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Introduction

The recent history of Mariology has not always been told and so the recent reinvigoration of the movement for a fifth Marian Dogma by the group of five Cardinals remains a curiosity to some. Others believe the movement should be dropped since Cardinal Ratzinger in the year 2000 mentioned in an interview with Peter Seewald that he was not in favor of the title “Co-redemptrix.” The interview caused a stir in the English-speaking world when it was published two years later in God and the World; used ever since to question those who speak of the need for the official promulgation of the title. Since then, many still fail to make the distinction that Cardinal Ratzinger was not pope at that time, and he was not speaking in an official capacity. In fact, a careful examination of Joseph Ratzinger’s writings reveals he has a much deeper Mariology and understanding of all the issues necessary for such a title; he actually provides foundations that were missing in previous attempts to clarify the need for the title “Co-redemptrix.”

The intention of this article is to demonstrate that promulgation of the title and dogma “Co-redemptrix” is not a luxury but much rather a necessity, as even the dying of many religious orders reveals. John Paul the Great did much to heal misunderstandings in Mariology since Vatican II, but Joseph Ratzinger’s own words still ring true. Concerning Lumen Gentium, he made the statement: “The immediate outcome of the victory of ecclesiocentric Mariology was the collapse of Mariology altogether” (1), an outcome that not even Paul VI’s “introduction of the title ‘Mother of the Church’” could prevent (2). What allowed false interpretations that led to the collapse? What is the needed healing for the Church and the world? The five Cardinals are on the right track. The title “Co-redemptrix” is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It will help make sense of the titles “Mediatrix” and “Advocate” which Lumen Gentium did bestow on Mary. More importantly, it will restore the Mariology that our religious orders and our “domestic churches” (family homes) need to flourish. […]

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