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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book IX, Letter 62

Book IX, Letter 62

To Romanus, Guardian (Defensorem).

Gregory to Romanus, etc.

It has come to our ears that the tonsuratores in Sicily, with wicked presumption, take to themselves the name of defensores, and that they not only are of no utility for the interests of the Church, but also take occasion hence to commit many irregularities. Consequently we enjoin your Experience by this present authority to enquire diligently into this. And, if you find any, besides those who have letters to empower them in such business , usurping henceforth this title, put a stop to this thing by strict correction. If, however, you should discover any who have proved themselves active and faithful in ecclesiastical affairs, you must send us a full and particular report of them, that we may judge whether they are worthy of a letter .

Furthermore, we desire you to make a thorough examination of the accounts of Fortunatus; and, when he has satisfied all the debts that appear against him, allow him no longer to have to do with the patrimony, or with any action of our Church, seeing that, as we have heard, he has conducted himself in such a manner that he ought not henceforth to have any communication with our people.

Furthermore, it has been reported to us that one Martianus, who has assumed to himself the name of a defensor, has declined to pay obedience to our brother and fellow bishop John, to whom we had committed the charge of our patrimony. Inquire therefore; and, if it is true, let him be sent into exile, that his disobedience to him from whose Church he has seized for himself a false title of honour, and who is promoting the interests of the same, may not go unpunished. But, if there are also any others disobedient to the orders of our said brother, you will by all means visit them with strict punishment.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360209062.htm>.

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