Video – Fruit of the Dogma – #14 Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, & Advocate – Miravalle

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Ave Maria!

In this episode of Dr. Miravalle's series 'Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate,' he gives a clear and concise explanation on how the Dogma of Coredemption would help clear the confused beliefs held by many Protestants that Catholics hold Mary as a Goddess, or rather the Fourth Person of the Blessed Trinity. With ease, Dr. Mark shows how by the Pope speaking 'Ex Cathedra' he would define the belief in Mary as 'unique participator in the redemption of man-kind,' not holding her equal to Christ.

Ave Maria!

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  • Dr. Peter Spotswood Dillard says:

    Dear Dr. Miravalle,

    Thank you for your series on the proposed dogma of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate.

    I am sympathetic to this tripartite doctrine, but I foresee some legitmate reasons that might be given for not declaring it at this time as a dogma of faith. I hasten to add that by no means does it follow that at no time will it be proper to declare it as a dogma of faith. The reasons have to do, not with ecumenism, but with the need for further theological clarity.

    In an earlier episode, you cite 1 Timothy 2, 5 as Scriptural evidence that Jesus Christ is the one redeemer, not in an exclusionary sense, but in an inclusionary sense that allows others to share in his one mediation. Let us accept that reading of the passage. While it may follow that others can share in the mediation of some of the graces acquired by Christ’s atonement, it doesn’t obviously follow that there is actually one–Mary–who shares in the mediation of ALL the graces acquired by Christ.

    Assuming that Mary’s role as Coredemptrix be granted, it might be argued that in light of that it is “most appropriate” that she be Mediatrix of all graces. But “appropriateness” isn’t the same as actuality.

    I also suspect that there will be different understandings of Mary’s role as Coredemptrix. According to one, by virtue of her Immaculate Conception she cooperated preeminently with Christ in his salvific work by giving him his body free from the penalties due to Original Sin. But I take you to mean something more by Coredemptrix–viz., that Mary’s suffering in knowledge of her own son’s horrendous sufferings somehow merits or co-merits redemptive grace for us. It might be urged that this stronger interpretation also needs a stronger theological motivation. And unless the stronger motivation is forthcoming, it isn’t clear why we need a further Marian dogma beyond those we already have.

    Pope Benedict XVI’s teachings about Mary–particularly those which advocate her role as Mediatrix of all graces–must certainly be taken seriously. Yet as statements of the ordinary magisterium, by themselves they aren’t infallible. I realize you don’t claim they are. Nonetheless, I would not wish to take these teachings as putting a quietus on further theological discussion of the matters broached in this post. I believe we should proceed in our inquiry with a humility and faith that allows for the possibility that we may learn some as-yet-undiscovered or unarticulated reason(s) why Mary is Mediatrix of all graces, and that our realization may have unexpected ramifications for the Church.

    Best regards,

    Dr. Peter Spotswood Dillard

  • Dr. Peter Spotswood Dillard says:

    I would like to add a brief clarification to my previous post.

    (1) Mary is instrumental Mediatrix, in the sense that because she freely consented to become the Mother of God she is the “neck” through which flow all the graces Jesus attained for us on Calvary.

    (2) Mary is distributive Mediatrix, in the sense that after her Assumption she distributes any and all graces Jesus attained for us on Calvary.

    (1) is implied by the Marian dogmas the Church already accepts. Thus in the instrumental sense, Mary is Mediatrix of all graces.

    However, (2) is more controversial. The idea that after her Assumption Mary COULD distribute all graces won by Christ in virtue of “omnipotentia supplex,” a kind of adventious omnipotence (or at least supernatural power) she receives from Christ, is found in traditional Mariology. That Mary actually DOES distribute all graces in this manner requires additional theological defense and motivation, in my view.

    There is the further question of whether Mary’s maternal sufferings at Calvary merited any graces for us, or whether her sufferings, though not meriting any graces for us of themselves, were supportive of Christ’s sufferings which merited graces for us.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    Dr. Dillard

  • Dr Mark Miravalle says:

    Dear Dr. Dillard

    In succinct response to your to your fine questions, allow me to summarize in the following points:

    1. I am in no way claiming the doctrine of the Mediatrix of all graces is already a dogma of faith, but rather a official doctrine of the Catholic Church, which has been consistently taught by the ordinary Magisterium. This is why we seek its solemn definition that would gnoseologically recognize within the Church that this is ontological truth immediately revealed by God and therefore proclaimed by a solemn definition to be believed as such within the protection and safeguard of papal infallibility.

    2. What takes priority over the many diverse speculations of precisely ”how” it happens that Mary mediates each and every grace of the redemption to humanity (as fruitful as they are in themselves for an ever-deeper theological penetration into the mystery) is the doctrinal guarantee by the ordinary papal magisterium ”that” it happens. We must keep in mind that an official doctrine of the ordinary Papal Magisterium is a truth which has not yet been solemnly defined by the Magisterium, but the truth of which is nonetheless guaranteed by the Papal Magisterium.

    3. The examples of other dogmas of the Church can be instructive in reminding us that many of the precise ”hows” have not been concluded to, but this not stop the Church and the tremendous graces that flow to the Church and the world by solemnly defining these doctrinal truths. For example, we certainly haven’t figured out the how of the three persons in one God in the dogma of the Trinity; the how of Transubstantiation within the Eucharist; or even the ”what” of whether or not Mary died in relation to the Assumption. But the Church in her wisdom proclaimed these truth on the highest level of recognized truth to the great spiritual benefit of the People of God. The consensus of Papal teaching and theological tradition to Our Lady’s moral causality (willed intercession) in the mediation of each and every grace of the Redemption since her Assumption into heaven provide the substantial theological foundation for its dogmatic definition, even though the fine speculative questions you raise about the precise means of its operation can continue to be examined along with the historical grace and fruit of its papal declaration now. The volume of questions I receive does not permit me at this time to continue further this particular dialogue, but I am particularly grateful for your excellent questions and comments.

    In the Two Hearts

    Dr. Mark Miravalle

  • Dr. Peter Spotswood Dillard says:

    Dear Dr. Miravalle,

    Thank you for your succinct and thoughtful response. I will try conclude with one of my own.

    If the doctrine that Mary is Mediatrix of all graces in a distributive sense is already taught by the ordinary magisterium, then it is not immediately apparent why the doctrine needs to be defined as a dogma of faith by the papal magisterium. Your suggestion is that doing so will result in tremendous graces flowing to the Church. Maybe. Maybe not. It may be that those tremendous graces are already being received through the ordinary magisterium’s teaching of the doctrine, so that no additional graces will be added by a papal definition.

    Certainly the Trinity and Transubstantiation are difficult dogmas the “how” of which can never be fully explained. Nevertheless, the Catholic tradition contains extensive and detailed intellectual resources for attaining at least some positive comprehension of these dogmas. Someone wishing to arrive at a minimal understanding of the “how” of the Trinity can turn to the speculative writings of Augustine, Anselm, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Scotus, and others. Ditto for Transubstantiation. What I would like to see before any dogmatic declaration of Mary as Mediatrix of all graces is a development of this doctrine comparable to Scotus’s theory of how Christ’s foreseen merits were applied the Virgin Mary. Such an account went a long way toward providing a sound theological basis for the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Similarly, a viable metaphysical/gnoseological model of how Mary distributes all graces after her Assumption would go a long way toward providing a sound theological basis for a dogma which includes the doctrine that Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. Even then, the extraordinary magisterium will need to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to do what is right. As an old adage has it, when you’re in a hurry it’s a good idea to slow down.

    I wish you all the best in you continued deliberations and teachings on this worthy topic. Perhaps in the future we will have the chance to resume our discussion.

    Soli Deo Gloria,

    Dr. Dillard

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