Trying to defend Catholic belief in Mary


Specifically I have been challenged by fundamentalist Protestants to defend what they claim are the ‘God-like’ powers they attribute to Mary.

I cannot seem to get it across to them that Mary is not asked for forgiveness or grace but rather that She interceeds for us to Christ.

I have also attempted to explain the logic of her Immaculate Conception in that God can create a perfect (if mortal) vessel for His mortal manifestation - in fact it is more than appropriate.

What I cannot explain or defend is how to argue Mary being a ‘Coredemptrix’.
I always thought myself that redemption came from one source alone?
Are the Protestants right when they claim this?

Any help would be appreciated.

It really burns me (and makes me angry - much to my shame) that these people can continue to use 17th century attacks on the Church and spread lies about our practices.

Thank you in advance.




That is controversial, and not all Catholics accept it, which was why John Paul II stepped back from declaring it a dogma.

We could see Mary as undoing the sin of Eve, whilst Jesus undid the sin of Adam. Adam’s sin was the one which led to the Fall, and more serious, because, sorry ladies, men are more capable of controlling their actions than women.



Marry was a prostitute.
I didn’t get that in the bible.
I got that in a book full of things i like to call facts.


Coredemtrix does not mean our Lady actually redeemed or equaly redeemed man , Christ redeemed man and Mary participated in the most unique way as no other human being did.

Irenaeus of Lyons: "Consequently, then, Mary the Virgin is found to be obedient, saying, `Behold, O Lord, your handmaid; be it done to me according to your word.’ Eve, however, was disobedient, and, when yet a virgin, she did not obey., was made the cause of death for herself and for the whole human race; so also Mary, betrothed to a man but nevertheless still a virgin, being obedient, was made the cause of salvation **for herself and for the whole human race…( Coredemtrix) Thus, the knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosed by the obedience of Mary. What the virgin Eve had bound in unbelief, the Virgin Mary loosed through faith" (Against Heresies 3:22:24 [A.D. 189]).

**Tertullian: Likewise through a Virgin the Word of God was introduced to set up a structure of life. Thus what had been laid waste in ruin by this Eve was by Mary re-established in salvation.(Coredemtrix) Eve had believed the serpent; Mary believed Gabriel. That which the one destroyed by believing, the other, by believing, set straight" (The Flesh of Christ 17:4 [A.D.210].
As Eve had believed the serpent, so Mary believed the angel. Eve at all events conceived; for the devil’s word afterwards became as seed to her that she should conceive as an outcast, and bring forth in sorrow. Indeed she gave birth to a fratricidal devil; whilst Mary, on the contrary, bare one who was one day to secure salvation to Israel,( Coredemtrix) (On the Flesh of Christ Chapt XVII Similarity in the circumstance between the first and second Adam and between Eve and Mary)


Don’t you just love people who first tell you what Catholics believe, then argue with you when you try to correct their misinformation? Re: mediatrix of all graces and co-redemptrix:

First-- God can dispense His graces any way He chooses.

Second-- Mary cooperated in the salvation of souls by bearing the Saviour. It was through Jesus’ death on the Cross that salvation came to us. She gave birth to Jesus.



Ive noticed this in another post and the first Ive heard of Jesus undoing Adams sin and Mary undoing Eves sins.

And what you said doesnt make sense if Adams sin was the one that led to the fall, then men are more capable of controlling their actions

which way is it?? how could he be more responsible to control but cause the fall?? you must have mis typed/

and please explain this new Adam and Eve. That would make mother and Son ( I just dont wanna think about that)

I really hope your just explaining it poorly.

And sides Christ died for ALL sins not just the guys, this thing just reads out wrong. . . …


same topic, more information…



*Dear Matthew
Personally I believe that the Catholic Church expresses most fully the will of God. While we hold fast to the sound teachings of the Church established by our Lord Jesus, we also understand that He who established the Church (as opposed to multiple Churches) is also able to keep it from error. When St Alphonsus quotes St. Bernard, thus “God wishes that all the good that we expect from him should be obtained through the most powerful intercession of Mary.” [Deus vult ut omnia bona ab ipso exspectemus, potentissima Virginis Matris intercessione impetranda] our Holy Mother Church acknowledges this mystery and invites us to accept this truth for our salvation. I do not therefore see the need to keep defending ourselves.
St Alphonsus wrote quite adequately “we rightly conclude that devotion to the Blessed Virgin is not only useful, but even morally necessary, according to what St. Bernard says, as is quoted above: “No grace comes from heaven to the earth unless it passes through the hands of Mary.” At the present time this is a very common opinion among Catholics, as we have proved in our book the Glories of Mary, in which I quote many theologians who call this an opinion that is absolutely common.
However, this opinion does not please Muratori, who in his book entitled Well-regulated Devotion, says of the maintained proposition, " God does not grant any grace except through the mediation of Mary,” [Nulla gratia venit de cœlo ad terram, nisi transeat per manus Mariæ.] that it is a hyperbole, an exaggeration that has escaped the lips of some saints. But I do not know how this great scholar has been able to see in this a hyperbole, after Jesus Christ has deigned to choose this privileged creature for his Mother, and for his co-operatrix in the redemption of the human race. It cannot be denied that it was a most proper thing that, since Mary had honored and loved Jesus Christ more than all men and all angels, he should have wished to raise her to this prerogative, namely, that all the graces which are to be dispensed to redeemed men graces which are the fruit of his merits should pass through the hands of his Mother, as through a channel of graces, according to the opinion of St. Bernard. What conduces much in favor of our proposition is that the holy Church in the Salve Regina tells us to call this divine Mother, Vita, spes nostræ our life, our hope. One should then fear very much for the salvation of him who esteems but little the devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and neglects to obtain her intercession; for according to the opinion of St. Bernard, he thereby closes to himself the channel of graces necessary to his
Finally debate for me and many Catholics is very fruitless as we have experienced the results of our devotion and believe the teachings of the Church. We love and revere the Church in the very same obedient spirit suggested by St. Ignatius “To be right in everything, we ought always to hold that the white which I see, is black, if the Hierarchical Church so decides it, believing that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Bride, there is the same Spirit which governs and directs us for the salvation of our souls.”
God bless and best of luck


She agreed to carry the Redeemer in her womb. She could have said, “No, thanks” to Gabriel. Her “Yes” to the will of God made it possible for Christ to come.

At the Bible Christian Society, there is a CD you can order, or MP3 you can download called Mary & the Bible that will help you immensely. (Link takes you to the download page).


Here is what you do:

Question #1: Is Jesus Christ King?

99.98% of Protestants even will answer an emphatic “YES!”

Question #2: Is Mary the Mother of Jesus?

Once again, they will answer “YES!”

So, Jesus is King, and Mary is His Mother.

In ancient Israelite tradition, the Mother of the King is given the title of Queen. The Queen acted as a king of “ambassador” for the King, sending requests to him. For example, from Sacred Scripture 2 Kings 17-20:

17 And [Adonias] said: I pray thee speak to king Solomon (for he cannot deny thee any thing) to give me Abisag the Sunamitess to wife. 18 And Bethsabee said: Well, I will speak for thee to the king. 19 Then Bethsabee came to king Solomon, to speak to him for Adonias: and the king arose to meet her, and bowed to her, and sat down upon his throne: and a throne was set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right hand. 20 And she said to him: I desire one small petition of thee, do not put me to confusion. And the king said to her: My mother, ask: for I must not turn away thy face.

As a Christian, Heaven functions just as the ancient Israelite Kingdom, except Heaven is perfect, and Christ is King and God, not imperfect shadows like Solomon, David, and the such. Our Queen is Mary, the New Eve, the True Ark of the Covenant. Mother Mary is the personification of the Church, the Faith, of all believers, the first Christian, and I could go on and on!


Part of what you are dealing with is that these people may have seen or spoken to a Catholic that was perhaps behaving in a manner that does not coincide with the official teachings of the Church.

I was raised Catholic, and indeed regularly heard people speak to Mary, and of Mary as if she had powers on her own. This may have been “shorthand”, just a manner of speaking, but the insiders understanding that all power and grace comes from God, or it may have been a misunderstanding on the part of the people themselves.

The best way to deal with misunderstandings that arise from seeing incorrect practice is to show them the teachings of the Church and explain that, unfortunately, there are those that do not understand or behave accordingly and may have caused confusion.

There are still likely to be Mary related issues they don’t agree with, but at least some of the issues can be cleared up by looking at the teachings themselves.

While there are anti-Catholics who’s cheif aim is mischeif and greif, there are also people who are genuinely ignorant and only know what they have seen or heard, sometimes from Catholics themselves.

I can’t help you with the IC or coredemptrix issue, I am one of those that believe that is an area where the Church “jumped the shark”.



Let me assume you’re dealing with people who understand and accept logic. Simply attend one of their services. The odds are very good you will hear the minister ask the congregation to pray for someone who is sick or in difficulties.

What is the minister doing? He is praying to the congregation!!

And what is he praying they do? That they intercede for the person who is sick or in difficulties!!

If they accept that for ordinary persons, surely they can accept it for Mary, the Mother of Christ!


If you were still a Catholic, I would have found these two sentences in the same post ironic. In any case, you do a disservice lumping together the dogma of the Immaculate Conception with the title of Mary as Coredemptrix. The first, I assume you know, is infallible teaching which must be held by all Catholics. The ex cathedra pronouncement of 1854 was the culmination of a belief stretching back to the institution of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1476; the first formal outline of the doctrine in the 11th century; and before that, as the Catholic Encyclopedia puts it, “Patristic writings on Mary’s purity abound.”

The title of Coredemptrix is in another category altogether. Supporters find summed up in this title the doctrines concerning Mary’s role(s) in relation to the Church and salvation held by the Church since very early on. However the word was not used by a Pope until Pius XI in 1933, and it was not used in Vatican II documents.


I understand that, but since we are on the topic, maybe you could help clear up some things I have seen and read here and on EWTN radio lately.

On one hand, when the discussion of IC as doctrine comes up and why it was declared doctrine at the time that it was, I have heard and seen several different people say it was because “so many were requesting it”.

that shocked me, because I didn’t think such a reason ever held sway with the Church.

The reason I have most lately heard for why Co-redemptrix is not declared doctrine, is the flip, because it is not the right time, it would cause an issue with many. Again, I never thought that the fact that a teaching would be difficult to accept by many would be a cause not to define it as doctrine.

When they say “many”, are they referring to many who make up the Magesterium?



Goofy boy. :wink: Adam’s sin lead to the fall because he was human head of the human family- the original human father. His actions brought the Fall upon all his offspring. It didn’t have anything to do with who was more able to control their actions, but about the roles of husbands/wives, fathers/mothers.

Kitty Chan, calling Jesus the “New Adam” and Mary the “New Eve” doesn’t imply they maintained a sexual relationship like the original Adam and Eve did. It refers to their perfect obedience to God the Father, and how that obedience served to cancel out the effects of Original Sin.


It may be true that “so many were requesting it” but there was much more behind the decision. Here is an excerpt from the web site of
The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute (warning: there is some questionable material on this site) at the University of Dayton:
The history of this dogma is an excellent example of how the Magisterium of the Church functions, namely it is a good illustration of its patient, consensus-seeking role through the centuries. For a long time the question of the Immaculate Conception was left open for free discussion. Later, the Magisterium forbade the accusation of heresy to be used by either side, for the sake of peace in the Church. The Pope then favored orthopraxy over orthodoxy by granting a liturgical office of Mary’s Immaculate Conception (1477). It was only after consulting with all the bishops, through their mediation with the whole people of God, and with the help of several theological committees that the dogma of faith was finally defined (1854).
My understanding of the Coredemptrix issue is not that it introduces a new and innovative understanding of Mary that many would find difficult. Vatican II had this to say about her:
Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was in this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.
[RIGHT]— Lumen Gentium, Chapter 8.61
I think the issue is with the word Coredemptrix itself, and what erroneous meaning that might conjure for some. At any rate, the process of doctrinal development described above regarding the Immaculate Conception would seem to be ongoing in this matter.


Are we not all co redeemers? Are we not suposed to bring the good news to the rest of the world. Someone could choose Jesus as there personal Lord and Savior because of our witness to them. All though it would be God doing the work threw us. Just as mary is not the one doing all the work. We did play a role in there redemtion right? Is this a correct view of our teaching? Or am I wrong?


Many people stay away from the word “co-redemptrix” due to the image it conjures, i.e. it sounds like she is a redeemer like God. In actuality, the Catholic Church uses the term to mean “co-operator” when referring to Mary as “co-redemptrix.” She cooperated fully in God’s plan for the redemption of his people.

Also, when she is referred to as sinless, it is God who made her this way. He saved her from sin. He is her savior as well as ours.

Someone above mentioned that she is the first Christian. I like that.



From what I’ve read, usually a dogma is declared by the pope when it has been long believed and is facing corruption by heresy. This may be why you have heard that “many wanted it done.” The word “many” is surely referring to the Magisterium and to beliefs which were already widely held.

The popes don’t declare dogmas *ex cathedra *that are new.

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