Home   |  About Us   |  Contacts   |  Products    
 News Items:
 Headlines
 News Briefs
 Stories
 Movies
 Word To Life
 More News:
 Vatican
 Africa
 Special Section:
 Vatican II at 40
 Archives:
 John Paul II
 Tsunami
 Election 2004
 Charter update
 John Jay study
 Other Items:
 Client Area
 Links
 Origins
.
 Did You Know...

 The whole CNS
 public Web site
 headlines, briefs
 stories, etc,
 represents less
 than one percent
 of the daily news
 report.

 Get all the news!

 If you would like
 more information
 about the
 Catholic News
 Service daily
 news report,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 cns@
 catholicnews.com
 or
 (202) 541-3250

.
 Copyright:

 This material
 may not
 be published,
 broadcast,
 rewritten or
 otherwise
 distributed.
 
 Copyright
 (c) 2006
 Catholic News
 Service/U.S.
 Conference of
 Catholic Bishops.

 CNS Story:

CARDINALS-GLANCE Feb-22-2006 (280 words) xxxi

What does a cardinal do?

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have two key jobs, advising the current pope and electing a new pope.

The cardinals as a body offer their advice to the pope in two ways:

-- Through their membership in Vatican congregations or other departments of the Roman Curia, the church's central administrative offices.

-- Through their membership in the College of Cardinals, which the pope can convoke to discuss substantive questions facing the church.

Cardinals who are resident in Rome meet more frequently to discuss the major decisions the pope is facing.

The College of Cardinals has three ranks:

-- Cardinal bishops, a group that includes only six Latin-rite cardinals, one of whom is elected dean of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the current Pope Benedict XVI, was the dean at the time of his election. He was succeeded by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.

-- Cardinal priests, most of whom are diocesan bishops, although some senior curial officials also hold the rank.

-- Cardinal deacons, most of whom are curial officials.

Cardinals wear a distinctive orange-tinged red cassock and biretta in solemn ceremonies. During ordinary liturgical rites they wear a red skullcap.

Pope Paul VI decreed that the College of Cardinals would have a maximum of 120 active members. Since 1970, those over 80 have not been counted as active.

Although the retired cardinals are not eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a new pope, they still are considered advisers to the pope, and they are invited to participate in the meetings of the College of Cardinals in preparation for a conclave.

END


Copyright (c) 2006 Catholic News Service/USCCB. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed.
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250