Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Maria » Sun 17 December 2017 5:47 am

Within the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Churches today, Arianism still persists.

Remember that close to 90% of the world in the 4th century had fallen under the Arian heresy, and not surprisingly, it is still alive.

Also remember that I am a convert from Roman Catholicism having been first chrismated into the Greek Orthodox Church in 1996, and then baptized in 2011 into True Orthodoxy. My former Roman Catholic pastor, who was consecrated a bishop by John-Paul II, boldly professed Arianism until his death a few years ago. When I was homeschooling and visited a Protestant school back in the early 1990s, I discovered that one of their texts taught Arianism: that Jesus Christ was not God, but became God at His Baptism. That is the definition of Arianism, and that is also the convoluted creed of Mormonism, which falsely teaches that we will all become God and rule over our own planets. So, the Mormons have this secret baptism where they are given freemasonic aprons, that somehow makes them Gods? Absurd.

How many Protestants and Catholics are Arianists? How many of the New Calendarists in World Orthodoxy are Arianist today?

Thus, it does not surprise me at all that certain people still venerate icons from the time of Arianism, icons with the midwives that cast serious doubt of Holy Mary's ever-virginity. Wake up.

We should reject these icons with midwives as not truly Orthodox.
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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Justice » Sun 17 December 2017 7:32 am

Maria wrote:Within the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Churches today, Arianism still persists.

Remember that close to 90% of the world in the 4th century had fallen under the Arian heresy, and not surprisingly, it is still alive.

Also remember that I am a convert from Roman Catholicism having been first chrismated into the Greek Orthodox Church in 1996, and then baptized in 2011 into True Orthodoxy. My former Roman Catholic pastor, who was consecrated a bishop by John-Paul II, boldly professed Arianism until his death a few years ago. When I was homeschooling and visited a Protestant school back in the early 1990s, I discovered that one of their texts taught Arianism: that Jesus Christ was not God, but became God at His Baptism. That is the definition of Arianism, and that is also the convoluted creed of Mormonism, which falsely teaches that we will all become God and rule over our own planets. So, the Mormons have this secret baptism where they are given freemasonic aprons, that somehow makes them Gods? Absurd.

How many Protestants and Catholics are Arianists? How many of the New Calendarists in World Orthodoxy are Arianist today?


I would have never expected a Roman Catholic priest to contradict the Nicene Creed! and in World Orthodoxy who knows if this is secretly happening. With the protestants, in not as surprised. Groups live the Jehovahs Witnesses are Neo-Arians passing as Christians.

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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Maria » Sun 17 December 2017 8:13 am

This is an excerpt from a document of Synod of the GOC (under Andreas) dated January 23, 1992.
Concerning the veneration of certain icons.

Thus, in a fatherly manner, we urge and exhort the pious Iconographers to paint, and the devout faithful to respect, honor, venerate, and kiss, all Sacred icons that the tradition of the Church has shown and consecrated. And in particular, for pastoral reasons, we reply synodically concerning those Sacred Icons about which doubts have been raised and opposing viewpoints have been set forth:

1. The icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons", that is, of the Beginningless Father, as the "Ancient of days," the Son as "He appeared in the flesh," and the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a dove, we venerate and honor. Of course, it is not as a circumscription of the uncircumscribable divinity that we depict Him, in as much as "it is impossible to depict and paint the nature of God" (Gregory III, Pope of Rome, Epistle to Leo III, In Session 7 of the 7th Ecum. Council, Mansi 963D) but as the Beginningless Father, as He was revealed in a vision to the prophet Daniel (Dan.7:13) and to the Protomartyr Stephen (Acts 7:55), and the Holy Spirit as He was revealed to John the Forerunner at the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan and as He is depicted in the icon of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is appropriate to remind ourselves that the Holy 7th Ecumenical Council, in the 5th Session, decreed that the visions of the prophets are to be painted.

And, finally, it must be noted that this representation of the Holy Trinity does not constitute a violation of the relative prohibition by God (Ex. 20:4), as some contend, nor an exception to it, but an accurate consequence of the Orthodox Christian teaching regarding the mystery of the divine economy and extreme condescension of the love of God, as St. Dionysios the Areopagite says: "The forms of the formless and the figures of the figureless have been set forth [before us]… since our condition is unable to rise directly to the contemplation of intelligible things and is in need of aids corresponding to our nature so as to guide [us] upward." (Dionysios the Areopagite, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, PG3, 441D) [incorrect column No. given in the original encyclical. Should be 373.]

In order to prevent conflicting opinions and divisions, we decree that the icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons," that is, of the Beginningless Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be placed upon stands for veneration in the Sacred Temples on Monday of the Holy Spirit. This icon of the Holy Trinity must also be imprinted upon the Sacred Antiminsia.

2. The icon of "The Hospitality of Abraham", which represents an actual historic event in the Old Testament, we accept and venerate because it depicts the dispensational and symbolic appearance of the Trihypostatic God to the patriarch Abraham (St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images, Apology III). This icon must no longer bear the title "The Holy Trinity" but simply the title "The Hospitality of Abraham."

3. The icon of the Resurrection of Christ, that is, the Arising of the Lord from the Grave, we venerate as depicting the Life-bearing Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the defeat of death and Hades was confirmed, as the hymnodist chants, "Like a comely bridegroom Thou came forth from the grave as if from a bridal chamber, having destroyed the tyranny of death, O Christ…" (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, 9th Ode, No.2) This is because, according to St. John of Damascus, "The Lord's Resurrection was the union of the uncorrupted body and soul, for He said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I shall raise it up. " (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Bk.4, Ch.27) It must be emphasized that the Resurrection of the Lord constitutes the cornerstone of our faith and the completion of our salvation, in that, "If Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain" (1 Cor.15:17), and, "while the tomb was yet sealed, Life dawned from the grave." In order for the iconographic depiction of the Resurrection of the Lord to be in agreement with the narrative of the Sacred Gospels, the grave must be sealed. To prevent and avoid dissensions and disagreements, we decree that, on the one hand, this icon of the Resurrection of the Lord be placed in the series of the twelve feasts on the iconostases, and, on the other hand, on Sundays and other Resurrectional days and the namesake feast of the light-bearing Resurrection, the day of Pascha, on stands in the Sacred Temples for veneration, and that it be imprinted on the Sacred Antiminsia.

4. The icon of the Lord's Descent into Hades we paint and venerate, which the Orthodox tradition of the Catholic Church of Christ accepted from the beginning, as the confirmation of the death of the Lord (as perfect man) and the existence in Him of a human soul, and as the authentic portrayal of the Lord's triumphant entry into Hades when He dissolved the power of death, despoiled Hades and freed the souls of the Just imprisoned from the ages, and granted incorruptibility and life to our race. This icon, in its totality, bears witness to the Glory of the Lord as the conqueror of death, as the Sacred hymnodist also confines, "My God Jesus has shone forth the light of the resurrection to those who dwelled in the shadow and darkness of death, and by His divinity has bound the mighty one and plundered his implements" (3rd Ode, Sunday of the 8th Tone). Therefore, we decree that this icon be placed on stands for veneration in the Holy Temples on the day of Great Saturday only and on no other days. We must also make it clear that because of the disagreements that have come about on this matter, henceforth the title "The Resurrection" is not to be placed on this icon but only the title "The Descent into Hades".

5. The icon of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ we urge pious iconographers henceforth to paint without the depiction of the bath and midwives so as to give no cause for doubt regarding the painless childbearing by the Theotokos, as in the analogous circumstance, the fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council decreed, "Confessing the divine childbirth to have resulted from the Virgin… without its being induced by seed; and preaching to all the flock, we require those who have done anything that was improper to submit to correction." (79th Canon, Sacred Rudder, p.289) [Orig. encyclical. incorrectly ascribes this canon to the 7th E. C. and not the 6th E. C.]

6. The icon of Pentecost we accept and venerate under both representations which the tradition of the Church has preserved, i. e. with the Most Holy Theotokos seated in the midst of the Apostles as "Mt. Zion," which is concluded from the narrative in the Acts of the Apostles, "These all with one mind… along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus…" (Acts 1:14), according to the interpretation of Sacred Chrysostom, or without the representation of the Most Holy Theotokos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not be depicted in the icon of Pentecost, at the bottom of which, the prophet Joel is to be shown in place of the world, according to the interpretation by St. Nicodemos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not to be included in the icon of the Ascension.


I see no contradiction, and I fully accept the above 1992 encyclical.
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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Justice » Sun 17 December 2017 7:11 pm

Maria wrote:This is an excerpt from a document of Synod of the GOC (under Andreas) dated January 23, 1992.
Concerning the veneration of certain icons.

Thus, in a fatherly manner, we urge and exhort the pious Iconographers to paint, and the devout faithful to respect, honor, venerate, and kiss, all Sacred icons that the tradition of the Church has shown and consecrated. And in particular, for pastoral reasons, we reply synodically concerning those Sacred Icons about which doubts have been raised and opposing viewpoints have been set forth:

1. The icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons", that is, of the Beginningless Father, as the "Ancient of days," the Son as "He appeared in the flesh," and the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a dove, we venerate and honor. Of course, it is not as a circumscription of the uncircumscribable divinity that we depict Him, in as much as "it is impossible to depict and paint the nature of God" (Gregory III, Pope of Rome, Epistle to Leo III, In Session 7 of the 7th Ecum. Council, Mansi 963D) but as the Beginningless Father, as He was revealed in a vision to the prophet Daniel (Dan.7:13) and to the Protomartyr Stephen (Acts 7:55), and the Holy Spirit as He was revealed to John the Forerunner at the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan and as He is depicted in the icon of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is appropriate to remind ourselves that the Holy 7th Ecumenical Council, in the 5th Session, decreed that the visions of the prophets are to be painted.

And, finally, it must be noted that this representation of the Holy Trinity does not constitute a violation of the relative prohibition by God (Ex. 20:4), as some contend, nor an exception to it, but an accurate consequence of the Orthodox Christian teaching regarding the mystery of the divine economy and extreme condescension of the love of God, as St. Dionysios the Areopagite says: "The forms of the formless and the figures of the figureless have been set forth [before us]… since our condition is unable to rise directly to the contemplation of intelligible things and is in need of aids corresponding to our nature so as to guide [us] upward." (Dionysios the Areopagite, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, PG3, 441D) [incorrect column No. given in the original encyclical. Should be 373.]

In order to prevent conflicting opinions and divisions, we decree that the icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons," that is, of the Beginningless Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be placed upon stands for veneration in the Sacred Temples on Monday of the Holy Spirit. This icon of the Holy Trinity must also be imprinted upon the Sacred Antiminsia.

2. The icon of "The Hospitality of Abraham", which represents an actual historic event in the Old Testament, we accept and venerate because it depicts the dispensational and symbolic appearance of the Trihypostatic God to the patriarch Abraham (St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images, Apology III). This icon must no longer bear the title "The Holy Trinity" but simply the title "The Hospitality of Abraham."

3. The icon of the Resurrection of Christ, that is, the Arising of the Lord from the Grave, we venerate as depicting the Life-bearing Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the defeat of death and Hades was confirmed, as the hymnodist chants, "Like a comely bridegroom Thou came forth from the grave as if from a bridal chamber, having destroyed the tyranny of death, O Christ…" (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, 9th Ode, No.2) This is because, according to St. John of Damascus, "The Lord's Resurrection was the union of the uncorrupted body and soul, for He said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I shall raise it up. " (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Bk.4, Ch.27) It must be emphasized that the Resurrection of the Lord constitutes the cornerstone of our faith and the completion of our salvation, in that, "If Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain" (1 Cor.15:17), and, "while the tomb was yet sealed, Life dawned from the grave." In order for the iconographic depiction of the Resurrection of the Lord to be in agreement with the narrative of the Sacred Gospels, the grave must be sealed. To prevent and avoid dissensions and disagreements, we decree that, on the one hand, this icon of the Resurrection of the Lord be placed in the series of the twelve feasts on the iconostases, and, on the other hand, on Sundays and other Resurrectional days and the namesake feast of the light-bearing Resurrection, the day of Pascha, on stands in the Sacred Temples for veneration, and that it be imprinted on the Sacred Antiminsia.

4. The icon of the Lord's Descent into Hades we paint and venerate, which the Orthodox tradition of the Catholic Church of Christ accepted from the beginning, as the confirmation of the death of the Lord (as perfect man) and the existence in Him of a human soul, and as the authentic portrayal of the Lord's triumphant entry into Hades when He dissolved the power of death, despoiled Hades and freed the souls of the Just imprisoned from the ages, and granted incorruptibility and life to our race. This icon, in its totality, bears witness to the Glory of the Lord as the conqueror of death, as the Sacred hymnodist also confines, "My God Jesus has shone forth the light of the resurrection to those who dwelled in the shadow and darkness of death, and by His divinity has bound the mighty one and plundered his implements" (3rd Ode, Sunday of the 8th Tone). Therefore, we decree that this icon be placed on stands for veneration in the Holy Temples on the day of Great Saturday only and on no other days. We must also make it clear that because of the disagreements that have come about on this matter, henceforth the title "The Resurrection" is not to be placed on this icon but only the title "The Descent into Hades".

5. The icon of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ we urge pious iconographers henceforth to paint without the depiction of the bath and midwives so as to give no cause for doubt regarding the painless childbearing by the Theotokos, as in the analogous circumstance, the fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council decreed, "Confessing the divine childbirth to have resulted from the Virgin… without its being induced by seed; and preaching to all the flock, we require those who have done anything that was improper to submit to correction." (79th Canon, Sacred Rudder, p.289) [Orig. encyclical. incorrectly ascribes this canon to the 7th E. C. and not the 6th E. C.]

6. The icon of Pentecost we accept and venerate under both representations which the tradition of the Church has preserved, i. e. with the Most Holy Theotokos seated in the midst of the Apostles as "Mt. Zion," which is concluded from the narrative in the Acts of the Apostles, "These all with one mind… along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus…" (Acts 1:14), according to the interpretation of Sacred Chrysostom, or without the representation of the Most Holy Theotokos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not be depicted in the icon of Pentecost, at the bottom of which, the prophet Joel is to be shown in place of the world, according to the interpretation by St. Nicodemos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not to be included in the icon of the Ascension.


I see no contradiction, and I fully accept the above 1992 encyclical.

hmm, I'm drawn between the two arguments as both make sense to me. I'll have to think this over a bit. Though I accept everything else, escpecially the thoughts on the "New Testament Trinity".

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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Maria » Sun 17 December 2017 7:41 pm

Justice wrote:
Maria wrote:This is an excerpt from a document of Synod of the GOC (under Andreas) dated January 23, 1992.
Concerning the veneration of certain icons.

Thus, in a fatherly manner, we urge and exhort the pious Iconographers to paint, and the devout faithful to respect, honor, venerate, and kiss, all Sacred icons that the tradition of the Church has shown and consecrated. And in particular, for pastoral reasons, we reply synodically concerning those Sacred Icons about which doubts have been raised and opposing viewpoints have been set forth:

1. The icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons", that is, of the Beginningless Father, as the "Ancient of days," the Son as "He appeared in the flesh," and the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a dove, we venerate and honor. Of course, it is not as a circumscription of the uncircumscribable divinity that we depict Him, in as much as "it is impossible to depict and paint the nature of God" (Gregory III, Pope of Rome, Epistle to Leo III, In Session 7 of the 7th Ecum. Council, Mansi 963D) but as the Beginningless Father, as He was revealed in a vision to the prophet Daniel (Dan.7:13) and to the Protomartyr Stephen (Acts 7:55), and the Holy Spirit as He was revealed to John the Forerunner at the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan and as He is depicted in the icon of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is appropriate to remind ourselves that the Holy 7th Ecumenical Council, in the 5th Session, decreed that the visions of the prophets are to be painted.

And, finally, it must be noted that this representation of the Holy Trinity does not constitute a violation of the relative prohibition by God (Ex. 20:4), as some contend, nor an exception to it, but an accurate consequence of the Orthodox Christian teaching regarding the mystery of the divine economy and extreme condescension of the love of God, as St. Dionysios the Areopagite says: "The forms of the formless and the figures of the figureless have been set forth [before us]… since our condition is unable to rise directly to the contemplation of intelligible things and is in need of aids corresponding to our nature so as to guide [us] upward." (Dionysios the Areopagite, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, PG3, 441D) [incorrect column No. given in the original encyclical. Should be 373.]

In order to prevent conflicting opinions and divisions, we decree that the icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons," that is, of the Beginningless Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be placed upon stands for veneration in the Sacred Temples on Monday of the Holy Spirit. This icon of the Holy Trinity must also be imprinted upon the Sacred Antiminsia.

2. The icon of "The Hospitality of Abraham", which represents an actual historic event in the Old Testament, we accept and venerate because it depicts the dispensational and symbolic appearance of the Trihypostatic God to the patriarch Abraham (St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images, Apology III). This icon must no longer bear the title "The Holy Trinity" but simply the title "The Hospitality of Abraham."

3. The icon of the Resurrection of Christ, that is, the Arising of the Lord from the Grave, we venerate as depicting the Life-bearing Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the defeat of death and Hades was confirmed, as the hymnodist chants, "Like a comely bridegroom Thou came forth from the grave as if from a bridal chamber, having destroyed the tyranny of death, O Christ…" (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, 9th Ode, No.2) This is because, according to St. John of Damascus, "The Lord's Resurrection was the union of the uncorrupted body and soul, for He said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I shall raise it up. " (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Bk.4, Ch.27) It must be emphasized that the Resurrection of the Lord constitutes the cornerstone of our faith and the completion of our salvation, in that, "If Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain" (1 Cor.15:17), and, "while the tomb was yet sealed, Life dawned from the grave." In order for the iconographic depiction of the Resurrection of the Lord to be in agreement with the narrative of the Sacred Gospels, the grave must be sealed. To prevent and avoid dissensions and disagreements, we decree that, on the one hand, this icon of the Resurrection of the Lord be placed in the series of the twelve feasts on the iconostases, and, on the other hand, on Sundays and other Resurrectional days and the namesake feast of the light-bearing Resurrection, the day of Pascha, on stands in the Sacred Temples for veneration, and that it be imprinted on the Sacred Antiminsia.

4. The icon of the Lord's Descent into Hades we paint and venerate, which the Orthodox tradition of the Catholic Church of Christ accepted from the beginning, as the confirmation of the death of the Lord (as perfect man) and the existence in Him of a human soul, and as the authentic portrayal of the Lord's triumphant entry into Hades when He dissolved the power of death, despoiled Hades and freed the souls of the Just imprisoned from the ages, and granted incorruptibility and life to our race. This icon, in its totality, bears witness to the Glory of the Lord as the conqueror of death, as the Sacred hymnodist also confines, "My God Jesus has shone forth the light of the resurrection to those who dwelled in the shadow and darkness of death, and by His divinity has bound the mighty one and plundered his implements" (3rd Ode, Sunday of the 8th Tone). Therefore, we decree that this icon be placed on stands for veneration in the Holy Temples on the day of Great Saturday only and on no other days. We must also make it clear that because of the disagreements that have come about on this matter, henceforth the title "The Resurrection" is not to be placed on this icon but only the title "The Descent into Hades".

5. The icon of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ we urge pious iconographers henceforth to paint without the depiction of the bath and midwives so as to give no cause for doubt regarding the painless childbearing by the Theotokos, as in the analogous circumstance, the fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council decreed, "Confessing the divine childbirth to have resulted from the Virgin… without its being induced by seed; and preaching to all the flock, we require those who have done anything that was improper to submit to correction." (79th Canon, Sacred Rudder, p.289) [Orig. encyclical. incorrectly ascribes this canon to the 7th E. C. and not the 6th E. C.]

6. The icon of Pentecost we accept and venerate under both representations which the tradition of the Church has preserved, i. e. with the Most Holy Theotokos seated in the midst of the Apostles as "Mt. Zion," which is concluded from the narrative in the Acts of the Apostles, "These all with one mind… along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus…" (Acts 1:14), according to the interpretation of Sacred Chrysostom, or without the representation of the Most Holy Theotokos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not be depicted in the icon of Pentecost, at the bottom of which, the prophet Joel is to be shown in place of the world, according to the interpretation by St. Nicodemos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not to be included in the icon of the Ascension.


I see no contradiction, and I fully accept the above 1992 encyclical.

hmm, I'm drawn between the two arguments as both make sense to me. I'll have to think this over a bit. Though I accept everything else, escpecially the thoughts on the "New Testament Trinity".


It was the 6th Ecumenical Council which corrected the Nativity Icon and urged iconographers not to use the midwife and bathing scene.
How can truly faithful Orthodox ignore the canons of an Ecumenical Council, which have been declared to be infallible? We are to hold the canons of the first 7 Ecumenical Councils as infallible.
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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Justice » Sun 17 December 2017 10:41 pm

Where does it say this in the sixth ecumenical council?

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Re: Should True Orthodox reject Latin Orthodox icons?

Postby Maria » Mon 18 December 2017 12:28 am

Maria wrote:This is an excerpt from a document of Synod of the GOC (under Andreas) dated January 23, 1992.
Concerning the veneration of certain icons.

Thus, in a fatherly manner, we urge and exhort the pious Iconographers to paint, and the devout faithful to respect, honor, venerate, and kiss, all Sacred icons that the tradition of the Church has shown and consecrated. And in particular, for pastoral reasons, we reply synodically concerning those Sacred Icons about which doubts have been raised and opposing viewpoints have been set forth:

1. The icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons", that is, of the Beginningless Father, as the "Ancient of days," the Son as "He appeared in the flesh," and the Holy Spirit in the appearance of a dove, we venerate and honor. Of course, it is not as a circumscription of the uncircumscribable divinity that we depict Him, in as much as "it is impossible to depict and paint the nature of God" (Gregory III, Pope of Rome, Epistle to Leo III, In Session 7 of the 7th Ecum. Council, Mansi 963D) but as the Beginningless Father, as He was revealed in a vision to the prophet Daniel (Dan.7:13) and to the Protomartyr Stephen (Acts 7:55), and the Holy Spirit as He was revealed to John the Forerunner at the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan and as He is depicted in the icon of the Annunciation of the Theotokos. It is appropriate to remind ourselves that the Holy 7th Ecumenical Council, in the 5th Session, decreed that the visions of the prophets are to be painted.

And, finally, it must be noted that this representation of the Holy Trinity does not constitute a violation of the relative prohibition by God (Ex. 20:4), as some contend, nor an exception to it, but an accurate consequence of the Orthodox Christian teaching regarding the mystery of the divine economy and extreme condescension of the love of God, as St. Dionysios the Areopagite says: "The forms of the formless and the figures of the figureless have been set forth [before us]… since our condition is unable to rise directly to the contemplation of intelligible things and is in need of aids corresponding to our nature so as to guide [us] upward." (Dionysios the Areopagite, On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, PG3, 441D) [incorrect column No. given in the original encyclical. Should be 373.]

In order to prevent conflicting opinions and divisions, we decree that the icon of the Holy Trinity of "the three persons," that is, of the Beginningless Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be placed upon stands for veneration in the Sacred Temples on Monday of the Holy Spirit. This icon of the Holy Trinity must also be imprinted upon the Sacred Antiminsia.

2. The icon of "The Hospitality of Abraham", which represents an actual historic event in the Old Testament, we accept and venerate because it depicts the dispensational and symbolic appearance of the Trihypostatic God to the patriarch Abraham (St. John of Damascus, On the Divine Images, Apology III). This icon must no longer bear the title "The Holy Trinity" but simply the title "The Hospitality of Abraham."

3. The icon of the Resurrection of Christ, that is, the Arising of the Lord from the Grave, we venerate as depicting the Life-bearing Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through which the defeat of death and Hades was confirmed, as the hymnodist chants, "Like a comely bridegroom Thou came forth from the grave as if from a bridal chamber, having destroyed the tyranny of death, O Christ…" (Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, 9th Ode, No.2) This is because, according to St. John of Damascus, "The Lord's Resurrection was the union of the uncorrupted body and soul, for He said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days I shall raise it up. " (Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, Bk.4, Ch.27) It must be emphasized that the Resurrection of the Lord constitutes the cornerstone of our faith and the completion of our salvation, in that, "If Christ be not risen, our faith is in vain" (1 Cor.15:17), and, "while the tomb was yet sealed, Life dawned from the grave." In order for the iconographic depiction of the Resurrection of the Lord to be in agreement with the narrative of the Sacred Gospels, the grave must be sealed. To prevent and avoid dissensions and disagreements, we decree that, on the one hand, this icon of the Resurrection of the Lord be placed in the series of the twelve feasts on the iconostases, and, on the other hand, on Sundays and other Resurrectional days and the namesake feast of the light-bearing Resurrection, the day of Pascha, on stands in the Sacred Temples for veneration, and that it be imprinted on the Sacred Antiminsia.

4. The icon of the Lord's Descent into Hades we paint and venerate, which the Orthodox tradition of the Catholic Church of Christ accepted from the beginning, as the confirmation of the death of the Lord (as perfect man) and the existence in Him of a human soul, and as the authentic portrayal of the Lord's triumphant entry into Hades when He dissolved the power of death, despoiled Hades and freed the souls of the Just imprisoned from the ages, and granted incorruptibility and life to our race. This icon, in its totality, bears witness to the Glory of the Lord as the conqueror of death, as the Sacred hymnodist also confines, "My God Jesus has shone forth the light of the resurrection to those who dwelled in the shadow and darkness of death, and by His divinity has bound the mighty one and plundered his implements" (3rd Ode, Sunday of the 8th Tone). Therefore, we decree that this icon be placed on stands for veneration in the Holy Temples on the day of Great Saturday only and on no other days. We must also make it clear that because of the disagreements that have come about on this matter, henceforth the title "The Resurrection" is not to be placed on this icon but only the title "The Descent into Hades".

5. The icon of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ we urge pious iconographers henceforth to paint without the depiction of the bath and midwives so as to give no cause for doubt regarding the painless childbearing by the Theotokos, as in the analogous circumstance, the fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council decreed, "Confessing the divine childbirth to have resulted from the Virgin… without its being induced by seed; and preaching to all the flock, we require those who have done anything that was improper to submit to correction." (79th Canon, Sacred Rudder, p.289) [Orig. encyclical. incorrectly ascribes this canon to the 7th E. C. and not the 6th E. C.]

6. The icon of Pentecost we accept and venerate under both representations which the tradition of the Church has preserved, i. e. with the Most Holy Theotokos seated in the midst of the Apostles as "Mt. Zion," which is concluded from the narrative in the Acts of the Apostles, "These all with one mind… along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus…" (Acts 1:14), according to the interpretation of Sacred Chrysostom, or without the representation of the Most Holy Theotokos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not be depicted in the icon of Pentecost, at the bottom of which, the prophet Joel is to be shown in place of the world, according to the interpretation by St. Nicodemos. Furthermore, the Apostle Paul is not to be included in the icon of the Ascension.


I see no contradiction, and I fully accept the above 1992 encyclical.


Dear Justice,

I have bolded and used blue font to highlight the canon of the 6th Ecumenical Council (incorrectly stated as from the 7th).
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me a sinner.


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