Q. Do Catholics worship saints?
A. No, of course not. Worship belongs to God alone – God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The First Commandment summons man to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him above all else. (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.)
Occasionally, as a priest, I hear members of non-Catholic Christian religions say that we as Catholics worship the saints, particularly Mary. In today’s age, I honestly do not know where they get that belief.
However the idea(s) that Catholics worship saints originate – from these other man-made religions and individuals – they are simply false.
Mary and the saints are human beings just like you and I. They were called to do great things for Jesus and His Church. For that we honor them; we do not worship them.
The authoritative and definitive source for the teachings of the Catholic Church is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, published in English in 1994.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church has an exceptionally fine section on this very topic in its consideration of the First Commandment, paragraphs 2084 – 2141. The Catechism provides sources to the teachings of the Catholic Church from Scripture, church councils, teachings of the popes and Saints. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is, in my estimation, indispensable in the life of every Catholic and if you do not already have a copy, get one at your local Catholic bookstore.
This question was answered by a priest of the Diocese of Lincoln. Write to Ask the Register using our online form, or write to 3700 Sheridan Blvd., Suite 10, Lincoln NE 68506-6100. All questions are subject to editing. Editors decide which questions to publish. Personal questions cannot be answered. People with such questions are urged to take them to their nearest Catholic priest.