The cathedral dean , also known as the dean , is an office within the clergy of episcopal churches. Insofar as the office is provided for in the statutes of the chapter, he presides over the cathedral chapter internally, while the cathedral provost is responsible for the administration of the chapter's goods and often the external representation. The cathedral dean is thus the second dignity in a cathedral chapter . If the dignity of the cathedral provost is missing in a cathedral chapter, e.g. B. in today's Mainz cathedral chapter , the cathedral dean is the first dignity of the cathedral chapter.
The filling of the position is regulated differently in the German (ore) dioceses . In some, e.g. B. Munich , the cathedral dean is elected by the chapter and confirmed by the bishop, in others, z. B. Cologne , appointed by the bishop after hearing the chapter.
In some German church provinces, the cathedral dean has important tasks when a new bishop has to be elected. Here, in accordance with Article 6 of the Prussian Concordat and Article 3 of the Baden Concordat , he hands over the list drawn up by the cathedral chapter of suitable candidates for the office of bishop via the nuncio to the Holy See in the event of a vacancy . After the Holy See has given the cathedral chapter a list of three candidates for bishopric in consideration of these lists, the cathedral dean convenes the cathedral chapter so that it can elect one of the three candidates for bishop in a free, secret ballot. After the state governments have been asked or informed in the intended form for comments within the scope of the Prussian Concordat and no objections have been raised, the cathedral dean announces the election result to the nunciature to the Apostolic See.
In the cathedral chapters that have become Protestant (e.g. Brandenburg Cathedral Foundation , United Cathedral Foundation Naumburg, Merseburg and Zeitz), the cathedral deans - like the other canons from whose midst they were elected - did not have to be clergymen; rather, they were often former politicians or generals. Their tasks also consisted of the administration of the Domstift property and its external representation. In the Brandenburg Cathedral Abbey, however, the cathedral dean and his / her deputy are appointed by the leadership of the regional church and must be ordained as pastors.