In medieval ecclesiastical usage the term might be applied to almost any person having ecclesiastical authority; it was very commonly given to the more dignified clergy of a cathedral church, but often also to ordinary priests charged with the cure of souls and, in the early days of monasticism, to monastic superiors, even to superiors of convents of women.
We learn in them how Caliban (democracy), the mindless brute, educated to his own responsibility, makes after all an adequate ruler; how Prospero (the aristocratic principle, or, if we will, the mind) accepts his dethronement for the sake of greater liberty in the intellectual world, since Caliban proves an effective policeman, and leaves his superiors a free hand in the laboratory; how Ariel (the religious principle) acquires a firmer hold on life, and no longer gives up the ghost at the faintest hint of change.
His superiors rechristened him Vitalis (after a member of the legendary Theban legion) because they found a difficulty in pronouncing his baptismal name.
His superiors (at some time between 1099 and 1122) ordered him to write the history of St Evroul.
Padre Caccini's denunciation of the new astronomy was indeed disavowed and strongly condemned by his superiors; nevertheless, on the 5th of February 1615, another Dominican monk named Lorini laid Galileo's letter to Castelli before the Inquisition.