Gregory VII: Dictatus Papae ca. 1075

These 27 Dictatus Papae were included in Pope's register in the year 1075. Some argue that it was written by Pope Gregory VII (pontificate from 1073-1085) himself, others argues that it had a much later different origin. In 1087 Cardinal Deusdedit published a collection of the laws of the Church which he drew from many sources. The Dictatus agrees so clearly and closely with this collection that some have argued the Dictatus must have been based on it. There is little doubt that the principles below do express the pope's own thoughts about papal authority.

Other Translations

1. That the Roman church was founded by God alone (Quod Romana ecclesia a solo Domino sit fundata).

2. That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal (
Quod solus Romanus pontifex iure dicatur universalis).  (CIC c. 331)

3. That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops (
Quod ille solus possit deponere episcopos vel reconciliare).  (CIC 377)

4. That, in a council, his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them (
Quod legatus eius omnibus episcopis presit in concilio etiam inferioris gradus et adversus eos sententiam depositionis possit dare).

5. That the pope may depose the absent (
Quod absentes papa possit deponere).

6.That, among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him (Quod cum excommunicatis ab illo inter cetera nec in eadem domo debemus manere).

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 (
Quod illi soli licet pro temporis necessitate novas leges condere, novas plebes congregare, de canonica abbatiam facere et e contra, divitem episcopatum dividere et inopes unire).

8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia (
Quod solus possit uti imperialibus insigniis).

9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet (
Quod solius pape pedes omnes principes deosculentur).

10. That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches (
Quod illius solius nomen in ecclesiis recitetur).

11. That this is the only name in the world (
Quod hoc unicum est nomen in mundo).

12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors (
Quod illi liceat imperatores deponere).

13. That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if forced by necessity (
Quod illi liceat de sede ad sedem necessitate cogente episcopos transmutare).  (CIC c. 416)
Sedes episcopalis vacat Episcopi dioecesani morte, renuntiatione a Romano Pontifice acceptata, translatione ac privatione Episcopo intimata)

14. That he has power to ordain a clerk of any church he may wish (
Quod de omni ecclesia quocunque voluerit clericum valeat ordinare).

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 (
Quod ab illo ordinatus alii ecclesie preesse potest, sed non militare; et quod ab aliquo episcopo non debet superiorem gradum accipere).

16. That no synod shall be called a general one without his order (
Quod nulla synodus absque precepto eius debet generalis vocari). (CIC c. 344)

17. That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority (
Quod nullum capitulum nullus que liber canonicus habeatur absque illius auctoritate).

18. That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it (
Quod sententia illius a nullo debeat retractari et ipse omnium solus retractare possit).  (CIC c. 333 3) (Par in par imperium non habet)

19. That he himself may be judged by no one (
Quod a nemine ipse iudicari debeat). (CIC c. 1404)

20. That no one shall dare to condemn one who appeals to the apostolic chair (
Quod nullus audeat condemnare apostolicam sedem appellantem).

21. That to the latter should be referred the more important cases of every church (
Quod maiores cause cuiuscunque ecclesie ad eam referri debeant).  (CIC c. 1405)

22. That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness (
Quod Romana ecclesia nunquam erravit nec imperpetuum scriptura testante errabit).

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 (
Quod Romanus pontifex, si canonice fuerit ordinatus, meritis beati Petri indubitanter efficitur sanctus, testante sancto Ennodio Papiensi episcopo ei multis sanctis patribus faventibus, sicut in decretis beati Symachi pape continetur).

24. That, by his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations (
Quod illius precepto et licentia subiectis liceat  accusare). (CIC c. 1417 1)

25. That he may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a synod (
Quod absque synodali conventu possit episcopos deponere et reconciliare).

26. That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic (
Quod catholicus non habeatur, qui non concordat Romane ecclesie). (CIC c. 751)

27. That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men (
Quod a fidelitate iniquorum subiectos potest absolvere).

Latin text from Das Register Gregors VII. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Epistolae selectae 2. 2 Volumes. Mnchen: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1990 (Reprint of Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1920) Vol. 2.1, pp. 202-208.   Roman Law