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Canon XLVII.  (Greek li.)

Concerning [the Donatists and447447    Found only in the Greek.] the children baptized by the Donatists.

Concerning the Donatists448448    Not in the Greek. it seemed good that we should hold counsel with our brethren and fellow priests Siricius and Simplician concerning those infants alone who are baptized by Donatists:449449    Latin reads “among them” instead of “by Donatists.”  lest what they did not do of their own will, when they should be converted to the Church of God with a salutary determination, the error of their parents might prevent their promotion to the ministry of the holy altar.

But when these things had been begun, Honoratus and Urbanus, bishops of Mauri464tania Sitifensis, said:  When some time ago we were sent to your holiness, we laid aside what things had been written on this account, that we might wait for the arrival of our brethren the legates from Numidia.  But because not a few days have passed in which they have been looked for and as yet they are not arrived, it is not fitting that we should delay any longer the commands we received from our brother-bishops; and therefore, brethren, receive our story with alacrity of mind.  We have heard concerning the faith of the Nicene tractate:  True it is that sacrifices are to be forbidden after breakfast, so that they may be offered as is right by those who are fasting, and this has been confirmed then and now.


Ancient Epitome of Canon XLVII.

When those in infancy baptized by Donatists are converted, this shall be no impediment to them.  And the Holy Mysteries, as is right, are to be celebrated only by them fasting.

This canon is made from Canon xxxvij. of the Synod of Hippo, a.d. 393, and from Canon j. of the Synod of Carthage of August 28th, a.d. 397.


See Can. 41.

The pretence that the Donatists had for making a schism was, that Cæcilian, Bishop of Carthage, had, in the time of persecution, been a Traditor, i.e., given up the Bible to the heathen inquisitors; this was denied by the Orthodox, who charged them with the same crime in effect, viz. of being too favourable to the Traditors, and those that had lapsed.  They likewise are charged with Arianism.

I have omitted what is here mentioned concerning the Council of Nice; because I do not find that any one has been able to penetrate into the meaning of the Fathers as to that particular.

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