QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Do Catholics worship Mary as the Mother of God?
No! The Catholic Church teaches that only God is worthy of worship.
We praise and honor Mary as the Mother of Jesus, but do not worship her.
In the year 431 AD, the Council of Ephesus gave Mary the honorary title of Mother of God, since Jesus as the second Person in the Blessed Trinity is one with God.
In the book, Why Do Catholics Do That? by Kevin Orlin Johnson (Ballantine Books, 1994), the author relates that after the Ephesians learned of the Council's proclamation, they took to the streets shouting, "Holy Mary! Mother of God! Pray for us sinners!" which later became incorprated into the prayer we know today as the "Hail Mary".
The significance of this proclamation was over the nature of Jesus. Some detractors said that Mary was the mother of Jesus, but not the mother of of the Son of God. This would mean that Jesus was not divine until the divine part of God entered into his body after conception.
This then would deny that Jesus was true man and true God from the beginning of his divine conception by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Hence, if Jesus is God's only Son (begotten, not made) then Mary is the Mother of God.
- Deacon George Kozak (6/01)