John Paul II Calls for More Profound Study of Mary

150th Anniversary of Immaculate Conception Proclamation Approaches

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29, 2002 ( John Paul II called for more profound theological studies and further research on the Virgin Mary.

The Pope made his request when he met today with participants in the seventh public session of the pontifical academies.

The objective of these academies, whose work is coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Culture, is profound study of fundamental issues of human learning — theological, philosophical and scientific — in order to advise the Pope.

The latest session was dedicated to the work of the International
Marian Pontifical Academy and the Pontifical Academy of the Immaculata on the topic «Mary, ‘Luminous Dawn and Sure Guide’ of the New Evangelization.»

The Holy Father said he was particularly interested in the subject, because «it takes up the expressions with which I conclude the apostolic letter ‘Novo Millennio Ineunte,’ entrusting to Mary, Mother of God and of all believers, the future of the new millennium and the way of the Church.»

In order to learn to contemplate and to love the face of Christ, «we must go to Mary, who fully accepting the plan of God, formed her Son in a singular way, supporting his growth,» he stressed.

Because of this, the Pontiff encouraged «interdisciplinary research that develops Mariological reflection, seeking new sources, in addition to the traditional, to obtain other suggestions for theological research.»

Recalling that 2004 will mark the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, the Pope said that the two Marian pontifical academies are called to offer their contribution so that it will be «an occasion of renewed theological, cultural and spiritual effort to communicate to the men and women of our time the most authentic meaning and message of this truth of faith.»

In order to encourage theological research on Mary, the Pope decided to award the pontifical academies’ traditional prize this year to Rosa Cali, alumna of the Marianum School of Theology of Rome, for her doctoral thesis entitled «Anti-Mariological Texts in the Exegesis of the Fathers from Nicaea to Chalcedon.»

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