Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 497
The bishops gathered at the council of Carthage (North Africa), AD 416, write to Pope Innocent I about their continuous opposition to Caelestius, whom they refused to ordain as presbyter in AD 411 and who was ordained afterwards elsewhere. (Letter 175 in Augustine`s correspondence).
Letter 175
1. [...] Conpresbyter noster Orosius nobis litteras sanctorum fratrum et consacerdotum nostrorum dedit, Herotis et Lazari, quorum formam his constituimus esse subdendam. His ergo lectis Pelagium et Caelestium auctores nefarii prorsus et ab omnibus nobis anathemandi erroris aduertimus. Unde factum est, ut recensendum peteremus, quid ante ferme quinquennium super Caelestii nomine hic apud ecclesiam Carthaginensem fuerit agitatum. quo recitato, sicut ex subditis aduertere poterit sanctitas tua, quamuis iudicatio manifesta constaret, quia illo tempore episcopali iudicio excisum hoc tantum uulnus ab ecclesia uideretur, nihilo minus tamen id communi deliberatione censuimus, ut huius modi persuasionis auctores, quamuis et ad presbyterium idem Caelestius postea peruenisse dicatur, nisi haec apertissime anathemauerint, ipsos anathemari oporteat, ut, si ipsorum non potuerit, saltem eorum, qui ab eis decepti sunt uel decipi possunt, cognita sententia, quae in eos lata est, sanitas procuretur.
(ed. Goldbacher 1904: 653-655)
Letter 175
1. [...] After we had gathered as usual in solemn assembly at the church of Carthage and were holding the synod that had been convoked for various reasons, our fellow presbyter Orosius gave us letters from our holy brothers and fellow priests, Hero and Lazarus, a copy of which we decided should be added to this. Having read them, we denounced Pelagius and Caelestius as the authors of a truly wicked error and one to be condemned by all of us. For this reason it came about that we asked that the action we took with regard to Caelestius almost five years ago here at Carthage be reread. After it had been read out, as Your Holiness can see from what has been appended, it was agreed that the judgment was unequivocal by which the assembled bishops thought that the pronouncement of the bishops at that time had excised this great wound from the Church. Nevertheless, we judged in our common deliberation that, even if the same Caelestius is said to have afterward attained the priesthood [presbyterium], we ought to anathematize the authors of an opinion of this sort, unless they themselves most clearly anathematized these things. Thus, in order that, once the sentence pronounced against them is made known, we may procure the salvation if not of those men themselves, then at least of those who have been deceived or could be deceived by them.
(trans. R. Teske, slightly altered)


See also [503].

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • East
  • Carthage

About the source:

Author: Augustine of Hippo
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Hippo Regius (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The letters of Augustine of Hippo cover a wide range of topics: Holy Scripture, dogma and liturgy, philosophy, religious practice and everyday life. They range from full-scale theological treatises to small notes asking someone for a favour. The preserved corpus includes 308 letters, 252 written by Augustine, 49 that others sent to him and seven exchanged between third parties. 29 letters have been discovered only in the 20th century and edited in 1981 by Johannes Divjak; they are distinguished by the asterisk (*) after their number.
The preserved letters of Augustine extend over the period from his stay at Cassiciacum in 386 to his death in Hippo in 430.
A. Goldbacher ed., S. Augustini Hipponiensis Episcopi Epistulae, Pars 3, Ep. 124-174A, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 44, Vienna-Leipzig 1904.
Saint Augustine, Letters 100-155, trans. R. Teske, New York 2003.


Travel and change of residence
Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Pelagian
Impediments or requisits for the office - Heresy/Schism
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Public law - Ecclesiastical
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
Described by a title - Conpresbyter
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER497,