Letter of Pope Benedict VIII (1012 to 1024)

to Benedict, Bishop of Porto, to confirm the privileges and the possessions of the diocese of Porto

1017 AD

Translation by John Wijngaards

This diocese was formed from the union of two suburbicarian sees. Porto, now a small village, was in ancient times the chief harbour of Rome. It owes its origin to the port built by Claudius on the right of the Tiber, opposite Ostia. Trajan enlarged the basin, and in a short time there grew around it a city which soon became independent of Ostia.

Source: MIGNE, PL 139, 1617-1632, here 1621
. . .Pari modo concedimus et confirmamus vobis vestrisque successoribus in perpetuum omnem ordinationem episcopalem, tam de presbyteris quam diaconibus vel diaconissis, seu subdiaconibus, ecclesiis vel altaribus, quae in tota Transtiberi necessaria fuerit, faciendam, nisi cardinalis presb. , vel cardinalis diaconus, vel subdiac. , vel acolythus sacri palatii Lateranensis efficiatur.Scilicet omnia tibi tuisque successoribus, vel quibus episcopis a vobis invitati fuerint, ordinandi, benedicendi, consecrandive concedimus potestatem . . . . . .
In the same way we grant and confirm to you and your successors for all time [the power] to perform every kind of episcopal ordination, that is of priests as well as of deacons or deaconesses, or also of subdeacons, church buildings or altars, whatever might be required in the whole of the Transtiberine region, unless the person is to become a cardinal priest, or cardinal deacon, or subdeacon, or acolyte of the sacred Lateran Palace [= the papal residence].
That means that we grant you and your successors, or whatever bishops you have invited, all power to ordain, bless or consecrate . . .