Book Critique of MARY, The Church at the Source by Ratzinger and Balthasar

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

MARY, The Church at the Source
Thoughts on the place of Marian Doctrine and piety in faith and theology as a whole
By Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI)

THE SIGN OF THE WOMAN – Four Focal Points of the Text

2) The Sign of the Woman

Page 51: The encyclical’s catechesis on faith implies the idea of the way and, therefore, of history. Not surprisingly, then, it contains a second line of thought focusing on how Mary shows the way for history, how she is the sign of the times – once again in close connection with the biblical word.
Note: Roman Catholic doctrines are disconnected from the biblical word.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1.
Note: Faith has nothing to do with Mary.

Page 51: The twelfth chapter of the Book of Revelation speaks of the sign of the woman, a sign that is given in a particular moment of history, in order to define the communion between heaven and earth forever after. This text contains a reference – which is impossible to miss – to the Bible’s depiction of the beginning of history, to the mysterious passage that tradition has called the Protoevangelium: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Gen 3:15)
Note: The nation of Israel was recognized as a woman by God.
Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also. So it came to pass, through her casual harlotry, that she defiled the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 3:8-10.
Note: The prophecy in Genesis 3:15 has nothing to do with Mary.

Pages 51-52: The Fathers saw God’s words of punishment to the serpent after the Fall as a first promise of the Redeemer – an allusion to the Descendant that bruises the serpent’s head. There has never been a moment in history without a gospel. At the very moment of the Fall, the promise also begins. The Fathers also attached importance to the fact that Christology and Mariology are inseparably interwoven already in this primordial beginning. The first promise of Christ, which stands in a chiaroscuro and which only the light to come finally deciphers, is a promise to and through the woman.
Note: Saint Paul never acknowledged Mariology in his Christology.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. Romans 5:12-15.
Note: Will you believe Saint Paul or Roman Catholic dark age doctrines?

Page 52: Revelation is a way, and it does not speak its message until the whole is present. This fact becomes clear precisely in the analysis of the Genesis text. The theme of the history that is to come is played out in three actors: The woman, her descendant, and the serpent. The woman’s descendant presages blessing and liberation: he bruises the serpent’s head. And yet, curse and slavery do not lose their power: the serpent strikes at his heel. Blessing and curse seem equally matched, and the outcome of the whole story remains uncertain. The same three actors appear once more in the Book of Revelation. The drama of history has come to its hour of decision. But this decision has already been taken in the events of Nazareth: “Hail, full of grace”, the angel had said there to Mary, who now takes her place as the woman upon whom the definitive blessing rests.
Note: Mary should never be confused with the nation of Israel.
Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Revelation 21:9-13.
Note: Will you believe Saint John or Roman Catholic dark age doctrines?

Page 52: Following the principle of the self-interpretation of Scripture, the Pope explains the significance of these words of blessing using the opening formula of the Letter to the Ephesians, which works with the same vocabulary and thus can unlock its meaning: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world … He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ … to the praise of his glorious grace. (Eph 1:3-6; Redemptoris Mater, no. 17)
Note: Grace and redemption are found only in Jesus Christ not Mary.
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26.

Page 53: The word “full of grace” refers to the conclusiveness of the blessing of which the Letter to the Ephesians speaks. It is also evident in the same Letter that the “Son” has decided the drama of history definitively in favor of blessing. This is why Mary, who has given him birth, is truly “full of grace” – she becomes a sign to history. The angel’s greeting makes it clear that the blessing is more powerful than the curse. The sign of the woman has become the sign of hope; she is the signpost of hope. God’s decision for man that becomes visible in her “is more powerful than any experience of evil and sin, than all the ‘enmity’ that marks the history of men” (no. 11).
Note: The word “full of grace” is not found in Scripture.
Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” Luke 1:26-28.
Note: Why does the Roman Catholic church fail to use the principle of the self-interpretation of Scripture?

Page 53: In this perspective, the Marian year signals the Pope’s intention to present the “sign of the woman” in this hour of history as the essential “sign of the times”. It is on the path shown by this sign that we follow the trail of hope toward Christ, who guides the ways of history through this sign that points the way.
Note: The sign of the woman is the nation of Israel.
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Romans 11:25-27.
Note: Why does the Roman Catholic church fail to use the principle of the self-interpretation of Scripture?