By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Romanitas of Collegiality

"Romanitas," just as it sounds, refers to a certain "Romanness" which could be pre-Christian or Christian. "Collegiality" refers to group consultation and decision-making; think of a synod that discusses and sets goals.

In this time of overdue reform in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has already taken the collegial or synodal turn: he has established a council of eight cardinal-advisors and is gearing up for a series of meetings and an extraordinary synod to discuss pressing challenges.

I found it of interest that such collegiality is very, very anciently Roman:

"the business of the gods was very serious, and the collegiate mentality of the Romans abhorred a single individual with the sole authority to mediate an important relationship."

David Potter, Ancient Rome: A New History (2009), p. 38.

More heads are better than one. It's common sense with an ancient pedigree--a pedigree very fitting for the see of Rome.

(Image of reconstructed Roman Senate/Curia Julia under GNU Free Documentation License, Wikimedia Commons)