Sunday, November 27, 2011


Actually, I have missed out Atty. Mars' series in refuting Armando Ang in his book "The Dark Side of Catholicism". To those who want to see the whole series of Atty. Mars' defense to the Blessed Virgin Mary, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, this is Part 6 of his refutation:


Marwil N. Llasos, O.P.

Anti-Marian Armando Ang begrudges the honor given by Catholics to their Blessed Mother. Ang deplores that “[a]s people become more enlightened, the cult of Mary seems to grow instead of fade away.”[1] Given his warped sense of thinking, And sees a problem where there is none. Of course, the cult (which we mean honor) of the Blessed Virgin Mary grows. Ang himself gives the reason: because “people become more enlightened.”

The light of the Holy Spirit: "When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (Jn. 16:13)

From where (or from whom) does this enlightenment come from? From God Himself – and no one else as Sacred Scripture clearly teaches: “The eyes of your understanding being elightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” Psalm 28:28 likewise states,“For thou wilt light my candle, the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”

Scripturally, enlightenment comes from God. And since as Ang says people become more enlightened, we know that is God who enlightens them. And it is because of the enlightenment that comes from God that the cult of Mary grows and it will not fade away because “the memory of the just is blessed but the name of the wicked shall rot” (Prov. 10:7). Mary’s memory shall remain blessed; it will be Armando Ang’s name that shall rot in infamy. And while we are being enlightened by God, Armando Ang stays in darkness because he who does evil hates the light.

Mary and the Holy Spirit

As we have already noted, Armando Ang is fond of generalization without substantiation. A clumsy writer, Ang claims that “Popes and theologians have written books and conferred on more superlative attributes than anyone on earth.”[2] But one looks in vain for Ang’s proof for that statement. The author of The Dark Side of Catholicism does not show any statistics to back up his claim. He aggravates the situation by also claiming that “[m]ystics have given her a new life to her where there was none.”[3] Does Ang bother to name who these mystics are and how they have given Mary a new life? Ang simply takes it for granted.

Without having proven anything yet, Armando Ang moves in for the kill: “From a simple woman chosen to be the mother of the Incarnate, she became a goddess with unprecedented power soon to eclipse that of her Son.”[4] Here I must cry foul!

Armando Ang denigrates Jesus' mother by regarding her merely as a simple woman contrary to what the Bible calls her as "highly favored" and "most blessed among women"

Mary was no simple woman. The Bible does not picture her that way. To regard Mary as a “simple woman” is to be not in keeping with what Sacred Scripture says about her. If Ang bothers to check what Sacred Scripture says about Jesus’ mother before he trains his guns on her, he would have easily ascertained that she is “highly favoured”(Lk. 1:28, KJV) and “most blessed among women” (Lk. 1:42, KJV). To call Mary as a “simple woman” is not being true to God’s Word in the Bible. Here it is once again demonstrated that Ang’s denigration of Mary is anti-Scriptural. Protestants, Evangelicals and all those who consider themselves “Bible Christians” have yet another reason to reject Armando Ang as their mouthpiece.

Mary, the mother of Jesus and our mother 

Evangelical writer John MacArthur says this of Mary, the mother of Jesus:

“Of all the extraordinary mothers in Scripture, one stands out above all others as the most blessed, most highly favored by God, and most universally admired women. Indeed, no woman is more truly remarkable than Mary. She was the one sovereignly chosen by God – from among all the women who have ever been born – to be the singular instrument through which He would at last bring the Messiah into the world.”[5]

The Extraordinary Mother by Jon MacArthur

Armando Ang mentions “mother of the Incarnate.”[6] Incarnate what? Why doesn’t Armando Ang say “mother of the Word Incarnate” or “mother of God Incarnate”? Is it perhaps because he would have to admit that Mary is the “Mother of God”? Ang can never get more clumsy.

Finally, Ang contends that Mary “has become a goddess with unprecedented power soon to eclipse her Son.”  Really? What is his proof? As a Catholic Mariologist, I know for a fact that the Church has never and will never ever teach that Mary is a goddess because that would mockery of the Incarnation; hence, of our salvation. Mary is a human being and will always remain so because she is the guarantor of the full humanity of her Divine Son. In the history the Church, it is established that the Catholic Church has consistently and relentlessly fought any attempt to make Mary a goddess. St. Epiphanius of Salamis fought the heresy of the Collyridians who worshipped Mary as a deity.  In his Panarioin, St. Epiphanius wrote: “According to her nature, Mary remains human and feminine. Hence, like other saints, she is unsuited for adoration, though as an elect vessel, she is glorified in a higher degree than others. In like manner, neither Elijah … nor John the Baptist … nor Thecla may be adored.”[7]

Armando Ang pierces Mary's heart by his lies and insults

On a personal note, readers of my blog will know that I have crossed swords with local heretical cults that make Mary a goddess – as some sort of an “incarnation” of the “divine feminine.” I opposed and resisted these cults with much intensity in their inane and blasphemous attempt to make Mary an additional member of the Trinity or as a quadrinity. I ran a series of articles in this blog onMary is God Heresy.[8]

Along with the Church, I have personally waged war against the new-fangled doctrines of the New Age Movement who teach that Mary is the “divine feminine” or “mother goddess.” The Church condemns this movement that seeks to deify almost anything and everything as heretical and blasphemous.[9] The Catholic Church consistently holds and teaches that despite the many glories and privileges of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she remains to be human, a creature, and never divine. Hence, Armando Ang’s accusation holds no water.

Mary, the woman clothed with the Son

Armando Ang also alleges that Mary’s “unprecedented power”soon “eclipse[d] that of her Son.”[10] As usual, Ang does not provide the basis for his allegation. At any rate, there is nothing in Catholic doctrine and devotion that justifies Ang’s unsubstantiated claim. Catholic Marian piety views Mary as the “moon” which derives all her light and beauty from the “sun” who is Christ. Far from eclipsing the sun, Mary is the “woman clothed with the sun” (cf. Rev. 12:1). All true Marian devotion does not end with Mary but leads to her Son as Mary herself would have it: “Do whatever He tells you” (Jn. 2:5).

Armando Ang makes another claim: “Millions of men and women including popes and theologians extolled her with virtues and miracles unheard of.”[11] Where does Ang get his statistics? Again, he’s mum on it. The implication, however, is clear: only Catholics extol Mary’s virtues. Catholics do extol Mary’s virtues[12] – and these virtues, contrary to Ang’s claim, are not “unheard of.” The virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary are expressed right there in the Bible! Mary’s faith, hope, charity, humility, kindness, generosity, etc. are all mentioned in Scripture. For Ang to consider these as “unheard of” simply shows that he is not reading his Bible.

Mary's soul magnifies the Lord

We extol the virtues of Mary and of the saints. We do this because we want to imitate their virtues. And to imitate the virtues of the saints is a Biblical imperative. In the Letter to the Hebrews we are told:

“God would not be so unjust to forget all you have done, the love that you have for His name or the services you have done, and are still doing, for the saints. Our one desire is that every one of you should go on showing the same earnestness to end, to the perfect fulfillment of our hopes, never growing careless, but imitating those who have the faith and the perseverance to inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:10-12, NJB).

Mary, embodiment of the "virtuous woman": "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies"  (Prov. 31:10)

Similarly, we venerate the prophets as the saints of the Old Testament and extol their virtues so that we can imitate them. These holy people of God are held up by the Church, like Mary, for our example and remembrance as the apostle James instructed us:

“For your example, brothers, in submitting with patience; take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord; remember it those who had the endurance that we say are the blessed ones” (James 5:10, NJB).

So, Catholics, in extolling (and imitating) the virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints are doing the Biblical thing. Armando Ang does not.

To Martin Luther Mary is more than an empress or a queen

Armando Ang seems to suggest, only Catholics are extolling the virtues of Mary. He could never be more wrong. Let him listen to Martin Luther:

“She, the Lady above heaven and earth, must … have a heart so humble that she might have no shame in washing the swaddling clothes or preparing a bath for St. John the Baptist, like a servant girl. What humility! It would surely have been more just to have arranged for her a golden coach, pulled by 4,000 horses, and to cry and proclaim as the carriage proceeded: ‘Here passes the woman who is raised far above all women, indeed above the whole human race.”[13]

“She was not filled with pride by this praise … this immense praise: ‘No woman is like unto thee! Thou art more than an empress or a queen … blessed above all nobility, wisdom, or saintliness!”[14]

Reformed theologian and successor of Ulrich Zwingli, Heinrich Bullinger would rebuke Armando Ang saying, "to reject Mary is to be an enemy of Christ"

Ulrich Zwingli’s successor, Heinrich Bullinger, preached hisSermon on Mary defending her perpetual virginity and offered these words of praise: “In Mary, then, everything is extraordinary and even more majestic, because it has sprung from the purest faith and burning love for God.”[15] Bullinger would rebuke Armando Ang: “to reject Mary is to be an enemy of Christ.”[16]

Armando Ang's father the devil (cf. Jn. 8:44)

[1] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) p. 1.
[2] Ibid.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Ibid.
[5]John MacArthur, The Extraordinary Mother (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2007) p. 98.
[6] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) p. 1.
[7] Ibid., 79:5.
[9] Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Primer on the New Age (Quezon City: Jesuit Communications Foundation, Inc., 2004).
[10] Armando Ang, The Dark Side of Catholicism (Manila: A1 Publishing, 2005) p. 1. 
[11] Ibid.
[12] Virtues should of course be extolled! Why, does Armando Ang want us to extol sin? I wonder if he’d say that. 
[13] Jaroslav Pelikan, ed., Luther’s Works (St. Louis: Concordia)  36:208.
[14] Ibid., 45:107.
[15] Heinrich Bullenger, “Die Marienpredigt,” in Walter Tappolet,Das Marienlob Der Reformatoren (Tubingen: Katzmann, 1962) pp. 274-302, quotation at 290.
[16] Mary for Evangelicals (Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2006) p. 218.

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