Is Mary a Co-Redemptrix? - 09/05/2003
In your segment regarding Mary, you listed several items considered "Catholic Tradition". One item in particular is # 5 - Mary's role as Co-redemptrix. Can you please offer support that this is part of the Catholic church's doctrine. Prayers are often spoken to Mary for intercession, but most Catholics that I know never attribute any diety status towards Mary.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Hi Rene. Thanks for writing to us. Official Catholic doctrine does not use the word "deity" when referring to Mary. However, the direction of prayers to any deceased person with the understanding that they will then take some action on your behalf ascribes to them a deity characteristic. So the practice of directing prayers to Mary and the saints is, in practice, deifying Mary and the saints. Furthermore, official Catholic doctrine ascribes to Mary a higher level of adoration than that of the saints. Some of the following quotes, while not using the term "co-redemptrix", point to her role in that regard. Furthermore, you can do a web search for the "Fifth Marian Dogma," which draws on her admittedly understood role as co-redemptrix (from Vatican II and Catholic Tradition), and just puts it in writing. I hope this answered your question. Please understand that the Bible tells us that Jesus doesn't need, nor does he have, any assistance as mediator, "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - 1 Timothy 2:5. [emphasis added] God bless!
From the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15459a.htm):
Similarly, certain interpolated passages found in the Sibylline Oracles, passages which probably date from the third century, show an equal preoccupation with the dominant role played by the Blessed Virgin in the work of redemption (see especially II, 311-12, and VIII, 357-479). [emphasis added]
In any case the homage paid to Our Lady during the later Middle Ages was universal. Even so unorthodox a writer as John Wyclif, in one of his earlier sermons, says: "It seems to me impossible that we should obtain the reward of Heaven without the help of Mary. There is no sex or age, no rank or position, of anyone in the whole human race, which has no need to call for the help of the Holy Virgin." [emphasis added]
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (http://www.vatican.va/archive/catechism/p123a9p6.htm#I):
964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion: [emphasis added]
969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." [emphasis added]
Ben and Jennifer Rast