Why do Catholics worship statues? Do Catholics commit idolatry? Are they even Christian?
Yes, Catholics are very much Christian and everything is based on what Jesus taught us. Catholics have Bible verses in every Mass (service).
I remember a story about what the Catholic Church may look like from the outside. If you stand outside of the church, you can see the stain glass windows but they are dark and unappealing. The building just looks like any other building and not very exciting or even a little weird to people outside. But if you look at it from the inside, the stain glass windows are so vibrant, beautiful and they tell a story. Lights illuminate the ornate painted gold scrollwork on the walls and the beauty within. Once you get to know what the Catholic Church is all about, you see the beauty within.
Statues in the Catholic Church are reminders for us, like people would have pictures of their family in their wallet. If we didn’t have pictures of our great grandparents, we wouldn’t know what they looked like, right? We honor the Virgin Mary (I will write more about that later) and the saints but only ask for them to pray FOR us, like we ask our family and friends to pray for us. Idolatry would be if we thought that the statue itself would be able to do what we ask, but the statues only remind us of Jesus or the saints and we only worship God and Jesus.
We also have crucifixes of Jesus on the cross to remind us of His sacrifice for us. We are not crucifying him again. Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are all one thing, not separate. You can’t have one without the other. People have asked me why we want weddings in the church instead of on the beach. The answer is, so that we have a crucifix to look at and remind us of the sacrifice that we are called to do within our marriage which is a covenant (promise) between the couple and God, instead of a contract of only the couple.
Although it may LOOK like we worship the statues, we are really using the statue to remind us of the person and asking for the person to PRAY FOR US and WITH US to God. If you think about it, if you wanted something you would go to your mom and ask for her to ask dad for you right? Why? Because you know that he wouldn’t refuse her on your behalf. It’s the same with the Virgin Mary and Jesus and God. The Virgin Mary goes to her Son and asks Him for and with us for our request and Jesus will always listen to His Mother. The saints do the same thing. They are our huge family in Heaven and they are on our side and willing to assist us to reach heaven.
Jesus gave His mother to us when He was on the cross dying.
26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loves, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. John 19:26-27
Jesus not only gave the Virgin Mary, his mother, to John to care for but He also gave her to us as our Mother. She is our Blessed Mother in Heaven and we need to honor her as Jesus would.