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A heresy that originated with Novatian, an antipope who followed Pope Fabian in A.D. 251, in opposition to St. Cornelius, the lawful Bishop of Rome. The schismatic church that he started adopted a form of Montanism. It claimed that people in grave sin were permanently excluded from the Church. Absolution was refused to those guilty of murder and adultery.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.