A defender of things Catholic had been arguing for days that the Catholic Church does not worship the Romish variant of Mary. In the deceptive manner that some Catholic apologists employ, on the third day of our exchanges, he wrote:
His persistence in pressing the illogical and invalid assertion that Rome does not teach or in fact practice worship of Mary was not surprising. For years I have watched as those who would speak for Rome assert that, as concerns Mary and the other ghosts in the RCC pantheon, worship does not mean worship and venerate does not mean worship and render homage does not mean worship and pray to does not mean worship and sacrifice to does not mean worship. Words can be used to convey many meanings, a fact which the Magisterium has consistently used to its own purpose.
Regardless of what those who speak in Rome's cause may claim or how they redefine word meanings, the Roman Catholic hierarchy indeed does foster Mariolatry and worship of things and spirits of the dead. When the Ladies' Sodality meets every night in the chapel to toll their beads and pray the Rosary, they are rendering worship to Mary. When a little old man struggles up to a statue of Mary and, falling on his knees before it, places coins in a box, lights a candle and offers prayers to her that is worship. When a Black-robed Benedictine oblate prays to St. Maurus and calls upon him to heal a dying child, he is not only praying to a spirit for a miracle but actually rendering a lower-level of worship. When the Catholic faithful genuflect or cross themselves when crossing in front of the tabernacle where a consecrated host is kept, they might claim they are rendering honors to Christ, but the fact is they are worshipping a cracker.
One Christian church historian wrote concerning what Catholics apparently prefer to call the “unworship” of Mary:
My Catholic antagonist had asserted to me, just the previous day, that that he had only just became interested in the meaning of worship. Now, in what seems to be a typically RCC practice, he attempted to disguise what had been for him a continuing theme for quite some time. His tactic was to concentrate on the meanings of the word as used in a specific passage of Scripture. This was a subterfuge, presented as a new and heretofore unexplored issue. Peeling back the veneer from his “new” concern, it becomes clear that it is nothing more than the same old, tired issue.
Just a few days previously, I had provided him definitions from a Romish dictionary that once had been in a seminary library:
The man had rejected those definitions by raising the smoke screen that my copying of a quotation from a Catholic Dictionary on what he termed an “anti-Catholic forum” somehow invalidated that quotation. He countered by providing a definition from his Catholic Dictionary:
He followed this by asking me to:
In writing this, he had attempted to send the conversation down a bunny trail. I had not claimed that Catholics render the same worship to saints as they do to God. What I actually had written was:
Rather than address these allegations, he chose to lead the discussion in another direction; to a place where he might claim that he had overcome my arguments, which were:
My Catholic antagonist had provided no valid evidence that my arguments were flawed. In his response, the Romanist failed to straightforwardly address my two points, offering instead a lame argument concerning a Catholic Dictionary I quoted from and his unsupported opinion. I provided him information from a reliable Catholic reference:
Perhaps in reading the above Rome's champion had overlooked the highlighted references to and definitions of WORSHIP. Words such as devotion, veneration and honours are used in these definitions. But I did not stop with the words of the Catholic Encyclopedia for, trustworthy Catholic source though it may be, it is not an “official” source of Catholic teaching. I also provided a few paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Notice how here we are taught that devotion to [Catholic] Mary is a vital part of Catholic WORSHIP. In the citation from the Catholic Encyclopedia, devotion was used to define the special worship rendered to God alone.
Sonuvagun! Here, the Catechism speaks of the veneration rendered images and such. The Catholic Encyclopedia used the same word to describe the WORSHIP tendered saints.
Confronted with the above definitions from an official Catholic source, the Catholic apologist responded:
In writing the above, it appears that he understood and, perhaps, even agreed with what I and other Christian writers mean when we declare that Catholics render worship to Mary, the ghosts of dead “saints” and things. Given those points, it would appear senseless for him to continue to whip what seemed to have become a dead horse in his stable. That was not the case, for the Catholic then wrote:
That is what I had been trying to impress upon him; that the Roman cult defines the term “worship” in several ways, depending upon the point it is addressing. Rome has an arsenal of definitions for the word, and draws from it as necessary to make a point. My point had been, and remained, that the Catholic Church teaches that worship AT SOME LEVEL is to be tendered Mary, the “saints” and various and sundry things considered relics. My antagonist's words, from the above-cited post, appear to indicate he, for a time, at least, agreed with this position:
Several days later, he resumed his unyielding stand on when he wrote:
I pointed out to him that most of the Christian apologists I know consistently make use of a literal/historical/grammatical hermeneutic when examining a passage in the Word of God or a paragraph the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I do not recall ever having argued that Catholic teaching required worship be offered to Mary, other things and spirits in the same manner or at the same level as that given God. Like the cult of Mithra, from which so much of RCC doctrine and practice is derived, Catholicism is explicit in declaring three levels of worship for her gods and sacred objects. Once again, this Romish apologist had shown himself to be unwilling to accept the clear teachings of the religious body for which he claimed to be standing. Rome has declared, in her Catechism, in her Code of Canon Law, in her councils and papal pronouncements, in her breviaries, liturgies and church calendars that worship is tendered, at different levels, to God Almighty, Mary and all the pantheon of “saints” and their leavings. The Magisterium of the RCC has declared that worship, in the form of dulia or hyperdulia is to be given to beings and things other than God Himself. In his apparent zeal not be found in error, the Romanist had taken a stand against not only my position on the issue, but also that of the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. In other times, this would have rendered liable to a visit from the Holy Office. He wrote:
Having conceded the point at this time, he apparently had come up with a new permutation of the same argument; presenting himself as one seeking to learn the definition of the word “worship” as used in Luke 14:10. I pointed out that I had already provided him the Christian understanding of the word; adding that he easily have discovered this own by using the Online Bible, God's Word for Windows, or one of the other electronic concordances available free on the Web, assuming he did not own a Greek lexicon or concordance. I believe that his request for information was but bait to lead the unwary back to his never ending dispute over the meaning of worship as used in Roman Catholicism.
I offered another word translated as worship which was used by the Second Council of Nicea. In a discussion on page 423 of Addis and Arnold's Catholic Dictionary, the editors address the Council's use of the word proskunei in reference to the veneration to be rendered to images. I figured that, if he truly were interested, he might look up this use for himself.
This is interesting, because the Council chose not to use dulia, the preferred word for such veneration. It is interesting because proskunei is found in Acts 10:25 and 26, where it is recorded for all time as the word used to describe the worship that the Centurion Cornelius sought to render Peter.
Golly gee! A council of the Catholic Church used the same word to describe the worship due objects that the Holy Spirit used to describe the inappropriate worship Cornelius attempted to give Peter. Guess there are times when the RCC indeed does teach that things are to be worshipped.
It is even more interesting, when one consider the RCC fantasy of apostolic succession. In Acts 10, Peter refused to permit people to bow down to him or to worship him in any way, yet his alleged successors offer their hands or rings or feet to be kissed and seem to enjoy being carried about on the shoulders of men, just like those idols the churches parade through the streets every now and then.
I suggested that the Catholic apologist read the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, a product of Vatican II, where one will find these words:
Has the Roman Catholic Church in fact, if not in her written documents, elevated Mary to the level of deity? The Bible tells us that we are saved by Christ's atoning sacrifice. St. Bonaventure waxed poetic concerning just an image of Mary:
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