Decree of Pope Leo IX (1049 to 1054)

addressed to John the Bishop of Porto to confirm the privileges and the possessions of the diocese of Porto

ca 1051 AD

 by John Wijngaards

This decree was signed during a Synod that adjudicated in a dispute between the Bishop of Porto and some other bishops. Signatories were Leo IX himself and Eberchardus archbishop of Treves (Germany); Alinardus archbishop of Lyons (France); Cadalus bishop of Parma; Conibertus bishop of Turin (Italy); Oppizo bishop of Pisa (Italy); Henricus bishop of Spoleto (Italy); Martinus bishop of Pistoia (Italy); and 7 other bishops.

Leo IX was a German by birth: Bruno of Eguisheim-Dagsburg from the Alsace. His first election as Pope happened at an international synod at Worms, but he insisted he also needed to be elected by the clergy and people of Rome. As a Pope, Leo IX travelled widely, through Italy, France and Germany. The decree quoted here was probably proclaimed at one of his Easter Synods held in various locations in Italy.

Source: MIGNE, PL 143, cols. 598 – 604, here col. 602

Pari modo concedimus et confirmamus vobis vestrisque successoribus in perpetuum omnem ordinationem episcopalem, tam de presbyteris quam diaconibus vel diaconissis, sive subdiaconibus, consecrationem ecclesiarum vel altarium, quae in tota Transtiberina necesse fuerit facienda, nisi fortes cardinales , diaconi, vel subdiaconi aut acolythi sacri palatii Lateranensis efficiantur.

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, and the consecration of 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 [which was 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 . . .