|Cornelius: Fine name for a monkey.|
Christians could only take so much and many under persecution left the Faith and became practitioners (under duress) of Roman religions. Most likely, they worshiped the same "god" the emperor worshiped. Later the emperor, Diocletian, was chased out by the Goths.
|The Goths sorta helped save the Christians! Well met, Soulcry Faustus!|
Others, most famously Novatian, decided that these Christians had no way back into the Church since they left it. The only remedy would be re-baptism, which was not popular among Christians (later a heresy).
Finally, Cornelius with the support of his friend, Cyprian had a middle path. The Christians could come back to the Church by practicing penance and receiving forgiveness from the Church.
|The anti-Spock wore a goatee.|
But he did cause some problems. Later, rebaptism was decided to be against the principles of the Faith and we would many years later include "one baptism" in our creed. So there.
|Unofficial depiction of Novatian's reaction to rebaptism's rejection|
There are others who think that coming back to the church should be a painful, humiliating process and hard to endure. Like Wipe Out. Mean, mean, mean.
Then there's the Church's normal path: Reconciliation, penance and return. Just think of anytime you've left someone you loved or something you cared for, you probably did penance to return. Like watching endless playings of "The Notebook" to makeup for the times you ignored your girlfriend to watch Monday Night Football or the dues you had to pay to get the boot off your car in front of the Union.
|Cornelius and Cyprian f'r reelz. Not monkeys.|