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Apostasy 

The Diocletian persecutions in 303 spawned the Donatist controversy. Donatists claimed that only the pure could remain in communion with the church. Optatus and Augustine framed the catholic response. They urged that the church is a societas mixta, saints and sinners mixed together, and that even apostates could be accepted back into the communion of the church after rigorous penance. They did not demand rebaptism. Their position continues to be upheld by the church. 




Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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