Caecilian | Free Online Biblical Library

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Bishop of Carthage, a.d. 311/12-c.340. As archdeacon he assisted Bishop Mensurius in checking extravagant devotion to confessors and martyrs during the Great Persecution. His rigorist critics, joined by disaffected clergy when he was elected bishop, called in the Numidian bishops who declared his consecration invalid because an alleged traditor (see Donatism), Felix of Apthungi, had participated and because Caecilian had neglected the confessors. They proceeded to create a counter bishop. The dissidents protested against Constantine's assigning his relief measures of 312-13 to Caecilian, but at synods at Rome in 313 and, after further (Donatist) appeals, Arles in 314 and in Constantine's own inquiries in 315-16, Caecilian was completely vindicated. He was the only African bishop at the Council of Nicea in 325.