Against iconoclasm

St Gregory III was elected pope by acclamation in 731, during the funeral procession of his predecessor, because of his reputation for virtue and knowledge.

The major battle of his pontificate concerned iconoclasm. Gregory sent letters remonstrating with the Byzantine emperor, Leo III, who believed icons were a form f idolatory.

Pope Gregory held two synods in Rome which condemned image-breaking as heresy. He made a point of honouring relics and icons, giving special attention to St Peter’s Basilica. Parts of inscriptions can still be seen there today.

Emperor Leo pursued his agenda by force, seizing papal patrimonies in Calabria and Sicily and transferring ecclesiastical powers to the Patriarch of Constantinople.

Backing St Boniface

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