Pope Francis is reaffirming his opposition to the title "co-redemptrix" for the Virgin Mary.
In his Wednesday Audience, the pontiff set the stage for denying Mary this title.
Pope Francis: "He is the only redeemer. There are no co-redeemers with Christ. He is the only one."
Technically God owes His creatures nothing. The Incarnation is thus necessary for redemption — the remission of sin and conferral of grace. In this sense, Jesus is the sole redeemer. But this does not mean our redemption is entirely passive, excluding participation.
Saint Augustine wrote: "God created us without us but he will not save us without us." The Lord commands we take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24) and St. Paul says "to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). In this sense, all disciples participate in redemption, making us co-redeemers.
Regarding Our Lady, in his 1904 encyclical, Ad Diem Illum, Pope St. Pius X teaches "since Mary ... has been associated by Jesus Christ in the work of redemption, she merits for us de congruo, in the language of theologians, what Jesus Christ merits for us de condigno."
Pope Francis: "The mother who covers. But as a mother, to whom Jesus entrusted all of us. But as a mother, not as a goddess, not as co-redemptrix, but as mother."
When defining the dogma of the Assumption, Pope Pius XII explained: "the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination ... the noble associate of the divine Redeemer."
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
Her universal motherhood does not remove her unique role in redemption, it enhances it.
Pope Francis' pontificate is marked by a lack of clarity.
His actions and words, like his recent explanations on Mary's role in the lives of the faithful, are confusing.
Many feel like sheep without a visible shepherd.