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ABBREVIATORS, a body of writers in the Papal Chancery, whose business is to sketch out and prepare in due form the Pope's bulls, briefs, and consistorial decrees. They are first mentioned in a bull of Benedict XII., early in the 14th century. Their number is fixed at seventy-two, of whom twelve, distinguished as de parco majori, hold prelatic rank; twenty-two, de parco minori, are clergymen of lower rank; and the remainder, examinatores, may be laymen.