Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Edited By Frederick Van Fleteren
Article 295: Pardon of Apiarius
Pardon of Apiarius
So far as is known the Council of Carthage (419) did not deal with the Apiarius affair. Certainly the matter was concluded before the African bishops wrote to Boniface.2 It was settled by common consent. Urban, Apiarius’ bishop, corrected his initial judgment without objection. His procedural defect against Apiarius could have prejudiced the issue. After Urban’s change, Apiarius asked pardon for his sins and was re-established in communion and the priesthood at the insistence of Faustinus.3 To provide for peace and security in the Church in the future as well as the present and lest a similar or even greater disorder than this occur, the African bishops judged it appropriate to remove Apiarius from the church at Sicca. This disorder had given rise to scandal. The council gave Apiarius a letter of communion to exercise the priesthood where and when he would and could be received. Apiarius formally requested this letter and it was quickly given him. This arrangement was the agreement reached between the sentence condemning Apiarius and Zosimus’ judgment returning him to communion.4
As all matters had then been settled, the council as a body wrote Boniface an account of what had occurred5 including what had happened on the Apiarius affair. The African bishops told him, albeit obscurely, they had written to the East to obtain the true canons of Nicea. They requested the pope also write to the East and communicate to the Africans what he...