Mary Page News

June 16, 1998

Mary Page is a link to a variety of information. The items give insight into our interest areas, our outreach, and the myriad ways people honor Our Lady. We welcome your input and your comments.

Media Interviews ML/IMRI Director on Upcoming Symposium
Wayside Flowers and Shrines of Our Lady: A Reflection
Summertime -- Prayertime?
Britannica Internet Guide
Make a PILGRIMAGE TO FRANCE on the Web

Media Interviews Director on Symposium

The news service of the University of Dayton interviewed Rev. Johann G. Roten, SM on the Co-redemptrix symposium to be held here in July. For additional information, read the news release at:

http://www.udayton.edu/news/nr/060598.html


Wayside Flowers and Shrines of Our Lady: A Reflection

Wayside Flowers and Shrines of Our Lady is a meditation by John S. Stokes Jr., who has spent a lifetime collecting data on garden's dedicated to Mary and filled with plantings named for Our Lady. As you surf the net you might enjoy this Internet pause to reflect.

As we come to know the growth and blooming of the Flowers of Our Lady in our Mary Gardens we acquire a heightened alertness to their presence also in the neighborhoods and waysides through which we travel. Thus discovered they evoke our reflections and prayers in a spontaneous and ever-changing way as we move about, as distinct from the familiar reflections in our gardens. As Judith Smith observes in The Mary Calendar, "Every field path and hedgerow (becomes) an illuminated Book of Hours."
The complete reflection is at: Wayside Flowers and Shrines of Our Lady


Summertime -- Prayertime?

Does your summertime allow you to spend the long summer evenings in a more contemplative frame of mind? Are you able to take a walk as the sun sets, rosary in hand, and think of distant things on the horizon or recall precious memories? Just as the rosary slips through the fingers, the memories twine the life of Christ with our daily experiences to form that wreath of roses so precious as a devotional prayer of the Church.

If you are looking for a way to make those memories come alive as you pray the rosary, you might like to take a look at a site that gives many rosary prayer forms. Here is one that lets you pause at bead to remember well the purpose of this scriptural prayer. As the Shepherd's of Christ authors write:

This bead-by-bead commentary on the mysteries of the Rosary serves to enhance our awareness of the powerful events involving Our Lord and Our Lady during His mission of salvation among us. Reciting one thought before each Hail Mary in every decade gives just another small aid in concentrating on the great wonder of the Messianic story.

Find the bead-by-bead reflections at: Meditating on the Rosary Aves


Britannica Internet Guide

Mary Page was pleased to be informed by Britannica encyclopedia that we have been chosen for their resource links on the Internet. We consider this an indication of our success in providing solid research material for students.

Britannica Internet
Guide


Make a PILGRIMAGE TO FRANCE on the Web

Would you like to travel to the Marian Shrine in Issoudun in the heart of France? We invite you to visit the shrine of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart "Where Mary Leads Us to the Heart of Her Son."

[Shrine at Issoudun]

As the website states:

The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart invite you:

You will find this beautiful site at: Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.


Summary of Reports of Concerning a Possible New Dogma

During the summer of 1997, both the secular and religious press reported that the papal definition of a new Marian dogma was imminent. The reports first appeared in the May and June 1997 issues of Inside the Vatican (New Hope, Kentucky). The glossy cover of the May issue stated, "Evidence is accumulating that Pope John Paul II may exercise the charism of papal infallibility, perhaps May 31 next year, to declare the third Marian dogma." and in the June issue, Patrick Coffin (media relations coordinator at the Franciscan University of Steubenville) wrote on the "new Marian doctrine." Both Inside the Vatican articles were centered on Dr. Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., on his books and the movement he founded (Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici). The purpose of the movement is to petition the Holy Father "to define and proclaim the Blessed Virgin Mary as Cordemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God."

Perhaps in response to these reports about a papal definition, Osservatore Romano published, June 4, 1997, the results of a consultation on the topic which had occurred ten months earlier at the International Mariological Congress, at Czestochowa, Poland, in August, 1996. There, some thirty theologians were unanimous in recommending that the titles not be defined. The titles, they stated, were in need of further theological clarification, and a definition would not be consistent with the directions established by Vatican Council II.

In August, Newsweek's cover and feature story was on the new Marian dogma, "The Meaning of Mary: A Struggle Over Her Role Grows within the Church." National Catholic Reporter and Our Sunday Visitor also featured the reports. The story from the Catholic News Service ran in Catholic newspapers in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Seattle, Miami, Dallas, Orland, Phoenix, Boston, and many other cities. The number of these reports was the occasion for the reply of the Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, "This [a new Marian dogma] is not under study by the Holy Father nor by any Vatican congregation or commission. This is crystal clear" (CNS, August 18, 1997.

In June, Osservatore Romano carried two articles which explained the Czestochowa declaration; one of the articles was signed by Salvatore M. Perrella (consultant on the encyclical Redemptoris Mater as well as the pope's ongoing weekly conferences on Mary).

The following is a summary of the comments from Osservatore Romano, 25-26 June, 1997:

The response of the International Mariological Commission at Czestochowa, 18-24, 1996, about the proposed declaration of a papal definition of Mary as "Corredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate" was unanimous, precise, and deliberately brief: 1) the terms are in need of theological clarification; 2) it is not opportune to abandon the path marked out by the Vatican Council II and proceed to the definition of new dogma.

1) The current movement for a definition is not in line with the direction of Vatican II, neither in respect to the request for a new Marian dogma, nor for the content that is proposed for such a dogma. The Marian teaching of Vatican II is contained in chapter 8 of Lumen gentium, which, in the mind of Paul VI, constituted the most extensive synthesis of the Catholic doctrine on the Blessed Virgin Mary ever proposed by an ecumenical council.

Before the opening of Vatican II, 313 bishops had asked for that Mary's universal mediation be defined. The Constitution Lumen gentium, which by deliberate choice does not contain a dogmatic definition of mediation, was approved by 2,151 votes out of 2,156--a morally unanimous approbation. Presumably, the 313 bishops were persuaded at the council to take a different course. On such an important issue as a doctrinal definition, the position taken at Vatican II on the issue must be considered.

2) The Declaration of Czestochowa said that "the titles as proposed are ambiguous, as they can be understood in very different ways."

a) The title Mediatrix has been understood through the centuries and is presently understood in notably different ways. It is enough to check recent books on Mariology--from 1987 to the present some 20 manuals have been published--to note that the mediation of the Blessed Virgin is treated in contrasting ways--in terms of its doctrinal evaluation, the determination of the area in which it is exercised, and in comparison with the mediation of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

b) The title Coredemptirx, the Declaration of Czestochowa notes, has not been used by the papal magisterium in its significant documents from the time of Pope Pius XII (1939-1958). This is another significant fact that cannot be overlooked: the request is for a dogmatic definition of a title about which the magisterium has reservations and which it systematically avoids.

c) Vatican II used many titles to describe Mary's relation to Christ's saving work--New Eve, Helper, Associate of the Redeemer. However, the three titles--Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate--have been avoided or little used by the magisterium over the last 50 years. It is probably because these titles are no longer suitable for expressing the content to which they refer. What is needed is "further study" of all the titles, "in a renewed Trinitarian, ecclesiological and anthropolgical perspective."

The principal points of Vatican II's teaching on Mary's relation to Christ's saving redemption are the following:

1) Vatican II repeatedly affirmed Mary's cooperation in the work of salvation (LG 53, 56, 61, 63). Cooperation, the word used by St. Augustine, is the term without negative reactions in theological circles.

2) Mary's cooperation which is "unique and utterly singular" (LG 61) has two facets: it is maternal and salvific. It extends to all the disciples of Christ and all people (LG 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 61, 63, 65, 69). Paul VI held that Mary's cooperation continued in her spiritual maternity and was a truth of faith: the Blessed Virgin "continues now from heaven to exercise her motherly function of cooperation in the birth and development of divine life in the individual souls of the redeemed."

John Paul II has deepened the conciliar teaching by speaking of Mary's cooperation which is "intimately linked with her motherhood" (RM 38). John Paul II also uses from time to time the word mediation to which he adds "maternal" and "participated." This re-appreciation does not signify a regression but a reclassification of different participated mediations which "acquire meaning and value only from Christ's own mediation and cannot be understood as parallel or complementary" (RM 38).

Vox Populi Mediatricis Mariae

In 1993, Dr. Miravalle wrote a booklet Mary, Corredemptix, Advocate, and Mediatrix (Queenship Publishing Co., Santa Barbara, CA). The book contained four postcards to be signed and forwarded to the pope by those favoring a papal definition of the Blessed Virgin Mary as "Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces, and Advocate for the People of God. Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, which identifies itself as a lay organization, claims to have 4,000,000 adherents, including 500 bishops, 55 cardinals from 150 countries.

In 1995, Dr. Miravalle edited Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Theological Foundations; I: Towards a Papal Definition, containing essays by Bertrand de Margerie, Arthur Calkins, Michael O'Carroll, Ignace de la Potterie and John Schug. In 1996, he edited a second book, Mary: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate: Theological Foundations; II: Papal, Pneumatological, Ecumenical, with essays by Stefano Manelli, Bertrand de Margerie, Arthur Calkins, Joseph Siefert, Vladimir Zelinsky, John MacQuarrie, Peter Damian Fehlner, with a forward by Edward Cardinal Gagnon.

The key words in the Vox Populi petition appear to have been taken from an Ida Peerdman, who died June 17, 1995 in Amsterdam. Peerdman claimed to have received communications (beginning in 1951) requesting that three Marian titles be defined: Advocate, Coredemptrix, and Mediatrix. Miravalle's work changes the order to Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate.

The complete reply of Dr. Miravalle to the Declaration of Czestochowa is contained in the web page http://www.ewtn.com/voxpopuli/The-fou.html. Two points are emphasized in Miravalle's reply:

1) Although Vatican II did not define any Marian doctrines, it did not rule out the possibility of further definitions. Church history and precedence teach us that the decision of a given ecumenical council not to make a solemn definition does not preclude a solemn definition coming in an ex cathedra fashion in the future.

2) "It must be strongly underscored that our present Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has used explicitly the title 'Coredemptrix' on at least five occasions in papal teachings during his present pontificate." [One example is given: the 1985 address of Pope John Paul in Guayquil, Ecuador.]


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