Fr. Malachi Martin: Decline and Fall of the Roman Church

I was reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church by the late Fr. Malachi Martin. Fr. Martin was famous for his books regarding exorcsim and the third secret of Fatima. He knew about six languages, translated the dead sea scrolls, and his vows of poverty and obedience lifted by Pope Paul VI. He is very popular in traditional cirlces, SSPX included.

Which is why his book is confusing to me. His central thesis is that the current loss of the faith is related to Constantine merging the church and state in the fourth century. I think he argues this never should have happened. However, traditional catholics- especially SSPX advocate for the church/state bridge. Can anyone explain this?

It was inevitable and necessary in the 4th century for trinitarian Christianity to survive in the West. Church and state mixtures are otherwise a Bad idea.

That book is not the most accurate on the Church. The conversations that he provides appear to be from his own imagination. Many of his “facts” contradict what is in the Catholic Encyclopedia and even in the Oxford Dictionary of the Popes which was written by a Protestant.
I’'ve read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church twice simply because it is an exciting read but I suspect a lot of it is fiction.

Did you ever hear his exorcism stories told on late night paranormal style radio?

I don’t know who Fr. Malachi Martin is, and prior to this thread I had never heard of his book, but if one of these “facts” you contest is that the Emperor Constantine even made Christianity the state religion, then I’d probably agree with your estimation of the book.

The Edict of Milan of 313 AD did nothing more than allow Christians to own property again, and allow everyone in the empire freedom of religion. It directly made the empire a religiously neutral one.

It wasn’t until the Edict of Thessalonica that Nicene Christianity was imposed as the state religion in 380 AD (53 years after the death of Emperor Constantine I, who mind you was an Arian! Why on Earth would he sign an edict which outlaws the propagation of his own beliefs?)

Emperor Constantine and the Council of Nicaea did not in any way effect a Christian state, contrary to pop-history, and the credibility of anyone who claims this (especially in a professionally published book) I’d find suspect.

You mean on Coast to Coast AM with the genius of late night talk Art Bell? Father Martin was great on those shows. His exorcism stories kept me awake all night.:eek:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit