Real Prelate, the incumbent of a prelature, i.e., of an ecclesiastical office with special and stable jurisdiction in foro externo and with special precedence over other ecclesiastical offices; or, honorary, with distinctions of this ecclesiastical dignity without the corresponding office. The original prelates are the bishops as possessors of jurisdiction over the members of the Church based on Divine institution. Apart from the bishops, the real prelates include:
In consequence of the extent of the government of the Church, prelates are especially numerous in Rome. The most important real prelates of the papal curia are: the three highest officials of the Camera Apostolica (vice-camerlengo, general auditor, and treasurer) and the Majordomo of the Vatican, who are called prelati di fiocchetti; the secretaries of the congregations of cardinals, the regent of the papal chancery, the regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary, and certain other high officials of the congregations of the Curia ; the members of the College of Prothonotaries Apostolic de numero participantium , the auditors of the Rota, the clerics of the Apostolic Chamber, the referendaries of the Siqnatura justitiœ . In the Constitution "Inter ceteras" of 11 June, 1659, Alexander VII laid down the conditions under which these real prelatures might be accepted. The dignity granted by the pope with mention of these conditions is called "prælatura justitiæ"; when the conditions are not imposed in the granting of the dignity, the latter is called "prælatura gratiæ". To the real prelates belong, therefore, although no jurisdiction in foro externo is attached to their offices, all the highest palace officials, who perform a constant service in the retinue of the pope and in the offices created for that purpose. The appointment to these offices confers of itself the prelature. Such officials are the Papal Almoner, the Secretary of Latin Briefs and Briefs to the Princes, the substitute of the Cardinal Secretary of State, the four real Privy Chamberlains, the real Privy Chaplains of the Pope. A second class of prelates are those on whom the title and rank of the prelature are conferred with the corresponding dress and privileges, but without the office or court service otherwise attached to it. These are:
All prelates have the title "Monsignore" and a special costume (purple) corresponding to their rank; the higher prelates enjoy in addition other special privileges.
Biography Of St Pio
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online