Definition: The infusion of sanctifying grace into the soul of Mary so that she was born without the ability to sin. The Immaculate Conception has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Rather, the Catholic Church teaches that Mary never sinned because she was not born with a sin nature inherited from her parents (original sin). As a result of her purity, she is deemed to be essential for salvation – apart from Mary, no one can be saved. She is the Mother of the Church to whom her children flee for protection. The Catechism uses Eph. 1:3-4 to support the Immaculate Conception: “The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person ‘in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places’ and chose her ‘in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love’” (CCC 492).
Discussion: This doctrine is wrong on so many levels! First, the Bible states that everyone has sinned (Rom. 3:23), and Jesus said that no one is good except God (Mk. 10:18). Second, Mary admits her need for a Savior (Lk. 1:47). Third, Mary thought Jesus had gone insane and sought to take custody of Him (Mk. 3:21). This surely was sinful. Fourth, Jesus corrected a woman who sought to exalt Mary (Lk. 11:27). Fifth, every believer (including Mary) has been blessed with every spiritual blessing and has been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. The Catechism tears the verse from Ephesians out of context – it replaces “us” with “Mary” to support her glorification. Sixth, the exaltation of Mary has no support in scripture. In fact, Mary is not mentioned at all in the Bible after the book of Acts. Surely Paul would at least have mentioned her if she were the sinless co-mediator and co-redemptrix who is essential for salvation!
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