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Four cardinals raised to rank of cardinal-priest

June 20, 2016

At an ordinary consistory on June 20, Pope Francis raised four cardinals from the rank of cardinal-deacon to that of cardinal-priest. 

Each of the new cardinal-priests has been a cardinal-deacon for ten years, having received their red hats from Pope Benedict XVI in March 2006; and each is above the age of 80 and thus ineligible to participate in a papal conclave. They are:

  • Cardinal William Levada, the retired prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and, prior to that, Archbishop of San Francisco;
  • Cardinal Franc Rodé, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Religious and, prior to that, Archbishop of Ljubljana, Slovenia;
  • Cardinal Andrea Cordero di Montezemolo, the former archpriest of the Roman basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls and a veteran Vatican diplomat; and
  • Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, the French Jesuit who is former rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

The College of Cardinals is made up of three orders: the cardinal-bishops, cardinal-priests, and cardinal-deacons. The distinctions among them are almost exclusively ceremonial. Ordinarily when the Roman Pontiff elevates a diocean bishop (or, more usually, an archbishop) to the College, he is given the rank of cardinal-priests; prelates who are members of the Roman Curia are usually made cardinal-deacons. After ten years as a cardinal-deacon, a prelate can petition the Pontiff to be raised to the rank of cardinal-priest-- as in these four cases.

There are currently 9 cardinal-bishops (including three patriarchs of the Eastern churches), 168 cardinal-priests, and 36 cardinal-deacons. 




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  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 21, 2016 9:00 AM ET USA

    I wonder where this preoccupation with rank in the hierarchy came from. Certainly not from the example of the One who told us that "the first shall be last" ...