“You are so blinded (…) that you do not notice what you are doing, and who you are, and to whom you do it. Indeed you make a prejudgment of that one, concerning which it is licit neither you nor anyone whatsoever of mortals to make a judgment, since the most Blessed and Apostolic Pontiff Sylvester decreed (…) with the universal Nicene Synod approving and subscribing, that the highest See is judged by no one.

(…)

Because by making a prejudgment of the highest see, concerning which it is not licit for any man to make a judgment, you have received an anathema from all fathers of all the venerable Councils. By this you will be indissolubly bound, if your heart is impenitent in holding fast to so great a presumption, and you will be loosed by that one through his vicars, to whom individually Christ, the Son of the Living God said “Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed also in heaven.” If we apply ancient things to new things, that Prophet Balaam was in this way more cautious than you, he who revering God was not able to be persuaded by the promises and threats of the King of Moab to curse the sons of Israel, saying “How will I curse whom God has not cursed? Or how will I detest whom the Lord does not detest?””

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Pope St. Leo IX

Letter to Michael I Caerularius, 1054 AD


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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

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