Fun Facts From Church History: The Worship of Images Legitimized by the 7th Ecumenical Council

The Nicene Council (787 A.D.) nullified the decrees of the iconoclastic Synod of Constantinople, and solemnly sanctioned a limited worship (proskynesis) of images.

Under images were understood the sign of the cross, and pictures of Christ, of the Virgin Mary, of angels and saints. They may be drawn in color or composed of Mosaic or formed of other suitable materials, and placed in churches, in houses, and in the street, or made on walls and tables, sacred vessels and vestments.

Homage may be paid to them by kissing, bowing, strewing of incense, burning of lights, saying prayers before them; such honor to be intended for the living objects in heaven which the images represented. The Gospel book and the relics of martyrs were also mentioned among the objects of veneration.*

So tell us again how the Catholic Church opposed idolatry…

*Philip Schaff and David Schley Schaff, History of the Christian Church (vol. 4; New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1910), 460.

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