Pope Gregory II – Invests Boniface with Episcopal Authority, 1 December 722

Pope Gregory IIGregory, the servant of the servants of God, to the clergy and people [of Thuringia], greeting in the Lord.

Acceding without delay to your praiseworthy desire, we have raised our colleague Boniface to the episcopal dignity. We have commanded him not to ordain a man who has been married twice or one who has married a woman not a virgin, or one who is not fully instructed, or a man suffering from a physical defect, or who is notorious for a crime whether civil or ecclesiastical, or who is known to be subject to some liability. If he finds such persons in office he shall not advance them. Under no circumstance whatsoever should he accept Africans who dare to apply for admission to ecclesiastical orders, because some of them are Manichaeans and others are known to have received Baptism several times. He shall endeavour not to diminish but rather to increase the services and adornments of the churches and whatsoever endowments they possess. He is to divide the revenue and the offerings of the faithful into four parts: one for himself, another to the clergy for their ministrations, a third to the poor and pilgrims, and a fourth for the fabric of the churches, for all of which he must render an account at the judgment seat of God. The ordination of priests and deacons is to take place only at the quarter tenses of April, July and October and at the beginning of Lent. Baptism must be conferred only at Easter and Whitsuntide, except in the case of those who are in danger of death, for otherwise they might perish eternally.

As long as he continues to carry out the injunctions of this our see you are to show him unquestioning obedience, that the body of the Church may be without blame and in perfect peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Almighty God and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

May God preserve you from all harm, beloved sons.

Given on the kalends of December in the seventh year of the reign of our august Lord, Leo, by the grace of God crowned emperor, in the fourth year of his son Constantine the Great, the sixth indiction.