I seem to remember hearing that an early R.C.C. leader had accused the church of falling into Mariolatry—the worship of Mary. Have any popes or other leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, especially in early church history, come forth with these accusations?

*He may not have been an R.C.C. leader, but he was R.C. It seemed like it was a Pope, but I just can't remember.

  • This question is not meant against the church, but I was speaking to someone about how it seems that one of the names of Diana (Artemis) seemed to have been, and in some radical cases today, is Maria, to some fringe groups. *To put the question in context. Nov 6, 2017 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


Schismatics/heretics have said this. For example, the Collyridians sacrificed κολλυρίδας ("bread cakes") to her, and St. Epiphanius (d. 403) denounced this as mariolatry:

Collyridians. Under this name [St.] Epiphanius (Haer. 79) assails certain women who had brought from Thrace into Arabia the practice of performing on certain days rites in honour of the Blessed Virgin, the chief being the offering of a cake (κολλυρίς), and the partaking of it by the worshippers. Epiphanius condemns their conduct because (a) women ought not to offer sacrifice, and (b) Mary is to be honoured, God only to be worshipped. The name Collyris (or kindred forms) is to be found in the LXX translation of Lev. vii. 12, viii. 26; II. Sam. vi. 19, xiii. 68; and the word passed thence into the Latin versions.

cf. ch. 6 article 1 of Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life by Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., or the Catholic Encyclopedia article "Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary," § "The Age of the Fathers"


Although it might not be the only possibility, it's likely that you are thinking of Nestorius he was the patriarch of Constantinople before leading a schism based on a diverging view of Christ's nature and consequent view of Mary. He apparantly objected to the use of Theotokos (God-bearer) being used to describe her (as opposed to his preferred term of Christotokos).

  • 1
    But did he claim those who venerated her were mariolaters?
    – Geremia
    Nov 6, 2017 at 22:16

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