People of India, read this carefully: The Bishop of Canada's Anglican Church says, he wants Christianity to go ?native?. He is the newly appointed national bishop to the native people of Canada. Himself a native, he said that his job would be to bend mainstream Christian theology so that it ? fitted well with the original native spiritual beliefs?. He also told the press that he foresaw the emergence of a separate stream of native Christianity ?that would not be a reflection of the European church?. In other words it would follow its independent form of worship and yet remain Christian in essentials.
Well, here is food for thought for those who insist on not changing a comma of the Gospels or the Koran. Not this alone . The Roman Catholic Church wants a marriage of paganism and Christianity.
Remember, the pagans were once the very scum of the earth. Why? Because it was said of them that they were the children of the Devil!
Today, they are accepted by the Christians, if not by the Muslims, as the children of God. Perhaps the change began with Danto, who, on a visit to Paradise along with Latin poet Virgil, met with great and eminent pagans. What is more, the Christians are now ready to admit with Thucydidos, the Greek statesman and thinker, that the achievements of pagan Greece and Rome are a ?wonder of the world?. Did he not say: ?We shall be the wonder of the world not only of the men today but of after-times?? Nothing was said more prophetic, and nothing like this was ever said of the church even remotely similar. Be that as it may, the Greek and Roman achievements could add to the prestige of the Catholic Church. But paganism was taboo to the church. Today the church is ready to admit the truth?that Christianity was merely and adaptation of Greek and Roman paganism. Thus was the greatest Roman festival?Saturnalia?converted into Christmas?the birthday of Jesus.
Emperor Constantine became a Christian in 337 AD. Till then the Roman aristocracy remained hostile to Christianity. But from then on the church became the legatee of the Roman empire. It adopted the Roman form of government, Roman laws, Roman and Greek architectural styles.
It took Rome a thousand years to conquer Italy and 300 years to raise the empire. But with continuous war with neighbours, it took only four hundred years for its decline.
After the fall of Rome, it was Byzentium which came to represent the Greek and Roman legacy. Of this, the Byzantine architecture remained the most outstanding. But the root of this architecture lay in Greek towns. The ?discovery? of Greek literature and art, hidden for so many centuries under a blanket of ignorance and illiteracy, brought the ?Dark Ages? to an end, and paved the way for the emergence of the modern world. Byzentium preserved the Hellenic culture. The Agora (public place and market), the Stoa (larger covered portico before houses with pillars), the Acropolis and Council House, Gym, Stadium and Theatre?these became the great Greek gifts to mankind. Christianity could make no such contributions in 1,500 years.
What of the Christian legacy? In the Vatican, Christ was depicted in the late 5th century as a militant and triumphant war-lord, dressed as a Roman legionary. He stood astride the head of a serpent and a lion and held a book inscribed in Latin: ?I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.? This image would change with the changes in the role of Rome.
Both Greece and Rome had a major influence on the political development of the world. But none had more than Alexander, the Great, the pagan hero. He has left 80 versions of his saga in 24 languages! Is there any wonder then if the Catholic Church wants to annex the Greek civilisation to the Christian credit?
The church became the seat of both, empire and Christianity. It played a dual role. But it was Byzentium which led the Christian world for the next thousand years, while Rome went into hybernation for a thousand years during the ?Dark Ages?. When light dawned again, Europe was more secular than Christian, and the emphasis was on Greece and Rome. It has taken the Vatican a long time to acknowledge this fact.