The Papacy: At Mary's Feet

The biggest obstacle to Christian reunion is the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility. The second biggest is the degree of veneration that Catholics—but not Protestants—accord to Mary, the Jewish girl who became the mother of Christ. Indeed, many Catholics look askance at one of the great symbols of Marianism—Fátima, the small Portuguese village near which three shepherd children claimed to have seen, on May 13, 1917, the first of several visions of Mary. If for no other reason than the youngsters' impressionable ages—seven, nine and ten—there is widespread skepticism about...

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