In October 2013 Pope Francis moved the image of Our Lady of Fatima from the Portuguese Shrine where it usually resides to Rome. The purpose of his action was to offer a Mass and consecrate the world to Mary. (National Catholic Register, October 15, 2013). Clearly, Pope Francis is bound up in Mariolatry and worships the so-called Queen of Heaven. In a message at Vatican City on June 1, 2014, he stated, “She is already in the house of the Father, she is the Queen of Heaven, and so we invoke her at this time, but just as Jesus is with us, she walks with us, she is the Mother of our hope” (Catholic News Agency, June 1, 2014).
At another event on the same day he prayed, “May Mary, the Queen of Peace, assist us all with her maternal intercession. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.” Besides invoking Mary as the Queen of Heaven and Queen of Peace, Romanists also call her the Queen of the Universe, Queen of the Church, Queen of the Apostles, and Queen of Angels. It will be obvious to any who read the Word of God that the claims being made by this pope and the Church of Rome regarding Mary are contrary to Scripture. They are also in conflict with the Bible’s teaching on the person and work of Christ.
Rome ascribes to Mary many of the attributes of Christ. The Church of Rome claims that Mary was born sinless (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1994, paragraphs 491–492) and that she lived a sinless life (411). They say that Mary was a virgin all her life (499–500). They make her out to be a co-redeemer with Christ (964–60) and say that she was taken up into heaven in her body (974) where she now serves as a mediator between men and Christ and dispenses grace to men (969–75). She sits as queen beside Christ in heaven and rules the world along with Him (966). She is to receive the worship and prayers of God’s people (971).
God’s people must understand that Rome’s statements regarding Mary are perversions of Scripture. There is absolutely no foundation in the written Word of God to support Rome’s claims about Mary. In fact, what it says about Mary often runs contrary to express statements of Scripture. Historians and theologians such as Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrose, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, and even pope Gregory the Great opposed the doctrine of the “Immaculate Conception.” These men were merely following the Word of God, which is completely silent concerning Mary’s conception and birth.
The Scripture says that “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10) and that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). These universal statements apply to Mary as much as to the rest of us. The only person they do not apply to is Christ. Scripture declares that He is sinless (1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5; Hebrews 7:26). Also, the Scriptures are very clear that Mary had at least six other children and it even names her sons (Mark 6:3). In addition, there is also no mention of Mary’s being assumed bodily into heaven or of her helping in the work of salvation in any fashion. Paul asserts, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). If Mary were doing the work of mediatrix and intercessor, there would be two mediators between God and men, both Christ and Mary, and the apostle Paul would be wrong.
In conclusion, we must also note that people who worship Mary as the Queen of Heaven often consider her to have preeminence over Christ. Rome teaches that since she is the mother of Christ, she is able to turn the head of Christ to do her bidding. Roman Catholics believe that Christ is busy ruling the universe and may not have compassion for His people the way His mother Mary does. They say that if you can get hold of Mary’s heart and ear, she will then be able to convince her Son to answer your prayer. That is clearly evident in the prayers of Pope Francis mentioned above.
It is truly blasphemous, however, to think that anyone could have more compassion than the Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who invites us: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:22). And it is Christ’s throne of grace that Paul exhorts us to approach boldly “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
We rejoice that the Lord Jesus Christ is on the throne and that He is not too busy to hear our prayers. As God, the second person of the Trinity, He is all-knowing to hear our prayers and He is all-powerful to answer them. As Jesus alone is the divinely appointed mediator between God and men there cannot be two mediators. Since Mary was merely human, subject to death, and in need of a Saviour herself, no such office was given to her.
We cannot allow this perversion of the gospel through which men and women are led to worship a false queen of heaven. We lament this lie of Mariolatry and pray for souls to be led out of its soul-destroying error. May they hear the words of the Saviour who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6). It is Christ alone who can save and He will most certainly hear and answer the sinner’s cry for salvation.
Dr. Mark Allison is the minister of the Free Presbyterian Church of Malvern in Malvern, Pennsylvania.