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Was this an example of idolatry?




Full Question

Recently a Fundamentalist accused me (and Catholics in general) of idolatry because his mother-in-law (who is Catholic) put a statue of Mary in her garden to “help her flowers grow.” What do I tell him?

Answer

Idolatry is worshiping a statue as a god. His mother-in-law is certainly not doing that. I don’t know how she explained it to him (she may have expressed herself badly or he may not have been listening), but based on the description of her explanation you have given, what she is doing at most would be superstitious, not idolatrous—unless she worships the statue as some kind of flower goddess (not likely!).

Bottom line: If she thinks the statue is a god, it’s idolatry; if she thinks it is not a god but has intrinsic power, it’s superstition; if she thinks the statue has no intrinsic power and by placing the statue she is asking Mary to pray that God will bless her garden, it’s prayer.





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3 comments

  1. Mary faulkner Reply

    If you have a picture in your wallet of your love one, your not looking at it and loving the picture, your thinking about who is on the picture, if I have a picture of mary or Jesus in my wallet, it’s because it reminds me whom I love. Jesus and his holy mother whom he give to us at the foot of his cross, it’s not the picture we love.

  2. #ConfusedCatholic Reply

    Hi! I am a common Catholic Christian. I have knowledge of the basics/fundamentals of the Catholic faith, especially the ones about Mary, the Saints, Sunday worship, and images.

    But as a Filipino citizen, and with all other religions, denominations and sects (INC, ACQ, SDA, Jehovah, etc.) correcting the Catholic church, I am now having doubts regarding the ones I mentioned.

    Other Christian denominations have point many references about idolatry, the false teachings about Mary and the Saints in the Bible, which are actually convincing.

    Is there any Biblical reference and in-depth explanation about them? Hope you will enlighten me and help me in this spiritual battle.

  3. edgar Reply

    First we have the Catechism of the Catholic Church book as a main reference, there are also many books written about the basic and common teachings of the Church which most other sects questions, And most importantly, don’t forget to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. God bless.

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