OFFICIAL (Late Lat. officialis, for class. Lat. apparitor, from officium, ofifice, duty), in general any holder of office under the state or a public body. In ecclesiastical law the word " official " has a special technical sense as applied to the official exercising a diocesan bishop's jurisdiction as his representative and in his name (see Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction). The title of " official principal," together with that of " vicar-general," is in England now merged in that of " chancellor " of a diocese (see Chancellor).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)