Monday, April 2, 2012

I Started Making Video Blogs-Deo Gratias


New on making videos and would like to share my insights and experiences with fellow catholics or other christians who are interested. Here's my first one beginning on the First Day of the Holy Week: Palm Sunday the start of our Lord's Passion.
Summary:
On my way to Church for Palm Sunday, I waited for the bus at the stop holding my New Roman Missal 3rd edition and a guy approached me and started asking question about my religion.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

GERRY SOLIMAN: THE "MEDIATRIX" OF DISGRACE? by Bro Marwil Llasos

 


EXPOSING RODEMONIAN DECEPTIONS
Mr. Gerry Soliman, owner of the blog Solutions Finder Apologetics (now) with three (3) followers (my congratulations!), has been in a habit of finding contradictions between Catholic apologists. Although he is eventually proven wrong, he would just shrug his soldier and move on to the next “contradiction.” With a thick face of a pachyderm, Mr. Soliman never had the civility or decency to admit his mistake. Perhaps he thinks that he is infallible after all.
In his article A Short Note on Mediatorship, available at http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2010/08/short-note-on-mediatorship.html, I am thankful that Mr. Gerry Soliman has categorically admitted:
“We all know that Roman Catholics consider as Mary as Mediatrix and that in no way this title is in conflict with the one mediatorship of Christ in 1st Timothy 2:5.”
This is great news to me. Mr. Soliman candidly admitted (at last) that he knows that Mary’s title of Mediatrix in no way conflicts with the one mediatorship of Christ in 1 Timothy 2:5. If that is so, there is really no reason for him to bark against Mary’s title. After all, it does not conflict with Christ’s one mediatorship. At least, Mr. Soliman and I are in full agreement on this part.
Gerry Soliman's "Marian" Devotion
(from Gerald John P. Soliman's Facebook account)
Mr. Gerry Soliman called me “a Marian dogma defender.” I thank him for honoring me thus. However, I wish to point out something. In my article that Mr. Soliman quoted, I was explaining Mary’s title of “Mediatrix” – and as all Catholics know, Mediatrix is not a dogma of the Catholic Church! So here it is clear that Mr. Gerry Soliman’s knowledge of Catholic teaching on Mary is almost totally bereft and his research is once again proven to be nil. This, again, goes into the credibility and competence of Mr. Soliman as a critic of Catholic Mariology.
Like a true cockfighter, Mr. Soliman engaged in his favorite past time by pitting me (again) with Rev. Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS. He claimed, falsely, that my use of “primary” mediator in reference to Christ conflicts with Fr. Arganiosa’s use of “only mediator.” In glee, Mr. Soliman asked, “So what's it gonna be, primary mediator or only mediator?”
          It’s gonna be that Mr. Gerry Soliman will be exposed once more for his shallowness and utter lack of reading comprehension. It’s gonna be that Mr. Soliman’s intellectual dishonesty, deception and misrepresentation will be revealed anew - for the nth time.
This is what Mr. Soliman quoted from me:
           “I already explained in my blog that the Greek word for “one” used in 2 Timothy 2:5 is heis and not monos. Monos signifies “only” in the sense of exclusive uniqueness. On the other hand, heis is “one” in the sense of “sameness” of function. My reading of Paul’s second letter to Timothy is that the writer of the epistle is clearly aware of the distinction between monos and heis. Paul uses monos in every other instance of “one” in his epistle in order to signify uniqueness but uses instead heis only in this passage.
           I believe that the Catholic exegesis of 2 Timothy 2:5 is the correct one. Jesus Christ is the “one” mediator between God and man in the sense of being the primary mediator and all other mediators participate in His one mediation.”
The foregoing, according to Mr. Soliman, conflicts with Fr. Arganiosa’s statement that
And to repeat Soliman’s taunt: “So what's it gonna be, primary mediator or only mediator?”
Mr. Soliman is not alone in this accusation. He is joined by his clone, the late Franklin Li of the now busted Papal Busters blog: The view of Mary as the mediator. According to Atty. Marwil Llasos, Mary is a secondary co-mediator [I wonder if I ever used the expression “secondary co-mediator” in my article – ed.]. However according to Abraham Arganiosa, Jesus is the only mediator.” Readers may attempt to dig Franklin Li’s remains here:
         Lest the readers be mislead by the cunning Rodemonian deception, I invite them to read my and Fr. Arganiosa’s articles in toto.
         Let me now invite your attention to just a few things.
First, Fr. Arganiosa’s article is about the Papacy, specifically with St. Peter being the First Pope. In the quote yanked by Mr. Soliman from Fr. Arganiosa’s article, Fr. Arganiosa is responding to the accusation of blasphemy for the Pope to use the title “Pontifex Maximus” because according to the accuser “Pontifex Maximus” is a name of blasphemy for a man to take, and Peter never saw himself as such. Jesus Christ is the only Bridge Maker between earth and heaven. John 1:51.” Rev. Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS emphatically replied:
“JESUS IS THE ONLY MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. THAT IS WHY WE DO NOT TEACH THAT THE POPE IS A MEDIATOR BETWEEN GOD AND MAN. WE CALL THE POPE VICAR OF CHRIST WHICH MEANS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF CHRIST AS PETER WAS AFTER THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD JESUS. WE NEVER CALL THE POPE A 'BRIDGE'. PLEASE STOP SINGING 'BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER' IN YOUR MIND SO THAT YOUR DELUSIONS WILL CEASE.”
            I never opposed or contradicted that statement of Fr. Arganiosa. In fact, I also wrote an article supporting and supplementing Fr. Arganiosa’s article which may be found here:
What Mr. Soliman is hiding from his readers is the fact that I said:
“Obviously, Peter did not accept the title "Pontifex Maximus" because it was then used by the Roman Emperors at that time. It was only accepted by the Bishops of Rome after Constantine parted with it, thereby acknowledging the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Vicar of Christ, the Mediator between God and Man (1 Tim. 2:5). The acceptance of this title by the Pope was symbolic of the victory and triumph of Christianity over the pagan Roman Empire.”
           Note that Fr. Arganiosa’s statement that “Jesus is the only Mediator between God and Man” is a direct reference from 1 Timothy 2:5, which is also the same Bible verse I quoted. It is plain deception for Mr. Soliman for not having pointed that out. Clearly, Mr. Soliman’s purpose is not to arrive at the truth, rather to deceive and mislead many by his gross misrepresentation.
Let’s now get this issue over and done with.
           I did use the expression “primary mediator” in a sense that all other “mediators” participate in the “one” mediation of the God-Man Jesus Christ. Now, the question is: Did I deny that Christ is the “one” or only Mediator between God and Man according to 1 Timothy 2:5? I challenge Mr. Soliman to come out with a single shred of proof that I am denying Our Lord Jesus Christ as the “one” Mediator between God and Man (1 Tim. 2:5). Did I ever say or believe that Jesus is not the one Mediator between God and Man? I wish Mr. Gerry Soliman could present proof on that.
           If I ever denied that Jesus is the “one” Mediator between God and man – and if I ever said or believed that Jesus is not what 1 Timothy 2:5 claims He is, then that’s the time that I would be guilty of contradicting not only Fr. Abraham Arganiosa and Catholic teaching, but also God’s inspired Word in 1 Timothy 2:5.
           I am sure (or at least expect) that Mr. Soliman has read my entire article. I challenge him now to show to me the statement that I denied that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the one and only Mediator between God and Man. If he couldn’t, then he is guilty of false accusation, misrepresentation and deception for which he must apologize and repent from.
In my article, I expressed that:
“The Catholic Church, along with 1 Timothy 2:5, teaches and proclaims that Jesus is the “one mediator between God and man.” The issue is: what is meant by “one” in 1 Timothy 2:5? We need to know what God’s inspired word means by “one” in the passage.”
It is very clear, perhaps not to Gerry Soliman (because of his faulty reading comprehension as usual), that the Catholic Church to which I belong teaches and proclaims that Jesus Christ is the “one Mediator between God and man” based on 1 Timothy 2:5. I have not contradicted Fr. Arganiosa, the Catholic Church or the Bible because we are one in teaching and proclaiming that Jesus is “one Mediator between God and man.”
What about my use of “primary mediator”? It is also clear in the above-quoted that statement that I was concerned about what the Bible means by “one” in 1 Timothy 2:5. That’s why I said, citing exegetes, that I believe that the Catholic exegesis of 2 Timothy 2:5 is the correct one. Jesus Christ is the “one” mediator between God and man in the sense of being the primary mediator and all other mediators participate in His one mediation.”
I don’t understand why Mr. Soliman doesn’t get it. I fear that his anti-Catholic bias has gotten into the way of correct thinking and reading comprehension.
To stress anew, I made a follow up statement, thus:
"We already explained that the Greek word used for “one” in the passage does not mean exclusivity but admits of participation. Exegete Manuel Miguens argues that 1 Timothy 2:5 does not talk of exclusivity of mediation. According to him, the passage is better translated: “There is one and the same God [for all], there is also one and the same mediator for all” [Manuel Miguens, Mary “The Servant of the Lord”: An Ecumenical Proposal (Boston: Daughters of St. Paul, 1978) p. 168-170]. Thus, the passage is not intended to rule out other mediators."
Remember: “context, context and still more context,” Mr. Soliman. How could you ever forget that?
On the other hand, for Mr. Gerry Soliman to successfully prove based on his allegation that Fr. Abraham Arganiosa contradicted my use of “primary mediator,” he must present a statement from Fr. Arganiosa that he is opposed to my explanation of “one” mediator in 1 Timothy 2:5 in the concept of “primary mediator.” If he can’t, then his allegation that Fr. Arganiosa and I contradicted each other once again falls flat on his face. It is another thud.

HOW NOT TO REHABILITATE YOUR BATTERED CREDIBILITY

Franz Luigi Lugena Responds to Gerry Soliman on Eliphaz the Temanite

Bro. Franz Luigi Lugena debunks Gerry Soliman
Mr. Gerry Soliman a.k.a Rodimus of the thebereans.net, in his effort to extricate himself from the pit of shame as a result of his exchanges with Bro. Marwil Llasos, [wherein he was exposed deliberately misinterpreting the statements of Fr. Abe Arganiosa, CRS and Bro. Marwil to force the notion of the existence of contradiction between the two when in fact they are actually talking about different things] tried to shift the attention of his readers by jumping to another topic [he abandoned the issue regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary], this time on the question as to whether Eliphaz is unrighteous or not.
Rodimus is really desperate to get even, going as far as resorting to underhanded tricks to avenge his already damaged reputation incurred from previous skirmishes with catholic apologists. The guy used again his worn out “divide and conquer” tactics by pitting my statements on the subject against Bro. Mars’, willfully disregarding the contexts of our respective statements. Bro. Mars countered that there is no contradiction since he and I were talking about two different moments in Eliphaz’s life: He (Bro. Mars) on the unrighteous Eliphaz questioning the practice of calling on saints (Job 5:1), and I on the already forgiven Eliphaz courtesy of the prayer of Job, who is also a saint. (Job 42:8-10) In his latest blog entry, Mr. Soliman (Rodimus) countered that I “betrayed” Bro. Mars’ position:

From the above, Atty. Llasos asserts that he and Mr. Lugena were talking about two different chapters in the life of Eliphaz. Atty. Llasos was pertaining to the life of Eliphaz where he was still unrighteous while Mr. Lugena was pertaining to a forgiven Eliphaz. Unfortunately, Atty. Llasos is betrayed by this argument of Kapatas:
Nagkamali si Eliphaz yes, pero hindi ibig sabihin eh talagang masama syang tao. Si Haring David ay nagkasala ng pangangalunya pero hindi talaga sya masamang tao. Kaya wag husgahan ang tao sa isang nagawang kamalian. Para namang ang babanal nyo.

[Eliphaz was wrong, yes, but that doesn't mean that he is really an evil person. King David sinned by committing adultery but he is really not an evil person. So don't judge a person who made a mistake, as if you're holy.]

Gerry Soliman and his sign
Mr. Lugena gave a similar instance in the person of King David. To begin with, David found favor with God and made him king. But David committed adultery. David repented and he was forgiven. If Mr. Lugena related the person of David to the person of Eliphaz, it only means that for Mr. Lugena Eliphaz was a good man who committed sin.
It seems like Rodimus is implying that for me, Eliphaz was still a good man even though he committed transgression against God. I think this is a case of a depraved imagination working overtime. Let me set things straight: My statement: “Nagkamali si Eliphaz yes, pero hindi ibig sabihin eh talagang masama syang tao,” refers to the reality that Eliphaz, though sinning against God was later forgiven. Taking this into account, you cannot say that Eliphaz is really an evil person. But this doesn’t mean that “Eliphaz remains righteous after sinning” either. The fact that he was forgiven by God shows that Eliphaz had sinned previously and therefore unrighteous. But he didn’t remain in that state because he was forgiven later as the scripture shows.
Catholic apologists Bro. Franz Luigi Lugena and Bro. Mars Llasos
Rodimus also pointed out that ME, agreeing with Bro. Mars that Eliphaz is unrighteous in Job 5:1 will prove inconsistent with my position in Job 22:15, because it will only mean that Eliphaz’s statements in Job 22:15 is also wrong.
So if Mr. Lugena were to agree with the explanation of Atty. Llasos (that Eliphaz was previously unrighteous in Job 5:1) it would not help the case of Mr. Lugena since now it can be interpreted that Eliphaz was wrong in Job 22:15. Furthermore, Mr. Lugena already stated that Eliphaz was not really an evil person.
This is a proof that Mr. Soliman (Rodimus) didn’t read his bible well. Eliphaz is unrighteous precisely because Eliphaz had not said right things about God.
Job 42:7 After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eli'phaz the Te'manite: "My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
So those things that Eliphaz said about God that are wrong. With regards to other statements of Eliphaz including the “Ang Dating Daan na nilakaran ng mga masamang tao” in Job 22:15, the Bible doesn’t make an affirmation that they are also wrong. To conclude as such is really unusual for a sola scriptura believer like Mr. Soliman (Rodimus). That is clearly “going beyond what was written.” So Mr. Soliman, in his effort to discredit the Catholic Church, is willing to abandon his sola scriptura credo. That is very revealing.
"Now does it mean that Eliphaz’s statements in Job 5:1 is correct as well? [since said verse is not about God but rather about his criticism on the practice of calling on saints] Of course not. Contrary to Eliphaz's statements in Job 5:1, the scripture demonstrated that it is not wrong to call on saints and ask for their prayers because their prayers do help other people spiritually speaking."
Job 1:5 After each feast, Job would send for his children and perform a ceremony, as a way of asking God to forgive them of any wrongs they may have done. He would get up early the next morning and offer a sacrifice for each of them, just in case they had sinned or silently cursed God.
Job 42:8-10 So I want you to go over to Job and offer seven bulls and seven goats on an altar as a sacrifice to please me. After this, Job will pray, and I will agree not to punish you for your foolishness. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar obeyed the LORD, and he answered Job's prayer.
After Job had prayed for his three friends, the LORD made Job twice as rich as he had been before.
Clearly, Eliphaz' statements in Job 5:1 is wrong. He himself was forgiven precisely because of the prayers of Job, who is himself a saint. The question as to the correctness of Eliphaz’s statements in Job 22:15 is another matter. Job 22:15 is not about God but rather about “ang dating daan” and therefore not included in the wrong things that Eliphaz had said in his conversation with Job. For it to be wrong, Rodimus must first show us verses stating as such. For Rodimus to conclude that Job 22:15 is wrong without biblical verses will be suicide on his part, him being a sola scriptura believer.
As regards to Mr. Soliman’s question: Was Eliphaz really unrighteous when he was talking to Job? My answer is this: Eliphaz was unrighteous when he failed to say right things about God in his conversation with Job. This is verified by God himself in Job 42:7. But Eliphaz didn’t remain in unrighteous state for he was forgiven later. Taking this into account, Eliphaz is not really an evil man.
Now, I want to return the favor and ask Mr. Soliman the following questions: (1) After failing to say right things about God, was Eliphaz righteous or not? (2) Is the statement of Eliphaz in Job 22:15 right or wrong?

I expect Mr. Soliman to answer these questions. Let’s see his stand on the issue.
Franz Luigi Lugena, Fr. Abraham P. Arganiosa, CRS and Marwil N. Llasos, OP
in
The Splendor of the Church

Friday, February 4, 2011

SI GERRY SOLIMAN AT SI ELIPHAZ ni Bro. Marwil Llasos, OP

SI GERRY SOLIMAN AT SI ELIPHAZ


SI GERRY SOLIMAN AT SI ELIPHAZ

Si “GINOONG KONTRADIKSIYON” a.k.a. GERALD JOHN P. SOLIMAN na may ari ng nilalangaw na blog na SOLUTIONS FINDER APOLOGETICS ay minsang nag-akusa sa akin at sa aking kapatid na tagapaghatanod ng Santa Iglesia na si G. FRANZ LUIGI LUGENA na kasamahan ni REBERENDO PADRE ABRAHAM P. ARGANIOSA, CRS sa palatuntunang pantelebisyon na “THE SPLENDOR OF THE CHURCH” ng AITV-5 sa dakilang lalawigan ng Sorsogon.
Ang Kapatid na Franz ay isang magiting na tagapagtanggol ng pananampalatayang Katoliko laban sa panduduwahagi ng ating mga kaibayo. Katunayan, marami nang pagkakataon na pinataob ni Kapatid na Franz ang kaniyang mga kadiskusyon sa Bereans Forum. Wala silang panama sa batang-bata ngunit magaling na tagapagtanggol na ito ng pananampalatayang Katoliko na mas kilala sa taguring KAPATAS at PARABANOG.
Si Franz Luigi Lugena at masasabi kong isa sa mga hinahangaan kong Catholic apologists sa ating bansa. Marami na kaming pagkakataon na nagkasama sa pakikipagdigma laban sa mga tampalasan, mga ereje, filibusteros, mga infieles at mga kaaway na nanduduwahagi sa karangalan ng Dios at ng Kaniyang nag-iisang Iglesia, ang Iglesia Katolika Apostolika Romana. Nagkakaparehas kami ng pananaw sapagkat kami ay parehas na tumatalima sa mga dalisay na aral ng Salita ng Dios na tanging sa loob lamang ng Santa Iglesia matatagpuan ng buong-buo at buong ningning. Samakatuwid baga’y, wala ni isa man sa aming pananaw panrelihiyon ni Kapatid na Franz ang nagkakasalungatan.
G. GERALD JOHN P. SOLIMAN a.k.a. GERRY SOLIMAN a.k.a. RODIMUS (hango sa kaniyang Facebook account)
Ngunit may mga taong katulad ni G. GERRY SOLIMAN na intrigero, chismoso at ubod na palabintangin. Ang taong ito ay parang isang ahas na bagamat nagkukubli sa pilapilan ay handang manuklaw kapag may pagkakataon. Nakasanayan na ni G. Soliman ang masamang gawaing ito. Isa sa kaniyang di kanais-nais na gawain ay ang maghanap ng inaakala niyang kontradiksiyon sa mga pananaw ng mga manananggol Katoliko. Sa maraming pagkakataon na nasaksihan ng balana, naipakita natin sa madla na ang mga paratang ni G. Soliman ay pawang hindi totoo. Saksi ang mga tagabasa ng blog na ito at ng iba pang mga blog sa tahasang pagsisinungaling ni G. Soliman sa di-mabilang na pagkakataon. Tila yata walang kadala-dala itong si G. Soliman sa kaniyang lihis na gawain. Lahat ng mga intriga at chismis na pinagkakakalat niya ay sumasambulat naman sa kaniyang sariling mukha. Nawalan na yata ng hiya itong si G. Soliman. Kung sabagay, manang-mana siya sa kaniyang Amang Diablo, na ayon sa binabanggit ng Biblia:
“Kayo'y sa inyong amang diablo, at ang mga nais ng inyong ama ang ibig ninyong gawin. Siya'y isang mamamatay-tao buhat pa nang una, at hindi nananatili sa katotohanan, sapagka't walang katotohanan sa kaniya. Pagka nagsasalita siya ng kasinungalingan, ay nagsasalita siya ng sa ganang kaniya: sapagka't siya'y isang sinungaling, at ama nito” (Juan 8:44).
Kung ano ang puno, siya ang bunga. Ang Diablo ayon sa Banal na Kasulatan ay ang “tagapagsumbong sa ating mga kapatid” gaya ng binabanggit sa Apocalipsis 12:10 –
“At narinig ko ang isang malakas na tinig sa langit, na nagsasabi, Ngayo'y dumating ang kaligtasan, at ang kapangyarihan, at ang kaharian ng ating Dios, at ang kapamahalaan ng kaniyang Cristo: sapagka't inihagis na ang tagapagsumbong sa ating mga kapatid na siyang sa kanila'y nagsusumbong sa harapan ng ating Dios araw at gabi.”
Halos walang pinagkaiba ang gawain ni G. Soliman sa kaniyang amang Diablo, ang maging tagapagsumbong ng mga bagay-bagay na pawang walang katotohanan. Alalaong baga’y ang pagbibintang para lamang makapanira ng kapuwa at makapandaya ng mga hirang ng Dios. Manang-mana talaga sa kaniyang amang sinungaling (cf. Juan 8:44).
Halina’t muli na naman nating tunghayan ang mga kasinungalingan ni G. Gerry Soliman. Sa kaniyang pagpapalusot sa kaniyang sagot sa aking mga argumento at todo-iwas sa mga puntos na aking ibinato, kagyat na inilihis ni G. Soliman ang usapan at ito ay ibinaling niya sa diumano’y hindi ko masagot na pagkakasalungatan namin ng kapuwa ko depensor Katoliko. Isa dito ay ang usapin kung si Eliphaz ay mabuti o masama. Malinaw na isinasabong niya kami ng Kapatid na Franz Luigi Lugena.
Para sa ikababatid ng lahat, wala akong hilig na tumingin sa blog ni G. Gerry Soliman at sa katulad niyang mga palamara sapagkat wala naman itong kakuwenta-kuwenta. Katunayan, madalas pa sa ulan kapag may El NiƱo ang bumibisita dito. Maliban diyan, dadalawa lamang ang kaniyang mga tagasunod. Anupa’t pag-aaksayahan ko ng panahon ang blog na binabangaw din naman?
May mga pagkakataon na ako’y sumasagot sa mga artikulo ni G. Soliman. Una, kung siya ay nagpapaskel ng komento sa aking blog at maayos ko namang sinasagot ang mga ito. Pangalawa, kapag tinatawagan ang aking pansin ang aking mga kapatid at kapanalig sa Iglesia na nagnanais na tumugon ako sa mga paksang sinulat ni G. Soliman.
Yaman din lamang na si G. Soliman na rin mismo ang umungkat ng usapin, pagdadamutan kong sagutin ang kaniyang mga pasaring at pagbubulaanan. Uunahin ko ang paksang pagkokontrahan diumano namin ng Kapatid na Franz.
Ang mga walang kapararaang birada ni G. Gerry Soliman ay matatagpuan sa (http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2011/01/is-eliphaz-good-or-bad.html).
ELIPHAZ THE TEMANITE
Tunghayan natin ang pagsasabong sa aming dalawa ni Kapatid na Franz Luigi Lugena ng intrigero, chismoso at “sabungerong” si Gerry Soliman:
According to Atty. Marwil Llasos:
So for Atty. Llasos, Eliphaz is unrighteous. Eliphaz is not like his friend Job who is righteous and shuns evil. And Atty. Llasos even identifies Eliphaz with Born Again Christians.
However, for Mr. Franz Luigi Lugena (aka Kapatas and Parabanog), an apprentice of Fr. Abe Arganiosa:
Oooh, so Eliphaz is not an evil person according to Mr. Lugena. So, let's leave the two of them to settle their differences.
Talaga nga po namang pinanawan na ng kahit na gahiblang katinuan itong si G. Gerry Soliman. Para lamang may maipukol sa mga tagapagtanggol Katoliko, aba eh pinapalabas niya na kami ay nagkakasalungatan sa aming mga payahag. Sa kaniyang pagsasabong, lumalabas naman ang kasalatan niya sa kaalaman sa Banal na Kasulatan. Kawasay walang muwang sa Salita ng Dios kung kaya’t ang lahat ng kaniyang paninira ay bumabalik din sa kaniya at sumasambulat sa kaniyang mukha. Aba’y pakapalan na lang ata mukha ang puwede niyang gawin.
Titindigan ko ang aking mga pahayag at ipapaliwanag ko sa mapurol na unawa ni G. Soliman kung bakit wala kaming pagkakasalungatan ng Kapatid na Franz. Nananawagan ako sa aking mga masugid na tagasubaybay at magiliw na mambabasa na tunghayan ninyo ang kabuuan ng sinasabi ni Kapatid na Franz dito sa:
At pakitunghayan din po sana ang aking mga sinabi sa
Una ipapapansin ko lamang po sa lahat na mambabasa na magkaibang paksa ang aming pinag-uusapan dine. Ang akin ay tungkol sa pagtawag sa mga banal ni Job (Job 5:1) at ang Kapatid na Franz naman ay tumutugon sa mga pagtutol ng mga kaanib ng Iglesia ng Dios Internasyonal, Inc. (“Ang Dating Daan”) ni G. Eliseo Soriano hinggil sa sinasabi ng Job 22:15: “Iyo bang pagpapatuluyan ANG DATING DAAN, na nilakaran ng mga NG MGA MASAMANG TAO?”
Ngayon po ay dumako na tayo sa lundoy ng usapin. Nagkatunggali ba kami ni Kapatid na Franz sa aming mga pahayag ng sinabi ko na si Eliphaz ay taong di-matuwid at sa kaniya naman ay si Eliphaz ay hindi masamang tao?
Sagot: Hindi po at wala po kaming mga pahayag na nagkokontrahan kung uunawain lamang ng tama an gaming mga pahayag. Sapagkat si G. Gerry Soliman ay wala sa hustong pang-unawa, siya ay nagkamali ng kaniyang pakiwari at kami ay pinaratangan ng pagkakasalungatan. Ganiyan nakapanliligaw ng kapuwa si G. Soliman.
Uriratin natin ang usapin para sa kabatiran ng lahat at upang wala nang mailigaw pa si G. Soliman at ang kaniyang Ama sa 8:44 ng Juan.
Sisipiin ko muli ang aking mga tinuran:
Tanong, ang talatang sinipi ko, ang Job 5:1, kalian ba iyon iyon naganap? Aba’y nung siya ay di pa matuwid at sakdal sapagkat hindi pa pinapatawad ng Dios ng kaniyang mga kasalanan. Kaya, sa aking pagkakagamit ng talata, iyon ay nagpapakita ng kalagayan ni Eliphaz noong hindi pa siya mabuti. Ako ba ang may sabi niyan? Aba’y hindi! Dios mismo ang may sabi niyan. Mismong ang Panginoong Dios ang nagpapatotoo na hindi nagsalita ng matuwid tungkol sa Kaniya sina Eliphaz at kaniyang mga katropa. Ano ang wika ng Dios? Basa!
At nangyari, na pagkatapos na masalita ng Panginoon ang mga salitang ito kay Job, sinabi ng Panginoon kay Eliphaz na Temanita, Ang aking poot ay nagaalab laban sa iyo, at laban sa iyong dalawang kaibigan: sapagka't hindi kayo nangagsalita tungkol sa akin ng bagay na matuwid, na gaya ng ginawa ng aking lingkod na si Job” (Job 42:7).
Aber, kung hindi matuwid si Eliphaz ng mga panahong iyon bakit siya sukat na kagagalitan ng Dios? Iyon ang ipinupunto ko. Doon sa tagpong kinukutya ni Eliphaz si Job sa 5:1, malinaw na hindi siya matuwid. Ngunit ang tao ay maaring magbago eh. At naganap din iyon kay Eliphaz. Sa kalaunan nga siya ay nagbago at napatawad na ng Dios kung kaya’t siya ay naging mabuti at sakdal. Tumalima sila sa ipinag-utos ng Dios para sa ikapagpapatawad ng kanilang mga kasalanan:
“Kaya't magsikuha kayo sa inyo ngayon ng pitong guyang baka, at pitong lalaking tupa, at magsiparoon kayo sa aking lingkod na kay Job, at ihandog ninyo sa ganang inyo na pinakahandog na susunugin: at idadalangin kayo ng aking lingkod na si Job: sapagka't siya'y aking tatanggapin, baka kayo'y aking gawan ng ayon sa inyong kamangmangan; sapagka't hindi kayo nangagsasalita tungkol sa akin ng bagay na matuwid, na gaya ng aking lingkod na si Job. Sa gayo'y nagsiyaon si Eliphaz na Temanita, at si Bildad na Suhita, at si Sophar na Naamatita, at ginawa ang ayon sa iniutos sa kanila ng Panginoon: at nilingap ng Panginoon si Job” (Job 42:8-9).
Katunayan, kinasangkapan pa nga ng Dios ang isang taong banal para sa ikapagpapataw nina Eliphaz at ng kaniyang mga katsukaran eh. Kaya din nga naging mabuti si Eliphaz dahil sa ipinamanhik siya ng matuwid na si Job. Tigib sa awa ang Panginoon: maaari siyang magpatawad ng kasalanan at maaring baguhin ng Kaniyang biyaya ang isang tao gaano pa man siya kasama. Sa tuwi-tuwina, lagi nating aalalahanin:
“Kung ipinahahayag natin ang ating mga kasalanan, ay tapat at banal siya na tayo'y patatawarin sa ating mga kasalanan, at tayo'y lilinisin sa lahat ng kalikuan” (1 Juan 1:9).
Samakatuwid, magkaibang yugto ng buhay ni Eliphaz ang pinapatungkulan namin ni Kapatid na Franz. Ang Eliphaz na di matuwid na aking binabanggit ay ang Eliphaz sa Job 5:1 na kumukutya kay Job na isang taong matuwid: Tumawag ka ngayon; may sasagot ba sa iyo? At sa kanino sa mga banal babalik ka? (Job 5:1).
Sa kabilang dako, ayun naman kay Kapatid na Franz, ang Eliphaz na pinatutungkulan niya ay ang Eliphaz na napatawad na sa kanyang mga kasalanan sa bisa at tulong din naman ng panalangin ni Job (Job. 42:10). DALAWANG MAGKAIBANG YUGTO sa buhay ni Eliphaz ang pinatutungkulan namin ni Kapatid na Franz kung kaya’t paano kami magkakasalungatan? Si Eliphaz ay isang tao na sa una’y masama ngunit pinatawad ang mga kasalanan ng mahabagin at makapangyarihang Dios.
BRO. FRANZ LUIGI LUGENA and ATTY. MARWIL N. LLASOS, OP
Gaya ng kaniyang nakagawian, hinablot ni G. Gerry Soliman sa konteksto at tahasan niyang minali ang pinag-uusapan namin ni Kapatid na Franz. Subalit, hindi pa huli ang lahat kay G. Gerry Soliman. Gaya ni Eliphaz, puwede pa siyang humingi ng tawad at magbago. Katulad ni Job, ipinapanalangin namin ni Kapatid na Franz ang Kapatid na Gerry Soliman para sa lubos na ikapagpapatawad ng kaniyang mga kasalanan.
"Ang hain ng masama ay kasuklamsuklam sa Panginoon: nguni't ang dalangin ng matuwid ay kaniyang kaluguran" (Kawikaan 15:18).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

GERRY SOLIMAN FALTERS ON CHURCH FATHERS by Bro. Marwil Llasos, OP

GERRY SOLIMAN FALTERS ON CHURCH FATHERS



Oecumenius and
Quodvultdeus Versus Rodimus
(a.k.a. Gerry Soliman)
http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/

This is the second part of my rebuttal to Gerry Soliman on the issue on the Woman Clothed with the Sun.
In my previous article “SOLUTIONS TO SOLUTIONS FINDER APOLOGETICS OF GERRY SOLIMAN,” I promised that I would respond to the points raised by Mr. Gerald John P. Soliman (an evangelical apologist who used to be known by his pseudonym Rodimus) based on the division of topics he made in his article at http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2011/01/woman-of-revelations-12-responding-to.html.
Mr. Gerry Soliman’s second point dealt with early ecclesiastical writers Oecumenius and Quodvultdeus. In this rebuttal of Mr. Soliman’s points, I will put his words in red while mine are in black. Quoted portions from my previous articles as well are in blue. Citations from references are in brown.
To provide my dear readers, visitors and followers with a clear perspective of the discussion, I will start with Mr. Soliman’s comments in http://solutions-finder.blogspot.com/2010/11/woman-clothed-with-sun-of-revelations.html. Here is what Mr. Soliman said in his initial article:
“Well if your head is aching already, so is mine. Here is the real score on the Roman Catholic Church on the woman of Revelations 12: They didn't have any official and infallible interpretation of it during the first 300 years of Christianity. In fact, none of the church fathers during that time ever interpreted the woman as Mary. Some of the church fathers referred the woman as Israel, the people of God but never on Mary. Mary as woman clothed with the sun is not an apostolic teaching.”
I already responded to this point in http://bromarwilnllasos.blogspot.com/2011/01/gerry-solimans-intellectual-dishonesty.html. I will restate here the arguments I made.
They didn't have any official and infallible interpretation of it during the first 300 years of Christianity.
I already pointed out that this statement from Mr. Soliman revealed his internal mental inconsistency simply because he consistently and vehemently maintained that the Roman Catholic Church did not exist for the first 300 years of Christianity. If that is so, why is he now he is asking for an official and infallible interpretation of the Roman Catholic Church which he claimed (of course falsely) did not exist for the first 300 years of the Christian era. As Rodimus, Gerry Soliman claimed that the “the Church of Rome was founded only after 300 A.D.” [http://marwil-n-llasos.blogspot.com/2009/03/bereans-are-neither-here-nor-there.html]. In his exchanges with Mr. Isahel Don Alfonso of Catholic Faith Defenders of Davao, Mr. Soliman would also make a similar claim but once pressed to name the founder of the “Roman” Catholic Church in the 300’s, he would parry the challenge and resort to all sorts of subterfuge. (Mr. Alfonso’s blog is http://catholiceternaltruth.blogspot.com).
Why is Mr. Soliman asking for an official and infallible interpretation of the “woman clothed with the sun” in Revelations 12? Only he can tell. Suffice it to state that there was no necessity to do so as no controversy over that interpretation cropped up at that time. Even now, the Catholic Church won’t bother to make a dogmatic statement on such interpretation just to indulge an evangelical blogger with only two (2) followers.
In fact, none of the church fathers during that time ever interpreted the woman as Mary.
Given Gerry Soliman’s adherence to “sola scriptura,” he suddenly became interested in the Fathers of the Church. Thus, I cited scholarly references on the patristic sources on Marian interpretation of the “woman clothed with the sun” in Revelation 12:4.
First, I cited Steve Puluka, a teacher on liturgy, church history and patristic in the on-line religious studies program at Manor College. Mr. Puluka belongs to the Byzantine Catholic Church (http://independent.academia.edu/spuluka). This is what Mr. Puluka stated in extenso:
“While the identification of Mary as the woman in Revelation 12 is well attested in the patristic tradition of the Church, there is no support for this identification in the earliest fathers. Those who dispute this identification with Mary, note that those closest in time to the composition of Revelation don't seem to see Mary in this passage.
The first extant citation is from the 4th century in Epiphanius. This passage merely mentions the association exists without really endorsing the view wholeheartedly himself. He qualifies the identification with [Mary] dare not affirm this with absolute certainty. But this silence of the early evidence is as much a reflection of the dearth of material interpreting Revelation at all from the time period. The references to any aspect of the book are few and far between in the extant literature. But the tepid mention by Epiphanius demonstrates that the existence of a Marian identification of the woman in the same time period was widespread enough that he could not pass the text without comment on it.
Typical of later interpretation of the fathers is Oecumenius; indeed he is likely the source for many later fathers. Oecumenius clearly takes the woman as Mary. She is robed in the Sun of Justice, the moon at her feet is Moses and the Law which becomes the lesser light on the coming of Christ.” (See: http://puluka.com/home/index.php?id=51#_ftn41) (emphasis added)
I also cited Bible scholar Hilda Graef who mentioned that Quodvultdeus, a disciple of Augustine, writing in the mid- to late- fifth century, made the first overtly Marian identification of the woman of Revelation 12. Graef added that it is not until the first half of the sixth century that Oecumenius, in his commentary on Revelation (the earliest extant commentary on the whole book), read the woman exclusively as Mary [Mary: A History of Doctrine and Devotion, Vol. 1: From the Beginnings to the Eve of the Reformation (London: Sheed and Ward, 1963) pp. 131-132; see also: footnote 61, Tim Perry, Mary for Evangelicals (Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press, 2006) p. 113].
Gerry Soliman would not have any of these. He said:
“For someone who states "Father knows best" in some of his articles to note that Church Fathers believe the Marian doctrines and for someone who believes that, “a single quote from a Church Father is never sufficient or decisive in itself,” Atty. Llasos obviously had a hard time proving that the Woman of Revelations 12 as Mary is known to the early Church Fathers.”
Let’s chop this big claim to its proper size.
For someone who states "Father knows best" in some of his articles to note that Church Fathers believe the Marian doctrines and for someone who believes that, “a single quote from a Church Father is never sufficient or decisive in itsel…
As a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Internal Auditor, I would expect Mr. Soliman to be good in numbers. But his innumeracy shows. He just doesn’t know how to count correctly! If he has read my references carefully and counted the patristic quotes properly, he would have easily known that I was not dealing with “a single quote from a Church Father”!
Was it just a single quote I gave? My references mentioned three (3), namely (1) Epiphanius, (2) Oecumenius, and (3) Quodvultdeus. What happened to Mr. Soliman’s arithmetic? Single quote, Mr. Soliman?
The most that he can do is to quote Oecumenius and Quodvultdeus of the 5th to 6th century to prove that it is "well attested in the patristic tradition of the Church.”
The quotation "well attested in the patristic tradition of the Church” is not mine. Had Mr. Soliman bothered to check the references I cited, as any scholar should, he would have known that it is from Mr. Steve Puluka, the patristics teacher that I used as reference.
At any rate, what’s wrong with citing Oecumenius and Quodvultdeus from the fifth and sixth century? These centuries are part of the patristic era and the views of these Church Fathers are certainly included in the patristic patrimony of the Church.
Let’s introduce Mr. Gerry Soliman to these Church Fathers.
The Wikipedia mentions the following about Quodvultdeus:
Saint Quodvultdeus (died c. 450) was a fifth century church father and bishop of Carthage who was exiled to Naples. He was known to have been living in Carthage around 407 and became a deacon in 421 AD. He corresponded with Saint Augustine of Hippo, who served as Quodvultdeus' spiritual teacher. Augustine also dedicated some of his writings to Quodvultdeus.
Quodvultdeus was exiled when Carthage was captured by the Genseric, who followed Arianism. Tradition states that he, along with other Catholic churchmen (such as Gaudiosus of Naples) were loaded onto leaky ships. The ships landed at Naples around 439 AD and Quodvultus established himself in Italy.
His name means ‘What God wants.’
One of the mosaic burial portraits in the Galleria dei Vescovi in the Catacombs of San Gennaro depicts Quodvultus.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quodvultdeus).
In 430 AD, Quodvultdeus wrote: “None of you is ignorant of the fact that the dragon was the devil. The woman signified the Virgin Mary” [Quodvultdeus, De Symbolo 3, PL 40, 661 (430AD)].
On the other hand, Oecumenius was a sixth 6th century Greek Father and one of the earliest witnesses to the Marian interpretation of Revelation 12. In his Commentary on the Apocalypse, Oecumenius wrote:

“The incarnation of the Lord, by which the world was subjected and made his own, became the occasion for the raising [of the Antichrist] and the endeavors of Satan. For this is why the Antichrist will be raised up: so that he may again cause the world to revolt against Christ, and persuade it to turn around and desert to Satan. Since again the Lord's physical conception and birth marked the beginning of his incarnation, the vision has brought into some order and sequence the events which it is going to explain, by starting its explanation from the physical conception of Christ, and by depicting for us the Mother of God. For why does he say, And a portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet? He is speaking of the mother of our Savior, as I have said. Naturally the vision describes her as being in heaven and not on earth, as pure in soul and body, as equal to an angel, as a citizen of heaven, as one who came to effect the incarnation of God who dwells in heaven ("for," he says, "heaven is my throne" [Isa 66:1]), and as one who has nothing in common with the world and the evils in it, but wholly sublime, wholly worthy of heaven, even through she sprang from our mortal nature and being. For the Virgin is of the same substance as we are. The unholy doctrine of Eutyches, that the Virgin is of a miraculously different substance from us, together with his other docetic doctrines, must be banished from the divine courts.
What is the meaning of the saying that she is clothed with the sun, and has the moon under her feet? ...[I]n order to show in the vision that even when the Lord was conceived, he was the protector of his own mother and of all creation, the vision said that he clothed the woman. In the same way the divine angel said to the holy Virgin, "The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" (Luke 1:35). Overshadowing, protecting, and clothing all have the same meaning.
He says, And on her head, a crown of twelve stars. For the Virgin is crowned with the twelve apostles who proclaim the Christ while she is proclaimed together with him. He says, She was with child, and she cried out in her birth-pangs, in anguish for delivery. Yet Isaiah says about her, "before the woman in labor gives birth, and before the toil of labor begins, she fled and brought forth a male child" (Isa 66:7). Gregory [of Nyssa], also, in the thirteenth chapter of his Interpretation of the Song of Songs talks of the Lord "whose conception is without intercourse, and whose birth is undefiled." So the birth was free from pain. Therefore, if, according to such a great prophet and the teacher of the church, the Virgin has escaped the pain of childbirth, how does she here cry out in her birth-pangs, in anguish for delivery? Does this not contradict what was said? Certainly not. For nothing could be contradictory in the mouth of the one and the same Spirit, who spoke through both. But in the present passage you should understand the crying out and being in anguish in this way: until the divine angel told Joseph about her, that the conception was from the Holy Spirit, the Virgin was naturally despondent, blushing before her betrothed, and thinking that he might somehow suspect that she was in labor from a furtive marriage. Her despondency and grief he called, according to the principles of metaphor, crying and anguish; and this is not surprising. For even when blessed Moses spiritually met God and was losing heart--for he saw Israel in the desert being encircled by the sea and by enemies--God said to him, "Why do you cry to me?" (Ex 14:15) So also now the vision calls the sorrowful disposition of the Virgin's mind and heart "crying out." But you, who took away the despondency of the undefiled handmaid and your human mother, my lady mistress, the holy Mother of God, by your ineffable birth, do away with my sins, too, for to you is due glory for ever. Amen.” (Oecumenius, Commentary on the Apocalypse, trans. John H. Suggit [Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2006] pp. 107-109.) (It may be found online in Fr. Abraham Arganiosa’s blog at http://thesplendorofthechurch.blogspot.com/2009/03/oecumenius-on-woman-clothed-with-sun.html]
Mr. Soliman asked incredulously:
Do these two men represent the unanimous consent of the church fathers?
Notice how Gerry Soliman conveniently downgraded Quodvultdeus and Oecumenius. These two men are no ordinary men. They are Church Fathers! Precisely the patristic sources that Gerry Soliman is now interested in and looking for! Do they represent the unanimous consent of the Church Fathers? Why not?
Let's not forget the principle that Atty. Llasos quoted from his comrade, Mr. Carlos Antonio Palad:
We are not forgetting that principle and we are applying it.
So where are the unanimous quotations from the 1st to 4th (if you prefer up to 8th) century church fathers, Atty. Llasos?
The first to the eighth century of the Church is the patristic era or the Age of the Fathers of the Church. Is there a unanimous view as regards a Marian interpretation of the “woman clothed with the sun” of Revelations 12 during that period? As there is no dissenting view, my answer is most certainly yes.
I already cited Quodvultdeus and Oecumenius, Church Fathers from the fifth to the sixth century whose existence fell under the patristic era (first to eighth century). Since Quodvultdeus was a disciple of St. Augustine of Hippo (354 to 430 AD), it can be safely assumed that Quodvultdeus learned his teachings from his master in basically the same way as Mark learned from Peter and Luke and Timothy from Paul.
Early on, St. Epiphanius of Salamis (d. 403) may be the first to give a Marian interpretation to the scriptural text of Revelation 12. He wrote:
“But elsewhere, in the Apocalypse of John, we read that the dragon hurled himself at the woman who had given birth to a male child; but the wings of an eagle were given to the woman, and she flew into the desert, where the dragon could not reach her” (Rev. 12:13-14). This could have happened in Mary’s case” [Haer., 78, 11, PG 42, 716 B-C; cited in Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991) p. 126].
We have proof that during the age of the Church Fathers (1st to 8th century) there is patristic support to a Marian interpretation of the woman in Revelation 12. It is unanimous as there is no Church Father that denies this. An unbroken chain from one father to the next is clearly established.
Has it occur to Atty. Llasos that there is at least one writer during the 2nd and 3rd century, Hippolytus, who identified the woman as the church:
Now, concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus: “And I saw a great and wondrous sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun ...By the woman then clothed with the sun, he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father’s word, whose brightness is above the sun. And by the “moon under her feet” he referred to her being adorned” (Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist).
Yes it occurred to me. And it likewise occurred to me that Mr. Soliman’s research is inadequate and incomplete. To help him, I will add two more fathers in addition to Hippolytus (c. 170 – c. 236 AD) who identified the woman as the Church: (1) Methodius (d. 311 AD) and (2) Victorinus (d. 303 or 304 AD) [see: Robert A. Sungenis, The Apocalypse of St. John (Goleta, CA: Queenship Publication, 2007) p. 238-239].
Would the fact that these Church Fathers identify the Church as the woman in Revelations 12 mean that they deny or oppose a Marian interpretation in the passage? No, as there is no indication in their writings that their identification of the Church as the woman is exclusive – to the exclusion of other interpretations. To argue otherwise is to commit the fallacy of false dichotomy which Gerry Soliman defines in his blog as restricting the opponent to a few alternatives when there are more alternatives.” Hence, to identify the Church does not necessarily mean that it Mary is altogether excluded. The Fathers of the Church didn’t see it that way.
Patristics and Mariology scholar Luigi Gambero noted that “under the influence of Western theology, the Mary-Eve parallel took on considerable importance, which would influence future developments in Mariology and ecclesiology [Luigi Gambero, Mary and the Fathers of the Church (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1991) p. 19.] For instance, St. Ambrose of Milan (d. 397 AD) “is the first Christian author to call Mary the type and image of the Church (ibid, p. 198). His famous student, St. Augustine of Hippo (d. 430 AD) “states categorically that Mary’s place is within the Church, with which she is indissolubly linked” (ibid, p. 222). St. Augustine said, “Nevertheless it is true, the Church is the mother of Christ. Mary preceded the Church as its type” (ibid. p. 223, citing Sermo Denis 25, Miscellanea Agostiniana, 164).
To Clement of Alexandria (d. 215 AD), the “mystery of Virgin Mother reminds him of the mystery of the Church, which is also mother and virgin” (ibid., p. 71). Gambero commented that for Clement of Alexandria, “[T]he mystery of Mary, virgin and mother, quickly begins to become the archetypal model of the mystery of the Church. For the Church, too, by preaching the word, gives birth to her own children like a mother, while keeping intact the virginity of her faith in the Lord” (ibid).
St. Ephrem the Syrian (c. 306-373) perceived the analogy that exists between Mary and the Church. He declares explicitly that Mary is a figure of the Church:
“The Virgin Mary is a symbol of the Church, when she receives the first announcement of the gospel. And, it is in the name of the Church that Mary sees the risen Jesus. Blessed be God, who filled Mary and the Church with joy. We call the Church by the name of Mary, for she deserves a double name” (Sermo ad noct. Resurr., ed. Lamy, I:534, quoted in Gambero, ibid, p. 115.).
I can add more names and multiply examples (Epiphanius, Gregory the Great, Gregory Nazianzen, Isidore, and Sedulius) but that would be superfluity already, a clear belaboring of obvious.
This patrimony of the Fathers of the Church is with the Catholic Church of today. Ours is the faith of our fathers. We still hold the same views as the Church Fathers in this regard:
“The Catholic Church recognizes in the 'woman' primarily the Church herself. However, given the similarities to Mary's life, The Church acknowledges what it considers an invitation in the holy verses for the reader to ponder the mysteries between the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_of_the_Apocalypse).
In the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II sums up the faith of the Fathers of the Church with respect to the “woman clothed with the sun” – the same faith we hold today:
“The mutual relationship between the mystery of the Church and Mary appears clearly in the "great portent" described in the Book of Rev- elation: "A great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars" (12:1). In this sign the Church recognizes an image of her own mystery: present in history, she knows that she transcends history, inasmuch as she constitutes on earth the "seed and beginning" of the Kingdom of God. The Church sees this mystery fulfilled in complete and exemplary fashion in Mary. She is the woman of glory in whom God's plan could be carried out with supreme perfection” (par. 103) (http://www.vatican.va/edocs/ENG0141/__P13.HTM)