Should Catholics really kneel before a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary? After all, in Scripture when Peter visited Cornelius in the Acts of the Apostles, Cornelius knelt before Peter and Peter rebuked him. So, should we kneel before Mary or not?
In Acts, the passage in question states:
When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshipped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man” (Acts 10:25-26).
The problem here was not that Cornelius knelt in front of Peter but that he worshipped Peter as a god. Peter rightly told Cornelius not to do so because Peter was only a man.
The act of kneeling does not always mean that the person kneeling is performing an act of worship. Some kneel to weed their gardens; others kneel to pray before bedtime; some men kneel before the woman they are asking to marry. Catholics kneel in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary to show her respect and honor, and to pray for her intercession; they are not kneeling in order to worship her.