Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2011
Presbyter Caelestinus of Vibo Valentia (Southern Italy) is demoted because he gave communion to people excommunicated by his bishop. Gelasius I, Letter 39, Rome, AD 492/496.
Letter 39
3. Coelestinus vero presbyter fratris et coepiscopi nostri Sereni, qui contra pontificale judicium contraque apostolicae sedis mandata prorumpens, supradictis communionem sacram ministrare praesumpsit, quum non potuerit ignorare sententiam proprii sacerdotis, ab officio protinus ecclesiastico pellatur: ut nullus Ecclesiae ministrorum contra pontificalia constituta venire contendat.
(ed. Thiel 1868: 453)
Letter 39
3. Indeed Caelestinus, the presbyter of our brother and fellow bishop Serenus, who, in breaking out against the judgement of the pontiff and against the orders of the apostolic see, took it upon himself to administer holy communion to the aforementioned men, although he was not in a position to overlook the verdict of his own bishop, is expelled instantly from his ecclesiastical office, so that none of the ministers of the Church may seek to oppose the ordinances of the pontiff.
(trans. Neil – Allen 2014: 190)


Caelestinus readmitted to communion Dionysius and his supporters, excommunicated for "disturbing the peace of the Church of Vibo" (it is said so in the previous paragraph of this letter).
The case is unrelated to another Caelestinus [916], mentioned in [2010].

Place of event:

  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

About the source:

Author: Gelasius I
Title: Epistulae, Letters
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gelasius I was the bishop of Rome between AD 492 and 496.
Thiel A. ed., Epistulae Romanorum pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a S. Hilario usque ad Pelagium II, 1, Braunsberg 1868, 287-510.
B. Neil, P. Allen edd.,  The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.
B. Neil, P. Allen edd.,  The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Usurping episcopal power
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Further ecclesiastical career - None
Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
Administration of justice - Demotion
Private law - Ecclesiastical
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2011,