For several years, high officials of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches have been meeting to find ways to get the two back together. Now, the commission has released a document that claims agreement on Catholic teaching on The Virgin Mary.
According to Catholicism, Mary was born without sin and went bodily to heaven when she died. In 1854, Pope Pius IX made the "infallible" declaration that she was born without sin (Immaculate Conception). Pope Pius XII followed up in 1950 with a similar declaration that she went, in her body, straight to heaven when she died (The Assumption).
The commission document is a study paper for the leaders of both groups to consider before acceptance by the whole congregations. Of course, acceptance by Roman Catholicism is no problem. They did not move their position. The Anglicans just gave in to standard Vatican teachings.
Whenever Rome is involved in "ecumenical" attempts at unification, it always must go their way. The pope claims to possess all truth and revelation and unity can only come by accepting it. Negotiations are not an option.
This small step back toward Rome is to be expected, according to author Dave Hunt. In his book explaining the prophecy of the woman who is riding the beast in Revelation 17, he details a world-wide trend to goddess worship. "The ecumenical power of this Mary is found in the fact that she provides a new deity to whom the followers of all religions can look - a female deity in step with the spirit of our age," Hunt writes in A Woman Rides The Beast.
He gives many details of apparitions of this goddess appearing all over the world to Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists as well as Roman Catholics. He shows that this Virgin Mary is honored by thousands of shrines, world wide. But, shrines to Jesus are almost nonexistent.
Catholics take issue with calling their Virgin Mary a goddess. However, they have ascribed to her all the attributes of deity. Roman Catholics believe she can hear millions of prayers at once and arrange for answers. Hunt points out: "The pope asks Mary to comfort, guide, strengthen and protect 'the whole of humanity.' To do so she would have to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere at once." These abilities belong only to God.
"Catholics try to explain it away, but the fact is that Catholicism's Mary is exalted above Christ and God," concludes Hunt. A Woman Rides the Beast describes dozens of other ways that Roman Catholicism is whitewashed paganism destined for harsh judgment in the end times.