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Cardinal (Catholicism)/ College and orders of cardinalate

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Part of the series on
Cardinal (Catholicism)
CardinalCoA PioM
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of a cardinal are indicated by a red galero (wide-brimmed hat) with 15 tassels on each side (the motto and escutcheon are proper to the individual cardinal).
College and orders of cardinalate
Titular church
Title and reference style
Orders
Special types of cardinals
Cardinals in pectore or secret cardinals
Vesture and privileges
Cardinals in popular culture
Article discussion

College and orders of cardinalate

Pope Sixtus V limited the number of cardinals to 70, composed of six cardinal bishops, 50 cardinal priests, and 14 cardinal deacons; however, Pope John XXIII began to exceed the overall limit of 70, and this has continued under his successors. At the start of 1971, Pope Paul VI set an age limit of eighty years for electors, who were to number no more than 120, but set no limit to the number of cardinals as a whole, including those over eighty. (As a result of the setting of the age limit at the start of 1971, twenty-five living cardinals lost the right to participate in a conclave.) On one occasion, 21 October 2003, Pope John Paul II brought the number of cardinals with the right to enter the conclave to over 120, perhaps calculating that, though his death was approaching, the number would be sufficiently reduced when his successor was elected. And in fact, at John Paul II's death, only 117 of the then-current 183 cardinals were young enough to be electors.[1] Pope Paul VI also increased the number of cardinal bishops by giving that rank to patriarchs of the Eastern Catholic Churches who are made cardinals.


  1. Electing a New Pope | Ask a Franciscan - May 2005 Issue of St. Anthony Messenger Magazine Online

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