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College of Cardinals
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College of Cardinals

The Sacred College of Cardinals is the body of all Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. Historically, they were the clergy of the city of Rome: they were the priests serving the Pope as the Bishop of Rome (hence, they were assigned duties in parishes of the city).

Today the only roles of the College are participating in papal elections when the see is vacant (a meeting for such a purpose is called a "conclave") and advising the Roman Pontiff about Church matters (in the consistory). The College has no ruling power except for the sede vacante period, where its powers are still extremely limited (see Universi Dominici Gregis). The prefects of Vatican Congregations are always Cardinals.

The president and vice-president of the college are the Dean of the College of Cardinals and the Sub-Dean. Both are elected by the cardinals holding suburbicarian dioceses, but the election requires Papal confirmation. Except for presiding, the Dean has no power of governance over the cardinals, instead acting as primus inter pares.

Although the rules of the Conclave explicitly say the Pope need not be chosen from among the ranks of the Cardinals, that has been the norm since the election of Urban VI in 1378.

Since January 1, 1971, the cardinals over age 80 have not had a vote in the election of popes, under the terms of Pope Paul VI's motu proprio Ingravescentam Aetatem.

Table of contents
1 Members of the College of Cardinals
2 See also
3 External link

Members of the College of Cardinals

Cardinals are shown in order of seniority by date of appointment. The list is correct as of January 2004. Cardinals aged 80 or over will not be eligible to take part in the Conclave which elects the next Pope.

See also

External link