St. Pacian of Barcelona
Saint Pacian (c. 310–391 AD) was a bishop of Barcelona from 365 AD to 391 AD. In his writings, he discussed ecclesiastical discipline, baptism, papal primacy, and teachings on penance against Novatianism. He is remembered for the phrase from one of his letters: Christianus mihi nomen est, catholicus vero cognomen , which means “My name is Christian, my surname is Catholic.”
Quotes from Pacian of Barcelona:
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“Stinginess is remedied by generosity, insult by apology, perversity by honesty, and for whatever else, amends can be made by practice of the opposite. But what can he do who is contemptuous of God? What shall the murderer do? What remedy shall the fornicator find? . . . These are capital sins, brethren, these are mortal. Someone may say: ‘Are we then about to perish? . . . Are we to die in our sins?’ . . . I appeal first to you brethren who refuse penance for your acknowledged crimes. You, I say, who are timid after your impudence, who are bashful after your sins, who are not ashamed to sin but now are ashamed to confess” (Sermon Exhorting to Penance 4 [A.D. 385]).
“But under the Apostles, you will say, no one was called Catholic. Be it thus. When, after the Apostles, heresies had burst forth, and were striving under various names to tear piecemeal and divide the Queen of God, did not the Apostolic people require a name of their own, whereby to mark the unity of the people that were uncorrupted, lest the error of some should rend limb by limb the undefiled virgin of God? Suppose I entered a populous city and found Marcionites, Apollinarians, Cataphrygians, Novatians, and others of the kind who call themselves Christians, by what name should I recognise the congregation of my own people, unless it were named Catholic? Come tell me, who bestowed so many names on these other peoples? He who asks the meaning of the Catholic Name will not be ignorant of the cause of its origin. Certainly that which has stood through so many ages was not borrowed from any man. This name “Catholic” sounds not of Marcion, nor of Apelles, nor of Montanus, nor does it take heretics as its authors…
if at last we must give an account of the word Catholic, and draw it out from the Greek by a Latin interpretation, “Catholic” means ‘every where we are one’…”
-EPISTLES TO SYMPRONIAN OF THE CATHOLIC NAME.
(Written 385 A.D.)
[Translated by the Rev. C. H. Collyns, M.A
“You will say that God alone can [pardon the penitent]. True enough; but it is likewise true that He does it through His priests, who exercise His power. What else can it mean when He says to His Apostles: ‘Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven’ [Matt 16:19]? Why should He say this if He were not permitting men to bind and loose? Why, if He were permitting this to the Apostles alone? Were that the case, He would likewise be permitting them alone to baptize, to confer the Holy Spirit. . . If, then, the power both of Baptism and Confirmation, greater by far than charisma, is passed on to the bishops, so too is the right of binding and loosing.”
-Letter to the Novatianist Sympronian 1:6 (Written 385 A.D.)
“You then I first call on, brethren, who, having committed crimes, refuse penance: you, who blush not to sin, yet blush to confess; who with evil conscience touch the Holy Things of God, and fear not the Altar of The Lord; who come to the hands of the priest with a polluted soul and a profane body. When the Hebrews were bringing back the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem, Uzzah, touched the side of the ark without having examined his conscience and was slain; So great a care was there of reverence towards God, that He endured not bold hands even to help. The same Lord crieth, saying, ‘And as for the flesh, all that be clean shall eat thereof. But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from his people.’ (Lev 7:20) Do these things of old not happen now? Hath God ceased to care for what concerns us?
In the first Epistle to the Corinthians Paul saith these words, ‘Whosoever shall eat this Bread, and drink this Cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and Blood of the Lord. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself.”
-TREATISE OF EXHORTATION UNTO PENANCE. 12-13
(Written 385 A.D.)
[Translated by the Rev. C. H. Collyns, M.A.