perfection in God. . . .”
“For the Church knows full well that her
message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human
Agnosticism assumes a number of forms. In certain cases
the agnostic refrains from denying God; instead he postulates the
existence of a transcendent being which is incapable of revealing
itself, and about which nothing can be said. In other cases, the
agnostic makes no judgment about God’s existence, declaring it
impossible to prove, or even to affirm or deny.
Agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for
God, but it can equally express indifferentism, a flight from the
ultimate question of existence, and a sluggish moral conscience.
Agnosticism is all too often equivalent to practical atheism.
. . .”
The divine injunction included the prohibition of every
representation of God by the hand of man.
“Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at
Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly
by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any
figure. . . .”
It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed
himself to Israel. “He is the all,” but at the same time “he is greater
than all his works.”
He is “the author of beauty.”
Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained
or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically to
ward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze
serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.
Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the
seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the
iconoclasts the veneration of icons—of Christ, but also of the
Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incar
nate, the Son of God introduced a new “economy” of images.
21 § 3.
21 § 7.