WILLIAM H. MARSHNER
Front Royal, Virginia
What does the Immaculate Conception have to do with the mystery of the Church? How can it help us to evaluate some recent directions in ecclesiology?
These initial questions can be taken in two senses. (1) How does the definition of the Immaculate Conception illuminate the Church’s charism of truth? How does the papal deed of 1854 help us to evaluate certain recent theories of dogma, tradition and magisterium? (2) How does the grace itself of the Immaculate Conception clarify the “new being” to which all men are called in the Church of Christ? How does the Marian privilege serve as a criterion for an adequate ecclesiology?