Assistant to the Papal throne

The Bishops-Assistant at the Pontifical Throne were ecclesiastical titles in the Roman Catholic Church. It designated prelates belonging to the Papal Chapel, who stood near the throne of the Pope at solemn functions. The title has not been in use since Pope Paul VI issued his "motu proprio" (Latin: Pontificalis Domus) on 28 March 1968, which reformed the Papal Court, renaming it the Papal Household and eliminated all previous titles of nobility. Unless specified otherwise, all Assistants at the Pontifical Throne immediately entered the Papal nobility as Counts of Rome. Assistants at the Pontifical Throne ranked immediately below the College of Cardinals and were also Counts of the Apostolic Palace.

History

All patriarchs and some bishops selected by the Pope, were made Assistants at the Pontifical Throne.

On 22 May 1862, during the canonization ceremony of the twenty-six Catholic martyrs of Japan, Pope Pius IX elevated all the bishops present to the rank of Assistant at the Pontifical Throne. On 8 January 1866, Ruggero Luigi Emidio Antici Mattei was named Dean of the Assistants at the Pontifical Throne after Pope Pius IX named him Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. On 17 June 1867, during the 1800th anniversary of the martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Pius IX elevated all the bishops present to the rank of Assistant at the Pontifical Throne.

The title has not been in use since Pope Paul VI's reform of the Pontifical Household in 28 March 1968 which eliminated all previous titles of nobility.

See also

References

    • New Catholic Dictionary
    •  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Assistant at the Pontifical Throne" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
    • Cardinal Antici Mattei as Dean of the Assistants to the Pontifical Throne
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