If we administer the priestly office undertaken by us fearlessly, we shall, without doubt, receive both the help  of God and the love of our spiritual sons.  On account of this, let Your Fraternity be keen to reveal yourself in all affairs in such a way that the opinion which the clergy of the city of Naples has of you, like that of the nobility and people, may be reinforced by an increase in your goodness.  And so, you ought to restrict your occupation to an assiduous encouragement of the aforesaid people.  Thus, the divine farmer may collect, in his granaries, the fruit of your word, which you have harvested from them.  But, as far as we may determine, with the revelation of our Lord, with regard to those things which our aforesaid sons ask us to do for them, we allow you to ordain priests from the laity and, also, to celebrate manumissions in your See with due solemnity, in the same church.  But, we want you to settle, without delay, the clerical stipends for the above-mentioned church and the priests’ donatives.  Pay careful attention, also, to instructing the clergy, so that they abstain from all things unsuitable or illegal and, with your encouragement also, that they are constant in their service of our God in their due ministry of obedience. – Pope Gregory I (540-604), also known as Gregory the Great; pope from 590 to 604; to Paul, Bishop of Naples (December, 591)

From: The Letters of Gregory the Great, translated from the Latin, and with an Introduction and Notes, by John R. C. Martyn; Mediaeval Sources in Translation 40; 3 volumes (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004), 1:198-199.

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