Idol Worship

by Vergilius Preath Raj
(Coimbatore, TN, India)

QUESTION: What are the Catholic views about Idol Worship? We have an idol at house of Lord Jesus Christ on the Holy Cross and also one of Mother Mary and we also have a procession in our church carrying the idol of Mother Mary on September 8, annually celebrating Mother's feast. Few people from other sects of Christianity say that idol worship is sin and that it is written in the Bible. I am confused about this. Please guide me.

ANSWER: "Idol worship" is when we give worship that is due to God alone to other people or objects. God alone deserves worship.

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew people were once guilty of idol worship when they adored/worshipped a statue of a golden calf.

This does not mean, however, that we Catholics cannot give due respect and veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints. We Catholics venerate and honor Mary - not worship her.

When a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the saints, are displayed in Church, or are carried in a procession, it is meant to remind Catholics to respect the Mother of God - in the same way that Jesus respected her.

We do NOT in any way worship Mary, or the statues that represent her. It is the same as when you carry the picture of your loved one (for example, your husband, wife, or children) in your wallet. Do you worship your husband, wife or children? Of course not. The picture only serves to REMIND you of your loved ones.

It is the same with statues of the Virgin Mary and the saints. These serve to simply REMIND us of Mary, and encourage us to venerate and honor her - not to worship her.

You only commit the sin of "idol worship" when you mistakenly consider Mary, or any of the saints, as a God or Goddess. It is clear from Catholic doctrine, however, that as Catholics, we do NOT worship Mary, but merely venerate and honor her.

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Jan 11, 2014
worshipping mother mary and the saints is 100% idol worship without any doubt NEW
by: Anonymous

JESUS is the true SAVIOUR of the world.In the bible,its mentioned clearly that we should not worship or bow down to any graven image of any likeness including 'mother mary' and the 'saints'.By
worshipping mother mary and the saints,catholics violate the commandment of God which mentions clearly that idol worship is sin.The children of Israel committed sin in the wilderness by bowing down to a statue of the golden calf.What is happening presently among christians is a crude reflection of the idol worship of the children of Israel.

Dec 12, 2013
The Blessed Virgin Mary NEW
by: Racelie

I was born and raised a catholic. I am currently attending the protestant church because I am married to a protestant. My husband and I attends both the catholic and protestant services when needed. Weddings and funerals. I fully respect the blessed Virgin Mary because she was chosen to be the mother of Christ mainly because she was immaculate and pure. I don't worship her but I honor her like I honor my parents. And remember, she raised Jesus Christ till he was nailed to the cross. The rosary is her request for peace throughout the world (evil) The world is in chaos because we that belongs to the world does not pray the rosary instead we only pray for our own intentions which to me is a very selfish disposition.

Apr 15, 2013
Marion Worship NEW
by: Denis

I don't know how you differentiate between the word worship or venerate. A lot of catholics have interchanged Mary with Jesus. I believe that the Catholic church is actually working towards recognising as Mary as God in that she was not subject to original sin and led a sinless life. I believe we can only pray thriugh Jesus and no other intermediary. As I read the Bible, death is a sleep and therefore intercessary prayers are of not value and there is no such thing as purgotory.

Mar 09, 2013
mary NEW
by: Anonymous

Mary has appeared in Lourdes and has called herself the Immaculate Conception to Bernadette, and also a miraculous picture of Mary still stands today in Guadalope, but can these visions be trusted?, Jesus called Mary women at the wedding of Cana and told her that his time had not come, yet he did the miricle of turning water to wine after Mary said to him they had ran out of wine, this tells me that Jesus consented to his mothers request this makes her a special women, also in the gospel of John Jesus says to John his disciple Behold your mother, I believe that because Jesus entrusted John to take care of his mother then the other followers would have called her and looked upon her as their mother also and would of loved her knowing she was Jesus's mother, therefore I believe that she is the mother of all who believe in Jesus.

Mar 06, 2013
bible NEW
by: Anonymous

I have seen catholics praying to the virgin Mary statue in the church and Jesus christ statue as well. They ask these statues for help and other things. I don't understand why they do this if in the bible it clearly saids that statues or idols have ears but cannot listen; have eyes but cannot see; have mouths but cannot speak.

Oct 09, 2012
Mary perfect or in need of salvation? NEW
by: Anonymous

I hear may Protestant preachers and teachers say that Mary was a sinner just like every one else. Is this true and if so could Mary have died in sin and went to hell?

Dec 14, 2010
Idol Worship...
by: Bruce

Images, statues, pictures, the Holy Crucifix are not models of "Idol Worship", but are simply reminders to inspire the faithful. The wonderful response and analogy from the editorial staff regarding carrying a picture in your wallet of your family and loved ones doesn't mean you worship them, only that it serves as a visual reminder of the ones you love. People are in essence visual...

May God bless you.

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