Statements 1-4 are either irrelevant or at best tangential to the issue. After all, even if you have no dispute with any of those 4 assertions, none of those actually establish that praying to Mary, and according her the level of worship that Catholics do, is appropriate.
Number 5 touches on the salient point, that of intercession, but ignores some key matters. First, though the Bible provides evidence of Christians being told to ask each other to pray for them, there is not a single instance of anyone being told to user prayer in order to make that request. Every example is only of one person simply asking another living person to pray for them.
Now, the Catholic counterpoint to that is to say that Christians, living or dead, are all part of the “communion of saints”, so it is therefore no different to ask a dead Christian, such as Mary to pray for you, than it is to ask a living Christian. However, I see a couple holes in that argument.
First, in order for us to accept this argument, the person being prayed to must be part of this communion, or the point is of no consequence. This is only important in the case of asking those not living on earth for intercession, since there is a specific Biblical prohibition against communicating with the dead or with spirits that is relevant to this case. Catholics can argue that Christians who have part in Christ’s resurrection are not “dead” once their bodies die on earth, thus exempting prayer to them from this prohibition. However, only if one was certain of the person’s spiritual condition, be it in heaven, hell, or somewhere else, could one be certain that praying to them would be acceptable and not an act of divination or spiritualism. Thus, one must accept the Catholic Church’s proclamations of the status of Saints such as Mary as absolute, in order to think that this type of prayer is not fraught with danger.
Secondly, we know that living Christians can hear our request and respond, since they are alive and this is just factual observation. On the other hand, we have no real evidence or scriptural examples to say Mary or others who may be in Heaven can actually hear our prayers, or have something approaching omniscience to be able to hear the prayers of multitudes around the world, even those praying silently. Again, we must take the Catholic Church’s opinion on the matter as the absolute truth, or we can’t easily overlook this issue.
Finally, these Catholic doctrines on Mary deal with much more than the simple matter of one Christian saying a prayer for another. The practice of praying to Mary and other Saints imply that their intercessions are more efficacious than the intercessions of others. This idea has a lot of repercussions, and there are more than a few arguments that can be raised against it.
Also, the doctrines on Mary and the saints involve not only simple prayers of intercession, but prayers of reverence. Again, the Catholics invoke the “communion of saints”, as well as the Commandment to honor your father and mother, to answer this objection. Still, the reverence shown to some saints, and especially to Mary, goes well beyond the practice of showing respect to people on earth, and it can be argued that it approaches the level or giving worship to them that is due only to God. The Catholic Church assures us that this level of worship is not inappropriate, but again, we have to accept that they are absolutely correct on that matter, or there is a problem not easily ignored.
In the end, it simply boils down to trusting the authority of the Catholic Church’s doctrine on the matter, in order to put these objections aside. If you are a Catholic, then you will accept that authority, and see no issues at all with these practices. For non-Catholics, there are plenty of reasons to question and object to the practices, but the responses all boil down to “we don’t have to worry about that because the Church says it’s okay”.
I’ve often wondered how you could pray to someone who has died, how could they hear you in Heaven? I would think only
God could possibly hear all the prayers.
Those who do not agree with Catholic views about Mary do not, contrary to what some want everyone to think, disrespect nor dishonor the mother of Jesus Christ. Instead, we see her as a model disciple of Christ whose faith was tested and who, through the grace of God, was able to endure those trials and remain a solid witness to the truth. Her kind of faith, through the SAME grace of God, is available to us all if we would only believe, trust and surrender to the will of Almighty God.