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Epistle XX.

To the Clergy and People Ariminum16981698    See preceding Epistle..

Gregory to the Clergy, &c.

Our pastoral charge constrains us to succour with anxious consideration any Churches that are deprived of the government of a priest.  Accordingly, inasmuch as your Church has long been deprived of pastoral rule from the malady, as you know, of its own priest, we, moved by your entreaties, have not failed to admonish the said bishop, that, if he should feel himself recovered from that malady, he should resume the ministry of the priesthood undertaken by him.  And he, having been again and again warned by us, has now under the pressure of the same malady intimated by a supplication addressed to us in writing that by reason of this malady he can by no means rise to the government of the said Church or to the office undertaken by him.  We therefore, compelled by the hopeless condition of this same person, have held it necessary to take thought for the setting in order of your Church.  We exhort, then, that all of you, with one consent, without noise or disturbance, choose with the help of the Lord such a priest to preside over you as may not be disapproved by the venerable canons, and also be found worthy of so great a ministry.  And let him, when required, come to us to be ordained, with the solemnity of a decree attested by the subscriptions of all and followed up by the written approval of the visitor16991699    Viz. a bishop Sebastian, who had been commissioned, as was usual in such cases, to visit the church of Ariminum during the incapacity of its proper bishop.  The Epistle which follows this (Ep. XXI., which, as not throwing further light on the proceedings, has not been translated) is addressed to him, directing him to see to the due election, &c., of a successor to Castorius., to the end that your Church, by the Lord’s ordering, may have its own priest.

We desire also that him whom your unanimity may have chosen you take without delay to our brother and fellow-bishop Marinianus at Ravenna17001700    As Metropolitan.  See preceding Epistle., that, having been thoroughly examined and tested by him, he may be supported by his testimony also when he comes to us.

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