A formulæ added to the titles of ecclesiastical dignitaries . The first ( N. Dei gratiâ Episcopus N. ) has been used in that form or in certain equivalents since the fifth century. Among the signatures of the Councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451) we find names to which are added: Dei gratiâ, per gratiam Dei, Dei miseratione Episcopus N . ( Mansi, Sacr. Conc. Coll., IV, 1213; VII, 137, 139, 429 sqq.). Though afterwards employed occasionally, it did not become prevalent until the eleventh century. The second form ( N. Dei et Apostolicæ Sedis gratiâ Episcopus N. ) is current since the eleventh century; but came into general use by archbishops and bishops only since the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The first formula expresses the Divine origin of the episcopal office; the second exhibits the union of the bishops and their submission to the See of Rome. Temporal rulers since King Pepin the Short, in the eighth century, also made use of the first formula; from the fifteenth it was employed to signify complete and independent sovereignty, in contradistinction to the sovereignty conferred by the choice of the people. For this reason the bishops in some parts of Southern Germany (Baden, Bavaria, Wurtemberg) are not allowed to use it, but must say instead: Dei Miseratione et Apostolicæ Sedis gratiâ .
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