Kiko Argüello’s 2017 Advent Announcement, given just a few days ago in Rome, arrived in my inbox today. It includes a blatantly heretical explanation of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
“…This is why in the icon of the Church of the East – which you can see up there – we see the Madonna who died and Jesus Christ who comes and brings the soul of Mary [to Heaven]. So He comes to take our soul to be one with him and take it to heaven with him. The body, our remains, stay here and we take them to the cemetery, but Christ comes for us. This is the icon of the Church of the East to explain the death of every Christian, this is mine and your death. At the moment of the death of the Virgin Mary, the apostles came, brought from all parts of the world, and Christ comes to take her soul and brings it to heaven, and there is the Assumption of the Virgin Mary…” P. 7, Avvento 2017
There are three problems with Kiko’s words.
First, if Christ brings only the soul of Mary with him, then Mary died. However, the Church has never specified whether or not Mary died before she was assumed into Heaven. Kiko, therefore, innovates with his teaching.
The second problem is the association of the Christian’s death with that of Mary, and this suggests that Mary’s body lies in a tomb, like our bodies will.
The third problem, which is very serious, is that in the text of his Advent Announcement explicitly associates only the soul with the Assumption, not the body.
It is worthless for Kiko to defend himself by claiming that he is commenting on an icon, because for the Neocat, the icons of Kiko are catechesis.
The Church clearly and solemnly teaches that “when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory…” [CCC 966]
Kiko is conflating the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the “dormition” of Mary with the Catholic Church’s dogma of the Assumption. He’s in error.