Protopriest (protoprete, primoprete) — in the College of Cardinals, is the first Cardinal-Priest in the order of precedence. Traditionally this function is performed by the most senior Cardinal Priest according to date of his creation, but in the past several exceptions to this rule had occurred[1]. From the end of sixteenth century until the end of nineteenth century Protopriest usually opted for the titulus San Lorenzo in Lucina[2]. The current Protopriest is Brazilian cardinal Eugênio de Araújo Sales[3].


  1. For example, Cardinal Joseph Fesch, created cardinal in 1803, became protoprete in 1822[1], although at that time, five Cardinal Priests created in 1801 were still alive[2].
  2. The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church: Title of S. Lorenzo in Lucina. The last protoprete who opted for that title was Mieczysław Halka Ledóchowski in 1896.
  3. Cardinal Eugênio de Araújo Sales


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