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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XII:
The Book of Pastoral Rule, and Selected Epistles, of Gregory the Great.: Epistle XXIV

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Epistle XXIV.

To Marinianus, Bishop.

Gregory to Marinianus, Bishop of Ravenna.

We have received by the deacon Virgilius p. 195b the letter of your Fraternity, in which you inform us that certain of the clergy and people have cried out that it is contrary to the laws and canons that the cause between your Church and the abbot Claudius should be examined and decided here.  But, had they paid attention to ecclesiastical order and to the persons between whom the case is pending, they would by all means have abstained from needless complaint; especially as the cause could not be pleaded there, where the aforesaid abbot has complained of having endured injustice from your predecessor and of still suffering from it.  For the objection might perhaps have been made if he had not appealed to a superior authority, and sought to have the rights of his case determined before it.  Nay, but dost thou not thyself know that the case which arose on the part of the presbyter John against John of Constantinople, our brother and fellow-bishop, came before the Apostolic See, and was decided by our sentence? 1646   If, then, a cause was brought under our cognizance from that city where the prince is, how much more should an affair between you have the truth about it ascertained and be terminated here?  But as for you, let not the words of foolish men there move you, and believe not that through us any detriment to your Church is caused.  For, if you will enquire of the servant of God Secundinus your deacon and of Castorius our notary, you will learn from them how your predecessor had already desired to arrange this case.  But your Fraternity has done wisely in sending persons hither for this business, and in not listening to vain words.  Now we trust in Almighty God that this cause may be terminated in a way well-pleasing to God, so that no room may be left for renewed complaint and that neither party may be aggrieved unjustly.  The sword 1647 which our most beloved son Peter, then deacon and guardian (defensor) in your parts, had left for us with your predecessor, please to send to us by the servant of God Secundinus, and Castorius the notary, the bearers of these presents.



See III. 53, note 9, and reff there.  It seems from what Gregory here says, that it was not in the East only, but also in Italy, at Ravenna, that the authority of the Roman See met with opposition, perhaps mainly on the ground of Ravenna having been an Imperial city, and being still the seat of the Exarch of Italy.  Cf. III. 57, note 4.


Spatam.  Cf. VI. 61, note 8.

Next: To Maximus of Salona.

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