Patroclus of Arles

Patroclus Of Arles, a French Roman Catholic prelate, flourished in the early part of the 5th century as bishop of the diocese from which he is named. A dispute of long standing then existed between the bishops of Aries and Vienne with regard to metropolitan jurisdiction. The question was brought before a council at Turin in the year 401, when it was decided, for the sake of peace, that the dignity of metropolitan should belong to that prelate who could prove his see to be the civil capital of the province; and that meanwhile each should execute the office in the dioceses nearest to his own. The strife was thus suspended for the time; but in 417 Patroclus addressed himself to pope Zozimus, to obtain restitution of the rights which he maintained to be originally inherent in his see; and that pontiff, probably without sufficient examination, granted his request. He wrote to the bishops of Gaul, directing that the bishop of Aries should exercise metropolitan jurisdiction over these provinces, Viennensis, and Prima and Secunda Narbonensis; that he should preside at the consecration of their bishops; that all clergy traveling abroad should obtain from him litterae formate or commendatory letters; and that he should decide ecclesiastical causes, with the exception of those which were important enough to be reserved to the cognizance of the pope himself. These distinctions he declared to rest upon the apostolic foundation of the see; Trophimus having been despatched from Rome to be the first bishop of Aries, and the Christian faith having been diffused from that original source throughout Gaul. See Jarvis, Hist. of Ch. of France, 1:6 sq.; Riddle, Hist. of the Papacy.

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