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An international Marian organization, along with more than 100 bishops, priests, religious and theologians from over 20 countries, are asking Pope Francis to publicly acknowledge Mary as co-redemptrix with Our Lord.
Toward that end, the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association published a 10-page paper on January 1 titled "The Role of Mary in Redemption."
According to its press release issued December 30, "This document respectfully requests that Pope Francis 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."
This request may be seen as part of a wider movement for the Church eventually to proclaim the Fifth Marian Dogma — that Mary is Mediatrix of All Grace. There was debate over the matter during the Second Vatican Council, which ultimately decided not to include Mary under this title in its documets.
The 33-member commission offered a summary of the major points of its document:
- Our Lady's free decision to be Mother of Our Lord was the beginning of Her participation in Our Lord's mission of salvation of the human race;
- Our Lady's special participation in Our Lord's work of redemption is only possible through His infinite merits, and does not detract from Christ's redemptive work;
- Mention of the "woman" in Genesis 3:15 and Her "seed" is a foreshadowing of Our Lady's victory over Satan and sin. The Immaculate Conception is preparation for Her to be perfect human partner with Our Lord;
- The Presentation reveals Our Lady's continued mission of co-redeemer with Christ, culminating at Golgotha, where She interiorly unites Herself with Our Lord's sufferings on the Cross;
- The Early Church concept of the "New Eve" is the first sign of the teaching of Our Lady as co-redeemer; Her title as "Redemptrix" to point to her suffering with Our Lord at Calvary (10th century); acknowledgment of Her being "co-crucified" with Our Lord (12th century); the "Co-Redemptrix" title (15th century); the "golden age" of Co-Redemptrix (17th century); the title of "Co-Redemptrix" applied by Pope Pius XI and Pope St. John Paul II (19th and 20th centuries);
- The prefix "co-" denotes "with" and not "equal." No one can be placed on the level of the Divine, as such would be blasphemy;
- 2017 is the centenary of Our Lady's apparitions at Fatima, "which in itself constitutes a powerful manifestation of Our Lady's co-redemption in action."
The document concludes humbly requesting that Pope Francis, "in continuity with the papal precedents of Pope Pius XI and Pope St. John Paul II," would publicly recognize the role of Our Lady as co-redemptrix.
We believe that a public acknowledgement of Mary's true and continuous role with Jesus in the saving work of Redemption would justly celebrate the role of humanity in God's saving plan and lead to the release of historic graces through an even more powerful exercise of Our Lady’s maternal roles of intercession for the Church and for all humanity today.
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