Pope Francis Claims Mother Mary is Not a ‘Co-Redeemer’ in Controversial Address
Pope Francis made a comment about Mother Mary during a recent address, claiming that she is not a “co-redeemer,” contradicting the long-stated beliefs of many Catholic saints and historians.
He made the comment to a general audience on Wednesday.
“Jesus extended Mary’s maternity to the entire Church when He entrusted her to his beloved disciple shortly before dying on the cross,” the pope stated.
“From that moment on, we have all been gathered under her mantle, as depicted in certain medieval frescoes or paintings. Even the first Latin antiphon — sub tuum praesidium confugimus, sancta Dei Genitrix: the Madonna who ‘covers,’ like a Mother, to whom Jesus entrusted us, all of us; but as a Mother, not as a goddess, not as co-redeemer: as Mother,” he added.
Francis explained his position regarding Mary while making sure not to denigrate the mother of Christ.
“Her hands, her eyes, her behavior are a living ‘catechism,’ always indicating the hinge, she always points out the center: Jesus. Mary is completely directed toward Him to such an extent that we can say she is more disciple than Mother. The directions she gave at the wedding at Cana: ‘He: do whatever he will tell you.’ She always refers to Christ. She is the first disciple,” he said.
“This is the role Mary fulfilled throughout her entire earthly life and which she forever retains: to be the humble handmaid of the Lord, nothing more. At a certain point in the Gospels, she almost seems to disappear; but then she reappears in the more crucial moments, such as at Cana, when her Son, thanks to her caring intervention, performs his first ‘sign,’ and then on Golgotha at the foot of the cross,” Francis added.
Francis is reiterating similar comments made by his most recent predecessors, but some Catholic scholars disagree with his interpretation that Mother Mary is not a “co-redeemer.”
Franciscan University of Steubenville theology professor Dr. Mark Miravalle disputes the position of Francis and argues that the Pope’s understanding of the “co-redeemer” title is flawed.
“The co-redemptrix title for Our Lady has been part of the Church’s Tradition since the 14th century, and is typically used correctly to identify Our Lady’s unequalled cooperation with and under Jesus Christ in the redemption by popes, saints, mystics, bishops, clergy, theologians and the faithful People of God,” he wrote.
“The extraordinary lineup of recently canonized saints who have legitimately referred to Mary as the co-redemptrix include St. Pio of Pietrelcina, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Josemaría Escrivá, St. John Henry Newman and, once again, Pope St. John Paul II,” he added.
Bradley Eli of Church Militant also disagrees with Francis’ assessment and takes a more traditional stance on the role of Mother Mary in the church than the pontiff.
“Mary participated by God’s design in a pre-eminent way in man’s redemption, meaning in acquiring graces for man’s salvation,” Eli said.
“All men participate in this, but Mary did so in a most perfect way owing to her Immaculate Conception and role as Mother of God… Graces were merited by Christ’s passion but also by Mary’s compassion — by His blood but also by her tears,” he added.
Pope Francis has taken suspect stances on foundational moral precepts in the past, such as when he suggested that God made people to be gay and endorsed a one-world government. His stance on Mother Mary is another point of contention within a church plagued by scandal.