Q1 Luther’s disagreements with the doctrines and practices of the Roman Catholic Church led to the appearance of an absolutely new grouping within Christianity – Protestantism. Luther criticized three basic principles of the Catholicism and among them:
Firstly, Catholic rejection of the belief that the Bible along is the most significant basis of religious life, as Roman Catholic traditions are as well of a paramount importance. Luther claimed that the Bible alone is the sole source that can teach people what to do in order to be justified from sin and therefore the Bible should be available to everyone who has a strong faith.
Secondly, the belief that the Pope is the so-called Vicar of Christ and therefore he substitutes Jesus on Earth, and is considered to be a visible head of the Church. Luther claimed that any human being does not have a right to be a head of the Church, as this right belongs only to Christ himself.
Thirdly, Catholic teaching that in order to be saved, it is not enough to have a faith, as “meritorious works”ť are also considered to be of great importance. Luther on the other hand claimed that in order to be justified it is not obligatory to pay the church, as having a deep faith is enough.
Q2 The faithful devotion to Virgin Mary is a deep and sacred reverence to the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ and to her Immaculate Heart that is widely spread among the believers of the Roman Catholic Church. There are a lot of ways through which devotion can be expressed, for example:
Firstly, the Holy Rosary that is a thoughtful meditation devoted to the lives of Virgin Mary and Jesus, which are still considered to be a sacred mystery.
Secondly, Holy Days of Obligation that are usually celebrated by Catholics, thus having three of them devoted to Mary and the Immaculate Conception is the central one.
Thirdly, the Solemnity of Mary that is celebrated on the first of January each year.
Moreover, such ordinary religious things as dedication of the First Saturdays of each month along with feast days, wearing of the Brown Scapular and of course constant prayers are also worthy to be mentioned.
Q3 The Roman Catholics thought up a great number of titles for Virgin Mary in order to honor her and for the helps she has given to them. The most widely spread and used ones include the following:
Firstly, the Queen of Heaven (Mary was called in such a way, as her son – Jesus Christ was considered to be the King of Kings meaning the heavenly King of the Universe).
Secondly, the Blessed Virgin Mary (Mary was entitled in such a way due to the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God through her).
Thirdly, Saint Mary (Mary had acquired such a name due to a miracle of the conception by the agency of the Holy Spirit).
Fourthly, Madonna (This title implies the actual meaning of the mother of Jesus).