Leonardo"s Notebook by Mattheus Mei

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mary is my Home Girl


Zenit has an interesting article today on one Cardinal's efforts to have the church recognize a fifth Marian Dogma. Cardinal Topo believes by adding this particular dogmatic pronouncement that it'll benefit ecumenical and inter religious dialogue. So what does the Cardinal propose?

He proposes that Mary be named "the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, the co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer, mediatrix of all graces with Jesus the one mediator, and advocate with Jesus Christ on behalf of the human race."

The good Cardinal's petition is supported by many in the magesterium - many Bishops and Archbishops as well as other Cardinals, but speaking as a laymen, and a convert - while I'm fine with the first statement, Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, the latter statements are going to be difficult pills to swallow. Perhaps its a poor choice of words, or perhaps my own knowledge of Catholicism, certainly lacking compared to the theological depth of Cardinal Topo, limits me from understanding those phrases.

If anything this proposal reminds me of an old joke about The Trinity being in a recession and the Father and Son agreeing that they have to phase out the Holy Spirit. To me declaring Mary the co-redemptrix and co-mediatrix, is taking to much away from the person of Christ and diminishing core Trinitarian values by replacing what is essentially the purpose of the Holy Spirit as font of all blessings (graces).

Perhaps this is the ultimate 'end' of western Christo-centric theology (as developed from the filioque) where we confuse the role of the trinity and seem to promote neo-modalism. Am I completely off? Any takers on elucidating this matter for me? Gashwin? AmP? Amy? St. Lizzy? St. Izzy?

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3 comments:

Gashwin said...

I'm a huge devotee of the Blessed Mother. However, the language of the "co-redemptrix" makes me a bit ... um ... uncomfortable.

Now, if one is saying "co-redemptrix" in the sense that she participated in the sufferings of Christ, that's one thing. (Heck, in a sense, we all do. See Col ). But, that's a very subtle nuance. And "co-" sounds like "co-equal." The initial reaction is, "Umm. She's equal to Jesus?"

Then there is the question: is this really necessary?

How this is supposed to help promote ecumenical dialogue, I am not sure.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm far from being a Mariologist, and I have to study the actual theological propositions being made. So, these are instinctive reactions, based on not fully comprehending everything.

Gashwin said...

[Um, sorry, that was Col 1:24]

St. Izzy said...

The language being used makes me mightily uncomfortable, but it may be a case where the theological vocabulary is counter intuitive.

The most reasonable explanations I've found are at the voxpopuli.org website. This website exists SOLELY to promote promulgation of dogmatic definitions of these doctrines, which are already the normal teaching of the Church (which is reason enough for us to try to wrap our heads around the doctrines). The people seem to have a close connection with Steubenville, so one would expect a certain sympathy toward fellow former Protestants.

Here are a couple of links to get you going:

1) Response to objections to "Co-Redemptrix."

2) The faqs page (with several sub-pages)

3) Well, I've lost the link. It was one of the places that Scott Hahn popped up on the site. But poke around a bit.


I think that the time for a dogmatic definition has not come and that, despite protestations of Dogmatic Supporters, this would definitely drive another wedge between the Church and her separated brethren. Does no one remember how long it took to begin to heal the rift after the definition of Papal Infallibility by Vatican 1?