Video – Msgr. Calkins – Franciscan Thesis, Fehlner and the Magisterium – CONF 306

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Ave Maria!

At the Symposium titled "Sursum Actio" at Notre Dame Univ. from Jun 8-9, 2015, in honor of the life work of Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner, F.I., - Msgr. Arthur B. Calkins, S.T.D., gives the fifth conference which he titles, "The Franciscan Thesis as presented by Peter Damian Fehlner and the Magisterium". It includes:

  1. Franciscan thesis as articulated by Fr. Peter

  2. Franciscan Thesis as it has entered into the Magisterium

  3. Conclusions

He points out that Fr. Peter's teaching on Jesus and Mary, that they are both predestined in one and the same decree by God, reflects the Franciscan school of thought and has been explicitly included in the dogmatic proclamation on the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and confirmed 15 times by Vatican II documents and Papal statements from 1950 to 2008. Yet, inexplicably, this teaching has been almost entirely dropped from Mariology by modern scholars, with Fr. Peter Fehlner spearheading the effort to bring it back to wider acceptance in the last two decades.

Fr. Peter's Teaching:

Fr. Peter's teaching on the Franciscan Thesis, which is the Absolute Primacy of Christ and Mary being included in the original decree of Christ is based on that of Fr. Carlo Balic who was one of the chief editors of the 8th chapter of Lumen Gentium of Vatican II and on Fr. Juniper Carol.

Franciscan Thesis that Mary was predestined to be Mother of God in one and the same decree with Christ's Incarnation and the Absolute Primacy of the Incarnation.

This is made clear at three points in Mary's life:

- Immaculate Conception

- Coredemption, Mediation

- Assumption and Crowning in Heaven as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Introduced into the Papal Magisterium in Ineffabilis Deus in 1854 by Pius IX 5:30
Jesus and Mary one and the same decree of God even though God could have done the Incarnation in any way. He wanted.

Woman of Gen 3:15 is biblical source. Mary and her Son Christ will overcome the Serpent

Mode of Incarnation is inherently Marian.

But it predates Scotus and even Francis and is therefore best described as Catholic

Franciscan thesis merely promoted and clarified it and made it a part of the life of the Church.

A unique Franciscan contribution.

Mary pertains like no other person to the hypostatic union 9:15

Grace of graces and the source of all intelligibility both in salvation and in creation. LG 55ff

In chapter Fr. Peter wrote in Mariology edited by Dr. Miravalle: Despite wide, frequent confirmation of joint predestination by Magisterium during and after Vatican II, this has been almost totally dropped from Mariology.

Scotus: fullness of grace in Mary is in view of Christ's merits. But the participation in grace for us is in view of mediation of Jesus and Mary for everyone else.

Since Fall of Adam and Eve, Mediation of Christ is Redemptive as well as saving

Preservatively in Mary and the angles who did not sin, but liberatively in everyone else.

Perfectly in Mary Immaculate Conception whereas in us it is dependent on the realization in Mary.

Distinctive personal actions of Mary in cooperation with Christ, are not confused with Jesus nor on a par with Jesus. 11:50

Joint ordained absolutely Jesus for his own sake and Mary for Jesus' sake and no other

Yet she is ennobled by grace in a most personal way and thus perfects personhood.

Confirmation of Franciscan Thesis in the Magesterium (13:35)

Since Ineffabilis Deus many confirmations by Magisterium, so no longer a thesis. Here are Fifteen:

1 - Pius XII - 1950 Munificentissimus Deus No. 40 - Assumption - One and same decree

next Four are in Vatican II Documents

2 - Lumen Gentium (LG) No. 53 Mary redeemed by merits of Son and united to Him,

3- LG 56 incarnation preceded by acceptance of her who is predestined to be Mother of God,

4 - LG 61 predestined from eternity

5 - Vat II Sacrosanctum Concilium No. 103 inseparable bond in salvation

6 - Paul VI - Professio Fidei - Mary Joined by indissoluble bond to incarnation and redemption.

7 - Paul VI - May 30, 1973 General Audience - Mary's Human Cooperation predestined but free cooperation with her Son. -

8 - Paul VI - Marialis Cultus No. 25 - one single decree

9 - John Paul II - Redemptoris Mater (RM) - 25 March. no.8 With Son, Father a has Chosen her and thus united to Christ. Making use of wisdom texts referring primarily to Christ but understood early as pertaining to Mary

JPII - RM 9 predestination of Mary, Full of Grace because predestined

Fr. Peter. Christ is redemptive as well as saving, Mary preservative

JPII - RM 10 from first moment belonged to Christ, she got life from Christ but give life to Christ as Mother.

10 - JPII - General Audience Nov 23, 1988 [In the video he says 1998] - In this gift made to John and to all of us. Mary is here center of salvation history entirely one with Him, contemplated, predestined and situated together at the center of salvation history.

11 - JPII - Dies Domini no. 79 1998 - Holy Church venerates Mary in union with Christ, indissoluble bond. Quoted from SC 103

12 - JPII - Dec 8 2004 - Homily for Immaculate Conception - Predestination Mary is linked to Christ's and ours. Mary is a sign of all our salvation, links to Protoevangelicum Gen 3:15.

JPII - Many other texts on theme of Calvary joint suffering of Mary and Jesus is a major theme of JPII's pontificate.

13 - Benedict XVI - Dec 8, 2006  Spanish Steps - Full of Grace, predestined to be mother of the Redeemer and associated with salvation. -


14 - BXVI - Angelus Address 2007 Aug 15 - closely united to divine son triumphing over sin and death one and the same decree.

Pius XII - One and the same decree

15 - BXVI - 7 Sept 2008 Homily at Shrine of Our Lady of Bonaria. Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy - Predestination of Mary is inscribed in the predestination of Jesus. The "here I am" of Mary reflected in that of Jesus, and His disciples.


1. 1854-2007 or over 150 years so the joint predestination of Jesus and Mary well supported can no longer be opposed

2. Should no longer call it a thesis or hypothesis but a doctrine confirmed by Magisterium and many saints, and fundamental Franciscan contribution to Mariology.

3. Supports Immaculate Conception so well specified in Ineffabilis Deus, Upholds importance of Gen 3:15 in Salvation history and supports the Co-redemption of Mary.

4. After Fr. Balic and Fr. Juniper Carol, Fr. Peter has made the largest contribution and has revived teaching on the joint predestination in our day.

The talk is followed by a commentary by Fr. Peter.

Fr. Peter:

- This list of the Magisterium's support on this matter is very important and does not exist anywhere else.

- Need to focus on the plan of God first and then the execution of it in order to have correct Theology.

- Biblical texts particularly St. Paul support absolute primacy and joint predestination

- Cannot get past certain limitations of philosophy without having revelation of God and his plan.

- Philosophy ends where theology begins, with the plan of God

This symposium, Sursum Actio ("Lift up your Actions" or more loosely "Lift up your Hearts"), was organized in honor of the life work of Fr. Peter Damian Fehlner after he won the Cardinal John J. Wright Marialogical Award of 2015 from the Mariological Society of America for his outstanding contributions to Mariology.

For a more complete list of all fourteen talks from this symposium:


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