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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).
WERNZ, Jus Decretalium, II, n. 780 sqq.; LAURENTITIS, Inst. Juris Eccl. (Freiburg, 1903), n. 255; SÄGMÜLLER, Kirchenrecht (Freiburg, 1902), s.v. Dignitas; HILGENREINER, in BUCHBERGER, Kirchl. Handlexikon (Munich, 1907), s.v. Domkapitel.
APA citation. (1908). Ecclesiastical Dignitary. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04794a.htm
MLA citation. "Ecclesiastical Dignitary." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04794a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Douglas J. Potter. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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