As Misunderstandings occur sometimes in regard to the role and functioning of a Comitium, it may be useful to analyze here what the handbook says on THE COMITIUM in chapter 28:2:2 :
- “Where it is found necessary to confer on a Curia. in addition to its own proper functions, certain powers of over one or several Curiae, such higher Curia shall be styled more particularly a Comitium.” (Handbook)
Comments: The raising of a Curia to Comitium may only be done with the sanction of a Regia or a Senatus or Concilium. It may not be done by the Curia itself or by an existing Comitium. Where an existing Comitium sees a need for raising one of its attached Curiae to Comitium, it should consult with its own higher council (Regia or Senatus or Comitium) The “certain powers of superintendence” include
(1) the affiliation of the Curia(e) to the Comitium
(2) the ratification of elections of officers of the attached Curia(e);
(3) the taking of reports from the Curia(e);
(4) the periodic visitation of the Curia(e).
It should be noted that the Comitium is the link for its attached Curia(e) to the wider Legion, whereby they will receive news of the Legion. The raising of a Curia to Comitium also requires, of course, ecclesiastical sanction.
- “The Comitium is not a new council. It continues to act as a Curia in respect of its own area and to govern directly its own praesidia. In addition, it supervises one or more Curiae. Each Curia and praesidium directly related to a Comitium shall he entitled to full representation on the latter.” (Handbook)
Comments: A Comitium is not just a council or committee of officers of Curiae only. The officers of its own praesidia form the core attendance at its meetings. The members of the Comitium are
(1) the officers of its directly attached praesidia;
(2) the officers of its directly affiliated Curia(e); and
(3) the elected officers of the Comitium. The Comitium continues to hold a monthly meeting as it had been doing when it was a Curia, except that now the monthly meeting is called a Comitium meeting.
(It is incorrect to describe it as a Comitium meeting only some months, for instance, when officers of affiliated Curiae are present, and to describe it as a Curia meeting other months.) When a Curia is raised to Comitium, the Officers of the Curia continue as officers of the Comitium until their terms expire, if they are on a first term, they are eligible to stand for re-election to the same office in the Comitium when their first terms expire. If they are on a second term, they are not eligible for re-election to the same office until an interval of three years has elapsed.
As each Curia and praesidium directly attached has full representation on the Comitium, the officers of each of these Curiae and praesidia have the right to vote in elections of Comitium officers (when these elections fall due), provided they are present at the meeting at which an election lakes place. It is important that the officers of directly affiliated Curiae should be given notice of elections due to take place. As they may not be present at the Comitium meeting at which notice is given, the Comitium should ensure that they are made aware of it. It is expected that officers of attached Curiae always receive a copy of the agenda of every Comitium meeting, in advance.
- “In order to relieve the representatives of a Curia from attendance at all the meetings of the Comitium (which, added to the meetings of their own Curia, might form an undue burden), it would be permissible to deal with the business of that Curia and to require the attendance of its representatives only at every second or third meeting of the Comitium.” (Handbook)
Comments: The officers of Curiae affiliated to a Comitium are entitled to attend the Comitium meeting each month, however, they are only obliged to attend and report every second or third month This does not mean that the officers of all the affiliated Curiae have to attend on the same month
- “A Comitium shall not ordinarily cover an area larger than a Diocese.” (Handbook)
Comments: lf a Diocese has many Curiae, more than one Comitium may be necessary. There may be special circumstances where it is desirable that a Comitium should have Curia(e) from another Diocese (or Dioceses) affiliated to it and for which ecclesiastical sanction call be obtained.