The divine Scripture commands us to abstain from blood, from things strangled, and from fornication. Those therefore who on account of a dainty stomach prepare by any art for food the blood of any animal, and so eat it, we punish suitably. If anyone henceforth venture to eat in any way the blood of an animal, if he be a clergyman, let him be deposed; if a layman, let him be cut off.
The apostolic precept of abstaining “from blood and from things strangled” for some ages, not only among the Greeks but also among the Latins, was observed in many churches, but little by little and step by step it died out in the whole Church, at least in the Latin Church, altogether.
In this the Latin Church followed the opinion of St. Augustine, Contra Faustum Manichæum, Lib. XXXII., cap. xiij., where he teaches at great length that the precept was given to Christians only while the Gentile Church was not yet settled. This passage of Augustine also proves that at that time Africa did not observe this precept of the Apostles.
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