Collegial or Collegiate System
Collegial Or Collegiate System a mode of exhibiting the relation of Church and State employed by Puffendorf and Pfaff in Protestant Germany. The churches were regarded as being, after Constantine's time, legal corporations (collegia licita), with rights to form their creeds, conduct their worship, choose their presiding officer, admit and expel members; to make and administer by-laws, correct such abuses as might creep in among them, call in the aid of the civil power if necessary, or in certain cases to leave the exercise of these rights to others. It was assumed that the rights originally belonging to the congregations, which had been in course of time usurped by the hierarchy, were restored to the congregations by the Reformation, and were left by the Reformed congregations to the civil authorities. According to this view, the civil authority would have a double power with regard to the Church, the jus circa sacra, the light of superintendence and of patronage, which inheres in the secular authority, and the jus in sacris, the sum of the collegial rights in internal affairs of the Church, transferred to it (the secular government) as the representative of the congregations of the country. For some time this view was eagerly made use of by most of the Protestant state governments, but in modern times it has more or less given way in every country to a sounder conception of the relation between Church and State. — Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2:667. SEE CHURCH AND STATE.