Talk:College of Cardinals

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Wikipedia's list of notable cardinals does exist[edit]

Why is someone putting this extensive list of links to articles about cardinals without adding them to the list of notable cardinals? "Notable" in this context seems to be construed as meaning "the subject of a Wikipedia article". I've found within the last few minutes that some of the cardinals listed here who do have Wikipedia articles about them are not on that list. Michael Hardy 20:21, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Cardinal in pectore[edit]

pope died, but 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.The Pope turned 80 yester day. who is him? --????Pope Benidict the 16th.

The point of "in pectore" is that it's secret. No one apart from the pope who named him and himself knows who it was. Cardinal in pectore means cardinal in the pope's heart, don't enjoy the privileges etc. of a normal cardinal. The only thing is if a cardinal in pectore were later to become a full cardinal, his seniority (time as a cardinal) would start counting from when he was named as a cardinal in pectore. On a related note, the rumour about being in China's was I think referring to the Archbishop of Hong Kong. -- KTC 21:35, Apr 3 2005 (UTC)

What has happened?[edit]

Is it just me - or has this page changed dramatically. It used to list the currently alive cardinals - now it seems to list the whole lot created since the time of Paul VI. Personally I preferred the currently alive cardinals, those being over 80 and therefore non-voting in a conclave duly asterisked. If there is need to mention other cardinals they should be in articles about the individual or about the diocese or dicastery or curial office to which they belong. It is my hope that someone will tidy this up and revert it to the alive cardinals again. My belief is that the College of Cardinals is a living organ of the Church and should only contain the living members of the College. Kiddo54 04:19, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


The idea of the College being a "living organ" of the Church is more in the realm of devoitional theology than an encyclopedia article. However, I agree with Kiddo on different grounds: it is defensible to either list only current cardinals (as this is a reference 'book") or ALL cardinals in history for the sake of completeness (this is impossible, as it wopuld require vast amounts of space for little benefit, and one can link to other sites that do have this information, or something close to it). Listing all cardinals appointed in -- what? the lifetime of a particular contributor? -- doesn't make any logical sense. Let's reduce this to the current members, with an asterisk for non-voters, as suggested.HarvardOxon 04:36, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

If there is a desire to maintain a more complete list of Cardinals in history one might adopt the rough structure used in this article but have separate articles for each pope. In other words, "Cardinals Created by Pope John Paul II", "Cardinals Created by Pope Leo XIII", etc. And those articles could then split the list by the various consistories held by that pope and would include links to both living and deceased. (And no, I'm not volunteering for this project - there are already several websites that provide the information in a useable format.)--Dcheney 00:14, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Cardinal Bishops[edit]

The current Cardinal Priests and Cardinal Deacons are listed under the Pope who appointed them a cardinal. Why was this removed from the Cardinal Bishops section (I'm assuming it was for page length reasons). GoodDay 16:02, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

The New Pope Turned 80 Years of Age on April 16,2008[edit]

Pope Benidict the 16th turn 80 years old in his pillgrimage to the United States. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.219.158.123 (talk) 00:54, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Proposed split[edit]

I propose that the list of current cardinals be split into a list article so free up space for the history, function, traditions, and significance of the College. Something like List of current Roman Catholic cardinals. Discuss. Savidan 00:01, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Latin title[edit]

The page currently states "(formal: Sacred College of the Holy Roman Church, Sancta Romana Ecclesia, S.R.E.)" but S.R.E. is simply the abbreviation for the Sancta Romana Ecclesia, which is the Latin title for the Roman Catholic church, not the College of Cardinals. Is the article trying to note that Cardinals append S.R.E. after their names in Europe? -114.91.67.127 (talk) 13:59, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Checking the Vatican City's official website, I couldn't find the "formal" title here given anywhere. The formal title appears to be sacrum cardinalium collegium (Sacred College of Cardinals), with the informal simply omitting the "sacred." If anyone restores the "Sacred College of the Holy Roman Church," please give a source. -114.91.67.127 (talk) 14:20, 19 April 2009 (UTC)
This anonymous editor did right in pointing to and correcting this mistake. It is true that, since cardinals are regularly described as "Cardinals of Holy Roman Church", you will sometimes meet, as in this 1993 speech by Pope John Paul II, the phrase "Collegium Cardinalium Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae", but it is not a constantly used phrase.
In addition, "Sacred College of Cardinals" is no longer used. The adjective seems to have been dropped at the same time as it was for the Congregations of the Roman Curia, which until then were referred to as Sacred Congregations, but which appear for the first time simply as Congregations in the 1985 Annuario Pontificio. By force of habit and because no decree was issued about the matter, they continued for some time after 1985 to be referred to sometimes with the adjective "Sacred", which has by now disappeared completely. The latest document that adds the adjective "Sacred" to the name of the College of Cardinals is the 25 September 1988 Decree of Beatification of Joseph Benedict Dusmet. And a 1989 speech by Pope John Paul II quotes a 1973 speech that used the adjective. Soidi (talk) 17:51, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

2010 consistory[edit]

I believe there were 24 bishops elevated to cardinal. GoodDay (talk) 01:22, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

No, that's wrong! As of 20th of October, 22 of them were bishops, two only priests. Walter Brandmüller was consecrated bishop on 13th of November (Titular Archbishop of Cesarea in Mauretania), so that in fact 23 bishops and one priest (Domenico Bartolucci) have been elevated to cardinals. --Heraklitcnl (talk) 22:25, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

195 cardinals?[edit]

What is our basis for saying there are 195 Cardinals at the moment? When I count the list, it comes up short. 82.24.248.137 (talk) 20:40, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

So you've to recount the list. In fact there are 195 persons listed here (as of today ;-)) --Heraklitcnl (talk) 21:10, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
I also come up with exactly 195 Cardinals.--Dcheney (talk) 21:20, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Premature Updates (turning 80)[edit]

Please note that cardinals do not lose the right to vote in a conclave (under current law) until the end of the day that they turn 80. So if a cardinal turns 80 on 26 November, they don't lose their vote until that day is complete (aka, 27 November). (Source: Universi Dominici Gregis, 33).--Dcheney (talk) 12:30, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

List[edit]

Why do we maintain a list of cardinals in this entry when a superior sortable list is maintained at List of living cardinals? Can't we just point readers there for the list and stop the multiple updates? Am I missing something?

I think diffs between the two are minor and easily worked out. I just added xrefs to bits like SJ on List of living cardinals and I don't think the fact that one list uses SJ and the other S.J. is of importance.

See the suggestion made above six years ago at #Proposed split.

Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 20:16, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Urban II[edit]

The article states: "In 1130, under Urban II, all the classes were permitted to take part in papal elections; up to this point, only cardinal-bishops had this role." - Urban II died in 1099, so either the year or the name of the pope is incorrect here. Which is it? - Andre Engels (talk) 20:13, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

You are right, and the cited source, which does say what is in the article, is wrong. Esoglou (talk) 20:36, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
It looks like it was Nicholas II Brendan98 (talk) 20:39, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
wait no that's not right Brendan98 (talk) 20:40, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

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Merge with List of living cardinals[edit]

I propose merging List of living cardinals with this article. Essentially the same content, a merge would bring about an easier overview for readers (less scattered for no obvious reasons), as well as a more convenient maintainance of the table(s), including demographics section (that would otherwise also need a duplicate maintainance). Chicbyaccident (talk) 09:48, 26 May 2017 (UTC)

Oppose The two lists are organized differently, and I see merit to keeping both organizations. The one here is organized by order, and the one at List of living cardinals isn't, but is fully sortable. Both have their utility. These lists have existed side by side on Wikipedia for a long time. You've already moved some of the content from one article into the other without first asking anyone else's input . . . Duplicate maintenance, at least for the demographics section, can be solved by creating a template which is used in both articles. If it is merely the presentation of the information in two places that is problematic, then it seems to me that deleting the massive table in this long article and referring readers to the List article is a better solution. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 10:20, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
I have created the template for the Demographic information and replaced the tables in each article with it. I also deleted the bottom row (the red shaded one) which was a key to information in a different table and recalculated the percentages of voting age cardinals to be out of the total number of voting age cardinals. (I assume people are more likely to be interested in what percentage of all voting age cardinals were created by a particular pope, than in what percentage of the total number of cardinals are voting age cardinals created by a certain pope. The former is relevant to electoral dynamics in a consistory; the latter is difficult to interpret.) LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 10:35, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
If we agreed on a common format for the list of living cardinals as a whole (which a successful merger presumes), then the entire list could be made into a template which would relieve the burden of duplicate maintenance, which would in turn obviate at least some of the need for merging the articles to begin with. Personally, I like having the list in a separate article. If the objection to this is merely (or mostly) that it duplicates maintenance, then let's create a template. On the other hand, if the objection is that the material itself is duplicated, then I think the College of Cardinals article is already long enough, and the material should be deleted from here and left in the list article. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 10:41, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Alternatively, there are other ways to transclude WP:TRANS whole pages or sections of pages onto another page, which could also eliminate the duplicated maintenance. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 10:44, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
OK. Would you please go ahead with a such merged template of a list, please? Chicbyaccident (talk) 10:58, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Maintaining both lists makes little sense. The objection that one list is organized by order can be met by making the template version sortable by order. Apparently Patriarchs require special treatment. The unsortable version organized by order as it is now privileges that sequencing over all others, while a sortable list serves a wider readership more efficiently. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 15:32, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
Alright, I'm working on creating a template. Might take a few days. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 22:41, 26 May 2017 (UTC)
The template is done. Can we close the merge proposal now? LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 04:27, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
1. This seems problematic. Sort on any field, e.g., country, and the bold subheads for Cardinals of the Order of Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and for Patriarchs and Titular Bishops are either inaccurately at the top or oddly placed. Since we can sort on Order, we don't need any of those headings. We may want to note *outside the table* that there are two kinds of cardinal bishops.
2. What should the default display be? I'd suggest alpha as the one least surprising and most quickly grasped by the reader.
3. This is great work, but you should be asking editors to look at your work in the template space before deploying the template in these two entries, no?
4. Finally, please add notes in the entries telling editors where they can find the templates. Few will know. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 06:18, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
[re: 1.] I was worried about that, but wondered what other people would think. I'll just delete those rows, since they aren't necessary. Feel free to add a note outside the table. [re: 2.] Totally disagree. Readers can sort by name if that's what they want. The order is by order of precedence and it's defaulted to the order of the first column, but we can add a note making this clear. This was also the order already being used in this article (although not in the List of living cardinals article, which was mostly alphabetical but with a bunch of mistakes which apparently had gone unnoticed for a long time). Also, honestly, it's much easier to get this order right. Plus the alphabetical thing is complicated and non-obvious for a bunch of bishops with non-English-stye last names. [re: 3] I've never done this before, so I don't know. No one objected when I did the first much smaller template yesterday and deployed it immediately, but it's a good thought for the future. Thanks. [re: 4] I'm not sure where you want the notes to be. Like hidden notes within the source code? The source code already indicates clearly what template is being used. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 14:34, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Re 4. If a new editor comes along and wants to modify the content of the list, how is he supposed to know where to find it if s/he is not as expert as you? The source code names the template, but a url would be helpful. Yes, a hidden note.
I notice the alphabetical sort placed Lozano ahead of López. Is there a way to use traditional alphabetical sorting that sees o and ó as equivalents? (both = canonical o).
Re 2. I continue to disagree. You've opted to follow the order used in one of the two WP entries over the other without waiting for discussion. The fact that the table is sorted by rank is not obvious and any field that has unique or mostly unique values would make more sense. You've sorted a list of 222 based on just 3 values. You've sorta sorted them, but really you've just grouped them into 3 large buckets. There are 9 with Order=CB. How are those 9 sorted when the table first displays or when I sort on Order? I can't tell. Not by alpha or consistory or country... Yes alpha order can be complicated. It's still more intuitive than Order, I think. (It would be nice to know what alpha mistakes you found BTW. I've always paid more attention to birth dates than anything else.)Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 15:44, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Okay, I'll put in a hidden note. Re: Lozano v. Lopez, I don't know of a way to fix this without changing the spelling that displays, but I will do that since I already did it for someone else; Wikipedia's alphabetization function in tables treats vowels with special characters as distinct from the plain vowels and alphabetizes them at the end of the alphabet, and I don't know of a work around that gets the display text to be different from the one what is used for the alphabetization feature. Re: the default display order, which is the same as the order when sorted by the Order column. The order is by precedence (which is complicated). This is actually explained in the text above the list in this article. Obviously, I had to choose one of the two orders in order to merge the lists and have one template that could work in both places: I followed the same order that was already present in this article. I'm not sure why I need to defend preserving the order that was already in this article. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 16:18, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
To be clear, the alphabetical problems I found were with the default display order in the sortable table that appeared in the other article (List of living cardinals). I remember four examples specifically: Geraldo Majella Agnelo (according to Brazilian custom, even though he has a dual last name, he should be referred to and thus alphabetized by the second one), Alexandre do Nascimento was filed under N rather than D, and Osoro Sierra and Porras Cardozo, who were just in the wrong part of the alphabet (both under R, I believe). But there may have been others. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 16:31, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
To be strictly accurate, the situation with Brazilian names is more complicated than this, and you kind of have to check for each person. (I verify my intuitions by looking at how Portuguese Wikipedia refers to these people and by looking at outside sources.) LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 16:34, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Additionally, the Portuguese Cardinal Manuel Clemente was incorrectly alphabetized under D (for "do Nascimento") rather than C (for "Clemente"). LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 16:39, 27 May 2017 (UTC)
Your hidden notes are perfect. I have minimal internet access for the next ten days so I'll have to hold my other comments, which are more about what is said before the table(s) in the two entries we've been discussing. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 17:02, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Glad to be helpful. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 22:46, 28 May 2017 (UTC)
Didn't the table used to have their Cardinal titular title as well? (or am I thinking of yet another table of cardinals) --Dcheney (talk) 00:34, 29 May 2017 (UTC)
The table in this article used to have the suburbicarian titular sees for the Cardinal Bishops, but not the titles for any of the Cardinal Priests or Deacons. I didn't see any point in including the former unless the latter were going to be included as well. LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 17:02, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Revive discussion/oppose merge After taking some time for discernment I'd like to revive this discussion. I'll note as well the contribution of an IP user who flagged certain sections of College of Cardinals as "slanted towards recent events". One of those flags has been removed (I think without explanation or comment). I'd suggest that the IP user makes a good point in opposition to the proposed merge. The article on the College should cover history and functions, and I'd include trends over time, like historical domination of the College by Europeans and/or Italians. The List entry should include the list itself, oldest and youngest and similar data bits, and demographic data derived from it, like distribution by country. A "List of living" is by definition biased toward the present. Having the list appear in too places just invites the reader -- not experienced editors, but readers -- to wonder if the two lists are identical. We can remove any concern on that score by presenting the list only once. Bmclaughlin9 (talk) 16:23, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

I still oppose merging the pages, and I think you make a good point about how they ought to be different. Demographic statistics on the current college should probably be restricted to "List of living cardinals", while any discussion of demographics on this page should have a historical context (like the proportion of the college that has been Italian or European over time). I don't have a problem with keeping the table of current members of the college on this page, but I wouldn't make a fuss if others feel differently. (I believe I removed one of the recentism flags, and I did explain the removal, which I did while changing the name of the section to clearly indicate that it was only dealing with the present membership of the college.) LacrimosaDiesIlla (talk) 14:41, 6 July 2017 (UTC)