Catholic Dictionary




The bestowal of privileges on the Church by Emperor Constantine, preceded by the granting of toleration to Christians in A.D. 313. as a result, religion was no longer subservient to the absolute state. Christians were given complete freedom to practice their religion, and the Church was granted possession of all previously seized property. This concession enabled the full liturgy to be resumed, the faith to be preached and proclaimed, and Christian values to infuse the public and private life of the Roman Empire.

The term "Peace of the Church" is also applied in England and Ireland to the end of persecution that followed the Acts of Catholic Emancipation (1778-1926); in Germany, after the Kulturkampf; and in other countries, e.g., France, Italy, and Mexico, as certain disabilities imposed on the Church were removed.