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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book II, Letter 34

Book II, Letter 34

To Maximianus, Bishop of Syracuse.

Gregory to Maximianus, etc.

I remember to have often admonished you to be by no means hasty in passing sentence. And lo, I have now learned that your Fraternity in a fit of anger has excommunicated the most reverend abbot Eusebius. Now I am much astonished that neither his former conversation, nor his advanced age, nor his long-continued sickness, could turn your mind from wrath. For, whatever his transgression may have been, the very affliction of sickness ought to have sufficed as a scourge for him. For to one crushed by divine discipline it was superfluous to add human scourges. But perhaps you have been allowed to exceed in the case of such a person, in order that you might become more cautious in the case of others of less account, and ponder long when you are disposed to smite any one through a sentence. Yet still comfort this same man with a sweetness proportionate to the fury with which you have exasperated him, since it is very unjust that the very persons who have loved you most should find you without cause most bitter against themselves.

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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/360202034.htm>.

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