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Novatus

THIRD CENTURY. Presbyter of Carthage. An implacable enemy of Cyprian, he opposed his election as bishop and intrigued constantly against him. In the problem of the Lapsed after the Decian persecution, he attacked Cyprian's deprecation of the libelli pacis and championed the right of “confessors” to grant them. As leader of an anti-Cyprian faction he gained control of relief funds by appointing Felicissimus, a wealthy layman, as a deacon. In Rome he supported Novatian as bishop in opposition to Cornelius. Cyprian supported Cornelius, and when a delegation of Novatianists led by Novatus came to Carthage, the anti-Cyprian group appointed Novatian's delegate, Maximus, rival bishop of Carthage.