Answering Common Objections
1 - "You Catholics worship Mary. You treat her like a 4th person in the Trinity."
Catholics worship God alone. We do not mistake a creature - even God's greatest creature - for the Creator. We honor Mary. Why? Because of the gifts God has given her. By making her His mother, God honored Mary more than we ever could. Scripture calls Mary "Blessed" and promises that all generations will do likewise (Luke 1:42, 48). We honor Mary because Jesus honored her (perfectly obeying the 4th commandment) and we are called to imitate Christ.
2 - "You Catholics kneel and pray before statues of Mary. You're worshipping idols."
Do you honestly believe that Catholics can't tell the difference between God and the universe and painted plaster? Protestants often kneel holding a cross or a Bible. Are they worshipping mere wood or printed paper? No, they will tell you these are reminders of Jesus and His saving deeds. Likewise, images of God's victorious saints remind us of Jesus and His saving deeds. No knowledgeable Catholic thinks he is worshipping Mary by kneeling before her image in prayer.
3 - "Statues of Mary violate God's commandment not to make graven images (Exodus 20:4-5)."
In Exodus 20:4-5, God prohibits the making of images for the purpose of worshipping them. But He does not prohibit making images altogether. In Exodus 25:18-19, God commands Moses to make statues of cherubim. In Numbers 21:8, God tells Moses to make a bronze serpent. The Jews used many carved images in their temple, including angels, oxen, lions, palm trees, and flowers (1 Kings 6 and 7). You probably have pictures in your wallet of your family and loved ones. These are man-made images Are you worshipping them when you use these images to recall the people they represent? No. This same principle applies to the veneration of statues. Catholics use statues and other images merely to recall the holy people they represent.
4 - "Why do you Catholics pray to Mary? 1 Timothy 2:5 says Jesus is the 'one mediator between God and man.' "
All prayer has God as its object. When we "pray to Mary" we are really praying to God through Mary. We are asking Mary to intercede and present our petitions to God. Recall how Solomon promised not to refuse any request of Bathsheba, the Queen Mother (1 Kings 2:19-20). Nor will the King of kings refuse the petition of His Queen Mother, just as He did not refuse her request at the wedding feast of Cana (John 2).
Mary's intercession is completely subordinate to, and dependent upon, Jesus' intercession. Read the whole passage (1 Timothy 2:1-8): St. Paul commands Christians to intercede for one another. This doesn't go around Christ's meditation, but rather through it. Because Jesus is the one mediator between earth and heaven, we as members of Christ's body are able to cooperate with Him as mediators. We single out Mary's intercession because she is God's most righteous saint and "the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects" (James 5:16).
5 - "Mary would have to be divine to hear all the millions of Hail Marys being prayed simultaneously."
Mary doesn't have to be divine to hear multiple prayers. Computers can perform millions of calculations per second. If men can make bits of silicon capable of sophisticated "multi-tasking," it should be child's play for God to make His saints capable of hearing millions of individual prayers. The saints are outside the limitations of space and time because heaven has no space or time. Our earthly way of knowing is limited and incomplete; but our heavenly way of knowing will be full and perfect (1 Corinthians 13:12).
There are an additional five objections/answers in this section.
Included in this booklet:
INTRODUCTION TO MARY
MARY AND SACRED SCRIPTURE
Mary as the Second Eve
Mary as the New Ark of the Covenant
Mary as the NT Queen Mother
THE FOUR DEFINED MARIAN DOCTRINES
Non-Catholic Stumbling Blocks
(1) Thinking in "Either/Or" Categories
(2) Misunderstanding Doctrinal Developments
(3) Confusing Doctrinal Proclamation with Doctrinal Invention
(4) Restricting God's Word to Sola Scriptura
(5) Failing to Appreciate Typology
Mother of God
LUTHER'S DEVOTION TO MARY
ANSWERING COMMON OBJECTIONS (10 total - 5 are listed above)
The Mysteries of the Rosary
Prayers of the Rosary
How to Pray the Rosary
Father Frank Chacon, and Jim Burnham. Beginning Apologetics 6: How to Explain & Defend Mary. Farmington, NM: San Juan Catholic Seminars, 2000-2012. Print.
To order one or more of the Beginning Apologetics books by Father Frank Chacon and Jim Burnham, see San Juan Catholic Seminars' website.