Fathers of the Church
Epistle XXIII: to Fortunatus and Anthemius
by Gregory the Great in 590-604 | translated by James Barmby, D.d
Gregory to Fortunatus, bishop, and Anthemius, guardian (defensori).
Catellus, the bearer of these presents, has informed us that his sister, who had been betrothed to one Stephen, has, through divine mercy moving her, been converted in a monastery at Naples, and that the same Stephen improperly detains a house and some other things belonging to her. And, inasmuch as legal decrees (Caus. 17, q. 2, c. 28) have appointed that a betrothed woman, should she wish to be converted, shall suffer no loss whatever, let thy Fraternity, together with Anthemius the subdeacon, endeavour by diligent enquiry to investigate the truth. And if; as we have been informed, you find that the Stephen above-named is keeping a house or anything else unjustly, let him be urgently warned by your exhortation to restore without any delay or altercation what he unduly detains, and not to defer under any kind of excuse the restitution of what is not his own. And if perchance you find him neglect your exhortation, notify this to us, giving also an accurate account of the facts of the case, to the end that, when the merits of the case are known, he may be forced by other means, in accordance with equity, to make the restitution which he scorns to make of his own accord out of regard to honesty. Commending the bearer of these presents to thy Fraternity, we exhort thee to allow him no longer to suffer from delay on this account.
Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (LNPF II/XII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.