DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     November 10, 1998     vol. 9, no. 220

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has been elected vice-dean of the College of Cardinals. He succeeds Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, who died on June 9.

          Cardinal Ratzinger was elected to his new post on November 6 by the six cardinal-bishops. (The College of Cardinals is divided into cardinal-bishops, cardinal-priests, and cardinal-deacons.) The vice-dean replaces the dean of the College of Cardinals (currently Cardinal Bernardin Gantin) if the latter is unable to perform his functions.

          Upon the death of a pope, the cardinal known as the camerlengo (currently Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo) takes charge of Vatican affairs until a new pope is elected. But it is the dean of the College who calls together the conclave, presides over the elections in the Sistine Chapel, and asks the elected candidate if he will accept the office and which name he will choose.

          In his motu proprio of November 1970, governing the process of papal elections, Pope Paul VI stipulated that the vice-dean should replace the dean if the dean has reached the age of 80 at the time of the conclave. Cardinal Gantin is now 76 years old, while Cardinal Ratzinger will be 72 in April.

          The other 4 cardinal-bishops, named for life, are Cardinals Paolo Bertoli, Roger Etchegaray, Angelo Sodano, and Lucas Moreira Neves-- the last having been named to replace Cardinal Eduardo Pironio upon his death last year.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Nov 10, 1998       volume 9, no. 220


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