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cardinal, in the Roman Catholic Church
cardinal [Lat.,=attached to and thus “belonging to” the hinge], in the Roman Catholic Church, a member of the highest body of the church. The sacred college of cardinals of the Holy Roman Church is the electoral college of the papacy. Its members are appointed by the pope. A cardinal's insignia resemble those of a bishop, except for the characteristic red, broad-brimmed, tasseled hat, which is conferred by the pope but not subsequently worn. Cardinals, the “princes of the church,” are styled “Eminence.”
The term cardinal was formerly applied to important clergymen of all sorts and countries, but in the Middle Ages it was restricted to the Roman province. The college of cardinals is the modern derivative of the clergy of the ancient diocese of Rome, used by the pope for advice and transaction of business. Pope Sixtus V set the maximum number of cardinals at 70, a tradition maintained for centuries until the pontificate of Pope John XXIII. Since then it has increased to well over 100, approaching twice that at times. The number number of cardinals eligible to vote in papal elections (those under 80 years old) was limited to 120 by Paul VI and John Paul II, but John Paul appointed more than that number several times. Following the lead of Pius XII, John XXIII and Paul VI promoted the international character of the college. John Paul continued to expand international representation in the college, and Europeans now account for only about half of the cardinals eligible to vote in papal elections.
Classes of Cardinals
The Cabinet of the Pope
The Secretariat of State
A Roman congregation consists of a group of cardinals, headed by a prefect, together with two staffs that transact most of the business—one of major officials and the other of minor officials chosen by competitive examination and assigned to less important affairs. The congregation proper, i.e., the cardinals, makes all major decisions.
The following are the Roman congregations (founded by Sixtus V in 1588; reorganized by Pius X in 1908, by Paul VI at the close of the Second Vatican Council, and by John Paul II in 1988): the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly, of the Holy Office; see Inquisition), concerned with doctrinal orthodoxy; the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, for all concerns of those following Eastern rites in communion with the pope; the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, for all public worship of the Latin rite, liturgical books, and the like, including sacred music and art; the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, for overseeing the process of canonization and verifying sacred relics; the Congregation for Bishops, for recommending candidates for bishop and establishing dioceses; the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (formerly Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith; the Propaganda), for all concerns of the missions of the Latin rite; the Congregation for the Clergy, for all concerns relating to all secular priests and deacons; the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, for all concerns relating to religious orders and their members; and the Congregation for Catholic Education, for the administration of seminaries and Catholic educational institutions. Of the Roman congregations, the two whose influence is felt most deeply throughout the church are probably the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
The Roman Tribunals
See studies by G. D. Kittler (1960), and F. B. Thornton (1963).
cardinal, in zoology
in the Catholic Church the highest member of the clergy after the pope.
Cardinals are the closest advisers and assistants to the pope in matters of church administration; they form the College of Cardinals, headed by a dean. Cardinals are appointed by the pope. The pope himself is elected exclusively by the College of Cardinals according to a decree of the Lateran Council of 1179. In 1586, Pope Sixtus V established that the number of the cardinals should not exceed 70. Up to the middle of the 20th century, Italians predominated in the College of Cardinals. The number of cardinals in the college was increased by Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI, and by October 1969 the College of Cardinals consisted of 131 members, as well as bishops from Asian and African countries.
The cardinals living in Rome (cardinals of the Curia) head the central organs of the Vatican, including the congregations and the tribunals. The cardinals are divided hierarchically into three groups—cardinal bishops, cardinal priests, and cardinal deacons. According to the decision of Pope Paul VI in 1970, cardinals who reach the age of 75 retire but retain their cloth; when they reach the age of 80, they remain members of the college but lose the right to belong to the Roman Curia and to participate in the election of a new pope.
(Cardinalis cardinalis), a bird of the family Fringil-lidae, order Passeriformes. Body length, approximately 20 cm. The male’s feathers are bright red (the color of a cardinal’s mantle). The base of the bill is black. The female is brown.
The cardinal is found in the USA (naturally in the east; introduced to California and the Hawaiian Islands), Mexico, and northern Central America. It dwells in forests, gardens, and parks, feeding on seeds and insects. It lays a clutch of three to four eggs, which the female alone incubates for 12–13 days.