ROME SAYS MARY IS CO-REDEEMER, MEDIATOR, ADVOCATE
September 8, 1997 (David W. Cloud, Fundamental Baptist Information Service, 1701 Harns Rd., Oak Harbor, WA
98277) - During the last four years, Pope John Paul II has received more than 4.3 million signatures from 157 countries
urging him to exercise papal infallibility to pronounce Mary as "Co-Redemptrix [co-redeemer], Mediatrix [mediator] of
All Graces, and Advocate for the People of God." Promoters of the petition claim that such a dogma does not detract
from the uniqueness of Christ, but that is perfect nonsense.
The massive petition drive was launched by Mark Miravalle, a professor at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in
Ohio, during a Marian conference at the school in 1993.
(As a side note, it is interesting to observe that Promise Keepers leaders have spoken at the Franciscan University for
the last three years. One of the speakers this year was Promise Keepers Vice President Dale Schlafer. We have
documented the Promise Keepers-Roman Catholic connection in our article entitled "THE ROMAN
CATHOLIC-PROMISE KEEPERS CONNECTION: THE ART OF DOUBLESPEAK." This was distributed May 7,
1996, through the Fundamental Baptist News Service, and was last updated February 9, 1997. It can be viewed at the
Fundamental Baptist News Service web site— http://wayoflife.org/~dcloud/special/spec0017.htm )
Reports on the petition drive have appeared widely both in Catholic and non-Catholic literature. Even the secular world
has taken notice. The cover story for the August 25, 1997, issue of Newsweek was "The Meaning of Mary: A Struggle
Over Her Role Grows Within the Church." A full-page artist's conception of Mary was featured on the cover of this
influential news magazine.
The July 1 issue of Inside the Vatican, a very conservative Roman Catholic publication with editorial offices in Rome,
England, and the United States, was largely dedicated to the Mary petition drive. The lead story was titled "A New
Marian Dogma? The Debate Intensifies." We have read many other reports from various perspectives.
Many ecumenical types, both in and out of Rome, are crying out against the petition drive. They worry that such a
proclamation would hinder the ecumenical movement toward unity between the Roman Catholic Church and the
various other denominations.
In our estimation, this entire matter is a non-issue, a tempest in a teapot, for the following reason: Roman Catholic
Popes and Roman Catholic councils have already said that Mary is Co-Redeemer, Mediator, Advocate. For the pope to
make an alleged infallible proclamation would add force to such a doctrine, but it would not be something new. Papal
proclamations are not statements of new doctrine but of doctrine already held by the Catholic Church.
POPE JOHN PAUL II HAS STATED THAT MARY IS CO-REDEEMER, MEDIATOR, ADVOCATE
At least five times Pope Paul II has referred to Mary by the title "Co-redemptrix" in his papal teachings. For example, in
1985, in Guayaquil, Ecuador, the pope said: "Mary goes before us and accompanies us. The silent journey that begins
with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the ‘yes’ of Nazareth, which makes her the Mother of God, finds
on Calvary a particularly important moment. … In fact, at Calvary she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that
led to the foundation of the Church; her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ ‘to gather into one all
the dispersed children of God’ (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all
the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity. … In fact Mary’s role as Coredemptrix did not cease with the
glorification of her Son" (Inside the Vatican, July 1997, p. 23).
In his general audience address of April 9, 1997, the pope said: "Mary … co-operated during the event itself [the
crucifixion] and in the role of mother; thus her co-operation embraces the whole of Christ’s saving work. SHE ALONE
WAS ASSOCIATED IN THIS WAY WITH THE REDEMPTIVE SACRIFICE THAT MERITED THE
SALVATION OF ALL MANKIND. IN UNION WITH CHRIST AND IN SUBMISSION TO HIM, SHE
COLLABORATED IN OBTAINING THE GRACE OF SALVATION FOR ALL HUMANITY. … In God’s plan,
Mary is the ‘woman’ (cf. Jn 2:4; 19:26), the New Eve, united to the New Adam in restoring humanity to its original
dignity. Her cooperation with her Son continues for all time in the universal motherhood which she enjoys in the order
of grace. Trusting in this maternal cooperation, LET US TURN TO MARY, IMPLORING HER HELP IN ALL
OUR NEEDS" (Vatican Information Service).
In his general audience for July 30, the pope continued his theme of talks on Mary, saying: "As the Mother of all the
Lord’s disciples (cf. Jn 19:26), MARY OFFERS HER INTERCESSION AND AID TO ALL WHO JOURNEY
TOWARDS THE FULLNESS OF THE LORD’S KINGDOM. As the Bride and Temple of the Holy Spirit, she
encourages us to imitate her openness to the workings of the Spirit and to live in constant, loving communion with the
Pope John Paul II has exalted Mary even in his most official documents. In his encyclical Redemptoris Mater (Mother
of the Redeemer), published March 25, 1987, the pope referred to Mary as "Mediatrix" three times, and as "Advocate"
twice. The entire third section is dedicated to the theme of "Maternal Mediation."
There is no question that Pope John Paul II believes that Mary is co-redeemer with Christ, mediator of all grace, and
advocate who intercedes for the saints. While it is uncertain whether or not he will make a papal proclamation of this as
official dogma (most reports coming out of the Vatican say he will not do this), the fact remains that he accepts and
promotes these false doctrines about Mary.
OTHER POPES HAVE SAID THAT MARY IS CO-REDEEMER, MEDIATOR, ADVOCATE
Many popes have exalted Mary as mediator and advocate. Examples are Leo XIII (1878-1903), Pope Pius X
(1903-1914), and Pius XII (1939-1958). During a radio message concluding the Jubilee of the Redemption, April 28,
1935, Pius XI (1922-1939) gave the title Co-redemptrix to Mary.
One of the respected Roman Catholic authorities on Mariology is Alphonsus Mary de Liguori (1696-1787), who was
canonized as a saint by Pope Gregory XVI on May 26, 1839. He was declared a "Doctor of the Church" in 1871 by
Pope Pius IX. Liguori has his own special day on the Roman Catholic calendar, that being August 1st. On this day, the
official prayer to be made by Catholic people on behalf of Liguori asks God that they may be "taught by his
Liguori, or "Saint" Alphonsus, wrote on many subjects, but he is particularly famous for his admonitions in regard to the
Catholic Mary. In 1750, at age 54, he published The Glories of Mary, a book which has been translated into many
languages and which has wielded vast influence in the Roman Catholic Church.
Some will doubtless argue that it is unfair to use a 200-year-old book to define Catholic doctrine. Not so. Liguori's book
is authoritative today, and it does represent official Catholic doctrine. Liguori's works underwent a rigorous
examination and received the unqualified approval of the Catholic Church. His works were tested 20 times by
the rules of Urban VIII and Benedict XIV, and the resulting judgment was that they did not contain "one word
worthy of censure." Liguori's book The Glories of Mary was pronounced to be without error by Pope Pius VII
in 1803 and by Pope Leo XII in 1825. Pope John Paul II has often acknowledged Liguori's deep influence in his own
affection for Mary.
Pius VII (1800-1823) was so infatuated with Liguori that he had his grave opened and had three fingers of his right hand
cut off and taken to Rome, saying, "Let those three fingers that have written so well for the honor of God, of the
Blessed Virgin and of religion, be carefully preserved and sent to Rome" ("Some Preliminary Observations by the
Editor," The Glories of Mary, St. Louis: Redemptorist Fathers, 1831, p. 20).
Liguori's book continues to be published today with the official imprimatur [Latin meaning "Let it be printed"] of various
Catholic authorities. The edition we have has the Imprimatur of Cardinal Hayes of Brooklyn, New York, and is
sanctioned by Patrick Murray, Superior General of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Jan. 1, 1931. Chapter
titles include Mary our Queen, Mary our Life, Mary our Hope, Mary our Help, MARY OUR MEDIATRESS, MARY
OUR ADVOCATE, Mary our Guardian, Mary our Salvation, and Mary's Immaculate Conception. Consider an excerpt
from this book which does not contain ONE WORD worthy of censure by the Catholic Church. The following
quotation from the section on Mary, our Mediatress, gives a taste of the entire book--
"St. Antoninus says the same thing: 'All graces that have ever been bestowed on men, all came through
Mary.' And on this account she is called the moon, according to the following remark of St. Bonaventure:
'As the moon, which stands between the sun and the earth, transmits to this latter whatever it receives from
the former, so does Mary pour out upon us who are in this world the heavenly graces that she receives from
the divine sun of justice. Again, the holy Church calls her 'the happy gate of heaven;' for as the same St.
Bernard remarks: 'as every mandate of grace that is sent by a king passes through the palace-gates, so does
every grace that comes from heaven to the world pass through the hands of Mary.' St. Bonaventure says
that Mary is called 'the gate of heaven, because no one can enter that blessed kingdom without passing
through her'" (The Glories of Mary, pp. 159-160).
The Glories of Mary is filled with citations from various "saints" of the Catholic Church. Its authority is of the very
VATICAN COUNCILS HAVE GIVEN MARY THE TITLE CO-REDEEMER, MEDIATOR, ADVOCATE
Vatican Council II, which was held in the mid-1960s, also referred to Mary as Mediator and Advocate. Note the
"Joined to Christ the head and in communion with all his saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence
the memory of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ... Because of the
gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth... The IMMACULATE
VIRGIN PRESERVED FREE FROM ALL STAIN OF ORIGINAL SIN, WAS TAKEN UP BODY
AND SOUL INTO HEAVENLY GLORY, when her earthly life was over, and EXALTED BY THE
LORD AS QUEEN OVER ALL THINGS, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the
Lord of lords (cf. Apoc. 19:16) and conqueror of sin and death" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the
Church, chap. 8, I, 52,53; II, 59, pp. 378,381- 382).
"Rightly, therefore, the Fathers see Mary not merely as passively engaged by God, but as freely cooperating
in the work of man’s salvation through faith and obedience. FOR AS ST. IRENAEUS SAYS, SHE BEING
OBEDIENT, BECAME THE CAUSE OF SALVATION FOR HERSELF AND FOR THE WHOLE
HUMAN RACE. Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert with him in their preaching ...’ death
through Eve, life through Mary.’ This UNION OF THE MOTHER WITH THE SON IN THE WORK
OF SALVATION is made manifest from the time of Christ’s virginal conception up to his death" (Vatican
II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, chap. 8, II, 56, pp. 380-381).
"Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to
bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still
journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home.
THEREFORE THE BLESSED VIRGIN IS INVOKED IN THE CHURCH UNDER THE TITLES OF
ADVOCATE, HELPER, BENEFACTRESS, AND MEDIATRIX" (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on
the Church, chap. 8, II, 62, pp. 382-383).
There can be no doubt from these citations of formal Catholic documents (and a great many others could be mentioned)
that Mary is considered a mediator and advocate by the Roman Catholic Church. Contrariwise, the Bible forbids us to
think of Mary in this way. Regardless of what the pope does in response to the petition drive, those who love the Bible
and receive it as the sole authority for faith and practice must reject Rome for its blasphemous false doctrines which
exalt Mary to a position which belongs exclusively to Jesus Christ. He alone is mediator; he alone is redeemer; he alone
is immaculately conceived. Mary does not share in these things in any sense whatsoever. Furthermore, Mary is not the
Queen of Heaven nor can she hear and answer prayers. Those who love the Bible already reject Romanism on the basis
of these false dogmas. On the other hand, those who are not convinced already that Rome is a false church will not be
convinced no matter what new thing the pope proclaims in his alleged infallibility.
The last time a pope made a dogma about Mary was on November 1, 1950, when Pope Pius XII stated that Mary was
"preserved free from all guilt of original sin," "taken up body and soul into heaven," and "exalted as Queen of the
On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX issued the bull Ineffabilis Deus, which proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate
Conception of Mary.