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Pope Gregory VII

Dictatus papae



The following set of propositions was written by Pope Gregory VII in 1075 and were recorded in the pope's official Register. 

1. That the Roman church was founded by God alone.

2. That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal.

3. That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops.

4. That, in a council, his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them.

5. That the pope may depose the absent.

6. That, among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him.

7. That for him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry; and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.

8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.

9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.

10. That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.

11. That this is the only name in the world.

12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.

13. That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be.

14. That he has power to ordain a clerk of any church he may wish.

15. That he who is ordained by him may preside over another church, but may not hold a subordinate position; and that such a one may not receive a higher grade from any bishop.

16. That no synod shall be called a general one without his order.

17. That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.

18. That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it.

19. That he himself may be judged by no one.

20. That no one shall dare to condemn one who appeals to the apostolic chair.

21. That to the latter should be referred the more important cases of every church.

22. That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.

23. That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter; St. Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As is contained in the decrees of St. Symmachus the pope.

24. That, by his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations.

25. That he may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a synod.

26. That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic.

27. That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.

From: "Pope Gregory VII," in E. F. Henderson, ed., Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages (London: George Bell, 1892), pp. 366-367, 365. Reprinted in Brian Tierney, ed., The Middle Ages, Vol. I: Sources of Medieval History, 4th ed., (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983) pp. 142-143.

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