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Fr. M.J.Scheeben, 19th century Catholic German theologian

Fr. M.J.Scheeben

Fr. Scheeben was one of the most outstanding Catholic German theologians in the 19th century. Scheeben dealt with Mariology in his Handbuch der katholischen Dogmatik, Freiburg 1882, vol. 3, no 1786-1806, pp. 604-613. The text has been translated into English by T.L.M.J.Geukers, Mariology of Rev. M.J.Scheeben, London 1946.

Text quoted in French by Réné Laurentin (in Maria, Ecclesia, Sacerdotium, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris 1952, p. 407) and translated into English by John Wijngaards.

Mary is not a priest, but a deacon

“In the language of the Church, one can designate Mary as a public and sacred minister of Christ’s sacrifice or briefly (in analogy with the liturgical ministers we know at the Eucharist) as woman deacon supporting the sacrificial priesthood of Christ. This last appellation is by far the most perfect analogy one can employ because the deacon is both the representative of the people and the ordained assistant of the priest. In the first of these two qualities, the deacon presents the matter of the sacrifice to the priest. In the second quality, the deacon helps the priest in the oblation of the chalice and serves him after the completion of the sacrifice in the distribution of the sacrificial food, and that in such a way that his latter function is precisely based on the former. It is in this way that Mary gives true cooperation to the sacrifice of Christ: cooperation which belongs to the subjective integrity of the sacrificial act without encroaching in the least on the autonomy and hegemony of Christ’s sacrificial activity.” Handbuch, p. 609.

“Her diaconate with regard to the personal sacrifice of Christ implies a greater dignity and more intimate union with his sacrifice than that enjoyed by the [ordained] priesthood that followed, through which the sacrifice of Christ is continued.” Handbuch, p. 612.

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