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This page should really be called [cardinal (catholicism)]?, but Wikipedia doesn't allow parenthesis' in page names yet.
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

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 ( http://www.prairienet.org/nrpcatholic/e204-459.html#2 )

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.

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Last edited December 14, 2001 1:29 am by MichaelTinkler (diff)
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