Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1868
Bishops of the province of Tarraconensis (Spain) complain to Pope Hilarius about bishop of Cagliari, Silvanus, who illicitly ordained a presbyter as a bishop. Letter 13 in the epistolary of Pope Hilarius, "Etiamsi nulla", Tarragona, AD 463/464.
Letter 13
2. [...]. Silvanus quidam episcopus Calagurae in ultima parte nostrae provinciae constitutus, ordinationes sibi indebitas usurpando, humilitatem nostram ad hoc usque perduxit, ut contra ejus vanissimam superstitionem sedis vestrae unicum remedium flagitemus. Hic namque jam ante septem aut octo amplius annos, postponens patrum regulas et vestra instituta despiciens, nullis petentibus populis episcopum ordinavit: cujus praeproperum factum existimantes fraterna et pacifica posse admonitione sanari, profecit in pejus. Denique dum contra vetustatem canonum, contra synodi constituta alterius fratris nostri presbyterum, spiritu tantum praesumptionis accensus, in eodem loco, qui illi fuerat destinatus, cui invito et repugnanti imposuerat manus et qui nostro jam coetui fuerat aggregatus, episcopum fecit: hinc factum est, ut de ejus miserrima temeritate ad nos Caesaraugustanae urbis episcopus frater noster referret [...].
(ed. Thiel 1868: 156)
Letter 13
2. [...] A certain bishop of Calahorra, Silvanus, from the outskirts of our province, usurped the right to perform illicit ordinations. He tried our humility to the point that we see in your see the only remedy for his most vain superstition. More than seven or eight years ago by now, he ordained a bishop for the people, who did not ask for it, putting aside the rules of the fathers and disregarding your instructions. We thought that a remedy could be found for this hasty action in a fraternal and pacific admonition, but the result was even worse.
Then, against the old canons, against the decisions of the councils, inflamed by a stubborn spirit, in that place he made a bishop another of our brother presbyters who was already appointed for another city, and included in our company. He imposed the hands on him against his will and despite his protests. Therefore our brother bishop of Saragossa informed us about the miserable rashness of Silvanus [...].
(trans. S. Adamiak)


It appears logical that the presbyter ordained by Silvanus came from Saragossa, as it was the bishop of this city who first complained about it.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Tarragona
  • Saragossa

About the source:

Author: Hilarius
Title: Epistulae, Letters
Origin: Tarragona (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Hilarius was the bishop of Rome between AD 461 and 468.
Thiel A. ed., Epistulae Romanorum pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a S. Hilario usque ad Pelagium II, 1, Braunsberg 1868, 127-170.


Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Reasons for ordination - Involuntary ordination
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Impediments or requisits for the office - Improper ordination
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1868,