Cyprian explains to his clergy that he cannot return yet to Carthage. He asks them to take care of the poor and the confessors. He deplores some sins and disobedience of the confessors (who survived the persecutions):
III,2. For I am grieved when I hear that some of them run about wickedly and proudly, and give themselves up to follies or to discords; that members of Christ, and even members that have confessed Christ, are defiled by unlawful concubinage, and cannot be ruled either by deacons or by presbyters, but cause that, by the wicked and evil characters of a few, the honourable glories of many and good confessors are tarnished. [...]
IV. In respect of that which our fellow presbyters, Donatus and Fortunatus, Novatus and Gordius, wrote to me, I have not been able to reply by myself, since, from the first commencement of my episcopacy, I made up my mind to do nothing on my own private opinion, without your advice and without the consent of the people. But as soon as, by the grace of God, I shall have come to you, then we will discuss in common, as our respective dignity requires, those things which either have been or are to be done.