Cardinal Conclave Conundrum

The Dean of College of Cardinals, Card. Sodano, is 81.  He cannot enter or vote in a conclave.

The Sub-Dean is Card. Etchegaray, 86.  He cannot enter or vote in a conclave.

If, quod Deus avertat, a conclave were necessary now, how would this work?

If the Dean and Sub-Dean a prevented because of age, the senior Cardinal Bishop presides over the conclave.

"But Father! But Father!", you are saying, checking your list of Cardinal Bishops.  "Who would that be?"

Since I believe it is not just the senior Cardinal, but the senior Cardinal Bishop, that is in the office of Cardinal Bishop, I think it would be Card. Re, who was made Cardinal Bishop in 2002.

Card. Arinze has been Cardinal longer by far, made in 1985.  But Card. Arinze was not made Cardinal Bishop until 2005.

I don’t think the Cardinal Bishop-Patriarchs are part of this.  If they could then Cardinal Bishop-Patriarch Daoud, Emeritus of the Syrians would be at the top of the list.  He was made Cardinal Bishop-Patriarch in 2001 and since he is 78, he can participate in the conclave. 

But I think the Cardinal Bishop-Patriarchs, insofar as they are Cardinals, rank after the Roman Cardinal Bishops.

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17 Responses to Cardinal Conclave Conundrum

  1. Ann says:

    “But I think the Cardinal Bishop-Patriarchs, insofar as they are Cardinals, rank after the Roman Cardinal Bishops.”

    I am confused by this, if they are in full communion, should they not have the same status? It doesn’t seem quite right that the bishops of the rites in communion with the roman rite should be penalized for not being roman…

    but I am merely a layperson and perhaps there are things I do not understand that would make this make sense.

  2. Michael says:

    I don’t think it appropriate to make patriarchs cardinals, because they rank above the cardinals.

    Incidentally, I think Daoud is Syrian, not Maronite.

  3. David Cheney says:

    Cardinal Bishops by Rank

    The Cardinal-Bishops are considered separately from the Cardinal-Bishop Patriarches. The Dean, for example, is elected by and from the former group only.

  4. Matthew Coleman says:

    As far as I know, (according to Wikipedia) Cardinal Deacons, when elevated to Cardinal Priests take their precedence according to the date that they were originally made Cardinal Deacons. For example, a Cardinal, who has been a Cardinal Deacon for eleven years, once elevated to Cardinal Priest would rank higher than a Cardinal who was elevated directly to Cardinal Priest (e.g. not having been a Cardinal Deacon) five years before.

    This seems to just apply to the Cardinal Deacon to Cardinal Priest transition, but maybe also to Cardinal Bishops?

  5. Gil Garza says:

    It must be remembered that the Sacred College of Cardinals act as the assistants and representatives of the Bishop of Rome in his ministry as Universal Shepherd. The Cardinal Bishops are always six in number because each takes title to one of the six suburb sees of Rome [seven - The Dean always has Ostia in addition to another.] (they are: Albano, Ostia, Porto-Santa Rufina, Sabina-Poggio Mirteto, Velletri-Segni, Frascati, and, Palestrina).

    Cardinal Patriarchs do not receive title to any Roman churches or sees. Each retains their own Patriarchal See. Cardinal Patriarchs follow Cardinal Bishops in the order of precedence of the Sacred College of Cardinals and in ceremonies at the Vatican because of the primacy of the Roman See. Cardinal Patriarchs are acting as assistants to the Bishop of Rome. Because the Bishop of Rome is head of the college, his suburban Cardinal Bishops are before any others in the college. In the orders of precedence of the first millenia, any official representative of the Bishop of Rome regardless of clerical rank, came before all others in the Church.

  6. prof. basto says:

    Yes, in that instance, the senior Cardinal Bishop who is also a Cardinal elector would preside over the conclave, seniority being determined by date of promotion.

    In accordance with the norms of precedence in the College, the Cardinal Bishops who are titular bishops of the Roman Suburbicarian Sees have precedence over the Cardinal Patriarchs within the Order of Cardinal Bishops.

    So a Cardinal Patriarch would only preside over the Conclave if all Cardinal Bishops of Suburbicarian Sees were not able to enter the Conclave.

  7. prof. basto says:

    The full order of precedence among the Cardinals can be found here (both electors and non electors ranked together, by precedence):

    http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/orders.htm

  8. prof. basto says:

    Cardinal Re will lose the right to take part in a conclave in 2014. If the dean or subdean happen to die before that, he is likely to go up in the order of precedence, as the elections for the office of dean and subdean are usually cerimonial, and the person is usually chosen in strict adherence to the order of seniority, so that the election works as just a confirmation.

    Eg. Ratzinger was Gantin’s Vice-Dean, and Sodano was third in seniority when Gantin was dean; Sodano was Ratzinger’s Vice dean; if Sodano dies Echegaray is likely to be made dean, and Re sub-dean…

  9. Truman says:

    You sure a non-voting cardinal cannot preside?

  10. CAL says:

    How about we change the rules back to limiting the Sacred College to 80 and all of them get a vote. Too much wisdom and experience is ignored by the age limit. Besides, I’m sure we can all think of more than a few Cardinals who would benefit from deposition from the Sacred College.

  11. contrarian says:

    i remember from reading a book that Cardinal Confalonieri, who was ineligible for voting, during the conclave for the JP popes, still presided. He cannot vote of course but presiding is a different thing. cardinals who are ineligible to vote may in fact still join the deliberations but are excused during the voting.

    i’m just wondering. if ever the patriarchs of the orthodox church were reunited with rome, would anyone of them be eligible for election as the roman pontiff, or even participate in the conclave?

  12. Gil Garza says:

    The Cardinal Dean always holds the title of the see of the Roman suburb of Ostia as well as the title of the Roman suburb that he held at the time of the election. There are 7 (thx for the correction!) Roman suburb sees. The dean and subdean must have their elections confirmed by the reigning pope. Precedence within the Order of Cardinal-Bishops is accorded by the date that the cardinals were promoted to a suburbicarian see.

  13. RBrown says:

    I don’t think it appropriate to make patriarchs cardinals, because they rank above the cardinals.
    Comment by Michael

    Are you saying that a Patriarch would be able to vote in a conclave even if he’s not a Cardinal?

  14. Josh says:

    I find this discussion of the status of patriarchs to be quite interesting. I have to admit that I am not even sure if any non-Roman bishops should be allowed to become cardinals (since cardinals are the clergy of Rome, a latin diocese.) As a member of an Eastern Catholic church, for the same reason, Latin bishops do not participate in the election of our major archbishop.

  15. JDH says:

    This is an interesting discussion, but do we really have to talk about what would happen if the Holy Father dies? I’m praying he lives to be 100!

  16. Hung says:

    Cardinal Patriarchs were, by Motu Proprio of Paul VI, allowed to be part of the Episcopal Lineage after the Cardinal Bishops, so the order of precedence was “set” by Paul VI. Additionally, it is still up to the Roman Pontiff to designate a Patriarch of our Eastern Catholic Brothers as cardinals. Patriarchs of Eastern Catholic Rites do not automatically assume membership within the College. While they do technically “rank” higher than Cardinals, we have to recall that the principal service of the College is election of the Roman Pontiff (their original purpose) and in the past the clergy of Rome (incardinated to Rome) elected the Pope because of proximity. In recent years, of course, the College has served as a body advising the Holy Father.

    Just my two cents.

  17. Trevor says:

    “How about we change the rules back to limiting the Sacred College to 80 and all of them get a vote. Too much wisdom and experience is ignored by the age limit. Besides, I’m sure we can all think of more than a few Cardinals who would benefit from deposition from the Sacred College.”

    Maybe in 10-20 years, after the College is “cleansed” of its ultra-liberal elements. For now, the 80 age limit can be thought of as a safe-guard against them influencing a Conclave…

    Think of it this way: Would you like the next Pope to be Papa Martini?