After the protonotaries left the sketching of the minutes to the abbreviators, those de Farce majori, who ranked as prelates, were the most important officers of the apostolic chancery.
Hitherto the way had been blocked by a horde of protonotaries, dataries and other officials - purveyors of indulgences, dispensations and such-like spiritual favours - to whom reform spelt ruin.
Among the prelates we should mention the protonotaries, the successors of the old notaries or officials of the papal chancery in the earliest centuries; the seven protonotarii participantes were restored by Pope Pius X.
To the chancery, as noted above, but they have kept important honorary privileges; this is yet another source of distinctions conferred upon a great number of priests outside of Rome, the protonotaries of different classes.
Prelates are protonotaries apostolic, domestic prelates, private.