<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1906385056278061&ev=PageView&noscript=1" />
Skip to main content Accessibility feedback

Did St. Augustine Say This?


Did Augustine really say something about agreeing on the essentials or was that said by a Lutheran minister?


“In essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.”

This statement is usually attributed to St. Augustine, yet no one has been able to point out just where in any of his works it is located.  A general search on the quote reveals it being attributed to all sorts of figures in history.

The earliest Church document in which I am aware of it appearing is Pope St. John XXIII’s Ad Petri cathedram:

But the common saying, expressed in various ways and attributed to various authors, must be recalled with approval: in essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity (72).

Pope St. John XXIII merely referred to it as a common saying rather than attributing it to any particular saint or historical figure. And since no one else seems to have a definite source citation to point to, it would appear that its origins are unknown.


Enjoying this content?  Please support our mission! Donate