Datarius (datary), a chancellor in the papal court. His title is derived from datum, usually prefixed to the date of the documents issued (e.g. datum, given, August 20). He is always a prelate, and sometimes a cardinal, and receives his name from his office, which is to date certain petitions for benefices that have been presented and registered: he writes upon them Datum Romae apud, etc. He is empowered to grant, without acquainting the pope therewith, all benefices which do not produce upwards of twenty-four ducats annually; for such as amount to more he is obliged to get the provisions signed by the pope, who admits him to audience every day. If there be several candidates for the same benefice, he has the liberty of bestowing it on any whom he may select. His salary is two thousand crowns, exclusive of perquisites. When the pope's consent has been obtained, the datary subscribes the petition with the words Annuit sanctissimus. The pope's assent is subscribed in these words, Fiat ut petitu; "Be it according to the petition." The pope's bull granting the benefice is then dispatched by the datary; and passes through the hands of many persons, belonging to different offices, who have all their stated fees. It is very expensive to procure the pope's bull for a benefice, and very large sums go into the office of the datary, especially when the provisions are for bishoprics, or other rich benefices. — Buck, Theol. Dict. s.v.; Farrar, s.v.

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