I received your package today. First let me say thank
you so much for including all the extra literature!
I have a few questions off the top of my head
that I was hoping you could answer for me:
- Is the pope Jesus Christ on earth?
- Is Mary part of God, or A God, or something
- She is called divine; does that mean
- And the saints; are these people "divine"?
the New Testament Scripture says, "to
call no man Father", but...
(I think you know where I'm going) :
I am a very scriptural guy, if you can dig
that, and my insistence on referencing every
practice, every tradition, and every idea
helped to save me from being sucked in to
some perfectly awful protestant organizations.
I am sure you will hear from me again in the
near future, once I have had opportunity to
absorb this material.
Thanks and Peace,
about the Pope, Mary, the saints and calling
priests, father. }
Hi, Jason —
To answer your questions:
- No, the pope is not Jesus Christ
on earth, by no means. (It's amazing
the wild misperceptions that circulate.)
The pope is the vicar of Christ.
We in the U.S. aren't familiar
with this concept so it seems
exotic. It basically means a steward,
someone who gets put in charge
when the boss goes away.
For example, our parishes have
a pastor and a parochial vicar.
When the pastor goes away, the
vicar is in charge. The vicar
isn't the pastor, nor does he
assume his office, but he's a
kind of deputy. The perfect example
of this is Matthew 24:45-50. The
master goes away (this symbolizes
the Ascension), and the master
puts a servant in charge of his
household to feed them (cf. John
21:17) until he returns. So all
the pope is the "Servant
of the servants of God" (an
official title) who is in charge
of Christ's earthly kingdom with
his authority until he returns.
Mary is not a part of God, or
a god. She is the most perfect
creature, a sterling symbol of
the Church and image of what we
strive to become. She is not divine
in the way you are probably thinking
of it, but like us, she is a partaker
of the divine nature (2 Peter
St. Athanasius of Alexandria,
4th century champion of orthodoxy,
"God became man so that
men might become God"
and she is the exemplar of that,
but I would not go around saying "Mary
is divine" or
"Mary is God". This
is a distortion. Like I said,
she is an image of what we all
The same applies to the saints.
The concept of deification is
a complex one and one that will
probably just confuse you, but
the essence of salvation is that
we become by grace what Christ
is by nature, sharers in the divine
nature (2 Peter 1:4), filled with
all the fullness of God (Ephesians
3:19, 4:13). There will always
be an infinite gap between us
and the Most Holy Trinity; we
will never become independent
gods but we will be transformed
by and share in the divine life.
Do a Google search on theosis, divinization, or deification.
You can find an answer for your last question with a different Google search or read: