Catholic Doctrines Not Found In The Holy Bible I: The Immaculate Conception, The Assumption Of Mary

If a person ascribes to a belief system that is not according to the doctrines of the New Testament as found in the Holy Bible, is that person then a Christian? Can the teachings of Catholicism stand the test of scripture? Let whomsoever will answer these questions each for them self, according to the command found in 2Cor. 13:5 'Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves...'
Excerpted from the 7th chapter [link] of the very well known book "Roman Catholicism" by Lorraine Boettner; 1962 [pdf].  

Concerning these two topics:

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION: "Many Protestants misunderstand this doctrine and assume that it relates to the virgin birth of Christ. It relates, however, to Mary’s own birth, and has therefore no direct reference to the virgin birth of Christ..."

THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY: "...on November 1, 1950, with the ex cathedra pronouncement by pope Pius XII that Mary’s body was raised from the grave shortly after she died, that her body and soul were reunited, and that she was taken up and enthroned as Queen of Heaven...Thus Mary’s body was miraculously preserved from corruption, and her resurrection and ascension are made to parallel Christ’s resurrection and ascension. And she, like Him, is said to be enthroned in heaven where she makes intercession for the millions of people throughout the world who seek her assistance...."
From: Chapter 7 Mary

The Roman Catholic Church officially denies worshiping Mary. Officially she says that Mary is only a creature, highly exalted, but still a creature, in no way equal to God. Yet she tells us that Mary hears the prayers of millions and that she constantly gives attention to her followers throughout the world. It may well be that, as Rome says, she does not intend idolatry. But the intention and the practical working out of the system are two different things. We must insist that it is worship, and that therefore it is idolatry as practised by millions of people who kneel before Mary’s statues and pray and sing to her. Most of these people know nothing at all of the technical distinctions made by their theologians between adoration and worship. It certainly is idolatrous to give her the attributes of omnipresence and omniscience and to give her titles and functions which belong to God, as when, by pope Pius XII, she was officially designated the ‘Queen of Heaven,’ and ‘Queen of the World,’ and when prayers are made to her for salvation.

We have mentioned the most famous of the prayers addressed to Mary, the Ave Maria, or Hail Mary. As commonly used, this prayer follows the Lord’s prayer and is offered in precisely the same way. Assuming that there are one hundred million ‘practising’ Roman Catholics throughout the world [1962], and that half of them say the rosary at least once each day—the rosary contains fifty ‘Hail Marys’ and takes quite some time to repeat—Mary would have to have the attributes of deity to hear and answer such a mass of prayer. Surely Roman Catholics themselves can see the impossibility of all those prayers being heard and answered by one who by the admission of their own church is not God, but only human. The whole thing is a deceit and an illusion. Even if it were true that the spirits of the departed have access to this world, that could not be known except by divine revelation. And no such revelation exists.



The doctrine of the ‘Immaculate Conception’ teaches that Mary herself was born without sin, that from the very first moment of her existence she was free from the taint of original sin [1]. It holds that while all the rest of mankind are born into an inheritance of original sin, Mary alone, by a special miracle of God, was excepted. The original decree setting forth this doctrine was issued by pope Pius IX, on December 8, 1854, and reads as follows:

‘We declare, pronounce and define that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, at the first instant of her conception was preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin, by the singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of mankind, and that this doctrine was revealed by God, and therefore must be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful’ (From the papal bull, Ineffabilus Deus, quoted in The Tablet, December 12, 1953).

Many Protestants misunderstand this doctrine and assume that it relates to the virgin birth of Christ. It relates, however, to Mary’s own birth, and has therefore no direct reference to the virgin birth of Christ.

Side by side with the doctrine that Mary was born without sin, there developed the doctrine that she did not commit sin at any time during her life. Then, as one link reached out for another, they gave her the attribute of impeccability, which means that she could not sin, that her nature was such that it was impossible for her to sin! All of this was a natural outgrowth of their worship of Mary, a further step in her deification. Their Mariolatry demanded it! They sensed that if they were to give her the worship that is due to our Lord, she must be sinless.

But this doctrine, like the other distinctive doctrines of the Roman system, completely lacks any Scriptural support, and in fact is directly opposed to the Scripture doctrine of original sin. The Bible teaches that all men, with the single exception of Christ who was deity incarnate and pre-existent, are sinners.

The doctrine of the immaculate conception has had a long and varied history. It was unknown to the apostolic church, and it was not even a matter of discussion until several centuries after the death of Mary. It did not become an official doctrine until the year 1854, more than eighteen centuries after Christ was born of the virgin Mary, and so is one of the later doctrines of the Roman Church. The Council of Ephesus, 431, used the expression, ‘Mother of God,’ but its purpose was to emphasize the deity of Christ, not to set forth a doctrine concerning Mary. But popular opinion reasoned that since the birth of Christ occurred without any taint of sin, Mary herself must have been without sin, even without original sin, which is the lot of all other human beings.

...it was decreed by pope Pius IX, ‘the infallible successor of Peter,’ in 1854, and was officially ratified by the docile Vatican Council of 1870 (which council also ratified the decree concerning the infallibility of the pope in matters of faith and morals).

So, Mary is now placed on a plane of absolute equality with her adorable Son, Jesus Christ, so far as sinlessness is concerned. Like the other doctrines of Romanism, this one is said to be based on ‘the unanimous consent of the fathers.’ Though the dispute in reality continued for centuries and was at times bitter, it is accepted by all Roman Catholics today, for the official pronouncement by the pope leaves them no other choice. For along with the decree there was issued this condemnation of any who dare to disbelieve it:

‘Therefore, if some shall presume to think in their hearts otherwise than we have defined (which God forbid), they shall know and thoroughly understand that they are by their own judgment condemned, have made shipwreck concerning the faith, and fallen away from the unity of the Church; and, moreover, that they, by this very act, subject themselves to the penalties ordained by law, if, by word, or writing, or by other external means, they dare to signify what they think in their heart.’

What a flagrant example of false doctrine and ecclesiastical tyranny! ...The Council of Trent pronounced its anathemas primarily against Protestants who dared to differ from its decrees. But the anathemas pronounced by the later councils have been directed primarily against their own people, in order to force them into line.

[1. The phrase "original sin" is primarily of Catholic origin, and while rarely used outside of Catholicism, essentially the doctrine itself is true - insofar as it is based on the correct scriptural teaching of Rom. 5:12: 'Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned'. This is the doctrine of fallen man, born with a "sin nature". The problem, and serious error, is what Catholicism does afterwards with this truth which they term "original sin" - which is to teach that it is 'forgiven' by the 'new birth' of baptism. Baptism of adult converts and infants, says Catholic doctrine, is (1) final salvation, as a result of this forgiveness of 'original sin', and (2) results in deliverance from the power of the "sin nature" (for the record, neither of these doctrines are 'found in the Holy Bible'). The 'weakness' of 'human nature' remains though, according to the teaching, but can now be dealt with essentially by a system of works - sacraments, rosaries, penance, etc.. - ed.]


The latest addition to the long list of Roman Catholic beliefs (‘inventions’ would be a more accurate term) came on November 1, 1950, with the ex cathedra pronouncement by pope Pius XII that Mary’s body was raised from the grave shortly after she died, that her body and soul were reunited, and that she was taken up and enthroned as Queen of Heaven. And to this pronouncement there was added the usual warning that ‘anyone who may henceforth doubt or deny this doctrine is utterly fallen away from the divine and Catholic faith.’ That means that it is a mortal sin for any Roman Catholic to refuse to believe this doctrine.

According to tradition, Mary’s assumption was on this wise:

‘On the third day after Mary’s death, when the apostles gathered around her tomb, they found it empty. The sacred body had been carried up to the celestial paradise. Jesus Himself came to conduct her hither; the whole court of heaven came to welcome with songs of triumph the Mother of the divine Lord. What a chorus of exultation! Hark how they cry, “Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates, and the Queen of Glory shall enter in."'

Here we are told that Mary was not only received into heaven, but that she was raised to a pre-eminence far above that which it is possible for any of the saints to attain. Because of her alleged co-operation in the passion of her Son, she is assigned a dignity beyond even the highest of the archangels. She was crowned Queen of Heaven by the eternal Father, and received a throne at her Son’s right hand.

Thus Mary’s body was miraculously preserved from corruption, and her resurrection and ascension are made to parallel Christ’s resurrection and ascension. And she, like Him, is said to be enthroned in heaven where she makes intercession for the millions of people throughout the world who seek her assistance. This was a natural consequence of the 1854 pronouncement of the immaculate conception of Mary—a supernatural entrance into life calls for a supernatural exit from life. A mysterious halo of holiness falls over her entire being. Whereas the glorification of the saints will take place at the end of the world, her glorification has already taken place.

Pope Pius XII was called the ‘Marian pope’ for his work in promulgating this doctrine of the assumption of Mary and in declaring her Queen of Heaven. By his decree a twelve-month period was set aside for this purpose, involving Marian congresses, special services, and pilgrimages to Rome (which naturally brought huge revenues to the Vatican), with the avowed purpose of turning the eyes of the world more intensively towards Mary—which inevitably meant a proportionate turning away from Christ.

To a Protestant the most amazing thing about the doctrine of the assumption of Mary is that it has no Scripture proof whatever. Not one shred of evidence can Roman Catholics find in the Bible about Mary’s death, burial, location of her grave, or when or how she ascended to heaven. And yet this troubles the Roman Church not in the least. Pope Pius XII made the pronouncement with the utmost confidence, relying on an alleged original ‘deposit of faith’ given to the apostles by Jesus Christ—but which, we note, did not come clearly to light until some nineteen centuries later. The early church fathers, who were closest to those events, knew nothing at all about such an ascension. One marvels that such unscriptural, unhistorical, and unfounded teachings could be embraced by any people and treated as if they were unchallengeable Scripture truth.

All that the Roman Church pretends to have from an early date supporting this doctrine is an apocalyptic legend, contained in a book, In Gloriam Martyrum, written by Gregory of Tours, southern France, in the sixth century. On the face of it, it is a mere fairy tale. This book narrates how as Mary lay dying with the apostles gathered around her bed, Jesus appeared with His angels, committed her soul to the care of Gabriel, and her body was taken away in a cloud. As Edward J. Tanis appropriately remarks, ‘There is no more evidence for the truth of this legend than for the ghost stories told by our grandfathers’ (What Rome Teaches, p. 26). But this curious medieval folklore has now been made an official doctrine of the Roman Church, and any member who refuses to accept it is declared by papal decree to be ‘utterly fallen away from the divine and Catholic faith.’

Here we have a typical example of how Roman Catholic doctrines develop. Millions of people are required to believe in the bodily assumption of Mary without the church furnish­ing any Scriptural or historical proof, and they do so without the slightest protest. Not even in the schools of learning is there any voice raised to demand proof for such a doctrine. Whether Scriptural or unscriptural, historical or unhistorical, scientific or unscientific, reasonable or unreasonable, every member of the church is under obligation to accept it and believe it. This shows the baneful effect of the kindred doc­trines that the pope is infallible in his ex cathedra statements, and that the average church member is not to try to reason out his faith but to accept implicitly whatever the church teaches.

The doctrine of the assumption of Mary is merely one of the so-called ‘logical conclusions’ that the Roman theologians have drawn to support their system. Since Mary was sinless, it is illogical, we are told, to assume that her body remained in the grave. But the answer is:If Mary was sinless, why did she have to die at all? Death is the penalty of sin. And where there is no sin there can be no penalty. God would be unjust if He punished the innocent. Either Mary was sinless and did not die, or she did have sin, she died, and her body remains in the grave.

Rome has so built up the Mary role that it has become an indispensable part of the present-day church, so much so that if Mary were placed back in the position given her in Scripture, it would change the whole character of that church. Some have even suggested that the Roman Catholic Church should be called the ‘Marian Church,’ because in her life and practice she gives first place to Mary.

Rev. 18:4
see also: Catholic Doctrines Not Found In The Holy Bible II: Peter As The First Pope

see all: Catholic related
Jeremiah 7:18 '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'

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