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on, and punished those who had them in their possession as guilty of idolatry. Some he put to death by the sword, more expired under the lash; he deprived an immense multitude of sight; he ordered the beards of others to be anointed with oil and melted wax, and then set on fire; and more he banished, after subjecting them to various tortures. Such was the furious persecution by Constantine of the venerators of holy images; but with all his cruelty, he could not destroy religion, and in the end God destroyed him, by an extraordinary sickness, in the year 775. According to Danæus, his death was like that of Antiochus, and his repentance of the same sort as that of his prototype (25). Fleury says (26), that Constantine having cast his eye on a crown of geins presented to the Patriarchal Church by the Emperor Heraclius, seized it; but he had scarcely put it on his head, when he was covered with carbuncles, and tortured besides with a violent fever, and that he died in the most excruciating agony. Van Ranst adds (27), that he died consumed by an internal fire, and crying out that he was burning alive as a penalty for the irreverence he showed to the images of the Mother of God.
15. Constantine Copronimus was succeeded by his son, LeoIV.; he pretended to be a Catholic in the commencement of his reign, with the intention of cementing his authority, and more especially he expressed his wishes that the Mother of God should be treated with the greatest respect; he permitted the Religious scattered in the late persecution to inhabit their monasteries once more, and assisted them to do so, and he appointed Catholic bishops to the Sees; but when he felt himself firmly established on the throne he threw off the mask and renewed the persecution with all his father's fury: he even banished the Empress Irene, his wife, because he suspected that in private she venerated the holy images, and nothing would induce him to see her again. His reign, however, was short; he was attacked by a strange disorder like his father's, and died, having only reigned about five years. He had associated his son Constantine in the Empire with him, but as he was only ten years old at his father's death, his mother, the Empress Irene, took the reins of government, and under her pious care the Christian religion flourished once more.
Paul, then Patriarch of Constantinople, was attacked with a severe sickness and took the sudden resolution of retiring into a monastery, and declared to the Empress that against his conscience he condemned the veneration of images to please the Emperor Copronimus. Withal, he was a virtuous man, and the Empress endeavoured to force him to resume the government of his Church, but he was firm in his refusal, and said he would spend the remainder of his days weeping for his sins (28).
(25) Hermant, t. 1, c. 299, 300. (26) Fleury, l. 44, n. 16. 8.8. X. p. 147. (28) Hermant, t. 1, c. 301, 303.
(27) Van Ranst,
16. Tarasius, as yet a layman, and who had been Secretary of State, was, with the good will of all, appointed to succeed Paul; but as the See was separated from the communion of the other patriarchates, he accepted it solely on condition that as soon as possible a General Council should be convoked, to re-unite all the Churches in one faith. This condition was agreed to by all, and he was consecrated Patriarch, and immediately sent his professsion of faith to Pope Adrian, and at the same time the Empress also wrote to the Holy Father, both in her own and her son's name, imploring him to consent to the convocation of a General Council, and to assist at it himself in person to re-establish the ancient tradition in regard to the veneration of holy images, and if he could not attend himself, at least to send his Legates. The Pope answered this letter of the Empress, and besought her to use all her influence to get the Greeks to pay the same veneration to holy images as did the Romans, following the tradition of the Fathers; and should it be found impossible, he says, to re-establish this point without a General Council, the first thing of all to be done should be, to declare the nullity of the false Council, held in the reign of the Emperor Leo. He besides required that the Emperor should send a declaration sworn in his own name, and in the names of the Empress his mother, of the Patriarch, and of the whole Senate, that the Council should enjoy full and perfect liberty (29).
17. The Pope then sent two Legates to Constantinople-Peter, Arch priest of the Roman Church, and Peter, Abbot of the Monastery of St. Saba, and they arrived at their destination while the Emperor and Empress were in Thrace. The Iconoclast bishops, who were more numerous and supported by a great number of the laity, took courage from this, and insisted that it was necessary to maintain the condemnation of images, and not allow a new Council. The Emperor and Empress returned to Constantinople, and the 1st of August of the year 786 was appointed for opening the Council in the Church of the Apostles. The evening before, however, the soldiers went to the baptistery of the church, crying out that they would have no Council. The Patriarch notified this to the Empress; but, notwithstanding the disturbance, it was determined not to postpone the Council, and it was opened the following day. When the bishops were assembled, and while the Synodical letters were being read, the soldiers, urged on by the schismatical bishops, came round the church, and, thundering at the doors, told the assembled prelates that they would never allow what was decreed under the Emperor Constantine to be revoked, and they then burst into the church with drawn swords, and threatened the Patriarch and bishops with death. The Emperor sent his own body-guards to restrain them,
. but they could not succeed, and the schismatical bishops sung the
(29) Fleury, t. 6, 1. 14, n. 25.
song of victory. The Patriarch and the Catholic bishops went into the Sanctuary, in the meantime, and celebrated the Holy Mysteries, without showing any signs of fear; but the Empress sent him word to retire for that time, and avoid the extremity the schismatics might be led to. Every one then went to his own lodging, and the disturbance was quelled. The Empress then, in the ensuing month, brought in a reinforcement of new troops from Thrace, and sent out of the city all those, together with their families, who had served under her father-in-law, Constantine, and were tainted with his errors (30)
18. Being thus secured against the violence of the soldiery and the intrigues of the chiefs of the sedition, on the May following, in the year 787, the bishops were again called on to hold the Council in Nice, in Bythynia; and, on the 24th of September (31), the same year, the first Session was held in the Church of St. Sophia, in that city. Three hundred and fifty bishops, the Legates of the Apostolic See, and of the three Patriarchal Sees, and a great number of monks and Archimandrites, attended. The Legates of Pope Adrian presided in this Council, as we gather from the Acts, in which they are named before the Patriarch Tarasius, and before the Legates of the other Patriarchal Sees. Graveson remarks that the statement of Photius, that Tarasius presided in the Seventh Council, is as false as what he asserts in another place, that the Patriarchs of Constantinople presided at all the former General Councils. Seven Sessions were held in this Council. In the first Session the petition of a great many bishops was read, condemning the heresy of the Iconoclasts, and asking pardon at the same time for having subscribed the false Council of Copronimus. The Council having examined their case admitted them to mercy, and re-established them in their dignity; but deferred the admission of those bishops who had lived for a long period in heresy. In the Second Session the letter of Pope Adrian to the Emperor, and to Tarasius, was read, and several other bishops were re-established in their Sees. In the Fourth Session, several proofs of the veneration of holy images were read from the Scriptures and from the Holy Fathers. In the Fifth, it was proved that the Iconoclasts had drawn their erroneous doctrines from the Gentiles, the Jews, the Manicheans, and the Saracens. In the Sixth, chapter by chapter of everything that was defined in the late Cabal of Constantinople was refuted (32); and, in the Seventh Session, the veneration of sacred images was defined. Cardinal Gotti (33) gives the Decree in full; this is the substance of it: “ Following the tradition of the Catholic Church, we define that, in the same manner as the image of the precious cross, so should be likewise venerated, and placed in churches, on
(30) Fleury, 1.6, 1. 44, 28. (31) Fleury, n. 39; Nat. Alex. t. 11, c. 3, d. 3; Craves, t. 3, col. 4. (32) Fleury, t. 6, l. 44, 11. 29. (33) Gotti, Ver. Rel. t. 2, e. K), *. 4.
walls in houses, and streets, the images of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Mother of God, of the Angels, and of all the Saints. For those who frequently have before their eyes, and contemplate those sacred images, are more deeply impressed with the memory of those they represent, and give them an honorary adoration, but do not, indeed, offer them that real adoration which Faith teaches should be given to God alone; for the honour paid to the image is referred to the principal, and he who venerates an image venerates the person it represents."
represents." It then anathematizes all those who profess or teach otherwise, and who reject the images, crosses, pictures, or relics, which the Church honours. This Decree was subscribed by all the bishops.
19. When the Acts of this Council were brought to France, the bishops of that nation (34), assembled in a Synod, in Frankfort, absolutely rejected them; and so did Charlemagne, in the “Four Books," either composed by him, or more properly published in his name, in the year 790, and called the Four Caroline Books. But as Selvaggi, in his notes on Mosheim, remarks (35), all this was caused by an error of fact, as the Frankfort Fathers believed that the Fathers of Nice decided that images should be absolutely worshipped, and this he proves from the Second Canon of the Council of Frankfort itself.
* A question has been submitted to us," it says, "concerning the new Synod the Greeks have holden in Constantinople, relative to the worship of images, in which it is reported to have been decided, that those should be anathematized who would not worship them. This doctrine we totally reject:" " Allata est in medium quæstio de nova Græcorum Synodo, quam de adorandis Imaginibus Constantinopoli fecerunt, in qua scriptum habebatur, ut qui Imaginibus Sanctorum, ita ut Deificæ Trinitatis servitium, aut adorationem non impenderent, anathema judicarentur. Qui supra sanctissimi Patres nostri omnimodis adorationem renuentes contempserunt atque consentientes condemnaverunt." This mistake occurred, as Danæus says, on account of the unfaithful version of the Acts of the Council of Nice received in France, and translated from the Greek; whereas the Council of Nice itself, as we have already seen, makes the distinction between honorary reverence and absolute adoration very clearly.
20. Besides, Graveson informs us, that the French bishops did not consider this Council of Nice as a General one at all, but merely a Greek national Synod, since it was almost altogether composed of Eastern bishops, and they did not see the customary letter of confirmation from the Pope to the Emperor and to the whole Church; but, as Danæus says, as soon as the matter was cleared up, there was no longer any disagreement. Still, he says, in the ninth century, several Emperors, adherents of the Iconoclasts, renewed
(31) Graves. Hist. Eccl, 6. 3, col. 4,
(36) Silvaz. nota, 65, ad 1. 10, Mosh. p. 1063.
the persecution of the Catholics, and especially Nicephorus, Leo the Armenian, Michael the Stammerer, and, above all, Theophilus, who surpassed all the rest in cruelty. He died, however, in 842, and the Empress Theodora, his wife, a pious and Catholie lady, administered the empire for her son, Michael, and restored peace to the Church, so that the Iconoclasts never after disturbed the peace of the Eastern Church. This erroneous doctrine began to spring up in the West in the twelfth century—the Petrobrussians first, and then the Henricians and Albigenses followed it. Two hundred years after, the same error was preached by the followers of Wickliffe; by the Hussites, in Bohemia; by Carlostad, in Wittemburg, though against Luther's will; and by the disciples of Zuinglius and Calvin, the faithful imitators of Leo and Copronimus; and those, as Danæus says, who boast of following the above-named masters, should add to their patrons both the Jews and the Saracens. I have explained the doctrine of the veneration of holy images in my dogmatic work on the Council of Trent (sess. 25, sec. 4, n. 35), in which this matter is discussed, and the veneration due to the holy images of the Trinity, of the Cross, of Jesus Christ, of his Divine Mother, and the Saints, is proved from tradition, and from the authority of Fathers, and ancient history; and the objections made by heretics are there answered likewise.
CHAPTER I X.
HERESIES OF THE NINTH CENTURY.
THE GREEK SCHISM COMMENCED BY PHOTIUS.
1. St. Ignatius, by means of Bardas, Uncle to tlie Emperor Michael, is expelled from the
See of Constantinople. 2. He is replaced by Photius. 3. Photius is consecrated. 4. Wrongs inflicted on St. Ignatius and on the Bishops who defended him. 5. The Pope sends Legates to investigate the Affair. 6. St. Ignatius appeals from the Judgment of the Legates to the Pope himself. 7. lle is deposed in a False Council. 8. The Pope defends St. Ignatius. 9. The Pope deposes the Legates and Photius, and confirms St. Ignatius in his See. 10. Bardas is put to Death by the Emperor, and he associates Basil in the Empire. 11. Photius condemns and deposes Pope Nicholas II., and afterwards promulgates his Error concerning the Holy Ghost. 12. The Emperor Michael is killed, and Basil is elected and banishes Photius.
GODESCHALCUS, of whom we have already spoken (chap. 5, art. 2, n. 17), was charged with Predestinarianism in this century; but, as we have already heard his history, we now pass on to the great Greek schism.
1. In the reign of the Emperor Michael, the Church of Constantinople was governed by the Patriarch, St. Ignatius. This great prelate was son to the Emperor Michael Curopalates; and when his