In light of a recent forum in Rome concerning the so-called "Fifth Marian Dogma" (which hasn't yet been formally declared as such), Eric Sammons has an excellent post explaining the implications of what a formal, dogmatic declaration would entail as well as a couple reasons why one might want to oppose such an act. I am speaking, of course, of the understanding of Mary as Coredemptrix and Mediatrix of All Graces. Is it time for the pope to formally define this as dogma?
I first encountered speculation concerning this dogma not too long after I entered the Church in 1997. A sensationalistic article was published in Newsweek, I believe, and I spent much of the following year correcting and explaining the issue to my Evangelical friends who thought Catholics wanted to make Mary a fourth person of the Godhead. Being a new Catholic who was still making sense of all things Catholic, I remember feeling a bit angry and left out that the Church was moving too fast - but since when is that ever true? I came to realize that I wasn't angry at the Church but rather at the stupid article. Nevertheless, while I acknowledge Mary as coredemptrix, I'd have to place myself in the "not-right-now" camp insofar as a formal declaration of dogma is concerned. I suspect that this is where Pope Benedict XVI is as well. It is my opinion that such a move would have series ramifications on our relationship with the Eastern Orthodox, and this has been a significant theme of his pontificate. That said, I understand also why one might want the pope to act.