Reminiscent of Novatianism (q.v.), the Donatists of North Africa (q.v.) argued that the sacraments given by priests who had compromised the faith during the Great Persecution (q.v.), including sacraments given by priests who had been ordained by such priests, were invalid. The controversy began with the refusal of the Donatists in 311 to recognize Caecilian as bishop (q.v.) of Carthage because he had been ordained by a bishop accused of having surrendered liturgical items during the Great Persecution. They consecrated Donatus in his place. The controversy refused to go away, even after Constantine I (q.v.), and a commission headed by Pope Miltiades, rejected the Donatist claims, a decision confirmed by the Council of Arles (q.v.) in 314. Donatism grew to be a separatist church of great proportions, a native church that rejected the state-supported church, which it viewed as foreign, as imposed, as a kind of anti-church. Despite the opposition of Augustine (q.v.), who affirmed the principle that the validity of the sacraments are not dependent on the moral character of the priest administering them, despite every attempt to persecute them, the Donatists maintained their church as an underground movement up to the Arab conquest of the seventh century.

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  • donatism — donatísm s. n. Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic  DONATÍSM s.n. Mişcare secretă, iniţiată în sec. IV de episcopul Donatus la Cartagina, care cerea supunerea la canoane grele a creştinilor care îşi renegaseră credinţa în… …   Dicționar Român

  • Donatism — Don a*tism, n. [Cf. F. Donatisme.] (Eccl. Hist.) The tenets of the Donatists. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Donatism —    This refers to a North African Christian sect that dates back to the dispute over the election of Caecilian as bishop of Carthage in 312. Donatism was viewed as a heresy by the church. The movement was named after Donatus, primate of Numidia,… …   Historical dictionary of the berbers (Imazighen)

  • Donatism — See Donatist. * * * Schismatic Christian movement in North Africa in the 4th century. It arose out of the debate over the status of church leaders who had cooperated with Roman officials during persecutions of Christians. The movement s leader,… …   Universalium

  • Donatism — noun Etymology: Donatus, 4th century bishop of Carthage Date: 1588 the doctrines of a Christian sect arising in North Africa in 311 and holding that sanctity is essential for the administration of sacraments and church membership • Donatist noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • donatism — noun An early Christian belif which maintained that apostate priests were incapable of administering the sacraments, as opposed to the orthodox view that any sacrament administered by a properly ordained priest or bishop is valid, regardless of… …   Wiktionary

  • DONATISM —    a religious movement which developed during the fourth century in North Africa characterized by terrorist activity and exclusivistic BELIEFS. It was strongly opposed by AUGUSTINE who emphasized the CATHOLICITY of the CHURCH …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Donatism — n. religious movement developed during the 4th century in North Africa that promoted the belief that only those people who led an innocent life belonged in the church or could perform sacraments and that the validity of a sacrament relied on the… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Donatism —    The beliefs of a schismatic group in North Africa in the fourth century who rejected the election of Caecilius as Bishop of Carthage and supported donatus …   Who’s Who in Christianity

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