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Co-Redemptrix and Scripture

Co-Redemptrix and Scripture

Q: Why isn't Mary mentioned in any of the epistles as a co-redemptrix with Christ or as an intermediatory?

A: Do you mean epistles of Paul, James, etc., or are you referring to the writings of the New Testament in general? There are many things that are not mentioned uniformly in all New Testament writings. The term (vocabulary) coredemptrix, for example, appeared only in the sixteenth century, and although its meaning is not universal, all acceptable interpretations insist that Mary is and remains a creature and lacks divine stature and salvific power. Further, the Catholic Church never considered Mary's co-redemption an article of faith. We believe that as mother she was closely associated with the person of her Son, as any mother or most mothers would be intensely interested in the life and activities of their sons and daughters.

Luke and John relate scenes from the Annunciation to Pentecost, Cana and Calvary, where Mary's motherly concern and her role as disciple and associate are clearly shown. Is this enough to call her co-redemptrix? Recent official documents of the church avoid this term. The most important text regarding Mary's intercession is John 2,3-5, the pattern of which shows the discreet, hopeful and trusting as well as obedient and submissive attitude of Mary toward her Son. The reason why Mary is not mentioned in Paul's epistles but in later New Testament writings has to do with the progressive discovery of Mary's place in Christ's life. As Christianity grew so grew the Christians' interest in their founder and persons and events pertaining to his life and entourage. Mary became important when Christ (person, biography, work) became a subject of more specific interest.

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