Do Catholics Worship Mary?

by Steve Ray on June 20, 2017

In response to the show I did with Drew Mariani on Relevant Radio:

I thought it would be a good time to respond to an e-mail I received a while ago. It was a questions from a friend wrote to ask me for my take on Mary. He was corresponding with someone that said Catholics worship Mary and got this practice from pagans who had worshiped Artemis in Ephesus. He asked what I thought. Here is my response:

EinKeremMotherSm.jpgDear Friend: Catholics are often accused of “worshiping” Mary, the Saints, icons, statues and the like. Your friend mentions several example which he assumes, based on his Protestant tradition, his lack of familiarity with the ancient Christian traditions and customs, and his Protest-ant reading of the Bible, that these actions are inherently acts of worship and therefore idolatry.

“Bowing before a statue must certainly be worship,” says the Evangelical who has not only abandoned the idea of images (only of a certain kind, as we shall see later) and is very inconsistent in his own practice, but has never taken the time to understand Catholic and liturgical Christianity.

Have the vocal opponents of statues, icons and the like ever asked the little old lady in her babushka if she is actually worshiping the statue in front of which she kneels? Does this holy, and wrinkled woman in Poland believe she is worshiping the icon of the Black Madonna? Does the Mexican mother surrounded by her kneeling children consider her veneration of our Lady of Guadalupe the same as her worship of God? Of course not. It would only take a few such questions, should the wondering Protestant care to learn the truth–that these common folks would be shocked at such a thought of worshipping Mary in the place of God.

To read the whole letter, click here.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim the Dragon January 20, 2008 at 11:27 AM

I’m surprised Holy Mother Church has been putting up with the same questions and the same heresies for over two thousand years. You’d think she would get tired of it and go, “Look, just read the Scriptures and read the Catechism, ok???”

But no, she is ever-young and ever-virgin. Thanks be to God!

Deusdonat January 20, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Hello Steve, this is my first time here. I just wanted to say, that if ANYONE asks you “do Catholics worship Mary” in this day and age, then I really think that person is a bit of a lost cause. If the question were asked 3,2 or even 1 decade ago, I think it would be legitimate for anyone unfamilar with the faith. But now, there is just too much information out there from RELIABLE sites and sources for anyone willing to look.

I hope you had success in this encounter, but I would have second thoughts about the effectiveness of dealing with such a person in light of the fact that we are now living in the information age, and not 1950’s Mississippi

dan January 20, 2008 at 7:49 PM

Thank you for yet another cogent presentation. I’ve learned so much from the work of the Holy Spirit in your ministry — pls keep it up!

I guess there are two types of people who will read your work: those who read with an open mind and spirit and those who read with scalpel in hand, looking for phrases to twist to their own purposes. We should pray for both groups — and ourselves, of course. We all need to grow in knowledge of and love for our dear Lord.

God bless.

inthebeginning January 20, 2008 at 9:00 PM

I love the ‘Bible’ only Christians. Freak them out a little, ask them an even simplier question; “show me where in the Bible does it say the word ‘Bible”, you’ve never seen arrogance fall apart so humbly.

Adadzie, Godwin Delali November 28, 2008 at 3:09 PM

My website Sts. Peter and Paul Catechism Ministry always get someone who visited it because of a search on whether we Catholics worship Mary or not. They always misunderstand pray and honour for worship.

Sonja May 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM

I always ask them why they worship the Bible, kneeling before it, praying to it, spending a whole worship service on it. The way they treat it, you would think it was literally the Word Himself, instead of an instrument through which He speaks. I am always considered hostile to the Scriptures, then, despite my whole life being built on them…double standards are always ugly.

Patty Bonds May 15, 2009 at 12:14 PM

AAAh. Do you know how long I’ve been looking for that picture? I guess I wasn’t using the right words to search with.

Lauren DePue May 15, 2009 at 1:17 PM

Hello Mr. Ray,

I very much appreciated reading your letter about Mary and the apologetics for our loving her. I have just heard about your upcoming visit to Austin, Texas and I am looking forward to attending your talk.

Many blessings!

Sonja May 22, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Steve, As you pilgrimage, be sure to take Mary into Jericho ( when you go! Remember the old song? “Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho,/ Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down…”

Stephen Patton May 28, 2009 at 5:42 PM

Protestants should have no problem with Mary the mother of Jesus. After all, Protestantism is founded on Mary’s last recorded words on earth. (John 2:5 NIV) His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Stephen Patton May 28, 2009 at 6:26 PM

For Sonja 5/15/2009 Yes it is possible to be a Bible idolator. When confronting modern day Pharasees please quote the words Jesus used to attack the original Pharasees: (John 5: 39-40 NIV) “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

Doug Sirman February 13, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Understanding Mary as the “new ark of the new covenant” rather quickly dispelled my misgivings on my way into the Church. However, I’ve also encountered some Latino Catholics who regard Mary as the source of divine power AND divine will.

Do catholics worship Mary? Some most certainly do, but my response to this would have to be, “What does the Church teach about Mary? If the Church does not teach that Mary is to be worshiped, then the worship of Mary cannot be said to be Catholic.”

The only drawback comes when you consider the fact that behavior on the part of Fathers is indisputably and unavoidably, instructive.

Steve Ray February 13, 2010 at 8:50 AM

Catholics don’t worship Mary but do give her great honor. You are correct to ask “What does the Church teach” rather than looking to some extreme devotions or comments about Mary.

Bobby Catanghal July 20, 2010 at 10:14 PM

James White is at it again

I just do not understand why they keep on insisting that Catholics worship Mary…

robin francis May 9, 2012 at 3:50 AM

hi everyone, very recently i met an ex-catholic women who left catholic church and joined some other chuch. i think as catholics we should start distributing CCC book for everyone so that their doubts are answered.

Barb October 15, 2012 at 2:13 PM

They keep thinking we worship Mary because of Organizations like
The Holy See wants nothing to do with it and asked them to stop using the “term” CATHOLIC” on their site however they continue to use pictures of the Pope to mislead people.
also see for more info.
This has got to stop!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: