The Coredemptrix Controversy

A guest post from my dear friend Andrew Oullette:  

Many people that first hear the title of Mary as Coredemptrix think, “Wait. What?! Mary…Coredemptrix?! Blasphemy!” Yet we cannot be too quick to judge this title without looking at the meaning of the word Coredemptrix, the evidence for it in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and discovering what it means to us as the Body of Christ that Mary is the Coredemptrix.

Before we can say what Coredemptrix means we must first start by saying what Coredemptrix does NOT mean. Coredemptrix does not mean that Mary is equal to her son Jesus. It does not mean that she is equal to the Savior and Redeemer of the world. It does not mean that Mary is a fourth person added onto the Trinity.

What does the word Coredemptrix mean then? The word “co” comes from the Latin “cum” which means “with”. The Latin “redimere” signifies literally “to buy back” and finally the Latin suffix “trix” is feminine. So the literal meaning of the word Coredemptrix translates as, “The woman who buys back with”. We can also say that the word Coredemptrix means, “The woman with the Redeemer”. To call Mary the Coredemptrix means then that Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, participates uniquely and actively in the work of Redemption with and subordinate to her Son, Jesus Christ the Redeemer and Savior of the world. Mary’s role as Coredemptrix does not mean that she is equal to Jesus but that she participates with (cum) and under her Son in his Redeeming work. All that the title says then is that Mary participates in the work of Redemption in such a way that no other human, or any angel can because she is the Mother of the Redeemer.

The story of Redemption and of Mary’s participation in the Redemption begins in Genesis. “I will put enmity between you and the woman. Between your seed and her seed. He shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.”(Genesis 3:15)

We, who had just disobeyed God, are given a prophecy of salvation. This prophecy speaks of Satan and his seed (sin and death) forever in opposition between Mary and her seed (Jesus Christ). This prophecy tells us explicitly that a woman will participate in the the work of Redemption that is brought about by her offspring. This is the Coredemptrix foretold. The beginning of Mary Coredemptrix is at the Annunciation.

Our Lady begins her role as Coredemptrix by saying yes. Her fiat allows God to initiate his redemptive mission. By saying yes to carrying the Incarnate Logos and by giving Jesus his body, which is the instrument of salvation (Hebrews 10:10), Mary begins her participation in God’s work of Redemption. This fact is verified and made clearer at the Presentation, “and a sword will pierce through your own soul also.” (Luke 2:35)

The fiat of Mary Coredemptrix at the Annunciation is confirmed in the Presentation and is fulfilled on Calvary. Here Mary’s fiat resounds with every beat of her sorrowful and pierced heart. At the foot of the Cross Mary resigns her will to God, just as she did at the Annunciation “Be it done to me according to Your word.” (Luke 1:38) The Second Vatican council speaks on this writing that,

“After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect.” (Lumen Gentium 58, 61-62)

On Calvary Mary’s role as the Coredemptrix reaches it’s fulfillment. Our Lady participates uniquely and actively in the work of Redemption like no one else because she offered and consented to the very immolation of her own Son. She united her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart to the wounded Sacred Heart of Her son, the Redeemer of the world. There on Calvary she united her sufferings to the sufferings of her son Jesus “by whose stripes you were healed” (1st Peter 1:24)

At the foot of the cross, Our Lady of Sorrows shared in the sufferings of her Son and united her sufferings with and under Christ for the Salvation of the world. Mary did not bring about Redemption, but she did participate in the work of her Son acquiring the graces of Redemption by uniting the sufferings of her maternal heart with that of her Son.

As the Holy Spirit continued to guide the Church in her understanding of salvation history, the Church became more and more aware over time of the participatory role that the Mother of God played in the work of Redemption. Deepening in the understanding of Mary as the New Eve, the Church began to develop the theology of Mary’s role in the redemption more and more we every passing century. St. Irenaeus said, “Mary…became the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race.” (Against Heresies)

St. Ambrose, a Doctor of the Church and the spiritual father of St. Augustine speaks of Mary as Coredemptrix on multiple occasions saying that Mary “brought forth redemption for the human race” (De Mysteriis), that she “bore in her womb the remission of sins”, and that she “conceived redemption for all.”(De institutione virginum)

The actual term Coredemptrix did not appear predominately until around the 15th century when it was found in a Salzburg Liturgical Hymn. Before that the term Redemptrix goes as far back as the 10th century when it was found in a Litany of the Saints in a French Psalter.  I could go through the plethora of Fathers, saints, blessed, doctors of the Church, and venerable, that have written on Our Lady as the Coredemptrix but that would take too many guests posts. Let me just give you some well known saints who have developed the theology of Mary as Coredemptrix: St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, John the Geometer, St. Peter Damian, St. Anselm, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, St. Bonaventure, St. Albert the Great, Bl. John Duns Scotus, St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Ven. Mary of Agreda, St. John Eudes, St. Louis de Montfort, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Bl. John Henry Newman, Blessed Pope Pius IX, Pope Leo XIII, Pope St. Pius X, Pope Benedict XV, Pope Pius XI, Pope Pius XII, Blessed Pope John Paul II, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Francis Xavier Cabrini, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Leopold Mandic, St. Teresa Benedicta, St. Josemaria Escriva, Padre Pio, Blessed Bartolo Longo, Sr. Lucia of the Fatima Apparitions, and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. These are only a handful of the witnesses to Mary Coredemptrix.

Now some may ask, “Ok great. I understand and believe that Mary is the Coredemptrix…yet what does that have to do with me?”

Everything that we say of Our Lady has extreme significance on us pilgrims of this world on our salvific journey. All truths of the Blessed Virgin Mary are revealed to inspire in growing in holiness as we look to our Advocate and model of faith. Mary as the Coredemptrix offers us a model on how we can become co-redeemers, or co-workers in Christ (1Cor 3:6). St. Paul invited the faithful to “make up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ, for the sake of the body , that is, the Church” (Col 1:24)

Paul is not telling us that Christ’s sufferings were not sufficient for our salvation and our lacking salvific merit. What he is trying to say to us is an invitation to unite our own sufferings with that of the Suffering Christ. Blessed Pope John Paul II writes on this beautifully, “Those who share in the sufferings of Christ preserve in their own sufferings a very special particle of the infinite treasure of the world’s Redemption and can share this treasure with others. Does this mean that the Redemption achieved by Christ is not complete? No. It only means that the Redemption, accomplished through satisfactory love, remains always open to all love expressed in human suffering.” (Salvific Doloris)

We are called as Christians to unite all of our sufferings to that of Christ, the Redeemer of the world, so that the graces of Redemption, that were acquired by Christ and his Mother (in a subordinate way) on Calvary, may be released for the building up of the Body of Christ. Finally, let us follow the exhortation of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, “Dear friends who are sick, welcome the call of Jesus who will shortly pass among you in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and entrust to him every setback and pain that you face, so that they become – according to his design – a means of redemption for the whole world. You will be redeemers with the Redeemer, just as you are sons in the Son.” (Blessing for the Sick from Fatima)


Andrew Ouellette is studying Philosophy and Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Feel free to email him at


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  • Ryan M.

    Hi Andrew, thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I’m wondering, though, how would you respond to Pope Emeritus Benedict’s argument that the title “Coredemptrix” is unnecessary, because everything true that the title is meant to convey is more adequately given by our Lady’s other titles, and that the confusion caused by those who use the title without subtlety or nuance might do more harm than good? (I seem to recall, too, that Bl. John Paul II was also opposed to the title “Coredemptrix”, or at least not at all interested in pursuing a dogmatic definition…)

    • Andrew

      Hi Ryan. Thank you for your reply. I would like to know your sources for Pope Benedict’s comments. I have read much of Benedict and his Mariology and I have not found one statement where he says the title is unnecessary.

      On the subject of John Paul II…

      Blessed Pope John Paul II had referenced Mary numerous times as Coredemptrix. At one point he said, “Mary’s role as Coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.” In this post I am not talking about a papal definition of Mary as Coredemptrix but simply showing the Scripture and Tradition of Our Lady Coredemptrix.

      For a good read on Pope John Paul II on the title Coredemptrix I would recommed this article to you!

      God Bless and Ave Maria!


    • Andrew Ouellette

      Hi Ryan, thank you for your comment!

      I am not sure about which comment from Pope Benedict you would be referring to. I have read much of Benedict’s mariological writings and I have not found any statement on the Coredemptrix as you mention. Do you have a source?

      Also, Blessed John Paul II was never opposed to the title but actually referred to Mary as Coredemptrix many times! Here is a great article you can read on it!

      As in reply to a papal definition, I will only say that this post that I wrote seeks to show the truth of Mary as Coredemptrix based on Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition. As to whether or not the Holy Father should define a fifth Marian dogma should be in another conversation…a conversation that I think should involve bourbon and pipes :)

      God bless and Ave Maria!


      • Ryan M.

        Sure thing, here’s then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s thoughts from “God and the World”:

        “I do not think there will be any compliance with this demand…what is signified by this is already better expressed in other titles of Mary, while the formula ‘Co-redemptrix’ departs to too great an extent from the language of Scripture and of the Fathers and therefore gives rise to misunderstandings.

        “Because Mary is the prototype of the Church as such and is, so to say, the Church in person, this being ‘with’ must not lead us to forget the ‘first’ of Christ: Everything comes from Him, as the Letter to the Ephesians and the Letter to the Colossians tell us; Mary, too, is everything she is through Him.

        “The word ‘Co-redemptrix’ would obscure this origin. A correct intention is being expressed in the wrong way. For matters of faith, continuity of terminology with the language of Scripture and that of the Fathers is itself an essential element; it is improper simply to manipulate language.”

        And, well, I may be remembering JP2′s stance incorrectly, but there’s B16′s thoughts at least… either way, I’m all about the wonderful combination of bourbon, pipes, and theological discussion! Too bad the whole blogging thing isn’t as conducive to that type of interaction… thanks again for your thoughts!

        • Andrew Ouellette


          Thank you for the source! I actually remember that quote after you posted it! Whoops! I apologize for not remembering.

          Benedict wrote that when he was then Cardinal Ratzinger. After that was published he was interviewed (I am not sure how many years later) in a great book called “The Ratzinger Report” In this work he talks about a shift in his Mariology and has “6 reasons for not forgetting Our Lady”. In this section of the interview he grows in a deeper understanding of Our Lady and her work with and under her Son. It seems fair to speculate that Ratzinger grew in his Mariology, which was not as intense as his predecessors Mariology, right up to his papacy. Remember the last quote on this post from Benedict. This is a call to Christian coredemption and Mary is a model for us in that. Also I know that when Ratzinger was Pope he never made a comment that was negative about Our Lady as Coredemptrix.

          It is interested to also note that in one of his last letters before he retired, Benedict refers to Our Lady as the Mediatrix of All Grace. A title that he was hesitant of as a young theologian during the Second Vatican Council. Mary cannot be Mediatrix of All Graces without first being the Coredemptrix. How can she distribute the graces of redemption without first acquiring them in her subordinate work under her Son, the Redeemer of the world.

          Here are a few more good articles that might be helpful

          Ave Maria!

          • Ryan M.


            Fair enough… there’s no denying that Papa Ratzi’s Mariology grew in the years and decades following his time as a young Council peritus. Still though, I don’t know that the quote at the end of the original post, or his use of the title “Mediatrix of All Grace” bear the weight of showing a definitive shift in his thinking on the particular title we’re talking about here.

            I deeply love our Lady, and don’t at all object to any of your theological reasoning here. On a personal level, I’ve grown a lot in Marian devotion since becoming a parent myself two years ago, and understanding a bit more what von Balthasar meant when he said that an infant is brought to consciousness of himself by the loving smile of his mother… and yet, I still think that the concerns expressed in the Ratzinger passage I quoted are valid. I do think we need to be careful to maintain Scriptural and patristic terminology when speaking about our Mother. We are, after all, a people of Tradition…

            In particular, I think of this as someone who is a convert from evangelicalism, who greatly desires to see friends and family reconciled with the Church–I think that the title “Co-redemptrix” would present a major stumbling block to our efforts at the New Evangelization, and I think that maintaining our Scriptural and patristic Marian language is more helpful for credibility–and isn’t our Lady’s own priority to bring all people back to the bosom of Her Son’s Church? Isn’t she, as St. Louis de Montfort himself said, “an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God”? Not saying that we need to shy away from the truths about Mary that we hold dear, only suggesting that there’s better ways to communicate them…

            Thanks again for your replies! I will check out the articles you’ve linked to…


          • Andrew Ouellette

            Of course I would never want to argue with a man as great and humble as Benedict. But I would argue that the term Mediatrix of All Graces that he uses, should fit in his definition of a title moving too far from Scripture and the Fathers. As I said before, he wrote that as a young Cardinal before his deeper realization of Our Lady in the work of redemption.

            I appreciate your comments and concerns and I am so excited to hear of your wonderful devotion and love for Our Lady! Know that I am keeping you in my prayers and I will remember you and your family at the next Mass I attend.

            Peace and blessings!

          • Ryan M.

            Thank you so much for your prayers, Andrew! I will keep you in mine as well. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us, and for engaging me in conversation… I hope our online paths cross again!


          • Doug Meade

            Mary is not only Mediatrix of All Graces but Grace Incarnate, too! She indeed participated in the Redemptive process as we all do in our sufferings united to christ but also in a special way, reversing the residue of eve and the fallen nature of all women.
            Loving Mary is a Christ-like endeavor and calls God himself to rush to our hearts. No one need ever worry about loving our Beautiful Mother!

          • Harry Flynn

            “The Ratzinger Report” was in 1984/1985, not in the 21st century.

        • Clare Krishan

          I’m with Benedict on this one – nowhere in your article do you entertain the primary argument of her Immaculate Conception or Assumption, doctrines still not embraced in the East after a century or more passing. The understanding of her Intercessory preeminence, perpetual virginity, tender maternal wisdom and Dormition in incorruptible state are accepted and venerated in a wide number of Icon images, but NOT under any contentious ‘modern’ nomenclature we are familiar with. Mary is silent in scripture, and her powerful silence still reigns supreme in Heaven.

          How could it be God’s will for the reunification of Christendom to instigate controversy in Her Name? Mary’s humble sanctity flows from the merits won for her (and us) in the death and resurrection of her Son, so much so its implicit whenever she’s depicted: e.g. Titian’s altarpiece in Venice as glorious sunshine alike unto the precious gold leaf ground of Byzantine frescoes, icons or mosaics, a sober dark veil separating her from God the Father face to face. As earthly tabernacle for the prenatal Jesus she is shown in her Glory as a kind of ladder to the celestial Kingdom, the path we are to mimic to fulfil our own heavenly destiny. As I said recently on twitter “prevail but don’t gloat”

          • Andrew Ouellette


            There reason why I did not “entertain” the primary argument of her Immaculate Conception or Assumption is because this is a post on the role of Our Lady as Coredemptrix, not a post on her Immaculate Conception or Assumption.

            Now, I am not sure as to whether or not you are Orthodox, Byzantine Catholic, or a part of the many Eastern Catholic rites, but the theology of Marian coredemption is very much a part of the Eastern tradition. While they may not use the latin term for this, i.e. Coredemptrix, I find it hard to say that this theology (and the theology of the Assumption and Immaculate Conception (which, if I am reading your post correctly seems to say that you believe that these too are also mere “modern nomenclatures”)) is not a part of the Eastern tradition. Many Eastern Fathers preached on Mary participating in the work of Redemption brought about by her Son.

            For the sake of a long reply to your comment, and since the only thing that I hate more than killing puppies is discussions and arguments on comment boxes, I suggest you read this wonderful article that sums up all that I would have said.

            God bless you and Ave Maria!


          • Clare Krishan

            Thanks for the link. Lots to chew on there, familiar with much of it (Bolland is my mother’s maiden name). Suffice it to say I stand by my original perspective on MariaPokrovMediatrix. The jist of certain extreme Western hyperdoulia is well, just so much triumphalist thrust not worthy of honoring Our Lady, or the chivalry proclaimed in her name. For my tastes, the silent witness of Eastern Theotokos eikons is so much more persuasive, having prevailed in their krasnyj ugols of a persecuted domestic sphere despite the chaos of the tyranny of relativism that swirled all around (Islam, schism, communism) the kind of authentic devotion that bears fruit in our great American Czestochowa shrine, erected during the Second Vatican Council (1955 – 1966). This feminine, lay, and ‘non-scholastic’ expression of Mary’s unique place in salvation history is the more necessary one for today’s era IMHO (as in Maria Kowalska n.b. ‘cavalier’ in Slavic tongues not Medjugorje ‘gospa’ to call hardened hearts — mediated by the logic, rhetoric and grammar of love revealed in the gift of original solitude of the other, as Pope JPII taught — to conversion and reform of public life as a first step in rebuilding a culture of life.

            Cheerio @MrsKrishan

  • Rosemary M

    What a clear and beautifully written post. Thank you. While I never had any objection to the title Coredemptrix, I didn’t really think about it very much until this Lent. I have been watching (from afar) my cousin’s wife suffer along with him as he lies in a coma and experiences many medical setbacks, and have reflected this Lent on Our Lady’s suffering and surrender at the foot of the Cross, and the intimate union of her suffering with His.

  • Matt Roth

    Andrew, I had always though Coredemtrix was a modern innovation….you have sorely proven me wrong :) Since it has an understanding dating to antiquity, I think now all we need is a precise theological formula.

    • Adrian Johnson

      I remind anyone with a pre-Vatican II missal to find in it a votive Mass in honor of Mary, Mediatrix of all Graces. It was always understood that she has this title on account of her Immaculate Conception which effectively makes her the New Eve who is the “helpmeet” of the New Adam who by her sufferings was *with* (co-) His work of redemption. The New Adam wanted the help of the New Eve, who more so than Eve deserves the title “Mother of the Living”, and “Mother of the Church” which nobody denies her. So:

      The 5th Marian Dogma is somewhat like the proof of a geometric theorem: If you admit one function (co-redemtrix, mediatrix, or advocate) you actually admit them all– QED. It’s logic, no new theology necessary :-)

      The delay in proclaming this 5th Marian dogma is “the cowardice of excessive prudence” fostered by the devil. “Old Scratch” knows that when it is announced Ex Cathedra, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart predicted at Fatima will break hell’s power: all schisms and heresies will end, and in this new era a restored Christendom will have an AUTHENTIC era of peace to catch our breath before the final antichrist.

  • Roshan

    Andrew, Thanking You a lot for explaining this Theology succinctly. Could you help me and a lot of your readers on the statue of Virgin Mother Mary as a Advocate?

    • Adrian Johnson

      She gave this statue to us already, as the forgotten “last apparation” to St Catherine Laboré: it is in the chapel where this saint is buried; It depicts the Virgin on the 1830 “Miraculous Medal” (Properly and formally called: “Medal of the Immaculate Conception”) who has raised her lowered hands to hold a globe in her hands at heart-level, whilst gazing upwards to Heaven. Mary said that this globe at once represented France, the World, and each Individual soul. You can’t make the message clearer that that: In the statue Mary, bride of the Holy Spirit is one with Him as *Advocate*. (On the Medal she is shown as mediatrix of all graces.)
      A subtle reminder of this statue is the “globe” necklace Our Lady wore at Fatima in 1917. Also the star on her robe, which reminds us she is the modern “Queen Esther” the advocate for her people as prefigured in the Book of Esther.

  • Marys Son

    There is an online petition to Pope Francis. More than 7 million people have sent petitions in since this movement began, led by Cardinal Mercier of Belgium and St. Maximilian Kolbe.

  • Edward Looney


    Thank you for your well researched post synthesizing the tradition on Mary as the Co-Redemptrix. It is interesting to note Andrew that the Second Vatican Council did not use the phrase Co-Redemptrix. As you are most likely aware, there were two schema’s for Mary in the Second Vatican Council, one a separate document and the other as an inclusion (Chapter 8) of Lumen Gentium. No where in Lumen Gentium did the Church choose to use the title of Mary as Co-Redemptrix. Instead they wrote of her role as a cooperator, or a Co-operix. Fr. Emil Neubert, a theologian in the mid 20th century, while being a staunch advocate of the Co-Redemptirx, provides a good explanation of Mary as Co-Operix (sometimes written as Co-Operatrix), which I believe may be a more suitable title for Mary as she cooperated in salvation history. The quotes you used from St. Augustine, also could be used to support Mary’s role as Co-Operix.

    • Andrew Ouellette

      Ave Maria!

      Thank you for your reply!

      Yes the Second Vatican Council did not use the term Coredemptrix in Chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium. I am also very much aware of the original schema that the Fathers drafted. It has actually been recently translated into English for the very first time! (Praise God)

      It is important to note that Lumen Gentium does not use the word “cooperator” as a role put as an action of Our Lady. The titles Lumen Gentium uses are specifically “Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix” (Ch. 8, III, 62.) They do not use the term cooperator as a title of Our Lady but use the word as an action of participation. “Thus, in a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience…” and “…gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source”.

      While I have no problem with Fr. Emil Neubert (who by the way is a brilliant Mariologist and recommend his work “Mary and the Priestly Ministry” where he refers to Our Lady as Coredemptrix several times) the title Co-Operatrix I would have to respectfully disagree with you as to that term being a better term that Co-Redemptrix. Co-Operatrix is too general of a term I believe. This term sums up Mary’s three-fold role as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate. The problem with this, I believe, is that it sums up three very important roles of Our Lady that cannot be summed up in one single term. Mary is Co-redemptrix in virtue of her role as Mother of God and in virtue of her identity as The Immaculate Conception. Mary is Mediatrix of All Graces because she is Coredemptrix and she is Advocate because she is our Mother in the order of grace as her being the one who has acquired the graces of redemption brought about by her Son (Coredemptrix) and because she distributes these graces too us (Mediatrix of All Graces).

      I do not believe that we can generalize these important doctrines of Our Lady into one single title. If we strictly used the term Co-Operatrix then we would have to put her four dogmas in this category as well which would diminish her roles to one mere term.

      May God bless you and keep you!


  • lewbee06

    For everyone posting here I would recommend reading “The Glories of Mary” by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori who is a Doctor of the Church.

    • Andrew Ouellette

      “By the great merit that she acquired in this great sacrifice, she is called redemptrix”

      “She offered to the Eternal Father with so much grief in her own heart, the life of her beloved son for our salvation. Hence St. Augustine testifies that, having co-operated by her love in order that the faithful be born to the life of grace, by that she became spiritual mother of all who are members of our head Jesus Christ.”

      “Christ provided that the Blessed Virgin, through the sacrifice and oblation of his life, cooperate in our salvation and thus become the mother of our souls. And our savior wished to signify this when, before he died, looking down from the cross at his mother and disciple standing there, he first said to Mary, “Behold your son” as if to say “behold now man is born to the life of grace on account of the oblation of my life made by you for his salvation”


  • Harry Flynn

    Marc, when did you take Miravalle’s Mariology class?

    • Andrew Ouellette


      This is not a post by Marc.

      I am not sure if you read the very first and last part of this post that says it is a guest post.

      God bless!


      • Harry Flynn

        Of course it is a guest post and my question to Marc still stands.

  • Thorn

    For those of us involved in evangelization and apologetics (non-professional)it will involve more time explaining Mary to non-catholics and the ill informed catholic population. What will another title accomplish but add to the confusion. Mary played a very important part in salvation history and we honor her for that. If you have never tried to share your faith with a bible christian you have no idea of the difficulty explaining Marian doctrines.

  • danallison


  • Casey Voce

    “At the foot of the cross, Our Lady of Sorrows shared in the sufferings of her Son and united her sufferings with and under Christ for the Salvation of the world. Mary did not bring about Redemption, but she did participate in the work of her Son acquiring the graces of Redemption by uniting the sufferings of her maternal heart with that of her Son.

    As the Holy Spirit continued to guide the Church in her understanding of salvation history, the Church became more and more aware over time of the participatory role that the Mother of God played in the work of Redemption. Deepening in the understanding of Mary as the New Eve, the Church began to develop the theology of Mary’s role in the redemption more and more we every passing century. St. Irenaeus said, “Mary…became the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race.” (Against Heresies)”
    I’m afraid Thorn is right. I’m an Orthodox Presbyterian, and everything I’ve read in this post seems to turn salvation from an act accomplished by Christ into an act accomplished by Jesus & Friends.

  • Andrew N.

    Where in the world does Andrew of Crete develop the theology of co-redemptrix? It is important not to read Western philosophy and theology into the Greek Fathers. Rather, they should be read through the perspective of Eastern Christian theology, spirituality, and mysticism first.

  • Dean Dickens

    I’m a protestant, so I don’t understand this.
    What the Catholic Church teaches about Mary seems to me like it could be potentially (at the very least) dangerous in that it could distract us from glorifying God and I see no reason from the scriptures to believe such teachings about Mary.
    I get that it may very well be that I don’t fully understand it because I’m not Catholic, however, I see stuff like this about Mary being co-redeemer, or Mary being immaculately conceived, or Mary being perpetually virgin and it makes confused because when I read through the scriptures I do not see that.
    I don’t see how Mary could have been immaculately conceived because she was fully human and that’s all. Meaning she would have shared in the same curse that all creation suffers, and I don’t see any reason why God would keep her from that. More than that though, I don’t see evidence for it in scripture.
    And if she was under the curse of sin then she could not have been co-redeemer because the only one who met the qualifications is God himself. If Mary hadn’t been at the cross nothing would have changed, if Mary hadn’t cared at all about her son nothing would have changed. She was there though, of course, but I see no reason to believe that she had any special role there, or that we should commemorate her for being there and grieving. Any loving mother would grieve at their baby boy being subjected to what Jesus went through, the scriptures also seem to suggest that she didn’t even believe Jesus’ claims. After Jesus dies we see her going to the tomb with spices for the body, not to meet him and celebrate his Resurrection. The whole work of redemption belongs to God alone. If Mary had said, “no” God would not be sitting up in heaven biting his nails wondering how to redeem humanity, it would not have mattered. Even the role that she did play was a blessing from God and not of her own doing. And again, in the only passage of scripture we have of Mary raising Jesus, she is in the wrong.
    The last one I mentioned, her perpetual-virginity, is the one that makes the least amount of sense to me. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what the Catholic Church means by labeling her perpetually virgin, but Jesus had brothers. Which pretty much explains itself.
    So I see these things about Mary and I see no reason to believe that she wasn’t just like the rest of us. There’s a reason I used the word dangerous. And I don’t say that incite anger or anything like that. The reason I say dangerous is because this seems like idolatry. Again, maybe it’s because I don’t fully understand, and if that’s the case then I would honestly appreciate one of my Catholic brothers or sisters to respectfully teach me these things so I may better understand. But I see these teachings, and then I hear songs to Mary, and then I hear prayers to Mary. That’s worship, and any form of worship that isn’t directed to God is idolatrous and takes glory away from God. And if it takes glory away from God then it needs to be repented of and abandoned.

    • Dean Dickens

      “As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!’ But he (Jesus) said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!’” – Luke 11:27-28