Do Catholics worship Mary as a goddess?

When I was a Fundamental Baptist I was taught that the Catholic Church worships Mary as a goddess. And the Mass is “all about Mary”. I was taught that the Catholic Mary was in reality an ancient Babylonian goddess.
What is the best way of refuting this?
Thank you.

I could see how people could get this mistaken idea, but they’re wrong. Mary is the Egyptian Goddess Isis.

Say what Alex Trebec says:
“Ohhhh. I’m sorry, that’s not correct”.

You could simply show them a missal or something. If they see the words of the Mass, they will see that the lies they have been told are baseless.

No. Officially, she is venerated, not worshiped, and is not a goddess. In practice, especially in Latin America, I think the lines are a little blurred. I believe there is quite a bit of goddess worship in the poorer less educated populations.

Certainly not! And Mary actually very little presence in the mass at all. The accusation that the mass is all about Mary is 100% baseless, and anyone who’s attended a mass, no matter how anti-Catholic, could vouch for that. She does have a few feast days through the year (as do many other saints) but the mass itself is definitely not about her and I don’t see how it could reasonably argued as such. I mean, as much as I disagree with the idea that Catholics worship Mary, I can understand how some people can reach that conclusion because of their misunderstandings (though I don’t think it’s legitimate). In contrast, I can’t see how anybody could honestly declare that the mass is about Mary. Again, she is hardly mentioned in the mass, and then usually along with her spouse Joseph, and all the angels and saints included.

Sorry for the rant.

Regarding worshipping Mary, no, we do not. In English, the word worship has been applied to kings, judges, etc… It’s only in the lastcentury or so we’be started restricting the definition to apply to worship due to God along. Catholics have long used the term latria to apply to worship due to God alone, and dulia for the reverence and veneration of saints. Mary is said to be hyper-dulia, that is, due more veneration than other saints.

Catholics believe Mary is human. Catholics do not believe she is divine. Mary bows down to worship God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Catholics believe that Jesus, who is fully human in addition to being divine, has given great honor to his mother in Heaven. The ancient kingdom of Israel honored the mother of the King as THE Queen. She was not greater or equal in authority than the king, but she did hold a special office in the kingdom. Such is Mary’s role, under Jesus, the new Davidic king. She prays for us all to God.

To understand Mary, though, you also have to understand the saints. Catholics believe all souls who go to Heaven can hear the prayers of those on Earth, and that those in Heaven are also unceasingly praying, as depicted in the Book of Revelation. The saints are in heaven, cleansed of all sin and concupiscense, in the presence of God, and their prayers are more effective due to their more sanctified state.

A common objection is that Jesus is the mediator between God and us. I’m sure your Baptist minister asked others to pray for him and his family, or for others in the parish. So did Saint Paul. Why ask others to pray when you can just ask Jesus? Because prayer is effective, and the more praying the better. Catholics just ask the saints (including Mary) to pray, too.

This was very hastily written. Forgive my rush.


Seriously though, IGotQuestions, it is apparent to me that your fundamentalist Baptists had never been to a Catholic Sunday Mass. If they had they would have known that Mary is mentioned only once. The rest of the Mass consists of Bible readings (two readings, one psalm, and a Gospel reading), a homily, prayers, the instution of the Eucharist, closing prayer, and that about it. It’s all about Christ’s sacrifice for us, not about worshiping Mary or anyone else besides God the Father and the Holy Spirit.

The similarities between the Incarnation and Christ and ancient myths can be traced to the Protoevangelium, the promise of the Messiah made to Adam and Eve:

Gen.3[15] I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and her seed;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel."

This promise became engrained in many cultures and under many mythological forms. The retention of this promise shows that God had been preparing the world for the true Incarnation of Jesus when Mary conceived him in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I have never heard the accusation that “The Catholic Mary” is in reality a ancient Babylonian goddess. But if Fundamentalists are supposed to be “Sola Scriptura Bible only Christians” then the teaching that “The Catholic Mary” must have come about by some kind of “private revelation” since it is not in The Bible. That makes me wonder.

If we really worshiped Mary as a goddess, why would we not admit that we worship Mary as a goddess? I think the burden of proof is on them to prove that “The Catholic Mary” is a ancient Babylonian goddess. There is no “The Catholic Mary” Just Mary.

I heard a lot of vile things about what Catholics supposedly believe when I was a protestant. The thing is that we believe that those in heaven can hear us. Still through The Power of God alone. We ask Mary to help us and pray for us. We believe Mary is our mother because Jesus gave us to her as a mother.

John 19:26-28New International Version (NIV)

26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman,[a] here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

I myself think that some Catholics go too far in their Marian devotion (I know lots will disagree with that, but that is my opinion) like when I ask someone why they are Catholic and I get the answer “Oh, because I believe in The Virgin Mary” That to me is a bad reason to be Catholic. Mary is not Catholicism. Jesus is. God is. But it does not equate worship. And it does not mean that Mary is not still due some honor. People can look up to anyone more than they should that it takes attention away from God. The Catholic Church does not say “ignore Christ, look at Mary” it says " Worship God alone, give honor where honor is due to Mary"

There was a group that began to worship Mary in The Early Church. I forget their name. Guess what The Catholic Church did? Excommunicated them… Look it up. Perhaps someone else here knows this sects name? Perhaps those where the “Babylonian Goddess Mary” people that those fundamentalists are confusing Catholics for.

Have you even read the texts of the Catholic Mass?

Short answer: no.

We don’t worship Mary as a goddess.
You a e quite mistaken.

He’s not saying he believes it, but rather it was what was told to him.
I used to hear the same thing years ago. As a lapsed Catholic I tried to correct it, but never got very far. The goddess belief comes from an old work, The Two Babylons, long disputed and out of print.
Except for a few fundamentalist colleges.

emphasis mine

Best way to refute it is to ask the accuser to attend the Mass and see for themselves.

BTW - I always rather enjoy hearing Christians claim that Catholicism has roots in paganism and mythology. It’s really quite a slippery slope, as it necessitates the accuser of having to defend against their own assertion. Perhaps they can explain how Jesus is not simply a version of Horus, or Mithras, etc.

But this mistaken impression goes beyond the words of the Mass. Beyond the fact that professional anti-Catholics like to go off on charges like this, I have seen enough cultural practices, and been in enough churches where images / statues of Mary overpower and dominate the worship space, to understand how “blurry” the line can seem to those uninformed in true Catholic teaching and Marian understanding.


I did that.
Fundie: The Mass is all about Mary.
Me: You ever been to a Catholic Mass?
Fundie: Oh yes! It was all about Mary.
Me: Uh…no. You’ve obviously never been to a Catholic Mass.
Fundie: Oh yes I was! Just last week.
Me: And it was all about Mary?
Fundie: Yep.
Long silence…
Fundie: They also worship the Pope.

Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration…
But it wasn’t too far from Ben’s YouTube video.

Do Catholics worship Mary as a goddess?

You certainly have a straightforward way of posing questions. You don’t beat around the bush. I like that. Keep the questions coming!

No. The Mass is not all about Mary. It is about Jesus.
At the end of the service, the Hail Mary is usually recited (at least the RC church that I attend).

As I have been told by a Catholic priest, Mary is the highest discipleship there is (other than Jesus), since she never said no to God, and she is Jesus’ mother.

So there are Baptists who think Jesus’s mother was a Babylonian goddess? What kind of sense does that make?

Or do they not believe that Jesus had a mother at all?

It’s more that they believe we, at some.point, incorporated the worship of a Babylonian goddess into Christian practices, but used the name and idea of Jesus’ mother Mary to blend the practice more easily with the rest of Christianity.

This.belief is usually part of a complex of beliefs that pictures ancient Babylonian religion as a counterfeit form of worship devised by Satan to lead humans astray from the true God – a counterfeit religion that has continued to exist throughout history in various names and guises. Catholicism is the form in which that religion supposedly infiltrated.and largely replaced “true” or “pure” Christianity for hundreds of years until the Reformation.


The funny thing is, some of these people hate the very name of Mary because they think the way they do. I saw a lot of that attitude when I was a Pentecostal years ago. To mention Mary was anathema except at Christmas and then only a quick reading of the Gospel of Luke after which she was never spoken of again, except to bash Catholics and the Church. Any yet these same people would put nativity scenes with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Shepherds, and Wise Men on display in their yards or portrayed in living nativity scenes. Where was their silly “all statues are idols” and their “mystery religion of Babylon” is “Mary made into a goddess” beliefs then? :rolleyes:

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