Sunday, March 05, 2006

Does your church have icons and statues of Christ and the saints?

If not, your church may be heretical iconoclasts. Consider this from the second council of Nicea:

To make our confession short, we keep unchanged all the ecclesiastical traditions handed down to us, whether in writing or verbally, one of which is the making of pictorial representations, agreeable to the history of the preaching of the Gospel, a tradition useful in many respects, but especially in this, that so the incarnation of the Word of God is shown forth as real and not merely phantastic, for these have mutual indications and without doubt have also mutual significations.

The fathers of the council declared that we should have pictorial representations of the Gospel to emphasize that what we say happened really happened.

If you think it is a mere matter of taste, and that St. Hoozitz is free to have a church as bare as a barn, look at this canon of the council which has never been abrogated: We, therefore, following the royal pathway and the divinely inspired authority of our Holy Fathers and the traditions of the Catholic Church (for, as we all know, the Holy Spirit indwells her), define with all certitude and accuracy that just as the figure of the precious and life-giving Cross, so also the venerable and holy images, as well in painting and mosaic as of other fit materials, should be set forth in the holy churches of God, and on the sacred vessels and on the vestments and on hangings and in pictures both in houses and by the wayside, to wit, the figure of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, of our spotless Lady, the Mother of God, of the honourable Angels, of all Saints and of all pious people.

If your church doesn't have pictures, it isn't really a Catholic church.

Thanks to the excellent Karl Thienes for the link to the council documents. Go here to read them.

Note: the previous post is a reprint. Having this blog for five years, I've written at least five times about every topic.

1 comment:

Jeff Miller said...

If only the current iconoclasm could result in the splendor found in Easter n Catholic and Orthodox churches now after they reveresed their own.