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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book VI, Letter 3

Book VI, Letter 3

To Maximus of Salona.

Gregory to Maximus, pretender to the Church of Salona.

As often as anything is said to have been done contrary to ecclesiastical discipline, we dare not leave it unexamined, lest we should be guilty before God for connivance. Now it has come to our ears that you were ordained by means of simoniacal heresy. Nay and many other things have been said of you here, whereof there was one especially on account of which we held it needful to prohibit you urgently by letter from celebrating the solemnities of mass until we might ascertain the state of the case more certainly. Wherefore, lest the children of the Church should be too long without a shepherd, and lest, in case of these things which are said remaining unexamined, vice of this nature should extend itself to many, we exhort you to make haste to come to us, laying aside all excuses, to the end that with due regard to justice we may be able to gain knowledge of these things, and terminate them according to the canonical institutes, Christ showing us the way. But do thou so act that there be no more of these successive delays of your coming, lest your very absence point you out as the more obnoxious to these charges against you, and lest we should be thus compelled to pass in council a harder sentence on you, not only for your alleged crimes from which you evade purging yourself, but also for the fault of disobedience, to wit as one that is contumacious.

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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/360206003.htm>.

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