Pagan Rome vs. Catholic Rome

Under St. Peter’s Basilica there is an image of a sun god or it seems to be some type of paganistic image. Does anybody know the full story on this. I do realize there was pagan Rome and Christian Rome, and some cannot seperate the two as they believe Catholics picked up pagan traditions and point to the son god image as a starting point.

Can somebody give me some better insite on this.

Got a link Sooner? "Cos Ive never heard of this?

cathinsight.com/apologetics/adventism/sunbursts.htm

I couldn’t find anything real tangible… but This is a picture of what I am talking about.

Many people point here first to state that the Catholic Faith derived from Mithraism. I’m just wondering what the full story on this is…

[quote=Sooner4Christ]Under St. Peter’s Basilica there is an image of a sun god or it seems to be some type of paganistic image. Does anybody know the full story on this. I do realize there was pagan Rome and Christian Rome, and some cannot seperate the two as they believe Catholics picked up pagan traditions and point to the son god image as a starting point.

Can somebody give me some better insite on this.
[/quote]

I’m not sure what your looking for Sooner; it seems to me the explanation is given in the text following the pic.

[quote=Sooner4Christ]Under St. Peter’s Basilica there is an image of a sun god or it seems to be some type of istic image. Does anybody know the full story on this. I do realize there was Rome and Christian Rome, and some cannot seperate the two as they believe Catholics picked up traditions and point to the son god image as a starting point.

Can somebody give me some better insite on this.
[/quote]

If you have the book “Catholicism and Fundamentalism”, you’ll see in the section on “Anti-Catholics” where someone uses this in their literature tracts. Mr. Keating points out that the “author” is trying to link Catholics with the Roman gods when Constantine was in charge.

The problem is, it’s not a Sun God. I’ll have to go home and find out exactly what it says, but I thinks it’s a scene from the bible, with the sun rising in the background, maybe a depiction of the Holy Spirit descending like a dove during the Baptism of Christ. I’ll get more details later tonight, unless someone else has this reference.

I wonder if anyone in this forum has access to the book, “Catholicism and Fundamentalism”. Hmmmmmmmmm.

Until then, my memory is,
NotWorthy

it is clearly a dove, and the golden sphere it is superimposed upon is most likely the wafer of the eucharist. it is common for this image to be above alters (and the canopy on which this is painted is above an altar) to symbolize the Holy Spirit’s involvement in the transubstantiatioin of bread and wine to the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ

Basically who created the work of art. Why was it never taken down after St. Peter’s was built? Why leave something for doubt for future ages?

They even mentioned it on EWTN’s series over the vatican, but nobody has ever stated what the mosaic represents or if it is symbolic to the church in that our faith did not derive from pagan Rome, but we had to use something as a tool to let Pagan Rome relate to Christianity…

Hi there! I just grabbed my copy of “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating. If you have it, turn to the chapter on “Fanciful Histories of Catholicism”, pages 161and 162 in the book and it explains what the symbol actually is. It is “a representation of the Holy Spirit, in form of a dove exuding rays of light”. I just finished this book recently, so when I read you question I remembered this in the book. I hope that helps a bit.

Tamara

[quote=Sooner4Christ]cathinsight.com/apologetics/adventism/sunbursts.htm

I couldn’t find anything real tangible… but This is a picture of what I am talking about.

Many people point here first to state that the Catholic Faith derived from Mithraism. I’m just wondering what the full story on this is…
[/quote]

The arguement that Christianity was influenced by Mithraism isn’t simply thrown at Catholics but at all Christians. It is a charge that Protestant and Catholic alike should fight against.

[quote=TamaraS]Hi there! I just grabbed my copy of “Catholicism and Fundamentalism” by Karl Keating. If you have it, turn to the chapter on “Fanciful Histories of Catholicism”, pages 161and 162 in the book and it explains what the symbol actually is. It is “a representation of the Holy Spirit, in form of a dove exuding rays of light”. I just finished this book recently, so when I read you question I remembered this in the book. I hope that helps a bit.

Tamara
[/quote]

[quote=deb1]The arguement that Christianity was influenced by Mithraism isn’t simply thrown at Catholics but at all Christians. It is a charge that Protestant and Catholic alike should fight against.
[/quote]

The root starts at the Catholic Faith though. Some protestants on a historical perspective don’t recognize the Church existing until 3rd and 4th centurty. The claim if pointed out towards Catholics fails under historical protestant belief.

St Peters was built over a 300 year old pagan necropolis. The toumbs are still there.

st julie

Let’s put this in context. Mithraism was a soldier’s religion. It was the religion of the Roman legions. The initiate into the rites of Mithras descended into a trench. A white bull was led over the trench whereupon his throat was slit and the initiate was “baptized” into the rites of Mithras. There are numerous representations of the bull being sacrificed all over the place. Christ, on the other hand, particularly in the early days was portrayed as a young beardless man. The mosaic you showed was Christ. Take a look at the Roman representations of Mithras. There is absolutely no connection except in the minds of certain protestants out there.

[quote=st julie]St Peters was built over a 300 year old pagan necropolis. The toumbs are still there.

st julie
[/quote]

I kind of figured that St. Peter’s Basilica was built over the tombs, but what was the purpose and why weren’t these tombs changed with Christian Icons? Is this symbolic or what is the real situation here?

From the site with the picture of the mosaic linked in the third message of this thread:

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/flash.gifaloha.net/~mikesch/rc-links.gifhttp://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/flash.gif

Speaks for itself, wouldn’t you say?

I would have a hard time reading anything on that site with anything nearing credulity - it’s just the usual recycled anti-Catholic trash.

Elizabeth

[quote=ElizabethJoy]From the site with the picture of the mosaic linked in the third message of this thread:

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/flash.gifaloha.net/~mikesch/rc-links.gifhttp://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/flash.gif

Speaks for itself, wouldn’t you say?

I would have a hard time reading anything on that site with anything nearing credulity - it’s just the usual recycled anti-Catholic trash.

Elizabeth
[/quote]

He does have a good links page…Catholic Answers, EWTN, the Vatican web site, the Catholic Encyclopedia…some very good links. He may actually be helping us in this regard…

[quote=ElizabethJoy]From the site with the picture of the mosaic linked in the third message of this thread:

http://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/flash.gifaloha.net/~mikesch/rc-links.gifhttp://www.aloha.net/~mikesch/flash.gif

Speaks for itself, wouldn’t you say?

I would have a hard time reading anything on that site with anything nearing credulity - it’s just the usual recycled anti-Catholic trash.

Elizabeth
[/quote]

Mike Scheifler is an SDA - so it is perfectly sensible for him - given his POV - to post this kind of thing. :slight_smile:

His argument is more intelligent than most - if something is identified as coming from somewhere, the identification is usually correct.

The conclusions drawn so that an argument can be made against Catholicism are what tend to be rather strange.

He’s the thinking man’s Alexander Hislop, with an SDA flavour. ##

[quote=brotherhrolf]Let’s put this in context. Mithraism was a soldier’s religion. It was the religion of the Roman legions. The initiate into the rites of Mithras descended into a trench. A white bull was led over the trench whereupon his throat was slit and the initiate was “baptized” into the rites of Mithras. There are numerous representations of the bull being sacrificed all over the place. Christ, on the other hand, particularly in the early days was portrayed as a young beardless man. The mosaic you showed was Christ. Take a look at the Roman representations of Mithras. There is absolutely no connection except in the minds of certain protestants out there.
[/quote]

Oh yes… I have done some lengthy research on this, but I haven’t really read any early church fathers in refuting the religion… As the religion might have already been dead before Christianity really hit hard in Rome.

The problem I am facing is that where are the writings about this mythical religion? have been to Rome and one side is very much pagan in nature and the other side is Vatican.

European arts in the minds of protestants equate to paganism or worshiping.

Basically were the statues, and various other art forms ways to help pagans relate to Christianity?

Like ROCK n’ROLL for praise and worship…

Mithraism was not dead during the early years of the church. It was very much alive. It existed in Romano Celtic Britain and may have had some input into Arthurian legend.

Mithraism was also a very fraternal religion. Initiates were part of a brotherhood - a fraternity. It had secret rites and it WAS closely associated with the Legions. There would have been many adherents of Mithraism when Constantine converted.

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