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Novation''' was a Roman [[bishop]] and [[theologian]] of the third century who took a strict position on readmission of apostates during the persecutions of the time. His followers formed a schismatic group that continued into the fifth century.
During the persecutions of emperor Decius in mid third century,
Novation took the position that those who had stopped practicing Christianity during the persecutions could not be accepted back into the church even if they repented and that the only way to reenter the church would be by re-[[baptism]]. Cornelius and Cyprian of Carthage did not believe in the need for re-baptism. Instead they thought that the sinners should only need to show contrition and true repentance to be welcomed back into the church
During the election of the bishop of Rome in 251,
Novation opposed Cornelius because he was too lax in accepting the return of Christians who had lapsed during the persecutions. His party then consecrated him as a rival bishop (antipope) to Cornelius. He announced throughout the empire his election, as had Cornelius, as both parties appointed bishops and priests in cities where the incumbent favored his rival, thus creating a widespread [[schism]] in the Church.
By the end of 251, Bishop Cornelius assembled a council of sixty bishops that condemned and [[excommunication|excommunicated]] Novation apparently over the legitimacy of his claim to the ecclesiastical throne of Rome. It was only later that Novation began to be called a [[heretic]] and this appeared to be over the question of the Church having the power to grant absolution in certain cases.
*[http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11138a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Novatian and Novatianism]
Novation Schism, Novatian]*[http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Novatianism]