Will Pope Francis acknowledge the Holy Mother as the 'Co-Redemptrix' at Fatima this year?
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On January 1, 2017, the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association (IMA) released a 10-page document titled "The Role of Mary in Redemption: A Document of the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association."
The document served as a request for Pope Francis to "publicly acknowledge and honor Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as the 'Co-redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer" during the 2017 centenary anniversary of the Marian Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal."
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LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The IMA is composed of over 100 theologians, bishops, priests, religious and lay leaders across 20 countries.
Each member is dedicated to the Holy Virgin.
The Document was created by 33 of IMA members and made the following seven points:
- Mary's free consent to bring Jesus the Redeemer into the world (Lk. 1:38) began her unique participation with and under Jesus, in the mission of human Redemption.
- Mary's unique participation with Jesus in the work of Redemption is entirely dependent upon his infinite merits as the only divine Redeemer. Her sharing in the redemptive work of Jesus in no way obscures or diminishes his redemptive victory, but rather manifests its power and fruitfulness.
- Mary's participation in the Redemption is foreshadowed in the "woman" of Genesis 3:15 and her "seed" of victory, who will be victorious over Satan and his seed of sin and death. Mary's Immaculate Conception prepares her to be the perfect human partner with Jesus the Redeemer.
- Mary's ongoing mission with her redeeming Son is given testimony at the Presentation (cf. Luke 2:35) and culminates at Calvary (cf. Jn. 19:25-27) where Mary shares in the intensity of Jesus' suffering in her heart and consents to the "immolation of the victim born of her" (cf. Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, n. 58, 61).
- The development of the doctrine of Mary's Coredemption with Jesus within Tradition begins with the early Church concept of the "New Eve"; Mary's united suffering with Jesus at Calvary and the "Redemptrix" title (10th century); Mary's compassion and being "co-crucified" with Jesus (12th century); the "Co-redemptrix" title (15th century); the "golden age" of Co-redemptrix (17th century), leading to its 19th century official teaching by the papal Magisterium and the repeated use of the Co-redemptrix title by Pope Pius XI and Pope St. John Paul II.
- The Latin prefix "co" signifies "with" and not equal. The Co-redemptrix title never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ, the only divine Redeemer, as to do so would constitute both heresy and blasphemy. The Co-redemptrix title is meaningless without Jesus the Redeemer, and in itself focuses upon the Cross of Jesus Christ. Mary Co-redemptrix proclaims to the world that suffering is redemptive when united to the sufferings of Christ.
- The year 2017 commemorates the centenary anniversary of the historic apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, which is in itself constitutes a powerful manifestation of Our Lady's Coredemption in action...
Before anyone could be offended, the Association later specified in a press release, "The Co-Redemptrix title never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ, the only divine Redeemer, as to do so would constitute both heresy and blasphemy.
"The Co-Redemptrix title is meaningless without Jesus the Redeemer, and in itself focuses upon the Cross of Jesus Christ. Mary Co-Redemptrix proclaims to the world that suffering is redemptive when united to the sufferings of Christ."
Mary was with them (David McTavish/Shutterstock).
Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Professor of Mariology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, told CNA the new title given during the centenary anniversary of the Marian Apparitions would highlight Mary's unique role in cooperation with Christ when it comes to redemption.
"I think many people sense the spread of evil in the world and see the importance of highlighting Mary's role as a spiritual mother," Dr. Fastiggi stated in emailed comments.
"A papal statement on Marian coredemption would deepen our understanding of Mary's role as the New Eve who collaborates with her Son, the New Adam, 'in giving back supernatural life to souls,'" he explained, quoting the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium.
Dr. Fastiggi cited previous popes Pius XI and St. John Paul II to say each has called the Holy Virgin "Co-Redemptrix" on several occasions, so if Pope Francis also acknowledges her in this way, it could help clarify Mary's role in the Catholic religion.
A formal statement would also serve the cause of ecumenism because it would help other Christians know that the Catholic Church clearly distinguishes between the saving work of Christ as the one Savior and Mediator (1 Tim 2:5-6) and the Blessed Mother's secondary, dependent but utterly unique cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption and the mediation of grace."
Will Pope Francis refer to the Holy Mother as a "Co-Redemptrix" in Fatima? We shall see.
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