Hey everyone, I have a problem with a particular member of my family and I wondered if I could get some advice.
My cousin’s husband is a Lutheran from Austria, and he swears up and down that we worship the Virgin Mary. And whenever I try to tell him that we don’t he responds back that, “maybe the Church teaches that worship of Mary is wrong, but the fact is that you Catholics do it anyway. You’ve never been to Europe, Cody; and you’ve never lived in a predominately Catholic country.” I even asked a Polish priest at my parish about this before and he told me, "if you go to even the littlest Austrian village and ask a grandma if she worships Mary, she’ll tell you ‘no’, but that she does pray to Mary in that she asks for her intercession."
When I tried to explain what the priest said he blew up at me, and called me every obsenity you can think of. Adding that he lived in Austria 27 years and he knows what he saw. And that I offended him by questioning it.
Ironically, I just noticed an email from him today (although it was dated last month) where he thanked me for giving him some CDs that he used in his mythology class, and he invited me to stop by one of his clubs so long–and I quote–"promise not to talk about Mariolatry in Austria."
I’m going to see my family on Christmas, and there’s a good chance he will be there. I wish I had some advice to deal with this problem. Has anybody else on this board ever had to go through something similar?