Theologians and Bishops Ask Pope Francis for Statement on Mary

On January 1, 2017, the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association, an association of more than 100 theologians, bishops, priests, religious, and lay leaders from over 20 countries dedicated to the full truth and love of Mary, Mother of Jesus, has released a 10-page document entitled, The Role of Mary in Redemption: A Document of the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association.  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.

A summary of the major points of the document produced by the 33 member Theological Commission is as follows:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. The year 2017 commemorates the centenary anniversary of the historic apparitions of Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, which in itself constitutes a powerful manifestation of Our Lady’s Coredemption in action…

The document concludes: Therefore, we, as members of the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association, and in full obedience and fidelity to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, humbly request that during this 2017 Fatima centenary, and in continuity with the papal precedents of Pope Pius XI and Pope St. John Paul II, Pope Francis would kindly grant public recognition and honor to the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary for her unique human cooperation with  the one divine Redeemer in the work of Redemption as “Co-redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer.”  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.

Read the document here.