Prothonotary Apostolic

Member of the chief order of prelates in the papal Curia. There are four classes

  • those who sign the papal Bulls; instead of the earlier abbreviators, act in connection with the consistories and processes of canonization, examine candidates, and confer a fixed number of degrees in theology and canon law
  • certain canons of Saint Peter, the Lateran, and Saint Mary Major and of the cathedral chapters outside of Rome to which the privilege has been granted
  • those who are entitled to the same external insignia as class Number 1
  • others outside of Rome who receive the dignity

They are entitled to the use of the pontificals. The privileges, dress, and insignia are defined in the “Motu Proprio” of Pope Pius X, 29 June 1908.