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Canon LXIX.  (Greek lxxii.)

That a legation be sent to the Donatists for the sake of making peace.

It further seemed good, that when these things were done, legates should be sent from our number to those of the Donatists whom they hold as bishops, or to the people, for the sake of preaching peace and unity, without which Christian salvation cannot be attained; and that these legates should direct the attention of all to the fact that they have no just objection to urge against the Catholic Church.  And especially that this be made manifest to all by the municipal acts (on account of the weight of their documents) what they themselves had done in the case of the Maximianists, their own schismatics.  For in this case it is shown them by divine grace, if they will but heed it, that their separation from the unity of the Church is as iniquitous as they now proclaim the schism of the Maximianists from themselves to be.  Nevertheless from the number, those whom they condemned by the authority of their plenary council, they received back with their honours, and accepted the baptism which they had given while condemned and cut off.  And thus let them see how with stupid heart they resist the peace of the Church scattered throughout the whole world, when they do these things on the part of Donatus, neither do they say that they are contaminated by communion with those whom they so receive for the making of peace, and yet they despise us, that is the Catholic Church, which is established even in the extreme parts of the earth, as being defiled by the communion of those whom the accusers have not been able to win over to themselves.464464    I think this is the probable meaning of the canon.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon LXIX.

It seemed good that legates be sent to preach peace and unity to the Donatists who had been converted to the orthodox faith.

This canon is Canon iij. of Carthage, September, a.d. 401.


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