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Emperor Constantine

Papal Authority

“Since many such documents have been sent to me by Anulinus, the most illustrious proconsul of Africa, in which it is said that Caecilian, bishop of the city of Carthage, has been accused by some of his colleagues in Africa, in many matters; and since it seems to me a very serious ,thing that in those provinces which divine providence has freely entrusted to my devotedness, and in which there is a great population, the multitude are found following the baser course, and dividing, as it were, and the bishops are at variance…it seemed good to me that Caecilian himself with ten bishops who appear to accuse him, and with ten others whom he may consider necessary for his defence, should sail to Rome, that there, in the presence of yourselves and of Rheticius and Maternus and Marinus your colleagues, whom I have commanded to hasten to Rome for this purpose, he may be heard as you may understand to be in accordance with the most holy law. But in order that you may be able to have most perfect knowledge of these things, I have subjoined to my letter copies of the documents sent to me by Anulinus, and have sent them to your above-mentioned colleagues. When your firmness has read these, you will consider in what way the above-mentioned case may be most accurately investigated and justly decided. For it does not escape your diligence that I have such reverence for the legitimate Catholic Church that I do not wish you to leave schism or division in any place. May the divinity of the great God preserve you, most honoured sirs, for many years.” (Constantine Augustus to Pope Miltiades and to Mark, In Eusebius, H.E. 10.5 [A.D. 313)

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