“BY THE year 320 AD., the Emperor Constantine had made Christianity the religion of the (Roman) Emprise, and from that point on missionaries began carrying the gospel around the world. Through their efforts, Christianity ultimately replaced the “mystery religions” of the Empire” (Pat Robertsons, “the New Millennium,” 1940)
Since Rome in Italy, is the center of the Empire, it was logical that the main seat of their official religion would also be based in its capital. This place is now known as “Vatican”.
From that time on, “Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and moved up into Northern Europe. It displaced some of the more primitive religious systems of the Tantomic tribes, and with the growth of Christianity came education, culture, and the genuine enlightenment that inevitably springs from the faithful worship of Jesus Christ”, wrote Robertson.
By the way, the Roman Empire was the largest and most powerful Empire ever created. It surpassed all other Empires during that medieval era. However, it “collapsed under the weight of internal corruption.”
The Church of Rome became the most dominant political and spiritual force which replaced the Roman Empire as the center of power. Robertson related: Pope Leo the Great personally saved Rome from the attack by Atila the Hun in 452, and from similar fate at the hands of Generic, leader of the Vandalsin 455. The spiritual and temporal power of the Roman Church was completed on Christmas Day in the year 800 Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as the Holy Roman Emperor. This laid the foundation for the designation of Europe – and subsequently the European colonies in North and South America – as Christendom.”
The Byzantine Empire in Easter Europe allied with the Christianized nations, courtesy of the Roman Pope, formed what is known in history as the “Holy Alliance ”. For a period of about a thousand years or a Millennium – years 500 to 1500 – throughout Europe, Christianity flourished. If I’m not mistaken, this is what St. Augustine called the “One thousand years of the reign of our Lord Jesus”, mentioned in the Bible, where the Roman Catholic Church played a great role.
Back to Robertson: “The Christian faith spread to Russia, where there were mass conversions around the year 1000. It spread to England, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia, and all other continents of Europe. There was one religion, one worship, and Jesus Christ was Lord of all Spiritual and temporary lives.”
“The growth of the Church in power and numbers continued until the division of the Roman and Greek Churches in the beginning of the second millennium”, a certain John F. Walvoord wrote.
I do not want to dwell any further on what happened to our Roman Catholic Church that caused its decline after her “golden 1000 years of existence” lest I be misunderstood. Of course, it is common knowledge that a great Protestant Reformation led by a priest named Martin Luther erupted about the year 1500. The Christianization of the Philippines started with the “wrong foot” – the abuses committed by the Spanish Friars.
Clearly, the healing and renewal of our Roman Catholic Church is imperative for the good of the human race and our world. Teh 1970 Vatican II is the most authentic Roadmap for this challenging task. Sad to say, there are members of our Church hierarchy, most especially the traditional and conservative sector in our Roman Catholic Church who are quite reluctant to say the least, in pursuing real reforms in our Church. May the light of God shine on them for their enlightenment in this regard.
Our recently launched book titled “Heal Our Sick Society”, to a certain extend, mainly prescribes how to return to the basic tenet that our Lord Jesus Christ is a “Peaceful revolutionary”. All Christians and Christian churches must truly imitate our Lord Jesus in living our faith and confronting sins – personal and social – boldly and passionately to succeed. These are what the early Christians faithfully practiced in going forth and spreading the Good News.
Hence we shout: “Yes to the Theology of Liberation. Yes to ecumenism, interreligious dialogue and real empowerment of the laity. Yes to peaceful activism. Yes to authentic “Church of the Poor” and “Preferential option to the Poor”. Yes to Distributive Justice. Yes to sustainable development. Yes to lasting peace. Yes to Real Social Transformation. And most of all Yes to a holy vibrant Roman Catholic Church, that passionately and boldly fight for authentic double liberation of our people and nation!
“Quo Vadis Catholicism in the Philippines” is one of my articles in our recently launched book titled “Heal Our Sick Society.” Read this book for more information on the subject.
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