This is very good: Pope Francis has said once again that Mary is not Coredemptrix:
“It’s true that Christian piety always gives beautiful titles to her, like a son to the mother … how many beautiful things does a son say to the mother? But pay attention: the [beautiful] things that the Church, the saints, say to Mary, take nothing away from Christ’s uniqueness as a redeemer,” the pope added, always looking away from his prepared remarks.
“He [Christ] is the only redeemer. They [Marian titles] are expressions of love like a son to the mother, sometimes exaggerated, but we know love always makes us do exaggerated things. Lovesickness,” Francis said
This is exactly right.
I recall picking up a little booklet from our parish lending library (it probably had about 150 books), when I was in high school in the 1970s, when Vatican II was still pretty new and the parish priest wanted to put out good explanatory resources. The author – I’ve long since forgotten her name, if I ever knew it – said in effect what Pope Francis just said. She summarized the earliest Marian devotional prayers, the definition of Theotokos at Ephesus, and the like. She said that the Church fell in love with Mary early on, and when you’re in love, you say lots of things. I doubt that Pope Francis ever read that book in English from U.S. Catholicism, but it’s fascinating that his thoughts are nearly identical.
Can you possibly lay out an understanding of Mary as Co-redemptrix which makes it clear that Christ is the only redeemer and that everything Mary does is through the grace of Christ, even if by anticipation? Oh, I suppose so, if you enjoy perverse challenges. But why go there? It is nearly impossible for the term “Co-redemptrix” not to be misunderstood. It does so much ecumenical damage. We’re better off without it.
I write as one who carries a Rosary in his left pocket. I treasure prayers to Mary, and I end most every day with three Ave’s. I was heartened when my monastic community, at the urging of several including me, added the Latin Marian antiphons (Salve Regina, Regina Coeli, etc.) to the end of Evening Prayer on Saturdays. There are plenty of deeply traditional ways to honor Mary and call upon her intercession. This is not one of them.
Image: Mary, Throne of Wisdom (the Mabon Madonna), carved wood, 12th century France, Saint John’s Abbey Church.