Origin of Catholic Church
Origin of Roman Catholic Church
When was the Catholic Church founded? To understand the Catholic Church’s origin, you need to know how the early Church in Rome obtained recognition from the Roman Empire.
In its initial stages, the early Church kept the pure and undefiled truth about the existence of only one God but later accepted various gods of Rome and religious customs. The acceptance of the Roman religious traditions was one of the major reasons the early church was acknowledged as a Roman religion, which led to the Roman Catholic Church’s origin.
Apostle Paul preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to Asia Minor, Greece, Palestine, and Rome. Although this was the Catholic Church’s origin, it wasn’t welcomed in its early stages, especially in Rome. The church wasn’t accepted in Rome because of its monotheistic nature and the polytheism that already existed in Rome.
Polytheism existed in Rome because the Roman Empire accepted/approved all the religions of the people they conquered. This acceptance was meant to make it easier for the Roman emperors to rule over their conquest and achieve their political goals. However, this came into conflict with Christianity, and the emperors decided to persecute Christians – this was before the origin of the Roman Catholic Church.
Nonetheless, during the reign of Emperor Constantine, Christianity became an official religion. To be precise, in 313, Emperor Constantine proclaimed the Edict of Milan, which approved Christianity as an official and legal religion of Rome and gave the Christian clergy legal privileges such as immunity from tax and military duties. Constantine did this because he believed that Christianity was the only way to solidify his empire.
The approval of Christianity in Rome led to an increase in the number of pagans in the church. This approval happened because it wasn’t easy for the polytheists to forget the gods and customs they had worshiped and believed in since their forefathers’ times. To increase the number of pagan converts and establish themselves as an approved religion, the church tried to Christianize various forms of pagan gods to suit the Bible.
One of the most representative things of the Christianization process was accepting the worship of the pagan sun god worship tradition. The Roman Catholic Church identified Jesus as the sun god, and the inside of the church was decorated with various forms of sun images. The Christian church was deprived of its early purity, making it change its appearance and become the Roman Catholic Church.