Talk:Cardinal (Catholic Church)

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Politician cardinals[edit]

I have added a paragraph about the politician cardinals - Wolsey, Richelieu and Mazarin. Its not meant to be a criticism of the office but I think the article needs an explanation of why three of the most famous cardinals in history were politicians more than churchmen. Edmilne 07:21, Nov 27, 2003 (UTC)

Cardinals from bishops only, did the people ever elect the Pope?[edit]

A couple questions. Are cardinals restricted to being drawn ftom the ranks of bishops by law or only by custom? Did the "people" of Rome really once elect the Pope or only a small select group such as priests, or politicians? I didn't know the common folk every had a vote in Rome. --rmhermen

In Eastern Orthodoxy and I believe in early Church history, the ordination of any bishop would require at least three other bishops; I think the number was reduced to two in later years. A single bishop could ordain a priest or deacon. But with all three offices, the consent of the people is also required; a bishop cannot be ordained without the people's "Amen"; it's an essential part of the liturgy. On a related note, I believe there was a time in the 1400's just before the Byzantine Empire fell to the turks, that some Byzantine bishops went to Rome to ask for military aid. In exchange, they agreed to adopt the filioque clause and submit themselves to the Pope. By the time those bishops returned home, the people had learned what happened and wouldn't let them off the boat, the agreement never went into effect, and Constantinople fell to the Turks instead of falling to Rome. --Wesley
Requiring the Amen for validity and requiring the actual approval of a vote of the people are, of course, different things. In the the Roman Empire there was often an acclamatio for public events - the arrival of an emperor, the appointment of an emperor, etc. We can treat that as a vote or as a public gesture under duress (sometimes we know it was that - soldiers standing around with weapons). There is a similar acclamation remaining in the Western ordination liturgies for priests and bishops, but no one pretends that the candidates are actually elected by local congregations. Liturgy and ecclesiastical organization are closely related but not identical. Unless we can find cases where men dressed for the ordination ceremony are regretfully sent back to the monastery while someone else is ordained, I think it's better to understand this 'requirement' as acclamatio and not electio. --MichaelTinkler
There is some debate about the role of lay election. Traditionally, the first 4 or 5 popes named their successors in their will. Election then followed, but was not initially limited to cardinals. Again, because of time marching on, it is hard to know preciesely how the early diocese of Rome functioned.DaveTroy 10:37, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

Well, as I understand it some Pope announced that all later cardinals would be bishops, and all later Popes have followed him by only appointing bishops as Popes; but there is nothing to stop the Pope changing his mind tomorrow and appointing a plain priest or a layperson a cardinal instead. The distinction between 'law' and 'custom' doesn't always make that much sense, especially I think in cases like this.

As to who could vote for the Pope before the cardinals could, I'm not to sure. Someone should do some research on the topic. -- Simon J Kissane

Not exactly a vote, but as a pressure group (rioting outside wherever the electors were, stoning electors as they left, etc.) they certainly had influence. I think that under the new code of canon law --voting-- cardinals may be formally restricted to being bishops. John Paul II has appointed several aging theologians to cardinalates who were not previously bishops (Jean Danielou, a Frenchman, is an example), and I'm not sure if he created them titular bishops along with cardinals to make up for it. In the case of these men they were controversial enough that the fact they were over 80 mattered. --MichaelTinkler

I think today whenever the Pope appoints a non-bishop to be a cardinal he has them consecrated a bishop first, but I'm not completely sure. -- Simon J Kissane

yep, just ran and checked online ( )
Canon 351 §1 Those to be promoted Cardinals are men freely selected by the Roman Pontiff, who are at least in the order of priesthood and are truly outstanding in doctrine, virtue, piety and prudence in practical matters; those who are not already Bishops must receive episcopal consecration.

by the way, the Pope doesn't have to be a bishop on election, either (which I knew, but had forgotten):

Canon 355 §1 It belongs to the Cardinal Dean to ordain the elected Roman Pontiff a Bishop, if he is not already ordained. If the Dean is prevented from doing so, the same right belongs to the sub-Dean or, if he is prevented, to the senior Cardinal of the episcopal order.

you are right that Canon 351 §1 states that non-bishops must receive episcopal consecration, but the Pope has the right to dispense someone from receiving it. Examples: Cardinal Dulles and Cardinal Scheffczyk asked the pope to excuse them from receiving the episcopal consecration because of advanced age. The pope accepted it. Thus those 2 are cardinals without being bishops. 15:04, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)


If, say, the Archbishop of Boston is a Cardinal, is it then correct to refer to him as "the Cardinal of Boston"?


No. The office of Cardinal does not entail responsibilities over any particular geographic area, unlike (in most cases) the office of Bishop; hence he is not the "Cardinal of Boston". -- SJK.
You can refer to Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, the Archbishop of Montreal; but not the Cardinal of Montreal. - Montréalais
in fact the Archbishop of Boston is the Cardinal Priest of (the church of) St Mary della Victoria. It would be acceptable, though, to refer to him as the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, as mentioned elsewhere on this page. Richardson mcphillips1 20:56, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

List of notable cardinals?[edit]

If it doesn't already exist, would a List of notable cardinals be of any use? --KF 18:07, 22 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Naming conventions[edit]

The syntactic construction used once on this page, e.g. Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, is not widely understood, and IMO worth a paragraph. I'm pretty sure i've heard the expression "cardinal archbishop" without a name; is that an error? Is "Archbishop Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte" better or worse than "Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte"?

Also, i changed a listing to

  • Thich Nhat Hanh (Thich is a title, not a name) (b. 1926) expatriate Vietnamese Buddhist religious leader and spirituality author

in List of people by name: Tf-Th#Thf - Thi and intend in List of people by name: Nh, to have

  • Nhat Hanh, Thich (Thich is a title, not a name) (b. 1926) expatriate Vietnamese Buddhist religious leader and spirituality author

By analogy with that List of people by name: Mas-Maz#Maz lists

which i'm inclined to change to

(Note he is the only Mazarin, so there is no need for a duplicate entry for people who don't know about "jules".)

The article Cardinal Mazarin begins

Jules Mazarin, born Giulio Mazarini; but best known as Cardinal Mazarin (1602 - 1661)

but am i right that

Jules Mazarin, born Giulio Mazarini; but best known as Cardinal Mazarin (or with full formality Jules Cardinal Mazarin) (1602 - 1661)

would be accurate and more thorough? --Jerzy 07:41, 2004 Jan 21 (UTC)

Neither "Archbishop Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte" or "Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte" would be correct; archbishop refers to the individual's position, while Cardinal is his title (unlike, for example, the Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, who would correctly be addressed as "Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly" because his title is Archbishop and his position is Archbishop). It would be correct to refer to the individual as "Cardinal Turcotte," or as "Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte, Archbishop of Montreal," but it would be an insult to demote him to "Archbishop Turcotte." It is, however, acceptable to refer to him as the "Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal" or as a "Cardinal Archbishop," because those terms signify that the individual is a Cardinal who is in charge of an Archdiocese. (All Cardinals are not assigned a diocese to govern.) --Essjay 03:24, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)Essjay

"Not all Cardinals are assigned a diocese" - however I understand that all Cardinals are also appointed to a parish within the diocese of Rome. Thus although they are "princes of the church" they are also humble servants of a parish. (IANARC) Albatross2147 11:15, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

While Cardinals are all ceremonially tied to particular churches or dioceses, they play virtually no role in those areas besides offering their prayers. When I made the statement "Not all Cardinals are assigned to a diocese" the context was: Not all Cardinals serve as diocean bishops, responsible for the daily functioning of a diocese. Many Cardinals, including the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, served in the Roman Curia, the Vatican offices of the church. Thus, in the discussion of Archbishop v. Cardinal, this becomes important. Some Cardinals are archbishops of a particular diocese, but others are not, and you would not refer to a Cardinal as bishop or archbishop of their titular diocese. I was not in any way attempting to suggest that the Cardinals are not "humble servants." It was merely a deliniation of which titles apply to which individuals. --Essjay 22:40, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Some cardinals are not archbishops[edit]

Some cardinals are not archbishops due to the fact that they do not lead archdioceses, either residential or titular. Karl Cardinal Lehmann and Paul Cardinal Shan Kuo-hsi are examples, as they are respectively the Bishop of Mainz and the Bishop of Kaohsiung. Mainz was an archdiocese but was demoted in 1801; currently, its metropolitan is the Archbishop of Freiburg im Breisgau. The Diocese of Kaohsiung was erected in 1961 and hasn't been elevated yet; its metropolitan is the Archbishop of Taipei. Pmadrid 18:50, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Additionally, Avery Cardinal Dulles is a priest, not even a bishop. Gentgeen 19:26, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Terribly sorry to have made such an egregious mistake; while I was aware (and argued above) that many Cardinals do not serve as the prelate of ANY diocese (arch or otherwise), and thus are not bishops or archbishops in the diocean sense (although still of the episcopal rank), and that some of them are not of the episcopal rank, I was unaware of any Cardinals who served as bishops rather than archbishops. My peculiar experience is with the US, and there are no cardinal bishops in the US, only cardinal archbishops. (Although, there are Cardinals in/from the US who do not serve as diocean prelates.) Essjay 03:33, May 25, 2005 (UTC)

Use of "His Eminence" for deceased cardinals?[edit]

I am unclear on the appropriateness of forms of address for deceased cardinals. I know while living, they are refered to as His Eminence, and when I have edited a cardinal article, I usually begin it:

His Eminence John Cardinal Smith (born February 30, 1950) is a...

But should articles about deceased cardinals begin the same way? I guess this is a bigger question about the retension of forms of address after death — should George VI of the United Kingdom begin with "His Magesty"? The article Style (manner of address) was not totally clear on the issue.

--Eoghanacht 17:00, 2005 August 15 (UTC)

I'd say a form of address is for, well, addressing an individual, and you can't easily do that when they're dead. Go with the title: "Cardinal John Dearden [or, for the more traditionally minded, John Cardinal Dearden], who was archbishop of Detroit..." "King George VI was the younger brother of King Edward VIII..." —OtherDave 22:05, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Origin of the term[edit]

Actually, I've heard a different etymological explanation for "cardinal." Cardo does not only mean 'hinge' in Latin, but also "wedge." Some scholars say that prior to 11th century spin, the term originally had a negative connotation. Cardinals were priests who were "wedged" or stuck into an appointment from the outside--a priest the Vatican appointed to a high rank in a diocese which was not originally his, for example. This is the explanation given by Diarmaid MacColloch in The Reformation, and in Princes of the Church: A History of the English Cardinals by Dominic Aidan Bellenger and Stella Fletcher (see ) Makrina 03:07, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Links between popes[edit]

See my comment on the talk page about creating a list of which Pope elevated their future successors as cardinals (and any other contributions are welcome). Jackiespeel 18:29, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Discuss merge Cardinal (title) into Cardinal (Catholicism)[edit]

  • Support - Bring that info over here. The Cardinal disambig page still makes it clear what kind of cardinal you are looking for -- MrDolomite | Talk 23:45, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - an unsourced double is pointless, especially as it turns out to be almost not linked to Fastifex 12:08, 4 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment: As the issue has already been noted and discussed on this talkpage, I have now redirected the other article and removed the merge tag here (which i added originally). There is no reason to keep the other article around as it would in any case end up as a redirect eventually. Anything worth merging is still available in the history. up◦land 09:20, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
If so, then you should merge it. If you don't do it when you convert it into a redirect, it's highly unlikely another random editor will. I usually assume that redirects with history have already had content merged elsewhere. Gimmetrow 03:56, 18 August 2006 (UTC
The fact that the merge has not been completed is clearly stated here for anyone to see. I don't see the point of leaving a merge tag on a page for several weeks when nobody seems willing to do the merge, and it is pretty doubtful what there is worth merging in any case. The other article is much shorter than this one, and completely unreferenced. up◦land 04:43, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

While you're thinking about merging, the Cardinal Bishop, Cardinal Priest and Cardinal Deacon articles have a lot of overlap. Is there a good reason they could not be subsections of the "orders of cardinals" section here (leaving redirects in place)? Gimmetrow 03:56, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Seeing no objections, I have merged the text of these three articles here. Much of the text was overlapping, going over the same general history for the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, discussion of titles, etc. The other three places remain as redirects. Gimmetrow 21:05, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Cardinal John Doe[edit]

James-Charles Noonan writes that "it is improper to refer to a cardinal in any other form than John Cardinal Doe. The recent practice of Cardinal John Doe is improper and has no foundation in law." How recent is "recent". The order "Cardinal John Doe" is found in the early-twentieth-century Catholic Encyclopedia, e.g. "Cardinal Giovanni Battista Caprara" in the article Legate, and doubtless long before. Those who drew up the index of the electronic copy chose the form "John Cardinal Doe". It is surely they who are recent, not the encyclopedia. I am quite unfamiliar with the name "James-Charles Noonan". How authoritative is he? What law is he referring to? A Church law governing English usage in the matter? I don't believe there is such a law. Lima 04:51, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Noonan is a yank, and the book is used by some Catholic colleges in the U.S. No idea what he is referring to in the second sentence, which I included in the quote hoping someone else would have an idea. Anyway, this is a reference replacing the former vague "some authors" - is there any official authority for the "Cardinal John Doe" form either? (Both forms can be found on the Vatican site.) Gimmetrow 05:20, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I have failed to find the form "John Cardinal Doe" as a way of referring to cardinals anywhere on the Vatican website. Without examining sublinks, I have gone through the links for each department of the Roman Curia listed in this section of the site, and have only found the "Cardinal John Doe" form (Secretariat of State: Cardinal Angelo Sodano (twice); Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Card. Joseph Ratzinger; Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Card. Francis Arinze (three times), and Card. Jorge Arturo Medina Estévez (once); Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Card. José Saraiva Martins (35 times!); etc.) Where does the site use the "John Cardinal Doe" form? Perhaps it quotes something prepared in English elsewhere, but I have failed to find any example. Is Gimmetrow perhaps thinking of the signatures appended to the end of documents? As stated, Cardinals sign as "John Cardinal Doe" or "John Card. Doe" (adding a cross only if they are in charge of a suburbicarian see or - I think, but cannot guarantee - any see). Of that there is no doubt. The only question is whether cardinals should be referred to as "Cardinal John Doe" or as "John Cardinal Doe".
That Noonan is a Yank is evident from his use of the Americanism "John Doe", in place of the "John Smith" of other English-speaking countries. ("John Doe" has the advantage of being two letters shorter than "John Smith".) I do not have a copy of the Catholic News Service stylebook, but I presume it gives the "Cardinal John Doe" rule. I, for my part, would consider that book more authoritative for correct usage in this matter than Noonan, whose idea is probably based on no more than the style for signatures. See what the US Bishops Conference Office of Media Relations says of the stylebook. The Writer's Guide, Institute on Religious Life also says it should be followed. Lima 08:23, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
What exactly does the CNS Stylebook say? It seems to me that both forms are used in English. The "John Cardinal Doe" form can occasionally be found in other languages. Some pages from found by searching for "Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger": English: [1] [2] [3] [4] French: [5] [6] Italian: [7] [8] [9]. On brief inspection the last link appears to use both forms for Card. Hoyos on the same page. A general google search for "Bernard Cardinal Law" is informative: while most news articles say "Cardinal Bernard Law", the other form can be found in the New York Times (Dionne, 26 May 1985), the Boston Phoenix, and even Britannica. Gimmetrow 11:40, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
As usual, trow must be given to Gimmetrow. Only one of his citations (No. 8) is clearly invalid: it has the "John Card. Doe" order only in the signature of the document. The other four French and Italian citations all refer to just one and the same document, and have the "John Cardinal Doe" order only in the title that has been added on the website (by an English-speaker who believes in the Noonan order? or, perhaps more likely, by someone who moved to the top the signature that should be at the bottom?). The document itself (as distinct from the added title) does not have it in either language. No wonder, since "John Cardinal Doe" would sound very strange in those languages. There remain Gimmetrow's English citations, and he is perfectly right in saying that the "John Card. Doe" order does appear, even if only in a very few cases, on the Vatican website. Citation 1 has it only in the website title. But the December 1999 English document of the International Theological Commission (2) does have "Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger" in its body (unlike, of course, the other language versions of the same document). "John Cardinal O'Connor" has been added to the internal title of document 3 (he is, of course, referred to as "Cardinal John O'Connor" on the page that gives the French version of the same document). And whoever wrote the English version of the Jubilee programme for catechists and religion teachers on 9-10 December 2000 (4) was certainly a believer in the Noonan order. So Gimmetrow is right: the Vatican website does sometimes allow "John Cardinal Doe", even if by no means on a par with "Cardinal John Doe".
Does any reader of this page have access to the Catholic News Service Stylebook? Gimmetrow does not. Neither do I. There can be no doubt that it supports the "Cardinal John Doe" practice of Catholic News Service itself. But it would be good to know how exactly it phrases its judgement. And I think it can be counted on to have made its judgement after wider consultation than Noonan. Lima 16:16, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem with the way some edits to articles relating to cardinals have been worded is that they imply, or say straight out, that the "John Cardinal Doe" form is incorrect. It's not "incorrect." One might argue that it is obsolete or that it is becoming less common, but it's clearly not "incorrect" as it's been used for hundreds of years and is still perfectly common today. (For example, the last time I was in Chicago, the cathedral had a sign listing Francis Cardinal George, in that order, as the archbishop. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington regularly noted, until his recent retirement, when Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, in that order, would be celebrating Mass.) The real issue is that an article purporting to be encyclopedic in nature should not take a position in an argumentative form. It's better to acknowledge the issue without condemning one side or the other, and indeed I think it's quite commendable to note that the difference exists. For example, the article providing a list of cardinals contained a statement about the traditional form being an "idiosyncratic" usage, and a former version of that article said that "[t]he correct order" is the "Cardinal John Doe" order notwithstanding the "John Cardinal Doe" order used throughout that article. But Wikipedia's credibility suffers if an article states (or even clearly implies) that the content of the article is wrong. Why would anyone place value on a purported encyclopedia that questions the accuracy of its own content? I realize that my comments here relate to two articles, but the two are so closely related, and the same matter was at issue in both, that the concern is valid. My other thought is that usage in other languages is irrelevant to English usage. The French put the adjective last: "transport super-sonique" rather than "supersonic transport" (referring to Concorde) or "Boulevard Rene-Levesque" rather than "Rene-Levesque Boulevard" (a street in Montreal). That doesn't mean that Wikipedia articles written in English need concern themselves with the French usage. I don't see why the usage referring to a cardinal need be subject to a different standard. 1995hoo 15:07, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
"John Cardinal Doe" may not be exactly wrong; but it has less authoritative support than "Cardinal John Doe". Lima 15:16, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
I suppose there is always the proclamation made on 19 April 2005 at the Vatican: "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Josephum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem Ratzinger qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI." They don't say: "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Sanctae Romane Ecclesiae Cardinalem Josephum Ratzinger qui sibi nomen imposuit Benedictum XVI." Of course, above I did indeed make the point that the order of the wording in other languages need not and should not govern the convention used in English, but the Papal Proclamation does, in my view, constitute strong support for the argument that "Cardinal" goes immediately prior to the surname, and constitutes far stronger support than media usage. One particular reason why I believe this is that we know that there have been many other changes in the procedures surrounding the selection and inauguration of a new pope--for example, John Paul I refusing a coronation and his two successors continuing that tradition; the most recent conclave not requiring that the cardinal electors remain locked in the vicinity of the Sistine Chapel for the duration; the ringing of the bells in 2005 to confirm the white smoke--yet this custom was not changed. 1995hoo 21:27, 21 September 2006 (UTC)
Good idea. However, as 1995hoo says, the proclamation was not in English. Lima 04:09, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Incorrect date given on Stigmata movie and wrong link[edit]

"Jonathan Pryce played the fictional Cardinal Houseman in Stigmata (1995)."

The movie was released in 1999 not 1995 and also the link to "Stigmata" links to the act of stigmata rather than the movie "Stigmata"

Though the movie is about a woman who has stigmata if someone was trying to follow the link for the movie they'd get the article on the affliction (or gift if you so desire) of stigmata. 16:32, 22 September 2006 (UTC) Stonent

Bishop or cardinal?[edit]

I was checking the caption I used for an image in medieval cuisine, and I became a bit unsure of a guess I made. The person sitting to the left of the duke (in blue robe and fur hat) seems to be a man of the cloth, but is he a cardinal or a bishop, or, in fact, neither?

Peter Isotalo 14:32, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Not a cleric of any sort. InfernoXV 19:40, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Are you positive of this? His clothing seems to closely resemble that of a cleric, and he has the shaven head that resembels that of a friar.

Peter Isotalo 12:12, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Ooh. My mistake. I thought you were referring to the man in blue - I see now you are speaking of the chap in red and white. Monastic tonsure, so definitely a cleric of some sort. Red seems to indicate cardinalatial status, though his outfit does seem odd. Perhaps a Carthusian or some other sort of white-friar, but raised to the rank of cardinal? Odd that he's not wearing a red hat if he *is* a cardinal. Perhaps a look at the list of people who hung around the Duke might reveal his identity... InfernoXV 05:49, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I'll even try to find the text accompanying the illustration. Thanks for your thorough answer.

Peter Isotalo 10:55, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Looks like the Pope to me! Gavin (talk) 18:01, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

German Wiki [10] suggests it's Martin Gouge de Charpaigne, Bishop of Chartres --Heraklitcnl (talk) 18:21, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Cardinals from other churches[edit]

I have come across references to various "senior religious persons" from churches outside the Catholic one being made cardinals (Britannica Yearbooks) - how many are there/have there been, and what is their position? (Can they attend papal conclaves for example?) Jackiespeel 16:52, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean Cardinal_(Catholicism)#Other_Cardinals? Gimmetrow 22:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

JP2's In pectore cardinal[edit]

I've deleted this. Something of such an apparently speculative nature and tone, I think, would have to be sourced to be taken seriously.

Red's origin[edit]

The article says "a Latin-rite cardinal wears scarlet garments because "the blood-like red symbolizes a cardinal's willingness to die for his faith". However, Voltaire, in the Dictionnaire philosophique (1764) has the 'blood'/'red' part quite differently. At the Council of Lyons in 1245, at which Innocent IV excommunicated the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, he says the Pope gave the Cardinals red hats as a reminder that they were to 'bathe in the blood of the supporters of the Emperor'. I must say this sounds more realistic. Some Cardinals, then, could indeed arrange for much blood-letting: such as in 1243 when Cardinal Ranieri of Viterbo had Rome's Imperial garrison slaughtered. And Cardinal Pietro Capocci who invaded Sicily with the Papal Army in 1250 (albeit entirely routed at the Battle of Cingoli.)

Alipius 03:58, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

Cardinal v. Bishop[edit]

The article is still not clear about the difference between Cardinal v. Bishop. Is the cardinal referring to the Bishop who is member of the college? Are not, technically, all Archbishops of the same "credo" entitled to elect their Pope? Why not the Archbishop of a major city like Paris is not automatically a member of the college?--Connection 12:31, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

Is there a particular part of the article which is confusing? "Cardinal" and "Bishop" are two different roles within the Catholic Church (although, obviously, most Cardinals are also Bishops).
Archbishops that are not Cardinals are _not_ entitled to a vote in a conclave. No archbishop or bishop has a right to become a Cardinal. It is a privledge granted solely by the Pope.--Dcheney 17:44, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

When does a Cardinal become a Cardinal?[edit]

It seems that every time the Pope announces his intention to held a consistory to create new cardinals there arises the question of when does a Cardinal-Designate become a Cardinal (i.e., could vote in a conclave should it be needed, etc.)

According to Canon Law (351 §2): "Cardinals are created by a decree of the Roman Pontiff, which in fact is published in the presence of the College of Cardinals. From the moment of publication, they are bound by the obligations and they enjoy the rights defined in the law."

So the question becomes, does the announcement (such as on Wednesday 17 October 2007) constitute "publication"?

The Holy Father indirectly made this clear in his introduction to the announcement. He mentions that he is abrogating “by one” the rule of 120 Cardinal Electors. The key point there is “by one”. For today there are 104 Cardinals under the age of 80 and thus Cardinal Electors.

He named 18 new Cardinal Electors. Thus giving us 122 Cardinal Electors if he intended the announcement as the official publication.

It should be noted that Cardinal Sodano turns 80 and loses the right to vote on 23 November.

So, if the Holy Father intends to aborgate the rule “by one” as he clearly stated, then the official publication can not occur before 23 November. (And, of course, 24 November is the stated date for the Consistory itself.)

Thus it becomes clear that the announcement is not "publication" - and so the Cardinal-Designates remain Cardinal-Designates until the consistory.--Dcheney 18:27, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

kissing Cardinal's ring[edit]

the article refers to a gold ring 'which is traditionally kissed by Catholics when a cardinal is greeted.' Is this not rather true of the ring of any bishop? I don't think it is restricted to Cardinals. Richardson mcphillips1 20:58, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that is the traditional greeting of any bishop.--Dcheney 13:19, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was no consensus to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 00:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Cardinal (Catholicism)Cardinal — We should really give the main article to what is now Cardinal (Catholicism). A look at "what links here" on Cardinal shows this is overwhemingly the main use involved. The mathmatical use is at Cardinal number, & if there were a predominant sports team using the term they could have "Cardinals" (I don't have a view on that). Few people can really link to "Cardinal" when they mean "cardinal bird", and the other uses are minor. The present Cardinal should therefore become "Cardinal (disambiguation)", which I have also proposed there —Johnbod 20:12, 2 December 2007 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's naming conventions.
  • Support as nom Johnbod 20:13, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose The bird is just as common as the catholic church position. Using "what links here" can be flawed since technically nothing should be linked to a disambiguation page and people (like myself) sometimes go through them and make sure they link to the right articles. TJ Spyke 23:14, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Many of the other senses of cardinal are well-known. There is no clear primary usage, so the disambiguation page should stay at the unqualified name. Andrewa 00:38, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per TJ Spyke. Georgia guy 14:57, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose per TJ. -- SECisek 17:39, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Support What links here can be a decent proxy for common use. As someone who is not from North America I'm rather puzzled at the idea that "cardinal" is used just as commonly for the bird as the office. Johnbod seems to have demonstrated that this is not the case, so would be interested in what evidence there is for this rather startling assertion. JASpencer 19:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose Incoming links is a very bad test; all it shows is that we have lots of separate articles on individual Princes of the Church, whereas we only have one article on individual cardinal numbers. So what? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 07:03, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As the disambiguation page says, the general meaning of the word cardinal has nothing to do with the Catholic church. A person looking for cardinals in set theory should not have to first trudge through text about catholicism. See WP:DISAMBIG#Primary_topic. I'm not sure there is a primary topic. Sam Staton 14:13, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Look, if it's seriously disputed whether a topic is primary, then it's not primary. The claim that no one would link to "cardinal" when intending "cardinal bird" is just false -- personally I never heard of a "cardinal bird"; it's just called a "cardinal". Similarly for cardinals in set theory -- rarely are they called "cardinal numbers", partly because not everyone agrees that the infinite ones are "numbers". If you add a link forgetting there are other meanings and the link takes you to a disambig page, well, the reader has to make one extra mouse click; if the link takes you to a wrong meaning, that's much worse. --Trovatore 16:55, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Although WP:DAB#Primary_topic says that a "majority of links in existing articles" may indicate a primary topic, I don't think this is a definitive argument as others have said. It's not clear to me that a primary topic exists. Gimmetrow 16:59, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose per many of the above points, the main one being that there is no clear primary usage. Additionally, the category for the religious leaders is at Category:Roman Catholic cardinals, and Category:Cardinals is a DAB category. Changing the article name will also require renaming the categories (again) if we want consistency between article names and category names. Snocrates 21:45, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm mostly repeating what's been said before, but in this case, I don't think online links demonstrate much. Online, it doesn't surprise me that the world "cardinal" meaning the clergyman is used more often, for the simple reason that Catholic Cardinals are in the news far more often than the bird (and googling for "cardinal bird" in fact brings up very few examples outside of phrases like "cardinal bird feeder" and so on; if that specific phrase is more common globally, personally I'd like to see some sources). By the same token, you'd probably find more links for the "St. Louis Cardinals" than the bird. As for the bird issue, admittedly it is native to the US and seems to be most common here, but I still don't think that's a good enough reason to change things (I haven't really looked, but by the same token, species indiginous to Europe or Asia should, in my opinion, be titled and addressed primarily by what they're called there, with other terms used in other regions noted). Even so, googling "Cardinal" followed by bird (rather than "cardinal bird") yields 1,460,000 results. Googling "Cardinal" and Catholic yields 1.650,000. Granted the latter is higher, but I'm not convinced it's not that huge a lead to prove primacy (and also granted this excludes other search combinations like Cardinal and church and so on). Plus, it's not as if "Cardinal (bird)" was being privileged. Via the disambig, both are presented equally, which is as it should be, and that strikes me as fair and most useful for everyone. I don't feel it's unduly biased this way (which I would if the bird became the main article, and would thus also oppose). -- Aleal (talk) 22:01, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
  • I don't know how to really judge if the bird is "just as common" as the clergyman. Distribution of the birds is restricted to the Americas, whereas the clergymen are worldwide. I was surprised to see that of the 50-odd species, only 2 actually have the word "cardinal" in their English names. Outside North America, the bird would always be called a "Cardinal bird", not just a Cardinal. In terms of WP articles there can be no contest; we have well over 1,000 articles on Catholic Cardinals, and more are being added. Many are very substantial, and have thousands more incoming links. Johnbod 23:35, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Why are there so many Wikipedians who use the rule that the "European point of view has the last say whenever the American and European points of view differ"?? Georgia guy 19:10, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
    • I've far more often found it the other way around! And I think we should be understanding... The USA is the only current superpower, and its citizens are tempted to think they're the world, or at least the whole of the civilised world. Have a look at State University for example... oops, it's been moved again and the double redir not fixed, but the point still stands... this latest move still treats non-US State Universities as unimportant. In another move discussion someone recently said, in good faith I think, that most English speakers used US English... hard to assess but certainly not as obvious as they seemed to think. But agree that either way it's a problem for Wikipedia. And one we try to address, but we're not perfect. Andrewa 20:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Cardinals are global - you have plenty too. I doubt American users want to link more often to the birds than the priest. But it is only in N America (only really in the US I suspect) that the issue even arises. Anywhere else a cardinal bird would always be called that. Of course many European users feel Americans always insist on the first and last say, but don't lets go there... Johnbod 19:38, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I don't live in North America, but I do live in an English-speaking country, and I can assure you that people refer to "cardinals", not "cardinal birds". Snocrates 21:47, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Fair use rationale for Image:Mitrescola.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Mitrescola.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use ... [remainder of notice removed] BetacommandBot (talk) 20:00, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Removed. There was no need for this fair use image. Gimmetrow 20:33, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

List of Cardinals[edit]

Is there no list of Cardinals on Wikipedia? Gavin Scott (talk) 16:55, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

See the See also section here. Gimmetrow 16:58, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Dulles and suburbicarian see[edit]

Although he is not a bishop, and so could not be assigned to one of the suburbicarian sees, he is entitled to wear the episcopal vestments and other pontificalia (episcopal regalia: mitre, crozier, pectoral cross and ring) and to possess a cardinalatial coat of arms.

I removed the "suburbicarian see part", since it is misleading: None of the Cardinal Deacons and Cardinal Priests are assigned to a suburbicarian see (even though the huge majority of them are bishops). Gugganij (talk) 11:21, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


I replaced Stephen Kim Sou-hwan with Eugenio Sales de Araujo as the Protopriest in charge. The information was found on Nevertheless I'm not sure any more, if this edit was correct. Serveral other sources, claim Kim as Protopriest. Can anyone excplain (and proof) whether age or the order of creation within the consistory counts for internal ranking? Kim was #20 on the list, Sales #22. --Heraklitcnl (talk) 16:59, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

16 Feb 09 edits[edit]

There seem to be a number of edits today removing significant information from the article that does not appear elsewhere in the Wiki, as far as I can tell. Is there some reason this is being done out of tbe blue with no prior discussion?--Dcheney (talk) 21:06, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Why and when?[edit]

The history section does not tell us when and why the first cardinals came into existence. They are not mentioned in the Bible or early Christian history. Could someone supply this? APW (talk) 15:05, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

According to the last paragraph of intro, about the 9th century the chief priests of a parish started being called the "hinge" or cardinal priests. Gimmetrow 18:59, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Misuse of the word[edit]

The article could maybe explain that the word Cardinal is sometimes misused by writers that are talking about any monsignor, any prelate or any employee of the Roman Curia. The idea is that since certain bishops and monsignors dress in red, therefore all these bishops and monsignors must be Cardinals. But, this is obviously a factual inaccuracy. ADM (talk) 03:39, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Removed "Popular culture"[edit]

I have removed the "Popular culture" section. It was basically a list of "Actor X played Cardinal Y in movie Z", which brings very little, and is contrary to WP policy on popular culture (where actual effects, influences, and truly notable portrayals may be relevant). (talk) 15:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

I disagree with WP:SPA My reading of WP:IPC is that the section which appeared in the article was consistent with the policy, the section is relevant to the topic. "Notability" in the Wikipedia sense refers to the criteria for a topic to be included as a standalone article. This content conformed to the content guidelines and is of interest to readers of this article. patsw (talk) 01:48, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Stylebooks on cardinals[edit]

Would 1995hoo please explain what justification there is for deleting the sourced edit that shows that two authoritative secular stylebooks and one Catholic ecclesiastical one declare that the proper way in present-day English to refer to a cardinal is as Cardinal John Smith, rather than than John Cardinal Smith? Is it not an objective fact, documented by cited reliable sources, that "important secular stylebooks indicate that in present-day English the 'Cardinal John Doe' order is the one to use when referring to cardinals"? Lima (talk) 17:55, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

  • I find your new wording to be fine. The clause you quote was not present before. My problem with your prior version is that it claimed that the sources definitively establish that the "proper" and "normal" form is the "Cardinal John Smith" form. I found that claim to be quite overstated, and I think the mere fact of the common usage of both forms indicates that terms like "usual" or "normal" are inappropriate. Indeed, even Wikipedia's conventions for referring to the clergy indicate that the "John Cardinal Smith" form is completely acceptable, although because of the way Wikipedia's internal linking system operates it does present certain difficulties. Regarding deleting the "sourced edit," my problem wasn't with the sources, but rather with the conclusion that had drawn from those sources. Your newly-revised version is considerably more neutral and I have no problem with it. My beef was with the article taking the position, whether express or implied, that "John Cardinal Smith" is WRONG or non-standard. It's neither, and the sources in the footnote clearly confirm that. I was trying to ensure that the text reflected this FACT. 1995hoo (talk) 19:08, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, 1995hoo. Thanks, too, for raising the question. It was your initial edit that set me looking for rules on the matter. I was surprised to find such clear directions from important corporative sources (none of them being the opinion merely of an individual) unanimously in favour of one of the two ways of referring to cardinals. Soidi (talk) 20:03, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
It was kind of interesting on Saturday watching Sen. Kennedy's funeral Mass on TV. The program repeatedly referred to "Sean P. Cardinal O'Malley," the archbishop of Boston who was present but did not concelebrate, and the concelebrants referred to him several times using that form as well (without the middle initial). Several times, immediately afterwards, the CBS commentator referred to "Cardinal Sean O'Malley." I suppose it's somewhat understandable why the media use the less-formal form, given the number of non-Catholic viewers who wouldn't understand it and also given the American media's obsession with using middle initials, even for people who never use middle initials themselves (e.g., Virginia's governor always goes by "Tim Kaine" but the Washington Post insists that he's "Timothy M. Kaine"). The use of the middle initial in the "Sean P. Cardinal O'Malley" form does sound a bit more awkward to me than "Sean Cardinal O'Malley," although I'm not really sure why! 1995hoo (talk) 13:28, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with 1995hoo that "'John Cardinal Smith' is [neither] WRONG [nor] non-standard." It is traditional usage and completely acceptable. The use of the modern form (Cardinal John Smith) is a sign of the increasingly secular nature of our society, especially since the 1960s. Traditionally, when addressing a bishop (or cardinal), one (even non-Catholics) would say "Your Excellency" (or "Your Eminence" for cardinals). (Apparently, in Europe, people address archbishops as "Your Grace".) Today most people just addess them as "Bishop", "Archbishop", or "Cardinal" (a la "Mister", "Senator", "Judge"). Interestingly, some newspapers -- in their obituaries -- omit any ecclesiastical honorific. I have seen obits that refer to the deceased priest, bishop, or cardinal as "Mister", e.g., "In 2000, Mr. Smith was appointed ...." (instead of Fr./Rev./Bishop/Cardinal Smith). Then again, a rose by any other name is still .... Also, some people (if they are very humble) will say (to avoid being offended) "Just don't call me late for dinner." Eagle4000 (talk) 17:25, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
You are quite right in saying it isn't "wrong" - in the abstract - to use "John Cardinal Smith". It appears, however, that in some contexts (in particular, reports for Reuters and Associated Press, publications for the Franciscan Holy Name Province) it is wrong. Wikipedia, not being a religious publication, should perhaps follow the same rules that they apply. Soidi (talk) 20:03, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I think the issue you raise is separate from the issue of what this article ought to say. Wikipedia already has an entry somewhere in the manual of style regarding use of the two forms in articles when referring to individual clergymen. (I'll find it and edit this comment to link to it.) Wikipedia's policy expressly notes that both forms are allowed, although as I note above the "Cardinal John Smith" form is recommended because it's easier to link to the correct articles when that form is used (as the articles on individual cardinals do not include the word "Cardinal" in the article titles, regardless of where "Cardinal" is placed; the easiest way around this is to use a piped link). THIS article is a different matter because the paragraphs in question are addressing how cardinals are addressed or referred to, and that's not a matter of Wikipedia policy. Put differently, I think it's beyond dispute that both forms ("John Cardinal Smith" and "Cardinal John Smith") are in regular usage. An article included in something purporting to be an encyclopedia (which is what Wikipedia is) ought to reflect the fact of both forms, simply because that's the fact of the matter. Wikipedia is not itself a manual of style and it's not really appropriate for a site that purports to be neutral to say that one form or another is "the" correct form when there are multiple styles in regular use. In other words, in an article that discusses a topic that itself may be addressed multiple ways, it's desirable, to ensure complete coverage, to address both sides of the issue, or both conventions as it were. Does that make sense? 1995hoo (talk) 20:49, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Following on my prior comment, the Wikipedia style guide in question may be found at WP:Naming conventions (Clergy). The relevant section reads as follows:
In the titles of articles, cardinals generally go by their full name (both first name and surname) alone, without the title "Cardinal", as "Ascanio Sforza", not "Cardinal Ascanio Sforza", nor "Ascanio Cardinal Sforza". Exceptions are cardinals who are identifiable only by the cardinalitial title (as in the case of a hypothetical Cardinal John Smith), those best known by the title "Cardinal" followed by a surname (as Cardinal Richelieu), and those of the period before the introduction of surnames. (For many of the latter, however, their place of origin will serve the same function as a surname.)
When it is necessary to add the title "Cardinal", it will usually be sufficient to prefix it to the surname of the cardinal, especially in the body of an article, as "Cardinal Sforza". If both name and surname are used, wikilinking is straightforward if the title is prefixed to the name, as in "Cardinal Ascanio Sforza". However, those who prefer the form "Ascanio Cardinal Sforza" should take care to ensure there is a redirect to the form used in the title of the article on the cardinal in question, or use a piped link.
The second paragraph makes sense when you consider the first paragraph. The article about Cardinal McCarrick, for example, is titled Theodore Edgar McCarrick. It's not guaranteed, as to any particular cardinal, that a link using EITHER form of "Theodore Cardinal McCarrick" or "Cardinal Theodore McCarrick" (or, for that matter, either form with his middle initial "E." included) would work. In Cardinal McCarrick's case, "Theodore Cardinal McCarrick" happens to work as a link because someone set up a redirect. "Cardinal Theodore McCarrick" does not work properly, however, because there's no redirect (although it's a minor problem since the article about him shows up as the first one on the resulting search page). I'm not about to try sorting through all the articles about cardinals on this site, but I don't doubt that somewhere there's an article without a redirect from the "John Cardinal Smith" form. That's why for internal Wikipedia usage the form "Cardinal Theodore McCarrick" (where "Cardinal" is not part of the link) is the most reliable way to ensure proper linking, assuming of course that the target article is named in compliance with Wikipedia standards. Note, however, that the use of the form "Theodore Cardinal McCarrick" is expressly allowed in editing articles per the policy quoted above, but in order to ensure proper linking the best way to do that is to set up the link in the form "Theodore McCarrick|Theodore Cardinal McCarrick" with the whole thing (except the quotation marks, of course) wrapped in double-brackets.
BUT, as I said in my previous comment, all this has nothing to do with what should be said in a paragraph that addresses the form of address or style, as that's a separate question. 1995hoo (talk) 21:02, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
It has been pointed out recently that WP:Naming conventions (Clergy) can lay down rules for the titles of articles, but not for the style to use in the body of articles. See Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (clergy)#Proposed policy change for naming of cardinals in the body of an article. Soidi (talk) 14:49, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Retirement age and eligibility for papacy[edit]

I need some help sorting this out. I understand that Pope Paul VI introduced a mandatory retirement age of 70 for priests and 75 for bishops and archbishops. But what about cardinals? Do they just go on forever? Or, all being at least bishops these days before their elevation to cardinal, are they subject to the 75-year rule for bishops? Ratzinger was over 75 when elected pope, and he had certainly not retired.

Then, there's the rule about who can take part in the conclave: cardinals over the age of 80 are ineligible to vote. That suggests that at least those cardinals over 75, but not yet 80, are still working. So it looks like the mandatory retirement age does not apply to cardinals, or if there is one, it doesn't cut in till at least 80. But this is just about voting in the conclave, not about whether they maintain their duties generally speaking. Further, I've seen nothing that says a cardinal aged over 80 is ineligible to be elected as pope, just ineligible to take part in the voting.

Can someone clarify all this for me? Thanks. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 22:05, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Upon reaching the age of 75, ordinaries are required to submit their resignation, which may be accepted or not by the Pope as he sees fit.(Canon 401 §1). This applies whether the ordinary is a bishop, archbishop, or cardinal. Canon 411 extends the above to coadjutor and auxiliary bishops as well. Canon 354 covers Cardinals that are the head curial departments with the same requirement of presenting their resignation upon reaching the age of 75. Bishops and Cardinals that have retired usually remain active, depending on their abilities and the needs of the Church. There is no age limit on who can be elected to the papacy, and there is no requirement that he be a cardinal. The requirement is that he is eligible to be consecrated a bishop (if not one already).--Dcheney (talk) 03:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, Dcheney, that's very clear, except for "Bishops and Cardinals that have retired usually remain active, depending on their abilities and the needs of the Church". What's the point of retirement if they remain active? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 13:26, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I would say that it means: When they give up responsibility for a diocese or whatever, they don't just devote themselves to golf, fishing, gardening ... or sit on their behinds watching television. They help those who now have responsibility by celebrating Mass, administering confirmation, preaching ... whatever church work they still can do and are requested to do. (Dcheney would certainly have phrased this more elegantly!) Esoglou (talk) 13:58, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
OK. So, take a cardinal who reaches 75, submits his resignation, and it's accepted by the pope. He's now officially retired but is still "active" in the sense you describe. Then the pope dies and they have a conclave. This retired cardinal may still attend and vote (maybe he's required to attend and vote?) so long as he has not yet reached 80. Correct? Cardinal Ratzinger was 78 when JP2 died, and he was far from retired, so presumably he had submitted his resignation at 75 as required, but it was refused. Correct? What's the likelihood of a cardinal who had resigned at 75, and it was accepted, being later elected pope? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 14:18, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I would say that it depends on the man. One can easily imagine that a particular cardinal, actually retired from either his diocese or a post in the Curia, would have a personality that would make him far more likely to win the votes of his colleagues than most of the cardinals still in charge of dioceses or curial departments. But if you mean what is the statistical likelihood of that happening, you must put into your calculations the fact that, at any time, only a small minority of the under-80 cardinals are in the position of not only having offered their resignation, but having had it publicly accepted. Acceptance does not usually happen on the 75th birthday, unless the cardinal explicitly asks for this and sends in his resignation well ahead of the date on which he is obliged to offer it. Cardinal Thomas Williams of Wellington is an example of a cardinal who actually did that.
Remaining in office does not necessarily mean refusal of an offer of resignation. It can simply mean a delay in deciding. Or it can follow an actual decision to accept but with effect from a later date. Perhaps to allow time to search for and choose a successor. This can sometimes be a long process. Esoglou (talk) 15:19, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

For your information, by the time Pope Benedict XVI retired, the rule for eligibilty in a conclave is that you had to be under age 80 when the papacy became vacant. Cardinal Walter Kasper met that requirement, and participated in the ensuing conclave (which elected Pope Francis) although he turned 80 before that conclave started. Cardinal Kasper is not eligible to participate in subsequent conclaves. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Cardinal John Doe v. John Cardinal Doe[edit]

The traditional form of a cardinal's title has been established for centuries upon centuries. Some editors have made unconvincing arguments for why we ought to depart from that form in favor of a novel form advanced (primarily by secular stylebooks and modernist clergy) over the last few decades. It is obvious that we should not. Nor is BRD is a useful model here, because the debate has already played itself out ad nauseum over several years; a glance at the talk page above will show that. I see nothing to be gained from another round of that argument, another round in which those who want to depart from the traditional usage will advance the same tired arguments which those who prefer to get it right will continue to find unpersuasive. Those arguments do not become more attractive with the passage of time; in fact, to some extent, it's just the opposite. Tradition is the yardstick by which "correct" is measured, not the house style of the associated press, and the traditional form is clear. We should stick with it. (Nor, by the way, was the revert performed appropriate since it threw ought both changes you didn't like and unobjectionable changes. I urge you to work granularly if you must work at all.) - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 01:25, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Simon, you have been bold in changing what has long been accepted in this article. Please leave your edits reverted, until they have been discussed here and you have (perhaps) obtained consensus for your systematic changes. You do not have the privilege of being able to change the existing style unilaterally, without first seeking consensus.
The evidence in the article itself shows that, outside of some Roman Catholic publications (apparently a minority even of them), the "Cardinal John Smith" form is considered the correct form. Wikipedia is not a Roman Catholic publication. Esoglou (talk) 08:46, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Your use of the term "long accepted" in the context of an enyclopedia that has existed for barely a decade betrays a serious lack of perspective, even recentism. The for "John Cardinal Joe" has been the accepted norm for centuries. It is the correct form, and it ought to be used. That is so even if you have cobbled together some sources which show a handful of secular publications getting it wrong as house style in recent decades, and a few dioceses that have followed suit for whatever reason. Lastly, a repeated citation to BRD doesn't help either: BRD is a model not a policy, and while it is exceedingly useful in many cases, I have already explained why it is not so here.- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 15:32, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
The question has been discussed on Wikipedia, and the conclusion reached was that both forms may be used. You have no right to overturn, on your word alone, that conclusion. Your affirmation that "John Cardinal Doe" (not "Joe", surely) has been the accepted norm (i.e., the only accepted one) for centuries is simply false. The "Cardinal John Doe" form too has certainly been in use for centuries. If you doubt it, just ask me and I will provide examples. How many do you want? As for today's usage (which is what counts here), what stylebooks produced in the last half-century can you cite in support of your view? The cited sources - authoritative stylebooks that you want us to believe, on your word alone, that they "have got it wrong" - are Wikipedia reliable sources; you are not. You cannot unilaterally change the style in use in this article (which has long been the "Cardinal John Doe" form) while not producing a shred of evidence that that style is incorrect. You don't own the article, and have no right to force your preference on it. Esoglou (talk) 18:56, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
You don't judge tradition, it judges you, and no one seriously disputes that the traditional form is to insert "Cardinal" between the first name and the last name, even if they prefer to use impliedly pejorative terms like "older" or "archaic." No one doubts your ability to reel off any number of sources which use the incorrect form, which is irrelevant given that, again, no one seriously disputes that the traditional form is "John Cardinal Doe." If in doubt, check Noonan, who has already been cited several times above, and I have no idea why that didn't end the debate there and then. Nor, quite frankly, are the house styles of various journalists; that goes to the question of what it means to be "correct." "Correct" in the sense of those style manuals means "compliant with the prescriptions of this style manual and the preferences of its sponsoring organization." For example, if the AP stylebook says that the AP refers to the paramount court of this nation as "high court," a writer is "correct" (i.e. compliant with the stylebook) if they write that, even though this is incorrect in any other sense: the court is called the "Supreme Court of the United States." Stylebooks that are meant for internal consumption—as contrasted to, say, Fowler or Partridge—may impose error on those obligated to follow them, but we aren't. As I said above, proponents of following the AP have had their say several times on this talk page; it wasn't persuasive then, it isn't persuasive now, and there is simply no point in rehashing the argument. Identify the traditional usage, defer to it, and move on.- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 23:31, 12 February 2011 (UTC)
Still, I'm open to a compromise. We could elide the problem almost entirely by preferring the style "Cardinal Doe," which everyone agrees is correct in every sense. Is that more to your liking? The article already uses that form to some extent: Armand Cardinal Richelieu, for example, is referred to simply as "Cardinal Richelieu" throughout. That would also have the virtue of consistent style.- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 00:12, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Like this - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 00:18, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
While I do not accept the claim, for which Noonan alone is cited, that the "John Cardinal Doe" style is the correct one, and the claim that stylebooks such as that of Catholic News Service and the Franciscan Holy Name Province are misguided in imposing the "Cardinal John Doe" style, I appreciate your change to a neutral style and gladly agree to its use. Esoglou (talk) 10:29, 13 February 2011 (UTC)
The Franciscan stylebook doesn't constitute an independent source, because the introduction to their stylebook notes that they simply follow CNS/AP stylebooks with a few modifications. (It also notes, quite correctly, that the office of a stylebook is not to describe the "correct" form but to prescribe a uniform house style for use within an organization: "Stylebooks give guidance for consistency in [writing] … within an organization" (emphasis added).) I have no idea why they would prefer to get it wrong. If I had to guess, the key point is that this is the stylebook for the Franciscan press office, and that the direction does not reflect their preference so much as a decision to feed the media in a style more palatable to the latter.
I think you will probably search in vain for many older stylebooks giving the correct form for the same reason that you would not expect a stylebook to explain that the President of the United States is referred to as the President. When there is a universally-understood and unchallenged standard form, there is no need to expound on the correct form: "As compared to what?" Even if Noonan was the first to articulate the point (which I doubt), that point would be (and was) unnecessary unless (and before) people started using the erroneous "Cardinal John Doe." Orthodoxy is rarely formally defined until challenged by heresy, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't orthodoxy before. The Council of Trent didn't invent the 73 book canon! There was simply no need to define what had been settled orthodoxy for a millennium until that orthodoxy was challenged. Likewise, everyone agrees on the content of the traditional form, so the only question is whether we ought to yield to rationalists in the media who seem incapable of deferring to a traditional usage simply because it is traditional. (Michael Oakeshott would have a field day with these chumps.)
In any event, Wikipedia is a large, well-known, and influential entity, and we should do well to (1) get it right and (2) not be used as a tool in standardizing error. If Wikipedia comes down on the side of the incorrect usage, its influence—you might not think so, but, alas, too many people take what they read here as authoritative at face value—will encourage/liberate others to get it wrong. That won't do. Ideally we should get it right; at very least, we should be neutral between error and accuracy, as we are after this weekend's edits. - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 16:54, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
After this repetition of your personal view that the choice of the Franciscans and of the USCCB-based CNS is "wrong", may we just let this discussion rest, now that the article is not forcing either style on its readers? Esoglou (talk) 19:55, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Number of electors[edit]

What's the best way to handle the wording here? I support Esoglau's edit a moment ago, but as his source notes, B16 increased the number of voting Cardinals to 121 for two months, and the concern of a conclave happening between 11/20/10 and 1/20/26 became moot almost a month ago. Shouldn't the text reflect that in some way?- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 19:51, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't know for how long the number 120 was exceeded under John Paul II. Two months? Less? Longer? Less one time, longer the other? Isn't "perhaps calculating that the number would be sufficiently reduced by the time the need for a conclave would arise" enough, without going into details about each and every occasion, including perhaps future ones? Esoglou (talk) 20:01, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
My concern is to avoid the impression that this was some kind of reckless gambit on B16's part. Increasing the size of the college to one elector above the maximum (setting aside the canonical questions such a point raises) for an exceedingly brief period with a definite and proximate expiry is quite different to an open-ended increase. Even if Benedict had died on November 21, a conclave wouldn't have begun until mid-December (Universi Dominici Gregis, no. 49 (John Paul II, 1996)), so the window of potential controversy is incredibly narrow, about five weeks. Hardly a reckless act for someone in good health. - Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 22:21, 23 February 2011 (UTC)
First, there is no canonical issue about having more than 120 cardinal electors. The Pope, by the very act of creating more than 120, abrogates that law. If there were more than 120 cardinal electors at the time of death of a Pope, they would all be admitted to the conclave. As to the periods of time with more than 120 cardinal electors, they are: 28 Apr 1969-31 Dec 1969 (134-126); 30 Jun 1979 (121); 28 Jun 1988-26 Jul 1988 (121); 21 Feb 1998-28 Feb 1998 (122-121); 21 Feb 2001-31 Jul 2002 (136-121); 21 Oct 2003-11 Dec 2004 (134-121); 24 Mar 2006 (121); and 20 Nov 2010-26 Jan 2011 (121).--Dcheney (talk) 01:21, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
That would be my view of it also, but I'm not a canonist, and I think laymen—even civil lawyers—comment on fine-grained canon law issues at our peril. I don't think we have to resolve that question here, although I suppose that if a reliable source (which in this case means a canonist in an appropriate venue) restates your point, that would help.- Simon Dodd { U·T·C·WP:LAW } 01:50, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
I have inserted an explicit sourced explanation, using the word "dispense" rather than "derogate", since you may perhaps have found the latter word difficult. Esoglou (talk) 07:28, 24 February 2011 (UTC)

You probably know that, even with no deaths, the number of electors will gradually decrease as cardinals reach 80. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:28, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

conferring of red biretta -- some were conferred elsewhere[edit]

It is noted that, in place of imposing the red hat, "investiture now takes place with the scarlet biretta". Could someone write about the earlier conferring of the red biretta? For example, in some countries the head of state conferred the red biretta; there was a case as late as the 1960s where this was done (the head of state was Francisco Franco of Spain). An earlier case of head-of-state conferral was in 1914 on new cardinal Janos Csernoch by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, filling in for the aged (over 80) Emperor Franz Josef I; Franz Ferdinand was assassinated a month later (the immediate cause of what we know as World War I). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:15, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

This was a now abolished privilege of the Emperor of Vienna and the Kings of France and Spain and a privilege demanded also by the King of Portugal (and exercised also by some of their non-royal successors as heads of state). The Nuncios to those courts were considered to have a right to become cardinals at the end of their missions: those courts considered it an insult if a Nuncio accredited to a post as high as those courts considered themselves to be were "promoted" to anything less than the cardinalate! Unfortunately, having no reliable source at my disposal that states this, I cannot put it into the article. Many years ago I did read a scholarly book that recounted the problem that arose when Lisbon, after declaring the Nuncio to Lisbon persona non grata, then, claiming that the Nunciature there should be recognized as of the same level as in Madrid and Paris, would not let the non gratus Nuncio leave the country, unless he were made a Cardinal! The Pope refused, at least at first, for I don't remember how the curious problem was finally solved. Esoglou (talk) 20:56, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

If you know who the cardinal is, you might check out the FIU cardinals site. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:35, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

What cardinal do you mean? The Nuncio to Lisbon whom I mentioned and whom I now have no means of identifying, must have been of the 17th, 18th or early 19th century and may never have become a cardinal. Esoglou (talk) 17:51, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Try Cardinal Csernoch, whom I already mentioned above. The FIU cardinals site and that cardinal's article on wikipedia both have the red biretta being conferred by Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Also, look up Pope John XXIII; as Cardinal Roncalli, he received the red biretta from President Vincent Auriol of France. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:04, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Consistory 2014[edit]

Pope Francis announced that he will hold his first Consistory to Create New Cardinals on the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter (22 February 2014). No names or even a number of new cardinals was mentioned.--Dcheney (talk) 01:07, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

Red hat v. Purple hat[edit]

today at the UN there were people wearing cardinal vestments but the hats were different colors: some were red and some were purple, why the difference ? John5Russell3Finley (talk) 13:59, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I strongly suspect that those with purple hats were actually archbishops and bishops rather than cardinals.--Dcheney (talk) 22:55, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 20 July 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved per request. Favonian (talk) 15:39, 27 July 2016 (UTC)

Cardinal (Catholicism)Cardinal (Catholic Church)WP:CONSISTENCY: Priesthood (Catholic Church), Bishop (Catholic Church), and Holy Orders (Catholic Church) specifically, as well as the wider convention of using "(Catholic Church)" for parenthetical disambiguations of Catholic Church–related articles. Jujutsuan (Please notify with {{re}} talk | contribs) 01:33, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

External links modified[edit]

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Requested move 2 February 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. The nomination may or not be frivolous, but it is kind of malformed in the sense that no evidence was given to prove that this is a case of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC; you gotta prove that something is the primary topic instead of just claiming it without. As for the actual debate on whether primary topic status is achieved or not, then, well, that more of a no consensus. No prejudice to another RM iff there is actual evidence to support the move. (non-admin closure) SkyWarrior 03:04, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Cardinal (Catholic Church)CardinalWP:Primarytopic. Chicbyaccident (talk) 19:34, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

  • Speedy close, malformed target is a dab page, no evidence given, and please see page views. In ictu oculi (talk) 21:10, 2 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support and move Cardinal to Cardinal (disambiguation). Clear primary topic. Obviously what most English-speakers would first think of if they heard the term. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:39, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose Cardinal (bird) gets more than twice as many page views as the Catholic church official, and the most common species, the Northern cardinal, gets almost twice as many page views. Plantdrew (talk) 20:03, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Plantdrew. Thank you for basing your !vote on evidence. But I agree with In ictu oculi to close immediately on procedural grounds - no supporting evidence given in proposal. We should implicitly require providing such evidence (by closing immediately when it's missing) so as to avoid frivolous proposals like this one which are a waste of everyone's time. --В²C 22:48, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
I wouldn't want to be associated with calling the proposal "frivolous". Wikipedia:Assume good faith. @Chicbyaccident: thank you for contributions to en.wp. Have a good day. In ictu oculi (talk) 22:55, 3 February 2017 (UTC)
As you wish, but this proposal is inherently frivolous because no basis is provided. No matter how good a reason may be behind a proposal, if no basis is stated for it, then I, for one (is it only me?), consider the proposal to "not have any serious purpose or value". If a proposer is not going to go to the trouble to explain the reasons for the proposal, hopefully with facts and basis in policy and guidelines, then the proposal is simply not serious. It's frivolous. And we should stop being accepting of such time-wasters. Frankly, I consider it to be a form of vandalism and it should be dealt with accordingly. --В²C 03:05, 4 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment. Note that the birds are only found in the Americas. Most people in the rest of the world would certainly not think of a bird associated with this term, even if they knew there was a bird by this name. I therefore think this could be a case of Americanocentric thinking. -- Necrothesp (talk) 13:36, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
I'm afraid so. Never heard about the birdy. Chicbyaccident (talk) 15:46, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Were catholic cardinals forbidden to marry. Were they supposed to be celibate? If so, please add this to the information on this page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:28, 1 March 2017 (UTC)