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After the Decian persecution (249, 250), however, the great numbers of Lapsi and Libellatici, and the claims of the Martyres or Confessores, who assumed the right of remitting the sin of apostasy by giving the Lapsi a letter of communion, led to a relaxation of the rigour of ecclesiastical discipline. Cyprian and the Council of the African Church which met at Carthage in 251 admitted the principle of the Church's right to remit the sin of apostasy, even before the hour of death.
Pope Cornelius and the council which he held at Rome confirmed the decisions of the Synod of Carthage , and the discipline of forgiveness was gradually introduced into all the Churches. Cypriani, 55 et 68; Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum (Vienna, 1871), III, ii, ed.
In the case of iteratio baptismatis, the offence falls rather under the head of heresy and irregularity than of apostasy; if the latter name has sometimes been given to it, it is due to the fact that the Decretals of Gregory IX combine into one title, under the rubric "De apostatis et reiterantibus baptisma" (V, title 9) the two distinct titles of the Justinian Code: "Ne sanctum baptisma iteretur" and "De apostatis" (I, titles 6, 7), in Corpus juris civilis ed. See München "Das kanonische Gerichtsverfahren und Strafrecht" (Cologne, 1874), II, 362, 363. The heretic differs from the apostate in that he only denies one or more of the doctrines of revealed religion, whereas the apostate denies the religion itself, a sin which has always been looked upon as one of the most grievous. 26, 5; Funk, Opera Patrum apostolicorum (Tübingen, 1887), I, 547].
Apostasy, in its strictest sense, means apostasy a Fide (St. The "Shepherd" of Hermas, a work written in Rome in the middle of the second century, states positively that there is no forgiveness for those who have wilfully denied the Lord. Apostasy belonged, therefore, to the class of sins for which the Church imposed perpetual penance and excommunication without hope of pardon, leaving the forgiveness of the sin to God alone.
But the Church from a very early period took them into her service, just as she adopted many other things indifferent in themselves, which seemed proper to enhance the splendour of religious ceremonial.
We must not forget that most of these adjuncts to worship, like music, lights, perfumes, ablutions, floral decorations, canopies, fans, screens, bells, vestments, etc.
The word itself in its etymological sense, signifies the desertion of a post, the giving up of a state of life; he who voluntarily embraces a definite state of life cannot leave it, therefore, without becoming an apostate.
Most authors, however, distinguish with Benedict XIV (De Synodo di£cesanâ, XIII, xi, 9), between three kinds of apostasy: apostasy a Fide or perfidi£, when a Christian gives up his faith ; apostasy ab ordine, when a cleric abandons the ecclesiastical state ; apostasy a religione, or monachatus, when a religious leaves the religious life.
The Roman is the fourth beast described and last Gentile Kingdom on earth.Hartel, 624, 666; Eusebius, Church History, VI, xliii, 1, 2].The word candle ( candela , from candeo , to burn) was introduced into the English language as an ecclesiastical term, probably as early as the eighth century.The Gloss on title 9 of the fifth book of the Decretals of Gregory IX mentions two other kinds of apostasy: apostasy inobedientiæ, disobedience to a command given by lawful authority, and iteratio baptismatis, the repetition of baptism, "quoniam reiterantes baptismum videntur apostatare dum recedunt a priori baptismate".As all sin involves disobedience, the apostasy inobedientiæ does not constitute a specific offense. Perfidiæ is the complete and voluntary abandonment of the Christian religion, whether the apostate embraces another religion such as Paganism, Judaism, Mohammedanism, etc., or merely makes profession of Naturalism, Rationalism, etc.