Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ID
ER 1805
Pope Leo the Great sends a letter to Bishop Maximus of Antioch (Syria) through the Presbyter Marianus and the Deacon Olympios, clerics from Antioch. Letter 119 of Pope Leo the Great, written in Rome, AD 453.
Letter 119 [inc. "Quantum dilectioni tuae"]
 
Leo Maximo Antiocheno.
 
1. Quantum dilectioni tuae placeat communis fidei sacratissima unitas, et pacis ecclesiasticae tranquilla concordia, litterarum tuarum textus ostendit, quas ad me filii nostri Marianus presbyter et Olympius diaconus detulerunt, eo nobis gratiores quod per ipsas alloquia alterna miscemus, et magis magisque innotescit gratia Dei, qua fit ut per totum mundum de manifestato catholicae veritatis lumine gaudeatur. Quamvis, quod multum dolemus, quidam adhuc (sicut sermo indicat nuntiorum) tenebras suas diligant, et cum ubique diei splendor exortus sit, etiam nunc caecitatis suae delectentur obscuro, et perdita fide, solo ac vacuo nomine remanserint Christiani; non habentes intelligentiam qua errorem ab errore discernant, et blasphemiam Nestorii ab Eutychis impietate distinguant.
 
Further on, Leo encourages Maximus to keep the churches of the East free from both heresies, he confirms that Antioch is the third see of the Christendom and as such should retain its privileges, and comments on the futility of all attempts to subvert the council of Nicaea in 325.
 
5. Si quid sane ab his fratribus quos ad sanctam synodum vice mea misi, praeter id quod ad causam fidei pertinebat gestum esse perhibetur, nullius erit penitus firmitatis: quia ad hoc tantum ab apostolica sunt sede directi, ut excisis haeresibus, catholicae essent fidei defensores. Quidquid enim praeter speciales causas synodalium conciliorum ad examen episcopale defertur, potest aliquam diiudicandi habere rationem, si nihil de eo est a sanctis Patribus apud Nicaeam definitum. Nam quod ab illorum regulis et constitutione discordat, apostolicae sedis numquam poterit obtinere consensum. Quanta vero hoc diligentia custodiatur a nobis, exemplaribus eius epistolae, quam ad Constantinopolitanum episcopum, refrenantes ipsius cupiditatem, direximus, instrueris: quam in omnium fratrum et consacerdotum nostrorum facies notitiam pervenire, ut noverint pacem ecclesiasticam per concordiam Deo placitam debere servari.
 
In a concluding paragraph Leo asserts that teaching and preaching is a privilege of the priests, see [1806]. The letter is dated to the third day before the Ides of June in the consulship of Opilio [=11 June 453].
 
(Patrologia Latina 54, 1041-1046 = Ballerini 1753: 1212-1218)
Letter 119 [inc. "Quantum dilectioni tuae"]
 
Leo to Maximus of Antioch.
 
1. How much, beloved, you have at heart the most sacred unity of our common Faith and the tranquil harmony of the Church’s peace, the substance of your letter shows, which was brought me by our sons, Marian the presbyter and Olympius the deacon, and which was the more welcome to us because thereby we can join as it were in conversation, and thus the grace of God becomes more and more known and greater joy is felt through the whole world over the revelation of catholic Truth.  And yet we are sore grieved at some who still (so your messengers indicate) love their darkness; and though the brightness of day has arisen everywhere, even still delight in the obscurity of their blindness, and abandoning the Faith, remain Christians in only the empty name, without knowledge to discern one error from another, and to distinguish the blasphemy of Nestorius from the impiety of Eutyches. [...]
 
Further on, Leo encourages Maximus to keep the churches of the East free from both heresies, he confirms that Antioch is the third see of the Christendom and as such should retain its privileges, and comments on the futility of all attempts to subvert the council of Nicaea in 325.
 
5. Of course, if anything is alleged to have been done by those brethren whom I sent in my stead to the holy Synod, beyond that which was germane to the Faith, it shall be of no weight at all: because they were sent by the Apostolic See only for the purpose of extirpating heresy and upholding the catholic Faith. For whatever is laid before bishops for inquiry beyond the particular subjects which come before synodal councils may admit of a certain amount of free discussion, if the holy Fathers have laid down nothing thereon at Nicæa. For anything that is not in agreement with their rules and constitutions can never obtain the assent of the Apostolic See.  But how great must be the diligence with which this rule is kept, you will gather from the copies of the letter which we sent to the bishop of Constantinople, restraining his cupidity; and you shall take order that it reach the knowledge of all our brethren and fellow-priests.
 
In a concluding paragraph Leo asserts that teaching and preaching is a privilege of the priests, see [1806]. The letter is dated to the third day before the Ides of June in the consulship of Opilio [=11 June 453].
 
(trans. Ch. Lett Feltoe 1895: 85-87)

Discussion:

In paragraph 5, Leo makes allusion to the dissent of his legates, among them the Presbyter Boniface of Rome, at the council of Chalcedon, see [1789].

Place of event:

Region
  • Rome
  • East
City
  • Rome
  • Antioch

About the source:

Author: Leo the Great
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Leo the Great was the bishop of Rome from AD 440 to his death in AD 461. We have the collection of 173 letters of Leo.
Edition:
P. and G. Ballerini eds., Sancti Leoni Magni Romani pontificis opera, vol. 1, Venice 1753
Patrologia Latina, vol. 54
 
Translation:
Bibliography:
S. Wessel, Leo the Great and the spiritual rebuilding of a universal Rome, Leiden and Boston 2008.

Categories:

Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Deacon
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1805, http://presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=1805