Leo the Great: letters 1007
Leo to all the bishops set over the provinces of Italy greeting.
I. Many Manichaeans Have Been Discovered in Rome.
We call you to a share in our anxiety, that with the diligence of shepherds you may take more careful heed to your flocks entrusted to you that no craft of the devil’s be permitted: lest that p ague, which by the revealing mercy of the Lord is driven off from our flocks through our care, should spread among your churches before you are forewarned, and are still ignorant of what is happening, and should find means of stealthily burrowing into your midst, and thus what we are checking in the City should take hidden root among you and grow up. Our search has discovered in the City a great many followers and teachers of the Manichaean impiety, our watchfulness has proclaimed them, and our authority and censure has checked them: those whom we could reform we have corrected and driven to condemn Manichaeus with his preachings and teachings by public confession in church, and by the subscription of their own hand, and thus we have lifted those who have acknowledged their fault from the pit of their iniquity by granting them room for repentance1 . A good many, however, who had so deeply involved themselves that no remedy could assist them, have been subjected to the laws in accordance with the constitutions of our Christian princes, and lest they should pollute the holy flock by their contagion; have been banished into perpetual exile by public judges. And all the profaneand disgraceful things which are found as well in their writings as in their secret traditions, we have disclosed and clearly proved to the eyes of the Christian laity2 that the people might know what to shrink from or avoid: so that he that was called their bishop was himself tried by us, and betrayed the criminal views which he held in his mystic religion, as the record of our proceedings can show you. For this, too, we have sent you for instruction: and after reading them you will be in a position to understand all the discoveries we have made.
II. The Bishops of Italy Rarest Not Allow Those Manichaeans Who Have Quitted the City to Escape or Lie Concealed.
And because we know that a good many of those who are involved here in too close an accusation for them to clear themselves have escaped, we have sent this letter to you, beloved, by our acolyth: that your holiness, dear brothers, may be informed of this, and see fit to act with diligence and caution, lest the men of the Manichaean error be able to find opportunity of hurting your people and of teaching their impious doctrines. For we cannot otherwise rule those entrusted to us unless we pursue with the zeal of faith in the Lord those who are destroyers and destroyed: and with what severity we can bring to bear, cut them off from intercourse with sound minds, lest this pestilence spread much wider. Wherefore I exhort you, beloved, I beseech and warn you to use such watchful diligence as you ought and can employ in tracking them out, lest they find opportunity of concealment anywhere. For as he will have a due recompense of reward from God, who carries out what conduces to the health of the people committed to him; so before the Lord’s judgment-seat no one will be able to excuse himself from a charge of carelessness who has not been willing to guard his people against the propagators of an impious misbelief. Dated 30 January, in the consulship of the illustrious Theodosius Augustus (18th time) and Albinus (444).
1 Poenitentiam concedendo, i.e. we have not finally excommunicated them, but, dealing leniently, we have given them opportunity of reinstating themselves in the peace of the Church, by going through a due course of penance (satisfactio)). It is important to explain this clearly to those who in the present day, are ignorant of the strict discipline of the early Church. And are liable to forget that penance was then a valuable means to repentance.
(The Manichaeans are to be turned out of the army and the City, and to lose all their rights as citizens).
Leo, the bishop, to Dioscorus, bishop of Alexandria, greeting.
I. The Churches of Rome and Alexandria Should Be at One in Everything.
How much of the divine love we feel for you, beloved, you will be able to estimate from this, that we are anxious to establish your beginnings on a surer basis, lest anything should seem lacking to the perfection of your love, since your meritorious acts of spiritual grace, as we have proved, are already in your favour. Fatherly and brotherly conference, therefore, ought to be most grateful to you, holy brother, and received by you in thesame spirit as you know it is offered by us. For you and we ought to be at one in thought and act, so that as we read1 , in us also there may be proved to be one heart and one mind. For since the most blessed Peter received the headship of the Apostles from the Lord, and the church of Rome still abides by His institutions, it is wicked to believe that His holy disciple Mark, who was the first to govern the church of Alexandria2 , formed his decrees on a different line of tradition: seeing that without doubt both disciple and master drew but one Spirit from the same fount of grace, and the ordained could not hand on aught else than what he had received from his ordainer. We do not therefore allow it that we should differ in anything, since we confess ourselves to be of one body and faith, nor that the institutions of the teacher should seem different to those of the taught.
II. Fixed Days Should Be Observed for Ordaining Priests and Deacons.
That therefore which we know to have been very carefully observed by our fathers, we wish kept by you also, viz. that the ordination of priests or deacons should not be performed at random on any day: but after Saturday, the commencement of that night which precedes the dawn of the first day of the week should be chosen on which the sacred benediction should be bestowed on those who are to be consecrated, ordainer and ordained alike fasting. This observance will not be violated, if actually on the morningof the Lord’s day it be celebrated without breaking the Saturday fast: for the beginning of the preceding night forms part of that period, and undoubtedly belongs to the day of resurrection as is clearly laid down with regard to the feast of Easter3 . For besides the weight of custom which we know rests upon the Apostles’ teaching, Holy Writ also makes this clear, because when the Apostles sent Paul and Barnabas at the bidding of the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel to the nations, they laid hands on them fasting and praying: that we may know with what devoutness both giver and receiver must be on their guard lest so blessed a sacrament should seem to be carelessly performed. And therefore you will piously and laudably follow Apostolic precedents if you yourself also maintain this form of ordaining priests throughout the churches over which the Lord has called you to preside: viz. that those who are to be consecrated should never receive the blessing except on the day of the Lord’s resurrection, which iscommonly held to begin on the evening of Saturday, and which has been so often hallower in the mysterious dispensations of God that all the more notable institutions of the Lord were accomplished on that high day. On it the world took its beginning. On it through the resurrection of Christ death received its destruction, and life its commencement. On it the apostles take from the Lord’s hands the trumpet of the gospel which is to be preached to all nations, and receive the sacrament of regeneration4 which they are to bear to the whole world. On it, as blessed John the Evangelist bears witness when all the disciples were gathered together in one place, and when, the doors being shut, the Lord entered to them, He breathed on them and said: “Receive the Holy Ghost: whose sins ye have remitted they are remitted to them: and whose ye have retained, they shall be retained5 .” On it lastly the Holy Spirit that had been promised to the Apostles by the Lord came: and so we know it to have been suggested and handed down by a kind of heavenly rule, that on that day we ought to celebrate the mysteries of the blessing of priests on which all these gracious gifts were conferred.
III. The Repetition of the Holy Eucharist on the Great Festivals is Not Undesirable.
Again, that our usage may coincide at all points, we wish this thing also to be observed, viz. that when any of the greater festivals has brought together a larger congregation than usual, and too great a crowd of the faithful has assembled for one church6 to hold them all at once, there should be no hesitation about repeating the oblation of the sacrifice: lest, if those only are admitted to this service who come first, those who flock in afterwards, should seem to be rejected: for it is fully in accordance with piety and reason, that as often as a fresh congregation has filled the church where service is going on, the sacrifice should be offered as a matter of course. Whereas a certain portion of the people must be deprived of their worship, if the custom of only one celebration7 be kept, and only those who come early in the day can offer the sacrifice8 . We admonish you, therefore, beloved, earnestly and affectionately that your carefulness also should not neglect what has become a part of our own usage on the pattern of our fathers’ tradition, so that in all things we may agree together in our beliefs and in our performances. Consequently, we have given this letter to our son Possidonius, a presbyter, on his return, that he may bear it to you, brother; he has so often taken part in our ceremonials and ordinations, and has been sent to us so many times that he knows quite well what Apostolic authority we possess in all things.Dated 21June (? 445).
1 Sc. In Ac 4,32.
2 S. Mark, the evangelist and disciple of S. Peter, is the radional founder of the church of Alexandria.
3 That is to say, the weekly resurrection festival (Sunday) begins with the vespers of the preceding evening: this is notably the case in the yearly festival of Easter at least In Western use).
4 Sacramentum regenerationis: the reference in the first part of the sentence seems to be S. Mc 16,15, and here in the latter part to S. Matt. xxviii. 19, and both these records seem to refer to the same manifestation. S. Matthew says it was to “the eleven disciples”in Galilee, in “the mountain where Jesus had appointed them,” that He gave the command, if indeed vv. 16-20 of the xxviiith chapter form one continuous narrative. The author of S. Mc 16,9-20 says it was to the eleven “as they sat at meat.” Is it possible that Leo took anakeimenoi" to mean as they were partaking of the Holy Eucharist? if not, what countenance is there for his assertion of its being on the first day ot the week ?
5 Jn 20,22-23.
6 Basilica, q.v. in Smith’s Dict. Of Christian Antiquities.
8 It can hardly escape notice that the people here are distinctly said “to offer the sacrifice” in the person of their representative and mouthpiece, the priest. And this is the language and intention of all Liturgies (ancient and modern) of the Church.
To the beloved brothers, the whole body of bishops of the province of Vienne, Leo, bishop of Rome.
I. The Solidarity of the Church Built Upon the Rack of S. Peter Must Be Everywhere Maintained.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of mankind, instituted the observance of the Divine religion which He wished by the grace of God to shed its brightness upon all nations and all peoples in such a way that the Truth, which before was confined to the announcements of the Law and the Prophets, might through the Apostles’ trumpet blast go out for the salvation of all men2 , as it is written: “Their sound has gone out into every land,and their words into the ends of the world3 .” But this mysterious function4 the Lord wished to be indeed the concern of all the apostles, but in such a way that He has placed the principal charge on the blessed Peter, chief of all the Apostles5 : and from him as from the Head wishes His gifts to flow to all the body: so that any one who dares to secede from Peter’s solid rock may understand that he has no part or lot in the divine mystery. For He wished him who had been received into partnership in His undivided unity to be named what He Himself was, when He said: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church6 :” that the building of the eternal temple by the wondrous gift of God’s grace might rest on Peter’s solid rock: strengthening His Church so surely that neither could human rashness assail it nor the gates of hell prevail against it. But this most holy firmness of the rock, reared, as we have said, by the building hand of God, a man must wish to destroy in over-weaning wickedness when he tries to break down its power, by favouring his own desires, and not following what he received from men of old: for he believes himself subject to no law, and held in check by no rules of God’s ordinances and breaks away, in his eagerness for novelty, from your use and ours, by adopting illegal practices, and letting what he ought to keep fall into abeyance.
II. Hilary is Disturbing the Peace of the Church by His Insubordination.
But with the approval, as we believe, of God, and retaining towards you the fulness of our love which the Apostolic See always, as you remember, expends upon you, holy brethren we are striving to correct these things by mature counsel, and to share with you the task of setting your churches in order, not by innovations but by restoration of the old; that we may persevere in the accustomed state which our fathers handed down to us, and please our God through the ministry of a good work by removing the scandals of disturbances. And so we would have you recollect, brethren, as we do, that the Apostolic See, such is the reverence in which it is held, has times out of number been referred to and consulted by the priests of your province as well as others, and in the various matters of appeal, as the old usage demanded, it has reversed or confirmed decisions: and in this way “the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace7 ” has been kept, and by the interchange of letters, our honourable proceedings have promoted a lasting affection: for “seeking not our own but the things of Christ8 ,” we have been careful not to do despite to the dignity which God has given both to the churches and their priests. But this path which with our fathers has been always so well kept to and wisely maintained, Hilary has quilted, and is likely to disturb the position and agreement of the priests by his novel arrogance: desiring to subject you to his power in such a way as not to suffer himself to be subject to the blessed Apostle Peter, claiming for himself the ordinations of all the churches throughout the provinces of Gaul, and transferring to himself the dignity which is due to metropolitan priests; he diminishes even the reverence that is paid to the blessed Peter himself with his proud words: for not only was the power of loosing and binding given to Peter before the others, but also to Peter more especially was entrusted the care of feeding the sheep9 . Yet any one who holds that the headship must be denied to Peter, cannot really diminish his dignity: but is puffed up with the breath of his pride, and plunges himself into the lowest depth.
III. Celidonius Has Been Restored to His Bishopric, the Charges Against Him Having Been Found False.
Accordingly the written record of our proceedings shows what action we have taken in the matter of Celidonius10 , the bishop, andwhat Hilary said in the presence and hearing of the aforesaid bishop. For when Hilary had no reasonable answer to give in the council of the holy priests, “the secrets of his heart11 ” gave vent to utterances such as no layman could make and no priest listen to. We were grieved, I acknowledge, brothers, and endeavoured to appease the tumult of his mind by patient treatment. For we did not wish to exasperate those wounds which he was inflicting on his soul by his insolent retorts, and strove rather to pacify him whom we had taken up as a brother, although it was he who was entangling himself by his replies, than to cause him pain by our remarks. Celidonius, the bishop, was therefore acquitted, for he had proved himself wrongfully deposed from the priesthood, by the clear replies of his witnesses made in his own presence: so that Hilary, who remained with us, had no opposition to offer. The judgment, therefore, was rescinded, which was brought forward and read to the effect that, as the husband of a widow12 , he could not hold the priesthood. Now this rule we, maintaining the legal constitutions13 , have wished scrupulously adhered to, not only in respect of priests but also of clergy of the lower ranks: that those who have contracted such a marriage, or those who are proved not to be the husbands of only one wife contrary to the apostle’s discipline, should not be suffered to enter the sacred service14 . But though we decree that those, whom their own acts condemn, must either not be admitted at all, or, if they have, must be removed, so those who are falsely so accused we are bound to clear after examination held, and not allow to lose their office. For the sentence pronounced would have remained against him, if the truth of the charge had been proved. And so Celidonius, our fellow-bishop, was restored to his church and to that dignity which he ought not to have lost, as the course of our proceedings, and the sentence which was pronounced by us after holding the inquiry testifies.
IV. Hilary’s Treatment of Projectus Does Not Redound to His Credit.
When this business was so concluded, the complaint of our brother and fellow-bishop, Projectus15 , next came before us: who addressed us in a tearful and piteous letter, about the ordaining of a bishop over his head. A letter was also brought to us from his own fellow-citizens, corroborated by a great many individual signatures, and full of the most unpleasant complaints against Hilary: to the effect that Projectus, their bishop, was not allowed to be ill, but his priesthood had been transferred to another without their knowledge, and the heir brought into possession by Hilary, the intruder as if to fill up a vacancy, though the possessor was still alive16 . We should like to hear what you, brothers, think on the point: although we ought not to entertain any doubt about your feelings, when you picture to yourselves a brother lying on a sick-bed and tortured, not so much by his bodily weakness as by pains of another kind. What hope in life is left a man who is visited with despair about his priesthood whilst another is set up in his place? Hilary gives a clear proof of his gentle heart when he believed that the tardiness of a brother’s death is but a hindrance to his own ambitious designs. For, as far as in him lay, he quenched the light for him; he robbed him of life by setting up another in his room, and thus causing him such pain as to hinder his recovery. And supposing that his brother’s passage from this world was brief, but after the common course of men, what does Hilary seek for himself in another’s province, and why does he claim that which none of his predecessors before Patroclus possessed? whereas that very position which seemed to have been temporarily granted to Patroclus by the Apostolic See was afterwards withdrawn by a wiser decision17 . At least the wishes of the citizens should have been waited for, and the testimony of the people18 : the opinion of those held in honour should have been asked, and the choice of the clergy—things which those who know the rules of the fathers are wont to observe in the ordination of priests: that the rule of the Apostle’s authority might in all things be kept, which enjoins that one who is to be the priest of a church should be fortified, not only by theattestation of the faithful but also by the testimony of “those who are without19 ,” and that no occasion for offence be left, when, in peace and in God-pleasing harmony with the full approval of all, one who will be a teacher of peace is ordained.
V. Hilary’s Action Was Very Reprehensible Throughout, and We Have Restored Projectus.
But Hilary came upon them unawares and departed no less suddenly, accomplishing many journeys with great speed, as we have ascertained, and traversing distant provinces with such haste that he seems to have coveted a reputation for the swiftness of a courier rather than for the sobriety of a priest20 . For these are the words of the citizens in the letter that has been addressed to us:—“He departed before we knew he had come.” This is not to return but to flee, not to exercise a shepherd’s wholesome care, but to employ the violence of a thief and a robber, as saith the Lord: “he that entereth not by the door into the sheep-fold21 , but climbeth up some other way, is a thief and a robber.” Hilary, therefore, was anxious not so much to consecrate a bishop as to kill him who was sick, and to mislead the man whom he set over his head by wrongful ordination. We, however, have done what, as God is our Judge, we believe you will approve: after holding counsel with all the brethren we have decreed that the wrongfully ordained man should be deposed and the Bishop Projectus abide in his priesthood: with the further provision that when any of our brethren in whatsoever province shall decease, he who has been agreed upon to be metropolitan of that province shall claim for himself the ordination of his successor.
These two matters, as we see, have been settled, though there are many other points in them which seem to have violated the principles of the Church, and ought to be visited with just censure and judgment. But we cannot linger on them any further, for we are called off to other matters on which we must carefully confer with you, holy brethren).
VI. Hilary’s Practice of Using Armed Violence Must Be Suppressed.
A band of soldiers, as we have learnt follows the priest through the provinces and helps him who relies upon their armed support in turbulently invading churches, which have lost their own priests. Before this court22 are dragged for ordination men who are quite unknown to the cities over which they are to be set. For as one who is well known and approved is sought out in peace, so must one who is unknown, when brought forward, beestablished by violence. I beg and entreat and beseech you in God’s name prevent such things, brethren, and remove all occasion for discord from your provinces. At all events we acquit ourselves before God in beseeching you not to allow this to proceed further. In peace and quietness should they be asked for who are to be priests. The consent of the clergy, the testimony of those held in honour the approval of the orders and the laity should be required23 . He who is to govern all, should be chosen by all24 . As we said before, each metropolitan should keep in his own hands the ordinations that occur in his own province, acting in concert with those who precede the rest in seniority of priesthood, a privilege restored to him through us. No man should claim for himself another’s rights. Each should keep within his own limits and boundaries, and should understand that he cannot pass on to another a privilege that belongs to himself. But if any one neglecting the Apostle’s prohibitions and paying too much heed to personal favour, wishes to give up his precedence, thinking he can pass his rights on to another, not he to whom he has yielded, but he who ranks before the rest of the priests within the province in episcopal seniority, should claim to himself the power of ordaining. The ordination should be performed not at random but on the proper day: and it should be known that any one who has not been ordained on the evening of Saturday, which precedes the dawn of the first day of the week25 , or actually on the Lord’s day cannot be sure of his status. For our forefathers judged the day of the Lord’s resurrection26 as aloneworthy of the honour of being the occasion on which those who are to be made priests are given to God.
VII. Hilary is Deposed Not Only from His Usurped Jurisdiction, But Also from What of Right Belongs to Him, and is Restricted to His Own Single Bishopric.
Let each province be content with its own councils. and let not Hilary dare to summon synodal meetings besides, and by his interference disturb the judgments of the Lord’s priests. And let him know that he is not only deposed from another’s rights, but also deprived of his power over the province of Vienne which he had wrongfully assumed. For it is but fair, brethren, that the ordinances of antiquity should be restored, seeing that he who claimed for himself the ordinations of a province for which he was not responsible, has been shown in a similar way in the present case also to have acted so that, as he has on more than one occasion brought on himself sentence of condemnation by hisrash and insolent words, he may now be kept by our command in accordance with the clemency of the Apostolic See27 to the priesthood of his own city alone. He is not to be present then at any ordination: he is not to ordain because, conscious of his deserts, when he was required to answer for his action, be trusted to make good his escape by disgraceful flight, and has put himself out of Apostolic communion, of which he did not deserve to be a partaker28 : and we believe this was by God’s providence, who brought him to our court, though we did not expect him, and caused him to retire by stealth in the midst of holding the inquiry, that he should not be a partner in our communion29 .
VIII. Excommunication Should Be Inflicted Only on Those Who are Guilty of Some Great Crime, and Even Then Not Hastily.
No Christian should lightly be denied communion30 , nor should that be done at the will of an angry priest which the judge’s mind ought to a certain extent unwillingly and regretfully to carry out for the punishment of a great crime. For we have ascertained that some have been cut off from the grace of communion for trivial deeds and words, and that the soul for which Christ’s blood was shed has been exposed to the devil’s attacks and wounded, disarmed, so to say, and stript of all defence by the infliction of so savage a punishment as to fall an easy prey to him. Of course if ever a case has arisen of such a kind as in due proportion to the nature of the crime committed to deprive a man of communion, he only who is involved in the accusation must be subjected to punishment: and he who is not shown to be a partner in its commission ought not to share in the penalty. But what wonder that one who is wont to exult over the condemnation of priests, should show himself in the same light towards laymen.
IX. Leontius is Appointed in Hilary’s Room.
Wherefore, because our desire seems very different to this (for we are anxious that the settled state of all the Churches and the harmony of the priests should be maintained,) exhorting you to unity in the bond of love, we both entreat, and consistently with our affection admonish you, in the interests of your peace and dignity, to keep what has been decreed by us at the inspiration of God and the most blessed Apostle Peter, after sifting and testing all the matters at issue, being assured that what we are known to have decided in this way is not so much to our own advantage as to yours. For we are not keeping in our own hands the ordinations of your provinces, as perhaps Hilary, with his usual untruthfulness, may suggest in order to mislead your minds, holy brethren: but in our anxiety we are claiming for you that no further innovations should be allowed, and that for the future no opportunity should be given for the usurper to infringe your privileges. For we acknowledge that it can only redound to our credit, if the diligence of the Apostolic See be kept unimpaired among you, and if in our maintenance of Apostolic discipline we do not allow what belongs to your position to fall to the ground through unscrupulous aggressions. And since seniority is always to be respected, we wish Leontius31 , our brother and fellow-bishop, a priest well approved among you, to be promoted to this dignity, if it please you that without his consent no further council be summoned by you, holy brethren, and that he may be honoured by you all as his age and good fame demands, the metropolitans being secured in their own dignity and rights. For it is but fair, and no injury seems to accrue to any of the brethren, if those who come first in seniority of the priesthood should, as their age deserves, have deference paid to them by the rest of the priests in their own provinces, God keep you safe, beloved brethren.
1 Cf. Introduction p. vi.
2 Per Apostolicam tubam in salutem universitatis (Gk). thsoikoumenh" ) exiret, cf. Letter IX. Chap. Ii). Apostoli a Domino proedicandi omnibus gentibus evangelii tubam sumunt.
3 Ps 19,4,
4 Huius muneris sacramentum, his mind is running forward to his favourite sacramentum, that of Peter as the rock-man of the Church.
5 Cf. Letter XXVIII. Chap. 5,a principali petra (B. Petrus), soliditatem et virtutis traxit et nominis, etc. . . also Cyprian de unit. eccl. chapt. iv.
6 Mt 16,18.
7 Ep 4,3,
8 Ph 2,21,
9 Cui cum proe (Quesnel conj. Pro) coeteris solvendi et ligandi tradita sit potestas, pascendarum tamen ovium cura specialius mandata est. Cf. Jn 21,15-17.
10 Celidonius was probable either bishop of Vienne or of Vesontis (Besancon): see Perthel, p. 25.
11 Quesnel well refers this phrase to 1 Cor. 14,25.
12 Cf. Letter IV. Chap. iii.
13 Servantes legalia constituta,these are taken to be not so much the canons of the Church as the provisions of the Mosaic Law, e.g. Lv 21,14 Ez 44,22.
14 Militiam (lit. military service)).
15 Projectus was perhaps a bishop of the province of Gallia Narbonensis I.:Perthel, p. 27.
16 Quod Projecto episcopo suo oegrotare liberum non fuisset, eiusque sacerdotium in alium proeter suam notitiam esse translatum, et tamquam in vacuam possessionem ab Hilario pervasore hoeredem viventis inductum.the construction is changed from quod....fuisset, to the ordinary accus. And infin.
17 Patroclus had been Bishop of Arles circa. 416, and the then Bishop of Rome, Zosimus, had granted him metropolitan rights over the provinces of S. E. Gaul which did not gain the acceptance of the other chief bishops in the district, and Boniface I. (Ep 12) in 422. seems to have withdrawn the rights granted by Zosimus (Schaff, 1 p 297).
18 Civium : populorum.The former are apparently called lower down fidelium, and the latter, qui foris sunt.
19 1Tm 3,7,
20 Gloriam de scurrili velocitate potius quam de sacerdotali moderatione captasse.
21 In Cortem ovium: the low Latin word (cors) is in the Vulgate changed to ovile.
22 Ante hoc officium.
23 Cf. Cypr. Ep. Lv. Cap. Vii., factus est Cornelius episcopus de Dei et Christi eins iudicio, de clericorum poene omnium testimonio, de plebis, quoe tunc adfuit, suffragio et sacerdotum antiquorum et bonorum virorum collegio.
24 Quesnel appositely quotes Pliny (Paneg. Traiani) imperaturus omnibus eligi debet ex omnibus.
25 Quod lucescit in prima sabbati; the phrase is repeated from Letter IX., chap. Ii., to which refer to the whole passage.
26 Viz., Sunday.
27 Pro apostolicoe sedis pietate, or "as loyalty to the Apostolic See demands."
28 This does not mean that Hilary is excommunicated, but that he is to have no share in episcopal privileges as a successor of the apostles.
29 These words of course refer to Hilary’s journey on foot to Rome, and his subsequent escape from something very much like prison: see Introduction, p. 6,for his degradation, cf. Letter XII.. chap ix., where a similar punishment is enacted.
30 Here, no doubt, excommunication pure and simple is meant. Cf. note 4, supr.
31 Leontius seems to have had little but his age to recommend him for this promotion: the name of his bishopric is unknown, and the weakness of the appointment may, I think, be gathered from Leo’s insisting so strongly on the principle of seniority both here and in chap vi. Above).
Leo the Great: letters 1007