CARDINAL (Lat. cardinalis, pivotal, prin cipal, from rani°, a hinge). The highest digni tary in the Church of Rome after the Pope, whose elector and councilor he is. The title, however, in the ante-Nicene period, was used more gener ally, being applied to the clergy who were per manently attached to a cathedral ehurch any where. But the usage was later restrieted to particular members of the clergy in Rome. In the Fourth Century the priests permanently rul ing the parish churches in Home were styled cardinal priests, the deacons permammtly ad ministering each the charities of a particular 'region' of the city were styled cardinal deacons, while the bishops in charge of the suburban sees of 'bone—viz. Porto and Santa Purina. Os and Velletri. Palcstrina, Sabina. Frascati, and Albano—and who were called in consulta tion by the Bishop of Rome, were called cardinal bishops. The word cardinal in each case means that the person was, so to speak, one on whom ecelesiastieal affairs hinged.
The cardinals are now all appointed by the Pope, and constitute the Sacred College. The Pope is not at all obliged to consult them, but as a matter of fact does so, and so they share with him in the government of the vast organiza tion of which he is the head. Their number has varied at different times, and was fixed by Six tus V., in 1586. at 70—i.e. 6 cardinal bishops, 50 cardinal priests, and 14 cardinal deacons.
The Pope is not obliged to maintain this number, and in 1902 the Sacred College wits made up of 6 cardinal bishops. 52 cardinal priests, and S cardinal deacons. The great majority are Ital ian. The bishops take their names from the men tioned sees, the priests their titles from the churches in !ionic to which they are appointed, while the deacons are appointed to other churches called 'deaconries.' The first cardinal bishop is
the dean of the College, and has the right to con secrate the Pope if he be not at the time of his enthronement a bishop; the first cardinal deacon is first deacon of the College. and he has the right to proclaim and crown the new Pope. The eamerlengo, who rules the Church dining a Papal vacancy, also is a cardinal. All the cardinal bishops, and all but one of the cardinal deacons, live in boom, but only 11 of the cardinal priests. Most of the cardinals are bishops.• The arch bishops of Sydney. New South \Vales (Moran) ; of Baltimore. United States of America (Gib bons) ; Westminster, London, England (Vau ghan) ; and Armagh, in Ireland (Logue), are the English-speaking cardinals. A few belong to ID onast ie orders, including one Jesuit.
The cardinals are chief members of the twenty one Sacred Congregations, or standing ecclesias tical committees, of the Papal Government, such as Holy Office, Propagation of the Faith, Index, Rites, and Studies. They meet in consistory, over which the Pope presides. But they are most prominent before the world on the death of the Pope, as they are the electors of his successor, and usually, though this is not obligatory, choose one of their own number. They are princes of the Church, enjoying extraordinary privileges and honors, and are entitled 'Most Eminent Prince.' They wear a distinctive scarlet dress and a red cap, which is put upon their heads by the Pope. They have also a red hat, which is given to them in a public consistory, but is not worn. They enjoy an income out of the Papal treasury. They are frequently sent by the Pope as his represen tatives upon delicate missions, when they styled legati a la tcrc. DEAN.