Marian “Idolatry”, “Busy God”, Straw Men… (vs. Lucas Banzoli)

Marian “Idolatry”, “Busy God”, Straw Men… (vs. Lucas Banzoli) September 22, 2022

Lucas Banzoli is a very active Protestant evangelical apologist in Brazil, who writes quite a bit in opposition to the Catholic Church and Catholic doctrine. He has a Master’s degree in theology, a degree and postgraduate work in history, a license in letters, and is a history teacher, author of 25 books, as well as blogmaster for six blogs. He’s also active on YouTube.

This is my 30th refutation of articles written by Lucas Banzoli. As of yet, I haven’t received a single word in reply to any of them (or if Banzoli has replied to anything, anywhere, he certainly hasn’t informed me of it). Readers may decide for themselves why that is the case. I use RSV for the Bible passages unless otherwise indicated. Google Translate is utilized to render Lucas’ Portugese into English. His words will be in blue.

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I’m replying to Lucas’ article, “Vamos rezar aos santos, porque Deus é ocupado demais. Ou: até onde alguém vai para justificar sua idolatria” [Let’s pray to the saints, because God is too busy. Or: How far will someone go to justify their idolatry?] (5-20-15).

That the Roman Church is idolatrous and pagan, everyone already knows.

I don’t know that at all. I’ve been in the Church for 32 years and am one of her professional apologists. I know that there are so many (who knows how many) individual Catholics or “Catholics” (including many in Brazil: so I have been told, as in the United States and everywhere else) who are abysmally ignorant of what their own Church teaches and what they are required to believe as an observant, obedient Catholic.

This is always, of course, the case in all religious groups, as a function of human nature and the variability to be found in large groups of any sort (I was a sociology major). Don’t even get me started on the ignorance and heterodoxy (by internal Protestant standards) that one can find in Protestantism. One of my earliest apologetics projects in 1982 (as an evangelical — and charismatic — Protestant myself) was a refutation of the “name-it-claim-it / God always heals by command” idiotic mentality. Anyone who claims that that nonsense represents historic Protestantism is an ignoramus.

But the existence of such people who are “idolatrous and pagan” in their own practice and belief has no bearing whatsoever on official Catholic teaching. I keep saying this until I am blue in the face, yet sophists and slanderers like Lucas never get it (or they do and they simply don’t care). One of the oldest tricks in the book of sophistry parading as genuine apologetics, is what Lucas again does here: set up straw men and pretend that the distortion or misunderstanding of Catholicism is Catholicism (“distortion of a = a“), and then triumphantly blast and dismiss this imagined enemy, or what is called in common usage: “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

But it’s getting so brazen lately that it’s even lost its fun.

I know the feeling well. This is my 30th exhaustive reply to Lucas’ writings, and — believe me — my patience is hanging by a thread at this point. I ask for my readers’ prayers to help me endure the fathomless imbecilities and inanities entailed in any of Lucas’ anti-Catholic monstrosities. This asinine garbage is not worthy of any response in and of itself. But people are being led astray by these lies, so it falls to someone like myself to do all I can to prevent the tragedy of people being led down a wrong path by believing in lies.

It’s my duty, and a function of charity for souls. If I weren’t an apologist, I wouldn’t give this worthless, witless horse manure a moment’s notice, because my time is very valuable, and I want to use it wisely. But helping people not to leave Catholicism (or Christianity altogether in some cases) is a very worthy goal. So I press on.

To justify the existence of sculptured images that supposedly serve as intermediaries between us and God

See: Statues in Relation to Bowing, Prayer, & Worship in Scripture [12-26-17]

– instead of asking God directly –

I just completed a massive refutation of Lucas’ false and quite unbiblical notion that we must always go “straight to God” yesterday.

they have now reached the incredible and sensational conclusion that God is equal to the President of the Republic: he is “too busy” , and that’s why we’d better talk to those who can take the messages to him… Tell the truth: are you not angry with these evil Protestants, who “know nothing about the Catholic Church” and have the audacity to bother God with their prayers directly to him? These rebellious sons of Luther are so cheeky they don’t even wait in line to get their ticket until the super busy Catholic God with no time to take care of everyone else’s problems can finally decide to listen to what you have to say to him. So it’s better to ask the “saints”, because that way the message gets to God faster!

I’ve never heard any minimally catechized and informed Catholic talk like this. It’s a ridiculous and absurd proposition, that God is too “busy” for anything. Catholicism never taught this at any time. God is outside of time, (which is Catholic dogma: while many Protestants, incidentally, are presently vigorously denying it: it’s called open theism or process theology); therefore, He can never be “too busy”.

C. S. Lewis, the great Anglican apologist (and my favorite writer these past 45 years), wrote the following about God in his masterpiece, Mere Christianity:

His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to Him at ten-thirty tonight, He need not listen to them all in that one little snippet which we call ten-thirty. Ten-thirty — and every other moment from the beginning of the world — is always Present for Him. If you like to put it this way, He has all eternity in which to listen to the split second of prayer put up by a pilot as his plane crashes in flames.

Granted, Catholics can be found who say absurd things about this issue of God and time. But why should anyone care about that? If indeed it’s Catholic teaching, it will be present in our official doctrines and dogmas. Yet Lucas never troubles himself (what a surprise!) to prove that. He knows it’s much easier and more melodramatic to find an example of a lousy, ignorant Catholic and then pretend that this is the sum total of Catholic teaching on the topic.

Don’t fall for it, folks! Don’t let this sophist insult your intelligence with such unworthy, dishonest tactics. If Lucas wants to bash a “God in time” Who is too “busy” to occupy Himself with human problems, that’s actually found in various Protestant strains of thought that have denied the classic Catholic (and mainstream Protestant) theology of God, or what’s called “theology proper.”

The conclusion is that God is not “too busy” to answer our prayers that pass through the saints and then reach him, but he is “too busy” to answer prayers that are offered directly to him. Let everything we’ve learned about God’s omniscience and eternity go to the dustbin – it’s a real free-for-all to save Catholic idolatry!

This is the “conclusion” of fools who neither know nor understand Catholic theology; therefore, ought not to pretend to represent it.

If you think that it is only the “Catholics” who enter this wave of madness and insanity, follow this post by Prof. Felipe Aquino, one of the master idols of the Catholics:

[Lucas shows a photo of Mary, with the text: “Doce coração de Maria, sede nossa salvação” (“Sweetest heart of Mary, seat of our salvation”]

Yes, believe me: it is Mary, not Jesus, the “seat of our salvation”. And then they still want to have the nerve to say that they are monotheists and not idolatrous!

Like all Catholic Marian devotions and pious language, this is understood as a secondary and non-essential participation in the distribution of the salvation that comes solely through Christ and His work on the cross on the behalf of mankind. Scripture (especially, Paul) often refers to such human participation in the work of salvation:

Romans 11:13-14 . . . I magnify my ministry [14] in order to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them.

1 Corinthians 1:21 . . . it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 3:5 What then is Apol’los? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each.

1 Corinthians 9:22 I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

1 Timothy 4:16 . . . by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

James 5:20 . . . whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death . . .

Thus, when Catholics associate Mary with salvation, it is understood in the same sense that Paul and James speak of the same thing. God simply utilizes Mary in His plans to a greater extent, because it was His will. He chose her to bear God incarnate, and He gave her the appropriate grace so that she would be be a fit person to do so.

I’ve written about the devotion to the immaculate heart of Mary too. We are honoring her sinlessness and holiness in the devotion to her immaculate heart, rather than worshiping her. St. Paul refers to his own “heart” in similar fashion: “Brethren, my heart‘s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (Rom 10:1; cf. 9:2-3; 2 Cor 2:4; 6:11; 7:3). Therefore, one could speak of Paul, based on explicit biblical data, in much the same way as Mary, referring to his “saving” of others, and of returning to his “heart” — that is, to conform to his will, just as he urged his followers to imitate him (1 Cor 4:16; Phil 3:17; 2 Thess 3:7-9), as he imitated Christ (1 Cor 11:1; 1 Thess 1:6).

The detail is that this publication was made by one of the main leaders of Canção Nova and one of the most “respected” in this medium, and had no less than 21 thousand likes and almost seven thousand shares, which shows that in the mentality of the common Catholic there is no problem in this sentence, because they are already so used to idolatry that they can no longer understand the magnitude of the nonsense that represents such a thing.

There is no inherent problem, not because these Catholics are idolaters, but because they understand the Christological and biblical / Hebraic context in which such language is always intended to be used. It’s Lucas and the minority of vehement, bigoted anti-Catholic Protestants who think as he does, that make no attempt to understand Catholic Mariology. They can’t comprehend even honor and veneration, because they are erroneously taught that only God can be given any kind of honor at all. That’s very far from biblical truth: a Bible which informs us that God even shares His glory with us.

They have a compressed, skeletal, stunted, minimalistic Christianity that has lost comprehension of a great deal of the depth and breadth of historic Christianity. And so all they can see is idolatry. If we honor a saint (which is explicitly referred to in the Bible), it must be idolatry: so they wrongly think: because they aren’t thinking biblically. Yet this is a Bible that teaches us that we are temples of God; that all three Persons of the Holy Trinity indwell us; that we can and should “become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4) and indeed, that we can “be filled with all the fulness of God” (Eph 3:19), and Jesus gives us His literal Body and Blood in Holy Communion. Scott Hahn once observed, after a Protestant asked him if he had received Jesus into his heart: “not only that: I receive His Body and Blood into my belly at every Mass!”

How much closer can God possibly get to us? All of that is obvious in the Bible, yet Lucas and those who think as he does are unable to comprehend or conceptualize that venerating and honoring Mary, and God using her to help spread His grace and salvation, takes place precisely according to God’s will, and is not “idolatry.”

It was years and years of brainwashing that gradually made the individual’s mind more and more susceptible and receptive to idolatry and decentralization of Christ, in such a way that not even a shred of common sense or genuine Christianity was left in this environment. He comes to accept idolatrous phrases without even thinking about them. It is a slow process of mastering the mind to make it more and more open to paganism and closed to Christ. Idolatry is preached explicitly and they no longer care. And the worst thing is to see that there are Catholics so deceived that they defend this type of declaration in debates!

Now we need to take a step back and ponder the biblical definition of idolatry. Lucas clearly doesn’t comprehend that, either. So I will take this opportunity to help him get up to speed. I already wrote about it three years ago. I wrote in that article:

It is of the essence of idolatry to be from one’s heart and soul and will. If one is replacing God with something else, that is an interior decision. It hasto be; otherwise, the whole thing would be reduced to robotic actions of an agent with no free will. This sort of thing is presupposed also in the Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus shows how all sins begin in our hearts: hatred is the seed of murder, lust the kernel of adultery, et cetera. All sin is like that (at least the sin for which we are responsible). As for its being a matter of the heart and soul: the Bible establishes that, I think:

Isaiah 66:3 like him who blesses an idol. These have chosen their own ways, and their souldelights in their abominations.

Ezekiel 14:4-5 Therefore speak to them, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Any man of the house of Israel who takes his idols into his heartand sets the stumbling block of his iniquity before his face, and yet comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself because of the multitude of his idols, that I may lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel, who are all estranged from me through their idols.

Ezekiel 20:16 because they rejected my ordinances and did not walk in my statutes, and profaned my sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. (cf. Ezek. 36:25; Sir. 46:11)

Another biblical motif is God’s disgust over men “serving” idols (which is from the heart and the will: 2 Kings 17:12; 2 Kings 21:21; 2 Chron. 24:18; Ps. 106:36; Ezek. 20:39; 1 Thess. 1:9). St. Paul locates idolatry firmly in the interior disposition:

Romans 1:21, 24-25 [F]or although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless mindswere darkened. . . . Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen. . . .

Idolatry is an internal disposition — the conscious worshiping of something other than God and replacing God with a creature or inanimate object.

Catholics (i.e., the ones who actually understand Catholicism, and not a caricature or simplistic version of it) simply aren’t doing that. Mary is not seen as a replacement of God (i.e., an idol, by definition), but rather, as someone who helps God (to an extraordinary degree) as a servant, to help implement His desire that none perish, just as St. Paul and many others did, and just as God, many times — so He reveals in His inspired written Word — , regarded us as His “co-workers”.

But of all the papist aberrations that are thoughtlessly believed, nothing, nothing, NOTHING compares to this: Yes, for them, God came into being because of Mary [Deus passou a existir por causa de Maria].

Of course, this is referring only to the incarnation: the incarnate God could come to earth because Mary cooperated with God to make that happen. The historic term is Theotokos, usually translated as “Mother of God” but literally meaning “God-bearer”: clearly referring to the virgin birth of Jesus, Who is God. Lucas, however, is ignorant and clueless enough to actually ludicrously believe that Catholics are saying that Mary gave birth to God the Father!

This sort of stupifying, profound imbecility is what we Catholics have to deal with when we come across anti-Catholics like Lucas. They sit there scolding us like snot-nosed children, as if we don’t understand the very basics of Christianity, yet they believe something this outlandish, absurd, and false. They show themselves far more stupid and uneducated than they imagine us to be. I already thoroughly refuted Lucas’ banalities on this topic: “Mother of God”: Refuting Lucas Banzoli’s Absurdities [6-3-22].

And believe me: their minds are already so enslaved to Rome that if a Papist is reading this text he will now have the courage to say that he sees no problem with a statement of this nature.

No we don’t, and that’s because we properly understand it. Lucas doesn’t. He’s the ignorant and clueless one here.

And things like that happen in droves, every day, wherever there is a fanatical Catholic. I would waste all day here if I wanted to give an example of idolatrous attitudes that are supported by Catholics themselves.

That is, what he falsely believes is “idolatry” because he labors and suffers under a pathetic stunted, minimalistic, insufficiently biblical worldview and understanding.

But in order not to waste time . . . let’s see what a saint and doctor of the Church, Alphonus de Liguori, wrote in a book called The Glories of Mary.

He then provides a host of the usual Catholic Marian utterances from that book (one of the anti-Catholics’ “favorites”) that horrify and scandalize Protestant ears, because he doesn’t (as always in such cynical presentations) provide the Christological backdrop and presuppositions that St. Alphonsus provided in the same book. In other words, it’s the usual dishonest selective presentation: intended to specifically exclude St. Alphonsus’ explanations that deal with Protestant objections about “idolatry” etc. In my analysis of the book twenty years ago, I provided those (the following is modified a bit from the original, to make it a more generalized analysis):

Before we delve into Protestants’ particular objections to statements in The Glories of Mary, some significant preliminary observations are necessary. I will argue that — beyond the question of attempting a critique of advanced Catholic theology before understanding the basics, . . . Many Protestants are not even properly interpreting the words of St. Alphonsus in context. This is a very common mistake in popular apologetics and polemics, but especially when the Catholic Church is involved, and particularly when Mariology is the subject in dispute (precisely because it is so widely and profoundly misunderstood). Here, context is supremely important, lest Marian theological and devotional language (which will inevitably be difficult for Protestants to “hear”) be misunderstood.. . .

It is possible for an evangelical Protestant, who has (from the Catholic perspective) been taught little or nothing about Mary or Mariology, to easily misinterpret Catholic statements on the topic, due to unfamiliarity with the idiom and background thought and “Catholic culture,” if you will, which lies behind such utterances at the presuppositional level (just as Hebrew cultural factors are often poorly-understood) . . .

Protestants make so many (erroneous) hostile assumptions from the outset (it is radically unbiblical, it is idolatrous, it is blasphemous, it places Mary above God, etc.) that it is next to impossible for them to even read the passages fairly and in context, in order to accurately ascertain their intended meaning, whether or not they agree with the Catholic theology presupposed and explicated by the writer. . . .

Protestants are misinterpreting St. Alphonsus’ statements about the Blessed Virgin Mary; they fail to understand what they mean in the first place, which is the necessary prerequisite for an intelligent, compelling critique of the statements and the theology. This is what is called “constructing a straw man.” In other words, the target is not what the Catholic Church actually teaches, but what hostile anti-Catholic Protestants mistakenly (however sincerely) thinks it teaches. And they don’t understand that due to lack of background information and neglect of context and idiom, . . .

In order to properly understand the overall framework of the thoughts and ideas and doctrines expressed in this book, we must examine what St. Alphonsus has to say about the relationship of Mary to God the Father and God the Son, Jesus, since this is the anti-Catholic Protestant’s primary and most impassioned charge: that she supposedly usurps and overthrows God’s prerogatives and unique position of supreme honor and glory, in Catholic theology, and attains some sort of divine or quasi-divine or semi-divine status (which would, indeed, be blasphemous and grossly heretical). Nothing could be further from the truth, and this is all expressed in the book itself. . . .

[All excerpts are taken from The Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori — a Doctor of the Catholic Church –, edited by Rev. Eugene Grimm, Two Volumes in One, Fourth Reprint Revised, Brooklyn: Redemptorist Fathers, 1931; all emphases are added unless otherwise noted]

St. Alphonsus makes his presuppositions crystal clear in the section, “To the Reader” (initially citing another writer, in agreement):

“And now, to say all in a few words: God, to glorify the Mother of the Redeemer, has so determined and disposed that of her great charity she should intercede on behalf of all those for whom his divine Son paid and offered the superabundant price of his precious blood in which alone is our salvation, life, and resurrection.”

On this doctrine, and on all that is in accordance with it, I ground my propositions . . . the plenitude of all grace which is in Christ as the Head, from which it flows, as from its source; and in Mary, as in the neck through which it flows. (p. 26)

The very analogies and language make it impossible for Mary to be “above God.” God “determined” that she would intercede for those “blood-bought” by Jesus’ death on the cross, in Whose precious blood “alone is our salvation.” The grace flows from the “Head,” Jesus, through the neck, Mary. A neck is not a head. The Body of Christ has one divine Head, Jesus. A neck is under a head, and it isn’t the control center, so to speak. Etc., etc. It is clearer than the sun at high noon on a clear day that Mary cannot be equal to God at all in this scenario. She is merely a creature and a vessel, albeit highly exalted and venerated and honored. Every prophet served the same function to a lesser degree. St. Paul played a profound role in salvation and Church history. That doesn’t make him God. Nor is Mary God. Catholics know this, but our critics oftentimes don’t “get” it.

Of course she is fundamentally and qualitatively lesser than God, being a creature. A stream can’t rise above its source; likewise, a creature can never rise above its Creator. That was Satan’s fatal mistake in judgment and “metaphysical, or ontological category.” Informed, orthodox Catholics never make this grave mistake concerning the Blessed Virgin. But Protestants so often mistakenly think this is official Catholic teaching, and their criticisms are often steeped in a profound ignorance of Catholic Mariology and the rationales which lie behind it. St. Alphonsus makes the Catholic theological position vis-vis Mary abundantly clear in many explicit statements in his book:

Jesus our Redeemer, with an excess of mercy and love, came to restore this life by his own death on the cross . . . by reconciling us with God he made himself the Father of souls in the law of grace . . . (p. 47)

St. Augustine declares that “as she then co-operated by her love in the birth of the faithful to the life of grace, she became the spiritual Mother of all who are members of the one Head, Christ Jesus.” (p. 49)

Thou, after God, must be my hope, my refuge, my love in this valley of tears. (pp. 55-56)

[I]n us she beholds that which has been purchased at the price of the death of Jesus Christ . . . Mary well knows that her Son came into the world only to save us poor creatures . . . therefore Mary loves and protects them all. (pp. 60-61)

Most certainly God will not condemn those sinners who have recourse to Mary, and for whom she prays, since he himself commended them to her as her children. (p. 76)

The angelical Doctor St. Thomas [Aquinas] says [Summa Theologica 2. 2. q. 25, a.1, ad. 3], that we can place our hope in a person in two ways: as a principal cause, and as a mediate one. Those who hope for a favor from a king, hope it from him as lord; they hope for it from his minister or favorite as an intercessor. If the favor is granted, it comes primarily from the king, but it comes through the instrumentality of his favorite; and in this case he who seeks the favor is right in calling the intercessor his hope. The King of Heaven, being infinite goodness, desires in the highest degree to enrich us with his graces; but because confidence is requisite on our part, and in order to increase it in us, he has given us his own Mother to be our mother and advocate, and to her he has given all power to help us; and therefore he wills that we should repose our hope of salvation and of every blessing in her. Those who put their hopes in creatures alone, independently of God, as sinners do, and in order to obtain the friendship and favor of a man, fear not to outrage his divine Majesty, are most certainly cursed by God, as the prophet Jeremias says. (pp. 109-110; cf. p. 220)

[T]hy son Jesus Christ . . . has willed that thou also shouldst interest thyself with him, in order to obtain divine mercies for us. He has decreed that thy prayers should aid our salvation, and has made them so efficacious that they obtain all that they ask. To thee therefore, who art the hope of the miserable, do I, a wretched sinner, turn my eyes. I trust, O Lady, that in the first place through the merits of Jesus Christ, and then through thy intercession, I shall be saved . . . “Jesus is my only hope, and after Jesus the most Blessed Virgin Mary.” (pp. 117-118)

. . . not as if Mary was more powerful than her Son to save us, for we know that Jesus Christ is our only Saviour, and that he alone by his merits has obtained and obtains salvation for us . . . (p. 137)

The Eternal Word came from heaven on earth to seek for lost sheep, and to save them he became thy Son. And when one of them goes to thee to find Jesus, wilt thou despise it? The price of my salvation is already paid; my Saviour has already shed his blood, which suffices to save an infinity of worlds. This blood has only to be applied even to such a one as I am. And that is thy office, O Blessed Virgin. (pp. 140-141)

No one denies that Jesus Christ is our only mediator of justice, and that he by his merits has obtained our reconciliation with God . . . St. Bernard says, “Let us not imagine that we obscure the glory of the Son by the great praise we lavish on the mother; for the more she is honored, the greater is the glory of her Son.” (p. 153)

[I]t is one thing to say that God cannot, and another that he will not, grant graces without the intercession of Mary. We willingly admit that God is the source of every good, and the absolute master of all graces; and that Mary is only a pure creature, who receives whatever she obtains as a pure favor from God . . . We most readily admit that Jesus Christ is the only Mediator of justice . . . and that by his merits he obtains us all graces and salvation; but we say that Mary is the mediatress of grace; and that receiving all she obtains through Jesus Christ, and because she prays and asks for it in the name of Jesus Christ . . . (pp. 156-157)

[W]hen these saints and authors tell us in such terms that all graces come to us through Mary, they do not simply mean to say that we “received Jesus Christ, the source of every good, through Mary,” as the before-named writer pretends; but that they assure us that God, who gave us Jesus Christ, wills that all graces that have been, that are, and will be dispensed to men to the end of the world through the merits of Christ, should be dispensed by the hands and through the intercession of Mary . . . [this is] necessary, . . . not with an absolute necessity; for the mediation of Christ alone is absolutely necessary; but with a moral necessity . . . (p. 162)

Whoever places his confidence in a creature independently of God, he certainly is cursed by God; for God is the only source and dispenser of every good, and the creature without God is nothing, and can give nothing. But if our Lord has so disposed it, . . . that all graces should pass through Mary as by a channel of mercy, we not only can but ought to assert that she, by whose means we receive the divine graces, is truly our hope. (p. 174)

Jesus now in heaven sits at the right hand of the Father . . . He has supreme dominion over all, and also over Mary . . . (p. 179)

“Be comforted, O unfortunate soul, who hast lost thy God,” says St. Bernard; “thy Lord himself has provided thee with a mediator, and this is his Son Jesus, who can obtain for thee all that thou desirest. He has given thee Jesus for a mediator; and what is there that such a son cannot obtain from the Father?” . . .

If your fear arises from having offended God, know that Jesus has fastened all your sins on the cross with his own lacerated hands, and having satisfied divine justice for them by his death, he has already effaced them from your souls . . . ” . . . What do you fear, O ye of little faith? . . . But if by chance,” adds the saint, “thou fearest to have recourse to Jesus Christ because the majesty of God in him overawes thee — for though he became man, he did not cease to be God — and thou desirest another advocate with this divine mediator, go to Mary, for she will intercede for thee with the Son, who will most certainly hear her; and then he will intercede with the Father, who can deny nothing to such a son.” (pp. 200-201)

Does this sound like — as anti-Catholics believe — the Catholic Church places Mary “above God,” or that she “can manipulate God,” or “can get things for Catholics from God that Jesus can’t”? Hardly. The truth of the matter is plain to see. Anti-Catholics have gotten their facts wrong. They can’t prove that the Catholic system teaches that God is lowered and Mary raised to a goddess-like status. That simply is not true, and even in the very book which is “notorious” in anti-Catholic circles for the most allegedly “extreme” remarks about Mary, we find many statements such as the above. Hence, we see that context is supremely important for interpreting books and writings.

See my article for many individual instances in which I properly interpret utterances that anti-Catholics grab from this book in order to present successive alleged “gotcha!” dilemmas that Catholics are supposed to be unable to defend.

See other similar explanations of Marian devotion and its expressions:

Was St. Louis de Montfort a Blasphemous Mariolater? [2009]

Maximilian Kolbe’s “Flowery” Marian Veneration & the Bible [2010]

Defense of Allegedly “Idolatrous” Marian Devotions [1-11-13]

Reply to Protestants on “Excessive” (?) Marian Devotion [1-4-17]

Marian Veneration: Reply to Evangelical Adrian Warnock [12-10-19]

Catholics Do Not Worship Mary Like God (vs. Matt Slick) [11-13-20]

Nice try, again, for Lucas; “e for effort” but in the end he has totally failed to establish his accusatory charge. We’re not idolaters. But I can say for sure that Lucas is lying and bearing false witness against his brothers and sisters in Christ, and that is very serious, grave sin (it’s one of the Ten Commandments): by Protestant as well as Catholic ethical standards.

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Photo credit: The Holy Family, by Raphael (1483-1520) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]

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Summary: Brazilian Protestant apologist Lucas Banzoli fallaciously employs his panoply of straw men & non sequiturs, in order to slay the imagined enemy of “Marian idolatry”.

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