Recently, Catholic Light drew our attention to a devotion originating from the Netherlands, the result of alleged apparitions in the early 1950s, where Mother Mary appeared to someone, and wished to be known hereafter as "Our Lady of All Nations." Not one to miss a devotional bandwagon, the prayer commissioned by the apparition is viewable on the EWTN website:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father, send now Your Spirit over the earth... May the Lady of All nations, who once was Mary, be our Advocate. Amen."It seems she no longer wants to be known as "Mary."
In addition, the apparition requested that the Church officially declare her "Coredemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate." This so-called "fifth Marian dogma" has been actively promoted by a professor from Franciscan University of Steubenville by the name of Mark Miravalle. There is also a website devoted to this cause entitled Vox Populi Mariae Mediatrici.
Of course, the role of Mary as co-operator in our Redemption is already understood as part of Catholic teaching. But that's not good enough for some people. They want this teaching to be raised to the level of an officially declared dogma. While there is much to support this, the recent findings of a pontifical commission, has determined such a declaration to be premature.
There are two problems with such a declaration that Dr Miravalle consistently ignores. One is our relationship with the Orthodox Church, which is closer to reunion now than at any time since the Great Schism a millennia ago. This use of papal authority, for a teaching already understood to be Truth, would cause an unnecessary breach with our brethren in the East. The other problem is evident in this and other alleged apparitions in recent years. Every other little old lady in tennis shoes that has an apple fall on her head starts hearing voices telling her that "Mary wants this" or "Jesus wants this," oblivious to the declaration of Pope Benedict XIV (not to be confused with the current Benedict XVI) in his mid-18th century Decree on Private Revelations, where he warns that teachings of the Church are not to be declared on the basis of private revelations.
Having worked for a Marian magazine some years ago, I can tell you from experience that things like this are guaranteed to bring the nuts out of the woodwork. Some of them are harmless. Some of them are not. And some of the ones that are not... want your money.
This apparently hasn't been lost on the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CPDF), the Vatican dicastery once headed by the former Cardinal Ratzinger. "Your Excellency is requested to take into consideration the above mentioned advisory and inform the members of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines that the CPDF does not permit any Catholic community of Christ's Faithful to pray to the Mother of God under the title of 'Lady of All Nations' with the added expression 'who was once Mary'."
It is said that in the final days, the Evil One would appear as an angel of light, and would succeed in deceiving even the Elect.
Makes you wonder if it's really worth it... eh?