The Blessed Mary (Part 1)


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In 1997, Newsweek Magazine featured a news article entitled “Hail, Mary.” It talked about a signature campaign “asking [Pope John Paul II] to exercise the power of papal infallibility to proclaim a new dogma of the Roman Catholic faith: that the Virgin Mary is ‘Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God.’” [1] At that time, “the pope has received 4,340,429 signatures from 157 countries—an average of 100,000 a month—supporting the proposed dogma.” [2] Among the signatories were Mother Teresa of Calcutta who was recently canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church and many influential cardinals. Newsweek noted that, “Nothing like this organized petition drive has ever been seen in Rome.” [3] 

If the pope exercised his supposed “power of papal infallibility,” that is, to declare a doctrine “in an absolutely final and irrevocable way,” [4] then he would have gone beyond what the Bible says about the blessed Mary.
Such a move would elevate Marys status dramatically beyond what most Christians profess. … If the drive succeeds, Catholics would be obliged as a matter of faith to accept three extraordinary doctrines: that Mary participates in the redemption achieved by her son, that all graces that flow from the suffering and death of Jesus Christ are granted only through Mary’s intercession with her son, and that all prayers and petitions from the faithful on earth must likewise flow through Mary, who then brings them to the attention of Jesus. This is what theologians call high Mariology,… [5]
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In fairness, Vatican rejected the petition based on the proposal of a commission of Mariologists, which voted unanimously against it. “It was, the panel argued, contrary to the teaching of Vatican Council II, ambiguous in its wording and insensitive to ‘the ecumenical difficulties’ such a definition of dogma would cause.” [6] Yet, as Christian apologist Matt Slick pointed out, “[I]t is a telling statement of the Catholic adoration of Mary—even when that adoration exceeds biblical boundaries.” [7]

But note that the reasons the commission gave as far as Newsweek quoted them did not include what the Bible teaches about the subject. If we look at the Bible, Mary cannot be a “Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God.” That would contradict 1 Timothy 2:5-6.
For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all. (New American Bible Revised Edition, emphasis added. Note that it’s a Roman Catholic Bible version.)
To say that He is the “one mediator between God and men” does not mean that there are other mediators. It simply means He is the sole mediator. There is no “Mediatrix of All Graces” other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Even the Online Catholic Encyclopedia admits that, “He is, indeed, the Mediator in the absolute sense of the word, in a way that no one else can possibly be.” [8] 

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As far as the Bible is concerned, we can call her the “Blessed Mary,” not “Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of All Graces and Advocate for the People of God.” We should not call her with titles that “exceeds biblical boundaries.”
And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.(Luke 1:41b-45, ESV. Emphasis added)

[1] Kenneth l. Woodward (25 August 1997), “Hail, Mary,” Newsweek, retrieved from http://europe.newsweek.com/. Emphasis added.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] “Infallibility,” Catholic Online, http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=6099, accessed December 10, 2016.

[5] Woodward, emphasis added.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Matt Slick, “Mary,” Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, retrieved from https://carm.org/. 

[8] “Intercession (Mediation),” Catholic Online, http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view.php?id=6146, accessed December 10, 2016.

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