Magister Sacri Palatii

Magister Sacri Palatii (master of the sacred palace). This office was created in 1218 by pope Honorius III, and was first held by St. Dominic. The latter, during his residence at Rome, had noticed that the persons employed by the cardinals and authorities made a bad use of their unemployed time. He therefore had commenced, with the consent of the pope, to give them religious instruction during their leisure time, and was rewarded by Honorius with the above office. The task assigned was like that which Dominic had previously chosen for himself, but the pope increased it by directing that the employees of the papal household should also attend these instructions. The office was made perpetual to the Dominicans. Many privileges were gradually attached to it. Thus a bull of pope Eugenius IV, of 1436, ordered that in the papal chapel the Magister s. palatii should be placed next to the dean of the Auditore della Rota; no one was to preach in the chapel without his permission; and on his being temporarily absent from Rome, he was to invest his substitute with the same privileges. These prerogatives were confirmed by Calixtus III in 1456, who gave also the right to the Magister s. palatii of reproving the preacher in the papal chapel, even in the presence of the pope. Leo X, — in 1515, decided that nothing should be printed in the diocese of Rome without the consent of that official and of the cardinal-vicar. In 1625 Urban VIII went further, and forbade the reprinting of works published in the States of the Church without this authorization. Pius V, in 1570, connected with the office a canonicate of St. Peter, which was, however, taken from it in 1586 by Sixtus V. Finally, Alexander VII gave the Magister s. palatii the precedence before all the other clergy composing the Roman cabinet. These privileges, however, were gradually taken back, and the censorship of books now alone remains to the Magister s. palatii. See Musson, Pragm. Geschichte d. Mönchsorden, 8:33; Helyot, Gesch. d. geistl. Klöster- u. Ritteirorden (Leipzig, 1754), 3:252; Schröckh, K. G. 33:95; Herzog, Real-Encyklop. 8:685.

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