WASHINGTON — In what is being hailed as “the most Catholic moment in American history,” the Republican National Convention (RNC) ended on Thursday, Aug. 27 with a performance of “Ave Maria”, the musical version of the “Hail Mary” — among the musical selections performed by opera singer Christopher Macchio. However, some were not sold on the inclusion of the song in the closing ceremony.
“Ave Maria, gratia plena,” Macchio sang out from the Blue Room balcony of the White House. The text, being translated in English, means “Hail Mary, full of grace.” He stopped short of the second half of the prayer, which states, “Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.”
The Schubert composition was followed by the patriotic classics “God Bless America” and “America the Beautiful”. Other selections included Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, and “The Lord’s Prayer”. View the segment here.
The musical choice pleased many Roman Catholic Americans, who commented on the matter online.
“Has anything comparable happened before? A Catholic hymn sung so publicly at the White House?” one asked.
“By all means let’s invoke the help of Jesus’ mother in protecting our nation & our descendants from those who consider abortion ‘sacred’ and our physical, sexual natures as the tools of fetishists, quack doctors, and pornographers,” another remarked.
“Our Lady has been called. She will come. Her intercession will release miracles,” a third stated.
“Our dear Blessed Mother is getting her due tonight. Twice Ave Maria was sung tonight at #RNC2020 #RNCConvention2020 #RNC #RNC2020Convention #BlessedMother intercede for us! Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception patron of the US intercede for us!” one cheered.
Music during the Democratic National Convention included performances by homosexual cross-dressing performer Billy Porter, pop star Billie Ellish, John Legend and Jennifer Hudson.
Some expressed disappointment that the RNC included the tune to close out the convention, with some finding it to be sacrilegious to insert the composition into a political event and others being concerned about Marianism being included in the ceremony.
“[W]hy on earth did the RNC end with an incantation to the ‘blessed virgin’ asking for her intercession and help? That is nothing more than pagan idol worship; it is not Christian in any way,” one blogger wrote.
They added, “[M]aybe it has something to do with the visit that President Trump and the First Lady made back in June to the graven image idol of ‘saint’ John Paul II. And maybe it has something to do with Mike Pence’s closed door meeting with the pope at the Vatican.”
As previously reported, Catholics 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.
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.
They also feel that 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.
“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).”