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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Didn't the Emperor Constantine invent the Catholic Church in 325 AD? Isn't Catholicism influenced by paganism?

“Love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your MIND”--Matt 22:37

Question: Didn't the Emperor Constantine invent the Catholic Church in 325 AD?  Isn't Catholicism influenced by paganism?
According to this website, Catholicism is a "bastardized version" of paganism:

When the Emperor Constantine held the council of Nicaea in 325 AD, he basically decided to impose a bastardized version of Sumerian, Egyptian God king mind control on the people of his empire.
Him <Constantine> and his followers stole what he liked from the traditions of the two great Western river civilizations and merged it with bits from Greco-Roman religions to create what is now known as Christianity. Everything else then banned by his successors until eventually a penalty of death through torture was imposed on all who would hold a different form of thinking.

So was Catholicism founded by the Emperor Constantine at the Edict of Milan in 325 AD?

No, the Catholic Church was founded by, well,  Jesus Christ. 
(We can trace our succession from Jesus to the Apostles to our current Pope and Bishops.  Each and every Catholic bishop has been anointed by a bishop who was anointed by a bishop who was <snip 2000 years or so> anointed by the Apostles.  I know of no other church, save for the Eastern Orthodox, who can make this claim.) 

The Emperor Constantine simply made it legal to be a Catholic.  Prior to his edict, Christians were being persecuted and oppressed, and worshiped, celebrating the liturgy, only in secrecy and hiding.  (Even in the first centuries the liturgy was the heart and soul of Christian life.  According to Catholic author Mike Aquilina in his book, "The Mass of the Early Christians" if we were transported back in time to the liturgy celebrated by the first Christians we would "hear and taste and see the same worship Catholics know today: the altar, the priests, the chalice of wine, the bread, the Sign of the Cross...the Lord, have mercy ...the Holy, holy, holy ...and the Communion.")  But I digress...

So as to the charge that Catholicism has its roots in paganism, here is a website that details this.  Regarding a photo of Pope JPII, the site claims:
Look at the Pope with the symbol of “Baal” (sun worship) at the forefront of his mitre, which symbolizes the Dagon god. The symbol of the Dagon is in the form of a hat or mitre.
Actually, pagan influences are seen in a multitude of Christian symbols, used by even our most stridently anti-Catholic friends:  wedding rings, the Christmas tree, Gothic architecture, altars.  Heck, each and every time they say, "Let's have lunch on Thursday" they are giving a nod to the pagan god, Thor, who is the origin of the word Thursday.

There are also claims that the idea of a divine savior being crucified is found in many pre-Christian cultures, and thus, the "story" of Jesus' crucifixion, death and resurrection is only a repetition of a myth that has been in existence for millennia.

Short answer is this:  that there are a multitude of myths about a deity that becomes human does not negate the truth that it really happened.  These myths simply point to the truth of The Event that actually occurred in human history.

Indeed, these myths may have been prophetic, foreshadowing that which was to come:  the real Incarnation, Death and Resurrection of God.

Long answer can be found here:
Excerpt:  Many alleged similarities between Christianity and the mystery religions are either exaggerated or simply false; there are no other crucified and resurrected saviors besides Jesus Christ;
...The religion of the apostles and their successors was grounded in events that actually happened in history at a particular place and time (the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth); the mysticism and mythology of the mystery cults was essentially non-historical.

For more in-depth study visit these websites:

Is Catholicism Pagan?

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect" - 1 Peter 3:15