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Response to a Statement of an International Theological Commission
of the Pontifical International Marian Academy

June 13, 1997

4. Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici

     The international Catholic organization, Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici (Voice of the People for Mary Mediatrix), is a principal movement amidst others petitioning our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to solemnly define the Maternal Mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This international Catholic organization carries with it the episcopal endorsements of over 550 bishops, inclusive of 43 Cardinals and nearly 7 million petitions from the faithful spanning over 155 countries, all united in the requesting of the solemn definition of Our Lady’s Maternal Mediation. Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici works in complete obedience and solidarity to the Papal Magisterium of Pope John Paul II in exercising the canonical right and duty encoded in Canon 212, 2,3:

"The Christian faithful are free to make known their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires to the pastors of the Church"; "In accord with the knowledge, competence and preeminence which they possess, they have the right and even at times a duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church, and they have a right to make their opinion known to the other Christian faithful, with due regard for the integrity of faith and morals and reverence toward their pastors, and with consideration for the common good and the dignity of persons."

     In the proper letter and spirit of this Canon, Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici continues to do all possible on the level of prayer, theological research, Marian catechesis, and education of the faithful to assist in bringing to proper theological and ecclesial maturity the cause for the solemn definition of the Maternal Mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

     In light of the opinion of the commission that the mariological doctrine in question still needs "further study" and "theological maturity," let us recall from our recent past Church precedence that such maturity can come about in a rather brief span of time, based on the given minds and hearts, authoritative, theological, and lay, dedicated to the development of a given doctrine at a given time of the Church. For example in 1957, Pius XII stated that the cause of restoration of the permanent diaconate at that time lacked "theological maturity." It was only a very few years later at the Second Vatican Council (1961-1965) that the permanent diaconate was seen as "having reached" its proper theological maturity, and hence was reinstated by Pope Paul VI shortly after the Council in 1967.

     In sum then, this statement of the commission, while providing a valuable contribution to the theological dialogue concerning Maternal Mediation and it potential solemn definition, contains no authoritative or official prohibition of the activities of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, which will continue to work in obedience and solidarity to the Papal Magisterium of Pope John Paul II in seeking to bring about the necessary theological and ecclesial maturity for the solemn definition of Maternal Mediation, whether that be in the distant or "not too distant" future. The final and definitive judgment of which, of course, remains with the present Pontiff.

     With all proper appreciation and respect for the contribution of the theological commission on the subject of Maternal Mediation and its definition, we know also from the historical precedence of the Church that several advisory theological commissions requested by the Holy See have come to conclusions which ultimately were not adopted by the Holy See; the most radical example within recent Church precedence was the theological commission requested by the Holy See to examine the question of artificial birth control, the conclusion of which was overridden by Pope Paul VI when he reaffirmed the constant Church teaching against artificial birth control in his 1968 Encyclical, Humanae Vitae.13

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