MERGED THREADS: Processions of statues/Idols & Iconoclasm

(Edited) I was just going to say anyway that the whole point was not to claim that the Catholics worship idols but that, in the words of the 2nd Council of Nicea:

“it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration, not, however, the veritable worship which, according to our faith, belongs to the Divine Being alone — for the honor accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented”

What I was trying to find out, in the midst of a lot of venom and sarcasm from other people (which eventually got down to critisising my spelling), was WHY Catholics “adore” and “honour” images as the Church says it is correct to do. And that definitely does happen. You only have to look at the Popes putting gold crowns on statues of the Virgin.

No Catholic I know worships an image as a god, but I personally feel very uncomfortable seeing people kneeling in front of a statue of stone (whatever the purpose) or seeing a procession of priests carrying a statue through the streets to wild applause. It just brings up so many images of the Old Testament pagans. And isn’t there something in Paul where he says don’t eat meat if it offends your brother? If the Catholics didn’t have so many practices which offended their Christian brothers maybe there would be less problems. And so nobody calls me a bigot again, you can replace that “Catholic” with any denomination.

That’s about all i wanted to post on my other thread.

I copied your “idols” passage–“it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration, not, however, the veritable worship which, according to our faith, belongs to the Divine Being alone — for the honor accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented”

I copied the quote above as it is evident that you did not really understand this passage. In the phrase “Veritable worship,” do you know the meaning of the word “veritable”? The word “veritable” means “being such truly or in fact, actual.” So this passage says that TRUE ACTUAL WORSHIP, according to our faith (CATHOLIC) belongs to the Divine Being ALONE. "The honor accorded the image passes over to that for which the image stands in, so that, in loving the image you are in fact, really loving the REALITY it represents, in other words, the IMAGE ITSELF IS NEVER ADORED NOR IS IT LOVED. The love which is expressed passes directly to the real person that the image represents.

If I took a picture of your mother and drew horns and a mustache on it would’t you be offended? It is generally taken by all people as an offensive act, an act of hostility. Why? Would anyone think that the picture is truly your mother? No, nobody thinks the picture is truly your actual mother, but we all know that the image stands in for your true and actual mother. Because the picture represents her, defacing it is commonly seen as a hostile act.

When people burn a figure in effigy, why should anyone take offense or even be upset? Are they truly burning that individual in the flesh? No, but we all understand what it represents and we understand the deep offense meant.

When a soldier takes a picture of a sweetheart into battle and looks at the picture with love in his eyes, do you think he mistakes the image for his sweetheart in the flesh? No, he does not. Yet, because he longs for her and cannot see her with his bodily eyes, he may gaze lovingly upon her image in the photograph. He is not confusing the picture with the flesh and blood woman, but all people are comfortable looking lovingly upom images of their loved ones.

Sculpture is also accorded the same representational status, that is, it represents the person who is sculpted. If I were to deface the Lincoln Memorial people would probably become very angry, but no-one would think I had hurt the former president.

The reason realistic looking art is termed “representational” art is because it actually does represent or stand in for the living being, or actual place in the case of landscape. The distinction is made that it is a representation, a portrayal, not the actual thing.

In the Catechism of the Catholic church this issue is specifically addressed as such:

"The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the homage rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and “whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.” The homage paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone.

“Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement towards the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.”

The above two paragraphs are directly quoted from the Catholic Catechism. The other thing I might mention is that Catholics worship God with their entire God-given bodies and senses. Much like Jesus who knelt in prayer, Catholics use bodily postures in worship. We also use art, the church has always looked with favor upon artistic expression and has supported the arts and artists.

I sincerely hope this has been helpful, I would certainly be uncomfortable with any faith that I supposed worshiped stone and you can plainly see from all of the above that this is simply not now, nor has it ever been, the case.

Peace and good will to you!

There is no practice in Catholic faith that offends other Christians. Other Christians who do not understand what we practice put themselves in that situation.

Would I stop honoring Virgin Mary as She is the Mother of God because you don’t think She is the Mother of God?

Would I stop following Traditions because you don’t?

I forgot to mention some thoughts about the “don’t eat meat if it offends your brother” passage.

First of all, that passage addresses a specific community regarding a very speicific problem or set of problems. Be that as it may, even if we were to use that to address the issue of statues and their use in Catholicism, I would observe that, until about 500 years ago, the whole Christian world used statues in much the same manner. This prohibition on the use of religious art only began in the 1500’s with the reformation. Tragically, huge amounts of breathtakingly beautiful art was literally destroyed, smashed to bits, ripped up, burned, torn, utterly destroyed by protestants, to our great collective loss. Iconoclasts, as they were called, are those opposed to the use of religious art in worship and who attacks and seeks to destroy their use.

So, one could say that the people who should be changing their attitude are those who veered away from the use of images in worship. So perhpas, in oreder to avoid offense, they should join with us.

Additionally, the use of this passage as a general edict is not helpful when applied to many situations. A good many people find the pro-life stance offensive; in the interest of unity, should I stop “offending” my brothers? Perhaps that is extreme. So, another example-- what about baptism by full immersion? I think it’s lovely but not mandated, what of those who do think it is mandated? Should they stop if someone finds it offensive? Should everyone baptise by full immersion if some people find to do otherwise offends? You can see the mess that an even-handed application of this passage would lead to. That is why it is usually used as written, about rather specific circumstances.

Which part of Catholics ***do not adore image***s do you not get?

Not at all in the sense that you are using the term. If the pope puts a crown on a statue that is veneration of the person represented and not worship of an idol, which, your disclaimer notwithstanding, your very title, and even this new post seem bent on alleging.

No Catholic I know worships an image as a god,

YAY! You DO understand something! Yet if this was your understanding why then do you make the case the way you do…using allegations of idols and idolatry?

but I personally feel very uncomfortable seeing people kneeling in front of a statue of stone (whatever the purpose) or seeing a procession of priests carrying a statue through the streets to wild applause. It just brings up so many images of the Old Testament pagans.

:yawn: I don’t see how you’d know that since none of us were around in the Old Testament and having read the Word of God all the way through many times I have never seen any description of pagan worship that in any way parallels Catholic devotional or liturgical practice.

And isn’t there something in Paul where he says don’t eat meat if it offends your brother? If the Catholics didn’t have so many practices which offended their Christian brothers maybe there would be less problems.

If you want to talk about St. Paul, I suggest that you and all those who follow the modern step children of the errant reformer’s teachings, (See Who REALLY Preaches “A Different Gospel”?) reconsider the errors that you have embraced and return to the teachings of the New Testament, the apostles, and the Christian Church for the last 2,000 years, and then you will not be offended and will in turn not offend your Catholic brothers and sisters. Something it seems many of you could care less about or we wouldn’t keep having to field these allegations that have been answered consistently ever since their errors came into being about 500 years ago.

That’s about all i wanted to post on my other thread.

I’m sure if you are really all that keen to answer specific posts you can simply copy the parts you wish to address and then paste them here in a quote box and get feedback. :shrug: It’s not like the other thread is gone away or something.

Example & Case in Point:

Originally Posted by Stephen_C forums.catholic.com/images/buttons_cak/viewpost.gif
*Nope I don’t think he has. I try to arrive at Church about 20 or so min before Mass. When I enter, I dip my right fingers in holy water (this is a reminder of our baptism) and make the sign of the cross. I then proceed to the pew. Before I enter the pew, I genuflex towards the tabernacle. (showing reverence to Jesus) After that, I enter my pew, kick down the kneeler, and spend the next 10 minutes or so praying. I then take my seat and watch others do the same. I don’t recall ever seeing anyone prostrating themselves before an image of Mary or a Saint before, during, or after Mass. Since I do not have a home Church, I have been to Mass at a lot of Churches here in the DFW erea.

Oh yes one more thing…I do Pray directly to Jesus. Also have few prayer partners in high places… Mary and all the other Saints. :crossrc:*

May I make a suggestion?

Read Kings I Chapter 6 (All of it)
Exodus Chapter 26
Ezekiel Chapter 41
If you want Theology about this you can go to www.orthodoxinfo.com
Type in search engine "Icon"
Then you will see, "The Icon Fact"
Click on that and it will explain images and Idols.

Godbless,
Stathios

s do you not get?

But, CM, don’t you think the quote above from the Catholic Church itself is conclusive?

it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration… the honor accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented”

They are talking about the IMAGES not whoever those images represent. I suppose my basic point is this. The Church promotes the Adoration and Honouring of IMAGES. How do you worship God? Probably includes adoration and honouring. I’m not going to say that Catholics worship images but it’s not far off.

If you can give me any verse from the New Testament that speaks of images in a positive light, I’m all ears. As for the teachings of the Church, Jesus said somewhere “Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Merry Christmas.

Strathios: Thanks, I’ll read them.

Why do Americans salute the flag or put their hands on their hearts when the flag is raised? And why does the United States insist that the flag be treated with such reverence?

*   The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
* The flag should be flown in fair weather, unless the flag is designed for inclement weather use.
* The flag should never be dipped to any person or thing. It is flown upside down only as a distress signal.
* The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
* The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use. Advertising signs should not be attached to the staff or halyard.
* The flag should not be used as part of a costume or athletic uniform, except that a flag patch may be used on the uniform of military personnel, fireman, policeman and members of patriotic organizations.
* The flag should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing of any kind placed on it, or attached to it.
* The flag should never be used for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.
* When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
* The flag should be cleaned and mended when necessary.
* When a flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol of our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner. 

usa-flag-site.org/etiquette.shtml

clarktaylor . . . your credibility is in question when you use phrases, such as, ‘Jesus said somewhere’. If you would like to do your due diligence and find the proper citation, your experience within this forum will be a more meaningful one.

Well, the New Testament is a fairly lengthy book and I can’t off the top of my head remember where it is said. Having looked on Google, it’s Matthew 15:9.

Again though, i’m amazed that nobody has replied to any of the points raised in my posts but rather my lack of putting the chapter and verse after a quote. And the post about the American flag doesn’t have anything to do with the teachings of the Catholic Church on images, which is what i am criticising.

Your point is extremelly weak and it seems that you don’t even know what you’re arguying here. There is no “not too far from worshiping of images”. You cannot worship an image by 26% or 68%. We either whorship images or we don’t. If we don’t worship images then you have no point in continueing this debate, is there? Now, if we do then we can continue this debate but I don’t thing it’s necessary since we have already shown you that this is not true. Choose but don’t go around saying that you know that we don’t practice iconolatry but that we are close to it.

Merry Chrismas!

Gadalf! You’re doing what everyone else here is doing and just screaming WE DON’T WORSHIP IDOLS! I’m not talking about worship, I’m asking, for the hundredth time:

Why do Catholics ADORE and HONOUR statues of stone? Or if you’re going to say that that’s ridiculous, at least tell me why, as I’ve shown from the 2nd Nicean Council, they promote it?

I just typed in “worship” to dictionary.com and 2 definitions are:

“reverent **honor **and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.”

the object of adoring reverence or regard.

Do you see what i mean about the closeness of what the Catholics teach and what is generally considered worship?

Also, here is a challenge for you. Show me where in the early Church images were forbitten and were not used. Go to every corner of the world because Christianity went even to India (with St. Thomas). So why do all the ancient apostolic Churches have no problem with iconography? It has been challenged only by certain minority groups from the 6 century (like about any Truth) and then during the “Reformation”.

OK…one more time…
I am Catholic.
Do I worship or adore stone/paint/canvas…NO!
Does the Catholic church teach us to worship or adore stone/paint/canvas…NO!
Please check your filters…they my be a tad bit faulty or biased. I see folks giving praise and praying to Jesus…you see idol worship…Again I do not know these folks heart…neither do you. But I do know what as a Catholic, I believe, and what she teaches. I cannot change how you view things (filters) But that is your issue not mine.

Okay…

Why do Catholics ADORE and HONOUR statues of stone?

The proper way to express it is to say that we venerate statues and icons. We honour the person who is depicted on the statue. For example by kissing feet of Jesus crucified on a cross we do not honour the statue or its maker. We express our love to Jesus and his sacrifice in a material way.

Here is an article on veneration of images.

I just typed in “worship” to dictionary.com and 2 definitions are:

“reverent **honor **and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.”

the object of adoring reverence or regard.

Well, this is true. It’s not only God that we worship. There are three types of worship in Catholic faith: latria, dulia and hyperdilia. Latria is worship that can be offered only to a divine person (basically God), dulia is however honour given to non-divine persons such as holy people, angles etc. Hyperdulia is a greater honour we give to the Virgin Mary.

In modern language worship is solely difined as latria and so many catholics end up using that language as well to avoid confusion (and because they got used to it).

Do you see what i mean about the closeness of what the Catholics teach and what is generally considered worship?

These are two different definitions so there is no cleseness. Just because in one language (that is English) the word is a homonym doesn’t mean that they are close to each other.

Think outside of the box…

Well there are pages online which contain the full text of the decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. I was quoting from 2nd Nicea, here’s the text:

beavervalleysoftware.com/historysources/historycontent.aspx?product=Church%20Councils&Topic=II%20Nicaea%20787&user=&email=

to quote (slightly different to my original translation) but that way you know i’m not using any “filters”:

"people are drawn to honour these images with the offering of incense and lights, as was piously established by ancient custom. Indeed, the honour paid to an image traverses it, reaching the model, and he who venerates the image, venerates the person represented in that image.

Honour and venerate Jesus, Mary and the Saints by all means… but an IMAGE?

Mr. Taylor,

What is the source for your quote? I suspect someone has translated it poorly. The technical (Latin) word for the highest honor and worship due to God alone is Latria. This is the root for the word “idolatry”. Subordinate forms of honor which can be rightly be given to saints, parents, persons in positions of civil or ecclesial authority, or even sacred objects or images, are correctly termed as Dulia.

What is the exact source for your quote? When you find it, go back and find the Latin original (or if the original is Greek, find the official Latin translation), then see if the word in this context is Latria or Dulia. If you can not find the Latin text, just post the exact name of your English source, and I am sure someone else here can point you to it in short order.

The official Latin text is conclusive, a translation, if poorly done, is not.

Hi Leopard, i give the link above, it’s a translation from the Greek of the 2nd Nicean Council. My Greek isn’t too good, nor Latin. I will maybe hunt down a latin copy later.

You say that latria is the highest form of honour and worship and dulia is a lower form. But even if that is the case, i have no objection to people practicing latria in regards to the Saints, for example, but to a statue of stone?? Which is what the quote above says. And i think that the word “image” in Latin is where we even get “statue” from in English so you can’t get out of that word :wink:

Thank you for the interesting post.

Oh but you do have filters. At the very least you view the History of the Catholic Church through a 21st Century non-Catholic Christian filter.

This is a better translation:

"We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people. For by so much more frequently as they are seen in artistic representation, by so much more readily are men lifted up to the memory of their prototypes, and to a longing after them; and to these should be given due salutation and honourable reverence (ἀσπασμὸν καὶ τιμητικὴν προσκύνησιν ), not indeed that true worship of faith (λατρείαν ) which pertains alone to the divine nature; but to these, as to the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross and to the Book of the Gospels and to the other holy objects, incense and lights may be offered according to ancient pious custom. For the honour which is paid to the image passes on to that which the image represents, and he who reveres the image reveres in it the subject represented. For thus the teaching of our holy Fathers, that is the tradition of the Catholic Church, which from one end of the earth to the other has received the Gospel, is strengthened. Thus we follow Paul, who spoke in Christ, and the whole divine Apostolic company and the holy Fathers, holding fast the traditions which we have received. So we sing prophetically the triumphal hymns of the Church, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem. Rejoice and be glad with all your heart. The Lord has taken away from you the oppression of your adversaries; you are redeemed from the hand of your enemies. The Lord is a King in the midst of you; you shall not see evil any more, and peace be unto you forever.”

Source

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