Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Book of Pastoral Rule, and Selected Epistles, of Gregory the Great.: To Bacauda and Agnellus, Bishops.
To Bacauda and Agnellus, Bishops.
Gregory to Bacauda, &c.
The Hebrews dwelling in Terracina have petitioned us for licence to hold, under our authority, the site of their synagogue which they have held hitherto. But, inasmuch as we have been informed that the same site is so near to the church that even the sound of their psalmody reaches it, we have written to our brother and fellow-bishop Peter that, if it is the case that the voices from the said place are heard in the church, the Jews must cease to worship there. Therefore let your Fraternity, with our above-named brother and fellow-bishop, diligently inspect this place, and if you find that there has been any annoyance to the church, provide another place within the fortress, where the aforesaid Hebrews may assemble, so that they may be able to celebrate their ceremonies without impediment 1313 . But let your Fraternity provide such a place, in case of their being deprived of this one, that there be no cause of complaint in future. But we forbid the aforesaid Hebrews to be oppressed or vexed unreasonably; but, p. 78b as they are permitted, in accordance with justice, to live under the protection of the Roman laws, let them keep their observances as they have learnt them, no one hindering them: yet let it not be allowed them to have Christian slaves.
For the result of this order, see below, Ep. 35. For other instances of Gregorys tolerant attitude towards Jews, and his deprecation of force being used for their conversion, see that Epistle, and also I. 47; IX. 6. But he is strict in prohibiting their possession of slaves who were already, or might become, Christians, and will allow them no compensation for the loss of such (cf. iii. 38; IV. 9, 21; IX. 109, 110).
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