ROME — Roman Catholic leader Jorge Bergoglio, also known as “Pope Francis,” has decreed that a new feast day be added to the liturgical calendar to honor Mary, called “Mother of the Church.” The announcement has been deemed unbiblical as the Catholic Church continues to place inordinate emphasis on Mary.
The Vatican announced the decree on Saturday, noting that the new Roman Catholic holiday will be observed every year on the Monday after Pentecost. This year, the occasion will fall on May 21.
“Having attentively considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion might encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety, Pope Francis has decreed that the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, should be inscribed in the Roman Calendar on the Monday after Pentecost and be now celebrated every year,” reads the decree, signed by Robert Sarah, prefect, and Arthur Roche, archbishop.
“This celebration will help us to remember that growth in the Christian life must be anchored to the mystery of the cross, to the oblation of Christ in the eucharistic banquet and to the mother of the Redeemer and mother of the redeemed, the virgin who makes her offering to God,” it states.
The decree outlines that historic Roman Catholic figures—from Augustine to Paul VI—have endowed Mary with various titles, and claims that as Jesus asked his disciple, John, to look after His earthly mother in His physical absence, it signified that Mary was to be a subject of affection for all of Christ’s followers.
“Indeed, the mother standing beneath the cross (Jn. 19:25), accepted her Son’s testament of love and welcomed all people in the person of the beloved disciple as sons and daughters to be reborn unto life eternal. She thus became the tender mother of the Church which Christ begot on the cross handing on the Spirit,” the decree asserts. “Christ, in turn, in the beloved disciple, chose all disciples as ministers of his love towards His mother, entrusting her to them so that they might welcome her with filial affection.”
“Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, thus indicating that Mary is at once mother of Christ, the Son of God, and mother of the members of his Mystical Body, which is the Church,” it states. “These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.”
The Roman Catholic Church already has a number of feast days dedicated to Mary, including the Feast of Immaculate Conception—in observance of the Catholic belief that Mary was conceived without sin, and the Feast of Assumption—in observance of the belief that Mary did not die but ascended to Heaven like Jesus.
However, some believe that these holidays not only place inordinate emphasis on Mary, but are also unbiblical. Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries told Christian News Network that the Roman Catholic Church has essentially given Mary “goddess” status as she has been ascribed attributes that only belong to the divine.
“The Catholic Church has elevated Mary, a self-described servant of the Lord, to an omniscient goddess with divine attributes (Luke 1:38). She is said to be all-knowing, all seeing, and all powerful,” he explained. “Mary becomes a counterfeit savior: born sinless, without the stain of original sin, and living a sinless life. She becomes co-redeemer, provider of salvation, dispenser of forgiveness, and source of all grace. She is called the all-holy one, clearly a title belonging only to God.”
“This blasphemy stands in sharp contrast to what Scripture actually says and does not say about Mary,” Gendron continued. “When Jesus said, ‘I will build My Church,’ he never said Mary would be the mother of His Church. The one true Church has only one Head, one Shepherd and one Builder: the Lord Jesus Christ. The true Church is the body of Christ, the bride; the flock of Christ and the household of faith. Scripture never speaks of Mary having a leadership role or as a mother over the church.”
Gendron, who was a former Roman Catholic for over 30 years and now leads a ministry to speak truth to Catholics, said that the Scriptures do not provide a single instance of the disciples elevating or venerating Mary following the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.
“In fact, the Bible says nothing about Mary’s life or her later years after Christ’s death,” he outlined. “When she briefly appears with the disciples and the other believers on the day of Pentecost, she’s not an object of worship or even a leader in the early church. She is just one among many. There simply are no biblical examples of anyone ever praying to her, honoring her or venerating her.”
“If you contrast that with the overwhelming number of books on the life of Mary, the miracles of Mary and the apparitions of Mary, it is obvious that a pagan goddess has been created in the minds of popes,” he added. “Only the name ‘Mary’ has been stolen from Christianity.”
Gendron said that “Jesus alone is the head of the Church and He alone is to be worshiped, venerated, adored and petitioned.”