The Senate of Rome as a model | daily mail

In earlier times, the day before the church, a meeting of cardinals presided over by the Pope, Dean of the Apostolic Apostles would go to the Pope and ask: “Sanitas et longa vita, Beatissime Pater! Kras Irit Consortium?” – Health and long life, Holy Father! Will there be a Consortium tomorrow ?” the Pope replied, “Eritrea Consortium – there will be a Consortium,” and added the hour at which he intended to hold the Assembly. Then the apostolic messengers went to the cardinals and informed them of this. This rite at the papal court had an ancient model. In a similar way, in Caesar’s Rome, senate councils, or important senate committees, convened.

Popes should imitate the Curia of the ancient Romans

Cardinals are senators of the Pope, and their college is historically associated with the ancient Roman Senate. In the Roman Republic, the fate of the state was mainly in the hands of this powerful institution for several centuries, which once shaped the actions of the ancient world power. However, a crucial paradigm shift occurred with Augustus (63 BC – AD 14). While the imagination of the republican constitution and the importance of the Senate were officially preserved, Caesar’s older nephew enacted the transformation of the republic into a monarchy, cleverly concealing his role in the term “president” (Latin meaning “princeps – first”).

One of the instruments of his rule was the “consilium Principis”, originating from the “amici Principis”, the “friends of the princeps”. It consisted of Augustus, two consuls and 15 senators. Under Diocletian (284-305), the body that assisted the emperor, like the Senate, became nominally the sole ruler of the Roman emperor. He found his definition in the term “constorium”, which is derived from “consestere – let’s meet together.” In plain language, this meant that the members of the council had to stand before the emperor while he and his family sat. All power is now in the hands of the tsars – they alone.

“Quid vobis videtur?”

Church teacher Petros Damiani (1006–1072) came with a demand that the administration of the Catholic Church emulate the ancient Roman Curia. She did – and she still does today. Thus, with the advent of the College of Cardinals, the Pope had to claim it as his Senate to participate in the administration of the Church, principally by holding regular unions.

Originally, the most important ecclesiastical matters were discussed and decided upon in councils only. During the reign of Pope Innocent II (1130-1143), an important change occurred. In controversy over the canonical teachings of Abelard, the Pope placed examination, discussion and decision on this within the jurisdiction of the Contry. With Alexander III (1159-1181) then began a time when important decisions of the Church were increasingly being made in the churches. Before every important decision, the Pope asked the following question: “Quid vobis videtur – what do you think about this?”

Only one official version

From the sixteenth century onward, Sixtus V (1585-1590), who established congregations to administer the church as a whole, and instituted the reform of the curia, made this council “a mere solemn ceremonial act, which has been kept to reflect the image of the past curative life clearly before the eyes of the present” (Nicholas Healing). What was being discussed and decided upon by the cardinals at this congregation was now set out elsewhere and was only formally released in the Concert. The election of new members of the Council of Cardinals and their canonization remained, to a certain extent, included in the resolution of this assembly, but symbolically, to a certain extent advisory character.

Not much has changed in this procedure until modern times. John Paul II and Benedict XVI involved the cardinals more closely in their decisions in their covenants. Both popes emphasized the extraordinary gatherings of those who wear purple to ask for their opinion on important issues relating to the faith and the community of believers. Benedict XVI saw in the Senate an institution that “works directly and continuously with Peter’s successor and supports him in the exercise of his universal ministry.” But the actions of the churches remained purely advisory even among themselves.

Popes Make Cardinals As Their “Creatures”

Pope Francis has already shown in the first months of his pontificate how dependent on the members of the College of Cardinals he is. In April 2013, he convened an eight-member council of cardinals to reform the Roman Curia, which he granted legal status in September of the same year by a papal letter. The memory of amici Principis and des consilium Principis familiar to us arose since the time of Augustus.

One may rightly criticize the conduct and conduct of meetings, or question the value of their importance in ecclesiastical life. The composition of the College of Cardinals need not escape the discussion either. But there is one thing that must be taken into account.

Cardinals depend on the Pope’s heartbeat

Just as the senators of the Roman Empire were considered “pars corporis imperatoris – part of the imperial body”, so are cardinals considered “pars corporis papae – part of the papal body”. So they depend on the pope’s heartbeat and his person. Their presence finds a much clearer imprint in another formula. They are the Pope’s “creatures”. The Holy Father not only designates them, he creates them, he makes them.

Thus the Papal Senate and the Papal Council are freely available to the Roman Pontiff. He acts towards them and with them without restrictions and absolute sovereignty. He is the master of the article. Whether his actions in this regard were always wise and reasonable is another matter.

The print edition of Tagespost complements the current news on die-tagespost.de with background information and analysis.

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