Remarkable. It’s a Conference title, and Opening Prayer. Try a GOOGLE search over these two documents to see where one finds “Christ” in this. It’s not there.
Since 1950, there’s been a sizable increase in Marianology by one pope after another. Pope Francis can’t go for long periods praising God without giving Mary some of the glory. Let’s review how pope Francis contributed to this diminishing of Christ during 2019 and contrast it to Vatican reports of the previous year.
One might find the conference goals referenced in the title differ from the works of Francis. Arguably, Francis wasn’t advancing the gospel according to the Lord Jesus Christ. It looks more like a Marian Year, under a politically correct umbrella.
Back to the headline. Here is the prayer offered by Father Isaac Mary Relyea for the event titled “Our Lady’s Army of Advocates Conference” that occurred in Houston March 2019 as he offered the opening prayer for his lecture “THE FORGOTTEN DOGMA: NO SALVATION OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.”
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.
Memorare prayer to Mary the Blessed Mother
Just weeks before before the conference, Pope Francis was in Abu Dhabi to sign a document with Ahmad el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Egypt’s al-Azhar Mosque that states it’s God’s intention for pluralism and diversity as He created different sexes, races, and religions.
He couldn’t tell his church he was doing Christ’s Great Commission – not after signing this document. Should he speak later to the Muslim that Catholic Christianity is the only religious path to eternity, what might the cleric say, “were you lying to me then, or now, that my religion is as good as yours?”
There’s a dualism in ‘the salvation plan’ operating within Catholicism. It might be called “Christo-light.” Catholicism seems to water down Christianity by bringing in Mary (and other saints) for the most important operations within this religion. One can choose to put Jesus before all things, or pray to an advocate like the Blessed Virgin Mary.
One has to look hard to find a situation to be prayed over that isn’t covered by a direct prayer to Mary. And it’s claimed that prayers first to Mary or a saint, are sent on the way to God through Jesus.
Pope Francis doesn’t say much about the Fatima apparitions and is blamed therefore. Critics claim that decades-old trouble with communist Russia is a result of blasphemies to the Virgin Mary and it can only be remedied by having his bishops consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and perform the the First Five Saturdays – a devotion of five weeks of rosaries, confession and Masses with the Eucharist. When fulfilled, the apparition posing as Mary stated, “I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls.”
Can there be a worst kind of blasphemy? Doubtful, but it has the “Imprimatur” (official certification) of the Catholic Church and it’s practiced by the Fatima Center where Father Relyea has his association.
Our Lady of Peace, Our Lady Queen of the Oceans, and Notre Dame (Latin for Our Lady) are all names for the virgin Mary, And rightly so because in 1950, the Catechism of the Catholic Church stated she is ” … exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things,” and to be praised in hymns, “You reign now in splendor with Jesus Our King,” and to be sung during May, a month dedicated to Mary, the ethereal mother of the church.
When the Catholic church had its sexual pedophile crisis within the clergy, the first call from the pope was to pray the rosary and to pray to St. Michael the Archangel as defense against the attacks of Satan. The pope made that statement in late September 2018, obviously looking forward to focused prayer in October – the another month dedicated to Mary and the Rosary.
In 2019, the church called a conference of all the bishops to make revisions in the church policy regarding sexual assault by a clergy member. It resulted in a few changes, mostly unexciting and sometimes thought to be incomplete. Perhaps the church should have prayed directly to Jesus.
In 2020, the year started January 1 with a day celebrating Mary as the Mother of God. The Vatican News released the pope’s address to celebrate the time in her womb when God became linked to humankind. It’s a nice human touch, to link salvation to the Nativity.
Other Christians might argue that only the atoning death of Jesus re-establishes the union of God and Man. Years ago, this mandated “Holy day of Obligation” brought Catholics to Mass to celebrate the feast of the circumcision, that is now called THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD -WORLD DAY OF PEACE – another salutation to Mary after 1950.
In the United States, the Catholic church has five extra days of obligated church service (Mass attendance). They are Christmas, New Year’s Day, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (August 15), All Saints Day (November 1), and The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (December 9 ).
When the name of the New Year Day’s feast day was changed to honor Mary, then by the mathematics, it became sixty percent of the extra mandated church days that honors Mary. Previously, the sixty percent honored Christ and all the saints. It didn’t happen during Pope Francis’ term, but he would have approved of “more Mary”changes. He said on January 1, 2018 that honoring Mary should be a required spiritual devotion of the church.
The 2020 Vatican press release hailed all the 2019 apostolic journeys across the world without mentioning that the pope spends hours on the day before every departure to meditate in the presence of Mary at St. Mary Major basilica in Rome. He is even known to bring flowers when he visits.
Again it’s a nice human touch, much like how he visited Syria to honor Mary for the August 15 holy day. He brought “blessed” rosaries as a comforting expression to mothers there who had lost children to the local war.
It’s another prayer role that church imparts to Mary, to be a source of comfort and a dispenser of God’s grace according to speakers like Father Relyea. There are three items that are God attributes, but accorded to Mary in the Memorare prayer. Questions: why should one feel petitant like a regretful sinner before Mary? Where did Mary, now in heaven, get the right to be merciful to sinners on earth and dispense grace like she were God?
Matt Gaspers, another lecturer who has spoken at the Fatima Center tells us that while it’s okay to pray to Jesus, Jesus prefers that we pray directly to Mary. He also states whenever the Holy Spirit, who is Mary’s spouse, sees a soul with a devotion to Mary, he flies to that person. There is more like that reported elsewhere on different postings. Look it up if this seems improbable and improper to you.
What should also be improper is being seen praying in the presence of an idol goddess, or housing replicates of it in your church, but it happened with video. The events occurred in the Vatican Gardens and a church in Rome to be precise. In October 2019, the Vatican hosted the Amazon synod where the indigenous people of the Amazon basin visiting Rome were welcomed to bring their artifacts. The items were spread out over the Vatican lawn, including a half-naked female statue said to be the fertile goddess Pachamama, Pope Francis was pictured praying in the direction of the statue.
Later some outraged individuals broke into a church and started making a movie as they stole small figurines of the goddess Pachamama. They continued the recording as they went to the local river bridge. They lined up the figurines on the bridge railing and then moved along the railing, knocking them down one by one into the river as they continued the recording.
The pope was outraged by the theft. The police retrieved the stolen items from the river and returned them to the Vatican where they were to be held until the Sunday concluding the synod, when they were to be displayed at the Sunday mass.
In December 2019, the church celebrated the feasts days of the Immaculate Conception and Christmas. Because December 9th was a Sunday, the feast day of the Immaculate Conception was celebrated during the Sunday mass of the Lord’s day (who states He shares His glory with no one). Then to end the year Pope Francis asked for prayers for the victims of a car bomb in Mogadishu, Somalia that killed over 70 people December 28, and expressed his closeness to all family members mourning their loss.
“Let us entrust to Mary, ‘Queen of the family,’ all the families of the world, especially those experiencing suffering or unease, and we invoke her maternal protection on them,” Pope Francis said.
Pope Francis’ papal year of 2019, starts with Mary, ends with Mary and in between the pope calls for praying the Rosary every day. Catholicism just can’t say “Christ” often enough, not without finding ways to give more undeserved praise to Mary, for Christ being in the world.