Father, Son and

the Holy Mum

Mary's promotion to the blessed boardroom
would do the Catholic Church no harm

It is high time heaven's glass ceiling was shattered. I am speaking of the drive - supported by 6 million Catholics - to have the Pope declare the Virgin Mary co-redeemer with Christ.

Such a dogma would involve three new spiritual truths: that Mary is co-redemptrix and participates, with her son, in humanity's redemption; that she is a mediatrix of all graces; an that she is an advocate for believer-sand influences God's judgments.

In other words, Mary would receive what The New York Times has called "the ultimate promotion". Mark Miravalle, a professor of Mariology at the obscure Franciscan University in Ohio, has made the elevation of the Blessed Virgin his life's work. In 1993 he began his mission to have her pronounced co-redeemer. By June last year, his petition urging this had attracted 6 million signatures from 148 countries.

This is not simply idolatry by the poorly educated: the petition has been signed by 42 cardinals, more than 500 bishops and Mother Teresa.

But the Catholic establishment is concerned that promoting Mary would threaten the ecumenical dialogue it has been conducting with the Anglican Church. Many Protestants would see such a move as heretical, as giving Mary equal status with Christ.

That she was a lifelong virgin despite bearing a son speaks of an inherent mistrust of female sexuality

Miravalle stressed in an interview with The New York Times last year mat co-redeemer status would mean Mary would be working with Christ rather than his equal. But Protestants also protest that an infallible proclamation by the Pope would only reemphasise his dogmatic authority, an authority they flatly reject. So it seems that Mary - like most women involved in organised religion - will be kept in her place, at least for the time being.

Yet in terms of public following, she is Catholicism's answer to the contemporary cult of the megastar. Every year, millions of pilgrims flock to the sites of her apparitions, from Lourdes and Fatima to Medjugorje. Mary sightings are more common than Elvis sightings, despite the latter's marketing muscle. (There were about 400 reported Mary sightings during the 20th century.)

The rosary is arguably the most recited Catholic prayer. For centuries Mary has played a leading role in hymns, holy cards, sculpture, painting, poetry and classical music. During Christ's life she was there when it mattered - at his birth, death and first public miracle (the turning of water into wine).

All this demands that, sooner rather than later, she be given a career upgrade. In an aggressively secular age, the Catholic Church cannot afford to overlook her growing and ardent fan club. Moreover, her credentials prove that this is not a case of tokenistic affirmative action.

Giving Mary more power would send a signal that the Catholic Church is at last overcoming its hang-ups about women - from its banning of female priests to telling married women who are on the pill that they are sinners.

Admittedly, at first glance Mary was hardly a feminist role model; that she was a lifelong virgin despite bearing a son speaks of an inherent mistrust of female sexuality. Much of her life was about duty and pain - the essence of maternal self-denial.

Yet Newsweek has reported that although feminists 20 years ago dismissed Mary as an oppressive influence, some now celebrate her as a strong woman who freely said yes to God at the Annunciation and made salvation history possible. Thus, she is a counter- balance to the unfairly maligned Eve.

Some argue that if Christianity is to have a feminine symbol for God, it should be, created by women rather than an old man in a dress whose word is seen as gospel. But a sacred woman being imagined by women for women risks being instantly ghettoised, whereas Mary is perhaps the best- known woman in history.

I will no doubt be accused of confusing truths that are divinely revealed with earthbound notions of social justice. Yet two of the Marian dogmas were surprisingly recent and are still hotly disputed. The Assumption was declared in 1950 and held that Mary ascended to heaven body and soul after she died. The dogma of the Immaculate Conception, which holds that Mary was born free from original sin, was established in 1854.

Non-Catholics say there is no evidence in the scriptures to justify these dogmas. They also argue that the scriptures make clear that Jesus had siblings, meaning Mary was not a virgin all her life.

Given the fierce opposition to existing dogma, what's to lose in going one step further and admit- ting the Blessed Virgin into the holy boardroom?
The exclusive domination of Christianity by male deities - a sort of heavenly Melbourne Club - stands in marked contrast to the central role of female gods in ancient mythology and some Eastern faiths. The fact that the Holy Trinity comprises two males (God the father, God the son) and a sexless spirit suggests that Western theologians have long had a horror of equating godliness with femaleness.

This is short-sighted. The Catholic Church would win over more people than it would alienate by enhancing Mary's status. Who knows? If the cult of Mary continues to grow, the Holy Trinity may well evolve into the Holy Quartet.


Just the heading of Rosemary Neill's article is suffice to calculate the wisdom and knowledge of the content, that would have to be very little if at all. On a scale of one to ten I would personally give the woman a definite one and that one would be for her use of the English language.

The article itself is cheap, blasphemous and one of the greatest shows of jezebelism this preacher has ever encountered.

This woman would have to be a man hater and a God hater all in one, her bitterness and resentment toward God given authority is even more clear.

I suppose that the whole of her message is one that men and God will no doubt have to get use to as we draw near to the coming of the Christ upon the clouds. It will be but a down hill run from this day forth in all areas of life and all church structures that have not and will not to pick up their cross, deny themselves of sin and follow the Christ.

Let me bring to your attention that R.N.. made mention of Mother Teresa in her article and she numbered mother Teresa with the entire lot of rubbish she rambled on about. Many millions thought of Mother Teresa as a woman of God/Jesus the Christ but I can only say she was a .. humanist full stop.

Humanism will not save your soul from the eternal torment and fire of eternal hell ....... the second death .................... Revelation 21:8.

As Rosemary Neill said in her article .. the objective is to win people over*. .. and you ain't going to do that by adhering to the holy bible but if you would promote Mary as a co-redeemer and lie through your teeth all shall be sweet. Mind you, this is what the large majority of churches will finally do in the end anyway .. lie through their teeth .. to keep up appearances and to .. quote!. get the people in!.

Scripture references:

2 Timothy 4:3,4 ... Revelation chapter 17 .. 2 John 1:1-13 Revelation 22:18,19.. Revelation 2:18-29.