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HIS 151 – Mr. Dietrich
The Vatican’s Role in the Pagan Roots of Christianity and the Schism that Followed OR “Get Those Idols off my Altar!” 07/23/2008
Steven Anteau Mr. Dietrich HIS 151 23 July, 2008 At the onset of the middle ages, or dark ages, the continent of Europe was divided. Where the once stood an amazing nation where it’s citizens were expected to know two national tongues (Greek and Latin) along with their own native languages, there was now a great divide. No longer did the East and Western Europe share the same tongues, instead communication was weak at best and the two sides went their separate ways, the West being conquered by a myriad of barbarous invaders and the East keeping some semblance of its former self during this hectic time period in Byzantine. Christianity’s rise during this period would be felt on both sides of the continent, and as we shall see both would claim righteousness over the other, matters of dialectic and assumed authority halted any reforming year after year, leading eventually to a situation of three popes and a population caught in the middle, we shall examine some of the causes of these rifts, theological, dialectical, political, and everything in between, all of which however only sours the idea that any one man (or church) can ever rule a whole population truly under the direction of God. We will begin at the beginning, with Constantine the Great. Constantine was the first Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity, and was baptized by the Pope at the time, Sylvester I. The first order of business was to set straight the churches of Alexandria and Antioch, that they were subordinate to the Holy See of Rome. There were immediately liturgical disputes, for the Eastern churches at the time were accused of such things as the “use of leavened or unleavened bread at the Eucharist,” (Greenslade, p. 102) which was
considered a “Re-Judaizing” of Christianity, and of course the Eastern rejection of the filioque could only be seen as a spit in the face at an order of the Pope. The filioque is a Latin phrase that means literally “and (from) the son.” It was inserted into the Nicene Creed by the Catholics when referring to the Trinity, and follows “who proceeds from the father,” so it reads “who proceeds from the father and the son.” This greatly changed the theology that Christian fathers had been working so hard to hammer out for the illiterate or uninformed church member. Pope Leo III even had the creed, with the filioque, engraved on two silver tablets, one in Greek and the other in Latin, and placed them at the tomb of Saint Peter. The Eastern Orthodox church, rejected this stance, condemning any “tampering” with the Nicene Creed. (Farrell, p. 88) During this time period the Middle East was being swept by Islam, which eventually led to the Crusades, of which too much has already been written. With the filioque in mind we see a pattern of assumed Papal superiority over all other church bodies, including those outside of Christianity. Since the eighth century the Pope has used the title Vicarius Christi, literally the “Vicar of Christ” or “In the Person of Christ,” in other words the Pope declared himself to be an Earthly representative of Christ, though some later Popes had removed that title from themselves, it is still a title and a concept used to this day, cap stoned with the First Vatican Council of 1870 where the Pope was recognized as “infallible.” (Farrel, p. 149) All of this is especially perplexing when one gets into the Pagan roots of Christianity and the Catholic Church’s role in securing these doctrines, the most obvious example of this are the largest recognized Christian holidays, Easter and Christmas.
“The word ‘Easter’ appears once in the King James Version: ‘…intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.’ (Acts 12:4) The word translated ‘Easter’ here is pascha which isas all scholars know-the Greek word for Passover. It is well known that the word Easter is now a Christian Expression-not in its original meaning. The word comes from the name of a pagan goddess-the goddess of the rising light of day and spring. ‘Easter’ is but a more modern form of Eostre, Ostera, Astarte, or Ishtar, the latter, according to Hislop, being pronounces as we pronounce ‘Easter’ today.” (Woodrow, p 135, italics in the original) This theme has come up again and again in the course of my study, and the Catholic Church and it’s politics play a large role in the notion. The Catholic Church was set up to rule over all, the very word ‘Catholic’ means universal, as in a universal church. The Catholic Church and it’s Popes will never be able to run from the horrors of the Crusades, of whom they most directly targeted Muslims of the area, but also had unique Crusades for Jews, Essenes, Gnostics, any Protestant, any Western foundation of Eastern Orthodoxy, basically any foundation that wasn’t strictly Roman Catholicism, but most especially the remaining Pagans. Paganism of all sorts (Egyptian, Greek, Nordic, etc.) was already much on the decline by the twelfth century with the rise of organized Christianity, but how is that so when the modern Christian world celebrates an openly Pagan holiday that has no dating in the New Testament, Easter? The simple answer is that the Roman Catholic Church molded a universal religion from the start, combining Christianity and Paganism into one to secure footholds in both communities. There are so many alarming instances of ancient Pagan rite being used in most modern Christian (but all Catholic) Churches that I dare to waste page space on them, but one in particular must be assessed, and that is the act of Saint-hood.
I am often perplexed at my girlfriend’s family, who is strictly Catholic, and their worship of Saints. They may swear up and down that they do not worship the Saints, but praying in the name of a deceased human to conduct the act of miracle on our Earthly plane sounds like worshipping. As in the olden days, when a Pantheon blessed a nation, when a village had gods of war, love, and carpentry, so does the Catholic Church today. Catholics are encouraged to keep stone or wood representations of these elected individuals on them, in their house, their car, anywhere, so that they may always ‘protect’ or invest in you their powers such as ‘direction,’ all of which I find highly suspect. The Catholic Church is not a Holy religious body, it is a political body. A command post for the armies of all nations, its Crusades are legendary in their uniting of nations, rivaled only by their brutality. Popes becomes replacements for God and parishioners are told to worship stone idols to change their place on Earth. Disregarding language, dialect, and cultural history, the church went on a warpath condemning and destroying all non-Catholic teachings from the Middle East to the Americas. I do not partake in apocalyptic discussion so I won’t close with a quote from Revelation, but as someone who is not a Christian but appreciates the Christian faith in its ideal, the statement must be made that the Catholic Church’s effect on history cannot be justified in the text.
Steven Anteau Mr. Dietrich HIS 151 23 July, 2008 Greensdale, S.L. Schism in the Early Church. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949. Woodrow, Ralph Edward. Babylon Mystery Religion: Ancient and Modern. New York: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Association, Inc., 1992. Farrell, Joseph P.God, History and Dialectict. http://dialectic.wordpress.com/ghd/. 1995
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