eklogai

polytheist extractions

Pope Gregory, Epistle 11.56

“The temples of idols found in the land should not be destroyed, though it is proper to do so with the idols that are contained in them. Let blessed water be prepared, and sprinkled in these temples, and altars constructed and relics deposited since these are well-built temples and it is only proper that they be transferred from the worship of idols to that of the true god. And when the people see that the temples are not destroyed they may put error away from their hearts and, knowing and adoring the true god, may have recourse to the places that, over long centuries, their people have become familiar with. And since they are wont to kill many oxen in sacrifice to demons, they should have also some solemnity of this kind in a changed form, so that on the day of dedication, or on the anniversaries of the holy martyrs whose relics are deposited there, they may make for themselves tents of the branches of trees around these temples that have been changed into churches, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasts. Nor let them any longer sacrifice animals to the devil, but slay animals to the praise of god for their own eating, and return thanks to the giver of all for their fullness, so that while some joys are reserved to them outwardly, they may more easily incline their minds towards the inner joys. For it is undoubtedly impossible to cut away everything at once from hard hearts, since one who strives to ascend to the highest place must needs rise by steps or paces, and not by leaps.” – Pope Gregory, Epistle 11.56

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