Reaching consensus on Mary’s role in redemption: The Athanasian solution

We are bereft of a St. Athanasius in our day. Yet we have, in his stead, something greater—an ecumenical council. How does the Second Vatican Council denote the true doctrinal role of Mary in Redemption?

A close-up of the copy of Michelangelo's Vatican Pietà, usually kept at the Vatican Museums. / Ela Bialkowska/OKNO studio.

Since the late 19th century, Catholic theologians have devoted much attention to the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the work of redemption. From the early 20th century, there have also been many petitions for a dogmatic definition on Mary’s mediation of all graces and/or her coredemptive role with and under her divine Son. Prior to Vatican II, many bishops petitioned for such a dogmatic definition, but St. John XXIII made it clear that he did not want any new dogmatic definitions at the council. After Vatican II, some in the Church have tried to reduce the role of the Virgin Mary to that of an exemplary disciple who, like all of the faithful, is simply a member of the Church. Some Catholic theologians have likewise minimized Mary’s active role in the work of redemption, and some have even resisted her status as universal spiritual Mother and Mediatrix of grace.

In light of the present confusion and controversy over Mary’s coredemptive role, it might be helpful to consider the example of the Church Father, St. Athanasius (295–373), who sought a Catholic consensus on the divinity of Christ during the Arian controversy. Amidst the 4th century heretical Arian pandemic for which St. Jerome bemoaned his famous lamentation, “the whole world groaned, astonished to find itself Arian,” orthodoxy’s champion, St. Athanasius, had an inspiration. By 360, the Christological battle reached a dire entrenchment. The varied positions regarding the relationship between the Son and the Father became essentially grounded upon a single term. The pro- Nicene Homoouseans defended the term, homoousios (“of one substance”). The “moderate” Homoeouseans supported homoiousios (“of a similar substance”). The Arian Anomeans asserted anomoios, (“unlike” [the Father]). The Homoeans landed on the term, homoios (“like” [the Father]), for they maintained that since terms like “substance” and “essence” had not been explicitly revealed in Scripture, they should never be used by the Church.[1]

In response to these seemingly irreconcilable Christological differences, St. Athanasius called a “peace conference” in Alexandria (362 A.D.). He invited representatives of the battling camps to set aside the specific terms and titles for the moment, and rather to focus instead on the foundational doctrine behind the terms.

Athanasius offered a series of theological propositions, for which a simple “yes” or “no” response sufficed. For example, the Nicene hero asked the assembled representatives the doctrinal meaning behind the term, one hypostasis in relation to Son and Father: did they mean one substance or ousia (essence), because the Son is of the one substance as the Father? If they answered in the affirmative (along with a negative response to Sabellian modalism), Athanasius accepted them into full communion with the Church.

After a series of such propositions, Athanasius objectively and charitably articulated what each camp theologically stood for, thus making clear that, despite the different title-camp associations that had developed, the Nicenes and most Moderates really believed the same doctrinal truth and had no essential ground for disagreement. [2] The Athanasian solution led to a historic unity between Nicene and Moderate bishops (and their respective theologians), a collegial union that consequently paved the way for the pro-Nicene Christological victory at the Council of Constantinople I.

Presently, similar theological entrenchments surround the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Redemption and their respective responses to the term, “Co-redemptrix.” One contemporary position interprets 1 Tim. 2:5 to signify that Jesus Christ is the “one mediator” and the only mediator, thus excluding Mary’s subordinate mediation in Redemption.[3] Another group holds that Mary was “receptive” at Calvary, but not actively participating in the Redemption accomplished by Christ.[4] Yet another group maintains that Mary actively and uniquely participated in the Redemption, from her fiat at the Annunciation, throughout her earthly life, and reached its culmination in her active participation with Jesus at Calvary.[5]

A further ecclesio-political difficulty exists regarding the “Co-redemptrix” title and its identification with an international Catholic movement seeking the solemn definition of Our Lady’s Spiritual Motherhood, inclusive of her co-redemptive role. For those not in favor of a proposed fifth Marian dogma, the public association of the Co-redemptrix title with this movement provides a further and potential doubt towards the term itself.

Perhaps the Athanasian solution could be fruitfully applied to the current controversy concerning Mary’s role in Redemption.

Let us speculatively place to the side, for the moment, the Co-redemptrix title, and focus rather on what constitutes the authentic doctrinal role of Mary in historic act of Redemption.

We are bereft of a St. Athanasius in our day. Yet we have, in his stead, something greater—an ecumenical council. How does the Second Vatican Council denote the true doctrinal role of Mary in Redemption?

A priori, the Council defends the critical principle that creatures, i.e., human beings, can in fact participate in the unique work of the one divine Redeemer and Mediator:

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 manifest cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.[6]

Vatican II confirms that Christians indeed must cooperate and share in the one, unique, all-sustaining, and all-necessary mediation of Jesus Christ, which takes nothing away from the mediation of divine Redeemer, but rather “manifests its power.”[7]

Lumen Gentium 62 goes on to apply this principle of subordinate Christian mediation specifically to Mary:

The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help, they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.[8]

Mary’s subordinate role with Christ the Mediator and Redeemer, the Council states, is a truth which the Church “does not hesitate to profess.” Is this Vatican II teaching being implemented today by its followers? Are otherwise faithful disciples of the Council “hesitating” to profess Mary’s subordinate role with the Redeemer in contemporary theological and pastoral discourse?

Mary’s free and active cooperation in the mystery of Redemption is explicitly taught in Lumen Gentium 56, based here on the testimony of the Fathers of the Church:

Thus, the daughter of Adam, Mary, consenting to the word of God, became the Mother of Jesus. Committing herself wholeheartedly and impeded by no sin to God’s saving will, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord, to the person and work of her Son, under and with him, serving the mystery of the Redemption, by the grace of Almighty God. Rightly, therefore, the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience. For as St. Irenaeus says, she “being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race.”[9]

The Council’s confirmation of St. Irenaeus’ teaching of Mary as “cause of salvation” (causa salutis) for all humanity, even if secondary, instrumental, and incarnational, remains a clear Patristic and magisterial testimony to the unique Marian cooperation in Redemption.

Lumen Gentium 57 refers to the Mother of Jesus’ unique salvific role with the Redeemer for his entire earthly life: “This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death.”[10]

The Council culminates its extraordinary magisterial teaching on Marian cooperation in Redemption in Lumen Gentium 58, where the Council Fathers testify to Mary’s endurance of suffering in union with Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, as well her active “consent” to the immolation of her Victim-Son:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, associated herself with his sacrifice in her mother’s heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim which was born of her. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross with the words: “Woman, behold thy son (Jn. 19:26-27).”[11]

In providing post-conciliar papal commentary on the nature and efficacy of Mary’s role with Jesus at Calvary as testified by the Council, John Paul II underscores the objective historic contribution of Mary’s suffering with Christ which was supernaturally and universally fruitful for all humanity:

In her, the many and intense sufferings, were amassed in such an interconnected way, that they were not only a proof of her unshakable faith, but also a contribution to the Redemption of all…It was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view, but which was mysteriously and supernaturally fruitful for the Redemption of the world.[12]

Uniquely prepared by the Father through her Immaculate Conception [13] and in free, obedient consent to his plan, Mary faithfully persevered with the unparalleled suffering of her maternal heart –an immaculate heart completely united with the sacrifice of the heart and body of her Son, like a New Eve with a New Adam—for the one single goal of redeeming the world.

From this substantive teaching of the Second Vatican Council, let us, in Athanasian format and intent, derive a few essential propositions that capture the essence of the Church’s teaching on the role of the Virgin Mary in the Redemption, which can in turn be considered amidst today’s theological discussion:

1. Do you believe that Christians can subordinately cooperate in the unique mediation of Jesus Christ, the one and only divine Redeemer?

If yes…

2. Do you believe that Mary uniquely cooperated with and under Jesus Christ in the work of Redemption by giving birth to the Redeemer?

If yes…

3. Do you believe that Mary uniquely cooperated with and under Jesus Christ, from the event of Christ’s virginal birth, throughout her life, and culminating with her suffering with Jesus at Calvary for the redemption of the world?

If you can faithfully answer in the affirmative to these 3 questions, then you believe, in essence, what the Church positively teaches on Mary’s unique cooperation in Redemption. For the greater part of the last 100 years, this position has been referred to as the doctrine of Marian coredemption.

As German Mariologist, Fr. Manfred Hauke states: “Coredemption’ is nothing other than cooperation with the Redemption.”[14] Fr. Gabriele Roschini, founder of the Marianum Theological Faculty in Rome and one of the 20th Century’s most renowned Mariologists, denotes what specifically constitutes Marian “cooperation” in Redemption:

To “cooperate” means to unite one’s own action to that of another, so as to produce, with him, a common work which is the result of two causes, distinct in principle, but associated in their activity and in effect, the end of their action. The work in which the Virgin united her action to that of Christ is the Redemption of the human race.[15]

The Belgian theologian Fr. Jean Galot, S.J. (1919–2008)—who was a consultant to the Holy See —articulates the legitimacy of Christian coredemption doctrine as a universal Christian call based on St. Paul’s teaching on participation in Christ (as published in the semi-official La Civilta Catholica):

The co-redemption assumes a unique form in Mary, by virtue of her role as mother. Nevertheless, we must speak of coredemption in a much broader context in order to include all who are called to unite themselves to the work of Redemption. In this context, all are destined to live as “co-redeemers,” and the Church herself is a co-redemptrix. In this regard we cannot forget the affirmations of Paul in our participation in the Redemptive path of Christ: in baptism, we are “buried with Christ” (Rom. 6:4); in faith we are already “raised up with” him (Col. 2:13;3:1); “God made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 2:5-6).” This participation results from the sovereign action of the Father, but it implies equally on our part a personal involvement. Having been made participants in the new life of Christ, we are capable of cooperating in the work of salvation. St. Paul has a consciousness of his declaring: “We are God’s co-workers (1 Cor. 3:9).”[16]

It is indeed remarkable, and rarely noted, how comfortable and recurrent St. Paul is with the concept of “co-workers” (synergoi) as applied to Christian ministry, a term he uses at least five times in five different epistles[17], including “co-workers in the Kingdom of God” (Col. 4:11); and “co-workers in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 16:3). He is in good New Testament company: St. John likewise refers to fellow Christians as “co-workers in the Truth” (3 John 1:8).

When Pope Pius XI made the first public papal reference to Mary as “Co-redemptrix” in a 1933 allocution, his explanation of the Co-redemptrix title focused on two essential elements: 1) giving birth to the Redeemer; and 2) Mary’s suffering with Jesus in the sorrow and sacrifice which led to the Redemption of humanity:

By necessity, the Redeemer could not but associate (non poteva, per necessità di cose, non associare) his Mother in his work. For this reason, we invoke her under the title of Co-redemptrix. She gave us the Savior, she accompanied him in the work of Redemption as far as the cross itself, sharing with him the sorrows of the agony and of the death in which Jesus consummated the Redemption of all mankind. And truly under the Cross, in the final moments of his life, the Redeemer proclaimed her our mother and the universal mother[18]

Entirely human yet entirely unique due to her unparalleled fullness of grace, Mary’s free and active cooperation in giving flesh to the Redeemer, and her continuous free and active cooperation with Jesus in the mission of Redemption, culminating in her sorrow united with his sacrifice at Calvary—these two biblical events, made entirely unique — constitute the essence of Marian coredemption. It is precisely these two unique and inseparable aspects of the life of the Immaculate Mother, as confirmed by Pius XI, which have always traditionally and faithfully been denoted and embodied in the single Marian title, Co-redemptrix, the doctrinal basis of which is evidenced in the teachings of Vatican II.

Certainly, there are other related questions regarding Marian coredemption, for example, the question of Mary’s merit in relation to that of Christ. But even here, theological consensus can be reached through, for example, Pius X’s “de congruo” designation of Marian merit in the order of fittingness.[19] It is of paramount importance to recall that not every related question to a given doctrine must be settled in order to confirm that doctrine as an essential Christian truth revealed by God. The debitum peccati issue in relation to the Immaculate Conception dogma, and the “death” of Mary issue in relation to the Assumption dogma, prove this true.

In the final analysis, titles like Co-redemptrix truly serve the mystery which they embody, as do other ecclesial titles such as Mother of God, Transubstantiation, and Papal Infallibility. They only lead to confusion when the doctrine they denote experiences a lack of faith. These titles fulfill a dynamic purpose in the proper safeguarding and understanding of the saving doctrines of faith behind them. Titles defend truth.

As fourth-century Christological battles raged on, the feuding parties were shocked with a dramatic and unforeseen event: the newly elected Emperor, Julian, now sought to return the newly Christianized Roman Empire to former pagan, worldly ways. It was neither charity nor justice that led Julian the Apostate to return the exiled Athanasius to Alexandria. It was rather Julian’s notion—scandalous but at times true—that “no wild beasts were so hostile to men than were the Christians to one another.”[20]

Catholic theologians should strive for greater unity rather than greater hostility. With regard to Mary’s coredemptive role and her mediation of grace, there is more consensus than many realize. For example, the Roman Mariologist, Fr. Salvatore Perrella, SM, has affirmed the essential link between Marian coredemption and mediation in her spiritual maternity:

Coredemption (historical-messianic cooperation) and Mediation (celestial cooperation) are always relative and successive one to the other, and together they express the two significant and supportive moments of Mary’s spiritual maternity towards humanity, namely—to express it in the classical language—: the action of the acquisition of Grace and that of its application to individual men and women redeemed by Christ. [21]

Pope Francis has also affirmed the unique role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the work of redemption. In his January 1, 2020 homily for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, he states that “there is no salvation without the woman”:

The first day of the year, we celebrate this nuptial union between God and mankind, inaugurated in the womb of a woman. In God, there will forever be our humanity and Mary will forever be the Mother of God. She is both woman and mother: this is what is essential. From her, a woman, salvation came forth and thus there is no salvation without the woman. In her, God was united to us, and if we want to unite ourselves to him, we must take the same path: through Mary, woman and mother. [22]

In his September 15, 2021 homily for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Pope Francis referred to Mary as “the Mother of Compassion” who “shared in her Son’s mission of salvation, even to the foot of the Cross.” This is the essential doctrine of Marian coredemption. [23]

Pope Francis has likewise spoken of Our Lady’s unique role as the bridge between us and God, which is another way of affirming her role as Mediatrix. In his January 1, 2021 homily for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, the Holy Father said:

The heart of the Lord began to beat within Mary; the God of life drew oxygen from her. Ever since then, Mary has united us to God because in her God bound himself to our flesh, and he has never left it. Saint Francis loved to say that Mary “made the Lord of Majesty our brother” (SAINT BONAVENTURE, Legenda Maior, 9, 3). She is not only the bridge joining us to God; she is more. She is the road that God travelled in order to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach him. Through Mary, we encounter God the way he wants us to: in tender love, in intimacy, in the flesh. [24]

When we consider the teachings of Vatican II and these statements of Pope Francis, there are signs of a fundamental consensus on Mary’s unique role in redemption. At our present historical moment, when the Church and the world so gravely need the full and powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, let us seek the greatest unity of faith and charity possible within magisterial and theological circles regarding Our Lady’s unparalleled role in our Redemption and her consequent role as the Spiritual Mother of all people. We may have more formidable worldly opponents to face than each other.

Endnotes:

[1] Leo Davis, S.J., The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (Collegeville, Minnesota, Liturgical Press, 1983) pp. 51-80.

[2] Ibid., pp. 102-103.

[3] While this position reflects most Protestant theologians, a few Catholic prelates and theologians have also voiced a variation of this fundamental position. This includes the notable Fr. René Laurentin, who in his final years quoted 1 Tim. 2:5 against any legitimate concept of Marian coredemption, cf. Personal Correspondence with Author, June 2014.

[4] The “moderate” position of “receptive coredemption” first initiated by Heinrich Köster, Die Magd des, Herrn (Limburg, Lahn-Vertag, 1947); cf. Manfred Hauke, Introduction to Mariology, trans. Richard Chonak (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2021) p. 330.

[5] This group would be identified as maintaining the traditional doctrine on Mary’s role in the Redemption, oftentimes referred to as “Marian coredemption.”

[6] Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, n. 62 (emphasis author’s).

[7] Lumen Gentium, n. 60.

[8]Lumen Gentium, n. 62.

[9] Lumen Gentium, 56; St. Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. III, 22, 4: PG 7, 959 A, Harvey, 2, 123.

[10] Lumen Gentium, n. 57.

[11] Lumen Gentium, n. 58.

[12] St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Salvifici Doloris, n. 25.

[13] Cf. Lumen Gentium, 53.

[14] Fr. Manfred Hauke, Introduction to Mariology, p. 329.

[15] Gabriele Roschini, Maria Santissima Nella Storia Della Salvezza, Isola Del Liri, Pisani, 1969, Vol 2, p. 120; Hauke, Introduction to Mariology, p. 329.

[16] Fr. Jean Galot, S.J., “Maria Corredentrice: Controversie e problemi dottrinali”, La Civilta Catholica 145 (1994, quaderno 3459-3460) p. 215 (translation, Msgr. Arthur Calkins).

[17] Cf. 1 Cor. 3:9; Romans 16:3; 2 Cor. 1:24; Col. 4:11; Philemon 1:24.

[18] Pius XI, Allocution to a group pf pilgrims from Vicenza,November 30, 1933,  Insegnamenti Pontifici – 7. Maria SS., 2a edizione aggiornata, Edizioni Paoline, Roma 1964, p. 242; L’Osservatore Romano, December 1, 1933, p. 1.

[19] St. Pius X, Encyclical, Ad diem illum, 1904.

[20] Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, p. 101.

[21] Salvatore M. Perrella, “La Controversa Questione delle ‘Apparizioni di Amsterdam’ e il Tema della Mediazione e della Reiterata Richiesta del V Dogma Mariano,” Marianum 83 (2021) 321.

[22] Pope Francis, homily, January 1, 2020: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2020/documents/papa-francesco_20200101_omelia-madredidio-pace.html (accessed January 28, 2022).

[23] Pope Francis, homily, September 15, 2021: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2021/documents/20210915-omelia-sastin.html (accessed January 28, 2022).

[24] Pope Francis, homily, January 1, 2021: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2021/documents/papa-francesco_20210101_omelia-madredidio-pace.html (accessed January 28, 2022).


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About Robert Fastiggi 3 Articles
Dr. Robert Fastiggi is Professor of Systematic Theology, at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan. He has served as the executive editor of the 2009-2013 supplements to the New Catholic Encyclopedia and the co-editor of the English translation of the 43rd edition of the Denzinger-Hünermann compendium published by Ignatius Press in 2012.
About Mark Miravalle 0 Articles
Mark Miravalle, STD, is Professor of Mariology, Ave Maria University and Franciscan University of Steubenville, and President of the International Marian Association.

75 Comments

  1. What if we were distinguish two bonded and yet different affirmations:

    First, as co-Mediatrix, the sword that pierced Mary’s heart (Lk 2:35) is maternally and absolutely inseparable from lance that pierced Christ’s heart on calvary (Jn 19:34); but

    Second, Mary’s co-Mediatrix role is also as creaturely and absolutely different from the Second Person(!)/Redeemer’s role as is her Assumption from Christ’s Resurrection.

    The more alike, then also the more different? As the self-disclosure of the Divine Mystery is the better understood, the more does it still recede from our finite understanding. That is, “Fiat.”

  2. Mary and Joseph played their roles in our Lord’s life beautifully and dutifully. This is not in any doubt. However, Jesus is the one and only One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If a normal human being could redeem us, the Son of God would not have felt the need to empty himself of his glory and to assume human nature to do what was necessary to rescue us from the wretched state our first parents placed us in. Adam’s sin had terrible consequences for his descendants – all of humanity. These consequences did not affect Jesus because he was not a biological descendant of Adam.
    So, when Jesus, the unblemished Lamb, who had not harmed his oneness with his Father, died on the Cross, there was nothing that prevented him from maintaining that oneness.
    A human and the Father were now one. To make us a part of the oneness, Jesus established his family of humans who were mystically in union with him. It is in this union that we are also in union with the Father. Thus Jesus is the Way to God. The Son of God is, therefore, our sole Redeemer.
    The birth, life, death, resurrection of Jesus and the establishment of his church family, are unique in our history. Let us rejoice that our God loves us so much.

  3. “Catholic theologians should strive for greater unity rather than greater hostility”….the classic argument from liberal and speculative Roman theology (pursuit of novelty). The Blessed Mary’s role is that of an intercessor, an advocate with whom we may pray, not a Savior. Only the Triune God is essential to our redemption and salvation. The recurring elevation of Mariology to Roman dogmas would contend that Mariology is essential to salvation. Granted the Catholic and Roman theologians can split hairs that populist sentiments will not, can not the the speculative theology to rationalize populist sentiments as dogmas, Great Marian doctrine does not necessarily make great Marian dogmas.

  4. Our love for the Mother of God pleases her Son beyond measure, although we, that is, many of us have the tendency to deify Mary.
    For example, the authors describe Pius X’s designation of the terminology de congruo as “fittingness”, whereas Pius X applies it as favor, as in a bestowal of honor. Authors Fastiggi Miravalle don’t reference Pius’ distinction of the term de condigno, meaning by exclusive right belonging to Christ. Fittingness sans this distinction can be understood either or.
    Similar will hold true to co-redemptrix. Mary certainly did participate in the most unique way in our redemption. That in like manner de congruo, since her personal merit acquired by freely willed acts cannot be equitably measured to the unique redemptive act of Christ. There is one Redeemer, nonetheless wholly due to the love of the Son for his Mother Jesus bestows [de congruo] a measure of his redemptive act, and dispensing of grace to her. It would seem that grace does flow from Christ through Mary, although it’s not evident that all grace flows through her [For a relative example Pius X refers to Marian Coredemption as distinct from Coredemptrix in his Marian encyclical Ad Diem Illum] either by her intercession or by the Father’s will [there cannot be coredemption understood as equals]. In my opinion the question of Mary’s place is best honored by Pius X:
    “Jesus “sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high” (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son – a refuge so secure and a help so trusty against all dangers that we have nothing to fear or to despair of under her guidance, her patronage, her protection” (Pius IX Bull Ineffabilis).

    • Insofar as a more definitive language for Mary’s titles, the prefix co- can mean with and also equal to. If Mary does share, as indeed she does de congruo a better phrasing for redemptrix, since the Church must hold there is one, unique Redeemer Jesus Christ – might be Redemptrix participatione [by participation as Theotokos, Mother of the Church, and participation in her Son’s passion].

    • Looking over the horizon, do we see the specter of an historic and ecclesial disaster already well advanced in eating away at the Church–

      As the very concept of “mother,” under any definition, is further eroded?
      And as the concept of “family” is likewise undermined, by the lavender underground now well-embedded within the Church?
      And, ecclesially, as ultimately even the reality of the “Holy Family” is slowly sidelined as a quaint bit of imagery eclipsed by the oxymoronic civil “rite” of gay “marriage,” and then fully evacuated of any enduring meaning, finally, within metastatic and inclusive (!) gender theory?

      Pope Paul VI revealed that “the smoke of Satan has entered the Church.”

      Redemptrix? Try this endangered definition: Mary, the “Mother of the Church”? Surely the Second Vatican Council got it wrong. The Church earlier as the Mystical Body of the incarnate Jesus Christ—got that wrong too.

      The German “synodal way” advances this doctrinally disintegrative outcome whether the operatives Marx and Batzing realize it or not. And then there’s the incomparable insight of Cardinal Hollerich, relator of the Synod on Synodality in 2023!

      Without judging souls. I earlier slandered these clerics (as “self-deceived puppets” and very remotely as “diabolical liars”), which I here retract. But from a sociological perspective, are we reminded of Stalin’s “useful idiots”? Not a judgment, but a sociological-scientific question. Even Cardinal Hollerich appeals to this lofty vantage point: “I believe that the sociological-scientific [!!!] foundation of this teaching [against sodomy] is no longer correct.” The acidic smoke of Satan…

      • Aware of the gravity that is transpiring, in agreement of your assessment that speaks to the greatest assault on the integrity of the faith, moreso than the Arian heresy. That heresy, though vital, was understood by a small number of theologians compared to the happy ignorance of the masses. Today all doctrine, the perennial Magisterium, revelation itself theological and moral is under analysis and dissection from Christ’s revelation. The Vine.
        Personal mores are radically changing into ever new grotesque forms finding approbation, as free and natural to our humanness from members of our Mystical Body. As a hypothetical, if Satan were granted by the Almighty the power to subvert the Church, the Daemonic would exert his influence within the apex of hierarchy structure. Deception disguised as merciful, paradigmatic revision of tradition, apostasy occurring within the Body. Precisely as it is underway before us.

      • Certainly in these end days, the wariness of the entire Catholic/Christian world should be on high alert. Skepticism seems prudent, not only to ‘development’ of Marian (or any other) doctrine but also to any/all words out of the mouths or pens of Catholic theologians and the hierarchy today. Without clarity on the value, utility or ‘unity’ of VCII, only a fool would rush to endorse such ‘progress’ or new understanding given the ‘elect’ through the ambiguous VCII texts. Only another fool would rush to accept the implementation of those other VCII texts whose clear explicit intent was duly disregarded and opposed.

        Only fools would rush to allow Francis unfettered access to a bullhorn proclaiming a calming of the ungodly storms he himself surely sees (accusing others of sabotage while failing to remove the logs with which he has overloaded the sinking ship he captains). His vacuous permissiveness toward all positions(!) except those espoused by traditional Catholic practice and practitioners marks him as a danger to the traditional and future Catholic faith.

        Some worry about the teaching of Joseph as a foster-father. Such a focus furthers the current cultural acceptance of a father’s absence from a mother-child ‘union’ or ‘unit’/y, and therefore of lesser importance, consequence, meaning, or validity.

        What is important? Mary’s Triumph. In the end, her heart will out. Calling forth a new name requires new language, phrases, understandings, explanations, and new teachers. Babel is already short-staffed, and new teachers are woefully short-sighted, not discerning the logs floating dead from the ship. One by land, one by sea.

  5. As usual, a long winded statement without any scriptures for back up. No matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it’ll always be a pig. From start to finish, the Bible clearly shows that the work of Christ on the cross is our only hope for salvation. Mary believed and trusted in this fact. If only the Catholic church had 100% trust and faith in Christ like Mary did.

  6. Our good Lord doesn’t make things so complicated. People do.
    Look at the grammatical construct of the compound word, “Coredemptrix. Do so keeping in mind the similar word, “Genitrix”, which means Mother.
    “Co”, a derivative of the Latin word, “cum”, meaning, “with”, proceeds the term “Redeemer”.
    So, placed in its proper context, “Co+Redemp+trix” is meant to mean, “Mother with the Redeemer”, not “coredeemer” as many presume.
    So, our Blessed Mother can be both Genitrix and Coredemptrix, the Morher of and with the Redeemer.

    • If words, definition and grammatical construct don’t really matter then I do like “Morher” as a title – it has a nice Celtic sound to it. Blessed Mother and Morher. If this is not satisfactory and the obsession to add fancy titles prevails then I like Brian I would say have a look at Luke 27-28 and John 14:6 – Jesus knew Satan would try to divide us by attempts to deify Mary.

  7. 1. All our Lady’s titles are explained under her title Redemptrix. I say “Redemptrix” because there is no other such and I assign the prefix “co-” as an unnecessary technicality. Also, I believe the BVM prefers it that way.

    2. During the conciliar debates and submissions, there was a lot of contest over Mary’s titles including Mediatrix; and further, conflict about her place in the Church and how it would be expressed in the final documents. Paul VI was responsible for the ultimate result in Lumen Gentium (LG – Chap. VIII). Without him, the many conflicted parties and Marian/anti-Marian issues would have remained in a disarray and confusion.

    3. Dogmatic Constitution LG addresses Mary under her titles, Advocatrix, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, Mediatrix (62). Paul VI refrained from including Redemptrix specifically but allowed, explicitly, that all her titles were open for further study and deepening, in virtue of her “unique dignity” (67). Paul VI does not use the prefix “co-“.

    4. In his VATICAN II Papal Brief declaring the closing of the Council, November 21 1964, Paul VI dogmatically acknowledged Mary to be Mother of the Church.

    5. Mother of the Church and Redemptrix, are inseparable. That is the nature of it AND the tradition of the Church. I don’t mean to condemn, only remind, that Paul VI left this for deeper study.

    6. Fr. Benedict (Emeritus) has said wrong things that hobbled his ministry. The first is that the Council declared nothing new. The second is that “co-redemptrix” is too difficult and should be backgrounded.

    7. In addition to hobbling his ministry he a) closed himself off from needed discussion of his own plus access to the faithful and b) badly influenced Pope Francis who ended up saying co-redemptrix is irrelevant and discardable.

    8. Mary’s “unique dignity” is why we honour her more highly than the saints …..and angels! Had Benedict and Francis been honouring her properly, she would have shielded them from the calumnies surrounding VATICAN II and their own downfalls. They need to be reconciled with her before they die. With all due respect, far be it from to tell the two of them they have to humble themselves: they have to ask our good Lord for the humility.

    9. They must teach that in the deeper study, we must not confuse the honour we owe her, hyperdulia, with the actual meanings of her titles; AND that both are God’s will for her. As a result of deeper study etc., we are to come to appreciate the BVM not only in her “unique dignity”, but also in her “unique role”.

    • Where’s your scripture references? You can’t imply something that God hasn’t spoken of in His Word. We are not to add or subtract from Holy scriptures.

    • Thanks Elias for the background on Paul VI and his contribution to forming a more coherent Marian theology.

      • Fr., my source of basic information is THE DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II With Notes And Comments, eds. Walter Abbot and Joseph Gallagher, Dublin 1967 Geoffrey Chapman.

        This book is very informative and in its own way instructional; it has a teaching quality. I have to attribute whatever I have right, to the good I have found through prayer and sacrament. There also seems to be a light into the book that was there before I had found it.

        The “goods” belong to the Church. But it is also true that in spite of the melee of Church life and the counter- and semi-witness ever present; over time particular other lights have stood out to me or inspired me and Paul VI would be one of them. I could make a list but maybe another time. The list is not names that I set out to put on it or mark out myself, really.

        And Fr. Benedict is on the list notwithstanding my critique of him here. My critique of him, though, in this matter, arose when he admitted side-lining co-redemptrix; and criticizing him is not something I relish or welcomed. If this is his thought in the 2020’s, on the BVM, then, it naturally arises to worry what was going on with him as peritus during the conciliar proceedings.

        He once warned that when he was Pope his authority stopped at the door. That was the situation during his reign. How much better is it now. I am not seeking some special contact for myself, only trying to convey what naturally should go up including to him. But has been getting everything and is he now seeing more than earlier times?

        It’s a concern. If, for example, I said Redemptrix in 2012 or some such earlier time but I only find out 7 years later that the Pope who is no longer Pope wasn’t even concerned about the complete aspects of the BVM, I should complain too. Different parts of the body don’t have the same functions but the pain is common to the entire frame, inside and outside no less.

  8. “She is the road that God travelled in order to reach us, and the road that we must travel in order to reach him. Through Mary, we encounter God the way he wants us to: in tender love, in intimacy, in the flesh.”

    Yes, Mary gave us God… enfleshed. As a man.

    And God wants us to meet him in this person of JESUS. He wants us to go through her, and past her, to His Son.

    Jesus is the only road to God. The way the Pope’s quote is presented makes it sound like Mary is the road to God. She is so only as she points to His son. The Vatican II fathers were right in not devoting a document to her, but including her in the text on the Church. Devotion to Mary is quite Catholic, but with a veneration that does in fact often border on worship on the popular level, is a papal

    I respectfully have to argue no. In this instance I think John Paul II and Benedict XVI were both very right. The Handmaid of the Lord does not need more titles or veneration.

    • Yes, of course, Mary is a creature and she must never receive latria, the worship due to God alone. Moreover, as St. Louis de Montfort teaches, true devotion to Mary must always lead us to her divine Son (True Devotion to Mary, no.62). The title “co-redemptrix,” correctly understood, NEVER places Mary on equal footing with her divine Son any more than the faithful being “co-heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17) place them on equal footing with Christ.

      The great Mariologist, Gabriele Roschini (1900-1977) understood the title co-redemptrix this way: “The title Co-redemptrix of the human race means that the most holy Virgin cooperated with Christ in our reparation as Eve cooperated with Adam in our ruin” (Gabriele Maria Roschini, Who is Mary? A Marian Catechism, qu. 83).

      St. John Paul II publicly used the Marian title, co-redemptrix, at least six times. Here is a list of magisterial approvals and papal uses of the title:

      On July 18, 1885, Pope Leo XIII approved a prayer of praises (laudes) to Jesus and Mary with an indulgence of 100 days granted by the Congregation for Indulgences and Sacred Relics. In the Italian version of the praises to Mary, she is referred to as “coredemptrix of the world” (corredentrice del mondo). In the Latin version, she is referred to as the “mundo redimendo coadiutrix). Leo XIII approved both the Italian and Latin versions of the prayer (Acta Sanctae Sedis [ASS] 18 [1885] p. 93).

      During the pontificate of Pius X, the Holy See three times gave approval to prayers invoking Mary as co-redemptrix (cf. Acta Sanctae Sedis [ASS] 41 [1908], p. 409); Acta Apostolicae Sedis [AAS] 5 [1913], p. 364; AAS 6 [1914], pp. 108–109).

      Pius XI was the first pope to publicly use the title: once on November 30, 1933 (Discorsi di Pio XI, 2, p. 1013); again on March 23, 1934 (L’Osservatore Romano [OR] 25 March 1934, p. 1); and once again on April 28, 1935 (OR 29–30 April 1935 p. 1).

      John Paul II publicly used the title, Co-redemptrix, at least six times: General Audience, 10 December 1980 (Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II [Inseg] II, III/2 [1980], p. 1646); General Audience 8 September 1982 (Inseg V/3 [1982], p. 404); Angelus Address 4 November, 1984 (Inseg VII/2 [1984], p. 1151); Discourse at World Youth Day 31 March 1985 (Inseg VIII/1 [1985], p. 889–890); Address to the Sick 24 March, 1990 (Inseg XIII/1 [1990], p. 743); Discourse of 6 October, 1991 (Inseg XIV/2 [1991], p. 756). Moreover, in a homily in Guayaquil, Ecuador on January 31, 1985, John Paul II spoke of the “co-redemptive role of Mary —el papel corredentor de María (Inseg VIII [1985], p. 319).which was translated as “Mary’s role as co-redemptrix” in the English edition of L’Osservatore Romano March 11, 1985, p. 7.

  9. typo correction

    …with a veneration that does in fact often border on worship on the popular level, is a papal definition of her prerogatives what is needed now?

  10. After the conversion of Saint Paul Jesus tells Ananias to go to him and to tell him “how much he will have to suffer for me”. Saint Paul also says that he fills up what is lacking in Christ! Nothing is lacking in Christ but as members of His mystical body we unite our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ on the Cross. God in His gracious kindness wills that the redeemed children of God may participate in the salvation of Jesus Christ. the Incarnate God. He paid the price for our transgressions by His Precious Blood and bitter Passion. Mary’s heart was pierced by a sword of sorrows but cannot compare with the lance that pierced the Sacred Heart of the God-man. In the visions of Bl. Catherine Emmerich she said: I saw Him taking leave of His mother. I saw Mary’s grief. I saw Him upon the Mount of Olives and He said to me: “Dost thou wish to be treated better than Mary, the most pure, the mot beloved of all creatures? What are thy sufferings compared to hers?” (Vol 1, p.538) Undoubtedly, Mary’s sufferings were great. Jesus loves His mother, took her to heaven, body and soul, and crowned her Queen of heaven. “Thou alone hast ravished the Heart of thy God!” Christ placed His Mother at His right that she might dispose of His treasures and graces to her children. Through the Old Testament God exclaims: I, myself will wash away their sins. “There is no just and saving God beside me” (Is 45:5) Saint Paul “I live now not I but Christ lives in me.” We are the extension of His body and He will use our sufferings for the redemption of souls. He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.” (Heb 5:9). Saint Gertrude relates that hearing one day, in the chanting of the Divine Office, those words of the Gospel naming Christ: “Primogenitus Mariae Virginis”, the Firstborn Son of the Virgin Mary, and she said to herself: The title of only Son would seem to me more befitting; for Jesus .” ….Mary appeared to her: “”No”, said she to the holy nun. “It is not Only Son but ‘Firstborn Son’ which is most befitting; for after Jesus, my Sweetest Son, or more truly, in Him and by Him, I have given birth to you all in my heart and you have become my children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus” (The Herold of the Divine Love, book IV, chap 3). She is our Mother and the Mother of the Church; yet, she needed to be pre-redeemed to be destined to become the Holy Mother of the Son of God. The Blessed Virgin’s pre-redemption and all her prerogative and extraordinary graces stem from the redemption of the One Holy Redeemer, God Almighty who made her full of grace at her Immaculate Conception. God Incarnate Jesus Christ is our Creator, Redeemer, Savior, who recreates us in Him. “In him we live and move and have our Being. “(Acts 17:22). “He rescued us….through him we have redemption…all were created through him, all were created for him…It pleased God to make absolute fulness reside in him and, by means of him, to reconcile everything in his person.” (1 Cor 12-20). All praise and thanksgiving to our Redeemer-King. Lord and God, forever!

  11. Let us see what our sacred scripture tells us.
    “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself as a ransom for all— the testimony that was given at just the right time'” 1 Timothy 2.5
    “Salvation exists in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12.
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
    “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50

    Cleary, our one and only Redeemer made it very clear that He is the one and only Way.
    Like Mary, we too should say YES to God and live faithful lives.

  12. I never realized how many commenters here at CWR fear the Blessed Virgin Mary whether in the Immaculate Conception, the Annunciation or her role as a vessel of grace and the most powerful intercessor.

    God’s ways are not our ways and the role of Mary in Salvation history will astound those when their time comes and acknowledge absolute perfection in such a peerless human graced by God.

  13. Dear Mal,
    Of course, Jesus Christ is the God-man, the Redeemer of the human race. Mary is not in competition with her divine Son. But, as St. Teresa of Calcutta notes, “Without Mary, there is no Jesus.” God chose to redeem us by becoming incarnate “ex Maria virgine.” This is why the ancient Akathist Hymn speaks of Mary as “the celestial ladder by whom the Lord descended” and the “bridge leading from earth to heaven!” Vatican II, in Lumen Gentium, 60, quotes 1 Tim 2:5, but then it offers this insight: “The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It 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. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ.”

    The Church teaches that Mary’s free assent to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word was active not passive. By her free assent she became, in the words of St. Irenaeus, “the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race” (quoted in Lumen Gentium, 56). In his 1891 encyclical, Octobri Mense, no. 4, Pope Leo XIII offers this beautiful insight into the role of Mary in the economy of salvation:

    “But since the salvation of our race was accomplished by the mystery of the Cross, and since the Church, dispenser of that salvation after the triumph of Christ, was founded upon earth and instituted, Providence established a new order for a new people. The consideration of the Divine counsels is united to the great sentiment of religion. The Eternal Son of God, about to take upon Him our nature for the saving and ennobling of man, and about to consummate thus a mystical union between Himself and all mankind, did not accomplish His design without adding there the free consent of the elect Mother, who represented in some sort all human kind, according to the illustrious and just opinion of St. Thomas, who says that the Annunciation was effected with the consent of the Virgin standing in the place of all humanity (ST III q. 30 a. 1). With equal truth it may also be affirmed that, by the will of God, Mary is the intermediary through whom is distributed unto us this immense treasure of mercies gathered by God, for mercy and truth were created by Jesus Christ. Thus as no man goes to the Father but by the Son, so no man goes to Christ but by His Mother. How great are the goodness and mercy revealed in this design of God!”

    I don’t think we would wish to accuse Leo XIII of going against Sacred Scripture.

    • Excellent Marian and in general theology Dr Fastiggi. Although I was critical of some of the wording in the article I certainly support your intent. Mary did say to Elizabeth, My soul glorifies the Lord. No one other than Mary has that honor.

    • Nor should we accuse Benedict and Francis for abiding with scripture on this one, and not going along with this push to change our doctrine, Robert.
      Yes, on the left, the Germans want doctrine to be changed so as to accommodate those who have serious difficulties with gender and marriage. Pope Francis has already dismissed that idea. On the other hand, we have people from the right extreme who also want doctrine to be changed so as to accommodate their wish that our Lord’s humble mother should be called Co-Redeemer. Happily, Pope Francis has dismissed this push as well.
      I do appreciate Mary’s unique role in our Lord’s mission. Jesus, said: “Before Abraham was I am,” always existed. However, he needed to assume human nature (not inherit or absorb it) and needed to begin his earthly life in a womb. Mary was asked and she faithfully said yes. It is quite possible that if Joseph did not say his ” yes”, Mary might have been stoned to death.
      And just like Mary and Joseph (and Noah and Abraham) each one of us has to say YES to our Lord’s will.
      Here is my view, Robert. Those who want to believe that Mary is a co-Redeemer, feel free to do so. However, please do not force your idea on others by getting this idea, which has absolutely no basis in scripture and in the writings of the early Fathers, to be declared a dogma.
      I do feel sad when some people diminish the humility, the faith and trust displayed by a young human. Mary’s true greatness is in her faith, hope, trust and humility. These are the virtues praised by our Lord.
      Let us imitate our Mother by living as she did, giving glory to God. As Paul tells us: “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

      • Dear Mal,

        Thank you for your comments, but neither Mark Miravalle nor I refer to Mary as “co-redeemer” in our article. We refer to her instead as the “co-redemptrix.” The feminine form is important because Mary is the New Eve. The Blessed Mother’s association with Christ, the divine Redeemer, is always subordinate, secondary, and dependent. Some people object to the title “co-redemptrix” because they believe it detracts from the all-sufficiency of Christ’s work of redemption. In his 1984 apostolic letter, Salvifici Doloris, no. 24, St. John Paul II explains that the good accomplished by Christ is his work of redemption is “inexhaustible and infinite. No man can add anything to it. But at the same time, in the mystery of the Church as his Body, Christ has in a sense opened his own redemptive suffering to all human suffering. In so far as man becomes a sharer in Christ’s sufferings—in any part of the world and at any time in history—to that extent he in his own way completes the suffering through which Christ accomplished the Redemption of the world.” This is why, when speaking to the sick at Fatebenefratelli Hospital on April 5, 1981, John Paul II reminded them that they can unite their sufferings to the passion of Christ in order to be “co-redeemers of humanity” (corredentori dell’umanità).

        With regard to Mary, John Paul II recognized that she, in her own way, participated in the passion of her divine Son. In Salvifici Doloris, 25, he writes: “[I]t was on Calvary that Mary’s suffering, beside the suffering of Jesus, reached an intensity which can hardly be imagined from a human point of view but which was mysterious and supernaturally fruitful for the redemption of the world.”

        In his greetings to the sick after his general audience of 8 September 1982 John Paul II said: “Mary, though conceived and born without the taint of sin, participated in a marvelous way in the sufferings of her divine Son, in order to be Coredemptrix of humanity.” This was one of the six times that John Paul II publicly referred to Mary as “co-redemptrix.”

        A draft (schema) prepared in advance for Vatican II spoke of Mary as coredemptrix, but it was decided to omit the term. The term, however was not omitted because it was false. In the praenotanda or explanatory note that accompanied the first Marian schema of 1962, we are told that: “Certain terms and expressions used by Roman Pontiffs have been omitted, which, although most true in themselves (in se verissima), may be difficult for the separated brethren (as in the case of the Protestants) to understand. Among such words the following may be enumerated: ‘Coredemptrix of the human race’ [St. Pius X, Pius XI]; ‘Reparatrix of the whole world’ [Leo XIII] … etc.” (Acta Synodalia Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II, Volumen I, Periodus Prima, Pars IV [Vatican City, 1971], p. 99).

        In the 1962 schema, however, Mary is affirmed as “co-redemptrix” in footnote 11, which reads: “Speaking of Mary beneath the Cross, the Supreme Pontiffs say that Mary was exercising the acts of faith, hope and charity, so united by love to the pains of Christ that there is a connection between the compassion of Mary and the redemption; she renounces her maternal rights and offers a maternal sacrifice and becomes our spiritual mother. In brief: the compassion of Mary has a connection to the redemption in such a way that she therefore deserves to be called co-redemptrix and the effects are considered to be at once the fruits of the redemption of Christ and of the compassion of Mary.”

        While Vatican II chose not to use the term, co-redemptrix, a number of theologians, including Jean Galot, S.J and Georges Cottier, O.P. (the former theologian of the papal household), believe Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium affirms the doctrine of Mary as co-redemptrix without using the term (cf. Galot in La Civilità Cattolica [1994] III: 236-237 and Cottier, in L’Osservatore Romano, June 4, 2002). Some Catholics, though, maintain it is ecumenically more prudent to speak of Mary as the unique “associate” or “cooperator” with Jesus in the work redemption rather than refer to her as “co-redemptrix.” Whatever term is preferred, it seems that the doctrine of Marian co-redemption has a firm theological and magisterial basis.

        I think a distinction should be made between the doctrine of Marian co-redemption; the title “co-redemptrix;” and the petition for a new Marian dogma. I believe Marian co-redemption is firmly rooted in the deeper sense of Sacred Scripture, which points to Mary as the New Eve (a title Church Fathers such as Justin Martyr and Irenaeus use of the Blessed Virgin). Marian co-redemption is already taught by the ordinary papal Magisterium, and it is affirmed by Vatican II when it is read correctly. The title, “co-redemptrix” has been used by many saints and theologians. Two popes (Pius XI and John Paul II) used the title publicly, and two other popes (Leo XIII and Pius X) have approved prayers invoking Mary as the the co-redemptrix. Neither Mark Miravalle nor I wish to “force” Catholics to use this title. The point of our article was to build consensus on Mary’s co-redemptive role and to explain how the title, “co-redemptrix” expresses this role. The Roman Pontiff, of course, could issue a dogmatic proclamation on Marian co-redemption, It’s best, though, to try to build Catholic consensus first. Unfortunately, the doctrine of Marian co-redemption is not well-appreciated or understood in the Church today. Mark Miravalle and I are trying to help overcome this lack of understanding.

    • Yes, Mary’s assent was free. However, the question asked of her originated from God. God initiated and was the first cause of Mary’s cause of Christ’s body, leading to her own and our redemption. Mary was God’s chosen, freely-willed,and only then by Mary’s assent, His willing instrument. As such, her position is somewhat other than that implied by the equivalent term ‘co’-redemptrix.

      Sure, a slew of popes may have referred to Mary as co-redemptrix, but none of them solemnly declared the title word as descriptive of Mary, infallibly, de fide. (re the earlier reply to Joe).

      Adjectives are used to describe many persons, places, and things; these adjectives do not always reflect the complete truth. For example, Francis is sometimes called “His Holiness” by those who don’t believe his person begins to approach a bare minimum connotation of the word.

      Finally, FWIW, I am Mary’s avowed child, and she is my mother. Her soul not only glorified but magnified the Lord, not because of her inherent glory, but because of HIS enabling her.

      • Some see Mary as an abnormal human being endowed with the capacity to be a co-redeemer, but I see the true greatness of Mary in the bravery, trust and faith she showed when confronted by the angelic being and accepting her role. Jest as Joseph did.
        No Pope has declared Mary as “Co-Redeemer” simply because she is not. We are all God’s children, and we Christians uniquely belong to Jesus because we said and still say Yes to him. Because of this Jesus told us very clearly that we too are his mother, brother … – his family. I will not amend our Lord’s teachings.

  14. Thank you to the authors.
    I’m surprised at the degree of resistance here. Because of the grace won by Christ (1 Tim 2:5), by his will we participate in the divine nature (2 Pt 1:4) and are co-heirs, co-workers with Christ (Jn 14:12, 1 Cor 3:9). As a royal priesthood (1 Pt 2:9) we have something redemptive, often suffering, to offer. How much more Mary, whose soul “magnifies the Lord” (Lk 1:46) to every person who will ever be born?
    Perhaps part of the difficulty, even for clerics, has to do with the lack of attention given that of theosis/divinization, our deification through grace (CCC para. 260, 1997)?

    • Deification as in partaking of it IN HIM. “In him we live, move and have our being” (Acts 17:22). “The innermost chamber of the human soul is the Trinity’s favorite place to be, His heavenly throne on earth.” (Edith Stein). “…the humanity of Christ belongs to the WORD; it has become the humanity of the true Son of God and the object of the Eternal Father’s delight.”(p. 111, 2nd par) “All praise of God is through, with, and in Christ. Through Him, because only through Christ does humanity have access to the Father…(Collected works of Edith p. 7) HE belongs to the Father from eternity and could not give Himself away to any human being. He could only incorporate the persons who wanted to give themselves to Him into the unity of His Incarnate Divine Person as members of His Mystical Body and in this way bring them to the Father.” (p. 104). “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God . All things came to be through him and without him nothing came to be.” (Jn1:1-3). “God created all else, particularly human beings, for the singular purpose of seeing the glory of his Son and in so seeing his glory would give him glory” (Jesus becoming Jesus, p.16, Fr Thomas G Weinandy, OFM CAP) “…and I was his delight day by day; playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men.” (Proverb 8:31)
      “For he who has become your husband is your Maker; his name is the Lord of hosts. Your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” (Is 54:5) “one God and Father from whom all things are, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom all things are, and one Holy Spirit in whom all things are.” (CCC 258). “To receive the Divine Life from Christ and by Christ, who possesses the fulness and who has been constituted the One Mediator” (p. 24 Christ the life of the soul, Bl. Marmion). “The angels were awaiting the restoration of the heavenly liturgy and harmony. In the creation of the Church the angels behold the new universe in which the new man is created, a new heaven and a new earth. In her is formed a different (new) man, in the image of Him who created him. Thus, mankind are the lost sheep. Christ returning with the lost sheep on His shoulders, is the Word of God who has assumed human nature and leads it back into heaven at the Ascension.” (The angels and their mission, Jean Danielou) “And the elect will be like the angels of God in heaven (Matt 22:30) “The angels exult for joy, for they have been waiting for this return of humanity into heaven, although they did not dream it would be so glorious. They amazement gives way to joy!”

  15. Eve was made from the rib of Adam. She was made of the same substance as Adam, of one flesh. To me this suggests that Adam and Eve were physically consubstantial. In the same way Jesus derived the substance of His body entirely from Mary. This suggests that Jesus and Mary are also physically consubstantial. Both point to the Nicene Creed.
    *
    During the Fall of Man it wasn’t until Adam and Eve, male and female, had both eaten of the forbidden fruit that their eyes were opened. This suggests that Original Sin was a one flesh sin. Would it not stand to reason that the redemption would be a one flesh redemption involving the participation of both male and female? I’ve heard it said that Adam was the priest of Eden. Jesus is the Eternal High Priest. We call Original Sin the sin of Adam, even though Adam and Eve had both sinned. Why would it not be the same for our redemption? Jesus takes primacy in the redemption in the same way that Adam takes primacy in Original Sin. Adam failed in his priestly duties, whereas Christ fulfilled His priestly duties as being both Priest and sacrifice on the Cross. Christ’s salvific power was applied to Mary in the Immaculate Conception in anticipation of His offering on the Cross. This way He and Mary are both in the same state of Original Innocence as Adam and Eve were before the fall. Jesus and Mary are truly the New Adam and the New Eve. I’ve heard it said that extraordinary phenomena come with greater trials. Jesus and Mary’s lives are proof of this. Mary did participate in the sufferings of Jesus in her Seven Sorrows. I’m thankful that the article brought up the subject of Mary’s sorrows. So long as it is carefully defined the title Co-Redemptrix would recognize Mary’s roles in the fiat and her sufferings.

    • “In the same way Jesus derived the substance of His body entirely from Mary. This suggests that Jesus and Mary are also physically consubstantial. Both point to the Nicene Creed.”
      This contradicts Church teaching as stated in the Catechism.
      “IV. HOW IS THE SON OF GOD MAN?
      470 Because “human nature was assumed, not absorbed”, 97 in the mysterious union of the Incarnation, the Church was led over the course of centuries to confess the full reality of Christ’s human soul, with its operations of intellect and will, and of his human body. In parallel fashion, she had to recall on each occasion that Christ’s human nature belongs, as his own, to the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it. Everything that Christ is and does in this nature derives from “one of the Trinity”. The Son of God therefore communicates to his humanity his own personal mode of existence in the Trinity. In his soul as in his body, Christ thus expresses humanly the divine ways of the Trinity.” https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/catechism/index.cfm?recnum=2165

      No one here is denying Mary’s unique role in our Lord’s life. As Catholics, we accept the dogmas and regularly pray to her. But, for us, Jesus is the one and only entrance into heaven – the Way, the Gate and the very Door. Our Lord himself said so.
      He had to do all by himself something Adam failed to do. Yes, a human had to live a life that, though severely tested, was absolutely sinless and totally obedient to the Father’s will right to the bitter end. That is when Jesus said “It is done”.
      Jesus had a mission to accomplish and Mary was the perfect mother during his early life. I respect her greatly for that.

      • You have confused what I am saying. You are talking about Christ’s Hypostatic Union. I’m talking about Adam and Eve’s basic image and likeness, and later, that of Jesus and Mary. The Holy Trinity are Three Persons in one Godhead. In complete union with each other, of one substance. By making Eve from the rib of Adam, of his physical substance, this is the incarnational embodiment of the consubstantial nature of the Holy Trinity. An image and a likeness. The physical imaging of the spiritual.
        *
        When it comes to Jesus, you either accept Him as a King in the line of David or you reject Him as a King in the line of David. The genealogies in the New Testament are there to establish Christ’s claim to the throne of David. The Davidic kingship includes the king’s mother as the queen mother, the Gebirah, and the prime minister, the Al ha-bayit. Mary is the Queen Mother and the papacy is the office of prime minister. No one can call Christ Brother without calling Mary mother. No one can call Christ King without calling Mary our Queen Mother, which includes her role as an intercessor with the King, the God-King Jesus Christ.
        *
        EWTN has an article about the close relationship between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary that fits in well with this subject:
        *
        https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/devotion-to-the-hearts-of-jesus-and-mary-its-origin-and-history-13690

        • You are still assuming that Jesus did not form his own human nature. Do you believe that the Son of God who played his part in the creation of our world, and of the human soul, could not create or assume his own human nature? Scripture leads us to believe that he did, and our Catechism backs it up without any doubt.
          Talking about genealogy, Matthew tells us the Jesus was the son of Joseph who was the son of Jacob and so on; Luke tells us that our Lord was the son of joseph who was the son of Heli … No, I am not knocking them but merely want to point out the genealogy was treated differently in those days in that part of the world. They had more to do with placing people in their clans. But here is the problem with this issue you introduced. Jesus was not genetically the son of Joseph. We all know that. However, he was the father of Jesus, just as Mary was the mother of Jesus. We are grateful to both, Mary and Joseph, for saying Yes to the angel who was conveying God’s message to them.
          Jesus made it very, very clear to us – and scripture has recorded it – “I am the Way”. I repeat: I (just I) am the Way. Not we. And also, “Nobody comes to the Father except through ME.”
          We need to tread carefully here. Eve and Adam saw that the fruit looked beautiful, believed it was very tasty and that it could make them wise. Greed and pride got the better of them. They wanted to rise up in life – to have more and more. However, they might have wanted more pleasure and more “titles” or, let us say, to be more Godlike, but that was not in accordance with God’s will. For their greed and pride they experienced death.

          • You continue to misunderstand. Our image and likeness was brought into tangible physical form by God. Adam, Eve, and Mary didn’t create themselves, they are creatures. Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Mary fully cooperated in His Incarnation in the womb of Mary. This complete cooperation, with full consent of will, makes the Incarnation an act of supreme love, second only to Christ’s death on the Cross. The Immaculate Conception made it possible for Mary to give her will and her being over to God in totality. All that is of the flesh came from Mary.
            *
            The marriage of Joseph and Mary is a chaste version of a levirate marriage. This is what was involved with Judah and Tamar, and Ruth and Boaz. They are both explicitly listed in the genealogy of Jesus. It is my understanding that Jesus fully inherited Joseph’s Davidic bloodline. Mary’s vow of perpetual virginity is fully provided for in Numbers 30 about women taking vows.
            *
            Dr. Pitre has done presentations about both Mary and Joseph. They are “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary” and “The Hidden King: The Jewish Roots of St. Joseph.”

    • “He and Mary are both in the same state of original innocence as Adam and Eve”
      It almost borders on blasphemy. We love and honor Mary, the mother of God. In order to divinize Mary you make Jesus an equal with Mary and His created creatures. Mary is His masterpiece unmatched in grace and beauty. Mary is HIS creature. Jesus Christ is GOD.
      She is like a morning star standing out and elevated to Queen of Heaven over all creatures, not equal to GOD Jesus Christ ever. ONE TRUE TRIUNE GOD FROM ALL ETERNITY. I feel you are giving the Blessed Virgin a headache. She wants and lived only to point to Jesus to give Him glory, her son and her GOD.

      • Adam and Eve were created in the state of Original Innocence, sinless. Their sin was the first, the Original Sin. If Mary is not in the state of Original Innocence then the creation of Eve would be greater, and more perfect, than that of Mary. That assertion would be more deserving of being called blasphemous.
        *
        To me our whole spiritual life of purification, purgation, from sin is a journey of trying to recapture the Original Innocence of Adam and Eve and entering into union with God as closely as is possible in this world. Union with God is the endpoint of contemplative prayer.

        • Greg, are you calling the Immaculate Conception then original innocence. Jesus true God and true man, was above sin, the immaculate eternal sacrifice to wash our sins away in His precious Blood. Jesus said: “I and the Father are ONE!”
          “Our birth would have been no gain, had we not been redeemed. O wonder of your humble care for us! O love, O charity beyond all telling, to ransom a slave you gave away your Son!” (Easter Exult). Jesus Christ our eternal sacrifice give us your mercy and your grace!

          • Yes, the Immaculate Conception made Mary as sinless as Eve was before the fall. I am restricting my claims to the relationship between the humanity of Christ and the humanity of Mary. In the Hypostatic Union Jesus is fully God and fully human. There is no mixing of the human and divine, but there is union between Christ’s human and divine natures. I wonder how many people understand the spiritual magnitude of what took place in the Incarnation. The level of spiritual intimacy that existed between the Holy Spirit and Mary when she was overshadowed and Christ was conceived in her womb. We do call Mary the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, and with good reason.
            *
            We are told that the first, greatest commandment is the love of God. The next one is the love of neighbor. When we ask people to pray for our intentions, and ask the same of Mary and the saints in heaven, we are living out both commandments. In James we are told that “the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” There are none more righteous than Mary and the saints in heaven. Jesus and Mary are a team, her role as an intercessor is through Jesus, so His role as mediator is being honored.

          • I too wonder how many people understand the spiritual magnitude of what took place in the Incarnation. The Son of God, who played a role in the creation of man, assumed human nature and became Son of Man, Jesus in Mary’s virgin womb.

        • Greg, fully agree what you wrote yesterday. However, you say “original innocence”, but original innocence did not know what evil is that is why Eve and Adam were curious. Jesus restores us in His passion and blood and now we cannot only hope for original innocence but partaking of Divinity in Him and with Him and for Him. Now we experienced gut-wrenching Evil and we reject it, so we have matured in Jesus Christ to be called children of the living God. “The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness, washes faults away, restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners….the one Morning Star who never sets, Christ your Son, who, coming back from death’s domain, has shed light on humanity, and lives and reigns for ever and ever (Easter Exult)

  16. No one should be surprised at the degree of resistance. The tendency toward divinization of Mary amounts to flirting with idolatry. We surely can love Mary, call her blessed, and honor her without divinizing her or tending in that direction.

  17. Dr. Brant Pitre has done a lot of work on the subject of Mary. He has a video on YouTube where Dr. Tim Gray and he discuss Mary. It is titled “Why Is Mary So Important to Catholics? Biblical Roots of Marian Devotion”
    *
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4IKv7FHAgo
    *
    They directly deal with Protestant objections to Mary. Dr. Pitre says that the New Testament needs to be looked at in light of the Old Testament and the writings of the early Christians. He has done a presentation on the Jewish roots of Mary. If you don’t know anything about the Davidic kingdom you will get Mary wrong. People forget that Christ is not only our Savoir, be He is also a King in the line of David. In the Davidic kingdom the queen was the king’s mother. She was seated on a throne. The Queen Mother was called the Gebirah, the ‘Great Lady.’ Her duties included being an advocate and intercessor between the people and the king. Mary did this at the Wedding Feast at Cana. Dr. Pitre has many other videos on Mary on YouTube. He also has multimedia presentations for sale at Catholic Productions. These presentations also have free downloadable PDF outlines of these presentations.

    • Good analogy, “King’s Mother” in history.. Thanks. I am a Catholic who struggles with much of the Veneration of Mother Mary, (not all!), reading, praying, reflecting to try to understand. YOUR comment suddenly makes much sense to me. Thank you.

  18. Thank you for this article. It is well argued and substantiated. Co-redemptrix is not only a term with long standing in Catholic theology and magisterial teaching, it also best describes a specific ontological reality in the Divine Mystery being expressed by our human words. Perhaps what Our Lord told Sr. Lucia de Santos over the course of the Fatima cycle of apparitions and private revelations will have to come true, before lingering resistance to this term will finally dissipate, even among Catholics.

    When Sr. Lucia asked Our Lord in 1936, “Why will You not convert Russia without the Pope making that consecration [of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary],” Our Lord answered: “Because I want My whole Church to recognize that consecration as a Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so that later on My Church will extend Her veneration and put the devotion to this Immaculate Heart alongside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.” Sr. Lucia responded: “But, My God, the Holy Father probably won’t believe me unless You, Yourself move him with a special inspiration.” Our Lord answered: “Pray a great deal for the Holy Father. He will do it, but it will be late.” (Source: Letter dated May 18, 1936, in Memórias e Carras da Irma Lucia, (Porto, Portugal, 1973, edited by Father Antonio Maria Martins) pp. 414-415.)

    When Our Lord said that the Holy Father will do it, but it will be late – the question is how late? Will there need to be yet more destruction than we already have from the errors of Russia being spread throughout the whole world – infiltrating even the Church – before the consecration is done properly, and all will recognize the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the cause of Russia’s conversion? Only Our Lord knows the answer to this question. So far, we have not had the conversion of Russia to the Catholic Faith – much less the promised resulting peace, in spite of various attempts at fulfilling Our Lord’s request regarding the consecration. There is not enough space here to discuss why many Fatima scholars hold that the parameters of this consecration have yet to be met.

    As regards this present discussion, Our Lord’s words to Sr. Lucia seem to imply that after the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, the whole Church will be ready to properly recognize that, in reality, these Two Hearts, Who have loved the world so much, are indeed inseparable and always “alongside” each other – from the very moment of the Incarnation – throughout the work of Redemption – and into Eternity. “Co-redemptrix” expresses not only a truth about the very being of the Blessed Virgin herself but also a key aspect of the Marian Mystery God the Son made His own – by choosing to become enfleshed from and in Her, by the Power of the Holy Spirit.

    • “…devotion to this Immaculate Heart alongside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.”
      The hangup might be in our finite and spatial imagination and language. “Alongside” must mean that the infinite condescension of the Son required a reciprocal (not parallel) and absolutely total receptivity and humility in Mary.

    • Yes, her Immaculate Heart will triumph when all recognize that her son is GOD CHRIST and to give Him glory, to glorify Him the Triune God and the Second Person of the Holy Blessed Trinity who is also our Redeemer, one God in Three from and for all eternity

    • For those still struggling to understand the reality of Our Lady’s role in Redemption and the necessity of its being recognized by us mere mortals, especially as we approach the end times, I recommend that you ponder the words of St. Louis Marie de Montfort on the Blessed Virgin’s part in the latter times. Such can be found in “True Devotion to Mary,” beginning with paragraph 49. Here is a link to his work: https://www.montfort.org.uk/Writings/TD.php#
      The prophetic words of this great Marian Saint give us further insight into the significance of Our Lord’s words to Sr. Lucia -and why it is important to keep discussion about Our Lady as Co-redemptrix on the table.

      • Understanding Mary’s role in redemption will not necessarily or correctly lead us to the truth of seeing or entitling her as our “Co-Redemptrix.” Mary in the Doctrine of St. Montfort is primarily Mother and Mediatrix. She is Mother of the Redeemed and she is Mother of the Redeemer but not co-Redemptrix. Editor and author Patrick Gaffney, SMM, of “Handbook of the Spirituality of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort (1994) clarifies, “Mary is, then, the mediatrix of intercession; Jesus is our Mediator of redemption. He is the one Mediator between God and man. Never does St. Louis Marie, in spite of a baroque language, withdraw Mary from her creaturely existence, redeemed by Jesus.” (P. 712).

        Also, please see p. 55 of ‘Preparation for Total Consecration according to St. L.M.deMontfort:’ “Mary, being a mere creature that has come from the hands of the Most High, is in comparison with his infinite Majesty less than an atom; or rather she is nothing at all, because He is ‘He Who Is,’ consequently that grand Lord, always independent and sufficient to Himself, never had, and has not now an absolute need of the Holy Virgin for the accomplishment of His Will, and for the manifestation of His Glory.”

        As you suggest, I agree that Montfort deserves contemplative study. He offers more than meets a cursory eye. Montfort’s Motto is: “God Alone.” Mary’s creatureliness, despite its immaculate nature, does nevertheless not compare to God’s infinite perfect being as creator, redeemer, sanctifier, and man’s ALL. I am an avowed child of Mary. As such, I know and greatly admire and do her due honor. She does very much to help us, but she does NOT herself redeem in any sense as does her Son.

  19. All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

    “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols”. Isaiah 42:8

    For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:5

    Notice how 99% of the comments above are from men and not from God’s word. No wonder the faith of Catholics is so weak. Bad theology is a cruel taskmaster.
    Biden and Pelosi are lifelong Catholics (their admission), yet they have no qualms in applauding and giving their thumbs up for women to murder their unborn child. Are they the face and norm of the majority of Catholics? Notice how silent the church leaders have become.

  20. Get a clue, Brian. Faithful Catholics are simply not interested in following your extremely limited, heretical approach. We are only interested in the truth, and in this regard, note that Only the Catholic Church has the lone appropriate and complete Bible, and as the One True Church of Christ, it is also the only infallible interpreter of Scripture. Accordingly, faithful Catholics do not accept your largely unbiblical Protestant approach that lacks a full and accurate understanding of Scripture and its role in the Church. Moreover, Catholics rightly believe in things you wrongly reject like Church Tradition and the Church’s teaching Magisterium that you also falsely criticize with the lame and weak “such things are not biblical,” again based on your limited understanding that is also based on an incomplete bible (KJV) first published in the early 17th century. And before you get too excited, some of the books of the OT rightly accepted by the Catholic Church but not included in the erroneous Protestant scriptures are not “apocrypha” as dishonest Protestants and others pretend to be the case because they cannot handle the reality of some teaching found in these books that Protestants dishonestly reject simply because such things do not square with their false beliefs.

    Now, I don’t care about any response you may care to make that will likely feature more inadequate quotes from your limited Scriptures, because the Catholic Church has completely addressed the relationship between the Church and the Bible, and so the points you think you have made in your previous comments are of no value and will not persuade faithful Catholics to reject Christ and accept your pronouncements. Our Lord established his One True Church with Peter the rock (rock does not mean his faith as ignorant people claim) as the head; he did not establish a bunch of Bible societies with all differing interpretations that the numerous Protestant denominations have ultimately become.

    Hope for you: Do yourself a favor and try to honestly check what the Catholic Church actually teaches about the things you have wrongly criticized in your comments. If you have sufficient intellectual integrity and courage, there is a very fine website you can easily access that addresses all of your criticisms of the Church and much more in defense of the Catholic Church. At least find out what the Church actually teaches and why it so teaches these things instead of making false assumptions/accusations as you have made in all of your comments. The free website is Catholic Answers (https://www.catholic.com), and many of the people who work for the website and provide articles and videos are former Protestant ministers who converted to the One True Church because they were honest about seeking the Truth and came to realize that their criticisms of the Church were based on false Protestant beliefs very much like your own. You could also read the story of the renowned biblical scholar Scott Hahn, a former Presbyterian minister married to a daughter of another Presbyterian minister in their book “Rome Sweet Home” that sets forth why a more honest appraisal of the Bible and honestly engaging Catholicism led them both into Christ’s Church.

    Good luck.

  21. Jesus said: ‘All power on heaven and on earth has been given to him’ and ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light”. Today, the Church barely mentions Jesus, consequences of sin and justification by Jesus. We really need to get back to basic Gospel message. Mariology is a distraction. It is said she leads us to Jesus, but unfortunately too often she has become an end of herself.

    • O Jesus, I think of Catherine Laboure, Lourdes, Fatmia, Guadalupe and Pius XII Declaration of Assumption; and I think of Paul VI’s Declaration of Mother of the Church; and I think of the BVM on the First Holy Saturday; and I think of the Lady of the Rosary. Please Lord show us more.

  22. DV—-Sorry the truth (God’s word) troubles you so, but that is part of what it is meant to do…..show you your errors and the errors of false teachers so that you can repent and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I was 30 years in the Catholic church, so I know and saw first hand a lot of how they distort scripture (when the few times they try to insert it to fit their narrative). I’ll never be able to change your thinking as that is God’s doing only….Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? Romans 9:21 God’s word will always supersede anything that man can dream up. May God have mercy on your soul.

    • Brian, why are you on CWR? You tout scripture but do not believe the most important words spoken by Christ: “If you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall not have life in you!” Jn 6:54. Defiance of the Words of Christ is a dangerous option. I pray you find the way back home to the Catholic Apostolic Church for your salvation.

    • Brian: May God the Father have mercy on your soul for slapping His Son Jesus in the face by leaving the One True Church He established for all time, and for also spreading lies about Christ’s Church because what you claim you experienced easily duped you into making false conclusions about the Church that the vast majority of the people who visit this excellent Catholic website are faithful members of and rightly so because they obey Christ’s non-negotiable command to be part of only His Church and not be part of any heretical sects/incomplete bible societies like all Protestant denominations and other denominations as well.

      And as predicted, you quote off point from your 17th century incomplete bible once again, yet wrongly applied quotes from an incomplete bible are decidedly not the truth; just your distorted view of it. Indeed your interpretation of scripture and unjust attacks on the One True Church are simply heretical in many respects. Still, I have provided you with superb sources to find out precisely what the Church actually teaches instead of the wrong impressions your 30 years gave you…but you likely won’t check these things due to fear of the truth and pride in your false understanding and very limited 30-year experience that you wrongly believe was/is definitive and conclusive when it isn’t even close to being so.

      On your behalf, I shall now ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to assist in hopefully obtaining for you the grace to at least have enough courage to go beyond your false understanding to discover what the Church accurately teaches so you will stop malevolently attacking her Son by attacking His Church via egregious lies and distortions. Good luck.

  23. BVM is the golden calf of the Catholic church.
    The God of the universe has never and will never allow any of His creatures to share in His glory, power or attributes. Read the scriptures and you will see this is true (if your church will allow it).

    • Just for your information, brian, our Lord’s Mother is not, and has never been, the golden calf of the Catholic Church. No matter how reverently we might think of his mother, Mary will never be worshipped. Even while he was painfully dying on the cross, our Redeemer made sure that his beloved mother was well cared for.
      What is totally unchristian is the disdain with which some so-called followers of Jesus treat his mother.

    • Oh please. Do not insult “our Church” with such statements. You are free to believe what you wish, obviously, but your tone is insulting and reveals a certain anti-Catholic animosity that stems from an ignorance of the Church, adding nothing to the discussion. “Our Church” leaves us free to believe as we can, prayerfully progressing down the path of Faith as led by the apostolic succession established by Jesus Himself, and that is all we can do. Nobody in “our Church” tells us what we may or may not read.

      • Can we pray to dead people according to Word of God? Do they or some of them become omnipresent after death so they can hear and understand all of us from many different nations and launguages? If yes, then what is the biblical basis for beliving so?

        • The Bible tells us a lot about man’s story from the time of his creation in the Garden of Eden right up to the very early days of the Church. Since most of the writers lived in the time before the Messiah accomplished his mission, their knowledge about the after-life was limited to a realm they called Abraham’s bosom. Abraham’s bosom was how they referred to Sheol or Limbo. Some of them even believed that death was the end – and that’s it. They had practically no idea about our Redeemer’s victory over death, and his setting free those held captive in Sheol. Do you remember what Jesus told that thief who was crucified alongside him? “THIS DAY YOU WILL BE WITH ME IN PARADISE.” So now we see Paradise coming into existence for the first time. For thousands of earthly years Paradise did not exist and no mention was made about it.
          In the days of the early Church when so many truths were sinking in, the Apostles and disciples had so much occupying their minds. They had to teach their flowerers and also to evangelize – while being persecuted. The Holy Spirit was now very active in the Church – teaching, teaching and teaching. “The Advocate [paraklētos], the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name–he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (John 14:26). This is how we came to know that our God is a Triune God. The Bible does not say this, but the Holy Spirit conveyed this information to The Church at the right time. We also believe that Paradise is different from Sheol or Abraham’s bosom. I will stop here by reminding you that the angels and saints in heaven always pray to God. Who are these saints? They are those who were baptized into our Lord’s family while on earth and who continue to be our brothers and sisters in this Church even in the heavenly realm.

          • Dear Mal. I don’t have perfect english but I’ll try to answer to your comment.
            You said: „ The Bible does not say this, but the Holy Spirit conveyed this information to The Church at the right time.” – then my question is: How do you know for sure which information or new revelation comes from Holy Spirit and which from deceiver, if you can’t „search the Scriptures whether those things were so”(Acts 17:11)?
            Doesn’t Word of God say: „…that ye might learn in us not to think above that which is written”(1Cor 4:6)
            Talking about „Triune God” we don’t find in Bible this exact words but we read in many places that the Son and the Father are one or that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God and so on, but about dead people becoming omnipresent like only God is, we can’t find anything like that.
            Furthermore, how do we know whether additional praying to creation (and not to Creator only) is not a blasphemy in eyes of God? Isn’t it risky?

          • Thanks for your response, Peter.
            If the Bible is all that we need to go by then why did Jesus feel the need to give us another teacher, a Teacher who will forever be with us as teacher and guide? You asked how do we know for sure which teaching comes from the Holy Spirit (and not from Satan or our human whims and fancies). You may recall that Jesus gave the Church something else as well: the Rock. It was after Simon declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, that Jesus said to him: “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” So, through the centuries, we have “Peter” and the Apostles teaching us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – as promised by our Founder. This is what the Bible clearly tells us.

        • And another angel came, and stood before the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given to him much incense, that he should offer of the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar, which is before the throne of God.

          And the smoke of the incense of the prayers of the saints ascended up before God from the hand of the angel.

    • “God will never allow to share in his glory??” The devil is jealous, do not be deceived. “Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious.” IS.43:4. “As a bridegroom rejoices in his bride, so shall your God rejoice in you.” IS 62:5. ” “He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body.” (Phil 3:21). “All of us gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18).
      “And I have given THEM the glory that You gave ME, so that they also may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me….you loved them even as you loved me.” (Jn17:22).
      Come back to the true Church, Brian. God Incarnate Jesus Christ feeds us with Himself and gives us glory.

  24. Whatever the exact definition of our Blessed Mother’s role in salvation, all I can say it is important and her intercession has helped me immensely in the eight years since my conversion.

  25. Brian, Peter, maybe you ought to look again, differently? There are things in the OT that aren’t taken up in the NT explicitly; there are things in the NT that weren’t explicitly in the OT; and there are things in both that are mystery. Moreover neither is exhaustive: as John says, so many more books could be written. Probably the only prohibition on the Bible, as a book, that is in the Bible itself, is, from (again) John: when he says woe to the one who alters it.

    • Response to Mal.
      Dear Mal, you said: „If the Bible is all that we need to go by then why did Jesus feel the need to give us another teacher” – First small correction: Jesus said „Comforter” not „teacher”. The answer is obvious, Jesus was going to Father and at the same time Apostles and disciples were sent to teach all nations. How they could teach if they didn’t understand much from scriptures or from what Jesus was telling them and their faith was not strong enough which is mentioned few times in Gospels. Opposite to that, look what happens straigh after outpouring of promised Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. Everything changes, Peter gave the speech full of wisdom and understanding, later Stephen the same, and Paul and others. All this was the explosion of the Holy Spirit among first Christians and the fulfilment of the promise. All this was then written down for us. After Apostles era we don’t have any more books added to Bible, and not so many miracles having place but the main work of the Holy Spirit later is to lead us to Jesus, not to bring new revelations.
      Coming back to you words: „If the Bible is all that we need to go by then why did Jesus feel the need to give us another teacher” we also have to point that at this time when Jesus said this there was no Bible as we know it but OT only.
      You also said: „So, through the centuries, we have “Peter” and the Apostles” – no we don’t. Jesus said to Peter as you mentioned: „ you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church” – „UPON this rock” not „I will build of this rock”. Peter is the FOUNDATION as Jesus said. The same is in Eph 2:20 „and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets”. Even Peter himself told us: „we have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn”. He simply tells us to stick to the Word of God – the only sure light until second coming of Christ.
      At the end I want to point that my goal is not to prove that I’m righ or that I know something better but I’m simply afraid to believe or to put hope in anything which doesn’t have solid support in the Bible which I think we all agree is the book of TRUTH.

  26. “Athanasius offered a series of theological propositions, for which a simple “yes” or “no” response sufficed.”

    And he would have simply been ignored by the current Pope.

  27. Again, Brian, Peter: have you read any of VATICAN II Documents? There is a lot of teaching on the Bible that our separated Christian (non-Catholic) communities do not accept. Even though we may be inspired to seek God in the words of Scripture, as they often might be, there aren’t short-circuit answers to faith or to the Bible and just invoking the Bible like a rabbit’s foot was never the Church’s way. The separation that Protestants put themselves through and their persistence in it, makes the reconciliation more difficult with the right shared appreciation of the Bible, that much more out of reach. Worse, one Protestant interprets the Scripture to one side while another of his brothers interprets to another, while both would claim that Catholics aren’t Biblical. And so, yes, that is a problem. And as you can see a mere yes or no in these matters is likely to sustain the divergences.

    ‘ But when Christians separated from us affirm the divine authority of the sacred Books, they think differently from us – different ones in different ways – about the relationship between the Scriptures and the Church. ….. The ecclesial Communities separated from us lack that fullness of unity with us which should flow from baptism; and we believe that especially because of the lack of sacrament of orders, they have not preserved the genuine and total reality of the Eucharistic mystery. ‘

    – Paul VI, Unitatis Redintegration, 21,22

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