EUROPE'S DARK SHAMEEmperor Constantine, born Flavius Valerius Aurelius (274-337 C.E.), of a Christian mother and pagan Emperor Constantine Chlorus, transformed Christianity from squabbling groups into a coherent religion and installed it into power at his right hand. The Bible said the all the right things for a man with many enemies.
The Rise of Christianity
In 313 he issued, conjointly with Licinius (the Emperor of the Eastern Empire), the Milan Decree which forbade persecution of all forms of monotheism, effectively giving civil rights and toleration of Christians throughout the empire.
To control his empire Constantine used the administrative network of the Christian church, and by 318 he had already given the Bishops all the rights and privileges of the pagan high priests. That made the Christian ministry a career not just a vocation.
In the year 323 Constantine’s army attacked and defeated his co-emperor, Licinius, who fought under the old Republican deities. Constantine’s army had fought under the Chi-Rho sign and the battle-cry was “Deus Summus Salvator!” – God, the Highest Saviour!
He was now Emperor of the whole Roman Empire.
Christians Elevate Constantine to Messiah
He summoned the Council of Nicaea in 325. The result was a unified and rationalized Christianity – but to suit his own ideas and needs Catholicism as it is known today derives ultimately from this Council of Nicaea - Catholicism arrived by vote! Bishops became a branch of the imperial civil service.
In 326 Constantine gave the shrine of Helios Apollo in Rome to the Christians for the foundation of their new church, St. Peter.
In his later years he became increasingly vicious. He boiled alive his own wife, although Christian, and strangled to death his own relatives. His favourite way of killing those who opposed him was to hang them up inverted, cut their throat, and watch them die. It would take a prolonged time as blood remained in the head.
Such a “Messiah” set the foundations of
the Church for centuries to come.
The Fall of Human-Friendly Paganism
Emperor Julian, a pagan, was named as a successor and marched into Constantinople in December 361. He repealed the laws of religious persecution of the pagans, but died in battle in 363.
Theodosius (346-395) was a pious but
intolerant Christian. He became
principle Emperor in 379.
In 380, he issued the following
All of paganism in the Roman Empire became heretical and could be destroyed - officially.
The Western Emperor, Gratien, removed the Alter of Victory in Rome and disbanded the Vestal Virgins and their sacred fire was put out. The whole of Rome was stunned.
That same year Gratien was murdered - killed by a barbarian!
Pagan writer Libanus, writing in 390, complained bitterly to Theodosius about the behaviour the Christian monks: “.. the men in black … attack the temples with stones, poles and iron crowbars, or even their bare hands and feet. Then, roofs are knocked in and the walls levelled to the ground, the statues are overturned and the alters demolished. The temple priests must suffer in silence, or die. These outrages occur in the towns; it is worse in the countryside amongst the slaves.
In 390 a Christian mob burned down the Library at Alexandria and the ancient manuscripts were lost for ever.
Principle emperor Theodosius’s cruelty
is demonstrated in the case when a
rebellion against his intolerance had
led to the lynching of the Governor of
Thessalonica, he called a meeting of the
citizens on some pretext and then
ordered their massacre; 7,000 people
were summarily executed.
In 394 the pagan majority rebelled. After decades of expecting the Christians to go away, the pagans fought back. The old Roman habit of obedience to authority was perhaps weaker in the East. There were battles in the streets. Bishop Marcellus, having sent a party of soldiers and gladiators to destroy a temple, was seized by the enraged people and burned alive. At Alexander some of the temple wreckers were crucified.
But there was no concept of a universal pagan religion or an overall pagan organization within the empire. Pagan writers were unwilling or unable to attack Christianity as a barbarous blind belief or otherwise demonstrate the shortcoming of Christianity. The inability to supply credible alternatives had undermined Julian’s efforts to re-impose paganism by state power in the 360's.
Generally, the pagans were disunited (like Buddhists) with no central leadership to overcome the problems. They were unable to match the organization and manipulations of the Christians to reach power.
And Paganism’s near Disappearance
Pagans were persecuted and their temples
knocked down and destroyed.
In the East of the empire, anti-pagan legislation had been continuous. Monasteries and Nunneries had been founded and gangs of black robed monks roamed the cities and countryside desecrating temples and urging mobs to destroy them, while the civil authorities turned a blind eye.
This set the pattern in the empire for 1400 long years – the abyss of the ‘Dark Ages’ - the period of severe, inhuman RELIGIOUS suppression terminated only by Napoleon Bonaparte in the early 1800s.
A Terrible Repression
“Such behaviour became a tradition. It lasted and progressed for more than a thousand years... The apex of her intolerance eventually became epitomized by the Inquisition. This latter, in the Spanish Inquisition, terrorized the whole of Europe for more than five centuries.
“Her claim of being the ONLY holder of TRUTH, the fountain spring of her historic intolerance, has never been revoked by her. She has maintained it with ever increasing resolution and ferocity until our own days. All her past actions bespeak of the constancy of such immutable intolerance. Since the fourth century C.E. her conduct has been patterned on nothing else.” (from The Vatican’s Holocaust)
The monks had unlimited powers and these inquisitors swarmed all over Europe like theological hornets, setting up tribunals wherever they appeared. For centuries all hopes and dreams died; people were in utter despair of life – religious controls were everywhere.
Fear and uncertainty ruled people's lives -fear of the Canus Dominii (Dominican Monks) and the Franciscan Monks accompanied by their "Jacks" - the men who did the torture with benches, ropes and iron hooks, ceiling hooks, rough iron implements and fire.
Europe under the control of Rome was blighted. Peoples' lives were arbitrarily terminated for such crimes as questioning or doubting the doubtful stories as given in the Bible. Countless human victims were burned to ashes accompanied by prayers. Torture and burning alive in public was widespread. (A recent museum exhibition showed instruments including a vaginal (or anal) expandable plug – useable red-hot or cold)) Every village in Europe had a duck pond and a ducking stool.
As the Dark Ages matured and deepened, methods of killing became more imaginative and brutal. Where salt was available, skinning alive (flaying) could be employed. This is where the heretic or whoever, was tied down and flayed alive and then salt rubbed into the raw flesh by the Monk’s “Jacks.” Those few who survived the initial shock would be then be manhandled to the nearest dung pit and thrown in, or whatever occurred in the minds of his torturers.
The heretic’s skin was nailed to a church door as a warning to disbelievers. (Note of interest: when they renovated the great Winchester Cathedral (U.K.) wooden doors recently they found human skin caught in a crack deep in the wood!)
A feeling for the times is gained from the fact that men had their tongues cut out for swearing - defaming God is blasphemy.
Treatment of Illness
The imposition of hands, exorcism of
evil spirits and prayer were the major,
approved methods used by Christian
doctors. Plagues were fought by means of
processions around the town and services
The Church’s Prolonged Preoccupation
with Controlling People’s Sexuality
Catholicism demanded that all sexual intercourse had to be purely mechanical and impersonal while wearing a linen (or flax) cagool (nightshirt) with the necessary hole. There was only one official position allowed. The Church laid down punishments for deviations from this official position.
Sex was prohibited on Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, amounting to almost half the year. In addition, it was forbidden during the forty days of Lent, forty days before Christmas and so on. It was also forbidden three days before receiving Communion. It was forbidden with barren women or women post menstruation and so also was oral or anal sex forbidden. If a man had an involuntary nocturnal emission, this was also an act of sin; the compensating act of penance for this was to get up and recite three Psalms immediately. The next morning he had to recite another thirty Psalms. All the family went to the confessional, nothing could be kept secret.
The Church’s penitential books prescribed the most severe punishments for masturbation, which St. Thomas Aquinas described as a greater sin than visiting a prostitute. (Sodomy - a contraceptive method using the legs was also such a heinous sin!)
Private or auricular confessions proved to be an excellent weapon for achieving this domination of all sex life by the Church. Passion and lust were sins and incurred a penalty – as was the sin of loving. Love was illegal; people's lives were not their own. People were very depressed and led wretched, impoverished lives.
This was the European religious “Dark Ages.” Experts put the death toll at about 10,000,000 people including about 2,000,000 witches (mostly old women) killed or burned to death - 1400 years at the hands of religious fanatics who searched out people with heretical ideas and also those who sinned - that is, committed a crime against GOD as determined by the Bible!
It was the irreconcilable opposition of faith to rational thought, which led to ignorant, brutalized men and women. In contrast, in pagan Rome and Greece even the lowest people could read and write, but in the European “Dark Ages,” there was neither education, books, nor medicines - people were illiterate and primitive. All previous pagan learning was lost.
Repression in All Spheres of Life
What was the result? – an endless series of wars ravaged Europe. Popes and bishops appeared in armour as generals on horseback leading their troops. Countless peasants, villains, who often owned no more than their clothes, had to spend their whole life in dreary serfdom, cultivating the huge estates of their spiritual and secular feudal lords - or fighting their lord and master's enemies - the poor from elsewhere. (From The Misery of Christianity)
It was a time of severe religious oppression when nothing could take place unless blessed by the Holy Mother Church. It resulted in suppression of the people's thoughts, feelings, hopes and even love, by penalties, torture and death. It was the original concept of 'big-brother is watching you.'
Banning and Concealing the Horror
“This Vatican terror officially ended less than two hundred years ago. As recently as 1762 a Protestant Pastor was condemned to death in France. Why? Simply because he was a Protestant! By whom? By the Catholic Church! Yes! By that same which now pretends to love her ‘dear separated brethren.’
It should be remembered that the Inquisition was banned, against her will, only during the middle of the last century; the “Holy Office,” its inspirer and instrument, was ‘abolished’ only a few years ago. In fact, it is still operating, disguised under the specious name “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” in the silent walls of the Vatican of today.
The basic Catholic claims have not changed one single iota. The Catholic Church’s insistence about her own uniqueness has remained as granitically firm now as it always has been. These are the same claims which produced the Inquisition, Croatia, and the Catholic dictatorship of Vietnam. (The Vatican’s Holocaust)
The Church's False Foundations
The Dark Ages affected, severely, more than a billion Europeans over the period. But nothing is researched or even discussed. Sssh! No talking about our past horrors!
The History of Pagan Europe
The Messianic Legacy
The Vatican’s Holocaust
The Misery of Christianity