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Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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A member of the chief order of prelates attached to the papal Curia. There are four types: 1. Those who sign papal documents, act in connection with the consistories and processes of canonization, examine candidates, and confer certain ecclesiastical degrees; 2. Certain canons of St. Peter's, the Lateran, St. Mary Major, and a number of cathedral chapters outside of Rome; 3. Those entitled to the same external insignia as the first class above; and 4. Priests outside of Rome who receive the dignity.