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Collegiality

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Template:Roman government Collegiality is the relationship between colleagues.

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Definition of collegiality

Colleagues are those explicitly united in a common purpose and respecting each other's abilities to work toward that purpose. Thus, the word collegiality can connote respect for another's commitment to the common purpose and ability to work toward it. In a narrower sense, members of the faculty of a university or college are each other's colleagues; very often the word is taken to mean that. Sometimes colleague is taken to mean a fellow member of the same profession. The word college is sometimes construed broadly to mean a group of colleagues united in a common purpose, and used in proper names, such as Electoral College, College of Cardinals, College of Pontiffs.

Roman collegiality

In the Roman Republic, collegiality was the practice of having at least two people, and always an even number, in each magistrate position of the Roman Senate. Reasons were to divide power and responsibilities among several people, both of prevent the rise of another king and to ensure more productive magistrates. Examples of Roman collegiality include the two consuls and censors; six praetors; eight quaestors; four aediles; ten tribunes and decemviri, etc.

There were several notable exceptions: the prestigious, but largely ceremonial (and lacking imperium) positions of pontifex maximus and princeps senatus held one person each; the extraordinary magistrates of Dictator and Magister Equitum were also one person each; and there were three triumvirs.

Collegiality in the Catholic Church

The term collegiality also refers to what critics call a tendency in the Roman Catholic Church for conferences of bishops (acting as a "college of bishops") to attempt to impose a real authority over their own membership. This is contrary to what critics perceive to be the Catholic belief that only the Pope has authority over other bishops. One of the major changes of the Second Vatican Council was to encourage bishops' conferences, which critics felt could potentially destroy the independence of each bishop (by de facto forcing individual bishops to go along with a majority vote of a conference), as well as undermine the authority of the Pope (by a conference, synod, or council claiming to have some authority over the Pope).

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