The International Marian Association has requested that the leader of Roman Catholicism, Jorge Bergoglio, also known as Pope Francis, refer to Mary as “co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer” during the 100th year anniversary of the purported apparitions of Mary in Fatima, Portugal.
The Theological Commission of the Marian Association, which is comprised of 30 supportive entities, including Vatican Secretariat of State Florian Kolfhaus, Andrew Apostoli of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), Elias Mary of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Sanctuary in Wisconsin, and Michael O’Neill and Christopher Padgett of the Mariological Society of America, recently released a 10-page document outlining why Mary is deserving of the title.
It states that Mary passed on her sinless nature—given to her by God at conception—to Jesus, that He might redeem the world from sin. Through her willing human participation in the Father’s divine means of saving wicked men, the Commission contends, she is the “New Eve” just as Jesus is the “New Adam.”
“Mary, the ‘full of grace’ (Lk. 1:28) was providentially prepared by the Father through her Immaculate Conception to participate with the Son in the crushing of the head of Satan and redeeming humanity from sin, and to pass on to her divine Son an immaculate human nature like her own in order to accomplish the mission of redemption,” the document asserts.
“Within the rich tradition of the Church the patristic concept of Mary as the ‘New Eve’ who uniquely worked with Jesus, the ‘New Adam,’ to restore the life of grace to the human family contains within itself the doctrine of Mary’s unique participation with Jesus in the redemption,” it states. “Declared ‘Mother of the Church’ by Pope Bl. Paul VI, Mary ‘cooperated in initiating God’s kingdom’ and thus manifested her motherly co-redemption for the Church.”
The Commission clarifies, however, that the title of co-redemptrix does not set Mary as equal with Christ, as it believes such a concept would be heresy.
“The philosophical and theological meaning of ‘participation’ includes the understanding of an inferior being ‘taking part in’ (partem capere) the perfections or qualities of a superior being,” it outlines. “Thus, Mary’s participation in the redemption of Christ in no way diminishes His perfect divine redemption, but rather in a human feminine and maternal expression, partakes in its divine power and efficacy.”
The Marian Association therefore requests that “Pope Francis would kindly grant public recognition and honor to the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary as ‘co-redemptrix with Jesus the redeemer'” during the Fatima observance in May. It says that the recognition would provide a means for humanity to consider how God used men as a vessel as He carried out His purposes in the plan of salvation.
“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; foster greater devotion to the mother of God; 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,” it writes.
While the Association says that title would point the eyes of the people to the cross of Christ, some beg to differ. Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries in Plano, Texas told Christian News Network that the Roman Catholic religion often attributes many of Christ’s characteristics to Mary.
“They teach that both were conceived without sin and lived sinless lives, and both are our advocates. They proclaim that Jesus is the source of grace, Mary is the channel of all grace; Jesus is the Mediator, Mary is the Mediatrix; Jesus ascended into glory, Mary’s body was assumed into glory; Jesus is the King of Heaven, Mary is the Queen of Heaven; Jesus is the Prince of peace, and Mary is the Queen of peace,” he explained.
Gendron said that these doctrines are unbiblical. Further considering Mary now as co-redemptrix, he opined, rather takes God’s rightful glory and gives part of it to man.
“Nowhere in Scripture is Mary referred to as co-redeemer or co-mediatrix,” he declared. “It was the Lord Jesus, not Mary, who gave His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). It was Jesus, not Mary, who redeemed those who were once slaves to sin and purchased their freedom so that they are no longer in bondage to sin. Jesus gave Himself to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own (Titus 2:14).”
“For anyone to refer to Mary as co-redemptrix not only violates the truth of God’s Word, it also dishonors the Lord Jesus Christ and robs Him of the glory, honor and praise that He alone deserves,” Gendron stated.
Pope John Paul II referred to Mary as co-redemptrix on several occasions, but some worried that it would impede the ecumenical unity that Catholics were seeking with Christians.
“There is great spiritual danger for Catholics when they look to Mary and not Jesus,” Gendron said. “Paul warned, ‘But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).’ I pray that Catholics will heed the exhortation from the book of Hebrews: ‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).'”