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Cardinal Electors of the Pope

The Cardinal Electors of the Pope 

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Ph.D.


The College of Cardinals, The Holy See, Electors of the PopeThe  Pope, like all bishops, needs a lot of help to fulfill his mission to teach, govern, and minister the sacraments to his people.  The difference between the Pope and other bishops, however, is that the Pope has been entrusted with the awesome responsibility to care for ALL the Catholic churches of the world, to feed ALL the sheep (see Jn 21:15-19).


The bishops of other dioceses have clergy who help them fullfil their more limited mission: their priests (presbyters) and deacons.  Sometimes, they even have auxiliary or helper bishops to assist them.

The Pope as bishop of Rome has priests, deacons, and auxiiary bishops to help him care for the people of the diocese of Rome.  But to advise him in the care of the universal Church, he chooses special "key" or "hinge" clergy.  The main road to the heart of any Roman city was called the "cardo" from the Latin word for hinge.  So the clergy that served as the Pope's closest advisors came to be known as "Cardinals."  They formed the main road to the Pope and the served as the hinges for the door to the Pope and from the Pope to the world.


Over time, many traditions developed around the role of the Cardinals.  Since they are the key Roman clergy, each has a titular parish in Rome even though they may live elsewhere in the world.  While priests normally wear black and bishops purple, cardinals, who may be drawn from the ranks of priests and bishops, wear scarlet.  While the Pope lives, they are his key advisors and are personally picked by him.  When the Pope dies, they come together to elect his successor who is ordinarily, though not necessarily, chosen from their own number.


Though a man is "created" Cardinal for life, he loses the privilege and responsibility to elect the next pope once he passes his 80th birthday.  To be precise, if he has reached 80 before the death of the Pope, he is disqualified from participating in the conclave that elects that Pope's successor.


As of the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2, 2005, there are 117 Cardinal eligible to serve as Electors, two of whom are too frail to participate in the Conclave.  A list follows with links to their photo and a brief biography.  The first thing they will do as the Conclave opens will be to pray to Holy Spirit for guidance as they go about their monumental task.  Let's join them invoking the protection and guidance of the Holy Spirit and the blessing by that same Spirit of the new Pope!

To download and print this list of the Cardinals, CLICK HERE!


For another easy to print list of the Cardinals of this Conclave with their countries, CLICK HERE!

Cardinal Electors in the Conclave of April, 2005 

Agnelo, Geraldo Majella   Napier, O.F.M. Wilfred Fox  
Agré, Bernard   Nicora, Attilio  
Álvarez, Martínez Francisco   O'Brien, Keith Michael Patrick  
Ambrozic, Aloysius Matthew   Obando Bravo, S.D.B. Miguel  
Antonelli, Ennio   Okogie, Anthony Olubunmi  
Arinze, Francis   Ortega y Alamino, Jaime Lucas  
Backis, Audrys Juozas   Ouellet, P.S.S. Marc  
Barbarin, Philippe   Panafieu, Bernard  
Barragan, Javier Lozano   Paskai, O.F.M. László  
Baum, William Wakefield   Pell, George  
Bergoglio, S.J. Jorge Mario   Pengo, Polycarp  
Bertone, Tarcisco   Poletto, Severino  
Biffi, Giacomo   Policarpo, José da Cruz  
Bozanic, Josip   Pompedda, Mario Francesco  
Cacciavillan, Agostino   Poupard, Paul  
Carles Gordó, Ricardo Maria   Pujats, Janis  
Castrillón Hoyos, Darío   Puljic, Vinko  
Cé, Marco   Ratzinger, Joseph  
Cipriani Thorne, Juan Luis   Razafindratandra, Armand Gaétan  
Connell, Desmond   Re, Giovanni Battista  
Danneels, Godfried   Rigali, Justin Francis  
Daoud, Ignace Moussa I   Rivera Carrera, Norberto  
Darmaatmadja, S.J. Julius Riyadi   Rodríguez Maradiaga, Oscar Andrés, S.D.B.  
de Giorgi, Salvatore   Rouco Varela, Antonio María  
Dias, Ivan   Rubiano Sáenz, Pedro  
Egan, Edward Michael   Ruini, Camillo  
Erdo, Peter   Sandoval Íńiguez, Juan  
Errázuriz Ossa, Francisco Javier   Saraiva Martins, C.M.F. José  
Etsou-Nzabi-Bamungwabi, C.I.C.M. Frédéric   Scheid, S.C.I. Eusebio Oscar  
Falcăo, José Freire   Schönborn, O.P. Christoph  
George, O.M.I. Francis E.   Schwery, Henri  
Giordano, Michele   Scola, Angelo  
Glemp, Józef   Sebastiani, Sergio  
Grocholewski, Zenon   Sepe, Crescenzio  
Hamao, Stephen Fumio   Shirayanagi, Peter Seiichi  
Herranz, Julian   Simonis, Adrianus Johannes  
Hummes, O.F.M. Cláudio   Sin, Jaime L.  
Husar, Lubomyr   Sodano, Angelo  
Jaworski, Marian   Stafford, James Francis  
Kasper, Walter   Sterzinsky, Georg Maximilian  
Keeler, William Henry   Suárez Rivera, Adolfo Antonio  
Kitbunchu, Michael Michai   Szoka, Edmund Casimir  
Law, Bernard Francis   Tauran, Jean-Louis  
Lehmann, Karl   Terrazas Sandoval, C.SS.R. Julio  
López Rodríguez, Nicolás de Jesús   Tettamanzi, Dionigi  
López Trujillo, Alfonso   Toppo, Telesphore Placidus  
Lustiger, Jean-Marie   Toruno, Rodolfo Quezada  
Macharski, Franciszek   Tumi, Christian Wiyghan  
Mahony, Roger Michael   Turcotte, Jean-Claude  
Maida, Adam Joseph   Turkson, Peter Kodwo Appiah  
Marchisano, Francesco   Vallejo, O.F.M. Carlos Amigo  
Martínez Somalo, Eduardo   Vidal, Ricardo J.  
Martini, S.J. Carlo Maria   Vithayathil, C.SS.R. Varkey  
Martino, Renato Raffaele   Vlk, Miloslav  
McCarrick, Theodore Edgar   Wako, Gabriel Zubeir  
Medina Estévez, Jorge Arturo   Wamala, Emmanuel  
Meisner, Joachim   Wetter, Friedrich  
Minh Man, Jean-Baptiste Pham   Williams, Thomas Stafford  
Murphy-O'Connor, Cormac    

PPeter, the Pope and Infallibilityeter, the Pope and Infallibility   

As we as a Catholic community mourn the death of Pope John Paul II, there are questions raised by Catholics and Non- Catholics about the Papacy and its institution. Peter, the Pope and Infallibility by Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio will help answer many of the questions that people may ask during this time of mourning. This CD (or AT) is 45 minutes in length and was given during Dr. D’Ambrosio pilgrimage to Rome.

CD - $8.00                     Audio Tape - $7.00

Pope John Paul II, Achievements, George WeigelBrand New - The Achiement of Pope John Paul II -

In a remarkable speech given in January of 2005, internationally known scholar and writer - and friend of Pope John Paul II - George Weigel eloquently lists and elaborates upon 10 enduring accomplishments of this great man.

CD - $8.00        DVD - $20.00



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