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Particulars of Christianity:
301 Roman Catholicism


Roman Catholicism (Part 12)

Roman Catholicism (Part 1)
Roman Catholicism (Part 2)
Roman Catholicism (Part 3)
Roman Catholicism (Part 4)
Roman Catholicism (Part 5)
Roman Catholicism (Part 6)
Roman Catholicism (Part 7)
Roman Catholicism (Part 8)
Roman Catholicism (Part 9)
Roman Catholicism (Part 10)
Roman Catholicism (Part 11)
Roman Catholicism (Part 12)
Addendum: In Their Own Words



(Continued from previous section.)

The second individual who plays an important part in understanding Eusebius of Caesarea is emperor Constantine. Throughout his life, Constantine did not abolish paganism in the empire as we would expect a genuine Christian convert to do. Nor did he personally abandon the pagan customs that were the heritage of the Roman emperors.

"Constantine I, Roman emperor - Constantine was now sole ruler of the empire, and in a reign of peace he set about rebuilding the strength of old Rome. Constantine continued to tolerate paganism and even to encourage the imperial cult. At the same time, however, he endeavored to unify and strengthen Christianity." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

Instead of rejecting paganism, Constantine's actions were spent attempting to fuse his devotion to Mithra (or Sol Invictus) with Jesus Christ and Christianity into a single, unifying Roman religion. His efforts aided in the establishment of December 25, the pagan feast of the birth of the Unconquered Sun, as the birthday of Christ.

"Church Year - The establishment of Christianity as a state religion, following the conversion of the emperor Constantine (AD 312), brought new developments…A new focus of celebration, to commemorate the birthday of Christ, the world Redeemer, was instituted at ancient winter solstices (December 25 and January 6) to rival the pagan feasts in honour of the birth of a new age brought by the Unconquered Sun." - Britannica.com

And no wonder that after Constantine's alleged conversion pagan feast days such as the birth of the Sun god at the Winter Solstice would be "Christianized," given Constantine's authority as pontifex maximus to control both religious ceremonies as well as the calendar year.

"pontifex maximus - highest priest of Roman religion and official head of the college of pontifices. As the chief administrator of religious affairs he regulated the conduct of religious ceremonies, consecrated temples and other holy places, and controlled the calendar. During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus. After the supremacy of Christianity, the popes assumed the title." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Mystery Religion - The emperor Aurelian (270-275) elevated Sol to the highest rank among the gods. Sanctuaries of Sol and the gods of other planets (septizonium) were constructed. Even the emperor Constantine the Great, some 50 years later, wavered between Sol and Christ. For some time his religious policy was devised so as to allow the coexistence of both religions. Finally, Christianity was accepted as the official religion." - Britannica.com

"Constantine the Great - When such conditions prevailed it is easy to understand that many of the emperors yielded to the delusion that they could unite all their subjects in the adoration of the one sun-god who combined in himself the Father-God of the Christians and the much-worshipped Mithras; thus the empire could be founded anew on unity of religion. Even Constantine, as will be shown farther on, for a time cherished this mistaken belief. It looks almost as though the last persecutions of the Christians were directed more against all irreconcilables and extremists than against the great body of Christians." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine the Great - But it was especially in the western part of the empire that the veneration of Mithras predominated. Would it not be possible to gather all the different nationalities around his altars? Could not Sol Deus Invictus, to whom even Constantine dedicated his coins for a long time, or Sol Mithras Deus Invictus, venerated by Diocletian and Galerius, become the supreme god of the empire? Constantine may have pondered over this. Nor had he absolutely rejected the thought even after a miraculous event had strongly influenced him in favour of the God of the Christians." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine the Great - For a time it seemed as if merely tolerance and equality were to prevail. Constantine showed equal favour to both religious. As pontifex maximus he watched over the heathen worship and protected its rights. The one thing he did was to suppress divination and magic; this the heathen emperors had also at times sought to do. Thus, in 320, the emperor forbade the diviners or haruspices to enter a private house under pain of death. Whoever by entreaty or promise of payment persuaded a haruspex to break this law, that man's property should be confiscated and he himself should be burned to death. Informers were to be rewarded. Whoever desired to practise heathen usages must do so openly. He must go to the public altars and sacred places, and there observe traditional forms of worship. 'We do not forbid', said the emperor, 'the observance of the old usages in the light of day.' And in an ordinance of the same year, intended for the Roman city prefects, Constantine directed that if lightning struck an imperial palace, or a public building, the haruspices were to seek out according to ancient custom what the sign might signify, and their interpretation was to be written down and reported to the emperor. It was also permitted to private individuals to make use of this old custom, but in following this observance they must abstain from the forbidden sacrificia domestica. A general prohibition of the family sacrifice cannot be deduced from this, although in 341 Constantine's son Constantius refers to such an interdict by his father (Cod. Theod., XVI, x, 2). A prohibition of this kind would have had the most severe and far-reaching results, for most sacrifices were private ones. And how could it have been carried out while public sacrifices were still customary? In the dedication of Constantinople in 330 a ceremonial half pagan, half Christian was used. The chariot of the sun-god was set in the market-place, and over its head was placed the Cross of Christ, while the Kyrie Eleison was sung. Shortly before his death Constantine confirmed the privileges of the priests of the ancient gods. Many other actions of his have also the appearance of half-measures, as if he himself had wavered and had always held in reality to some form of syncretistic religion." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine the Great - The emperor went at least one step further when he withdrew his statue from the pagan temples, forbade the repair of temples that had fallen into decay, and suppressed offensive forms of worship. But these measures did not go beyond the syncretistic tendency which Constantine had shown for a long time." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine the Great - As early as 313 the Church obtained immunity for its ecclesiastics, including freedom from taxation and compulsory service, and from obligatory state offices--such for example as the curial dignity, which was a heavy burden. The Church further obtained the right to inherit property, and Constantine moreover placed Sunday under the protection of the State. It is true that the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas. Consequently Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun. According to Eusebius, the heathen also were obliged on this day to go out into the open country and together raise their hands and repeat the prayer already mentioned, a prayer without any marked Christian character (Vita Const., IV, xx)." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine the Great - On the other hand, the imperial power was increased by receiving a religious consecration. The Church tolerated the cult of the emperor under many forms. It was permitted to speak of the divinity of the emperor, of the sacred palace, the sacred chamber and of the altar of the emperor, without being considered on this account an idolater. From this point of view Constantine's religious change was relatively trifling; it consisted of little more than the renunciation of a formality. For what his predecessors had aimed to attain by the use of all their authority and at the cost of incessant bloodshed, was in truth only the recognition of their own divinity; Constantine gained this end, though he renounced the offering of sacrifices to himself." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine I, Roman emperor - Constantine was now sole ruler of the empire, and in a reign of peace he set about rebuilding the strength of old Rome. Constantine continued to tolerate paganism and even to encourage the imperial cult. At the same time, however, he endeavored to unify and strengthen Christianity." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Constantine I - Some of the ambiguities in Constantine's public policies were therefore exacted by the respect due to established practice and by the difficulties of expressing, as well as of making, total changes suddenly. The suppression of paganism, by law and by the sporadic destruction of pagan shrines, is balanced by particular acts of deference. A town in Asia Minor mentioned the unanimous Christianity of its inhabitants in support of a petition to the Emperor; while, on the other hand, one in Italy was allowed to hold a local festival incorporating gladiatorial games and to found a shrine of the imperial dynasty…" - Britannica.com

"The church and its history - Constantine brought the church out of its withdrawal from the world to accept social responsibility and helped pagan society to be won for the church. On both sides, the alliance of the church and emperor evoked opposition, which among the Christians emerged in the monks' retirement to the desert." - Britannica.com

Constantine's duplicitous fusion of Mithra and Jesus Christ is also evident in his making Sunday, a protected day in the Roman Empire.

"Constantine the Great - The Church further obtained the right to inherit property, and Constantine moreover placed Sunday under the protection of the State. It is true that the believers in Mithras also observed Sunday as well as Christmas. Consequently Constantine speaks not of the day of the Lord, but of the everlasting day of the sun." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"The church and its history - Despite massive legislation (some attempting to express Christian ideals-e.g., making Sunday a rest day), he failed to check the drastic inflation that began about 250 and that soon created deep unrest and weakened the empire before the barbarian invasions of the 5th century." - Britannica.com

Constantine's religious devotion is, at best, a mixed bag, a man whose ambitions as emperor left him deeply divided between his pagan heritage and Christianity. Perhaps more reasonably, however, history records Constantine as a man who veiled his pagan devotion and compromised with Christianity in order to bring about a syncretistic and political unity between the ardently pagan Roman Empire and the stubbornly anti-pagan Christian Church.

The Catholic Encyclopedia argues that Constantine's syncretism diminished gradually over time.

"Constantine the Great - Thus his life became more and more Christian, and thus gradually turned away from the feeble syncretism which at times he seemed to favour. The God of the Christians was indeed a jealous God who tolerated no other gods beside him. The Church could never acknowledge that she stood on the same plane with other religious bodies, she conquered for herself one domain after another." - Catholic Encyclopedia

However, such a conclusion is dubious in light of the historical record. Near the end of his life, Constantine was less orthodox than ever. He decisively supported Arian and was not baptized until just before he died. His baptism was conducted in Nicomedia by another man, Eusebius of Nicomedia, who was also known Arian heretic.

"Constantine the Great - As a catechumen he was not permitted to assist at the sacred Eucharistic mysteries. He remained a catechumen to the end of his life, but not because he lacked conviction nor because, owing to his passionate disposition, he desired to lead a pagan life." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine the Great - When at last he felt the approach of death he received baptism, declaring to the bishops who had assembled around him that, after the example of Christ, he had desired to receive the saving seal in the Jordan, but that God had ordained otherwise, and he would no longer delay baptism. Laying aside the purple, the emperor, in the white robe of a neophyte, peacefully and almost joyfully awaited the end." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Constantine I - Constantine had hoped to be baptized in the Jordan River, but perhaps because of the lack of opportunity to do so-together possibly with the reflection that his office necessarily involved responsibility for actions hardly compatible with the baptized state-he delayed the ceremony until the end of his life. It was while preparing for a campaign against Persia that he fell ill at Helenopolis. When treatment failed, he made to return to Constantinople but was forced to take to his bed near Nicomedia. There, Constantine received baptism, putting off the imperial purple for the white robes of a neophyte; and he died in 337. He was buried at Constantinople in his Church of the Apostles, whose memorials, six on each side, flanked his tomb. Yet this was less an expression of religious megalomania than of Constantine's literal conviction that he was the successor of the evangelists, having devoted his life and office to the spreading of Christianity." - Britannica.com

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Until 337 the Eusebians were busy obtaining, by calumny, the deposition of the bishops who supported the Nicene faith. Of these the best known are Paul of Constantinople, Aselepas of Gaza, and Marcellus Metropolitan of Ancyra. In the case of Marcellus they had received considerable provocation. Marcellus had been their active enemy at Nicća. At Tyre he had refused to condemn Athanasius, and he presented a book to the emperor in which the Eusebians received harsh words. He was convicted, not without grounds, of Sabellianizing, and took refuge in Rome. On 22 May, 337 Constantine the Great died at Nicomedia, after having been baptized by Eusebius, bishop of the place." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arianism - Her dying words affected him, and he recalled the Lybian, extracted from him a solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church (336). Arius openly triumphed; but as he went about in parade, the evening before this event was to take place, he expired from a sudden disorder, which Catholics could not help regarding as a judgment of heaven, due to the bishop's prayers. His death, however, did not stay the plague. Constantine now favoured none but Arians; he was baptized in his last moments by the shifty prelate of Nicomedia; and he bequeathed to his three sons (337) an empire torn by dissensions which his ignorance and weakness had aggravated." - Catholic Encyclopedia

So, we see that Constantine's two closest associates were both named Eusebius. We have already been discussing and will continue to discuss Eusebius of Caesarea. However, Eusebius of Nicomedia, who baptized Constantine and supported Arius, needs further introduction.

Eusebius of Nicomedia was a devout supporter of Arius and very close to emperor Constantine and his family, during his life, and as we have seen, at his death as well.

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - d. 342, Christian churchman and theologian, leader of the heresy of Arianism. He was bishop of Nicomedia (330-39) and patriarch of Constantinople (339-42); Eusebius was powerful because of his influence with Roman Emperor Constantine I and particularly with the emperor's son, Constantius II. He sheltered Arius in 321 and fought his condemnation at Nicaea (see Nicaea, First Council of). Eusebius signed the Nicene formulary but was exiled by Constantine shortly afterward. Eusebius' influence on the emperor's sister Constantia, however, soon won him his reprieve (328). As adviser to Constantius, a committed Arian, he systematically advanced a moderate Arianism throughout the empire." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Eusebius Of Nicomedia - born , Syria? died c. 342 an important 4th-century Eastern church bishop who was one of the key proponents of Arianism (the doctrine that Jesus Christ is not of the same substance as God) and who eventually became the leader of an Arian group called the Eusebians." - Britannica.com

"Eusebius Of Nicomedia - Eusebius may have met Arius, the Alexandrian priest and originator of Arianism, in Antioch as a fellow student under the theologian and martyr St. Lucian. Eusebius was, successively, bishop of Berytus and, about 318, bishop of Nicomedia. In August 323 Arius wrote Eusebius for aid when his teachings were being investigated by Bishop Alexander. In support of Arius' cause, Eusebius appealed to other bishops. When Arius was condemned in a synod at Alexandria (September 323), Eusebius sheltered him and sponsored a synod (October 323) at Bithynia, which nullified Arius' excommunication." - Britannica.com

"Eusebius Of Nicomedia - Through his friendship with the emperor's sister, Constantia, he was probably responsible for much of the powerful Arian reaction of the emperor's last years." - Britannica.com

"Arius - Influential support from colleagues in Asia Minor and from Constantia, the emperor Constantine I's daughter, succeeded in effecting Arius' return from exile and his readmission into the church after consenting to a compromise formula." - Britannica.com

"Arianism - Because of his heretical teachings, Arius was condemned and deprived of his office. He fled to Palestine and spread his doctrine among the masses through popular sermons and songs, and among the powerful through the efforts of influential leaders, such as Eusebius of Nicomedia and, to a lesser extent, Eusebius of Caesarea." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Bishop, place and date of birth unknown; d. 341. He was a pupil at Antioch of Lucian the Martyr, in whose famous school he learned his Arian doctrines. He became Bishop of Berytus; but from ambitious motives he managed to get transferred, contrary to the canons of the early Church, to the see of Nicomedia, the residence of the Eastern Emperor Licinius, with whose wife, Constantia, sister of Constantine, he was in high favor." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Arius, when he was condemned at Alexandria, by Alexander, bishop of that see, took refuge at Caćsarea, where he was well received by the famous apologist and historian Eusebius, and wrote to Eusebius of Nicomedia for support. The letter is preserved. In it the heretic explains his views clearly enough, and appeals to his correspondent as to a "fellow Lucianist". Eusebius put himself at the head of the party, and wrote many letters in support of Arius. One is preserved, addressed to Paulinius, Bishop of Tyre. We learn from it what Eusebius's doctrine was at this time: the Son he says is "not generated from the substance of the Father", but He is "other in nature and power"; He was created, and this is not inconsistent with his Sonship, for the wicked are called sons of God (Is., i, 2; Deut., xxxii, 18) and so are even the drops of dew (Job, xxxviii, 28); He was begotten by God's free will. This is pure Arianism, borrowed from the letters of Arius himself, and possibly more definite than the doctrine of St. Lucian." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Eusebius replied by assembling a council in his own province, which begged all the Eastern bishops to communicate with Arius, and to use their influence with Alexander in his favor." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Constantine ostentatiously declared at the council went no further than the guardianship of the bishops, but Eusebius of Cćsarea makes it clear that he spoke on the theological question. The bishop of Nicomedia and his friends put forward an Arian confession of faith, but it had only about seventeen supporters from among three hundred members of the council, and it was hooted by the majority." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arius - While many Syrian prelates followed the innovator, he was condemned at Alexandria in 321 by his diocesan in a synod of nearly one hundred Egyptian and Libyan bishops. Deprived and excommunicated, the heresiarch fled to Palestine. He addressed a thoroughly unsound statement of principles to Eusebius of Nicomedia, who yet became his lifelong champion and who had won the esteem of Constantine by his worldly accomplishments." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arianism - A council was, therefore, assembled in Nicaea, in Bithynia, which has ever been counted the first ecumenical, and which held its sittings from the middle of June, 325…a letter was received from Eusebius of Nicomedia, declaring openly that he would never allow Christ to be of one substance with God." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - It is said that it was Constantia, the widow of Licinius, who induced Constantine to recall Arius, and it is probable that she was also the cause of the return of her old friend Eusebius. By 329 he was in high favor with the emperor with whom he may have had some kind of a relationship, since Ammianus Marcellinus makes him a relative of Julian." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arianism - Meanwhile, Constantia, the Emperor's sister, had recommended Arius, whom she thought an injured man, to Constantine's leniency. Her dying words affected him, and he recalled the Lybian, extracted from him a solemn adhesion to the Nicene faith, and ordered Alexander, Bishop of the Imperial City, to give him Communion in his own church (336)." - Catholic Encyclopedia

Like Eusebius of Caesarea and Constantine, Eusebius of Nicomedia was also instrumental in the exile of Athanasius and only reluctantly signed the Nicaea Creed.

"Arianism - Eusebius of Nicomedia withdrew his opposition to the Nicene term, but would not sign the condemnation of Arius." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Eusebius of Nicomedia had bad luck. Though he had signed the creed, he had not agreed to the condemnation of Arius, who had been, so he said, misrepresented; and after the council he encouraged in their heresy some Arians whom Constantine had invited to Constantinople with a view to their conversion." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius Of Nicomedia - His unrelenting harassment of the leaders of the Homoousians helped lead Constantine to depose and exile Bishop St. Athanasius the Great of Alexandria at a synod in Tyre in 335 and to reinstate Arius at a synod in Jerusalem in 335." - Britannica.com

"Arianism - Eusebius of Nicomedia used this fear of Sabellianism to persuade Constantine to return Arius to his duties in Alexandria. Athanasius, chief defender of the Nicene formula, was bishop in Alexandria, and conflict was inevitable. The Eusebians managed to secure Athanasius' exile." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Athanasius, Saint - Made bishop of Alexandria upon the death of his superior, he faced a conspiracy led by Eusebius of Nicomedia to return the condemned Arius to Egypt. When Athanasius refused to yield, a pro-Arian council held at Tyre (335) found him guilty of sacrilege, the practice of magic, dishonest grain dealings, and even murder. Athanasius appealed to Constantine who demanded a retrial, then unaccountably ordered Athanasius into exile-the first of five." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - The great see of Alexandria was filled in 328 by the deacon Athansius, who had taken a leading part in Nicća. Small in stature, and young in years, he was at the head of a singularly united body of nearly a hundred bishops, and his energy and vivacity, his courage and determination marked him out as the one foe the Eusebians had to dread. The Alexandrian Arians had now signed an ambiguous formula of submission, and Eusebius of Nicomedia wrote to Athanasius, asking him to reinstate them, adding a verbal message of threats." - Catholic Encyclopedia

And after the Council of Nicaea, Eusebius of Nicomedia, like Eusebius of Caesarea, and Constantine worked diligently to overthrow the orthodox ruling of the council.

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - As adviser to Constantius, a committed Arian, he systematically advanced a moderate Arianism throughout the empire." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - From this time onward we find Eusebius at the head of a small and compact party called, by St. Athanasius, the Eusebians peri ton Eusebion, whose object it was to undo the work of Nicća, and to procure the complete victory of Arianism. They did not publicly recall the signatures that had been forced from them. They explained that Arius had repented on any excess in his words, or had been misunderstood. They dropped the Nicene formulć as ambiguous. They were the leaders of a much larger party of conservative prelates, who wished to stand well with the emperor, who reverenced the martyr Lucian and the great Origen, and were seriously alarmed at any danger of Sabellianism." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Until 337 the Eusebians were busy obtaining, by calumny, the deposition of the bishops who supported the Nicene faith." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - He may really have believed Arian doctrine, but clearly his chief aim had ever been his own aggrandizement, and the humiliation of those who had humbled him at Nicća. He had succeeded. His enemies were in exile. His creatures satin the sees of Alexandria and Antioch. He was bishop of the imperial city, and the young emperor obeyed his counsels." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arianism - While the plain Arian creed was defended by few, those political prelates who sided with Eusebius carried on a double warfare against the term "consubstantial", and its champion, Athanasius." - Catholic Encyclopedia

Eusebius of Nicomedia's appreciation of Origen is also another noteworthy comparison to Eusebius of Caesarea (as well as to Arius, Ambrose, and Augustine). His reverence for Lucian was also shared by Arius.

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - From this time onward we find Eusebius at the head of a small and compact party called, by St. Athanasius, the Eusebians peri ton Eusebion, whose object it was to undo the work of Nicća, and to procure the complete victory of Arianism. They did not publicly recall the signatures that had been forced from them. They explained that Arius had repented on any excess in his words, or had been misunderstood. They dropped the Nicene formulć as ambiguous. They were the leaders of a much larger party of conservative prelates, who wished to stand well with the emperor, who reverenced the martyr Lucian and the great Origen, and were seriously alarmed at any danger of Sabellianism." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arius - An heresiarch, born about A.D. 250; died 336. He is said to have been a Libyan by descent. His father's name is given as Ammonius. In 306, Arius, who had learnt his religious views from Lucian…" - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Arianism - Associated with Paul, and for years cut off from the Catholic communion, we find the well-known Lucian, who edited the Septuagint and became at last a martyr. From this learned man the school of Antioch drew its inspiration. Eusebius the historian, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Arius himself, all came under Lucian's influence." - Catholic Encyclopedia

"Eusebius of Nicomedia - Bishop, place and date of birth unknown; d. 341. He was a pupil at Antioch of Lucian the Martyr, in whose famous school he learned his Arian doctrines." - Catholic Encyclopedia

Lucian's views concerning the nature of Christ contained similar heretical concepts as those expressed by Arius and are known to have influenced Arius.

"Arianism - Christian heresy founded by Arius in the 4th cent. It was one of the most widespread and divisive heresies in the history of Christianity. As a priest in Alexandria, Arius taught (c.318) that God created, before all things, a Son who was the first creature, but who was neither equal to nor coeternal with the Father. According to Arius, Jesus was a supernatural creature not quite human and not quite divine. In these ideas Arius followed the school of Lucian of Antioch." - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2001.

"Lucian of Antioch - In the field of theology, in the minds of practically all writers (the most notable modern exception being Gwatkin, in his "Studies of Arianism", London, 1900), he has the unenviable reputation of being the real author of the opinions which afterwards found expression in the heresy of Arius. In his Christological system - a compromise between Modalism and Subordinationism - the Word, though Himself the Creator of all subsequent beings was a creature, though superior to all other created things by the wide gulf between Creator and creature. The great leaders in the Arian movement (Arius himself, Eusebius, the court bishop of Nicomedia, Maris, and Theognis) received their training under him and always venerated him as their master and the founder of their system." - Catholic Encyclopedia

In conclusion we see that these four men were closely allied to one another in cause and in believe: Constantine, Eusebius of Caesarea, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Arius. All of these men shared an affection for both Neoplatonic paganism and Arian heresy and acted against orthodox Christianity on behalf of those who also held esteem for these beliefs.


Conclusions on Roman Catholic Neoplatonic Paganism

The influences, associations, and actions of Augustine and Eusebius of Caesarea cannot be overlooked. Augustine's life and work exhibits a profound dedication to Neoplatonism and allegorical interpretation just as his mentors Ambrose and Origen. Similarly, Eusebius of Caesarea possessed in his writings and his life an abiding commitment to Arian heresy and the Roman imperial paganism of his close associates emperor Constantine, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and Arius himself.

It should be disturbing then that these two men, Augustine and Eusebius of Caesarea, occupy a place of such significance in the earliest development of Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholic theology. To Augustine the Roman Catholics attribute the single largest and unparalleled contribution to the theology of the RCC. To Eusebius, the RCC owes its understanding of the papacy, the Church, and the relationship of the Church and the state.

The overriding and paramount influence of these two men (and by extension their associates and those who were later influenced by them) decisively and conclusively demonstrates that the emergence of the Roman Catholic Church in the 4th century A.D. was the result of the syncretistic fusion of Christianity with both Roman imperial paganism, Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, and perhaps (at least for a time) Arianism.


Study Conclusions on Roman Catholicism

In this long study we have established that, contrary to their claims, the Roman Catholic Church is NOT the true church of Jesus Christ and does NOT possess authentic Christian teaching. This conclusion has been demonstrated through a number of facts.

1. The defining Roman Catholic doctrine of papal authority and Roman primacy is a development of 4th century Roman imperial paganism and cannot be found in the New Testament nor in the writings of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd century Church.

2. Roman Catholic theology is largely the result of such men as Augustine and Eusebius of Caesarea, who exhibit a clear dedication to Neoplatonism, Gnostic Arianism, and Roman imperial paganism.

3. In addition, the Roman Catholic Church has been shown to be an invalid theological system on its own merits for two reasons.

First, the RCC claims that a change in organization by the Church from that instituted by Jesus Christ would constitute a deviation that would undermine the legitimacy of the Church and cannot be permitted, accepted, or adopted. The RCC has deviated from the organization of the Church that was established by Jesus Christ and replaced it with a system, which cannot be found in the New Testament or the Church of the first two and a half centuries, but is instead clearly modeled after Roman imperialism and the pontifex maximus.

Second, the RCC claims that the New Testament scripture and the writings of Tradition are both the inerrant, inspired, and authoritative Word of God. Yet, the teachings of the RCC contradict this very claim, wherein the RCC makes additional claims which conflict with both the New Testament scripture and the writings of Tradition from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd century Church.

For all of the above reasons we can dismiss Roman Catholicism and the Roman Catholic Church as an invalid and unviable transmitter of the true teachings of Jesus Christ. Those who wish to be disciples of Jesus Christ and His teachings must reject and abandon Roman Catholicism and seek instead to understand, embrace, and practice a faith, whose sole origin is contained in the New Testament scripture and not in the Roman, Neoplatonic, Gnostic, and pagan traditions of men.