Why did Constantine choose "Catholicism" from all the Christian sects as the official religion of Rome?

Did Constantine believe in the real presence of the Eucharist?

Did Roman leaders just want to appease the Christian sect that was most seen as “terrorists” (i.e. - martyrs)?

Or was there more to it?

actually its debatable how Christian Constantine was until nearing the end of his life. There are stories of him being inspired to victory by Minevra with the sign of an owl rather than the Chi-Ro in 312. Also after he tolerated Christianity he continued to put pictures of the Greco-Syrian sun god on his monies.

There wasn’t any really appeasement so to speak, but I guess the Catholic members of this forum will argue that it was divine providence that the Catholic Church was favoured

Choose Catholicism? The Catholic /Protestant divide didn’t exist that early. Constantine chose Christianity over paganism, not Catholicism over Protestantism.

The idea of Roman soldiers practicing ‘appeasement’ against violent enemies strikes me as ludicrous.

Further why would there be any question of ‘appeasement’ against Christian martyrs? Were they submitting to crucifixion in a threatening and intimidating manner?

He chose it rather late in his life though, and he still promoted himself as a patron of the Sun god Sol Invictus at least until 325. In his victories against Licinius it talks about the various wind gods coming to his aid. Constantine might have been an opportunist but in the eyes of Roman Catholics God probably used him to liberate the Gospel

He did not choose it in the sense that he asked others to choose it. He made it legal to be Christian in the empire with the edict of Milan. I think he became Christian due to the influence of his mother, St Helen.

Are you saying that early Catholics were considered “violent enemies”??

And yes, there were more “schisms” in Christianity before the 1500s!! Gnostics were the first one that came to mind, but I’m sure there’s more… en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diversity_in_early_Christian_theology

The way I understood it, Jesus told the Apostles to go spread the Good Word before the Second Coming. So they did. They had no need to write the Gospel until they realized they were probly going to die before Christ Jesus returned. But some of the different sects can be attributed to different Apostles… for example, I think Thomas headed toward Africa, and the Ebionites were born. There were also Nazarenes and others, but they weren’t quite as different as those who believed Jesus wasn’t divine (arians? gnostics?).

There were definitely priests back then who doubted the divinity of Jesus. Seems like Constantine could have just as well turned Arianism into the Roman Catholic church.

This reminds me of a link I was reading the other day that stated:


Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike think that the Roman Catholic Church invented the doctrine of transubstantiation. Transubstantiation means that the bread and wine presented on the altar at the Mass become the the Body and Blood of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit at the consecration. The consecration is the time when the priest calls upon the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into Christ’s Body and Blood. However, the Body and Blood retain the appearance of bread and wine. The Roman Catholic Church, that is, the Latin Rite Catholic Church, and other Catholic Churches in communion with Rome believe that the Eucharist is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ, body, blood, soul and divinity. The Orthodox Churches and most other Churches of the East do so as well. Anglican [Episcopalian] and other Protestant denominations have interpreted Christ’s presence at the celebration of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist to be either only spiritual, or symbolic, or non-existent.

Thus, I decided to research what the Early Christians believed on this issue. I searched the indices for “Eucharist” in many volume sets on Early Christian writings, and I was astonished at my discovery. The Early Christians actually took the Real Presence for granted. It doesn’t even seem as if there was much debate. I could not find anyone who denied the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament before the year 500 A.D. Following are the results of my search. Some Christians, e.g. St. Augustine, had very much to say about the Real Presence of Our Lord, so I did not include everything. Also, I want you to know that I did not include other Christians who believed in the Real Presence in this article because they later fell away from the Church for different reasons. Therefore, even though these Christians defended the Real Presence, e.g. Origen, Tertullian, Theodore of Mopsuetta, etc., I did not include their statements.

This seems very disingenuous to say that there was no debate. Of course there was, that’s what the purpose of the Council of Nicaea was for…

And whoa… just saw this link of a few other early Christian sects…

Something definitely got lost in translation along the way…


Holy moly!

I’m sure there are numerous people who would say he chose Orthodoxy (as in, the Eastern church) from all the other sects.

Which I guess isn’t very helpful. Just a thought. I wonder how different and/or similar worship in Constantine’s time would be to how it is now.

And whoa… just saw this link of a few other early Christian sects…

Yes, there have always been schsmatics, and they have always been condemned.

Ignatius (AD 35-107):

“Make certain, therefore, that you all observe one common Eucharist; for there is but one Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, and but one cup of union with His Blood, and one single altar of sacrifice—even as also there is but one bishop, with his clergy and my own fellow-servitors the deacons. This will insure that all your doings are in full accord with the will of God”

Cyril of Jerusalem(313-386):

““And if ever you are visiting in cities, do not inquire simply where the House of the Lord is,-for the others, the sects of the impious, attempt to call their dens the Houses of the Lord,-nor ask merely where the Church is, but ask where is the Catholic Church. For this is the name peculiar to this holy Church, the Mother of us all, which is the Spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God.

Very unusual question. One which I cannot answer. For if I were to provide an answer I would have to see the early Church through a lens which was not Catholic, a lens which was not historic, but anachronistically retrospectively applied. I did once do that (well not once but all the time in the past), but cannot now, nor can I ever do that ever again.

Can’t know for sure, but I believe he did. The reason is simply the fact that the Real Presence was being practiced and taught from the very beginning before Constantine. It was even a charge they used to bring against the early Christians under the Diocletian persecutions, accusing them of cannibalism.

The Church from Constantine onwards all believed in the Real Presence. It wasn’t really until Protestantism I think that people started denying the Real Presence.


More to it.

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading

Also read the writings of the Early Church Fathers!!! God Bless, Memaw

Probably LESS to it. Christianity was a new religion, based on peace, all the old religions were pagan and often violent to each other. Rome was being strangled by divisiveness, everyone an extremeist (sound familiar?) christianity offered a calming influence. I’m not denying the spiritual side, God played a big roll in this (he shaped the faith after all…)

Wish I could find the link where I read the above, it was right around Easter…

I don’t think the christian martyrs were viewed as terrorists, that’s a modern take on the radical religious groups who have misappropriated Islam and, in my opinion, have misappropriated the concept of martyrs.

He was Baptized late in his life.

I seriously doubt your account here, since his battle against Licinius was very much seen in light of the old Pagan gods vs the Christian God, since they marched under the Chi Rho, and as per his previous experience, believed the monogram of Christ would bring him to victory against Licinius as it did against Maxentius at Rome.

I hope this has helped

God Bless

Thank you for reading

Best book on the this and related history:


More to it, his mother was a Christian, what they were first called before the church called itself Catholic. It is through her prayers he converted. They are usually depicted together in ancient iconography, with the wooden cross where Jesus hung. She found it when on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It is why the church today has relics of the true cross. Sts. Constantine and Helen, pray for us.

Actually, there was only the One, Undivided, Pre-Denominational Christian Church at the time, there were no other Christian denominations at the time. The Protestant divisions didn’t begin until 1200 years later

I think the OP is confusing the different heresies with the modern concept of denominations. In that thinking, there were a couple around at the time, but it was easy to see where the actual seat of Christian authority was, and that’s who Constantine turned to. Also, his mother had a lot to do with it.

During the third and fourth centuries, there was one Church, and several schismatic and heretical movements.

Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea so that respected bishops and presbyters could discuss and conclude on several differing points of doctrine, practice, and belief. There were several issues, but one of the big ones was Arianism (not to be confused with Aryanism, which is a whole different level of stupidity).

It’s improper to say that Constantine “chose” Catholicism. There was literally nothing else, The other sects were just small groups that had been expelled from the Church for heresy or schismatic beliefs.

“Church History” by Eusebius of Caesarea is a good place to begin on this issue. Bishop Eusebius took part in the Council of Nicaea and also compiled documents from various sources to create a history of the Church from the time of Christ’s ascension until the Council of Nicaea.

There was only one Christian Church and it was headed by the Bishop of Rome. In other words, the Catholic Church.

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