Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

CARDINAL

A high official of the Roman Catholic Church ranking next to the Pope. He is a member of the Sacred College and is appointed by the Sovereign Pontiff to assist and advise him in the government of the Church. The names of newly created cardinals are usually announced at a papal consistory. They may wear a specially designed red hat and cassock. They are the ones who elect a pope, who for centuries now, has always been a cardinal before his election. The Code of Canon Law, promulgated in 1918, decreed that all cardinals must be priests. In 1962, Pope John XXIII provided that the should all be bishops. (Etym. Latin cardo, hinge.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Church Fathers: Introduction to the Greek Apologists 1 hours ago
Ad Imaginem Dei: a gem of a blog on Christian art February 28
The Complexities of Persecution February 27
Ukraine: A great lesson in thinking like a Catholic. February 27
Notre Dame has lost two contrasting giants February 27

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis to address Congress in joint session in September CWN - February 5