Religion Past and Present

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(395 words)

[German Version]

Derived from cardo (hinge, pivot point), the term cardinalate originally referred to an institution of the clergy in the city of Rome. Already in the 11th century, three classifications had formed: cardinal deacons, who were responsible to assist the bishop of Rome in liturgical ministry, care for the poor, and administer property; cardinal priests, who, as the heads of Roman titular churches, were responsible for liturgical ministry in the five patriarchal churches; and cardinal bishops, who, as bishops of the dioceses situated around Rome (=subur…

Cite this page
Krämer, Peter, “Cardinal/Cardinalization”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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