College of Cardinals

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The Sacred College of Cardinals is the body of all Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. 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 Universi Dominici Gregis.

The president and vice-president of the college are the Dean of the College of Cardinals and the Sub-Dean. 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 prefects of Vatican Congregations are always Cardinals, with few, generally temporary, exceptions.


Choosing the pope

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

The following is the list of Cardinals as of August 2005. 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 (*). 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 has since been elected Pope while another has died. There are now a total of 181 cardinals of whom 112 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 Bishops

Titular Bishops of seven suburbicarian sees

Patriarchs of Oriental Rites with dates of cardinalates

Cardinals of the Order of Priests

Appointed by Pope Paul VI

Consistory of 28 April 1969

Consistory of 5 March 1973

Consistory of 24 May 1976

Appointed by Pope John Paul II

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 2003

Cardinals of the Order of Deacons

Cardinal Deacons have the right to become Cardinal Priests after ten years as Cardinal Deacons. All living former Cardinal Deacons created prior to 1998 have exercised this right.

Consistory of 21 February 1998

Consistory of 21 February 2001

Consistory of 21 October 2003

In 2003 the Pope 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. This prelate is believed to reside in the People's Republic of China. However, on 6 April 2005 it was revealed by Vatican representives that Pope John Paul II did not name this cardinal in any of the papers left upon his death. Therefore, it appears that the secret passed with him.

See also

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