Letter to Emperor Anastasius by Pope St. Symmachus

The following is an excerpt from a letter by Pope St. Symmachus. He sent it to Eastern Emperor Anastasius as part of the Acacian Schism. The Emperor was honoring the heretic Acasius by attending a schismatic church that named him in honorary memorials. The pope wrote in rebuke of this situation, and desired the emperor to maintain communion only with orthodox Catholic bishops. I am not aware of a complete translation of the letter, the excerpt below is the most lengthy translation I am aware of.

Letter to Emperor Anastasius by Pope St. Symmachus

... Let us compare the dignity of a bishop with that of an emperor. There is as great difference between them as between the things of this earth, whereof the latter has the administration, and the things of heaven, whereof the former is the dispenser. Wherefore the office of a bishop is at least equal, if not superior, to yours.

Honor God in us, and we will honor him in you; but if you have no respect for God, you cannot claim that privilege from him whose hand you despise.

You say I have excommunicated you with the consent of the senate. In this I have done nothing but followed the righteous example of my predecessors.

You say that the senate has evil entreated you. If you think that you are abused by exhorting you to separate from heretics, can it be said that you would have treated us well when you would have forced us to join with heretics?

You say that what Accasius has done does not at all concern you; if it be so, trouble yourself no more about him, join no more with his followers. If you do not this, it is not we that excommunicate you, but yourself, by joining yourself to one that is excommunicated. ...

Source: https://books.google.com/books?id=bgQZAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA76#v=onepage&q&f=false

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