New Cardinals and their churches in Rome and cardinalatial trivia

You may have heard, but the Pope created a few more Cardinals today, 22 to be exact, though several are over 80 years of age and therefore cannot enter or vote in a conclave.

Each cardinal is assigned a church in Rome, a titular or diaconal church.  Remember that the College is still divided into three groups, cardinal bishops, priests and deacons.  With a few exceptions all cardinals are bishops or will be consecrated before being created cardinal (Jesuits are usually dispensed from being consecrated if they are over 80).  Cardinals who are ordinary bishops of dioceses are generally made Cardinal Priests, while curial officials are generally made Cardinal Deacons.  After a number of years a cardinal deacon can be “promoted” to the order of priests.  Some cardinals in key positions, such as the Dean of the College or prefect of an important dicastery, are elevated to an open slot among the six Cardinal Bishops.  There are seven cardinalatial titular dioceses, but the Dean always has two, Ostia and one other.  There are also a four Cardinal Patriarchs of Eastern Churches, who rank in the College just after the Cardinal Bishops.

Here is a list of the new cardinals and their titles.

– Cardinal Fernando Filoni, diaconate of Nostra Signora di Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio.
– Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, diaconate of San Domenico di Guzman.
– Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, diaconate of San Ponziano.
– Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio, diaconate of San Cesareo in Palatio.
– Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, diaconate of Santi Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia.
– Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, diaconate of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami.
– Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, diaconate of Sant’Elena fuori Porta Prenestina.
– Cardinal Edwin Frederick O’Brien, diaconate of San Sebastiano al Palatino.
– Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, diaconate of Annunciazione della Beata Vergine Maria a Via Ardeatina.
– Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, diaconate of Sacro Cuore di Gesu a Castro Pretorio.
– Cardinal George Alencherry, title of San Bernardo alle Terme.
– Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, title of San Patrizio.
– Cardinal Dominik Jaroslav Duka, O.P., title of Santi Marcellino e Pietro.
– Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, title of San Callisto.
– Cardinal Giuseppe Betori, title of San Marcello.
– Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, title of Nostra Signora di Guadalupe a Monte Mario.
– Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, title of San Giovanni Maria Vianney.
– Cardinal John Tong Hon, title of Regina Apostolorum.

Over 80:

– Cardinal Lucian Muresan, title of Sant’Atanasio.
– Cardinal Julien Ries, diaconate of Sant’Antonio di Padova a Circonvallazione Appia.
– Cardinal Prosper Grech, O.S.A., diaconate of Santa Maria Goretti.
– Cardinal Karl Josef Becker, S.J., diaconate of San Giuliano Martire.

The ranking Cardinal Bishop is the Dean, Angelo Cardinal Sodano who has both Diocese of Albano and the Diocese of Ostia. The lowliest Cardinal Bishop is José Cardinal Saraiva Martins, C.M.F of Palestrina, though he can’t vote, which makes Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, S.D.B. of Frascati the lowliest Cardinal Bishop who is an elector. He is the Camerlengo.

The ranking Cardinal Priest is Eugênio Cardinal de Araújo Sales of the title S. Gregorio VII, though he is not an elector. The top ranking elector in the order of priests is Godfried Cardinal Danneels of the title S. Anastasia. The lowliest Cardinal Priest is Lucian Cardinal Muresan of the title Sant’Atanasio, though he is over 80. The lowliest Cardinal Priest elector is John Cardinal Tong Hon of the title Regina Apostolorum.

The ranking Cardinal Deacon is Jean-Louis Pierre Cardinal Tauran of the diaconal church S. Apollinare alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine. He is still an elector. That makes him the Protodeacon. He gets to announce the name of the newly elected Pope. The lowliest Cardinal Deacon is Karl Josef Cardinal Becker, S.J. of the diaconal church. He is over 80. The lowliest Cardinal Deacon who can vote is Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi of the church Sacro Cuore di Gesù a Castro Pretorio. If I remember correctly, as the lowliest deacon he seals or unseals the door of the conclave, or some such gesture.

Also, over at Catholic Hierarchy, today is the only day you will see these new Cardinals with zeros by their names for length of time they have been Cardinals.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Prof. Basto says:

    The following is a link to the document “Modifications to the Rite approved by Benedict XVI – A Consistory between Tradition and Innovation”, a Note (published in Italian only) by the office of Papal Liturgical Celebrations that describes the changes made by Pope Benedict XVI to the ceremony of the ordinary public consistory for creating cardinals (today’s consistory was the first consistory to be held using the revised rite). The document also gives historical perspective on the several changes that the ceremonies have underwent since before the Second Vatican Council.

    Annibale Bugnini is mentioned by name in the document, although I suspect that the 2012 modifications approved by Pope Benedict XVI failed to undo Hannibal Bugnini’s reforms. And, just for the record, in actuallity it was John Paul II who approved the “ulterior modifications” (ulteriori modifiche, mentioned in the document in passing) that transformed the Cardinal-creating consistory into a full Liturgy of the Word. With the Benedictine reforms now approved, the intention was to distinguish the Consistory from a liturgical action, while retaining a biblical reading; further, the Pauline “Mass of Rings” was abolished, so as to not give the impression that the Cardinalate is a sacrament: rings are now presented during the consistory itself, and the Mass in the following day is a plain Mass of thanksgiving, with no additional rites but the “address of homage” of the first of the new Cardinals (the said address having been transferred to the start of Mass from the rite of the consistory).

  2. Phil_NL says:

    Father, not to be a pain, but…..

    Tomorrow the length should also be displayed as 0.00. As the time is measured in years, one day counts as 1/365 (or 1/366 this year) , which equals 0.0027. Only in two days time we’ll be able to round up to 0.01 (from 0.0055)

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Interesting, and would Father Z like to make some comments on the choices for the future of the TLM? Any influences here which would help some places where it is stalled?

  4. Pedro says:

    Some cardinals in key positions, such as the Dean of the College or prefect of an important dicastery, are elevated to an open slot among the six Cardinal Bishops.

    The Dean of the College of Cardinals is not elevated from the presbyterate or diaconate but is elected by the Cardinal Bishops who hold the title to a Surbarbicarian Church from one of their number, when the office of Dean is vacant. The same procedure holds for the office of Subdean (Assistant Dean). The Holy Father then approves the election. (CIC 352) Of course the Holy Father freely assigns the titles to those Surbarbicarian sees to members of the Sacred College, in accordance with Can. 350 §1.

  5. Thepeug says:

    I’m curious: why does a Cardinal Patriarch rank after a Cardinal Bishop? Considering that a patriarch is the head of an entire Church sui iuris–as opposed to the head of a single diocese–should the patriarch not outrank the bishop? If the eastern-rite Churches are truly particular Churches in communion with Rome, and not merely liturgically peculiar subsets of the Roman Church, this reality should be reflected in the College precedence.

  6. Dan P says:

    Cardinal Burke appears to be missing.

  7. Dan P says:

    Nevermind. He’s a Cardinal-Deacon.

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  9. Phil_NL says:


    Not necessarily. Cardinals are originally Roman clergy, as is still visible in the fact they all get a titular church within the diocese of Rome. One could argue therefore that the college is an institution of the latin Rite – albeit one with rights that affect the entire Church when it comes to the conclave – where non-latin-rite cardinals may sit as a courtesy. And this has some basis in the historical practice, even though I doubt anyone was as discourteous to spell it out officially: the number of voting-age cardinals from different rites / sui iuris churches has always been low, much lower than their number of faithful would suggest.

    Also, the idea that the college should be somehow representative of the entire Church is a very new one; prior to the 20th Century it was very much an Italian, French and Spanish affair. And before the college was formalised, it was even a strictly Roman affair – and no-one outside of the Eternal City had any trouble with the idea that those voting for Pope would be a very limited subset of the Church, even in terms of representation.

  10. Prof. Basto says:

    @ Phil_NL and Thepeug,

    The College of Cardinals is an institution of the Holy Roman Church, that is, an institution of the Church that is in Rome, an institution of the Diocese of Rome. It is only because the See of Rome presides over the Universal Church that the College acquires universal significance.

    The Pope is the head visible of the universal Church, the Vicar of Christ on Earth, because he is the bishop of Rome; as bishop of that City he becomes successor of bl. Peter, the first Supreme Pontiff, the first Vicar of Christ, who died a martyr in Rome, while he was bishop there. So it is by means of the Church of Rome that the Pope acquires authority over the whole Catholic Church. In like fashion, the College of Cardinals, the “Senate of the Roman Pontiff”, is a Roman institution (and therefore an institution of the Latin Church), that, because of the pre-eminence of the Holy Roman Church, affects the destiny of the Church universal.

    Originally, the Sacred College of Cardinals was made up of the main members of the Roman clergy, and, by means of the distribution of titles and deaconries, today’s Cardinals are also enrolled in the Roman clergy, and are so enrolled as the senior members of that clergy.

    We know that in the early Church the right to elect the Roman Pontiff belonged to the clergy of Rome, to the whole of that Clergy; but the system soon evolved, so that the right of election was restricted, first to those members of the Sacred College who rank as Cardinal Bishops only, and then, centuries later, to the whole composition of the College of Cardinals; after the reforms of Paul VI, that right of election is now restricted to the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church who, on the death of the preceeding Roman Pontiff, have not yet completed 80 years of age. In any event, the election of the Roman Pontiff, by being conducted by the Cardinals, is conducted by the senior portion of the Clergy of Rome, and is, therefore, a Roman affair. It is not the universal Church that elects the Roman Pontiff: even if an Ecumenical Council is in session when the pope dies, the Council Fathers have no authority to elect the Pope; rather, by the death of the Pope, the Council, lacking its head, is automatically suspended, and only the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church elect the next Pope of Rome.

    Before the Pauline reforms, of the 1960’s, made in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, any Eastern Patriarch that was admitted to the College would receive a title or a deaconry just like any other Cardinal entering the College, and would have no special precedence. For, outside the College, that Patriarch may be the head of an Eastern Church sui-iuris, but, within the College, that same person was a member of the Roman Clergy just like the other Cardinals, and would rank accordingly, with only the precedence of his title or deaconry being taken into account.

    Paul VI decided to change all that when he decreed that Eastern Patriarchs, when created Cardinals, would be admitted to the College as Eastern Patriarchs, with a special precedence. Thus, although a Cardinal Patriarch is also a Cardinal “of the Holy Roman Church”, his connection to the Church in that City is more tenuous, as he receives no title or deaconry, either of a suburbicarian diocese, or of a parish church, or of a “diaconal church”. Cardinal Patriarchs now rank as members of the Order of Bishops in the College, but after the Cardinals who hold the titles of the suburbicarian dioceses. So the Order of the Cardinal Bishops now has two sub-classes: the first sub-class, of the Cardinal Bishops who hold the titles of the suburbicarian dioceses; and the second subclass, of the Cardinal Bishops who are Eastern Patriarchs, commonly known as “Cardinal Patriarchs”. Also, only the Cardinal Bishops of the first class, namely, those who hold the titles of the suburbicarian dioceses, vote in the election of the dean of the College and in the election of the subdean, and those officers are chosen from among them. As in the past, the Dean holds the suburbicarian see of Ostia as well. So, upon the approval of the election of a new Dean by the Roman Pontiff, the one elected receives from the Pope the additional title of the suburbicarian see of Ostia, the first of the suburbicarian sees, that is reserved as proper to the Cardinal Dean. Although they are members of the Order of Cardinal Bishops, the Cardinal Patriarchs take no part in the choice of the Dean or of the Subdean, given that the said election is the province of the holders of the titles of the suburbicarian Sees.

    This exclusion of the Cardinal Patriarchs when it comes to the choice of the dean guarantees that the leadership of the College remains Roman; as the College is a Roman institution, it is right that the top rank be formed by Cardinal Bishops who, by holding the titles of the suburbicarian Sees, are full members of the Roman Clergy.

    Now, when pondering the question of rank, one also needs to remember that the suburbicarian Sees are VERY important. They are located in the suburbs of the City of Rome. Some of them are even within the territory of the modern Municipality (comune) of Rome. So, to be chosen by the Pope to the title of one of those dioceses is a very exalted thing.

    Also, one needs to remember that, in the past, a Cardinal priest held the actual position of parish priest of his presbyteral Church. Also, until the 19th century, the Cardinal Bishops were the actual heads of the suburbicarian dioceses; that is, what they received was not only a title that made them the symbolic patrons of that Sees (as is the case today); rather, they actually were made the Diocesan Bishops of such suburbicarian dioceses. And even today, with the titles and the consequential position of patronage, the Cardinal Bishops, although without jurisdiction over their titular sees, do retain a moral leadership over them.

    The important position of the suburbicarian dioceses as dioceses located in the outskirts of the walls of ancient Rome or in nearby cities, fully justifies the status of the Cardinal Bishops of those sees as the senior members of the College of Cardinals.

  11. Prof. Basto says:

    Cardinal Burke is the Cardinal Deacon of St. Agatha of the Goths (S. Agata de’ Goti), and thats why he is not listed in the page linked, as the link directs one to a page that lists the Cardinal Priests only.

  12. Thepeug says:

    Phil and Prof. Basto,

    Thanks for your thorough and informative responses. Based on what you’ve said, it seems to me that Eastern Patriarchs should abstain from the Cardinalate altogether. Doing so not only ensures that the College remains a Roman institution of the Latin-rite Church, but also maintains the integrity of the of the Patriarchate vis-a-vis the Roman Church.

  13. mgalexander says:

    Why are superannuated Jesuits who are created cardinals usually dispensed from episcopal consecration?

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