Neither does my step father. See Exodus 25:1820. Catholics use statues, paintings, and other artistic devices to recall the person or thing depicted. Just as it helps to remember ones mother by looking at her photograph, so it helps to recall the example of the saints by looking at pictures of them. Catholics also use statues as teaching tools. In the early Church they were especially useful for the instruction of the illiterate. Many Protestants have pictures of Jesus and other Bible pictures in Sunday school for teaching children. Catholics also use statues to commemorate certain people and events, much as Protestant churches have three-dimensional nativity scenes at Christmas.
Ive always thought of the Vatican and the people within as being very vain.
You're not alone. It is a common misperception. Can you specify why you feel this way?
The pope lives like royalty
Again, a misconception. The pope gives up all personal goods and resides in the papal apartments. Following the death (or, in this case) the retirement of a pope, the apartments are sealed until a new pontiff is elected. When Pope Francis was shown the apartment, his reaction was similar to yours. While no official statement has yet been made, it has been mentioned that he plans to live elsewhere in a more humble setting.
they worship images of Mary.
Catholics venerate Mary. We do not worship her. Hyperdulia or super veneration is given to only one created being, and that is the Blessed Virgin Mary. It shows that Mary, the Mother of God, is so highly blessed and endowed by God that she stands alone in her class. She is above all the angels and all the Saints. She is the Mother of God.