Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ID
ER 2204
DRAFT Pope Gelasius in a letter attacks Andromachus, master of offices in the government of Odoacer, for accusing publicly a member of clergy of fornication and probably planning to insult him during the festivities of Lupercalia. Gelasius, Tract 6 "To Andromachus" ("Against the Lupercalia"), included as Letter 100 in the Collectio Avellana compiled in the second half of the 6th c.
Tract 6 = Letter 100 in Coll. Avell.
 
Aduersum Andromachum
 
First, Gelasius criticises those who are fast to accuse and judge others without investigating the matter.
 
2. Uerum quia nos arguunt segnes esse censores in uitiis ecclesiae cohercendis, et a nobis consequenter agnoscant non tantum corporalis adulterii esse peccatum, quod et discuti debeat et iure puniri, sed esse longe maius fornicationis et adulterii genus, quod in quolibet Christiano, quia membrum omnis Christianus ecclesiae est, competenter debeat uindicari: tanto enim sacrilegii maius est crimen, quanto animae fornicatio peior est corporis; nam per animae fornicationem ab ipsius dei coniunctione disceditur adque inmundos spiritus spiritalis adulterii genere transitur.
 
A person who is involved in the "cult of the god of February" (i.e. the Lupercalia) is guilty of idolatry and therefore is guilty of something worse than a person accused of carnal fornication. Such person is disquilified to judge others.
 
6. [...] Qui moechos accusas, adulterium facis et corporales adulteros spiritalis adulter incessis? Certe discussionem poscis, homo diligens maturus religiosus non uis aliquem in ecclesia peccare, peccantem cupis discuti et poenae consequenter addici: quaecumque in alium promis, et in te proferre cogeris; hoc enim facis, ne segnitia pontificis accusetur, ne maculetur ecclesia: debet ergo et pontificis in omnibus malefactis sollicitudo et seueritas non deesse et ab omnibus ecclesiae fama purgari.
7. Sed dicas forsitan <te> laicum, illum ecclesiae ministrum et eo grauius crimen exaggeres. Uerum dicis nec ego diffiteor: tanto sollicitius examinandus est quanto magis propinquus est, tanto magis reus est quanto in illo ministerio constitutus, et haec facere minime debuisset. Ecce censura non deest: auditur et, si conuictus fuerit, uindictae consequenter addicitur. Age modo, quid uis de te? Numquid quia in ministerio sacro non es, in plebe sacra non es? An nescis et te membrum esse summi  pontificis? An ignoras totam ecclesiam sacerdotium uocitatam?
8. Postremo si ille reus est, qui accedens ad ministerium ecclesiae delinquit, numquid et tu reus non es, qui post confessionem ueritatis ad praua et peruersa et profana et diabolica, quibus te renuntiare professus es, figmenta reduceris?
 
In the rest of the text, Gelasius inveighs against the celebrations of the Lupercalia and proves that they are pagan rites which should not be done by Christians.
 
(ed. Guenther 1895: 453-464)
Tract 6 = Letter 100 in Coll. Avell.
 
Letter against Andromachus
 
First, Gelasius criticises those who are fast to accuse and judge others without investigating the matter.
 
2. Truly, because they accuse us of being sluggish in judging the faults that should be curbed in the church, let them also suitably learn from us that there is not only a sin of carnal adultery which should be both examined and duly punished, but there is a kind of forncation and adultery that is far worse, which in any Christian (because every Christian is a member of the church) should be suitably avenged. For the severity of the crime of sacrilege is more serious to the extent that the fornication of the soul is worse than that of the body: for through the fornication of the soul one departs from union with God himself and passes over to impure spirits by a kind of spiritual adultery [cf. 1 Cor 6: 16-17].
 
A person who is involved in the "cult of the god of February" (i.e. the Lupercalia) is guilty of idolatry and therefore is guilty of something worse than a person accused of carnal fornication. Such person is disquilified to judge others.
 
6. [...] Do you who accuse adulterers yourself commit adultery and, being a spiritual adulterer, reproach those who commit adultery in the flesh? Yes, you, a man who is scrupulous, of proper age, religious, are demanding a judgement. You do not want someone to sin in the church, you wish the sinner to be examined and incur a fitting punishment: whatever you allege about another, you are forced to apply to yourself as well. For you do this lest accusations be made about the pontiff's negligence, lest the church be blemished. Therefore, there should be no care and severity lacking on the part of the pontiff regarding all acts of wrongdoing, and in all things as well the good name of the church should be cleared.
7. But you may perhaps say you are a layperson, he is a minister of the church, and with that purpose you make his crime more serious. You are telling the truth and I cannot deny it myself: he should be examined with more care the closer he is, and he is the more culpable in that he was appointed to the ministry, and should not in the least have committed these crimes. Look, there is no lack of due severity: he will be heard and, if he is proven guilty, he will be sentenced fittingly to punishment. Come now, what do you want for yourself? Is it that because you are not among the sacred ministry you are among the holy people? Are you ignorant of the fact that you are a member of the supreme pontiff? Are you ignorant of the fact that the entire church is called a priesthood [cf. 1 Pet 2:5]?
8. Ultimately, if the one who, after advancing to the ministry of the church, commits a fault is guilty, are you too not guilty, who after professing the truth return to debased and perverted and pagan and devilish images, which you have declared you have renounced?
 
In the rest of the text, Gelasius inveighs against the celebrations of the Lupercalia and proves that they are pagan rites which should not be done by Christians.
 
(trans. Neil and Allen 2014: 211-221)

About the source:

Author: Gelasius
Title: Collectio Avellana, Tractatus 6, Tract 6, Against Andromachus, Gelasii ad Andromachum et ceteros Romanos qui Lupercalia secundum morem pristinum colenda constituunt, Adversus Andromachum et ceteros Romanos qui Lupercalia secundum morem pristinum colenda constituunt, Against the Lupercalia, Tractate 6
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Collectio Avellana is a collection containing 244 letters issued by emperors, imperial magistrates and popes. The earliest item is dated to AD 367, the latest to AD 553. Hence, the compilator worked most probably in the second half of the sixth century. Two hundred documents of the Collectio are not known from any other collection. The editor of the Collectio, Günther noticed that it can be divided into five thematic parts (Günther 1896: 3-96; Steinacker 1902: 14-15; Blaudeau 2013: 4) :
1) Nos. 1–40 are an independent collection making use of the records of the prefecture of the city of Rome concerning two episcopal elections;
2) Nos. 41–50 are derived from the records of the bishopric in Carthage, and consist of the letters of Innocentius I and Zosimus;
3) Nos. 51–55 are the late letters of Leo I not known from any other source, regarding the exile of Bishop Timothy II of Alexandria;
4) Nos. 56–104 are the group of letters from the pontificates of Simplicius, Gelasius, Symmachus, John, Agapet, and Vigilius;
5) Nos. 105–243 are the letters from the records of Hormisdas.
 
The modern name of the collection is derived from the codex Vaticanus Latinus 4961 copied in the monastery Sancti Crucis in fonte Avellana that was considered the oldest by the brothers Ballerini who edited the Collectio in 1787.
Edition:
O. Guenther ed., Epistolae Imperatorum Pontificum Aliorum Inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque DLIII datae Avellana Quae Dicitur Collectio, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 35/1, 35/2, Prague, Vienna, and Leipzig 1895
A. Thiel ed., Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a s. Hilaro usque ad Pelagium II, vol. 1, Brunsberga 1868
 
Translation:
B. Neil, P. Allen, The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.

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Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2204, http://www.presbytersproject.ihuw.pl/index.php?id=6&SourceID=2204