The Push For a New Marian Dogma

For some years now, some Catholics have been pushing to get the pope to declare a new Marian dogma, that she is “mediatrix of all graces” and “co-redemptrix.” Mark Miravalle of the Franciscan University of Steubenville is one of the most vocal proponents of this. In January, five cardinals wrote to Pope Benedict XVI and their fellow bishops seeking their support. One of those, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, has been interviewed by Zenit. He sees this dogma as a panacea for all the world’s problems:

Mary has through private revelations like those at Lourdes, Fatima, etc., made known that in the sad situations of the world today God wishes as an antidote the glorification of his mother through the recitation of the holy rosary, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, etc.

The fifth Marian dogma would certainly improve the world situation through the prayers of Mary to her divine Son. Many believe that the danger of Marxist Communism was averted by the apparitions of Mary at Lourdes, Fatima, etc., and the consequent increase in devotion to Mary.

The greatest threat that the Catholic Church faces today is consumerist relativism that has greatly affected the Western Church and even the Churches in Asia. I believe that it can be overcome by honoring Our Lady with the proposed dogma.

He scoffs at the idea that declaring this dogma could be a hindrance to ecumenical relations.

Note what he says–it is very interesting.

Not only will the solemn definition never hurt the ecumenical movement, but it will positively enhance it. I feel that it is God’s will that we should honor Our Lady in a special way at this juncture of world history. Only good can come out of doing God’s will. We should follow prudence born out of faith and not merely worldly prudence.

Almighty God is the Lord of history and he can always overcome the effects of disunity caused by human weakness. The Hindu communities in India are extremely open to the concept of “Mother,” and they enthusiastically participate in the Marian devotions of the Catholic Church. The Orthodox Churches with whom we live together, already believe in this doctrine.

Note that he doesn’t mention Protestants immediately, who would surely have problems with this dogma. Instead, he first mentions Hindus, and says they “are extremely open to the concept of ‘Mother.'” This is in fact the Protestant fear, that the Mary of Catholic devotion and apparition has more in common with Durga, Lakshmi, or Kali than Mary of Nazareth.

Later he goes on to admit, “It may sour Catholic-Protestant relations, but,” he says, “Our Lady knows how to heal this.”

He gives no Biblical justification for the proposed dogma, saying merely, “The truth of the proposed definition is in a true sense derived from God’s choice of Mary as the mother of God and the mother of all human beings.”

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