Of God and His Creatures

That a man who sins after the Grace of the Sacraments may be converted to Grace*

HEREBY is excluded the error of the Novatians, who denied pardon to sinners after baptism.* They took occasion of their error from the text: It is impossible for those who have been once enlightened [phôtisthentas, baptised], and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have been made partakers of the Holy Ghost . . . . and have fallen, to be again renewed [anakainizein, renovari, Vulg.] unto penance (Heb. vi, 4, 6). But the sense is plain from the immediate context: crucifying to themselves again the Son of God, and making him a mockery. There is denied to them then that renewal unto penance, whereby a man is crucified along with Christ, which is by baptism: for as many of us as have been baptised in Christ Jesus, have been baptised in his death (Rom. vi, 3, 6: Gal. ii, 19, 20: v, 24). As then Christ is not to be crucified again, so he who sins after baptism is not to be baptised again. Hence the Apostle does not say that it is impossible for such persons to be reclaimed, or converted, to penance, but that it is impossible for them to be renewed [anakainizein], renovation being the effect usually ascribed to baptism, which is called the laver of regeneration and renewal [anakainôseôs] (Titus iii, 5).

4.70 : That it is possible for a man to sin after receiving Sacramental Grace
4.72 : Of the need of the Sacrament of Penance, and of the Parts thereof