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“Hippolytus writing about Callistus - Greek Text with English translation”
Refutation of All Heresies, 9. 12
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The impostor Callistus, having ventured on such opinions, established a school of theology in antagonism to the Church, adopting the foregoing system of instruction. And he first invented the device of conniving with men in regard of their indulgence in sensual pleasures, saying that all had their sins forgiven by himself. For he who is in the habit of attending the congregation of any one else, and is called a Christian, should he commit any transgression; the sin, they say, is not reckoned unto him, provided only he hurries off and attaches himself to the school of Callistus. And many persons were gratified with his regulation, as being stricken in conscience, and at the same time having been rejected by numerous sects; while also some of them, in accordance with our condemnatory sentence, had been by us forcibly ejected from the Church. Now such disciples as these passed over to these followers of Callistus, and served to crowd his school. This one propounded the opinion, that, if a bishop was guilty of any sin, if even a sin unto death, he ought not to be deposed. About the time of this man, bishops, priests, and deacons, who had been twice married, and thrice married, began to be allowed to retain their place among the clergy. If also, however, any one who is in holy orders should become married, Callistus permitted such a one to continue in holy orders as if he had not sinned. And in justification, he alleges that what has been spoken by the Apostle has been declared in reference to this person: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?” But he asserted that likewise the parable of the tares is uttered in reference to this one: “Let the tares grow along with the wheat;” or, in other words, let those who in the Church are guilty of sin remain in it. But also he affirmed that the ark of Noe was made for a symbol of the Church, in which were both dogs, and wolves, and ravens, and all things clean and unclean; and so he alleges that the case should stand in like manner with the Church. And as many parts of Scripture bearing on this view of the subject as he could collect, he so interpreted.
And the hearers of Callistus being delighted with his tenets, continue with him,
thus mocking both themselves as well as many others, and crowds of these dupes
stream together into his school. Wherefore also his pupils are multiplied, and
they plume themselves upon the crowds (attending the school) for the sake of
pleasures which Christ did not permit. But in contempt of Him, they place
restraint on the commission of no sin, alleging that they pardon those who
acquiesce (in Callistus’ opinions). For even also he permitted females, if they
were unwedded, and burned with passion at an age at all events unbecoming, or if
they were not disposed to overturn their own dignity through a legal marriage,
that they might have whomsoever they would choose as a bedfellow, whether a
slave or free, and that a woman, though not legally married, might consider such
a companion as a husband. Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to
drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what
was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a
slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive
wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by
inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such
audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic
Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur
with them. During the episcopate of this one, second baptism was for the first
time presumptuously attempted by them. These, then, (are the practices and
opinions which) that most astonishing Callistus established, whose school
continues, preserving its customs and tradition, not discerning with whom they
ought to communicate, but indiscriminately offering communion to all. And from
him they have derived the denomination of their cognomen; so that, on account of
Callistus being a foremost champion of such practices, they should be called
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Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies (Philosophoumena). A very
hostile biography of Callistus! Greek Text
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
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