she worships "one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance [...]".

Yet let us look more closely at the reality behind this mask. Increasingly, in her teachings and practice, Rome has placed the cult of Mary above the worship of the Triune God; she has ascribed a far greater place to the worship of the Virgin than to the Creator Himself; and she has undermined the nature and function of the Trinity by attributing roles to Mary which usurp those of all three Persons of the Godhead.

As early as 1825, in a prayer published in Rome "with licence of Superiors", Mary was placed on a level with God as an object of worship. The prayer includes the following words: "I adore You, Eternal Father; I adore You, Eternal Son; I adore You, most Holy Spirit; I adore you, most Holy Virgin, Queen of the Heavens, Lady and Mistress of the Universe." How could Mary be the Queen of Heaven? Scripture tells us that Christ is the King, but never that there is a queen. If there were a queen who shared Christ's throne it would be His bride, the Church composed of the redeemed. The only "queen of heaven" mentioned in Scripture is to be found in Jer. 7:18 and 44:15. It is an idol which was worshipped by pagans. Jewish women gave offerings to it and in so doing brought the wrath of God upon themselves. "The children gather wood, and the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto other gods, that they may provoke me to anger." (Jer. 7:18)

As a result of Rome's usurpation of the divine power of God through the cult of the Virgin, which has been steadily promoted for centuries, the Mother of our Lord occupies a position today, in the thought of the adherents of Rome, as T.C. Hammond puts it, "hardly distinguishable from that of a goddess" [The One Hundred Texts, London, 1966, flyleaf]. Hammond's assertion that the cult of Mary "has almost reached its climax" is opportune, since it has been predicted by some that the Roman Church, which for centuries has already worshipped Mary as if she were God, will soon officially declare her co-equal to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In this way Rome will soon have virtually transformed the Biblical doctrine of the Trinity into a doctrine of a sort of Quaternity by which Mary will be officially decreed by the Pope to be an actual fourth person of the Godhead - omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, as she already is in practice.

If like me you have been to Spain, Portugal and most of the Roman Catholic countries of South and Central America, you have probably experienced somewhere the religious ceremony of the Roman Church called the "Coronation of the Virgin". On this occasion an image is decked with velvet, gold and jewels, enthroned on an altar, solemnly crowned by priests, and paraded through the streets. Hobart Seymour, the author of Rome, Pagan and Papal, has very clearly shown the identity of this and other religious ceremonies of modern Romanism with those of ancient Rome, which likewise persecuted real Christians. He writes: "There is the dressing and decking of it [the image of the Virgin]; burning incense to it; lighting candles to it; bowing and kneeling before it; the utterance of prayer before it; the crowning it - everything, in short, that could be done, if the special object was the religious worship and adoration of the image itself; as if the ancient heathens of Rome were again worshipping and adoring one of the ancient images of their heathen goddesses."

4. Mariolatry's Usurpation of the Person of the Holy Spirit and Surpassing of all three Persons of the Holy Trinity

What is happening through this process of worshipping the image of the Virgin is obvious: it is that the Mary of Romanism not only usurps the Person of the Holy Spirit, but is also elevated above all three Persons of the Holy Trinity.

We have already been well instructed today in the manner in which the Mary of Romanism has been cultivated to supplant both God the Father and God the Son. To the illustrations given by Dr. Paisley I would merely add a couple more preposterous claims from Rome herself. In The Glories of Mary, God the Father as Creator of the universe, with his divine plan of salvation, is ousted by Mary, and John 3:16 is rewritten as follows: "For Mary so loved the world, that she gave her only begotten Son, that whoso believeth in her should not perish, but have everlasting life." Yet Rome in her arrogance does not tremble at this blasphemy. She goes even further. In her New Catechism she gives Mary the attributes of co-redeemer, mediatrix and advocate, despite the fact that Mary herself knew she was a sinner in need of a Saviour (Luke 1:46-47).

The key to the Romanist dogma of Mary's relationship to the Trinity is a statement of Pope Pius XII in 1954: "Mary is indeed worthy to receive honour and might and glory. She is exalted to hypostatic union with the Blessed Trinity." This idea has since become more and more prevalent. The Winter, 1994, Fatima Crusader declared: "Madonna has a share in the royalty of God." She is quoted there as having said - as to where, when and to whom, your guess is as good as mine: "I am she who is in the Divine Trinity."

Dave Hunt, in his brilliant book A Woman Rides the Beast: The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days [Harvest House, Minneapolis, 1994, p. 445], has found one of the most succinct official Romanist pronouncements on Mary's relationship to the Holy Spirit. He quotes from Soul Magazine, which describes itself as the "Official publication of The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima in the U.S. and Canada" (22 million strong). This magazine [Nov.-Dec., 1984, p. 4] declares: "Mary is so perfectly united with the Holy Spirit that He acts only through [her] his Spouse [...]. All our life, every thought, word, and deed is in her hands [...]. At every moment, She herself must instruct, guide, and transform each one of us into Herself, so that not we but She lives in us, as Jesus lives in her, and the Father in the Son."

Mary is here declared to be not only perfectly "united" with the Holy Spirit (that is, made one and identical with Him), but also to be the one and only mediatrix through which the Holy Spirit acts. That means that Mary is God! Worse, it means that she is superior to God in all His three Persons! Hence we should not be surprised when we read in Liguori how Rome elevates Mary to such a degree that "all things, even God, obey the commands of Mary" [Vol. 1, p. 265].

Have you every read such blasphemous rubbish? Nowhere does the Bible say that the Holy Spirit acts only through Mary. The Holy Spirit has been in action eternally: He was present at Creation. The Biblical Mary was a human being, a temporal woman. She was not elevated to a divinity by the Holy Spirit; on the contrary, it was she who 'magnified the Lord', for she was a sinner who needed repentance, and who referred to her Son Jesus as "God my Saviour" (Luke 1:47). Nowhere does the Bible say either that God obeys the commands of Mary. John Wesley, in his Explanatory Notes on the New Testament (John 2:2-5), writes: "May we not learn hence, if His mother was rebuked for attempting to direct Him in the days of his flesh, how absurd it is to address her as if she has a right to command Him in the throne of His glory?"

Is not this elevation of Mary above the Triune God Rome's ultimate blasphemy against the Holy Spirit? All that is directly said about this sin is found in Matt.12:31-32; Mark 3:28-30; and Luke 12:10. This is the sin that has no forgiveness. All other sins are forgiven on the terms of repentance and faith. The unpardonable sin is called blasphemy against the Spirit - an intentional indignity or slander. It may be committed by speech, by writing, or by sign; but how much greater must be the blasphemy of actually elevating a human woman above the Holy Spirit and asserting that He obeys her commands!

Do we need any further proof that Romanism is Marianism? It is in her alone that Rome's poor duped souls put all their hope. Even the Mass has been converted into Mary-worship by the addition of prayers to her and the prominence given to them.

5. The Corruption and Perversion of the Functions and Fruits of the Holy Spirit

Now if the Church of Rome has corrupted the nature of the Holy Spirit in this way, she must also have perverted the Holy Spirit's functions and fruits. Time constrains me to a few examples of each.

(a) The functions of the Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Scriptures - the Person of the Trinity Who gave revelation to writers independently of their own thinking: Peter says that holy men of God in the Old Testament "spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). The Spirit gave not only the thoughts but the words: Paul says that we have received the Spirit of God in order to know the things that are "freely given to us of God" [...]: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth." (l Cor. 2:12, 13) A. J. Gordon once posed this question: "Why the minute study of the words of Scripture, if they were not verbally inspired?" - Rome, in contrast, has burned the Bible and forbidden its use, because she claims to be its sole interpreter and it unmasks the falsehood of her doctrine. Thus she has become the destroyer of the Scriptures as the work of the Holy Spirit.

  • The Holy Spirit enables the conversion of the sinner. Conversion takes place when the Holy Spirit reveals our hopeless and helpless estate as sinners, and then reveals Jesus Christ as our Divine Saviour. Only One Who is God (the Lord Jesus) can redeem us, and only One Who is God (the Holy Spirit) can regenerate us. Psalm 49:7 says that no man can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. Only one who is God can reconcile us to God, and only One Who is God can purify our souls. None but Christ can make the sinner right with God, and none but the Holy Spirit can make the sinner fit for the presence of God and for the holy environment of Heaven. - Rome claims that Mary is the sole redeemer, mediatrix and advocate through which the Holy Spirit acts, here again she destroys this function of the Holy Spirit.

  • The Holy Spirit confers the divine Spirit baptism which was predicted in both the Old and New Testaments. It was predicted in Joel 2:28; and John the Baptist foretold Spirit baptism in contrast with his baptism in water. John said that One coming after him (Jesus Christ) "shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire" (Matt. 3:11). Jesus Christ was to be the administrator of that Spirit baptism. The record of the fulfilment of the prophecies concerning Spirit baptism is found in the book of Acts. In Acts 1:6 Christ says: "For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence." The Spirit baptism happened ten days later, on the day of Pentecost. - This simple truth is corrupted by the Church of Rome into an un-Biblical doctrine summarised in the Catechism of the Catholic Church [§724-725] which constrains the Holy Spirit to acting solely through Mary: "In Mary, the Holy Spirit manifests the Son of the Father, now become the Son of the Virgin. She is the burning bush of the definitive theophany. [...] through Mary, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men [...] into communion with Christ.

  • The Holy Spirit was promised by Jesus as a Comforter (I John 2:1). The Greek word is parakletos (paraklhtos), which means an 'advocate', literally 'one who calls near or beside'. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, however, [§969] claims this role for Mary, who is invoked "under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix". Our Lord taught that the Holy Spirit would bear witness by direct contact with the souls of men, as our Advocate pleading God's cause in our hearts - not through Mary and not through the Pope. As Hammond says: "The only true Vicar of Christ is the Spirit Who like Him is absolutely and unqualifiedly 'The Spirit of Truth'." (John 5:26)

(b) The fruits of the Spirit

Time restricts me to the first three fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22 - "[...] love, joy, peace [...]". - Rome has turned these fruits respectively into hatred, misery and war.

  • Where the Spirit engenders love, Rome practises hatred

Rome's hatred of all who disagree with her was the driving force behind the Inquisition; her hatred resulted in the horrendous torture of the innocents and the bloody massacre of the Martyrs. During the history of her existence she has been responsible for the death of some 50,000,000 people - which makes the atrocities of Hitler and Phol Pot look like a Sunday school picnic. - The same ethos of hatred lurks today behind her mask of love for the 'heretics' whom she now addresses as her 'separated brethren', and that hatred would be practised again if she ever succeeded in destroying the Protestantism that she loathes. At the College of Maynooth today students still study the works of Bellarmine, a Jesuit involved in the condemnation of Galileo and made a cardinal by Pope Clement VIII in 1599. Bellarmine expressed his 'love' for his Protestant fellow-humans as follows: "[...] heretics are undoubtedly to be extirpated: but [...] if they are stronger than we are, [...] then we are to keep quiet. [...] heretics when strong are to be committed to God; when weak to the executioner." [Quoted in The Protestant Echo, Vol. XXIV, 1903, p. 3.] While preaching ecumenical love to her "separated brethren" on the one hand, on the other hand she calls modern Protestantism "the religion of murderers" [The Catholic Herald, October 13, 1998].

  • Where the Spirit invokes joy, Rome creates misery

The illustrious Irish scholar and minister Dr. Adam Clarke, after visiting Maynooth College in 1811 - a full century and a half after the Reformation and a half century after the Age of Enlightenment! - noted that Romish Ireland was still the most primitive and backward country in Europe:

The Roman Catholic population of Ireland is, in general, in very great misery; and this is chiefly occasioned not by any political incapacities under which they labour, but through a bad creed, which prevents the cultivation of their minds; for among Roman Catholics education is greatly proscribed; and, therefore, they know nothing of the management of their own minds, but become the tools of their priests, and thus, through their want of knowledge, they are easily misled, and through the strength of their passions they are readily employed in acts the most desperate, and schemes the most preposterous. Having no education and no mental cultivation, they are unacquainted with method, plan, and order; they do nothing by rule, consequently nothing regularly, nothing in its time and place, but all is hurry and confusion. They are dirty in their persons, clothes, houses, furniture, and even in their food. [...] They have no economy; they are wretched, because they will not endeavour to be otherwise; they destroy one-half of their property by mismanagement and idleness. [...] Their religious holidays [...] retard useful labour. [...] They are not really religious; they will invoke you by the Holy Trinity, by Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and St. Patrick; but these have no moral influence in their hearts or on their lives. [...] They have no idea of inward holiness - outward observances constitute their religion, leaving all other matters to be transacted for them by their priests with God. They are taught to hold in hatred all other religionists, because they are told God hates them. Hence they are cruel and bloodthirsty, [...] incendiaries, and often murderers! What then, does Ireland owe to the Roman Catholic religion? It found them uncultivated savages - and leaves them little better than fiends. [...] Compare their state with the Protestant Irish, [...] who are, in every respect, the reverse of their misguided countrymen.

Has the situation changed much today, two and a half centuries after the Reformation? In 1994, after a visit to this Island, Ken Samples wrote in the Milwaukee Sentinel (Winter, 1994): "In recent years, the Catholic Irish Republic (Eire) has benefitted much from [...] membership of the European Union. Because of this, the contrast is not as noticeable as it was twenty years ago, but it is still there. A trip from Belfast to Dublin will be an eye-opener when one wants to gauge the influence of the Roman Catholic Church."

  • Where the Spirit brings peace, Rome conducts war

The distinguished American writer Jeremiah J. Crowley, who quit the Roman priesthood after twenty-one years, quotes the following statement in his book Romanism, a Menace to the Nation [Aurora, 1910, p. 138f.] made by the Hon. Andrew D. White, former American US Ambassador to Germany:

The Pope and his advisers have never hesitated to urge on war, no matter how bloody, when the slightest of their ordinary worldly purposes could be served by it. The great religious wars of Europe were entirely stirred up and egged on by them; and [...] the Pope did everything to prevent the signing of the Treaty of Münster, which put an end to the dreadful Thirty Years' War, even going so far as to declare the oaths taken by the plenipotentiaries at that congress to no effect. All through the Middle Ages and at the Renaissance period the Popes kept Italy in turmoil and bloodshed for their own territorial advantages, and they kept all Europe in turmoil for two centuries after the Reformation [...] in the wars of religion. They did everything they could to stir up a war between Austria and Prussia in 1866, thinking that Austria, a Catholic power, was sure to win; and then everything possible to stir up the war of France against Prussia in 1870 in order to accomplish the same purpose of checking German Protestantism; and now they are doing all they can to arouse hatred, even to deluge Italy in blood, in the vain attempt to recover the temporal power [...]. They pretend to be anxious to 'save souls', and especially to love Poland and Ireland; but they have for years used those countries as mere pawns in their game [...].

  • Finally: The Spirit of the Lord is liberty, but the spirit of Rome is bondage

If you want to test whether the Church of Rome is the dwelling-place of the Spirit, start with II Corinthians 3:17: "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." - Where is there liberty in the Church of Rome? Her hallmark is not liberty but bondage, not freedom but slavery. In fact, the tremendous spiritual and physical power that Rome exerts over every aspect of the lives of her adherents is the only means by which she can achieve her aims, and her official statements clearly state it. The title of Adrian Pigott's book says it all: Freedom's Foe - The Vatican [London: The Pioneer Press], and he quotes the damning statement of Cardinal Segura of Seville, who said in 1952: "From the unhindered liberty of thought, tuition and press, there may arise many evils - the greatest evil of which is the freedom of religion." The nineteenth-century British politician and historian Lord Macaulay wrote of the Vatican system that "among the contrivances that have been devised for deceiving and oppressing mankind, it occupies the highest place" [quoted in Crowley: op.cit., p. 203].

6. Mariolatry - the Religion of the Future?

I want to conclude with a warning that the Church of Rome is increasingly promoting and expanding her doctrine of Mariolatry, which is a sign of the increasing apostasy of the present age. Hunt [op. cit., p. 444] points out that, historically, the cult of Mary developed "gradually" and "as the apostasy gathered momentum". Hence it is a sign of apostasy. The Encyclopaedia Britannica [Vol. 15, p. 459] states that during the first centuries of the Church there was no emphasis of Mary whatsoever. Even the Catholic Encyclopaedia agrees that there is "no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear trace of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first centuries" [quoted by Kathleen R. Hayes: "All-Night Prayer Vigil becomes Devotion to Lady of the New Advent", NRI Trumpet, October, 1993, pp. 6-14].

It was Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903) who outstripped all his predecessors in the promotion of Mariolatry and was therefore fittingly styled the "Pope of the Rosary". Time Magazine [Dec. 30, 1991, p. 62] comments that "according to modern Popes" Mary is "Queen of the Universe, Queen of Heaven, Seat of Wisdom [...]".

Mary is also playing an important role in the Ecumenical movement. Speaking of the present Pope, the Milwaukee Sentinel reported on March 26, 1987: "Pope John Paul, in an encyclical Wednesday, said veneration of the Virgin Mary could help promote unity with other Christians. [...] The Pope said a study of Mary can help heal division among Christian churches." The Ecumenical Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary in England has published a booklet entitled An Ecumenical Future for Roman Catholic Theology of Mary. Its adherents place most of their ecumenical hopes on the fact that "Christians of the East have always honoured her in a special way" and "it is not only eastern Christians who venerate Mary". Special mention is made of the Church of England and Continental Lutheranism.

During the present Pope's (John Paul II's) visit to Lithuania in 1993 he called Mary "Mother of the Church", "Queen of the Apostles" and the "dwelling place of the Trinity" - blasphemy which is repeated in the most often recited prayer of the Roman Church, the Rosary. This man, again according to Time Magazine [Dec. 30, 1991, p. 64], "made Mary's unifying power a centrepiece of his Papal arsenal. He has visited countless Marian shrines during his globetrotting, and invokes the Madonna's aid in nearly every discourse and prayer that he delivers." This man's personal motto is: "Mary, I am all yours." He dedicated the whole earth to Mary in 1984. He attributed the fall of Communism in his native country of Poland to Mary's intervention, as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union, and credited her with saving his life in the 1981 assassination attempt. He thus continues in the long line of Popes to ascribe divine attributes to Mary, and has taken Marian devotion to new heights.

Like his predecessor (John XXIII), who called Eastern Europe "that other lung of our common European homeland", John Paul II is a fanatical Europhile who yearns to rebuild the Holy Roman Empire of the Middle Ages under the domination of the Church of Rome. He told the European Parliament in 1988 of his wish that Europe might "one day expand to the dimensions bestowed on it by geography and above all by history" (cunningly avoiding the word "religion"). It is no accident that the symbol of Europe today is a flag with twelve stars, not representing, as most people think, the number of member States of the European Union, but taken from the Flag of Mary. The full symbol of this emerging politico-religious colossus may be seen in a stained-glass window of Strasbourg Cathedral, where Mary, beneath a halo of twelve stars, is shown holding the 1,000-year-old symbol of political unification - the crown of the Holy Roman Empire. The picture is reproduced on the cover of Adrian Hilton's revealing book The Principality and Power of Europe [Dorchester House, Rickmansworth, 1977]. This book is vital reading, for it unmasks the Vatican's dream of re-establishing its domination over Europe and the intrigue and deception behind it. Mary is being transformed into the Goddess of Europe.

The public mood in the United Kingdom following the death of Princess Diana proved to be gravely susceptible to the Marian cult, and our Romanist-dominated media well knew how to exploit the mass outpouring of public grief for a wonderful woman who, like the Mary of the Bible, was nevertheless no saint. Like the Diana of Roman mythology - the goddess of the moon and the hunt, the guardian of springs and streams and the protector of wild animals, and the Latin counterpart of the Greek goddess Artemis - our own Princess Diana could become the pagan icon which the Vatican will use in its ploy to draw our country spiritually from the truths and blessings of Reformation freedoms and once more enchain this land that Rome calls "Mary's Dowry" in the bondage of her evil and persecuting system.

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