S. Gregory I, letters 20177
20177 Gregory to all the Bishops of Numidia.
If ever, most dear brethren in Christ, a troublesome mixture of tares intrudes itself among green corn, it is necessary for the hand of the husbandman to root it up entirely, lest the future fruit of the fertile corn should be obstructed. Wherefore let us too, who, however unworthy, have undertaken the cultivation of the field of the Lord, hasten to render the corn pure from all offence of tares, that the field of the Lord may fructify with more abundant increase. Now you requested through Hilarus our chartulary93 from our predecessor of blessed memory that you might retain all the customs of past time, which, from the beginnings of the ordinances of the blessed Peter, Prince of the apostles, long antiquity has so far retained. And we, indeed, according to the tenour of your representation, allow your custom (so long as it clearly makes no claim to the prejudice of the catholic faith)to remain undisturbed, whether as to constituting primates or as to other points; save that with respect to those who attain to the episcopate from among the Donatists, we by all means forbid them to be advanced to the dignity of primacy, even though their standing should denote them for that position94 . But let it suffice them to take care of the people committed to them, without aiming at the topmost place of the primacy in preference to those prelates whom the Catholic faith hath both taught and engendered in the bosom of the Church. Do you, therefore, most dear brethren, anticipate our admonitions in the zeal of the charity of theLord, knowing that the strict Judge will bring into examination all we do, and will approve every one of us with regard not to the prerogative of a higher rank, but to the merits of our works. I beseech you, therefore, love ye one another mutually, having peace among yourselves in Christ, and with one purpose of heart oppose ye heretics and enemies of the Church. Be ye solicitous for the souls of your neighbours: persuade all ye can to faith by the preaching of charity, holding before them also the terror of the future judgment; inasmuch as ye are appointed to be shepherds, and the Lord of the docks expects from the shepherds to whom He has committed them the fruit of a multiplied flock. And if He should foresee an augmentation of His own flock through your bestowal of more diligent care upon it, He will assuredly adorn you with manifold gifts of the heavenly kingdom. Furthermore, addressing to you the greeting of fraternal love, I pray the Lord that He would make you, whom He has chosen to be shepherds of souls, worthy in His sight, and Himself so order our deeds here that He may accept them as they deserve in the future life.
93 “Chartularius. Qui chartas tractant, qui chartis deserviunt.... Dignitas ecclesiastica etiam u fuit.” Du Cange. This Hilary is commended to Gennadius the Exarch of Africa, I. 75, and again mentioned as Gregory’s Chartulary in Africa, II. 48: X. 37; XII. 28, 29.
94 See I. 74, note 9.
20178 Gregory to Leo, &c.
Our pastoral charge constrains us to come with anxious consideration to the succour of a church that is destitute of the control of a priest95 . And, inasmuch as we have learnt that the church of Saona for many years, since the death of its pontiff, has been thus entirely destitute, we have thought it needful to enjoin on thy Fraternity the work of visiting it, to the end that through thy ordering its welfare may be promoted. In this church also and in its parishes we grant thee licence to ordain deacons and presbyters; concerning whom, however, let it be thy care to make diligent enquiry, that they be not personally in any respect such as are rejected by the sacred canons. But whomsoever thy Fraternityhas perceived to be worthy of so great a ministry, having ascertained that their manners and actions fit them for ordination, them, by permission of our authority, thou mayest freely promote to the aforesaid office. We desire thee, therefore, to make use of all the property of the above named church as though thou wert its proper pontiff, until we write to thee again. Be, then, so diligent and careful in all these matters that through thy ordering all things may, with the help of God, be salubriously arranged to the Church’s profit.
95 Sacerdotis. The term includes bishops as well as presbyters, and is used in this and the two following Epistles, as usually elsewhere by Gregory, to denote the former in distinction from the latter. The occasion of this And the two following Epistls will be seen to be as follows. The See of Saona in Corsica had been for some time vacant. It rested with the clergy and nobles of the island ( See above, Ep. LXXX)., to elect a new bishop; but they had failed to do so; and consequently Gregory remedied their neglect by himself filling up the vacancy. His right to do so would not be questioned there, Corsica as well as Sicily being among the Suburbicarian provinces which were under the acknowledged patriarchal jurisdiction of the See of Rome. Meanwhile he also commissioned Leo, the bishop of a neighbouring See (to whom this letter is addressed), to make a vistitation of the Church of Saona, and exercise episcopal authority there, till the new bishop should take possession. There are several other Epistles, not included in this translation, appointing visitors of various churches.
20179 Gregory to Martinus, &c.
To those who ask for what is just it behoves us to lend a kindly ear, to the end both that the petitioners may find the remedies they hope for, and that the anxious care of a shepherd be not wanting to the Church. And inasmuch as the church of Tanates, in which thy Fraternity was formerly adorned with sacerdotal dignity, has for its sins been so taken possession of and ruined by hostile savagery that no further hope remains of thy returning thither, we appoint thee, by authority of these presen’s, undisputed cardinal priest96 in the Church of Saona, which has now been long deprived of the aid of a pontiff. Do thou therefore so arrange and order all things according to the injunctions of the canons with vigilant care in the love of God, that both thy Fraternity may rejoice in having attained thy desires, and the Church of God may be filled with answering joy for having received thee as Cardinal pontiff.
96 Cardinal bishops, presbyters, or deacons, meant formerly such as were regularly instituted and attached to some particular see, parish, or church, which, constituted their title (titulas). They were then said to be incardinati, the act of so instituting them being called incardinatio. Cf. II. 37; XIV. 7.
20180 Gregory to the Clergy, &c. . . . A paribus97 .Although for a long time it has caused you no sorrow that the Church of God should be without a pontiff, yet as for us, we are both compelled by the charge of the office we bear and bound especially by the charity of our love for you, to take thought for its government, knowing that in its supervision lies at the same time advantage to your souls. For, if the care of a shepherd be wanting to a flock, it easily falls into the snares of the lier in wait. Accordingly, inasmuch as the church of Saona has long been deprived of the aid of a priest, we have held it necessary to constitute Martinus, our brother and fellow-bishop, cardinal priest of the same98 , but to enjoin on Leo our brother and fellow-bishop the work of its visitation. To the latter we have also granted licence to ordain presbyters and deacons in it and in its parishes, and have permitted him to make use of its property so long as be shall be there, as though he were its proper pontiff. And so we admonish you by these present writings that your Charity receive the aforesaid visitor with all devotion, and shew him obedience in whatever is reasonable, as becomes sons of the Church, to the end that, supported by your devotion, he may be able to accomplish all that is found to conduce to the advantage of the above-named church).
97 See I, 25, note 8.
98 See note under Ep. LXXIX.
20203 Gregory to Velox, &c.
We informed your Glory some time ago that soldiers had been prepared to come to your parts; but, inasmuch as your letter had signified to us that the enemy were collected and were marching hitherward, we for this reason have detained them here. But now it appears to be advantageous that a certain number of soldiers should be sent to you, whom let thy Glory be careful to admonish and exhort to be prepared for toil. And, when you find an opportunity, confer with our glorious sons Maurilius and Vitalianus, and do whatever, with the help of God, they may appoint you to do for the advantage of the republic. And, should you ascertain that the unspeakable Ariulph1 is making an incursion hitherward or to the parts about Ravenna, do you labour in his rear, as becomes brave men, to the end that your renown may by God’s help advance still more in the republic from the quality of your labour. This, however, before all, we admonish you to do: to release without any delay or excuse the family of Maloin and Adobin, Vigild and Grussing2 , who are known to be with the glorious Magister militum Maurilius, to the end that the men of the aforesaid Maurilius, when they come to your parts, may without any impediment march along with them.
[In Colbert. and Paul. diac., Die. V. Kal. Oct. Indict. 10.]
1 Ariulph was the Lombard Duke of Spoletum, one of the principal cities in Italy occupied by the Lombards. For further reference to him cf. II. 29, 30, 46; IX. 98. He was at this time preparing, and suspected by Gregory of such intention, for an attack on Rome. Cf). Prologom. Velox (to whom this letter is addressed), and Maurilius and Vitalian (alluded to in it, are addressed in Epp. 29, 30), were Roman Generals (magistri militum) in command of imperial forces: but where they were is not apparent. From an allusion to Suana (or Soana) as within reach of the last two they may be supposed to have been somewhere in Tuscia.
2 Apparently a familia of slaves belonging to Velox, but at this time with Maurilius.
20206 Gregory to the clergy, nobles, gentry, and commonalty3 dwelling at Naples.
Although the sincere devotion of spiritual sons in behalf of their mother Church needs no exhortation, nevertheless, it ought to be stirred up by letter, lest it should suppose itself slighted. On this account I approach your love with an admonition of paternal charity, that with many tears and with one accord we may render thanks to our Redeemer, who has not suffered you to walk along pathless ways under so perverse a teacher, but has made publicly known the crimes of your unworthy pastor. For Demetrius, to wit, who even before had not deserved to be called a bishop, has been found to be involved in transactions to such an extent and of such a kind that, if he had received judgment without mercy according to the character of his deeds, he would undoubtedly have been condemned to a most hard death by both divine and human laws. But since, being reserved for penance, he has been deprived of the dignity of the priesthood, we cannot suffer the Church of God to remain long without a teacher, since it is laid down by canonical rules that, on the death or removal of a pastor, the church should not be long deprived of the priesthood 4 . Wherefore, I have thought it necessary to admonish your Charity by this present writing that neither delay nor the discord which has been wont to generate scandals ensue to hinder your election of a pontiff. But seek you out with all care such a person as all by common consent may rejoice in, and as is in no respect rejected by the sacred canons; to the end that the office which the most wicked of men had polluted by his evil administration may be worthily filled and administered by him, whoever he may be, who, by the grace of Christ, and with His approval, shall be ordained).
3 Clero, nobilibus, ordini et plebi. Ordo seems to denote persons of official or other rank, above the commonalty, but below, the nobility. In some cases the corresponding address is to clero, ordini et plebi (as in I. 81; V. 26); in others to clero et nobilibus only. All such expressions shew that the election of bishops rested with the members, laity as well as clergy, of each church, though the bishop of Rome, wherever his jurisdiction extended reserved to himself the power of approving or disallowing the election. In the election at Naples, referred to in this Epistle, there appears to have been a difficulty in arriving at an unanimous choice. Other Epistles referring to the case are II. 9, 10, 15, 26; III 35. From the last of these it appears how it was eveentually settled. See especially note 6 under II. 9.
4 Sacerdotii; meaning here episcopacy. See I. 78, note 2.
Gregory to Maximianus, &c.
We execute more efficiently our heavenly commission, if we share our burdens with our brethren. For this cause we appoint thee, our most reverend brother and fellow-bishop, to have administration over all the churches of Sicily in the name of the Apostolical See, so that whosoever there is reckoned as being in a condition of religion may by our authority be subject to thy Fraternity, to the end that it may not hereafter be necessary for them to make such long sea-voyages in resorting to us for slight causes. But if by any chance there are matters of difficulty which can by no means be settled by the judgment of thy Fraternity, in these only let our judgment be solicited, that so we may occupy ourselves more efficaciously in greater causes, being relieved from the least. And be it understood that we give this delegation of authority, not to thy place, but to thy person, because we have learnt from thy past life what we may presume of thee in thy future conduct.
The month of December, the tenth Indiction.
20209 Gregory to the gentry and commonalty (ordini et plebi) residing at Naples.
The communication you have addressed to us has made manifest what your opinion is of our brother and fellow-bishop Paulus6 : and we congratulate you in that your experience of him for a few days has been such that you desire to have him as your cardinal bishop 7 . But, since in matters of supreme importance there ought to be no hasty decision, so we, Christ helping us, will arrange after mature deliberation what is to be done hereafter, his character meanwhile, in course of time, having become better known to you.
Wherefore, most beloved sons, obey ye the aforesaid man, if you truly love him, and with devoted minds meet his wishes in peaceful concurrence, to the end that the affection of your mutual charity may so bind you to eachother, that the enemy who flies about you raging may find no way through any of you for creeping in to break up your unanimity. Further, when we shall have perceived the aforesaid bishop offering to God the fruit of souls which we long for, God Himself also approving, we will do afterwards whatever divine inspiration may suggest to our heart, with regard to his person and to your desire.
5 Maximianus had been a monk, and for a time abbot, in Gregory’s monastery of St. Andrew at Rome, had accompanied him to Constantinople, and been recommended by him soon after his own accession, and elected Bishop of Syracuse (Joan. Diac. Vit. S. Greg.ii. 11, 12). He was highly esteemed by Gregory, and mentioned in His Dialogues as having been miraculously delivered from shipwreck on his return from Constantinople to Rome (Dialog. 3,36. Cf). Hom. 34 in Evang)..His appointment now as delegate of the Roman See in Sicily would relieve Peter the subdeacon of his temporary jurisdiction over the ecclesiastics there. Maximianus died in November,a.d.594. See V. 17, 22. It is to be observed that the general authority now given to Maximianus was granted to him personally, and not permanently to the See of Syracuse.
6 (He was bishop of Nepe, which as well as Naples, was in the urbicarien province of Rome. The filling up of the See of Naples appears to have been a cause of great anxiety to Gregory, probably because of the party feeling prevailing in the city. In his first letter to the Neapolitans (supra Ep 6), he had contemplated the speedy election of a new bishop in the usual way; but it appears from this Epistle that he had seen reason to defer such election, sending meanwhile Paulus of Nepe to administer the See. Some at least in Naples appear to have wished this Paulus to be elected soon after his arrival among them; but this Gregory would not allow till he could see better how things were going. Such provisional arrangement continued, it seems, for more than a year, another bishop having been commissioned to supply Paul’s place in his own Church of Nepe against the Easter festival (II. 26). That Gregory’s fear of opposition to Paul were justified appears from the subsequent mention of a violent attack made on him by a party opposed to him at Naples (III. 1). He meanwhile, not liking his position, had already been anxious to return to his own see (II. 15), but had not been allowed. When he went at last, it seems that an election had taken place, but had proved futile from the person chosen having refused to be ordained (III. 15). Eventually the election had taken place, by Gregory’s direction, not at Naples, but at Rome (III. 35), one Fortunatus being chosen (III. 61). The whole history of the case illustrates the troubles incident to popular election of bishops at that time, especially in great cities.
7 See I. 79, note 5.
20210 Gregory to Paulus, &c.
If we administer safely the priestly office which we have received, without doubt both Divine assistance and the affection of our spiritual sons will not be wanting to us. Wherefore let thy Fraternity take care to shew thyself in all things such that the testimony which the clergy, the nobility, and all the people together, of the city of Naples bears to thee may be strengthened by the increase of thy goodness. Thou oughtest, then, so to bind thyself to continual employment in exhorting the aforesaid people that the Divine husbandman may store in his garners the fruit of thy word, which thou shalt have gathered from them by thy labours. But till such time as we shall be able, God revealing to us His will, to deliberate concerning the things which our aforesaid sons request us should be done, we grant leave for clerics to be ordained from the ranks of the laity, and also for manumissions to be solemnly celebrated before thee in the same church. Moreover we desire thee to observe without hesitation the customs of the clerical order and of the pres- byters of the above-named church: and do thou also keep such diligent watch in the instruction of the same, that, abstaining from all that is unsuitable or unlawful, they may stand fast, under thy exhortations, ministering with due obedience, in the service of our God. The month of January, the tenth Indiction.
Gregory to Castorius, &c.
The illustrious lady Timothea has intimated to US by a petitionary notification, as is set forth below, that she has founded an oratory within the city of Ariminum in a place belonging to her, which she desires to have consecrated in honour of the holy cross. And, accordingly, dearest brother, if the said construction is in the jurisdiction of thy city, and if it is known that no body has been buried there, then, after reception in the first place of a legitimate endowment. that is, of two-thirds of her whole property (excepting slaves), of her movables and fixtures and live stock, the usufruct being reserved to her for her life, and such endowment having been secured by municipal deeds, thou wilt solemnly consecrate the aforesaid oratory without any public mass, on the condition that no baptistery shall be constructed in the same place in future times, and that thou appoint not a cardinal presbyter9 . And if perchance she should prefer having masses said there, let her know that she must ask thy Love for a presbyter, to the end nothing else may be presumed by any other priest whatever. Further, thou wilt reverently deposit the holy things10 she has provided.
8 Though called here Episcopus Neapolitanus, it is apparent from this and other Epistles that he was as yet only the episcopa visitor, not the regular, or cardinal, bishop of Naples).
9 See I. 79, note 5.
10 Sanctuaria, meaning apparently relics, the deposition of which usually accompanied the consecration of holy places.
20215 Gregory to Paul, &c.
I appointed thy Fraternity to preside for the present over the church of Naples, to the end that thou mightest convert all thou canst to God by persuasive preaching. And, while thou oughtest to be giving thy whole mind to this work, thou art in haste to return before bringing forth this fruit to the Lord, and requestest me to settle the affairs of this same church speedily, my mind being meanwhile by no means unoccupied in this matter. But, being desirous of fortifying securely the well-being of this Church, I hold it needful to consider the matter with long continued deliberation, so as to be able to arrange its affairs by the ordination of a worthy whom Christ may reveal to us. Wherefore let thy Fraternity meanwhile study to watch for the good of souls, so that the Opinion I have of thee may be strengthened by the effect of thy working. All thou hast written concerning the deacon Peter has now been made known to us by the ex-consul Theodorus. And so, now that I know that he is constant to thee, and, according to thy testimony, studies the advantage of the Church, he ought to be afraid of no one’s opposition or enmity, but persevere i,t benefiting the Church and serving God all the more watchfully as he feels that others have a grudge against him; that so they may have no power at all to injure him. Moreover, thy Fraternity ought not hereafter to be suspected with regard to him; since no surreptitious proceedings will have effect on me11 .
11 For the occasion of this letter, see II. 9, note 6.
20218 12 .
Gregory to Natalis, &c
I have learn,, dearest brother, from many who have come from thy city that, neglecting thy pastoral charge, thou occupies, thyself wholly in feastings: which report I should not have believed had not my own experience of thy conduct confirmed it. For that thou in no wise art intent on reading, in no wise gives, attention to exhortation, but art even ignorant of the very use and purpose of ecclesiastical order, there is this in evidence, that thou knowest not how to observe reverence to those who are put over thee. For, when thou hadst been forbidden in writing by our predecessor of holy memory to retain in thy heart the soreness of thy long displeasure against Honoratus thy archdeacon, and when this had been positively interdicted thee by myself also, thou, disregarding the commands of God, and setting at naught our letters, didst attempt by a cunning device to degrade the aforesaid Honoratus thy archdeacon under colour of promoting him to a higher dignity. Thus it was contrived that, he being removed front the post of archdeacon, thou mightest call in another who would have fallen in with thy manner of life, the aforesaid man having, as I think, displeased thee for no other cause but that he prevented thee from giving sacred vessels and vestments to thy relations. Which case both I now, and my predecessor of holy memory formerly, have wished to subject to an accurate investigation; but thou, being conscious of what thou hadst done, hast put off sending hither a representative instructed for trial of the case. Wherefore let thy Fraternity, even after admonition so often repeated, repent of the error of thy wrongdoing, and restore the aforesaid Honoratus to his post immediately on the receipt of my letter. Which if thou shouldest defer doing, know that the use of the pallium, granted thee by this See, is taken from thee. But if, even when thou hast lost the pallium, thou still persistest in thy contumacy, know that thou art deprived of participation of the body and blood of the Lord. And after this it will be needful for us to enquire more fully into the charges against thee, and to consider with the utmost care and investigation whether thou shouldest retain even thy episcopate. Him also who, against the rule of justice, has consented to be promoted to the place of another we depose from the dignity of the said archdeaconry. And, should he presume any longer to minister in this same office, let him know that he is deprived of participation in holy communion. Do thou, therefore, dearest brother, in no wise provoke us further, lest, having set us at naught when in an attitude of charity towards thee, thou shouldest find us very hard in our severity. Having, therefore, restored the archdeacon Honoratus to his place, send to us with speed a person instructed in the case, who may be able to shew to me by his allegations how the matter should be equitably proceeded with For we have commanded the said archdeacon to come to us, that, having heard the assertions of the parties, we may come to whatever decision may be just and well-pleasing to Almighty God. For we defend no one on the ground of personal love, but, God helping us, keep the rule of justice, putting aside respect to any man’s person.
12 Salona was the metropolis of the province of Dalmatia in the diocese of Illyricum Occidentale, and Natalis, in virtue of his occupancy of the See, the Ecclesiastical Metropolitan of the province. For Gregory’s subsequent dealings with this bishop see II. 19, 20, 52; III. 8, 32. For the occassion of this Epistle, see I. 19, note 5.
20219 Gregory to all the bishops constituted throughout Dalmatia.
Though desiring to visit your Fraternity frequently through the intercourse of letters,yet, when some special case demands our attention, we wish to take the opportunity of fulfilling two duties at once, so as both to refresh our brotherly souls in the way of visitation and to explain accurately matters that come up for notice, lest ignorance of them should leave the mind confused. Now when our brother Natalis, bishop of the city of Salona, wished to advance the archdeacon Honoratus to the order of the priesthood, who thereupon declined being advanced to a higher order, the latter demanded my predecessor of holy memory, in a petition that he sent, that he should not be so advanced against his will. For he alleged that the thing was attempted, not for the sake of promoting him, but in consequence of displeasure against him. Thereupon our predecessor of holy memory addressed letters to Natalis, our brother and fellow-bishop, interdicting him from promoting the archdeacon Honoratus against his will, or retaining in his heart the soreness of the displeasure which he had conceived against him. And when we too had laid the same interdiction on the said Natalis, he, not only disregarding the commands of God, but also setting at naught our letters, attempted, it is said, craftily to degrade the aforesaid archdeacon, in a waycontrary to custom, under colour of promoting him to a higher dignity. Thus it was contrived that, having removed him from the archdeaconry, he might call in another person to minister in the place of the deposed archdeacon. Now we think that this Honoratus may have fallen under the displeasure of his bishop on account of having prevented him from giving sacred vessels to his relations: and both my predecessor of holy memory formerly and I now have wished to investigate the case accurately; but he, conscious of what he had done, has put off sending a representative with a view to its trial, test the truth with respect to his doings might appear. We therefore, now that he has been already so often admonished by letter, and has so far been pertinaciously obstinate, have taken order for his being admonished once more in letters sent to him through the bearer of these presents, to the end that he may, immediately on the arrival of the bearer of these presents, receive the archdeacon Honoratus into his former place. And if, with heart still hardened, he should contumaciously defer restoring him to the said position, we order that for his contumacy so many times exhibited he be deprived of the use of the pallium granted to him by this See. But if, even after loss of the pallium, he should persevere in the same pertinacity, we order him to be debarred from participation in the body and blood of the Lord. For it is right that he should find those severe in justice whom he set at naught when they approached him in charity. Wherefore neither do we now deviate from the path of justice, which the aforesaid bishop has despised; but, when he whose guilt has by no means been made apparent to us has been restored to his place, we enjoin the bishop Natalis to send to us a person with instructions, who may be able by his allegations to prove to us the right intentions of the said bishop. For we have caused also the said archdeacon to come to us, that, having heard the assertions of both parties, we may decide whatever may be just, whatever may be well pleasing to Almighty God. For we defend no one on the ground of personal love, but, God helping us, keep the rule of justice without respect to any man’s person.
20220 13 .
Gregory to Antoninus, &c. Honoratus, archdeacon of the Church of Salona, had demanded from my predecessor of holy memory, in a petition that he sent, that he should by no means be forced by his bishop to be advanced against his will, in a way contrary to custom, to a higher order.[Here follows an account of the subsequent proceedings, almost word far word the same as that given in Epistle XIX.]Wherefore we have thought it right to support thy Experience by the authority of this present order, that thou mayest resort to Salona, and at least try by exhortation to induce Natalis, our brother and fellow-bishop, who has been admonished by so many letters, to restore the above-mentioned Honoratus to his place immediately. But if, as has been his wont, he should contumaciously delay doing this, forbid him by authority of the Apostolic See the use of the pallium which has been granted him by this See. But if, even after loss of the pallium, thoushouldest find him persevering in the same pertinacity, thou shale deprive the said bishop of participation in holy communion. Moreover, him who, against the rule of justice, has consented to be promoted to another man’s place we order to be deposed from the dignity of the same archdeaconry. And, if he should presume to minister further in the same place, we deprive him of participation in holy communion. For it is right that he should find those severe in justice whom he sets at naught when approaching him in charity. Wherefore, when the archdeacon Honoratus has been restored to his place, let the aforesaid bishop, at thy instigation, send to us a person with instructions, who may be able by his allegations to prove to us that the bishop’s intention is or has been just.[What follows corresponds exactly with the conclusion of Epistle XIX.]As to our brother and fellow-bishop Malchus14 , thou wilt take care to make him find a surety, that he may come to us as soon as possible, to the end that, without any delay or loitering, be may render us an account of his proceedings, and so be able to return to his own with security.
13 This Antoninus was rector patrimonii in Dalmatia (see III. 22), and, though but a subdeacon, appears to have had the same kind of jurisdiction over the clergy given him in the pope’s name even in ecclesiastical matters as had been committed Peter the subdeacon in Sicily. (See I. 1).
14 This Malchus was a bishop in Dalmatia (cf. Lib. 1. Ep. 38, ’Ad Malchum episcopum Dalmatia,") and appears to have been in charge of some part of the patrimony there, for his administration of which he had been called to account, and was therefore summoned to Rome to clear himself. He died there suddenly after his case had been heard, and judgment had been given against him, Gregory being calumniosly accused of having caused his death. His case is referred to II. 20, 46; III. 22, 47; IV. 47.
S. Gregory I, letters 20177