Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1806
Pope Leo the Great asserts that only priests can teach and preach. Letter 119 of Pope Leo the Great to Bishop Maximus of Antioch (Syria), written in Rome, AD 453.
Letter 119 [inc. "Quantum dilectioni tuae"]
For the first part of the letter see [1805].
6. Illud quoque dilectionem tuam convenit praecavere, ut praeter eos qui sunt Domini sacerdotes, nullus sibi docendi et praedicandi ius audeat vindicare, sive ille monachus, sive sit laicus, qui alicuius scientiae nomine glorietur. Quia etsi optandum est ut omnes Ecclesiae filii quae recta et sana sunt sapiant, non tamen permittendum est ut quisquam extra sacerdotalem ordinem constitutus gradum sibi praedicatoris assumat, cum in Ecclesia Dei omnia ordinata esse conveniat, ut in uno Christi corpore et excellentiora membra suum officium impleant, et inferiora superioribus non resultent. Data III idus Iunii, Opilione viro clarissimo consule.
(Patrologia Latina 54, 1045-1046 = Ballerini 1753: 1217-1218)
Letter 119 [inc. "Quantum dilectioni tuae"]
For the first part of the letter see [1805].
6. This too it behoves you, beloved, to guard against, that no one except those who are the Lord's priests dare to claim the right of teaching or preaching, be he monk or layman, who boasts himself of some knowledge. Because although it is desirable that all the Church's sons should understand the things which are right and sound, yet it is permitted to none outside the priestly rank to assume the office of preacher, since in the Church of God all things ought to be orderly, that in Christ's one body the more excellent members should fulfil their own duties, and the lower not resist the higher. Dated on the third day before the Ides of June, in the consulship of the illustrious Opilio [= 11 June 453].
(trans. Ch. Lett Feltoe 1895: 87)

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • East
  • Rome
  • Antioch

About the source:

Author: Leo the Great
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Leo the Great was the bishop of Rome from AD 440 to his death in AD 461. We have the collection of 173 letters of Leo.
P. and G. Ballerini eds., Sancti Leoni Magni Romani pontificis opera, vol. 1, Venice 1753
Patrologia Latina, vol. 54
S. Wessel, Leo the Great and the spiritual rebuilding of a universal Rome, Leiden and Boston 2008.


Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
    Usurping presbyterial power
      Equal prerogatives of presbyters and bishops
        Pastoral activity - Preaching
          Pastoral activity - Teaching
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1806,