What is Liberation Theology? » Liberation Theology
HOLY TRANSFIGURATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
“We venerate Thy most pure image, O Good One…”
One of the striking characteristics of our Holy Orthodox Church is the special devotion given to the sacred images of our Lord, His Blessed Mother and all of the Saints. They adorn our churches and sanctify our homes. From our infancy, we are taught to venerate all icons with reverence and respect for the holy ones that they represent.
In the 8th century, however, the Church became embroiled in a fierce controversy over whether it was proper to treat icons in such a special way. Led by the Emperor Leo, the iconoclasts viewed such devotion as “pagan.” Icons were removed from churches and all public places. Even when the 7th Ecumenical Council, which was held in Nicea in 787 A.D., declared: “ICONS ARE TO BE VENERATED; GOD ALONE IS TO BE SERVED IN FAITH,” the controversy continued to rage. Scores of supporters of the Orthodox position on icons were tortured and martyred for their convictions.
In 843 A.D., Empress Irene was able to finally end this bitter conflict. On the First Sunday of Lent that year, the veneration of icons was restored to its rightful pace in the theology of the Church. It is said that a great procession with holy icons took place in the Church of the Holy Wisdom in Constantinople that day, as thousands celebrated this “Triumph of Orthodoxy.” It is still customary for Orthodox faithful of all jurisdictions and ethnic backgrounds to joyfully gather in prayer on this day, marking the Church’s victory over the iconoclasts. — Weekly Bulletin, March 4, 2001