Papal Chamberlain

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The papal chamberlain go back to the cubicularii (Latin cubicularius "chamberlain") at the court of the Roman emperor in the 4th to 6th centuries.

At the papal court they were laypeople until the time of Pope Gregory the Great , then clergy and monks. From the 12th century onwards, they clearly appeared with ceremonial tasks. They accompanied the Pope with burning torches, held the canopy , participated in the washing of feet on Maundy Thursday , in episcopal ordinations and especially in the papal coronation . In the time of Gregory IX. there were two cubicularii ; in Hofordnung Alexander V. there were already three different classes of cubicularii .

Since the return of the popes to Rome in the 15th century, the following classes for clergy developed:

  • real ("participating") secret chamberlain
  • other ("surplus") secret chamberlain
  • Honorary Chamberlain and
  • Honorary Chamberlain outside Rome

Classes for laypeople had existed since the late 16th century

  • real secret chamberlain, with sword and cloak (it. Camerieri Segreti di Spada e Cappa Partecipanti )
  • other secret chamberlain, with sword and cloak (it. Camerieri Segreti di Spada e Cappa )
  • Chamberlain, with sword and cloak (it. Camerieri d'Onore di Spada e Cappa )

The chamberlain belonged to the familia pontificia , which together with the cappella pontificia formed the papal court. With the Motuproprio Pontificalis domus " Papal House " from 1967, the eunuches were abolished or given new titles. After that there are two prelati di anticamera today who perform the ministry of clergy in the papal house. The honorary titles of house prelate and surplus secret chamberlain were renamed Honorary Prelate to His Holiness and Chaplain to His Holiness . The services of the Chamberlain carried out by lay people live on in the Gentiluomini di Sua Santità . They are appointed for special services to the Holy See , continue to belong to the papal family and take on honorary services in liturgical celebrations of the Pope as well as special audiences.

The formal address of the title holder is also in German Monsignore .