Peace of the Church

A term describing the condition of the Church after Constantine's Edict of Milan, 313, had ended the centuries of persecution. Independence of the civil authority was accorded to the Church, a new idea replacing the former concept of society where religion was subservient to the absolute state. Full and complete liberty was enjoyed by Christians in their religious practises, and the Church held possession of the properties seized during the persecutions. The peace and prosperity following enabled Christians to observe their liturgy in its completeness, to spread without hindrance the doctrines of the faith among the heathens, and to infuse Christian ideals into the public and private life of the empire. The term might well be applied to the cessation of persecutions of the Church in England and Ireland by the Act of Catholic Emancipation, in Germany after the Kulturkampf and lately in Italy, France and Mexico.

New Catholic Dictionary

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