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Michael Uchenna wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have many questions to ask about the Catholic faith.

Why do we have many statues in the Catholic Church when the Bible says:

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

Exodus 20:4

1Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God.

Leviticus 26:1

8 You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;

Deuteronomy 5:8

There are many other chapters in the Bible that refer to this practice as well.

In Catholicism, we have many images and statues of the Saints and of mother Mary which we adore as well as images and statues of Jesus which we worship.

  • The camera was not invented until 1557 to 1600 A.D. so where did we get all these pictures of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints?

Today we have as many images and statues of Jesus as we do of Mary.

Michael

  { Why does our practice contradict the Bible on statues and with no camera how did we get them? }

Mike replied:

Dear Michael,

This is a common question; it's even in our searchable knowledge base.
There are a lot of quick answers there, so give it a try.

I know you mean well Michael but you have some grave misunderstandings about what we believe as Catholic Christians. I would encourage you to read and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church, especially if you are involved in faith-sharing discussions with other Protestants who, with sincere hearts, can misrepresent what we believe.

  • Catholics do not worship statues nor do we worship images.

    Statues and images of Our Blessed Lord Jesus, Mary, and the Saints are just holy reminders that they are praying and therefore helping us as we pilgrimage throughout this earthy journey. In the same way a neighbor can ask you to pray for them and you would say, Of course; Catholic Christians ask Jesus, Mary, and the Saints (through prayer) for help and, God-Willing, with their prayers we will receive some help. I would ask any Protestant this question.

    • If someone very close to you, just had a tragic event in their life and ask you to pray for them, would you say:

        No, I can't; that would undermine the sole mediatorship of Jesus Christ?

No Catholic is undermining the sole mediatorship of Jesus Christ because they have been baptized and partake in the Eucharist and therefore, like Mary and the Saints, are In Christ! — not apart from Christ! Yeah, we still have broken bodies that we have to work with but our goal is to do the best we can. We can do so by renewing our Sunday Covenant at Mass and going to Confession.

  • We are not worshipping pieces of marble. Holy images and statues are nothing more than what would be in the wallet of any family man: a picture of their wife and children, which, like God the Father, he takes pride in.

  • Catholics do not worship Mary or the saints in any way!
    • Any Catholic that tells you this should go to Confession and talk to the priest about this issue.
    • Any non-Catholic who says this, is distorting what we believe as Catholic Christians.
I searched the knowledge base for you and found these web posting that may help:

You said:

  • The camera was not invented until 1557 to 1600 A.D. so where did we get all these pictures of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints?

Though the camera was not invent until the 15th century, the array of pictures we have of
Our Lord, His mother, and the Saints, would have come from sketches and paintings done by previous, devout Christians.

They were probably taken from Early Church sketches or from the catacombs.

I hope this helps,

Mike

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