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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

AFTER Innocent, Zosimus governed the Roman church for two years: and after him Boniface presided over it for three years. He was succeeded by Celestinus. This prelate took away the churches from the Novatians at Rome also, and obliged Rusticula their bishop to hold his meetings secretly in private houses. Until this time that sect had flourished exceedingly in the imperial city of the West, possessing many churches there, which were attended by large congregations. But envy attacked them also, as soon as the Roman episcopate, like that of Alexandria, extended itself beyond the limits of ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and degenerated into its present state of secular domination. For thenceforth the Roman bishops would not suffer even those who perfectly agreed with them in matters of faith, and whose purity of doctrine they extolled, to enjoy the privilege of assembling in peace, but stripped them of all they possessed. From such tyrannical bigotry the Constantinopolitan prelates kept themselves free; inasmuch as they not only permitted the Novatians to hold their assemblies within the city, but, as I have already stated, treated them with every mark of Christian regard.








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