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Card. Leger: Devotion to Our Lady
is a 'Fruitless Affection,' a 'Futile Naïveté'

Vatican II was supposed to issue one document dedicated specially to Our Lady. Progressivist maneuverss, however, managed to avoid issuing this document, and transformed it into a chapter of the Constitution Lumen gentium.

When the draft of this Constitution was being discussed in the Conciliar Assembly of Bishops, Cardinal Paul Émile Leger, Archbishop of Montreal, spoke out with offensive words against devotion to Our Lady as it existed to that date. We highlight the nucleus of his intervention for the consideration of our readers.

At right top is pictured the frontispice of The Chronicle of Vatican II; at right, photocopies of the Portuguese text of the full intervention of Leger. At left below, we present our translation of the lines highlighted in yellow.

I feel a special difficulty regarding the title 'mediatrix.' Its exact interpretation is very difficult. Indeed, authors apply quite varied interpretations to this term. Furthermore, the idea seems to frontally oppose the notion of unicus Mediator [Christ is the sole Mediator].

Regarding devotion to Mary, my opinion is that this text, which was meant to renew Marian devotion, will not be strong enough to contain all the abuses the document wants to repress. For, even though it curbs the abuse of fruitless affection and futile naïveté, it says nothing expressly about the need to correctly order Marial devotion. It speaks as if this devotion per se would lead the faithful to the knowledge, love, and glorification of Christ.

The affirmations of the document are true. But, aren't they taking an excessively theoretical approach? Because it often happens - as was already noted by Cardinal Newman - that in fact the Marial devotion of the Christian people is not sufficiently oriented toward God or toward Christ.

(Paul Émile Leger, Intervention in the Conciliar Assembly, on September 16, 1964, apud Boaventura Kloppenburg, Concilio Vaticano II, Chronicle, Petropolis: Vozes, vol. 4, pp. 24-25) .
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Posted on February 18, 2006

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