CHAPTER I. PRELATURES. continued.
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Every Catholic knows who the Pope is and the high rank he holds in the Church. He is the "Bishop of Bishops," the "Prelate of Prelates." He possesses supreme and infallible authority to teach and govern the Church. He is above laws and canons, (a) and, though he has been despoiled of his temporal power, he is still recognized as a Sovereign by nearly all civilized nations.
In the present study, we have but to remark that the Pope, being the Supreme Prelate, wears a special prelatical costume, and that certain materials and colors are reserved for him, as we shall note later.
The Cardinals are those Prelates who form the Senate of the Church. Their name, from the Latin word cardo (a hinge), seems to indicate that the government of the Church rests on them as a door on its hinges. (b)
They are divided into three classes: Cardinal-Bishops, Cardinal-Priests and Cardinal-Deacons; (c) but this distinction does not proceed from their ordination; an Archbishop as, for instance, the Archbishop of Baltimore, is a Cardinal-Priest; and a simple cleric may be a Cardinal-Deacon : the distinction originates in their titles; for the cardinalitial dignity does not belong to the Hierarchy of Order, but to that of Jurisdiction. (d)
The title of a Cardinal is taken from the diocese or the church to which he is appointed as Cardinal; but ordinarily the word "title?' is used only to mean the churches assigned to Cardinal-Priests. The episcopal sees of Cardinal-Bishops are usually called "suburban dioceses." (e)
These dioceses, located in the suburbs of Rome (hence their name) form the Roman metropolitan province. They are:
Ostia and Veletri, the Bishop of which is the Dean of the Sacred College;
Porto and Santa Rufina, a see reserved for the Sub-Dean of the Sacred College;
Sabina, which is not a city, but a territory;
Palestrina, the Bishop of which is entitled Prænestinus Episcopus;
Frascati, formerly Tusculum, a name which has been preserved in the title of the Bishop, who is styled Tusculanus Episcopus;
Albano, Albanensis Episcopus.
Each Cardinal-Priest has for title one of the churches of the city of Rome, which was formerly a parish church. The title of a Cardinal-Deacon is also a church, but generally one which has been used as the chapel of a hospital or asylum, the deacons' functions consisting in providing for the necessities of the poor. This "title" is, even at the present day, called Diaconia (Deaconry). (f)
As a body, the Cardinals are known as the Sacred College. The College is headed by the Dean, who is the first of the Cardinal-Bishops in order of seniority, and always Bishop of Ostia and Veletri.
The Cardinals' functions generally consist in acting as advisers (g) and auxiliaries to the Sovereign Pontiff in the administration of the Church. They also govern the Church during the vacancy of the Holy See and elect the new Pope. (h)
Their official title is "Eminentissimus et Reverendissimus Dominus" (i) and their dignity gives them a right of precedence immediately after the Pope and over all those who are not Cardinals.
They enjoy a great many special privileges which are noted in all handbooks of Canon Law (j)
(a) Council of the Vatican, Const. Pastor æternus, c. 2, 3, 4.
(b) SOGLIA, Institutiones juris publici Part II., §41, and others.
(c) Soglia, Ibid. —Bouix, De curia romana, p. 1, etc.
(d) Ferraris, Bibliotheca canonica, ad art. Cardinales, II.
(e) Soglia, op. et loc. cit.—Bouix, loc. cit.
(f) Ferraris, Biblotecha, art. Cardinales, I.— Sixtus V., Constit. Postquam (Dec. 3, 1586)
(g) Council Of Trent, Session XXV., Chapt. I., De reformatione.
(h) Cap. Ubi perlo., De elect. in 6°.
(i) Decree of Pope URBAN VIII. (June 10, 1630).
(j) EUGENE IV., Constit. Non mediocri.