What is an example of idolatry?


#1

I am a Catholic, at this moment I am taking a Beth Moore Bible study with three Baptists. I need a good example of idolatry. I know that we pray to the saints and to the Virgin so they can pray for us, and that we put flowers out for the Virgin and in some countries sometimes we have the Virgin in a dish full of water so we put coins in. This is a Cuban custom is called adoration to the Virgin del Cobre. I don’t consider this idolatry; I think this is more honor to the Virgin or a saint. But I still need an example to what will be considered idolatry. I truly appreciate your help. God bless you! :blessyou:


#2

While idolatry can be expressed through any number of otherwise innocent actions, such as the actions you described, it is not the actions that are idolatrous but the attitude of the person performing those actions. One person who offers coins or flowers to the Blessed Virgin may only intend to give honor to his Mother in Christ; another person who does the exact same thing may believe that the Virgin Mary is a deity and give the gifts as an act of worship. Only the second person is at least materially guilty of idolatry (his formal guilt for idolatry would depend on whether or not he was innocently ignorant of Mary’s true status). The first person is only giving honor due his own and Christ’s own Mother.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (2113) explains:

Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Many martyrs died for not adoring “the Beast” refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God [emphasis added].


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