Emperors Order Confiscation of Heretics' Churches and Ban Heretical Teachings

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Roman emperors Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I order that meeting places of heretics be confiscated, their teachings are banned, and they are exiled. The decree defines heretics as all those who refuse to adopt the creed created by the Council of Nicaea and all churches across the Roman Empire are to be turned over to orthodox bishops who accept the Nicene Creed.

This decree states:

"No place for celebrating religious mysteries and no opportunity for exercising their madness must be made available to heretics. All must know that even if some concession has been granted them at some point in time, it was only elicited by fraud and is not valid.

The name of the One and Supreme God will be celebrated everywhere. The observance, destined to remain forever, of the Nicene faith, as transmitted long ago by Our ancestors and confirmed by the declaration and testimony of divine religion, must be maintained.

The contamination of the Photinian pestilence, the poison of the Arian sacrilege, the crime of the Eunomian perfidy, and the sectarian monstrosities, abominable because of the ill-omened names of their authors are to be abolished from the hearing of men.

Those who confesses that Almighty God and Christ the Son of God are One in name, God of God, Light of Light, and who does not violate by denial the Holy Spirit which we hope for and receive from the Supreme Author of things, will be accepted as a defender of the Nicene faith and as a true adherent of the Catholic religion. Such a man esteems, with the perception of inviolate faith, the undivided substance of the incorrupt Trinity, that substance which those of the orthodox faith call, employing a Greek word, OUM.

Those who are not devoted to these doctrines will no longer benefit from the privileges of true religion. They will be branded upon the disclosure of their crimes. They must be removed and barred from all churches. We forbid all heretics to hold unlawful assemblies within any towns. Their madness must be banished and they must be driven away from the very walls of the cities. Catholic churches throughout the whole world must be restored to the orthodox bishops who uphold the Nicene faith." [CTh 16.5.6]
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