Date: 313
Ancient source: Optatus, Against the Donatists, 1.24
English translation: Vassall-Phillips, O.R., The Work of St. Optatus, Bishop of Milevis: Against the Donatists (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1917), 45-8.

When these nineteen bishops had taken their seats together, the case of Donatus and that of Caecilian were brought forward. This judgement was passed against Donatus by each of the bishops – that he acknowledged having both rebaptized, and laid his hand in penance upon bishops who had fallen away – a thing foreign to the Church. Donatus brought forth his witnesses; they admitted that they had nothing of which they could accuse Caecilian. Caecilian was pronounced innocent by the sentence of all the above-named bishops, and also by the sentence of Miltiades. After that, the matter was closed, and the judgment pronounced in the following words:

“Since it is certain that those who came with Donatus have failed to accuse Caecilian in accordance with their undertaking, and since it is also certain that Donatus has not proved Caecilian guilty on any count, I judge that Caecilian, as he deserves, remain in the communion of the Church, continuing to hold his position unimpaired.”

Adapted by SMT and GLT

Last updated: 10-4-2023

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