Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 234: Letter to Caecilianus
Letter to Caecilianus
After such cruel and impious treachery Augustine could not remain in Carthage2 and left the following day. When Caecilianus asked to speak with him he was told Augustine was no longer available. Augustine kept his departure secret lest he be detained by the laments, tears, and cries of several considerable men who had gathered in the church to avoid the count’s dagger. Although their lives were safe, they still would have implored Augustine to speak on their behalf. This he could not do with seemliness, given that the count would never have allowed Augustine to speak in the blunt way necessary to save his soul. “Thus, not having the heart to bear such an indignity, I preferred to withdraw while regretting the lot of my colleague Aurelius of Carthage. He was obliged by duty to be a suppliant before so treacherous a man, to request of him sparing those taking refuge in the church and others in prisons.”
Caecilianus apparently went to Rome and from there sent Augustine a letter from Pope Innocent. Its contents are unknown but Caecilianus certainly sent this letter. He did not write at the time because he was busy. So Augustine decided not to burden him with letters except when he was obliged to request a recommendation. Augustine wrote: “I do not ordinarily refuse anyone. The practice is sometimes burdensome, but it can not be criticized.” Indeed, later Augustine wrote to Caecilianus on behalf...