Marian Worship


Hey Everyone,

I need some help on something. I am having a disucsion with a fundamentalist and we have scheduled our last little talk for a few days from now. It hasn’t done much good (at least it hasn’t done any harm though). The last thing to talk about is Mary. He claims that we “Worship Mary” and that as an Ex-Catholic “He has experianced this”. Would anyone know of anything I could say or anything documents I could quote that would help at all? Thanks and God bless.


I found a site run by someone from New Zealand when looking for references to Psalm 132:8; he’s got a lengthy fictional dialogue that is very helpful in understanding the misconceptions about Mary and setting the record straight.


Ask him why anybody would worship a god-figure and then persistently and vehemently deny it!? That’s really a recipe for disaster. If the god-figure is truly worthy of being worshipped, then to deny that the god-figure is worthy of being worshipped is not only incredibly stupid, but gravely blasphemous. So what exactly would be the point of worshipping Mary and at the very same time, denying to one and all that we worship Mary? Tell me how that makes any sense at all.

Oh, and contrast this with the Catholic attitude towards Christ. Not only do we worship Him, but we tell the world that we worship Him. Why would we never, ever deny that we worship Christ, but always and everywhere deny that we worship Mary? Why would we have such a blatant double standard if we truly believed that Mary was deserving of worship? Again, it is preposterous when you think about it. What religion ever hides the object of its worship? I mean, what the heck would be the point?

And if he tries to tell you that we’re just trying to fool Protestants into thinking better of us, since when is someone’s good opinion worth a grave act of blasphemy? And if it is, why don’t we just deny all the actual Catholic teachings that Protestants don’t like? Why don’t we, for example, deny that we believe we truly eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ? Why is it that we only deny that we worship Mary, if indeed we do? After all, we have those words in our bibles too about gaining the whole world and losing our souls. And Protestant good opinion on one topic is hardly even the whole world. :rolleyes:

The entire charge falls apart under the slightest scrutiny.


The ultimate issue here actually has nothing to do with Mary…

It has to do with the saints in heaven… more specifically… Can they Hear us. If they Can hear us, whats wrong with asking the saints in heaven to pray for us. Doesn’t scripture say that the prayers of the Saints Hold great weight? What better person to have pray for you than someone that is already in heaven?

If he says they can’t hear us… ask him to prove it. No where does it say that they can’t. It does however suggest that they can. Aren’t Saints in heaven “Like the Angels”? If Angels when given permission by God can hear us, and Saints are like Angels, doesn’t that also mean that Saints in heaven can hear us?

Otherwise, he not only has to prove that the Saints can’t hear us, but the Angels as well…

Second, Aren’t they also members of the Body of Christ? Are we not suppose to ask our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ to pray for us?

If he says, “well, why can’t you just go to Jesus since he is our soul mediator?” Remind him that THAT statement is very anti-biblical and Counter to the teachings of Christ. Would he have a problem if you asked HIM to pray for you? if not, then why does he have a problem with you asking a saint in heaven to pray for you?

Mary is just one of the saints… she also jsut happens to be the one of the greatest saints… “All generations shall call me blessed”

In Christ


Ex-Catholic “He has experianced this”.

I had an “ex-catholic” who cited a long list of “catholic credencials” who said the Catholic Church was still awaiting Christ’s Resurrection as they believed and taught that Jesus was still dead and buried.

… of course after a lengthy exchange it turned out that no she had never been Catholic and that she had merely been to a Catholic wedding and saw the Crucifix at the front of the Church.

I don’t put much in this “I was Catholic for “X” amount of years” and I know!!!


You should not denigrate what he says he did. He should know.

Tell him you are sorry that he misunderstood the teachings of the Catholic Church and choose to break the commandments by worshipping Mary, but the worship(latria) of Mary, is not and never has been taught by the Catholic Church.

Unfortunately, the language shift of what “worship” means has become very narrow over the years. It used to be that Catholics COULD say we “worship” Mary because the language was broad enough to include Latria, hyperdulia and dulia, all very much more exact words in Latin, that all used to be included in the English word “worship”.

It may be that he was caught in the language shift. He was taught to worship(hyperdulia) Mary, but did not understand and thought he was supposed to worship(latria) Mary.

But the point is he is an adult now and needs to understand what the Catholic Church really teaches, not what he was mistakenly taught or misunderstood.

May God bless you and the Holy Spirit guide you in your words.



Agreed, we don’t worship Mary. And, agreed, it doesn’t hurt to ask Mary to pray for us. However, I have a hard time understanding the term “co-mediator” along with Christ that the Catechism uses to describle the role of Mary. Can someone please provide some additional insight on that one?


I can try. My understanding is that co-mediatrix is not meant to imply that Mary is mediator in the fashion that Jesus is our mediator to God the Father. It is more of a description of the fact that she as Mother of God played a special role in the bringing of those graces into the world by giving birth to Our Lord. In other words it is really just a fancy way of saying that she gave birth to Our Lord who is the Mediator between God and man.

Anyone feel free to correct me if I did not describe that properly or clearly.

It is however, confusing and they probably could have used better language to describe this affect. You know sometimes I think our spiritual ancestors were just trying to stir things up lol.


In addition to the above explanation, I would encourage you to read the catechism



"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH" **Paragraph 6. Mary - Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church

You will find the specific term Mediatrix down in # 969, but I think it is better understood if one reads the whole section rather than just that one.

God Bless,


What always amazes me about these jokers who claim we worship Mary is not so much that they call us liars when we point out the difference between honoring Mary and worshipping her, nor when we point out that both Archangel Gabriel and Elizabeth honored her just as we do, but what really torques me off is the fact that these jokers don’t have the slightest idea what worship is for anyone. Despite this they have the gall to claim that we worship Mary.



Take a copy of the Catechism with you to the meeting. Ask him to turn to the page where the Church instructs Catholics to worship Mary. Wait for him to search. He won’t even pick the book up off the table.

Then turn to the following section:


**“I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH” **Paragraph 6. Mary - Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church

971All generations will call me blessed”: "The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."515 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,’ to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . . . This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."516 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.517

The discussion should go well for you from there.


I’m currently reading about dulia and hyperdulia (correct my terms if you need to lol im in my infancy stages :))

I think that this is what I mistook for worship… but to be honest I’d also say to him that maybe some people have taken marian devotion too far in the past and perhaps this legacy has left its mark historically. It certainly left its mark for me to misinterpret and this misunderstanding is maybe partly the fault of the earlier church. I think that this admission and explanation of misunderstanding may go a long way.

Take care, S x


And even if they were Catholic that doesn’t mean they understood the teaching or were taught properly. I grew up Catholic and didn’t really know my faith until several years ago when I started studying on my own. Thank You Catholic Answers!:thumbsup:

If an ex-Catholic were to tell me they experienced “worshipping Mary” I would tell them that it just isn’t a teaching of the Church and they were in error.


or possibly he has actually witnessed what he states and he simply witnessed someone else who was in error and did not know their faith. I would accept his word as the truth as he sees it because it is obviously important to him and the experience has stayed with him for a long time.



Don’t think of co-mediator as in co-pilot. It means more along the lines of cooperate. Mary cooperated with God in her consent (her fiat) to bear the Messiah.


While I agree that his experience should not be discounted, I think it is important to distinguish if it was something he witnessed or did.

If he witnessed it, I respectfully submit that his perceptions of the events could be wrong and it is impossible to judge what is in a person’s heart and assume that he “experienced” Mary worship by what he saw.

If he “experienced” it because he was personally guilty of worshipping Mary, we should accept what he says as he is the one best able to judge what was in his own heart.

And I completely believe that the problem lies with what you yourself have found, the narrow definitions of Latria, hyperdulia, and dulia which all used to be included under the broad term of “worship”. Worship has now narrowed and usually only refers to Latria by most people, but this has not always been the case.

God Bless,


co-redemptrix - also a hard one!

mother of god… I related this to mother of god…father of god union…on a par with man and wife! (don’t laugh or send shocked smilies…hanging head without instruction :))

I felt, and still feel threatened by the veneration of mary… and it’s the foreign terminology that is hard…it’s very ambiguous and open to misinterpretation on both sides. ‘mother’ has connotations that theotokos or God-bearer doesn’t… and I’m still struggling with all things mary and have a real anger and resistance to it that I’m trying really hard at… I’m almost regretting using the word anger there but I suppose it shows the emotional position that I’m having to come from as a protestant. It’s a really hard thing to even approach let alone get your head round!!



This is very much a semantics discussion so we have to have a firm understanding of the definition of the prefix “co”. In this context co means “together”. Jesus and Mary mediate to the Father on our behalf. Because we know Mary to be in Heaven, we can be confident that her mediation is in perfect harmony with the will of her Son.

However, it doesn’t mean the mediation is equal. There is a pilot and a copilot. Both are able to fly the plane but the pilot is in charge and the copilot is the assistant. Because of the specialness of Mary among all humans (all generations shall call me blessed), we acknowledge her as a co-mediator. But each of us can be mediators (be in an intermediate position or intermediary) or intercessor (one who intercesses which means to mediate in prayer in behalf of another).

When another Christian prays for me and my intentions, this Christian becomes a mediator or intercessor. While I value greatly the intercession/mediation of a fellow Christian, I more greatly value the intercession of the Mother of Jesus, the one who ordered Christ to perform His first public miracle despite His own objections.

I once was asked “why not go direct to Christ?” I told this person it was humility that calls me to petition Mary. In my humility, I do not want to ask directly for something which may be contrary to God’s will or my true best interest. Although I know that God will only respond with what is good and in my true best interest, I feel more humble in asking for Mary’s intercession in the more mundane and less clear requests. Furthermore, it parallels my request for the personal intercession of my Christian friends here on earth.


Understandable. I think there’s a fair amount that we Catholics learn by osmosis and direct experience rather then explicit instruction :slight_smile:

We believe that she and the other saints are in no way in competition with Christ, rather, as glorified members of His body all are completely co-operating with Christ their head, to achieve his will both on earth and in heaven.

So they neither make any request nor perform any task nor receive any veneration outside of their status as members of his body, and in union with and in conjunction with his will.

Short of saying that they are deities themselves, which we don’t, there is no way we COULD honour them more than we honour Christ, is there? All other veneration merely reflects on Him who is the source of whatever power and glory Mary and the saints have.


Here’s Pope John Paul II’s take on Mary. He has much to say. The encyclical is entitled “Redemptoris Mater”

It is certainly worth reading.


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