Pope Benedict and the Fifth Marian Dogma

February 11, 2013, will be remembered as the day on which Pope Benedict XVI announced that he would resign from the papacy. The day was also the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes and the 21st World Day of the Sick.

In his Latin-language letter naming Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, as his special envoy to the solemn celebration of the World Day of the Sick at the Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting (Germany), Pope Benedict entrusted the prelate’s mission “to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Immaculate, Mediatrix of all graces” [intercessioni Beatae Virginis Mariae Immaculatae, Mediatricis omnium gratiarum].

I have a theory.  Pope Benedict is all about conversion through a free process of conviction brought about by means of personal encounter with Christ. His reluctance to define the dogma has to do with what he considers the unnecessary use of papal authority to define something inherently controversial and hard for many to understand.  Nonetheless true, he wants to see people embrace this kind of teaching freely, rather than because of a canonical demand.

Those of us who have defended the dogma without any connection or motivation from the traditionalist side of the fence, have done so, not because we wanted papal coercion to be applied to the question, but because it is a matter of defending Our Lady’s honor and because we believe that when the Church as a whole embraces this truth there will be an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

The grace is prophetic and the Church must respond as to a prophecy.  I see the response of the Church from both the Chair of Peter, the pulpit and the pews as a true charismatic movement.  I think that when Institutional authority and the charismatic response align, that is the moment when the supreme act of both institutional authority and charismatic ministry of Peter will unleash the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, there needs to be a greater conversion to Our Lady before the scales will tilt in favor of the dogma.  I think the signs are favorable and that we are moving in that direction.  The Holy Father’s work has set the stage.  Let us pray.

H/T Fred

11 thoughts on “Pope Benedict and the Fifth Marian Dogma

  1. “Those of us who have defended the dogma without any connection or motivation from the traditionalist side of the fence…”

    Are there actually any significant number of people defending the fifth Marian dogma (with any fervor) from the traditionalist side of the fence? I have noticed that most “traditionalists” (at least of the American “right-wing” variety) are very suspicious of radical Marian devotion, as they are suspicious of Saint Maximilian Kolbe (who, of course, started feminist theology, along with Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Bernard…), and Blessed John Duns Scotus (who, of course, is wrong because he isn’t a Thomist… and wasn’t there a syllabus of errors that said something about that?). God bless Pope Benedict!

  2. It seems as though the movement to have the 5th Marian doctrine has gotten very quiet as of late. The movement for the 5th Marian doctrine during the 1990’s and early 2000’s among orthodox Catholics was everywhere. No one seems to really talk about it anymore. Why is that?

    I am no fan or supporter of the SSPX but to be fair I have read many great articles in favour of St. Maximilian Kolbe in their magazine entitled The Angelus. So the thesis that traditionalists don’t care about this issue is unfair, at least in regard to the SSPX.

  3. One other question. why does it need to be defined? Our Lady has long been invoked under the title Mediatrix of All Grace and Coredemtrix at Vatican II and for centuries before that. In other words, it is already Church teaching.

    • Andrew,

      You are right that it is already part of the ordinary magisterium. Sometimes dogmas are defined primarily to settle a controversy or to defend the deposit of faith. Sometimes it is done primarily for the honor of God, and in the case of Marian dogmas like the Immaculate Conception and Assumption for the glorification of the Blessed Virgin

  4. I don’t think this is a sign of his coming around on the Fifth Marian Dogma. He’s spoken against it as a theologian, and never showed any side of letting up on that. Calling the Blessed Mother Mediatrix of All Graces has very traditional roots, even a Mass in its honor in the forma extraordinaria.

    I think this is looking too far into it, Father.

  5. I have a hope that our next Holy Father may indeed promulgate the dogma. Not to denigrate our present Pope in any way though!

  6. Pingback: Pope Benedict and the Fifth Marian Dogma | psicaptain

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