Article by Marc Aupiais
I said wrongly that Augustine abandoned his family, and became a priest, I was wrong, but was relying not on journalism, but hearsay: yet I said it in a discussion of City of God.
It was disputed, and I realized I had no evidence: so I decided to look into this for a non-Catholic fellow. The Normal internet: as usual was useless in answering it: but Scripturelink, showed up next to nothing on his son: so I searched on the mistress he had had for 15 years. He was heartbroken when she left, it had something to do with his mother: and she vowed not to have another lover ever: Augustine immediately took to fornication once again, and to wine etc.
Where his son was: probably with the nameless mother: he refused to reveal his mistress' sins in his "Confessions", in line with Catholic morality: He told of them: but not of who she was.
Later, Augustine would vow himself to celibacy, and later, he was in church at Hippo, where the bishop spotted him, and he was taken forward and made a priest. He had been avoiding cities with open Sees, how could he know he'd be made a priest, he had been avoiding places like that: for his fame as a righteous man: or some fame: and yet: now he was in the wrong place, and made into a bishops assistant. When the bishop died, he became bishop: not, to what I see: by some sort of natural (?) succession: he was either requested to be bishop, or made it.
Firstly, he did not put aside a family to join the church or be a priest: he broke up with Nameless before he gave up wild living.
Secondly: he was not eager to become a priest: and before then was avoiding becoming a bishop.
Yet, this is the man we owe most of Catholicism to: at least most of the retelling of what the Apostles spread, and much of our concept of world, and dogma. Western society is said to be based mostly on Augustine. We should not be so quick to attribute the abandoning of a family to him. Likewise, it is thought that Saint Peter's wife died before Jesus called him from his family. Whatever happened with these, I don't know the morality: only that the perception that Augustine left his family for the Church is wrong. He sounds heartbroken in the quotations I read in EWTN, one of the most expert sources. No expert source says he left. His mistress went back to Africa, After 15 years with wild living Augustine: likely due to his saintly, and sainted mother's efforts to break up the illegitimate pair.
This was before he joined the church: it would be complete conjecture to say much on the issue: yet, it seems he was heartbroken, even if quick to move on: to other women, or at least one other. As to his morality before conversion, I am not a judge. But it is odd that so many attribute the end of this to some righteous crusade. Ending the relationship was right, but would Augustine abandon his own child as well?
Even before the conversion: it seems this was not his choice: but outside influences, or him under these peoples' duress. I love to be challenged when my views are wrong such makes one grow: I have had this twice today. One with Augustine: the other in assuming someone did not agree on another issue.
God bless the fact checker. Augustine was right to stop sleeping with her outside of marriage, but did this not for that reason, or doesn't seem to have: why move onto another, and perhaps more women. He certainly seems not to have given up fornication yet: later he would: but let the false accusation of his "abandonment" be dropped: neither does it seem much of it was his choice: nor is the abandoning which may have occurred involving his illegitimate child: for religion. Unfortunately: unlike some courageous people: those we see getting valid annulments, or who leave their illegitimate marriage to join the church, or have it consummated by the authority of the church: Augustine neither left his evil union with his mistress, due to a conversion from that: but for some purpose I cannot simply disclose.