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To Romanus, Guardian (Defensorem).
Gregory to Romanus, etc.
It has come to our ears that certain men, having altogether too little discernment, desire us to become implicated in their risks, and wish to be so defended by ecclesiastical persons, that the ecclesiastical persons themselves may be bound by their guilt. Wherefore I admonish you by this present injunction, and through you our brother and fellow bishop, the lord John, or others whom it may concern, that with regard to ecclesiastical patronage of people (whether you should have received letters from me, or none should have been addressed to you), you should bestow it with such moderation that, if any have been implicated in public peculations, they may not appear to be unjustly defended by us, lest we should in any way transfer to ourselves, by venturing on indiscreet defense, the ill repute of evil doers: but so far as becomes the Church, by admonishing and applying the word of intercession, succour whom you can; so that you may both give them aid, and not stain the repute of holy Church.
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/360209027.htm>.
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