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“Prelate” (Ger. Prälat) is a legal term in the Roman Catholic Church to describe all who hold leading offices of different ranking in the church, including honorary prelates without jurisdiction. The term derives from Lat. praelatus, a participle of praefero, here in the sense of giving preference or putting at the head.

In the regional churches of Baden and Württemberg, in southern Germany, the title “prelate” originally designated, not a specific church office, but membership in a regional diet, later the Parliament of a federal state. Curren…

Cite this page
Winter, Jörg, “Prelate”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 22 April 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_P.139>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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