One way, two ways, which way?


#1

Is Mary Co-redemptor with Jesus Christ?


#2

Nope - she served a purpose in God’s plan for Salvation.

Redemption is through Jesus, and Jesus only. While there is much in the Bible to back this up, as well as explain God’s salvation plan of Jesus Christ, here is one small verse to consider (John 14:6):

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

Notice it says “I” and “me”, not “We” and “us” :wink:%between% %between%


#3

The short answer is Yes.

Mary is considered the Co-Redemptress because she participated in a unique way, in the redemption of mankind. This does not place her as an equal to Jesus, obviously, because it is not of her power that mankind has been redeemed. It is merely an acknowledgement of the significant role she played in our redemption through her answering “Yes” to God’s call for her to carry Jesus in her womb, thereby bringing about the humanity of Jesus our Lord and Savior.

There is a great deal of theology that goes into the Catholic view of Mary, which will help you to understand this. I encourage you to check out the CA tracts on this site, and/or view the other threads regarding Mary.


#4

Sounds like I have some reading to do :o


#5

[quote=awalt]Nope - she served a purpose in God’s plan for Salvation.

Redemption is through Jesus, and Jesus only. While there is much in the Bible to back this up, as well as explain God’s salvation plan of Jesus Christ, here is one small verse to consider (John 14:6):

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.

Notice it says “I” and “me”, not “We” and “us” :wink:%between% %between%
[/quote]

The proper understanding of Mary in no way diminishes the glory of Jesus Christ. As a Catholic, I agree with your statements:

*"Redemption is through Jesus, and Jesus only. While there is much in the Bible to back this up, as well as explain God’s salvation plan of Jesus Christ, here is one small verse to consider (John 14:6):

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."*

Redemption is indeed through Jesus and Jesus only. No one comes to the Father except through Jesus. These truths do not deny that Mary played a significant role in our redemption, or as you said, she served a purpose in God’s plan of salvation (a very important purpose). The title is merely a recognition of that fact.

The objection to the titles with which Catholics honor Mary, are based on a misconception that Catholics are somehow elevating Mary to equal status with Jesus, which could not be further from the truth.

Study what the Catholic Church actually teaches about Mary (instead of objecting based on preconceived notions), and you too will see the beauty and fullness of the Church’s teaching.

Peace,
Chris


#6

Co in Latin means “with”.

Without Mary’s co-operation with God, Christ would not be born. God was not going to force Mary to conceive and give birth to Jesus. He asked her to co-operate - to “operate with”. She did not operate on her own. She did not lead; she followed.

In speaking of Mary as co-redemptress, it signifies that she was involved in redemption is a specific and unique way; in conceiving, giving birth, and raising Christ to adulthood. She had a specific and unique plan in the redemption of mankind.

There has been a strong push in recent times to announce a doctrine setting forth and recognizing this unique role, from a number of the faithful.

There has also been a strong resistance by Rome to respond to this push. Given the misunderstanding among non-Catholics of the Catholics’ understanding of Mary already present, it would seem somewhere between unlikely and highly unlikely that any doctrine would be announced any time in the foreseeable future.

This has a tendency to upset faithful Catholics who have a close relation to Mary. However, it should be remembered that the Catholic Church (and Mary) did just fine for quite a few centuries without the Church defining either the doctrine of the Immacualate Conception or the Assumption of Mary. Both issues were held by the Church but not defined for centuries. Truth is still truth, even if the Church has not officially stated it.


#7

[quote=Chris W] Study what the Catholic Church actually teaches about Mary (instead of objecting based on preconceived notions), and you too will see the beauty and fullness of the Church’s teaching.
[/quote]

I hope this didn’t come across snide or as criticism. Please understand I did not mean it that way.

Peace,
Chris


#8

Boy this is a great question, and now I am learning!

So now I feel a little more back to my long-standing belief of “No she is not”.

Here is what I found, I am far from an expert so I appreciate any llight anyone can shed on this!

CCC 970 states: “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.”

–notice it cites Jesus as Redeemer, singular…

CCC 963: Since the Virgin Mary’s role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. “The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer. . . . She is ‘clearly the mother of the members of Christ’ . . . since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.” “Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church.”

CCC 491 says she was Redeemed, wouldn’t this imply not a co-Redeemer:

Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, “full of grace” through God, was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.And it seems there are several other verses that call Jesus “The Redeemer” - CCC633, 598, 478, 605, 14, 388, 795, 1020…so it seems there is nothing in CCC or the Bible that implies she is Co-redeemer?


#9

[quote=awalt]Boy this is a great question, and now I am learning!

So now I feel a little more back to my long-standing belief of “No she is not”.
…so it seems there is nothing in CCC or the Bible that implies she is Co-redeemer?
[/quote]

Thanks for the perspective, Don. It is interesting to read your take, because as I read the info you quoted, my reaction is “this all confirms what I said.” Yet your take is the opposite, because you come from a different persoective. I love this stuff! :slight_smile:

Okay, you highlighted that she is the mother of the redeemer. Why did you highlight this? She clearly is the mother of the redeemer, since she bore the Redeemer in her womb. But does her being the mother of the redeemer mean she did not participate in a unique way in the redemption of mankind? Does this somehow invalide the title or the understanding described in the previous emails?


#10

The Church has been very relucatant to define Mary as co-redemptrix because of the confusion it would cause. Let’s consider the term for a moment.

If we think of a copilot we know he is not equal to the pilot, but serves as a second in command. He is fully qualified to fly the plane, but he is not the captain.

So, too, with Mary’s role in salvation history. She is unique becuase she is the *Theotokas, *the Mother of God. She contained the uncontainable in her womb. Her *“Fiat” *(Let it be done) is what allows salvation history to unfold. She constantly prays for us, and leads us to her Son.

In that role she is “co-redemptrix” – not because she herself saves us, that is done only by Jesus, but because of her active role as a mediator between God and man (it was in her womb that the Son of God took flesh) and because of her continuing prayers that she is a co-redemptirx.

Does that help?

Deacon Ed


#11

Every doctrine concerning the Blessed Virgin Mary points to Christ. For example, the title Mother of God (or Theotokus, God Bearer) was given to Mary by the Council of Ephesus in 431 to combat the heresy that Jesus was not God.

When the Father elected Mary from among all women (cf. Lk 1:41) to be the Mother of the Redeemer, it was by virtue of God’s choice and Mary’s consent that Mary began her role of cooperation* with the Redeemer. *

"Co-" in Latin means*** “with.”*** Co-Redemptrix doesn’t mean that there are two redeemers. It means that Jesus – the Savior of the World – was incarnated (took His human form) through Mary. In His Humanity, He is blood of her blood, bone of her bone, DNA of her DNA. Jesus said: “The bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” John 6:51. He took His Flesh from Mary, with her full consent (Luke, Chapter 1). Therefore, she shared with the Redeemer His work of redemption of the human family.

JMJ Jay


#12

One more resource I would mention about this topic:

Tim Staples, who is now with Catholic Answers, has an absolutely wonderful tape series entitled “All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed”. He does a great job of presenting Mary to us in light of the whole of the salvation history of man, from the fall of Lucifer to the present day. He shows the listener how absolutely central Mary is throughout the whole Bible, OT and NT, and how the proper understanding of Mary helps us properly understand Jesus. I highly recommend this to anyone who has questions about Mary. :thumbsup:


#13

[quote=Deacon Ed]The Church has been very relucatant to define Mary as co-redemptrix because of the confusion it would cause. Let’s consider the term for a moment.

If we think of a copilot we know he is not equal to the pilot, but serves as a second in command. He is fully qualified to fly the plane, but he is not the captain.

So, too, with Mary’s role in salvation history. She is unique becuase she is the *Theotokas, *the Mother of God. She contained the uncontainable in her womb. Her *“Fiat” *(Let it be done) is what allows salvation history to unfold. She constantly prays for us, and leads us to her Son.

In that role she is “co-redemptrix” – not because she herself saves us, that is done only by Jesus, but because of her active role as a mediator between God and man (it was in her womb that the Son of God took flesh) and because of her continuing prayers that she is a co-redemptirx.

Does that help?

Deacon Ed
[/quote]

Deacon Ed, I understand exactly what you mean, but I’m not sure all Protestants would. You’ve have used two phrases that may tend to upset Protestants (I say this based on the fact that I used to be one). That is, that Mary is “fully qualified” – implying that she is equally qualified with her Son, Jesus, to be the redeemer; and that she is a “mediator.” Our Protestant brothers and sisters construe that as meaning that Mary is above us humans (some claim we worship her as a ‘goddess’). And Protestants see red when Catholics refer to Mary as a mediator because 1 Tm 2:5 says Jesus is the “one mediator between God and man.”

We Catholics know that Mary is a mere human like us; the only power she has is the power of prayer. We acknowledge Christ as the ONE Mediator (capitol M) – He alone reconciled God and mankind and opened the door of heaven to us; but we, as intercessors in prayer, are mediators (lower case M) for one another, through Christ, the Great Mediator, to God.

Deacon, hope you don’t mind my clarifying what you wrote. You may wish to add to this. Please let me hear from you.:slight_smile:

JMJ Jay


#14

A word dropped out of my last post, and it’s too late to edit. Should read “Our Protestant brothers and sisters may construe”… Jay


#15

Hi Chris,

I agree with the explanation of Deacon Ed, although to be more accurate I should say he knows a lot more than I do on the subject, and his explanation coincides with what I believe.

I think the small but imprtant distinction is, does the Church call Mary a co-redemptrix, vs. is it a reasonable position to say that “since she had a unique and important singular role in the salvation plan (which is explicitly stated in the CCC), do I conclude she acted as a co-redeemer?” To this question, I think someone could say “that’s a reasonable conclusion you could draw based on your definition of co-redeemer and the part Mary played.”

For me, when the question is asked, I imply the real question is “Does the Church ***title ***Mary as co-redeemer?”, and I think the answer to that is no - it doesn’t exist anywhere that I have seen.

So I could argue both conclusions are correct, although I will make a last argument for the “No” side by saying the CCC is very carefully thought out and worded, just like the Bible, so with all the discussion about Mary’s role in all of this, if they didn’t come out and call her a co-redeemer when it seems so obvious to do so, ***there must have been a reason they didn’t.



#16

[quote=Katholikos]Deacon Ed, I understand exactly what you mean, but I’m not sure all Protestants would. You’ve have used two phrases that may tend to upset Protestants (I say this based on the fact that I used to be one). That is, that Mary is “fully qualified” – implying that she is equally qualified with her Son, Jesus, to be the redeemer; and that she is a “mediator.” Our Protestant brothers and sisters construe that as meaning that Mary is above us humans (some claim we worship her as a ‘goddess’). And Protestants see red when Catholics refer to Mary as a mediator because 1 Tm 2:5 says Jesus is the “one mediator between God and man.”

We Catholics know that Mary is a mere human like us; the only power she has is the power of prayer. We acknowledge Christ as the ONE Mediator (capitol M) – He alone reconciled God and mankind and opened the door of heaven to us; but we, as intercessors in prayer, are mediators (lower case M) for one another, through Christ, the Great Mediator, to God.

Deacon, hope you don’t mind my clarifying what you wrote. You may wish to add to this. Please let me hear from you.:slight_smile:

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

Yeah, my wife used to be a Southern Baptist before she became Catholic (long before my ordination).

The problem is that there are many “meditators” (the word Paul uses is mesit[size=2]é[/size]s which means “one who intervenes, an arbitrator”). There can be no denying that Mary was “one who intervened” in the relationship between God and man by becoming the “conduit” through which Jesus took on flesh and entered the world “a man like us in all things but sin.”

Further, each of us becomes a “mediator” when we pray for another. But it is equally true that Jesus is THE Mediator between God and man because He restored our abilty to relate to God.

The only place I used the term “fully qualified” was in reference to the copilot, not to Mary. She was “fully qualified” to become the Mother of God, to serve as our advocate – but not to save us. Salvation is from the Lord. Or, as that famous sign in downtown Los Angeles proclaims: “Jesus Saves.” (It’s now on top of the “cathedral” that Gene Scott uses – and like the “Crystal Cathedral” is a misnomer since a Cathedral reuquires a cathedra or chair for the bishop – and neither place has a bishop).

Deacon Ed


#17

Someone said somewhere that the catechism is quiet on co-redemptrix. While that is true, the following paragraph makes some implications:

618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the “one mediator between God and men”.452 But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man, “the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery” is offered to all men.453 He calls his disciples to “take up [their] cross and follow [him]”,454 for "Christ also suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example so that [we] should follow in his steps."455 In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to be its first beneficiaries.456 This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who was associated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptive suffering.457


#18

As an RCIA-Candidate about to enter the Church, I hope and pray that the “Co-redemptrix” theology is never made dogma.

The reason is, just as has been mentioned: confusion. If they are going to make it dogma, then it should be translated more ACCURATELY into English. Since the vast majority of people do NOT speak Latin (even if they may know a few phrases from church), saying “Co-redemptrix” sure does sound like someone on equal footing.

Example: I’m a school teacher. In my school, we have a Co-Teach model fo teaching, in which both teachers teach in equal amounts and on equal levels of authority. This same usage of “Co” in English is applied in many many ways…

So, of someone uses it in reference to my Redeemer, I assume they are putting way too much credit where credit is not due.

Furthermore, I do not buy into most of the Marian doctrines. If I hear the term “Mary’s ‘Yes’” another time in church, I think I will vomit. Does it not occur to anyone that:
a) God knew Mary would say yes. God made Mary… God knows the future.
b) If God knew Mary WOULDN’T say yes, he would have chosen another of His creations to take on the task that he required.

Thanks,

Michael


#19

[quote=SouthCoast] Furthermore, I do not buy into most of the Marian doctrines.
[/quote]

Dumb question here…isn’t that, like, kind of an obstacle to entering the Church…you know…that whole part about believing what is proposed to the faitful as divinely revealed.

[quote=SouthCoast]Does it not occur to anyone that:
a) God knew Mary would say yes. God made Mary… God knows the future.
[/quote]

Yes, that is Catholic teaching. God knows everything. That in no way denies the value of that “yes”. (Sorry to make you vomit, although this isn’t Church)


#20

a) God knew Mary would say yes. God made Mary… God knows the future.
b) If God knew Mary WOULDN’T say yes, he would have chosen another of His creations to take on the task that he required.

A. We all have free will, including Mary. God didnt make her say yes. He gave her extra grace, but she freely decided to say, “YES!”

B. God also knew that Eve would fall into temptation. She still was the first one He created.

God didnt Make Mary say yes or make Eve sin, He gave them free will! Just like us.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.