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Epistle VIII.

To Senator, Abbot.

Gregory to Senator, presbyter and abbot of a hospital (or guest-house, xenodochii).

When the hearts of Catholic Kings, &c.

[See the epistle following (Ep. ix.), with which this agrees throughout, as does also Epistle X. to Lupo, except for the different designations of the persons addressed and places referred to, and the addition in epistles VIII. and IX., after the words “or absolve her (him) as innocent,” of the following paragraph.]

By a similar definition, according to the desire of the founders, we decree that none of those who may in future have been ordained as abbot or presbyter to the same guest-house and monastery shall dare by any secret scheming whatever to take the office of the Episcopate, unless he has been first deprived of the office of abbot, and another has been substituted in his place; lest, by consuming the property of the guest-house or monastery in unfair expenditure, he should cause most serious pressure of want to the poor and strangers, or to others who live from its resources.  Moreover, we forbid that the bishop have licence, without the consent of the abbot and presbyter, to remove from the same place any monk for promotion to an ecclesiastical order, or for any cause whatever, lest usurpation in this regard should be carried to such an extent that places which have to be built up by the acquisition of men be destroyed by their removal.

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