Was There a Cover-up?
Even though Dan Brown has so many facts wrong, and even though his theories are speculative at best and heresy at worst, he might just be onto something. We can clearly see the rise of Roman power in history as fallible men declared themselves gods and sought to replace the authority of the Bible with the traditions and pagan rituals of men. The facts indicate that there has indeed been a cover-up, one that Dan Brown missed: Constantine and the bishops of Rome did conspire in one of the greatest secrets of all history.
Who Was Constantine?
Constantine the Great was a Roman emperor who reigned from A.D. 306 to 337. Tradition has it that on his way to an important battle in A.D. 312, a vision of a flaming cross appeared to him with the inscription, "In this sign conquer." He therefore authorized his mostly pagan soldiers to place a cross on their shields, and went on to win the battle. Believing the Christian God to be his secret to military success and the key to uniting his empire, Constantine adopted Christianity as the official religion of Rome in A.D. 324. His life continued to be marred by bloodshed and political intrigue until his death, but through his influence the bishops of Rome gained rapid ascendancy to political and temporal power.
The real secret of Constantine and the bishops of Rome is their cunning introduction of sun worship and paganism into Christianity. It was done so shrewdly that, incredibly, it has been veiled within the faith for centuries. Through Constantine, paganism and Christianity joined hands in the Roman Empire.
History readily records that Constantine was a sun-worshiper. In one decree he declared, "On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed" (March 7, 321). He made this decree in honor of the sun after his supposed conversion to Christianity! Constantine, even after his "conversion," remained a pagan.
Constantine sought to unite his kingdom’s pagan and Christian worshipers, in order to promote stability and ensure that his empire lasted. The easiest way to bring harmony would be to blend sun worship and Christianity. History shows that the Church of Rome did not object; indeed, it had been engaging in the practice for nearly two centuries!
The bishops at Rome also claimed Peter as the head of the church, instead of Christ (Ephesians 4:15). Developing a non-biblical doctrine of "apostolic succession," they claimed that the authority conferred on Peter was transferred to themselves. The "Saint Peter" that was created was actually a combination of pagan idolatry and Christian veneration. Even today, the statue in St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome includes a solar disk above his head. Tradition has it that this was actually a statue of Jupiter taken from a pagan temple and simply renamed "St. Peter"! Sun worship, which appears in nearly every pagan religion in the world, soon appeared in Christian art, imagery, and theology. The halo often seen on Christ and Mary is actually a symbol of sun worship. Madonna ("Mary") was depicted holding sun disks.