There are some non Christians worshipping Mary as a goddess (e.g. Hindus), I even see some of them at the shrine in my parish. What would be the best way to approach such a situation? Is it ‘better’ that they’re worshipping her vs a pagan goddess? Would both be equally grave?
I wouldn’t see it as a problem personally.
If they’re behaving themselves and not causing upset, I would allow them to continue to pray there.
If they pray to her, maybe she will answer and give them some guidance.,
Might even be a first step to a convrsion?
Praying to her can never be a bad thing.
Mary is not a goddess and is not to be worshipped as if she were. However, about all you can do in this situation is attempt, if you can, to tell one or more of them what Catholics believe about Mary. Then pray for them.
Definitely let the parish priest know, not to complain but to say that you’re not sure if anything should be said to them, or if there’s some way to reach out to them.
Make friends with some of the Hindus and spend several years growing to love and admire them, and gaining their trust and showing them by your life, not your words, what it means to be a Christian.
After several years, with great humility, bring up the issue of worshiping Mary. Your motives at that time should be pure love for your Hindu friends and of course, love for the Blessed Mother.
I don’t know how I would feel about them using this shrine to worship Mary in view of the Tabernacle and the Blessed Sacrament. Perhaps if it’s somewhere else, but remember even if our Protestant brothers want to borrow our church, which does happen, Christ is removed from the Tabernacle. I’d tell the pastor and also inform him why you think it’s a concern. Then leave it be.
Spend years avoiding to talk about Mary?
I wouldn’t appreciate someone befriending me with those alterior motives.
I would appreciate someone speaking honest and open to me.
How can you tell the difference between their worship and some Catholic veneration?
A hindu friend mentioned it to me.
I’ve also read it’s common in India as well. So while I don’t think it’s a huge problem in my parish (I was just pointing out that I have seen it personally as well), I was wondering if what they’re doing is akin to worshipping their own pagan God.
I would ask them, “Do you wish to have faith like Mary?”
“… Mary believed her Son was the Son of God, who came to take the sins of the world on Himself, and send us His Holy Spirit!”
I would say it’s worse because they are also offending the Blessed Virgin. I’m sure she sits there with them, agast, begging them to stop and turn to her son.
Or maybe she is sitting there hoping the pastor (or someone who supposedly has a devotion to her!!!) will beg them to stop and turn to her son!
Indeed! It is basically a gift wrapped chance to evangelize!
Agree with this. Simply because someone is Hindu and at a church in some state of showing respect to a statue of the Virgin Mary, doesn’t mean they are “worshiping the Virgin Mary or statue/painting like a goddess.” To the OP what do you mean? Is there something specific you’re seeing?
Except im not doubting the OP…
Interesting…always assumed that praying to her would mean that she will guide them to her son.
I remember reading that some Hindus treat her like a goddess of fertility or something like that. At this point I have no idea what Hinduism actually is
I’ve explained in one of the posts above
I guess I took your question as “are they committing a more serious sin by worshipping Mary”, I’d say yes. Are they putting themselves in a better place to potentially be reached by the gospel, perhaps.
Is there a way to actually worship her though? It could be the cradle catholic in me, but I can’t imagine a prayer that would clearly differ from the way we pray to her (not saying that we worship her obviously)
I really like this idea. You should probably actually do this. It reminds me of St. Paul’s very impressive sermon in Athens, invoking Greek poets and the Athenian shrine to the unknown God.