WASHINGTON (Christian News Network) — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops have joined together to “consecrate” their nations to the care of Mary on May 1 and to ask that she intercede to Jesus during the COVID pandemic. Evangelicals believe that such practices are unbiblical as the Bible states that there is one mediator between God and man.
The partnership was announced via a press release on April 23, noting that the consecration practice began in 1792 and that in 1846, via the title of “the Immaculate Conception,” Mary was named “Patroness of the United States.”
“Through a collective dedication or entrustment of a nation to Mary, an act of consecration is meant to be a reminder to the faithful of the Blessed Mother’s witness to the Gospel and to ask for her effective intercession before her Son on behalf of those in need,” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated.
The month of May is customarily dedicated to Mary among Roman Catholics, who believe that just as Jesus fulfilled his earthly mother’s bidding at the wedding of Cana, He still listens to her requests as an intercessor on behalf of those who dwell on Earth.
“This [consecration] will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus,” Archbishop Jose Gomez wrote in in a letter to U.S. bishops. “This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic.”
However, evangelicals note that the Bible states in 1 Timothy 2:5 that there is “one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” and that Jesus taught that men are to pray in His name (John 14:13-14), mentioning nothing of asking the deceased to intercede.
Scripture likewise states that “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and prohibits communication with their spirits, a practice known as necromancy (Deuteronomy 18:11). Catholics believe that Mary was born sinless and did not die but ascended into Heaven like Jesus.
On Friday, a service re-consecrating the United States to Mary was held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles with Gomez leading the event.
“Mary goes with us now, as she always has and always will,” he told viewers. “So, my dear brothers and sister, as Jesus entrusted Himself to Mary, let us entrust ourselves to her and look to her as our mother, as children look to their mother.”
“[L]et us give our hearts to Jesus through the heart of His mother. All to Jesus through Mary,” Gomez said. “… We know that in the end, her immaculate heart will triumph, for with God, nothing will be impossible.”
Viewers left various comments asking Mary to provide protection and intercession.
“Blessed Mother Mary, protect my son and all the chaplains. Also, the health care workers,” one viewer wrote.
“I consecrate my children, grandchildren and myself to the Immaculate heart of Mary for her guidance and protection,” another announced.
“Beloved Mother, please protect me, my family, friends, Poland, USA, Canada and [the] whole world,” a third requested.
Last month, Gomez released a prayer to “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” inviting others to recite the entreaty for her protection through intercession.
“Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas, we fly to you today as your beloved children. We ask you to intercede for us with your Son, as you did at the wedding in Cana,” it reads.
“Pray for us, loving Mother, and gain for our nation and world, and for all our families and loved ones, the protection of your holy angels, that we may be spared the worst of this illness,” the prayer states, which refers to Mary as the “health of the sick and cause of our joy” and seeks refuge “under the mantle of [her] protection.”
“As ‘one family under God,’ we turn to our Mother for protection and delivery from the threat of the Covid-19 virus,” Vatican News stated in sharing the composition.
As previously reported, Bergoglio similarly issued a prayer to Mary last month, seeking her intercession in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope. We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,” he said.
“You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need. We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee, joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial,” Bergoglio stated, referring to Mary’s request of Jesus after the wedding ran out of wine.
He also walked to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to appear before the Salus Populi Romani, “Mary, Protection of the Roman People,” which had been carried throughout Rome in 593 to pray for the end of the Black Plague. Gregory XVI prayed before it in 1837 in seeking the end of the cholera outbreak.
As previously reported, evangelicals believe Catholics place an inordinate amount of focus on Mary and unbiblically ascribe attributes to her that belong to the Godhead alone, such as her all-seeing eye (omniscience), her ability to hear prayers from around the world (omnipresence), and her power to care for and protect those who entrust their very lives to her, even by intercession (omnipotence).
“Since Jesus is the only mediator, Mary and the saints cannot be mediators. Further, the Bible tells us that Jesus Christ Himself is interceding for us before the Father: ‘He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:25),” reads an article on GotQuestions.org.
“With Jesus Himself interceding for us, why would we need Mary or the saints to intercede for us? Whom would God listen to more readily than His only begotten Son? Romans 8:26–27 says the Holy Spirit is also interceding for us. With the second and third Persons of the Trinity already interceding for us before the Father, why would we need to have Mary or the saints interceding for us?”
“There is absolutely no scriptural basis to pray to anyone other than God alone. There is no need to, either. Jesus, our Intercessor, has it covered. No one in heaven can mediate on our behalf except for Jesus Christ. Only God can hear and answer our prayers. The temple veil was torn in two (Hebrews 10:19–20); the child of God on earth has just as much access to God’s throne of grace, in Jesus’ name, than anyone in heaven (Hebrews 4:16).”