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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 dogma.

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 possible?

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