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).
Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister of France
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).

Senior member of the clergy of the Catholic Church, immediately behind the pope in the order of precedence.

- 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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Pope Francis in 2021

Pope

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.

Benedict XVI in 2008

Pope Benedict XVI

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.

St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world

Catholic Church

Largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide.

Largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide.

St. Peter's Basilica, the largest Catholic church in the world
The first use of the term "Catholic Church" (literally meaning "universal church") was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans (c. 110 AD). Ignatius of Antioch is also attributed the earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" (Χριστιανισμός) c. 100 AD. He died in Rome, with his relics located in the Basilica of San Clemente al Laterano.
This fresco (1481–82) by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel shows Jesus giving the keys of heaven to Saint Peter.
The Last Supper, a late 1490s mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci, depicting the last supper of Jesus and his twelve apostles on the eve of his crucifixion. Most apostles are buried in Rome, including Saint Peter.
Jesus' commission to Saint Peter
19th-century drawing by Henry William Brewer of Old Saint Peter's Basilica, originally built in 318 by Emperor Constantine
Chartres Cathedral, completed 1220
The Renaissance period was a golden age for Catholic art. Pictured: the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo
Ruins of the Jesuit Reduction at São Miguel das Missões in Brazil
While, since the 1960s, Pope Pius XII has been accused of not having done enough to shelter Jews from the Holocaust, his defenders claim he secretly encouraged individual Catholic resistance groups, such as that led by priest Heinrich Maier. Maier helped the allies fight against the V-2, which was produced by concentration camp prisoners.
Members of the Canadian Royal 22e Regiment in audience with Pope Pius XII, following the Liberation of Rome in 1944 during World War II
Bishops listen during the Second Vatican Council
Pope John Paul II was credited as a major influence to the end of the Cold War and the fall of communism. Here with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, in 1982.
Francis is the 266th and current pope of the Catholic Church, a title he holds ex officio as bishop of Rome, and sovereign of Vatican City. He was elected in the 2013 papal conclave.
C. 1210 manuscript version of the traditional Shield of the Trinity theological diagram
The Blessed Virgin Mary is highly regarded in the Catholic Church, proclaiming her as Mother of God, free from original sin and an intercessor.
Mass at the Grotto at Lourdes, France. The chalice is displayed to the people immediately after the consecration of the wine.
Baptism of Augustine of Hippo as represented in a sculptural group in Troyes Cathedral (1549), France
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the Eucharist at the canonisation of Frei Galvão in São Paulo, Brazil on 11 May 2007
A Catholic believer prays in a church in Mexico
The Seven Sacraments Altarpiece triptych painting of Extreme Unction (Anointing of the Sick) with oil being administered by a priest during last rites. Rogier van der Weyden, c. 1445.
Priests lay their hands on the ordinands during the rite of ordination.
Wedding mass in the Philippines
Catholic religious objects – Holy Bible, crucifix and rosary
East Syrian Rite wedding crowning celebrated by a bishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church in India, one of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the pope and the Catholic Church.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta advocated for the sick, the poor and the needy by practicing the acts of corporal works of mercy.
Allegory of chastity by Hans Memling
Pope Paul VI issued Humanae vitae on 25 July 1968.

The position of cardinal is a rank of honour bestowed by popes on certain clerics, such as leaders within the Roman Curia, bishops serving in major cities and distinguished theologians.

John Paul II in 1984

Pope John Paul II

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.

Pope Francis in 2021

Pope Francis

Bishop of Rome and hence head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 2013.

Bishop of Rome and hence 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.

Official photograph, 1969

Pope Paul VI

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.

Cardinals in red vestments during the funeral of Pope John Paul II

College of Cardinals

Cardinals in red vestments during the funeral of Pope John Paul II

The College of Cardinals, or more formally the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.

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

Papal conclave

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.

Pope John XXIII

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 until his death in 1963.

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 28 October 1958 until his death in 1963.

The young Roncalli
Roncalli as Patriarch of Venice
Commander of the Legion of Honour received in 1953
Pope John XXIII's coronation on 4 November 1958. He was crowned wearing the 1877 Palatine Tiara.
Monument to Pope John XXIII in Porto Viro (Rovigo)
John XXIII with Prime Minister of Lebanon Sami as-Solh, 1959
John XXIII greets sportsmen for the 1960 Summer Olympics on 28 August 1960.
Pope John XXIII on Time magazine cover of 4 January 1963
The original tomb of John XXIII (until 2000) in the Vatican necropolis.
The body of John XXIII in the altar of Saint Jerome
The canonization ceremony of John XXIII and John Paul II
Statue of John XXIII in Portugal

On 12 January 1953, he was appointed Patriarch of Venice and raised to the rank of Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prisca by Pope Pius XII.

Pius XII c. 1951

Pope Pius XII

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.

Head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2 March 1939 until his death in 1958.

Pius XII c. 1951
Eugenio Pacelli at the age of six in 1882
Pacelli on the day of his ordination: 2 April 1899
The Serbian Concordat, 24 June 1914. Present for the Vatican were Cardinal Merry del Val and next to him, Pacelli.
Pacelli at the Headquarters of Wilhelm II
Pacelli in Bavaria, 1922
Nuncio Pacelli in July 1924 at the 900th anniversary of the City of Bamberg
Nuncio Pacelli visits the coal mine Dorstfeld on the occasion of the Katholikentag in Dortmund in 1927 Germany
Secretary of State Pacelli in Brazil in 1934
A smiling Pacelli with Argentine president Agustín P. Justo
Pius XI (center) with Cardinal Pacelli (front left), the radio transmission pioneer Guglielmo Marconi (back left) and others at the inauguration of Vatican Radio on 12 February 1931
Pacelli (seated, center) at the signing of the Reichskonkordat on 20 July 1933 in Rome with (from left to right): German prelate Ludwig Kaas, German Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen, Secretary of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs Giuseppe Pizzardo, Alfredo Ottaviani, and Reich minister Rudolf Buttmann
Pope Pius XII appears on the central loggia after his election on 2 March 1939
The signature of Pius XII never changed
Mother Pascalina Lehnert, Pius XII's housekeeper and confidant for 41 years, until his death
One of the first official color portraits of Pius XII, c. 1939 – 40
Pope Pius XII seated in the Sedia gestatoria in 1949
Fátima Statue of Pope Pius XII, who consecrated Russia and the World: "Just as a few years ago We consecrated the entire human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, so today We consecrate and in a most special manner We entrust all the peoples of Russia to this Immaculate Heart..."
On 1 November 1950, Pius XII defined the dogma of the Assumption (Titian's Assunta (1516–1518) pictured).
Coronation of the Salus Populi Romani by Pope Pius XII in 1954
In 1939 Pius XII placed his pontificate under the maternal care of Our Lady of Good Counsel and composed a prayer to her. This 19th-century painting is by Pasquale Sarullo.
Members of the Canadian Royal 22e Regiment, in audience with Pope Pius XII, following the 1944 Liberation of Rome
The investments of Bernardino Nogara were critical to the financing of the papacy during World War II.
Cesare Orsenigo, Pius XII's nuncio to Germany throughout World War II, with Hitler and Joachim von Ribbentrop
Polish prisoners toast their liberation from Dachau. Nazi persecution of Catholics was at its most severe in occupied Poland.
Pope Pius XII by Peter McIntyre (artist) c.1943–1944
Bishop Aloisius Joseph Muench, Pius XII's post-war liaison to the Office of Military Government, United States
Photograph of Pius XII on his deathbed in Castel Gandolfo, taken on 10 October 1958.
The Pope of Mary: A Madonna and Child, added by John Paul II in 1982, hangs over the tomb of Pius XII.
A rare 1899 handwriting of Eugenio Pacelli with text in Latin

Only twice in his pontificate did Pius XII hold a consistory to create new cardinals, in contrast to Pius XI, who had done so 17 times in as many years.