Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Council of 754

In 754 there was a council of more than 300 bishops in Constantinople who referred to themselves as the seventh ecumenical council and unanimously ("The holy synod cried out: Thus we all believe, we all are of the same mind. We have all with one voice and voluntarily subscribed. This is the faith of the Apostles.") affirmed among other things:

(8) If anyone ventures to represent the divine image (karakthr) of the Word after the Incarnation with material colours, let him be anathema!

(9) If anyone ventures to represent in human figures, by means of material colours, by reason of the incarnation, the substance or person (ousia or hypostasis) of the Word, which cannot be depicted, and does not rather confess that even after the Incarnation he [i.e., the Word] cannot be depicted, let him be anathema!

You clearly accept the testimony of a later council (which also called itself "the seventh ecumenical council") that held rather differently with respect to at least these two items.

We've already established the relative paucity of early priests and doctors affirming the use of icons in worship (you could only identify a small handful of alleged teachers of the doctrine, while you acknowledge that there were dozens of doctors and thousands upon thousands of priests). Now we've established a purported ecumenical and not Roman Catholic or Protestant council of bishops meeting in large numbers in the historic seat of "Orthodoxy" and denying a doctrine that has massive implications for the worship practice of virtually all Roman Catholics and Orthodox churches and congregants around the world.

How do you know that those 300 ancient bishops were all wrong and another group of bishops in the next generation were right: do you apply Vincent's Canon or some other test?


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