Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages/Book IV/Epistola Minor of the Council of Pavia

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(Doeberl iv. pp. 165-247.)

(a.) Epistola Minor of the Comicil of Pavia, Feb. 5-11, 1160 a.d. (Encyclic.)

Inasmuch as the turmoil in which the apostolic see has been involved has exceedingly wounded the hearts of Chi'istians, we, who have congregated at Pavia to heal the schisms and to restore the peace of the church, have thought best fully to intimate to all of you the nature of the case and the manner of procedure and the ruling of the holy council. We do this in order that the facts shown forth simply and truly in the present writing may forcibly expel any false impressions which the hearers may have conceived, and that henceforth they may not be deceived by schismatic writings.

When, therefore, all of the orthodox congregated at Pavia in the name of the Lord had taken their seats, the case was lawfully and canonically tried and diligently investigated during 7 successive days. And it was sufficiently and canonically proved in the eyes of the council through capable witnesses, that, in the church of St Peter, our lord pope Victor and no other had been elected and solemnly emmantled by the sounder part of the cardinals — at the request of the people and with the consent and at the desire of the clergy; and that, Roland the former chancellor being present and not objecting, he was placed in the chair of St Peter; and that there, by the clergy of Rome and the cardinals, a grand Te Deum was sung to him; and that thence, wearing the stoles and other papal insignia, he was led to the palace.

And the clergy and people being asked according to custom by the notary if they agreed, replied thrice with a loud voice: "We agree."

It was proved also that Roland, on the twelfth day after the promotion of pope Victor, going forth from Rome was first enmantled at Cisterna where once the emperor Nero, an exile from the city, remained in hiding. It was proved that Roland, being interrogated by the rectors of the Roman clergy and the clergy of his cardinalate as to whether they were to obey pope Victor,—expressly confessed that he himself had never been enmantled, and expressly said: Go and obey him whom you shall see to be enmantled. . . . .

Then the venerable bishops Hermann of Yerden, Daniel of Prague and Otto count Palatine, and master Herbert, provost, whom the lord emperor, by the advice of 22 bishops and the Cistercian and Clairvaux abbots and other monks there present, had sent to Rome to summon the parties before the council at Pavia, gave testimony in the sight of the council that they had summoned before the presence of the church congregated at Pavia, through three edicts at intervals, peremptorily and solemnly, all secular influence being removed, Roland the chancellor and his party; and that Roland the chancellor and his party with loud voice and with their own lips manifestly declared that they were unwilling to accept any judgment or investigation from the church

Being sufficiently instructed, therefore, from all these things, and the truth being fully declared on both sides, it pleased the reverend council that the election of pope Victor, who, like a gentle and innocent lamb had come to humbly receive the judgment of the church, should be approved and confirmed, and the election of Roland should be altogether cancelled. And this was done.

The election of pope Victor, then, after all secular influence had been removed and the grace of the Holy Spirit invoked, being confirmed and accepted,—the most Christian emperor, last, after all the bishops and after all the clergy, l)y the advice and petition of the council, accepted and approved the election of pope Victor. And, after him, all the princes and an innumerable multitude of men who were present, being asked three times if they agreed, replied, rejoicing with loud voice: " We agree."

On the following day—that is, on the first Saturday in Lent—pope Victor was led with honour in procession from the church of St. Salvatorc without the city, where he had been harboured, to the universal church. There the most holy emperor received him before the gates of the church, and, as he descended from his horse, humbly held his stirrup, and, taking his hand, led him to the altar and kissed his feet. And all of us—the patriarch, the archbishops, bishops and abbots and all the princes as well as the whole multitude that was present—kissed the feet of the pope. And on the next day—the Sabbath, namely—a general council being held, the lord pope and we with him, with blazing candles anathematized Roland the chancellor as schismatic, and likewise his chief supporters; and we handed him over to Satan unto the death of the flesh, that his spirit might be safe at the day of the Lord.

We wish, moreover, that it be not hidden from your prudent discernment that Roland the chancellor and certain cardinals of his following had formed a conspiracy while pope Adrian was still alive. The tenor of this conspiracy was, moreover, that if pope Adrian should happen to die while they were still living, they should elect one cardinal from those who were banded together in that conspiracy.

For the rest, on the part of Almighty God, and of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the saints, and of the orthodox men who have come together by the divine will to heal the schism, we humbly implore and admonish all of you in Christ, that, all doubt and ambiguity being removed, you will irrefragably confirm and hold fast those things which the church of God congregated at Pavia has faithfully ordained for the honour of the Creator and for the tranquillity of your mother the holy Roman church and for the salvation of all Christians. And we pray that our Redeemer Christ Jesus may long preserve the universal pontiff, our pope Victor, in whose sanctity and religion we altogether trust; and that He will grant to him all tranquillity and peace, so that, through him. Almighty God shall be honoured and the Roman church and the whole Christian religion may receive an increase pleasing to God. In order, moreover, that our action may have more weight with those who read this we have thought best to subscribe the consent and the names of all of us. I, Peregrin, patriarch of Aquileija, etc. etc.