Celestine I

d.432. Bishop of Rome from 422. Soon after he succeeded Boniface I, he was in controversy with African bishops. When Apiarius,* a deposed African cleric, requested reinstatement, Celestine complied, sending the unpopular legate Faustinus to execute the decision. A Council of Carthage about 424 dismissed Faustinus, asking Celestine to obey Nicene canons and to support the decisions of local bishops. Celestine opposed heresy and irregularity. In 425 the emperors expelled heretics from Rome. He censured bishops around Marseilles for allowing priests to teach doctrines opposing Augustine. Others, in Vienne and Narbonnensis, he criticized for electing monastic bishops and for ascetic clerical dress (428). He sent Germanus of Auxerre to England (429) to counter Pelagianism,* and he closed Novatianist* churches at Rome. In 430 he empowered Cyril of Alexandria* to execute a ten-day ultimatum on Nestorius. Although his representatives were absent from most of the Council of Ephesus (431), his approval of its decisions later earned Celestine the reputation of having presided with Cyril.