I ran across a full-page paid advertisement in the November 11, 2005 edition of the National Catholic Reporter
In a somewhat excessively formal statement of beliefs, the last article states the following:
We believe the Second Vatican Council reaffirmed long-held Roman Catholic belief in the collegiality of all members of the People of God: laity, clergy, together with the hierarchy (the Sensus Fidelium or "Consensus of the Faithful").
I suppose one can't argue with the statement that the members of Dignity/Washington believe this to be true, but I find the statement itself absolutely incredible: 'the collegiality of all members of the People of God'!
Of course, the term 'collegiality' is a specific reference to the episcopal college, references to which are found sprinkled throughout Lumen Gentium. By definition, however, this term includes bishops alone. Suggesting that laity clergy might be included in this college is the equivalent of suggesting that a banana might be included in the category of vegetable. But of course, the term 'collegiality' has no meaning whatsoever outside of reference to the episcopal college.
Clearly, then, this statement reflects a completely different understanding of 'collegiality' than anything in the theological tradition (despite the explicit statement that this understanding of collegiality was endorsed by the Second Vatican Council). It seems that this word has become something of a 'catch-all' term, which encapsulates all of the elements of the leftist ecclesiology - decentralization, anti-clericalism, anti-hierarchialism, etc. Perhaps by affirming the 'collegiality' of all the People of God, the signers intend to express their desire for some sort of egalitarian concord, which would exclude any sort of distinct, privileged hierarchy. But a distinct, privileged hierarchy is exactly what the theological concept of 'collegiality' was developed in order to express.
One wonders how all the members and/or signers of this 'declaration' could be so ignorant - willfully or no - of the meaning of the term they so eagerly endorse. This confirms my age-old theory, of course, that most of the 'Spirit of Vatican II' bandwagon have never bothered to consult the texts produced by that council.