« Advocate of The Church Advocates, Consistorial Advocates of St. Peter »

Advocates, Consistorial

ADVOCATES, CONSISTORIAL: Twelve lawyers who outrank all the advocates in the papal court. They trace their origin from the close of the sixth century, when Gregory the Great appointed seven defensores in the city of Rome to plead the cause of poor litigants who would otherwise be without legal counsel. Sixtus IV. increased the number by the addition of five junior advocates, but the memory of the historical origin of the body was preserved by reserving to the seven senior members certain privileges, among them the right to constitute the college proper of consistorial advocates. This college at the present time is made up of two clerics and five laymen, one of the latter being dean. The name “consistorial” comes from the fact that their principal duties—presenting the claims of candidates for canonization and petitioning for the pallium—are performed in papal consistories.

John T. Creagh.

« Advocate of The Church Advocates, Consistorial Advocates of St. Peter »
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