From the website Catholic.Org comes this explanation of what is meant by the title Co-Redemptrix as applied to Mary, the Mother of Jesus:
In his helpful Introduction to Mary: The Heart of Marian Doctrine and Devotion, Deacon Mark I. Miravalle, S.T.D., Professor of Theology and Mariology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio, offers a valuable explanation of this term. "The title, "Co-redemptix," refers to Mary's unique participation with and under her Divine Son Jesus Christ, in the historic Redemption of humanity. The prefix, "Co," comes from the Latin "cum," which means "with." The title of Coredemptrix applied to the Mother of Jesus never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ, the divine Lord of all, in the saving process of humanity's Redemption. Rather, it denotes Mary's singular and unique sharing with her Son in the saving work of Redemption for the human family. The Mother of Jesus participates in the redemptive work of her Savior Son, who alone could reconcile humanity with the Father in his glorious divinity and humanity."
Deacon Miravalle states:
"Mary uniquely participated in the sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary and in the acquisition of the graces of Redemption for humanity
And Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical On the Mystical Body, confirmed that:
Mary offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father, together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and her motherly love, like a New Eve for all children of Adam.
The apostle Paul, deeply concerned that the Corinthians were being deceived away from undiluted devotion to Christ, wrote:
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough. - 2 Corinthians 11:1-4
"Sincere and pure devotion to Christ" here in the ESV is sometimes rendered "simplicity towards Christ" (ASV), "simplicity that is in the Christ" (YLT) or "sincere [and pure] commitment to Christ" (NABRE).
While some take the meaning to refer to an uncomplicated presentation of the Gospel message and some decry doctrinal teaching as muddying the "simple Gospel" the idea actually appears to refer not to some quality in Christ (although He exemplified simplicity as explained below towards the Father) or in the Gospel message itself but to us:
It is not simplicity in Christ, but towards Christ of which the Apostle is speaking; not a quality in Him, but a quality in us towards Him. - MacLaren's Expositions
This seems well in keeping with the apostles concern that anything (in the immediate context, the teachings of the Judiezers) be received as an admixture to what Christ has done in redemption.
MacLaren goes on further to describe the word picture intended in the Greek haplotēs (ἁπλότης):
To be ‘without a fold,’ which is the meaning of the Greek word and of its equivalent ‘simplicity,’ is, in one aspect, to be transparently honest and true, and in another to be out and out of a piece. There is no underside of the cloth, doubled up beneath the upper which shows, and running in the opposite direction; but all tends in one way. A man with no under-currents, no by-ends, who is down to the very roots what he looks, and all whose being is knit together and hurled in one direction, without reservation or back-drawing, that is the ‘simple’ man whom the Apostle means.
Catholicism currently holds 4 Marian dogmas (from Wikipedia):
- Mother of God - 1st magisterial definition, Council of Ephesus, 431 AD
- Perpetual Virginity - wikipedia has the 1st magisterial definition as (one of the?) Synod of Milan (345, 355, 389, 451, 860), but the University of Dayton lists the Fifth Ecumenical Council held at Constantinople in 553
- Immaculate Conception - 1st magisterial definition, Pope Pius IX, 1854
- Assumption in Heaven - 1st magisterial definition, Pope Pius XII, 1950
Of the four dogmas the latter two are relatively recent, at least in terms of their formal definition and acquisition of dogmatic status. An article in the National Catholic Register on Pope Francis' spontaneous remarks regarding the Marian title "co-redemptix" during a Dec. 12 2019 Vatican Mass explains the evolution of these latter two dogmatic statements as being the results of massive "people of God petition drives". This appears in the context of a current, worldwide, and century old "people of God petition drive" to introduce a fifth Marian Dogma, namely Mary's Spiritual Motherhood of All People:
The century-old international movement for a proposed fifth Marian dogma of Mary’s Spiritual Motherhood (which necessarily includes her foundational roles as Co-redemptrix and Mediatrix of all graces) was started by the renowned Belgian cardinal, Cardinal Désiré Mercier, in 1915, and by 1918, Pope Benedict XV has received hundreds of other cardinal and bishop petitions for the solemn papal definition or “dogma” of Mary’s relationship with humanity as a “mother to us in the order of grace” as delineated by the Second Vatican Council (Lumen Gentium, 61).But over the course of the last 100 years, it has especially been the holy People of God who, as an expression of the sensus fidelium, the common consensus of the faithful, have prayed and petitioned the various popes for this dogmatic crowning for Our Lady. Over the past 25 years, the People of God from over 170 countries have sent over 8 million petitions to the Holy See for this dogmatic crowning for Our Lady. This contemporary movement of the Christian faithful has constituted a massive worldwide “People of God petition drive” to recent pontiffs, which follows the Church precedent of the past petition drives from the laity that successfully led to the last two Marian dogmas of the Immaculate Conception (1854) and the Assumption (1950).
The following is from CRUX: Taking the Catholic Pulse:
ROME — Pope Francis appeared to flatly reject proposals in some theological circles to add “co-redemptrix” to the list of titles of the Virgin Mary, saying the mother of Jesus never took anything that belonged to her son, and calling the invention of new titles and dogmas “foolishness.”
“She never wanted for herself something that was of her son,” Francis said. “She never introduced herself as co-redemptrix. No. Disciple,” he said, meaning that Mary saw herself as a disciple of Jesus.
Mary, the pope insisted, “never stole for herself anything that was of her son,” instead “serving him. Because she is mother. She gives life.”
“When they come to us with the story of declaring her this or making that dogma, let’s not get lost in foolishness [in Spanish, tonteras],” he said.
How does the petitioning for a new Dogmatic definition, which necessarily includes the naming of Mary as "co-redemptix", to the highest levels of Roman Catholic authority, "grass-roots" style from the laity, exemplify and encourage simplicity and purity of commitment towards Christ (sole-mediator between God and man), especially when the current Pope appears to reject the notion, calling her a disciple?