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A number of indications suggest John Paul II is preparing, before the year 2000, to promulgate a new dogma: the Virgin Mary as "Coredemptrix"

By Leonie Caldecott

At his general audience on the 29th of May, Pope John Paul II gave the 21st talk in his ongoing catechesis on the Blessed Virgin. His teaching focused on the scriptural texts upon which the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is based. "It was fitting," the Holy Father said, "that, like Christ, the new Adam, Mary too, the new Eve, did not know sin and was thus capable of cooperating in the Redemption." He went on as follows: ôSin, which washes over humanity like a torrent, halts before the Redeemer and his faithful Collaborator. With a substantial difference: Christ is all holy by virtue of the grace that in his humanity derives from the divine person; Mary is all holy by virtue of the grace received by the merits of the Saviour."

The following day, at the Domus Mariae on the Via Aurelia, an international gathering of laity and clergy, including 13 bishops and three cardinals (Gagnon, dos Santos and Stickler), began a two-day conference on Mary. According to its organizer, Dr. Mark Miravalle of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio(USA), the movement "Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici," many of whose leaders were present at this meeting, represents an ecclesial process similar to those which resulted in the promulgation of the previous two great Marian dogmas -- the Assumption (1950) and the Immaculate Conception (1854). For Vox Populi is petitioning the Holy See to promulgate the dogmatic definition of Mary as Coredemptrix, Mediatrix of all Graces, and Advocate of the People of God. It is doing so on behalf of the People of God them-selves: currently it has collected from all around the world more than 4 million signatures, including more than 300 bishops.

Four Participants at the recent Rome conference on Mary; all favor the promulgation of the new Marian dogma:(from left to right) the French Jesuit and Marian scholar Father Bertrand De Margerie; the German philosopher Dr. Joseph Seifert; the French Canadian Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, who resides in Rome and is one of Pope John Paul's closest advisers; and the American Professor who organized the conference and has met privately with Pope John Paul II to discuss the doctrine, Mark Miravalle

The credentials of the movement are impressive. There are 32 cardinals on its Advisory Board, including well-known names such as Arinze, Glemp, Oddi, Martinet Somalo, and Decourtray (recently deceased). Cardinals Lustiger of Paris and O'Connor of New York are both committed supporters, along with those who attended the Rome conference.

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