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ASSISTANTS AT THE THRONE
Originally patriarchs, archbishops, and bishops who, since the eleventh century, were thus specially honored by the Pope. during liturgical ceremonies they were seated near the Pope. Assistants at the throne are now also domestic prelates (antistites urbani). They do not lose their rank with the death of the Sovereign Pontiff.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.