prœlatus, one set before). i. A dignitary having jurisdiction in the external
forum by right of his office. The principal prelates are the bishops; others are
vicars and prefects apostolic, abbots and other major superiors of religious
orders, and the higher officials of the Roman curia.
ii. There is a
very large class of prelates who receive that name and rank without any office,
duties or emoluments attached, as a mark of papal recognition of their services
to the Church. All prelates, whether real or titular, have the title
Monsignor(e), and have a special dress according to their rank and office; in
choir they wear a rochet ['A narrow-sleeved garment reaching to the knees, made
of white linen, the lower part being lace'] and mantelletta ['A sleeveless outer
garment, open in front but fastened at the neck, reaching nearly to the
knees']." (Catholic Dictionary)
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