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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book II, Letter 20

Book II, Letter 20

To Antoninus, Subdeacon.

Gregory to Antoninus, etc.

Honoratus, archdeacon of the Church of Salona, had demanded from my predecessor of holy memory, in a petition that he sent, that he should by no means be forced by his bishop to be advanced against his will, in a way contrary to custom, to a higher order.

[Here follows an account of the subsequent proceedings, almost word for word the same as that given in Epistle XIX.]

Wherefore we have thought it right to support your Experience by the authority of this present order, that you may resort to Salona, and at least try by exhortation to induce Natalis, our brother and fellow bishop, who has been admonished by so many letters, to restore the above-mentioned Honoratus to his place immediately. But if, as has been his wont, he should contumaciously delay doing this, forbid him by authority of the Apostolic See the use of the pallium which has been granted him by this See. But if, even after loss of the pallium, you should find him persevering in the same pertinacity, you shall deprive the said bishop of participation in holy communion. Moreover, him who, against the rule of justice, has consented to be promoted to another man's place we order to be deposed from the dignity of the same archdeaconry. And, if he should presume to minister further in the same place, we deprive him of participation in holy communion. For it is right that he should find those severe in justice whom he sets at naught when approaching him in charity. Wherefore, when the archdeacon Honoratus has been restored to his place, let the aforesaid bishop, at your instigation, send to us a person with instructions, who may be able by his allegations to prove to us that the bishop's intention is or has been just.

[What follows corresponds exactly with the conclusion of Epistle XIX.]

As to our brother and fellow bishop Malchus , you will take care to make him find a surety, that he may come to us as soon as possible, to the end that, without any delay or loitering, he may render us an account of his proceedings, and so be able to return to his own with security.

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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/360202020.htm>.

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