Today’s Novatians

This one is for those who think themselves better and more pure than the Church of Christ.

The whole treatise of the Novatians, which you have addressed to me thronged with propositions on all sides, amounts to this, brother Sympronian: that there is no room for repentance after baptism; that the Church cannot remit mortal sin; that by the receiving of sinners she herself perishes. What illustrious honor! Singular authority! Great constancy! To reject the guilty; to flee the touch of sinners; to have so little confidence in her own innocence! Who asserts this doctrine, brother? Moses? Paul? Christ? But Moses wishes to be wiped out of the book for the sake of blasphemers; and Paul to be accursed for his brethren; and the Lord Himself wishes to suffer for the unrighteous.

St. Pacian, Letter 3, 1-3

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