Innocent I…

…judges Francis’ idea that the Pope should not judge

  • The Pope has authority to condemn evils and to approve praiseworthy things

In seeking the things of God . . . preserving the examples of ancient tradition . . . you have strengthened the vigor of your religion . . . with true reason, for you have confirmed that reference must be made to our judgment, realizing what is due the Apostolic See, since all of us placed in this position desire to follow the Apostle, from whom the episcopate itself and all the authority of this name have emerged. Following him we know how to condemn evils just as (well as how) to approve praiseworthy things. Take this as an example, guarding with your sacerdotal office the practices of the fathers you resolve that (they) must not be trampled upon, because they made their decisions not by human, but by divine judgment, so that they thought that nothing whatever, although it concerned separated and remote provinces, should be concluded, unless it first came to the attention of this See, so that what was a just proclamation might be confirmed by the total authority of this See, and from this source (just as all waters proceed from their natal fountain and through diverse regions of the whole world remain pure liquids of an uncorrupted source), the other churches might assume what [they ought] to teach, whom they ought to wash, those whom the water worthy of clean bodies would shun as though defiled with filth incapable of being cleansed. (Denzinger-Hünermann 217. Innocent I, Epistle 29 In requirendis to the African bishops, January 27, 417)