By: Modesto P. Sa-onoy
THE Catholic News Agency sent out a review by Andrea Picciotti Bayer of the book, The Anti-Mary. The article answers many questions that had bugged me for some time, especially when I was writing the Church on a Hill, a comprehensive history of the Catholic Church in Negros. My book cited several instances of the hatred of anti-Catholics for Mary, the mother of Jesus and many attempts to discourage Catholics from giving her any importance in the history of salvation. Despite these, the Filipinos’ love for Mary and devotions to her under many titles keep on growing.
I had been puzzled why anti-Catholics would be against the mother of Jesus that they also believe to be the Son of God, or at least to some as a Great Prophet or Teacher. She did them no harm and yet she is a prime target. As we can see, the attempts had failed and in fact devotion to her had grown by the years.
October is the month dedicated to Mary under the title as Queen of the Most Holy Rosary. This month daily, the public recitation of the Holy Rosary commemorates her life and devotion to Jesus and her role in the salvation of mankind. This dedication is universal. For the Diocese of Bacolod, her feast day is the second Sunday of October. The Holy Rosary is the secondary patron of the diocese but primary in many parishes.
This review explains many things that had been known for years but had grown with great intensity today. In focus is the rise of the feminist movement, the cult that is explained in the book as anti-Mary.
Most of us, even the most devoted to Mary have never really captured the essence and implications of this anti-Mary movement because it is shrouded with the deceptive clothing of women’s rights that include contraception, abortion, reproductive rights, pro-choice, same-sex marriages and the rising tide of the LGBT movements. Fully understood we can see the hand of the anti-Mary in demands for women deacons, priests, and bishops. Some Christian congregations have already adopted the ordination of women and brought them into the high positions in their hierarchy.
Let’s quote some of the relevant portions.
“Why are so many women so angry today? Don’t get me wrong. Confronting abuse, harassment, and unfair treatment demands a certain toughness and righteous anger. But more than the injustices of the day seem to be making women really angry. Dr. Carrie Gress’ thought-provoking new book, The Anti-Mary Exposed: Rescuing the Culture from Toxic Femininity, offers a convincing explanation: We live in an age of the Anti-Mary.
“It is well-accepted, at least in Catholic circles, that Mary brought a unique spirit into the world as the Mother of God. She is the anti-Eve, the New Eve. Gress builds upon this understanding and argues that ‘[i]f Christ is the New Adam and Mary the New Eve it makes sense to consider that an antichrist could have a female complement.” This complement is an anti-Marian spirit that ‘animates an entire movement and the individuals engaged in it.’ That movement is what passes for feminism today.
What does this “anti-Marian spirit” look like? Picciotti Bayer quotes from the book:
“[A] woman in its grip would not value children. She would be bawdy, vulgar, and angry. She would rage against the idea of anything resembling humble obedience or self-sacrifice for others. She would be petulant, shallow, catty and over sensuous. She would also be self-absorbed, manipulative, gossipy, anxious, self-serving, and ambitious. In short, she would be everything that Mary is not. She would bristle especially at the idea of being a virgin or a mother.”
How many times we have heard the same description even among our women leaders, especially in Congress and in the social circles now promoting divorce and the LGBT agenda? Some of them claim to be Catholics.
Picciotti Bayer continues.
“The description is bracing and familiar. I know this spirit. At my best, I struggle against it. At my worst, I am overtaken by aspects of it. We probably all are, women and men, as individuals. Gress, however, is arguing that this unattractive ‘anti-Marian spirit’ has become something of a spirit of the age for far too many women today. The result is prevailing anger. And a prevailing discontent.”
Let’s continue next Saturday.