The King James Bible says,

Exodus 20:3-6 KJV

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

However, Catholics have lots of different saints and idols. I understand that they are Christians, but they bow down and serve their saints and images. I feel that they worship them. One example is the Black Nazarene which has Papal Approval by Pope Innocent X and Pope Pius VII. From my understanding, many people die because of this idol every year. They claim that this idol can heal people by just touching it. The Catholic church doesn't do anything to stop (what I consider) worshiping the Black Nazareth.

Is Catholicism a true denomination of Christianity, even if they have these practices which I believe are heretical?

  • 5
    Again, this question demonstrates a warped view of an issue. Catholics do not bow down to, or worship saints or other images. There's a big difference between "asking a saint to intercede for you with God" and worshiping the saint as God. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 7:50
  • 3
    Please ask about that specific practice. As an American Catholic, I don't think I do anything that could be construed as idolatrous, and if someone said I did, I'd give them a good explanation. But no one can answer this because Catholics do not have idols
    – Peter Turner
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 12:17
  • 2
    Now that it's been edited perhaps. I voted down the original question before any edits were made, and it showed no such thing, then. All it contained was a "refute me" statement based on a flawed biased view. I removed my down-vote because your edits vastly improved the question. Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:34
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    @DavidStratton yeah... in hind site I believe that I completely rewrote his question, but I think that's what he's getting at. Really he should have been more specific and asked if the Black Nazareth is treated as an idol.
    – user1054
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 13:46
  • 7
    "I feel that they worship them." Really? So Catholics are heretics not because of what they actually do, but because of what you feel about what they do? Who knew that your feelings were powerful enough to redefine reality?
    – TRiG
    Commented Dec 28, 2012 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


In short, No.

As stated in your question, it received Papal approval, but as a Sacramental.

Sacramentals are material objects, things or actions (sacramentalia) set apart or blessed by the Roman and Eastern Catholic Churches, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Church of the East, the Anglican Churches, the Independent and Old Catholic Churches, and the Lutheran Churches to manifest the respect due to the sacraments, and so to excite good thoughts and to increase devotion, and through these movements of the heart to remit venial sin, according to the Council of Trent (Session XXII, 15).

There are many sacramentals, as the article includes Holy Water, the cross, and a St. Benedict Medal. I think you will find the Examples section on Wikipedia (linked above) helpful in understanding examples of a sacramental, and what it is.

For more information on Sacramentals you can visit the Catholic Encyclopedia article explaining them.

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