Rev. Francis J. Hoffman explains why the faithful can venerate images while not disobeying the second commandment.
Fr Francis, director of Relevant Radio, stated that it is now acceptable to venerate graven images, because we beheld the face of Christ in His incarnation.
The question Fr. Francis was answering was from a person wondering if the Catholic Church would consider taxidermy graven images. The priest quoted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2130 Already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the Ark of the Covenant, and the cherubim.
2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons – of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new “economy” of images.
2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, “the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,” and “whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.” The honor paid to sacred images is a “respectful veneration,” not the adoration due to God alone.
Fr. Francis said that taxidermy could not lead anyone directly to God, (looking at a stuffed dead animal) and that it would only be idolatry if someone worshiped it.
Did the Apostles set up a shrine full of statues of wood and stone with carvings of Moses and Abraham after Jesus ascended to the heavens? Did they start bowing before them with the excuse that Jesus walked the earth so now it was okay?
Did they open up a Catholic gift shop with lots of statues and rosaries? We know the answer is NO. There is no way Paul or Peter set up a statue in their homes or kept one in their bag when they went preaching from town to town. No bottles of holy water did they carry.
Because the Council of Nicaea decided to make the first commandment null and void does not mean that it is. The Catechism claims it is only veneration and not worship. Is the following photo veneration or worship?
Oh my dear Catholic people, come out of her. The commandment of God can not be erased by any council or any man. Be set free from idolatry by throwing out every statue and image, and the unclean spirits attached to them! Adhere to the Gospel and make Jesus your Master, Savior and Lord.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
Written by Sue