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Chapter Summary

The relationship that developed between Rome, the pope and the cardinals in the fifteenth century represented the culmination of a thousand years of crises, councils, synods, and the more mundane development of the day-to-day administration of an evolving institution. While the cardinals are still left with the job of electing the pope, their role has become more honorary than active in the last few decades. Under Paul VI cardinals no longer received the red brimmed hat from the pope, nor are they entitled to wear the voluminous cloak, the cappa magna, in Rome. As the Church has become more historically aware, the evolution of the College of Cardinals over the centuries has been revealed more clearly as a historical process rather than a doctrinal fact.

Keywords:cardinals; College of Cardinals; pope; Rome



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