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Iconoclastic Controversy
The worship of holy relics and especially holy pictures and holy images had reached a point in the Eastern Church where it could well be called a scandalous superstition and idolatry. In 725, Byzantine Emperor Leo the Isaurian ordered the removal of all holy images from Constantinople. The pious multitude, incited by monks, broke out into rioting. Part of the navy was affected. But the army remained loyal to Leo and the decree was enforced. In Italy, where imperial power was not strong, the popes defied the officers of the emperor as being heretics and defied the "Iconoclastic" edict. This controversy was one of the issues that led to the schism between the Greek and Latin churches.

Contributed by Gifford, Katya
23 June 2002


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