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The Relationship Between Rome And The Western Churches

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Chapter Summary

Less than a decade after Alaric, the king of the Goths, sacked Rome in 410, the Roman imperial administration invited the Goths to settle in southwestern Gaul. By the late 450s, Leo had solidified Rome's relationship with the bishops and clergy of Gaul. The good relations between them were fully apparent in Leo's final correspondence with the churches of Gaul. Rusticus, the bishop of Narbonne, wrote to Leo for help in dealing with a disciplinary matter that had arisen in one of his churches. Leo complied willingly by offering several pages of pastoral counseling and decretals. That Rusticus elicited such advice from Rome is a mark of how much the relationship between Rome and the Gallic churches had thawed since the death of Hilary and of how willing its bishops were to subscribe ostensibly to Rome's doctrinal and disciplinary views.

Keywords: Alaric; bishop; Gallic churches; Goths; Hilary; Leo; pastoral counselling; Roman imperial administration; Rusticus; southwestern Gaul



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