Mary's Pope: John Paul II, Mary, and the Church since Vatican II

By Antoine Nachef | Go to book overview

Preface

ANTOINE NACHEF has dedicated much of his ongoing research to understanding the thought and theology of Pope John Paul II. In this second work on the Pope, Nachef turns to the Marian dimension as seen through the Pope's Marian encyclical, Redemptoris Mater and the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church). This excellent analysis and comparison of John Paul II with Vatican II shows how the Holy Father develops Marian doctrine in new ways while always building on the living tradition of the Church. The Holy Father is not merely an interpreter; new ground is being broken not only in thought, theology, and teaching but also in devotion. In a dynamic manner both the Pope and Nachef show the development of Marian research by careful use of the Scriptures, the Fathers, and the magisterial teaching of the Church, especially in Vatican II.

Mary's presence is never separated from that of her Son Jesus, the Christ, nor from the salvific plan of the Father and the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, both in the Church and through the mediation of the Virgin Mary. The chief characteristic of the Pope's Marian thought is the divine maternity. Mary is also the first disciple of the Lord, but it is especially her motherhood that connects all of the mysteries of Christ in which she is involved.

Antoine Nachef traces the fundamental principle of Mary's divine maternity throughout John Paul II's extensive writings. Mary's holiness, her ecclesial role, her presence as a theological person within the community, her faith as the model pilgrim for us, and her mediation are carefully and meticulously seen in the citations and works that the author has consulted. It is characteristic of Nachef's zest and enthusiasm for presenting an integrated approach to Mary as seen in the principal Marian writings of John Paul II. Understanding that both creation theology and redemption theology are part of this integration and that Mary

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