At no point in Romanism is the conflict between tradition and Scripture more evident than in the cult of Mary. One can confidently predict that the more Scripture is studied, the more the foundations of the Marian cult will be shaken. So far, however, official pronouncements have shown no indications of any desire to curb this cult. On the contrary, modern popes have been the foremost in promoting it. From the Roman Catholic viewpoint, it may be said that we have been living in a Marian era since the middle of last century.
The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin was proclaimed in 1854 by Pope Pius XI, speaking infallibly ex cathedra; 1858 saw the institution of the shrine of Mary at Lourdes in France and 1917 the shrine of Fatima in Portugal, not to mention many other less celebrated centers where the cult of Mary thrives; in 1891 Pope Leo XIII affirmed in his encyclical Octobri mense that, “as no one can come to the Most High Father except through the Son, so, generally, no one can come to Christ except through Mary”; in 1904 Pope Pius X in his encyclical Ad diem praised Mary as the restorer of a fallen world and the dispenser of all the gifts of grace won for us through the death of Christ, and in 1907 he sanctioned February 11 as the Feast of the Apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes; in 1918 Pope Benedict XV stated that Mary had redeemed the human race in cooperation with Christ, and his successor Pope Pius XI approved the practice of calling Mary Co-Redemptrix”; in 1942 Pope Pius XII dedicated the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart; in 1950 the same pope promulgated the dogma of the Bodily Assumption of Mary, speaking infallibly ex cathedra, and in 1954 he inaugurated May 31 as ...1
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