The lives of these two shed light on the role of our bishop and especially the Pope in every age. In the third century the church was divided over the Novatian heresy. Novatian was a Roman priest who stood up against the rightfully elected pope Cornelius because he thought Cornelius was too liberal in his treatment of the lapsi. The lapsi were those Christians who, in a moment of weakness, and under threat of persecution, compromised their faith and sacrificed to the pagan gods of Rome.

What’s the old saying? “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.” All Pope Francis has to do is open his mouth and the present day Novatianists castigate him for being too liberal. If he talks much more the powers of the world start hating him.

Cyprian condemned Novatian and his fanatics. Both Cyprian and Cornelius stood up for the truth against false teachers within the church. For this they were hated. They also stood up against the world, and the world hated them for it. Spitting, vile, violent, murderous rage.

Praise the Lord

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