Help Now >
FREE Catholic Classes
(Latin camerarius ).
The title of certain papal officials. The Low Latin word camera (chamber) means the treasure of the prince, monastery, etc.; also in general the royal treasury ( fiscus ), the temporal administration of a monastery. The term camerarius was, therefore, very frequently equivalent to civil treasurer, and in the case of monasteries meant the monk charged with the administration of the monastic property. This is also the sense of the Italian term camerlengo , still borne at Rome by three ecclesiastics, (1) The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, (2) the Camerlengo of the Sacred College (of Cardinals) , and (3) the Camerlengo of the Roman Clergy. The Roman confraternities have also an officer similarly entitled.
(1) The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
The Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church is the administrator of the property and the revenues of the Holy See, and as such is successor both of the Archdeacon of Rome and of the Vicedominus , the former of whom administered the property of the entire Roman Church, i.e. the Diocese of Rome, while the latter was especially charged with the administration of the mensa of the pope and the entire personnel of the patriarchium Lateranense (St. John Lateran).
This latter official was the same as the syncellus at Constantinople. The office of Archdeacon of Rome was suppressed by Gregory VII, himself its last incumbent under Alexander II ; owing to its numerous ancient privileges and rights it had come to be a frequent hindrance to independent papal action. When these were lopped off, the (Roman) office of arch-deacon shrank to its original proportions. Thereafter the cardinal to whom was committed the supervision of the Camera Apostolica (a term even then customary for the administration of the temporalities of the Holy See ) was known as Camerarius or, in popular language, Camerlengo. The subordinates of this official are known as clerks ( chierici ) of the Camera; chief among them are the treasurer and the auditor di Camera. Their body is known as Reverenda Camera Apostolica (see APOSTOLIC CAMERA). When the cardinal-camerlengo happened to be absent on some pontifical business, a vice-camerlengo was chosen in his place. The office of camerlengo included not only the supervision of the immediate properties of the Holy See, but also the fiscal administration of the Pontifical States , the Patrimonium Petri.
Help Now >
The following were its chief attributions:
- the collection of the taxæ , or dues paid for the delivery of the Bulls of appointment to dioceses and abbeys (see CHANCERY, APOSTOLIC);
- the registry of the oblations or gifts of the faithful;
- charge of the papal coinage ( Moneta );
- jurisdiction, civil and criminal, over officials of the Camera ( chierici di Camera ).
(2) The Camerlengo of the Sacred College
The Camerlengo of the Sacred College (of Cardinals) does not antedate Leo X (1513-21). He administers all fees and revenues belonging to the College of Cardinals , pontificates at the requiem Mass for a deceased cardinal, and is charged with the registry of the "Acta Consistoralia" (see PAPAL CONSISTORY ).
(3) The Camerlengo of the Roman Clergy
The Camerlengo of the Roman Clergy is elected by the canons and parish priests of Rome ; he has an honorary place in the great processions, presides over the ecclesiastical conferences of the parochial clergy, acts as arbiter in all questions of precedence, and administers the " oath of free estate" ( juramentum de statu libero ), obligatory on persons desirous of marrying.
Help Now >
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
St. John Bosco
Saint of the Day for Tuesday, Jan 31st, 2023
Saints & Angels
Patron Saints A-Z
Mysteries of the Rosary
St. Martin de Porres
Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, Jan 31
Saints A to Z: A
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 01, 2023
- St. Brigid of Ireland: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 01, 2023
- Prayer for a Sick Person: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, February 01, 2023
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, January 31, 2023
- St. John Bosco: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, January 31, 2023
- Prayer to Saint John Bosco: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2022 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.