The coat of arms of a cardinal (who is a bishop) is indicated by a red galero (wide-brimmed hat) with 15 tassels on each side (the motto and escutcheon are proper to the individual cardinal).
The 2008 Urbi et Orbi given by Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas Day, from Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of France
The façade of Saint Peter's Basilica with loggia balcony, where the Pope usually gives the blessing Urbi et Orbi
Cardinal Innitzer, Archbishop of Vienna and Cardinal-Priest of San Crisogono
Choir dress of a cardinal
Cardinal Sodano (1927-2022), Dean Emeritus of the college
Cardinal-priest Thomas Wolsey
Coat of arms of Cardinal Martino, current Cardinal Protodeacon
Reginald Pole was a cardinal for 18 years before he was ordained a priest.
A Cardinal in Profile, 1880, by Jehan Georges Vibert (Morgan Library and Museum, New York City)
alt=Théodore Adrien Cardinal  Sarr with a ferraiolo, and wearing a red cassock, but not the rest of the choir dress.|Cardinal Sarr with a ferraiolo and wearing a red cassock, but not the rest of the choir dress.
alt=Cardinals Walter Kasper (left) and Godfried Danneels (right) wearing their choir dress: scarlet (red) cassock, white rochet trimmed with lace, scarlet mozetta, scarlet biretta (over the usual scarlet zucchetto), and pectoral cross on cord.|Cardinals Walter Kasper (left) and Godfried Danneels (right) wearing their choir dress: scarlet (red) cassock, white rochet trimmed with lace, scarlet mozetta, scarlet biretta (over the usual scarlet zucchetto), and pectoral cross on cord.
alt=Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone in dress for hot tropical countries (white cassock with scarlet piping and buttons).|Cardinal Bertone in dress for hot tropical countries (white cassock with scarlet piping and buttons).

This is now extended to all who receive the papal blessing over the Internet ("the new communications medium"), since the blessing is preceded by an announcement by a Cardinal (usually the Cardinal Protodeacon): "His Holiness Pope N. grants a plenary indulgence in the form laid down by the Church to all the faithful present and to those who receive his blessing by radio, television and the new communications media. Let us ask Almighty God to grant the Pope many years as leader of the Church and peace and unity to the Church throughout the world."

- Urbi et Orbi

When not celebrating Mass but still serving a liturgical function, such as the semiannual Urbi et Orbi papal blessing, some Papal Masses and some events at Ecumenical Councils, cardinal deacons can be recognized by the dalmatics they would don with the simple white mitre (so called mitra simplex).

- Cardinal (Catholic Church)
The coat of arms of a cardinal (who is a bishop) is indicated by a red galero (wide-brimmed hat) with 15 tassels on each side (the motto and escutcheon are proper to the individual cardinal).

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The 1492 conclave was the first to be held in the Sistine Chapel, the site of all conclaves since 1878.

Papal conclave

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Gathering of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a bishop of Rome, also known as the pope.

Gathering of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a bishop of Rome, also known as the pope.

The 1492 conclave was the first to be held in the Sistine Chapel, the site of all conclaves since 1878.
Since the conclave of 2005, the cardinals electors reside in the Domus Sanctae Marthae for the length of the conclave
The camerlengo proclaiming a papal death
Cardinals, bishops and priests attending the funeral of Pope John Paul II
Cardinals formerly used these intricate ballot papers, one of which is shown folded above. Currently, the ballots are simple cards, folded once (like a note card), with the words "I elect as Supreme Pontiff" printed in Latin on them.
Today, cardinal electors receive copies of multiple ballot cards, scrutiny ballots, and a copy of Ordo Rituum Conclavis (Order of Conclave Rites). Shown above are the ballot papers of Cardinal Roger Mahony used in the 2013 conclave.
Fumata nera in the Sistine Chapel, indicating that there was not a two-thirds majority in the papal election at the Conclave.
Fumata bianca in Sistine Chapel, indicating that a pope has been elected by the College of Cardinals.
At the end of the conclave of 2013, the newly elected Pope Francis appears for the first time to the crowd in St. Peter's Square

Concerns around political interference led to reforms after the interregnum of 1268–1271 and Pope Gregory X's decree during the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 that the cardinal electors should be locked in seclusion cum clave (Latin for 'with a key') and not permitted to leave until a new pope had been elected.

He then imparts the Urbi et Orbi blessing.

Benedict XVI in 2008

Pope Benedict XVI

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Retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the church and the sovereign of the Vatican city state from 2005 until his resignation in 2013.

Retired prelate of the Catholic church who served as the head of the church and the sovereign of the Vatican city state from 2005 until his resignation in 2013.

Benedict XVI in 2008
Benedict XVI in 2008
The birth house of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Marktl, Bavaria
Palais Holnstein in Munich, the residence of Benedict as Archbishop of Munich and Freising
Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome, 12 October 1988
Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square
Benedict XVI, St. Peter's Basilica, 15 May 2005
Benedict XVI reciting the weekly Angelus prayer while overlooking Saint Peter's Square, Vatican City
Benedict XVI's first trip in a popemobile
Benedict at the canonization of Frei Galvão
A pre-1969 Traditional Latin Mass altar with reredos.
Benedict XVI on a throne in the Apostolic Palace
Benedict XVI in a Mercedes-Benz popemobile in São Paulo, Brazil
Benedict XVI celebrates his 81st birthday with U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura. The White House, Washington D.C.
Benedict XVI in Balzan, Malta
Benedict XVI in Zagreb, Croatia
Benedict XVI wearing Cappello Romano during an open-air Mass in 2007
Benedict XVI in choir dress with the red summer papal mozzetta, embroidered red stole, and the red papal shoes
Benedict XVI in a popemobile at his final Wednesday General Audience in St. Peter's Square on 27 February 2013
Benedict XVI in 2014, one year after his resignation.
Benedict XVI on 10 August 2019.
Benedict with President of Russia Vladimir Putin on 13 March 2007
Benedict XVI at the Synod of Bishops 2008 in Rome, Italy
In 2013, one of Notre-Dame de Paris' new bells was named Benoît-Joseph after the pope.

After a long career as a professor of theology at several German universities, he was appointed Archbishop of Munich and Freising and created a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1977, an unusual promotion for someone with little pastoral experience.

At the balcony, Benedict's first words to the crowd, given in Italian before he gave the traditional Urbi et Orbi blessing in Latin, were:

John Paul II in 1984

Pope John Paul II

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The head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his death in 2005.

The head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 until his death in 2005.

John Paul II in 1984
The wedding portrait of John Paul II's parents, Emilia and Karol Wojtyła Sr.
Painting of Saint John Paul II painted by Zbigniewa Kotyłły, 2012
Karol Wojtyła (second from right) in a Baudienst forced labor work crew during the German occupation of Poland in WWII, circa 1941
The Pontifical International Athenaeum Angelicum in Rome, Italy
Karol Wojtyła pictured during a kayaking trip to the countryside with a groups of students, circa 1960
19 Kanonicza Street in Kraków, Poland where John Paul II lived as a priest and bishop (now an Archdiocese Museum).
First appearance of Pope John Paul II following his election on 16 October 1978
John Paul's first papal trip to Poland in June 1979
John Paul II with the president of Italy Sandro Pertini in 1984
John Paul II during a visit to West Germany, 1980
US President Ronald Reagan meeting with Pope John Paul II during a visit to the Vatican City, 1982
Graffiti showing John Paul II with quote "Do not be afraid" in Rijeka, Croatia
John Paul II was the first Pope to enter and pray in a mosque, visiting the tomb of John the Baptist at Umayyad Mosque, Damascus.
John Paul II moments after being shot during an assassination attempt by Mehmet Ali Ağca in St. Peter's Square, 13 May 1981
An ailing John Paul II riding in the Popemobile in September 2004 in St. Peter's Square
(l-r) George W. Bush, Laura Bush, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Andrew Card, US dignitaries paying respects to John Paul II on 6 April 2005 at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
The tomb of John Paul II in the Vatican Chapel of Saint Sebastian within St. Peter's Basilica where it has been since 2011.
1.5 million St. Peter's Square attendees witness the beatification of John Paul II on 1 May 2011 in Vatican City
Statue of John Paul II outside the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tepeyac, Mexico City
Candles around monument to John Paul II in Zaspa, Gdańsk at the time of his death
The canonisation of John Paul II and John XXIII
The tomb of the parents of John Paul II at Rakowicki Cemetery in Kraków, Poland
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
Karol Wojtyła (1958)

Wojtyła was named cardinal priest of the titulus of San Cesareo in Palatio.

In April 1991, during his Urbi et Orbi Sunday message at St. Peter's Basilica, John Paul II called for the international community to "lend an ear" to "the long-ignored aspirations of oppressed peoples".

Pope Francis in 2021

Pope Francis

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Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 2013.

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 2013.

Pope Francis in 2021
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Bergoglio on 18 June 2008 giving a catechesis
Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio in 2008
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The stamp is dedicated to the pastoral visit of Francis to Azerbaijan on 2 October 2016
Francis opens the Holy Door, marking the beginning of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy
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Francis with Cuban leader Raúl Castro in September 2015
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Crowd at the Koševo City Stadium in Sarajevo, celebrating a mass with Francis, June 2015
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He became the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II.

After being elected and choosing his name, his first act was bestowing the Urbi et Orbi blessing on thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

Pope Francis in 2021

Pope

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Bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome ), head of the worldwide Catholic Church, and also serves as head of state or sovereign of the Vatican City State since the eighth century.

Bishop of Rome (or historically the patriarch of Rome ), head of the worldwide Catholic Church, and also serves as head of state or sovereign of the Vatican City State since the eighth century.

Pope Francis in 2021
Gregory the Great (c. 540–604) who established medieval themes in the Church, in a painting by Carlo Saraceni, c. 1610, Rome.
A historical map of the Mediterranean states in 1400. The Western Schism lasted from 1378 to 1417.
As part of the Catholic Reformation, Pope Paul III (1534–49) initiated the Council of Trent (1545–63), which established the triumph of the papacy over those who sought to reconcile with Protestants or oppose papal claims.
The Delivery of the Keys painted by Pietro Perugino (1492)
The conclave in Konstanz where Pope Martin V was elected
The formal declaration of "Habemus Papam" after the election of Pope Martin V
Funeral of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in April 2005, presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI
Entrance to Vatican City, with inscription "Benedictus XVI Pont(ifex) Max(imus) Anno Domini MMV Pont(ificatus) I.", i.e., "Benedict XVI, Pontifex Maximus, in the year of Our Lord 2005, the first year of his pontificate."
The coat of arms of the Holy See. That of the State of Vatican City is the same except that the positions of the gold and silver keys are interchanged.
1881 illustration depicting papal infallibility
Pope Pius XII, wearing the traditional 1877 Papal tiara, is carried through St. Peter's Basilica on a sedia gestatoria c. 1955.
Pope Pius VII, bishop of Rome, seated, and Cardinal Caprara.
Antichristus, a woodcut by Lucas Cranach of the pope using the temporal power to grant authority to a generously contributing ruler
Antichristus, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, from Luther's 1521 Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. The pope is signing and selling indulgences.
Christus, by Lucas Cranach. This woodcut of John 13:14–17 is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. Cranach shows Jesus kissing Peter's foot during the footwashing. This stands in contrast to the opposing woodcut, where the pope demands others kiss his foot.
Antichristus, by the Lutheran Lucas Cranach the Elder. This woodcut of the traditional practice of kissing the pope's foot is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist.
Pope Pius IX, the pope with the longest verifiable reign
Pope Urban VII, the shortest-reigning pope

Popes also contended with the cardinals, who sometimes attempted to assert the authority of Catholic Ecumenical Councils over the pope's. Conciliarism holds that the supreme authority of the church lies with a General Council, not with the pope.

After a solemn Papal Mass, the new pope was crowned with the triregnum (papal tiara) and he gave for the first time as pope the famous blessing Urbi et Orbi ("to the City [Rome] and to the World").

Official photograph, 1969

Pope Paul VI

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Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978.

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 21 June 1963 to his death in 1978.

Official photograph, 1969
His father, Giorgio Montini, in 1909
Montini on the day of his ordination in 1920
Montini photographed alongside Pope Pius XII during his service at the Secretariat of State
Montini as the Archbishop of Milan c. 1956
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Montini walking in Saint Peter's Square in 1962
Cardinal Montini at the opening of the new building of the RAS, Milan, 1962. Photo by Paolo Monti.
Pope Paul VI appears on the central loggia after his election on 21 June 1963
Pope Paul VI fully supported Cardinal Augustin Bea, credited with ecumenical breakthroughs during the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Paul VI after his election with the first Catholic U.S. president with whom he visited as Pope, United States President John F. Kennedy, 2 July 1963
The opening of the second session of Vatican II
Following his predecessor Ambrose of Milan, Pope Paul VI named Mary the "Mother of the Church" during Vatican II.
Pope Paul VI with Sister Lúcia, the seer of Our Lady of Fátima.
Pope Paul VI meets Jafar Shahidi, an Iranian Shia scholar.
The countries visited by Pope Paul VI
Relief commemorating Pope Paul VI's visit to Nazareth, 5 January 1964
Pope Paul VI's diamond ring and cross donated to the United Nations
The arrival of Pope Paul VI to Fátima, Portugal, in 1967.
The Pope Paul VI during his visit to the Sanctuary of Fátima in 1967
Paul VI at an audience in October 1977
Paul VI makes Karol Wojtyła (future Pope John Paul II) a cardinal in 1967.
Paul VI with Joseph Ratzinger (future Pope Benedict XVI) who was created cardinal in the 1977 consistory.
Paul VI with Albino Luciani (later John Paul I) in Venice
Aldo Moro, photographed during his kidnapping by the Red Brigades in 1978
Paul VI's body in the Vatican after his death
The Papal Tiara of Paul VI, now in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Tomb of Paul VI following his canonisation in October 2018
Tapestry of Paul VI on the occasion of his beatification on 19 October 2014
Canonization Mass held on 14 October 2018
A statue of Paul VI in Milan, Italy
Paul VI received the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Pope Paul VI during an October 1973 audience
Pope Paul VI at Mount Tabor, during his 1964 visit to Israel
Paul VI's papal tiara, now in the Crypt of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

After the death of the Benedictine Cardinal Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster, in 1954, Montini was appointed to succeed him as Archbishop of Milan, which made him the Secretary of the Italian Bishops Conference.

When the new pope appeared on the central loggia, he gave the shorter episcopal blessing as his first Apostolic Blessing rather than the longer, traditional Urbi et Orbi.