Decretum pontificum de pontifice ab officiis (Nova Roma)
This decretum is currently active.
I. Election of a secretary of the collegium pontificum
I.A. The collegium pontificum shall elect a secretary of the collegium pontificum, with the Latin title "pontifex ab officiis", among the pontifices to assist the pontifex maximus in his capacity as a president and spokesman of the collegium pontificum.
I.B. The term of office of the secretary of the collegium pontificum is for 3 months, and he can be re-elected to this position without limitation.
I.C. Any pontifex may declare himself a candidate to the secretary position, and the collegium pontificum is obliged to elect the next secretary among the candidates before the day when the term of office of the previous secretary expires, or within 30 days if the office of the secretary becomes vacant by resignation, death, or by the disappearing of the sitting secretary in concordance with a similar measure regarding magistrates of the lex Minucia Moravia de eiuratione magistratum II.A., if the censores make a public statement that the secretary "is unreachable after an absence of 45 or more days."
I.D. The secretary of the collegium pontificum may be revoked from his position by a voting of the collegium pontificum for any reason and at any given time.
I.E. The pontifex maximus may, at his discretion, order the collegium pontificum not to elect a pontifex ab officiis by stating it in a public declaration that he intends to start an active period and to take on the role of active leader. Such an active leadership period of the pontifex maximus (hereafter referred to as "Declared Active Period") starts from the date of, or the date specified in, the public announcement and lasts until the date of, or date specified in, the public announcement about finishing the active period. When this period has ended, the collegium pontificum is automatically required to elect a secretary again.
II. Division of tasks within the collegium pontificum
II.A. All pontifices, including the pontifex maximus, aside from his specific rights and duties, have the same powers and rights and are entitled to lead the collegium pontificum.
II.B. The pontifex maximus, besides the same powers and rights that all pontifices have, has some special rights, powers and duties assigned to him by leges, senatus consulta, by edicts and by pontifical decrees.
II.C. The pontifex ab officiis, secretary of the collegium pontificum, has exactly the same rights and powers than all pontifices, but in addition to these rights and powers, the pontifex ab officiis has the duty and responsibility to manage the collegium pontificum. The duties of the pontifex ab officiis are listed under section IV.
II.D. To advance the internal working of the collegium pontificum and the work of the pontifex maximus, specific rights, powers, tasks and duties, belonging to the collegium pontificum or to the pontifex maximus, may be assigned to any pontifex, including the pontifex ab officiis, by a decree of the collegium pontificum. In such cases, the appointed pontifex shall be responsible for the actions taken within that specific area.
III. Powers and rights of the secretary of the collegium pontificum
III.A. The secretary of the collegium pontificum shall have no more rights or powers than a regular pontifex, except in cases when the collegium pontificum authorizes the pontifex ab officiis to act with special powers and perform tasks in specified cases.
III.B. Apart of such authorizations, the secretary pontifex shall have the same power and rights than a regular pontifex, with the difference that the other pontifices, including the pontifex maximus, have only the rights and powers to lead the collegium pontificum, the secretary has also the duty and responsibility to do it, and, being required to manage the collegium, he may be called into account regarding the performance of these duties.
III.C. The pontifex ab officiis may not usurp any of the rights and powers that are specially assigned to the pontifex maximus by any lex, senatus consultum, edict or pontifical decree, unless a lex, senatus consultum, edict or pontifical decree explicitly delegates that specific duty or power to the pontifex ab officiis.
III.D. If there is a conflict between the pontifex maximus and the pontifex ab officiis, it's always the pontifex maximus whose will and intention must prevail. The pontifex ab officiis acts and works always with the tacit or expressed approval of the pontifex maximus, and once the pontifex maximus expresses his dissent publicly against the action of the pontifex ab officiis, the pontifex ab officiis may act in that specific issue but only in his capacity as regular pontifex, and can not be called into account for having not acted on that specific issue.
IV. Duties of the secretary of the collegium pontificum
IV.A. While all pontifices are empowered to convene and lead the collegium pontificum, and the pontifex maximus is the president and symbolic head of the collegium, if the pontifex maximus is not in Declared Active Period (described in section I.E.), it shall be the duty and responsibility of the pontifex ab officiis to manage all activities of the collegium pontificum.
IV.B. The main duty of the secretary of the collegium pontificum is to ensure by assisting (IV.D.) or substituting (IV.C.) the pontifex maximus that important matters of religious business keep on going in a timely manner, communications directed to the collegium are answered, applications for priesthoods are properly published and administered, and the priests and religious activities of the Nova Roman Republic are coordinated.
IV.C. If the pontifex maximus is incapacitated or kept away from his sacred duties for any reason, or if he chooses not to attend his duties or assume his leading role, the pontifex ab officiis shall take care that all business and duties of the collegium pontificum are carried out. In such cases, the secretary pontifex ab officiis of the collegium pontificum shall:
- IV.C.1. be the contact person and the spokesman of the collegium pontificum, informing the collegium about any official or private questions, requests, mandates and calls directed to the collegium, about priesthood applications, or about any tasks to attend, and answering to the authorities or individuals in the name of the collegium pontificum, such communications made with a reaction time of no later than within 10 days;
- IV.C.2. maintain and publish an up-to-date database of applicants for priesthood, and either have the collegium appoint them as camilli, and direct them to the authorities where they undergo a training, or, if the applicant has already got the necessary qualifications or training, to put his name on the agenda of the collegium pontificum for appointment to a priesthood;
- IV.C.3. prepare and publish (except in case of a closed session) the agenda of the collegium pontificum, and convene the collegium at least once per month. If the collegium pontificum has not been convened for more than 30 days since the last day of the previous session, and no other pontifex has publicly declared his intention to convene the collegium, the secretary of the collegium pontificum shall be obliged to call the collegium into session, and if there is no other proposal to vote on, the pontifex ab officiis shall submit to vote a decree on the reasons of inactivity of the collegium pontificum.
IV.D. If the pontifex paximus is active in his role of leading the collegium pontificum, either within or outside a Declared Active Period (described in section I.E.), the secretary pontifex ab officiis shall:
- IV.D.1. serve and be permanently available as a primary assistant to the pontifex maximus, helping him in any areas or activities in which the pontifex maximus needs assistance;
- IV.D.2. make sure that the pontifex maximus maintains and performs his specific duties satisfactorily, and fills his role as president of the collegium acceptably, and, if there are deficiencies, to take care that the pontifex maximus can perform his specific duties and that he can manage the collegium pontificum, first, by reminding the pontifex maximus about the things to do, and by helping to prepare the agenda of the collegium, secondly, by intervening and making the necessary steps to perform the current tasks of the collegium pontificum if the pontifex maximus, for any reason, can not do it.
V. Personal responsibility within the collegium pontificum
V.A. The question whether a pontifex maximus is available-active, or unavailable-inactive, and whether the secretary pontifex shall act as an assistant to the pontifex maximus or as an active deputy leader, is decided from time to time by the reactions and communications of the pontifex maximus (in V.A.2. and V.A.3.) or by the official declaration of the pontifex maximus (in V.A.1.):
- V.A.1. Whenever the pontifex maximus is in Declared Active Period assuming the role of active leader (as described in section I.E.), the pontifex maximus is considered available and active, and all leadership and management duties and responsibilities shall fall on the pontifex maximus alone.
- V.A.1.a. If the pontifex maximus is in Declared Active Period, but he did not prevent the election of a pontifex ab officiis, even if there is a secretary pontifex in office, in such an active period of the pontifex maximus all responsibility for the management and functioning of the collegium pontificum falls on the pontifex maximus, the secretary being considered only an assistant.
- V.A.1.b. If the pontifex maximus, in such a Declared Active Period, has prevented the election of a pontifex ab officiis, all responsibility for the management and functioning of the collegium pontificum falls by default on the pontifex maximus.
- V.A.2. Whenever the pontifex maximus, outside of such a Declared Active Period (described in section I.E.), makes a statement publicly that he is in charge of an issue, or if he overwrites the decision or action of the secretary pontifex, then that specific issue shall be considered to be done actively by the pontifex maximus, and the secretary pontifex can not be called into account for that specific issue.
- V.A.3. Whenever and until the pontifex maximus, outside of such a Declared Active Period (described in section I.E.), is silent on a specific issue, he shall be supposed to be inactive and tacitly in agreement of whatever action the secretary pontifex is making. The patience period before the pontifex maximus can be declared unavailable in an issue in which the pontifex maximus is supposed to act is 72 hours.
V.B. If the pontifex maximus, or any other pontifex, has undertaken a task or has started to manage any collegium business, but later neglects it, or has personally performed an action that causes harm, than the responsibility for having neglected the official duties or having caused harm falls on the person who did or did not do the action in question, and in such cases this person, and not the pontifex ab officiis, is who shall be called into account.