Questions about Catholics - 10/25/2002
Your website is wonderful. I am a born again Christian but I was
Catholic for 14 years. I've read your articles about Catholics and I appreciate all the great information. But I was confused about your wording saying that Catholics "worship" Mary the mother of God and the saints. From my 14 years as a Catholic I can tell you that Catholics do not worship Mary and the saints - prayers to saints and Mary are imploring them for intercession with the Father. As Christians we ask each other to pray to the Lord on our behave. Catholics ask Mary and the saints to intercede. Can you please explain for me your wording. Thank
you very much.
CONTENDER MINISTRIES RESPONSE:
Thanks for writing us at Contender Ministries. Thanks also for your kind comments about the website. It's wonderful to hear that you are born again, and are discerning the true gospel of Jesus Christ from the false doctrines that are so prevalent in this world.
To clarify what we mean by "worship" of Mary. There are three different levels of worship (or veneration, if you prefer) in Catholic theology: latria - which is worship of God alone, dulia - veneration of the saints,and hyperdulia - veneration of Mary. Hyperdulia lies between dulia and latria. It IS a form of worship, though not what some people may define as worship. However, when coupled with official Vatican doctrine that Mary was sinless, and that she is a co-redemptrix with Jesus, this shows a form of deification of Mary. Jesus alone redeems us, not Mary. This does not mean we have anything against Mary, we just don't deify her.
I know many Catholics that do not toe the Vatican line on this issue, and pray to her as an intercessor as they would the other saints. That's a better approach, but as I'm sure you know as a born-again Christian, Jesus taught us how to pray in the gospels. We pray to God, and our ONLY mediator is Jesus Christ. I may ask friends or relatives to pray for me, but it is
unscriptural to pray to a deceased human being to ask for intercession.
Thanks again for your question. I hope this clarified our position for you a little bit. If not, please let us know. May God bless you as you contend for your faith!
Ben and Jennifer Rast