Mary as Redeemer

Every so often, those who claim to speak for Rome tell us that, when a pope refers to Mary as “co-redeemer,” he is referring only to her role as the ark in which the Word was incarnated. Others offer different explanations in their efforts to remove the stain of heresy that such an appellation carries. Do they know what they they are talking about? As often as not, those who presume to lift up the Roman standard really have little preparation in or understanding of their church's historical and official position on the issues at hand.

Does the Roman Catholic Church truly teach that Mary is co-redeemer of fallen man? The Catechism certainly appears to support the “ark” argument.

511 The Virgin Mary "co-operated through free faith and obedience in human salvation" (LG 56). She uttered her yes 'in the name of all human nature' (St. Thomas Aquinas, S Th III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living. -- Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), 2nd Ed., (C) 1994/1997 United States Catholic Conference, Inc.

In another section, the Catechism presents Mary in a somewhat different redemptive role – that of being the conduit through which men are brought into communion with Christ. This is, I reckon, another format for co-redeeming. But, is it any different than the role played by the believer who shares the Gospel message with the lost? (Matt 28:18-20) In that sense, all who take the Gospel to the ends of the earth cooperate in Christ's salvific work.

725 Finally, through MARY, the Holy Spirit begins to bring men, the objects of God's merciful love,[Cf. Lk 2:14 .] into communion with Christ. And the humble are always the first to accept him: shepherds, magi, Simeon and Anna, the bride and groom at Cana, and the first disciples. -- Ibid.

In paragraph 969, We see Mary continuing her work of salvation. I suppose the folks who compiled the Catechism must have figured that, if Jesus can continue going about the Father's business in eternity, so can earth mother Mary. It matters not that there is absolutely NO reference to such activity on the part of Mary or any other dead person to be found in Scripture. the role played by the believer who shares the Gospel message with the lost? (Matt 28:18-20) In that sense, all who take the Gospel to the ends of the earth cooperate in Christ's salvific work.

As we make our way through the Catechism, we see Mary continuing her work of salvation. I suppose the folks who compiled this teaching aid must have figured that, if Jesus can continue going about the Father's business in eternity, so can earth mother Mary. It doesn't matter that there is absolutely NO reference to such activity on the part of Mary or any other dead person to be found in Scripture.

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.'[LG 62.]" -- Ibid.

Go! Mary! Go!

There are Catholics who will argue that the above simply means that Mary, in her obedience to God's will, became the chosen vessel through which the Savior was made man. They have a lot of other things to say on that theme. Catholic apologists and theologians have no peers when it comes to twisting Scripture and re-defining words. When all else fails, why they simply invent new doctrines and roles for Mary and other dead people, based on dreams, fantasies and wishful thinking. Witness the iwords of Pope Leo XIII:

When Mary offered herself completely to God together with her Son in the temple, she was already sharing with him the painful atonement on behalf of the human race ... (at the foot of cross) she willingly offered him up to the divine justice, dying with him in her heart, pierced by the sword of sorrow. (Leo XIII, Jucunda Semper, September 8, 1894 © Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Whoa!!! Is the pope here telling us that Mary not only participated with Christ as “co-redeemer” by virtue of providing the womb in which Messiah was incarnated, but that she actually shared in his atoning sacrifice? “Willingly offered Him up. . .?” She no more could have prevented the Roman soldiers from nailing Christ to the cross than she could have refused to obey God's wish that she be the vessel in which the Word would be incarnated. In any case, this is pure emotionalism. Certainly, Mary would have experienced grievous emotional trauma, but there is no record that she shed any blood for the atonement of our sins. The Word of God is clear that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood: For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. -- Leviticus 17:11

Was Leo's comment an aberration? Look to the words of another pope:

And from this community of will and suffering between Christ and Mary she merited to become most worthily the Reparatrix of the lost world (Eadmeri Mon. De Excellentia Virg. Mariae, c. 9) and Dispensatrix of all the gifts that Our Savior purchased for us by His Death and by His Blood. -- (Pius X, Ad Diem Illum, para. 12, February 2, 1904

I could not find the words “reparatrix” or "dispensatrix" in any of my dictionaries, but I presume it means Mary made reparation for fallen man and is now in charge of distributing God's grace.

Yep! That's what it means:

We are then, it will be seen, very far from attributing to the Mother of God a productive power of grace - a power which belongs to God alone. Yet, since Mary carries it over all in holiness and union with Jesus Christ, and 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, and she is the supreme Minister of the distribution of graces. Jesus "sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high" (Hebrews i. b.). Mary sitteth at the right hand of her Son - a refuge so secure and a help so trusty against all dangers that we have nothing to fear or to despair of under her guidance, her patronage, her protection. (Pius IX. in Bull Ineffabilis). -- Ibid., para 14

Still, two popes – albeit supposedly protected by the Holy Spirit from teaching error – don't make a dogma. Or do they? Other popes also jumped on the Mary-as-co-redeemer-with-Christ bandwagon.

To such extent did Mary suffer and almost die with her suffering and dying Son; to such extent did she surrender her maternal rights over her Son for : man's salvation . . that we may rightly say she redeemed the human race together with Christ. -- Benedict XV, Inter Sodalicia, 1918

There is nothing, absolutely nothing in Scripture that even hints that Mary has any redemptive functions other than the incidental role she played in incarnating Messiah.

For God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is his will, that we obtain everything through Mary. -- Pius IX, Ubi Primum, May 5,1849 [My emphasis]

Surely all these “successors to Peter”, who allegedly ar infallible when addressing the whole church in matters of faith and morals, cannot be pushing Jesus to one side in order that the RCC might more easily render to Mary the honor, glory and obeisance due her as noT merely CO-Redeemer, but Redeemer. PERIOD.

One last papal declaration of the redemptive office of dead Mary:

In fact, by being assumed into heaven she has not laid aside the office of salvation but by the manifold intercession she continues to obtain for us the grace of eternal salvation. -- John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, November 30,1980, (quoting from Lumen Gentium)

That's a heavy weight of Catholic teaching in favor of Mary as Co-Redeemer. It is a wonder that Catholic spokesmen are able to keep a straight face while denying that this is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Even after reading and, one would hope, verifying these quotes (Certainly Catholics should do as the Bereans) it should dawn on some that the Roman Church is in the process of elbowing Christ out of the way in order to make room for goddess Mary to claim the undisputed title of Redeemer of the world.

Does the revealed Word of God anywhere give us a hint as to just who the Redeemer is?

And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. -- Isaiah 49:26

And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. -- Psalms 78:35

Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. -- 41:14

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; --Isaiah 44:24

And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob." (Isaiah 49:26)

"For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. -- Isaiah 54:5

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. -- John 1:29

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: -- Romans 3:24

There are many, many more references in Scripture to the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, but none of them I have found make mention of any “co-redeemer,” much less Mary as Redeemer. More inventive revisionism by those who claim to be the inheritors of Peter's “throne.”

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