The Apostolic Constitution of the Ecclesiastical College
Universi Gregis Dei, or “The Whole Flock of the Gods” is the Apostolic Constitution of the Duchy of Ursundova.
Since the people of Golarion first became aware of the presence of the divine, the Gods of Golarion have reached back to touch the people’s lives in innumerable ways. The calling to become a Speaker for the Gods is as old as anything in written history. In consideration of this ancient tradition, and of the responsibility of those who represent divine powers in mortal agencies, to balance the will of their divine patrons against the needs of their mortal neighbors, it is my honor and privilege to decree the enactment of this Ursundovan Apostolic Constitution on this day, the first of Abadius, 4715.
While every church has, at its heart, the propagation of its god’s vision across the world, no two churches go about that mission in the same manner. Canon Law that touches every faith must, therefore, be of a general nature, adhering to those principles which are consistent with the philosophies maintained by our community, but protecting the sanctity and integrity of each faith’s personal beliefs and practices. To that end, the organization of the Ecclesiastical College shall use titles found in the ancient traditions of Azlant, as borrowed by many modern halls of learning. This is only fit and proper, as the cultivation and education of the soul and mind are inseparable parts of the religious mission.
I. The Ecclesiastical College
The Ecclesiastical College shall consist of every clergyperson of any church recognized by the Ecclesiastical Council. Each church shall have the right to designate those practitioners of religious work that are a part of the church body, but such membership should include, at a minimum, all preachers, pastors, clerics, officers, and church militaries that directly serve the church and that are located within the borders of Ursundova.
II. The Ecclesiastical Council
The representative and deliberative body of the Ecclesiastical College shall consist of an Ecclesiastical Council. The Council shall consist of one representative from each church recognized as a member of the Ecclesiastical College. The Hierarch shall serve as Chairperson of the Ecclesiastical College. Each church shall select their representative in a manner of their own choosing, but representatives must be members of the Ecclesiastical College. Those clergypersons invested with responsibilities of alternate Estates of the Ursundovan Constitution may not serve on the Ecclesiastical Council.
The Council shall be empowered to enact, via majority vote, Canon Law and to, in their turn, empower Ecclesiastical Courts to enforce that law. Ecclesiastical Courts shall consist of no less than five members of the Ecclesiastical Council and their rulings may only be overridden by a majority vote of the entire Ecclesiastical Council.
The High Cleric of Ursundova, as established by the Constitution of Ursundova, shall serve as Hierarch of the Ecclesiastical College. While the Hierarch shall have no authority on spiritual matters outside of his own faith, he or she shall be considered primus inter pares in interfaith matters and any questions that involve more than one church of the Ecclesiastical College. The Hierarch shall serve as Chairperson of the Ecclesiastical Council. He or she shall be responsible for appointing the Provost of the Ecclesiastical College and for recognizing and introducing requests for inclusion of new communities of faith into the Ecclesiastical College. The Hierarch shall represent the Ecclesiastical College to the Privy Council of Ursundova. The Hierarch shall appoint a Preceptor, who shall be responsible for recording Council meetings and serving as Chairman of the council in the Hierarch’s absence.
The Provost of the Ecclesiastical College shall serve as steward of the lands and possessions of the Ecclesiastical College. He or she shall oversee the safety and surety of College property and coordinate with the chosen Treasurer of each community of faith.
The Deans of the Ecclesiastical College shall be those clergypersons acclaimed by their fellows in faith as the leader of that community of faith. Deans shall hold ultimate responsibility for the clergypersons within their church and shall take charge of the performance of such services as are deemed needful and proper by that faith’s spiritual doctrine. The Dean shall be responsible for presenting representatives to the Ecclesiastical Council. Each church shall acclaim no more than one Dean.
The Chancellors of the Ecclesiastical College shall be those clergypersons acclaimed by their fellows as experts in matters of theology and spiritual doctrine. Chancellors shall be charged with the oversight of any religious education provided by the church, as well as the reading of divinity lectures. They shall bear responsibility for ensuring that their faith’s doctrine is adhered to by church membership, both clerical and lay. Each church shall acclaim no more than one Chancellor.
Churches may invest the roles of Dean and Chancellor in a single person. Each church may, as they find necessary, appoint Vicars to support the Dean and Chancellor in the performance of their duties. They may further appoint a Vicar General to serve for either the Dean or the Chancellor in the event of their absence or inability to accomplish their duties.
IV. The Servants of the Gods
The Ecclesiastical College recognizes the authority of the Gods and of the Ecclesiastical Council. It further recognizes the authority of the nobility of Ursundova, insofar as the laws of the Gods allow. No clergyperson shall be subject to adjudication by secular courts or authorities, save for arrest or detention in order to preserve life, property, or public safety.
The Dean of each church shall be responsible for internal church discipline. Those churches, which, in the opinion of an Ecclesiastical Court, have failed in their civic and disciplinary duties, shall be subject to sanction by the Ecclesiastical Council.
Except for the officers in Section III, each church shall be free to organize itself in accordance with its own doctrine and sacred scriptures.
No Citizen or Noble of Ursundova may be compelled to worship or prohibited from worshipping in any church recognized as a member of the Ecclesiastical College.
Churches shall have the authority to establish rules of internal discipline and to enforce those rules with such sanctions as are in accordance with its own doctrine and sacred scriptures.