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» The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church
The cardinals of the Holy Roman Church constitute a special college which provides for the election of the Roman Pontiff according to the norm of special law. The cardinals assist the Roman Pontiff either collegially when they are convoked to deal with questions of major importance, or individually when they help the Roman Pontiff through the various offices they perform, especially in the daily care of the universal Church.
§1. The college of cardinals is divided into three orders: the episcopal order, to which belong cardinals to whom the Roman Pontiff assigns title of a suburbicarian church and Eastern patriarchs who have been brought into the college of cardinals; the presbyteral order and the diaconal order.
§2. The Roman Pontiff assigns each of the cardinals of the presbyteral or diaconal orders his own title or diaconia in Rome.
§3. Eastern patriarchs who have been made members of the college of cardinals have their own patriarchal see as a title.
§4. The cardinal dean holds as his title the Diocese of Ostia together with the other church he already has as a title.
§5. Through a choice made in consistory and approved by the Supreme Pontiff and with priority of order and promotion observed, cardinals from the presbyteral order can transfer to another title, and cardinals from the diaconal order to another diaconia and if they have been in the diaconal order for ten full years, even to the presbyteral order.
§6. A cardinal transferring through choice from the diaconal order to the presbyteral order takes precedence over all those cardinal presbyters who were brought into the cardinalate after him.
§1. The Roman Pontiff freely selects men to be promoted as cardinals, who have been ordained at least into the order of the presbyterate and are especially outstanding in doctrine, morals, piety, and prudence in action; those who are not yet bishops must receive episcopal consecration.
§2. Cardinals are created by a decree of the Roman Pontiff which is made public in the presence of the college of cardinals. From the moment of the announcement they are bound by the duties and possess the rights defined by law.
§3. When the Roman Pontiff has announced the selection of a person to the dignity of cardinal but reserves the name of the person in pectore, the one promoted is not bound in the meantime by any of the duties of cardinals nor does he possess any of their rights. After the Roman Pontiff has made his name public, however, he is bound by the same duties and possesses the same rights; he possesses the right of precedence, though, from the day of reservation in pectore.
§1. The dean presides over the college of cardinals; if he is impeded, the assistant dean takes his place.
Neither the dean nor the assistant dean possesses any power of governance over the other cardinals but is considered as first among equals.
§2. When the office of dean is vacant, the cardinals who possess title to a suburbicarian church and they alone are to elect one from their own group who is to act as dean of the college; the assistant dean, if he is present, or else the oldest among them, presides at this election. They are to submit the name of the person elected to the Roman Pontiff who is competent to approve him.
§3. The assistant dean is elected in the same manner as that described in §2, with the dean himself presiding.
The Roman Pontiff is also competent to approve the election of the assistant dean.
§4. If the dean and assistant dean do not have a domicile in Rome, they are to acquire one there.
§1. The cardinals especially assist the supreme pastor of the Church through collegial action in consistories in which they are gathered by order of the Roman Pontiff who presides. Consistories are either ordinary or extraordinary.
§2. For an ordinary consistory, all the cardinals, at least those present in Rome, are called together to be consulted concerning certain grave matters which occur rather frequently or to carry out certain very solemn acts.
§3. For an extraordinary consistory, which is celebrated when particular needs of the Church or the treatment of more grave affairs suggests it, all the cardinals are called together.
§4. Only the ordinary consistory in which some solemnities are celebrated can be public, that is, when prelates, representatives of civil societies, and others who have been invited to it are admitted in addition to the cardinals.
The cardinals who preside over dicasteries and other permanent institutes of the Roman Curia and Vatican City and who have completed the seventy-fifth year of age are asked to submit their resignation from office to the Roman Pontiff who will see to the matter after considering the circumstances.
§1. The cardinal dean is competent to ordain as a bishop the one elected as Roman Pontiff if he needs to be ordained; if the dean is impeded, the assistant dean has the same right, and if he is impeded, the oldest cardinal from the episcopal order.
§2. The senior cardinal deacon announces the name of the newly elected Supreme Pontiff to the people; likewise, in the place of the Roman Pontiff, he places the pallium upon metropolitans or hands it over to their proxies.
Cardinals are obliged to cooperate assiduously with the Roman Pontiff; therefore, cardinals who exercise any office in the curia and who are not diocesan bishops are obliged to reside in Rome. Cardinals who have the care of some diocese as the diocesan bishop are to go to Rome whenever the Roman Pontiff calls them.
§1. The cardinals who have been assigned title to a suburbicarian church or a church in Rome are to promote the good of these dioceses or churches by counsel and patronage after they have taken possession of them.
Nevertheless, they possess no power of governance over them nor are they to intervene in any way in those matters which pertain to the administration of their goods, their discipline, or the service of the churches.
§2. In those matters which pertain to their own person, cardinals living outside of Rome and outside their own diocese are exempt from the power of governance of the bishop of the diocese in which they are residing.
A cardinal to whom the Roman Pontiff entrusts the function of representing him in some solemn celebration or among some group of persons as a legates a latere, that is, as his alter ego, as well as one to whom the Roman Pontiff entrusts the fulfillment of a certain pastoral function as his special envoy (*missus specialis*) has competence only over those things which the Roman Pontiff commits to him.
When the Apostolic See is vacant, the college of cardinals possesses only that power in the Church which is attributed to it in special law.
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