|The Assumption of Mary -- a Catholic fact|
I'm sure that all of you celebrated the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary yesterday. August 15th 'tis the day when Catholics celebrate the mother of God's express trip to heaven without all the mess of having to die and wait for the resurrection like the rest of the schmucks. Mary was able to rise up because she was not weighed down by original sin. Apparently God needed a squeaky sinless-clean vessel to incubate in.
The belief -- no wait, the "fact"-- in the Assumption can be traced back, states the Catholic Encyclopedia, to various writings in the 4th and 5th centuries by a variety of saints. Jerusalem is typically the city cited where Mary lifted off, but some believe the city of Ephesus to be the faith-based space port for her journey. Needless to say, I'm not holding my breath for the peer reviewed study that determines where the fictitious event actually happened. Debate on such matters are far less interesting and yet in the vein as when my son asks me, "Who would win in a fight: Thor or the Hulk?"
What I found interesting while doing my research on the Assumption is that it was not officially Church dogma until 1950 (Some of you who are painfully aware of who was pope at that time know where this is going.) when Pope Pius XII declared the doctrine infallible.
We pronounce, declare,and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory. Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, 1950It should be noted that the Church does not simply throw the term infallible around all willy-nilly. There is a strict process required for an idea to become unquestionable. One criteria that Pope Pius XII used is that the doctrine must be based on the universal consensus of the Church.
The "universal consensus of the Church" means that what the Church as a whole teaches and believes must be treated as a revealed and thus indisputable truth.
The Church can only reach such a consensus through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit cannot be wrong.I personally do not know of any other procedure that leads to the truth better than a mass of deluded people agreeing on the same delusion.
But enough of the process regarding finding faith-based revelations. What of Pope Pius XII himself?
He was the pope during the Second World War. Let's see what the Jewish Virtual Library has to say about this fellow.
The Pope's indifference to the mistreatment of Jews was often clear. In 1941, for example, after being asked by French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain if the Vatican would object to anti-Jewish laws, Pius XII answered that the church condemned racism, but did not repudiate every rule against the Jews.(16) When Petain's French puppet government introduced "Jewish statutes," the Vichy ambassador to the Holy See informed Petain that the Vatican did not consider the legislation in conflict with Catholic teachings, as long as they were carried out with "charity" and "justice."(17)And
In late August 1942, after more than 200,000 Ukrainian Jews had been killed, Ukrainian Metropolitan Andrej Septyckyj wrote a long letter to the Pope, referring to the German government as a regime of terror and corruption, more diabolical than that of the Bolsheviks. The Pope replied by quoting verses from Psalms and advising Septyckyj to "bear adversity with serene patience."(8)It should be noted that Pope Pius XII did act on several occasions both publicly and privately for the Allies -- particularly when it was apparent the Germans were going to lose.
Such was the pope who declared the Assumption of Mary to be infallible.
This is Purgatory.