Of cardinalatial interest

Here is an interesting bit of information from Catholic Hierarchy:

While doing some research I discovered that my wording on the website relating to the age of a cardinal and his right to vote in a conclave was not accurate. I’m in the process of updating the wording on the site.

The old wording was:

Cardinals under the age of 80 at the time the Holy See becomes vacant may vote in a conclave.

The new wording is:

Cardinals that reach the age of 80 before the Holy See becomes vacant may not vote in a conclave.

It may not seem like that big of a change, but there is one important distinction. [NB:] If the Cardinal turns 80 years old on the same day that the Holy See becomes vacant, he does retain the right to vote in the subsequent conclave.

(Source: #33, Universi Dominici Gregis, by Pope John Paul II, on 22 Feb 1996)

On another note, I believe that if a man is named Cardinal but the Holy Father dies before the consistory in which that Cardinal would receive the marks of his dignity (red hat and ring), the man named Cardinal would be NOT allowed to participate in the conclave.  The names must be published in the consistory, not just made public.

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13 Responses to Of cardinalatial interest

  1. Tominellay says:

    Mr. Cheney’s Catholic-Hierarchy web site has been an extremely useful resource. Cheney does a great service!

  2. dcheney says:

    Thanks for the shout out :-)

    Fr Z. brings up a good question. It centers on the interpretation of Canon 351 §2 which reads: Cardinales creantur Romani Pontificis decreto, quod quidem coram Cardinalium Collegio publicatur; inde a publicatione facta officiis tenentur atque iuribus gaudent lege definitis.

    Some English translations render the second half as “From the moment of the announcement…” others as “From the moment of the publication…”. If it is the former, then it seems they may have the rights beginning at the original announcement. But if it is the latter (and I think it is), then those rights do not begin until the formal publication which happens at the consistory.

  3. Andy Milam says:

    “On another note, I believe that if a man is named Cardinal but the Holy Father dies before the consistory in which that Cardinal would receive the marks of his dignity (red hat and ring), the man named Cardinal would NOT be allowed to participate in the conclave.”

    This was the major point of consternation in the novel, “The Red Hat” by Ralph McInerny. Fantastic book by the way.

  4. patrick_f says:

    Interesting. I never knew a cardinal got a different ring. Is it in Addition to his Episcopal Ring? Or is that there because sometimes non bishops are/were made cardinals?

  5. Prof. Basto says:

    “On another note, I believe that if a man is named Cardinal but the Holy Father dies before the consistory in which that Cardinal would receive the marks of his dignity (red hat and ring), the man named Cardinal would NOT be allowed to participate in the conclave”

    It all hangs on the concept of being “named” a Cardinal.

    1. By requirement of Canon Law, Cardinals are “created” (that is, appointed and made Cardinals) and “published” (i.e. their names are revealled), at an ordinary public consistory. The technical distinction in Canon Law between the juridical acts of “creation” and “publication” is only relevant in the case of cardinals created “in pectore” (i.e., the Pope creates a new Cardinal, and announces that there is an additional cardinal, but withholds his name to be published only at a later consistory). In normal cases (i.e., creation not “in pectore”), the creation and publication of the name take place within a single act.

    2. According to current practice, new Cardinals also receive the red hats at that same ordinary public consistory. Also under current practice, they then go on to receive the ring the next day, not during a consistory, but during a Mass they concelebrate with the Pope.

    3. To be clear, the “ordinary public consistory” is NOT a gathering of the Pope with the appointees he intends to create as Cardinals (although in current practice the new appointees who become Cardinals during this consistory ARE also present). But what makes the consistory, and what makes the creation of the new Cardinals take place within one, is the gathering of the Pope with those prelates present in Rome WHO ARE ALREADY CARDINALS. So, when the Consistory opens, at the very first moment, the Pope is there gathered with His Cardinals present in Rome (and, according to current practice, the new appointees, who are at that initial point not yet Cardinals, are also present, but their presence is NOT NECESSARY). Then, the pope announces (to those who are already His cardinals), that he is thereby creating new ones.

    4. In centuries past, the Pope would first create new Cardinals at an ordinary public consistory to which they would not be present, and then, at a later moment, the Cardinals thus created would be invested with the red hat at a separate occasion. So the consistory was at once the first announcement of the promotion and also the juridical act whereby it was effected.

    5. St. John Fisher, for instance, was created Cardinal at a consistory (this was no mere announcement of the pope saying he “intended to create” Fisher a Cardinal, but the actual act of creation, by a formula pronounced in the present tense in the presence of a Consistory of Cardinals). St. John Fisher never got to go to Rome to collect his insignia. But he was a Cardinal and died a Cardinal.

    6. Presently, because the praxis of the Holy See is that the new appointees are present at the consistory at which their promotion is formalized, and immediately receive the insignia of their new rank, then the necessity arose of the Pope starting to make a prior “announcement” (which is devoided of all juridical effect) of his “intention to create” certain clerics as Cardinals. This gives the appointees notice that they are to appear at the consistory and that they need to comission the appropriate vestments. But, precisely because this is merely an announcement of an intention with no legal effect, the prelates are not addressed as Cardinals until the actual moment when the pope pronounces the formula of creation before the gathered Consistory. THAT ANNOUNCEMENT OF INTENTION SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH THE FORMAL “PUBLICATION” OF THE NAME OF THE CARDINAL THAT TAKES PLACE WITHIN THE CONSISTORY.

    7. The rationale behind the norm of Canon Law restricting the creation and publication of Cardinals to a formally assembled consistory seems to have to do with avoiding acts of creation and publication done in private, or announced by aides of an ailing pope, etc, casting possible doubt on the actual occurence of a promotion. A promotion published in Consistory, in the face of all Cardinals, gives much more security to the act, avoiding controversies.

    8. – Because of the old praxis (not observed today, but still possible) of Cardinals not receiving their insignia immediately (which could still happen, if, for instance an appointee where to fall ill and miss his own creation as a Cardinal), Canon Law clarifies that Cardinals “created and published” in consistory can vote in a Conclave and discharge the privileges of their rank even if they have not yet been invested with the insignia (hat and ring). BUT THAT “CREATION AND PUBLICATION” IS THE FORMAL ONE, DURING A CONSISTORY. So, it should not be confused with the modern “prior announcement” of intention.

    9. – Accordingly, if the Pope were to die between the informal announcement of a Consistory for the Creation of new Cardinals and its celebration, the new appointees would not be able to vote, because they would not yet be Cardinals, and would not satisfy the canonical requirement of “creation and publication”.

    [From Universi dominici gregis: 36. A Cardinal of Holy Roman Church who has been created and published before the College of Cardinals thereby has the right to elect the Pope, in accordance with the norm of No. 33 of the present Constitution, even if he has not yet received the red hat or the ring, or sworn the oath. ...]

  6. trespinos says:

    Since earlier comments have offered corrections, I’ll be bold to offer this, on a very minor point: the word is “cardinalitial”. Think “cardinalitas”, and you will get it right always.

  7. don Jeffry says:

    Hans Urs von Balthasar had twice not accepted the cardinalitial honor from Pope John Paul II before the third offer and, as I understand it, at the insistence of the latter. Unfortunately he passed on two days before the consistory but he has “Kardinal” nonetheless on his tombstone in Luzern. Best, don Jeffry

  8. I think von Balthasar is a good example of someone who had an announcement of the pope’s intention to create him a cardinal but died before the official publication. So, he is considered to be a cardinal by many (I include myself among them) but he is not officially considered to have been one.

  9. don Jeffry says:

    Who knows… Called Cardinal-Deacon and yet says Died shortly before becoming a Cardinal. How did he become C-D of S. Nicola in Carcere then?

    http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bvbalt.html

    Father Hans Urs von Balthasar †
    Deceased
    Priest of Chur
    Cardinal-Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere
    Titular See: (Died shortly before becoming Cardinal)
    Events
    Date Age Event Title
    12 Aug 1905 Born Lucerne, Switzerland
    26 Jul 1939 34.0 Ordained Priest Priest of Society of Jesus
    1950 44.4 Incardinated Priest of Chur, Switzerland
    26 Jun 1988 82.9 Died Priest of Chur, Switzerland
    28 Jun 1988 82.9 Elevated to Cardinal
    28 Jun 1988 82.9 Appointed Cardinal-Deacon of S. Nicola in Carcere

    * Consistory – 1988: Died before being Created Cardinal

  10. dcs says:

    if a man is named Cardinal

    Cardinal Cardinal? I like the sound of that. ;-)

  11. dcheney says:

    Father Hans Urs von Balthasar died before being elevated, the references after his death never took effect, but they are show because they were the stated intention of the Pope.

  12. Father Hans Urs von Balthsar is a Cardinal of the Church…

  13. Prof. Basto says:

    Fr Z: From Universi dominici gregis: 36. A Cardinal of Holy Roman Church who has been created and published before the College of Cardinals thereby has the right to elect the Pope, in accordance with the norm of No. 33 of the present Constitution, even if he has not yet received the red hat or the ring, or sworn the oath. …]

    Precisely, Father. That is exactly what I pointed out.

    If formal creation and publication take place before the College of Cardinals, that is, in a consistory, then, even if the prelate was not present, even if he did not take the oath, receive the hat or ring, he is already a Cardinal and can vote.

    On the other hand, if the only thing that happened is the informal announcement, not the actual creation and publication before the College assembled in consistory, then the prelate is not yet a Cardinal and cannot vote.