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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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