Mormons and the Emperor Constantine

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Lepanto

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Mormons claim that the Emperor Constantine essentially founded the Catholic Church to secure his empire.

Well, if that’s true, why is it that he is not called “Saint Constantine”? Of the thousands of people in the last 2000 years that the Catholic Church recognizes as saints, why is Constantine not one of them? One would think that if the Mormon claim is true, surely Constantine would’ve been declared a saint. Heck, he was never even a pope or a priest!

Moreover, of all the thousands of Catholic parishes around the world, you’ll never see a single parish named in honor of Constantine (to my knowledge). Likewise, there are no formal prayers asking for Constantine’s intercession.

We honor Constantine as a pivotal historical figure in other ways, such as in artwork, but that’s about it.

The Catholic Church (indeed, all Christians) do owe Constantine a debt of gratitude for making Catholicism legal in the Roman Empire, but the Mormon attribution of his founding of the Catholic Church has no historical merit.
 
Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church to secure HIS empire, in a manner of speaking. The whole “Edict of Milan” thing is just a slick attempt to undemine the theological claims of the Church.
 
Actually, Constantine is recognized as a Saint ( as St. Constantine the Great)

his feast day is May 21

catholiconline.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=2731
]Moreover, of all the thousands of Catholic parishes around the world, you’ll never see a single parish named in honor of Constantine (to my knowledge).
There’s a Byzantine Catholic church in Chicago name “Sts Constantine and Helena” and a St. Constantine Ukranian Catholic parish in Minneapolis.
 
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lepanto:
Mormons claim that the Emperor Constantine essentially founded the Catholic Church to secure his empire.
I that is true then thershould be no distictive catholic teaching and instirution before this,Look at the tracks here on catholic answers and look at the writtings of the Pre-contantine father…they teach catholicism…

Be careful though if you press them they will say that the apostasy began during the life of the aposltes, they have to say this in order to get around all the catholic beleifs in those days…

I like to aske them how many times does Jesus have to fail before he gets it right…

He started a church In Palestine with the aposltes it failed, He laso started one (according to them) In north america, It failed, What makes them think he gor it right with their church and what are they doing following a leader that gets it wrong so often…:confused:
 
Saint Constantine is important to the Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics. He mother, Helena, is more recognized in the Western Church.

Saint Constantine, pray for us, is not an invocation in the Latin Rite Litany of the Saints.
 
I guess I can comment here.

There is no official position within the CoJCoLDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) as to the time or cause of the apostasy. For most LDS the miracles of the restoration is evidence of the apostasy. Some LDS, me included, have looked into the history of the Catholic Church and find reason to believe there was an apostasy (I also find reason to believe there was not apostasy and I respect the opinion of those who find “no apostasy” more compelling than “apostasy”).

As has been posted Constantine does have a role in the progression of the church that became the Catholic Church, and I do think he has been declared a Saint. I would also be historically accurate to recognize that Constantine was the one who called the Council of Nicea. The question of who presided at the CoN is not decidable, but Constantine is definitely among the possible answers to this question. I would however generally side with Catholics when they say that Constantine was not a major theological mind at the CoN. Constantine did support the results and much political power was involved in the direction of the church for many years beginning largely with Constantine.

My personal (non-official as there is no official) apostasy paradigm says that Peter did not transfer the authority to lead the Catholic Church to Linus, Cletus, or Clement. I have read Cardinal Newman’s, On the Development of Christian Doctrine. I believe his position that the authority of the Pope was dormant within these early Bishops of Rome, because, “Love dispenses with laws,” is a plausible read on history.

I am generally interested in exploring topics such as predestination within the Catholic Church and Deification within the Catholic Church, but I will spend some time explaining/defending LDS doctrines (especially if you are interested in converting ). I do hope that before you post the “Boettner list” or such things, that you look for LDS apologetics that respond to your concerns. It took me less than a day to come to grips with Mary, Infallibility, and Transubstantiation (and I have to this day “holy envy” for the “real presence” within the Eucharist). So do as you will, but chances are pretty good that if you can find a silly anti-Mormon argument on the web, you can find a response to it on the web too.

Charity, TOm
 
Tom-

I don’t have anything at the moment to say about Mormon doctrines because I haven’t “studied up” as of yet, but I just wanted to comment on your post. I always appreciate the rare blend of information and charity particularily when someone is posting in an area of which ideas or beliefs he or she holds is in the minority. Kudos to you and God bless! I hope to have more conversations with you in the future. - God bless! - Mfaustina1 👍
 
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Katholikos:
Saint Constantine is important to the Orthodox and Eastern Rite Catholics. He mother, Helena, is more recognized in the Western Church.

Saint Constantine, pray for us, is not an invocation in the Latin Rite Litany of the Saints.
Katholikos,

You’re correct in that Saint Constantine is important to the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches (please, “Eastern Rite” is not an acceptable term, our Churches are just that - “Churches”).

While no invocation to Saint Constantine appears in the Litany of the Saints, neither is there any invocation to a few thousand other Saints.

Many years,

Neil
 
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Apologia100:
Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church to secure HIS empire, in a manner of speaking. The whole “Edict of Milan” thing is just a slick attempt to undemine the theological claims of the Church.
 
The Greek Orthodox consider Constantine a Saint… We have never cosidered him… I heard it was because of too many deeds he did as emperor that were not moral. :cool:
 
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jackrico:
The Greek Orthodox consider Constantine a Saint… We have never cosidered him… I heard it was because of too many deeds he did as emperor that were not moral
Jack,

While Constantine the Great is not accorded a liturgical commemoration in the Latin Church, he is in the Eastern Catholic Churches (at least those of the Byzantine Rite), as well as in our sister Orthodox Churches.

The feast is observed in the Synaxarion of the Melkite Catholic Church on May 21 as the “Memory of the Holy and Glorious Constantine (280-337) and Helen (+329), Great Sovereigns and Equals-to-the-Apostles”, and in the Ukrainian and Ruthenian Catholic Church Typikons, on the same date, as “The Holy Emperor Constantine and His Mother Helen, Equals to the Apostles”.

The heightened morality that came about in his reign, as well as the steps that he took in favor of the Christians are well-documented historically.

Many years,

Neil
 
I’m curious how LDS interprets Christ’s words to St. Peter in Matthew 16:18

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

If my understandng is correct, LDS claims that the Church needed to be restored. If Christ Himself said that the netherworld will not prevail against it, why would restoration be necessary?
 
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Stylteralmaldo:
I’m curious how LDS interprets Christ’s words to St. Peter in Matthew 16:18

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

If my understandng is correct, LDS claims that the Church needed to be restored. If Christ Himself said that the netherworld will not prevail against it, why would restoration be necessary?
Forgive me for repeating myself from another thread.

I think there are two things of note concerning Matthew 16:18. First let me quote the end of the passage:

“…and gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 Young’s Literal Translation.

Let me start with what it means to prevail. One who prevails may loose many battles, but wins the war. This is really quite a solid way of understanding this passage.

Michael M. Winter, former lecturer in Fundamental Theology at St. John’s Seminary (Roman Catholic), in Saint Peter and the Popes, p. 17. states concerning Matthew 16:18

“although some writers have applied the idea of immortality to the survival of the church, it seems preferable to see it as a promise of triumph over evil.”

In this light I would suggest that Matthew 16:18 is a promise that the apostasy would merely be a set back, but the restoration would shine through ultimately.

The above comes largely from Barry Bickmore (with a little Scott P.). In addition to these comments he suggests that the Church is not just an earthly organization and that Hades is actually “the world of the dead.” Barry suggests that an additional way of looking at this passage is as a promise not solely to the earthly church, but to the church as a whole.

I hope to have much more to share relative to this idea when the book Vox Dei, Vox Populi is published if this ever happens.

Charity, TOm
 
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TOmNossor:
Let me start with what it means to prevail. One who prevails may loose many battles, but wins the war. This is really quite a solid way of understanding this passage.

Michael M. Winter, former lecturer in Fundamental Theology at St. John’s Seminary (Roman Catholic), in Saint Peter and the Popes, p. 17. states concerning Matthew 16:18

“although some writers have applied the idea of immortality to the survival of the church, it seems preferable to see it as a promise of triumph over evil.”

In this light I would suggest that Matthew 16:18 is a promise that the apostasy would merely be a set back, but the restoration would shine through ultimately.

Charity, TOm
Thanks TOm for your insights. I appreciate your comments. I have a better understanding where LDS is coming from. Michael Winter is entitled to his own opinion, but what we “prefer” scripture to mean and what it actually says in context are two entirely different matters. Thanks and take care.
 
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Stylteralmaldo:
Thanks TOm for your insights. I appreciate your comments. I have a better understanding where LDS is coming from. Michael Winter is entitled to his own opinion, but what we “prefer” scripture to mean and what it actually says in context are two entirely different matters. Thanks and take care.
I am incredibly aware that my own biases influence my read on history, scripture, spiritual witness, … I have prayed to be lead and I know that I am willing to walk where God directs if He is willing to break through my thick head. I do recognize that God seldom hits prideful, stubborn ninnies such as me over the head with the truth burning bush style. I must become teachable like a little child.

Anyway, one of the things that is important to me about the Winters quote is that Winters is a Roman Catholic scholar. He reads Matthew 16:18 and rather than seeing something that confirms his bias he sees something that while it does not threaten him, it does not support his believe in the continual survival of the earthly Church of Christ.

Charity, TOm
 
TOm, we are all influenced in different ways throughout our lifetimes and with that carries biases that I admit influences me as well (as I am sure influences us all).

I try not to take anything for granted and try to approach others in that manner. I regularly question my own faith on a regular basis in search of truth only to find myself becoming even more enriched in my faith.

You seem like a very thought provoking individual and I look forward to future discussions with you.

God bless!
 
Let me start with what it means to prevail. One who prevails may loose many battles, but wins the war. This is really quite a solid way of understanding this passage.

As I understand it (and I would by no means classify myself as a Roman Catholic scholar), there are other facets of the argument against the apostasy. Seeing as Jesus instructed those who had problems with their brethren to “take it to the church”, it would follow that between the apostasy and the restoration of the church, there would have to exist a recognizable church to take problems to.
If not, his promise to be with his people “to the end of days” would have been empty.

I’m looking at this before breakfast and not quite firing on all cylinders yet, so maybe you could answer a few questions:
Was the canon of the bible even agreed upon before the alleged apostasy, and if not, how could the CoJoLDS ever accept it? Wouldn’t the necessary authority behind the bible be the Catholic Church?
If I were to ask what eveidence existed to identify the CoJoLDS as the restored church, as opposed to Islam, or any Protestant denomination, what would the official answer be? I mean, how do we know the church still isn’t restored.
As I understand it, all Mormon prophets have made “prophetical” predictions that time has proven incorrect; scripture says that the test of a prophet is the accuracy of such predictions, doesn’t it?

Wasn’t immediate result of the Edict of Milan just the cessations of official hostilities against the early Christians?
If Constantine was trying to establish a new religion, why would he have waited to become a member of it until his deathbed instead of establishing doctrine that would have allowed him to enjoy its benefits from the start?

Thanks for the charitable discussion. I hope it will get us all closer to the heart of God.
 
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ichabod:
As I understand it (and I would by no means classify myself as a Roman Catholic scholar), there are other facets of the argument against the apostasy. Seeing as Jesus instructed those who had problems with their brethren to “take it to the church”, it would follow that between the apostasy and the restoration of the church, there would have to exist a recognizable church to take problems to.

If not, his promise to be with his people “to the end of days” would have been empty.

I have not analyzed “take it to the church.” I recognize that the earliest of the early CF consistently emphasize the need to look to ordained authorities. These authorities are the Bishops and local authorities that I think existed until some time long after the decision to accept the baptism of heretics. After centuries of heretical baptism, eventually valid priesthood was absent.

And I do not believe that God ever abandoned Christians.
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ichabod:
I’m looking at this before breakfast and not quite firing on all cylinders yet, so maybe you could answer a few questions:

Was the canon of the bible even agreed upon before the alleged apostasy, and if not, how could the CoJoLDS ever accept it? Wouldn’t the necessary authority behind the bible be the Catholic Church?

The CoJCoLDS does not consider it either inerrant nor complete. It is just the word of God and sufficient. We have 3 other volumes of scriptures. Had the Prophet Joseph Smith been left unmolested we would have a complete and verified JST (Joseph Smith “Translates”) Biblical aids. The CoJCoLDS is not based on the Bible. We are based on the same thing the Bible is based on, Jesus Christ. The choice of the KJV of the Bible I believe was a missionary tool in many ways not a vote of total confidence in the ability of the apostate church to choose books for the Bible. The inerrant Bible apologetic has impact upon Protestants, but for me the Bible is sufficient. I would have liked to see Enoch and the Visions of Hermas included, but alas this is not the case.

Charity, TOm
 
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ichabod:
If I were to ask what eveidence existed to identify the CoJoLDS as the restored church, as opposed to Islam, or any Protestant denomination, what would the official answer be? I mean, how do we know the church still isn’t restored.

I believe the most prevalent LDS answer would be that the Holy Spirit will confirm the truth. In my opinion “…This one thing is at least certain; whatever history teaches, whatever it omits, whatever it exaggerates or extenuates, whatever it says and unsays, at least the Christianity of history is not Protestantism. If ever there were a safe truth, it is this…To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant…” – Cardinal Newman, An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine.

That being said, the Bahai and Islam do not fall so easily. I have only recently recognized how this apologetic affects me. I have some thinking to do about this.
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ichabod:
As I understand it, all Mormon prophets have made “prophetical” predictions that time has proven incorrect; scripture says that the test of a prophet is the accuracy of such predictions, doesn’t it?

The Joseph Smith taught that he was only a prophet when acting as such. The best indication of this when the prophet is acting as such in my opinion is the acceptance via common consent of what is taught by the church. This is placed beside the witness of the Bible which includes prophetic problems such as Jonah.
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ichabod:
Wasn’t immediate result of the Edict of Milan just the cessations of official hostilities against the early Christians?

If Constantine was trying to establish a new religion, why would he have waited to become a member of it until his deathbed instead of establishing doctrine that would have allowed him to enjoy its benefits from the start?

I believe Constantine merely wanted a unifying force for his kingdom. Paganism was not as effective. But the Arian controversy also threatened to cause schism. I do not believe that Constantine was as concerned about the decision as he was about a decision.
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ichabod:
Thanks for the charitable discussion. I hope it will get us all closer to the heart of God.

We will certainly be lifted up by understanding and respecting differences of opinion. I can also so that my understanding of my beliefs has been enhanced by interacting with Christians who have a much greater respect for 2000 years of Biblical exegesis than do most LDS. I have learned a lot. Your cylinders seem to be in order.

Charity, TOm
 
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