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64 Jurist 64 (2004)
Collegiality in the East and the West in the First Millennium - A Study Based on the Canonical Collections

handle is hein.journals/juristcu64 and id is 68 raw text is: THE JURIST 64 (2004) 64-81

The Second Vatican Council in its Dogmatic Constitution on the
Church, Lumen gentium, teaches clearly the collegiality of the bishops. It
'The collegial character and nature of the episcopal order is
shown in the very ancient practice by which bishops appointed
throughout the world maintained communion with each other
and with the bishop of Rome in the bonds of unity, charity and
peace; this is shown in the councils that were convened,, by
which all the most important matters were settled in common
and a decision carefully arrived at through the counsel of many.'
(n. 22)
Lumen gentium gives references here to Eusebius, Ecclesiastical His-
tory.' This same teaching is confirmed by the canonical collections in
East and West throughout the first millennium. In the recently published
Indices to the Corpus luris Canonici2 one does not find the word 'colle-
gialitas.' However, one does find references to the exercise of collegial-
ity in the numerous synods of bishops that took place in the East and in
the West throughout the first millennium, This was the exercise of joint
responsibility of the bishops for the government of the Church and it was
done in every region of the early Church.
1. Episcopal Synods-Regional and Ecumenical
The author recently attempted to give an account of how canon law de-
veloped in the first millennium of the Church's history through the work
of some canonists who made important contributions to the development
of canon law.3 This comparison between the canon law that guided the
* Faculty of Theology, Oxford University.
Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, vols 23-24.
2 Indices luris Canonici, ed. Francis Germovnik and Michael Th~riault, 2nd ed. (Ot-
tawa: St. Paul's University, 2002).
3 Clarence Gallagher, Church Law and Church Order in Rome and Byzantium. A
Comparative Study. Byzantine and Ottoman Monographs, vol. 8 (Ashgate: University of
Birmingham, 2002).

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