Specific tattoo question

So I know the varying opinions on tattoos etc… I have some already and am planning another but this one is going to be religious. My question is that I thought I read somewhere about getting graven images tattooed, has anybody heard of this and what is classified as a graven image?

A “graven image” is a pagan idol. If you have read the Old Testament, you know that Judaism forbade tattoos entirely, because of their association with pagan cultures. The Catholic Church does not forbid tattoos, but Christians should obviously not have lewd or pagan images drawn on their bodies. A Cross, or other Christian symbol would not be a problem.

A *graven image *is one that is carved, sculpted, or engraved – Whether the definition extends to the needle of a tattoo I cannot say. :shrug:

But as noted, the decalogue prohibits worshiping idols, not the constructoin of images in general.


If I understand it correctly, you can use an image (or a tattoo, or a statue) as a reminder or as decoration with no problem. It’s when you cross over to worshiping that image that it becomes a sin.

I also have tattoos, a few of them religious, and have every intention of getting more when the funding is right.

Interesting question. I’ve also thought if I would be more blessed if I got myself a large Virgin Mary or Jesus tattoo on me! At the end, what counts the most is ones Christian conversion and handlings up one’s will to God which is most important and most affective, in the long run of our journey.

Well, I don’t expect to be heard, but try to resist the Empire of Tattoo/Piercing that has a stranglehold on the culture.


I hear ya!

As I said before everybody has their own opinion and I respect that, but nonetheless thank you all for replying, this has helped tremendously!

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.