Gelasius mentions the present war between Odoacer and Theodoric, but says that the revival of the Pelagian heresy in Picenum is more worrying. The most prominent supporter of the Pelagian doctrine in Picenum is a certain Seneca, possibly a bishop, although Gelasius refers to him usually as "an old man". Gelasius refutes three Pelagian theses allegedly upheld by Seneca: 1. that children are free of the original sin; 2. that those who are not baptized cannot be condemned; and 3. a man can do good by his free will.
30. Quapropter nimis incusamus fratres et coepiscopos nostros, maxime per Piceni prouincias ecclesiam domini gubernantes, qui non solum ineptissimi senis abiectaeque personae prauum non deterruere colloquium uerum etiam suo nutriuere consensu. Quis audiat, quis ferat passos esse pontifices, ut cadauer nescio quod indignum presbyterum sibi non adquiescentem auderet communione priuare?
Further Gelasius accuses Seneca that he allowed monks and nuns to live together, and that he insulted the memory of Jerome and Augustine in the presence of other bishops.
32. Sed quid miremur ecclesiarum praesules ista neglegere, quos, sicut a multis audiuimus, contra canones omnia gerere et contra apostolicam disciplinam passim cuncta miscere manifestum est: non seruatis regulis ordinare liciteque non solum monachos sed etiam ministros ecclesiae cum feminis ad peregrina migrantes remeare rursus et ab aliis episcopis in militiam prouehi clericalem?
Gelasius says that such abuses give arguments against the Church to pagans, Jews, and heretics. In what follows, Gelasius excommunicates the Pelagians and all those who join them and accept their teachings. Men and women who choose the ascetic way of life should live separately. He repeats the prohibition of uncanonical ordinations. The letter is dated to the Kalends of November in the year of consulship of Albinus (i.e. 1 November 493).
(ed. Guenther 1895: 367-368).