Constantine The Great


#1

Hello all, I have been observing these forums for a long time but this is my first posts, I hope no-one attacks me for bringing up emperor COnstantine because this is a serious sincere question, and I am a Catholic, and lately I have been really motivated to learn more and more history about our faith and Church, I use mostly the internet which is probably not wise but I find it convieant, anyways of course I came across alot of anti- Catholic websites with baseless history as their sources, Emperor COnstantine does seem to pop up quite often and I have done alot of research about this character and his role in the roman catholics church, well christianity basically. I know he legalized christianity but so did the emperor before him, after he wona battle against His rival because he saw a vision of a cross, i believe his mother was a christian I’m not sure, but I pretty much know the basics about Constantine, but there are things I can’t clear up… so anyways I would like to ask you people what influence did Constantine have on the Catholic church and what has he done for the church?

Thank you guys for the time of reading this post, and answering my question.


#2

There is a good article on Constantine and the Church here, although it is mostly a rebuttal of Dan Brown’s B***S***
envoymagazine.com/planetenvoy/Review-DaVinci-part2-Full.htm

And here…
davidmacd.com/catholic/did_constantine_invent_catholicism.htm


#3

Constantine is considered an eastern saint (see icon roman-emperors.org/icon.htm)
His mum is a saint.

He didn’t see the cross, but the “Chi Rho” symbol (also called the Labarum, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Simple_Labarum.gif) and heard a voice say “By this sign conquer”. He did so and gained supremacy in the west. He had a meeting with the eastern emperor and secured the end of persecutions of Christians there.

The “Chi Rho” symbol being the first two Greek letters of the word Christ, which in Greek are written X P


#4

His mother was St. Helena:

newadvent.org/cathen/07202b.htm


#5

Constantine (full name: Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus) is the one that promulgated the Edict of Milan in 313 along with Licinius, one of the two Augusti (one of the titles used for Roman Emperors) that rules the Eastern part of the Empire at that time, along with Constantine, who ruled the West. The Edict marks the end of the almost 300-year persecution of Christians since its beginning.

(Though note he did NOT make Christianity the State Religion. He merely ended the persecution, ordered the return of properties confiscated from Christians and made Christianity no longer illegal. The Emperor Theodosius I is the one who did that in February 27, 380 with his decree, De Fide Catolica.)

It is probably the above incident (the other is the Council of Nicea, which he convened in 325 to refute the heresy that Arius started) that makes him oft-mentioned in Anti-Catholic sources, with them saying that during his legalization of Christianity, many pagans then entered the Church and brought with them their pagan customs, which mutated the Christian Church into a pagan version, which according to them is the Catholic Church.

He is also famous for building Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


#6

Some anti-catholics even state that Constantine founded the Catholic Church,…which is not true. They ignore the fact that there was already a succession of bishops going back to Christ.


#7

Constantine called for the council of Nicea, and opened it with a speech and that was the limit to his envolvement. He was never involved in the theological and doctrinal discussions or decrees that came out of it. His purpose was to get the Bishops of the Church into a place where they would decide on what the teachings of the Church would be for all of Christianity. This was in response to the conflict between the Arians and Rome, which at times were violent.

It is believed that Constantine did not convert to Christianity until his death bed, and even at that point, he only did so, in case the Christians were right.

Jim


#8

Protestant aquaintances of mine call him the first pope. It’s interesting because from Constantine on, they believe the list of pontiffs. However, they refuse to acknowledge that same list before him.

Go figure!


#9

It should be pointed out that Constantine was not a Catholic. He finally sided mostly with the Arians – going so far as to exile Bishop Athanasius. Constantine was baptised at the end of his life by an Arian, not a Catholic.


#10

As long as the sacrament properly administered, the “Arianness” of the minister doesn’t matter.

– Mark L. Chance.


#11

He was baptized in Rome by Pope Sylvester!


#12

It is perfectly true that anyone – even a non-Christian – can perform a valid baptism. But when one chooses to be baptized as a Pentecostal, Methodist, or Arian, one cannot truthfully claim to be Catholic. And it’s not like the Emperor couldn’t choose in which religion he was baptized.


#13

So, then, whether the minister was Arian doesn’t matter. Precisely my point. Now, why did Constantine exile Athanasius and who was it exactly that baptized Constantine?

– Mark L. Chance.


#14

Just click over to
newadvent.org/cathen/04295c.htm

The opening page is always Constantine the Great.

Blessed Lent,
Mimi


#15

Is this the same pope he gave the “Donation of Constantine” to?


#16

Pope Sylvester would never have heard of it if it was indeed an 8th century forged Roman document. If real then yes it would be this Pope.
stjulie


#17

One trivia about the Donation of Constantine:

It is the only document where the words Vicarius Filii Dei can be found in the Papal sense, but even in here, the title is used for Saint Peter.
The Pope is referred to in this document as Vicarius Petri (Vicar of Peter).

Actually, the whole Constantine miraculously cured of his leprosy and baptized by Pope Sylvester, and in gratitude gave him dominion over Rome, Italy and the whole Western Empire story came here.

The Emperor Otto III denounced it as forgery, and Dante Alighieri lamented it as the root of papal worldliness in his Divine Comedy.

It was in the 15th Century, with the revival of Classical scholarship and textual critique that the Church herself now began to doubt the Authenticity of this Document.

Lorenzo Valla then proved in 1440 that the Donation must be a fake analyzing its language, and showing that while certain imperial-era formulas are used in the text, some of the Latin in the document could not have been written in the 4th century.

For example, Constantine’s satraps were referred in the text, though there were no such Roman Officials.

Constantinople was also mentioned, but it was not yet founded at the supposed time of writing and its position as “chief seat” was two centuries away.

Also, the purported date of the document is inconsistent with the content of the document itself as it refers both to the fourth consulate of Constantine (315) as well as the consulate of Gallicanus (317).

About Constantine’s baptism,

It was Eusebius of Caesarea who recorded that Constantine was baptized shortly before his death in May 337, following one custom at the time which postponed baptism till old age or death.

It was St. Jerome who mentioned that Constantine chose to be baptized on his deathbed by Eusebius of Nicomedia, who despite his being a supporter of Arius, happened to still be the Bishop of that region (Constantinople) at that time.

About Eusebius of Nicomedia:

Eusebius of Nicomedia, originally Bishop of Berytus (Beirut), then of Nicomedia where the imperial court resided, then of Constantinople from 338 up to his death, was distinctly related to the Imperial Family of Constantine, whom he owed not only his removal from an insignificant to the most important episcopal see to his influence at court, but the great power he wielded in the Church. He had the complete confidence of Constantine and Constantius II, excepting that time he was exiled in his defense of Arius.

He also was a pupil of Lucian of Antioch like Arius and it is possible that he originally held the same ideas as Arius. He afterward modified his ideas somewhat, or perhaps he only yielded to the pressure of circumstances, but he was, if not the teacher, at all events the leader and organizer, of the Arian party.

He signed the Confession at the Council of Nicea in 325, but only after a long and desperate opposition.

The Emperor was angered by his support of Arius and sent him to exile a few months after the Council, but eventually regained Imperial favor after three years. On his return in 329, he then tried to impose his views upon the Church by bringing the whole machinery of the state government into action.


#18

One thing to note is that the same Bishops that someone how capitulated to Constantine at Nicea were the same ones who were missing eyes, hands arms and legs and lost thier immediate family members for Christian Persecution given that they had given so much to keep the faith Orthodox they would not give in to some form of Pagan Christianity as is often the accusation in Protestant circles. Of course these same capitulators led by the likes of Pope Sylvester and St Athanaisius and St Nicholas opposed Constantine and the Arians under the threat of even more persecution but they stood brave and together and hammered out the essentials of the Christian faith that has been followed ever since known as the Nicean Creed.

Ask any protestant if they think that these capitulators of paganism within the church compromised in any way with the Nicean Creed and do they agree with the Creed. Of course if they don’t they disqualify themsevles as any sort of Orthodox Christian to accept such a silly notion you have to be honest and conclude even the Council of Nicea was cooked up by these same pagan christians and do the honest thing and reject that as well and join the children of the Arians the Jehovahs Witnesses. Hey if your going to buy the lie buy it all the way but most fundamentalist won’t buy the entier lie and join the JW’s who are at least consistent that everything under Constaninte was cooked up even the Nicean Creed.


#19

Correct, on his death bed, and this was the common held position of historians over the centuries.

Jim


#20

Do you have a cite for that?

Note New Advent says. “For many years he worried himself with the Arian trouble, and in this, it may be said, he went beyond the limits of the allowable, for example, when he dictated whom Athanasius should admit to the Church and whom he was to exclude.”

He exiled Athanasius, the Patriarch of Alexandria, because Athanasius resolutely opposed Arianism.


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