Just for Catholics

Bowing Down Before Mary

Question: With all due respect, you have misunderstood Catholics and our relationship with Mary. We do not worship her. We ask her in prayer to intercede for us. We are asking her to pray for us, thereby joining our prayers with hers. It is much the same as asking a friend to pray for you, such as if I were to ask you to remember me in your prayers.

Answer: It is not true that you are simply asking Mary to pray for you. You go much, much further than that. Would you not agree that Catholics believe the following?

  • All graces God gives to human beings pass through the hands of Mary; no creature has received any grace from God except through the hands of Mary.

  • Those souls will fall and be lost who do not have recourse to Mary.

  • The Lord wants us to place our hope for salvation and for every blessing in Mary.

  • When we pray to the Mother of God we are heard more quickly than when we call directly on the name of Jesus.

  • Mary is the most faithful mediatrix of our salvation; she has been made the ladder to paradise, the gate of heaven, the most true mediatrix between God and human beings.

  • In the name of Mary every knee should bend, of things in heaven, on earth and under the earth. Mary saves all who have recourse to her.

  • Mary is the door through which sinners come to God.

Does that sound like asking Mary to pray for your needs in a similar manner you would ask me to remember you in prayer?

Catholic response I don't deny that we believe the things you listed, except the one about every knee should bend at the name of Mary. That would mean we worship her, which we do not, and Church teaching is very clear on this.

Answer I am glad that you recognize that bending every knee at the name of Mary implies worship, for only the Lord is worthy of such adoration. And since we should not worship Mary, if someone teaches us that every knee should bend at the name of Mary, he would be inducing us to idolatry.

Now, please read this quotation from a little book I have before me. The title is “The Glories of Mary” and the author is St Alphonsus Liguori. He says:

The whole Trinity, O Mary, gave you a name above every name, after that of your Divine Son, so that in your name every knee should bend, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.

That is what your church teaches. And by your own admission, you are being called to worship a creature, which is idolatry. I hope and pray that you will repent of this sin, and turn wholeheartedly to the Lord.

  • Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; The word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, And shall not return, That to Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:22,23).

  • For it is written: As I live, says the LORD, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God (Romans 14:11)

  • At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10,11)

Copyright Dr Joe Mizzi. Permission to copy and distribute this article without textual changes. < BACK TO Q&A