In an article of an infamous religious magazine (you may guess which one) there is a “portrait” of Emperor Constantine.
Constantine is made responsible for all kinds of things concerning the Church, which is ridiculous, but the mentioned article makes some statements I haven’t heard before. Here are the statements in question:
“Constantine protected Christianity, believing that the religion could unify his empire.”
“Constantine was thus appalled to find that the churches were divided by disputes. Eager for consensus, he sought to establish, and then enforce, “correct” doctrine. To win his favor, bishops had to make religious compromises, and those who did received tax exemptions and generous patronage.”
“The clergy thus became powerful figures in worldly affairs. “The Church had acquired a protector,” says historian A.H.M. Jones, “but it had also acquired a master.”
“[T]he emperor’s goal was religious pluralism, not the pursuit of religious truth.”
Another claim is that Constantine stayed involved in paganism, including sacrificing to pagan gods, the sun god, divination and astrology.
My first question is thus: How much truth is there to these claims, particularly the ones about the involvement of the Bishops in “compromises” and “tax benefits”?
A second question I have is easily put: Why would Constantine delay his Baptism until death?