Part One

What happened to the mother of Jesus Christ at the end of her life? The answer you get depends upon whom you ask. “Nothing at all unusual,” say Protestants. “A miracle! She was taken directly to heaven!”, say Catholics—at least those who know that Pope Pius XII solemnly proclaimed the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a dogma which we must believe:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever-Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory (1).

As a general matter, Protestants have been averse to honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary ever since the Reformation persuaded them that such veneration is a vestige of “Popery” (2). Moreover, their view of an individual’s conscience as being the supreme moral arbiter has led them to reject papal infallibility and the binding nature of the Magisterium in general. But, for many of them, the Assumption represents the quintessence of what they reject in Catholicism because it lacks the Scriptural support which they insist must underpin dogma (3). […]

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