(To clarify, I'm counting ever-virgin and mother of God as perfectly protestant views of Mary.)

Since, the Reformation Marian views in the two sides have sharply divided. While many Protestants reject as non-Scriptural long-held traditions and titles of Mary, the Romans are debating on whether to add Co-Redemptrix to the titles.

From, my Protestant point of view it looks like the range of Marian views in the Roman church range from "rather much" to "clear blasphemy". However, I'm wondering if the range might a be a little wider. Are there any Roman Bishops who publicly reject (or strongly downplay) teaching like holding Mary as a special Mediatrix, Marian visions and Immaculate Heart devotions?

  • All Bishops made an oath of obedience to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church, to have fidelity to the Magisterium esp. the Pope. Having a Protestant view runs contrary to their oath, it is a direct betrayal of Church Dogma's, and this is a serious sin. Apr 16, 2022 at 22:40
  • Some might reject the non-dogmas, but the dogmas are serious enough from a Protestant perspective.
    – curiousdannii
    Apr 16, 2022 at 22:41
  • For "non-definitive" teachings like Co-Redemptrix, the Bishop have freedom to express a contrary opinion, but for definitive teachings on Mary as Mediatrix in Lumen Gentium Chapter 8, and Immaculate heart devotions and approved Marian apparitions esp. the four Marian Dogma's, the Bishop is risking automatic excommunication if he publicly express a contrary opinion on Catholic teachings about Mary. Apr 16, 2022 at 22:45
  • That's sort of why I said "or strongly downplay"? Plus, the ultra-Marian sometime have to get instructed "no, you cannot use that title" or similar by a Church body, are there any Bishops who had to be publicly rebuked for not going pro-Mary enough? Apr 17, 2022 at 6:18
  • The problem here is that there’s a bit of a difference between “Jesus’ mom” and Mother of God… The latter (admittedly used in your question detail sans caps) is a title used when praying to Mary (as a saintly intercessor, acknowledging the distinction between this type of prayer and that directed at God). So as long as your meaning is more on the “mom” side, that would make sense to a Protestant..
    – user56152
    Apr 17, 2022 at 16:37

1 Answer 1


Are there any Roman Catholic Bishops with a more Protestant View of Mary?

I would venture to say that Pope Francis himself is more in line with attitude than his predecessors and traditional minded bishops.

First thing to remember is that Catholics are not bound to believe in private revelation and these include all Marian Apparitions, even if approved by the Church and declared as “worthy of belief” either by the local bishop or the Vatican.

Such apparitions include Fatima, Lourdes and La Salette (amongst others). Almost all the bishops believe in these particular apparitions. I personally know of no dissenters, but a few may exist.

Apparitions such as such as at Medjugorje, remain very controversial and many of the faithful, including bishops do accept this a real apparition of Mary. I myself, a traditional Catholic do not accept this as a valid apparition, but that is on me.

Now back to Pope Francis. The present Holy Father has made it quite clear that he does not favour the the use of the title of co-redemptrix in reference to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Although not an defined dogma, it is quite popular in traditional Catholic circles.

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.

Pope calls idea of declaring Mary co-redemptrix “foolishness“

Pope Francis’ predecessors favoured defining Mary in terms of Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, but never did. These titles obviously will have to be defined together, if they ever make it that far because the definitions could become very confusing for the faithful and clergy alike. There is so much room for overlap in these terms, that they may never be defined. Thus Pope Francis dropped the issue completely.

Cardinals Hoping for a 5th Marian Dogma

Zenit reports on a letter sent by five cardinals, inviting prelates worldwide to join in petitioning Pope Benedict XVI to declare a fifth Marian dogma, proclaiming Mary as Mother of humanity, Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate for the human race.

Cardinals' Letter Promoting Marian Dogma - Five Cardinal Co-sponsors

This is an English translation of the letter written by the five cardinal co-sponsors of the Fatima Symposium on Marian Co-redemption and sent to the world's bishops and cardinals asking them to sign a petition that asks Benedict XVI to proclaim Mary as the Spiritual Mother of Humanity. The letter was sent 1 January 2008.

Mary Cooperates in God's Saving Plan - Pope John Paul II

At the General Audience of 12 January 2000, the Holy Father reflected on Mary's place in our journey to the Father, who "desired Mary's presence in salvation history". The Virgin Mother has a mediating role, but one subordinate to the Saviour's. Her cooperation is founded on Christ's mediation and her sharing in his work takes nothing from him as the unique Mediator.

A New Marian Dogma?

An editorial of L'Osservatore Romano, following upon the declaration of the Pontifical Marian Academy of August 1996, against the definition of new Marian dogmas, that is, Mediatrix, Coredemptrix and Advocate.

5th Dogma a Marian Antidote - Zenit

An antidote to the challenges facing the Church and society today is the glorification of Mary through the proclamation of a fifth Marian dogma, says Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church. In this interview with ZENIT, Cardinal Vithayathil comments on the effect the proclamation of the dogma could have on interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, and the possible fruits he foresees could result.

Mary: Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate

All popes in well over 100 years have been in favour of theses terms, but have never proclaimed them as dogma.

Pope Francis has made it clear where he stands on this issue.

The Marian Movement of Priests is still highly in favour or these definitions and show this with their in-depth article: Our Mother Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate as contained in To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons and the Papal Magisterium

Pope Francis is firm on this issue. He clear has dropped it in the dust bin.

Pope Francis said on Wednesday the Virgin Mary is not a co-redemptrix with Christ, a title which some theological movements in recent decades have tried to assign to the Mother of God.

Jesus, Francis said speaking off-the-cuff, entrusted the entire Church and all the faithful to Mary, but “as a mother. Not as a goddess. Not as a co-redemptrix. As a mother.”

“It’s true that Christian piety always gives beautiful titles to her, like a son to the mother … how many beautiful things does a son say to the mother? But pay attention: the [beautiful] things that the Church, the saints, say to Mary, take nothing away from Christ’s uniqueness as a redeemer,” the pope added, always looking away from his prepared remarks.

“He [Christ] is the only redeemer. They [Marian titles] are expressions of love like a son to the mother, sometimes exaggerated, but we know love always makes us do exaggerated things. Lovesickness,” Francis said.

The title of Mary as “co-redemptrix” dates to the Middle Ages, and the idea of declaring it as a church dogma was discussed, though not adopted, at the Second Vatican Council. In the 1990s American Catholic theologian Mark Miravalle of the Franciscan University of Steubenville launched a petition asking the pope to make such a declaration, and today the “co-redemptrix” devotion tends to be strongest among more conservative Catholics. - Once again, Pope Francis says Mary is not the ‘co-redemptrix’

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    While hearing this from Pope Francis is very reassuring, it would be good to have some kind of a "census" among the college of bishops or the college of cardinals on where they stand on the proposal to make co-redemptrix a dogma. I'm sure this kind of census will nudge Protestants currently sitting on the fence (like me) toward converting to the Catholic church ! Apr 17, 2022 at 20:39

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