Lay cardinal

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Lay Cardinal Teodolfo Mertel Kardinal Theodulf Mertel.jpg
Lay Cardinal Teodolfo Mertel

A lay cardinal was a cardinal in the College of Cardinals of the Catholic Church who was a lay person, that is, who had never have been given major orders through ordination as a deacon, priest, or bishop.

College of Cardinals body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church

The College of Cardinals, formerly styled the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church. Its current membership is 225, as of 5 October 2019. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope for life. Changes in life expectancy partly account for the increases in the size of the College.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

Major orders

The term major orders or greater orders was for some centuries applied in the Roman Catholic Church to distinguish what the Council of Trent also called holy orders from what at that time were termed "minor orders" or "lesser orders". The Catechism of the Council of Trent spoke of the "several distinct orders of ministers, intended by their office to serve the priesthood, and so disposed, as that, beginning with the clerical tonsure, they may ascend gradually through the lesser to the greater orders", and stated:

Contents

Properly speaking these cardinals were not laymen, since they were all given what was called first tonsure, which at that time made them clerics and no longer laymen. [1] They were also given minor orders, which were no obstacle to marrying or to living in a marriage previously contracted. The freedom to marry and to live in marriage is likely the reason that cardinals who were not in major orders were popularly, though inaccurately, referred to as lay cardinals.[ citation needed ]

Clergy formal leaders within established religions

Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman and clergyperson, while cleric and clerk in holy orders both have a long history but are rarely used.

Minor orders are ranks of church ministry lower than major orders.

Examples

Ferdinando I de' Medici was a lay cardinal for twenty-six years. Even after he succeeded his brother Francesco I de' Medici as Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1587, he nevertheless remained a cardinal until he married Christina of Lorraine two years later.

Christina of Lorraine Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany

Christina of Lorraine or Christine de Lorraine was a member of the House of Lorraine and was the Grand Duchess of Tuscany by marriage. She served as Regent of Tuscany jointly with her daughter-in-law during the minority of her grandson from 1621 to 1628.

Francisco Gómez de Sandoval, 1st Duke of Lerma was created cardinal by Pope Paul V on March 26, 1618, [2] a title that protected him from prosecution, after he was banished from power on October 4, 1618.

Francisco Gómez de Sandoval, 1st Duke of Lerma Spanish politician

Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, 1st Duke of Lerma, 5th Marquess of Denia, 1st Count of Ampudia, was a favourite of Philip III of Spain, the first of the validos through whom the later Habsburg monarchs ruled. He was succeeded by the Count-Duke of Olivares.

Pope Paul V 17th-century Catholic pope

Pope Paul V, born Camillo Borghese, was pope from 16 May 1605 to his death in 1621. In 1611, he honored Galileo Galilei as a member of the Papal Accademia dei Lincei and supported his discoveries. In 1616, Pope Paul V instructed Cardinal Bellarmine to inform Galileo that the Copernican theory could not be taught as fact, but Bellarmine's certificate allowed Galileo to continue his studies in search for evidence and use the geocentric model as a theoretical device. That same year Paul V assured Galileo that he was safe from persecution so long as he, the Pope, should live. Bellarmine's certificate was used by Galileo for his defense at the trial of 1633.

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria was a lay cardinal for about 20 years from 1620 (about age 10) to his death in 1641.

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, Cardinal Infante, Archbishop of Toledo

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church, Infante of Spain, Infante of Portugal, Archduke of Austria, Archbishop of Toledo (1619–41), and military commander during the Thirty Years' War.

Marino Carafa di Belvedere was created a cardinal in the consistory of 1801 by Pope Pius VII on the condition that he take major orders. In 1807 he resigned the cardinalate without receiving major orders to marry to produce an heir and maintain the line of descent for his family. He married Marianna Gaetani dell'Aquila d'Aragona and he became prince of Acquaviva. [3]

Pope Pius VII pope of the catholic church 1800–1823

Pope Pius VII, born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 14 March 1800 to his death in 1823. Chiaramonti was also a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict in addition to being a well-known theologian and bishop throughout his life.

Teodolfo Mertel, a lawyer and layman, was named cardinal by Pope Pius IX in 1858. He was not a lay cardinal for long, as he received ordination to the diaconate the same year. When he died in 1899 he was the last non-priest cardinal. [4] (Giacomo Antonelli, who died in 1876 as Pius IX's Cardinal Secretary of State, remained a deacon when named cardinal in 1847.)

In 1968 Pope Paul VI proposed appointing the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain a lay cardinal, but Maritain refused the honour. [5]

Confusion concerning the title of "cardinal"

It is perhaps commonplace to think that the title of "cardinal" is the next order after "bishop" to which a man may be ordained, as "bishop" comes after "priest" and "priest" after "deacon". In fact, however, the position of cardinal is not an order to which one can be ordained; rather, a cardinal is simply an elector of the pope and the title is an honorific office in the Church independent of the priesthood.

The original "cardinals" in the first Christian centuries were friends and counsellors of the Bishop of Rome. Some were ordained deacons or priests and some were not. In those days of persecution these men took on the duty of standing at the door of the house where the service and the subsequent agapē feast was being celebrated. They admitted or rejected people hoping to attend the Sacred Liturgy. They also kept watch for soldiers or informers who might interrupt the gathering. Since the word for "hinge" in Latin is cardo they became known as 'hingemen" – cardinals.[ citation needed ] Soon many bishops called their advisors "cardinals" but, in time, the pope decreed that only the advisors of the Bishop of Rome could be known by the title "cardinal".

Changes in canon law

The 1917 Code of Canon Law decreed that from then on only those who were priests or bishops could be chosen as cardinals, [6] thus officially closing the historical period in which some cardinals could be clergy who had only received first tonsure and minor orders.

The same rule is repeated in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which adds that those who are not already bishops are to receive episcopal ordination. [7] Any priest who has been nominated for the cardinalate may ask for dispensation from the obligation to be ordained to the episcopacy before being created Cardinal, but in practice it is usually Jesuits who ask for and are granted this dispensation. For example, the dispensation was requested by the theologian Avery Dulles upon being named cardinal by Pope John Paul II in 2001 who granted it. Subsequently invited to a meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in 2002, Cardinal Dulles at one point asked for recognition to speak to the bishops from the floor. His quip that he was there "under false pretenses" was greeted by much laughter.

The same dispensation was granted to Roberto Tucci, another esteemed theologian from the Society of Jesus: he was created cardinal in the consistory of 21 February 2001 by Pope John Paul II, whom Tucci had also successfully petitioned not to be ordained to the episcopacy.

With the motu proprio Ministeria quaedam of 15 August 1972 Pope Paul VI ended the conferral of first tonsure and laid down that entry into the clerical state would instead be by ordination as deacon. [8]

See also

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References

  1. Cf. canon 108 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law
  2. Antonio Feros. El Duque de Lerma: realeza y privanza en la España de Felipe III. Page 429
  3. "The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, Consistory of February 23, 1801". fiu.edu. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
  4. http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bmert.html
  5. Donald DeMarco. "The Christian Personalism of Jacques Maritain". EWTN.
  6. canon 232 §1
  7. canon 351§1
  8. Ministeria quaedam