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St Patrick

16 17 accusatIons old sins and unorthodoxies Patrick worked in Ireland for many years, but specific complaints against him surfaced in Britain. It seems he was accused of using his mission for personal gain, spreading blasphemies and consorting with barbarian pagans, to which his reply was I am the letter of Christ, thus applying St Pauls words to himself. God needed him to preach to this furthest corner of the earth so as to prepare the way for Christs Second Coming. Patricks strong belief in his personal relationship with God was dangerously close to the teaching of Pelagius, which were declared heretical because he said believers could find personal paths to God. This denied the Churchs monopoly on access to God, an essential tool of the Roman state religion, which preferred St Augustines position that humans were so mired in sin that they were never free, and could only bridge the gulf between themselves and God through the Church. Indeed as Germanus of Auxerre and Palladius worked hard to eradicate Pelagianism in Britain in the 420s, the Pope may have sent Palladius as first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ to eliminate it there. Patricks British seniors examined his case. An old friend then revealed things Patrick had confessed, thirty years earlier, doing on one day, or rather in an hour, when I had no strength yet. God knows if I was even fifteen, and I did not yet believe in the living God. These unnamed things may well have been a youthful participation in RomanoBritish pagan cult rituals, which again could justify excommunication and removal from office.
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