We Christians in the West shake our heads when we hear of fanaticism such as Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law, whereby anyone uttering a simple slight against the prophet Muhammad may find himself on the way to the chopping block.
“How medieval can you get?”
But Christ’s own Church has seen its own share of fanaticism.
In 726, the Byzantine Emperor Leo III published an edict declaring images — even religious ones — to be idols. Leo decreed that icons be destroyed. He tried to force Pope Gregory II (713-31) to destroy images in Rome and summon a general council to forbid their use. Pope Gregory answered by a long defense of icons, explaining the difference between them and idols.
At its...READ MORE