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Vrat Ltrs

1. Clement III

Letter 1. (Anti-)Pope Clement III to King Vratislav1 Bishop C., servant of the servants of God, to V., the glorious prince of the Bohemians and dearest son: greetings and apostolic blessing. We believe your prudence to know, dearest son, with how many tricks, how many deceits our adversary the devil stirs up humankind, and with how much cunning he labors daily to sow among Christians the discord which he sowed among the angels and between God and the first man.2 For, so we may confess the truth to you, many things have already quite often been reported to us about you which might rouse our mind against your love—may God avert that. But he who sees into hearts,3 God himself, is a witness that we do not wish to believe or to hear about you anything other than is fitting, and that we both did desire and do desire for you to be successful in all things. Your mind, however—whence we grieve, whence we groan—does not seem to dispose itself towards us with that charity, that devotion which would be fitting, since—we do not know by what sin of ours, by what offense of ours against your love—you have held back for some time, contrary to the most religious practice and display of all your predecessors, the [offering] owed to Saint Peter and, having then very often been admonished by us with paternal affection, you have directly ignored both us and our mandates, accounting them as little. But such things have perhaps been reported to you. For today the earth is filled with corrupt rumor-mongers, who have, so it seems, put into your mind a sinister suspicion about us; and credulous of falsehood you have illegally seized upon an opportunity for retaining illegal things. But God knows that, however you dispose yourself toward us, we always loved you with a pure heart and greatly wished for your prosperity in every way. So take away all the rust4 of contrarity from your mind, dearest son, if it is there, and dispose also toward us the sincere love we dispose toward you. Because concerning injuries to the holy Roman church we cannot keep silent with health for our soul, we further paternally admonish you, we ask also and beg you, and likewise advise you charitably, that you no longer hold onto the offering owed to Saint Peter, without whose opening no one is able to enter the kingdom of heaven, lest indeed by holding onto it you sharpen his anger against you. But as is fitting, send it with due reverence, so that you might be able to find him at peace with you. Moreover, we do not believe it to have escaped your memory that, concerning a certain most dear son of ours, most faithful to you indeed and well known, we have repeatedly asked your love through both letters and your messenger and have strenuously requested, interceding with your highness, that you would offer assent to our will in that matter which we had been asking. But about this very matter you subsequently sent back no word at all, about which we are quite astonished. Indeed he would himself now be installed magnificently, as is worthy, if he had not been detained by this waiting; God knows, you would not be able to find anyone more faithful to you than him. But let this be known to your dignity: that with the lord emperor, our dearest son, we have not done anything yet concerning this matter, since up until now we have waited upon the resolution of your will. Concerning this you may be most certain that, if you were to act on this one [matter] at our request and for our sake, you will then obtain from us whatever worthy of me and you that you might ask for. Whatever therefore is sitting in your mind concerning this matter—namely, whether you might assent to our worthy (this we do not doubt) petitions—make us certain as soon as possible. We do not want such a man, so useful to ecclesiastical governance, to be detained by such an untoward delay. Also, we therefore ordered these letters to be sealed with a new seal, so as to make it clearer, and so that your dignity might deign too to send something new that is wondrous as the clearest sign of your concession in electing and constituting the new bishop whom we ask for.

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