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(395 words)

Author(s): Krämer, Peter
[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 patri¶ archal churches; and cardinal bishops, who, as bishops of the dioceses situated around Rome …

In coena Domini

(199 words)

Author(s): Krämer, Peter
[German Version] This name is given to a collection of papal sentences of excommunication (Excommunication: I) which were read solemnly on Maundy Thursday (hence the title “At the Last Supper of the Lord”; originally, they were read on other days too). In the ¶ course of the centuries, the collection expanded considerably. The earliest known version was made in 1229 under Gregory IX; the development reached its final form with the bull Pastoralis Romani Pontificis of Urban VIII in 1627. Absolution from these sentences was reserved to the pope. They were pronounced aga…

Vicar General

(155 words)

Author(s): Krämer, Peter
[German Version] According to the canon law (II, 1) of the Catholic Church, in a diocesan curia the office of vicar general stands out; each diocese must have such an office ( CIC cc. 475–481). As administrative representative of the diocesan bishop, the vicar general has the task of supporting the bishop in leading the diocese; he therefore exercises vicarious administrative authority throughout the diocese. The dependence of the vicar general, who must be a priest, on the episcopal office is also clear from the fact that the…