Speaking from a protestant understanding, I had just assumed that Catholics would say they worshipped Mary.
They (often) pray to her, sing her praise (calling her holy, and such). Sometimes bowing to her, and constantly adorning her with titles (Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven, Mother of God, etc etc.). Sometimes kneeling before her statues, etc. This from an outside perspective seemed like worship to me. And it was a thing they were very much proud of.
I was talking to a Catholic apologist at a local event as she passed out rosaries. She was trying to teach me the hail Mary, and convince me that I should pray to Mary.
But when I used the word "worship" she recoiled, and claimed not to worship Mary. On this site I have had a similar reaction. I was surprised by this reaction.
If you just google search "worship" here is what you get. (the verb form)
show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.
//"the Maya built jungle pyramids to worship their gods"//
synonyms: revere, reverence, venerate, pay homage to, honor, adore, praise, pray to, glorify, exalt, extol; More
So, it seems that Catholics would agree that it is wrong to Worship Mary. Obviously they don't think of the things they are doing as worship. I am interested in the substance of "adoration/veneration/worship" that is appropriate for God alone, and that which appropriate for Mary or the saints. A criteria by which one could judge a concrete example of adoration.
- How do Catholics make this distinction?
- What is Worship for a Catholic? And is it reserved for God alone?
- How does this play out practically (what would it look like to worship God in light of this distinction)?