Collection of Letters: Detail
- Ivo of Chartres
Ivo, humble minister by the grace of God of the church of Chartres, to Adela, excellent countess, to know good and do it.
We heard that you have by your order forbidden travel, bread, water, and all the necessities of this life which are in your power to our sons, canons of St. Mary [Notre Dame]. What else is this than to condemn to death without audience or judgment innocent and unarmed men? For hunger and thirst kill as the sword does. What more barbarous edict could barbarous Turks, persecutors of the Christian name, promulgate against the servants of God than to deny them the necessities of life? Wherefore, admonishing I counsel and counseling I admonish your nobility that you commute the unconsidered rigor of your sentence until there is a hearing and not condemn to death with such a severe sentence those who have not been judged nor convicted. We have tempered our sentence out of love for you, though it is just and based on judgment; we have not denied even to their persecutors the sacraments of baptism, confession or penance which suffice for the salvation of souls in need.
Act therefore so that the praise of the strong woman whom Wisdom commends may be preached about you, not that the perverse woman's cruelty which Chrysostom hated in Herodiad be spread about you through all our provinces.
If you do not wish to acquiesce to my sensible and pious admonitions, I urge you to name the day for carrying out justice through the present bearer, by the peace which you promised this year in the hands of the lord pope, and in my hands three years before, and meanwhile to permit the sons of the church to possess their things freely according to the peace agreement. If you scorn all these, know without doubt that the church, with a contrite and humbled heart, along with all the churches subject to it, will daily before the body and blood of the Lord and the relics of the saints, call out against all the perpetrators of and consentors to this evil and will invite all neighboring bishops with the churches subject to them to do the same. I say these things in sorrow, counseling still to your honor and reputation, seeking nothing but that you do justice according to custom and law and if there is any false charge against the church, you may have justice. Fare well.
Ivo, humilis Dei gratia Carnotensis ecclesiae minister, Adelae excellenti Comitissae, bene sapere et bene facere. Interdictus est, ut audivimus, praecepto vestro filiis nostris canonicis B. Mariae, exitus viarum, panis et aqua, et omnia huic vitae necessaria quae sunt sub potestate vestra. Quod quid aliud est facere, quam homines innocentes et arma non tenentes sine audientia et sine judicio morti destinare? Ita enim necat fames et sitis, sicut gladius. Quod enim truces Turci, christiani nominis persecutores, possent truculentius edictum in Dei servos promulgare, quam necessaria eis vitae subtrahere. Unde monendo consulo et consulendo moneo nobilitatem vestram, quatinus inconsideratum sententiae vestrae rigorem usque ad audientiam in melius commutetis, et non convictos, non judicatos, tam severa sententia morti addicatis. Nos enim pro amore vestro sententiam nostram, quamvis justam et judicio diffinitam, temperavimus; nec baptismi sacramentum, nec confessionem, nec poenitentiam, quae saluti animarum in necessitate sufficiunt, etiam ipsis persecutoribus denegavimus. Ita ergo vos habetote, ut laus fortis mulieris, quam sapientia commendat, de vobis praedicetur: non crudelitas perversae mulieris, quam in Herodiade Chrysostomus detestatur, per omnes nostras provincias publicetur. Quod si sanis et piis admonitionibus meis acquiescere non vultis, commoneo vos per pacem quam praesenti anno in manu domni Papa, ante autem tertium annum in manu mea promisistis, quatinus diem competentem exsequendae justitiae per praesentium portitorem nobis denominetis, et interim filios ecclesiae, secundum institutum pacis, suis rebus libere potiri permittatis. Quod si haec omnia contempseritis, procul dubio sciatis quia ecclesia corde contrito et humiliato, adscitis sibi omnibus ecclesiis subjectis, quotidie ante corpus et sanguinem Domini, et sanctorum patrocinia, clamorem faciet adversus omnes hujus mali patratores et consentaneos, et ad hoc ipsum ex debito omnes vicinos episcopos cum ecclesiis sibi subjectis invitabit. Dolens haec dico, consulens tamen in hoc honestati et famae vestrae: nihil aliud quaerens nisi ut secundum morem et legem justitiam facitatis, et si qua adversus ecclesiam calumnia est, justitiam habeatis. Valete.
The letter is about yet another jurisdictional dispute, in which Adela has taken punitive action against the canons and Ivo threatens ecclesiastical sanctions unless she rescinds it.
PL162 ep.179 c180-81; also HGF15 ep.110 p.141-42, same text with 2 variations in spelling