St. Cornelius I, Pope of Rome
Controversy over the lapsed dominated the reign of Pope/St. Cornelius
(251-253). The pope favored restoring those who repented of their lapse to
communion, while his adversary and anti-pope Novatian believed the lapsed
should be excommunicated for ever. Cyprian of Carthage agreed with the
pope, and their correspondence about the matter survives. Emperor Gallus
had Cornelius arrested in 252 and imprisoned him at Cesstumcellae
(Civitavecchia). Cornelius died in prison, and his relics were translated
to Rome. He is the first pope to have a Latin epitaph.
Karen Rae Keck
Fragments of Epistles:
Against the rigorist Novatian, who opposed readmitting
to the Church those who had lapsed under persecution.
From Eusebius, EH vi, 43, McGiffert translation, 1890.
Return to St Pachomius Library.