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Commentary by Roger Oakland
Understand The Times International: Roger Oakland Ministries

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It was a highly newsworthy item. Secular news agencies around the world reported on this very religious matter. A rift between Roman Catholics and Anglicans was soon to come to an end.

A document titled Mary: Hope and Grace in Christ was finally published after six years of discussion. Centuries of Anglican dissent over the Roman Catholic view of Mary would soon be history. According to an article titled “Anglicans invited to take Catholic view of Mary,” a major step towards reunion with the Mother of All Churches was about to be accomplished. Quoting from the document:

"There is no continuing theological reason for ecclesial division" over the role of the Virgin Mary. "We do not consider the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us as communion dividing," it says. The document also describes private devotions inspired by apparitions of Mary as "acceptable [1]


But there was more. The document stated that the infallible dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption – the teachings that Mary was herself conceived “without sin” and that on death she was “assumed” body and soul into Heaven – are consistent with the teachings of Scripture. [2]

The article said that the Mary: Hope and Grace in Christ document was not intended to be authoritative but to be the basis for discussion. The authors of the document admitted openly to the hope that the Roman Catholic Church and Anglicans will recognize a “common faith” concerning Mary. [3]

The article also reported that Catholic Bishop Malcolm McMahon, a member of the committee that drafted the document, said that “Mary need no longer be considered an obstacle to unity between Anglicans and Catholics. He said, “What we have done is put down a paving stone on the road to Christian unity.” [4]

Speaking of Christian unity, we hear a lot about this subject these days. Especially since Pope Benedict XVI came on the scene as the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He announced that unification of Christianity is a priority. But as one can easily see, unity when the Roman Catholic Church is involved means embracing Roman Catholic dogma and tradition. If the Anglicans are willing to embrace “Mary” as the mother of the one true church, what about other denominations. Are there any signs this could happen?

The answer to that question should be evident. In case you have not read it, check out - Time magazine, March 21, 2005. This is what you will read on the cover: “Hail Mary – Catholics have long revered her, but now Protestants are finding their own reasons to celebrate the mother of Jesus.” Then flip over to page 61 and read the subtitle: “She was there at the Cross. Yet Protestants seldom talk about Jesus’ mother at Easter – or at most other times. But they are starting to now.”


So, I would like to make a prediction based on current events and the facts. Anglicans have already joined arms with Roman Catholics to embrace an extra-biblical “Mary.” I don’t think it will be too much longer when more of the “separated brethren” sign a pact with Rome and come home as well.





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