Greek: eidololatreia, image worship
Broadly, extends to all divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God. Opposed to the virtue of religion, it bestows reverence due to God alone directly on the image itself or on the creature represented. All religious systems indicate a primitive, pure Monotheistic concept degraded by man and devil. Disordered affections, need of sense-images, ignorance of God‘s excellence, and diabolical agency have led unbridled imagination to attribute divine power to myriad false gods of every kind. Idolatry was Israel’s national sin. Absolutely considered, idolatry and atheism are the greatest sins, a direct attempt to despoil and dethrone God and to substitute a creature. Circumstances determine the actual guilt. Inculpable ignorance and right intent divert the worship to the one true God.
Catholic veneration of images is not directed to the images as such, but is a form of respect paid to them as representative of the original to whom alone honour is due and attributed.