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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book IV, Letter 5

Book IV, Letter 5

To Boniface, Bishop.

Gregory to Boniface, Bishop of Regium (Reii).

It is a shame for priests to be admonished about matters of divine worship. For they are then to their disgrace required to do what they ought themselves to require to be done. Yet lest, as I do not suppose, your Fraternity should neglect in any respect the things that pertain to the work of God, we have thought fit to exhort you specially on this very head. We therefore admonish you that the clergy of the city of Regium be to no extent released by the indulgence of your Fraternity in duties demanded by their office. But in the things that pertain to God let them be most instantly and most earnestly compelled. We desire you also to study the reputation of the aforesaid clergy, that nothing bad, nothing that at all contravenes ecclesiastical discipline, be heard of them; seeing that it is to its adornment, not to foulness of deeds, that their office appertains. Further, we decree that what we determined in the case of the Sicilians be observed by your subdeacons ; nor may thou suffer this our decision to be infringed by the contumacy or temerity of any one whatever; that so, as we believe will be the case, all that has been said above being most strictly kept in force by you, you may neither prove a transgressor of our admonition, nor be accused as guilty of remissness in the order of pastoral rule which has been committed to 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/360204005.htm>.

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