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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.: To Dominicus, Bishop.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Epistle XXXV.

To Dominicus, Bishop.

Gregory to Dominicus, Bishop of Carthage.

Though we believe that thy Fraternity gives attention with pastoral vigilance to the care of monasteries, yet we think it necessary to inform you of what we have learnt about a monastery in the African province.  Now the abbot Cumquodeus, the bearer of these presents, complaints that, if at any time he wishes to restrain under regular discipline the monks over whom he presides, they at once leave the monastery, and are allowed to wander wherever they will.  Seeing, then, that this is both altogether pernicious to themselves and also sets an example of perdition to others, we exhort your Fraternity that, if it p. 228b is so, you should bring ecclesiastical censure to bear upon them, and withhold them by suitable punishment from such undoubted presumption; and that you should so bring them to obedience by salubrious provision, subduing their proud minds to the yoke of discipline, that correction may recall from guilt others whom their example might have provoked to similar transgression, and teach them to obey their superiors, as is fit.  But, since he tells us that stray monks are defended by some bishops, let your Fraternity give careful attention to this, and restrain them by your menaces in all ways from such defence.  The month of July, Indiction 15.

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