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Friday, September 16, 2016

The "One Mediator" Objection to Catholicism

If you've ever been in a discussion with non-Catholic Christians about what they object to in Catholicism, chances are this verse will come up:  

There is also one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,--1 Timothy 2

Criticism is raised that Catholics ignore the above verse when they 1) seek forgiveness through a priest 2) pray to saints.

We respond:  as the above verse is part of our 2nd reading this Sunday, clearly we don't "ignore" this verse.  We will proclaim it loudly and proudly this Sunday at all Roman Catholic churches throughout the world!

However, is it true that we don't really adhere to it?  Doesn't the fact that Jesus is our One Mediator mean that we
don't need to go to a priest to confess our sins, nor pray to dead saints in heaven?

I think the Catholic response is:  we always give a hearty "amen!" to everything the inspired writers profess.  The verse, however, just doesn't mean what some Protestants think it means.

Jesus is, indeed, our One Mediator, but ALL OF US are also mediators in and through our union with Jesus' One Mediatorship.

It's the ever present Catholic Both/And here at work.  Jesus is indeed our One Mediator, AND we are mediators.

A mediator is simply someone who "gets in the middle":

-Christ "got in the middle" of humanity and God.  

-We "get in the middle" of an unbeliever and God when we present God's word to him through evangelization.  

-The Church "gets in the middle" of its flock and God when it offers worship services.  

-A pastor "gets in the middle" of his congregation and God when he preaches a sermon.

-Protestants ask folks to "get in the middle" when they send out an email for their church's Prayer Chain, asking every church member to "get in the middle" of the hospitalized loved one and God.

So no Protestant should object to Christians mediating for others, and that would include a priest, mediating our reconciliation with God through the Sacrament of Confession, and saints, mediating our prayer requests through novenas, intercessory prayers to them, devotions to their holy lives.

In fact, all Christians are called to mediate the Grace of God to the world!  And the human mediator par excellence is Mary, the Mother of God, who mediated to us the Divine Word Made Flesh through her cooperation with the Incarnation!

Short Video: 
Apologist Trent Horn -Isn't Christ the only mediator between God and man?

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