|Gregory VII: Dictatus Papae
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.
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).
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
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):
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).
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
24. That, by his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to
bring accusations (Quod illius precepto et
licentia subiectis liceat accusare).
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. München: Monumenta Germaniae
Historica, 1990 (Reprint of Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1920) Vol.
2.1, pp. 202-208.