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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book I, Letter 16

Book I, Letter 16

To Severus, Bishop of Aquileia.

Gregory to Severus, etc.

As, when one who walks through devious ways takes anew the right path, the Lord embraces him with all eagerness, so afterwards, when one deserts the way of truth, He is more saddened with grief for him than He rejoiced over him with joy when he turned from error; since it is a less degree of sin not to know the truth than not to abide in it when known: and what is committed in error is one thing, but what is perpetrated knowingly is another. And we, from having formerly rejoiced in your being incorporated in the unity of the Church, are now the more abundantly distressed for your dissociation from the Catholic society. Accordingly we desire you, at the instance of the bearer of these presents, according to the command of the most Christian and most serene Emperor, to come with your adherents to the threshold of the blessed Apostle Peter, that, a synod being assembled by the will of God, judgment may be passed concerning the doubt that is entertained among you.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 12. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360201016.htm>.

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