Letter 5.5 to Bishop Venantius of Luni (September 594)
Gregorius to Venantius, bishop of Luni
Your Fraternity must go to the island of Gorgona and investigate what has been brought to us concerning the ex-presbyter Saturninus. For it has come to our attention that, after being removed from his priestly order (ordo sacerdotii) because of his sinful lapse in faith, he has presumed to return to carrying out the ministry of presbyterate (ministerium presbyterii), and to offering the sacrifice to almighty God. If your Fraternity finds that this is what has happened, you must deprive him of the holy body and blood of our Lord and force him to penitence, in such a way that right up to the day of his death he remains in the same state of excmmunication, and receives viaticum only at the time of his demise. But if your Fraternity finds out that he is showing such penitence that he ought to be pardoned justly, so as to receive communion among the laymen, and before the time of his death, we entrust this decision to the power of your Fraternity.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 325–326, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)