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By Jane Stannus, Crisis Magazine, January 8, 2020
Jane Stannus is a journalist and translator. Her writing has also appeared in the Catholic Herald of London and OnePeterFive.
It was Friday the 13th of December, and nothing unlucky had happened yet. Or so I thought, idly scrolling through the Catholic news—until my eyes landed on a startling headline from Crux.
“Pope calls idea of declaring Mary co-redemptrix ‘foolishness’ ” ran the title of the piece. On closer inspection, it turned out that in his Spanish-language homily for the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe (December 12), Pope Francis had said, “Faithful to her Master, who is her Son, the only Redeemer, she never wanted to take anything away from her Son. She never presented herself as co-redemptrix. No; but as a disciple.”
While a brilliant presentation of Church tradition on Our Lady’s association with Christ’s redemptive work (a tradition that dates from apostolic times) can be found in Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s Mother of the Savior, it was a different aspect of the Pope’s remarks that struck me.
The notion that Mary “never wanted to take anything away from her Son”—with its implication that if she were called by an elevated title (such as co-redemptrix) it would somehow take away from the glory of her Son—seemed strangely familiar. Then I remembered where I’d heard it: C. S. Lewis. ….