bentyl and zoloft will topamax block klonopin is ambien stronger than seroquel 20grams of anafranil cipro leg cramps gabapentin for anxiety can you take clarithromycin with amoxicillin aciclovir package insert levothyroxine and alcohol interaction viagra and doxazosin interaction flagyl tablets leaflet what is .1 mg dosage levothyroxine sertraline side effects wellbutrin xl cymbalta together ventolin lekaren 40 mg of celexa equals how much pristiq what is the side effect of augmentin 228mg cialis bruk clomid percentage of success icd 9 code amiodarone surveillance deralin for metoprolol zithromax dosage 6 year old can i take 2 viagra 25 mg alendronate sodium tablets in mel will moon face go away prednisone clozaril 48 hours carvedilol 3.125 interaction with viagra arimidex 1 mg tablet ciprotab cap make me ovulate mixing generic viagra and branded viagra can amoxicillin capsules be mixed with robitussin india 100 mg generic viagra can you stop lexapro without weaning off viagra perdida de patente zyprexa with singular is it ok to take azithromycin while taking fosamax focalin and strattera for add inattentive can i take levoflox with augmentin pamelor weaning off para que sirve ofloxacina diltiazem dosis py how old do you have to be to be on viagra has anyone died from cialis septra mayo clinic viagra or men prices za how much does metformin lower a1c teva fluconazole take to cure ringworm ciprofloxacin hydrochloride classification order viagra visit your doctor online can i stop taking 25mg of seroquel or ween off essai bebe avec clomid dexamethasone clomid and iui example prescription for amoxicillin diovan price at walgreens get viagra professional 100 seroquel and 50 ativan overdose viagra 50mg and 100mg tamoxifeno cinfa and steroids viagra in mentine propecia how much cost interaction between furosemide and metformin danazol 200 capsule viagra viagra vs revatio clomid ovulation calculator next period cost zyprexa medication neurontin dosage migraine prevention paroxetine reviews uk nitroglycerin cost per pill metronidazole 200g chest infection atorvastatin sore aching feet canottaggio viagra can you take celexa and buspar together erythromycin oxime base adrenal insufficiency symptoms from stopping prednisone how much does misoprostol cost in mexico akne papulopustulosa isotretinoin flagyl can be drank with or without food viagra how to buy ic quetiapine fumarate erectyle dysfunction levitra celexa discontinuation syndrome duration cialis dosages side of effects of nexium what mg does lisinopril come in lisinopril norvasc together maladie de lapeyronie et cialis valtrex torrinomedica augmentin 1g dose seroquel worth terbinafine cream propecia for sale uk antibiotic metronidazole over the counter does buspar make menopause symptoms worse arthrotec 75 misoprostol short term prednisone use and tapering how long use i take clomid a day bactrim strep skin fluconazole wiki viagra made in england albuterol sulphate respules generic in india metronidazole furazolidone and alcohol compatibility montelukast singulair preturi in farmacii diflucan eye drop augmentin tm mg apa obat viagra over the counter in salt lake erection otc terbinafine hcl gel monograph can maxalt cause weight gain how long does lexapro 5mg take to work il tadalafil quanto costa does cipro 500 delay mensturation generic mircette azurette cymbalta makes anxiety worse ev furosemide conversion to oral doxycycline hyclate side effects olanzapine 1.25 mg herbal viagra australia paypal albuterol drug nutrient interactions does metformin make you more prone to colds acer levofloxacin bactrim in dentistry can gabapentin be used for fibromyalgia micardis plus def50 side effects of liquid albuterol cost of lexapro 10 mg at walgreens flagyl as abortion pill cap augmentin progesterone symptoms on clomid flomax 700 mg foglietto illustrativo mg amoxicillin dosage cialis smg manufacturer of bupropion hcl xl xn--b1afpdqbb8d.xn--p1ai bactrim fort et grossesse zovirax ung generic zoloft and buspar and benadryl my hair is getting thin thick white discharge with antibiotics nizoral bs sulfa ventolin emphysema distributor obat nizoral antibiotic for strep how close together can i dose clomid germany paroxetine hcl side effects how long do you take llevaquin for prostatitis is dostinex used for depression deprozel paroxetine can i die from taking to much buspar viagra toronto in store nitrofurantoin septra sa price zyprexa 25mg severe rash after taking amoxicillin does topiramate affect mdma nolvadex and trenbolone what helps viagra anyone has taken clomid on day 4 and ovulated viagra without side effects ilosone espinhas zoloft risk in pregnancy how to take doxycycline 100mg after abortion antibiotics of allergy in bangladesh viagra en aberdeen apo sertraline and glaucoma natural alternative to nexium mobicontrol for blackberry en una tableta de misoprostol cuantas pastillas vienes cephalexin 500 mg caps side effects viagra express bestellung bactrim clindamycin together metoprolol dosage for public speaking price of zyprexa how well does bactrim work for acne blood donation after viagra where to find cheap doxycycline fluconazole 150 mg and drinking alcohol orlistat sale can i treat gonorrhea with azithromycin sandoz 500 mg how long after taking cialis 10 mg does it take to work celexa cardiac arrest viagra no prescription overnight delivery can you take celebrex with tylenol silenor doxepin cost is atenolol a maoi inhibitor benefits of cipro levitra 20mg tab discontinued olanzapine what its for how does synthroid look que cuta la doxycycline ci cipro 55g serophene 100mg por dia were can i git tadalafil abilify and elevated blood sugar can baclofen be crushed buy cialis paypal payment can i stop taking prednisone after 3 days puedo tomar augmentin and piroxicam juntos cost of tab augmentin 875 mg in delhi compare losartan and lisinopril will 28 30 mg mirtazapine tablets kill me allergic reaction to lisinopril war is the best time of day to take nortriptyline is maxalt rizatriptan benzoate like imitrex olanzapine working memory clomid cisti acyclovir simplex 1 why cialis use chloramphenicol pumpspray kaufen has 500mg of azithromycin ever cured chlamydia erythromycin ophthalmic onguent dapoxetine vendo in cina extravasation of phenergan treatment how long can dogs be on prednisone for back pain bactrim 800960 mg anafranil kullananlar atorvastatin 20 mg tablet price in india xenical muadili ila?lar ibuprofen voltaren shots moduretic 5mg 50mg compresse alcohol withdrawal gabapentin propranolol uv absorption how does milk thistle affect zyprexa synthroid cost without insurance zofran odt how to use metoprolol citrate metformin online canada what color is metronidazole liquid doxycycline cilest ventolin adcc buy lamisil cheap online erythromycin for bile acid reflux deltasone 20 mg g.n.c. viagra seroquel generic manufacturer nifedipine drip on mi rationale viagra stuffy nose remedy can metronidazole gel give you pid azithromycin cost south africa topamax 25 mg and alcohol viagra uk price comparison carvedilol 25 mg tab can pregnant dog take metronidazole price of plavix at walmarts albuterol for 3 year old cialis and how many milligrams how long will it take cytotec to work how much is generic augmentin how fast will fluconazole work on oral thrush buy amoxicillin drops uk cats is it safe to take fluconazole tab for ringworms generic wellbutrin bupropion nortriptyline 20 mg esomeprazole buy online levitra norge 5g albuterol sulfate non prescription can tamoxifen be used instead of arimidex in a cycle weird dreams while taking paxil leaving propecia slowly cialis sacramento lexapro withdrawal after a month clinical evidence of intolerance to generic singulair what metformin doses for diabetes trazodone online pharmacy avonex and valtrex fluconazole online pharmacy indian viagra tablets for men bactrim category c vaistas indapamide fish ciprofloxacin 500mg are revatio pills some thing like viagra a q hora es recomendable el uso de cytotec naproxen 550 street price buy phenergan suppositories amoxicillin clavulanate for toddlers estradiol 25 rezeptfrei does diovan hct have caffiene fluoxetine price celebrex 100 mg itu apa quetiapine overdose mg colchicine 0.6 mg ??„??·??­ cymbalta natural replacement can lipitor make you pee a lot salep acyclovir herpes simplex cipro side effects common guna obat piroxicam taking two 20mg of cialis donde consigo cialis en guadalajara generic viagra overnight u s delivery how much vardenafil can i take at one time 5mg cialis and 100 mg viagra together lisinopril use in the elderly snafi 20 mg tadalafil en espanol why cant u drink with flagyl mobicom internet phone precio xenical salcobrand can you take topamax and metformin can you take citalopram without food dosage for 20 mg prednisone how quick fluconazole 150mg works forums cost of clomid in kenya 10 mg prednisone everyother day gabapentin smiles nifedipine tired escitalopram generic 20mg islike 10 mg of name brand paxil intestinal issues green tea drug interactions antidepressants scarlet fever augmentin pediatric dosage cramps 7 days after clomid tadalafil 40 mg safe generic levitra prescription hydroxyzine 25 mg high school levofloxacin 500 side effects tight chest efectos secundarios de tomar lisinopril is zoloft an appetite suppressant erythromycin inhalation metformin side effects diabetes effetti nocivi viagra si tomo.pastillas cytotec para q me baje la regla lamisil at stores new years eve depression chronic pain nexium 40 mg preis estradiol 1 mg tablet side effects azithromycin bhs indonesia plavix generic competitor obat azithromycin mims metronidazole gel rite aid cervidil versus cytotec the strongest antibiotic you can give a dog atorvastatin generics for stomache problems cymbalta aciphex sertraline shqip bactrim and aspirin propranolol and premature ejaculation do you need a prescription to buy nexium in ireland levitra prices usa lipitor 20 mg tablet price dubai can doxycycline get kidneys pain azithromycin 250 mg how to take amoxil 500mg tablet for a four year old cost of tab. augmentin 375 doxycycline suspension without prescription what does anastrozole cost how many cycles does clomid make me preg acyclovir cong dung combining olanzapine and ketamine effects buy liquid clomid pct pristiq seroquel together augmentin ulotka dawkowanie can i use cytotec 2 abort 5months price of septran for dogs in kerala cheapest levitra 20mg generic plavix new york times desogestrel y etinilestradiol stopping citalopram survey buspar withdrawal symptoms diltiazem 60 mg sr cipla clomid 100mg tylenol claritin and amoxicillin tomar robaxin y escitalopram nexium fiole prospect lasix prontuario terapeutico wok roma cipro pv misoprostol insertion shivering in dog on lanoxin nizoral 10 mg shampoo walmart is celexa similar to effexor will 60mg propranolol help with anxiety attacks

Rome's Zenit News

 Fecha: 2013-02-07

Yet this commemoration, which fell Feb. 3, is one of the most important events in Church history, marking the date when Christians were set free from three centuries of persecution. For the first time, the faithful had the same religious liberties that other religious groups enjoyed: They gained legal protections that allowed them to build places of worship, and had their confiscated possessions restored. 

In essence, the Edict of Milan that was signed by Emperor Constantine in 313 heralded the official birth of Western Christian civilization and the free societies so many enjoy today.

The extent of the persecution Christians had hitherto suffered is almost incomprehensible to the modern mind. Countless Christians were tortured and killed under the emperors Nero (who notoriously had St. Peter crucified in 64 AD), Domitian, Marcus Aurelius, and Septimius Severus. They then abated under Severus Alexander (208-235) who was sympathetic to Christians, only to flare up again under Emperors Maximus Thracian, Decius, and Valerian (253-260). 

The persecutions culminated with Emperor Diocletian (299-311) and his contemporaries, Galerius and Maximian. Under Diocletian alone, an estimated half a million Christians were killed. The last persecution was organized during the reign of Emperor Licinius (308–324) but by that time, a push for greater tolerance had begun. An Edict of Tolerance was issued in 311, and although property continued to be confiscated, this was soon corrected by Licinius and Constantine, then respective Roman Emperors of East and West, when they issued the Edict of Milan in 313.

Seventeen hundred years on, the extent of the persecution facing Christians is not anything like the tribulations of the early Church. Yet if one compares then and now, disturbing parallels do emerge. 

Edmund Mazza, a respected professor of history and political science at Azusa Pacific University, notes that the persecutions "started out innocently enough": Diocletian wanted to "fundamentally transform" his society "following years of ineffective leaders, wars, foreign attacks, and deep-seated economic problems." But he was criticized by the Christian author Lactantius for "acquiring monarchical powers not granted him by the Roman Constitution." 

Speaking to ZENIT, Mazza argues that a similar trend can be witnessed today, as Republicans and conservatives make the same criticism of the Obama administration. Critics cite the administration's "legalization of indefinite detention and suspension of trial by jury against American citizens on US soil simply by categorizing them as 'terrorists'; its threatening to fine and imprison citizens whose only crime is to fail to purchase government-mandated health insurance; deciding for itself what constitutes a 'religious organization'; and forcing Christian (and other) employers to give money to insurance companies who will then turn around and cover employee birth control."

He further argues that since birth control has a .5% to 5% failure rate, and since tens of millions of women are taking them, "we're talking roughly 10 million abortions a year, or 10 times the number of surgical abortions, millions of early deaths these employers will now be morally complicit in." 

Diocletian's persecution of Christians is said to have begun after his pagan priests blamed Christian court officials for making the Sign of the Cross, thus spoiling a court ceremony that predicted the future (during an animal sacrifice).The emperor then ordered all Christians in government and the military to sacrifice to pagan gods or be dismissed, but he left civilians alone. 

"As the years went by, however, the death penalty was inflicted against Christian bishops and priests, and churches and Bibles were confiscated and burned," Mazza explains. "Later decrees forced even ordinary citizens to violate their Christian beliefs or suffer martyrdom."

Mazza says that likewise, the US administration's actions against religious liberty "have only begun to be felt by military chaplains and Church institutions (and lay business-owners), not the man in the street."

He adds: "Is it only a matter of time before it proceeds apace to a full escalation? We must pray for God's mercy and support our bishops."

Like many others in the Church, Mazza believes that until Russia is consecrated to Mary's Immaculate Heart by bishops united with the Pope, then "persecutions against the Church" and the "martyrdom of the good" will increase. Such a prediction, he stresses, was made in 1917 when the Virgin Mary appeared at Fatima. 

"Every Catholic in America should contact his or her bishop and respectfully request their participation in this act of entrustment, for freedom's sake," Mazza says.  

* * *

Superior appeal

Life for the post-Constantine Church wasn't of course plain sailing, but it was not subject to the corruption myths that emerged during the Renaissance and the Reformation, and spread by Enlightenment historians such as Edward Gibbon and Jacob Burckhardt.  

Questions over whether the Roman Empire surrendered to Christianity, or Christianity prostituted itself to the empire have long been disregarded in modern times, except in the fictitious works of authors such as Dan Brown and his potboiler, the Da Vinci Code. 

"Constantine was far from perfect, but he was neither a corruptor of the Church, nor an intolerant zealot who destroyed all worship that was not Catholic," Mazza says.

His view is echoed by other scholars such as the sociologist and historian Rodney Stark who has shown that, contrary to the thesis of Gibbon and others, paganism was not rapidly stamped out by state repression following Constantine's vision and conversion, but gradually disappeared as people abandoned the temples in response to the superior appeal of Christianity. 

Mazza concedes that Constantine conferred secular powers and privileges on bishops, but this was in the interests of justice and charity. "Since the bishops had reputations for honesty and resistance to bribery, the emperor, for a time, allowed secular cases to be appealed to Church courts," he says. In another law, Constantine allowed slaves to be made free, "if the ceremony was witnessed by Christian bishops in churches," he adds.

Historians have pointed out that in later decades and centuries, close involvement between the State and senior Church officials led to abuses, "but Constantine can hardly be blamed," Mazza says. 

Instead, he is to be remembered for being the protagonist in fostering the advent of Christian civilization in the West. The path for Christians thereafter was never smooth (persecutions would continue, most notably in Persia), but the liberty that Constantine had won allowed the Church to flourish for centuries to come. Furthermore, Mazza stresses, it is a little-known fact that it was actually Christians who were the ones to first develop the notion of religious liberty.

The Serbian city of Niš where Constantine was born is dedicating the whole of 2013 to celebrating the Edict of Milan, hosting concerts and other events. And on Sept. 21, Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, will take part in other events in Niš, including celebrating a commemorative Mass. 

As it will be a celebration that unites both the Catholic Church and the Orthodox, it is hoped Pope Benedict XVI may also take part. Niš may even prove to be a suitable venue for the Holy Father to finally meet Patriarch Kirill of Russia, but so far the Vatican has yet to confirm such a visit. The city's celebrations end on Oct. 28. 

Milan itself is currently staging an exhibition on the Edict of Milan at the Palazzo Reale until March 17, but strangely, the Feb. 3 anniversary passed without a mention in the Vatican and in Rome. 

It will be interesting to see if, as society becomes increasingly secular, future anniversaries of the Edict may not be so blithely overlooked.

Most Popular