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THE CURIA

mantellone prelates. The mantelletta category, the garb of whom resembles that of the bishops, belong to the "Papal family" and the "Papal domestic prelacy." At the head of these there stand four "tasselled prelates" called thus not by reason of the tassels which figure in every spiritual coat of arms in varying colours and numbers, but by reason of the fact that their horses, if they had any horses, could wear violet silk tassels as bridle ornaments. Even greater curios of the same kind are not lacking at the Papal court, or at any other court for that matter. Among these "tasselled prelates" the Majordomo is the only one who now exercises an important function. Even the prelates next highest in rank, the apostolic protonotaries, who are also divided into "real" and "superfluous" groups, are today hardly more than bearers of a title. Most of them are canons of great cathedrals; and the tide is much coveted because those on whom it is conferred are almost on a par with bishops in rank, honours and raiment. In- deed the few "real" protonotaries precede a mere bishop on state oc- casions. They may also become Roman Doctors of theology or law without a dissertation and at a moderate expense. In days when the German doctorate still meant real work, all this was described by a phrase which read, "Doctor Romanes, asinus Germanus."

The domestic-prelates properly so-called are those higher officials of the Curia who are subordinate to the cardinals in charge. The first class of these prelates comprises among others the judges of the Papal tribunal of the Rota. On solemn occasions they may wear in addi- tion to their regular attire a violet cappa and a trailing mantle. Most of the cardinals of the Curia are selected from among the mantelletta prelates, who in part hold important and influential positions. The Papal-Secretary of State confers all classes of the mantelletta prelacy.

The honorary domestic-prelates, who are addressed as monsignori and are entitled to wear a garb somewhat similar to that of a bishop, number 2000, and are to be found in all countries. The honour is conferred upon men who have rendered real service . . . and is also sought after with burning zeal by the ambitious. Appointment follows recommendation by the bishop in question or at least upon inquiry as to whether he has any objection.

The secret chamberlains proper, who are on duty in the "secret ante-chamber," are members of the mantellone group. They wear a


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