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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VII:
Select Letters of Saint Gregory Nazianzen.: Letter CXLIV

Early Church Fathers  Index     


(Verianus, a citizen of Nazianzus, had been offended by his son-in-law, and on this account wished his daughter to sue for a divorce.  Olympius referred the matter to the Episcopal arbitration of S. Gregory, who refused to countenance the proceeding, and writes the two following letters, the first to the Prefect, the second to Verianus himself.)

Haste is not always praiseworthy.  For this reason I have deferred my answer until now about the daughter of the most honorable Verianus, both to allow for time setting matters right, and also because I conjecture that Your Goodness does not approve of the divorce, inasmuch as you entrusted the enquiry to me, whom you knew to be neither hasty nor uncircumspect in such matters.  Therefore I have refrained myself till now, and, I venture to think, not without reason.  But since we have come nearly to the end of the allotted time, and it is necessary that you should be informed of the result of the examination I will inform you.  The young lady seems to me to be of two minds, divided between reverence for her parents and affection for her husband.  Her words are on their side, but her mind, I rather think, is with her husband, as is shewn by her tears.  You will do what commends itself to your justice, and to God who directs you in all things.  I should most willingly have given my opinion to my son Verianus that he should pass over much of what is in question, with a view not to confirm the divorce, which is entirely contrary to our law, 4781 though the Roman law may determine otherwise.  For it is necessary that justice be observed—which I pray you may ever both say and do.



The law of the Church.

Next: Letter CXLV

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