Catholics do NOT PRAY TO (venerate) a saint. They “pray” (request) that saint intercede for them at the throne of God, where they have earned a place of honor.
I know that’s the accepted doctrine of the Catholic Church, but three things:
1. I’ve known “Catholics” that pray to Saints in a very real way. But again, that’s not the Church’s fault, other than perhaps they need to be more clear with their members on this particular doctrine.
2. I am not clear on how anyone that isn’t God (Father, Son or Spirit) can hear hundreds of thousands to millions of people simultaneously.
3. Plus Jesus is pretty awesome as a mediator all by himself :)
Either way, I have no big beef with the Catholic Church — so I don’t want to start a Holy War that sometimes erupts on FR between Catholics and Protestants.
I think you meant to say that Catholics do not WORSHIP saints. Worship is for God, and for God alone. Catholics do VENERATE saints, in a manner similar to the way everyone venerates even non-Church heroes, such as General Patton, or President Lincoln, for eample. Veneration is NOT worship, however. Not even close.
Good point about intercessory prayer. We can always ask the Saints in heaven to pray for us, the same way we can ask each other here on earth to pray for us. However, asking a Saint in heaven to pray FOR us, is not the same as praying TO a Saint. Big diff there. Catholics pray only to God. The news media, and others, frequently fail to make this very important distinction.