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p. 797. Unity and divisionlocked

  • Henry Chadwick


After the year 303, in the aftermath of the Great Persecution under Diocletian, the African churches were divided. The Christians of Africa disagreed about whether it was right to commit acts of vandalism against pagan shrines or whether such acts generated hatred of the Church among pagan worshippers, and failed to respect the sincerity of the intentions of the pagans. ‘Unity and division’ describes Augustine's time as bishop when he inherited two communities living in a state of mutual hostility and distrust. Augustine hated violence. The process of reconciliation occupied a large proportion of Augustine's time and energy. Augustine was a principal spokesman for the Catholic cause.

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