The Sacred College of Cardinals is the body of all Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. It was set up by Pope St. Leo IX. The body plays two roles for the church:

Historically, they were also the clergy of the city of Rome serving the Pope as the Bishop of Rome and were assigned duties in parishes of the city. The College has no ruling power except during the sede vacante period, where its powers are still extremely limited according to the Apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis.

The Dean of the College of Cardinals and the Sub-Dean are the president and vice-president of the college. Both are elected by the cardinals holding suburbicarian dioceses, but the election requires Papal confirmation. Except for presiding, the Dean has no power of governance over the cardinals, instead acting as primus inter pares.

The Secretary of State, the prefects of the Congregations of the Roman Curia, the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, the Vicar General of Rome, and the Patriarchs of Venice and Lisbon are usually Cardinals, with few, generally temporary, exceptions.

Choosing the pope Edit

Since January 1, 1971, cardinals over the age of 80 have not had a vote in papal election, under the terms of Pope Paul VI's motu proprio Ingravescentem Aetatem.

The rules for the election of the pope are now those stated in Universi Dominici Gregis, published by Pope John Paul II on 22 February 1996. It now states that cardinals over the age of 80 at the day the see become vacant do not have a vote in the papal election.

Although the rules of the Conclave explicitly say the Pope need not be chosen from among the ranks of the Cardinals (in theory any male Roman Catholic may be elected Pope), that has been the norm since the election of Pope Urban VI in 1378.

Members of the College of Cardinals Edit

The following is the list of Cardinals as of August 2006. Cardinals are shown in order of precedence, based on seniority by date of appointment. Stephen Cardinal Kim Sou-hwan is considered the most senior member of the College by length of service, as he was listed first of those surviving from the 1969 consistory. However, Angelo Cardinal Sodano, as dean of the College of Cardinals, has the highest precedence as a Cardinal Bishop.

Cardinals aged over 80 are indicated with an asterisk (*), and no others will turn 80 before November 21, 2006. All but fourteen of the Cardinals alive at the death of Pope John Paul II were appointed by him. Three of those fourteen were under 80 years old as of the day of John Paul II's death, and one of those three (Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) has since been elected Pope (as Benedict XVI) while another one (Jaime Cardinal Sin) has died. There are now a total of 187 cardinals of whom 115 are aged under 80.

There are three ranks of Cardinals: Cardinal Bishops, Cardinal Priests, and Cardinal Deacons. Almost all Cardinals are also bishops.

Cardinals of the Order of BishopsEdit

Titular Bishops of seven suburbicarian sees

Patriarchs of Oriental Rites

Cardinals of the Order of PriestsEdit

Appointed by Pope Paul VIEdit

Consistory of 28 April 1969

Consistory of 5 March 1973

Consistory of 24 May 1976

Appointed by Pope John Paul IIEdit

Consistory of 30 June 1979

Consistory of 2 February 1983

Consistory of 25 May 1985

Consistory of 28 June 1988

Consistory of 28 June 1991

Consistory of 26 November 1994

Consistory of 21 February 1998

Consistory of 21 February 2001

Consistory of 21 October 2003note 1

Appointed by Pope Benedict XVIEdit

Consistory of 24 March 2006

Cardinals of the Order of DeaconsEdit

Cardinal Deacons have the right to become Cardinal Priests after ten years as Cardinal Deacons, with the rare exception of Cardinals who are not Bishops. All living former Cardinal Deacons created prior to 1998 have exercised this right.

Appointed by Pope John Paul IIEdit

Consistory of 21 February 1998

Consistory of 21 February 2001

Consistory of 21 October 2003note 1

Appointed by Pope Benedict XVIEdit

Consistory of 24 March 2006


Note 1: In 2003 Pope John Paul II announced he was also creating one cardinal secretly (in pectore), which would have taken effect if the appointment had been announced before the Pope's death. There was press speculation that it was his senior personal secretary, Stanisław Dziwisz or else resided in the mainland of the People's Republic of China. However, on April 6 2005 it was revealed by the Vatican spokesman that Pope John Paul II had not announced the name of this cardinal before witnesses prior to his death and that the appointment was therefore null.

Note 2: Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. However, as of February 2006 the Holy See recognises the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the sole legitimate government of China.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

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