The changing of the prayer
Why is it that we no longer pray the prayer as it was given? In the last years, the faithful, priests, and bishops repeatedly have had difficulty with the expression who once was Mary, just as Bishop Huibers had in the past. Therefore, inquiries were repeatedly sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.
Out of pastoral concern that the phrase who once was Mary, from the prayer of the Lady of All Nations, could be misunderstood, in July of 2005, the Congregation requested the diocesan bishop of Amsterdam, the Most Reverend Jozef M. Punt to leave these words out.
In a letter dated August 8, 2005, the position of the bishop was made public by Raphaël Soffner, the Coordinator of the Advisory Commission. It says:
“Naturally, the Bishop contacted the Congregation and expressed his opinion on this matter. In the meantime, he has asked the authorities of the devotion to respect the pastoral concern of the Congregation by leaving out or praying silently the clause during public prayer until further notice. The Bishop realizes that for many people this may cause a tension between conviction and obedience, but he refers to the example offered by the visionary herself.
Once she experienced a similar type of dilemma and then heard the following words from ‘the Lady’: ‘obedience comes first’. Of course, obedience does not exclude ongoing and open dialogue on this issue, he states. Also the great and actual importance of this prayer, that asks the ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father’ to send ‘now’ the Holy Spirit over our wounded world, completely remains.
In all this, the Bishop also sees a positive side. With this discussion a deeper dialogue is launched. Behind this clause, given after the proclamation of the Dogma of Our Lady’s Assumption, lies a fundamental question: Who truly is Mary in God’s plan of Salvation? What is Her role in the coming of the Holy Spirit? Who is She to be for this time and this world? It was to this dialogue that Pope John Paul II in 2002 explicitly encouraged theologians.”
To clarify that the title Lady of All Nations refers to Our Lady, the words the Blessed Virgin Mary have been inserted. This version received the Imprimatur on January 6, 2009 from Bishop Jozef M. Punt. So, the end of the prayer is now:
It is only in this way that the prayer can continue to be spread throughout the world with the blessing of the Church and with the support of bishops and priests.
Thinking and acting with the Church is decisive for the spreading out of her image and her prayer. At one point, Our Lady herself even says: “And now the Lady of All Nations promises to grant true peace. But the nations, together with the Church––understand well––together with the Church, will have to pray my prayer…” (Mar. 20, 1953)