More Frequently Asked Questions
What is the rationale
for this Dogma?
The Council Fathers of Vatican II
state manifestly that their treatment of the Mother of Jesus does
not constitute a "complete doctrine on Mary," for such
was not their intention. The need for greater theological clarification
and development in order to complete the doctrine on Mary is therefore
acknowledged by Vatican II (cf. Lumen Gentium, n.54).
The body of Marian dogma will remain
incomplete until the Church presents a dogma directly defining the
nature of Maryís role with the Redeemer in the work of our
salvation, and her relationship to us as Mother of all Christians.
The first four Marian Dogmas define the truths that identified Our
Ladyís personal gifts and prerogatives (Mother of God, Perpetual
Virginity, Immaculate Conception, Glorious Assumption). We have
yet to define the full truth about the Mother of the Redeemer in
her relationship with us, the Church, and of her participation in
the redemption at the service of the Church.
In addition, this Marian Dogma will
have great benefits for the Church, particularly with respect to
each personís relationship with the Mother of the Redeemer.
The definition will provide a critically needed dogmatic foundation
for the influx of contemporary Marian devotion, that without a dogmatic
basis runs the danger of the devotional extremes of either "false
exaggeration" or "too summary an attitude" (cf. Lumen
Gentium, n. 67). Authentic love of Mary in the order of devotion
must be firmly founded upon the truth about Mary in the order of
We also have the very rich Marian teaching
of our last Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, with particular
attention given to Maryís coredemption and mediation. We have
the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on Marian coredemption
and mediation clearly manifested in Lumen Gentium, nn. 56-62.
In addition, these same doctrinal truths are present in the rich
tradition of the papal magisterium of the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries. Added to this are the many distinguished voices from
within the Church calling for the solemn definition, including over
550 bishops, 43 cardinals, and nearly 7 million petitions from the
Catholic faithful of 157 countries in six continents of the world.
As there is a great outpouring of
grace following every dogma of the Church, the solemn proclamation
of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all Graces,
and Advocate will also be an occasion of great graces for the Church
and the world from she who is the Mother of all peoples. These titles,
which are doctrinally established, should be proclaimed as a dogma
for the greater glory and honor of God, for the increase reverence
and honor due to his mother, and for the increase in our own disposition
to receive grace from God.
Lastly, we must ask ourselves this
most appropriate question as we arrive at the threshold of the Third
Millennium: How can we properly celebrate the Incarnation of our
Lord without properly honoring the woman and Mother who made it