Telesphore P. Cardinal Toppo, former president of India’s National Conference of Catholic Bishops, granted the following interview with Zenit News Service concerning the drive for the new solemn definition of a fifth Marian dogma that would define Mary’s spiritual maternity under its three essential aspects—Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate. Contrary to the opinions of some who believe that such a solemn definition would adversely affect ecumenical relations, Cardinal Toppo believes that such a definition would enhance the ecumenical mission of the Church. “I have no doubt that non-Catholic Christians participating in ecumenical dialogue, either will find this position acceptable or at least will have no valid or convincing argument against it.”
Proclaiming Mary as the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity would benefit ecumenical and interreligious dialogue because it would help non-Catholics to understand many things about the Mother of God, says Cardinal Telesphore Toppo.
The archbishop of Ranchi and former president of the episcopal conference of India is one of the five cardinal co-sponsors of the 2005 International Symposium on Marian Co-redemption, held in Fatima, who are asking Benedict XVI to declare a fifth Marian dogma.
The petition urges the Pope to proclaim Mary “the Spiritual Mother of All Humanity, the Co-redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer, Mediatrix of all graces with Jesus the one Mediator, and Advocate with Jesus Christ on behalf of the human race.”
In this interview with ZENIT, Cardinal Toppo discusses his views in favor of the proposed dogma.
Previously this year, you and four other cardinals sent out a letter to the world’s cardinals and bishops, inviting them to join in your petition for a new dogma of the spiritual motherhood of Mary. How did they respond?
Cardinal Toppo: Although the majority of cardinals and bishops sent their letters of support for the fifth Marian dogma directly to the Holy Father, we also received numerous copies of enthusiastic letters of support for this dogma from cardinals and bishops from all five continents. Many of the letters spoke of the need for the dogma and Our Lady’s greatest possible intercession for the troubled situation for the world today, including the rampant war and terrorism, religious persecution, moral depravity, family breakdown and even natural disasters.
The general consensus of the letters from my brother cardinals and bishops is that now is the time for this fifth Marian dogma as a remedy for the unique difficulties facing the world. As she did in the Upper Room and in the early Church, Our Lady can intercede like no one else for a new release of the Holy Spirit to bring new grace, peace and protection for the Church and for the world.
Have you spoken directly to Benedict XVI regarding the petition for the fifth Marian dogma?
Cardinal Toppo: On June 3, 2006, on the