SPLIT: From Fatima...Images & the Salvation of Catholics

Interesting thread!
I am a former Catholic. I’ve said 1000’s of Hail Mary’s over the years.
It’s only now that I realize how I take away from the glory of God and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross by worshipping Mary.It has come to my attention that the Church now calls Mary coredeemer and comediator. I think this statement is blasphemous.
I think the apparitions all over the world are the work of the enemy. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ and him alone. (Edited by Moderator)

Catholics or the Catholic Church does not teach worshipping Mary. The Church venerate her and ask for her intercession, “pray for us.”

956 The intercession of the saints. "Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus . . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped."495

It has come to my attention that the Church now calls Mary coredeemer and comediator. I think this statement is blasphemous.

It’s not officially taught by the Catholic Church that she is the co-redeemer and co-mediator.

I think the apparitions all over the world are the work of the enemy.

Apparitions are not required for Catholics to believe in. Throughout Church history, only a few apparition have been officially approved by the Catholic Church. It is not required for the faithful to believe in them.

(Edited by Moderator)

Jesus is the only way. Through his baptism, we are made born again.

2084 God makes himself known by recalling his all-powerful loving, and liberating action in the history of the one he addresses: “I brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” The first word contains the first commandment of the Law: "You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve him. . . . You shall not go after other gods."5 God’s first call and just demand is that man accept him and worship him.

430 Jesus means in Hebrew: “God saves.” At the annunciation, the angel Gabriel gave him the name Jesus as his proper name, which expresses both his identity and his mission.18 Since God alone can forgive sins, it is God who, in Jesus his eternal Son made man, “will save his people from their sins”.19 in Jesus, God recapitulates all of his history of salvation on behalf of men.

431 In the history of salvation God was not content to deliver Israel "out of the house of bondage"20 by bringing them out of Egypt. He also saves them from their sin. Because sin is always an offence against God, only he can forgive it.21 For this reason Israel, becoming more and more aware of the universality of sin, will no longer be able to seek salvation except by invoking the name of the Redeemer God.22

(Edited by Moderator)

Where is that in the Bible? The Bible states in Acts Chapter 2 verse 37-39, "Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?”

And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”

If you have been worshipping Mary, then you have been in error since the Church never taught you that Mary was worthy of anything more than Honor (hyperdulia to be precise). Proper understanding of Mary and the Saints leads you only to Jesus.

Catholics agree that salvation comes through Jesus Christ alone, so we’re already in pretty good shape. Thanks for asking.

I’d like to invite you to return to confession, to read the Catechism along with your Bible to clear up your doctrinal errors, and to consider that the Savior who died for you upon the Cross also makes Himself truly present to you - body, blood, soul and divinity - in the Eucharist as the scriptures and the Church founded by Jesus Himself both declare.

Are you seriously telling me that the Holy Spirit doesn’t indwell a SINGLE ONE of the billion plus Catholics who currently recite the Rosary frequently or occasionally??? Or any of those who have done so over the centuries? Or the Angel Gabriel and Elizabeth when they uttered the words which comprise the first half of the Hail Mary?

Or St John when in Revelation he wrote about the saints in heaven presenting the prayers of the earthly faithful to God (which is what we ask Mary to do for us in the second half of the Hail Mary)?

Or St Paul when he requested prayers of his friends in the various churches to which he wrote, and commanded them to pray for each other (which again is what we ask Mary to do for us in the second half of the Hail Mary)???

Not all Catholics say the Rosary. It’s not required by the Church. The Rosary is mediative prayer.

I know for a fact that Pope John Paul II called Mary Coredemptrix and Mediatrix. If you would like to learn more about these apparitions and the Catholic response to them check out the dvd ‘Messages From Heaven.’ It’s produced by Calvary Chapel.
Jn 3:16 Whosoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved
1Cor 12:10 discernment of sprits

What document can you show us that Pope John Paul II said it. It has it be a written official Magisterium document.

Otherwise, the Catholic Church or the Pope have not use his “ex cathedra” to declare Mary to be the Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix.

It’s not Core-redemptrix.

Manny, the poster mentioned the Hail Mary in particular, rather than the Rosary, my mistake. I’m sure 99.9% of Catholics would have said the Hail Mary.

As for the Rosary, you’re right and not all of us say it, which is fine, but I’m sure 80% plus either have done or currently do. Possibly you’d need to add the non-Catholics who also say it to reach the billion, but I actually suspect not.

I say the Hail Mary because its beautiful prayer. “Hail Mary, Full of Grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

I would say that any person who makes a statue of a woman, be it Our Lady of Fatima, or The Queen of Heaven, or The Lady of All Nations, and bows down and venerates that statue, and says prayers to that statue, is not saved. That means they do not have the indwelling Holy Spirit and they are part of the great deception. Sorry.

Some Catholics in the late twentieth century urged Pope John Paul II to infallibly declare Mary Co-Redemptrix, and he actually referred to her as such in a speech in 1985. In the early 1990s Professor Mark Miravalle of the Franciscan University of Steubenville in the United States launched a popular petition to urge Pope John Paul to make such a move. More than six million signatures were gathered from 148 countries, including those of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Cardinal John O’Connor of New York, 41 other cardinals and 550 bishops. However, such a proposal was also heavily criticised by many Catholics who suggested that only Christ could be a Redeemer and that such an act would drive a wedge in relationships with other apostolic tradition Christian faiths, notably the Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglicanism, neither of whom would accept such a designation. Though both Pope Pius XI in 1935 and Pope John Paul II himself in 1985 did use the word co-redemptrix to refer to Mary, no formal infallible dogma supporting such a designation has been issued, notwithstanding the petition.

How do you justify the Hebrews making images of Seraphims on the Ark?

Praying to statues directly is a sin. Statues are used in Churches to remain the faithful the life of the saint. They are not worshipping the statue itself. It is much like having photos of your mother and father, your son, and daughter at home.

Any Catholic who knows about their faith knows what we ought to worship and not.

V. Veneration / Honor of the Saints

Matt. 18:10 - the angels in heaven always behold the face of God. We venerate them for their great dignity and union with God.

Matt. 15:4; Luke 18:20; Eph. 6:2-3 Exodus 20:12; Lev. 19:3; Deut. 5:16 - we are instructed to honor our father and mother.

Luke 1:28 - the angel Gabriel venerates Mary by declaring to her “Hail, full of grace.” The heavenly angel honors the human Mary, for her perfection of grace exceeds that of the angels.

Romans 13:7 - we are to give honor where honor is due. When we honor God’s children, we honor God Himself, for He is the source of all honor.

1 Cor. 4:16 - the most important form of veneration of the saints is “imitating” the saints, as Paul commands us to do.

1 Cor. 11:1 - again, Paul says, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” The ultimate objective of veneration is imitation.

Phil. 2:25-29 - Paul teaches us to honor Epaprhoditus who almost died for the faith. How much more honor is owed to the saints that did die for the faith!

Phil. 3:17 - Paul says to imitate him and others, which is the goal of veneration. Veneration is not worship.

1 Thess. 1:6 – Paul says to the Thessalonians, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord.” This is the goal of veneration.

2 Thess. 3:7 - Paul says that the Thessalonians should imitate him and the other bishops.

Hebrews 3:3 - Jesus is worthy of “more” glory and honor than Moses. This does not mean that the saints are worthy of no glory and honor. Instead, it proves that saintly people are worthy of glory and honor out of God’s goodness.

Heb. 6:12 – the author teaches us to be imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Heb. 13:7 - we must imitate the faith of our faithful leaders. We ask for their intercession and venerate them for their holiness.

James 5:10-11 – James teaches us to take heart in the examples of the prophets and Job, who endured suffering.

1 Peter 2:17 - Peter teaches us to honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the emperor. Don’t those living with Christ in heaven deserve honor? Catholics believe they do, and honor them with special feast days, just as we honor those living by celebrating their birthdays.

Gen. 19:1 - Lot venerates the two angels in Sodom, bowing himself with his face to the ground.

Gen. 42:6 - Joseph’s brothers bow before Joseph with the face to the ground. This is veneration, not worship.

Exodus 28:2 - it is especially important to honor religious leaders. Sacred garments for Aaron give him dignity and honor.

Lev. 19:32- we should also honor “the face of an old man.” When the elderly die in Christ, we should continue honoring them, because death does not separate them from us or the love of Christ.

1 Sam. 28:14 - Saul bows down before Samuel with his face to the ground in veneration.

2 Chron. 32:33 - Hezekiah was honored at his death. We honor our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Sir. 44:1-2 - we should praise and give honor to those who the Lord apportioned great glory. It is our family in Christ.

. Posture in Prayer, Veneration and Worship

Deut. 5:9 - God’s command, “you shall not bow down to them” means “do not worship them.” But not all bowing is worship. Here God’s command is connected to false worship.

Rev. 3:9 - Jesus said people would bow down before the faithful members of the church of Philadelphia. This bowing before the faithful is not worship, just as kissing a picture of a family member is not worship.

Gen. 19:1 - Lot bowed down to the ground in veneration before two angels in Sodom.

Gen. 24:52 - Abraham’s servant bowed himself to the earth before the Lord.

Gen. 42:6 - Joseph’s brothers bow before Joseph with the face to the ground.

Jos. 5:14 - Joshua fell to the ground prostrate in veneration before an angel.

1 Sam. 28:14 - Saul bows down before Samuel with his face to the ground in honor and veneration.

1 Kings 1:23 - the prophet Nathan bows down before King David.

2 Kings 2:15 - the sons of the prophets bow down to Elisha at Jericho.

1 Chron. 21:21 - Ornan the Jebusite did obeisance to king David with his face to the ground.

1 Chron. 29:20 - Israelites bowed down to worship God and give honor to the king.

2 Chron. 29:29-30 - King Hezekiah and the assembly venerate the altar by bowing down in worship before the sin offerings.

Tobit 12:16 - Tobiah and Tobit fell down to the ground in veneration before the angel Raphael.

Judith 14:7 - Achior the Ammonite kneels before Judith venerating her and praising God.

Psalm 138:2 - David bows down before God’s Holy Temple.

Dan. 2:46 - the king fell down on his face paying homage to Daniel and commands that an offering be made to him.

Dan. 8:17 - Daniel fell down prostrate in veneration before the angel Gabriel.

1 Macc. 4:40,55 - Judas and the faithful fell face down to the ground to praise heaven and worship God.

2 Macc. 10:4,26; 13:12 - Maccabeus and his followers fall down prostrate praying to God.

Do Catholics Worship Statues?

“Catholics worship statues!” People still make this ridiculous claim. Because Catholics have statues in their churches, goes the accusation, they are violating God’s commandment: “You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down to them or serve them” (Ex. 20:4–5); “Alas, this people have sinned a great sin; they have made for themselves gods of gold” (Ex. 32:31).

It is right to warn people against the sin of idolatry when they are committing it. But calling Catholics idolaters because they have images of Christ and the saints is based on misunderstanding or ignorance of what the Bible says about the purpose and uses (both good and bad) of statues.

Anti-Catholic writer Loraine Boettner, in his book Roman Catholicism, makes the blanket statement, “God has forbidden the use of images in worship” (281). Yet if people were to “search the scriptures” (cf. John 5:39), they would find the opposite is true. God forbade the worship of statues, but he did not forbid the religious use of statues. Instead, he actually commanded their use in religious contexts!

God Said To Make Them

People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold *; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece of the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be” (Ex. 25:18–20).

David gave Solomon the plan “for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this he made clear by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all, all the work to be done according to the plan” (1 Chr. 28:18–19). David’s plan for the temple, which the biblical author tells us was “by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all,” included statues of angels.

Similarly Ezekiel 41:17–18 describes graven (carved) images in the idealized temple he was shown in a vision, for he writes, “On the walls round about in the inner room and [on] the nave were carved likenesses of cherubim.”*

The Religious Uses of Images

During a plague of serpents sent to punish the Israelites during the exodus, God told Moses to “make [a statue of] a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it shall live. So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live” (Num. 21:8–9).

One had to look at the bronze statue of the serpent to be healed, which shows that statues could be used ritually, not merely as religious decorations.

Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas.

If one measured Protestants by the same rule, then by using these “graven” images, they would be practicing the “idolatry” of which they accuse Catholics. But there’s no idolatry going on in these situations. God forbids the worship of images as gods, but he doesn’t ban the making of images. If he had, religious movies, videos, photographs, paintings, and all similar things would be banned. But, as the case of the bronze serpent shows, God does not even forbid the ritual use of religious images.

It is when people begin to adore a statue as a god that the Lord becomes angry. Thus when people did start to worship the bronze serpent as a snake-god (whom they named “Nehushtan”), the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kgs. 18:4).

What About Bowing?

Sometimes anti-Catholics cite Deuteronomy 5:9, where God said concerning idols, “You shall not bow down to them.” Since many Catholics sometimes bow or kneel in front of statues of Jesus and the saints, anti-Catholics confuse the legitimate veneration of a sacred image with the sin of idolatry.

Though bowing can be used as a posture in worship, not all bowing is worship. In Japan, people show respect by bowing in greeting (the equivalent of the Western handshake). Similarly, a person can kneel before a king without worshipping him as a god. In the same way, a Catholic who may kneel in front of a statue while praying isn’t worshipping the statue or even praying to it, any more than the Protestant who kneels with a Bible in his hands when praying is worshipping the Bible or praying to it.

Hiding the Second Commandment?

Another charge sometimes made by Protestants is that the Catholic Church “hides” the second commandment. This is because in Catholic catechisms, the first commandment is often listed as “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3), and the second is listed as “You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.” (Ex. 20:7). From this, it is argued that Catholics have deleted the prohibition of idolatry to justify their use of religious statues. But this is false. Catholics simply group the commandments differently from most Protestants.

In Exodus 20:2–17, which gives the Ten Commandments, there are actually fourteen imperative statements. To arrive at Ten Commandments, some statements have to be grouped together, and there is more than one way of doing this. Since, in the ancient world, polytheism and idolatry were always united—idolatry being the outward expression of polytheism—the historic Jewish numbering of the Ten Commandments has always grouped together the imperatives “You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3) and “You shall not make for yourself a graven image” (Ex. 20:4). The historic Catholic numbering follows the Jewish numbering on this point, as does the historic Lutheran numbering. Martin Luther recognized that the imperatives against polytheism and idolatry are two parts of a single command.

Jews and Christians abbreviate the commandments so that they can be remembered using a summary, ten-point formula. For example, Jews, Catholics, and Protestants typically summarize the Sabbath commandment as, “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy,” though the commandment’s actual text takes four verses (Ex. 20:8–11).

When the prohibition of polytheism/idolatry is summarized, Jews, Catholics, and Lutherans abbreviate it as “You shall have no other gods before me.” This is no attempt to “hide” the idolatry prohibition (Jews and Lutherans don’t even use statues of saints and angels). It is to make learning the Ten Commandments easier.

The Catholic Church is not dogmatic about how the Ten Commandments are to be numbered, however. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. The present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confession. The Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities” (CCC 2066).

The Form of God?

Some anti-Catholics appeal to Deuteronomy 4:15–18 in their attack on religious statues: “[S]ince you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water under the earth.”

We’ve already shown that God doesn’t prohibit the making of statues or images of various creatures for religious purposes (cf. 1 Kgs. 6:29–32, 8:6–66; 2 Chr. 3:7–14). But what about statues or images that represent God? Many Protestants would say that’s wrong because Deuteronomy 4 says the Israelites did not see God under any form when he made the covenant with them, therefore we should not make symbolic representations of God either. But does Deuteronomy 4 forbid such representations?

The Answer Is No

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