The idea of Mary being the first priest, holding within her the Body and Blood of Christ, is not a theory I’ve heard before - it’s interesting in an intellectual sense, but doctrinally I don’t know what to make of it. Do they have a point at all? If not, how could such a claim be refuted?
Almost all of my apologetics studies so far have been learning to defend the faith against outside criticism, so when it comes to sites like this from people who still claim to be Catholic, I’d be glad of any thoughts or advice from more experienced people, please.
Mary is not the first priest because she held the Body of Christ within her, she is the first Christian, the first communicant, as well as the first fruits of the Resurrection, having been saved through His merits in the Passion and Resurrection before the historical fact.
The priest is not the priest because he holds Christ within him, but because he IS Christ, he acts in personal Christi when he performs the sacrificial duties of the priesthood.
She is the Ark of the New Covenant: “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightening, rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.” Rev 11:19-12:2.
Every priest is a mediator between God and man (Hebrews 5:1; 8:6; 9:16; 12:24), but our principal and proper mediator is Christ. Mary participates in a secondary manner in the mediation of Christ. It is fitting, then, that she should also participate in His priesthood. But in exactly what function does this sacerdotal quality of her mission consist?
During the first ages of Christianity scarcely anyone thinks to search for a quality specifically sacerdotal in the functions of the Mother of Jesus. “The use of a sacerdotal vocabulary in reference to the Blessed Virgin arrives slowly, and, as it were, by exception . . . The theological themes answering to this use are little developed; the idea of an oblation by Mary, which would suggest her sacerdotal role in the clearest possible manner, had not been conceived. Preaching and the hymns of the 7th to the 9th century bear witness to 'a tendency to confer sacerdotal titles on Mary,” but do not indicate “the existence of the idea of a Marian priesthood.” - Rene Laurentin The idea of Mary’s oblation made its first appearance during the subsequent period, a period which lasted until about the year 1600 A.D.
St. Bernard, living during the 12th century, has already clearly expressed this idea. St. Albert the Great in the next century considered this oblation as sacerdotal. This great Marian doctor, employing the principal that Mary posseses all the graces and prerogatives of other rational creatures to a superior degree, proposes to show that she had, with a unique fullness, received all that belongs to the various offices in the Church’s hierarchy. His successors take the same view as he. It is to be noted that in this view the comparison is made between Mary’s sacerdotal role and that of ordained priests.