New Marian Dogma
Your article, “Father Dulles: Naming Mary ‘Co-Redeemer’ Would Confuse Catholics” (Dec. 7-13), has some truth to it. The average Catholic would probably be confused because the Catholic press is doing very little to educate and offer them a balanced and objective presentation of the theological discussion.
But “confused Catholics” are nothing new. Many are confused about Church teaching on contraception, abortion, women priests, etc. The proposed dogma is not heterodoxy. It is part of the continuous and consistent teaching and tradition of the Roman Catholic Church going back not only to the previous millennium, but even to the patristic period and the Scriptures themselves. Your article reports Father Dulles as acknowledging this fact.
Unfortunately, few actually hear or read the Holy Father's Wednesday audience addresses. If they did they would see that, rather than distancing himself from the proposal, the Pope is, in fact, explaining the principles of a new Marian dogma.
Many reputable people support this Marian development, including Cardinal John O‘Connor of New York, Cardinal Jaime Sin of Manila, Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, Archbishop Christoph Sch&omul;nborn of Vienna (general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church), and the late Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The proposed Marian dogma has nothing to do with “making” Mary a part of the Trinity or “equal” to Christ. These are false and ludicrous accusations that detract from serious theological discussion. The proposed dogma simply seeks to clarify her role as the first (in every sense) disciple. It would better articulate Christ as the one unique Redeemer of a co-redemptive Church: Mary, in a special way, and all the baptized members of the Body of Christ sharing in his mysteries.
Sister Mary Jeremiah OP, STD
- January 25, 1998