Fathers of the Church
Epistle XXV: to Romanus, Guardian
by Gregory the Great in 590-604 | translated by James Barmby, D.d
To Romanus, Guardian (Defensorem).
Gregory to Romanus, &c.
It is well known to thy Experience that Peter, whom we have made a guardian (defensorem), is sprung from the estate belonging to our Church which is called Vitelas. And so, since we ought to shew kindness towards him in such a way that nevertheless the Church may suffer no disadvantage, we command thee by this order to charge him strictly not to presume, under any pretext or excuse, to marry his children anywhere but in that estate to which they are bound by law and their condition. In this matter, too, it is necessary for thy Experience to be very careful, and to threaten them, so that on no occasion whatever they may go out of the property to which by their birth they are subjected. For, if any one of them (as we do not believe will be the case) should presume to depart from it, he may be assured that our assent will never be given to any of them dwelling or being married outside the estate on which they were born, but that also their land should be superscribed. And then know that you will run no slight risk, if through your negligence any of them should attempt to do any of the things which we forbid.
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/XIII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.