“You are truly blessed! The Lord is with you,” Gabriel the Archangel tells Mary, in a greeting traditionally called the Annunciation, which is remembered today, March 25, in many churches that follow a church calendar.
This week Pope Francis has reminded Catholics that Mary is honoured as the mother of Jesus but “not as co-redeemer”.
“Speaking at his general audience on March 24, the Pope said that while Christians had always given Mary beautiful titles, it was important to remember that Christ is the only redeemer,” the Catholic News Agency reported.
“He was addressing a theological debate about whether the Church should issue a dogmatic definition declaring Mary ‘Co-Redemptrix,’ in honour of her role in humanity’s salvation.”
In 2017, the “International Marian Association” – an international association of Catholics – had asked Pope Francis to officially recognise Mary as “Co-Redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer”.
Pope Francis has previously called that idea “foolishness”.
This is the second time this year Pope Francis has rejected suggestions to alter Catholic doctrine from orthodox and biblical standards. He rejected same sex blessings earlier this month.
However, Pope Francis did assert a traditional Catholic doctrine regarding Mary that other Christians do not accept. “Mary is always present at the bedside of her children when they depart this world,” Vatican News reported the Pope saying, re-presenting the doctrine of the Hail Mary prayer, and that she and other departed saints pray for us.
“If someone is alone and abandoned, she is there, near, as she was next to her Son when everyone else abandoned him.”