« Prelate Prelature Premillenarianism »


PRELATURE: A name originally and strictly applied to an ecclesiastical office carrying with it jurisdiction exercised in the name of the incumbent. These dignities are divided into three classes: (1) those possessed by all diocesan bishops, but not by coadjutor or titular bishops; (2) those to which the dignity was later attached by a special act, including cardinals, papal legates and nuncios, the medieval archdeacons and archpriests, and the heads of collegiate foundations, abbeys, and knightly orders in the cases when they were exempt from episcopal jurisdiction and endowed with a quasi-episcopal jurisdiction of their own; (3) the provosts and deans of chapters in so far as during the Middle Ages, as archdeacons, they had acquired a certain jurisdiction of their own, after the loss of which they still claimed the rank and title. Nowadays both rank and title are given by the pope to a large number of actual or nominal officials of the Curia who possess no jurisdiction. Prelates are distinguished by special titles and dress, and by the right of being received with incense on their formal entrance into a church. See Prelate.

(O. Mejer†.)

« Prelate Prelature Premillenarianism »
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