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Bosco has been joined here by a fellow infallibilist – that is one who believes that his own, personal interpretation of Scripture is infallible. They both tell us that bowing is an act of worship, and when told that it is an act of veneration, insist it is an act of worship. This is not, one suspects, the best way to argue their point; insisting one is right without an argument other than ‘bowing is worship’ rather cuts off the possibility of dialogue.

But let us turn to Scripture for guidance. Let me take a few examples.

Luke 24:4-5New King James Version (NKJV)

And it happened, as they were greatly[a] perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

We see here an act of veneration, not worship. If Bosco and his friend are correct, we should expect to find the Apostles being rebuked for worshipping the angels; that bit is not in my Bible; perhaps it is only in the iconoclast’s Bible? Is this an isolated example? Perhaps it is OK because they are angels? Let us see what happens in Acts 21:29-31 when Silas and Paul are released from jail by the earthquake:

29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

Do Paul and Silas say that Bosco and his friend say – bowing is worship, you must not bow to us? No, they don’t.In the world outside that of the iconoclast with an anti-Catholic prejudice, bowing is form of veneration often practiced. On the two occasions I have been fortunate enough to be introduced to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I have bowed to her; I was not worshipping her, and she certainly did not suppose I was. Indeed, I was following the example of those who bowed to King David in 1 Chronicles 29:20.

There is a very clear distinction between worship and veneration. When, in Acts 10:25-26 , Cornelius falls before Peter, Peter tells him to get up because he, Peter, is just a man – and the word used, proskuneo is not the same used when bowing means veneration. But then being a monoglot born-again American means you don’t read the Greek and don’t know these things, and being infallible in your interpretation of Scripture, who needs to know such things?

What do we see in the OT with the Ark of the Covenant? Let me quote:

Joshua 7:6-7 Then Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust upon their heads. [7] And Joshua said,“Alas, O Lord GOD, why hast thou brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan!”

So there we have it, in sharp contrast to the injunction of Bosco and his friend, we have the Irsaelities bowing to an ark, the work of human hands, inanimate, containing on it images of two cherubs with outstretched wings. The Temple itself, the holiest place of worship, contained images according to the accounts in Exodus and Chronicles. This all sounds much more like the inside of a Catholic Church than an Evangelical chapel.

So, from Scripture itself, by sola scriptura if you will, the myth peddled by Bosco and his friend is rebutted.

What, then, is going on here? In part it is the result of centuries of State-sponsored anti-Catholic propaganda; tell people a lie often enough, especially at the risk of going to jail or being burned, and it is wonderful what people can be persuaded to believe. On top of that, there has been a long tradition in Christianity of iconoclasm, of which this Evangelical obsession is a sub-set. It led to acts of destruction matching that of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. All of this has been explained to Bosco many times, but it does not matter. Bosco, like his friend, say they have been born again and the spirit in them tells them all they need to know. Having been accused of lying by Bosco’s friend, I do not accuse them of the same, I simply ask prayerfully, that they might consider the origin of a spirit which wilfully guides them to tell untruths about Catholics.

In an era when we are sensitive to most forms of prejudice, it seems that this anti-Catholic bigotry is an ignoble exception. Satan attacks what he fears most, and he never lacks for humans foolish enough to fall for his wiles. You might, at the end of this, ask why I bother to allow such people to post here? This post is the answer. It is the duty of every believing Catholic to explain to these misguided people that they are misguided. Will they be convinced? Bosco has been here for five years repeating his sad litany and convincing no-one, so it is unlikely. But with the Lord, all things are possible, and if he and his chum are not convinced, I know there are others here, genuine seekers, who will be helped by this. God be with them, and with Bosco and his friend.

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