On red hat day, a small but historic change in the college

cardinalsToday marks not only Pope Francis’ fifth red hat day, with the ceremonies to begin at 4 pm Roman time, but also an historical change in the composition of the College of Cardinals, albeit one with, on first glance, little effect on the day to day affairs of the Church.

The College of Cardinals is divided into three ranks: the cardinal-deacons, cardinal-priests and cardinal-bishops. Of these, the cardinal-bishops are of the highest rank and also the smallest of the three groups. Traditionally, the cardinal-bishops were the bishops of the seven* suburbicarian sees, the ancient dioceses surrounding Rome. Before 1962, these cardinals were the actual bishops of the suburbicarian sees, but in that year the position became titular and the dioceses received bishops who had the time to actual manage them.

The cardinal-bishops remained the highest order of cardinals, however, and from their ranks the dean and vice-dean of the entire College were chosen. In times of a sede vacante this becomes most visible, as the dean has the duty of calling the other cardinals to Rome and organising the conclave to elect a new pope. Today, the Dean of the College of Cardinals is the cardinal-bishop of Albano and Ostia, Cardinal Angelo Sodano**.

Le-cardinal-Bechara-Boutros-Rai-aimerait-organiser-avec-autres-responsables-chretiens-sommet-toutes-eglises-Orient_0_1400_1345
Maronite Patriarch Béchara Boutros Raï, an eastern cardinal-bishop

In 1965, the order of cardinal-bishops was expanded by the addition of those patriarchs of eastern Churches in union with Rome who were made cardinals. There are three of these today: the Coptic patriarch and the current and previous Maronite patriarchs. After today’s consistory, they will be joined by the Chaldean patriarch. These eastern cardinal-bishops, while equal in rank to the others, receive no suburbicarian see and do not participate in the election of dean and vice-dean (they are also unable to be elected themselves)***.

Over the centuries, but especially in the last decades, the College of Cardinals has continuously grown in size. For example, about a century ago, the conclave that elected Pope Benedict XV consisted of 57 cardinals (a further 8 were unable to take part), while following today’s consistory, there will be 125 electors. This growth took part solely in the ranks of the cardinal-deacons and the cardinal-priests. The cardinal-bishops steadfastly remained limited to the holders of the suburbicarian sees. To remedy that, Pope Francis decided to select four cardinals to be elevated to the rank of cardinal-bishops. They keep their current title churches and duties, but it may be assumed that they are now first in line to be moved to a suburbicarian see when one falls vacant. The four new cardinal-bishops are full members of the highest section of the hierarchy in all respects, and can vote for and be elected as dean or vice-dean. Canons 350 and 352 of the Code of Canon Law limit this to the holders of the suburbicarian sees, but that limitation has been waived for the new cardinal-bishops.

For this honour, which is simultaneously an obligation, Pope Francis has selected four cardinals from three different countries, who all work in the Curia in Rome.

  1. parolinPietro Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State, 63. Perhaps the most important rising star in Francis’ papacy. A trained diplomat, the erstwhile Nuncio to Venezuela was called to Rome in 2013 to succeed Cardinal Bertone as Secretary of State. In 2014 he was made a cardinal with the title of Santi Simone e Giuda Taddeo a Torre Angela, and was added to the Council of Cardinals, the C9, that assists the pope in reforming the Curia, about a year after that group was established.
  2. LeonardoSandriLeonardo Cardinal Sandri, Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, 74. Argentinean like the pope, Cardinal Sandri is also a diplomat, having served as Nuncio to Venezuela and Mexico before joining the Secretariat of State as Substitute for General Affairs in 2000. He became Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in 2007 and was made a cardinal in that same year. Last month, he was one of the cardinal-deacons who were promoted to cardinal-priests. He maintained is title of Santi Biagio e Carlo ai Catinari, as he does with his elevation to cardinal-bishop.
  3. Marc OuelletMarc Cardinal Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, 74. Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 2001 and 2002, the Canadian prelate returned home as archbishop of Québec, and was made a cardinal in 2003, with Santa Maria in Traspontina as his title church. Since 2010 he serves as prefect of the congregation which controls the appointing of bishops around the world.
  4. cardinalefiloni-kBED-U1101609431438Nc-1024x576@LaStampa.it-R65On4HldM4ptvJ2jZdZVeM-568x320@LaStampa.itFernando Cardinal Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, 72. Like two of his three classmates a diplomat, having served as Nuncio in Jordan, Iraq and the Philippines. Like Cardinal Sandri, he also served as Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State, from 2007 to 2011. In that latter year he became Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, and was made a cardinal in 2012. He holds the title of Nostra Signora do Coromoto in San Giovanni di Dio.

In paractice these changes mean that Cardinals Parolin, Sandri, Ouellet and Filoni are among the most significant collaborators of the pope, and when the time for a conclave comes, it will be Cardinal Parolin who will oversee the proceedings: he will take on those duties that Cardinal Sodano is unable to because of his age.

With these elevations and the creation of fourteen new cardinals today, the makeup of the entire College of Cardinals is listed below. In bold are those cardinals under the age of 80, who can vote in a conclave. Their duties and offices are summarised here. In many cases, especially for cardinals working in the curia, they have or had several functions. I have chosen to list only their most prominent or best-known roles.

Cardinal-Bishops

  1. Angelo Cardinal Sodano: Dean of the College of Cardinals, Secretary of State emeritus
  2. Giovanni Battista Cardinal Re: Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals, Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops
  3. Roger Cardinal Etchegaray: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
  4. Francis Cardinal Arinze: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  5. Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone: Secretary of State emeritus
  6. José Cardinal Saraiva Martins: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  7. Pietro Cardinal Parolin: Secretary of State
  8. Leonardo Cardinal Sandri: Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
  9. Marc Cardinal Ouellet: Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
  10. Fernando Cardinal Filoni: Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples
  11. Nasrallah Pierre Cardinal Sfeir: Patriarch emeritus of Antioch (Maronite Rite)
  12. Antonios Cardinal Naguib: Patriarch emeritus of Alexandria (Coptic Rite)
  13. Béchara Pierre Cardinal Raï: Patriarch of Antioch (Maronite Rite)
  14. Louis Raphaël I Cardinal Sako: Patriarch of Babylon (Chaldean Rite)

Cardinal-Priests

  1. Michael Michai Cardinal Kitbunchu: Archbishop emeritus of Bangkok
  2. Alexandre Cardinal do Nascimento: Archbishop emeritus of Luanda
  3. Godfried Cardinal Danneels: Archbishop emeritus of Mechelen-Brussel
  4. Thomas Stafford Cardinal Williams: Archbishop emeritus of Wellington
  5. Henryk Roman Cardinal Gulbinowicz: Archbishop emeritus of Wroclaw
  6. Jozef Cardinal Tomko: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples
  7. Paul Cardinal Poupard: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
  8. Friedrich Cardinal Wetter: Archbishop emeritus of München und Freising
  9. Adrianus Johannes Cardinal Simonis: Archbishop emeritus of Utrecht
  10. Eduardo Cardinal Martínez Somalo: Prefect emeritus of the Consecration for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  11. Achille Cardinal Silvestrini: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches
  12. José Freire Cardinal Falcão: Archbishop emeritus of Brasília
  13. Alexandre José María Cardinal dos Santos: Archbishop emeritus of Maputo
  14. Christian Wiyghan Cardinal Tumi: Archbishop emeritus of Douala
  15. Edward Idris Cardinal Cassidy: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  16. Nicolás de Jesús Cardinal López Rodríguez: Archbishop emeritus of Santo Domingo
  17. Roger Michael Cardinal Mahony: Archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles
  18. Camillo Cardinal Ruini: Vicar General emeritus for the Vicariate of Rome, Archpriest emeritus of S. John Lateran
  19. Henri Cardinal Schwery: Bishop emeritus of Sion
  20. Jaime Lucas Cardinal Ortega y Alamino: Archbishop emeritus of Havana
  21. Julius Riyadi Cardinal Darmaatmadja: Archbishop emeritus of Jakarta
  22. Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala: Archbishop emeritus of Kampala
  23. Adam Joseph Cardinal Maida: Archbishop emeritus of Detroit
  24. Vinko Cardinal Puljic: Archbihsop of Vrhbosna
  25. Juan Cardinal Sandoval Íñiguez: Archbihsop emeritus of Guadalajara
  26. Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estévez: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  27. James Francis Cardinal Stafford: Archbishop emeritus of Denver
  28. Salvatore Cardinal De Giorgi: Archbishop emeritus of Palermo
  29. Serafim Fernandes Cardinal de Araújo: Archbishop emeritus of Belo Horizonte
  30. Antonio María Cardinal Rouco Varela: Archbishop emeritus of Madrid
  31. Polycarp Cardinal Pengo: Archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam
  32. Christoph Cardinal Schönborn: Archbishop of Vienna
  33. Norberto Cardinal Rivera Carrera: Archbishop emeritus of Mexico
  34. Marian Cardinal Jaworski: Archbishop emeritus of Lviv
  35. Janis Cardinal Pujats: Archbishop emeritus of Riga
  36. Agostino Cardinal Cacciavillan: President emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
  37. Sergio Cardinal Sebastiani: President emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See
  38. Zenon Cardinal Grocholewski: Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  39. Crescenzio Cardinal Sepe: Archbishop of Naples
  40. Walter Cardinal Kasper: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  41. Geraldo Majella Cardinal Agnelo: Archbishop emeritus of São Salvador de Bahia
  42. Pedro Cardinal Rubiano Sáenz: Archbishop emeritus of Bogotá
  43. Theodore Edgar Cardinal McCarrick: Archbishop emeritus of Washington
  44. Audrys Juozas Cardinal Backis: Archbishop emeritus of Vilnius
  45. Francisco Javier Cardinal Errázuriz Ossa: Archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile
  46. Wilfrid Fox Cardinal Napier: Archbishop of Durban
  47. Óscar Andrés Cardinal Rodríguez Maradiaga: Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and Coordinator of the Council of Cardinals
  48. Juan Luis Cardinal Cipriani Thorne: Archbishop of Lima
  49. Francisco Cardinal Álvarez Martínez: Archbishop emeritus of Toledo
  50. Cláudio Cardinal Hummes: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Clergy
  51. Severino Cardinal Poletto: Archbishop emeritus of Torino
  52. Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran: President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
  53. Julián Cardinal Herranz Casado: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
  54. Javier Cardinal Lozano Barragán: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers
  55. Angelo Cardinal Scola: Archbishop emeritus of Milan
  56. Anthony Olubunmi Cardinal Okogie: Archbishop emeritus of Lagos
  57. Gabriel Cardinal Zubier Wako: Archbishop emeritus of Khartoum
  58. Carlos Cardinal Amigo Vallejo: Archbihsop emeritus of Sevilla
  59. Justin Francis Cardinal Rigali: Archbishop emeritus of Philadelphia
  60. Eusébio Oscar Cardinal Scheid: Archbishop emeritus of Rio de Janeiro
  61. Ennio Cardinal Antonelli: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family
  62. Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson: Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
  63. Telesphore Placidus Cardinal Toppo: Archbishop emeritus of Ranchi
  64. George Cardinal Pell: Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy
  65. Josip Cardinal Bozanic: Archbishop of Zagreb
  66. Jean-Baptise Cardinal Pham Minh Man: Archbishop emeritus of Ho Chi Minh City
  67. Philipp Christian Igance Marie Cardinal Barbarin: Archbishop of Lyon
  68. Péter Cardinal Erdö: Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest
  69. William Joseph Cardinal Levada: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  70. Franc Cardinal Rode: Prefect emeritus of the Consecration for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  71. Agostino Cardinal Vallini: Pontifical Legate for the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi
  72. Jorge Liberato Cardinal Urosa Savino: Archbishop of Caracas
  73. Gaudencio Borbon Cardinal Rosales: Archbishop emeritus of Manila
  74. Jean-Pierre Bernard Cardinal Ricard: Archbishop of Bordeaux
  75. Antonio Cardinal Cañizares Llovera: Archbishop of Valencia
  76. Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jin-suk: Archbishop emeritus of Seoul
  77. Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley: Archbishop of Boston
  78. Stanislaw Cardinal DziwiszArchbishop emeritus of Kraków
  79. Joseph Cardinal Zen Ze-kiun: Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong
  80. Albert Cardinal Vanhoye: Secretary emeritus of the Pontifical Biblical Commission
  81. Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo: President emeritus of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State
  82. Paul Josef Cardinal Cordes: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”
  83. Angelo Cardinal Comastri: Archpriest of St. Peter and Vicar General for the Vatican City State
  84. Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko: Archpries of St. Mary Major
  85. Raffaele Cardinal Farina: Librarian emeritus of the Vatican Apostolic Library and Archivist emeritus of the Vatican Secret Archives
  86. Seán Baptist Cardinal Brady: Archbishop emeritus of Armagh
  87. Lluís Cardinal Martinez Sistach: Archbishop emeritus of Barcelona
  88. André Armand Cardinal Vingt-Trois: Archbishop emeritus of Paris
  89. Angelo Cardinal Bagnasco: Archbishop of Genova
  90. Théodore-Adrien Cardinal Sarr: Archbishop emeritus of Dakar
  91. Oswald Cardinal Gracias: Archbishop of Bombay
  92. Francisco Cardinal Robles Ortega: Archbishop of Guadalajara
  93. Daniel Nicholas Cardinal DiNardo: Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
  94. Odilo Pedro Cardinal Scherer: Archbishop of São Paulo
  95. John Cardinal Njue: Archbishop of Nairobi
  96. Estanislao Esteban Cardinal Karlic: Archbishop emeritus of Paraná
  97. Raúl Eduardo Cardinal Vela Chiriboga: Archbishop emeritus of Quito
  98. Laurent Cardinal Monsengwo Pasinya: Archbishop of Kinshasa
  99. Paolo Cardinal Romeo: Archbishop emeritus of Palermo
  100. Donald William Cardinal Wuerl: Archbishop of Washington
  101. Raymundo Damasceno Cardinal Assis: Archbishop emeritus of Aparecida
  102. Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz: Archbishop of Warszawa
  103. Albert Malcolm Ranjith Cardinal Patabendige Don: Archbishop of Colombo
  104. Reinhard Cardinal Marx: Archbishop of München und Freising
  105. José Manuel Cardinal Estepa Llaurens: Military Ordinary emeritus of Spain
  106. George Cardinal Alencherry: Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly (Syro-Malabar Rite)
  107. Thomas Christopher Cardinal Collins: Archbishop of Toronto
  108. Dominik Cardinal Duka: Archbishop of Prague
  109. Willem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk: Archbishop of Utrecht
  110. Giuseppe Cardinal Betori: Archbishop of Firenze
  111. Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan: Archbishop of New York
  112. Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki: Archbishop of Köln
  113. John Cardinal Tong Hon: Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong
  114. Lucian Cardinal Muresan: Major Archbishop of Fagaras si Alba Iulia (Romanian Rite)
  115. Baselios Cleemis Cardinal Thottunkal: Major Archbishop of Trivandrum (Syro-Malankar Rite)
  116. John Olorunfemi Cardinal Onaiyekan: Archbishop of Abuja
  117. Jesús Rubén Cardinal Salazar Gómez: Archbishop of Bogotá
  118. Luis Antonio Gokim Cardinal Tagle: Archbishop of Manila
  119. Vincent Gerard Cardinal Nichols: Archbishop of Westminster
  120. Leopoldo José Cardinal Brenes Solórzano: Archbishop of Managua
  121. Gérald Cyprien Cardinal Lacroix: Archbishop of Québec
  122. Jean-Pierre Cardinal Kutwa: Archbishop of Abidjan
  123. Orani João Cardinal Tempesta: Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro
  124. Gualtiero Cardinal Bassetti: Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve
  125. Mario Aurelio Cardinal Poli: Archbishop of Buenos Aires
  126. Andrew Cardinal Yeom Soo-jung: Archbishop of Seoul
  127. Ricardo Cardinal Ezzati Andrello: Archbishop of Santiago de Chile
  128. Philippe Nakellentuba Cardinal Ouédraogo: Archbishop of Ouagadougou
  129. Orlando Beltran Cardinal Quevedo: Archbishop of Cotabato
  130. Chibly Cardinal Langlois: Bishop of Les Cayes
  131. Fernando Cardinal Sebastián Aguilar: Archbishop emeritus of Pamplona y Tudela
  132. Kelvin Edward Cardinal Felix: Archbishop emeritus of Castries
  133. Manuel José Cardinal Macário do Nascimento Clemente: Patriarch of Lissabon
  134. Berhaneyesus Demerew Cardinal Souraphiel: Metropolitan of Addis Abeba (Ethiopic Rite)
  135. John Atcherley Cardinal Dew: Archbishop of Wellington
  136. Edoardo Cardinal Menichelli: Archbishop emeritus of Ancona-Osimo
  137. Pierre Cardinal Nguyen Van Nhon: Archbishop of Hanoi
  138. Alberto Cardinal Suárez Inda: Archbishop emeritus of Morelia
  139. Charles Maung Cardinal Bo: Archbishop of Yangon
  140. Francis Xavier Kriengsak Cardinal Kovithavanij: Archbishop of Bangkok
  141. Francesco Cardinal Montenegro: Archbishop of Agrigento
  142. Daniel Fernando Cardinal Sturla Berhouet: Archbishop of Montevideo
  143. Ricardo Cardinal Blázquez Pérez: Archbishop of Valladolid
  144. José Luis Cardinal Lacunza Maestrojuán: Bishop of David
  145. Arlindo Cardinal Gomes Furtado: Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde
  146. Soane Patita Cardinal Mafi: Bishop of Tonga
  147. José de Jesús Cardinal Pimiento Rodriguez: Archbishop emeritus of Manizales
  148. Luis Héctor Cardinal Villalba: Archbishop emeritus of Tucumán
  149. Júlio Duarte Cardinal Langa: Bishop emeritus of Xai-Xai
  150. Dieudonné Cardinal Nzapalainga: Archbishop of Bangui
  151. Carlos Cardinal Osoro Sierra: Archbishop of Madrid
  152. Sérgio Cardinal da Rocha: Archbishop of Brasília
  153. Blase Joseph Cardinal Cupich: Archbishop of Chicago
  154. Patrick Cardinal D’Rozario: Archbishop of Dhaka
  155. Baltazar Enrique Cardinal Porras Cardozo: Archbishop of Mérida
  156. Jozef Cardinal De Kesel: Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussel
  157. Maurice Cardinal Piat: Bishop of Port-Louis
  158. Carlos Cardinal Aguiar Retes: Archbishop of Mexico
  159. John Cardinal Ribat: Archbishop of Port Moresby
  160. Joseph William Cardinal Tobin: Archbishop of Newark
  161. Anthony Soter Cardinal Fernandez: Archbishop emeritus of Kuala Lumpur
  162. Renato Cardinal Corti: Bishop emeritus of Novara
  163. Sebastian Koto Cardinal Khoarai: Bishop emeritus of Mohale’s Hoek
  164. Jean Cardinal Zerbo: Archbishop of Bamako
  165. Juan José Cardinal Omella Omella: Archbishop of Barcelona
  166. Anders Cardinal Arborelius: Bishop of Stockholm
  167. Lousi-Marie Cardinal Ling Mangkhanekhoun: Vicar Apostolic of Vientiane
  168. Gregorio Cardinal Rosa Chávez: Auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador
  169. Joseph Cardinal Coutts: Archbishop of Karachi
  170. António Augusto Cardinal dos Santos Marto: Bishop of Leiria-Fátima
  171. Pedro Ricardo Cardinal Barreto Jimeno: Archbishop of Huancayo
  172. Désiré Cardinal Tsarahazana: Archbishop of Toamasina
  173. Giuseppe Cardinal Petrocchi: Archbishop of L’Aquila
  174. Thomas Aquino Manyo Cardinal Maeda: Archbishop of Osaka
  175. Sergio Cardinal Obeso Rivera: Archbishop emeritus of Jalapa
  176. Toribio Cardinal Ticona Porco: Prelate emeritus of Corocoro

Cardinal-Deacons

  1. Renato Cardinal Martino: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
  2. Angelo Cardinal Amato: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  3. Robert Cardinal Sarah: Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
  4. Francesco Cardinal Monterisi: Archpriest emeritus of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls
  5. Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke: Patron of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
  6. Kurt Cardinal Koch: President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
  7. Paolo Cardinal Sardi: Patron emeritus of the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
  8. Mauro Cardinal Piacenza: Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary
  9. Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi: President of the Pontifical Council for Culture
  10. Elio Cardinal Sgreccia: President emeritus of the Pontifical Academy for Life
  11. Walter Cardinal Brandmüller: President emeritus of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences
  12. Manuel Cardinal Monteiro de Castro: Major Penitentiary emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary
  13. Santos Cardinal Abril y Castelló: Archpriest emeritus of St. Mary Major
  14. Antonio Maria Cardinal Vegliò: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
  15. Giuseppe Cardinal Bertello: President of the Governorate of the Vatican City State and President of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State
  16. Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio: President emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
  17. João Cardinal Bráz de Aviz: Prefect of the Consecration for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
  18. Edwin Frederick Cardinal O’Brien: Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepuclhre of Jerusalem
  19. Domenico Cardinal Calcagno: President emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
  20. Giuseppe Cardinal Versaldi: Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education
  21. Prosper Cardinal Grech: Priest of the Archdiocese of Malta
  22. James Michael Cardinal Harvey: Archpriest of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls
  23. Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri: Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
  24. Gerhard Ludwig Cardinal Müller: Prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  25. Beniamino Cardinal Stella: Prefect of the Congregation for Clergy
  26. Dominique Francois Joseph Cardinal Mamberti: Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
  27. Luigi Cardinal De Magistris: Major Pro-Penitentiary emeritus
  28. Karl-Josef Cardinal Rauber: Apostolic Nuncio emeritus to Belgium and Luxembourg
  29. Mario Cardinal Zenari: Apostolic Nuncio to Syria
  30. Kevin Joseph Cardinal Farrell: Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life
  31. Ernest Cardinal Simoni: Priest of the Diocese of Shkodrë-Pult
  32. Luis Francisco Cardinal Ladaria Ferrer: Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  33. Angelo Cardinal De Donatis: Archpriest of St. John Lateran and Vicar General for the Vicariate of Rome
  34. Giovanni Angelo Cardinal Becciu: Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints
  35. Konrad Cardinal Krajewski: Almoner of His Holiness
  36. Aquilino Cardinal Bocos Merino: Superior General emeritus of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

*Over time, there have been some mergers and splits among these seven sees, but today they are: Albano, Frascati, Ostia, Palestrina, Porto-Santa Rufina, Sabina-Poggio Mirteto and Velletri-Segni.

*The title of Ostia is given to the Dean in addition to his own titular diocese. It has no bishop of its own and it is governed by the vicar-general for the Vicariate of Rome, currently Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, who himself will be made a cardinal today.

***This may be one of the reasons for today’s changes. If a conclave were to be held now, its proceedings would be overseen by Maronite Patriarch Béchara Cardinal Raï, himself not a Roman prelate. This would be so because the dean, at 90, is too old to participate in a conclave and his duties would then automatically fall to the senior cardinal-bishop who is also an elector. Cardinal Raï is the sole elector among the cardinal-bishops today.

Photo credit: [2] Alessia GIULIANI/CPP/CIRIC, [4] CNS/Paul Haring, [5] AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

 

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On Corpus Christi, Cardinal Woelki returns to the debate

The Church celebrated the feast of the Eucharist, Corpus Christi, today. She reflects on and celebrates the wondrous presence of Christ among us in the Blessed Sacrament He has given to the Church. In Germany on this day, it is hard not to think of the recent debates surrounding that sacrament, and especially the question of who can receive it. In Cologne, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, spoke about the situation at the end of the Mass he celebrated in the square in front of the city’s cathedral. He revealed what lies at the basis of his difficulties with the proposal to allow non-Catholics to receive Communion:

fronleichnam-2018_51

“Some think, “What’s the point? That’s nonsense.” Others even think, “It’s a puppet show.” I think: This is about life and death. This is about death and resurrection. This is about eternal life, this is about Christ. This is about His Church and hence this is about the essence. And that is why we must fight for it and find the right way. Not just any way, but the way of the Lord, which He shows us, since He alone is the way and the truth and the life.”

We often, sometimes as a matter of course, say that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the life of the Church. But when you really think about what that means, about what the Church teaches and professes about the true presence of the Lord in the Eucharist, the cardinal’s passionate words make a lot of sense.

In his homily, Cardinal Woelki called the Eucharist the greatest mystery of our faith, except for the Holy Trinity. He reminded the faithful in Roncalli Square that by receiving Communion they say “Yes and amen” to the Pope and to the bishop, to the sacramental structure of the Church and to the saints and their veneration. This makes Holy Mass not just “some event” which can be replaced by a Word and Communion service, “no matter how beautiful”. Also worth remembering, especially in the current debate, is this:

“In the first place, what matters is that, in the celebration of the Mass, we have something to give – namely ourselves to God – surrendering ourselves to Him.”

Looking back on the letter sent to Rome by him and six other bishops, Cardinal Woelki said:

“Much has been written and claimed. Among other things, I was said to have secretly turned to Rome, to have secretly written something. In the words of Holy Scripture, I say: I acted openly and freely and have written and said what had to be written and said, in all openness. I say once again: We in Germany do not live on an island of Blesseds. We are not a national church. We are a part of the great universal Church. All our German dioceses are incorporated in the great globe. We are all united with all other Catholic Churches around the world, united under the leadership of the Holy Father. That is why we approach Christ in unity with all other particular churches. In fidelity to the deposit of faith handed down to us by the Apostles.”

Another bishop who mentioned the Communion issue was Essen’s Franz-Josef Overbeck. He said that a “theologically responsible solution” had to be found, but also emphasised that when the salvation of souls in an interdenominational marriage is at stake, Communion must be allowed for both spouses. The question then remains, of course, when this would be the case, and if this isn’t yet covered by the options allowed under the current Code of Canon Law.

Photo credit: Ottersbach (DR)

Just another church? Utrecht to close its cathedral

An archdiocese closing its cathedral. An unheard of development, surely? Not so in Utrecht, and it really is a logical conclusion in a diocese which is merging parishes and selling excess property: when it may be expected from a rural parish somewhere along the German border, why not from the inner-city parish where the archbishop happens to live?

catharinakathedraal utrechtIt must be added that no decision to actually secularise and sell the cathedral of St. Catherine has yet been made. But the parish council has seemingly announced its plan to ask the archdiocese to allow the secularisation and sale of the ancient church, in order to solve the financial dire straits the parish, which encompasses all of the inner city of Utrecht, finds itself in. The final decision lies with the archbishop, Cardinal Willem Eijk, who usually agrees with such requests if the parish’s reasoning is sound. In this context, before anyone accuses the cardinal of willfully closing churches, even his own cathedral, it must be recalled that the archdiocese does not own her churches: the parish usually does, and they must finance the upkeep of sometimes ancient and monumental buildings in a time of decreasing church attendance and financial support from faithful.

Surely, the loss of its cathedral is a monumental event for a diocese, and it does not happen frequently or easily. In the case of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, it will have to find a new cathedral for the first time since 1853: St. Catherine’s was the only choice to become the cathedral of the newly-established archdiocese as it was the only Protestant church in Utrecht given over to the Catholics in 1842. The Protestants had used the current cathedral since 1636, and before that it had a secular use. It had in fact only been Catholic for only the first 20 years since its completion in 1560.

In other dioceses, the bishop’s seat has also been relocated to different churches in the past. A chronological overview:

  • 1559: The church of St. John the Evangelist becomes the cathedral of the newly established Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. In Roermond, the church of the Holy Spirit is the new cathedral.
  • 1661: St, Christopher’s in Roermond becomes a cathedral for the first time.
  • 1801: Roermond is suppressed as a diocese, so St. Christopher’s ceases to be a cathedral.
  • 1853: In Haarlem, the church of St. Joseph becomes the cathedral of the newly-established diocese of Haarlem. In Breda, The church of St. Anthony of Padua becomes the new cathedral, and in Roermond, the bishop’s seat is again established in St. Christopher’s.
  • 1876: Breda’s cathedral of St. Anthony becomes a parish church again and the bishop’s seat moves to St. Barbara’s.
  • 1898: The cathedral of St. Bavo in Haarlem, still under construction, becomes the cathedral of the Diocese of Haarlem, the only current Dutch cathedral built as a cathedral.
  • 1956: The church of St. Martin in Groningen becomes the cathedral of the eponymous diocese. At the same time, in Rotterdam, the church of St. Ignace becomes that diocese’s cathedral and is renamed as Ss. Lawrence & Ignace.
  • 1967: Rotterdam’s church of St. Elisabeth becomes the cathedral of Ss. Lawrence and Elisabeth.
  • 1968: St. Michael’s becomes the new cathedral of Breda.
  • 1970: The cathedral of St. Martin of the Diocese of Groningen is secularised, and later demolished.
  • 1981: The church of St. Joseph in Groningen becomes the new cathedral of the diocese of the same name.
  • 2001: The seat of the bishop of Breda returns to St. Anthony of Padua, which resumes the title of cathedral after having lost it in 1876.

In the past centuries, there have been some changes in cathedrals in the Netherlands, with the Diocese of Breda taking the cake in number of switches: it has had three cathedrals – one of which twice – since 1853. Only in the southern dioceses of ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Roermond there has been significant stability. The only direct comparison to the developing situation regarding the cathedral of Utrecht is what transpired in Groningen in the 1970’s: the cathedral of St. Martin was closed in 1970, but remained the official cathedral until 1981, when it was demolished after having been deemed unsuitably to be rebuilt into the new university library. For 11 years, the Diocese of Groningen had a cathedral it no longer used, before another church took over the mantle. If Utrecht’s cathedral is closed and eventually secularised and sold, it is to be hoped that a new cathedral is found rather quicker. The most likely candidate is the church of St. Augustine, also located in the inner city of Utrecht, and the only other church in use by the city parish.

In the meantime, the announcement, which has not yet appeared officially in online media, has been met with sadness and disappointment, and the accusation that finances are the only reason for closing the cathedral, while its historical and religious importance for Catholics in Utrecht and beyond, as well as for all inhabitants of the city where St. Willibrord first established his see in the late 7th century, is being ignored.

EDIT: Shortly after my posting this, the cooperating parishes of Utrecht published a statement on their website. In it, they state an annual deficit of more than 400.000 euros, with building maintenance costs as one of the major posts, as the main reason to want to close St. Catherine’s cathedral. The parish of San Salvator, which owns and uses both the cathedral and the church of St. Augustine, is not able to keep both churches open. The cathedral is substantially more expensive than St. Augustine’s, so the parish will, in due course, request that the archbishop relegate it to profane use, per CIC §1222. The parish has extended feelers to the Catharijneconvent museum, which owns the former convent buildings adjacent to the cathedral, as a possible future owner. Moving the function of cathedral to St. Augustine’s is a process which will involve the Holy See. The entire process is still in a preliminary phase and may take several more years to complete.

Case study – Bishop Hendriks casts a canonist’s eye on the German bishops’ proposal and the Roman response

At the risk of becoming a one-topic bore, one more post about the Communion question, after another Dutch bishop comes out in, well, understanding of the German proposal.

jan_hendriksBishop Jan Hendriks, auxiliary bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, studies the matter in his blog and comes to the conclusion that, yes, a bishops’ conference has the authority to draft a pastoral outreach that allows non-Catholics to receive Communion. But, he explains, there are certain specific conditions that must be applied.

The bishop, a canon lawyer who also serves as a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest court of law of the Catholic Church, first describes that a bishops’ conference has the authority to develop further norms in this matter according to the Code of Canon Law and the Ecumenical Directory, but there is a framework of four conditions that must be followed:

“1. The non-Catholic person requests the sacraments out of his own desire;

2. This person has no access to a minister of his own community;

3. This person professes the Catholic faith regarding these sacraments;

4. This person has the correct disposition.”

Bishop Hendriks contends that in a wedding ceremony between a Catholic and non-Catholic person, the non-Catholic may be allowed to receive Communion, according to N. 159 of the Ecumenical Directory, which says that a bishop may allow a wedding Mass for just cause, and the decision whether or not the non-Catholic partner can be allowed to receive Communion may be made according to the above four points.

“From this the conclusion could be drawn that the condition for the availibility of a minister of one’s own community is relative, and a non-Catholic spouse who asks, has the correct disposition and shares the Catholic faith in Holy Communion, can be allowed to receive Communion in the wedding service, when the bishop gives permission for the celebration of a Mass.”

Of course, the German bishops’ proposal is not limited to wedding Masses. They claim that a non-Catholic partner may receive Communion at other occasions as well. Bishop Hendriks continues:

“In their pastoral outreach the German bishops suggest that this permission for non-Catholic partners in interdenominational marriages may also be given after the wedding ceremony, after a period of discernment and a pastoral conversation with the parish priest, when they in conscience have come to accept the Catholic faith regarding the Eucharist. In the published parts which I have read, I was unable to find anything about the receiving the sacrament of penance and reconciliation and the spiritual disposition. At the same time the description of the document as a “pastoral outreach” suggest that the German bishops present no new norms, but that they operate withing the existing regulations. For new norms – a general decree – the bishops’ conference first needs a mandate from the Holy See, in other words: from the Pope (c. 455 §1). It is well understandable that not all bishops were able to go along with the thought that this is only a pastoral outreach within the existing norms and that seven of them put the case before the responsible parties in Rome.”

What then, considering all this, does the answer, or lack thereof, from the Pope mean?

“In his answer Pope Francis emphasised the unity of the bishops, who must, if possible, arrive at a text unanimously. I am not aware if it has been announced that there are conditions to this possible text, or whether it has to be presented to Rome or if a process has been agreed upon. It is, however, clear that developing such a  document – if the pastoral goal is maintained within the general conditions – is part of the authority and task of a bishops’ conference, which makes the decision of Pope in itself understandable.”

Bishop Hendriks says nothing about his agreement or disagreement with the German bishops’ proposal or the Pope’s response. He simply looks at what it possible within the norms as they exist, and from this he concludes that the German bishops have the authority to draft such a pastoral outreach, but also that they are bound to the conditions described in the Code of Canon Law and the Ecumenical Directory.

[EDIT 19-5]

In a commentary published on their website yesterday, the Archdiocese of Utrecht underlines the importance of canon 844, §4 of the Code of Canon Law. The comments seem to be a direct response to Bishop Hendriks and the reception of his words in the media. The archdiocesan commentary agrees with the bishop that a bishops’ conference has the authority to establish norms for the reception of Holy Communion by non-Catholics, and repeats the four points made by Msgr. Hendriks above. However, the piece states, an important element seems to be overlooked, by the readers if not by the bishop, namely the explicitly named circumstance that there must a be a situation of need (“grave necessity”). In such a situation the four conditions must be fulfilled in order for the non-Catholic person to receive Communion.

The article quotes the instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which states in n. 85: “In addition, the conditions comprising can. 844 § 4, from which no dispensation can be given, cannot be separated; thus, it is necessary that all of these conditions be present together.” In other words, all four conditions must be fulfilled, not just some of them. A bishops’ conference is free to decide what it considers to be situations of grave necessity. The archdiocesan commentary contends that such a situation is not automatically present in the case of a non-Catholic married to a Catholic.

In short, the archdiocesan commentary agrees with Bishop Hendriks that the German bishops are free to establish new norms, but within the framework of establish regulations only. The archdiocese emphasises that the four conditions mentions throughout the blog post above are applicable in situations of grave necessity only, something which seems to be supported by the Ecumenical Directory, as mentioned by Bishop Hendriks, which states that a bishop can allow an interdenominational wedding Mass for “a just cause”. This is not just word play, but indicates that there has to be a very good reason indeed for such a Mass to be celebrated. This reason, it would appear, must be one of the situations of grave necessity as established by the bishops’ conference.

Careful criticism – Bishop de Korte’s thoughts after the cardinal’s comments

While there has been much said and written about Cardinal Willem Eijk’s criticism on how the Pope handled the German plans to allow non-Catholics to receive Communion under certain circumstances, and the opposition that triggered from seven German bishops, the Dutch bishops have been rather quiet about the comments of the metropolitan of the Dutch Church province.

Bishop Jan Hendriks, auxiliary of Haarlem-Amsterdam and easily the most social media-minded among the bishops, wrote on Facebook that that was not the place to offer any commentary. Via his spokesman, Bishop Hans van den Hende of Rotterdam, president of the Dutch bishops’ conference, let it be known that he “hopes and expects that the agreements as described in the aforementioned documents [the Code of Canon Law, the Catechism and the Ecumenical Directory] remain the guideline.”

bisschop-de-korteThe most extensive comment, although one without directly addressing the cardinal, comes from Bishop Gerard de Korte of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. In his regular contribution to the diocesan website, the bishop addresses the accusation that Pope Francis causes confusion through his words and actions, a position that Cardinal Eijk – and others with him  – very clearly takes in his commentary. Bishop de Korte defends the Pope when he writes, “It is nowhere apparent that the Pope violates the teachings of the Church. But he does want to take into account the stubbornness of our existence.”

Addressing the topic of alleged confusion, the bishop writes:

“Some faithful, including high prelates, think that the pope allows room for confusion. But isn’t it better to speak about a papal willingness for permanent dialogue? Such an attitude does not flow from modernism of liberalism, but from the heart of the gospel. In Christ, God came to stand next to us. We in our turn are also called to accept one another. At stake is the willingness to a permanent dialogue, which does not mean the denial of our deepest convictions, but that we are open to the workings of the Holy Spirit in the other.

In the end, we all live from pure mercy. That faithful realisation can make us humble, mild and modest.”

Bishop de Korte focus on dialogue is worthy, and he is correct when he says the pope, and all Catholics, should never be closed in on themselves, open to dialogue with everyone. But, and here’s what is almost absent from the bishop’s text (except from the reference to “our deepest convictions”), dialogue has to be about something. Speaking with each other for its own sake is a good starting point to create trust and friendship, but ultimately, we must speak about something. Jesus Christ spoke with people, sinners and righteous alike, but never just for the sake of speaking. He had a clear message, and did not refrain from admonishing when necessary. We are called to continue sharing that message, which is about love, hope and faith, about charity, but also salvation, about changing our behaviour and leaving things behind to follow Him.

Rather than limiting ourselves to being kind and listening, or only quoting rules, we must take the best of both, and approach the other in kindness, love and, no less important, honesty.

Ideally, the messages of both Cardinal Eijk and Bishop de Korte are read and appreciated by readers, who can find value in both. Reality, however, shows that people would rather put the one against the other and resort to name-calling or mocking in social media. Whatever the intention of a bishop in writing an article, I am quite sure that is never it.

German bishops to explore access of non-Catholics to Holy Communion

dbk logoThe German bishops have been rather popular targets in more conservative Catholic media for their supposed liberal policies and decisions, and sometimes rightly so. In their spring meeting in Ingolstadt, which concluded yesterday, they made another such decision. One that will undoubtedly will be heavily criticised and presented in terms of heresy (looking at you, Gloria TV). However, in this case, the criticism is generally unwarranted.

The bishops have been discussing when non-Catholic partners of a Catholic can receive Holy Communion with their husband or wife. Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference, said that there had been an intense debate and many serious objections against opening up access to the Eucharist in such a way. A great majority of the bishops nonetheless voted in favour of creating a pastoral guide for situations when a non-Catholic may receive Communion alongside his or her partner.*

Communion-WafersCardinal Marx stated that the bishops have no desire to change dogmatics. The pastoral guide they are proposing will be based on canon 844 §4 in the Code of Canon Law, and it will help a pastor decide if an exception to the rule is possible. Canon 844 §4 discusses the conditions under which a non-Catholic can receive Communion. If there is a danger of death or some other grave necessity (according to the judgement of the local bishop or the bishops’ conference), and if the person involve has no recourse to a minister of their own community, a priest can licitly administer Communion to him or her. The person receiving must also seek the sacrament of their own volition and must manifest the Catholic belief in the sacrament and be otherwise able to receive (just like all Catholics). The bishops claim that there can be such a strong desire in mixed marriages to receive Communion together that not responding to this can endanger the marriage and faith of the spouses. This, they claim, can be the “grave necessity” the Code of Canon Law refers to.

“We don’t want to say that everything is equal,” Cardinal Marx stated. This decision in no way means that all non-Catholic Christians in Germany can now receive Communion in Catholic churches. But as there are allowances in canon law, the bishops have deemed it prudent to help priests and pastoral workers decide if such possibilities actually exist in individual cases.

The document will be published in the coming weeks.

*The main obstacle in this context is the fact that receiving Communion is also a profession of faith. A non-Catholic Christian professes a different belief in the transsubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and for this reason the Catholic Church prohibits them from receiving the Eucharist in Holy Communion.

In new directive, Church ignores plight of coeliacs. Except it doesn’t.

eucharistIn a letter released yesterday by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Church once again emphasises what can and cannot be consecrated during Mass. In essence, the bread must be made of wheat and the wine must be real wine, with at least some fermentation having taking place. The bread, the Congregation explains, must also contain gluten, even if just a small amount “to obtain the confection of bread”.

Two things struck me in the reactions to this letter in (social) media. One, many assume these are new rules, and two, people with coeliac disease can’t receive Communion. Both assumptions are untrue.

As the authors of the letter emphasise, “the norms about the Eucharistic matter are given in can. 924 of the CIC and in numbers 319 – 323 of the Institutio generalis Missalis Romani and have already been explained in the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum issued by this Congregation (25 March 2004)”.  The regulation they now present anew are not new, but have been standardised in the Code of Canon Law and various instructions. This new letter is simply a reminder to bishops that bread must be bread and wine must be wine (and not cake and lemonade, for example) – after all, that is what Jesus used at the Last Supper, and He specifically follow His example.

People who suffer from coeliac disease, and who are therefore unable to digest gluten, are in no way barred from receiving Communion. In many cases, they can receive bread with a small amount of gluten, and for those who can’t, it is perfectly possible to receive only the Blood of Christ. He is, after all, completely present in both bread and wine.

It is a shame, if not unexpected, that media outlets take this letter and present it as something it is not, ie. as something new instead of a reminder of established regulations.