Leo the Thirteenth, Supreme Pontiff. Venerable brother, health and apostolic benediction.
Desirous, with the divine assistance, to discharge usefully the duty [Page 396] of the apostolic ministry entrusted by God to us, although unworthy, whereby we by Divine Providence preside over the government of all churches; whenever there may be a necessity of providing for the government of these churches, we are solicitous and careful to appoint such pastors as are qualified to instruct the people entrusted to their care, not only by inculcating sound doctrine but also by their good example, pastors who with the Divine assistance are willing and able to rule and govern judiciously and to maintain in peace and tranquillity the churches committed to their charge. Also, since we have reserved to ourselves the appointment to all churches at present vacant or likely to be vacant at any future time, we declare as null and void any appointment which may be made knowingly or ignorantly by any other authority. But now the Titular Episcopal Church of Pieropolis in Phrygia, subject to the archbishop of Synnada, being in a certain sense destitute of the comfort of a pastor, and in making provision for it, in which duty no one except us is able or will be able to interfere, by reason of our aforesaid decree and reservation, we, in our paternal zeal, after diligent deliberation with our brothers, the venerable cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, appointed to superintend the propagation of the faith, have turned our attention to you, venerable brother, who has willingly resigned into our hands the church of Monterey and Los Angeles.
Wherefore, freeing you from the charge of this resigned church, and, as far as there is need, by the plenitude of our apostolic authority absolving you and wishing on this account that you be absolved from all excommunications, interdicts, and ecclesiastical censures, judgments, and penalties, if by chance any be incurred, we, by our same authority and by these presents, transfer you to the abovesaid church of the Hieropolis, and by committing you to the care, government, and administration of this same church, in spirituals and temporals, appoint you its bishop and pastor, relying on the assurance that you will discharge all the things for the greater glory of God and the eternal salvation of souls. However, we grant that, as long as the abovesaid church of Hieropolis remains merely a titular one, you will not be obliged to go to it and personally reside there. Apostolic constitutions and ordinances, also those of the said churches of Monterey and Los Angeles and Hieropolis, even those approved by oath, apostolic confirmation, or by any other power, and all statutes, and customs whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding.
To our venerable Brother Francis Mora,
Retired Bishop of Monterey and Los Angeles.