Since becoming catholic, (and long before) I have been told by some non-Catholics (with the exception of EO Christians) that the Catholic Church teaches Marian worship. I have been witnessing these claims recently right here at CAF. In light of said accusations, could anyone making such claims please show me the official magisterial teaching (or unofficial teaching) to back up said claim?
The simple answer is that we don’t worship Mary, we give her the honor due to no less than the Mother of God. She herself said “from this day all generations will call me blessed.” Rather than finding magisterial teachings that refute the claim, why don’t you ask those who have made the claim to show you magisterial teachings that advocate Marian worship? The burden of proof is on the one making the claim–if people want to say that the Church teaches Marian worship, then they should be able to find quotes from Church teaching to back that up. Put the ball in their court.
Some non-Catholics who read Marian prayers, read Marian devotional works, or see Catholics practicing Marian devotions equate these with worship because in their form of Christian culture to pray to anyone other than God is giving them worship, to give praise to anyone but God is heresy, and to kneel before anyone other than God is idolatry. By their definitions, we are worshipping Mary.
The thing is, some of these folks cannot/will not accept the Catholic difinitions for our prayers, devotional works and practices but insist we use their definitions. Of course this means they cannot accept what we say about our own devotions but think we are only trying get around their definitions, which they will not/cannot admit might be wrong.
So, the empass remains for some people. Why they will not accept our definitions over theirs is really the sticking point–one that cannot be resolved without completely changing the mind set and cultural norm in which they live and think. Complicated, isn’t it? :shrug:
You are asking just the right question. When people say that “the Catholic Church teaches such-and-so”…ask for the official teaching document.
I did this once with someone on another board over the Catholic church (supposedly) teaching a “works based salvation”…Turned into a wonderfully fruitful discussion.
Hope the same thing occurs here.
So - my dear non-Catholic friends. If you hold to this or know of someone who does…Can you point to the official magisterial document that teaches us to worship Mary?
There are plenty of excellent writings on Mariology and on the cult of hyperdulia that Holy Church offers her, which is infintely less than the cult of latria reserved to God alone.
There is only sheer ignorance behind every accusation of “Marian worship”, and it is excellent that, having been confronted with such a pitiful remark, you seek to be more informed. Remember that to the Church is given the authority to teach, and unfortunately we live in a world where many who by baptism are called Christian still live in material heresy and learn doctrines that condemn any honor to the Blessed Virgin and in general deny the communion of saints.
She is the Mother of our God and deserves honor which she receives. People don’t understand the difference between worship ( which is for God alone) and veneration.
At the risk of offense, it is a product of what I sometimes refer to as Kindergarten theology. Those who allege this never seem to wave a paragraph from the catechism before our eyes as proof of their assertion. What is the difference between such accusations and malicious gossip?
Often they confuse worship and asking mary (ie prayer to) as worship when this is not the case. Mary is a creature, a creature deserving of great veneration because of what God has accomplished through her, but a creature nontheless and cannot be worshipped as God.
I think this comment goes both ways. There are certainly those who say they only venerate but actually worship.
How about the fact that you have a Mariology?
To be honest, it can be quite confusing when you hear people say things like,
For those who don’t know much about the Catholic Church, it can be hard to distinguish what is officially taught and what is not. Some people are quick to take any action they see from Catholics as what is taught by the Catholic Church. This is unfair, but I can see why people would be concerned.
Well, then they are wrong to do so, but that does not address my original post, not that it would be addressed to you of course.
Of course, I’m just saying that a lot of the criticism on “Marian worship” does have merit. I don’t believe that the Catholic Church teaches Marian worship, many individuals do get carried away and perhaps they themselves need to be brought back in line. Take the criticism constructively.
Also, a lot of the Marian dogmas focus too much on Mary and loses focus on Christ. Also the original context of such traditions such as the Assumption are lost, thus the belief becomes different even though certain elements of the Assumption are the same.
Catholics do not worship Mary. We honor her for the privileged role she played and continues to play.
Victory came through Christ. But the Victor wouldn’t be here except for the fact that the Woman brought Him to us. The World would not have Christ except for Mary’s “Yes” which reversed Eve’s “No”. We don’t find Christ except for Our Lady leading us to Him. She is in a very privileged position having been assumed** body and soul** into Heaven. The Church teaches, in Lumen Gentium, that:
- This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.(15*) By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix.(16*) This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.(17*)
For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
Many protestants cite the Hail Mary as proof of our so-called Mary worship. To be honest, many Catholics don’t understand between intercession and straight up worship.
To be clear on my point, the first half of the Hail Mary is straight out of scripture:
Hail Mary (Luke 28) (Also can be “Greetings Mary”)
Full of Grace (may be translated as Favored One in your Bible)
The Lord is with you (Still Luke 28).
Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, gives us the line “Blessed are you among women”
And we say “Blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus”
The first half is only a recitation of scriptural phrases said of Mary, and we say them to give her the honor due to someone who birthed a God.
The second half is
Holy Mary, (We say that Mary is awesome and Holy–since she’s a saint)
Mother of God (This is obvious and not heretical for most Christians)
Pray for us sinners (The crux of the prayer)
Now, and at the hour of our death.
Many Protestants run to the Hail Mary as proof of our idolatry and never take a moment to actually examine the Prayer (which is more a petition for Mary to pray for us).
Coupled with that is the claim that the word Hail is a sign of worship. I don’t think I need to go into that again. At this point it should be clear that, as always, ignorance is the real culprit.
Actually in my case I have seen them us the “Hail Holy Queen” more than the Hail Mary.
The phrasing in this prayer IS more troubling - more easily misunderstood due to issues with translation from the Latin.