Order of precedence in the Catholic Church
The order of precedence in the Catholic Church is contingent upon the organization of the hierarchy, including both the Hierarchy of Order and the Hierarchy of Jurisdiction, as well as various honorary titles.
This article gives the order in force in 1911, as indicated in that volume of the Catholic Encyclopedia, with which is mixed in other material for which no evidence is provided. The order of precedence was actually not of the Catholic Church but really of the Papal Court. Nevertheless, it is generally followed throughout the Catholic Church. Cardinals and Nuncios have higher status not based on their ecclesiastical status but under international protocol as princes and ambassadors, respectively. For the same reason, the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta ranks immediately below the cardinals.
Order of precedence
In this group, priority of ordination and promotion determines precedence, among bishops or archbishops the date of their first promotion to the episcopal or archiepiscopal dignity.
- The Pope
- Cardinal-presbyters (by date of elevation, and then by order of listing in the consistory)
- Cardinal Protopresbyter
- Other Cardinal-Presbyters
- Cardinal-Deacons (by date of elevation, and then by order of listing in the consistory)
- Cardinal Protodeacon
- Other Cardinal-Deacons
- Major patriarchal sees by Pentarchy order. For those of the same See then they used the date of Preconization
- Minor patriarchal sees
- Major Archbishops
- Apostolic Nuncio of the country
- Primates or Presidents of the National Conference of Bishops -- Archbishop of Baltimore has right of precedence in the United States
- Metropolitan Archbishops
- Host Diocesan Bishop
- Prelate nullius
- Apostolic administrator
- Prelate of Personal prelature
Secular clergy (according to the importance of their office or the date of their ordination )
- Priest administrators /vicar capitular
- Vicars General or Archdeacons
- Vicars episcopal
- Protonotary apostolic (Monsignor)
- De Numero
- Honorary Prelates of His Holiness (Monsignor)
- Chaplains of His Holiness (Monsignor)
- Vicars forane, Deans, Archpriests and Diocesan Consultors
- Parochial vicars
- religious institute
- clerics regular
- monastic orders
- mendicant orders
- Permanent deacons
- Transitional deacons
At times called minor orders, the following are not clergy in the Catholic Church but nevertheless exercise approved ministry and offices.
- Superiors General of religious institutes
- assistants Superiors General
- Provincial superior, Provincial prior, Archimandrite
- Religious superior - Monastic superiors
- claustral prior or Deans
- Archimandrite, honorary
- Hieromonks (priests of religious institutes)
- Religious Brothers and Sisters
Precedence with chapters:
- Dean/Provost or other heads of chapters
- other officers (treasurer, a secretary, and a sacristan, canon theologian, canon penitentiary)
- capitulars or canons
- "Precedence". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- "Patriarch and Patriarchate". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- "Major Archbishops". Catholic Dioceses of the World. GCatholic.org. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "Hierarchy". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- "Religious Life". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- "Chapter". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.