Lydia McGrew wrote: "One point that occurs to me is that if idolatry creeps into a Christian group or into the life of a Christian (or Jew, for that matter), it will do so in some way that can be explained away."
Benedict XVI praying to a statue of Mary. Looks like idolatry to me!
John Paul 2 and several other Roman Catholic priests bowing down to a statue of Mary and praying to her. Looks like idolatry to me!
Benedict XVI and John Paul 2 were not just poor uneducated peasants in Fatima, Portugal, but rather suppossedly the "infallible interpreter" of the whole "true" Christian Church.
A Roman Catholic may counter with, "they are just asking the real Mary in heaven to pray for them" and " they are only using the statues to help them visualize her. They are not really talking to the stone or plastic statue and they are not really bowing down to the stone or plastic or wood carving."
or "We can distinquish between dulia and hyperdulia and latria in our minds, and we don't give latria to Mary or the saints, when we pray to them."
"unless you have entered into that experience, you cannot judge it."
"Idolatry, occurs internally in the heart, primarily. Human beings can explain away idolatry in their hearts and minds, because human beings have a massive capacity for self-deception. Humans are skilled at rationalization and justify things within themselves. Someone has to consciously and deliberately choose to be committing idolatry in the heart. Someone has to consciously and deliberately choose to replace God in their prayers with Mary or St. Joseph or St. Teresa or St. Patrick, or else it isn't truly idolatry. It may be an extreme case of a lack of diligence, or spiritual laziness, but not idolatry."
"Do you think the apostle John was consciously and deliberately committing idolatry when he bowed down to the angel and was rebuked for it in Revelation 19:10 and 22:8-9?
"Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God.” For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. " Revelation 19:10
See many past articles I have written on the issue of Roman Catholic Marian Piety and the bad witness it has given to Muslims for centuries, and continues to this day.