Matthew 18:17

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto you as a heathen man and a tax collector.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Serm., 82, 1: Our Lord admonishes us not to overlook one another’s faults, yet not so as seeking for matter of blame, but watching what you may amend. For our rebuke should be in love, not eager to wound, but anxious to amend. If you passit by, you are become worse than he. He by doing you a wrong hath done himselfa great hurt; you slight your brother’s wound, and are more to blame for your silence than he for his ill words to you. Serm., 82, 8: When any one therefore offends against us, let us be very careful, not for ourselves, for it is glorious to forget an injury; forget therefore your own wrong, but not the wound your brother has sustained; and tell him of his fault between him and you alone, seeking his amendment and sparing his shame. For it may be that out of shame he will seek to defend his fault, and thus you will only harden, while you sought to do him good. But the Apostle says, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others may fear todo the like.” Sometimes therefore your...

Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
But “if he does not listen,” that is, if he chooses to justify his sin as if it were a just action, “take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” Don’t consider him now in the number of your brothers. But not even so is his salvation to be neglected. For even the heathen, that is, the Gentiles and pagans, we do not consider in the number of our brothers, yet we constantly pray for their salvation. ...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Tell the church. This not only shows the order of fraternal correction, but also every man's duty in submitting to the judgment of the Church. (Witham) There cannot be a plainer condemnation of those who make particular creeds, and will not submit the articles of their belief to the judgment of the authority appointed by Christ. (Haydock) ...
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ap. Anselm: Or, that if he affirm that it is no trespass, that they may prove to him that it is a trespass. ap. Anselm: Or, tell it to the whole Chinch, that his infamy may be the greater. After all these things follows excommunication, which ought to be inflicted by the mouth of the Church, that is, by the Priest, and when he excommunicates, the whole Church works with him; as it follows, “And if he will not hear the Church, let him be unto thee as an heathen, and a publican.” ...
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AD 420
Thy brother is to be reproved in private, lest if once he has lost a sense of shame, he should continue in sin. For in saving another, salvation is gained for ourselves also. Or it is to be understood in this way; If he will not hear thee, take with theeone brother only; if he yet will not hear, take a third, either from your zeal for his amendment, that shame or admonition may move him; or for the purpose of meeting before witnesses. If yet he will not hear them, then it must be told to many, that he may be held in abhorrence; so that he who could not be saved by his own sense of shame, maybe saved by public disgrace; whence it follows, “If he will not hear them, tellit to the Church.”. That He says, “As a heathen and a publican,” shows that he is to be more abhorred, who under the name of a believer does the deeds of an unbeliever, than those that are openly gentiles. Those He calls publicans, who pursue worldly gain, and levy contributions by trading, cheating, and villainous frauds...


AD 420
If our brother has sinned against us and damaged us in anything, we have the power of dismissing it, in fact the obligation to do so, since we are commanded to forgive our debtors their debts. But if anyone sins against God, it is not in our control. Divine Scripture says, “If a man has sinned against a man, the priest will pray for him; but if he sins against God, who will speak for him?” But we, on the contrary, are lenient over a sin against God but act out our hatred when we ourselves are insulted. Yet we should immediately reprove our brother, if he has once lost his shame and innocence, so that he does not remain in sin. And if he listens, we profit his soul, and through the salvation of another we too acquire salvation. But if he refuses to listen, we should summon a brother; and if he does not listen to him either, yet a third should be summoned in the hope of either correcting him or meeting him with witnesses. Then if he refuses to listen even to these, the congregation must ...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Hom., lx: Having above given a severe sentence against those who were the cause of offence, making them to fear on all sides; so now that they to whom the offence is offered should not fall into the opposite fault of supineness and indifference, seeking to spare themselves in all things, and so be puffed up; the Lord here checks such a tendency, commanding that they be reproved, saying, "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go, tell him his fault betweenthee and him alone.”. It is to be noted, that one while the Lord brings the offender to him whom he has offended; as when He says, “If thou remember that thy brother has ought against thee, go, be reconciled to thy brother:” Here He has devised yet another method, forHe brings him who has been grieved to him that grieved him, and therefore says, "If thy brother sin against thee;” for because he that did the wrong would not readily come to make amends, because of his shame, He draws to him, him that has suffered the wrong; and not...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
For since you appeared to be too weak alone, make yourself more powerful by this addition. For surely the two are sufficient to convict him that has sinned. Do you see how He seeks not the good of him that has been pained only, but of him also that has given the pain. For the person injured is this one who is taken captive by his passion, he it is that is diseased, and weak, and infirm. Wherefore He often sends the other to this one, now alone, and now with others; but if he continue in it, even with the church. For, Tell it, says He, to the Church. Matthew 18:17 For if He were seeking this one's advantage only, He would not have commanded to pardon, seventy times seven, one repenting. He would not so often have set so many over him to correct his passion; but if he had remained incorrigible after the first conference would have let him be; but now once, and twice, and thrice, He commands to attempt his cure, and now alone and now with two, now with more. Wherefore, with respect to ...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
He does not command us to forgive indiscriminately, but him only that will hearken and be obedient, and do penitence; that neither should forgiveness be unattainable, nor sufferance be too far relaxed.
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Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
. Having spoken strong words against those who are a cause of temptation, now He corrects those who have been offended. Lest you, O reader, who have been offended, should utterly fall into error, imagining that the "woe!" was spoken only to him who gave offence, He says, "I want you who have been offended, that is, harmed, to admonish those who have dealt unjustly with you and harmed you, if they are Christians." See what He is saying: "if thy brother," that is, a Christian, "shall trespass against thee." But if an unbeliever wrongs you, then concede to him even what is yours. If it is a brother, admonish him; He did not say "revile" but "admonish." "If he shall hear thee" means "if he shall acknowledge his fault." He desires that sinners first be admonished in private, lest they become even more shameless when admonished before many. But if when admonished before two or more witnesses the sinner still is not ashamed, then divulge his sin to those who preside in the Church. Since he wo...
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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