There are many events that have shaped the church today. Narrowing it down to three I feel that the Edict of Milan, the Reformation, and Vatican II are the most significant. The Edict of Milan granted religious freedom throughout the Roman Empire, though it was especially intended to legalize Christianity. It was instituted by empire Constantine in 313. Constantine recognized and accepted Christianity. It was the first time an emperor was doing so. Prior to that Christians were persecuted frequently. I feel that this is extremely significant because without the granting of religious freedom the church could not continue to expand and grow. Accepting Christianity effectively paved the way for it becoming the official religion of Rome. Once they were legal they were able to focus on addressing areas of church like the ways they were expressing their faith and the way the church was structured. They took major steps in clarifying their creed and roles in the church. All of this added to inspiration from the Holy Spirit the church gained a greater understanding of the mystery of Jesus Christ. The Reformation began when a German named Martin Luther who criticized the power and practices of the Catholic Church. In 1517 he listed his 95 thesis statements against the Catholic Church and nailed them to the door of the church. Eventually Luther was excommunicated , however, many people agreed with his criticisms and joined his protest movement against the Catholic Church. I think this shaped the church tremendously because this began the era of questioning the church. Many of the churches practices were attacked and church authority was questioned. The Protestant reformation divided Christians and reshaped political and religious values in all of Europe. The empire was no longer united by religion. Overall the reformation led the way for big change I the church. Vatican II called by Pope John XIII in 1962 was where over 2,500 bishops...
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