Tuesday, 14 April 2015
Monday, 6 April 2015
Many emperors of Rome coming after Nero kept up the brutal killings of Catholics. As this killing was going on, Romans are being surprised that Christians easily, willingly submit themselves to death rather than worship idols and offer incense to them. So instead of the killings destroy Christians, it emboldened them as many more Romans converted to Christianity. Not the use of the words Christianity and Catholicism interchangeably.
As more Romans continue to adopt Christianity in large numbers, Rome found itself suppressing riots and insurrections throughout the empire as more people reject the method of killing Christians and many supporting that. So riots were the order of the day and Rome was spending resources suppressing these riots, including trying to suppress band of brutal runaway slaves made up of gladiators.
The emperor ruling at this time was Constantine, a man in support of stopping the killing of Christians. He had other more ingenious plans on how to finish off Christians without the constant bloodletting. He was planning to re-educate them forcefully into the Roman culture.
As Rome was suppressing riots, it was also facing a war with Germanic tribes who plunder the vestiges of Rome spreading fear and terror among the Roman suburbs. So, Rome wanted to invade Gaul, today’s Germany to put a final stop to these murderous raids. So as the war preparation was on, the head of the Catholic Church who have been in hiding somewhere in the catacombs, the Roman underground went to the emperor knowing that the emperor will either listen to him or he will die. So he gambled.
This pope told Constantine that he should make the crucifix his standard in the coming war promising a sure victory. Constantine was intrigued and he agreed. And so he went on to win the war decimating the Germanic tribes taking thousands of them prisoners.
When he returned to war, he converted to Catholicism and changed the law making Christianity to official religion of the whole of the empire. Pagans were on the defensive but what is written is written. This means that Catholicism permeated all aspects of life of Rome. The emperor have an oversight as to who is appointed Bishop or the location of any Church.
So the Christians triumphed over Rome and the Pope was given a house and he started to rule over Christianity in peace. Thus what we now call Roman Catholicism was born. It is also a testimony that it was only in Rome that existed the most organized center of Christianity, where St. Peter ruled from, albeit in secret.
Thursday, 2 April 2015
Friday, 27 March 2015
The Catholic Story: Origins
The Name Catholic means universal. Its origin is from the Greek word katholicos, which means widespread or universal.
When Jesus Christ came to this world to die for the Salvation of all, he did want to establish a new covenant, a universal covenant. Those who want to be part of this covenant will enter it through baptism. He also established an institution called church or ecclesia in Greek. We know this because he called peter to be the head of this ecclesia when he told him “on this rock I will build my Church, the gates of hell will never prevail against it” we remember that Christ changed the name of Simon to peter which means Rock. What he is here saying is that he will make Peter his Vicar on earth that is someone that stands in physically for him after he is gone back to heaven. We must always remember that it is Christ that is the head of the Church.
We learn from this passage that Christ indeed has a Church, by that possessive pronoun used “my Church”.
Christ went ahead to call other apostles who will be the pillars of his new religion. He consciously called 12 people, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. So, the new Christ’s Church becomes the new Israel, as Christ did not come to abolish the old law but to fulfill it.
We know that not all things that happen in the life of the new religion are recorded in the bible. It is impossible to have such a record. The bible itself says that not all things Christ did is recorded and so not all things the members of the Church did is also recorded. This is important because there are many who ask the question “is it in the Bible” as if the Bible is ALL IN ALL of Christianity. No it cannot be as we will see in our conversations.
In the year 70AD, that is some 40 years after Christ went up to haven on Ascension day, Jews in Jerusalem revolted against the Roman forces occupying Israel. Remember that the Church of Christ was stationed in Jerusalem. This means that the apostles were there, preaching the Gospel and being confronted by the Sanhedrin as we see in the Acts of Apostles.
In this Revolted, Romans unleashed Roman fury on Israel and decimated that nation. This means that the killed thousands of people and destroyed buildings. Infact all the buildings in Jerusalem were destroyed including the temple! The remaining population that did not die went into exile! This includes the apostles!
The apostles went to various nations preaching the Gospel. St. Thomas went as far as India to evangelize. Infact Thomas tomb is in India today. St. Paul went to Greece. St. John Went to Ephesus in Greece with Mary mother of God since Christ entrusted him with the care of his Mother.
St. Peter went as far as Rome!
As this spread was going on, a Church elder in Antioch, in Greece called the spreading Church katholicos,! Remember also that it is in this same Antioch that followers of Christ, members of the new religion were called Christians!
Since then, many writers and Historians started to call the Church of Christ Catholic since according to them, it is now a universal Church since it has spread throughout the known world!