Testing the Spirits (part 3) – Rome’s Marian Dogma

By Cris Putnam
Finishing up the Testing the Spirits series (see part 1 and part 2) we now discuss the third test in 1 John 4: Does it conform to the apostolic teaching in the New Testament? “We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (1 Jn 4:6) Now I think it is fair to assume when John writes, “listens to us,” he means himself and his fellow apostles who knew Jesus during his three year earthy ministry. Thus, for this final test we ask, when you bring God’s word to bear upon the teaching and those teaching it, does it agree and do they respond to it?

Jesus warned us “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”(Mt 7:15) This applies even if they work miracles, so be cautious, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.”(Mt 24:24) Jesus is telling us that miracles can be deceptive, this is hard because many people report things that seem beneficial like healings, but even so you must compare their ideas to biblical doctrine. This can be especially difficult when you see what appears to be good fruit.

Every year, nearly 6 million pilgrims visit Lourdes, France because “Mary” was said to appear there. People report being healed from diseases and see apparitions of Mary. However, few Catholics are aware of the dubious origin of “Our Lady of Lourdes.” The apparition first appeared to an impressionable teenager, Bernadette Soubirous under very questionable circumstances. But what is astounding is that Bernadette originally never believed it to be Mary until she was pressured by a local priest. I quote from Lynn Picknett’s excellent work on the paranormal, Flight’s of Fancy:

In February 1858, fourteen-year-old Bernadette Soubirous had discovered a strange creature, apparently suspended between the branches of a tree. It glowed, smiled and beckoned. The future Catholic Saint did not, as in the Hollywood version, fall enraptured to her knees, but ran home to grab a bottle of holy water to throw at ‘that thing’, as she called the vision. She believed it to be a demon, sent by the devil to lure her to doom, and perhaps she was right.

…She took her extraordinary secret to the parish priest, the only man of letters she knew. History might have taken a different turn, had he not been a fierce defender of Mariolatry at a time when the status of the Virgin was being challenged within the Catholic Church.[1]

The priest transformed this phantasm into evidence for the Marian phenomenon and the rest is history. Astonishingly, Bernadette was heralded as a mystic, canonized as a saint in 1933, and even given her own feast day on the sixteenth of April.  But how does Marian theology match up with the apostolic teaching?

Grotto at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes, France

Perhaps the clearest evidence that the Catholic view of Mary is legendary rather than historical is how the Marian mythology has evolved over time. Whereas the doctrine of Christ has remained stable since the early creeds, Marian dogma continues to evolve: 1) in 431, she was called the “Mother of God”; 2) by 600, prayers were officially offered to Mary; 3) in 649, Pope Martin I stressed the perpetual nature of Mary’s virginity declaring her the “blessed ever-virginal and immaculate Mary”; 4) in 1854 came the dogmatic assertion of the Immaculate Conception (that she was born sinless); 5) in 1950, we have the Assumption of Mary (her body was taken to heaven); 6) as recently as 1965, she was proclaimed “Mother of the Church”; 7) currently there is an earnest campaign to proclaim Mary as “Co-Redemptrix Mediatrix of All Graces” and “Advocate for the People of God.” (The latter is widely accepted and taught but has not been dogmatized due to the potential negative repercussions for ecumenism.) While number one can be uncontroversial when interpreted within the constraints of biblical theology, the dogmas of perpetual virginity, sinlessness, Immaculate Conception, bodily assumption, and mediatorship, along with the veneration of Mary and her images, are wholly inconsistent with Scripture. In lieu of the more extended discussion in my book with Tom Horn Petrus Romanus we examine the latter “Co-Redemptrix Mediatrix of All Graces” in light of John’s admonition to test the spirits against the apostolic teaching.

Mary was given the title “Mediatrix” in the papal bull “Ineffabilis” of Pope Pius IX, the same document that proclaimed her immaculate conception. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed this blasphemy when he referred to her as “the mediator of God’s blessing for the world.” Rome’s theologians argue it is an inference from her role in the incarnation of the God-man Christ Jesus. They further claim she had a role in His sacrifice on the cross to God the Father for the sake of the redemption of mankind. While there is nothing in the Bible to support it, they extend the role to the more demanding sense that, after her death, “Mary’s intercessory co-operation extends to all graces, which are conferred on mankind, so that no grace accrues to men, without the intercession of Mary.”[2] This is untenable and idolatrous. Let’s compare a few more Scriptures with Rome’s increasingly Marian mythology.

Sacred Scripture (underline added) Roman Dogma (underline added)
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Jn 14:6).


“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).

“From that great treasure of all graces, which the Lord has brought, nothing, according to the will of God, comes to us except through Mary, so that, as nobody can approach the Supreme Father except through the Son, similarly nobody can approach Christ except through the Mother.” —Pope Leo 13th[3]
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Ge 3:15).


“And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen” (Ro 16:20).


“All our hope do we repose in the most Blessed Virgin—in the all fair and immaculate one who has crushed the poisonous head of the most cruel serpent and brought salvation to the world: in her who is the glory of the prophets and apostles, the honor of the martyrs, the crown and joy of all the saints.” —Pope Pius IX [4]
“For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven” (Col 1:19–20).


“In the power of the grace of Redemption merited by Christ, Mary, by her spiritual entering into the sacrifice of her Divine Son for men, made atonement for the sins of men, and (de congruo) merited the application of the redemptive grace of Christ. In this manner she co-operates in the subjective redemption of mankind.”[5]
“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Ti 2:5).


“Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces by her intercession in Heaven (Mediatio in speciali). Since her assumption into Heaven, Mary co-operates in the application of the grace of Redemption to man.”[6]



While the last example is particularly offensive, according to Walter Martin, official Catholic sources have formulated it in even more blasphemous language as, “There is one Mediator between Christ and men, the Holy Mother Mary. Mary is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to Jesus but by Mary.”[7] This astonishing phrasing has the earmark of the demonic as it is deliberately designed to mock 1Timothy 2:5 and John 14:6 by usurping Christ’s unique role and authority. No matter what visions, emotional passions, and physical healings are associated with the Marian paranormal phenomenon, it is not from God.

As if this is not bad enough, the majority of Romanists now position the imposter as “Coredemptrix,” implying that she is involved in the task of saving sinners. While savvy Catholic theologians are hesitant to sign on, the title is tacitly approved by the Catholic Magisterium. In a 1918, Pope Benedict XV wrote:

As the blessed Virgin Mary does not seem to participate in the public life of Jesus Christ, and then, suddenly appears at the stations of his cross, she is not there without divine intention. She suffers with her suffering and dying son, almost as if she would have died herself. For the salvation of mankind, she gave up her rights as the mother of her son and sacrificed him for the reconciliation of divine justice, as far as she was permitted to do. Therefore, one can say, she redeemed with Christ the human race.[8]

It is because of arguments like this that the term non sequitur was invented. Mary did not allow Christ to die on the cross; she certainly would have prevented it if she could have. Did she suffer for our sins? In John 19, Jesus speaks to Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Cleophas, the Apostle John, and His mother Mary. I’m sure it was terrible for the others as well. Does it follow that they all suffered for our sins as well? She did not give up her rights as mother, the Roman authorities arrested Jesus, she had no choice in the matter and she certainly did not redeem anyone. Do Catholic leaders not see the fallacious special pleading in this sophomoric reasoning? It is hard to believe an alleged intellectual would publicly advance such poor argumentation. It seems, in the stupefying spirit of antichrist, the pope went to extravagantly inept lengths to diminish Christ’s redemptive work.

Unfortunately, it has only festered since. According to a 1997 Newsweek cover story, Pope John Paul II had “received 4,340,429 signatures from 157 countries—an average of 100,000 a month—supporting the proposed dogma. Among the notable supporters are Mother Teresa of Calcutta, nearly 500 bishops and 42 cardinals, including John O’Connor of New York, Joseph Glemp of Poland and half a dozen cardinals at the Vatican itself.”[9] The Marian phenomenon has increased significantly since then and it seems the only reason the title has not been officially dogmatized is in deference to ecumenism. The apparition that appears to thousands now calls itself the “Coredemptrix.”[10] Clearly, this phantom femme fatale is an ambitious usurper of Christ’s unique and incomparable role. This is unmistakably in the spirit of antichrist.



The latter half of this post is excerpted from the book I co-authored with Tom Horn, Petrus Romanus, which contains a more thorough examination of Marian dogmas as well as other Catholic teachings. If you would like a signed copy please order here.


[1] Lynn Picknett, Flights of Fancy (London: Ward Lock, 1987), 82-83.

[2] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[3] Pope Leo XIII, Rosary Encyclical, “Octobri mense” (1891) as quoted in Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[4] Pope Pius IX, “Ineffabilis Deus,” Papal Encyclicals Online, December 8, 1854, viewable here: last accessed January 5, 2012, http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm.

[5] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[6] Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, 213.

[7] Walter Martin, The Roman Catholic Church in History (Livingston, NJ: Christian Research Institute, 1960), 49.

[8] Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter Inter Soldalica, AAS 1918, 181.

[9] Kenneth L Woodward and Andrew Murr, “Hail Mary,” Newsweek, Vol. 130 Issue 8, (08/25/97), 48.

[10] Amsterdam, “Lady of All Nations,” channeled messages by Ida Peerdeman. For more information, see: last accessed, January 24, 2012, http://www.ladyofallnations.org/dogma.htm.

About Cris Putnam
Logos Apologia is the ministry of Cris D. Putnam. The mission of Logos Apologia is to show that logic, science, history and faith are complementary, not contradictory and to bring that life-changing truth to everybody who wants to know.


  1. Mark says:


    I was wondering as I read down through your post if you would cite the petition signed by Mother Teresa and other notables within the Catholic Church.

    I came to the saving realization of Christ’s work on the cross while reading “Late Great” by Hal Lindsey. Having been raised in the Catholic Church it was like a light bulb experience to realize the truth of Christ’s sacrificial death for sin…Hallelujah! So I started going back to “church”. Oh brother! I wanted a deeper experience with God and Jesus of the Bible. And I read a lot of material; including a lot of material on “Our Lady of Fatima”.

    According to the apparition of Mary to the children there, one of the works a person can do to obtain all the grace needed for salvation was the wearing of a blessed scapular. So I began wearing this. I was very young in my walk as a Christian. But before long I began to be aware of the contradiction between Christ’s finished work on the cross and the wearing of a “holy” or “blessed” necklace thing.

    There were other works that can qualify for salvation according to this Lady of the Fatima story. One can pray the rosary for 5 consecutive months on the first Saturday of the month along with meditation on the mysteries of the rosary, etc. Obviously this is an attempt to attain salvation other than through the acceptance of the finished work of the Lord Himself.

    As sincere as it may be, the message of Mary’s works and efforts on behalf of sinners is at odds with Scripture’s message of Christ crucified and risen, period. It is so seductive to listen to a message where we must contribute something or even Mary on our behalf.

    And why shouldn’t the sacrificial death of the Creator Himself be enough?! Thanks for calling the Catholic Church out on this stuff. Test the spirits indeed!


    • Cris Putnam says:

      Mark thanks for your comment. I think the Newsweek article mentioned the one signed by Mother Teresa et al. But Here is link to a 2008 letter concerning the co-redemptrix petition:

      ROME, FEB. 11, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Here is an English translation of the letter written by the five cardinal co-sponsors of the Fatima Symposium on Marian Co-redemption and sent to the world’s bishops and cardinals asking them to sign a petition that asks Benedict XVI to proclaim Mary as the Spiritual Mother of Humanity.

      The letter was sent Jan. 1, solemnity of the Mother of God, and signed by Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India; Cardinal Luis Aponte Martínez, retired archbishop of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, major archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly, India; Cardinal Riccardo Vidal, archbishop of Cebu, Philippines; and Cardinal Ernesto Corripio y Ahumada, retired archbishop of Mexico City.


  2. Mark says:

    Any idea how “His Eminence” Timothy Dolan views this? I don’t know if this is an accurate title for him, but the Democrat National Convention had this title in lights as he made his way to the podium for the benediction to end the convention. He was prominent at both conventions; giving the benediction to end the Republican convention as well. He seems like one to watch as we get closer to the change of the guard. Just curious if you had any thoughts here. Thanks.


    • Cris Putnam says:

      Mark, not really up on Dolan’s views but all Roman Catholics are bound to accept the official marian dogmas which are plenty idolatrous.

  3. john B says:

    Hi all; we also have the Medjugorje apparitions which are still ongoing… I have in my possession a news letter by Fr Richard Foley, sj,DD The apparition promotes the universal brotherhood of man and the universal Fatherhood of God This is a ‘masonic doctrine’ Quote Fr Richard; ‘which also chimes in with the vatican two’s inspiring vision of Global unity, fellowship and brotherly Love embracing the entire human family in and under God as our common Father..
    of course we know otherwise according to Apostle John’s word 1Jn5:19

    Here is a list that I compiled showing the Marian usurpation of all of the titles belonging to Jesus..


    The King. 1Tim6:15 The queen
    Our advocate. 1Jn2:1 Our sweet advocate
    Our intercessor. Heb7: 25 The intercessor
    Our comforter. 2Thes2:16 The mother of all comforts
    The prince of peace. Isaiah9:6 The queen of peace
    The man of sorrows. Isaiah53 our lady of perpetual sorrow
    The sinless one. 2Cor5:21 the sinless one immaculate conception
    The ever virgin Never married. 2Cor11:2 Mary ever virgin
    Help of Christians. Heb13:6 Mary help of christians pray for us
    Jesus rose from the dead. So did mary
    Jesus ascended into heaven. So did mary
    Our father. Isaiah53 Our mother
    The redeemer co-redemptrix


    john B

    • Cris Putnam says:

      John, that’s a good thorough list! You should endeavor to document each marian statement similar to the chart I made. When you footnote or put the source in parenthesis it makes for a solid case they can’t wiggle out of.

    • Sam says:

      Thanks for nice comparison.

      Ave Maria,

    • john B says:

      Hi Cris,I do not know how to do that.. but you be my guest and feel free to use it

      john b

      • Cris Putnam says:

        John, first you have to track down the documents that back up those Catholic beliefs, you need evidence from Catholic sources, statements by popes, theologians etc.

  4. Chris says:

    Thanks for sharing this Cris. The next CD from Dr. Scott Hahn that I have discusses ‘Mary through the Scriptures’. I’ve not heard it yet but it should prove interesting, I’m sure.

    The coredemtrix really is the icing on the cake. Where would God share His glory with another? But that is what we are saying if we are to believe that Mary had anything to do with the sacrifice of Christ. Another item for Catholicism that Scripture is mute on…

  5. Sam says:

    Cris, thanks for re-directing to this blog.

    don’t you think that Bernadette body explains lot of things science cant explain? Perhaps that answers all your doubts on Mary.

    For belivers no explanation is necessary, for non believers no explanation is possible.

    Ave Maria,

    • Cris Putnam says:


      Bernedette’s hands and face appear lifelike due to a wax covering. But no, I don’t think a well preserved corpse means we should practice necromancy. If so, I guess you can add a Hindu Yogi, several Buddhist monks and a Cardinal who supported Facist Dictator Benito Mussolini to your prayer list (hint, the Catholic church doesn’t even use this so-called evidence anymore):

      The Catholic authorities are right to be cautious in equating incorruptibility with holiness; a case in point concerns the body of Cardinal Shuster (1880–1954), a former archbishop of Milan, which was discovered to be incorrupt after 31 years in the grave. The 1985 exhumation caused some embarrassment as the cardinal was anything but a saint; he was a friend of Mussolini and supported fascism and Italy’s war with Abyssinia. Nor does the phenomenon of incorrupt bodies necessarily prove the claims of Catholicism. When the famous yogi Paramahansa Yogananda died in California, in 1952, his unembalmed body had not decayed and was said to emit a beautiful fragrance. Perhaps there are many incorrupt bodies of holy Protestants, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists, but we’ll never know because these religions don’t have the unusual custom of digging up their suspected saints. [Editor’s note: There are, however, several incorrupt bodies of Buddhist monks which are preserved as objects of veneration. See FT78:9, 157:23].


      Still wondering how you feel about this Sam: “There is one Mediator between Christ and men, the Holy Mother Mary. Mary is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to Jesus but by Mary.”

      • Sam says:

        I feel great about that. Read the following message from Holy Mary.

        “Dear children, I am calling you and am coming among you because I need you. I need apostles with a pure heart. I am praying, and you should also pray, that the Holy Spirit may enable and lead you, that He may illuminate you and fill you with love and humility. Pray that He may fill you with grace and mercy. Only then will you understand me, my children. Only then will you understand my pain because of those who have not come to know the love of God. Then you will be able to help me. You will be my light-bearers of God’s love. You will illuminate the way for those who have been given eyes but do not want to see. I desire for all of my children to see my Son. I desire for all of my children to experience His Kingdom. Again I call you and implore you to pray for those whom my Son has called. Thank you.”

        If you have true holy spirit, you will understand what all it says. You are not with God…be careful.

        Praise the Lord,

  6. john B says:

    Hi all; It is also worth noting that these Marian apparitions and the shrines erected to her are in High places (mountain grottos or caves) as can be seen in the Photograph Cris put up.

    ‘”For they provoked Him with their High places, and aroused His jealousy with their graven Images” Psalm78:58

    Those who turned from the Lord burned sacrifices to the Queen of heaven Jer44:17

    Spirits of wickedness in High places Eph6:12

    sometime we under estimate the “struggle” that some go through to break free from this devotion to the Queen of Heaven (Mary worship).. been there, done that… Praise the Lord!


    john B

  7. Mark says:

    Speaking of ‘High Places”, John, I remember a number of years ago in Findlay, Ohio there was a supposed appearance of Jesus on one of the large oil storage tanks – of all places. People came from all around to see if they could see the image. I had no such curiosity. But a few folks I know made the “pilgrimage”. When I asked my friend why he thought it might be Jesus he replied, “Well I don’t know who else it would be…”

    I remember reading in the Bible sometime before that the fact that Satan can disguise himself as a angel of light. Without the light of scripture we are sitting ducks for deception I’m afraid.


  8. julio cesar says:

    Hello, Mr. Putnam

    I was reading some posts you delivered, sorry about my bad english.

    Well you did post something about Fatima and compared to the possessed fortune-teller that was claiming that Paul was God servant, and so on.

    I didn’t get you. Why do Satan would warn anyone of the problems of the Apostasy and the wrong ways of the Catholic Church, and bishops, and the Satans’ smoke? Why do the evil would be revealing things about the future, when it’s not his best interest to have people knowing about his plans?

    The Catholic Exorcist, Gabriele Amorth, among others, said the thing the Devil wants most is to the people don’t know, or believe, that he exists.

    Why did the devil himself would warn the people of the evil, the apostasy, to convert, to pray, and so on? I don’t see the logic in this line, mainly because the following reason:

    Christ says that one kingdom can’t stand, if its fighting against itself. So, the demons couldn’t be exorcising, fighting themselves, telling a truth they don’t want to have revealed. The demons can’t be fighting to reveal the truth, of course… I don’t get a apparition of Mary to being a devilish hoax, just to try to advice people to pray, to avoid the terrors of hell, the perils of apostasy and communism. This is not, I am sure, what the devil wants… Maybe he would want to show the people the hell as a hot paradise when we are all welcome.

    This way, could St. Malachy and Sister Lucia be the fortunetellers. Specially the latter, because she is a necromancer, according to you Mr. Sorry but I can’t support this, for one reason. We know that some unspecified baddies inside the church made all the possible to hide the “third secret” and to spread a false third secret, that is not any grave, not at all. This time I can se the working of the error, this time yes, I can see the evil ones fighting to no one to know the truth, because they did the work to silence Lucia. And we also know that the devil is the father of the lie, so he just haven’t any interest in the truth to be known.

    For me, it’s too much clear that it’s Satan intent to destroy very much the Catholic Church. Maybe you Mr. can be missing something. Why Satan would want to divide, or destroy, a church of idol worshippers and necromancers, if they all are just doing the wrong thing? Why did the Catholic C. have a central role in all this equation?