So I have a question, have you ever heard of Mary described as Co-Redemptress? I know that some protestants use this as an excuse to accuse us of practicing mary-idolatry but the way I understand the Co-Redemptress argument is that in Latin Co means something different than it does in English. I’ve heard that co in latin means participating in a thing to a lesser degree, like being a co worker in God’s vineyard; whereas in English co means equal as in coworkers at a job.
Oh, and if a mean evangelical reads this, I ask that you wait until you hear a catholic explain what it is before you start Mary bashing.
I don’t agree with that. She isn’t “co” anything. Yes, she can lead us to Christ, but that isn’t the only way. Christ is the only way to heaven, and we sometimes pray for her intercession. And that’s about it.
It was Our Lady who drew me to Jesus. It was she who brought me to Eucharistic Adoration where I fell in love with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Just as sin entered the world with the co-operation of a man and a woman, so to did our redemption come about. Am I saying that Mary redeemed us? NO! I am saying that she co-operated.
We are all called on to cooperate. Our prayers and our sacrifices help in bringing souls to Christ. Our Lady did it first and best. He role for all eternity is to bring souls to Christ and He brings us to the Father as our Mediator.
When we pray for others, we mediate for them. Our Lady is The Mediatrix with her Son for souls.
God could have chosen any way at all to bring about our redemption but He chose to come to us through Mary. And she is the channel of the graces merited by Jesus. Jesus came to us through her, does it not make sense that we can go through her to Him? Of course!
Just as her cooperation with the Holy Spirit brought Jesus into the world, her continued cooperation with the Holy Spirit formed the mystical body of the Church and so she is also Mother of the Church. This is doctrine.
Our Lord gave us His Mother from the Cross! In conforming ourselves to Jesus, we must love The Mother very much. It was her yes, her fiat, that brought about Jesus’ incarnation. She was chosen from all eternity for a most singular and unique role. We can never appreciate her enough.
My first thought is that’s well past the time to put to rest the notion that “co-” in English means “equal”. From my good friend Merriam-Webster:
Main Entry: co-
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin, from com-; akin to Old English ge-, perfective and collective prefix, Old Irish com- with
1: with : together : joint : jointly
2: in or to the same degree
3 a: one that is associated in an action with another : fellow : partner b: having a usually lesser share in duty or responsibility : alternate : deputy
4: of, relating to, or constituting the complement of an angle
Note that out of the four definitions of “co-” only one of them means “equal” (definition 2). Definition 4 is irrelevant to the issue at hand. Definitions 1 can mean “equal” but not necessarily so. Definition 3 specifically notes the possibility of acting as a lesser partner, and it is precisely this meaning the Church uses in reference to the Blessed Virgin.
BTW, we are all co-redeemers insofar as we are all charged by Christ himself to spread the Gospel. We all bear to one extent or another “a lesser share in duty” to help others find God.
This is probably so far the best explanation, as it dealt with the linguistic nature of the word which is what I was getting at. Not speaking latin (a situation I am hoping to remedy) I will take you word for it that this translation is correct. It’s amazing how many of the beefs non catholics have with us is that they don’t understand that English is not the only language…
Does anyone know of any authoritative (not infallible, but authoritative) documents that discuss coredemptrix?
If you were a Protestant would and you heard this on a message board that was anti-catholic would you think to do the due diligence in finding out what the Church meant? Or would you shake your head and lament over those darn catholics…
It’s funny, I google “coredemer” and I got a bunch of anti catholic stuff, and coredemptrix and got a bunch of pro catholic stuff.
Webster will say what webster will say, there is no such thing as an official English language. co means what you think it means in English, thats how a descriptive (as opposed to prescriptive) linguistic understanding works; and for most people co means someone that does the same thing that you do, like a coworker.
…This great struggle and victory over the serpent foreshadows the divine work of redemption by Jesus Christ, with the Mother of the Redeemer’s intimate collaboration in his saving work. This “collaboration” or “co-operation” or “participation” of the Mother of Jesus with her Son in the redemptive work of salvation is referred to in the Church as “Marian coredemption,” or more specifically, Mary is referred to as “the Coredemptrix with the Redeemer.” It always remains a secondary and subordinate participation, and never puts her on a level of equality with the one Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and takes absolutely nothing away from her Son’s glory.
I was a Protestant, and I did find out what the Church means. Now I’m Catholic.
When I speak or write, my words mean what I intend them to mean. That someone misunderstands me (or misrepresents me) doesn’t change my intention. Someone who thinks the Church means the Blessed Virgin is a redeemer “equal to” Jesus is wrong. Period. It doesn’t matter how much they hop up and down, the Church means what she means, and not what the ill-informed (if not deliberately obtuse) objector thinks she means.
There is no real degree of confusion, but only varying degrees of laziness and/or intellectual dishonesty. Very nearly anyone interested in what the Church means with any Marian doctrine has ample resources available to find out.
While this is true, it doesn’t really address the problem. Here a re a few words I wrote when this topic surfaced last.
"As a Catholic, I have taken it upon myself whenever possible to help Catholics understand their faith better. One example recently was helping a friend who was born and raised Catholic but fell away to the Protestant tradition. She and her husband, who was on the way to being a Protestant minister, kept telling me over and over again that they never understood the Catholic Church, and that folks like our family helped them understand Mary as the New Eve as well as the importance and meaning of reverence and Tradition. My friend did not learn this growing up in her Catholic schools, but learned it (in some part) from converts from the Protestant tradition like us. Thanks be to God, I’m happy to report that their family is in the process of returning to the Church now. It is especially happy in her case, as her cousin is a priest and the family is devoutly Catholic.
After a presentation my wife and I did for the Knights of Columbus a few years ago, one of the kind women in attendance remarked that she did not believe in spreading the Catholic faith, because faith is “a private matter”. So much for evangelization.
I’ve heard Catholics remark a number of time that they pray to Mary alone. Sadly, they don’t believe that they can pray to our Lord Himself.
For those of us doing what we can in the ol’ trenches, it’s more than anecdotal examples, though. Sadly, many Catholics don’t understand their faith, and I believe that, without that foundation, Marian titles of this nature do little to really help that understanding of these poorly-Catechized Catholics."
Perhaps, if we can improve our education across the board, this issue would matter less. As it stands now, however, I can’t see the benefit of the Co-Redemptrix title adoption when so many Catholics don’t understand the basics.
True on the second point, kind of true on the first
what I was saying is that English doesn’t have any “true” definitions like Latin and French do, at least not anymore. So a passerby who is anti catholic, who reads this, I can see him reading co as in the modern english which usually means equal or on the same level in common speech. Thats why I think I will use coredemptrix instead as Latin does have solid definitions and we know what it means (dead language vs a live language).
Second point, yes, there are many sources, but if someone has been tought to bash the Catholic Church many times such a person isn’t disposed to look real carefully at the facts on the claims against the Church.
Now Catholics who don’t understand, hey, find out, you have no excuse, you are on notice!
Oh, and I’m glad you are catholic now! Peace brother!