The Catechism and the "Term" Coredemptrix


This writing should be read after reading Ave Maria: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate .


It is expected that Pope John Paul II will declare the 5th Marian dogma of the Virgin Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate very soon. In doing so, he will elevate this long-established doctrine to the level of dogma.

There are those who would challenge the Pope's ability to do this, as the term or word "Coredemptrix" does not appear within the Catechism of the Catholic Church at this time. Therefore, advocates of this error hold that it is not doctrine. It is worthy of emphasis that their challenge rests upon the "term" or "word", Coredemptrix, not appearing within the Catechism, as opposed to whether the underlying "doctrine" is indeed included therein.

This writing will demonstrate that those who make this charge have denied a number of premises, and thereby reached a serious illogical and invalid conclusion………or even worse, carry a bias against the Mother of God.


Papal Infallibility

Much has been written about the infallibility of the Pope. Accordingly, we will not dedicate much ink to addressing it in this writing (1).

There are a number of instances in Holy Scripture supporting the Pope's infallibility when speaking ex cathedra on faith and morals. Evidence of the Pope's infallibility is clearly found In Matthew 16:17-19: "Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Also, Jesus said: "Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." (Lk 10:16)

Thus, we see that we have been given the word of Jesus Christ, Himself, on the matter. It is true, unequivocally.


Marian Dogma Incomplete

As evidence that Marian dogma remains incomplete we submit Number 54, of Lumen Gentium(2), which was composed by the Ecumenical Council of Vatican II, and approved subsequently by Pope Paul VI in 1964 ("LG"). It reads:

"Wherefore this Holy Synod, in expounding the doctrine on the Church, in which the divine Redeemer works salvation, intends to describe with diligence both the role of the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the Mystical Body, and the duties of redeemed mankind toward the Mother of God, who is mother of Christ and mother of men, particularly of the faithful. It does not, however, have it in mind to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to us."

Your attention is directed to the words: " It does not, however, have it in mind to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified."

In the Introduction of the theological work: "Mary, Coredemptrix Mediatrix Advocate - THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS Towards a Papal Definition?" (Imprimatur; Nihil Obstat)(3), Dr. Mark Miravalle, renown professor at the Franciscan University at Stuebenville and President of Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, states the following:

"The Fathers explicitly refer to both the incompleteness of Marian doctrine presented in Lumen Gentium, as well as to the licitness of mariological teachings present in Catholic schools up to the time of the Council. Anyone remotely familiar with the mariological literature in the years immediately preceding and leading up to the Council is cognizant of the pre-eminent position of the topic of Mary's universal mediation, as it was ubiquitous in the teachings and discussion in Catholic universities and mariological societies alike. It is precisely for the full flowering of the doctrinal roles of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, in the heart of the authentic call of the Council that this work is presented.

The missio of the work can be stated simply and succinctly: to delineate and develop the theological foundations that support and call forth a papal definition of the universal mediation of Mary in its three essential aspects as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all grace, and Advocate for the People of God. It is to illustrate the true definability of Mary's universal and maternal mediation as manifested in the sources of Divine Revelation, as developed and articulated theologically by the Church's fathers, doctors, theologians, and as explicitly taught and confirmed by the Papal Magisterium.

Within the overall genus of Marian mediation in the Mother's cooperation with the Saviour to unite humanity with God, three specific elements of this mediation are revealed, constituting distinct yet essential aspects of this universal mediation. Mary, having been providentially prepared by the Father through her Immaculate Conception, uniquely participated with Jesus Christ, the divine Saviour of humanity as Coredemptrix with the Redeemer, by her free and active fiat at the Annunciation and her faithful perseverance in union with her Son unto the Cross. After her Assumption into heaven, Mary continues this saving office in service to Christ the one Mediator as Mediatrix of all grace and gifts of eternal salvation, which she performs in intimate union with the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier. Mary further continues to intercede on behalf of the human family before the throne of Christ, victorious King of all nations, as Advocate for the People of God. Thus the maternal and universal mediation of the Mother of Jesus are manifested in these three essential doctrinal roles: Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate."

Later in the same Introduction, Dr. Miravalle, states: "One can thereby see the relevance of considering the wider contemporary ecclesial framework in terms of timeliness within which this theological anthology is presented, particularly when the first question of theological definability is answered to at least some degree by the theological fact that the three aspects of Marian coredemption and mediation in question already represent Marian doctrines taught by the Church's Magisterium. It must be kept in mind that the proposal here is not one of developing a new doctrine, but of raising an existing doctrine to the level of dogma."

The date of Dr. Miravalle's above mentioned Introduction was March 25, 1995, or about 3 years after the Holy Father John Paul II published the Catechism of the Catholic Church. [Emphasis mine].


The Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Catechism of the Church(4) was approved by Pope John Paul II in June 1992, and was published in October of that year via the Apostolic Constitution: FIDEI DEPOSITUM On the Publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Prepared Following The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.

In Fidei Depositum, Pope John Paul II stated the following, which defines the doctrinal value of the text of the Catechism:

"The Catechism of the Catholic Church…is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion…

Therefore, I ask all the Church's pastors and the Christian faithful to receive this catechism in a spirit of communion and to use it assiduously in fulfilling their mission of proclaiming the faith and calling people to the Gospel life. This catechism is given to them that it may be a sure and authentic reference text for teaching catholic doctrine…

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, lastly, is offered to every individual who asks us to give an account of the hope that is in us (cf. 1 Pt 3:15) and who wants to know what the Catholic Church believes."


Additional insight into the Catechism's doctrinal value is found in its Prologue:

"This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Traditions. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church's Magisterium…

This work is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis [i.e. education in the faith]: first of all the bishops, as teachers of the faith and pastors of the Church. It is offered to them as an instrument in fulfilling their responsibility of teaching the People of God. Through the bishops, it is addressed to redactors of catechisms, to priests, and to catechists. It will also be useful reading for all other Christian faithful."


Later in the text of the Prologue it is stated:

"This catechism is conceived as an organic presentation of the Catholic faith in its entirety…

The texts of Sacred Scripture are often not quoted word for word but are merely indicated by a reference (cf). For a deeper understanding of such passages, the reader should refer to the Scriptural texts themselves. Such Biblical references are a valuable working-tool in catechesis." [Emphasis mine].


Doctrine vs. Term

The Fathers and Doctors of the Church taught extensively on Mary being full of grace as declared by St. Gabriel at the Annunciation, and that she was immune to original sin. In Holy Scripture, we see great care given by both God and man with respect to the first Ark of the Covenant. It had to be built to specifications, and be pure and sanctified to carry the written word of God. The Fathers and Doctors wrote how uniquely holier and purer the "New Ark of the Covenant" had to be, for she carried the body of the Son of God for nine months. The Son of God could not be born in an impure vessel. However, the term "Immaculate Conception" was hardly used until shortly before the declaration of the dogma in 1854.

Speaking hypothetically, had the Catechism of the Catholic Church addressed the unique blessing that the Mother of God had been given being born without the stain of original sin without using the term "Immaculate Conception", would she have been any less immaculate? Under such hypothetical circumstances, could it be logically concluded that in spite of the fact that the doctrine of Mary being born without original sin was addressed in the Catechism, but the term "Immaculate Conception" had not been stated in the Catechism, that therefore it was not doctrine? Absolutely not.

Hypothetically, had the Catechism addressed the fact that the Virgin Mary was uniquely blessed above all men without using the term "full of grace", could it be logically concluded that she was therefore not full of grace? Absolutely not.



With this in mind let us ascertain whether the doctrine of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate is addressed in the Catechism.


The Catechism and the Doctrine of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate

The following are a few excerpts quoted directly from the Catechism which indicate clearly that the Catechism does indeed address the doctrine of the Mother of God as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate of mankind:


488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him, he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son a daughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary":

The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on the part of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming of death, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.

489 After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter of Sion, and the new plan of salvation is established."

494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without knowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith, certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." Thus, giving her consent to God's word, Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly, without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work of her Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent on him, by God's grace:

As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. . .: "The knot of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience: what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith." Comparing her with Eve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death through Eve, life through Mary."

502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysterious reasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasons touch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Mary gave that mission on behalf of all men.

511 The Virgin Mary "cooperated through free faith and obedience in human salvation" (LG 56). She uttered her yes "in the name of all human nature" (St. Thomas Aquinas, STh III, 30, 1). By her obedience she became the new Eve, mother of the living.

964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion:

Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."

967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus) of the Church.

968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."

969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."

970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it. No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."

973 By pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body."


Thus we see unequivocally, that the doctrine of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate is indeed addressed within the Catechism.


The Ordinary Magisterium of the Church

The Late and Renown Theologian Father William G. Most produced a work entitled: "Ordinary Magisterium on Mary's Immediate Cooperation in the Objective Redemption". In it he summarized the salient teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium regarding the doctrine of Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate. He delineated 17 teachings in summary form on this doctrine from 8 different Popes and the 2nd Vatican Council. They are Popes: Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Benedict XV, Pius XI, Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II. He begins his theological study with the following statements:

"Any doctrine proposed repeatedly by the Ordinary Magisterium is rated as infallible. In fact, Pius XII added (Humani generis, Dec. 28, 1950. DS 3885):"Nor should one think that the things proposed in Encyclical Letters do not of themselves call for assent on the plea that in them the Popes do not exercise the supreme power of their Magisterium. For these things are taught by the Ordinary Magisterium, to which this also applies: He who "hears you hears me."... But if the Popes in their acts deliberately pass judgment on a matter controverted up to then, it is clear to all that according to the mind and will of the same Pontiffs, the question can no longer be considered open to free discussion among theologians." But: If a doctrine comes under the promise of Christ "He who hears you hears me" that doctrine cannot be in error."

In an effort not to diminish the importance of any of the 17 teachings, we will not quote even a few herein. To study the above mentioned teachings of each Pope visit Fr. Most's writing: "Ordinary Magisterium on Mary's Immediate Cooperation in the Objective Redemption".

After illustrating the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium, Fr. Most demonstrates that the doctrine of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate is Scriptural. Then, Fr. Most concludes his theological study with the following:

"Now that we have seen, from Scripture alone, that she did cooperate immediately in the objective redemption, and did it by way of obedience may we borrow just one line from the Magisterium. Pius IX, in defining the Immaculate Conception, said that even at the start of her life, her holiness - which in practice is interchangeable with love - was so great that "none greater under God can be thought of, and no one but God can comprehend it." Of course God could create a creature capable of grasping it. But He has not done that. So her love, which clashed with her obedience to the Father's will in willing His death - was suffering literally beyond the ability of anyone but God to comprehend.

 The Magisterium has taught this over and over, 17 times in all. We should not keep it under wraps, we should teach our people, so they may be grateful and join in the dispositions of her Immaculate Heart, and so come to a deeper appreciation of His Heart, in learning how the redemption operated."


The Beginning


Prepared with the grace of God
By Ben J. Verdina, (edited September, 2016)




For in depth discussions on papal infallibility refer to The Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Doctrinal Concordance . Also see Upon This Rock.


Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution of the Church Solemnly Promulgated By H.H. Pope Paul VI; November 21, 1964.


MARY Coredemptrix Mediatrix Advocate, Theological Foundations Towards a Papal Definition? © 1995 Mark I. Miravalle; NIHIL OBSTAT Father James Dunfee Censor Librorum; IMPRIMATUR: Most Reverend Gilbert Sheldon Bishop of Steubenville March 7, 1995

Dr. Mark Miravalle's web site: www.fifthmariandogma.com


Catechism of the Catholic Church


 Recommended Reading :

The Dogma and the Triumph, By Dr. Mark Miravalle; Queenship Publishing, P.O. Box 42028, Santa Barbara, CA 93140-2028; USA. Tel 800-647-9882 e-mail: qship@impulse.net


Our Mother Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate as contained in To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons and the Papal Magisterium by Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D.; published by the Marian Movement of Priests, USA.


Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici, c/o Queenship Publishing, P.O. Box 42028, Santa Barbara, CA 93140-2028; USA. Tel 800-647-9882 e-mail: qship@impulse.net


MARY Coredemptrix Mediatrix Advocate, Theological Foundations Towards a Papal Definition? © 1995 Mark I. Miravalle; NIHIL OBSTAT Father James Dunfee Censor Librorum; IMPRIMATUR: Most Reverend Gilbert Sheldon Bishop of Steubenville March 7, 1995


Theological Works of Father William G. Most


Ordinary Magisterium on Mary's Immediate Cooperation in the Objective Redemption,  By Father William G. Most.


Unscriptural Marian Doctrine?, By Rev. William G. Most.


Mary At The Dawn Of The New Millennium, by Cardinal Avery Dulles.


To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, By Fr. Stefano Gobbi; The Marian Movement of Priests, National Headquarters USA, P.O. Box 8, St. Francis Maine, USA 04774-0008; Tel: 207-398-3375; IMPRIMATUR: Most Reverend Donald W. Montrose, D.D. Bishop of Stockton February 2, 1998 web site: www.mmp-usa.net


Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution of the Church Solemnly Promulgated By H.H. Pope Paul VI; November 21, 1964.


Redemptoris Mater, Encyclical letter of the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, On the Blessed Virgin Mary In the Life of the Pilgrim Church; March 25, 1987


Upon This Rock



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"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word" (Lk 1:38)… thus was the knot of Eve's disobedience loosed by the obedience of Mary…As the human race fell into bondage to death by means of a virgin, so it is rescued by a virgin. Virginal disobedience was balanced in the opposite scale by virginal obedience. In the same way, the sin of the first created man receives amendment by the First-begotten, and the coming of the serpent is conquered by the harmlessness of the dove, unloosing those chains that had bound us to death."

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Father of the Church 


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