27. Statues

Catholic Position

¶1192 Sacred images in our churches and homes are intended to awaken
and nourish our faith in the mystery of Christ. Through the icon of
Christ and his works of salvation, it is he whom we adore. Through
sacred images of the holy Mother of God, of the angels and of the
saints, we venerate the persons represented.

¶1161 All the signs in the liturgical celebrations are related to
Christ: as are sacred images of the holy Mother of God and of the
saints as well. They truly signify Christ, who is glorified in them.
They make manifest the “cloud of witnesses” who continue to participate
in the salvation of the world and to whom we are united, above all in
sacramental celebrations. Through their icons, it is man “in the image
of God,” finally transfigured “into his likeness,” who is revealed to
our faith. So too are the angels, who also are recapitulated in Christ:

Following the divinely inspired teaching of our holy Fathers and the
tradition of the Catholic Church (for we know that this tradition comes
from the Holy Spirit who dwells in her) we rightly define with full
certainty and correctness that, like the figure of the precious and
life-giving cross, venerable and holy images of our Lord and God and
Savior, Jesus Christ, our inviolate Lady, the holy Mother of God, and
the venerated angels, all the saints and the just, whether painted or
made of mosaic or another suitable material, are to be exhibited in the
holy churches of God, on sacred vessels and vestments, walls and
panels, in houses and on streets.

Scripture Says

Exodus 20:4-5
4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness
of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath,
or that is in the water under the earth:
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I
the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that
hate me;

Deuteronomy 16:22
22  Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth.

Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 23
15  Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no
manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb
out of the midst of the fire:
16  Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female,
23  Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the
LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or
the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee.


1 Corinthians 10:19-20
19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
20  But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they
sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should
have fellowship with devils.

1 Corinthians 5:11
11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any
man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an
idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an
one no not to eat.

Ephesians 5:5
5  For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor
covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom
of Christ and of God.


Psalm 135:15-18
15  The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands.
16  They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;
17  They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.
18  They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them.

Commentary

  • Idols and images will not “awaken and nourish” your faith.
  • They will draw attention away from the eternal and invisible God to a finite object of man’s own invention.