Do Catholics emphasize Mary too much?


Full Question

Aren't Protestants justified in talking about Catholic excesses in honoring Mary to the exclusion of Jesus? I just watched a video entitled Catholicism: Crisis of Faith. One scene shows a statue Mary, instead of Jesus, crucified on the cross behind the altar. Who was it that died for our Redemption anyway, Jesus or Mary?

Answer

Jesus died for our Redemption. Scripture tells us, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Heb. 4:12).

Protestants (and Catholics!) are justified in criticizing instances in which some Catholics honor Mary to the exclusion of Jesus (see This Rock, May 1994), but this isn't one of those instances. The video you mention sets a new low for anti-Catholic rhetoric, and this scene is typical.

The statue of the woman on the cross is real, but it isn't a statue of the Blessed Mother. Located in a monastery in Quito, Ecuador, the statue is of a saint known as Santa Liberata or "she who received the liberation." It is said that her father, a Portuguese prince, wanted her to marry a non-Christian and corrupt prince. When she refused her fathers wishes, he ordered her crucified.

This is not an instance of "Mariolatry" but rather a fitting tribute to young martyr who would rather die than betray her Savior. For her fidelity to Christ, she shared in the same kind of death he did, as have numerous other martyrs throughout Christian history (such as many of the Japanese martyrs).


Catholic Answers Staff