Co-redemptrix?


#1

I have seen this suggestion going around that Mary is ‘co-redemptrix’ with Jesus for our sins. Is this one of those outrageous claims that people who don’t understand the Catholic church make against us or are we actually supposed to believe it?


#2

There are groups within the Catholic Church who wish to have the Blessed Virgin declared “co-redemptrix”, but this is not currently an official doctrine of the Church.


#3

It is a theological opinion.


#4

[quote=jimmy]It is a theological opinion.
[/quote]

Its not so much a theological opinion as a theological understanding. It is definately NOT church dogma at this point, but the title is gaining ground among the faithful.

When using this title, one must recognize that Co does not mean equal, but subordinate. Just as a Pilot directs a flight, and a co-pilot is only there to help, so God chose Mary to be the instrument through which salvation entered into the world, by being the mother of Jesus. This shows that althrough salvation comes through the sacrifice of Jesus alone, God chooses to apply this gift of salvation by working through us, as the body of Christ.

Josh


#5

Couldn’t pull up on my computer the Catholic Answers article addressing this question but I’m sure someone will be able to…for now I found the following article by Phil Porvaznik:

What Does Co-Redemptrix Really Mean?

Here is a short explanation what Co-Redemptrix means. Just as Christians are called explicitly in Scripture “co-workers” with God (1 Cor 3:9-15 also 2 Cor 5:18-6:2 – “for we are God’s fellow workers” NIV, the context of both passages is salvation, reconciliation, redemption, etc), so Mary being the first believing Christian and Mother of God the Son, is preeminantly the “co-worker” with God in salvation, since she cooperated with God in bringing the divine Son of God into the world. As McCarthy himself notices in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “By pronouncing her 'fiat” at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish" (Catechism 973).

That is a simple fact of the Gospel message. Mary brought Jesus into the world, and Jesus brought salvation and redemption to the world, both at the Incarnation (Luke 1:26ff; John 1:1,14,29; 1 John 4:9ff; 3:5; etc) and by his death on the cross (Rom 5: 8ff; Col 2:13ff; 1 Peter 2:24; 1 John 2:2; etc). As the writer to the Hebrews tells us, the BODY of Jesus Christ was the instrument of the Redemption (Hebrews 10:10). In this most important sense of giving flesh to the Savior in the Incarnation, Mary cooperated with God in the redemption of the world and is therefore “Co-Redemptrix” of the human race. No Mary, No Jesus just as Know Mary, Know Jesus. Without Mary there is no Incarnation and therefore no salvation, and knowing and loving the Blessed Mother brings us ever closer to her Son.

bringyou.to/apologetics/num48.htm

Hope this helps

Keep the Faith
jmt


#6

The following paragraphs are from The Cathechism of the Catholic Church:

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. “In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.”

969 “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 fulfillment 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. . . . Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.”

970 “Mary’s function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin’s salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it.” "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."

(emphasis mine)

Basically, each member of Christ’s Body is a “co-redeemer” with Christ in that we each (if we are faithful) share in the distribution of the graces our Lord won for us by His life, death and resurrection. It’s just that Mary - by virtue of her motherhood of Jesus - has co-operated in a way only she could by being our Lord’s mother: namely, in giving her “continual yes” to God by which the True God became “flesh” for our salvation.

This has always seems so elementary to me. I simply don’t understand why some find it so hard to accept.

In any event

Keep the Faith
jmt


#7

[quote=threej_lc]Its not so much a theological opinion as a theological understanding. It is definately NOT church dogma at this point, but the title is gaining ground among the faithful.

When using this title, one must recognize that Co does not mean equal, but subordinate. Just as a Pilot directs a flight, and a co-pilot is only there to help, so God chose Mary to be the instrument through which salvation entered into the world, by being the mother of Jesus. This shows that althrough salvation comes through the sacrifice of Jesus alone, God chooses to apply this gift of salvation by working through us, as the body of Christ.

Josh
[/quote]

Just because the title itself isn’t church dogma or doctrine at this point, doesn’t mean that there aren’t doctrinal underpinnings which we already believe in the Church associated with the title. In any event, as a Catholic, you should believe that the Mother of God helped attain your salvation in that she was the first one throughout humanity to answer God’s call perfectly (she being New Eve, and her Son the new Adam). As the mother of our Savior, without her “yes” to the Lord, our salvation would have been impossible. God created us all with free will and her “yes” shows us just how much she loved God and us.

You should not take these insights to mean that Jesus’ sacrifice was insufficient, because it was, so ignore the hype around the title. It isn’t official, and there really isn’t a need for it to be.


#8

I should restate what I said. It was inaccurate. The truth is that it is a certainty of the faith that Mary is mediator in that Christ came through her. To say otherwise is to go against scripture. But it is theological opinion to say that all grace proceeds through the hands of Mary. The idea that Mary distributes all grace is a theological opinion.


#9

I cannot edit post #7. I should make it clear that what I mean is that Jesus’ sacrifice is sufficient, because I just re-read my post and noticed it could be interpreted the other way around.


#10

It is important to understand that the word “co-redemptrix” does not imply equality—the prefix “co” is used in its Latin understanding (“with”), NOT our modern Western understanding, wherein “co” tends to imply an equality, such as “co-chairmen”, etc. There’s nothing theologically offensive about seeing Mary as “co-redemptrix” if you understand the true meaning of the word.


#11

“As the Father has sent Me, so I send you…”

The Father sent the Son as Redeemer. The Son sent us as co-operators in his mission. Mary may be viewed as a Co-Redeemer and so should we all see ourselves. (if Co-redeemer is ever defined, I suspect it will be to highlight our role as co-redemers, not Mary’s role) The church is Apostolic (sent) and redemption is the mission it is sent on. We, the Body of Christ, are sent into the world to continue the work of redemption.

How? prayer, intercession, sacrifice, good works, teaching, charity, preaching the Gospel, caring for the sick & dying & imprisoned & the hungry & the thirsty… etc.

Jesus is coming. Look busy.


#12

i think one of the reasons that using the title
co-redemptrix was rejected by the church was
the very confusion that is evident by the posts
here…

most of the people who post here are relatively
well versed and knowledgable concerning the
church’s teaching concerning Mary, yet even
here, i see so much care being taken not to
overstate, or understate…

i can imagine how confusing it would be for
someone not as knowledgable, and believe me,
there are lots who aren’t that well versed…

:slight_smile:


#13

[quote=johnshelby]i think one of the reasons that using the title
co-redemptrix was rejected by the church was
the very confusion that is evident by the posts
here…

most of the people who post here are relatively
well versed and knowledgable concerning the
church’s teaching concerning Mary, yet even
here, i see so much care being taken not to
overstate, or understate…

i can imagine how confusing it would be for
someone not as knowledgable, and believe me,
there are lots who aren’t that well versed…

:slight_smile:
[/quote]

I agree! that, and it’s not necessary to define the title as a dogma/doctrine of the faith. :wink:


#14

EWTN took an entire day to explain why the titles, Co-redemtrix and mediatrix were o.k. That in itself unintendedly showed how questionable these titles are. They are a scandal to he faithful in the least and heretical at the most. Marian extremists are always pushing the envelope and guilding the Lily . No wonder other christians accuse Catholics of Mary worship and making her divine.


#15

The doctrines of “Co-redemptrix” and “Co-mediatrix” are not needed. If they ever do proclaim these doctrines they would have to proclaim that all the faithful are also co-redemers and co-mediators. It is what we all are, not just exclusively for Mary. We are all called to help Christ redeem others and we are all called to pray along with Christ. Therefore, we are all co-redeemers and co-mediators, so why proclaim it only exclusively for Mary?


#16

St. Irenaeus Against Heresies 3:22:4

  1. In accordance with this design, Mary the Virgin is found obedient, saying, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."439 But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin (for in Paradise "they were both naked, and were not ashamed,"440 inasmuch as they, having been created a short time previously, had no understanding of the procreation of children: for it was necessary that they should first come to adult age,441 and then multiply from that time onward), having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race; so also did Mary, having a man betrothed [to her], and being nevertheless a virgin, by yielding obedience, become the cause of salvation, both to herself and the whole human race… And thus also it was that the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. For what the virgin Eve had bound fast through unbelief, this did the virgin Mary set free through faith. (Source)

Source: earlychurchfathers.org/

Above, is what some of the advocates for the doctrine of co-redemptrix use as proof. Because Mary was obedient she became the cause of salvation for all humanity. That’s true, but also because the faithful are obedient and good they also become cause of salvation for others too. Also the Apostles were the cause of salvation for humanity as well for proclaiming the word and for their martyrdom.

**As for mediatrix, I don’t know if the early fathers taught of it. But, it is okay as long as people understand that it can be applied for all the Saints and faithful as well. **

It would be nice if these doctrines were taught more broader. And also it should be proclaimed broader, if proclaimed by the entire Church. But, of course we have to remember that Mary was the first to be Co-redeemer and Co-mediator in the New Testament.


#17

I take back my message #15. I shouldn’t have said that the doctrines aren’t needed. They are good and anything that helps to improve our understanding of Mary’s role and our role is needed. However, it would be better if it were proclaimed that we are all co-redeemers and co-mediators, but Mary was the first. These doctrines can further enhance us by encouraging us to further pray more and help more.


#18

[quote=JOHNYJ]EWTN took an entire day to explain why the titles, Co-redemtrix and mediatrix were o.k. That in itself unintendedly showed how questionable these titles are. They are a scandal to he faithful in the least and heretical at the most. Marian extremists are always pushing the envelope and guilding the Lily . No wonder other christians accuse Catholics of Mary worship and making her divine.
[/quote]

If you understand the theology behind the title, it is not a “scandal” nor making her “divine”!


#19

[quote=Semper Fi]If you understand the theology behind the title, it is not a “scandal” nor making her “divine”!
[/quote]

Lumen Gentium III
62. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in
faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and
lasts until The eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside
this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued 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 cultics, until they are led into the happiness of
their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of
Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix.(16*) This, however, is to be so understood
that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of
Christ the one Mediator.(17*)

For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just
as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the
faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to 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. It knows it through
unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged
by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.*

I think what LG teaches is wholly orthodox. But when we go so far as to say that all grace must pass first through her hands does cause scandal and is borderline heretical.


#20

[quote=arieh0310]Lumen Gentium III
*62. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in *
*faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and *
*lasts until The eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside *
*this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued 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 cultics, until they are led into the happiness of *
*their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of *
Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix.(16) This, however, is to be so understood *
*that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of *
Christ the one Mediator.(17) *

*For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just *
*as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the *
*faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to 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. It knows it through *
unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged
by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.

I think what LG teaches is wholly orthodox. But when we go so far as to say that all grace must pass first through her hands does cause scandal and is borderline heretical.
[/quote]

We’re discussing the title “Co-redemptrix” here, not the title “Mediatrix of All Graces”. If you want to discuss this, please start a new thread.

Though both Pope Pius XI in 1935 and Pope John Paul II himself in 1985 did use the word co-redemptrix to refer to Mary, no formal infallible dogma supporting such a designation has been issued, notwithstanding the petition.


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