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Mediatrix, Coredemptrix and Advocate Declaration

Mediatrix, Coredemptrix and Advocate Declaration

Declaration of the Theological Commission of the Pontifical International Marian Academy

Request for the definition of the dogma of Mary as Mediatrix, Coredemptrix and Advocate

 L'Osservatore Romano

The twelfth International Mariological Congress, held at Częstochowa (Poland) in August 1996, was asked by the Holy See to study the possibility and the opportuneness of a definition of the Marian titles of Mediatrix, Coredemptrix and Advocate, as is being requested of the Holy See by certain circles. A commission was established, composed of fifteen theologians chosen for their specific preparation in this area, so that together they could discuss and analyze the question through mature reflection. In addition to their theological competence, care was also taken to ensure the greatest possible geographical diversity among the members, so that any possible consensus would become especially significant. It was also sought to enrich the study group by adding, as external members, some non-Catholic theologians who were present at the Congress. The commission arrived at a twofold conclusion.

1. The titles, as proposed, are ambiguous, as they can be understood in very different ways. Furthermore, the theological direction taken by the Second Vatican Council, which did not wish to define any of these titles, should not be abandoned. The Second Vatican Council did not use the title "Coredemptrix", and uses "Mediatrix" and "Advocate" in a very moderate way (cf. Lumen Gentium, 62). In fact, from the time of Pope Pius XII, the term "Coredemptrix" has not been used by the papal Magisterium in its significant documents. There is evidence that Pope Pius XII himself intentionally avoided using it. With respect to the title "Mediatrix," the history of the question should not be forgotten: in the first decades of this century the Holy See entrusted the study of the possibility of its definition to three different commissions, the result of which was that the Holy See decided to set the question aside.

2. Even if the titles were assigned a content which could be accepted as belonging to the deposit of the faith, the definition of these titles, however, in the present situation would be lacking in theological clarity, as such titles and the doctrines inherent in them still require further study in a renewed Trinitarian, ecclesiological and anthropological perspective. Finally, the theologians, especially the non-Catholics, were sensitive to the ecumenical difficulties which would be involved in such a definition.

The commission included Father Pavao Melada, O.F.M. and Father Stefano Cecchin, O.F.M., the President and Secretary respectively of the Pontifical International Marian Academy, Father Cándido Pozo, S.J. (Spain), Father Ignacio M. Calabuig, O.S.M. (Marianum - Rome), Father Jesús Castellano Cervera, O.C.D (Teresianum - Rome), Father Franz Courth, S.A.C. (Germany), Father Stefano De Fiores, S.M.M. (Italy), Father Miguel Angel Delgado, O.S.M. (Mexico), Father Manuel Felicio da Rocha (Portugal), Father Georges Gharib (Melkite - Syria), Father Réné Laurentin (France), Father Jan Pach, O.S.P.P.E. (Poland), Father Adalbert Rebic (Croatia), Father Jean Rivain (France), Father Johann Roten, S.M. (USA), Father Ermanno Toniolo, O.S.M. (Italy), Mons. Teofil Siudy (Poland), Father Anton Ziegenaus (Germany), Canon Roger Greenacre (Anglican - England), Dr. Hans Christoph Schmidt - Lauber (Lutheran - Austria), Father Ghennadios Limouris (Orthodox - Constantinople), Father Jean Kawak (Orthodox - Syria), Prof. Constantin Charalampidis (Orthodox - Greece).

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