1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Official
OFFICIAL (Late Lat. officialis, for class. Lat. apparitor, from officium, office, 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).