01 January 2007

Not only is New Year's Day the title of the best of U2's songs, it also happens to be the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. Unfortunately, some of our non-Catholic brethren think the title Theotokos merely another example of Catholics' idolatrous tendencies, when in fact Mary was declared Mother of God at the third ecumenical council, the Council of Ephesus. The doctrine had little to do with Mary, and everything to do with Christ. A christological controversy was then raging over His dual nature, thanks to the heretic Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who taught Christ was not only made of two separate natures, but was actually two separate Persons, Man and God. He claimed Mary gave birth to the human Christ only, and should therefore be called Christotokos. Such a title results, of course, in the de-emphasis of Christ's divine nature and the overemphasis of His human nature. The Council rejected the title in favor of Theotokos, thus saving the doctrine that Christ was fully God and fully Man, yet One Person.