Patroclus, bp. of Arles
Patroclus (3), bp. of Arles, between SS. Heros and Honoratus (a.d. 412–426).
In 412 the people of Arles drove out Heros and elected Patroclus, a creature of
Constantius (Prosper Aquit. Chronicon, Migne, Patr. Lat. li. 590).
As bishop he is said to have sold ecclesiastical offices (Prosper Tyro, Chronicon,
in Bouquet i. 638) and hoarded up stores of ill-gotten wealth (cf. the funeral sermon
of Hilary of Arles upon St. Honoratus, c. vi. Patr. Lat. l. 1265). He seems,
however, to have commended himself to pope Zosimus, who conferred upon him unprecedented
privileges of jurisdiction, and his history illustrates the relations of the French
dioceses. On the ground that Arles was the fountain-head of Gallic Christianity,
the pope confirmed to the see all parishes it had ever held, whether within the
province or not, and gave Patroclus exclusive rights of ordination over the independent
provinces of Vienne, Narbonensis Prima, and Narbonensis Secunda, and deposed Proculus,
bp. of Marseilles, for infringing these privileges by ordaining in his own diocese.
On the ground of Patroclus's personal merits, the pope, in a letter addressed to
all the Gallic bishops, forbade any cleric of whatever rank to visit Rome without
first obtaining literae formatae, or letters of identification and recommendation,
from the bp. of Arles. See the pope's correspondence from Mar. 22, 417, to Feb.
5, 418, which is chiefly occupied with Arles, Epp. i. v. vi. vii. x. xi.
Migne, Patr. Lat. xx. 643, 665, 666, 668, 673, 674. These privileges were
productive of great dissatisfaction in the neighbouring provinces and, in the matter
of the jurisdiction, Zosimus's orders were virtually rescinded by his successor,
Bonifacius I., who, in a letter written Feb. 9, 422, asserted the right of Hilary,
bp. of Narbonne, to consecrate the bp. of Lodève in his province, as against Patroclus,
who had usurped it (Ep. iii. Patr. Lat. xx. 772–774). In 425 Patroclus
was ordered by Theodosius to assemble for discussion the Gallic bishops who professed
the Pelagian and Celestian heresies, the emperor decreeing exile for such as should
not recant within 20 days. Patroclus was murdered in 426 by a barbarian officer
(Chronicon, Patr. Lat. li. 593–594).