Mary is not divine

Recently, Pope Francis released his first major work; an encyclical (letter) to the Roman Catholic bishops of the world. This encyclical is quite lengthy (20+ pages) and is reported to have been a joint effort between the current pope, Francis, and his predecessor, Benedict XVI. While I have not yet read much of the document, the closing prayer clearly shows that Roman Catholicism remains a heretical church that worships idols. Instead of praying to the Father as Jesus directed, or praying to Jesus himself, Francis finishes by praying instead to Mary. The following is taken directly from the Vatican website:

Let us turn in prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith. Mother, help our faith! Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call… (Lumen Fidei).

First, I have often heard Roman Catholics argue that they do not pray “to” Mary, but “through” her. The words of their very own pope contradict that claim. This alone is idolatry. The contents of this prayer are also blasphemous as it attributes to Mary abilities that are God’s alone:

  • Mary is not the Mother of our faith. It is Jesus who is the “founder  and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
  • Mary cannot help our faith. It is God who sent the Holy Spirit to reside in our hearts (Galatians 4:6), and it is the Holy Spirit who “helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26) and “intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26).
  • Mary cannot open our ears to hear God’s word and recognize his voice and call. The Bible clearly teaches that God grants us the ability to hear his word and to come to Jesus (John 6:65, Philippians 1:29, 2 Timothy 2:25).

In just the first two lines of this prayer, we see both the false worship of Mary and the assigning of divine attributes to Mary. This is idolatry and a clear breaking of God’s commandments.  

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Mary is not divine

  1. Hi. I understand your perspective; I was once there, too. But a few points:

    “Idolatry” is the worship and service of something as a god that is not the One God.
    Praying is not worship. The word “pray” means, in the sense we use it, to “ask, request, petition, beseech.” It’s used in this way often: “Pray be safe,” for example.
    There is nothing “blasphemous” in asking for the intercession of a loved one. Most Christians do it all the time without a second thought.

    Let’s look at what specifically is in this prayer

    Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith.

    Let us turn in prayer to Mary, Mother of the Church and Mother of our faith.

    If you would read Section 59, the one right before the closing prayer, you would see that Pope Francis ascribes worship alone to the Triune God, to God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. “At the center of our faith is the confession of Jesus, the Son of God, born of woman, who brings us, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, to adoption as sons and daughters.”

    Jesus is the “founder and perfecter of our faith” — not only that, He is our faith! He is God, the one who saves us! Mary is a human being, same as us. She has no divine attributes.

    She is said to be the “mother of our faith” and “of the Church,” because, well, she is Jesus’s mother. Her faith and obedience and submission to God’s plan brought Jesus into the world. She was the first Christian, and she is, in a real sense, the mother of the Church, the maternal figure who was there with the Apostles as the Church was born (see Acts 1).

    Open our ears to hear God’s word and to recognize his voice and call.
    Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps, to go forth from our own land and to receive his promise.
    Help us to be touched by his love, that we may touch him in faith.
    Help us to entrust ourselves fully to him and to believe in his love, especially at times of trial, beneath the shadow of the cross, when our faith is called to mature.

    Now, what’s wrong with this? How does she help us? She prays for us. That’s all any intercessor does.

    Sow in our faith the joy of the Risen One.
    Remind us that those who believe are never alone.
    Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!

    Mary, like any of the saints, is a visible witness, an inspiration, and an example. Now, where in this do you see “worship”? The whole purpose of this prayer is to fix our eyes on God alone, to increase our faith in Him alone.

  2. Hi Joseph.

    You say that Mary has no divine attributes, yet you then attribute to her what are divine attributes:

    1. The ability to hear the prayers of many people simultaneously.
    2. The ability to open our ears to hear God’s word.
    3. The ability to recognize his voice.
    4. The ability to work in our lives to teach, increase our desire for God, help us trust, etc.

    It is the Holy Spirit that dwells in me, not Mary. Mary cannot do the things that the Holy Spirit can do. Assigning those attributes to Mary is blasphemy and making her a god. Praying to this false god of your making is idolatry. I know you do not want to call it worship, but it sure fits the standard definitions of the word worship:

    1. to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power
    2. to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion

    Dale

    • Hi again, Dale. Regarding these supposedly divine attributes:

      1. The ability to hear the prayers of many people simultaneously.

      A couple of things: Mary is in heaven. Heaven is outside our conception of time. “Simultaneously” doesn’t mean quite the same thing there. Also, we shouldn’t underestimate the capabilities of someone in a glorified state!

      You say:

      It is the Holy Spirit that dwells in me, not Mary. Mary cannot do the things that the Holy Spirit can do.

      Don’t you think Mary is in communion with the Holy Spirit, too? Isn’t God the God of the living, not the dead? (Matthew 22:32) Mary, of course, doesn’t have the power to do these things. She is not omnipresent or even present in our hearts, as you say. But if are in communion with the Holy Spirit — if we are part of the Body of Christ, and connected to one another — and so if Mary — then wouldn’t it make sense that we share a connection with her, too? The Holy Spirit connects us all in bonds of communion.

      2. The ability to open our ears to hear God’s word.
      3. The ability to recognize his voice.
      4. The ability to work in our lives to teach, increase our desire for God, help us trust, etc.

      Nobody thinks Mary has divine powers. It’s a matter of speaking. She prays for us and helps us. Have you never asked your mother for help with something?

      Assigning those attributes to Mary is blasphemy and making her a god. Praying to this false god of your making is idolatry. I know you do not want to call it worship, but it sure fits the standard definitions of the word worship…

      Again, nobody is assigning divine attributes to Mary. This is not “blasphemy.” No one is making Mary a “god.” You are reading what you want to read in these words and finding verification of your foregone conclusion. If we “worshipped” Mary, don’t you think it would be evident all throughout this and other Catholic documents? Speaking of which, why are you even reading it, if we are all “heretics”? Aren’t you afraid of opening yourself up to our “idolatry”?

      • Joseph,

        You said, “we shouldn’t underestimate the capabilities of someone in a glorified state.” By the same token, we should not over estimate them. The Bible does not tell us to pray to anyone except God. We are never told that Mary can do all things that the Roman Catholic church claims.

        I think that the Roman Catholic worship of Mary as a god is evident in their practices and their documents. Yes, I know that they only want to call it veneration, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck. Shoot, I wish most “evangelical Christians” would worship God as devoutly as most Roman Catholics worship Mary.

        Finally, as for reading your documents, I do so to warn others of the false gospel of Rome that leads to eternal damnation. I hope that you too will turn from this false gospel.

        Regards,

        Dale

      • Dale,

        All the saints can do “the things the Catholic Church claims” — because they are human beings same as us. And we can do them, so why can’t they? We can pray for each other — in fact, Paul urges us to (1 Tim 2:1-7). Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) presents the rich man “praying” to Abraham (that is, pleading for his help). If there were a problem with this or if this were not possible or permissible, then why would Jesus present it to us? The Revelation (in Revelation 5:6-8) presents the twenty-four elders in heaven (widely held to be the Patriarchs and Apostles) offering up to the throne of God “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (in the usage of John, “saints” clearly means the living and the departed people of God, without any distinction between them). If our brethren in heaven could not intercede for us and offer up our prayers, then why does Scripture present this?

        I think that the Roman Catholic worship of Mary as a god is evident in their practices and their documents.

        “Worship of Mary as a god” — and this being evident in our practices and documents — is a pretty specific charge. Can you find me any instance that specifically refers to Mary as divine or a god?

        Yes, I know that they only want to call it veneration, but if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck.

        So you acknowledge that there is a difference between “worship” and “veneration.” From the dictionary:

        worship [ˈwɜːʃɪp]
        vb -ships, -shipping, -shipped US, -ships -shiping, -shiped
        1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) (tr) to show profound religious devotion and respect to; adore or venerate (God or any person or thing considered divine)

        venerate [ˈvɛnəˌreɪt] vb (tr)
        1. to hold in deep respect; revere
        2. to honour in recognition of qualities of holiness, excellence, wisdom, etc.

        Now, what Catholics have for Mary is called “veneration” because it is veneration. We hold her very high in recognition of her great qualities of faith, holiness, submission, dedication. We love her a lot, because Jesus loved His mother, too. To claim that we “worship” Mary, you will have to demonstrate in some tangible way that we view or consider Mary to be divine.

        Shoot, I wish most “evangelical Christians” would worship God as devoutly as most Roman Catholics worship Mary.

        Perhaps that doesn’t say much for evangelical Christians. Have you noticed the way we worship God, if you think we “worship” Mary?

        In case you hadn’t noticed, you are speaking to a real, live “Roman Catholic.” I can tell you unequivocally that we do not worship Mary. Arguing with me about what Catholics believe makes about as much sense as me arguing with you about what you believe. You, being you, know what you believe, and nobody can tell you otherwise; and I, being Catholic, know what Catholics believe. You saying something is true doesn’t make it true, and it doesn’t make it fair, or loving, or brotherly, or Christian.

        Finally, as for reading your documents, I do so to warn others of the false gospel of Rome that leads to eternal damnation. I hope that you too will turn from this false gospel.

        Okay now, whoa. Who made you my eternal judge, to know what will lead me to “eternal damnation”? I have just as much faith in Jesus and in His grace and His mercy and His Gospel as you do. What exactly do you think makes the “Catholic” understanding of the Gospel different than yours, and “false”? The “Catholic” Gospel is the message of God’s giving of His only begotten Son, because of His unfathomable love for us; of Christ’s selfless and eternal sacrifice on the Cross for us, so that our sins might be forgiven and we might have eternal life; that we are saved by His grace alone, through faith in Him; that His grace and His love and His mercy and His forgiveness are beyond anything we can humanly conceive, and that no matter what, the Blood that was shed for us will take away our sins if only we trust and have faith and follow Him. Do you believe something different than that?

  3. Hello again Joseph. Wow, you can sure type and think fast. There is no way I can keep up. Work also gets in the way. 🙂

    A couple semi-quick notes. Yes, I know you are Roman Catholic. You have a very nice web site. Based upon your writings there and here, I think you know very clearly what the differences are between the Protestant and Catholic faiths and how we divide on the gospel. I suspect it is disingenuous on your part that you downplay those differences to try to make Roman Catholicism sound the same as Protestantism. You are clearly way to smart to not know the differences in the gospel of faith alone versus faith plus works; not to mention the many other proclamations of Councils, the Marian dogmas, the Sacraments, …

    You stated, “All the saints can do “the things the Catholic Church claims” — because they are human beings same as us.” Really? If I pray right now, can you hear me? No? Hmmm. Let me try again. I prayed for you to call me on the phone. Still silent. Either you are not human or humans cannot hear everyone’s prayers.

    Thanks for pasting the definition of worship. I think you failed to notice that your first definition of worship used “venerate” as a synonym for worship. You actually perfectly supported my point. 🙂

    You also stated, “Perhaps that doesn’t say much for evangelical Christians”. Agreed. That was my point. You may not have noticed that I put “evangelical Christians” in quotes for a purpose. Many of them claim the moniker, but clearly demonstrate by their beliefs and practices that they are neither Christians nor evangelical.

    Finally, a question for you regarding judging what will lead someone to eternal damnation. Can you tell a militant atheist who hates Jesus and works at an abortion clinic killing babies that they are heading to eternal damnation unless they change? Of course you can. In a similar vein, I can proclaim judgment on the false gospel of Rome as leading to eternal damnation because it is contrary to the one true faith. We can both proclaim beliefs and practices that lead to damnation. Now, I cannot know if you will repent of those false beliefs and one day be saved.

    I have to get back to work. So, I will let you have the last word unless you ask me a specific question, and I will move on to other things. Thanks for the dialogue.

    Best regards,

    Dale

    • I am supposed to be working, too, but let me reply again:

      A couple semi-quick notes. Yes, I know you are Roman Catholic. You have a very nice web site.

      Thanks! And I like your bookshelf at the top of yours. I think I have several of those.

      Based upon your writings there and here, I think you know very clearly what the differences are between the Protestant and Catholic faiths and how we divide on the gospel. I suspect it is disingenuous on your part that you downplay those differences to try to make Roman Catholicism sound the same as Protestantism. You are clearly way to smart to not know the differences in the gospel of faith alone versus faith plus works; not to mention the many other proclamations of Councils, the Marian dogmas, the Sacraments, …

      Yes, I know the differences very well. I asked what you understood them to be, because in my understanding, there is nothing at all in conflict between my understanding and yours — only a conflict of manufactured by certain Protestants. The Catholic understanding of the Gospel has always been built upon grace alone — yes, even before Luther. What Luther introduced was a new and different understanding of the mechanics of justification (which, for what it’s worth, had never been taught before). And yes, the differences are significant, but they are not irreconcilable. In fact, Lutherans and Catholics have since reached an agreement on that. Catholics and Protestants both believe in justification by grace alone, through faith. I see nothing that, even from a Protestant understanding, would render the Catholic understanding a “false gospel” or one in any way contrary to the teachings and faith of Christ.

      I am not being disingenuous. I am not trying to make Catholicism “sound the same” as Protestantism. We do have some very real and very deep doctrinal differences. But we both trust in the Christ Jesus, and in His grace and hope and mercy and love. And Christ is undivided, even if we Christians have done our worst to break His Body apart. You are my brother in Christ, and our faith, at its heart, in Jesus Himself, is one faith.

      You mention several things:

      the differences in the gospel of faith alone versus faith plus works

      “Faith plus works” is a misleading characterization of what Catholics believe. Strictly speaking, the only “works” that are necessary for salvation are being baptized into the Body of Christ and regenerated by the Holy Spirit — which are the works of God, not of man. Many Protestants believe the same thing with regard to Baptism. Our works — our faith working in love (Galatians 5:6) — do play an important role in our sanctification, but not in the way that many Protestants seem to understand, such that we have to “earn” our salvation. Catholics believe no such thing.

      not to mention the many other proclamations of Councils

      Would you care to name specifics? I would very much hope that you don’t reject all the councils, since some of them are very important to your faith, too (the First Council of Nicaea, for example).

      the Marian dogmas

      What of them? Yes, that is a difference between us; but our beliefs about Mary are as old as the Church and do not contradict the Gospel, but rather illustrate most beautifully God’s mercy and promise for all of us.

      the Sacraments

      Yes, what about them? Am I going to be damned for practicing the very things laid out in Scripture?

      You stated, “All the saints can do “the things the Catholic Church claims” — because they are human beings same as us.” Really? If I pray right now, can you hear me? No? Hmmm. Let me try again. I prayed for you to call me on the phone. Still silent. Either you are not human or humans cannot hear everyone’s prayers.

      We can intercede for each other. That is what saints can do. In terms of communicating with each other, you could shoot me an e-mail and I would be glad to pray for you. And I do sincerely hope you believe that if you were genuinely in need, the Holy Spirit can and does lay your needs on the hearts on your brothers and sisters in Christ. We are connected by the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5). We have no reason to believe that our brothers and sisters who have departed from this life are cut off from us. In fact, we have every reason to believe — see the Scriptures I quoted — that the opposite is true. We are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) who are every bit as alive in Christ as you or me.

      Thanks for pasting the definition of worship. I think you failed to notice that your first definition of worship used “venerate” as a synonym for worship. You actually perfectly supported my point. 🙂

      Yes, “worship” and “venerate” can be used as synonyms. That does not mean that they mean the same thing. We mean “venerate” in the specific sense I explained to you; and you clearly mean “worship” in a specfic sense, too, of “worshipping” someone as a god who is not a god. Playing with semantics is not helpful.

      Finally, a question for you regarding judging what will lead someone to eternal damnation. Can you tell a militant atheist who hates Jesus and works at an abortion clinic killing babies that they are heading to eternal damnation unless they change? Of course you can.

      I could, but I don’t. Only God knows the hearts of men, and is in a position to judge them. I don’t know in what ways God might be working on that atheist’s heart, knocking on the door, calling him to faith. I’m called to show love and share truth with my neighbor, not to slander him or damn him.

      In a similar vein, I can proclaim judgment on the false gospel of Rome as leading to eternal damnation because it is contrary to the one true faith. We can both proclaim beliefs and practices that lead to damnation. Now, I cannot know if you will repent of those false beliefs and one day be saved.

      Now, you speak of a “one true faith.” What is that, if not faith in Christ Jesus? I have that, and love Him dearly.

      Peace be with you, brother.

    • I didn’t write this for you, but your sentiments are very much like the person I did write it for. So I’d like to share it with you.

      Saved by Faith: A Modest Proposal for Protestants

    • Also: Don’t you think your judgment may be just a little bit distorted if you somehow think a fellow faithful Christian is in any way congruous to a “militant atheist who hates Jesus and works at an abortion clinic killing babies”???

  4. Joseph,

    This comment thread got way off track. I would like to hear you address my initial concerns that Francis’ prayer was attributing divine attributes to God. Specifically, can you tell me clearly and specifically how Mary is able to:

    1) Open our ears to hear God’s word
    2) Recognize his voice and call
    3) Awaken in us a desire to follow in his footsteps

    And, this is clearly not a prayer asking her to intercede. Francis is praying directly to Mary asking her to accomplish these things. How specifically does Mary open our ears, give us an ability to hear God’s voice and call, and awaken desires in us?

    Thanks,

    Dale

    • Dale,

      I have answered this question several times already. No, Mary cannot do those things. She is not God and not divine. Neither, however, is she a knot on a log or a statue or something dead or inanimate: she is a living person with a will and grace and great love for the Church and a great desire to help us an see us grow in Christ. The way in which Pope Francis and many others speak of her is just a manner of speaking. Mary (1) intercedes for us, (2) loves us, (3) is an example and an inspiration to us, (4) by doing those things, she helps us do the things mentioned. You may object to the language used, but these are not “divine” attributes. But, you know, I’m not going to squabble with you over the meaning of words or sentences.

      I asked you some specific questions, too, and I would appreciate your answering them:

      1. Do you believe something different than the Gospel I described above?

      2. What is this “one true faith” you speak of, and how is it different than this Gospel?

      3. You state you have a problem with the “proclamations of councils.” Do you reject all councils, or is there some specific council or date at which you draw the line between “Christian” and “heretical”?

      4. What’s wrong with the Sacraments? Do you have some specific problems?

      5. In what way is it fair to compare a brother in Christ to a militant, murderous atheist?

      [In your other posts to which I replied, which I would still like you to address, either here or in the appropriate threads]

      6. You state that you admire St. Augustine as a true and orthodox Christian. This implies that you accept the Catholic Church as Christian up to a certain point in history. Again, at what point do you draw the line between “Christian” and “heretical” where it pertains to the Catholic Church?

      7. You object to the Mormon claim of a “Great Apostasy” in the Church. Do you not see a contradiction between this, and the corresponding claim of the Protestant Reformers, that there had been a “Great Apostasy” in the Church? And if there was a “Great Apostasy” — which again, seems to be implied in your statements that you accept St. Augustine as Christian, but later Catholics as “heretical” — at what date or event do you fix it?

      • Joseph,

        The vast majority of your questions would take way too much time to answer and would be replowing the old ground of the Protestant versus Catholic debate that has raged for 500 years. I am going to answer your questions very shortly and move on to other things. If you really do not understand how Protestants view these things, then I would suggest doing some serious study and then we can debate some more. Otherwise, I suspect you are just trolling.

        1. Do you believe something different than the Gospel I described above?

        I do not believe you have represented the full (and false) gospel of the Roman Catholic church. Therefore it is a misleading question akin to asking “when did you stop beating your wife.” I reject the Roman Catholic church and its false gospel of faith plus works. I embrace the gospel of justification by faith alone that was anathematized by the Council of Trent (for example, Canon 9).

        2. What is this “one true faith” you speak of, and how is it different than this Gospel?

        To put it very simply, the 5 Solas of the Reformation is a good place to start.

        3. You state you have a problem with the “proclamations of councils.” Do you reject all councils, or is there some specific council or date at which you draw the line between “Christian” and “heretical”?

        As Luther stated (approximately) – You demand a simple answer. Here it is, plain and unvarnished… I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves.

        Again, there are numerous books written on what proclamations of councils are rejected by Protestants and even in how we differ in our understanding of the authority of those councils.

        4. What’s wrong with the Sacraments? Do you have some specific problems?

        I reject the RC understanding and counting of the Sacraments. Again, the differences between the Protestant understanding and Catholic declarations have been well documented. Either you are ignorant of these differences or are just trolling.

        5. In what way is it fair to compare a brother in Christ to a militant, murderous atheist?

        You really need to read my statements more carefully as I was asking you if you were able to judge a militant, murderous atheist. But, to be more blunt, I do not consider anyone who puts their trust in the Roman Catholic church and its teachings to be a brother or sister in Christ. As Paul says in Galatians 5:4, “You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.” If you are severed from Christ, you are not my brother in Christ.

        [In your other posts to which I replied, which I would still like you to address, either here or in the appropriate threads]

        6. You state that you admire St. Augustine as a true and orthodox Christian. This implies that you accept the Catholic Church as Christian up to a certain point in history. Again, at what point do you draw the line between “Christian” and “heretical” where it pertains to the Catholic Church?

        7. You object to the Mormon claim of a “Great Apostasy” in the Church. Do you not see a contradiction between this, and the corresponding claim of the Protestant Reformers, that there had been a “Great Apostasy” in the Church? And if there was a “Great Apostasy” — which again, seems to be implied in your statements that you accept St. Augustine as Christian, but later Catholics as “heretical” — at what date or event do you fix it?

        I am going to lump these 2 together. The line between Christian and heretical has always and in all places been drawn by those who put their faith in Christ alone versus those who add their works to faith or replace faith with works altogether. If you can tell me which year the RCC rejected salvation by faith alone, then I can tell you which year it became heretical. I cannot help those who have already passed away believing the false gospel of Rome, so I will focus on those who are still able to hear the true gospel and be saved. Whether the leadership of the RCC became heretical in 300 or 800 or 1300AD is of little interest to me.

        Finally, I am really trying to be patient with you Joseph, but if you do not stop playing ignorant regarding Protestant and Roman Catholic differences, then I will either ban you or remove your trolling comments. I know you are way too intelligent for this and I will not continue to let you waste my time.

  5. Regarding justification: I think you might find the common agreement on that interesting and edifying that Catholics and Lutherans have come to (and Methodists, and Anglicans, and many other Protestants have since affirmed):

    http://archive.elca.org/ecumenical/ecumenicaldialogue/romancatholic/jddj/declaration.html

  6. Ha Ha! If you want to align yourself with the extreme liberal end of “Protestant Christianity”, then by all means go for it. Since they cannot understand the simple and clear passages of the Bible regarding the sins of homosexuality, abortion, women pastors and elders, …, why would you assume their interpretations of the slightly more complex issues of justification were even remotely close to accurate or representative of historical Protestant Christianity.

    And note that I used quotes around “Protestant Christianity” to indicate that those liberal denominations are these things in name only. By all means, please bring them under the umbrella of Roman Catholicism so people will stop getting those groups that get all the media attention confused with real, Bible-believing Protestants.

    And before you ask…Yes, I have read the joint declaration of justification. I was a member of the liberal ELCA when the joint declaration on justification was being drafted and fought against that heresy when it was being worked on.

    • I linked to that website because it was a convenient link (it was either link to that, or to the Vatican, and I figured you would appreciate the latter even less), not because I endorse the ELCA. And I didn’t say that the document was perfect or that it solved every dispute. But it is progress. We are much closer to agreement than you charge. Again, your understanding of the Catholic Church as teaching “works’ righteousness” is a straw man devoid of life. You have yet to really present a valid case why our gospel is a “false gospel,” only continue to make empty assertions.

      Since you seem to know so much about it, then I’m sure you’re aware that it was drafted and approved by the Lutheran World Federation, not solely the ELCA. And that the discussions have been going on a lot longer than presumably you’ve been a part of them. And that even the conservative Lutherans of the LCMS, though they didn’t endorse this statement, are part of ongoing dialogue with Catholics.

      Regarding “bringing Christians under our umbrella”: We are glad to welcome anyone willing to return home to Christian orthodoxy. The liberals, as you say, need to be recalled to the truth even more than you do — who, despite your irrational opposition, are at least teaching some elements of Christian truth.

      I do hope you are planning to reply to my other comment, since I am very interested in your response.

      Peace be with you, brother.