A popular movement is growing within Catholicism that is pressing for a new papal doctrine that further elevates the role of the Virgin Mary in the church and it is beginning to find a measure of official acceptance, reports Ecumenical Trends newsletter (May).
The movement to introduce a new Catholic teaching that would designate Mary as “co-mediatrix” and “co-redemptrix” with Christ has been active for several years. But a petition that has drawn over seven million names and more than 800 cardinals and bishops have joined their voices to convince the pope to declare an “infallible definition of Mary’s special maternal role in the salvation of humanity.” In late March an international group of bishops and theologians gathered at the Vatican to discuss “whether now is the appropriate time for a fifth solemn definition or ‘dogma’ to be pronounced regarding the Virgin Mary,” according to a release on the Zenit news agency website, which has prominently featured this movement.
Theologian Adam A.J. DeVille writes that if this movement succeeds in its cause, it could effectively halt the progress that has been made in church unity talks with the Eastern Orthodox churches.
(Ecumenical Trends, P.O. Box 333, Garrison, NY 10524-0333)