Peter Damian: Letters 31-60 (Letters of Peter Damian) (No. 31-60)
- Publish Date: 1990-09-01
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Peter Damian;Owen J. Blum
This second volume of the Mediaeval Continuation contains Letters 31-60 of Peter Damian, the 11th-century monk and man of letters. While his epistolary style is varied - exhortatory, occasional, pastoral, reforming - his message is singular and simple in urging strict adherence to the canons of the Church. In Letter 31, also known as the Book of Gomorrah , Damian deplores the degradation of the priesthood through the vice of sodomy and appeals to Pope Leo IX to educate and purge the clergy. In Letter 40, called the Liber gratissimus he opposes the reordination of those ordained by simonists. Among the more personal letters are 55 and 57. In the former Damian writes of a long, debilitating illness, so serious that funeral preparations had been made, and of his immediate recovery when his brethren gave food to 100 poor people. In the latter, he writes again of his ill health and begs to be relieved of the administration of the diocese of Gubbio and permitted to return to Fonte Avellana and his beloved solitude . Letter 58, addressed to Henry the archbishop of Ravenna in 1058, is the best example in the collection of Damian's political and ecclesiastical influence. In it he gives his opinion of Benedict X and Nicholas II, the two candidates for the Apostolic See. He makes no effort to conceal his strong opinions but rather requests that this letter be made public so that all may learn what he thinks about the subject. This is perhaps, after all, what he would have hoped for the entire collection.