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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book III, Letter 30

Book III, Letter 30

To John, Subdeacon.

Gregory to John, etc.

Inasmuch as it is manifest that the Apostolic See is, by the ordering of God, set over all Churches, there is, among our manifold cares, special demand for our attention, when our decision is awaited with a view to the consecration of a bishop. Now on the death of Laurentius, bishop of the church of Mediolanum, the clergy reported to us that they had unanimously agreed in the election of our son Constantius, their deacon. But, their report not having been subscribed, it becomes necessary, that we may omit nothing in the way of caution, for you to proceed to Genua (Genoa), supported by the authority of this order. And, inasmuch as there are many Milanese at present there under stress of barbarian ferocity, you must call them together, and enquire into their wishes in common. And, if no diversity of opinion separates them from the unanimity of the election— that is to say, if you ascertain that the desire and consent of all continues in favour of our aforesaid son, Constantius,— then you are to cause him to be consecrated by his own bishops, as ancient usage requires, with the assent of our authority, and the help of the Lord; to the end that through the observance of such custom both the Apostolic See may retain the power belonging to it, and at the same time may not diminish the rights which it has conceded to others.

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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/360203030.htm>.

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