Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Of or pertaining to Novatianus and his followers, or their doctrines.
- n. In church hist., one of a sect founded in the middle of the third century by Novatianus (also called Novatus), a presbyter of Rome, who had himself consecrated bishop of Rome in opposition to Cornelius in 251. Another Novatus (of Carthage) was joint founder of the sect. Novatianus denied that the church had power to absolve or restore to communion those who after Christian baptism had lapsed or fallen into idolatry in time of persecution, and his followers appear to have refused the grant of forgiveness to all grave post-baptismal sin and denied the validity of Catholic baptism, considering themselves the true church. They assumed the name of Cathari, ‘the Pure,’ on the strength of their severity of discipline. In other respects than those mentioned the Novatians differed very little from the Catholics; and they were generally received back into communion on comparatively favorable terms. The sect continued to the sixth century. See
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Eccl. Hist.) One of the sect of Novatius, or Novatianus, who held that the lapsed might not be received again into communion with the church, and that second marriages are unlawful.
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