Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and of Latin Letters

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The Secretariate of Briefs to Princes and of Latin Letters, or in short Secretariate of Briefs, was one of the so-called offices of the Roman Curia which were abolished in the 20th century. It had two small sections.

The Secretariate of Briefs to Princes consisted of the secretary and two office assistants. The secretary was a prelate whose duty it is to write the pontifical Briefs addressed to emperors, kings, civil princes or other exalted personages. He also prepared the allocutions which the pope pronounced at Consistories, and the Encyclicals or Apostolic Letters addressed to the bishops and to the faithful. All this he did according to the instructions of the pope. He had to be a proficient Latinist, since these documents are written in Latin.

The secretary for Latin letters was also a prelate or private chamberlain (cameriere segreto in Italian), whose duties were to write the letters of less solemnity which the sovereign pontiff addresses to different personages. He had an office assistant.