~  CXXXII  ~

S. P. Scott, The Civil Law, XVII, Cincinnati, 1932 ).

  The Emperor Flavius Justinian, Fortunate, Glorious, Victor and Triumpher, Ever Augustus, to the Bishop of Constantinople.
  We believe that the true and immaculate Christian faith is the first and greatest benefit that men enjoy, that it should be strengthened in every respect, and that all the holy priests throughout the earth should unite to preach it, and should extirpate every kind of false doctrine, as is prescribed by Our laws and Our edicts. But as heretics are not influenced by the fear of God, and pay no attention to the penalties with which they are menaced by the severity of the law, as they accomplish the work of the devil, and by seduction debauch certain weak men, causing them to renounce the Holy Catholic Faith and the Apostolic Church; and as they hold wicked assemblies in secret, and clandestinely confer spurious baptisms, We have concluded that it is the part of piety to warn such persons by this, Our present edict, to abandon their insane delusions, to cease to destroy the souls of weak-minded men, to return to the Holy Church of God, where true dogmas are preached, and where all heresies with their heads are anathematized. Heretics are hereby notified that if, in the future, any of them should be detected in attending prohibited assemblies, or of holding them in their houses, so far from tolerating this, We shall transfer to the Holy Church the buildings in which such offences are committed, and shall inflict upon the delinquents the penalties imposed by Our Constitutions.
  Given at Constantinople, on the day before the Nones of April, during the reign of Our Lord the Emperor Justinian, and the Consulate of Basil.