During the ceremony, Pope Francis made an offering of a silver vase containing 24 karat gold roses to a statue of Mary, after which Francis bowed to the statue and prayed,
“Hail Holy Queen, Blessed Virgin of Fatima, Lady of Immaculate Heart, our refuge and our way to God!” Francis continued, referring to himself as a “prophet and messenger,” “With your hands lifted in prayer to the Lord, draw all people together into one human family. … Hail, Mother of the Lord, Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima! … you are the image of the Church robed in paschal light, you are the honor of our people, you are the victory over every assault of evil. … teach us, in this valley of joys and sorrows, the eternal truths that the Father reveals to the little ones. Show us the strength of your protective mantle. In your Immaculate Heart, be the refuge of sinners and the way that leads to God. In union with my brothers and sisters, in faith, in hope and in love, I entrust myself to you. In union with my brothers and sisters, through you, I consecrate myself to God, O Virgin of the Rosary of Fatima. And at last, enveloped in the Light that comes from your hands, I will give glory to the Lord for ever and ever. Amen.”1
At this point it is necessary to be clear on the definitions of the terms worship and veneration, so as to avoid any confusion regarding what the pope did at Fatima. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary website, the term worship refers to reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence; or, [the] extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem; or, [the] excessive admiration of or devotion to a person. Synonyms (words which mean the same thing) for “worship” include: adoration, reverence, and veneration. Thesaurus.com adds to this list of synonyms: devotion, adulation, and reverence. Not surprisingly, the meaning of the word “veneration” is: “veneration early 15c., from M.Fr. veneration, from L. venerationem (nom. veneratio) 'reverence,' from venerari 'to worship, revere'.” (according to Thesaurus.com).
Clearly, by making offerings and prayer to the statue of Mary, and by extension, Mary herself, the pope was worshiping Mary, the mother of Jesus. This is a form of idolatry; and again we turn to the dictionary to have a clear understanding of the term. Idolatry is defined as the worship of idols; or, the extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone. Synonyms include idolization, idol worship, adulation, adoration, reverence, and veneration. Therefore, when someone offers extreme admiration, love, reverence, adulation, adoration, or veneration of a thing or a person, then that someone is engaging in idolatry, the worship of an idol. And again, this is what Pope Francis was doing in Fatima.
God Himself spoke very clearly on this subject in Exodus 20:4-5 when He said, “4'You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,'” [emphasis added].
This is the exact same thing the children of Israel did in Exodus 32 when they had Aaron, the brother of Moses, fashion for them an idol to worship in the form of a golden calf; and just as Pope Francis did, they also made an offering to their idol. (verse 6). And what was the Lord's response to their idol worship? The Lord's wrath burned hot against them for they had corrupted themselves (verses 7-10); and they, like Francis, sinned greatly. (verse 30)
Scripture also speaks clearly regarding God's response to such unrighteousness in Romans 1:18-25, which states, “18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. 24Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” [emphasis added]
Idolatry is an abomination to the Lord (Deuteronomy 7:26; Isaiah 44:9-20; Galatians 5:19-21), and there is no other way to describe it; but perhaps just as abominable is the prayer Francis made to the statue of Mary. Note again the words of his prayer:
“Hail Holy Queen, Blessed Virgin of Fatima, Lady of Immaculate Heart, our refuge and our way to God!” This is in direct contradiction to Jesus' words in John 14:6, Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” There is no mention of Mary being the way to God, and this is because only Jesus is the way to God. But rather than adhering to Scripture, to the words of the Savior Himself, Pope Francis rejects Jesus as the way to God, and replaces God the Son, the Creator, with the created saying Mary, a mere human, as the way to God.
Francis then goes on to not only deny Jesus again, but God the Father as well, and also the Holy Spirit, when he prays, “Hail, Mother of the Lord, Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima! … you are the victory over every assault of evil. … teach us, in this valley of joys and sorrows, the eternal truths that the Father reveals to the little ones.” Again, this contrary to God's Holy Word. It is not Mary who is the source of “victory over every assault of evil,” but rather God Himself, through Jesus Christ as His inspired Word tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:56-57: “56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Nor is Mary the one to teach us “the eternal truths that the Father reveals,” as that role is reserved for God the Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Truth. The Apostle John wrote under the inspiration of God, “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17) and, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”
The Pope goes on to pray, “Show us the strength of your protective mantle. In your Immaculate Heart, be the refuge of sinners and the way that leads to God.” Once again, Francis removes God from His rightful place, and replaces Him with Mary. Psalm 46:1 states, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” and Psalm 91:2 reiterates this with, “I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.'” God is our refuge, not Mary. As sinners in desperate need of a savior, we do not turn to another human being. Scripture does not tell us to seek protection, strength, or refuge in Mary. On the contrary, Scripture tells us our refuge is in God Himself! (cf. Ex. 33:22; Deut. 33:27; Ps. 18:2; Ps. 27:5; Ps. 31:20; Ps. 71:3; Prov. 14:26; Prov. 18:10; Is. 25:4; Zech. 9:12; Jere. 16:19).
Additionally, Francis repeats his false teaching that it is Mary's “immaculate heart” that is the way to God. As noted before, there is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus. Not Mary, but only Jesus. Period. (John 14:6)
Francis finishes his prayer by entrusting himself not to God, and not to Jesus, but to Mary. He “consecrates” himself to God, but not through Jesus, but again through Mary; and he prays he will be “enveloped” in the Light that comes not from God, but from Mary. Three times in succession in the conclusion of his prayer to Mary, Francis elevates Mary above God and above Jesus, similar to the statement of Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden: “You will be like God.” (Genesis 3:5)
Throughout his prayer to Mary, Pope Francis blasphemes God repeatedly through his anti-biblical and anti-God, and anti-Jesus Christ statements. They are, however, completely in line with his idolatry, which is amply expressed in making offerings to the graven image of another human, then bowing to it and praying to it. Mary is, for Pope Francis, his golden calf.
1. The pope's entire prayer is too long to include here, but may be read at the Vatican's official website at, https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/prayers/documents/papa-francesco_preghiere_20170512_fatima.html)