- The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge [Dictionary edition]
- The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. I: Aachen - Basilians
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.