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Pope Francis

Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

What is a Cardinal?

2013-03-05

The common traits among all these men include intelligence, coherence, mercy and prudence at decision-making. They are "created” during a special ceremony called a "consistory.” The last one took place on November 2012, where Benedict XVI created six new cardinals. In all, there a currently 207.

Their main function is to advise the Pope, hence why many preside over the most important departments of the Roman Curia or the largest dioceses in the world.

But their most important function is to elect the new Pope during the Sede Vacante period.

The College of Cardinals is broken down into three orders. The Cardinal Bishops hold the highest rank. The eastern patriarchs are among this group. The leader among them is the Cardinal Dean, who is considered the primus inter pares, first among equals. That was the honor Joseph Ratzinger had before being elected Pope.
Currently, the Cardinal dean is Angelo Sodano, and the Vice-Dean is Roger Etchegaray, both are required to live in Rome. Both are also over 80 years old and cannot vote in the conclave.

The second order are the Cardinal Priests, who make up the majority. They represent the universality of the Church and tend to lead the world's largest archdioceses.

The third and last order are the Cardinal Deacons and are chosen from various fields of work. Among them is the Cardinal Proto-Deacon cardinal, the eldest of which is the one that steps out into the balcony at St. Peter's Square to present the new Pope. Currently, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran holds this post.
Red, the color of the cardinals, symbolizes their willingness to die for their faith. They also receive a ring, the gift from the Pope signifying their marriage with the Church. On the inside, the crest of the Pope that created them is engraved.

The cardinals eligible to vote are only those that are under 80 years old at the start of the papal vacancy. They take an oath to vote by conscience for the person they consider best fit to be the Successor of Peter. This time around there are 117 eligible to vote.

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