This week in Christian history: NIV, Abraham Kuyper, Pope decree on Mary

Pope declares Assumption of Mary 'dogma of faith' - November 1, 1950

Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII (1876-1958), who reigned as head of the Roman Catholic Church during the Second World War. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Pope Pius XII officially declared the Assumption of Mary, the belief that the Virgin Mary was taken up into Heaven rather than experiencing a bodily death, to be a “dogma of faith.”

While the claim that Mary was assumed into Heaven had existed at least as far back as the sixth century and was widely accepted among Catholics, Pius XII gave it an official standing with his statement, as apostolic constitution known as the Munificentissimus Deus.

“… we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that 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,” stated the papal document.

“Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.” 

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