Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

4.8 Novatian: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly, Pt 1 (The Good)

By Dr. James Papandrea ( bio - articles - email ) | Mar 13, 2024 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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Novatian of Rome is an extremely important, but conflicted, character in the early Church. On the one hand, he clarified and helped define the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, preparing the Church for the ecumenical councils. On the other hand, he was the central figure of a schism in a controversy over the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. In this first part of a two-part series on Novatian, Dr. Papandrea discusses the positive contributions of Novatian, as a Church father, and as the subject of his doctoral dissertation.


To read Novatian’s letters to Cyprian (letters #29 and #30 from “the Roman clergy” were written by Novatian):

For more information on Cyprian of Carthage, listen to Mike Aquilina’s Episode 18:

For more information on those Church fathers who were significantly influenced by Novatian, listen to Mike Aquilina’s episodes 26 (Hilary of Poitiers), 23 (Alexander of Alexandria), 24 (Athanasius of Alexandria), and 33 (Ambrose of Milan).

For more on the historical context of the third century and the development of the sacraments, see the book: Reading the Church Fathers: A History of the Early Church and the Development of Doctrine:

For all the details on Novatian, see the book: Novatian of Rome and the Culmination of Pre-Nicene Orthodoxy:

To connect with Dr. James Papandrea, On YouTube—The Original Church:
Join the Original Church Community on Locals:

Dr. Papandrea’s Homepage:

Theme Music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed:

Dr. James Papandrea is a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology and a Catholic member of the faculty at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. A theological consultant for EWTN’s series The Heresies, he is also the writer and presenter for The Original Church series on YouTube. See full bio.

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