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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book XIV, Letter 13

Book XIV, Letter 13

To Alcyson, Bishop of Corcyra .

Gregory to Alcyson, etc.

To brethren who bethink themselves and return to wholesome counsels kindness is not to be denied, lest a fault seem to weigh more in the minds of bishops than charity. We have therefore received, in the presence of your Love's responsales, Peter, reader of the Church of Euria, who came to us with letters from our brother and fellow bishop John, and, when the letters which he had brought had been read, we took care to ask him if he had anything to say against the allegation of those your responsales. And on his stating that he had been charged with nothing, and had no answer to make, beyond what the epistle of his bishop contained, we decreed without tardiness, under God, what was agreeable to the canons. After a long time, however, the above-written Peter produced a document which he asserted had been given him by his bishop; and so the case underwent delay. But inasmuch as in this document the above-mentioned bishop was found to say that he had hoped to have leave to deposit the holy and venerable body of the blessed Donatus in the church of the blessed John which is within the camp called that of Cassiopus, saying that he is prepared, on account of its being proved to be in your diocese, to give your Love a security that no prejudice to you should thence arise, we thought it right that his petition should not be left without effect, now that in a time of necessity he desires provision to be made for him in such a way as to secure his acknowledgment in all respects of the jurisdiction of your Church. Moved therefore by this reason, we exhort your Fraternity by this present letter, that, without any delay or excuse you afford opportunity for depositing the venerable body of the above-written Saint in the aforenamed Church of the blessed John; on condition only that he previously protect you by a security in writing that he will never on any plea whatever claim to himself any jurisdiction or privilege in the aforesaid Church or camp, as though he were the bishop of the place, but guard there inviolably all the right and power of your Church, the place being in your diocese. At the same time it becomes you also, as the same our brother has requested, to reply to him that whenever, peace being restored by the mercy of God, he may be at liberty to return to his own place, it shall be lawful for him to take away with him, without any objection made, the aforesaid venerable body. Herein, lest what is done should seem to be personal, and occasion should possibly be found for stirring up the contention anew, your successors also should be in all respects included in this promise to keep things as they are, to the end that through this preventional security neither may he in future presume to claim anything there in your diocese against equity and the decrees of the sacred canons, nor the rights of your Church ever in any manner sustain any prejudice from such concession.

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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/360214013.htm>.

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