Council of Hieria

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The iconoclast Council of Hieria was a Christian council of 754 which viewed itself as ecumenical, but was later rejected by the medieval Catholic Church (what would later fracture into the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic communions). It was summoned by the Byzantine, Eastern Roman Emperor Constantine V in 754 in the palace of Hieria opposite Constantinople. The council supported the emperor's iconoclast position in the Byzantine iconoclasm controversy, condemning the spiritual and liturgical use of iconography as heretical.

Byzantine Iconoclasm two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities

Byzantine Iconoclasm refers to two periods in the history of the Byzantine Empire when the use of religious images or icons was opposed by religious and imperial authorities within the Eastern Church and the temporal imperial hierarchy. The "First Iconoclasm", as it is sometimes called, existed between about 726 and 787. The "Second Iconoclasm" was between 814 and 842. According to the traditional view, Byzantine Iconoclasm was started by a ban on religious images by Emperor Leo III and continued under his successors. It was accompanied by widespread destruction of images and persecution of supporters of the veneration of images. The Western church remained firmly in support of the use of images throughout the period, and the whole episode widened the growing divergence between the Eastern and Western traditions in what was still a unified church, as well as facilitating the reduction or removal of Byzantine political control over parts of Italy.

Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.

Great Church a concept in the historiography of early Christianity

The term "Great Church" is a term of the historiography of early Christianity describing its rapid growth and structural development 180–313 AD and its claim to represent Christianity within the Roman Empire. The term is primarily associated with the Roman Catholic account of the history of Christian theology, but is also used by non-Catholic historians.

Opponents of the council described it as the Mock Synod of Constantinople or the Headless Council because no patriarchs or representatives of the five great patriarchates were present: the see of Constantinople was vacant; Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria were under Islamic dominion; while Rome was not asked to participate. Its rulings were anathematized at the Lateran Council of 769 before being overturned almost entirely by the Second Council of Nicaea in 787, which upheld the orthodoxy of and endorsed the veneration of holy images.

Pentarchy model of Church organization historically championed in the Eastern Orthodox Church

Pentarchy is a model of Church organization historically championed in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It found its fullest expression in the laws of Emperor Justinian I of the Byzantine Empire. In the model, the Christian church is governed by the heads (patriarchs) of the five major episcopal sees of the Roman Empire: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most commonly known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful, unique and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs. The primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, and the teachings and normative example of Muhammad.

Lateran Council (769) synod held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in 769; rectified abuses in the papal electoral process which had led to the elevation of the Antipopes Constantine II and Philip; condemned the Council of Hieria (754)

The Lateran Council of 769 was a synod held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to rectify perceived abuses in the papal electoral process which had led to the elevation of the Antipopes Constantine II and Philip. It also condemned the rulings of the Council of Hieria. It is perhaps the most important Roman council held during the 8th century.

Images

Three hundred and thirty-three bishops attended the 754 council. It endorsed Constantine V's iconoclast position, with the bishops declaring, "the unlawful art of painting living creatures blasphemed the fundamental doctrine of our salvation--namely, the Incarnation of Christ, and contradicted the six holy synods. . . . If anyone shall endeavour to represent the forms of the Saints in lifeless pictures with material colours which are of no value (for this notion is vain and introduced by the devil), and does not rather represent their virtues as living images in himself, etc. . . . let him be anathema."' This council declared itself the 'Seventh Ecumenical Council'.' [1]

Similar pronouncements on the issue of religious images had been made in Synod of Elvira (c. 305) which stated, "Pictures are not to be placed in churches, so that they do not become objects of worship and adoration.". [2]

Synod of Elvira synod

The Synod of Elvira was an ecclesiastical synod held at Elvira in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, now Granada in southern Spain. Its date has not been exactly determined but is believed to be in the first quarter of the fourth century, approximately 305–6. It was one of three councils, together with the Synod of Arles (314) and the Synod of Ancyra, that first approached the character of general councils and prepared the way for the first ecumenical council. It was attended by nineteen bishops and twenty-six presbyters, mostly resident in Baetica. Deacons and laymen were also present. Eighty-one canons are recorded, although it is believed that many were added at later dates. All concern order, discipline and conduct among the Christian community. Canon 36, forbidding the use of images in churches, became a bone of contention between Catholic and Protestant scholars after the Protestant Reformation.

Aniconism is the absence of material representations of the natural and supernatural world in various cultures, particularly in the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. This ban may extend from only God and deities to saint characters, all living beings, and everything that exists. The phenomenon is generally codified by the religious traditions and as such becomes a taboo. When enforced by the physical destruction of images, aniconism becomes iconoclasm. The word itself derives from Greek εικων 'image' with the negative prefix an- and the suffix -ism.

Legitimacy of the Council

After the later triumph of the Iconodules, this council became known as a robber council, i.e. as uncanonical.

Latrocinium was a war not preceded by a formal declaration of war as understood in Roman law; thus guerrilla warfare conducted against Rome was a form of latrocinium. It is typically translated into English as "banditry" or "brigandage", but in antiquity encompassed a wider range of subversive or anti-authoritarian actions, especially slave rebellions organized under charismatic leaders. In designating acts of violence that have ideological motives instead of or in addition to material gain, the modern distinction between terrorism and war may be a more illuminating comparison for the 21st century. The Greek term was leisteia; Plato and Aristotle regarded banditry as a way of life, like fishing or hunting.

Biblical canon List of books believed to form part of the Bible, according to the teachings of a particular Christian denomination

A biblical canon or canon of scripture is a set of texts which a particular religious community regards as authoritative scripture. The English word "canon" comes from the Greek κανών, meaning "rule" or "measuring stick". Christians became the first to use the term in reference to scripture, but Eugene Ulrich regards the idea as Jewish.

Edward J. Martin writes, [3] "On the ecumenical character of the Council there are graver doubts. Its president was Theodosius, archbishop of Ephesus, son of the Emperor Apsimar. He was supported by Sisinnius, bishop of Perga, also known as Pastillas, and by Basil of Antioch in Pisidia, styled Tricaccabus. Not a single Patriarch was present. The see of Constantinople was vacant. Whether the Pope and the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem were invited or not is unknown. They were not present either in person or by deputy. The Council of Nicaea [II] considered this was a serious flaw in the legitimacy of the Council. 'It had not the co-operation of the Roman Pope of the period nor of his clergy, either by representative or by encyclical letter, as the law of Councils requires.' [4] The Life of Stephen borrows this objection from the Acts and embroiders it to suit the spirit of the age of Theodore. It had not the approval of the Pope of Rome, although the modern day Catholic theologians assert that there is a canon that no ecclesiastical measures may be passed without the Pope.' [5] The absence of the other Patriarchs is then noticed." [4] This is a Roman argument: the Eastern Churches do not see the approval of the Pope as obligatory for ecumenical councils, and the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem did not receive invitations to the subsequent second Council of Nicaea either.

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Ecumenical council conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice

An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote are convoked from the whole world (oikoumene) and which secures the approbation of the whole Church.

First Council of Nicaea council of Christian bishops convened in Nicaea in 325

The First Council of Nicaea was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynian city of Nicaea by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 325.

First Council of Constantinople synod

The First Council of Constantinople was a council of Christian bishops convened in Constantinople in AD 381 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius I. This second ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, except for the Western Church, confirmed the Nicene Creed, expanding the doctrine thereof to produce the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed, and dealt with sundry other matters. It met from May to July 381 in the Church of Hagia Irene and was affirmed as ecumenical in 451 at the Council of Chalcedon.

Second Council of Nicaea synod

The Second Council of Nicaea is recognized as the last of the first seven ecumenical councils by the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church. In addition, it is also recognized as such by the Old Catholics, the Anglican Communion and others. Protestant opinions on it are varied.

Third Council of Constantinople synod

The Third Council of Constantinople, counted as the Sixth Ecumenical Council by the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Churches, as well by certain other Western Churches, met in 680/681 and condemned monoenergism and monothelitism as heretical and defined Jesus Christ as having two energies and two wills.

Patriarch

The highest-ranking bishops in Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Catholic Church, and the Church of the East are termed patriarchs.

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople autocephalous church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is one of the fifteen autocephalous churches that together compose the Eastern Orthodox Church. It is headed by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, currently Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem primate of the Eastern Orthodox Church in Jerusalem

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem or Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, officially Patriarch of Jerusalem, is the head bishop of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, ranking fourth of nine Patriarchs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Since 2005, the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem has been Theophilos III. The Patriarch is styled "Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and all Holy Land, Syria, beyond the Jordan River, Cana of Galilee, and Holy Zion." The Patriarch is the head of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre, and the religious leader of about 130,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians in the Holy Land, most of them Palestinians.

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Fourth Council of Constantinople (Catholic Church) synod

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History of the East–West Schism refers to history of the East–West Schism that occurred in 1054, representing one of the most significant events in the history of Christianity. It includes various events and processes that led to the Schism, and also those events and processes that occurred as a result of the Schism. Eastern and Western Christians had a history of differences and disagreements, some dating back even to the period of Early Christianity. At the very root of what later became the Great Schism were several questions of pneumatology and ecclesiology. The most important theological difference occurred over various questions regarding the procession of the Holy Spirit, and the use of the Filioque clause in the Creed. One of the main ecclesiological issues was the question of Papal supremacy. Other points of difference were related o various liturgical, mainly ritual and disciplinary customs and practices. Some political and cultural processes also contributed to the breakout of the Schism.

Lateran Council of 649

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References

  1. Medieval Sourcebook: Iconoclastic Council, 754, Fordham University
  2. Canon 36, http://www.conorpdowling.com/library/council-of-elvira
  3. Edward J. Martin, A History of the Iconoclastic Controversy , p.46
  4. 1 2 citing J. D. Mansi, XIII, 207d
  5. citing Vit Steph, 1144c