Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Do Catholics Worship Mary?

by Steve Ray on May 7, 2013

In response to the show I did with Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio:

I thought it would be a good time to respond to an e-mail I received a while ago. It was a questions from a friend wrote to ask me for my take on Mary. He was corresponding with someone that said Catholics worship Mary and got this practice from pagans who had worshiped Artemis in Ephesus. He asked what I thought. Here is my response:

EinKeremMotherSm.jpgDear Friend: Catholics are often accused of “worshiping” Mary, the Saints, icons, statues and the like. Your friend mentions several example which he assumes, based on his Protestant tradition, his lack of familiarity with the ancient Christian traditions and customs, and his Protest-ant reading of the Bible, that these actions are inherently acts of worship and therefore idolatry.

“Bowing before a statue must certainly be worship,” says the Evangelical who has not only abandoned the idea of images (only of a certain kind, as we shall see later) and is very inconsistent in his own practice, but has never taken the time to understand Catholic and liturgical Christianity.

Have the vocal opponents of statues, icons and the like ever asked the little old lady in her babushka if she is actually worshiping the statue in front of which she kneels? Does this holy, and wrinkled woman in Poland believe she is worshiping the icon of the Black Madonna? Does the Mexican mother surrounded by her kneeling children consider her veneration of our Lady of Guadalupe the same as her worship of God? Of course not. It would only take a few such questions, should the wondering Protestant care to learn the truth–that these common folks would be shocked at such a thought of worshipping Mary in the place of God.

To read the whole letter, click here.

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It was a rich day, very full. It started with a wake-up call at 4:15 so we could leave at 4:45. Everyone thanked us later :-)

The streets of Jerusalem are like a huge flea market with all the crowds and hustle and bustle. Sometimes you can hardly move. It is much better to pray the Stations of the Cross along the Via Dolorosa when the streets are abandoned. We arrive at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while it is still empty (during the day it is wall-to-wall people).

We arrived to have Mass at the top of Calvary. When finished I checked the Franciscans and the group that was scheduled to have Mass in the Tomb of Christ never showed up so we got the slot and our whole group had Mass INSIDE the Tomb of Christ. Everyone touched the stone and prayed.

Our group picture was next on our way back to the Notre Dame for breakfast. After re-couping from the early morning start we visited St. Ann’s which is the birthplace of Mary and the location of the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus cured a crippled man.

Then to the Western Wall to pray and learn the history and biblical significance of this site, the most holy for Jews in the world.

The Holy Shroud Exhibit is not to be missed then free time in the afternoon, a personal meeting with the Bishop of Jerusalem, confession available and a free evening.

BE SURE TO READ ROBYN’S REPORT ON DAY 6 IN CATHOLIC DIGEST

Everyone loves the comments. Keep them coming!

Part I: Via Dolorosa, Mass at Calvary, Mass at the Tomb

Part II: All the other Great Events of the Day

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