The Council of Hieria (754) was convened by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine V. It met in the palace of Hieria opposite Constantinople. The council supported the emperor's iconoclast position, condemning the spiritual and liturgical use of iconography.

The council viewed itself as ecumenical, but was rejected by the medieval Roman Church. 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, the Seventh Ecumenical Council which upheld the orthodoxy of and endorsed the veneration of holy 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 endeavor to represent the forms of the Saints in lifeless pictures with material colors 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'.' A name eventually given to the Second Council at Nicaea of 787 which approved the use of Icons.

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.".

 

 

https://www.revolvy.com/page/Council-of-Hieria 2/20/19

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04312a.htm 2/20/19