Are You Afraid of Mary Coredemtrix?

**A Simple Explanation of a Beautiful Title of Mary

An Article by Dr. Mark Miravalle**

What is your first response when you hear someone refer to the Mother of Jesus Christ as the “Coredemptrix”? Extreme? Excessive pietism, even if well-intended? Heresy? After all, only Jesus is the Redeemer. If not directly heresy, then extremely dangerous? At least anti-ecumenical?

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I’m certainly not “afraid” of it. I understand what they are trying to express by the title, for sure.
But like Pope Benedict XVI, I don’t favor the title and believe its best expressed in the ways we already have.

Just from an Evangelical point of view, it would be harmful for our relations with the CC. I don’t know if that matters (assuming Catholics believe it to be true) but it certainly would be.

I actually do fear that if they ever would accept a title such as this that my conscience would never bring me to be Catholic. But I don’t think it’s going to happen anyways.

Although it obviously can’t determine the question, ecumenical relations with other churches is an important aspect to think about and consider when it comes to this issue. And yes, I don’t think it will ever happen.

I am not afraid of it, but I expect that many could be, and at the very least do not understand it well or fully.

Some will argue that it is an intellectual discourse rather than a matter of faith.

Just my opinion: it is something that needs to be studied well in order to be fully understood. That may take time and expertise.

I am afraid of the fallout should this be dogmatically proclaimed. I have never believed, nor does the article convince me, that it is theologically sound or part of the deposit of faith. I don’t care how many popes or saints used it as a pious devotion. Under the narrow terms of the definition of co-redemptrix (she cooperated with grace), we are ALL co-redeemers-- the article even confirms this. Despite her unique cooperation with grace, why give Mary a title which will confuse Catholics and be scandalous in the eyes of our separated brethren (which we are specifically warned against in Lumen Gentium para 67)?

The the Vatican Council had the opportunity to define this title in Lumen Gentium and the purposely avoided proclaiming it. In 1996, the Pope convened the Theological Commission of the Pontifical International Marian Academy to consult on the matter again. They voted unanimously against the title for two reasons: the title, as proposed, is (1) “too ambiguous as it can be understood in various ways” and (2) “Even if the titles were assigned a content which could be accepted as belonging to the deposit of the faith, the definition of these titles, however, in the present situation would be lacking in theological clarity.”

Over and over again, the Holy Spirit has guided the Church away from proclaiming this dogma. Why won’t people accept this? Why the push? You could present 10 million signatures to the Vatican in a petition pushing for this dogma but if it isn’t true, the Church won’t proclaim it. Likewise, you could present 10 million signatures to the Vatican opposed to the proclamation of the dogma and it would not prevent the Church from proclaiming it if it is the truth. So why are so many people pushing the matter? The Church has already had the chance to proclaim it and did not. The matter should be closed until or unless the Church creates another council to discuss. It is my opinion that the matter probably is closed because it has already been dogmatically proclaimed at the Council of Trent that Jesus Christ is the SOLE redeemer.

Pope Pius IV, Council of Trent, Sess. 25, On Invocation, Veneration and Relics of Saints, and on Sacred Images, ex cathedra: “… the saints, who reign with Christ, offer up their prayers to God for men; and that it is good and useful to invoke them suppliantly and, in order to obtain favors from God through His Son JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD, WHO ALONE IS OUR REDEEMER and Savior… And they must also teach that images of Christ, the virgin mother of God and the other saints should be set up and kept… But if anyone should teach or maintain anything contrary to these decrees,** let him be anathema**.”

No, I am not because there is only one Redeemer; Jesus Christ.

Sorry for two posts but just had to make another point. Romans 5:17 is very problematic for me for this title. “For if, by the transgression of one person (Adam), death came to reign through* that one*, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the *one person *Jesus Christ.” Other scriptures that are problematic in my mind are Eph 1:7 “In him we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of transgressions, in accord with the riches of his grace”; Rev 5:9 “They sang a new hymn:“Worthy are you to receive the scroll and to break open its seals,for you were slain and with your blood you purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue, people and nation.” These are but a few Scriptures that demonstrate that it is the blood of Jesus, not Mary nor saints, which redeems.

Many people make much ado about the word ‘co’, bringing out their latin dictionaries and saying “see here, ‘co’ doesn’t mean equal, it means with”. Yes, I know all that. The word I’m more concerned with is the word “redeemer”. And I just don’t think that cooperation warrants this title… redemption is by the Blood of the Lamb. Personally, I think the Blessed Mother is probably mortified over the suggestion of this title. The humble handmaiden of the Lord is always pointing directly to her Son. It seems to me that the title is an attempt to honor her, in a way that dishonors her humility.

No, not afraid.

However, the feelings I experience when hearing it are two-fold… first frustration that some, like the good Dr. Mark Miravalle, put their ideas forward on the subject as if it were a solemnly declared Church teaching, which of course it is not. I would recommend listening to some of his talks as he is constantly putting forward Mary as the mediatrix of all graces as a firmly held truth of the Church, which of course it is not. This is another example of the same behavior. The second emotion, is sadness at the division within the Church because some try to push their pious private devotions on other Catholics… and there is great division because of it. Not to mention the ecumenical consequences… these of course are secondary to the divisions within the Church itself.

Prayer-Warrior’s posts are right on in my opinion with solid references to the Church’s action on this topic.

I frequently think of Pope John XXIII’s comments…warning against certain practices or excessive special forms of piety, even of veneration of the Madonna. Such forms of piety “sometimes give a pitiful idea of the piety of our good people”. In the concluding allocution of the Roman Synod, the Pope repeated his warning against the sort of piety that gives the imagination free rein and contributes little to the concentration of the soul. “We wish to invite you to the more ancient and simpler practices of the Church” (see the magisterial presentation of R. Laurentin, La Question mariale, Paris 1963 for reference)

Or the words of another world renewed expert in Mariology when speaking about the Co-reedemor question…’‘It seems to put her on an equal footing with Christ,’’ said Father John Roten, director of the International Marian Library in Dayton, giving the primary argument for opposition. ‘‘That just won’t do.’’

Or another…The Rev. Rene Laurentin, a French monk and a top Mary scholar, agrees. Father Laurentin said that the proposed dogma would be the equivalent of launching ‘‘bombs’’ at the Protestants and would widen the breach between the Vatican and the Eastern Orthodox church. ‘‘Mary is the model of our faith, but she is not divine,’’ he wrote in a faxed statement. ‘‘There is no mediation or co-redemption except in Christ. He alone is God.’’

Just a reminder, the question of Mary as Coredemtrix as Mary as Mediatrix are **separate **questions.

Co:redemtrix is a title that just begs to be misunderstood. Why do we continue to throw roadblocks in our way?:confused:

Completely agree TRH. They are separate questions. I only brought up the mediatrix of all graces question as an example of the same unfortunate behavior - putting these ideas forward as solemnly declared Church teachings when they are still very much open theological questions.

I believe that Miravalle has a petition going to proclaim a 5th Marian dogma declaring Mary to be Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all grace and Advocate for the People of God, so we could probably say that the questions are related.

I have the greatest love and devotion to Our Lady and give to her the respect and devotion that her fiat demands of us. However, any title that would place her on equal footing as our only redeemer Jesus Christ, my Lord and God, I reject. She would expect nothing less of me. God demands in His just jealousy, nothing less.

I have had it explained that Mary is co-redemptrix because she said yes to God ‘be it done unto me according to Thy word.’ And that without her Fiat, Jesus would not have come into being.

In that scenario, Mozart’s mother should be written up as co-composer of all his music, because the allowed him to have music lessons and play the piano. And so on with every good thing in the world.

Likewise, the mothers of murderers should be executed along with their children, because they gave birth to them.

No, Mary is NOT a CO redemptrix - she is Jesus’ mother, and the chief of Saints. That’s all.

I, personally, have absolutely no problem giving Mary the title “Co-Redemptrix”. I doubt if it would ever be made official dogma, though. Ecumenically, it would probably be a disaster. But even knowing this, when has the Church been afraid to call a truth a truth?

I’d just like to mention one thing. Although the visions of Berthe Petit have not yet been approved by the Church, a book of her messages/revelations about devotion to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary did receive the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, My point is this: Petit notes on two occasions that the Lord Himself spoke to her of Mary’s part as co-redemptrix.

The Heart of My Mother has a right to be called Sorrowful and I wish this title to be placed before that of Immaculate because she has won it herself. The Church has defined in the case of My Mother what I Myself had ordained–her Immaculate Conception. This right which My Mother has to a title of justice is now, according to My express wish, to be known and universally accepted. She has earned it by her identification with My sorrows, by her sufferings, by her sacrifices and by her immolation on Calvary, endured in perfect correspondence with My grace for the salvation of mankind. **In her co-redemption lies the nobility of My Mother and for this reason I ask for the invocation which I have demanded be approved and spread throughout the whole Church. ** It has already obtained many graces; it will obtain yet more when the Church will be exalted and the world renewed through its consecration to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother.

I ask My apostle Francis [Cardinal Francis Alphonsus Bourne, the Primate of England and Archbishop of Canterbury] to exert an ever increasing activity in favor of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother… **Let him hasten what he calls his “first step” so that a still more solemn consecration may be timed for the feast of the Sorrows of My Mother–that great feast of her Heart as co-redemptrix. **When the nation (England) of my apostle Francis will be entirely dedicated to this Heart he will see that he has not listened to My word in vain, for My providential intervention is reserved for all the people consecrated to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of My Mother. I wish thus to show the power of this Heart which is linked in everything with My own.

Tim, with the shallow and under-developed theology that is pervasive these days, this concept tends to frighten/concern most all “Me and Jesus” bible Christians, I would think. They would likewise be shocked and appalled at Eastern Orthodox theology, frankly. As I understand it, Mary has a larger role in the ancient Orthodox Divine Liturgy than she does in the Latin Catholic mass rite.

It is like infallibility. When its limited role is understood, it is not frightening at all. In our age, it is the anti-Catholic rumors, innuendo, falsehoods and outright lies that are parroted that make theology of any depth appear concerning.

Be not afraid!

Jesus is certainly the sole source of our redemption.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:30 30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; 31 therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”

Jesus is also the sole source of or wisdom, righteousness, and sactification.

Yet the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church, and us have a “koinonia” or “participation” in Christ’s work—our Blessed Virgin Mother preeminently so.

If the Church officially proclaims this doctrine of Mary as Coredemtrix (that has been in other senses proclaimed many times already), they will know full-well how to put forth an accurate definition because they will be protected by the Holy Spirit from putting forth anything but an accurate and insightful definition.

Will the doctrine’s definition get attacked? Yes of course.

But look back upon these “attacks” and you will see the Holy Spirit, through the Church deepen our understanding of the Trinitarian God and how He works (the good angels marvel at this phenomena as we should too–see Ephesians 3:10).

The graces the Church and the world gets from things like this will help with expected Protestant complaints and objections.

The Trent Session 25 issue about Jesus our ONE REDEEMER should be a non-issue.

We already get this same type of objection brought up with the “ONE MEDIATOR between God and man” issue from Protestants (1st Timothy 2:5 – For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus).

As a matter of fact reading Trent Session 25 in a fuller context reveals this exact point in part–just because Jesus is our ONE mediator, we cannot conclude that it is not “good and useful suppliantly to invoke them” (the Saints).

COUNCIL OF TRENT SESSION 25** The holy Synod enjoins on all bishops, and others who sustain the office and charge of teaching, that, agreeably to the usage of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, received from the primitive times of the Christian religion, and agreeably to the consent of the holy Fathers, and to the decrees of sacred Councils, they especially instruct the faithful diligently concerning the intercession and invocation of saints; the honour (paid) to relics; and the legitimate use of images: teaching them, that the saints, who reign together with Christ, offer up their own prayers to God for men; that it is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them, and to have recourse to their prayers, aid, (and) help for obtaining benefits from God, through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who is our alone Redeemer and Saviour; but that they think impiously, who deny that the saints, . . . are to be invocated; or who assert either that they do not pray for men; or, that the invocation of them to pray for each of us even in particular, is idolatry; or, that it is repugnant to the word of God; . . .
. . . . . are wholly to be condemned, as the Church has already long since condemned, and now also condemns them.

The question isn’t if Jesus is our ONE mediator and ONE Redeemer.

Jesus is our ONE mediator and ONE Redeemer.

The issue is HOW did/does Jesus our ONE mediator and ONE Redeemer carry out His mediation and carried out His Redemption.

Vatican II has already referred to our Blessed Mother in this context as “helper” or “Adiutricis”.

The Holy Spirit through the Church will guide and protect us in such matters (if the Church chooses to put forth a more formal definition).

The anti-Catholics will all be crowing about how the Church will have just invented this doctrine out of thin air then. And Pope John Paul II would tell us, “Be not afraid”.

VATICAN II Lumen Gentium Section 62 This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.[15] By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.[16] This, however, is so understood that it neither takes away anything from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator.[17]

No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.

The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.

I understand the trepidation of my fellow Catholics about this. But Pope John Paul II and so many others that have already taught this doctrine, likewise already knew well the documents of Trent, far better than I do (so I do not see Session 25 as a “deal breaker”).

If the Church proclaims it I am all for it. If not, I am submissive to that too. My preference? Proclamation.

The Church was considering promulgating the teaching of the Immaculate Conception as dogma centuries before She actually did so. It was widely expected to be taught by the Council of Trent, but Trent did not even take up the matter.

The reason was a philosophical question asked a few years before Trent by St. Thomas Aquinas (the Doctor of Doctors, the Angelic Doctor, of the Catholic Church). He identified a possible logical problem with the teaching: How could Mary be conceived immaculately if the source of this Grace (her Son) had not yet Suffered and Died for our sins?

The Church had no answer to this question, so it was tabled for some three centuries. But theologians discussed the question among themselves. Their eventual reply seems anticlimactic to us today, but it was unheard of then. They proposed the idea that God existed OUTSIDE of space and time, and was therefore not bound by such constraints, and the merits of Our Lord’s Sacrifice on Calvary could be “retroactively” applied to Mary.

The idea that God was not constrained by space was not exactly new, but the idea that he did not exist within the same time-stream as us was unfounded. It is the first time, that I know of, that anyone had ever imagined that time might move at different speeds for different people (or “beings,” in this particular case).

Albert Einstein was a Jew who fled to Bern, Switzerland to escape Nazi Germany. While employed as a Patent Examiner, Third Class, he rode the trolley home one night, as he did every night. But, on one occasion, he looked back at the clock tower in the town square from which the trolley was departing (the clock tower is still there, though the trolley is not)*****. And he thought about how time might be relative, and his thoughts led to the Special Theory of Relativity. The Catholic Church figured out this premise decades before Einstein ever boarded that trolley.

**(*)**Einstein conducted one of his famous thought-experiments. He knew that the light that reflected from the clock tower and struck his retina was not exactly the current time as shown on the clock itself. It was known that light had velocity, and thus he was seeing the clock a tiny fraction of a second as it appeared in the past. It’s like seeing the flash of a gunshot, but hearing the sound a bit later. Only sound is MUCH slower, so we can perceive the difference, but light is so fast that we cannot, without sophisticated measuring techniques.

He imagined himself aboard a trolley travelling at exactly the speed of light. If he looked back at the clock tower, what would he see? The hands would appear to be suspended in time. If he traveled faster than light, he would be observing light that had struck the clock in the past, and which he was “overtaking,” and thus could observe the hands which would appear to move in reverse.

I read the link provided, and I must say it is well written.

HOWEVER… It is a title I am NOT comfortable with.

I have never been very much into Marian Theology, so I may be the wrong guy to opine about this. But I agree with Benedict XVI’s opinion, and I am going to go with that. It feels like too big of a stretch to bestow this title upon Mary; and it’s not nescessary to make this an Official Dogmatic Teaching. We have enough to define, teach, and explain without this.

It has been said in this thread that the Church will proclaim truth no matter how controversial or unpopular. That is 1,000% correct. BUT… If someone like Pope Benedict XVI; arguably the greatest theologan of our era; wouldn’t put his stamp on this… I don’t know if I could be comfortable with someone else doing so.

This would only confuse most Catholics, create further division with our separated brothers, and just be a bad idea. In fact, I think we should stop using this title altogether.

I also feel the same way with the mediation aspect as well.

I will give a hearty amen to everything that is in bold. :thumbsup:

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