Lapsi (Christianity)

As lapsi (Latin for " apostates "), those Christians were referred to, which are usually unfaithful as a result of the persecution of Christians, their faith. The term is thus similar to the Greek Apostat in use.

Depending on the way how the apostasy from Christianity expressed, divided to the lapsi into three groups:

  • Sacrificati - offered up those other deities victims
  • Thurificati - those who offered up the incense before the statues of the gods
  • Libellatici - those who have declared in writing in one demanded by the Roman state power libellum to have sacrificed such gods, without this necessarily have in fact done

For the early church, there was the problem was how to deal with the lapsi. The Shepherd of Hermas declared apostasy to a serious sin that should have eternal penance and excommunication result. Forgiveness from God for this alone could not be achieved by the people. This hard line represented during the persecution of Decius and the Roman counterpart of Novatian bishop, who had appeared to Cornelius, as this appeared to him in this matter as too moderate. Dealing with the lapsi remained controversial in the years that followed and threatened, especially in the Western Roman Empire to split Christendom. With the end of the persecution of Christians by the Constantinian shift but this question became less important.

  • Old Church