Thursday, 25 February 2021

Eastern Rite - Iconclasm

Today is the Feast of St Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople. He presided as Christ's deputy over the Second Council of Nicaea which condemned iconclasm, safeguarding an orthodox understanding of the Incarnation.
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Literally, iconoclasm (from Greek eikōn, image + klaein, to break.) is the destruction of religious icons and other sacred images or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. In Christian circles, iconoclasm has generally been motivated by a literal interpretation of the second of the Ten Commandments, which forbids the making and worshipping of "graven images." This is clearly a misinterpretation of the decalogue because if one continues to read through the Book of Exodus one would encounter the command to Moses to build the Tabernacle: a visible icon of the invisible God.

It was condemned as heresy at the Second Œcumenical Council of Nicaea.

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