Apostolic Dataria

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The Apostolic Datary (Latin: Dataria Apostolica) was one of the five Ufficii di Curia ("Offices of the Curia") in the Roman Curia of the Roman Catholic Church. It was instituted no later than the 14th AD. Pope Paul VI abolished it in 1967.


According to the De officio et jurisdictione datarii necnon de stylo Datariae of Amydenus and other authorities, the Dataria Apostolica was of very ancient origin, but the previous transaction by other offices of the business that was gradually assigned to it contradicts these authorities. The Dataria was principally entrusted with concession of matrimonial dispensations of external jurisdiction and with collation, i. e., conferral, of benefices and rescripts that were reserved to the Apostolic See. To this double faculty was later added the third of granting many other indults and favors. Until the pontificate of Pope Pius IV, matrimonial dispensations were granted through the Apostolic Penitentiaria. Regarding the authority of collation of reserved benefices, it could not have been granted in ancient times because the institution of those reservations is comparatively recent: although some vestige of the reservations is found prior to the twelfth century, the custom was not frequent before Pope Innocent II, and the reservation of benefices was instituted as a general rule (De pract. et dignit., 3, 4, c. 2 (6°)) only from the pontificate of Pope Clement IV. While the office certainly existed in the fourteenth century, and as an independent one, the date of its institution is unknown.