Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $38,705 to go. Please donate!
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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod: It's a Wrap! 10 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 11 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 16 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6