Event: Correspondence, Episcopal see, acquisition/institution/division/mergeLeo 1.writing to Cenwulf 3 concerning the diocese of London
||Pope Leo 1 III to Cenwulf, king of the Mercians; letter explaining that he will not consent to moving the metropolitan dignity from Canterbury to London.
To the most excellent lord his son Cenwulf 3, king of the Mercians, and all the most beloved bishops and most glorious ealdormen, Pope Leo 1. We have received your writings through the bearers of these letters of your renowned excellency, namely Byrne the priest and Cildas 1 and Ceolberht 4 the ministri; and reading them, we have found them full of faith and strengthened by the ancient tradition regarding the blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles and his vicar. And as the most Christian kings your predecessors always drank the fount of truth and the irreproachable and orthodox faith from that same Church of the blessed Peter, so also your excellency, truly possessing it as a protectress and instructress, must honour and maintain it to the end. Since you have inquired whence it happened that Pope Hadrian 3, of blessed memory, our predecessor, diminished contrary to custom the authority of the bishop of Canterbury, and by his authority confirmed the division into two archiepiscopal sees, to that we truly reply that he did this for no other reason than because your excellent king, Offa 7, testified in his letter that it was the united wish and unanimous petition of you all, both on account of the vast size of your lands and the extension of your kingdom, and also for many more reasons and advantages. For these reasons chiefly did the lord apostolic Hadrian 3 send the dignity of the pallium to the bishop of the Mercians [Hygeberht 1]. As for what was said in your letter asking us if the authority of the supreme pontificate could by canonical consent be situated in the city of London, where Augustine 1 received the dignity of the pallium sent by Gregory 1, we by no means dare to give to them the authority of the supreme pontificate; but as that primacy was established at Canterbury, we concede and pronounce it by our decree the first see; because our holy and venerable predecessor Pope Celestinus instructed us, saying: ‘Let there be no vainglory; let those who are bishops obey by Episcopal custom those who have the pallium.’ And therefore according to the canons it is right that it should be, and be called, the primacy, and in the order that was arranged by our predecessors, thus be venerated and honoured as the archiepiscopal see in all things. And concerning that letter which the most reverend and holy Æthelheard 13 sent to us, just as your excellency requested, and perusing it more plainly, as was fitting, we have sent a reply more clearly to his Holiness: that as regards that apostate cleric [Eadberht 18 Præn] who mounted the throne, we, accounting him like Julian the Apostate, excommunicate and reject him, having regard to the safety of his soul. For on account of a king of this kind, we have very greatly blessed and praised our brother the aforesaid archbishop, because he endangered his life for the orthodox faith. Knowing you to be fruitful in all good works, we recall to your mind with full knowledge how Offa 7 of blessed memory, for the victory of the kingdom which he held by the support of St Peter, possessing and honouring him as his standard-bearer and comrade in that same kingdom, made a vow before a synod all the bishops and ealdormen and chief men and all the people dwelling in the island of Britain, and also of our most faithful legates the most holy bishops George 1 and Theophylactus 2, to that same apostle of God, the blessed Peter, keeper of the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that he would send every year as many mancuses as the year had days, that is, 365, to that same apostle of the Church of God, for the support of the poor and the provision of lights; which he did, both for himself and for his successors who continue in the kingdom, for ever in perpetuity, on account of the victories of that same kingdom, since the blessed Peter conceded them by his gracious favours. And if your excellency wishes to have ampler victories and honours in that same kingdom, paying the same contribution, let it remain likewise confirmed more amply by your excellency in perpetuity, that that apostle of God may always grant victory through you in that kingdom, and may cause you to reign in eternal life with his saints for ever.
Persons associated with this Event:
(III, pope, 795-816)
(King of the Mercians, 796-821)
(Priest, fl. 798; sent by Cenwulf 3 to Rome)
(Minister, fl. 798; sent by Cenwulf 3 to Rome)
(Minister, fl. 798; sent by Cenwulf 3 to Rome)
(I, pope, 772-795)
(King of the Mercians, 757-796)
(Archbishop of Lichfield, 779-799x801)
(Archbishop of Canterbury, 597-604x609; apostle of the English)
(the Great, pope, 590-604)
(Archbishop of Canterbury, 792-805 (cons. 793))
(III, Præn, king of Kent, 796-798) : he is not named in this source.
(Bishop of Ostia, fl. 786)
(Bishop of Todi, fl. 786)
Locations associated with this Event: