Tag Archives: Angelo Sodano

Pope Francis Makes A Dramatic Change To The Tenure Of The Dean Of The ‘College Of Cardinals’.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE and read here. From the Vatican @ http://www.vatican.va


Click to ENLARGE.


With this December 21, 2019, motu proprio (a personal (unilateral) papal edict at the pope’s behest) Pope Francis has finally wrested control over the tenure of the Dean of the ‘College of Cardinals‘).

Prior to this, the Dean, once elected (by his fellow Cardinal Bishops (albeit, this as of, 1965)) — and then approved by the pope — had tenure for life or until he opted to resign (or, as is claimed in the case of Angelo Sodano, forced to resign). This has meant, as can be seen from image #2, that there have been some Deans that held sway well past their 80th year — though this, as of 1971, precluded them from participating in a conclave.

Francis’ goal is to try and have younger Deans — though this is not a given.

Making the tenure 5-years — with the pope reserving the right to renew the term — makes a lot of sense.

This goes, quite nicely, hand-in-hand, with the pope creating irregular Cardinal Bishops in 2018 — again in the hope of having under 80 cardinal bishops if there were to be a conclave.

What the pope is REALLY hoping is that the cardinal bishops will now elect a YOUNG Dean — which means that it will have to be an irregular. More on this in a later post.


Related posts:
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by Anura Guruge

Until Created Cardinal, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Will Be PRO-Secretary Of State, Holy See, Not Secretary Of State.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


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>> Pope Francis’ gold pallium pins …
>>July 8, 2013.

>> Pope Francis’ 100 days in office …
>>June 19, 2013.

++++ Search on ‘pope‘ for other pope related posts >>>>


Click to access original Vatican announcement.

Click to access original Vatican announcement.


In their excitement to break the news the media is losing sight of two key points.

First: Appointment is as of October 15, 2013; not immediate.

Second: Only a CARDINAL can be Secretary of State, Holy See. Pietro Parolin is not a cardinal as yet — though now a cardinalate is guaranteed. ‘Pro-‘, in Latin, means ‘acting’. So until he becomes a cardinal his official title is Pro-. This is true for the heads of nearly all of the important curial dicasteries. You have to be a cardinal in order to officially head them. If not, you can still hold the office, but not the title!

That it is ‘Pro-‘ is not a problem. Quite a few Secretaries of State started off as Pro-, including the current Dean of the College, the holder of three Roman titles (churches), Angelo Sodano.

What is funny is that just yesterday I started thinking about cardinalabili and the next consistory now that my work on comets was coming to an end. November has traditionally been popular for consistories. A November consistory would work. But, then again Pope Francis, not that interested in tradition, might take my recommendation and just have a micro-consistory and just create Parolin.

I, a confirmed pedant, especially when it comes to papal history, just wanted to make sure that we all had the facts right.

I am, of course, sorry to see the departure of ‘my man’, My Lord, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who in my opinion (and I do follow curial politics better than most) was an outstanding Secretary of State. Thank YOU, Lord Bertone for all of your wonderful work, non-stop inspiration and for being a good and decent human being.



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