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Why do people think Catholics worship Mary?

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So in our homeschool co-op today, we were talking about Brazil and how 75% of the inhabitants are Catholic. The class was 1-3 graders, and one of the kids said that Catholics were bad. I said that wasn't true and asked why she thought that. Another kid piped in with "because they worship Mary".

That is not the first time I have heard that claim, and I am curious to know why that assumption is made. So, why?

by on Mar. 22, 2013 at 4:38 PM
Replies (371-380):
amberlyp
by Gold Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 11:03 PM
That makes perfect sense actually!! Thank you :)

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

To us the definition of "pray to" is "ask"  So if we pray to Mary, we are asking her to pray for us, just like you'd ask another friend to pray for you or pray for someone who asks you to pray for them.  I hope this is understandable :)

Quoting amberlyp:

I did my research a few years ago when I dated a guy who wanted me to convert and in my research it said that they did pray to Mary. What is the correct belief if that's not it?


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prinzesa_edith
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 3:55 PM

not someone who is dead. the bible says that the dead know of nothing. they await the arrival of Jesus.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Do you ever ask anyone to pray for you or do you ever pray for anyone?  James 5:16 says we should pray for one another.

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

but you dont need mary to carry your prayer to God, the Holy Spirit should do that for you.



luvmygrndhg
by Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Are you Jehovah Witness?  Christians believe that those who have died have achieved Eternal Life and are in Heaven with Jesus, very much alive and can hear us :)  

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

not someone who is dead. the bible says that the dead know of nothing. they await the arrival of Jesus.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Do you ever ask anyone to pray for you or do you ever pray for anyone?  James 5:16 says we should pray for one another.

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

but you dont need mary to carry your prayer to God, the Holy Spirit should do that for you.




luvmygrndhg
by Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Once again, as you did not read my reply carefully.  The Catholic Church does not teach us to bow to statues of Mary.  If individuals do that, they are misguided in their devotion.  As to the size, then I would supposed you don't get anything but wallet sized photos?...no enlargements then?

Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

I have plenty of pictures of loved ones. Now do i make a huge statue of them,bow down in front of the statue (which is plainly against the bibles laws), and pray to them? Absolutely not. The is a huge difference between owning a photograph as a memory keep sake, and making a huge statue of someone and praying to it.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

That is not what the Church teaches.  People bow out of reverence to honor the mother of our Savior.  Do you keep pictures of loved ones?  In the history of western civilization, statues were the equivalent of pictures :)  Asking her to pray for us is the same as asking anyone else to pray for us. 

Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

I always thought that because i have seen people literally bowing down and praying to her statue.



prinzesa_edith
by Bronze Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

no i am not, and i dont belive that because it doesnt say that in the bible. if that were true what would be the point of the second coming.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Are you Jehovah Witness?  Christians believe that those who have died have achieved Eternal Life and are in Heaven with Jesus, very much alive and can hear us :)  

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

not someone who is dead. the bible says that the dead know of nothing. they await the arrival of Jesus.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Do you ever ask anyone to pray for you or do you ever pray for anyone?  James 5:16 says we should pray for one another.

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

but you dont need mary to carry your prayer to God, the Holy Spirit should do that for you.





luvmygrndhg
by Member on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:11 PM

You are misinformed, my dear. Don't you remember that Jesus promised the criminal who was crucified at His side "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43

This is a very clear explanation about what the bible teaches about what happens to the soul after death.  The only thing I don't agree with is the Rapture (that is a modern interpretation of 1 bible passage and has not true basis as none of the Apostles said anything about that to the Early Church Fathers)

http://bible.org/question/8216soul-sleep%E2%80%99-biblical-when-we-die-do-we-go-heaven-immediately-or-second-coming 

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

no i am not, and i dont belive that because it doesnt say that in the bible. if that were true what would be the point of the second coming.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Are you Jehovah Witness?  Christians believe that those who have died have achieved Eternal Life and are in Heaven with Jesus, very much alive and can hear us :)  

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

not someone who is dead. the bible says that the dead know of nothing. they await the arrival of Jesus.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Do you ever ask anyone to pray for you or do you ever pray for anyone?  James 5:16 says we should pray for one another.

Quoting prinzesa_edith:

but you dont need mary to carry your prayer to God, the Holy Spirit should do that for you.






LizzieAnnesMom
by ☆Mrs.Winchester☆ on Apr. 5, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Again, vast difference between having a photograph and praying to an idol. Praying to an idol is clearly against bible principles. I have three larger photographs. Do i pray to them? No i dont. Do i ask the dead person in the photograph to pray for me? Absolutely not. So since you did not read MY reply carefully, i will say it again. Owning a photograph is vastly different than building a statue and praying to it. I know a lot of catholics who have shrines of her.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

Once again, as you did not read my reply carefully.  The Catholic Church does not teach us to bow to statues of Mary.  If individuals do that, they are misguided in their devotion.  As to the size, then I would supposed you don't get anything but wallet sized photos?...no enlargements then?

Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

I have plenty of pictures of loved ones. Now do i make a huge statue of them,bow down in front of the statue (which is plainly against the bibles laws), and pray to them? Absolutely not. The is a huge difference between owning a photograph as a memory keep sake, and making a huge statue of someone and praying to it.



Quoting luvmygrndhg:

That is not what the Church teaches.  People bow out of reverence to honor the mother of our Savior.  Do you keep pictures of loved ones?  In the history of western civilization, statues were the equivalent of pictures :)  Asking her to pray for us is the same as asking anyone else to pray for us. 

Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

I always thought that because i have seen people literally bowing down and praying to her statue.



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Anonymous
by Anonymous on Apr. 5, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Mary is dead and can't hear us. The only person who can hear everyone on earth is Christ. To say Mary can hear us is to say she is like Christ which she is not.
beesbad
by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM


Quoting Anonymous:

I believe those in heaven are alive, just like I am alive... But if you talk to me from your house I won't hear you bc I'm all the way in georgia, im not God and i dont have God like attributes to be able to hear you. How do you think Mary can hear you?! She's only a human, not an angel, not a diety. That's what I'm asking..... If shes supposed to hear your prayers and intercede on your behalf, how does she hear you?! And what about when more than one catholic is praying to her at a time?! How can she hear both prayers without being all knowing and all present?

I can call my friend or talk face to face with them and ask them to pray for me, that's different than talking to someone in heaven who cant hear you bc they're not all knowing and all present...

Mary is a blessed woman, she carried and gave birth to Jesus Christ. I consider her a lucky blessed woman, but that's all I think of her as... I don't think she has extra special connections to Christ. I believe that I can talk to Him just as easily as she could, and that my prayers are heard the same as her prayers would be.

I'm an italian, my whole family is catholic, lol. Everyone of my immediate relatives were brought up catholic. I am not though, I don't believe in the catholic religion one bit. But I'm not foreign to what they believe. I'm very well aware of what Catholicism teaches.

I'm honestly just curious how you think she or any other saints can hear your prayers, I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just curious...


Quoting beesbad:


Sorry I didn't respond sooner but we have been away on our Easter holiday and only got back this past weekend (not quite sure why the other Anonymous thought I wouldn't respond - odd).

We know the saints, who are alive in Christ, can hear us and respond to us, in Rev. 5:8 they offer our prayers to God. I don't think we are limited in heaven to needing ears to hear, I also believe heaven is outside of the time and space restrictions we experience on Earth, I just don't think heaven is like physically being in another room with all the limitations of being earth-bound. I also don't think that just because a soul doesn't have the same restrictions in heaven that it makes them equal to God, they don't have to be all-knowing and all-present to be able to hear prayers.

The bible constantly talks about the unity of believers and how we are one Church and the bible exhorts us to pray for one another, why would God separate the believers in heaven from the rest of us? Why would God not want those in heaven to follow Christ's teachings to help and pray for others?

We also know, based on the writings of the Early Church Fathers, that it was commonly known and accepted that those in heaven could hear us and pray for us, it was only after the Protestants broke away from the church that asking Mary and the saints to pray for us became something to be despised.

Examples:

Clement of Alexandria

"In this way is he [the true Christian] always pure for prayer. He also prays in the society of angels, as being already of angelic rank, and he is never out of their holy keeping; and though he pray alone, he has the choir of the saints standing with him [in prayer]" (Miscellanies 7:12 [A.D. 208]). 

Origen

"But not the high priest [Christ] alone prays for those who pray sincerely, but also the angels . . . as also the souls of the saints who have already fallen asleep" (Prayer 11 [A.D. 233]). 

Cyprian of Carthage

"Let us remember one another in concord and unanimity. Let us on both sides [of death] always pray for one another. Let us relieve burdens and afflictions by mutual love, that if one of us, by the swiftness of divine condescension, shall go hence first, our love may continue in the presence of the Lord, and our prayers for our brethren and sisters not cease in the presence of the Father’s mercy" (Letters 56[60]:5 [A.D. 253]). 

I also think Mary does have extra-special connections to Jesus, she is his mother. One of the last things he did before dying on the cross was to make sure Mary was cared for. Also remember, Mary was the person who was the catalyst for Jesus' first miracle - clearly he listens to his mother.

Knowing these things may help you understand better what Catholics believe:

  • Pray does not equal Worship
  • There is only one mediator: Christ
  • Catholics pray to Jesus/God, praying to saints does not mean that Catholics don't or can't pray to Jesus/God.

If you are interested in finding out what Catholics believe please look at these links, they will satisfy your curiosity and do a much better job than I can:

Catholic Bridge

Catholic Answers


In Vino Veritas

beesbad
by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 2:29 PM


Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

I have plenty of pictures of loved ones. Now do i make a huge statue of them,bow down in front of the statue (which is plainly against the bibles laws), and pray to them? Absolutely not. The is a huge difference between owning a photograph as a memory keep sake, and making a huge statue of someone and praying to it.

Quoting luvmygrndhg:

That is not what the Church teaches.  People bow out of reverence to honor the mother of our Savior.  Do you keep pictures of loved ones?  In the history of western civilization, statues were the equivalent of pictures :)  Asking her to pray for us is the same as asking anyone else to pray for us. 

Quoting LizzieAnnesMom:

I always thought that because i have seen people literally bowing down and praying to her statue.


Many Protestants/Evangelicals kneel while reading a bible or at their bedside, are they turning their bible or bed into an idol? Or is it just a device to help them focus their prayers?

Statues and stained glass windows performed a specific function, most people were illiterate and the statues and windows were used as teaching tools. Statues are only idols if the statue is worshipped as a god, the statues in the Catholic religion are vehicles we use to worship and honor God the same way these statues in the bible were used:

  • "Make [a statue of] a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live" (Num 21: 4-9)
  • "In the sanctuary were two cherubim, each ten cubits high, [15 feet high!] made of olive wood..." (1 Kgs 6:23-28, 7:23-26)
  • "Make two cherubim of beaten gold at the two ends of mercy seat, fastening them so that one cherub springs direct from each end" (Ex 25:18)
  • "The Dwelling itself you shall make out of sheets woven of fine linen twined and of violet, purple and scarlet yarn with cherubim embroidered on them" (Ex 26:1)
  • In Vino Veritas

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