Praelati (i.e. preferred), in the larger sense of the word, is the name of all higher officers of the Church with whose functions is connected a jurisdiction in their own name — jure ordinario— i.e. a jurisdiction belonging essentially to the office, not conferred by a higher dignitary of the Church. In this meaning of the word we distinguish between praelati primigenii and secundirii. In a more restricted sense, praelati is the name given to the local superiors or directors of the congregations and abbeys of many ecclesiastical orders, especially to those who enjoy, either by privilege or tradition, the right of wearing the pontifical ensigns.
Praelati nullius dioceseos is the title of abbots or other high dignitaries who are not amenable to the jurisdiction of the bishop, but enjoy themselves jurisdictionem quasi-episcopalem, which as a rule extends only to the a ecclesiastics subordinated to them, not to the laymen of their monastic district, except in cases where they may enjoy even such a spiritual jurisdiction in virtue of a special indult, as in consequence of prescription. SEE PRELATE.