As an apostolic prothonotary (Latin prothonotary apostolicus ) refers to both certain prelates of the Roman Curia, as well backing of a senior papal honor title. The name follows from the historic office of primicerius notariorum in Urbe (Latin: ruler of the notaries in the city of Rome ), which is already attested in the 5th century.
Notaries of the papal curia
The actual Apostolic Proto notaries are notaries of the Pope and the Holy See. Their number is set at seven. Together they form a quorum, chaired by the most senior Apostolic protonotary, which is referred to as the dean.
The object of the Apostolic Proto notaries is to make the records and documents of the proclamation of dogmas, Saints, coronations, property seizures, took office and the death of the Pope. They also monitor the proper opening and closing of the Conclave and maintain records on the consistory.
These actual Apostolic Proto notaries are assigned to the first section of the State Secretariat and are also referred to as Protonotarii Apostolici de numero.
Pontifical honorary title
In addition, there is a second group of Apostolic Proto notaries who Protonotarii Apostolici supra numerum to whom this title was awarded honorary. This title is the highest honor prelate title. As a rule, he was assigned at the request of the competent diocesan bishop to deserving priest, however, this distinction has been very rarely granted in comparison to other titles of honor.
In January 2014 Pope Francis ended the awarding of the title, which he had temporarily suspended shortly after his election. Already assigned title remained.
And political rights
Both classes of the Apostolic Proto notaries are members of the Pontifical Family. You may wear as a sign of their dignity as the Pontifical honor prelates outside of worship a black cassock with purple piping and purple buttons and a purple cincture and also held in purple biretta. In addition, they have the right to the mantle Letta to wear a purple shoulder silk shawls. In worship they wear the purple choir dress. Previously they also came to the right to use the Pontifikalien in church services.
In Germany, the correct form of address for an apostolic prothonotary 's " Most Reverend Prelate ."