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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (St. Basil of Caesarea) > Letter 287

Letter 287

ST. BASIL OF CAESAREA

Without address.

IT is difficult to deal with this man. I scarcely know how to treat so shifty, and, to judge from the evidence, so desperate a character. When summoned before the court, he fails to appear; and if he does attend, he is gifted with such volubility of words and oaths, that I think myself well off to be quickly rid of him. I have often known him twist round his accusations upon his accusers. In a word, there is no creature living upon earth so subtle and versatile in villainy. A slight acquaintance with him suffices to prove this. Why then do you appeal to me? Why not at once bring yourselves to submit to his ill-treatment, as to a visitation of God's anger?

At the same time you must not be contaminated by contact with wickedness.

I enjoin therefore that he and all his household be forbidden the services of the Church, and all other communion with her ministers. Being thus made an example of, he may haply be brought to a sense of his enormities.

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Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 8. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3202287.htm>.

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