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An Ecclesiastical Dignitary is a member of a chapter, cathedral or collegiate, possessed not only of a foremost place, but also of a certain jurisdiction. These dignitates , as they are called, are usually the provost and the dean, sometimes also the custos and the scholasticus . Their nomination and canonical institution, to a great extent reserved to the pope, are governed partly by common ecclesiastical law, partly by special legislation (e.g. concordats ) and custom. The dignitates of a chapter differ from the personatus , inasmuch as the latter officers have merely a fixed right of precedence, and again from the officia (e.g. canon theologian, canon penitentiary), inasmuch as these places imply only an administrative charge or duty (see ECCLESIASTICAL PERSON; CANON; CHAPTER).

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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 between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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

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